Amazon wants to take a crack at distributing Android apps and plans to open its own software store for Android smartphones, The Wall Street Journalreports. By doing so, Amazon would become an instant rival to Google and another potentially big thorn in Apple's side.
A California company called Cherrypal announced the availability of a new 7-inch Android tablet, while at the same time underscoring why Apple's going to have a tough time dominating the scene with its iPad well into the future. How so? Cherrypad's tablet costs $188, less than half the price of Apple's magical slate.
The two aren't really in the same category, of course, and Cherrypal acknowledges as much.
"The CherryPad America doesn't compete against the Apple iPad. The CherryPad addresses the sub-iPad market," said Cherrypal CTO Max Seybold.
With all due respect to Seybold, consumers will be the judge of whether or not the CherryPad, and other similar devices, compete against Apple's larger slate. With a 7-inch resistive touchscreen, 800MHz ARM11 processor, 256MB of DDR2 memory, and just 2GB of NAND flash memory, the CherryPad isn't a high-end device, but is it enough to sway users looking for a general purpose tablet? At less than 200 bones, there's a good chance it will find a few buyers.
For the sake of completeness, other specs include a microSD card slot, 802.11b/g Wi-Fi, 3.5mm headphone jack, microphone, USB 2.0 (via external adapter), and optional external 3G modem.
Incidentally, we'll be receiving one of these in the Lab for a full-on review, so stay tuned.
Sources from Acer told Digitimes that the PC maker is confident of such an approach stimulating demand. It still has a lot of faith in netbooks. Speaking at the press launch of the Aspire One AOD255, Acer Taiwan president Scott Lin cited Gartner's positive sale predictions for netbooks to underpin his confidence in netbooks. Gartner expects global netbook shipments to touch 50 million units by 2014.
Until now, payment options for Google's Android market were slim. Users had to use either Google Checkout, or T-Mobile USA billing. But now sources are claiming that Google and PayPal have signed a deal to allow the payment processor to handle Market transactions. The deal could be announced at PayPal's October 26th developer conference.
Users have cited a number of issues with the Google Checkout system, chiefly that it is not available in many locations. Many consumers also do not have Google Checkout sign-ins when purchasing an Android phone, and the set up process is not very clear. Some developers also tell tales of huge numbers of rejected sales due to problems with Google Checkout.
PayPal integration could bring some uniformity to the system, and it's clear developers and users would benefit from the choice. Have you had issues with Google Checkout on Android? Let us know about it in the comments.
Coinciding with the launch of T-Mobile's G2 smartphone, Wolfram Alpha LLC announced its self-titled Wolfram Alpha app has been ported to Android and is available for download from the Android Market.
"Consumers crave a mobile experience that gives them access to the information they want, wherever they are," said Saj Sahay, director, product management, T-Mobile. "We designed the T-Mobile G2 with this in mind, and we're proud to work with Wolfram Alpha on their entry into the Android space."
Wolfram Alpha is a "computation knowledge engine," as its developers describe it, which can be used to tap into a repository of curated data, including over ten trillion data elements and a library of tens of thousands of sophisticated computation models covering math, science, engineering, health and nutrition, geography, linguistics, sports, and a whole bunch more.
The app runs $1.99 and is compatible with any mobile device running Android 1.6 or later.
There's no way to tell if this is a legitimate shortage, or just a ruse to stoke the fires of demand, but T-Mobile says they cannot accept any more pre-orders of the T-Mobile G2. They claim the reason for this is high demand. The phone goes on sale officially tomorrow, but some stores have already been selling it. Customers will be able to order the phone as normal tomorrow, but T-Mobile isn't making any promises about shipping times.
The G2 is a sliding QWERTY Android phone that is very much the spiritual successor to the original G1. The phone runs Android 2.2 Froyo, and supports T-Mobile's speedy HSPA+ network. Some early reports of loose hinges and missing storage seem not to have hurt demand too much. Customers might even find devices scarce tomorrow, depending on how much of the stock T-Mobile sold through on pre-orders.
Let us know if you manage to pick on up. If you've already got one, is it living up to the hype?
If you recently bought a smartphone, there's a solid chance it was an Android device. According to some new numbers from Nielsen Research, In August 2010, 32% of smartphone buyers went with phones running Google's Android mobile operating system. That's a rise from July, when the value was only 28%. Apple's iPhone was slightly behind at 26% for August. RIM has taken a pounding as of late seeing their monthly numbers fall from 35% back in June, to a mere 25% in August.
These numbers are good for studying the rate at which a phone sells, but overall success is perhaps more aptly measure by total market share. That is, how many people are using each operating system. Here, the numbers tell a different story according to Nielsen. Apple is holding steady over time, with a current market share of 28%. RIM has fallen slightly, but is still in the lead with 31%. Android, while killing it in the monthly sales figures, is still playing catch up with 19% current market share.
The huge rise in Android sales makes it the only major OS that's actually gaining right now. It may only be a matter of time before the army of Android phones overwhelms the iPhone and Blackberry.
Just one day after appointing Cisco Senior Executive Tony Bates as its new CEO, Skype has gone and announced the release of its Skype for Android app for mobile handsets running Android 2.1 or later.
"The Skype experience is ubiquitous today. More and more people are using Skype to do things together when apart. With the addition of Android, we are pleased that Skype is now available on three of the most popular mobile platforms today: Android, iOS, and Symbian."
It's been a long wait, but now that it's here, Android smartphone owners can make free Skype-to-Skype calls over Wi-Fi or mobile data connections (GPRS, EDGE, 3G), make Skype calls to landlines, send and receive individual or group Skype IMs, synchronize contacts between Skype and the native address book, receive calls on their Skype online number, and a few other goodies.
Don't look for a handheld tablet from LG in time of the holidays, who is no longer planning to launch a slate built around Google's Android 2.2 (Froyo) platform, the company announced today.
"We plan to introduce a tablet that runs on the most reliable Android version ... We are in talks with Google to decide on the most suitable version for our tablet and that is not Froyo 2.2," an LG official said.