Apple has been catching a lot of flack for their draconian app approval process, and for the most part, it's a well-deserved takedown. On our grass is greener side, Google has been looking pretty nice throughout the whole he-said, she-said battle between the FCC, Google, Apple, and AT&T and it's looking even better now that details about how Google deals with Android apps in Android Market have been revealed.
To date, Android Market has only banned 1% of the applications from its virtual shelves and none of those banned applications have their blood on Google's hands. Namely, the banning process begins with users flagging specific applications and then Google investigating the applications--there is no pre-approval process for developers to jump through. We, the Android users, decide what gets cut. The most common reasons for removal are apps that contain adult content or violate copyright laws.
Though not having a pre-approval process can lead to a lot of shoddy and useless applications being passed through, we'd much rather have it the Android way than Apple's. Plus, Apple still has just as many fart apps as we do.
BGR got his hands on some Verizon internal documents and it details estimated release dates and costs for upcoming Verizon handsets. There's Blackberry, Nokia, and other devices in there but we don't care about that. Not at all. We have our eyes locked on the Motorola Sholes Google Phone with an October launch date. Yep, Verizon users--you'll be getting your Android soon enough!
Though iPhone users will have to wait for Apple to reach a decision on the Rhapsody App, us Android users should be aware that, Real has been "working diligently on an Android app" which we expect to be available in sooner rather than later. The Rhapsody app for Android would be a no-brainer download for current Rhapsody ToGo subscribers and an extremely enticing option for music lovers across the world.
The Samsung Galaxy is one of the more under-appreciated Android phones on the market, mostly because of its European-only status. Though it has been out for months overseas, we've heard very little about any potential launches or carrier support--so it's been sort of swept under the rug here in the States. We've been aware of the Samsung Galaxy, but it's been other Android phones that have got us going.
Well, it looks like that may change because a Samsung Galaxy 'Lite' has made its way through the FCC and it looks like a presumably budget version of the Galaxy will be made available for US consumption. Though the details of the Samsung Galaxy 'Lite' are shrouded in mystery, we do know that it'll be offered by a GSM carrier (T-Mobile?) and that it'll have Wi-Fi and Bluetooth (of course).
We're hopeful that the Galaxy 'Lite' won't be too different from the Galaxy because if we've waiting this long for a less capable device, well we won't be too happy about that. What do you guys think?
Within each category, there is prize money to be had for developers, with 1st place receiving $100,000, 2nd place earning $50,000, and 3rd place receiving $25,000. There's also money up for grabs for the best applications across all categories ($150,000-1st, $50,000-2nd, $25,000-3rd).
ADC2 is a great thing for Android because it spurs a lot of developers to create great applications for our favorite OS. We can't wait to see what new and innovative applications Android developers have come up with! Let's get it started!
Though the whole fiasco doesn't directly apply to us Android users, it is interesting to note that USA Today has accused Google of being plain hypocrites throughout this process. Citing Google's own 'banning' of popular VoIP application Skype to their Android Market, USA Today claimed that Google and Android are hardly as open and benevolent as they claim to be. If you remember, Skype for Android is actually a 'Lite' version that isn't capable of true VoIP calls, rather routing phone calls through traditional phone networks thus eating away precious (read: expensive) cell phone minutes.
Gasp. Is Google falling away from their 'Don't be Evil' motto and joining Apple as the grim reaper toward quality applications? Did they really ban a full-featured version of Skype? No. Completely False. Wrong. Not even close. According to the father of Android, Andy Rubin:
“Here are the facts, clear and simple: While the first generation of our Android software did not support full-featured VoIP applications due to technology limitations, we have worked through those limitations in subsequent versions of Android, and developers are now able to build and upload VoIP services"
So basically USA Today got it completely wrong and that it wasn't a Google decision to ban Skype from Android but rather a technical shortcoming. Also, if Skype truly wanted to develop a full featured application for Android and for some odd reason wasn't allowed in Android Market, Android users could still download the application via alternative channels. Android Market is hardly the only solution for third party applications like the iPhone App Store is. And for that, we can be thankful.
