Blogger and Tech Lead of Mozilla's mobile devices team Stuart Parmenter has slipped out a new pre-alpha build for Android 2.x users. He still warns that it's likely to be very buggy and isn't even close to ready for prime time, but for us curious types he has posted it on his blog here to download and play with.
It's considerably better running and a bit smaller (the download is 9.6 MB, and the install is now 25MB versus 30MB in size) than the last build. I put it through the paces a little bit and found it to be quite a treat, especially knowing that it's still an early development version. And interestingly enough, it outscores the native Android browser on the Acid3 test. If you're feeling adventurous head over to Stuart's blog and give Fennec a spin. [pavlov.net]
Android 2.0+ Let’s face it people, the stock Android launcher is straight up boring. You can’t configure it, and on most phones, you can’t have more than 3 home screens. Luckily, LauncherPro [Market link] has arrived, and although it’s very similar to Helix, it’s got some strengths of its own. The first thing I noticed was the speed – this thing is blazing fast. Everything from sliding through the screens to pulling up the app drawer is much faster than stock. Let's check it out after the break.
The good news: The Android Market web page has gotten a bit of a freshening up ahead of Google IO this week. The bad news: It's not that much more useful. Sure, you can browse more apps (and do so in a much more intuitive way). But what we really want to see is some actual connectivity between the site and our phones -- much (or exactly) like App Brain. We need to be able to purchase, mark for install and rate apps from a web portal. Not just from our phones, and (definitely) not from a stand-alone program on a computer.
Is this redesign a precursor for things to come? We'll find out this week, we guess. Thanks to everyone who sent this in!
With more than 50,000 applications in the Android Market, it can be tricky finding something that stands out. But we've got your back. After the break are just a few of the apps that we here at Android Central use on a daily basis. Bon appetite!
Above, you’ll see the official release notes from Sprint about the Android 2.1 update for the Samsung Moment. The update's supposed to be official tomorrow (though it briefly leaked out this afternoon). The document shows all the updates and improvements that Android 2.1 will be providing the Moment which are definitely welcomed with a smile – especially those pesky Bluetooth problems. As with most big updates, this will wipe all the data off your device, so make sure you back up as much as you can onto your SD card before making the leap. One other shot from the notes is after the break. Thanks, O!
Well, folks, it’s official. Sort of. Android 2.1 for the Samsung Moment has been released as DE03. This new release was not supposed to roll out until tomorrow (the 14th), however, it seems someone down at Sprint goofed and posted it early. A couple of the bugs that were in the Moment 2.1 leaks have been squashed, and it seems to be running great so far. The DE03 .tar file is hidden in the new Sprint update utility, so if you have a prior version of SW Update, you will need to uninstall that before installing this one to avoid any driver confusion.
Since an official announcement hasn't been made, it's hard to say exactly what has been changed, but here's what I've gathered so far:
Update: Whoopsie, the links (Sprint's and the Rapidshare mirror) have been pulled. We've been told the update will "officially" be out tomorrow -- just because it was briefly on Sprint's server and available doesn't mean Sprint has "released" it -- and we're told the following are included in the update:
If you’ve tried the new Dolphin HD browser, you'd know that one of its best features was the ability to download YouTube videos directly to your SD card. Unfortunately, this rubbed YouTube the wrong way, and YouTube -- owned by Google, as you well know -- deemed it a violation of its of service. It’s a shame, we know, but there are still plenty of bells and whistles being offered to make this a formidable piece of software. Thanks, joe23521!
By now we've all seen some of the great 3D PC games ported over to the smaller screen, but we haven't seen this trick. Youtube user Moblisher has the classic first person shooter Quake III running on a Motorola Milestone, and has a Zeemote JS1 controller running the controls. Zeemotes are fairly popular with Nokia users, as well as gamers on that other iPlatform, so it's great to see they are offering an Android version. It's even better that it seems to be working as well as it does. Hit the break for one very cool video. Thanks Andrew for sending this in!
If for whatever reason you get the craving for some good old retro Windows action on your Android phone then look no further. aDOSBox is a handy little application that will enable you to run or install anything that requires the archaic DOS platform. One of our own forum members, drraccoon, was tinkering around with Doom and Heretic on his Droid when the idea of getting WIN 3.1 to run popped into his head. After a couple lines of commands (and pots of coffee), voila it worked! Even though doing this is virtually useless, you can bet it will impress even the geekiest Android fan boy. For detailed steps on getting 3.1 up and running, check out drraccoon’s blog.
Mark this in the ridiculously cool, we're almost in the future column. Square is aiming to be the new way to take credit card payments and it works on your Android phone today. Simply download the Square app, plug in the dongle into your 3.5mm headphone jack on your Android phone, swipe the credit card through, and you get paid. Square is aiming big and looking to take down entrenched merchant accounts, their system comes contract-free without monthly fees. Users will only pay a very competitive transaction rate. We imagine many tech savvy store owners will make the switch. Check out the video after the jump! [square]
It sure is nice when the folks building your operating system also make some of the best applications around. Proof -- Google Maps for Android's new updates. Little things make for great software, and the Google maps app is chock full of them. Today's update brings biking directions, a direct shortcut to turn by turn navigation in the app drawer, and the coolest new feature is destination sharing. Enter your destination and you can now share the address with your friends via email or SMS, as well as popular social media sites like Facebook, Buzz or Twitter. Open your market app and update maps to check out the new features. Android 1.6+ only. Sorry Cupcakers. [via Google Mobile Blog]
We'd love to take all of you with us next week to the Google I/O developers conference in San Francisco, but you know how much it costs to check luggage these days. The good news is we'll be there to bring back all the latest Android news (including the likely possibility of seeing Froyo and Flash make their official debut). And you can follow along, if you want, with Google's official I/O Android application. Schedules, maps, the works. It's a must-have if you're going, and cool to play with if you're kibitzing from the sidelines. More screen shots after the break. [Market link]
The New York Times is one of the nation's leading sources of news, and its website is one a great extension of that. As people continue to work longer hours, travel farther to work, and try to pack every day full of things to do, it can be a little hard to find time to sit down and read the paper or browse the web. The Times has developed an Android application [Market link] that brings you its content in a very professional, easy to read manner. Let's take a look, after the break.
Android 2.0+ The Dolphin Browser is an old favorite on Android, and it just got a nice refresh in the form of the Dolphin Browser HD. You want tabbed browsing? You got it. Gesture support? Yep. It's there. How about the ability to download a YouTube video straight onto your SD card? Sure thing. Go ahead and give it a shot with our hands-on video after the break.
If you missed out on one of the 30 copies of WaveSecure we gave away, we're not done yet. For one month, you can get WaveSecure at a 20 percent discount if you use the promo code WS-ACENTRAL. That's 20 percent off what you'd pay for the peace of mind to know that you can locate your phone if it's lost or stolen, and that you can lock out anyone trying to insert an unauthorized SIM card. Get WaveSecure for just $15.90 for the next month at WaveSecure's site (and be sure to click on the promo code link).
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