Google today purchased Global IP Solutions, a $68 million move that could pave the way for a more native video chat solution (sorry, Qik and Sprint) for Android smartphones, possibly in gmail, or Google Talk, or maybe some new native app.
GIPS recently showed off its VideoEngine software, which you can see above. And between this, the Evo 4G and Qik, and the expected video chat on the next iPhone, we may well be ushering in a new connectivity era for smartphones. Stay tuned. [via Electronista]
Just a reminder, everybody, that we'll be liveblogging the keynotes Wednesday and Thursday from Google IO in San Francisco. Be sure to check back in if you want the latest in Android news, as it happens.
Verizon just released a new Droid Incredible commercial that actually shows off the phone. *gasp* Don't worry, it's only for a few seconds, the rest of the time it's red lasers firing off in every direction and the ominous voice saying "you've never seen fast" before. This ad spot definitely builds off the previous commercial (and all the Droid commercials really) but does it hurt to show off the phone a little more? Not hurting sales one bit it seems.
The relatively budget minded HTC Wildfire is heading to the relatively budget minded carrier, Virgin Mobile UK. The Wildfire is expected to launch in Q3 2010 in European and Asian markets and is a great addition to Virgin Mobile UK's growing stable of Android phones. Virgin Mobile UK focuses a lot on competitively priced pay-as-you-go plans so it leaves no doubt that the Wildfire is targeted for the "entry level" customers. In the UK, Virgin Mobile doesn't actually have their own network (they use T-Mobile as their backbone) but we're sure users will hardly notice. Hey HTC, we wouldn't mind an entry level device on Virgin Mobile US either! [twitter via coolsmartphone]
Android 2.0+ Let’s face it people, the stock Android launcher is straight up boring. You can’t configure it, and on most phones, you can’t have more than 3 home screens. Luckily, LauncherPro [Market link] has arrived, and although it’s very similar to Helix, it’s got some strengths of its own. The first thing I noticed was the speed – this thing is blazing fast. Everything from sliding through the screens to pulling up the app drawer is much faster than stock. Let's check it out after the break.
Amazon just announced that an Android Kindle application will be available this summer. The Kindle app (which is currently available for the iPhone & Blackberry) gives users access to over 540,000 Kindle e-books (with a built-in store) and is a wonderful e-book platform for those who don't own a Kindle or the Android-powered Nook. What's cool about the Kindle app is that it syncs your reading across multiple platforms, so you can pick up right where you left off no matter what device you're using. The Kindle app for Android will be free but the books do cost money, if you want to learn more about it, head over to Amazon. Any Kindle fans excited for Kindle on Android? [amazon]
The latest numbers are in showing how many devices are using a given version of Android, and we're slowly but surely getting more and more on Android 2.1. Devices on the latest version of Android ticked up to 37.2 percent, from 23.4 percent for the two weeks ending May 3. Android 1.5 (Cupcake) and 1.6 (Donut) were down to 34.1 percent and 28 percent, respectively. That's about a 3-percentage-point drop for Cupcake and 1-percentage-point for Donut.
Anybody want to guess how long it takes before we start complaining about how many devices are languishing on Android 2.1, with Froyo expected to be announced this week? (And if you really want to get into the nitty gritty, there are now stats for screen sizes and densities.) [Android Developer Blog]
What's better than one Android tablet on Verizon? How about tablet(s). Big Red CEO Lowell McAdam said as much over the weekend at the Reuters Global Technology Summit in New York. But before we get to that, let's talk LTE -- Verizon's 4G network that it expects to have ready to rock in the first half of next year. McAdam said three to five LTE-capable phones will be ready by May 2011 (at least one of those has to be Android, right?), with Motorola, HTC, LG and RIM among the manufacturers.
Then there are the tablets. Yes, McAdam said "Android tablets," as in more than one, and Motorola, LG and Samsung were named as the birthers, which would launch late this year as 3G devices but would be upgradeable to LTE later on, most likely. [Reuters] Thanks to everyone who sent this in.
Android phones are big on cloud computing, so you gotta stay connected. Smartphone geeks like to toss the word "tethering" around, but what exactly is it and how do you do it? Follow along after the jump and we'll break it down for you.
Even though it hasn’t been officially announced yet, you can bet your bottom dollar that the Samsung Galaxy S will be headed to T-Mobile’s Android lineup. How do we know you ask? Well it’s simple. There’s this thing called a “media server number” which corresponds with what network the phone will be going to, and in this case the numbers match up perfectly with the big “T.” Now, we know how anxious everybody is to get their hands on the Galaxy S’s Super-AMOLED magic, so hopefully it’s sooner than later that it receives some carrier branding and a long awaited red carpet rollout. [via TmoNews]
The good news: The Android Market web page has gotten a bit of a freshening up ahead of Google IO this week. The bad news: It's not that much more useful. Sure, you can browse more apps (and do so in a much more intuitive way). But what we really want to see is some actual connectivity between the site and our phones -- much (or exactly) like App Brain. We need to be able to purchase, mark for install and rate apps from a web portal. Not just from our phones, and (definitely) not from a stand-alone program on a computer.
Is this redesign a precursor for things to come? We'll find out this week, we guess. Thanks to everyone who sent this in!
Android Central forum user doc31 was lucky enough to get some hands-on time with the HTC EVO 4G. There's answers to some of our questions, some pictures from the camera, oh, and did I mention a video showing it in action? Check out the thread in the EVO forums here, and follow the break to see the video as well as some samples from the camera.
It's no great secret that Cox (as in Cox Cable) is working on on its own wireless service. And low and behold, it appears that Cox may have been using at least one Android phone for what likely is network testing, but maybe more.
Behold, an unbranded CDMA HTC Hero (of the Sprint design variety), purchased off Craigslist for $230. It features a Cox boot screen, which isn't necessarily strange on a test device, though it's an interesting detail to add for something that's not public. It's running on 1xRTT (our source says he couldn't get EV-DO working), and it the network's clearly labeled as "Cox."
Yes, we know this is all stuff that's easily replicated, so we all need to take this with a little grain of salt. There are more pictures and video after the break for your disbelieving eyes. Thanks, S!
You didn't think we'd let the Sprint Evo 4G launch without giving one away, did you? Here's what you have to do to win the biggest, baddest Android smartphone from the biggest, baddest Android blog:
Just reply to this thread in our forums and tell us what feature you're most excited about in the Evo 4G. Maybe it's the massive 4.3-inch screen. Maybe it's the full 1GHz Snapdragon processor. Maybe it's the 4G WiMax data speeds. Or the 8-device WiFi hotspot capability. Or the HDMI-out. Or the two-way video chat. Or the simultaneous voice and date. Or its ability to overthrow small nations (roaming charges may apply).
Tell us here, and we'll pick a winner on June 1 -- the Evo 4G will be available June 4 -- and we'll make you the coolest kid on your block. Good luck!
Looks like everybody's favorite T-Mobile myTouch 3G Slide just got a price. According to a leaked slide from Tmonews, the myTouch 3G Slide will be available for $149.99 with new 2-year contract and $399.99 off contract (that's Even More and Even More Plus for those counting). Given the decent specs of the myTouch 3G Slide and the fact that it'll be running Android 2.1 with Sense, that $150 price looks like a steal. If you're in the market for a solid Android phone with a physical keyboard, the myTouch 3G is a really great option. We won't be surprised if the myTouch 3G Slide becomes the phone that'll replace many people's G1.