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Mobile: Ep. 4: Flash for Android is officially here
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Mobile: Ep. 4: Flash for Android is officially here

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Flash for Android is released, AT&T's love/hate robot relationship, and a new slate of Motorola Droid offerings. Plus voice navigation tips, and a review of Google Voice. All that and more on this week's edition of the Android Atlas Weekly.

[ Music ] ^M00:00:06 >> Jason Howell: Flash for Android is released. We have AT&T's love/hate robot relationship - you slipped that in there - and a new slate of Motorola Droid offerings. All that and more on this week's edition of the "Android Atlas Weekly" for Tuesday, June 22, 2010. I'm Jason Howell along side Justin Eckhouse. What's up? >> Justin Eckhouse: How's it going? [laughter] >> Jason Howell: Good. You said the how's it going. I like it. I'm doing great. You know, I'm just, - >> Justin Eckhouse: You - >> Jason Howell: You were talking Android. >> Justin Eckhouse: I know. You handle the intro very well considering I, I slipped in a line at last second that you didn't know about. >> Jason Howell: You did. The love/hate robot relationship. I'm not quite sure how I [laughs], how I feel about how that sounds, but I went with it anyways because I had no choice. It was too, a little too late for me to back out then. >> Justin Eckhouse: Ha, ha, ha. >> Jason Howell: But I think it does a good job at explaining just what we'll be talking about in regards to AT&T a little bit later. But first - >> Justin Eckhouse: First, the big day is here. >> Jason Howell: That's right. It has happened, and there are, and all of you developers are probably the only people that could even, you know, enjoy the official release of Adobe's Flash for Android. Right, because they're the only ones that have Froyo - >> Justin Eckhouse: Yeah, it's, it's - >> Jason Howell: On the Nexus One. >> Justin Eckhouse: It's kind of an odd announcement, I think, that Adobe released Flash 10.1, but - >> Jason Howell: Yea. >> Justin Eckhouse: You can't get it. >> Jason Howell: No, you can't. Most of you can't get [crosstalk]. >> Justin Eckhouse: But we're pretty excited because - >> Jason Howell: Absolutely. >> Justin Eckhouse: Adobe, you know, came out. Reached out to some content partners, including CNET >> Jason Howell: Oh, OK. >> Justin Eckhouse: We built a CNET TV for Flash on Android. >> Jason Howell: Oh, so it's a mobile version of - >> Justin Eckhouse: Exactly - >> Jason Howell: CNET TV. >> Justin Eckhouse: Yeah. So once - >> Jason Howell: Nice. >> Justin Eckhouse: You get it, you'll be able to see it. We are launching it today along with [inaudible] announcement, and it's, it works pretty well. We're pretty happy with it. I think that Flash really creates, it's nice to be able to leverage this existing player that we have, you know, because we were able to build it pretty quickly, and I hope you enjoy it. >> Jason Howell: Absolutely. >> Justin Eckhouse: As soon as you can actually get a handset with Android 2.2 on it. >> Jason Howell: Right. Right. And, wow, let's see here. I mean, there really probably isn't a whole lot to talk about until more people get their hands on the actual Flash, and I'm sure once more Froyo is rolled out, pep, you know, we're going to start seeing a lot of reports as far as its performance and everything like that. Can you talk at all about kind of how it performs right now on the Nexus One? >> Justin Eckhouse: I met, I can say that it performs well. >> Jason Howell: Yeah. >> Justin Eckhouse: I mean, I, I have, the Nexus One, I think, is faster than the Droid. So everything on the Droid, to me, seems slow - >> Jason Howell: Yeah. It really does. >> Justin Eckhouse: Right. >> Jason Howell: It's kind of like that, that level has been, has been raised, and it's hard to go backwards. >> Justin Eckhouse: Right. But, you know, Flash, I'm pretty happy with it. I honestly have not looked at a whole lot of other sites except for ours, and actually, CNET TV, the, the actual CNET TV before we actually did a mobile version on Flash works perfectly well. There is nothing that didn't work. Really, the only changes we made were to fit the form factor, you know, because it's just hard to actually click things and - >> Jason Howell: Right. >> Justin Eckhouse: Scroll things. So pretty much, it, it, it handles most of the desktop stuff we looked at out of the box. >> Jason Howell: OK. Great. And along with Adobe's announcement, we can just kind of throw out there that they may or may not have spilled the beans on exactly who's getting Android 2.2 Froyo. They listed Dell Streak, the Nexus One, a lot of these are no brainers, HTC, Evo, Desire, Incredible, Droid by Motorola, Milestone, Samsung Galaxy S, which we'll talk about in a minute, and others, they say, but probably like the Legend and the Desire. So, we kind of knew most of that already, and it's kind of a no duh thing to - >> Justin Eckhouse: Right. >> Jason Howell: Think that a device wouldn't come out now or going forward that wouldn't get Froyo, especially with the, the hype that is behind - >> Justin Eckhouse: [crosstalk] I think so. I mean, I mean, I think the release strategy has been a little bit of a mess up to this point, but yeah. I think that as we'll talk about, everyone's really getting to the 2.X stream, and the one thing we haven't seen on any announcement is dates. >> Jason Howell: Right. >> Justin Eckhouse: When is it going to come out to the Droid? When is it going to come out to the - >> Jason Howell: Soon. >> Justin Eckhouse: HCD, yeah. >> Jason Howell: That's what we get right now. I think we've heard that before in the past, and soon meant a long time. >> Justin Eckhouse: Exactly. Even when we heard of dates, they were not always true - >> Jason Howell: No. No. Then it, then it happened suddenly. >> Justin Eckhouse: It'll be here when it's here. >> Jason Howell: And as a mod in the chat room would like us to point out, I think this is a good point that Andrew, Android 2.2 isn't the only prerequisite. The phone also needs to have, he says, an arm cortex A8 or higher to get Flash. So you have to have a pretty, pretty significant processor in your phone to kind of do this, which makes sense because - >> Justin Eckhouse: Right. >> Jason Howell: Flash is kind of a processor hog in so many ways. [laughs] >> Justin Eckhouse: Yeah. I mean, we'll see. Maybe that's going to be the delineation actually between Droid, Android phones getting updated to Froyo at all. So it may not be such a big thing. You may not have to care about the processor because maybe you just can't even get the latest version of Android, which means you can't get the latest version of Flash to start with. >> Jason Howell: Aw. >> Justin Eckhouse: But, so there are some new phones coming out. There's been a lot of talk about a big one called the Droid X. And Motorola has been dropping a bunch of, or sorry, not Motorola, but Verizon has been dropping a bunch of hints about the Droid X, and they have a, updated their Droid Does site. They started a Twitter feed for it - >> Jason Howell: Oh, OK. >> Justin Eckhouse: I believe today or yesterday. >> Jason Howell: That's Droid Landing - >> Justin Eckhouse: Exactly. >> Jason Howell: Droid Landing. >> Justin Eckhouse: Droid Landing. They haven't said a whole lot. There's an announcement set up for tomorrow, and I think Bonnie Cha is going to be covering that. >> Jason Howell: Yeah. >> Justin Eckhouse: So look for updates on the "Android Atlas" blog. >> Jason Howell: I, I believe that's part of the reason why there will be no "Dialed In" tomorrow because Bonnie is going to be covering that, and there's a lot of phone, phone stuff happening right at that recording. But, yeah. So that's kind of cool, right. >> Justin Eckhouse: Yeah. I mean, the Droid X we know it has HDMI output. We know that it has a 4.3 inch display and captures 720p video. I think - >> Jason Howell: I think - >> Justin Eckhouse: We talked about some more details last week. >> Jason Howell: They messed up when they originally launched this app. [crosstalk] Did you already cover that last week? How the [crosstalk] - >> Justin Eckhouse: No, no, - >> Jason Howell: Captured 720p. They said something like displays - >> Justin Eckhouse: Right, right. >> Jason Howell: 720p - >> Justin Eckhouse: Yeah. >> Jason Howell: Everybody was, like, oh, my God. This display's awesome. [laughs] Oh, no, it's actually [crosstalk]. >> Justin Eckhouse: That's interesting. >> Jason Howell: It would have been hard to believe anyways. >> Justin Eckhouse: So, I'll, I'll be pretty interested to see what happens here, but this is not the only Droid phone on the roadmap here. We've been hearing a lot about the Droid Two. And some more details came out this week. I guess, a reader from, a Gizmodo reader sent in some information about, he was able to play with the Droid Two and handle it, and [inaudible] specs are going to be one gigahertz processor, a five megapixel camera, eight gigs of, of memory, but he pointed out some of the sort of softer features, I guess. >> Jason Howell: Right. Kind of the curvature of the phone as opposed to the kind of the harsh edges of the current Droid. >> Justin Eckhouse: Right. Obviously, we've seen those pictures before where they got rid of the D pad, and he says that he really likes the wider keyboard. It makes typing a lot easier. I think he also talked about the user interface was the same as Shadow Blur, the - >> Jason Howell: Oh, OK. I, yeah - >> Justin Eckhouse: I, I think, I don't know if that's like the Moto, the Moto Blur - >> Jason Howell: You got to know what the difference is between the Moto Blur and, and Shadow Blur, but - >> Justin Eckhouse: Right. But we still I don't think have any specific dates around this, but I, I would expect it to come out - >> Jason Howell: That'll be tomorrow. [laughs] >> Justin Eckhouse: Yeah. Yeah. >> Jason Howell: That'll probably be tomorrow when we find out exactly what's happening, and I would guess it's very, very soon. >> Justin Eckhouse: So there was another release this week - >> Jason Howell: No. >> Justin Eckhouse: In a different world - >> Jason Howell: Oh, boy. >> Justin Eckhouse: A parallel universe. >> Jason Howell: I think, I think I know where you're going. >> Justin Eckhouse: iPhone, or sorry, IOS4. >> Jason Howell: Some people have already gotten this release, the update actually as of yesterday, and [crosstalk], you know, it took about five or six hours to install for them, but hey, that's the price you pay for, [laughs] for updating your phone, I guess. >> Justin Eckhouse: Exactly. And what we wanted to look at today, because we tend to cover iPhone a lot here even though - >> Jason Howell: Yeah. >> Justin Eckhouse: This, this is not the iPhone podcast, but a lot of people ask for iPhone shows, so - >> Jason Howell: Well, and there's no denying it. You're comparing Android to iPhone these - >> Justin Eckhouse: Right. >> Jason Howell: Days because they're, they, they claim to do so much similar, and iPhone is kind of the dominator right now, so. >> Justin Eckhouse: Yeah. >> Jason Howell: What? What? >> Justin Eckhouse: iPhone's the dominator. >> Jason Howell: Well, yeah. I mean, iPhone is kind of the phone to beat right