After hearing reports awhile back that Indian users were seeing paid apps, Google has finally announced that it is launching a huge expansion in the number of nations that can buy and sell paid applications on the Android Market. Developers in 20 new nations will now be able to sell paid apps, brining the total up to 29. In addition, Google plans to enable the purchasing of paid apps in 18 additional countries over the next few weeks, brining that total to 32. The majority of additions come from Europe and South America, but there are a number of other nations included as well. Click past the read link to get the full list and to see if your country has been included. [Google]
If you keep hitting the update button on your Samsung Epic 4G in hopes of getting that update that was supposed to drop to today, well, stop it. There's been a tiny snag, Samsung says. And because we know how you guys love conspiracy theories, we'll bold the part that proves Samsung's not trying to screw you over:
We learned this evening that there were administrative issues getting this software loaded to Google's servers. We don't yet have an expected time when this will be available but will update you as soon as possible. Please see the statement below that was sent by the Sprint Product Management team:
We were planning to release an update for your Samsung Epic 4G on 9/30. The file was delivered and on track for distribution but late this afternoon, we learned that an administrative issue prevented Google from releasing the update as we had planned. We are working to resolve the issue and will provide an update as soon as we understand the new delivery schedule.
We would like to clarify that the timing of this update has nothing to do with the 30 day return window that many of you on these blogs have been discussing and that this delay has nothing to do with any last minute changes within the release package itself. The delay is simply due to an administrative issue that we are working to resolve.
Verizon's mobile strategy for the next few months has surfaced and if true, we will be seeing a large LTE tablet and many more high quality Android devices in the near future.
Here are some of the devices Verizon has up their sleeve:
The Samsung Continuum (perhaps you've seen our hands-on of that funky phone with two screens) is on schedule for a late October release.
The Motorola Venus is supposedly coming out in October. Verizon has billed the Venus as being very similar to BlackBerry's form factor and will sport a 1GHz processor, Froyo, as well as GSM in addition to CDMA.
Motorola's Droid Pro world phone has a late October/early November goal for release. This is that 1.3 GHz world phone that is rumored to be replacing the Droid 2
The HTC Lexicon (or Merge) seems to have a similar release schedule as the Droid Pro, coming either late October or early November
LG supposedly has a high-end phone coming to big red with a device labeled en V Pro. This phone is rumored to have a 1GHz processor along with a global radio. If true, it would be one of LG's best Android phones to date, which would hopefully signal their commitment to the OS
The Motorola Stingray tablet in Q1 of 2011. According to the source, the Stingray will sport Android 3.0 (Gingerbread), a 10-inch screen, 16GB onboard storage, and Tegra 2. These specs sound awesome already, but the juiciest part is that it is upgradeable to LTE, which would be quite appealing.
All of this info comes from Engadget's sources, so take the info for what you will. If this is Verizon's plan though, we're very excited for the nest few months. [Engadget]
We've already seen the RUU for the HTC Merge (Lexikon) leaked out, determined that it's been Binged, and now it's time to scope out the user manual a bit. The fellas over at DroidLife are showing off a few pages of said manual, and it's just what you would expect a smartphone manual to be. Concise, to the point, and geared for the new consumer.
Not saying that's a bad thing, but with all the insane news and links so far this week I was secretly hoping for something more, maybe involving guns and/or firetrucks. Oh well, I can settle for instruction on how to use the thing I guess. [DroidLife]
Everyone's favorite stalking application just received an update. The new Foursquare 2.0 update allows users to access foursquare's "Tips and To-Dos" much easier within the app than previously before. "Tips and To-Dos are now out in the open, making it easy to share and plan your outings." Having these features out and more present to the user, should allow more and more people to add content to the service. The more people contribute to these lists, the more foursquare will become a useful tool in getting around the neighborhood -- and not just some app you use to stalk your co-workers. [Foursquare Blog]
The Verizon Samsung Fascinate, left, and Continuum, right.
Behold, the Verizon Continuum -- aka the Samsung SCH-i400 -- live and in person. It's an as-yet unannounced Android 2.1 phone from Samsung, destined for Verizon, and it's got a few tricks up its sleeve.
We knew a few things going into this thanks to a previous leak. So let's start with what we don't know: We don't know when it's coming. But judging by the build quailty, it'll be soon. We don't know how much it'll cost, but you can imagine it'll be in the usual $150-200 price range, after subsidy, of course.
