Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Google Music India!

Google has always been treating us with its various flavors of features. And this time its Google Music...
Google music is one comprehensive compilation of Indian music, you can find any music from late 60's to latests numbers on the list.

So all you need to do "IS TO LISTEN" :)

Monday, March 28, 2011

Nexus S NFC payment system due later in 2011 with Citigroup and MasterCard

Google is reportedly working with bank Citigroup and credit/debit card provider MasterCard to launch an Android based payments system using the NFC technology baked into the Nexus S. According to the WSJ‘s sources, Google will release an app later in the year which allows Citigroup customers to swipe their phones on VeriFone-made NFC enabled payment terminals.

The same app may allow for payment history tracking along with coupons and other personalized offers to be pushed. On the flip side, Google –and its retailer partners –would be able to gather greater information on shopping habits, and thus better tailor its advertising.

Google would apparently not take a cut of the transaction fees, instead only getting a foot in the door on better quality analytics. The search giant was previously tipped to be readying NFC payment trials in San Francisco and NYC.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Charge Anywhere update turns Nexus S into full-on mobile payment terminal

Processing mobile payments via an external dongle? That's so early 2011. Charge Anywhere has a less troublesome idea, and if you're the lucky owner of a Google Nexus S, you could soon be accepting cold, hard virtual cash via NFC. For those already familiar with the space, you'll know that this very company already has applications out for the iPhone, BlackBerry and Android devices, but all of those obviously require a credit card swiping mechanism to be connected. According to CNET,the latest version will include support for the NFC module embedded within the Nexus S, enabling it to be a full-on mobile payment terminal with no additional hardware required. Both MasterCard PayPass and Visa Blink payments could be ingested, but don't go searching for the update in the Android Market; the company's done with the new build, but it won't be let loose to the public until it's ran past larger customers first. We don't get the impression that the NFC-compatible version will run any more than the $9.99 per month, but it's obviously a wait-and-see affair for now.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Sony Ericsson confirms Gingerbread for XPERIA X10

Sony Ericsson’s decision earlier this year to freeze OS updates for the XPERIA X10 met with no small amount of disgust from owners of the smartphone, and their complaints were certainly vocal. Now, however, Sony Ericsson has backtracked and changed its mind,announcing that Android 2.3 Gingerbread will now be headed to the X10 at end Q2/early Q3 this year.

Sony Ericsson describe the decision as a response to consumer feedback and a side-effect of developing Gingerbread for the 2011 model range. There are a few things to consider, however. The update will be for generic handsets, not carrier-modified versions, and there’s no guarantee that the latter will ever get Gingerbread. The XPERIA X10 mini and mini pro won’t be getting Gingerbread, and Sony Ericsson says this really will be the final update for the X10 –it’ll see no subsequent updates after 2.3. There’ll also be some limitations compared to the XPERIA Arc and other 2011 handsets:

The current plan is that the XperiaTM X10 will get the Android standard Camera user interface and therefore features like e.g. face recognition, smile shutter etc will be lost.

Moxier is replaced by the gingerbread native EAS functionality.

Mediascape is being replaced by the media experience widgets and music player included in our new 2011 products.

DRM keys for protected content on your phone will be lost in the upgrade process.

The Sony Ericsson Backup and Restore client is not supported in the Gingerbread version and will therefore be lost.

Support for bi-directional languages will be reduced compared to the latest version of the 2.1 version of the XperiaTM X10.

Still, we have to give Sony Ericsson credit for changing its mind on a decision that left a lot of people furious about being early-adopters of the company’s handsets.

BlackBerry opens up the PlayBook tablet to Android apps

The whispers our pals at CrackBerry first planted in our heads last May are true (and again this spring) -- Android applications are coming to the BlackBerry Playbook via BlackBerry App World.

We'll let that sink in for a minute.

Here's the deal: Any app that runs on Android 2.3 will work, RIM says. There will be a pair of optional "App Players" that provide the runtime for the android applications. There will be compatible APIs, so developers should be able to easily port their apps. The apps will be downloaded from RIM's App World and run in a secure sandbox. So we're not talking low-level stuff here.

From the press release:

Developers will simply repackage, code sign and submit their BlackBerry Java and Android apps to BlackBerry App World. Once approved, the apps will be distributed through BlackBerry App World, providing a new opportunity for many developers to reach BlackBerry PlayBook users. Users will be able to download both the app players and the BlackBerry Java and Android apps from BlackBerry App World.

