Toshiba AT270 tablet shows up in a press image
A newly leaked press image of an unknown tablet has been shared online by Pocketnow, and it's believed to be a near production-ready version of Toshiba's AT270 tablet we had a chance to put our hands on at Mobile World Congress. The images do show off the fact the tablet will be running on Google's Android 4.0, though it's very barebones, with no extraneous apps usually found on tablets. The Android Market icon is just that, however, and does not yet reflect the new switch to the Google Play branding.
Google Play Store sees exec shuffle
Google's transition to the Google Play store has also seen a management shakeup that could be a sign of taking its Android app market more seriously. The store's lead, Eric Chu, was said by TechCrunch to have stepped down. Jamie Rosenberg, Android's digital content lead and key Google Music persona, would take his place.
Google douses fire surrounding in-app purchases
Google hoped to quell controversy on Friday over its decision to steer developers to Google Wallet for Android Market (Google Play Store) title's in-app purchases if. It noted to TechCrunch that the policy had been in effect since March 2011. There wasn't any change of heart, it said, implying that any activity was just enforcing an existing policy.
Google may pull apps not using Wallet payments
Google is reportedly taking an Apple-like approach and pushing Android developers to use only its own payment system, multiple sources contended Thursday. Developers have told Reuters they were warned that, to stay on the Google Play Store (Android Market), they had no choice but to use Google Wallet for paid apps. Their titles would be pulled if they kept using PayPal or alternatives.
Archos G9 first to get sweeping Android 4 patches
Archos used Thursday to roll out Android 4.0 upgrades to its G9 tablets (PDF). All 80 G9 and 101 G9 models should start getting the new firmware over-the-air. Archos' implementation adds unique touches besides what Google brings to the platform, such as 1080p video and automatic subtitle downloads for many formats, 3D MKV videos, file manager and remote control apps, and USB Ethernet adapter support.
Google looks to add audiobooks, other content
The revamped Android Market, now known as Google Play may soon be inline to add audiobooks to its lineup of entertainment content. The advent of Google Play has seen Google consolidate its various movie, music, apps and e-books into one more easily navigable portal. The iTunes-like approach to unified content delivery looks set to expand to include audiobooks, if a discovery by the unofficial blog Google Operating System proves true.
Some Moto phones not able to access Google Play
Google's recent renaming of the Android Market to Google Play is said to be causing some headaches for some Motorola smartphone owners. It rendered the app drawer market link unusable, as Motorola's Blur interface is searching for the old Android Market app. The only way around it so far, until an over-the-air update with a fix is released, is to find Play Store manually in the phone.
Google Play refocuses on general media, not apps
Google put an end to rumors surrounding its Play name Tuesday by revealing it to be a rebranding of Android Market. Now just called Google Play, it will represent the same store but change the name to reflect its usefulness beyond Android apps. The store was already a gateway for e-books, music, and movies, and should soon reflect the switch.
APK files still restricted to 50MB
Google has increased the size cap for Android Market titles, enabling developers to offer apps that are up to 4GB in size. The search giant's app portal previously restricted the file sizes to 50MB—a limit that is still in place for the APK itself—though the apps now can be paired with two expansion files that each can be up to 2GB.
Android has open access to photos
The iOS photo and video privacy hole exists in Android, but as part of a conscious design choice, an investigation found quickly. Following a check by mobile antivirus app writers at Lookout, Google told the New York Times that it had intentionally left media access open like on a desktop OS. The approach was virtually needed to let users store photos on an SD card, Google claimed.
Google touts over 450K apps, 800 Android devices
Google's fun-filled booth at Mobile World Congress means to celebrate the more than tripling of the available apps in the Android Market since last year, currently at more than 450,000. In comparison, Apple's iOS mobile platform offers more than 500,000 applications. Google goes on to say there are more than one billion apps downloaded by Android users every month as well. More than 800 unique devices run on Android, and the software giant brought more than 100 to display at the show.
Google's precautionary Bouncer software not enough
Earlier this month, Google revealed that for the past year it has been using a protective screening process called Bouncer to keep malware from penetrating Android Market apps. Now comes word that spammers and hackers have found a way to circumvent the malware-blocking system. The work around involves using Facebook's mobile app to send the malware, which is hidden in an app named "“any_name.apk” or “allnew.apk,” to Android-based phones.
