Google Maps has hit a new milestone as the first Android application to surpass the 50 million download mark. The free application has seen many revisions since its public introduction in 2008 — as part of Android 1.6 — and now includes 3D modeling with multi-touch zoom and panning, free voice-guided turn-by-turn navigation, and support for Google’s Latitude and Places products. Given that it’s available on every iteration of Android — that we can think of — we’re not surprised to learn it’s the most downloaded application ever. Congrats to the Google Maps team. More →
Google announced Monday that an update to the Android Market has started rolling out to devices. On its Android Market Facebook page, Google stated that the Market refresh will be pushed out to all devices running Android 1.6 or later over the next two weeks. Some users have already reported receiving the update, which apparently creates a much more appealing Market experience. Among the listed improvements are a better UI, faster searches, more information about apps and an improved ratings system. More →
Google has released their latest Android platform distribution numbers, and it looks like Android 2.1 — Eclair — is dominating. In a report from last month, Google reported 50% of the Android install-base was running version 2.1 of the mobile operating system, however, in just one months time that number has jumped 5.5%. Other highlights include Android 2.2 (Froyo) having 3.3% of the platform pie, with Android 1.6 registering in at 22.1% and Android 1.5 at 18.9%. Apparently, Android 2.0 and 2.0.1 have fallen into the “statistically insignificant” category. Hopefully, when the next report comes out, Android 2.2 will have a much bigger slice of the pie… if you know what we mean. More →
Google likes to keep a close eye on what percentage of its mobile OS, by version number, is out in the wild. Google accomplishes this chore by polling Android devices that check-in to Google’s Market application; they then publish a bi-weekly report to developers. Today, the latest report was published, and it looks like Android 2.1 has hit the 50% mark for worldwide Android handsets saturation. The platform breakdown looks like this: Android 2.1 – 50.0%, Android 2.01 – 0.3%, Android 2.0 – 0.1%, Android 1.6 – 25.0%, Android 1.5 – 24.6%, Android 1.1 – 0.1%. Hopefully, in the coming weeks, we see the number of 1.5 and 1.6 instances go down and the number of 2.1 and 2.2 instances go up. How about it Android Nation, what handset are you rocking and what OS version are you running?
A huge leap forward in the Canadian smartphone world today as TELUS has started to sell the Motorola MILESTONE. The first Android handset to go on sale in Canada that’s actually capable of holding its own against the likes of the Bold 9700, iPhone 3GS and Touch Pro2, the MILESTONE goes for $199.99 on a 3-year voice and data contract with no term pricing coming in at $599.99. At these prices we can’t imagine TELUS will have a hard time selling the MILESTONE to smartphone crazed Canadians, but then again we know better than to expect Canadians to warm up to Android after the disaster Rogers had on its hands with the Dream and Magic. Anyway… Any Canadians tempted to unlock a few and sell them off to desperate AT&T users at exorbitant prices? More →
Last year’s CES was a veritable snooze fest save for unveiling of the Palm Pre and webOS, but this January’s show looks to be much more promising thanks in part to Dell. As anyone who frequents this site will recall, a prototype MID made by Dell known as the Streak was recently shot up while on vacation in Vietnam with its 5″ WVGA touchscreen display, 5 megapixel camera, Wi-Fi, 3G radio and Android 2.0 in tow. It is this device that Pocket-lint has been told will try and take center stage at CES at a time when big-time nerds the world over are salivating over anything and everything tablet. But we have to ask: with devices like the ARCHOS 5, JooJoo and mythical Apple tablet already available/on the horizon, are any of you guys and gals excited for the year of the MID, or do you already have enough techno-crap eating away at your monthly paycheck? More →
Alongside today’s release of Android SDK 2.0.1, Verizon Wireless has announced that an OTA update for the Motorola DROID will be available “within the coming weeks.” What’s in line to be fixed? Voice reception and the 5 megapixel camera’s nearly legendary inability to focus on subjects, amongst other things. In case you glossed over the snippet of a quote above, we still don’t have an availability date, but the last time we took a look at the ol’ rumor mill it appeared December 11th was the special day. So sit back, relax by the fire with some egg nog and keep while we keep on the lookout for the first signs of release. We promise we’ll let you know.
