If you have been interested in buying a Kindle e-book reader from Amazon, but didn’t want to add another device to carry along with your Android phone, the good news today is that Amazon has released a version of Kindle for the Android Market. Even better news is that the download is free. You must have an Android device running 1.6 or higher which just about covers most phones using Google’s open source OS. The app will allow you to purchase, browse and search from a library of more than 600,000 books. Amazon’s newspaper, magazine and blog library will not be made available to Android users. The Kindle app has already been available for the iPhone and certain BlackBerry devices and will remember the last page you viewed so when you boot up on any platform, it will start your session by opening the app to that page. While the software is free, most premium books will cost you about $10. To install the Kindle book reader for your Android phone, head over to the Android Market, or you can scan the QR code on the source link.
source: Amazon via AndroidandMe
Google recently used its right to remove an installed app from Android phones and the Android Market to get rid of an application that was basically a Trojan Horse. Designed to appear like an app with pictures from the upcoming Twilight Eclipse movie, the app was listed by Jon Oberheide from a security startup, Scio Security. The real purpose of the download was to expose a security flaw that would allow someone with an evil mind to retrieve executable code without the users permission. Google, saying that the developers had lied about the intended purpose for the app, removed it and one other app developed by Oberheide from several hundred Android phones and the Android Market. The security flaw, according to Mr. Oberheide, would allow “an attacker who develops legitimate-looking apps and distributes them on the Android Market (to) gather a large install base and if there was a vulnerability within the Android operating system or Linux (upon which Android is based) the attacker can phone home to see if there is an exploit to download and push it out to all the phones he controls and take complete control of the phone via the kernel,” he said.
Google has an application called “Remote Application Removal Feature” that lets the company wipe out apps installed from the Android Market due to security reasons. One of the removed apps was called Root Strap and did nothing but simply print the message “Hello World” on the screen. The other app, as we said, was made to look like a preview to the new Twilight movie, Eclipse.
As we’ve previously reported, a shortage of parts needed for Samsung to produce the AMOLED screens it makes for Android models has pushed back shipments of Verizon’s HTC Droid Incredible. Since HTC has been unable to get enough of the screens from Samsung, the Taiwan-based company plans on switching to LCD TFT screens manufactured by Sony. This speculation is based on a report in the Korean Herald and comes from Korean carrier KT. The latter firm plans on offering the HTC manufactured Nexus One in July and wrote on its web page that, “Google Nexus One, which will be produced after July will be equipped with SCLD (Super TFT LCD) and sold worldwide.” Google and HTC have changed the production standard for the handset and this will allow for the new screens to be used.
Samsung, the world’s number 2 handset maker, has been using much of the supply of AMOLED screens that it builds. The Samsung Galaxy S is equipped with a Super AMOLED display and with a variant of the device expected to launch on all four major U.S. carriers, the demand for the screen will be huge. An analyst at Kiwoom Securities, Kim Sung-In, said, “For Samsung Mobile Display, there may be not enough AM-OLED displays to supply to companies other than its affiliate Samsung Electronics.” The analyst expects 15-20 million units of the Galaxy S to be sold in the second half of the year. Meanwhile, Samsung’s Mobile Display unit has a annual capacity of 35 million screens. While the Korean based firm says it is running at full capacity, it will try to add more supply by increasing the manufacturing capacity of its 3 inch mobile AMOLED display by 10-fold to 30 million units over the next 12 months.
While many might consider the switch in the N-One to an LCD screen to be a lowering in the phone’s specs, the Sony LCD model to be used will offer higher resolution and consume less power than the AMOLED display it replaces. The contrast level, however, is lower. ” Korean carrier KT says, “AMOLED and SLCD are different technological methods which have their respective strengths and weakness.” So far, HTC has been quiet and CEO Peter Chou has not commented on the situation. Besides the Nexus One and Droid Incredible, other HTC Android phones that use AMOLED screens include the Desire and the Legend. No date was given when the latter three devices will be changing to the Sony LCD screens.
source: KoreaHerald via AndroidandMe
The virtual QWERTY keyboard on the Motorola DROID X has already garnered rave reviews. Right now, it is the only keyboard with multi-touch capabilities that will allow you to hold a button down and press on another key. That can come in handy when you are using the “Shift” key. Some developers have been playing around with the internals of the upcoming handset and now the virtual keyboard is available for any Android 2.1 model to download. The only caveat is that haptic feedback will not work yet, but how many of you like to feel that click or buzz every time you hit a key? You can install the virtual QWERTY to your non-rooted 2.1 device by downloading the .apk file from 4shared, MEGAUPLOAD or xda-developers forum. After you have installed the software, go to Settings > Language & Keybooard, check the “Multi-touch Keyboard” option. To type text in, long press the text box and select the “Multi-touch keyboard”. We have heard that while the keyboard can be ported over to a Froyo packin’ Android, there seems to be a force close issue with Android 2.2.
