Some new Android features have been spotted and well, they look pretty darn sweet.
First off, the new circular zoom feature. CNET France has gotten on video the new zoom feature that looks to replace the ol' plus/minus icon process. To initiate the zoom, double tap the screen and a onscreen wheel will pop up for zoom purposes. In the video, it details circular zooming in photos and web browsing. Though this is surely a roundabout way to zoom (when compared to multi-touch at least) it certainly seems more fluid than the current setup. Fast forward to 2:05 in the video to check it out.
We also get a peek at the video recording capabilities on Android (at the 2:25 mark) which shows basic controls and the ability to share the video through Gmail, SMS, or upload directly to Youtube.
Though these features were shown off on a HTC Magic, we're pretty sure they'll eventually pop up in Android. So, what do you guys think? Circular zoom for the win?
This is how desperate us Android users are for news on upcoming Android devices. The ridiculously blurry, pixelated picture above? That's Samsung's first Android Smartphone. It was reportedly shown at a dealer event in Amsterdam and a keen observer snapped this wonderfully speculative snapshot.
The details of the Samsung Android device are:
a 528 MHz Processor
Substantial (but undetermined) Internal Storage
3.2-5 Megapixel Camera
Bluetooth 2.0 with A2DP
Two Versions: US and Europe/Asia
It's great to see some progress with non-HTC Android Devices (albeit as vague as they come) and though it's all really speculative at this point, we can't deny the fact that we're still excited to see something in the works.
What do you guys think of this? Is it ridiculous to take that picture as the truth? Or is it exciting to see more Android Devices come to fruition?
HTC, maker of the T-Mobile G1 and hotly anticipated HTC Magic, is quite obviously the biggest (read: only) Android Smartphone maker on the market. So when HTC speaks, the Android world stops to listen. Peter Chou, the CEO of HTC, says that we can expect "at least" three Android Devices this year from HTC. We're not mad at that.
If you count the HTC Magic as one of the "three" devices, we should still expect two more HTC built, Android powered devices. What would be interesting is if they choose a different route for form factor so that they can offer a complete product line for Android. With the G1 being the sliding form factor and the Magic being the all touch device could we expect a Blackberry/Treo-esque front facing QWERTY design and a HTC Touch HD 'maxed out the specs' form factor? Only time will tell.
China Mobile has a highly customized HTC Magic in the works loaded with custom firmware and TD-SCDMA capabilities (China's own network which should mean no Wi-Fi or 3G). If you take a look at the pictures you can see that this pre-production model has a lot of the software that is different from typical Android goodies, you almost get an iPhone-esque layout that honestly bears no resemblance to Android.
The HTC Magic China Mobile edition is supposed to be on track for a May release but details on pricing are still non-existent. Supposedly it's going to be called the Dopod G2. This obviously has little to do with the US or European market, but hey, it's always good to see the HTC Magic form factor!
Hit the jump to see more pictures of China Mobile's HTC Magic.
Okay. Since this limbo of will we, won't we get Cupcake is currently at a won't we, the next best thing has got to be watching Cupcake in all its glory on video. An Android Developer decided to play nice and showcase some of the new features in Cupcake and we're all thankful for that.
He goes over the Live Folders feature (which we're now excited for), the soft virtual keyboard (of course), a switch to a black and white photo preview for taking pictures (better response rate), video recording, a spinning globe, and some new settings tweaks.
From the video, the current build of Cupcake looks to be fairly solid and almost ready for the primetime. The only thing we noticed to not work was video recording but we're sure the Android Team is hammering the final details. After seeing this video we've got to say, we can't look at our G1's the same anymore. We want Cupcake. NOW.
As you can see, the video shows what a "Live Folder" is to Android. A Live Folder is basically a created folder that is automatically updated. In the video, it showcases a digg Live Folder--you have access to the top stories on digg right from your home screen via the Live Folder. We can definitely see potential for this in rss feeds, news feeds, twitter, etc. The ability to have an always on folder could be groundbreaking.
Anyone excited to use Live Folders in Android? We'll ask, how about more widgets while you're at it Google!
An analyst from Oppenheimer & Co. recently stated that Motorola plans to release 10 smartphones in the second half of this year. This obviously isn't concrete news from Motorola itself, but analysts do have some research (formula? magic? voodoo?) on determining this.
If this is true, this is amazing. 10 smartphones in the second half? Heck, if it's even half true, we'll be happy. There's no telling how many of those devices will run Android but we like our odds if they release 10 devices.
It seems that Android and paid apps just don't seem to get along as they should. What with Dev Phone 1 users getting locked out, some users not having access to paid apps, it's definitely been a rocky start for paid apps. Now news comes in that developers are having trouble linking merchant accounts to their Android developer accounts, which leaves them unable to list paid apps in Android Market.
The image above is being seen by many developers locked out of the Android Market unable to offer their applications. The system is unable to setup the Merchan account. We're not sure if this is still going on, but if any Android Developer has come across this issue, let us know in the comments! Hopefully, we can get this fixed already.