Man is our Mandarin rusty! Our friends over at Mobile Android China seem to have of the first live photos of the Motorola Sholes Tablet (codename). The specs that we’ve been given to mull over are pretty impressive: 550MHz OMAP TI 3430 processor (same as the DROID), 3.7″ touch screen, 800 x 480 resolution, HDMI port, 3.5mm headset jack, UMTS/HSPA, 8 megapixel camera, and a xenon flash; all running on Android 2.0, probably 2.1 at time of launch. While we’re not exactly thrilled with the blue soft touch finish on the back of the device — Napoleon came and went — we hope this little number makes its way out of Motorola’s R&D department and onto the market here in the States soon, ’cause we likey. More →
It comes as no surprise to us that the Motorola DROID has been seeing some really successful sales numbers since its release. As a matter of fact, it is getting mighty close to its target of finding one million hands by the end of the fourth quarter. Actual sales figures are reported to be somewhere in the neighborhood of 700,000 to 800,000 devices sold, which is nearing Verizon and Motorola’s goal and already well over analyst predictions. If Verizon sees a big holiday push, that number can easily crawl over the one million mark. It doesn’t hurt to have a $100 million ad campaign — it’s definitely paying off, but what we want to know is how many of you contributed to those sales numbers and if you’re happy with your decision so far. Share your experience in the comments!
HTC has been rather candid when it comes to Android 2.0, having previously stated it will distribute the OS once it finishes optimizing its compatibility with Sense UI. Over the weekend, French tech blog Be Geek posted some screenshots of a Hero running Android 2.1 complete with — you guessed it — Sense UI. No details accompanied the screenshots, it’s quite clear (at least to our eyes) that no major changes have been made to the overlay, although we can’t say the same for the so far mysterious OS until we see more of it. The question is, will HTC release Android 2.0 or skip it and on its way to 2.1?
Thanks to everyone that sent this in! More →
We and everyone else that has managed to get some hands on time with the Motorola DROID came to the same two conclusions — it’s a damn good smartphone, but its camera couldn’t focus for beans. Overnight, however, our tips line was literally flooded with reports that the DROID’s autofocus camera was finally doing its job and, well, automatically focusing. First reporters were humorously utterly convinced that their wiping off the anti-glare coating on the lens was responsible for the improvements, but as more and more people starting chiming in it became increasingly apparent that someone, somewhere was hard at work behind the scenes pushing out a silent update ahead of the oft-discussed OTA update due out on December 11th. Such a silent update is a bit of an odd move, but to be perfectly honest, it could go either way. We’re not convinced it improved our camera performance as we never had an issue focusing. Our issue was even though the boxes went green to signal a “lock” our pictures still came out blurry. But we’re curious; how many of our readers with a DROID have experienced a tremendous improvement in camera performance?
Thanks to everyone that sent this in!
Our favorite live video-broadcasting service just upped the ante last night. Qik has gone ahead and introduced not only support for Android 2.0 and the Motorola DROID, but the capability to stream 720×480 video live right from the handset. Because the camera supports that resolution, dummies. We’ve taken it out for a spin and have been pretty blown away by the video quality and also the updated interface and UI. If you want to download the DROID-specific version, you’ll need to shoot an email over to Qik. Sample video and the email address along with press release is after the break.
Pardon us while we think out loud, but that high resolution screen with an HTC Sense UI-looking clock/weather widget looks like Android to us. We’ve also confirmed that this photo was taken of a Verizon handset, and with all signs pointing to an impending release, we’re just going to venture out on a limb and say that we believe this photo is of HTC’s next Android device for Verizon Wireless. In case you forgot, the rumored device we’re talking about is supposedly one bad ass piece of telephonery — 5 megapixel camera, Android 2.0, and much, much more. One of connects said this thing could be out as early as Black Friday, and while it seems a little far fetched, we’re slowly coming around to the possibility.
UPDATE: Actually, I meant to write mid-December. Our previous scoop said either the Curve2 or Dragon would come out around Black Friday, and we know that the Curve2 is being released on November 20th.