now. You don't, you don't agree with that? >> Justin Eckhouse: Well, yes. I mean, I think iPhone and Android are, are the big players. The only one who - >> Jason Howell: I'm not [laughs] - >> Justin Eckhouse: Would deny that is Blackberry, right. >> Jason Howell: Well, OK. Alright. You're, you're right. >> Justin Eckhouse: Yeah. >> Jason Howell: I guess, I guess they're appealing to different, different people, but as far as this type of form factor, this type of phone that isn't so incredibly business, business centric and, you know, kind of the multi-media, does a lot of things, the iPhone's kind of at the top of the list [crosstalk] right now. I don't think you can [crosstalk] - >> Justin Eckhouse: I think [crosstalk] I'm giving you a, a - >> Jason Howell: Please don't. I'm fragile. >> Justin Eckhouse: So we wanted to look at one specific case, use case of these phones and how to handle it, and that is multi-tasking. Because Android has had, had multi-tasking since day one, and users have - >> Jason Howell: [crosstalk] for worse. >> Justin Eckhouse: Multi-tasking [laughter]. Exactly. And we'll get to some of that - >> Jason Howell: Yeah. We'll get to that. >> Justin Eckhouse: But, so IOS4 has multi-tasking, and the Crave UK, actually guys, did a really good comparison on, on how they compare, and we just wanted to highlight some of that because - >> Jason Howell: Yeah, they did a great job. >> Justin Eckhouse: They're, they're somewhat different. For example, on IOS4, there's only a couple sort of services that are available to actually run in the background. There are things like music or e-mail checking. It's not just sort of a free for all whereas in Android world, it's a lot more open. You can, can't actually have an app running in the background, but you can sort of leave services running in the background - >> Jason Howell: Right. >> Justin Eckhouse: For downloading music or things like updating Twitter, which - >> Jason Howell: Right. >> Justin Eckhouse: You can't do right - >> Jason Howell: Yeah, and I wasn't, I wasn't even aware of this, but I guess on the iPhone, you know, multi-tasking won't let the apps update while running in the background. So things like Twitter and things that, you know, send these updates to you have to actually be, be pushed through Apple's push notification service. >> Justin Eckhouse: Exactly. >> Jason Howell: Which, I guess on one hand it keeps things, you know, neat. You know, [laughs] in one way, and, and they claim that it, it won't drain the battery, which I mean I, I would say that, you know, when you have so many things running in the background on, on the Android, it does deplete the battery faster. >> Justin Eckhouse: Yeah - >> Jason Howell: Noticeably - >> Justin Eckhouse: Absolutely. It's pretty interesting because even in this article, I think they pointed out that Larry Page of Google blames poor battery life on apps running rampant in the background. >> Jason Howell: How dare you do, oh, what a minute. That's because we, you know, sold that to you, and told you you should do that. [laughter] >> Justin Eckhouse: Yeah, it's, it's kind of a funny quote there. It's - >> Jason Howell: The double-edge sword. It really is. >> Justin Eckhouse: So, it's, it's pretty interesting. I mean, it, it's a very Android versus iPhone implementation here where Android is just, like, go crazy, run stuff in the background, and iPhone's, like, here's how we want you to do it. >> Jason Howell: Which is the Apple ethos is - >> Justin Eckhouse: Exactly. >> Jason Howell: As far as their devices are concerned. So. >> Justin Eckhouse: And the, the other thing, I mean, multi-tasking, I really like that they have it on Android, but I find it pretty annoying that you can't really figure out what is running, and you have to potentially have a third-party app to kill stuff, and it's just, like, either I totally don't want to think about it, which is kind of what they're going for, or I want to know what's going on in the background. I want to have the Windows task bar at the bottom that shows me exactly what's running - >> Jason Howell: Yeah. >> Justin Eckhouse: And what's taking up CPU power in a very easy-to-use fashion, but it's, it's kind of, like, even Apple, it's a little hard to tell. There is the menu where you can sort of see what's running, but that doesn't necessarily indicate that they're taking up any kind of CPU cycles or doing something in the back - >> Jason Howell: Improving, or, or improving anything when you actually get rid of it. It almost seems - >> Justin Eckhouse: Right. >> Jason Howell: Like, at least on Android, it almost seems like they've sold you, or they've sold me on the fact that, or tried to anyways, that you don't need to close out apps because there's nothing running back there, but if you have to, then you can. So it, it's, it's kind of like getting in an elevator, and pushing close, and the button's just there - >> Justin Eckhouse: Right. >> Jason Howell: To pacify you until the elevator decides to close. Like, why, why even give you the option if - >> Justin Eckhouse: I think they both do something - >> Jason Howell: Yeah. They have to do so something. They wouldn't give you the option if they didn't. >> Justin Eckhouse: Right. >> Jason Howell: But, anyways. >> Justin Eckhouse: So. >> Jason Howell: So, so it really seems like the winner here is, really caters to the type of experience that you want. Do you want something that's unrestricted and completely open with the asterisk being that it might slow things down, or do you want something that's a little bit more controlled that does multi-tasking, but everything appears possibly to run smoother, and