Google's second Android Developer Challenge is underway, but if you plan to enter, you'll need to kick it into high gear - submissions close on August 31, just 5 days from now.
Android device owners will be able to weigh in on the entries by downloading a judging app from the Android Market. Submissions will then be whittled down to 20 apps in each of the following categories:
Sometime in October, a second round will commence where Android users will account for 40 percent of the vote. A Google-selected judging panel will make up the other 60 percent, with winners to be announced sometime in November. For each of the 10 categories, 1st place will be awarded $100,00, 2nd place will receive $50,000, and $25,000 for the 3rd place prize.
Asustek may have put its plans to develop an Android-based smartbook on the back burner but that is unlikely to deter other companies from dabbling in smartbooks. According to Digitimes, Taiwan’s leading technology rumormonger, Nokia is said to be working on an ARM-based smartbook. The news comes from Digitimes’ sources at Taiwanese handset makers.
Microsoft’s share of the mobile OS market has plummeted sharply in the last few years. It needs to quickly mount a counter-offensive against its more dapper rivals in the smartphone market, if it is to prevent itself from being marginalized even further. According to Taiwanese rumor mill Digitimes, Microsoft does have a strategy to counter its rivals in the smartphone market.
Thanks to a recent announcement, we now know that Creative’s new Zii Egg Plaszma (read: open source iPod Touch) will be the first to boast a flexible StemCell system architecture, which will make use of 24 floating-point processors.
The Egg, which is shipping out to developers now in a $399 SDK is being marketed as an Android-friendly “handheld computer,” that has many features similar to Apple’s offering, but beefed up in a few areas. Most notably, it features a full-sized SD card slot, a rear facing HD video camera, a front facing VGA camera, Flash Lite support, GPS, WiFi, and it has enough power under the hood to output 1080p video.
The Egg will likely retail for $199, but there’s no official as to when we can expect it on store shelves.
In the movie Braveheart, there's a pivotal scene involving Mel Gibson and a Scottish battalion where, as William Wallace, he tries to muster some courage from his ragtag company. Face painted blue and half-hysterical, he rallies them with a memorable speech about freedom and love of country. Then, the army proceeds to completely destroy the foreign oppressor in a fight to the bitter end.
In some ways, the current war on smartphone devices could be just as pivotal...and bloody. Companies such as Palm and Nokia have everything to lose if their platforms do not thoroughly crush the competition. Meanwhile, Apple has taken a strong lead with the iPhone, and BlackBerry devices do not appear to be losing any momentum, at least in the business sector. Google has entered the fight with their Android OS, attracting legions of developers to the platform in record time.
All of these operating systems support touch control, rudimentary multi-tasking, rich media, desktop-like Web browsing, and advanced messaging. Yet, only one OS is superior and will ultimately emerge as the victor. It might seem like Apple has already had their Braveheart moment, and maybe there is room for several companies at the top of the pile, but if Windows has taught us anything, it's that a single operating system can become so dominant that every other desktop OS becomes inconsequential. Developers lock into a platform, users get accustomed to it, and that OS wins the war.
We set out to put the major contenders to the test and find out which could become the most dominant. Really, it's too early to call Apple the victor, even though it would be easy to do so with 50,000 apps available and over a million iPhone users. As any technology analyst can tell you, there are actually significantly more Nokia and BlackBerry phones in use today than the iPhone, especially in Europe. The surprise is that the OS that seems to be winning the battle (the iPhone) may not eventually win the OS war in the long run.
Earlier this year Acer had announced that they’d release an Android powered phone before 2010. And, thanks to a recent statement, it would appear that we’re getting closer and closer to that day.
Acer allegedly plans to release the phone in September of this year, and the phone will be called the A1 (not to be confused with the steak sauce). No word on what exactly the phone will have under the hood, or what service providers it’ll be for, but there’s little doubt that we’ll find out in the coming months.
T-Mobile G1 owners already have an idea what to expect from Google's Android operating system, but now anyone can give the OS a whirl, and they can do it on their PC. No convoluted hacks required - just download the Live CD image, burn it to disc, and reboot your PC.
The hacked OS comes courtesy of the Beijing-based LiveAndroid team, who released its first LiveAndroid alpha build in May. Now in version 0.2, the new release is based on Android Cupcake (version 1.5) and adds some useful functionality, like a mouse-controlled curser, keyboard support, and Ethernet. Still missing are WiFi, Bluetooth, and audio.
Intel had earlier made it clear that it doesn’t perceive Chrome OS as a threat to its open source OS Moblin. Now, according to a report, it wants to give a thrust to Google’s Android platform as well. According to a Digitimes report, the world’s leading chip manufacturer wants mobile internet devices (MIDs) based on its chips to run on Google’s Android platform. The report quotes sources at Taiwanese MID manufacturers. The report goes on to add that Android-based MIDs can only be expected once Intel’s Moorestown platform is out.
“The vast majority of devices we launch after Hero will have a 3.5mm jack. Devices that we have already announced but that still come out after Hero will not necessarily be a part of this change,” HTC informed Mobile Crunch.