ViewPad G70 with 3G, Android 4 coming to MWC
ViewSonic will unveil a seven-inch Android tablet at Mobile World Congress next week, Pocket-lint learned. Likely to be called the ViewPad G70, the device should run on Android 4.0 and a 1024x600-resolution touchscreen. It should also have the firm's custom ViewScene interface, but it ought to still keep access to Google services and access to the Android Market.
Discrepancy linked to market, in-app purchases
Paid Android apps are on average over two and a half times as expensive as iPhone apps, says research group Canalys. As a test case, the company notes that buying the top 100 paid titles on the Android Market currently costs $374.37, averaging out to $3.74 per app. Buying the top 100 paid iPhone apps costs just $147, at an average of $1.47 per title.
Devs get more profit from Appstore than Market
Developers of Android apps are making more money from the Amazon Appstore than on Google's own Android Market, the latest report from app analytics firm Distimo found. The comparison of 110 apps offered on both web stores found that 42 of them make more money on Amazon than on Android Market. The Amazon store is also responsible for 28 percent of the revenue in these apps.
Sky Go app lets Android users watch Sky TV
Sky's Go app has now gone live for Android users (free, Android Market), letting users of some Android phones with a Sky TV subscription access 22 live TV channels from the provider. The app can only be used in the UK or Ireland and will stream content over a 3G or Wi-Fi connection. Users can register up to two devices and watch TV simultaneously on both.
FTC wants more transparency on child info
The FTC in a set of recommendations Thursday called on Android and iOS developers alike to provide more information to adults about what information an app might collect about their kids. Officials wanted simple, direct information to help parents either filter access or avoid apps entirely. It was "almost impossible" to know which apps were scraping data and more difficult still to know where that information was going, agency chairman Jon Leibowitz said.
Vonage Mobile app undercuts Skype in calling
VoIP provider Vonage has just released a new Vonage Mobile app that will allow for free calling and texting between users who have it installed on their smartphones, as well as discounted calling rates to those who don't. It uses Wi-Fi, 3G or 4G data networks and is now available for iOS (free, iTunes) and Android (free, Android Market) devices. The app is meant for frequent travelers, or those who have friends or family abroad and want to use their phones to contact them.
Office continues to reach new mobile platforms
Microsoft announced that it has finally released its mobile productivity app, OneNote, for devices running Google's Android OS. The Android Market debut marks the company's latest expansion onto popular mobile platforms, following equivalent releases for Windows Phone, iPhone and iPad.
RIM talks App World growth relative to rivals
RIM's Developer Relations VP Alec Saunders made aggressive claims about the state of BlackBerry App World at his company's DevCon Europe keynote on Tuesday morning. He contended that the store was the second-most profitable mobile app store after Apple's own and that Android lagged behind significantly. Along with having more overall paid downloads than the normally larger Google shop, BlackBerry titles typically made about 40 percent more revenue than their paid Android counterparts.
Free app guides attendees around Indianapolis
The NFL has released its official app for Super Bowl XLVI. The app provides fans attending Sunday's upcoming contest between the New England Patriots and New York Giants a guide to Lucas Oil Stadium and the surrounding areas of Indianapolis (free, App Store, Android Market). The app provide viewers with a virtual 3D view of the stadium as well as a guide to nightlife and official NFL events.
Google details Bouncer and says
Google's Android engineering VP Hiroshi Lockheimer has detailed a process of screening for malware at Android Market that it has quietly been running for the past year. Known as Bouncer, it automatically scans both incoming and existing apps for recognizable malicious code. The routine also runs the apps themselves and checks for hostile behavior in practice, hoping to catch apps with suspicious behavior.
As expected, doesn't support flash
Mozilla has released the latest mobile version of its browser for Android devices. Firefox 10 is now available for download (free, Android Market). As expected, the new version offers enhanced HTML5 support, but doesn't support Flash.
Fire app different than Android variant
Sling Media is reportedly set to launch its SlingPlayer app for Amazon's Kindle Fire tablet. Although the device is powered by Google's mobile OS, the new app is said to omit the remote control interface and SlingBox guide that can be found on its standard Android Market counterpart for Honeycomb-based tablets.
Wide gaps exist in mobile app placement, price
Distimo has taken a fresh look at mobile app promos that has shown a sharp contrast in their effects on Android and iOS apps. Being featured in the official store has the most impact on Android, the research found. An Android developer typically jumps 42 spots in the popular rankings in the first three days after it's highlighted in Android Market, where iOS App Store titles jump a relatively small 27 spots on the iPad and just 15 on the iPhone.