I guess time will tell whether that's a, a true statement. >> Justin Eckhouse: Right. I mean, I, you know, I would argue that I haven't seen a really good implementation on multi-tasking even on the desktop. I mean, I, the OS10 one confuses so many people where you, you think you close a window, but the app is still running, and you don't know unless you go to the - >> Jason Howell: Yeah. >> Justin Eckhouse: Application menu - >> Jason Howell: Yeah, especially compared to, like, Windows where you hit the X, and usually that means - >> Justin Eckhouse: Yeah. >> Jason Howell: The app goes away. It's done. It - >> Justin Eckhouse: And if it doesn't, it's just sitting there in your face, in the, the - >> Jason Howell: Right. >> Justin Eckhouse: Task tray or whatever that's called. So, overall, you know, they've done a pretty good job, but yeah, you're right. It really depends on what kind of user you are which one's going to work best for you. >> Jason Howell: Alright. >> Justin Eckhouse: So what are we, what's up next here? >> Jason Howell: Well, we have the, well, the Android team basically saying, spilling a little bit of details about kind of the future version, I believe it's gingerbread, the next release of the Android OS, and it really kind of seems like they're going to focus a lot of their efforts on the user experience, and what this article says in a, in a tech crunch basically says that they want to get the Android experience closer to the iPhone - >> Justin Eckhouse: Right. [crosstalk] I mean, this is a - >> Jason Howell: Pretty open, but - >> Justin Eckhouse: Pretty interesting one because we've actually been covering a lot on this thing in the last several weeks. We talked about the guy from Palm OS, whose name I can't remember, who went over to Google to really work on the UIM. Maybe this is following up on that same theme where they sort of say, hey, we want to move more towards the user who really wants this good user experience because I keep saying I wouldn't recommend my mom get this phone because it's just too complex right now, but the iPhone isn't necessarily. So the more they can move to this, the better I think - >> Jason Howell: Yeah. >> Justin Eckhouse: Especially when they move into tablets, and, and the other thing they really mentioned here that, that's interesting is that they want to try to kill all the different skins that people have. >> Jason Howell: On this, right. >> Justin Eckhouse: Yeah. >> Jason Howell: Which, I mean, it makes sense coming from Google, but then at the same time, isn't that kind of the, one of the selling factors for developers as far as the Android platform is concerned is that you can create your own kind of user experience on - >> Justin Eckhouse: Right. >> Jason Howell: You know, on your own later. >> Justin Eckhouse: Yes - >> Jason Howell: But I do think that the - >> Justin Eckhouse: I like the current - >> Jason Howell: The current OS probably needs an update, could, stand to be a lot more useable. >> Justin Eckhouse: Yeah. But I think that, that's true. I think with all the tablet stuff I've seen, all the tablets seem to have implemented pretty specific UI's, and I think that's going to hurt Android overall in the long term. So it would be great to get more uniformity here, or sort of more, at least, best practices out there about sort of what UI elements need to be consistent even if you want to create your own UI's. >> Jason Howell: Right. Right. >> Justin Eckhouse: Just really. Yeah. UI standards. >> Jason Howell: Alright. >> Justin Eckhouse: So, AT&T, up to this point. We talked about AT&T last week and how they - >> Jason Howell: And Aria. >> Justin Eckhouse: Yeah, announced Aria. This week, there's some news about the Samsung Galaxy, which looks like a pretty cool phone. What, what other deal with this, it has a, has a really nice screen, which, you know, they're arguing back and forth about how it compares to the iPhone4. You know, it, it's a really, I'll say, close iPhone4 competitor. It has [background talk] 16 gigs, you know, on-board memory, [inaudible] card, 720p recording. Five megapixel camera, and you know, I think it's also going to be big for gaming because it has six access sensors that - >> Jason Howell: Excellent. [crosstalk] Yeah. That's the gyroscope, exactly. >> Justin Eckhouse: So it looks cool. AT&T, you know, this is their third Android phone. Seems like they're getting more serious about Android. [laughs] So, you know, I - >> Jason Howell: On one hand. >> Justin Eckhouse: I, I think they're going to be pretty successful unless - >> Jason Howell: Unless, dun, dun, dun. They neuter Android - >> Justin Eckhouse: Yeah. >> Jason Howell: The open kind of core of what Android is because that's basically what they've done to the Aria, and one could, one could infer or assume that it might also happen to, to the next phone, the. Sorry. I totally had brain fart. The Samsung Galaxy Captivate. >> Justin Eckhouse: So what they do specifically here? >> Jason Howell: Basically what they've done is they've removed your ability to install apps onto the phone unless they come from an official source. So, Swipe, for example. Swipe's a great example of recently, you couldn't, you could install if you had a certain link to kind of their developer link or something like that. You could actually get to the install file for Swipe to be part of their beta testing and install it on your phone. Well, if you had one of these phones, you would not be able to do that. The, AT&T is specifically disallowing that and forcing you to only install set things coming from official market sources. >> Justin Eckhouse: And this is probably really an attack at, at