Android Applications

T-Mobile Hotspot Connect hits Android Market

Google finally added the T-Mobile Hotspot Connect to the Android Market, and not a minute too soon. Now you will be able to use your G1 to connect to any T-Mobile Wi-Fi hotspot for free saving your battery from the strain of using 3G. You can find T-Mobile Hotspots in many places including coffee shops, hotels and airports with more added all the time. You can use the hotspot for anything from surfing the net and sending instant messages to connecting to your corporate network with confidence on a completely secure network. I personally do not know anyone who actually uses this feature. I can imagine it coming in very handy in times when coffee shops charge you for internet use. To date I only know of one place that actually has a hotspot, who knows of a local hotspot that they will be using regularly?

Google returns applications to the Androd Market

Google has started replacing the applications in the Android Market after taking down 75 percent of them on Monday. Developers quickly chimed in telling us that that the applications that were available the week before were demo apps, they are now putting the production versions of them all back but this time they are slipping in a few godsend apps as well.

Google plans on having between 40 and 50 applications ready to go in the Android Market by the time the phone is “officially” released. Applications that were previously in the Android Market such as ShopSavvy, Any Cut, Shazam and PicSay back now back accompanied by new apps like MySpace Mobile, imeem and Moile Banking by Bank Of America. PicSay is a solid, easy to use picture editing applications that allows you to do simple things such as add a conversation bubble or ad add color to photos that are on your microSD card. Imeem is a music based application similar to Pandora for iPhone. This application allows you to search for popular music and stream it directly to your device. Photo courtesy of Android Community member heyitsnan.

MySpace Mobile Launches for Android

With just days before the official launch of the T-Mobile G1, MySpace Mobile has already made its debut in the Android Market. It looks like MySpace has beat FaceBook to the punch this time. This version of MySpace Mobile seems very polished and runs smoother than previous versions on other devices.

FaceBook no doubt has their application ready for release any second now. The MySpace Mobile application has undergone a face-lift in the Android release, with a very simple layout it allows you to easily navigate some of the basic features that MySpace has to offer. Navigation tabs on the right side of the screen list from top to bottom Home, Mail, Friends and Photos, to allow quick navigation of the application. While the application is not as in-depth as the online version, it still allows you to do many things such as approve friend requests, send and receive messages, search for friends, update your current status and upload photos directly from your G1. Now that MySpace Mobile is out, will we see a FaceBook or Twitter application before the 22nd? FaceBook may never be found on Android because of the bad blood between the two companies. I would like to thank Android Community member mikeyrokschicago for bringing Myspace Mobile to our attention. [gallery]

Google removes applications just before launch

As people start receiving their pre-ordered T-Mobile G1 phones, they are going to be very disappointed to find that the 50+ applications that were reported in the Android Market have now been stripped down to only 13. Many of the top applications that have been reviewed already will not be there.

While we are not sure why Google has decided to do this, it does not seem like a coincidence; more than likely it has something to do with customers receiving their G1's today. It may be because they want to cut down on initial bandwidth usage for the launch, other theories are that Google may be doing a last minute quality check on the applications to ensure all work really well on launch day. Why do you guys think they took down so many applications last minute? See below for a full list of currently available applications. AccuWeather.com Plusmo College Football Live Myspace Mobile imeem for Android Plusmo Pro Football Live BlueBrush Maverick MyCloset Cab4ME Light e-ventr TuneWiki The Weather Channel BreadCrumbz Buzzd

Android Community Week in Review – Week 42 2008

What a week it has been for Android Community. We started off with a story about T-Mobile selling 1.5 million G1 handsets already in pre-orders. T-Mobile has refused to comment on these numbers, suggesting that they are far too high. Logically, if the actual numbers were the same as reported or higher, T-Mobile more than likely would have happily taken the credit. We also got the chance to put out the first ever exclusive Android Community hands-on G1 review!

