android os

Android Market App Destroying Phone Data

According to the application reviews from the Android Market, the app "MemoryUp Personal" is destroying personal data when installed onto an Android handset. There are reports of e-mail accounts being spammed, adware installed, and SD cards being erased - all linked to the installation of this app. This has sparked several discussions about the appeal of the open source community when personal data is at stake. Traditionally a friendly, help-one-help-all environment, the open source community is under attack by many who have had their phone book, calendar, and SD cards erased by this rogue application. Another issue raised is the Android Market app approval process, of which we're not really sure there is one. Several commenters have expressed interest in Google taking more of an Apple AppStore approach, with stricter app requirements before allowing downloads by the masses. A link to the application was not provided for obvious reasons.

Android Cupcake screenshots show new QWERTY, settings

Screenshots and hands-on feedback of the Android Cupcake development build have emerged, hinting at changes users might see rolled out over the next few months.  Although no specific time-scale has been given for Cupcake's release, developer Arron La was able to play with an early release; right now there doesn't appear to be a "killer feature" to long for, merely a number of incremental tweaks and a couple of new, basic apps. These include a new default notepad app, which Arron describes as both "very simple" and "ugly", a new Global Time app which currently will only show a rotating earth, and an unusual Spare Parts" app which allows changes to be made to windows animation, transition animation and other device settings.  Unfortunately its "display rotation" option, which presumably allows the accelerometer to control portrait and landscape changes wherever in the OS you are, does not currently work. More interestingly, considering this week's leaked images purporting to be of the keyboard-free T-Mobile G2 by HTC, there's also a shot of the new on-screen keyboard, which Arron reports will appear for every edit box.  No haptic feedback as yet, but this could be a common sight to G2 users.
  • New Local Setting Page - Gives you option to pick different locales and pick different text inputs.
  • New Option to view running and third party applications - An option to view running and third party applications from the normal application list.  Does not provide a way to terminate them.
  • New windows opening/closing animation effect - a new popping effect when windows are opened/closed.
  • New default notepad - a very simple and ugly default notepad.
  • New Global Time application - not sure if it will be provided by TMobile but it’s just a rotating earth and I couldn’t get it to do anything else.
  • New Spare Parts Application - Once again not sure if the official version will have this, but it provides a number of extra settings such as setting windows animation and transition animation speed, font size, end button behavior and etc.  It also has a “display rotation” option which supposedly should allow auto-rotate base on orientation across the entire os, but it is not currently working.
  • New Virtual Keyboard - The virtual keyboard will pop up on every edit box.  I didn’t feel any haptic feedback but I am thinking that it’s just not there on the example keyboard.  Because the phone does not auto-rotate (an option exists but it doesn’t work), it’s very hard to type on it.  The sample keyboard also does not provide auto-corrections.
  • Slightly better looking buttons with more shadow.
  • [gallery] [via IntoMobile]

    Porting Android to Palm Pre

    We are still presumably months away from the launch of what’s hyped to be 2009’s hottest handset, the Palm Pre.  The timeframe hasn’t stopped a few, however, from beginning the port of Google’s open mobile OS, Android, to the newest must-have device. In fact, efforts to port Android's system to the OMAP 3 language (the processor architecture used in the Pre) have been ongoing since July of last year.  The biggest hurdles will be accessing the Pre’s low-level system, called the bootloader, to enable switching between its webOS and Android, and finding enough space to do it in Pre’s fixed 8GB of internal storage.