stuff like, I think we covered this last week or two weeks ago, PDA Net - >> Jason Howell: Right. Right. >> Justin Eckhouse: [Crosstalk] That lets you tether for fee essentially, but I think it's also going to hurt developers. Like, you know, we try to get a bunch of phones to test apps on, and if we can't install an app without, you know, submitting it to the marker place, [laughs] then we're not actually going to be able to see if it works. >> Jason Howell: Yeah, right. Your alpha's would be on display for everyone. >> Justin Eckhouse: Exactly. So, basically it's just going to mean no one can test on these phones. I, I guess, I think there's some SD [inaudible] back way to get it on there - >> Jason Howell: Yeah, probably so. >> Justin Eckhouse: You know, it, it - >> Jason Howell: Probably so for developers, but for you, from a user's standpoint, it kind of, it, yeah. Like I said earlier, it neuters a part of the Android OS that's kind of core to it's ethos, which is that it's an open OS, and that you are free to do things like that if you so choose. >> Justin Eckhouse: Right. Though this is - >> Jason Howell: Well, right. >> Justin Eckhouse: [crosstalk] Pare for the course, right. >> Jason Howell: At, at the same time as Tom Merritt would say if he were in the room right now, that's kind of also the freedom that you are allowed when you develop for Android, which is that, you know, the carrier or, you know, whoever's creating their own version of the Android OS has the ability to choose whether they want to do that or not, and should that be, you know, an OK thing for them to be able to choose? >> Justin Eckhouse: Right. Yeah, I mean, I always wonder, it's pretty much just punded [phonetic] type people like us talking about this who care about it - >> Jason Howell: Yeah. >> Justin Eckhouse: And think it's going to make a difference in the marketplace, but you know, honestly, when consumers are in the store, it's not a feature on a checklist. >> Jason Howell: Yeah, and, you know, a, a lot of people are, will never notice, because, you know, a certain large group of people probably wouldn't install anything that didn't come directly from the market, you know. >> Justin Eckhouse: So there's some big name apps that have done this, most notably, I think, Evernote. Evernote I think for a long time was just posted on their website until they were comfortable coming out of beta, and that's - >> Jason Howell: Oh, OK. >> Justin Eckhouse: What a lot of us used it initially on Android. So, yeah. It'll be interesting to see what happens here, you know - >> Jason Howell: Or if this is, like, a solid trend of AT&T and Android, you know. Will all Android phones on AT&T do this going forward? I would hope not. I would hope people would have the choice, but. >> Justin Eckhouse: And it, it doesn't really end here because carriers can control what apps actually show in the app store as well. So even though something like PDA Net I think is in the app store, AT&T could just say, for us, for our customers, it's not there. This is not the store you're looking for. [laughter] This is not the app you're looking for. >> Jason Howell: This is not the tethering app you're looking for. [crosstalk] You're looking for ours. >> Justin Eckhouse: Yeah. Maybe you could [crosstalk]. Exactly, and it just redirects you to AT&T's subscription page. >> Jason Howell: [laughs] Sorry you couldn't find what you were looking for. Alright. Speaking of a few apps, there are a few updates. We talked a few weeks ago about the Sling Player, and that officially launched on the Android phone. It looks like it's $30, $29.99 for the app. >> Justin Eckhouse: I think that's about the same price as the iPhone, maybe the exact price - >> Jason Howell: Is it? >> Justin Eckhouse: In fact. I think this phone or this app has it, it's supposed to be the fastest-loading app that they have created - >> Jason Howell: Whoa. >> Justin Eckhouse: At least for mobile. And it, they say it works, it's, it's pretty interesting. It works with a very specific list of phones they have on their site, but then they say, but go ahead and try it if your phone isn't on this list. It might work. >> Jason Howell: [Laughs] Who knows? And you know what? Why don't you just let us know if it doesn't work, and then we know [laughs] - >> Justin Eckhouse: Right. >> Jason Howell: Focus some effort on that. >> Justin Eckhouse: I won't, could, couldn't they have just, like, tested this? >> Jason Howell: Yeah. I know. Exactly. There, there aren't that many Android phones - >> Justin Eckhouse: Right. >> Jason Howell: Although I, I do understand that it's kind of a pain in the butt to keep up with it. >> Justin Eckhouse: Maybe it's, like, international phones - >> Jason Howell: Yeah. >> Justin Eckhouse: Something like that. >> Jason Howell: And they do say that if it, if the app doesn't work, you've purchased it, and it doesn't work on your phone, you have, you know, the full refund, which is standard for anything purchased through the Android market - >> Justin Eckhouse: Right. >> Jason Howell: Of, within 24 hours of downloading. >> Justin Eckhouse: Yeah. I think this is actually, not to totally get on a tangent here, but I think this is something that I didn't know until recently is that any app you purchase you can return within 24 hours. >> Jason Howell: You buy - >> Justin Eckhouse: Yeah. >> Jason Howell: You use it, if you don't like it, return it, you get, you get refunded for it. >> Justin Eckhouse: Which is, I think that, that's great. And - >> Jason Howell: Yeah. Totally. >> Justin Eckhouse: Does Apple do that? >> Jason Howell: That's a good question. I have no idea. >> Justin Eckhouse: