Busy day for Android news so far. Lots of updates, new app releases and with the Nexus S releasing tomorrow we got lots of energy and excitement built up for the days ahead. Join us in the forums as we discuss it all.
Google has announced that its popular (and fun) tool App Inventor is now open to anyone with a Google account. If you're not quite sure what App Inventor is exactly, don't feel too bad -- in typical Google fashion it's been a limited access tool, trickling out to users a few at a time. Think of it as a tool to create fun little apps, for people who have no idea how to create fun little apps. All you need to get started is a PC or Mac, an Android phone, and a Google account. And you'll want to visit and bookmark our App Inventor forum -- it's bound to get jumping now that anyone with a creative streak has access to the tools. There's a short demo after the break, and hit the source link to get started. [Google Research Blog]
Fans of the Trillian IM client should know that it looks like the beta period has ended (you can no longer download the app from Trillian's website), and it's now up in the Android Market. It'll run you $4.99. But is that too high a price to stay in constant contact with your friends be they on Astra, AIM, Yahoo, ICQ, Windows Live, MySpaceIM, Google Talk or Jabber? Depends on the friends, we suppose.
Anyhoo, download links are after the break. Enjoy! Thanks, Jason!
A little secret: I'm a metalhead. I like skulls. (And flames.) And so I like the Hellbent Green Skull Top Case. As far as cases go, it's your basic leather top case. Your phone slides in vertically, and there's a flap with magnetic clasp to keep it in place.
There's a belt clip on the back of the case for (what else?) riding on your belt. It's not detachable, which is too bad. But, frankly, with a killer design like this, you're not going to want to hide it in your pocket anyway. Our biggest niggle with this case is that you can't get to the phone's 3.5mm headphone jack on a lot of devices. So no listening to music while riding at your hip.
So more about the artwork: It's not just painted onto the case. It's not going to wash or rub off. It's embedded into the leather using a process that allows museum-quality prints without sacrificing the performance of the leather. Same toughness. Same look and feel. And it's resistant to perfume, cosmetics and household chemicals. It won't fade. It will not separate from the leather.
Although blogging with Posterous already IS as easy as sending off an e-mail, having more options to make use of is something we'll never complain about. Posterous users can now rejoice as Posterous has just released their mobile blogging application for Android devices. The application falls in line with the whole "feel" of Posterous in the fact that it is dead simple setup and use. It really is just open, tap and post. The only drawback at this time is that you need to have a supported device. Although, I'm sure it will work on some not listed.
Samsung Galaxy Spica
Google Nexus One
You'll find the download available after the break, and many thanks to everyone who sent this into us. [Posterous]
While the Nexus S isn't available quite yet, that didn't stop some enterprising hackers from fashioning a re-work of the ho-hum boring original Nexus live wallpaper into the beauty you see above. It's easy to install (yes, you have to be rooted), but it does overwrite the original -- so back that up if you want to keep it.
We previously got a look at the new Dolphin mini browser in its preview stages, and the application is now fully available in the Android Market as an open beta. The Dolphin teams main goal with this browser was to make it as fast as possible for end users. It's nice and lightweight and while it lacks many features of the Dolphin HD browser that's kind of the point. A slimmed down, super fast version of the Dolphin browser you already love.
Speed through the web
Browse with ease
New fresh UI
Speed Dial Homepage
Infinite tabs browsing
Innovative Menu design
Powerful tool box
If you're looking for a faster browsing experience on your device, you might want to check out Dolphin Mini. Keep in mind of course it is beta, so that said if you run into any issues; be a good sport and report them to the Dolphin team. They can't fix what they are not fully aware of. Download link can be found after the break. [Dolphin Blog]
Let's face it; Google TV owners have thus far had a bit of a rough ride out the gates. Big media hasn't been all too friendly as of late and many would say that Google TV was in desperate need of an update as soon as it was released. Google today, though, has taken care of some of that with a major update to Google TV, which includes some new features, fixes some of what was broke and as Google claims adds more value to your Google TV. In addition to the Google TV changes, Logitech has updated its Revue set-top box as well.
So what does the update fix? Well first off, Netflix has finally received a much-needed overhaul. It is now using the HTML5 version of the app that actually improves the overall experience (i.e: makes it usable) and functionality. Dual View, which has been a pain for some folks, now allows you to move those lovely windows around to wherever you do so wish. And you all remember that YouTube Remote App, right? Well, starting today, Google has made one available for Google TV as well. (download after the break) Finally, the last revision covers movies and how information about them is displayed. A new info window has been introduced which better filters search results from content available on the web providing more details about the movie you search, related movie to it and much more. [GoogleTV Blog and Logitech]
If there's one thing that rubs me the right way, it's game publishers releasing holiday updates. First Rovio gave us the increasingly frustrating Angry Birds Seasons, and today Spacetime Studios delivers the High Winter Festival update for Pocket Legends.