    Steven Horowitz says goodbye to Google

    One of the original software engineers for Google’s Android platform, Steven Horowitz, has reportedly left the Google team for a position with Coupons Inc. This company designs software for creating, distributing and tracking coupons on the move. Steven Horowitz was recruited to the Android staff by Andy Rubin back in 2006 where he has helped make Android such an amazing platform. After spending so much time on Android, Horowitz believes that it is a good time for him to move on as right now is the beginning of the transformation of the mobile industry. Steven Horowitz hints that there are many good things to come and that he is aware that any other companies are porting the Android platform to devices other than mobile phones.  We would like to thank Steven Horowitz for his contribution to this platform and we wish him good luck with Coupons Inc. [Via WSJ]

    Android Community Week in Review – Week 3 2009

    This week, Sir Luke Hutch was able to demonstrate multi-touch on the T-Mobile G1 on a stock handset by modifying only one system class in the Java-based user interface stack. There are also some instructions to go along with it for those who would like to try it out. HTC’s new 2009 roadmap was leaked including one device dubbed the “Android Hero.”  This mobile phone has the same basic shape as the G1, but is thinner, does not have a keyboard and comes in pink. CES this year had a nice surprise for us Android enthusiasts. The GiiNii Movit Internet tablet was on display running our favorite mobile operating system. FlyCast has made its way over the Android platform after being on other smartphones such as the iPhone and BlackBerry handsets. Very similar to Pandora, FlyCast offers streaming music with no need to actually download it to your memory card. CompuLap has just introduced their new Exeda Android-powered handset. This device is really very wide and has a full QWERTY keyboard as well as several navigation controls and a landscape oriented screen. A new rumor is flying around that we would actually like to see come true. We hear that Asus is working on an Eee Phone. With Asus’s recent success in the netbook market we are sure that they can bring the same quality and reliability to the mobile market. At CES we also had the opportunity to play with OpenMoko’s Android-powered version of the Neo FreeRunner. There was nothing particularly new or exciting about this device, as we have already seen the Android platform in action and the hardware has not changed at all. There is however there was a virtual keyboard that looks very nice. A video popped up demonstrating a device that is branded on the front as “Dream” but under the back covering it reads “Dream G2.” This does not appear to be a quality handset; it could even be a fake with Android running on top of Windows Mobile. This phone is indeed from China where most knockoff phones come from. Dan O’Sullivan has created a G1 hat to better help give technical support to family members. The hat allows him to see what his family needs help with. The Australian consumer electronic manufacturer who was going to release the Kogan Agora Pro has delayed the production “indefinitely” because the screen resolution may not be compatible with future Android applications. For those of you still experiencing less than desirable battery life you can now order an extended life battery if a thicker device does not bother you. The standard battery is 1150mAh, while the extended life is a monster at 2600mAh. There is also some new information regarding what will and what will not be taken from the cupcake update and released in the next official Google update. This info however must be taken with a grain of salt because nothing is set in stone.

    Facts surface about Cupcake elements in a new T-Mobile G1 update

    All of you who have coincidentally become cupcake followers can finally have something to sink your teeth into. No the update has not been pushed out by Google, but there is some information regarding what will be included in future updates. More information included after the jump. Google does have the INTENTION to release and over the air update (OHA) that includes elements taken from the cupcake update.  A senior G1 PDA Specialist, Dylan, has apparently made a few facts clear, these facts are listed below.
    • FACT - There WILL be a G1 update shortly as it was INTENDED to be by mid-January so the next target is now by the end of January.
    • FACT - T-Mobile will not just provide Cupcake elements to the G2 and leave the G1 behind.
    • FACT - The next update will be called RC31 and include Cupcake elements.
    • FACT - The mass of calls lately for Cupcake is registering and causing T-Mobile to double their efforts in getting the update out.
    • FACT - NO ONE has received RC31 as of today.
    • FACT - When the update is released it will be done in stages “Over The Air” but it will be by region not when you purchased the G1.
    • FACT - The memo I was privy to is NOT distributed to Support personnel.
    • FACT - T-Mobile Specialists & Support are LAST to know when an update happens and are notified AFTER it is released as was the case with RC29 & RC30.
    • FACT - T-Mobile does have a battery improvement program in motion.
    • FACT - T-Mobile’s plan for battery improvement will be one of OR a combination of efficiencies in an OTA update and an extended life battery replacement.
    [Via GoogleAndBlog]

