Despite having been launched appriximately 6 weeks before Christmas Day, the Motorola DROID dominated the action in the Android Market on December 25th. According to Flurry, a company that analyzes mobile app stores, 49% of all Android application sales in the Market ended up on a DROID. The runner-up handset was well behind the DROID as T-Mobile’s myTouch 3G was second with 18% of sold apps on the 25th. With 17% and 16% respectively was the HTC Hero (Sprint) and the G1 (T-Mobile). The Android Market as a whole increased sales by 20% from November to December (the iPhone App Store had a 51% during the same period) as DROID users, many of them first time Android owners, loaded apps on their devices. As we previously reported, the Android Market currently houses about 16,000 apps with that number expected by Flurry to rise to as many as 150,000 by next year. Growth in the Android platform is expected to continue to rise sharply in 2010 as more Android devices are launched.
source: Flurry via Softpedia
The Nexus One media train keeps chugging along as the Android handset’s Bluetooth Desktop Dock gets thumbs up from the FCC. The portrait-mode unit will be known as model CR B410. The dock comes with Bluetooth 2.1 +EDR even though the Nexus One is already sporting both. The handset is said to have a docking connector at its base, so the reason for the second Bluetooth radio is a mystery for now. The FCC test shows a configuration where the dock is tethered to a DVD player via an AV jack so that your video can be seen in, say, a living room on a bigger screen. We also have some pictures of the car clip for the Nexus One so you can dream about hooking it up to your dashboard when you win the lottery giving you the opportunity to buy the phone.
source: FCC, Picasa via EngadgetMobile
Those G1 owners who have been green with envy looking at the DROID may soon own a device sporting the same Android OS as Time Magazine’s 2009 Gadget of the Year. According to AndroidSPIN, the G1 is about to receive an OTA firmware upgrade to Android 2.0 or perhaps 2.01. Both versions have been readied for the upgrade. An anonymous tipster tells the site that Non-disclosure reasons are currently holding up the distribution of the upgraded OS. Once the new OS is up and running, the G1 will have gone from being an antique piece to being a up to date, modern device. Another holiday miracle made possible by technology.
source: AndroidSPIN, thanks vzwman
When it comes to selling Android apps on a phone, it looks like every handset maker wants to get into the act. Just a bit more than a week ago, we reported that Motorola was getting into the act with an online store called SHOP4APPS that will sell only Android related applications and be available on the manufacturer’s Android powered devices only. Sony Ericsson has just announced that they will accept submissions of apps and games for Android devices to be part of the joint venture’s PlayNow online content store. One benefit of hooking up with Sony Ericsson is that they feature certain apps on their YouTube channel, like the one below of Layar’s Augmented Reality browser. Imagine the publicity you would receive from having your app featured like that. PlayNow has 70 million users, but until the Xperia X10 is launched, Sony Ericsson has no Android powered handsets itself.
On the other hand, General Mobile has already released the Android flavored DSTL1 and is planning a Android 2.0 model for this year. The manufacturer is also offering its own competition to Android Market with the “Storeoid”. We have some pictures below of what Storeoid will look like, although the apps listed are just for display purposes. Storeoid will be available on General Mobile Android handsets only.
This is how competition starts. You have the Android Market that serves most Android devices. The manufacturers think they can do a better job or they see a niche that the Android Market isn’t filling, and all of a sudden, new Android marketplaces are on the way. Of course, which one you get depends on the name of the manufacturer on your Android phone. For developers, the more places they can offer their wares, the better.
source: Phandroid (PlayNow), AndroidandMe (Storeoid)
*UPDATE: Sony Ericsson has just posted a tweet, informing its customers that it won’t be replacing Android Market with PlayNow on its phones, so those who would rather stick with the standard Android Market will have that opportunity.
It has been just a few hours since our last report on the Nexus One which means we must be running behind. Now we have a 5 minute video showing off Android 2.1 and some still shots featuring the Nexus One with the iPhone 3GS and the HTC Hero. The so-called Google Phone continues to raise blood pressure readings throughout the world and the iPhone might be thinking to itself, “I remember when I used to get that reaction.”
source: htcnexusone via EngadgetMobile
Anyone who has picked up a Motorola DROID has been able to immediately appreciate the build of the device. With a body constructed from metal, the DROID feels solid enough to survive almost anything. While the glass display might seem vulnerable to cracking or breaking during a fall, a technique developed by glass maker Corning has strengthened the display so as to protect it from falls, someone sitting on it or a zamboni running over it.