The PlayBook goes on sale April 19, but Android applications won't be able to run at launch. Instead, RIM will show off the new App Players and demo Android apps at BlackBerry World in Orlando on May 3-5.

Said RIM president and co-CEO Mike Lazaridis:

"The BlackBerry PlayBook is an amazing tablet. The power that we have embedded creates one of the most compelling app experiences available in a mobile computing device today. The upcoming addition of BlackBerry Java and Android apps for the BlackBerry PlayBook on BlackBerry App World will provide our users with an even greater choice of apps and will also showcase the versatility of the platform."

So, yeah. Android applications will be able to run on the PlayBook. But the apps can't be all that deep, and will be running in some sort of emulation layer. But perhaps it's a all a middle ground to entice Android developers to go all-in with the BlackBerry NDK and do real ports, and not just emulation. We'll just have to see. Full presser's after the break.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Samsung sees a Retina Display

Samsung gazed into its crystal ball today, and what did it see? The pixel density of tablet screens drastically increasing. Yes, while Apple may not have managed to cram a screen into the iPad 2 worthy of the Retina moniker, it sounds like Samsung may be working on just such a thing, as the company projects that it will have tablet displays with 300 to 400 pixel-per-inch resolutions by 2015. Presently, the Samsung Galaxy Tab has a seven-inch, 1024 x600 panel, which translates to only about 170ppi, but Samsung suggests that tablets of the exact same size might stretch well beyond 1080p desktop resolutions as pixel density increases, and yet still manage a respectable 8 to 10 hours of battery life. Samsung also said that while it's still waiting to see if consumers adopt stereoscopic 3D, it might be interested in joining the throng, perhaps bringing a glasses-free tablet display to market in the years to come. Curious what else the future might hold, according to Samsung

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Google Chrome 11 with voice search!

There is a hidden new feature in Chrome 11: Speech input that is integrated in web pages in a similar way as you would use your Android phone. It’s not perfect yet, but the recognition rate of spoken words is impressive. Is Google planning a release of Chrome for Android?

Google published a new beta release of its Chrome browser, which updates the browser to version 11.0.696.16. However, it’s not the new Chrome icon and it’s not the GPU-accelerated 3D CSS that makes this release special. It is the integration of the HTML5 speech input API.

It is a Google-proprietary feature at this time, which has been submitted to the W3C (thanks to the guys over at c’t for finding this submission) with the request to turn the technology into a specification as part of the HTML5 framework. There is a basic demo Google has set up to demonstrate the speech recognition engine, which works just like Google’s Android speech recognition integration: The speech-to-text translation rate is impressive, as long as there is clear speech input. What would be nice is if this engine could detect different languages automatically. At this time, the feature only works in the language of the web browser version.
So, input in German in an English version of Chrome results in garbage, as shown above.
Would this be a feature that is enhancing the feature set of Chrome? I am not so sure, as you have to click on the microphone icon to start the speech input anyway and writing your search phrase will be much faster (especially when combined with instant search) than waiting for the speech engine to translate your voice input. However, it could make sense for tablets (and smartphones) where typing is still a bit slower than on a regular keyboard. The problem is that there is no Chrome browser on tablets and smartphones – yet.

Since Google has been working on a touch interface for Chrome recently, and since we are now seeing voice input and we have heard about a possible elimination of the URL bar (which could work very well in tandem with voice search input), we’d be tempted to predict the release of a Chrome browser for Android in the near future.

iRadar For Android

After the successful launch of iRadar for the iOS platform back in October 2010 Cobra Electronics will now launch iRadar for Android users , the company said at the CTIA 2011. The application will be available for users from the 4th of April this year. iRadar is a good safety device providing users with real time information updates and advanced detection systems to keep them secure at all times specially while driving. The application became very popular after its launch for the iOS.

To take advantage of the application users need to purchase a compact, sleek and state-of-the-art laser detector which will then use Bluetooth to communicate with the iRadar application. Android users can download the application to their smartphones for free from the “Android Market” . The main highlight of the application is that it is using an AURA Camera & Driving Hazard Database to alert user at the necessary moments. Another add on for the application is the cloud-based services which many users will definitely like.

