WeatherBug brings real-time weather alerts to Android

WeatherBug has announced their new weather application for Google’s Android platform. The WeatherBug applications integrates itself with Google maps to give users GPS-enabled Severe Weather Alerts, Customized Forecasts and More from the Largest and Most Precise Weather Network in the World. This weather application is ad-supported so it will be free to G1 owners. WeatherBug delivers accurate neighborhood-level streaming information and images for thousands of locations. With customized weather maps, daily weather videos, proactive location-based severe weather alerts from the National Weather Service and more, this application is all you need for tracking the weather. “No other provider can match the pinpoint accuracy of our weather information,” said Chris Brozenick, vice president and general manager of mobile at WeatherBug. “Now, with our new application for the Android phone, we can combine the live, local nature of our weather information with easy-to-use interactive maps, and harness our network technology to enable proactive severe weather alerts that are sent out automatically. Consumers can have the added assurance of knowing they are protected from severe weather, such as thunderstorms, tornadoes or flash floods, whenever it is nearby.” Users who would like to can customize the home screen with maps for multiple locations. WeatherBug provides detailed radar, live weather conditions, forecasts and the latest local and national weather outlook videos from WeatherBug meteorologists in an all-in-one application. There is also a feature that allows you to view snapshots of over 2,000 WeatherBug cameras. Users can use the Google Maps integration to view weather at the street level and even later temperature and radar on the same map.  In an effort to make this application even easier to use, you can setup new locations by selecting an address in your address book. One thing that G1 users are going to love is the fact that WeatherBug for Android has been fully optimized to reduce battery use. [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=odW3sJMW7ck[/youtube]

Android gets Facebook application after all

Not long ago we told users that Facebook was probably not going to join MySpace in the Android Market because of the relationship with Google. There were even claims that Facebook executives were saying such things as “Android sucks, it doesn’t matter.” Little did we know that there was a Facebook application being worked on at the time. Now adults who do not believe in MySpace can get in on all the social networking action on their Android-powered handset. fBook is the first Facebook application to hit the Android Market. Facebook did not actually create this application; it was the guys over at Next Mobile Web. They say this application is a wrapper that not only optimizes the Facebook iPhone web application, but also fixes all the problems associated with it. It appears to be the same as going to m.facebook.com on your browser, but with the addition of picture uploading and push capabilities integrated into the phone itself.   I wonder what the guys over at Facebook are going to have to say about this.

WikiTap allows Wikipedia searches and contribution on the go

Veveo has announced the launch of their own WikiTap application for both the iPhone and T-Mobile G1. Now G1 owners can contribute to Wikipedia anywhere from the vtap TM web video service. WikiTap allows you to quickly search Wikipedia to find multimedia content such as pictures and video. This is the first application that allows people to not only read articles, but also make immediate multimedia contributions on the go. WikiTap also enhances the Wikipedia experience on the G1 by bringing up relevant videos from vtap’s video index.  You can also rate the relevance of the content for other WikiTap community members. “WikiTap gives iPhone and Android users a unique way to discover, enjoy, share and contribute to the already amazing amount of knowledge that exists in Wikipedia, all from the convenience of a mobile device,” said Murali Aravamudan , CEO of Veveo. “Built on vtap technology, which delivers over 250 million media search queries per month, the iPhone and Android community now have the ability to easily search through millions of Wikipedia documents, and micro-contribute by uploading videos on any topic, from anywhere, making it an even more powerful knowledgebase for other users.”

Not all G1 owners in the UK getting RC8 updates

Almost everyone should have gotten the latest update RC30 from Google by now. T-Mobile has been pushing them out for several days now. This update should fix the very odd keystroke bug that was reported by users. It appears that even though the update that we received is the RC30, the UK is getting update RC8. Google promised that the UK would be getting this update that is essentially the same thing at RC30 here in the US by November 12th.  Google told BBC News, “Users in the US already report receiving the update, and Google told the BBC that users in the UK should receive it by 12 November.” There are reports all over the Internet today stating that UK customers still have not yet received their update. One member has to manually update their T-Mobile G1 through a process using AnyCut. There is still no official word from Google or T-mobile pertaining to this issue update. Have any of our members in the UK received update RC8?

Loopt will soon allow you to spy on your friends with Android

Loopt has just announced the development of their social networking application for Android. They are very excited to be able to bring this service to other platforms. Many of you may have had your first encounter with Loopt on the iPhone. Loopt keeps you in the loop when it comes to knowing what your friends are up to.  Looped has released two teaser photos of the application to spark interest. On the left you will see a map that displays all of your friends locations, on the bottom of the photo are pictures of your friends that are displayed. Just select a friend’s image and it will take you to where that friend is located. The photo on the right shows you where your friends are, how far they are from your location, and what they are currently doing. With Loopt expanding from the iPhone to other platforms it shows great promise. We are excited to see it come to Android, This not only helps them but allows Android users to connect with a wider range of people. [Via Android Community]

