Flipping through the session listings for Google IO 2011, and a couple of things stand out: First, there's building web apps and Android apps for Google TV. Google TV, as you'll recall, was announced at least year's developer's conference. It's based on Android, but third-party apps aren't yet available, though they definitely were promised. So it looks like the ball's going to get rolling there.
Also on the agenda is a "Honeycomb highlights" session. It's no great surprise that we'll see more of the Android version that is first coming to tablets, supposedly in the first quarter of the year.
There's also the usual programming and developer tools' sessions, which, frankly, we don't understand in the slightest. But you devs certainly do, and you'll definitely want to check them out. [Google IO sessions]
Google's launched its Google IO 2011 site -- your one-stop shop for everything related to Google's annual developer's conference. Registration hasn't opened yet, so stay tuned for that. But attendee pricing was announced, $450 through April 16, $550 thereafter. Students and faculty can register for $150, and the optional Bootcamp session is an extra $100.
If you're an Android developer, IO is a must-attend event. Hard-core Android enthusiasts would have a blast, too. Hit up the site for all the other details, including session listings. Then check our our coverage from Google IO 2010. We'll see you there! [Google IO]
Google last week teased us all with a test of number porting. Today it's gone live for everyone. You're going to need to think about this a bit before you dive in, however. If you port your current cell phone number to Google Voice, your current plan will be canceled, and you may be subject to an early termination penalty if you're still under contract. You'll then need to get a new plan, with a new number, which you'll then instruct Google Voice to ring.
T-Mobile has begun pushing Android 2.2 Froyo to users of the MyTouch 3G 1.2 Jack and the Fender LE edition. They had previously promised the update would begin on Jan. 12 but at least it is finally rolling out now. As a quick reminder, the update should be rolling out in waves, so not every user should be prompted to download it right away. Thanks to Vicken for the tip and pic!
Samsung just got back with us regarding a fairly serious bug some people are seeing after the recent DL09 over-the-air update for the Verizon Fascinate. Namely, some of you can place an emergency call if you're using the pattern lock feature. The sky's not falling, but it is a potentially serious bug. Here's Samsung's response:
It has come to the attention of Samsung Mobile during the recent DL09 OTA (Over-the-Air) update for the Samsung Fascinate that some users utilizing the Pattern Lock are finding that the Emergency Call shortcut is not automatically launching the dialer. However, unlocking the device will allow the user to make calls as they normally would, including emergency calls. We apologize for the inconvenience and are continuing to evaluate the issue, including if the issue is linked to the update.
Kudos to Samsung for looking into it. For now, we continue to recommend that you not use the pattern lock feature if you've upgraded to DL09.
As much as we're trying to duck it, it appears that 3D screens are just around the corner for smartphones. We saw one in the Sharp Galapogos at CES earlier this month. And LG's press invite for Mobile World Congress seems to indicate we're about to see more. "Into the new dimension" is what we're told to expect. Add to that the appearance of an "LG Optimus 3D" phone at a Dutch retailer, and it's looking more and more likely that we'll be seeing that new dimension.
We'll find out in a couple weeks. And we'll be there, of course,with or without 3D glasses.
In addition to their making their announcement of cloud printing being available on mobile devices, Google has also been messing around with a better way to let users know what their weather forecast is looking like. Making note on the Google Mobile blog that they wanted the weather to be more fun, Google has rolled out a new weather search experience.
At first glance, you’ll see content that we’d previously shown you before: current conditions and a forecast for the next few days. But by moving the slider over the next 12 hours, you can now see a detailed hour-by-hour breakdown of the changing weather conditions. As you do this, keep an eye on the temperature, wind speed and humidity and see how all these conditions are expected to trend across the day. You may also notice that the background color changes throughout the day. Of course, as you scroll further down you’ll see our regular web search results for your query.
Open your browser and search for "weather" as you normally would to see how the new system works. Currently it is only available in English but Google hopes to have it in more languages as soon as possible. [Google Mobile Blog]
Infinity Blade and Gears of War developer Epic Games has revealed where Android fits into its future development plans in a recent interview.
Gaming site Slowdown.vg sat down with Jay Wilbur, Epic's Vice President, for an interview focused on the developer's mobile and middleware efforts. As well as reflecting on Epic's success with Infinity Blade on iOS, Wilbur is quizzed on the studio's future plans for the Android platform.
Interviewer: The iPhone is great, but I’m an Android kind of guy. [Waves around the Nexus One phone being used to record the interview] Will we ever get to play UE3 games?
Wilbur: [Takes out a Galaxy S, shows Epic Citadel running on it] We’ve done some development on Android. That’s Epic Citadel running on Android – now, this is not for public release. It’s on iOS first, and then once the iOS version is released then we’ll start considering Android.
