Another couple of weeks, and more new numbers regarding Android platform percentages. For the two weeks ending June 1, we now see 45.1 percent of Android phones running Eclair -- Android 2.1. That's up from 32.4 percent for the two weeks ending May 17. The Cupcake (Android 1.5) and Donut (Android 1.6) versions continue to wane, thanks to the HTC Droid Erisand Hero finally getting their long awaited updates. Cupcake is down 6.5 percentage points, while Donut dropped 1.6 percentage points. [Android Developer Blog]
Mobile chipset manufacturer Qualcomm has started shipping its two newest additions to the Snapdragon family, the MSM8260 and the MSM8660. Both of the processors are dual-core and are clocked at 1.2GHz with an integrated GPS and GPU that supports Open GL ES 2.0, 2D and 3D acceleration as well as Open VG 1.1 and are capable of encoding and decoding 1080p and support displays up to 1280x800 pixels. The only difference between the two chipsets is that the MSM8260 supports HSPA+ whereas the MSM8660 supports multi-mode HSPA+ and 1xEV-DO Rev. B. Qualcomm states that these two chips are headed for high-end smartphones, which will no doubt include Android devices sometime in the future (anything before the end of the year is pretty unlikely). More multicore processors are in the works for tablets and other high-end devices slated for “this year.” [via Engadget]
Andy Rubin's "it's not fragmentation, it's legacy" line at Google IO has sparked a pretty good debate, but now we're starting to see some light at the end of the tunnel for problem of Android's furious pace. Speaking to the Silicon Valley Mercury News' Troy Wolverton, Rubin said the rate of major updates to Android may settle down to an annual event. Said Rubin:
"From our internal 0.8, we got to 1.0 pretty quickly, and we went through this iteration cycle. You've noticed, probably, that that's slowed down a little bit. Our product cycle is now, basically twice a year, and it will probably end up being once a year when things start settling down, because a platform that's moving — it's hard for developers to keep up. I want developers to basically leverage the innovation. I don't want developers to have to predict the innovation."
At which point we expect everybody to start complaining about how long it will take until the next major revision of Android. [Mercury News] Thanks to everyone who sent this in.
Sometimes we all like to sit back in our chairs and speculate about what fresh innovative ideas will turn up next in the smartphone world. I'll bet none of us saw this coming. Rather than put a camera on a smartphone, it looks like altek has put a smartphone in a camera. Not a lot of details yet, and we're not even sure it will be running Android -- but the home, back and menu buttons make that a safe bet. We do know that it's a touchscreen phone with HSDPA radio bands (and carries the Nokia style 3.5G label), has a 14 megapixel CCD with 3x optical (yes, optical, as in not a typo) zoom, and will be unvelied in June in Singapore at CommunicAsia.
Both professional and amateur photographers alike might just have something to look forward to with this beast. Full press release after the break. [via Engadget]
Not only can you not have the Sprint Evo 4G for a few more days, now you have to watch somebody tear it apart. The folks at ifixit did their thing, meticulously ripping open the Evo and checking out the internal components. No real surprises were found, other than getting the identifiers on the individual radios and the like. But we'll take every bit of Evo detail we can get, and we know you darn will, too. [ifixit]
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Time is running out for you chance to win a EVO 4G! So if you have not already had a chance to enter into our contest do so now as the thread will be closed later today!
So you say you have your EVO 4G now? Well then review it in the following thread and let us know what you think: EVO owners review thread.
Let's face it, you just can't get enough of us. We understand that. And so without further ado, we bring you the Android Central Widget. It's a simple beast, bringing you the latest headlines from Android Central straight to your home screen. Tap a headline and you're taken to the mobile version of our website. No muss, no fuss. We kept it simple for a reason, folks.
There are two sizes from which you can choose -- a 4x1 horizontal widget, and a 2x2 widget. Just load it up from the Android Market, tap and hold on your home screen and you're ready to go.
This one's certainly the most obvious visual change in Android 2.2, but it shouldn't go without mention. Froyo has added icons for the phone dialer and browser on either side of the launcher icon, clearing up (for me, anyway) a couple of icon spaces on my main home screen. It actually brings a bit of functionality already found in third-party launchers such as ADW and Launcher Pro (and they offer more customization than the stock launcher), but it's nice to see a refresh for those who prefer the stock route.
It's not quite the Motorola Shadow, but it looks like the Bluetooth SIG has leaked another Android phone: the Motorola Greco XT502. We haven't heard of the Motorola Greco before, which is odd considering we've seen Motorola Android devices in all shapes and sizes and doubly odd considering the Greco packs 3G bands--850, 1900 & 2100--that work with AT&T (and Canadian carriers). The Greco also unsurprisingly comes with quad-band GSM, Wi-Fi, GPS, and Bluetooth.
Yes, you may be thinking oh look, yet another launcher, haven't we seen enough? Well, maybe you have, but if you look past the ADW.Launcher you will be rather sad once you realize all that it has to offer. While the initial look of it may look like your standard Froyo launcher that we have seen covered many times, the options go far beyond that. Well, let's take a look at it after the jump.
What do you get when you cross the HTC Desire with the Evo 4G and Droid Incredible? From the looks of this leaked shot, you get the HTC Aria. Those are the same capacitive buttons from the Evo 4G, the blocky shape of the Droid Incredible and the trackpad from Desire (and Incredible), all rolled into a pretty small Frankenphone. That's a business card on the right, so we're not talking about a hefty device here. The Aria's been rumored for AT&T, but there's been nothing more solid than that. So maybe we'll see this one alongside the Backflip and (eventually, maybe) the Dell Aero and/or Samsung Galaxy S. Or maybe it's just the Phone that Should Not Be. [via Android Guys]
While you're winding down from your three-day weekend, kick your feet up and join us after the break as we re-watch the Android 2.2 keynote address from Google I/O, where Google first showed us the major features in Froyo. Then head back here for our breakdown of said features, and our own demos. Dunno about you, but it's even better watching in a second time.
If you're the type of person who frequently swaps microSD cards and are looking at the Sprint HTC Evo 4G, then this video might be a little painful. First, the card's under the battery. That's not all that unusual, though it's still a tad unwelcome. But getting at the card on the Evo 4G's a little tricky. First there's a tab that needs to be pried up to unseat the card. And that's easy. But actually removing the card is a bit more difficult given its placement. Long fingernails may help (and forget about it if you're a nail-biter), but even then it's pretty tough, and we needed tweezers to actually remove the card.
Getting it back in is a little easier, but it still might take a couple of tries. It's just one of those trade-offs we have to come to live with in the smartphone world.
We went over the strengths and weaknesses of LauncherPro recently, and if there was one thing really holding it back from taking the number one spot, it had to be the lack of customization – especially when it comes to the dock bar. The author must have heard our prayers, because he released an update that enables us to do just that. With a simple long press on the icons you can replace them with whatever application you fancy. You can also change the shortcut to your favorite browser bookmarks – something Helix doesn’t do. Put simply, LauncherPro is a big time contender now, and let’s hope the improvements and features keep on coming. [Market link]
With Google I/O now over, the folks over at Android Tapp created a visual representation of the ground that has been covered in the short 18 months of Android's life, using statistics given during the keynote addresses.
Google rapidly produces updates to the Android platform; often times OEMs and carriers struggle to keep up with software updates for consumer devices. Many factors attribute to this like phone processor limitations or custom user interfaces.
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