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3 years ago

Amazon doing Android app store, launches developer portal

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Android users will be able to download apps through Amazon later this year

Amazon today announced its Amazon Appstore Developer portal -- an Android app store within the Amazon ecosystem. It's largely familiar, with the usual hooks for developers, though we'll have to wait a little while to judge its usefulness from a consumer standpoint. We spoke with Amazon's Aaron Rubenson, category leader for Mobile Services for Amazon.com, and Ameesh Paleja, general manager for the Engineering Division of Mobile Services for Amazon.com, for more details.

  • Today's launch is for developers. Consumers will be able to download apps through Amazon later this year.
  • Developers will upload apps through a self-service portal, developer.amazon.com, and include screenshots and metadata.
  • Developers keep 70 percent of the revenue, with Amazon getting the other 30 percent. That's in line with the other major app stores.
  • Developers will be paid once a month, within 30 days of the end of the month.
  • There's not mechanism for app refunds, other than for installation problems. That's much like Amazon's MP3 store. If you buy it, you buy it.
  • Amazon will screen apps to make sure they pass basic functionality. They'll test on a multitude of devices, on a the various versions of Android, to make sure it works and isn't malicious.
  • Apps may be rejected for content; guidelines will be publicly posted.
  • Amazon's not sure yet how long the app approval process may wake.
  • When the customer-facing store is launched, you'll be able to purchase phones from the website, or directly from the phone.
  • Amazon wants its app store to be available on as many phones as possible. Amazon was a little vague on how AT&T's ban on sideloading may affect this, but said "We're working with them to figure out the best way to resolve that."
  • There's a $99 annual program fee; Amazon's waiving it for the first year.

Given Amazon's size, this obviously is one of the larger competitors to Google's own Android Market. Will it take off? We'll have to see. A couple of major questions that remain are whether it'll be preloaded on phones, and just how easy it will be to install apps. Today's just about the developers. So get to downloading, and let us know how it works out.

We've got more screen shots and a Q&A chock full of questions and answers after the break.

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3 years ago

Rolling Stone ad features Thunderbolt, and Inspire 4G headed to AT&T

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An astute reader noticed an advertisement in the current edition of Rolling Stone, featuring HTC's 4G phones.  Besides the Evo 4G and the T-Mobile G2, we see the latest additions to HTC's 4G stable -- our friend the HTC Thunderbolt, and what appears to be the first look at the HTC Inspire 4G, headed to AT&T.

We still have no specs to offer for the Thunderbolt (I think we'll see those this week at CES, and they'll be very similar to the Desire HD or MyTouch 4G), and all we know about the Inspire 4G is what you see here, and the fact that HTC filed with the USPTO to trademark the name Inspire late last year.  Let's hope CES offers a bit of insight. Hit the break for the full page ad. Thanks Joseph!

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3 years ago

Froyo for the Samsung Fascinate coming Jan 10; Continuum Jan 18?

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According to a tipster (we love tipsters, and their pictures!) Verizon is preparing for a software release for the Samsung Fascinate on Jan 10, and one for the Continuum on Jan 18.  While we can't say for sure this means Froyo, we've heard nothing about any maintenance releases for either phone, so it looks like a good bet you'll soon be seeing Android 2.2 on your Verizon Galaxy S phones.  We'll keep our eyes and ears open, and let you guys know more if it develops. [AndroidCentral forums]

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3 years ago

ASUS unveils a trio of Android tablets

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CES 2011 hasn't even officially started yet, but the Android tablet news has.  This afternoon ASUS officially announced a series of Eee Tablets, including three pretty unique Android offerings. The Eee Pad MeMO is a 7 incher running on a 1.2GHz dual-core Qualcomm 8260 Snapdragon processor, sports a capacitive stylus (and bundled with apps that use it), with front and rear cameras -- expect it in June starting at $499. The Eee Pad Transformer has a 10.1-inch IPS display, houses a Tegra 2 chip, has dual cameras, and a unique docking station that incorporates a full qwerty keyboard -- expected in April starting at $399. And finally, the Eee Pad Slider has the same 10.1- inch IPS display, also runs on a Tegra 2 with dual cameras and HDMI out, and has a sliding qwerty keyboard attached -- it arrives in May and starts at $499.  All three of the new Eee tablets will be running Honeycomb, which ASUS has dubbed as Android 3.0.