With many Android owners sitting on pins and needles, waiting for the Android 2.2 upgrade that will give them support for Flash, there already is an app in the Android Market that will play videos smoothly and quickly. Of course, we’re talking about the Skyfire Browser for Android. Half a million users of Google’s open source OS have downloaded the app and Skyfire claims that the browser renders video faster than Flash and does so in a manner that saves on battery life. After a Flash-video is detected by the browser, it re-encodes it through HTML5 and sends it to your mobile device for playback. Unfortunately, the browser only detects Flash video. Games and advertisements will have to wait for Flash 10.1 to be installed on your phone to be viewed.
Right now, only Nexus One owners can have the pleasure of owning a handset that supports Adobe’s Flash 10.1. The rest of the bunch will have to wait, some longer than others. For example, as we told you earlier today, the Motorola DROID should get Android 2.2 which includes Flash 10.1, in late July. While the DROID X will be launched July 15th, as we reported on Wednesday, that super sexy device will get Froyo in late August. So, you can wait and complain and bitch and moan, or you can use a technology that you can get now for free in the Android Market, and catch some of the Flash videos that until now, you have been shut out from watching. Speaking of videos, Skyfire has put together one for your viewing pleasure, right below. You can download the Skyfire browser at the Android Market as we said, or by scanning the QR code at the source link.
According to Google VP Andy Rubin, the company is activating 160,000 Android handsets a day, up from the 60,000 figure reported by CEO Eric Schmidt in February. That works out to 2 Android handsets activated every second of the day. What is behind this amazing surge in Google users? It seems that the increasing number of hot, sexy, super spec’d Android models is behind this momentum. Including the just introduced Motorola DROID X heading to Verizon next month, fully loaded devices like the HTC EVO 4G available at Sprint, the Samsung Galaxy S-which is expected to head to all 4 top U.S. carriers-and the Galaxy S Pro are producing heavy demand for Google’s open source OS. Throw in other well received Android models, some of which are going to get upgraded to Android 2.2, and you have a successful competitor to the iPhone. CEO Schmidt, though, doesn’t think about this being a battle. When asked which company he considers his main competitor-Apple, or Nokia-the executive said, “I try to spend my time not focusing on those questions.”
“How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop?” In the 1970’s, this was a question that many kids and adults pondered. Today, the new question that you can use to kill some time trying to answer is, “How many apps are there in the Android Market?” By the latest count, Google says 68,000 apps is the answer, up from the 50,000 that Google claimed back at Google I/O. Speaking of the Android Market, some are reporting that the service is down today and has been for most of the afternoon. Must be those guys counting the number of apps.
source: androinica, AndroidGuys, Phandroid (Android Market down)
Did someone say that the DROID does neXt? Well apparently it’s looking to do more than that as the Motorola DROID X was officially unveiled today in New York City where we were fortunate enough in checking it out – just a day before Apple launches the iPhone 4. The atmosphere surrounding the event was similar to what we witnessed with the Motorola DROID back in the fall as it managed to bring Android into the mainstream. Naturally there is a lot that the DROID X has to live up to after the original DROID managed to jump start things for Google, Motorola, and Verizon. All the head honchos from Verizon, Motorola, Google, and Adobe were present as they brought the Motorola DROID X center stage for the entire world to see. During the hour long presentation, big names like Andy Rubin of Google and Sanjay Jha of Motorola, were on stage with others as they presented their vision and ideas that ultimately came together in the creation of the Motorola DROID X.
Android’s summer fun might’ve been kick started by the HTC EVO 4G which brought on that larger than life presence that the platform was looking for. However, Motorola wasn’t going to let them have all of the fun as they showed of all of the things what DROID can do – plus we were lucky enough to catch up with all of the action. Taking a look at the Motorola DROID X for the first time, we may not have been as overly impressed by its size now that the HTC EVO 4G has taken flight, but it’s still nonetheless captivating as we can clearly see how they’ve retain some of the key design elements that made the original DROID such a huge success. For a while there, it was suspected to pack on a 4.4” display, but in fact, it tallies in at the same size used by the EVO 4G. After meticulously looking at the display, we noticed the DROID X’s to be a bit longer and narrower – while the HTC EVO 4G’s display was shorter and wider. We had no complaints in viewing the most detailed of text or images thanks to its healthy 854 x 480 resolution. We were especially taken back by how thin the device is versus the HTC EVO 4G, except for the noticeable hump near the top where the camera internals are stored, but it’s construction feels solid – just like how the DROID was built like a tank. Material wise, we were content with their choice of utilizing that soft touch feeling material that doesn’t dirty the handset after some use, while at the same time, it provides for an easy grip. After lugging around the HTC EVO 4G, we were also happy to notice how light weight and evenly balanced the unit is. Overall, the Motorola DROID X happily improves upon some of the design flaws that customers found evident with the original, but it will also enable consumers to take pleasure in its contemporary look.