    Kogan Agora delayed indefinitely

    The Australian consumer electronics maker who promised the release of the first Android-powered handset in Australia has “delayed the launch indefinitely saying it was due to "potential future interoperability issues". Ruslan Kogan was suppose to release the Kogan Agora and Agora Pro running Android on January 29th. The reason being he would like redesign it "to ensure its compatibility with all future Android applications." This decision is likely the result of a recent meeting he had with Google at their US headquarters, which Kogan flagged earlier this year. Due to a very strict non-disclosure agreement signed with Google he was not able to comment further on what the meeting what about. "The Agora reached a very late stage of development, manufacturing had commenced and we were within days of shipping the product to customers. But it now seems certain the current Agora specifications will limit its compatibility or interoperability in the near future," Kogan, 25, said. One thing that is a major issue is the screen resolution and size, one day developers may create an application in a higher resolution that the Agora Pro is capable of. From the sounds of it we are only lucky that the handset did not make it to consumers hands, at least as it is now. Originally this handset was planned to launch on December 15th for just $199, but later the date was delayed and the price bumped to $299 for the basic model and $399 for the Pro which includes Wi-Fi, GPS and a camera. [Via TheAge]

    Android 101 workshop being held in Pakistan

    Google representative in Pakistan, Badar Khushnood, has reportedly sent out emails to a few people about an Android developers workshop in LUMS or Lahore.  The workshop is to help make developers aware of the vision that Google has for Android and help better introduce them to the platform. The session is basically an introduction to creating Android applications using the SDK and developers tools provided. Software Engineer for Google, Omer Shakij, will be speaking to people and giving a walkthrough of building a non-trivial application and use it as a basis for discussing the carious facets of the Android application framework. On the agenda they have an Overview of resources available to Android developers, Hello Android, Few API Demos from the SDK, HTC G1 Live Demo and a Q&A Session. If you reside in Pakistan and would like to attend this workshop then head over to the registration page for more details.

    New “Dream G2” video surfaces, no surprise its out of China

    Looks like we have picked up another curious Android-powered handset that is being called the “G2 mobile phone china cellphone” as the video claims, or “Dream G2” as the device actually states. From what we can see this is nothing more than a cheap knock off of an Android handset that China is producing. There is no HTC branding, as the HTC Dream was the running name of the T-Mobile G1 in the early stages. The first clue we the inconsistency in the name, the title not being the T-Mobile G2 is a clear indication.  At first glance this handset reminded me of the Velocity 103. Many of the menus and the need for a stylus suggest that it is possible this is running on top of Windows Mobile 6.1. Go ahead and watch the entire seven minutes and try to think of what the continuous “Connection failed, please press OK to continue” may indicate.  Handwriting recognition is a clear indication that this is a Chinese based phone and what kind of phones usually come out of China? Even the charger was the cheap Android USB one that is selling on the Internet currently. We will let you be the judge, let us know what you think. [youtube][/youtube]

    Hands-on with OpenMoko’s Android-powered Neo FreeRunner

    We had a chance to stop by the OpenMoko booth at CES this year to get a quick look at the progress they have made with the Neo FreeRunner.  Unfortunately this device did not get and changes as far as hardware specifications. They have however made plenty of software improvements so the phone itself is more responsive to commands compared to previously handled models. Of course the Neo FreeRunner was shown running Android. The reason they are showing the phone running a competing operating system is because OpenMoko supports the open source movements by welcoming any development involving their handset.  It comes as no surprise that Android runs quite well on this handset. While this phone is not designed for mainstream users, OpenMoko confirms that is was indeed designed for developers and hackers. Most mainstream users will be upset to find that despite having usable basic features, the Neo FreeRunner does lack many common features found on today’s pones such as a camera. Many developers have requested that hardware features be added, but OpenMoko has not given us any information as to if these requests will be filled. [Via SlashGear]