Content Ratings coming to Applications in the Android Market

Google has announced today that we will start seeing content ratings for apps listed in the Android Market in a few weeks time. In a move to provide users with additional information to help in choosing which applications would be the best for them, Google is going to provide ratings for applications on four levels.

Android Market’s Publishing Interface Gets Updated, More Signs of Gingerbread

There's no doubt that Gingerbread, Android 2.3, is coming. Everyone knows it, and now we're all just forced to play the waiting game. With Google working behind the scenes, and right in the front yard, to bring Gingerbread to the Android loving masses, getting updates as they happen, especially for developers, is a welcomed addition. This time around, on the heels of news that the entire Android Market is in the process of getting upgraded, we find out that the development interface is getting updated, too, bringing high resolution graphics to the fore, along with promotional videos.

More details surface on Amazon’s Android App Store via Distribution Agreement leak

While Amazon still has not made an official word of their plans stepping into the Application Market, an App Store Distribution Agreement has been sent out. The terms and conditions are pretty thorough and similar to what we heard a few days back. Among them, the royalties for app placement in the store is “equal to the greater of (i) 70% of the purchase price or (ii) 20% of the List Price.”

Android Apps on the Samsung Galaxy Tab look just fine

Just as Google was stating that their Android 2.2 OS was not built for devices with a larger than 4-5 inch screen, analyst Rob Enderle of Enderle Group has said that Android Market apps simply will not look pleasing on the device because they were built for smaller screens. However, how well does an opinion stack up with actual knowledge of the device? Android community had gotten their hands-on the device at the Samsung Tab Event last Thursday, and real world tests in this case do not stack up with the "expert opinion." Android Community app on Galaxy Tab

Apps for the Army Wraps Up, Android Comes Out on Top

The Army has hosted a huge developer challenge, called Apps for the Army (A4A), which was meant to see developers create applications specifically tailored for the United States Army. The developers were allowed to choose either Android or iOS as their platform, and the Army would then choose a winner in five categories: Training, Location Awareness, Information Access, Miscellaneous, and Mission Specific. And, as the title suggests, it was Android that managed to climb its way to the top, thanks to some amazing developers and the platform in which they worked on.

AT&T Code Scanner App now available for Android

If you are on the AT&T network and have a hankering to be able to scan certain types of barcodes with your Android device a new app is available for you to download. The app is on the Android Market right now and can be had for Blackberry devices if you have more than one smartphone.

Android users hit with data theft by malicious app

The wait to get apps on the Apple App Store thanks to the long vetting process Apple uses on all apps allowed to run on the iPhone has been the source of much developer and user ire. That vetting process is looking good today after reports that millions of Android users may have had data stolen by a nefarious app.

App Inventor gets early developer thumbs-up

Google's App Inventor software for quickly creating Android smartphone apps is already pulling in positive reviews, and early concerns about the flexibility and general capabilities of the development kit look to have been relatively unfounded.  Robert Oschler has been in touch to describe his experience with App Inventor: he put together a chat-bot style text to speech app with Twitter integration, and it took him little over a day of tinkering.
AppEliza is a free ELIZA style therapist chat-bot for Android phones.  You talk to it and tell it your problems, and it responds via Text To Speech.  It can also echo your conversation to a Twitter account.  AppEliza incorporates Google's speech recognition web service and the Eyes-Free Text To Speech package, the former is part of every Android phone and the later is a free download from the Android Marketplace. The excitement here isn't the app since AppEliza is a simple pattern based chat-bot that reacts to trigger words and phrases, mainly those dealing with feelings and family, and uses the power of ambiguity to "fake it" the rest of the time.  The excitement is due to AppInventor, the tool that was used to create AppEliza in a single day, except for the Twitter support that I added to it this morning and that took a little over an hour. Hyperbole is a huge problem on the web but I feel confident as a veteran developer to call AppInventor one of the best rapid development tools I have ever used and I am astonished at how fast I am able to create Android applications.
Not yet in the Android Market, you can download the AppEliza .apk file here and check out the sort of Twitter integration that's possible here.  If you've tried App Inventor we'd be interested to hear from you; let us know in the comments.

Garminfone First Commercial – Video

Due to the recent launch of more powerful Android devices, the Garminfone may have fallen off the radar before it was even launched. T-Mobile is looking to big this device back into the forefront with this new commercial. If you’re a fan of Garmin GPS systems, this phone is capable of replacing it while you giving you the added bonus of being a phone.
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