In addition to the ability wield dual weapons, Pocket Legends players can expect to see:
High Winter Festival
New combat area
Special holiday-only loot (permanent)
New story-line. Defend Father Frost from evil Toy Master and save the High Winter Festival.
18 new quests
New loot with new appearances including moonshine hat, frogwang, banjo, blunderbuss, and lizard spear
Four new combat areas dealing with the feuding McCrocs and Scalefields
HTC has confirmed to us that a maintenance update (3.70.651.1) is being pushed out to the Sprint Evo 4G as we type. No, it's not Gingerbread. Gonna have to wait a while for that, folks. Instead, it looks like we're getting:
Blockbuster (including WM DRM 10)
Preloaded try/buy video game: NOVA from Gameloft
Sprint Zone update
Latest VVM App
Latest Sprint TV app
Scan Now Widget for 4G (does not need to be available on any panel, just a widget option users could find and use).
If you don't want to wait for the update to push to your phone, we've got manual installation instructions after the break. (Note that it's worked for some people; I've had problems with my old Google IO freebie Evo.) More on the update in our Evo 4G forums.
HTC CEO Peter Chou recently spoke with the GSMA (those are the folks who put on Mobile World Congress) and talked a tad about LTE phones. They're definitely on the way, though not before sometime next year (that's a surprise to no one), and the U.S. is likely to get them first because (to the surprise of everyone) we're actually ahead of the game on LTE. Said Chou:
"We are working on an LTE device for next year, 2011. We think that the U.S. mobile operator will be taking some lead and pushing 4G in the U.S. market. But, however, we are seeing the rest of the world will be deploying LTE networks in 2011. Could be the second half of 2011."
One of those phones is likely to be the HTC Mecha (possibly to be the Incredible HD on Verizon), which you see above. Chou also mentioned that HTC phones will incorporate NFC (near-field communications) mobile payment systems. Again, an expected feature, which we're seeing first in the Samsung Nexus S.
A handful of Google engineers, students from UC Santa Cruz and seven styrofoam beer coolers each packed with a Nexus S sure sound like a lot of geek fun. Start attaching weather balloons and talk about sending the phones to the edge of outer space, and it just got serious. That's exactly what happened as this team set out to test the Nexus S sensors in the cold, harsh conditions of high altitude flight, using apps like Google Maps and Google Sky Map.
After three hours or so, the balloons popped and the phones (and their coolers!) came back to earth, chock full of useful data that Google plans to use with a UK satellite manufacturer to build small "commodity" satellites using core Nexus S technologies. According to Zi Wang, a product manager for the Nexus S, "The phone is powerful enough." And to think the hardest task I'll ever give to my Android phone is to remind me where I parked. There's a video you don't want to miss after the break. [NewScientist via tecca; Engadget]
Quite honestly, we've never heard of Trak Electronics out of Poland until now but they are the latest to offer up an Android powered tablet / mobile internet device. And well, it actually looks pretty nice. On top of looking good it has a nice price to go with it. The specs aren't exactly where we would like them to be but they are pretty sufficient depending on your intended usage.
800×400 (WVGA) Resistive touch display
Telechips TCC8902 (ARM11) 800 MHz processor
256 MB of internal RAM
4GB Flash Memory built in
Android 2.1 / Android Market enabled
Micro SD/SDHC support up to 32 GB
1080 p HD video playback with HDMI output
Mini USB-OTG adapter
3.5 mm Headphone jack
Lithium-polymer battery, 3500mAh
Support for USB 3G Modem For GPRS / 3G
We've not had the pleasure of giving the $299 tablet a run through but we did get sent a nice video of it in action. You can hit the break for a video of it in action. Tip: Turn down your volume before watching, music gets kind of loud. [Tablet Online]
While we still don't have a definite date, Googler Jean-Baptiste Queru lets us know that we'll be seeing Gingerbread in the AOSP tree soon after the Nexus S ships. My geeky side is all tingly, as this means we can expect it on our Nexus One at any time after. Oh and that means these guys you might have heard of, that work on this thing called CyanogenMod, can get their groove on. Say it with me guys ... giggity. [@jbqueru via @morrildl]
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