Google’s open approach with the Android platform means developers can build applications that make use of parts of the operating system that iOS developers can’t even consider if they hope to get their apps approved for distribution through Apple’s App Store. Even still, however, there are a number of Android developers with apps that have been banned from Google’s Android Market for various reasons. While iOS developers looking to get around Apple’s strict policies can turn to Cydia, the third-party app store available to jailbreakers, Android developers with banned apps do not have a centralized location through which they can distribute their wares — but that will soon change. Android developer Koushik Dutta recently revealed that he is working on a third-party application distribution resource that will function much like Cydia does on iOS devices. Dutta, known for his work on custom “CyanogenMod” Android ROMs, published an image of the app listing utility that will allow developers to add products to the store, hinting that progress is being made and we may soon see an initial release. Paid and free apps will be available in the CyanogenMod App Store, and a cut of sales will be taken just as it is in the Android Market. Dutta hasn’t yet announced a launch time frame for the new app store. More →
BlueStacks announced at the Consumer Electronics Show on Tuesday that the company’s Android App Player is coming to the Windows 8 platform. Last year, BlueStacks released the Apps-on-PC program that made thousands of Android apps accessible on Windows-based PCs, and now the company is looking to bring the same program to mobile devices. “The Metro UI is beautiful, but the number one thing Windows 8 is missing is apps,” said BlueStacks CEO Rosen Sharma. “This changes all that.” BlueStacks believes that creating apps for the Windows 8 platform is unnecessary, as most apps built for Android will be able to run on the operating system without any porting. The software will be available in a beta form this February, with a full release coming sometime in the spring. Read on for BlackStacks’ press release. More →
Bluestacks, the team behind the Android app player for Windows, has released the company’s first “Mr.Android” study. Ever wonder what the average Android user may look like? Pretty normal, apparently. Using data collected from Nielsen Media Research along with a survey of Bluestacks’s 145,000 Facebook fans, the company created a composite of what the average Android user looks like and even what kind of clothes typical Android users might wear. Additionally, the chart includes country of origin, phone habits and much more. Interestingly enough, 18% of users have unusually large heads according to the study, while 62% wear jeans and 63% have a significant other. The data was collected between December 12th to December 19th, and it is in no way scientific. The company’s full press release follows after the break.
Beating out popular own-brand apps like Google Search, Gmail, Google Maps and YouTube, Facebook holds the title as the most actively used Android app. Market research firm Nielsen on Monday published the findings of a month-long study to determine the most-used Android apps currently available for the platform. The study made use of Nielsen’s proprietary on-device monitoring software, which has been voluntarily installed by thousands of panelists across the country. Beyond the Android Market itself, Facebook was the most actively-used app on the Android platform over the past 30 days in all age brackets. Among users aged 18 to 24, Google Search was the second most used app in the firm’s new study with 77% of panelists having opened the app over the past 30 days. Gmail and Google Maps followed with 79% a piece, and YouTube slid in behind them with 64%. Following the suite of Google apps was Pandora Radio with a distant 30%. A similar study conducted by Nielsen in July found that Facebook was the third most popular app behind Google Maps and Gmail. Read on for more. More →
BGR reported exclusive details of RIM’s upcoming BBX-based smartphone code-named the BlackBerry Colt earlier this year, and we have since heard that there is going to be a big emphasis on video calling with the company’s first super smartphone. This obviously means the device will feature a front-facing camera. As far as the BlackBerry PlayBook goes, RIM recently demoed OS 2.0 for the PlayBook, an update to the original OS that brings Android app compatibility along with native email and PIM access. As we reported before, however, there were tremendous obstacles that have prevented Research In Motion from shipping native email, calendar, contacts, BlackBerry Messenger, and other core system apps on the new QNX-based operating system. RIM co-CEO Jim Balsillie said during the company’s last earnings call that the PlayBook would see an update in October but unfortunately, RIM is still struggling with these challenges. Hit the break for more. More →
Market research firm Nielsen on Tuesday revealed the 20 most popular Android applications in the United States. Using data obtained from metered device usage as opposed to observations from surveys as most similar data is collected, Nielsen studied Android owners’ app usage over the past month. The result is a ranking of the platform’s top-20 applications by active reach, or the percentage of Android device owners who used each app within the past 30 days. Google’s Android Market topped the charts overall as well as among men and women alike, with a reach of nearly 91%. Google Maps was the second most popular app overall with a reach of 74.6%, and the app was No. 2 behind the Android Market for men with 77.1%. Gmail was third among men (75.5%), Google Search was fourth (72.4%) and Facebook rounded out the top-5 (66.9%). Among women, Facebook (81%) was second behind the Android Market, followed by Gmail (73.4%), Google Maps (71.9%) and Google Search (71.3%). More →