Sally Washlow, senior vice president of marketing and sales for Cobra Electronics said ” We’ve been overwhelmed by the positive response and accolades we’ve received for iRadar for iPhone from customers, journalists, trade associations and technology pundits, and we’re pleased to extend this powerful driver safety system to the Android smartphone community.” He added ” We’ve created a very flexible and dynamic platform for delivering in-car safety, peace-of-mind and protection to our customers. We will continue to expand this platform, its capabilities, and our iRadar user community.”

Voice Actions In Application


Google launched Voice Actions in the Google Voice Search for Android — an awesome way to search, control, and communicate on your phone faster than ever before, by using your voice. In this article you will learn how to support voice actions in your app.

Before Starting

Before starting reading this article it would be great if you can take a look a this video, and after start with coding. Enjoy!!!

Supporting the music Voice Action

One of these new Voice Actions lets users find and automatically play music. By speaking something like “listen to They Might Be Giants” into the new Voice Search, users can quickly find the music they want online and play it, using any number of different apps. (Pandora, Last.fm, Spotify, mSpot, and Rdio are among the first apps to support this.)

To do this, we leveraged a very common little piece of Android magic: a new Intent. If you develop a music app that supports open-ended music search, you can make it work with users speaking “listen to” Voice Actions simply by registering for the new intent we’ve defined. This new intent isn’t defined as a constant in the SDK yet, but we wanted to make sure music app developers had all the information needed to use it right away.

Here’s all you should need to know:

-In your AndroidManifest.xml, just register one of your activities for the new intent android.media.action.MEDIA_PLAY_FROM_SEARCH:

-When your activity receives this intent, you can find the user’s search query inside the SearchManager.QUERY string extra:

import android.app.Activity;
import android.app.SearchManager;
public class MusicActivity extends Activity {
public void onCreate(Bundle savedInstanceState) {
String query = getIntent().getStringExtra(SearchManager.QUERY);
// Do something with query...

This will represent everything the user spoke after “listen to”. This is totally open-ended voice recognition, and it expects very flexible search — so, for example, the string could be the name of any artist (“they might be giants”), an album (“factory showroom”), a song (“metal detector”), or a combination of any of these (“metal detector by they might be giants”).

A few subtle details worth understanding about this intent:

Your app should do its best to quickly find and automatically play music corresponding to the user’s search query. The intention here is to get users to their desired result as fast as possible, and in this case, that means playing music quickly.
This will really only work well for music apps that can find music across a very large corpus of options. Because our voice recognition doesn’t currently support any way to provide a list of specific songs to be recognized, trying to use it against a small set of music choices will work poorly — things which are not in the set will be over-recognized, and things which are in the set may not be recognized well. So if you’re not the developer of a large-scale cloud music application, this intent is probably not for you.
I think you’ll find this new intent can greatly enhance your music app’s experience for users. And we hope you enjoy these Voice Actions.

Comments and Suggestions are welcome!!!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Nexus S 4G confirmed by Sprint

The Nexus S is coming to the Now Network in a 4G flavor. Touted as "Pure Google," this WiMAX-toting device will be the very first to feature "fully integrated" Google Voice -- which means using only one number for all your calls and permits for things like web calling and voicemail transcription. Pretty kool, and potentially even more important than the mere addition of 4G networking. All it took to discover this bit of intel was a casual search for "nexus" on Sprint's web portal, not exactly the hardest snooping job ever. Now it's just a matter of waiting a few more hours until Sprint's CTIA event to hear the full details of its collaboration with Google.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Samsung launches 3D VOD service in Korea, tells US and Europe to get ready

Samsung's promised 3D video streaming service has gotten the official go-ahead in the company's home nation today, bringing to fruition a content partnership with DreamWorks Animation and breathing new life into many 3DTV sets. The machine-translated press release isn't entirely lucid on what content will be provided when, but it looks like movie trailers, music videos and children's education films will start things off, before full-length features and more are added later on. All the new on-demand media will be accessible via the 3D application on Samsung's Smart TV platform. The United States and Europe are next on Sammy's roadmap for this VOD rollout, but don't fret if yo live elsewhere, the service will be available all around the world in due course.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Android Market Developer Console Update

A great update over the developer console has been implemented.

Now you can see the various graphs depicting the various figures e.g. OS, Devices, Countries who downloaded your application and what has been a trend for your application.

Giving a better control and a better vision to the developer.

Android and iPhone comparative Study!