Neither Verizon or Motorola were calling the interface seen on the device as “Ninja Blur” or “MOTOBLUR,” instead, they were simply referring to it as the Motorola DROID X interface running on top of Android 2.1. Upon turning on the device for the very first time, we were presented with the all too knowing animated DROID eye that’s prominently displayed on all of the home screen panels. Unlike MOTOBLUR’s in your face presentation of aggregating your social networking accounts, the interface on the DROID X is a bit more barren with the default layout out of the box with very few widgets cluttering the available 7 panels at your disposal. Thanks to the 1GHZ processor on board, moving around the new interface is seamless and quick – much faster and smoother than what we experienced on the HTC EVO 4G. It’s strength in speed is further justified as we used the responsive, and we mean responsive, on-screen QWERTY to type something in – it’s by far the most enjoyable Android handset for inputting text. Naturally, Swype is also on board to provide you an alternative method of inputting text if the default one doesn’t meet your needs. Additionally, there are some other applications at your disposal to make the experience gratifying – such as the Blockbuster and NFL Mobile app. The smartphone will have the option to act as a Mobile Hotspot to accommodate up to 5 devices – which is optional and priced at $20 per month. We were also given a demonstration on its HDMI/DLNA capabilities as the handset was able to display a recorded video taken by the DROID X onto a plasma television in full fidelity.
Set to go on sale through Verizon Wireless and a handful of indirect dealers starting on July 15th, the Motorola DROID X is priced accordingly at $199.99 on-contract after $100 rebate. Verizon is looking to attract even more people to side with the power house Android phone by enabling any customer who is eligible for upgrade in 2010 to purchase the handset at the subsidized cost. So if you’re upgrade eligibility isn’t available until this coming October, you’ll be able to upgrade to the handset come launch day and still receive the subsidized cost – so no need to wait until October to do that. Finally, the Mobile Hotspot is optional and will cost you an additional $20 per month if it’s something you’ll need, but it’ll be interesting to see what happens when an Froyo is released later in the summer. We’ve been given a decent dose of what DROID does, but expect to see our in-depth review soon!
Some owners of the Nexus One have been complaining about an unresponsive power button. When pressing down on the button, the phone does not give you the option to power off the phone. And whatever you do, removing the battery is a No-No that can lead to a major problem. Whatever the fault is with the power tab, taking the battery out results in the permanent death of the phone because the power button will not respond to a restart. Thus, trying a battery pull could result in your Nexus One becoming a door stop or a paperweight. Complaints started being recorded just a month after the launch of the handset back in January. The Nexus One forum had posts referring to this issue as soon as February, and HTC has been replacing phones for those with this issue. Click on this link to reach HTC support online. Surprisingly, those who have installed the Froyo update say that it has improved the function of their N-One’s power button. If this problem is making life difficult for you, you can call HTC’s Returns and Repairs division at 1-888-216-4736. After all, having a Nexus One that you can’t turn on is like not having the phone at all.
One negative thing about an open system like Android is that personal data doesn’t get the same level of protection seen on closed systems. For example, A report by SMobile Systems called “Threat Analysis of the Android Market” claims that 20% of the apps in the Market can open up your private data to theft. Looking at 48,694 apps, 29 of them request info from the user that most spyware can use. 8 applications ask for information that can brick your device or make it unusable. 383 downloads could read authentication info from another app and 3% of the Market can be used to send premium priced SMS messages without you knowing about it which also means, without your permission. As the report says, “The Android Market offers flexibility that markets such as the Apple App Store do not by allowing anyone to develop and publish an application to the Market’s consumers. This presents the opportunity to easily defraud innocent consumers for financial gain.” In other words, to offer an open system, there are some risks you must be prepared to take.
source: SMobileSystems via ReadWriteWeb
The smartphone market is simmering at all sides with so many companies vying for a larger piece of the pie in this competitive arena. It’s no wonder why we’ve seen a surge in the amount of smartphones being sold in the course of the last couple of years as more people become fixated on some of the features they embody that aid them in almost every facet of life. Samsung is no stranger in overall global market when it comes to mobile phones, but they happen to have a weakness when it comes to the smartphone industry. In the past, we’ve seen names like the Omnia take precedence among their smartphone offerings, but it really lacked that universal appeal that made other smartphones like RIM’s BlackBerry or the iPhone become so universally sought out.
Now that the Samsung Galaxy S is expected to show itself in some form on a worldwide scale, the Korean based manufacturer is eying itself in moving up the smartphone market share ladder. Currently they sit at a 5 percent market share and ranked in 5th place overall – nowhere close to market leader Nokia who happens to be at a healthy 40 percent. However, they’re specifically looking to attack some of its closer competitors – like HTC who happens to be ranked 4th at 7 percent.
Samsung Senior VP of Mobile Communications Division, Lee Donjoo said, “Samsung intends to raise its market share for smartphones to more than 10 percent in the fourth quarter from its current level of less than 5 percent.” The Samsung Galaxy S is increasingly becoming the device that might potentially make that figure a reality as the smartphone is recognized highly in an already crowded mix of offerings this summer. Time will paint the true telling if it can indeed become that premier smartphone that can take the company to new heights.
source: Bloomberg Businessweek
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