Wilbur also comments on the challenges Epic faced in getting their Unreal Engine running on Android, including the dreaded f-word: fragmentation.
Wilbur: One of the problems with the Android marketplace is hardware fragmentation, that’s a really big issue. The other thing is marketplace fragmentation, there are so many different appstores out there. The Android marketplace is a little more difficult [to develop for] because there is less control. I think the Android marketplace is robust … I find it very easy to buy things on it, it’s just that Apple has very tight control. So anything in the Apple world is perfect. It’s just perfect. We like that, we like that a lot. We know that it’s just gonna work. Sometimes that’s not always the case in the Android marketplace.
It's great to see a big-name developer like Epic Games taking an active interest in Android, though based on Wilbur's comments, it looks like there are still a few issues to be ironed out. [Slowdown.vg]
The change over from Touiteur has long been completed and since then, the good people over at LevelUp Studio have been hard at working bringing you the latest version of Plume. Today we see the release of v2.15 hit the Android Market with plenty of bug fixes and issues corrected from previous version. As listed on their site, changes include:
fix the Mark As Spam button
fix the Show Replies results
fix some position saving/restore issues
fix the display message when following a user from a profile
fix a crash when the picture cache backup is corrupted
better handling of invalid twitter account profile display
As you can see, lots of bugs squashed with this release. If you've been holding off on giving Plume a try for whatever reason, hit the download link after the break. It's a really nice Twitter app and given that it has both a free and paid version you're not out anything by testing it out. [LevelUp Studio]
At the top of a sea of posts at Norwegian site amobil.no is one titled "Full specs of HTC Flyer revealed," with the blown up, blurry render you see at right. The "full specs," if true, are pretty unimaginative:
7-inch screen at 1024x600
A Qualcomm MSM8255 Snapdragon processor
HDMI and DLNA for media streaming
5 MP rear camera with flash, 1.3MP front camera.
GSM radios with 14.4 HSUPA/5.76HSDPA.
And so on and so forth. Basically a big current phone, only without phone capability. That's in direct contradiction with the Samsung Galaxy Tab, which can make calls outside the United States.
The render might well ending up looking something like what HTC releases -- it's generic enough to be just about anything. But we have to believe that the specs have improved since whenever this supposed leak occurred -- and it's important to note that the "our source got a hold of the documents a while back." So maybe this is what's coming, or maybe it's early specs of some tablet that was never put into production.
Anyhoo, we'll find out for ourselves when we trek to Spain next month. [amobil.no] Thanks to everyone who sent this in.
If you're dragging your feet today for whatever reason we've got some stuff in the forums to keep ya busy and entertained. A new contest has rolled in so be sure to check that out. Also, be on the look out for a new YouMail contest as well tomorrow. In the meantime, hop on into the forums and enjoy some of the threads listed below.
It looks like the tablet playing field is about to get a lot more competitive. Our good friends over at PreCentral got their hands on some information regarding HP's plans and specs for the webOS Tablet, plus hits of the webOS Tablet UI -- and we'll admit it looks pretty impressive. The webOS platform has thus far been sort of left in the dark in all of the Android and iOS madness, but that may be changing now. Keep in mind all this information is from back in August, so things are always subject to change, but this still gives us a good glance at what's in store. Hit the links above for all the details, and let us know if this is going to be swaying your decision on purchasing a tablet in 2011.
When it comes to eReaders, it looks like customers prefer to have a WiFi-only model. Despite Barnes & Noble's Nook product line showing all-time sales highs (thanks in no small part to the uber-popular Nook Color), the e-ink Nook 3G is apparently about to be discontinued, according to an Engadget tipster. Sales will continue until supply is depleted, but after that, don't expect to see any more of these.
As eReaders only need data connections for downloading books (usually not something you'll do everyday) and syncing, it makes perfect sense that more customers opt for a cheaper WiFi model.
German tech site BestBoyz has obtained pictures of what seems to be a white (or at least partly white) version of the Nexus S. The new model, which the site's sources claim will be coming to Germany, features the same black front as the Nexus S models currently shipping elsewhere, but with a white back.
The sources also say that the German model will ship with the same Super AMOLED display found in the US and British versions of the phone. This will be welcome news for German buyers, as it was suggested last year that other territories may instead have to make do with Super Clear LCD displays in their versions of the Nexus S. [BestBoyz via Google Translate]
Lining things up with our previously posted AT&T launch date of March 1, it looks like those of you in Canada won't have to wait much longer past that date to get your hands on the Motorola Atrix. New documentation suggests that the Motorola Atrix (sans 4G in Canada, because we call it what it really is. Fast 3G) will arrive on Bell March 17. That said the documentation also notes that it could be very for different retailers but just to be in that ballpark area should be good for most of you out there waiting. [MobileSyrup]
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