Besides the wheel, fire, and air conditioning during the month of August, caller ID is on the short list of life-changing inventions. Though its one hang-up (no pun intended) is that its directory of phone numbers, which is attached to names and readily available for landline phones, has not been carried over to mobile phones. Instead, mobile-phone users get numbers only.
Google has released the source code for an an Android phone GPS program called My Tracks, which lets people record where they've been, log journeys in Google Docs, and post their trip maps online.
"You can expect My Tracks to become better than ever with the contributions we hope it will receive from other developers, and also that many applications which work side-by-side with My Tracks will be written," Google engineer Rodrigo Damazio said in an e-mail list posting Friday. "For instance, one could easily build an application for tracking fitness activities, geocaching, aviation, and so … Read more
Now that all the juicy details of Android 2.2 "Froyo" are out, the question for current Android phone owners inevitably turns to "When do I get it?" Well, there is good news for some, bad news for others, and no news for the rest.
Starting with the good, Google announced via its Google I/O Twitter account that Froyo will be served to Nexus One users in the next few weeks. Not terribly surprising that the N1 would be one of the first to get the update considering its direct ties to Google (though that … Read more
Google kept us busy with announcements at its I/O developer conference in San Francisco, like news of a Chrome Web Store, Google TV, a forthcoming update to the Android operating system that includes the first full-fledged Flash Player for a mobile phone, changes to the camera app, and support for tethering and portable hot spots, among a list of other additions.
We happen to have a version of Android 2.2 (albeit a prefinal one) loaded on a Nexus One, and dove inside to survey the new features for ourselves.
I was never a fan of the original Dolphin browser for Android, but when DolphinHD was released for Android 2.0 and above I figured I'd check it out for the feature set alone. Little did I know that within a day I'd make it the default browser on my Motorola Droid.
Much like the Skyfire browser, which boasts unique in-house Flash video playback, DolphinHD's feature set gives users significant feature enhancements over the default browser. There's tabbed browsing, link sharing via your installed social networking apps, add-ons, themes, smoother in-browser multitouch, a generally high level of customization, the ability to save your cache and history to the SD card, and one of the most logical features for a touch-screen phone browser, customizable gesture support.
There used to be one other awesome feature: YouTube video downloading. But lest you think that only Apple played hardball with its application developers, Google forced Dolphin's publishers to remove the feature for a Google and YouTube Terms of Service violation within a week of the browser's release.
For me, the gesture support is Dolphin's killer feature. It comes with several default actions, including jumping to your bookmarks, moving forward and backward in site navigation, jumping to the top or bottom of the page you're on, reloading the page you're looking at, and sharing the page you're on. You can also set gestures to load specific sites, open new tabs, or add a bookmark. In all, Dolphin comes with 20 gesture options. A few have been wedded by default to predetermined gestures, but you can overwrite them easily with motions more to your liking, or move the gesture hot corner around. … Read more
Mobilizy, maker of the Wikitude augmented-reality apps for iPhone, Android, and Nokia phones, has announced Wikitude Drive, the first augmented-reality turn-by-turn navigation app for Android phones (OS version 1.6 or greater). The app utilizes the phone's camera and GPS receiver in tandem, layering the selected route over a live view of what's ahead of the car. Sort of like Google Maps' Street View, but in real time.
The Wikitude Drive app entered limited beta Thursday for the first 2,000 downloads from the Android Market. Once the app hits the 2,000 mark, it will be pulled … Read more
Better performance topped the feature list for Android 2.2, aka Froyo, the next version of Google's mobile-phone operating system detailed Thursday.
Froyo's Dalvik virtual machine, the foundation that actually runs Android applications, includes new technology that runs software two to five times faster for heavy-duty applications, said Vic Gundotra, Google's vice president of engineering, at the company's Google I/O conference.
Speed is a big issue for the small, power-sensitive processors in mobile phones, especially as the smartphone duties expand to include tasks such as videoconferencing and games. Also faster is the Android browser, which … Read more
As we noted when the phone was announced in early May, the MyTouch 3G Slide features a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, a 3.4-inch HVGA capacitive touch screen, a 5-megapixel camera, and the full range of wireless options. The smartphone also has a custom user interface from T-Mobile that aims to make the phone … Read more
Ever since Apple CEO Steve Jobs sparked a firestorm with Adobe over the relevance of Adobe's Flash technology for interactive mobile media, a stepped-up PR campaign looked like Adobe's only ammunition.
On Thursday, Adobe got its first chance to fling back a tangible response with the beta release of its Flash Player for select Android phones.
Adobe Flash Player 10.1 beta (which is already out in final form for PCs) makes a mobile debut on Android phones running version 2.2 of the Android operating system (code-named "froyo") or higher.
What does Flash on a smartphone get you? The long-awaited chance to play online Flash-based games (hands-on) and stream video directly from the browser. For wannabe-foodies like us, Adobe's player also finally makes it possible to view restaurant menus from sites written for Flash. While nobody likes online ads, the fact that you can soon view them in all their shifting, eye-catching glory is a big tip-off that the desktop and mobile experiences of the Web have just scooted even closer together.
Hands-on We tested out an early version of Flash Player 10.1 beta on an Android phone running a pre-release version of the latest 2.2 OS. These compounded caveats mean that we might just have stumbled upon more bugs than you will. We checked out Flash games, streaming video, news sites, and other favorite Web sites that we know take advantage of Flash, and a few of our favorite Flash sites that haven't been modified for Flash mobile.… Read more
As part of the Android 2.2 "Froyo" update, which is being unveiled at Thursday's Google I/O Conference, a very nice upgrade has been made to Android's built-in camera software. Google has effectively made it a one-handed endeavor, and one that does a better job at matching its user interface to how you hold your device.
The biggest change is that the pull-down menu, which would often require two hands to toggle and navigate, has been removed completely. In its place is a very simple system of transparent dials that pop up with options when … Read more