Monday, May 31, 2010

Android News Digest - Week 22

I collected some interesting Android news and articles from the past week. Enjoy:

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Google: The Next 6 Months of Android Will "Blow Your Mind"

Gizmodo made a pretty interesting interview with Google's Andy Rubin. Read the entire interview from here.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Android on Your TV - Google TV

One of the biggest announcements in Google I/O event, beside Android FroYo 2.2, was of course Google TV. With Google TV, you can enjoy any Web content (including Flash content), search programs and content, listen to music, and also, since Google TV is based on Android 2.2, run Android apps right on you HDTV! Google TV compatible devices, such as HDTVs, TV companion boxes, BlueRay players, and accessories will be available already this year at least by Sony and Logitech. If you are a developer you can already start developing either Android or Web apps for Google TV.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Google Activates 100,000 Android Phones a Day!

Google revealed today at Google I/O that they are currently activating over 100,000 new Android phones every day. Which is quite respectable figure considering that just in last February Google reported that they activating (only) 60,000 phones every day. Furthermore, according to reports, Android was the second best-selling smartphone in USA during this quarter. Only RIM did better which means that Android phones sold more than the phones from the well known fruit company. Of course, statistics may change (temporarily) when iPhone 4G phone is out ...

Android 2.2 Froyo Officially Announced

So, Android 2.2 a.k.a. "Froyo" was officially announced today at Google I/O 2010 event. Froyo brings lot of new powerful and useful additions to Android platform, such as a just-in-time (JIT) compiler providing up to 5X performance boost. Other new highly interesting features include WiFi tethering (i.e. portable WLAN hotspots), a cloud-to-device messaging API, new device administration APIs, capability to install apps into a SD card (wow, finally), and a new backup app that can be used to transfer personal data and settings from one Android phone to another. Google also claims that the latest version of Android's web browser is benchmarked to be the world's fastest browser thanks to its new JavaScript Engine. The next major release 3.o a.k.a. "Gingerbread" is planned to come out Q4/2010, but meanwhile - I would not mind having some Froyo, please :)

Samsung Galaxy S

I have never had a Samsung phone, but Samsung's new Galaxy S Android phone is a beast that I would definitely consider to buy. Awesome Super AMOLED 4" display, 1 GHz Snapdragon, super fast 3D graphics packed into a thin and sleek device. I just hope that Samsung will provide Android updates more timely basis than HTC. HTC Android phones are just great, but because of the Sense UI they use, it usually takes too long for HTC to provide an updated firmware whenever a new Android OS version is released. Hopefully, Android version 2.2 entitled Froyo will change this with its more flexible update delivery and management system. So, I really hope that HTC will be quick this time in delivering Froyo to my great HTC Desire phone, or I have to consider changing it ...

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

PayPal launches In-App Payment library for Android

Good news for Android developers who would like to make some money with their great apps: PayPal launches an in-app payment library for Android platform. Wow - just how cool is that? iPhone OS has provided an in-app purchase feature for over a year already, a feature that is sadly still missing from Android platform today. Some desperate developers have implemented even their own solution - which tends to be quite bad idea for several reasons, such as legal and security issues involved.

Fortunately, PayPal have been developing a payment solution for Android called Mobile Payments Library which they just announced. Android developers can utilise the library to integrate PayPal payments into their applications. With the help of library, the end users will be able to make purchase transactions without ever leaving the application. The main benefit for developers, is that PayPal takes care of those nasty legal and security issues.

Of course, PayPal's solution is still a third-party solution, and inherently not as good as a seamlessly integrated native platform solution like the iPhone's in-app payments system. I hope that Google will address this issue in very near future by providing a proper Android mobile payments service and related API(s). Meanwhile, I think that PayPal's technology provides a viable solution for those Android developers that are not able to deliver paid apps via Android Market (like us living in Scandinavia).

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Dolphin Browser HD for Android 2.0+ phones

I just installed the brand new Dolphin Browser HD for Android 2.0+ phones. My first impressions are really positive. The browser is fast, and I like new UI that is based on tabbed windows which can be swiped. This new version provides also a gesture based navigation which can be configured with your own gestures. Add-ons and themes are now available for extending the features and for customization. It is interesting to compare it with Opera Mini 5 browser and Android's native browser in my daily web browsing.

HTC Desire

HTC Hero is my first Android phone. I have been quite happy with it. However, I wanted to upgrade to a more powerful phone with a higher resolution display and running Android 2.1. After comparing the Android phones available here in Finland, I ended up having two alternatives:
Google Nexus One and HTC Desire. These two phones are almost identical - at least hardware wise. Both phones are manufactured by HTC. I decided to buy HTC Desire, basically for the following two main reasons: Desire is about 100 € cheaper than Nexus One here in Finland, and it features the Sense UI which I loved already in HTC Hero. I have been using HTC Desire now for couple of weeks, and I have to say that I really like it. HTC Desire is fast and responsive, features superb AMOLED display, and has a nice industrial design that feels comfortable on hand. Furthermore, the improvements in and extensions to Sense UI provide even better user experience than in HTC Hero. I am also impressed the quality of the software. I have not yet experienced any software crashes nor any other problems worth mentioning. So, really an awesome phone - I love it.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Dropbox for Android available!

The free (and official) Dropbox app for Android is now available from Android Market. Go and get it :)