A comparative study was done by CNET. And gave some really interesting results as in order of comparison between Android powered devices and iPhones.

Below is the result for Smartphones,

Also a comparative study for Tablets was performed.
And here are the results!

T-Mobile Sidekick 4G by Samsung Announced with Android

We all knew it was coming, but T-Mobile has just announced the Sidekick 4G,the successor to the insanely popular Sidekick. This time around it's made by Samsung, has a 3.5-inch capacitive touchscreen, powered by the Hummingbird CPU and Android 2.2. Add in a front facing camera, HSPA + network speeds up to 21 Mb/second, and a pretty faithful reproduction of the OG Sidekick's great five-row keyboard, and now it doesn't seem quite so tweeny.

On the software side T-Mobile is offering up two new messaging applications -- "Group Text" and "Cloud Text", Samsung's MediaHub, and a DriveSmart app which is designed to stop texting while driving. The addition of a dedicated app switching key, appropriately called the "jump key" looks pretty interesting as well. We have the full press release after the break, and the Sidekick 4G forums are open for business!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Nexus S Update 2.3.3 Forcefully

First force check for updates by dialing *#*#checkin#*#*, if still haven’t received the Android 2.3.3 OTA update on your Nexus S? Thanks to the guys over at XDA, the update has been packaged into an easy to install, flashable zip file. So if you just don’t want to wait for the update to hit your handset, follow along and take it into your own hands.

1. Download the Android 2.3.3 update file

2. Rename the file to update.zip. (if you’re OS hides file extensions, rename to update to avoid renaming the file to update.zip.zip)

3. Put the update.zip file into your phone’s storage

4. Turn off the phone

5. Turn your phone on by holding the Power and Volume Up at the same time to access the bootloader.

6. Navigate to recovery by using the volume keys, and press power to execute.

7. You’ll only see a triangle with an exclamation point in it at this point, so hold down the Power button and hit the Volume up button for the recovery menu to appear.

8. Using the volume keys again, go down to “apply update from /sdcard” locate update file and press power to start the update.

9. When the update is completed, reboot the Nexus S and you’re good to go!

AND ENJOY 2.3.3 on your Nexus S

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1

Samsung is out with its new Galaxy Tab 10.1.
With 8MP rear camera , 2MP front facing camera , and Running Honeycomb as its OS Galaxy Tab 10.1 has entered the race of Tablets running Honeycomb.

- Galaxy Tab 10.1 is having 10.1" Display (1280 x 800)
- 1 GHz Dual -Core processor
- Dual surround sound speaker
- HD playback!

A WiFi only tablet has been launched.
With Galaxy Tab 10.1 Samsung is all set to enter the race of Tablets.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Motorola Xoom gets custom car dock

If you have thought about how awesome it would be to use your Motorola Xoom as an in car media player, or for navigation, you are not alone. Android Central forums member 3800scpowered took to creating a custom car dock for the Xoom for this very reason. With the use of some aluminum, and the standard desk dock for the device, a rather unique, yet professional looking car dock for the Xoom was created. It's wired for power from the car to keep it charged while on the go.

Hulu Plus coming to some Froyo phones 'soon'

After its announcement back at CES,we have heard next to nothing about Hulu Plus coming to Android. Well, Hulu has now gone and thrown up an image of a Nexus S along with a "coming soon" for "Android OS 2.2 phones" on their list of Hulu Plus compatible devices. As the Nexus S is an Android 2.3 "Gingerbread" phone, we can presume that Froyo is the minimum OS requirement. Tablets are not specifically mentioned so it may well be that only phones will be supported at launch. Either way, hopefully this means that the app really is "coming soon" and we will have our questions answered (as well as satisfying our need to watch Fringe on the go) shortly.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Pwn2 Own hacking contest No one hacks Android !!

Pwn2 Own hacking contest is all about hacking the OS, Browsers and Softwares who claim them self to me UNBEATABLE!!!
There are money award to those that are able to hack the software in some instances. Google put in its Chrome browser and the Android OS to see if anyone could Hack em in!
Google made it through the competition with no one reportedly able to hack Chrome or Android.The same can’t be said for the iPhone 4 with the browser on the iPhone falling and the smartphone being hacked during the contest as well. Along with Android, Windows Phone 7 survived the hack contest.
Exactly what hacks were used to gain control of the devices hasn’t been announced. The Google Chrome browser was running a chrome OS Cr-48 notebook when the hackers tried to break it. It’s nice to see the OS is secure despite all the malware that has been popping up in the Android Market lately.