EFF seeking petition to keep jailbreaking legal
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is lobbying users to sign a petition in its quest to convince the US government that jailbreaking smartphones and tablets is legal. Back in mid-2010, the Library of Congress ruled that the act is legal, provided it doesn't violate copyright laws. That ruling will soon expire, some believe, and doesn't cover tablets; the EFF is concerned that both need to be address.
Skitch, Evernote extension arrive on Dolphin
The upgradeable Dolphin browser for Android devices has just received two add-ons from its makers. It now supports Skitch and Evernote browser extensions. The Skitch extension (free, Android Market) is a byproduct of the Skitch app and lets users make sketches on any web content found in the browser. It can be used to make notes on a map, text from a web page, classified ad, or more.
Android Market still out in China due to policy
Android Market isn't likely to come to China despite claims to the contrary, a source reportedly outlined Sunday. The tip described talks to Inside Mobile Apps as "exploratory," not a definite plan of action as suggested by the Wall Street Journal. "It's not really happening," according to the claimed insider.
Slacker Plus and Premium to get more live coverage
Slacker will debut live streaming of ESPN Radio programming tonight with the BCS Championship title game. The live ESPN Radio stream will be available through the Slacker web app. The company says it plans to add the live streaming feature to its mobile apps soon. The ESPN Radio station is available at no charge to all Slacker users.
Faster uploading, browsing also added
SugarSync has updated its apps for both iOS and Android devices. The new releases provide enhanced backup, synchronization and access of photos, videos and files across multiple platforms (free, Android Market, App Store). SugarSync offers the apps in conjunction with its cloud storage service.
Android Market accelerates in just five months
Unofficial Distimo tracking has shown Android Market already at over 400,000 active apps. The figure comes just four months after it reached 300,000 in August. Nearly 100,000 publishers are in the store, each of which posts about 4.1 apps on average.
Google takes down fake Siri app but leaves Speerit
Google has partly reacted to the presence of cloned Siri apps on Android by pulling one of the titles. The "Siri for Android" app has been quietly pulled from Android Market about a day after it was first discovered. The developer, operating under the deliberately misleading company name Official App, has also had its only other app, a fake Pinterest app that only linked to the website, pulled from the store.
Dell Venue gets approved for use by DISA, DoD
Dell's Venue Android smartphone has followed in the footsteps of the discontinued Streak 5 tablet from the company in earning US government approval for use by the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA). It has thus become the first Android phone to get the honor following RIM's BlackBerry devices, as revealed by a DISA document. Department of Defense employees will get limited access to the device's features however, with no access to the Android Market and web browsing done only through a DoD proxy server.
Kindle Fire users can now browse Android Market
Amazon has stopped blocking Google’s Android Market on its Kindle Fire. The 6.2.1 software update released on Wednesday now allows users who navigate to the app market to view and browse apps. Prior to the update, Amazon’s browser blocked user attempts to visit the site, hijacking it and sending users back to its own AppStore.
Microsoft claims big takeup of free Windows Phones
Microsoft's Bill Cox said Thursday that over 3,200 Android users had taken up company Windows Phone evangelist Ben Rudolph's challenge to describe their virus "horror stories." As a challenge, Rudolph had offered a free Windows Phone to those who could recount the most convincing stories of Android malware instances. He didn't say how many of these would be getting devices.
SMS code spotted in five new apps
Mobile security company Lookout has continued to expand its list of Android Market applications that have been found to contain malicious code known as 'RuFraud'. Researchers spotted 22 malicious apps by the start of the week, prompting Microsoft to offer victims free Windows Phone handsets, while five more have been discovered since then.
Flurry shows Android dev ratio still low
Despite increases in device share, iOS app development is still three times larger, Flurry said Monday. New app starts on Android had actually declined in ratio from the start of 2011 to the end, shrinking from 37 percent to 27 percent in a fall estimate. iOS development had grown by an equal number of points and was now up to 73 of starts.
Company takes dig at Google for platform security
Microsoft has offered to provide free Windows Phone 7 devices to individuals affected by malware targeted at Android devices. The promotion takes a dig at Google amid reports that the search giant was forced to remove 22 more Android Market titles that were found to contain malicious code.