As good as Google Maps is for most everyday Android users, many users still clamor for a high quality turn-by-turn GPS solution. Enter TomTom. Having just released an official application for the iPhone platform, TomTom recently announced their interest toward Android and plans to develop an official application for it. According to a VP at TomTom:
"We cannot ignore such a successful platform as Android. HTC is an important partner of ours and Android is becoming increasingly important too."
Though we would obviously prefer a Google Maps turn-by-turn solution, we certainly can't deny a GPS heavyweight like TomTom. We've tested the iPhone TomTom application and in our brief time with it, it truly feels like a standalone TomTom GPS unit. If TomTom can offer the same experience with Android, we'd happily jump on board.
Google has released a new application for Android that enables users to find and play their favorite podcasts on their Android device. Aptly named 'Listen', the app allows you to search, subscribe, download, and stream your favorite podcasts--or at least the favorite of the 'thousands of popular English-only podcasts' currently available. Also, 'Listen' will also learn your habits. In Google's words:
By subscribing to programs and search terms it will create a personalized audio-magazine loaded with fresh shows and news stories whenever you listen.
From the sounds of it, 'Listen' is definitely worth checking out. Which application do you guys currently use to listen to podcasts on your Android phone?
A video showcasing the HTC Click has popped up and it's pretty much what you expected. The budget-minded Android Phone gets a brief run through and there's nothing too jaw dropping about it--no HTC Sense UI, relatively small screen, etc. The HTC Click also comes with a microSD slot, 1100mAh battery, 3.5mm headphone jack, camera, and what is purported to be Android Donut build 1.50.999.0.
The HTC Click obviously won't be targeted to power users but we're pretty sure it would still serve as a nice introduction to Android and first time smartphone users. What do you guys think?
The Notorious FCC is at it again. This time the ridiculously anticipated HTC Hero just cleared their hands and those previous HTC Hero to Sprint rumors are getting realer by the second--because this version of the Hero rocks CDMA, which just so happens to be what Sprint's network is constructed on.
Let us translate the above picture for you: 'The appointment is confirmed.' What appointment does the invitation speak of? Well on Tuesday September 15th, Archos is widely expected to announce their much anticipatedAndroid tablet and we can't wait to see what they've cooked up. The Android tablet will have a 5-inch 800x480 screen that can play 720p content, HDMI out, and rumored for 500GB of storage. Hawt.
What may be even more interesting than the Archos Android Tablet is that Archos has decided to launch an Android App Store of their own, specifically tailored for "high end devices" like their upcoming tablet. Known as AppsLib, AppsLib will eventually be offered on other Android devices and we're definitely interested in seeing how AppsLib and Android Market will co-exist.
The Samsung InstinctQ should make for a great alternative to the HTC Hero. Sprint users will soon have a choice between a strictly touchscreen device (Hero) and a touchscreen/hardware keyboard device (InstinctQ). Either way, both devices have the look of a winner. We can't wait to pore over the specs of the InstinctQ and we're sure you Sprint users can't wait to jump on the Android bandwagon.
What do you guys think? Is October 11th going to be a glorious day? Another Android device with a physical keyboard in tow is a good thing in our book.
Obviously this is bad news for any AT&T customer looking forward to Android devices but simply put, the HTC Lancaster wasn't going to be a game changer, hardware-wise at least. QVGA screen? Psssh. Yeah, it would have been nice to see how Android would take off on a bigger carrier but good things come to those who wait (so we've heard, at least).
So AT&T, the ball in your court. If you really did drop the HTC Lancaster from your product portfolio, we better see a better Android device lined up to take its place. Maybe something from Motorola? Or maybe the "pretty believable" information turns out false and the Lancaster will launch on AT&T as originally planned. Yikes, counting on AT&T to deliver typically never pans out.
Radio Shack (or is just The Shack now?) just announced that they'll be selling the T-Mobile myTouch 3G in store which would certainly spell a good thing for T-Mobile considering 'The Shack' has more than 4,000 locations nationwide. Radio Shack and T-Mobile had just minted a new deal to sell T-Mobile handsets so hopefully we can expect future T-Mobile Android devices available there as well.
We're not frequent customers of Radio Shack, so this deal doesn't exactly affect us but what about the rest of you guys? Radio Shack + Android = Good?
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