Feel that? That's the Android Market growing right before our very eyes. After getting Yelp yesterday, Android will receive National Public Radio's NPR News app by the end of this month. The NPR News app on Android will deliver all the programs you love on NPR onto your Android device. And don't worry, the NPR News app for Android isn't some run-of-the-mill iPhone port, the Android version actually has features that make it a better app than its iPhone counterpart.
The NPR News app for Android will obviously run in the background, so you can listen in on programs while using other smartphone functions. The NPR News app also takes advantage of the open source aspects of Android, encouraging local stations and outside developers to put their own stamp on the app. To quote NPR:
“The main thing we want to preserve across all the different platforms are the bottom tabs,” which include News, Programs and Stations, says Perry, NPR’s mobile head. “On Android, we think it would be nice to let local stations include their own content, not just NPR content. And we want the users to be able to customize it according to their interests. It’s in their hands.”
Sounds good by us. Anyone excited about NPR News available on Android?
Having not even finished rolling out the Android 2.0.1 OTA update for the Droid, BGR is hearing that there'll be another Droid-specific OTA update come late January 2010. Details are slim regarding what it fixes but it kind of, sort of fits the timeline for an Android 2.1 update, right? Staying hopeful is what we do.
The Archos 5 Android Tablet packs a 800x480 4.8-inch screen, 800MHz OMAP3440 processor, 720p video and output over HDMI, capacity up to 500GB, 802.11n WiFi, etc. We haven't played with the Archos 5 Android Tablet ourselves but given this new deal, we might just take the plunge. What about you?
We are ridiculously excited to announce that today we're launching the 3rd annual Smartphone Round Robin! If you've never heard of the Round Robin, buckle up: Each year the sites of the Smartphone Experts Network spend some time out of our comfort zone, examining the platforms of our sister sites and learning how other smartphone users live. This year, the event will span six weeks, eight sites, over a dozen phones, over five hours of video, hundreds of photos, several hours of podcasts, dozens of discussion threads, and of course dozens of comparison reviews. Seriously.
What's in it for you? Plenty, we hope. To start with, each site will be giving away one smartphone (or your choice!) representing its platform. We have a Twitter contest for accessory prizes every week too. You can find contest details here.
More than that, though, every year we hear from grateful readers who have said the Round Robin helped them decide on their next smartphone, made them happier about the one they have, or even compelled some to switch outright. Researching and learning six platforms and all the phones on each is a massive undertaking - so we're doing it for you and you can just follow along.
If you want to know more about how to play along with this crazy event, hit up SmartphoneRoundRobin.com, where we explain the contest, the schedule, the participants, and even have an archive of the last two events.
The event begins in earnest on Monday, but today we're releasing the first of several podcasts, all of which are hosted by our friends at The Cell Phone Junkie. We'll toss direct links to download and subscribe after the break, plus let you know who's playing along this year.
This reminds more than a bit of the back and forth between Apple and jailbreakers (or even more so with Palm). But never fear, as the crafty folks over at XDA-Developers are hard at work trying to figure a way around the block. The bad news is that it may be awhile before a resolution is reached, and they are recommending you update your Navigation app to version 3.3.0.
Those of you (and us) not patient enough to wait for Verizon to roll out the 2.0.1 update on its own are in luck. Not only can the Motorola Droid now be rooted, the incremental update to the Android OS can be applied manually, and it's as easy as applying a couple of zip files.
First up is the update, which comes to us from AllDroidvia our forums. Just download this zip file from the forum post, rename to update.zip, and put it on your microSD card. Turn the droid off, and turn it back on while holding the "X" button. After the "/!\" symbol appears, press the volume up and camera button, then follow the onscreen instructions. (We've tested this out, and it worked fine.) As a reminder, here's what you get in the 2.0.1 update.
Next up is is the rooting of the Droid, which again comes from AllDroid (via Engadget) in the form of another downloadable zip file and is applied in the same manner. Note that this is for adb access and you can't yet run apps from the Android Market that require root.
A big night for all you Droid owners out there. Get to it.
We're nearing the end of 2009, and that means top 10 lists galore. And here comes Time's top 10 gadgets of the year. And -- surprise, surprise -- the No. 1 pick isn't the iPhone 3GS. It's not the Nook. Couldn't be the Kindle. It is, in fact, the Motorola Droid. Tipping the scales for the glowing red eye that could is the large screen, full QWERTY keyboard (really?) and its integration with Google. (OK, two out of three ain't bad.) The Droid's excellent navigation also gets a nod, as it should. Here's the breakdown:
The Droid is a hefty beast, a metal behemoth without the gloss and finish of the iPhone, but you don't miss it. The Droid's touchscreen is phenomenally sharp and vivid, it has an actual physical (not great, but good enough) keyboard, and best of all, the Droid is on Verizon's best-of-breed 3G network.
You UK Android users sure are in for a treat! Along with the recently available Acer A1 Liquid, the Motorola Milestone has also hit the streets of the UK (er, the site of Expansys). Known as the Motorola Droid here in the states, the Milestone is the exact same device except that its browser will actually support multitouch (but won't have Google Maps Navigation). So yes, you'll get that Android 2.0 and that oh so glorious screen.
If you're looking to score one off-contract, you better save those pennies up, cause it looks to be around $733 off-contract. If you sign to a contract, the device will only run for $81 with a $57/monthly plan (all converted from pounds) on T-Mobile. We'd love a GSM Milestone in the states but we're thinking we'll wait for those with US 3G bands (ahem, Canada).
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