Welcome to Around SPE, where we highlight the big news of the week from around the network in a format that's more than just a list-o-bullets. This week we're putting the spotlight on Android Central, which saw a fairly hefty redesign on Wednesday night. Search, registration, commenting, navigation, the whole shootin' match is all much improved.
BGR is trying to put two and two together and predicting (with no sources, leaks, or tips) that the T-Mobile G2 is going to show up at CTIA. For those keeping score: the T-Mobile G2 is the HTC Magic and CTIA is a pretty huge mobile industry convention. What makes this interesting is that CTIA is right around the corner (April 1-3) and well, it does make a little sense.
Consider the fact that Android needs to become more relevant to be considered a true contender in the mobile industry. After the relatively quiet MWC we had to go through, the WORST thing would be to have another quiet convention where everyone is left wondering where Android is.
So what's better than making an impact at one of the biggest shows of the year? CTIA fits the bill perfectly. We're predicting big things for Android at CTIA because if Android is quiet again at CTIA, man we're going to be in for a long year.
Androinica reports that Google has updated their Google Image Search on Android devices. It's nicer, faster, and better suited for the mobile platform. They've even included filtering options which'll allow you to sort by Faces, Clip Art, Line Drawings, Photo Content and SafeSearch. The layout is improved as well, showing 20 images per page.
We're pretty big fans of this new Google Image Search and think it'll be even more useful with the new features. What do you guys think? Go test it out and tell us your thoughts!
If you didn't cash in on the Amazon T-Mobile G1 deal, you're in luck. It's even cheaper at Costco. For only $79.99 you can get your hands on a T-Mobile G1! Yep, that's $100 off. Costco is offering the deal via the manufacturer's coupon shown above. That's just an amazing price to get your hand on a powerful, innovative smartphone.
We had originally believed that the Amazon could not be beat, but Costco proved us wrong. Do you guys think the price for the T-Mobile G1 can go any lower?
This is amazing. The video above previews the app Torrent Droid which basically serves as a tool that combines unique G1 features, ease-of-use, and resourcefulness into one great application.
So the basic premise of the app is that it has the ability to scan the barcode (UPC) of any item and it'll automatically search for a bittorrent file of that item. It'll download said bittorrent file and then here's the good part, Torrent Droid sends the bittorrent file to your PC for automatic download. Take a look at the video. A pirate's dream? We think so.
Imagine scanning the UPC of a DVD in store. Sending it to your PC and it downloads while you drive home. When you finally get home, it's ready for your viewing pleasure! This is magnificent stuff! And of course, it popped up on Android first.
What do you guys think? Just say no to pirates or is this pretty darn cool?
We know we have a lot of G1 Users across the pond who are a little peeved that they still don't have paid apps available to them in Android Market. I mean, what's the point of an Android Market without the ability to use the best apps!?
Luckily it looks like paid apps is coming to the UK Android Market soon. As in today. Regan Whitehead of T-Mobile UK said that paid applications will be supported in the UK Android Market starting March 12th. Yeap, that's today! Hip hip hooray!
So to our UK friends, do you guys see paid applications popping up yet?
Oh yes. Cupcake rumors that we wish oh so much to be true are once again at the forefront of the discussion. This time Pocket-lint claims that T-Mobile representatives have confirmed that the Cupcake software update for Android will be released in April. To quote:
"We will be offering G1 users the firmware update sometime in April"
This does make a lot of sense considering the HTC Magic is going to be released in the same time frame and the Magic needs the soft keyboard that the Cupcake software update has. To remind you guys: Cupcake is supposed to include a soft on-screen keyboard, video recording, voice recorder, stereo Bluetooth, save MMS, among other features.
Classy multi-search functionality in the upper-right
Nicer featured article section there in the sidebar
Single login for both the forums and the blog comments
Breadcrumbs for better navigation
We may have a bug or three to iron out in the coming days, if you come across one please do let us know by clicking that "Contact" link in the menu and detailing what you're facing. Otherwise, keep on coming back to the AC for more Android News and Reviews, who loves you more than us?
Just because you CAN run Android on a Dell Axim x51v, should you? Although it doesn't seem to make much sense to run Android on an antiquity like this Dell Axim PDA, I can't help but admire Ertan D. for his creativity and know-how.
