Listen up all you file downloaders and everyone paying $10 premiums for unlimited data -- dTor, the native Android BitTorrent client is now available (as a release candidate) for download. Blueplanetapps has made the client available exclusively on Android Central's Forums for a short time before it hits the Market. Torrents are a great way to download big files like music or video, and a great way to distribute files you need to share, and now you can do it right from your Android phone.
Hit the forums to read about the app and for the download and support links, and remember -- legal files only, m'kay? [Android Central Forums]
Fox News has joined the New York Times, CBS News, and several other mainstream news companies in offering an official app on the Android Market.
The app comes packed with features, including video highlights and live audio streaming from Fox News Radio. It is available for download now via the Market for free. [AppBrain | Fox News] Thanks for the tip, rugbyua9!
The final version's faster, we're seeing better and more accurate page rendering, and basically everything you might want in a mobile browser. Opera Mini also compresses data by up to 90 percent before it reaches your phone, which helps with speed and data usage. Check out some video after the break, and give it a try for yourself. [Opera]
One of the great things about Android is the fact that you can change deeply ingrained parts of the operating system to suit your needs, and use applications like SwiftKey beta keyboard. I've been using the closed alpha of this app for quite a while, and was excited when the guys from TouchType reached out to let us know the app was now available for all through the Market. They also included a preview version for testing, so I was able to put the latest version through the paces of a busy day, and am thoroughly pleased. Follow the break to learn a bit more, see some action shots, and read the press release.
Seems like only yesterday that we were discussing in-app ads, and whether we're willing to put up with them, or fork over a few dollars for a long-free app. Oh, wait. It was yesterday. Fine. Fast-forward to today, then, and see that the ASTRO File Manager has released an app addition (you load it on top of the full ad-supported app) that washes those ads right out of your hair. For $2.99, your file browser can be ad-free.
It's not a new practice, and judging by yesterday's poll, a good number of you are more than willing to fork over a couple bucks. Our only thing is that it's one more thing to reload when we switch phones or ROMs. But our wives and mothers keep telling us most normal people don't have six cell phones or flash their memory every other day, so there's that. Download links after the break, people.
Knew it was only a matter of time before we saw a Bing app for Android, right? It's pretty good for Windows Mobile, pretty darn good on the iPhone, and we're expecting it to be really good on Windows Phone 7. So it only makes sense that we get to play with Microsoft's "Decision Engine" on Android, right? This is all happening as we speak (erm, type) at the Bing Search Summit in San Francisco. Says CNet's Ina Fried:
Microsoft isn't announcing a lot of new things at this event, but it is talking for the first time about plans for a Bing Android client as well as new mapping features and a new TV listings feature that is in testing and about to launch.
We'll keep an eye out for more. Stay tuned. [CNet via LiveSide]
We stepped out of a killer panel Monday from MobileBeat 2010 titled "How to turn Android into a money machine," and the answer from the panel to that very question seems to be "all the little things." Is it as easy to make money on Android as it is on, say, the iPhone? The answer seems to be "no" at this point, but there's not a single killer reason that Google is lagging behind.
We are going to mash up a ton of smart insights from the panel in one big hodgepodge after the break, so check in for the collective insight from
Peter Farago, VP Marketing, Flurry
David Marcus, Founder & CEO, Zong
Evan Neufeld, CMO, Groundtruth
Darren Cross, Head of Business Development, Fandango & Movies.com
Lately more developers have been releasing a free but ad-powered versions of their applications, as well as a paid version to get rid of the ads. Some applications, like Astro File Manager have only been available as a free (and ad-free) application. That changed with an update today. So, this begs the question: If your favorite application added in-app ads, would it be enough to make you leave? Often times there are other alternatives to the application, so would this be enough to make you venture off and try one of them? Personally, I can deal with the ads as long as the application does what I want, but we would love to hear what you think about it all!
When last we saw Fring, the VOIP app was touting its popularity after an update to its iPhone client and how it had to "temporarily reduce support to Skype" because of it. Looks like there may be a bit more to this story, however, as this morning Fring took a major backhand to Skype, complaining that it's Skype that is not allowing the access.
But it gets a little weirder than that. On one had we have a pretty straightforward press release detailing Fring's side of things. And on the other is a pretty inflammatory post on Fring's blog that openly calls Skype "cowards" for "trying to muzzle the competition." (Also a line used by Fring's CEO in the press release.) That's a long way from last week, when things seemed more like a small technological bump.
We're hoping to get Skype's side of the story soon. We'll go out on a limb here and hope that this is a precursor for Skype shirking its Verizon exclusivity and finally bringing a proper app to the Android Market. But in the meantime, we're all going to have to sit back and watch this one unfold. Thanks to everyone who sent this in.
Update: The plot thickens, as Skype just got back to us and tells us that removing access was all Fring's doing. Here's the quote:
Ever wanted to create an Android app but just don't have the coding skills? Google's just greatly lowered the barrier for entry with the Android App Inventor. It's akin to Palm's Ares system (and we presume other development platforms? Hey, we're not coders, either) in that it's basically drag-and-drop, what-you-see-is-what-you-get. Hit a few buttons, and out spits an app.