A hacker exploited a zero-day flaw in Internet Explorer 8 using a technique that bypassed Microsoft's Data Execution Prevention technology and Address Space Layout Randomization security features. The hacker, who remained anonymous, then exploited a zero-day flaw in the Apple Safari and Mozilla Firefox browsers. The hacker was rewarded with $15,000 from the coffers of the TippingPoint DVLabs Zero-day Initiative.

Google also had said it would pay $20,000 to anyone who successfully attacked Google code as part of the Chrome contest.

Sony with NVIDIA, Tegra-powered Android Phones

Sony’s Play Station Suite is coming to NVIDIA Tegra-powered Android phones and tablets later this year. The news comes straight from an announcement posted in the graphics adapter manufacturer’s Tegra Zone app, which also reveals that there is a plan to eventually release Play Station 2 games for mobile devices through Sony’s software framework.

In case you’ve not read much about it, think of Play Station Suite as a sort of portable PlayStation Network Store, providing downloadable gaming content from Sony for devices which meet the so-far-unannounced “PlayStation Certified” requirements. Although Suite is considered “hardware-neutral” — meaning it is not tied to any specific piece of technology the way Apple’s App Store is — this is the first indication that it will be available on something other than Sony Ericsson’s XSperia Play, the so-called “PlayStation Phone.”

The “hardware-neutral” status means that a wider range of supported devices was expected and today’s news confirms it, though there’s no mention of exactly which devices will qualify as “PlayStation Certified.” NVIDIA’sTegra 2 sports a dual-core processor — the company also has a couple of quad-cores in the works — which makes it ideal for bringing console-quality gaming experiences to the world of mobile devices.

No date was given for when PS2 games might be arriving, though it’s a safe bet that they’ll probably be held back until quad-core mobile processors are more readily available. Support for PSOne games had already been confirmed with the previous announcement of PlayStation Suite alongside the Xperia Play, and it looks like Wild Arms, Cool Boarders and Syphon Filter are expected to launch this year.

Adobe Flash Player 10.2 leaks out, running on Honeycomb, Gingerbread and Froyo

Well, that didn't take long. Just half a day or so since Adobe announced that Flash Player 10.2 would drop for Android on March 18,and the darn thing's already leaked out. This is the version that the Motorola Xoom has been waiting for,of course. So we fired it up on a Xoom, and -- behold, Flash! It's also running decently on our CyanogenMod 7 device (that's Gingerbread for you teetotallers), and our man Alex has it on his Froyo'd HTC Desire. That's not to say there's not some stuttering, still, but who's to say if this is a final build -- or if it's early and busted. If you're the adventurous type, give it a shot.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Entrepreneur Mobile now available in the Android Market

Looking to start your own business, become an entrepreneur? Then you'll certainly find yourself reading a lot of information about the rights and wrongs of getting things started. Luckily, Entrepreneur Magazine has released their mobile application that allows you to access their vast library of how-to's and best practices.

The information it presents to you is customizable by your interests. All of which can be saved and stored for later reading through the app. If you're seeking advice or answers to some of your upstart business concerns then give Entrepreneur Magazine a look. The app is free and available in the Android Market right now.

OpenFeint & The9 throw $100 million on table to lure iOS developers to Android

Over the past couple of months Android has certainly seen an increase in quality games coming to the platform, but OpenFeint is just not 100 percent satisfied with the comparison of iOS games to Android games. Taking matters into their own hands, OpenFeint has partnered with The9 in order to build up a $100 million fund that will help developers make the transition from iOS to Android.

We launched on Android to bring gamers great content. We’ve already helped launch 250 great games, but there’s still work to do,” said Eros Resmini, VP of Marketing at OpenFeint. “There’s a treasure trove of great games on iOS waiting for the rest of the world to discover. This fund will help make that possible for indie game developers.

We can sure hope that developers will begin to take advantage of these funds, and bring their favorite games to the Android platform. For more information about the partnership and the funding, check out the full presser after the break.