Following the close of RIM’s BlackBerry World 2011 conference, the Waterloo Ontario-based cell phone maker on Wednesday issued two video demos showcasing forthcoming BlackBerry PlayBook features we’ve been very anxious to see. Of course we already wrapped things up with a slightly more interesting exclusive, but current (and future) PlayBook owners will definitely enjoy watching RIM execs show off the tablet’s upcoming native email client as well as its Android app player. The Android player looks very smooth for pre-release software, and the email app has a great UI that should be very familiar to tablet users. We can also get a quick taste of the PlayBook’s upcoming native contacts, tasks and calendar support in the videos, which can be viewed after the break. More →
The BlackBerry PlayBook isn’t just the first tablet out of Research In Motion — it’s the first product to emerge from the company’s new do-or-die strategy. The PlayBook combines and showcases the underlying fabric that will set RIM up for the next 10 years. With RIM rumored to have only started working on the PlayBook within the last 10-12 months, is RIM’s tablet a true, viable competitor in the tablet space? I’ve been using a PlayBook for more than a week now, and I have to say… the PlayBook definitely surprised me in several ways. Hit the break for my full review of RIM’s upcoming BlackBerry PlayBook. More →
Adobe on Monday unveiled the latest version of its Creative Suite software, version 5.5, which includes a new SDK for building smartphone and tablet applications that can interact with its famous Photoshop desktop software. To showcase some of the possibilities brought about by its new SDK, Adobe also introduced three new apps for Apple’s iPad. Adobe Eazel is a finger painting app with enhanced controls and nifty multitouch support, and creations can be stored locally or beamed over Wi-Fi to Photoshop CS5. Adobe Nav allows users to move menus and other controls off of their PC displays and over to the iPad. The app also allows users to view Photoshop documents on their tablet displays. Finally, Adobe Color Lava turns the iPad into a modern color mixing palette that pushes color creations directly to Photoshop CS5. Eazel, Nav and Color Lava will become available some time next month for between $1.99 and $4.99 pending Apple’s approval, of course. In the meantime, hit the break for a video of Adobe’s new apps in action. More →
In a note to investors on Friday, RBC Capital Markets Managing Director Mike Abramsky attempts to put Research In Motion’s fourth-quarter earnings and first-quarter guidance in perspective. RIM reported its fourth-quarter and full-year earnings after the bell on Thursday and shares of RIM stock subsequently plummeted by as much as 12% in after hours trading. Most of the concern seemed to surround RIM’s guidance for the first-quarter of its 2012 fiscal year. Abramsky points out that while investors may be concerned by RIM’s guidance, it likely reflects product transitions rather than intensifying competition. He notes that new product launches and future support for Android applications will help restore confidence in RIM moving forward. While RBC does identify several possible barrier such as a general decline in technology valuations, unknown market acceptance of new products and declining average selling prices of BlackBerry smartphones, the firm reiterates its $90 price target for RIM stock.
It seems like every company on the planet has its own app store these days, though some certainly fare better than others. Falling squarely into the some category is “Samsung Apps,” an app store Samsung launched in June 2010 that is accessible from various smartphones and connected televisions. Samsung on Thursday stated that its app store has now served over 100 million downloads globally less than one year after launch. Samsung Apps is showing no signs of slowing down, either. “We are anticipating that Samsung Apps will show a rapid growth in 2011,” the company said in a statement. In celebration of the 100 million-app milestone, anyone who downloads an app from Samsung Apps between March 25th and April 30th, 2011 will automatically be entered to win one of several prizes including Samsung Galaxy Tab tablets, Galaxy Players, UBS sticks and free app downloads from the Samsung Apps marketplace. More →
The news we reported exclusively many months ago has just been officially confirmed by RIM — the company will indeed support Google Android apps on its BlackBerry PlayBook tablet and on new QNX-based BlackBerry smartphones moving forward. RIM is also offering a suite of tools for Android developers that will allow them to easily port their existing apps to the PlayBook for distribution through BlackBerry App World. RIM’s full press release is after the jump. More →
Research In Motion announced this week that its BlackBerry PlayBook tablet will finally launch next month, thus lighting a fire under several analysts excited to resume their PlayBook bashing. Among them was Stifel analyst Doug Reid, who issued a research note on Wednesday suggesting RIM’s first tablet offering will not deliver on the hype. “First, PlayBook’s lack of basic e-mail and calendar functionality (standalone) immediately gates the device’s addressable market to BlackBerry users, a market of only 55 million,” Reid wrote. He also points to the PlayBook’s lack of a substantial app ecosystem as a barrier, but we already know RIM is working on that. In the end, all of the analyst’s points echoed the countless complaints we’re been hearing for months: the need to tether, the small screen size, the app ecosystem, the fact that it’s late to market, and so on. In the end, we still won’t know until we know — though the PlayBook will certainly shock the majority of analysts and pundits if it sees even the slightest modicum of success at this point. More →