And we don't actually have official specs just yet. OK, we've dug up some, and surmised others. But as with things of this nature, specs are subject to change, as are software features, we imagine.
So now that we have those bases covered, on to our initial thoughts of the Samsung Continuum!
Everyone should take their personal data seriously, and the people behind TaintDroid are about to help us all with that. It's a joint project between Intel, Penn State University, and Duke University that monitors the private data that third party applications request from your Android phone, using a scientific technique called "dynamic taint analysis". In a nutshell, TaintDroid will monitor applications and alert you when one tries to send personal identifiable data from your device. It won't tell you that this is good or bad, just what is being sent and where it's being sent to. You can then use the information and make that determination for yourself -- it's all nice and neutral in a very clinical way.
While Android does tell you what sort of permissions an application will have access to, many users ignore those warnings or simply don't understand them. That's where a service like TaintDroid could be very, very handy. They have a very nice FAQ and video demo of TaintDroid in action at their project page, which you can find at the source link. Thank goodness Android is a platform open to this sort of application, rather than not approving it to protect developers, then preventing most to install it since it's not "endorsed" by someone in California. Be sure to check it out, and as soon as it's made available for the average Joe (hey that's us!) we'll let you know. [AppAnalysis]
Big Red really likes Android phones (probably a true fact). The dude, or rather, the guy, over at The Droid Guy, has posted a blury image of the new Samsung I-400. You're probably already looking at this phone and saying, "meh." Sure it may look like a basic phone, but look a bit more. It probably doesn't help the fact that there is a huge glare across the bottom -- but look closer. This new Samsung phone is shipping with two displays: the main large screen and the lower mini-screen. This design reminds us of the Barnes and Noble Nook. No word on launch date or pricing just yet. All we know is that it will ship with Android 2.1 and carry Bing as the primary search engine. Go ahead -- sound off in the comments section. [The Droid Guy]
Fennec, the codename for Mozilla's mobile version of Firefox, is getting a bit of a name change to bring it in line with the current version of Firefox. Fennec 2.0 is currently in alpha and is still being updated with nightly builds, but the "web rendering engines used in both browsers are the same" according to lead developer Mark Finkle. As such, Fennic will be now have its official name changed to "Firefox 4 for Android and Nokia N900" for it's eventual release. The current 4.0b1 version is identical to the 2.0b1 version apart from the version number change. These changes should help Mozilla out with marketing the browser so people aren't confused as to why Firefox mobile is only 2.x, but their desktop version is 4.x. [Mark Finkle's Blog]
Swiftkey, an Android keyboard replacement that many of us have grown to love, has spent the pas week since its official announcement as the No. 1 downloaded paid application in the market. As you can imagine, with all the various paid applications in the market, spending any day at the top is a huge success, let alone seven in a row. Swiftkey is currently on sale in the market for 99 cents, but the sale ends tonight. Effective Friday morning, the price will jump up to $3.99.
Originally we had reported UMA support may not be coming to Android, but then we saw some interesting news of Wifi calling appearing on the G2, and it appears as though the Motorola Cliq 2 may follow the same path. The Cliq 2 has been codenamed the Begonia, according to an Engadget tipster Nov. 1 is a rumored launch date, and it could launch with a Motoblur'd Android 2.2, and apparently will have a unique keyboard. Stay tuned. [via Engadget]
You begged. You pleaded. You yelled at us. (More than usual.) And so we now present you with the Android Central Android Application -- or ACAA for short. (Hey, it's better than Sideload Wonder Machine.) It's developed by Notice Software and powered by the same people who bring you your daily dose (and then some) of Android news every day, free of charge. We'll walk you through it and provide download links after the break.
While getting everything ready to write up the obligatory How To manually update your Samsung Vibrant post, we stumbled across the above. We're not exactly sure what these known issues may be, but T-Mobile is warning users NOT to do the manual update through the Samsung Kies program, but to patiently wait for the OTA.
If you haven't already updated, don't. Carriers don't have to help those who jumped the gun, so it's better to be safe without a GPS fix than to be sorry with a bad update that makes things worse. If you have already updated, hopefully T-Mobile can get you back on track, or maybe the unofficial Vibrant developers can. Don't worry, Phil checks every three minutes or so for the update on his Vibrant, so as soon as we see it, we'll holler. [@T-Mobile_USA]
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