OpenFeint Partners with The9 To Select Game Developers to Move to Android, Backed by $100 Million Fund9
Burlingame, Calif. – March 09, 2011 – OpenFeint, the leading cross platform social gaming network, and The9, an online game operator and developer in China, today announced a new way for top game developers to help fund their move to Android. The initiative is backed by the $100 million Fund9, a Chinese-based mobile internet development fund. OpenFeint and The9 will review and select top games and will fund their port to Android and OpenFeint integration. The companies will also pick select games to expand to China and willfacilitate their localization.

Games will be chosen based on the quality of the game, past download performance in other app stores, and the strength of the game developer. Interested developers should email androidfund@openfeint.com to express interest and learn more about the opportunity.

“We launched on Android to bring gamers great content. We’ve already helped launch 250 great games, but there’s still work to do,” said Eros Resmini, VP of Marketing at OpenFeint. “There’s a treasure trove of great games on iOS waiting for the rest of the world to discover. This fund will help make that possible for indie game developers.”

The $100 million Fund9 is a Chinese-based development fund that invests in mobile app, game engine, and platform technology developers around the world. Announced last December, the fund is a collaboration amongThe9, China Rock Capital Management, Chengwei Ventures, and China Renaissance K2 Ventures.

“Fund9 is focused on bringing the best mobile apps and platform technologies to China. Our partnership with OpenFeint is a great first step. We are excited to see some great games on Android devices in China soon,” said Chris Shen, Vice President at The9.

OpenFeint is the largest cross platform social gaming network with over 68 million players in 4,800 games. Launched just last September on Android, OpenFeint already has spawned several top 10 Android hits, including Fruit Ninja, Super KO Boxing 2, and Flick Kick Field Goal Kickoff.

The9, established in 1999 as one of the leading game developers and operators in China, has stepped into the mobile internet field and now working with major telecom carriers and application distribution channels in China with high speed growth.

Android is outselling Iphones says Tesco

have surpassed those of Apple Iphones for the first time at Tesco, the mega-mart has announced.
The devourer of greenfield sites says it is seeing a huge switch in customer demand. Iphones had been outselling Android handsets two-to-one before Christmas but now phones running the open source OS are racing past Steve Jobs' creation. January saw the two neck and neck and February saw Android overtake.
Graham Harris, CEO of Tesco Telecoms and Tesco Mobile said, "As one of the UK's leading operators, these sales are a useful barometer for smartphone trends. There is a lot of choice in the market and as a result consumers are driving healthy competition between rival operating systems."
Showing once again that Apple produces premium priced products for a small sector of the market only, Tesco Mobile said that the rise of Android smartphones is due to their affordability.
To drive home the point about Android growing fast, Tesco Mobile also said that its sales trend "underpins recent statistics released by industry analysts Gartner". Those statistics say that Android sales grew by nearly 900 per cent from 2009 and that 67.2 million Android-based units were sold in 2010.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

ViewSonic ViewPad 10 Dual-Boot Android / Windows 7 Tablet Available Today

Behold the ViewSonic ViewPad 10 dual-boot tablet that allows you to work in either Android 1.6 (weird!) or Windows 7 on demand. This device runs a 10-inch 1024 x600-pixel touchscreen display, 1.66GHz Intel Atom processor, has a total of 2GB of memory, connects via Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR, and has a 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera for video chat. The odd thing about this device (if all those specs weren’t enough) is that we were introduced to a very similar tablet by the name of ViewPad 10 Pro, one that ran Android 2.2 Froyo, at Mobile World Congress 2011.

Another odd bit is that we were told that the “Pro” would be running Android 2.2, and that this “Pro” version would replace the ViewPad 10. THEN he said that the ViewPad 10 would be sent an OTA update to Android 2.2 Froyo in March (aka now) to update it to the level of the Pro, which should also be released on March. What in the world? Either we’re just losing our minds, or ViewSonic really needs to differentiate their model numbers with more than a letter of a number.

That said, having the ability to boot to either Windows or Android in one device does seem fun, if not unnecessary. In our experience, working with a tablet means you’ve got a certain number of things you want to accomplish, thus you pick the one that’ll accomplish them. Having two systems on one single tablet to us seems indecisive.

Google Instant Preview comes to Android

Google Instant Previews, the search feature that shows snapshots of web pages along side search results has finally made its way to Android and iPhone handsets. Users of Android must have vs. 2.2 (Froyo) or above, while iPhone users must have iOS 4.0 and above to take advantage of the new search feature. Users don’t have to download or update anything at all to use the new feature either. All they need to do is search for a topic and the click on the magnifying glass on the right of the results (note, not the search bar).