We were really excited to be able to completely go through and test the G1 this past week. We found the G1 was very small and sturdy in your hands. The user interface was amazingly responsive and easy to navigate. Applications such as TuneWiki and ShopSavvy (formally known as GoCart) still have me in awe. However not everything about the G1 was something to celebrate. The battery dies extremely quickly, we have been led to believe that it is the lack of a way to end background processes such as applications. We have found that GPS does not work in all cities. We were able to quickly find our location in Scottsdale AZ, however the G1 was not able to locate positions in Manhattan NY. We are not sure if it is a firmware issue or network issue. Google has a killswitch in their operating system that can disable applications remotely "just in case". Unlike Apple with the iPhone, Google was very upfront with letting the public know about it. Motorola hinted that the new 350-member Android team is working on a social networking based Android-powered handset. Information about this handset came from an ad placed for a position on their Android development team. Microsoft may one day bring their Flash-equivalent to Android with their Silverlight program. This would be a large advantage for the Android platform over the iPhone which currently does not have Flash. Handango will be the first to bring both free and paid applications to the Android Market. This is good news for new G1 owners who are looking for popular applications such as Garmin turn-by-turn directions. Many mobile gamers will be happy to know that games such as Spore may be on their way to the T-Mobile G1 very soon. Not many people use Gmail to synchronize their contacts, the vast majority of people use Microsoft Exchange to manage their address books. Out of the box the G1 does not support Exchange synchronization, but it didn't take long for Wrike to create an application that will sync your Exchange contacts to your phone. Currently it only supports one way synchronization, but they promise to soon have two-way functionality. Here at Android Community we have had a lot going on, our community member Designdawg has created what now is our site banner. We were so impressed that we even made a few limited-edition shirts using the design. We are just about to wrap up our Golla G1 case giveaway. We have had 11 winners so far, the last contest winner will be announced on October 22nd, the day the G1 is set to launch. We also held the official Android Community G1 launch party in Texas, hopefully a real treat for our members; the lucky few close enough to take part got to meet the people behind Android Community and some walked away with some really nice prizes. Photo courtesy of Android Community member heyitsnan.

Handango expands to Android; sponsors Application contests

The leader of smartphone applications globally, Handango Inc, announced that they will be the first retailer to offer both free and paid applications for the first Android-powered smartphone that will be launched on October 22nd.

Handango distributes applications created by some of the largest names in mobile applications such as Microsoft, Garmin, Ea Mobile and Capcom Interactive. Until now Handango only supported the four largest mobile operating systems such as Windows Mobile, Palm, Blackberry and Symbian platforms. Handango coming to Android is fantastic news for soon to be G1 owners as well as future Android owners because of the large amount of applications they offer. Handango will not bring one or two applications like many developers, but will bring a collection of applications ranging from utilities to popular mobile games. Handango offers some really useful applications that are very well put together such as Garmin turn by turn navigation.  Some of the applications Handango offers include Monopoly, Tetris, The Weather Channel, Voice on the Go, ShopSavvy, EZQuote and GoogHelper just to name a few.  However it's uncertain which of these apps will make their way over to the Android platform.
"Handango has always offered its customers the widest variety of smartphone apps available on the market and on all major operating systems," states Bill Stone, CEO Handango. "Handango is now offering developers the opportunity to sell the paid apps they create for the Android platform as well as offer any free apps when the first Android device launches. Customers can purchase apps via the Web and then download them to their device."
Developers can now add applications to their Handango account and sell them in one of three ways, by giving the application away for free, selling the application for a one-time purchase fee or sell the application for a monthly, quarterly or annual subscription fee. As much as I am not a fan of subscription based application buying, large companies such as Garmin offer their services primarily on a month to month basis. Very few games however can justify purchasing a short term subscription, online mobile games are the exception in this case because of incurred expenses. In efforts to push more applications into the Android Market around the G1 launch date, Handango is also sponsoring an application contest to the best free and the best-paid Android application that is uploaded to the Handango catalog by November 7th. Each winner will receive  a $25,000 advertising allowance within Handango’s marketing initiatives, including email marketing, featured products on Handango.com, paid and natural search keywords, online advertising, PR and promotion on affiliate programs. Such a large advertising allowance would allow many applications that do not have much of an advertising budget to get the word out about their application. Applications hosted by Handango are generally not free, it seems that applications that must go through Handango are going to be priced a little higher than those that go directly through Android Market as Handango take their tithe for providing the service. Photo courtesy of Android Community member heyitsnan. [Via prnewswire]

Wrike syncs Microsoft Exchange contacts with T-Mobile G1

Many people have all their contacts synced with Microsoft Exchange, however with the T-Mobile G1 contacts are only synced with your Google address book, leaving it difficult for those who do not use Gmail. There is now a downloadable sync tool that allows you to sync your contacts right from the Microsoft Exchange Server, and not a moment too soon.