Alright. Maybe someone will let us know about that. So, yeah. That Sling Player. Check it out. >> Jason Howell: Yeah. >> Justin Eckhouse: It's pretty exciting. And then one other app that we wanted to mention is a new app, not a new app, but an update to Google Maps. They have - >> Jason Howell: That's right. >> Justin Eckhouse: A lot of cool new features in here, and I know Jason is a big Google Maps - >> Jason Howell: And I use it all the time. It's one of my favorite apps entirely. That and navigation on my Droid, and actually the new updates that they've rolled out to Google Maps are pretty sweet. They include, well, latitude, which isn't a huge, you know, deal for me. They expanded latitude options in the menus and stuff, but what I thought was really cool - >> Justin Eckhouse: I only navigate actually by latitude and longitude. >> Jason Howell: Oh, OK. Well, see, I, I - >> Justin Eckhouse: Do address. 3427 - >> Jason Howell: I don't share that with just anybody, and especially not on a podcast. >> Justin Eckhouse: Oh. >> Jason Howell: But what I found really cool were the transit features that they added into this. So that certain places, like, I'm hoping, I haven't checked San Francisco yet, but if you actually click on, like, a Muni station or whatever, it'll tell you, you know, what trains are arriving, at, in, you know, however long of a time. So, to the end, Jude is coming in ten minutes, it'll tell within the Google Maps interface, which I think is really sweet. And then aside from that, they also integrated Place Pages, and it's kind of a further integration of their map software with Google Places, which if you haven't ever heard of it, is a really cool way to kind of find places - >> Justin Eckhouse: It's places [crosstalk] - >> Jason Howell: Close to you - >> Justin Eckhouse: Yeah. >> Jason Howell: That, you know, like restaurants or whatever and find reviews for them and stuff. It's kind of like a, a, a Yelp [crosstalk] a Google's Yelp - >> Justin Eckhouse: A Yelp competitor. >> Jason Howell: Yeah. >> Justin Eckhouse: I keep wondering when they're going to buy Yelp. >> Jason Howell: Yeah. Well. When somebody's going to buy Yelp. >> Justin Eckhouse: The [inaudible] I saw the other day actually at a restaurant a Google Places sticker with a - >> Jason Howell: With a bar, a code on it? >> Justin Eckhouse: [crosstalk] Bar code on it. >> Jason Howell: Oh, OK. >> Justin Eckhouse: I didn't scan it, but - >> Jason Howell: I, yeah, I heard. We, we talked about that on [inaudible], I don't know, like, six months ago that they were starting to do that, and they were passing out, they were sending out to preferred locations these things to hang in their window, and - >> Justin Eckhouse: Right. >> Jason Howell: I've never once seen them. So - >> Justin Eckhouse: Yeah. That was the first time. >> Jason Howell: [crosstalk] You can mark that off on your Bingo. [laughs] >> Justin Eckhouse: Android Bingo. Look for it next week. >> Jason Howell: [Laughs] That's right. >> Justin Eckhouse: Let's see. I think, one, one thing we alluded to this earlier with the Flash discussion is sort of what version of Android people are on, and Google asked, released some stats on this because I think developers are very concerned about this. They're very concerned about what specific features in Android they can support - >> Jason Howell: Right. >> Justin Eckhouse: And which one they can't, and - >> Jason Howell: [Crosstalk] Targeting. >> Justin Eckhouse: Yeah. Google kind of basically releases and said, hey, look. People are really moving to 2.0, you know, Android OS. Fifty percent of users are on Android 2, and basically the other 50 percent are on Android 1.6 and 1.5, split down the middle there. >> Jason Howell: Aw. No, only .1 percent on Android 1.1. That's sad. >> Justin Eckhouse: I know. >> Jason Howell: That was, that was such a great, great version. >> Justin Eckhouse: What phone is that [laughter]? >> Jason Howell: I don't know. >> Justin Eckhouse: Like one guy. Which just confuses the [crosstalk] - >> Jason Howell: Yes, exactly. He's got it, he's got to display on his wall. You know, it's, like, a museum or something. >> Justin Eckhouse: I think that must be it. And this, this data is collected just from people who visited the Android marketplace - >> Jason Howell: Right. >> Justin Eckhouse: But as we all know, you get updates every two hours with Android. So pretty much everyone visits that regularly I, I think. >> Jason Howell: Yeah. I would guess so. >> Justin Eckhouse: I think that's one of the features I can't wait for, and Froyo is the update all. >> Jason Howell: How, how many, how many, like, apps do you have kind of lined up to be updated at any given time? >> Justin Eckhouse: I. I don't know. Four or five. >> Jason Howell: God. It's been really bad for me lately. I've got, like, 18 on queue. >> Justin Eckhouse: Oh, my. Oh. >> Jason Howell: And every once in a while, I'll be, like, alright, I'm on WiFi. I'll update a few of these, but you know, like you can only update a couple at a time, and then you've got to wait for that last one to finish before you can actually process the next - >> Justin Eckhouse: Right. >> Jason Howell: One. Just such a pain. >> Justin Eckhouse: I'm hoping that Froyo, and I haven't really looked at this that I can hit update all, and like the iPhone, it will just queue them. >> Jason Howell: Yeah. >> Justin Eckhouse: And it will try to do them all simultaneously. You're, like, hey. It's great you have multi-tasking - >> Jason Howell: [laughs] Right. >> Justin Eckhouse: But - >> Jason Howell: You can't use your phone for [crosstalk] two hours. >> Justin Eckhouse: Exactly. So we'll