By taking the glass and sticking it in a special salt bath, you temper the glass by shoving larger ions into the surface of the glass and then compressing it. With Corning’s Gorilla Glass, the ions are larger and penetrate the glass more deeply to make it harder for the glass to scratch or break. This is done through the use of an aluminum composite composition that is light and strong. Now, we have seen pictures of a DROID where the glass shattered and sometimes if the display takes it right on the kisser, it will shatter (the phone, by the way, continued to work perfectly). But the use of the specially developed Corning glass should help many DROID’s survive a butterfingers move without the fatal results that happens to other handsets. Have you dropped your DROID? What were the results?
source: Corning via Gizmodo
Simon Khalaf, CEO of mobile analytics firm Flurry says that because of efforts by Verizon, Motorola and Google to promote the DROID, and thus the Android OS, “A lot of developers have come onto the Android platform”. Thanks to this this, he tells Business Week that the Android Market should go from the currently available 16,000 apps to as many as 150,000 by the end of next year. Khalaf predicts 300,000 downloads available for the Apple App Store by the end of 2010, approximately triple the current count, while the Android Market will have 100,000 to 150,000. His company, Flurry, studies applications and their use.
The recent success of the Motorola DROID, sold through the nation’s largest cellular operator-Verizon-and the leaked news of the HTC Nexus One, has brought much attention to the Android OS. Throw in the number of new Android handsets expected in 2010 and the amount of developers writing for the Market should grow tremendously. Also, the quantity of apps is not as important as the quality of apps. After all, how many fart apps can one person use?
source: BusinessWeek via Phandroid
Whether it’s a matter of a preference to listen to books rather than reading them or the need to focus the attention of the eyes on other matters (i.e., driving), books in audio format have become extremely popular. Seeing a need for Android users, OverDrive has released an audiobook app for Android devices for wirelessly downloading digital audiobooks.
OverDrive is no stranger to ebooks and other digital media. Founded in 1986 and based in Cleveland, Ohio, they distribute ebooks, audiobooks, music and video. Their clients include publishers, libraries, schools and retailers. Their new audiobook app for Android is compatible with MP3 audiobooks with access to over 10,000 libraries and major online retailers like Barnes & Noble, BooksOnBoard.com, and Borders.com. Features include creating and saving bookmarks for later listening so you can resume from where you left off, incremental downloads so you can listen to parts of an audiobook while the rest downloads, and public library audiobooks that automatically expire so you are never subject to late fees.
If you’re too busy to read books, drive a lot, or just plain hate reading, then give Overdrive a test drive on your Android device and see if it works well for your reading lifestyle.
source: Android Community
The Nook (from Barnes & Noble) has faced stiff competition since it entered the e-reader market where Amazon’s Kindle and Kindle 2 have dominated. One of the big criticisms of the Android-powered Nook has been it’s sluggishness, but now Barnes & Noble has rolled out the 1.1 firmware update to address the Nook’s performance issues and has added some additional promotional features.
Along with being a better, faster Nook, the 1.1 firmware update has enabled the Nook to receive local promotions for Nook owners to download and read free content while in a Barnes & Noble store. The promotions will also include freebies from in-house Starbucks and possibly entire books for reading while within the store. The promotional features are a great way for B&N to differentiate the Nook from other e-readers out there. If you are a Nook owner and have received the firmware update, do you notice a performance difference? Please comment!
source: Android Authority
One of BGR’s tipsters passed along to them a list of specs for the upcoming Motorola Opus One. While the list is nothing to (push to) talk about if it were a top of the line handset, considering that it is an iDEN device for Nextel, the total package actually does encompass quite a few features and is the Schaumberg based firm’s first Android iDEN model. Let’s start with the OS which will be Android 1.5. The capacitive touchscreen will measure 3.1 inches with resolution of 320 X 480 pixels and will include an accelerometer and proximity sensor. Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and A-GPS are part of the features included, and while there is actually some support for Flash with FlashLite V3.1X, the audio jack is 2.5mm instead of the usual 3.5mm jack. Go figure that one out. Apps preloaded include a barcode scanner, MOTONAV navigation application, and a corporate email client with ActiveSync support. Under the hood will be the “Zeus” CPU and the Home, Back, Menu and Speaker buttons are capacitive with haptic feedback. The Opus One is loaded with 512MB of Flash and 256MB of RAM. Throw in a 3MP camera with AF and LED flash and you have a full-featured iDEN phone that gives you the fun, finger-friendly navigation and responsiveness of Android with the business sensibilities and quick connections of a PTT handset. Launch date and pricing are still unknown.