This application will be be free to everyone. The development was sponsored by Wrike, web-based project management software that is transparently integrated with email, and Intermedia, the leading exchange hosting provider. They claim that “ContactsSync works perfectly for updating data in your G1 phone address book.” The draw-back to this method is that if there are any changes made in your exchange address book you will have to synchronize it again for changes to take place; unlike, say, using Exchange natively on a Windows Mobile handset, there's no automatic synchronization. Once you download ContactsSync to your T-Mobile G1 setting it up is pretty simple. All you have to do is open the application, go to Menu> Settings and enter the email and password for your Exchange account. There are advanced settings if you wish to manually configure the Exchange web services address. After the application is setup you just press “Load contacts” and the contacts will copy over to your G1. This application will not sync over the contacts already on your device, however if you already have the contact on your phone it will be duplicated. As of now it only works one way too; we're told a later version of ContacsSync will support two-way synchronization and merging of contacts. [Wrike]

Android comes fully equipped with a killswitch

Word has surfaced that Google has a remote killswitch for applications on Android-powered handsets, much like Apple has for the iPhone. IPhone owners were very angry when they read that Apple could disable any application on their device remotely if they choose.

Located in the Android Market terms of service, Google says that they might remove an application from a user’s phone if it violates the developer distribution agreement. The agreement reads, "Google may discover a product that violates the developer distribution agreement ... in such an instance, Google retains the right to remotely remove those applications from your device at its sole discretion," Google has been vey upfront about the killswitch when Apple did not confirm that the iPhone did indeed have it until days after a developer discovered it. Google stated that if an instant arises where an application must be killed, they will try to get the users money back. Google said that it will make "reasonable efforts to recover the purchase price of the product ... from the original developer on your behalf." If Google is unable to get the full amount back, it will divide the amount it does get among affected users. Google also has more of a need for such a feature as the killswitch because there is no initial screening process when an application is submitted to the Android Market, leaving the opportunity for potentially damaging or otherwise malicious applications to get to at least a few handsets. Android Market policies also include a refund program, stating that you can return any application for a full refund within 24 hours of the time of purchase. This becomes particularly useful when an application does not offer a trial version. [Via ComputerWorld]

Android Community Week in Review – Week 40 2008

More and more information about future Android-powered handsets surfaced this week. Samsung and LG apparently won't be releasing a handset until at least Q3 2009, giving T-Mobile more than amazing sales opportunities. T-Mobile expects to sell half a million handsets in 2008 alone.

Motorola has confirmed rumors that they are expanding their Android team by as many as 300 members. In other rumors, Nokia and Verizon were reportedly spotted at a recent Android developer conference put on by Google. We also heard that China Mobile may be working on a TD-SCDMA 3G Android Phone. Android Community also managed to get an exclusive hands on with the G1 and award winning Android application ShopSavvy, formerly known as GoCart. The app you to scan a barcode at the store, and immediately get local store prices as well as online prices for that particular item. Android Community has also undergone several new changes and upgrades. Our new layout is now much better organized and hopefully easier to navigate. We are happy to announce the addition of our Knowledge Base (KB), which includes General Guides and Tips & Tricks. We have also added a user blog where you can blog about anything you wish: happy about getting your G1, just blog about it! Now users can upload personal pictures to our Member Photo Album or submit Android related photos to your flikr page. Special thanks to Ewdi for putting in the time and effort to make this site what it is. Many of us are very excited to hear that the G1 will be ready for 16 Gig microSD cards right out of the box. More astonishing news was heard with the explanation of Applications Without Boarders. The simple concept of applications being able to share data and work off of each other. Several different applications may now use the same database library created by another. Screen shots of BestBuy's inventory hint that they will be receiving the G1 in November. While no one can confirm this as of yet, it looks highly possible with the time frame in which BestBuy received the iPhone 3G. Andy Ruben spoke about the differences between Android Market and Apple's App Store, and has revealed there will be no bandwith limitations for Android applications, T-Mobile has asked that developers with free apps, that take more than 15 Megabytes a month for a single user, pay a $2 monthly fee. With the recent demand of the G1 T-Mobile has tripled the production of G1 handsets available for pre-order before October 22nd and managed to sell through them all already. Android software engine Andy Stadler spoke about how Android is fully embedded with search. T-Mobile has officially released the G1 emulator with 360 view. This emulator allows you to go thought the phone almost as if you had it in front of you. Photo courtesy of Android Community member heyitsnan.

Android fully embedded with Search

Every day there are more and more details becoming available about the Android Mobile operating system. On the Official Google Mobile Blog, Android software engineer Andy Stadler states that Android’s goal is "to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful".

Google aims to integrate their search tools as a platform wide feature. Every Android application that uses a search will have a special menu option, Applications using maps for instance will support a type-to-search feature, others such as Android Market will have search buttons, the home screen will have different available search widgets. The keyboard even includes its very own search key. Android search services will also include suggestive searches as you type in a query. The G1 will offer suggestive searching on Google web searches; for other applications, such as Gmail or YouTube, suggestions will be based on past searches. Google has shared an API, sample code, documentation and related tools with third-party developers so that their applications will implement basic search services as well. [Via Fierce Mobile Content]
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