Hot on the heels of the news this week that the Chevy Volt is getting Google Maps support comes our hands-on with the upgraded Android app. You'll remember much of this from our hands-on at CES in January. But new this time around is the ability to locate the Volt anywhere from your phone, feed directions to the car's on-board navigation system from your phone, and otherwise make it the coolest electric-gas (the gasoline engine is only used to power the generator) vehicle we'll likely see this year. Check it out after the break.
We're going to get the skinny on the Froyo version of Android here in a few short hours. But news about Gingerbread (actual version number is yet unknown) is already trickling out. During Wednesday's lengthy keynote on HTML5 and the various back-end resources it uses, we heard a lot about WebM and VP8. And now we have this little nugget from The WebM Project, which states that WebM support is expected with Android in Gingerbread, "currently planned for Q4, 2010."
So there you go. It's a little early yet, but we may well see a pretty major revision of Android by the end of the year. [WebM Project via Eurodroid and Engadget]
Take a glass case. Fill it with a boatload of Android phones, tablets and MIDs. Stick it in the middle of a conference full of Android faithful. What do you get? A neon-green siren that beckoned even the most seasoned smartphone veteran. What all is in the case? Check out the video after the break.
Seesmic has been busy lately it seems. Not only did they reveal a preview of their new desktop client but they also have a new beta build of their popular Android Twitter client for Google I/O attendees. Since we have a man on the floor at Google I/O, we get a sneak preview of it too. As you can see from the screen shot, support for Google Buzz is in the works. No word on when it's expected to be released, but you can bet as soon as we know, we're going to share the good news.
The Android Amazon Kindle app: Coming this summer. The Android Amazon Kindle hands-on video: Coming right now, after the break. It's not a bad little app. Download and read ebooks right on your phone, change the font size and background color, and all the usual bells and whistles you'd expect. Check it out.
Sure, HTML5 is important and all -- but let's face it, most of us are more concerned with the end result. And one of the more impressive things we saw at this morning's keynote was Sports Illustrated's HTML5-based web version of its magazine. Let's talk more about that after the break, and what it may well mean in the Android mobile space.
In a move that probably should have happened a while ago, AT&T just released their myWireless Mobile for Android devices (which is currently only the Motorola Backflip). The AT&T myWireless Mobile app allows users to keep track of their AT&T account by being able to view & pay the bill, view usage for minutes, data, and messaging, and even allows users to add or remove features. It's pretty much the AT&T website re-packaged in a nice tidy mobile app. You'll have to sign up for a myWireless account to take advantage of the app but we'd suggest you AT&T Android users do that, there's nothing better than seeing how many Megabytes of data usage you can squeeze from them. [at&t via phonescoop]
We're live at the Google IO keynote at Moscone West in San Francisco, where we expect to see the latest version of Android -- called Froyo -- announced any second now. We hope. Only one way to find out. Join us after the break to get it all as it happens.
How about another story about just how quickly Android's going? According to analyst Gartner, Android had a 1.9 percent worldwide smartphone market share in the first quarter of 2009. Fast forward to the first quarter of 2010, and that number has jumped to 9.6 percent. (Obviously the success of the Motorola Droid and its variants has had something to do with that, but other phones certainly have contributed, too.) The iPhone, meanwhile, climbed from 10.5 percent to 15.4 percent, giving the two operating systems 25 percent of the entire market. [Gartner]
Google co-founder gets a day's life out of his Android battery, and he thinks you should, too. Speaking at Google's Zeitgeist forum (alongside CEO Eric Schmidt), Page said poorly written third-party apps likely are to blame.
"I have noticed there are a few people who have phones where there is software running in the background that just sort of exhausts the battery quickly. If you are not getting a day, there is something wrong."
Schmidt -- who, like Page, also is way smarter than you -- chimed in, "The primary consumer of the battery life on these phones is the transmit/receive circuit. SO tuning that and obviously figuring out a way to not use too much of that extends your battery life."
Surprise! The Xperia X10 Mini is really small. How small? Take a look at that unboxing video above, the accessories of the X10 Mini is bigger than the X10 Mini itself! Even though we saw the X10 Mini at MWC and have seen commercials for it, we just never get over how small the thing is. It's a cute little phone that can totally corner the mini smartphone market. Well, if there's such thing as a mini smartphone market that is. The X10 Mini looks to have customizable battery covers so you can rock all the pink, red, green, and silver you like. Though its big brother device disappointed us, maybe we'll look at the X10 Mini in a different light. If just has to get here. [SE product blog]
Blogger and Tech Lead of Mozilla's mobile devices team Stuart Parmenter has slipped out a new pre-alpha build for Android 2.x users. He still warns that it's likely to be very buggy and isn't even close to ready for prime time, but for us curious types he has posted it on his blog here to download and play with.
It's considerably better running and a bit smaller (the download is 9.6 MB, and the install is now 25MB versus 30MB in size) than the last build. I put it through the paces a little bit and found it to be quite a treat, especially knowing that it's still an early development version. And interestingly enough, it outscores the native Android browser on the Acid3 test. If you're feeling adventurous head over to Stuart's blog and give Fennec a spin. [pavlov.net]
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