This will navigate to a new page that will have snapshots of different pages that users can then swipe through, with titles of each page overlayed with more information of the page featured. To get back to original results, just hit the back arrow. The preview will also provide both full and mobile versions of the sites so that users can have a choice or to take advantage of a mobile optimized version of any given site. That’s a godsend for smaller screen smartphones where users have to spend time looking around with their finger constantly swiping.

Google has done a great job seamlessly integrating this useful and popular feature and it should make search even faster and more useful than before. The search function is available to phones in 38 languages starting today.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

WindPad Android

We’ve been passed a video apparently filmed during CeBIT in Germany by The Inquirer of a relatively new, not yet released, but not completely unannounced Android 3.0 Honeycomb tablet by the name of Windpad. The full name they’re going with thus far is MSI WindPad 100A, MSI of course standing for our good pals at Micro-star International, a Taiwanese electronics firm that was more than glad to show off the pad to an intrepid reporter. This tablet is approximately the same size as the Motorola XOOM at 10.1-inches in the display (capacitive), but has some excellent if not odd features that are quite enticing.

First you’ll notice the trackpad –but wait, where is it? It’s essentially invisible, sitting right up there in the upper right hand corner for you to use with your thumb so that you’ll not have to hold the tablet with one hand, a practice which the presenter says is unhealthy. At the moment we’re not entirely sure if what we’re seeing along the righthand side of the display is four physical buttons or if it’s just dips in the glass showing where four buttons are accessible by touch –and is the trackpad a nubbin, or a tiny flat pad? We’ll see soon enough.

Inside is what we hear will be a 1GB Tegra 2 dual-core processor, a completely custom user interface (that more than likely every developer from here to Japan will reduce back to Honeycomb basic,) which includes a dock showing home, web browser, books, gallery, movies, music, and apps –which we believe means we’ll be able to fill this dock with whatever we like. Either way though, again, more than likely this UI will either change before the release or be changed by hackers once its out. Additionally, we know this tablet will have storage of 32GB in an solid state drive. On the back of the tablet there’s a 5-megapixel camera while the front has a 2-megapixel camera.

Along the righthand side, (and remember we’re landscape here,) is a full-sized USB port (for a keyboard, says the presenter) as well as a power cord port. On the left side you’ll find a power button, miniUSB port, HDMI port, SD card reader, headphone jack, and a switch that locks the orientation of the screen. There will be two versions shipped, though we’re not sure where and on what carriers, one just Wifi and the other 3G. The unit weighs in at 800g which is 1.764 pounds which, as you may already know, is about .1 pounds heavier than the XOOM.

MPSI WindPad 100A Honeycomb Tablet with Tegra 2 Dual-Core Processor Demoed in [Video] - http://pulsene.ws/14kKS

Android edges out BlackBerry and iPhone

While I always tend to take all these user numbers with a grain of salt, the latest ComScore results are rather interesting and certainly worth noting. For the first time, Android has surpassed Research In Motion as well as Apple within the ComScore ranking period of the past three-months ending in January 2011. As noted by ComScore:

65.8 million people in the U.S. owned smartphones during the three months ending in January 2011, up 8 percent from the preceding three-month period. Google Android captured the #1 ranking among smartphone platforms for the first time in January with 31.2 percent market share. RIM ranked second with 30.4 percent market share, followed by Apple with 24.7 percent. Microsoft (8.0 percent) and Palm (3.2 percent) rounded out the top five.

While interesting to see, it's not really surprising in anyway. Android continues to grow and as more manufacturers step up to make use of Google platform a slow down in market growth doesn't appear to be in site. While I personally shed a tear for BlackBerry, Research In Motion is in a transition period and will be for quite some time. This is an Android and Apple time now, with Microsoft working there way back into relevancy.

Android edges out BlackBerry and iPhone in recent ComScore survey - http://pulsene.ws/14jb2

Google Map trafic navigation

If you're not the sort of person who explicitly trusts GPS and mobile navigation, move on. For everyone else, Google's just flipped the switch on a cool little feature for Google Maps Navigation (which we're reminded yet again is still technically a beta product). Now, when you're driving and using a Google Maps Nav route and have traffic up ahead, the app will automatically route you around it. And you don't have to touch a thing. From the Google Mobile Blog:

You don’t have to do anything to be routed around traffic; just start Navigation like you normally would, either from the Navigation app or from within Google Maps. ... Starting today, our routing algorithms will also apply our knowledge of current and historical traffic to select the fastest route from those alternates. That means that Navigation will automatically guide you along the best route given the current traffic conditions.