PhoneFusion brings visual voicemail to Android in less than beautiful fashion

PhoneFusion today announced their Fusion Voicemail Plus service for Android Smartphones at the Under the Radar: Mobility event. This is fantastic news for those who went from owning an iPhone to the T-mobile G1. PhoneFusion offers services that their existing customers enjoy so much that they decided to bring them to Android. Visual voicemail is an extremely useful service, that allows you to listen to messages in the order in which you like directly through your G1, without having to listen to them in chronological order. From what we have seen the visual voicemail service looks very primitive in its current state. The PhoneFusion Voicemail Plus service will be available for free by the end of the year. Louis Libin, chief executive officer for PhoneFusion said, "With the launch of T-Mobile's G1, the first Android-powered smartphone, people have been looking for an innovative visual voicemail app that runs on this breakthrough device. We believe Fusion Voicemail Plus fills this gap, giving the Android community a better way to stay connected when it matters most. We expect this application will quickly become one of the favorites on Android Market." [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_OaBhKSXbzM[/youtube] [Via MarketWatch]

Android gets the first virtual keyboard; still needs some work

Everyone has been asking about a virtual keyboard since before we had the G1 in our hands. Developers over at DotPhone.org have finally got an application running on the G1 with a virtual keyboard. However this application is a bit hard to use and seems to still be in the beta stages. We have seen a few cases of the application working on the G1, but have since had no luck with it. It appears that the new firmware versions RC29 and RC30 do not allow the application to work, but the old version seem to on occasion. We tried version RC29 with no luck and then decided to upgrade to verify it was not that specific version. The onscreen keyboard is reported to have a weird layout, instead of being a QWERTY keyboard, the keys listed across the top being QWERTY, the layout only seems to list QWERT across the top. Either way this application is showing progress to say the least. It will not be long before we see a working virtual keyboard on Android.  We want to know if any of our users have been able to get this application working, and if so which firmware version they have.

Android Security Team speaks about recent updates

Google has started revealing details about the security flaw they patched in recent updates for the T-Mobile G1.  Rich Cannings of the Android security team has come fourth to reveal details about the RC29 and RC30 update that Google has not previously announced. Google acknowledged the security flaw in the Browser which was fixed recently in the RC29 update, but Cannings stated there were two other issues addressed in the update.  Google fixed a security flaw that allowed people to bypass Android’s locking mechanism by booting the G1 in safe mode.  Google has decided to wait until patches have been given to all users before disclosing all the details about updates. They plan on publishing fuller details on their Android Security Announcements group soon. RC30 which was delivered about a week after RC29, fixed a rare root-console problem in Android that automatically send all keystrokes to the root shell as a command.  The issue was found when a user tried to type the word “reboot” in a text message only to find the device rebooting itself.  Google left in a feature that let programmers execute commands with a remote device that was attached via serial port. When no device is attached the keyboard was used to input these commands. "We tried really hard to secure Android. This is definitely a big bug," he said. "The reason why we consider it a large security issue is because root access on the device breaks our application sandbox." Also fixed in the RC30 update were two Webkit problems reported to Apple by iPhone users. The first issue was a buffer overrun problem that allowed attackers to gain control over the browser by simply putting a malicious code on a Web site.  The second problem allowed people to read what is stored in the phone’s memory to gain access to Web site cookies, potentially allowing them to gain online privileges. "If you're logged into a bank at that time, (an attacker) could steal your banking cookies," Cannings said. steal your banking cookies," Cannings said. [Via CNET]

iSuppli analysis states the G1 is worth $143.89 in parts

iSuppli estimates that the G1 is made with $143.89 worth in hardware costs. iSuppli has done a virtual teardown of the T-mobile G1 and come of with a Bill-on-Materials (BOM) required to construct the handset. It looks like it would be more worth it to just go out and but the phone rather than build it yourself. The Mobile Handset Cost Model (MHCM) provides a detailed analysis of present expenses to build the hardware of the handset , this does not take into account the software and research and development costs. iSuppli however has not done an physical hardware teardown of the G1 to determine actual costs. Senior Analyst  for iSuppli, Tina Teng said, “The G1’s differentiation resides in its use of the Android operating system, which has won praise for its ease of use, but whose major advantage is its integration with Google Internet services and its capability to accommodate the flood of free applications that are becoming available.” Most of the cost is contributed to the baseband of the G1, costing $28.49, which I 19.8 percent of the total cost. The second most costly item inside the G1 is the 3.2-inch LCD touch sensitive HVGA resolution screen. It comes as no surprise that the camera comes in at number 3 costing $12.13 or 8.4 percent of the total cost. Next they listed the Radio Frequency/Power Amplifier portion, which costs $9.84 or 6.8 percent of the total BOM.  The Radio Frequency/ Power Amplifier is the portion responsible for receiving the high-speed 3.5G network connection. All together the parts of the G1 cost $143.89, which is not bad considering the cost of the phone without a 2-year agreement. [Via iSuppli]

Mozilla’s mobile browser Fennec won’t be coming to Android any time soon

Mozilla’s mobile browser, Fennec, is currently in the alpha testing stages. This Browser will no doubt be one of the leading mobile browsers out there. One question that has been running through everyone’s mind is, will it eventually come to Android? Fennec is said to be showing competitive JavaScript performance with Android and mobile Safari JavaScript, which also means in speed. There are also rumors that Fennec will eventually have voice control.  Finally the question we have all been asking for a while now, will Fennec ever be on the Android platform? Mozilla’s Jay Sullivan said it will not be on Android, at least not until Google accepts programs that are not written in Java for Android. Android does not support applications that run directly on the operating system itself without the need to be written in Java.  Sullivan says that Android is “interesting for us. We’ll have to see which direction Google goes with that.” We are a bit upset that there will be no Mobile version of Firefox on Android, at least in the foreseeable future. We want to know how you guys feel about it. Is Fennec that important to you? [Via ABCNews]
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