The features just seem to grow and grow with Android. Google just announced that they've updated Google Product Search to include support for Barcode Scanning. Just point your browser to Google.com and select 'Shopping' from the more tab. You'll have to download the Barcode Scanner application from Android Market to take advantage of this highly useful feature.
We absolutely love the fact that Google keeps on improving the little things of Android, it makes it much more exciting. This new Google Product Search Barcode Scanner feature is only available on US and UK Android phones.
Whoever said newspapers are stodgy, old and dying apparently didn't get the message to USA Today. The flagship of Gannett Co. just released an app for Android, bringing national headlines, scores, stocks, photos, weather and everything else USAT provides.
The app is free and available in the Android Market, and you can learn more at USAToday.com/adroid.
We're not sure when this sweet new feature came up but if you point your Android Browser to m.nbc.com you'll be able to enjoy full episodes of your favorite NBC shows. We're talking about full episodes from 30 Rock, The Office, Friday Night Lights, Heroes, Kings, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, and many more.
It works best over Wi-Fi but 3G or even EDGE should do the trick. It's not quite as slick as a dedicated Hulu app would be but hey, it's full episode streaming on your G1!
Now this is cool. We know that no one really paid attention in Astronomy class yet everyone always looks up to night sky to see if they can identify any stars, constellations, and/or planets. It's just human nature, really.
But half the time we don't know the Big Dipper from Cassiopeia. Luckily, Google has got us covered. They've just released Sky Map, an Android application that tells you exactly what you're looking at in the night sky. By using a combination of GPS, sensors, and the compass, Sky Map can determine what part of the sky you're looking at and what the name of the stars are. It's really amazing.
Go download Sky Map from the Android Market for the low price of FREE today! We guarantee it'll amaze every one of your friends.
Hit the jump to see how Sky Maps works on your Android phone!
Trent Reznor of NIN fame is even more famous in the tech community for getting the Nine Inch Nails application rejected from the iPhone App Store. After weighing in on the differences between smartphone OS's, Trent has finally come around to releasing applications on non-iPhone OS's. And lucky for you Android NIN fans, an Android version is coming soon.
Yeah. We're officially cool enough to rock and roll. Well, almost.
The NBA has just released Close Up, an Android application that allows live streaming of the Eastern Conference Finals. For a mere 99 cents, you'll get a close up look at in-game action from 4 unique camera angles: Arena Cam, Host Cam, Action Cam, & Player Cam. This is a great idea from all parties involved: T-Mobile, the NBA, and TNT. Bravo to them for putting their close relationships together for a great experience.
We have one question though, why so late in the NBA playoffs? We would have loved to see this application used for all TNT broadcasted games. Also, let's hope that Lebron & co. don't continue their sweeping ways so we can get more out of this great Android app!
We still don't know which color of the HTC Magic we want: Black or White. (un)Fortunately, us folks stateside still have some time to decide but you lovely Taiwanese people have the decision made for you: it's going to be Black with a (presumably) custom Red border. The HTC Magic will be available in Taiwan beginning May 15th for the price of $640 without a contract.
I guess HTC being a Taiwanese company allows Taiwan some cool customizability? We personally think the red just looks off.
What color of the HTC Magic do you guys prefer? Black or White?
Hit the jump to see the red border on the HTC Magic!
Per BGR, it looks like T-Mobile is going to make some changes to data and messaging plans that might not fly well with their customers. Starting sometime in June, data plans will now be required for all smartphone-type devices (excludes Blackberry Pearl, Pearl Flip & Samsung Behold, Memoir). Pretty big deal if you don't have a need for a data plan or if you're always surrounded by Wi-Fi hotspots you never use data. Secondly, the unlimited family messaging plan is going up from $19.95 to $24.99.
These changes are definitely harder to swallow than those before, are they deal breakers for any of you guys?
We're pretty big fans of the 'Donut'-moniker and think Android should keep it for 2.0. And if Android 1.5 brought us a slew of new features, could you imagine what the milestone 2.0 update will bring? Our imagination is running crazy just thinking about it.
This is getting a little hectic but reports are now surfacing that the T-Mobile G1 v2 may actually be the Samsung Bigfoot (and not a Motorola or HTC device). Confused, much? Cause we are too. But supposedly the specs line up with each other and one assumption led to another..
If you wanted to see some more market confidence in Android, how's this? According to an analyst from Strategy Analytics, sales of Android devices are expected to grow 900% to reach 8 million Android devices sold in 2009.
Hmm. Those are some pretty bold numbers but it may be possible. Android seems to be gaining more and more devices and to have a whole portfolio of devices would seem to be pretty beneficial to growth. It seems that after a lonely first year, Android is going to get really popular, really fast.
Though we had originally hypothesized that the T-Mobile G1 v2 would be the HTC Memphis prototype device, it turns out we were looking at the wrong company. The T-Mobile G1 v2 is not even from HTC. According to BGR, the T-Mobile G1 v2 may be a Motorola Device and NOT an HTC device like the original G1 was.
And yeah, we agree, to name a device a G1 v2 would typically lead you to believe that it's a true 'successor' to the original G1. But we guess not. BGR has a pretty good track record and T-Mobile has done something similar to their Sidekick line. Though Danger is always involved, they've used Flextronics, Sharp, and yep, Motorola, to design different models under the 'Sidekick' brand name.
And if you squint a little bit, the image above does look more like a Motorola device than a HTC Android (original G1 and Magic) device. And the charging port on the device doesn't look to be HTC's favorite ExtUSB, so maybe, just maybe this is going to be a Motorola Android Device.
Don't act surprised. T-Mobile has made it no secret that they're investing heavily on Android and with leaked roadmaps and new Android devices coming out the woodworks, we should almost expect most of the next generation of Android phones to land on the friendliest carrier in the states, T-Mobile. It's just nice to hear a T-Mobile US Exec say:
We are looking to launch multiple Android-based devices in the second half of this year with three partners
What is half-surprising is that the same T-Mobile Exec expects to "see Android find its way down into feature phones on the low end" as well. We're not sure how that'll play out but Android seems to be growing more and more versatile by the day.
So who are the three partners? HTC and Samsung are all but confirmed. Could the 3rd device be a Motorola Android Smartphone?
We're pretty big fans of Google's Chrome Web Browser here at Android Central and not only because 'Chrome-lite' is on our Android phones. We love that Chrome is pushing innovative features that can help transfer a lot of desktop tasks to the 'new' web.
So, we're pretty happy to see Chrome get such a nifty looking commercial that fits a lot of advertising requirements. It introduces the masses to a new product which is backed by a strong brand name, it has a rather fun play on removing all the excess in a browser, and well, it's just a cute ad overall.
Take a look at the video above to check out Google's new ad spot for Chrome!
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