Google updates Android Market with review filters
Google has tweaked the web-based version of its Android Market. Among the changes is the ability for users to filter reviews by ‘helpfulness,’ ‘newest,’ and ‘rating.’ The function makes it a lot easier for users to make an informed decision about whether to part with their cash, or bother with a free download. Google has now also added the ability to sort through reviews to see the version of the app, or which device the user was using for the review.
Software glitch clogs T-Mobile's data network
YouMail and T-Mobile have apparently resolved their differences, and the visual voicemail app is once again available from Android Market (free, Android Market). It had been pulled by Google yesterday at the carrier's request. Both YouMail and T-Mobile are blaming each other for letting a seemingly simple situation escalate out of control.
South Korea tops Android app downloads list
Google has decided to reveal which countries download the most apps on account of its recent 10 billion downloads milestone. Along with some other numbers, it was revealed that among the 190 countries that download apps every day, South Korea downloads the most, followed by Hong Kong and Taiwan, while the US sits in fourth. The popularity came in spite of the US' reputation as Android's biggest country.
Google marks milestone at billion apps per month
In sync with its 10-cent app promo, Google has confirmed that Android Market has cracked 10 billion app downloads. The figure comes just over three years after the store opened. Nearly all of the growth came in just the last year, about four billion of which came in the past six months.
Promo to last for ten days
Google is currently offering ten Android apps for just $0.10 each, kicking off a new promotion as the search giant counts down to 10 billion app downloads. The '10 Billion Promo' is expected to offer a range of different premium apps for the $0.10 discounted price over the next ten days as the company closes in on the milestone.
Lack of oversight lets fake Rovio exploit Android
Google's strategy for Android Market may have come to bite it after a scam developer successfully made it to the store. Misleadingly named Rovio [now pulled] instead of the real Rovio Mobile Ltd., the developer published non-functional apps made to look like legitimate games. A large number of these were iPhone games that Rovio didn't make and which other developers so far had no intention of porting to Android, such as Cut the Rope: Holiday Gift and Tiny Wings.
Google Music app comes to Google TV
Google in a late night update brought its Google Music update to the TV, giving it access to the service for the first time. The new TV app hinges on Google Music's cloud storage to stream the user's collection with an interface identical to that seen on smartphones and tablets, optimized for the ten-foot TV distance and larger screen. It includes playlists and other extras, although the lack of permanent storage means it can't pin tracks for offline listening.
Android malware becoming significant issue
A new Juniper Global Threat Center study has pointed to Android malware possibly becoming a serious issue in just the past four months. The incidence in viruses, trojans, and other strains has jumped 472 percent since July, most of which has appeared in just the past two months. About 55 percent were spyware apps scraping and sending information in the background, while 44 percent were SMS trojans that send messages to premium numbers that put the bill on the caller.
Qualcomm set to bring GameCommand app in 2012
Qualcomm to launch games, dedicated app for Snapdragon devices
Mobile device chipmaker Qualcomm on Wednesday said it would soon launch a flagship gaming app for devices that run on its Snapdragon chips. Dubbed Snapdragon GameCommand, the app will be accompanied by additions to the more than 100 games specially made for the mobile devices. All are expected to come to the Android Market early next year.
Adobe launches six apps in Android Market
Adobe has posted its promised Touch Apps in the Android Market for Android tablets. Introduced at the MAX conference early last month, the apps include Photoshop Touch ($9.99, Android Market), Collage ($9.99, Android Market), Debut ($9.99, Android Market), Ideas ($9.99, Android Market), Kuler ($9.99, Android Market), and Proto ($9.99, Android Market). Each is meant to help creative or business types accomplish different tasks, and all require Android 3.1 or later.
RIAA unhappy with Google stance on music app
The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) claims that Google is refusing to pull MP3 Music Download Pro (free, Android Market). The app is the fifth most popular free app on the Android Market and offers the ability to “search and download free music & lyrics.” According to RIAA, the app is being used to promote the illegal distribution of copyrighted music.
Strategy Analytics says app market uncompetitive
Apple's iPad currently has the most competitive mobile app ecosystems, Strategy Analytics outlined in a new App Store Competitive Index. Its subset of the App Store is deemed the most likely to give newcomers and recent launches the best chances at success. Amazon's Appstore was lowest-ranked and more likely to let apps occupy the same positions or otherwise take attention from newer titles.