Hey, whatever keeps us from having to ask for directions is a good thing.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Sprint's nexus site

Just to throw a little more fuel on the fire,it turns out that directing your browser to now.sprint.com/nexus takes you to an landing site where you're told that "this page will be ready soon." Certainly sounds more likely than ever that Sprint's preparing to launch its own variant of the Nexus S -- and if our sources are correct, it'll be called the Nexus S 4G, likely with both CDMA and WiMAX on board. Interestingly, both now.sprint.com/evoview and now.sprint.com/evo3d -- the other two devices in our rumor three-pack from earlier today -- redirect to Sprint's home page rather than giving you an HTTP 404 error, suggesting they're also real. CTIA kicks off in just over two weeks' time where these things are likely to be revealed, but who knows? Maybe they'll give us a little tease ahead of the show
Sprint's Nexus website is 'coming soon' - http://pulsene.ws/14bNo

Ubuntu on Motorola xoom

Since the Motorola Xoom can be rooted and unlocked it was only a matter of time before someone tried loading an OS that shouldn't be on there, onto one. As such, the above video shows us that Ubuntu can indeed be loaded up on the Motorola Xoom and while it's certainly not running at optimal speeds the fact it loads at all gives hope to some. If you fancy jamming Ubuntu onto your Motorola Xoom hit up the source link for the full installation instructions.
Ubuntu on the Motorola Xoom - For better or worse - http://pulsene.ws/14eN7

Friday, March 4, 2011

Angry birds hit 30 million downloads ....

Don't look now, but it would seem that people love them some Angry Birds. A shocker, we know. Rovio announced at the annual Game Developers Conference (GDC) that the free-with-ads Android version of the popular game had been downloaded an astounding 30 million times. What is even more impressive is that Rovio claimed five million downloads back in early December. They said they were pulling in $1 million in ad revenue back then, so some quick math would estimate that they might be raking in north of $6 million per month now. That's a lot of irate avians.

HTC Thunderbolt

HTC ThunderBolt commerical looks good, lacks release date - http://pulsene.ws/13WLK

Google Map 5.2 Released

A new Google Maps update has hit the Android Market, bringing the app to Version 5.2. The latest update from the Google Maps team mostly focuses on the social aspect.

For those of you that use Google's Hotpot,you will now be able to tweet your reviews using the integrated rating widget. The reviews will be appear in searches, Google.com/hotpot,and on Place pages.

In addition to the new tweetable Hotpot reviews, Google Latitude users will now be able to "ping" their friends. The new ping feature will appear in the notification bar. So, now instead of texting, emailing, or calling them, you can just ping them to meetup.

Google has also reminded us that you can also check-in using Google Latitude. The check-in feature was added last month to version 5.1. Not the biggest update in the world, but still, the Google Maps team is always innovating and updating the app.

Here's the changlog:

Post your reviews of places to Twitter

Check in at places with Google Latitude to earn status and share with friends

Ping Latitude friends to ask them to check in. Friends will get a check-in request notification from you.

Search for a place to check in from Latitude if it's not in the suggested list of places.

Full deets are at Google's blog post.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Google body...

Google Body for Android tablets is available once again, for real this time - http://pulsene.ws/13UTm

LG with its tables

LG Optimus Pad listed on Amazon.de for a slightly less crazy €899 - http://pulsene.ws/13qYA

Motorola Xoom

Motorola's Xoom 3G arrives in UK for £600, gets enigmatic listing on Amazon.de for €700 - http://pulsene.ws/13NOV

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Andorid Tablets... Motorola Xoom!

It looks like the previous price of the Motorola Xoom has been confirmed by Motorola’s CEO – Sanjay Jha today. The good news is the tablet won’t cost a whopping $1,199.99 that was previously stated on Best Buy’s preorder site (apparently that was just a placeholder). The bad news is, it’s still pricey. Sanjay Jha has confirmed that their 10.1″ display Honeycomb (Android 3.0) tablet will sell for $799, unsubsidized, by Verizon Wireless.