This is just the tip of the iceberg folks.  We're on the floor at CES; expect to be inundated with Android goodness as CES rolls onwards.  The full press release from ASUS (with device specs) is after the break. [ASUS]

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3 years ago

Honeycomb requirements, next in line after the Nexus One for Gingerbread [from the forums]

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Let the fun begin. Ok, realistically the fun never really stops around here since we are an Android blog and something is always happening but that's beside the point. Phil (among others) has now landed in Las Vegas and we're ready to rock. Today got off to a great start with Sprint announcing the HTC Evo Shift 4G and that's just the warm up to CES. Looking towards the forums, it's been busy in there as well.

If you're not already a member of the Android Central forums, you can register your account today.

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3 years ago

PayPal to be an NFC partner in 2011?

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Near Field Communication is a feature of Android OS that arrived with Gingerbread (2.3). The practicality of NFC in our day-to-day lives is still to be questioned, but it undoubtedly represents a unique piece of technology that has enormous potential.

As more carriers and credit card companies test out NFC for daily use, it will become clear exactly how effective the technology can be. Rumor has it that PayPal could be one of the first committed partners with Google and could even start NFC payments in the second half of 2011. Laura Chambers, who is Senior Director of PayPal Mobile, said that a commercial NFC service in late 2011 is feasible and that Google could represent a viable partner. 

Such a partnership would seem like a natural fit, given the amount of transactions PayPal handles on a daily basis. It would represent a big step forward for the NFC technology that has the potential to change the way we pay for goods and services.

What do you think about the potential of NFC? Would a PayPal partnership make you more likely to try it out? [Business Week]

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3 years ago

Last chance to sign up for Swiftkey beta program

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TouchType online, the folks behind the amazing SwiftKey keyboard for Android (check out their development forum here at Android Central), has sent out an email to all their beta test program participants letting them know that open beta sign-up for the SwiftKey VIP program is ending Jan. 18.  The SwiftKey VIP program gives access to testing builds of the application, as well as access to the confidential VIP discussion forum at SwiftKey's website.  Anyone with software beta-testing experience, or who would like to get started should enroll while they can -- you can do that right here.  Word is some great new features are soon to be tested, and you don't want to miss out on a chance to test them.

Joe Braidwood, Chief Marketing Officer at TouchType also reminds everyone that it's not too late to vote in the CES Mobile Apps Showdown, so check that out right here, and make your voice heard. 

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3 years ago

LG Optimus 2X whips iPhone 4 in browser speed tests

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In a test that should really surprise nobody, the dual-core Tegra 2 powered LG Optimus 2X got caught on video demolishing an iPhone 4 in browser speed tests over WiFi. What is most impressive is that the 2X apparently had Flash 10.1 fully enabled at the time, so those who visit Flash-enabled websites on a regular basis should be especially excited for the phone. It seems LG has improved the software since we last saw the phone showing off back in late November. Look for much more coverage of the device come CES and check out the video past the break. [PhoneArena]

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3 years ago

OnLive Coming to (Vizio) Android Devices

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Game streaming service OnLive has announced its availability on a bunch of new Vizio-built devices today. In addition to being able to play through Vizio's range of 3DTV's, gamers will also be able stream games to the manufacturer's upcoming Android tablets and phones.

OnLive's press release boasts:

With the click of a remote control, or a tap on a tablet or phone touchscreen, VIZIO owners will be immediately transported into the OnLive Game Service, with the same state-of-the-art, instant game experience you get with the OnLive MicroConsole TV adapter, PCs, Macs®, and the iPad®. In fact, you’ll be able to save your OnLive game on one device, and instantly resume it on another device. Seamlessly.

OnLive has been available on iOS for some time, so its arrival on Android shouldn't come as too much of a surprise. So far, though, it's not clear whether OnLive on Android will be exclusive to Vizio's devices, or whether we'll see a more general release through the Android Market in the future.

Of course, this isn't the first time we've seen streaming games on Android phones. Last month some enterprising hackers got World of Warcraft streaming to the HTC Desire.

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3 years ago

More pics of the Xperia Play surface

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The Sony Xperia Play, dubbed the 'Playstation Phone' has been leaked quite a bit in the past couple months, and more pictures have surfaced of the unannounced device.

The pics appeared on a Chinese forum and are further evidence an official announcement shouldn't be too far off. The devices pictured are running Gingerbread (2.3), suggesting that Sony will indeed release the gaming phone with the latest version of the OS.

Stay tuned for more info on the Xperia Play; there is bound to be more in the coming weeks. [HKgolden via Engadget]

For more, check out our Rumored Devices Forum

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