Friday, April 30, 2010

This Week in Android News - April 30/2010

Twitter finally releases an official app for Android. On the heels of Twitter releasing an official app for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad, Android gets some lovin' too. Only problem? It requires Android 2.1.

Skyfire 2.0 beta web browser has been released for Android and now people who can't wait to get Flash Lite or full Flash support from Adobe can at least be able to view Flash videos that exists on many sites. Still a beta, but from initial reports says that it works quite well at detecting Flash video on a webpage and plays the video quite nicely. One thing that does not work yet is "trick play" (i.e. FF or RW within a video).

Speaking about browsers, not to be outdone by Skyfire, the team at Firefox has finally released a public pre-alpha of "Fennec" for Android. Initial reports says that the native browser that ships with Android is still faster, but the team is using the Android NDK (Native Development Kit) to optimize the Gecko rendering engine. We're pretty sure they'll get Fennec running much faster and more stable in future builds.

A new milestone this week as the Android Market plays "catch-up to iTunes App Store" in the number of applications available. The Android Market has reached 50,000 applications. Of course in an "open" market, we're not quite sure how many of those apps are exactly worth anything other than "spamming" the market, but at least the Android Market can claim it's on its way in catching up with Apple.

Soon it will be May... and next month... June... in which the next version of Android will finally hit. Froyo, otherwise known as Android 2.2, will have its "public preview" during Google I/O conference in May. Kevin Lynch, CTO of Adobe, has gone on the record that Froyo will hit general release sometime in June. Now all of you can play FarmVille on your phones...

And for people who complain about the lack of space for the "hundreds" of apps you have installed on your Android phone, do not fear. It looks like an "official" version of Apps2SD is coming soon thanks to the infamous Issue #1151 on the Google Code android bug tracker. The rumor is that it'll appear with Froyo... but Google is being tight-lipped about when it's coming.

Now that the HTC Incredible has been released... it also appears to have sold out of them too through their on-line store for at least until May 4th. Both Engadget and Gizmodo have done a proper review and so far, it seems to be as impressive as many had hoped. For Verizon, the HTC Incredible *is* their "Nexus One" and the Nexus One is not being planned for Verizon anymore. Strange thing though... seems that Vodafone U.K., ran out of Nexus One phones. Maybe they are selling well...

And finally, still have that G1 or MT3G and can't bring yourself to getting an Android 2.1 handset like the Nexus One just to get Eclair? Have no fear... Cyanogen (Steve Kondik) is here! In what seems to be one of the ultimate hackery of all time for the HTC Dream platform, Cyanogen & #teamdouche has released CyanogenMOD 5.0.7-test1 for the G1/MT3G platform which brings Android 2.1 (Eclair). Unlike the previous Eclair builds for G1's and MT3G's, everything seems to be functional including YouTube and the camcorder application. There is one caveat if you're a G1 user (and this does not apply to MT3G users). Due to the size of the ROM, if you're a G1 user, you need to install the DangerSPL to help reclaim some space in order for the ROM to fit. -- So follow the instructions to the "T"... and finally enjoy Eclair on your Dream devices!