A couple of worries about this:
The Android Market is already flooded with hundreds (and likely thousands) of crappy apps. Let's call them crapps. And this is going to make it easier to make more crapps.
This is bound to upset already established developers, right? (Let us know in the comments, folks.)
Again, crapps. There's been a lot of chatter over the weekend about how the Market's closing in on 100,000 apps (according to sites like Androlib, anyway). And we're repeat what we have to say every time these milestone stories come up: There are apps, and there are crapps. We'd rather have 10,000 quality apps than 100,000 crapps. (And never mind that the total includes ringtones, keyboards, wallpapers, etc.)
We go back to a question that asked (by yours truly) of the Android Leadership at Google IO: Is the Market ever going to curated up front? Or will it still be up to use to wade our way through the craps? Google being a search company (and the whole openness thing, too), you can imagine which way that went. But we digress.
Let's give Android App Inventor a shot and see where it goes. Certainly the idea is good, and it's worked out well for Palm with Ares. Hit up the source link to find out more, and there's a pretty video after the break, too. [Google App Inventor]
HTC has released an update to its HTC Sync software for the HTC Aria, and along with it comes the ability to install third-party applications and enable mobile network sharing. Hallelujah! While this isn't nearly as handy as installing the applications directly from the phone, it's a huge step in the right direction. The addition of mobile network sharing is a huge boon as well, just remember to keep an eye on your data usage if you've switched to one of AT&T's new plans.
HTC Sync is also a great way to sync calendar events and contacts with Outlook (or Outlook Express/Windows Live Mail) on your Windows PC. Sorry, Mac users, you can sit over here with us Linux guys and grumble. Hit the source link to check out the requirements and download the software -- you'll need your device serial number, click and enlarge the pic to the left for help finding it. [HTC Aria Product Support] Thanks to everyone who sent this in!
Update: As Spary points out in the comments below, there was an apparent SNAFU at HTC and this update does not enable sideloading, nor does it change any settings on the device itself. HTC has reached out to Engadget and apologized for any confusion, and says their website will be updated with the correct information Monday. Felt good for a couple hours though!
Finding a parking spot just got a little easier, thanks to Google's new Open Spot app for Android. The concept is simple enough, fire up the app to see what spots are near (.9 mile radius) you, and the color of the pin tells you how long it's been since someone marked it. Red means 'freshly-marked', orange pins mean the spot was marked 5 minutes ago, and the yellow spots are older than 10 minutes -- after 20 minutes they disappear.
Speaking of marking the spot, the application is driven by the idea that you mark open spots you find, and lady karma rolls back around to help you find one when you need it. And before you let those devious ideas loose, Google claims to have their own method of dealing with 'greifers' -- people who mark spots when there are none. As of now, this app is Android only; no word on a web version or cross platform availability, but I imagine that this won't stay exclusive for too long. Hit the jump for the download links. [Google OpenSpot via TechCrunch]
Online auction giant eBay this morning announced that its Android application is now available internationally, including Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom. With the app, you'll have access to:
Buyer alerts – Stay up to date on the status of auctions and watched items with timely alerts
Daily Deals – View limited time bargains on popular items, where items are often more than 50% off the original price and include free shipping
Feedback – Leave Feedback for items bought and sold within the application
My eBay – Improved experience that includes an easier to use interface so sellers can quickly access listings, watched items, bids and sales
Member Messages – Buyers and sellers can now receive and reply to messages and emails sent through My eBay. Ask a seller a question or reply to an inquiry or keep track of notifications directly through the app
Sharing – Enabled with sharing functions so that buyers and seller can share items via Facebook, Twitter or email with friends and family
Payments – PayPal account users can purchase items directly through the application
View Sellers Other Items – View what other items a particular seller has to offer across eBay
Voice search – In addition to type search, the eBay application comes enabled with speech-to-text voice search
You should be able to download the eBay app now in the Android Market (link). [Business wire]
The Fring app for the iPhone got an update today (see our previous Android-related hands-on) that lets it play nice with Android (and Symbian, too). That means us Android users can have video chats with our misbegotten friends who shelled out for the new shiny thing from Apple. We recommend you show off using your Android phone left-handed, in the middle of a large city, while installing whatever you want. Just to give 'em a hard time, ya know?
Want to see it in action? Check out the video after the break (and check out TiPB's here) where we chat it up with TiPB.com's Rene Ritchie on his newfangled iThingy. [Fring]
With the number of device announcements we have seen recently, it remains quite obvious that Android isn't playing around, and neither are the developers behind the scenes making some of our favorite applications. We continue to see ports to Android of our applications from other platforms, as well as tons of new applications that make life significantly easier. Not everyone has hours to spend sifting through the market, so here we bring to you some of our own personal suggestions. Take a look after the jump for some great new application ideas for your device.
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