There are a few hiccups with this marriage of cutting-edge Android OS and elderly PDA hardware. Wi-Fi and Power Management are not fully cooperating. However, the touchscreen and D-Pad are performing normally. If anything, the fact that Ertan D. could successfully retrofit Android to an old device like the Axim x51v further illustrates the promise of the Android OS on a potentially limitless list of devices. Android on a Palm Vx, anyone?
If you didn't know, we're pretty big Android guys here. Huge, in fact. But we also respect the iPhone and though we understand its pitfalls, we also do understand that the iPhone changed smartphones forever and is embedded in the public's mind. EVERYTHING is compared to the iPhone. So when an analyst predicts that Android will outpace the iPhone by 2012, our Android fanboy-side jumps for joy but our realist-side raises an eyebrow.
Informa Telecoms & Media Analysts predict that Android with its open source operating system and no licensing cost will allow phone manufacturers to keep costs low and deliver affordable Android handsets to consumers eager to save a dollar. That viewpoint definitely makes sense in our current economic client, plus the advantage of the open source operating system allows for growth unseen in the mobile segment of the market and developers truly have the power. Combine it with the fact that Android is carrier flexible and multiple phone manufacturers are on board with Android, we can expect to see a load more of new Android devices in the near future.
However, to catch the iPhone? The iPhone in 2012 is sure to be a pretty darn good device (hopefully they'll solve cut & paste by then) and that doesn't even mention the fact that the iPhone 2009, 2010, and 2011 models are sure to garner a lot of press which allows Apple to be at the forefront of the smartphone world. To really challenge the iPhone in marketshare, Google needs to step up advertising for Android and keep offering best-in-class Google services with Android. The bottom line: In order to be as prominent and dominant as the iPhone, Android needs to be as synonymous with Google as the iPhone is with Apple.
So though we would love to surpass the iPhone in 2012. We believe the bar is just a wee bit lower than that. For now.
Hmm. This sounds like it may work but we haven't tested it out yet.
Since the paid apps problem in Android Dev Phones was only semi-solved with the 1.1 update to Dev Phones, it looks like HTC has delivered a solution that'll allow Dev Phone users to access the paid applications. Over at HTC's website, it shows detailed instructions on how to flash a Factory System Image onto the Dev Phone. We'd imagine that the Factory System Image would allow you to access the paid apps then?
One hangup though, Amazon is only offering the Black Model for the $97.99 price point while the White and Bronze version continue to go for the usual $179.99. We loved the white version but an $82 difference? We'll gladly go black.
And hey, if you looked at the new icon for "Windows Marketplace for Mobile" (try saying that 5 times straight!) it copies the same 'bag' theme as our lovely Android Market. Maybe Microsoft came up with the idea separately and designed the bag before they ever even saw Android Market's logo! That has to be it, right?! All jokes aside, the logo looks pretty nice, we can't tell you how the "Windows Marketplace for Mobile" works as a program though--that is still kind of unknown.
What you guys think? Who copied who, Android Market Logo or Windows Mobile Logo?
For those interested, the Australian G1 or we guess, the HTC Dream, has been photographed under seductive light and well, surprise! it looks the same. Well, other than the HTC logo being under the speaker instead of the T-Mobile branding, this is the G1 you know and love.
If you rock the Android Dev Phone you now have the right to be annoyed. Though Google just released a firmware update to your device which includes fixes for POP3 e-mail accounts, the alarm clock, Gmail send bug, mail notification, search by voice, and maps, it still only semi-solves the priced apps problem.
Yes, the Android Dev Phone can now have access to paid applications but with one freakn' huge caveat. Only the paid applications that aren't copy protected. According to Google, developers have an option of using a copy-protection feature known as "forward locking" which helps prevent applications from being copied off devices. Since the Android Dev Phone has unrestricted access to the content, it easily circumvents any copy protection. Therefore, copy-protected paid apps (most of them, we presume) still won't pop up in Android Market.
Look, we understand that the developers need to be rewarded for their hard work but leaving those who just spent $400 to support Android without a true solution to the paid applications problem definitely sucks. We hope to see a better solution in the near future.
Portions of this page are modifications based on work created and shared by the Android Open Source Project
and used according to terms described in the Creative Commons 2.5 Attribution License. AndroidCentral is an independent site
that is not affiliated with or endorsed by Google.