see there. But, you know. I hope that chart gets updated very quickly with a lot of [crosstalk] - >> Jason Howell: [crosstalk] yeah, exactly. >> Justin Eckhouse: Alright. Well, let's jump onto the app of the week here. >> Jason Howell: Oh. OK. Sure. Let me make sure that I have the music that I created that stresses people out up here, and I do. Are you - >> Justin Eckhouse: OK. >> Jason Howell: Ready, Justin Eckhouse? >> Justin Eckhouse: Yeah. This is, I'm [music] I'm not ready. This is Google Voice, which they announced today is free for all users. So go sign up. It's pretty awesome. I've been using it. It has a couple really cool features. One is if you don't want to use it for all, all the features, you can just use as your voice mail, and you can sort of get free, you know, visual voice mail, free voice mail transcription, voice mail on your e-mail, but you can also have, you know, one phone number that rings all your phones, including your cell phone. We can look at some of the screen shots here. The transcription is really nice. It's not always really accurate, but you can at least get out of it what is sort of the general purpose of any given call. Free text messages if you want to use it for that. Cheap international calls. You actually get sort of free domestic calls depending on how you use it. It's sort of, when you make a call with it, and you have it on your phone, you have the choice of [buzzer] do I want to, d'oh. >> Jason Howell: [Laughs] That's OK. You can keep going. >> Justin Eckhouse: Do you want to, do you want to dial out using your Goog, Google voice number, or do you want to dial out using your own number? Well, Google really recommends is if you want to use Google Voice, you know, just embrace it, and only give out that number. Don't make any calls from your other numbers. Don't give out - >> Jason Howell: Right. >> Justin Eckhouse: Any number because this is going to be your one number forever. >> Jason Howell: Seems like the only way to do it. My, my reason for not using Google Voice is just because I've been using my one phone number for so long that I don't want to, like, go through the process of, like, alright everybody. I've got a new number you have to switch over to now. And then, - >> Justin Eckhouse: Right. >> Jason Howell: And then I'm kind of putting faith into this service even though it is Google, and it's probably not going anywhere, but faith into the service that that number will be my phone going, phone number going forward - >> Justin Eckhouse: Yeah. >> Jason Howell: I will like using the service. >> Justin Eckhouse: I agree. I agree. I'm a little hesitant, hesitant of that, which is why I only use it really for the voice mail part now. But I'm waiting until they have number portability so I can port my cell phone number to them. Hopefully, I can do it in such a way that I still own that phone number, and - >> Jason Howell: Oh, that would be nice. >> Justin Eckhouse: Then if they go out of business, I just port it back to my cell phone, and I'm OK. >> Jason Howell: Oh, no. Google went out of business. [crosstalk] They're selling all their servers. >> Justin Eckhouse: Exactly. I, I should say more likely Google shuts down Google Voice, or - >> Jason Howell: Right. >> Justin Eckhouse: They sell it to Yahoo, and they go out of business. [crosstalk] >> Jason Howell: That'll be the day. Yeah. >> Justin Eckhouse: Exactly. >> Jason Howell: Awesome. >> Justin Eckhouse: Do you have a tip for us? >> Jason Howell: Sure. And this might be a beginner's tip for some of you, but for, for others, like myself, in fact, when I decided to do this, do this tip, it was kind of shrouded in mystery as much of the behind-the-scenes stuff in Android is, and this is voice commands for your Android phone. Basically, if you have one of the newer, I think it's, is it 2 dot 0 and above is voice commands? >> Justin Eckhouse: I'm not sure. >> Jason Howell: I believe that's the case - >> Justin Eckhouse: [crosstalk] I've only ever had that [inaudible] - >> Jason Howell: Yeah. Exactly. I'm sure chat room will correct me if I'm wrong there. But how you do it is, I'll go ahead and show you right here - >> Justin Eckhouse: How do you do it? >> Jason Howell: Just a little soft button. Hopefully, it'll focus. >> Justin Eckhouse: We're getting a yes on that 2 dot 0 and above. >> Jason Howell: That little soft button on the Droid, I'm sure that button exists on all other Android phones. If you click and hold that, it's going to pull up a voice command menu for you, and you can do a number of things there. Actually, you can do four. [laughs] First thing you can do is pretty much say anything, and whatever you say into there, it's going to pull up a Google search that actually processes what you just said as a search. So it's kind of a, a nifty little shortcut with, you know, plugging in Taco Bell, and, you know, or pull up the website or whatever. You can say navigate to, and then follow that with either an address or a city or a landmark. This is one I use actually somewhat frequently. You can say navigate to, you know, 235 Second Street, CNET headquarters or whatever, and it'll open up the navigation pane, and start you down that process. You can say map address or city or landmark. Map San Francisco, and it'll pull, open up Google Maps, and show you a map of San Francisco. So that's pretty cool, and then finally, you can say call, and then you say the name, and then you say either home, mobile, or work. So you're basically telling it in your address book there's a person named Fred, and you want to call home. So you'd say call Fred home. >> Justin Eckhouse: Right. >> Jason Howell: And it'll put it up. It always asks you to confirm that that's what you want. It'll, it'll show you what you've entered in, and then you hit OK, and it does it. It's really cool. Yeah. >> Justin Eckhouse: I think that's great. I think this is a really good voice command feature they have here, and I think this is, I think one thing that phones are really bad at in the big scheme of things is usage in cars - >> Jason Howell: Yeah. >> Justin Eckhouse: It's really hard to use the phone, even with voice commands because there's still the click, or there's still the looking up - >> Jason Howell: You still have to look at [crosstalk] yes, exactly. >> Justin Eckhouse: And I think hopefully this is the first step towards really getting rid of that interacting with my heads up display or whatever I got to do there to, but, you know, I'd love to see more progress [inaudible], and I think this is a great first step. >> Jason Howell: Yeah. If you have the, at least for my Droid, I have the car mount, and it has its own kind of navigation menu that it pulls up by default - >> Justin Eckhouse: Right - >> Jason Howell: And one of those is voice search so you click and say navigate to blah, blah, blah - >> Justin Eckhouse: Right. >> Jason Howell: And I've used that driving around, and it works pretty well. >> Justin Eckhouse: Only one accident so far, right. >> Jason Howell: [laughs] Yeah. That's all. Only one broken neck, and that's my own, and it's still not fixed. So. >> Justin Eckhouse: Awesome. >> Jason Howell: Alright. Should I take the e-mail? >> Justin Eckhouse: Take it. >> Jason Howell: Alright because it's a little long so I'll try my best to cut it down, but Jason in Spokane, Washington writes in and says, "First, great job. I'm an avid CNET and Android fan, and I'm very excited about this Droid-specific podcast." Thank you. Thank you very much. He says, "I just finished listening to episode two and heard your discussion about how difficult it is to copy, paste with a virtual keyboard. I don't know if this works globally or just on specific apps, but try this. Open up the stock e-mail app and compose a new e-mail, type a few characters in the subject line, and then long press. On my Motorola Droid running 2.1, I get a context menu with things like select all, select text, cut all, copy all, paste, input nothing. It seems to work on all the typical apps I use. Messaging, corporate mail, all that stuff. Long press on the web browser search bar gives you a copy all, but they call it copy page URL." So there are a number of different ways kind of embedded in these little menus if you click and hold. It's going to pull up a context and allow you to do it. My main criticism with this. I mean, yes, it works - >> Justin Eckhouse: Right. >> Jason Howell: And I use the select text all the time - >> Justin Eckhouse: Right. >> Jason Howell: If you do that - >> Justin Eckhouse: Can I guess? >> Jason Howell: What's that? >> Justin Eckhouse: Is that it's all or nothing. >> Jason Howell: No, it's not all or nothing actually. If you do select text, and then you, you know, you find the text that you want, you click and hold and drag it, it'll highlight the text that you are selecting essentially, and then when you release, it actually copies it right away to the clipboard. So that's kind of nice. Problem is, your finger is always covering the text - >> Justin Eckhouse: Oh. >> Jason Howell: When you're selecting it. Or, I don't, I don't know. Maybe not always, but it's away really hard for me to find where the beginning or the end actually is, and I end up copying extraneous characters and having to delete it later. It's not the end of the world. >> Justin Eckhouse: I feel like one of the biggest complaints I actually have about Android is selecting text in general is very - >> Jason Howell: Yeah. >> Justin Eckhouse: Difficult - >> Jason Howell: It is - >> Justin Eckhouse: But compare that to the iPhone, and the iPhone is, has a much nicer UI for selecting and copying even. >> Jason Howell: Yeah. Maybe - >> Justin Eckhouse: It's why they took them years and years to develop - >> Jason Howell: [laughs] Yeah, right. We'll give them a pass now, and [inaudible] a couple of years later. Yeah. Maybe, hopefully this is something, the type of the thing that they can improve in, in gingerbread. >> Justin Eckhouse: I hope so. >> Jason Howell: I don't know. But that's it. >> Justin Eckhouse: Awesome. >> Jason Howell: That's all we got. >> Justin Eckhouse: Well, thanks for joining us. So if you would like to follow "Android Atlas," you can go to the blog at cent dot com slash android atlas where you will find this show posted as well as tons and tons of Android-related news stories. You can watch us every week at 2:00 PM Pacific, 5:00 PM Eastern on cent dot com slash live slash android atlas. If you have feedback or tips or would like to sponsor the show, send us some e-mail at android atlas weekly at cnet dot com. >> Jason Howell: I'm working on a shorter e-mail address right now. I have the help desk take over, by the way. So, maybe next week I'll have news on that. >> Justin Eckhouse: Maybe. >> Jason Howell: You can't wait. >> Justin Eckhouse: Ha ha ha. >> Jason Howell: Alright. >> Justin Eckhouse: But send us e-mail. We'll, you know, we're open to anything here. >> Jason Howell: That's right. Anything Android anyways. >> Justin Eckhouse: [music] Exactly because we are an open show. >> Jason Howell: That's right. >> Justin Eckhouse: Don't e-mail those iPhone guys. >> Jason Howell: Alright. Thanks, Justin. >> Justin Eckhouse: Thanks for joining us. >> Jason Howell: Thanks you guys. Bye. ^M00:35:34 [ Music ]

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