developers

Report: Android replacing iOS as key platform for Asian devs

Android is gaining market share all over the world, as even the staunchest Apple fanboy will now admit - though they'd add that the smartphone market itself is growing so fast that both Android and iOS are making gains. One area that has so far vexed Android has been development, or at least, that part of development that's focused on making money. According to IT research firm Ovum, that's changing in the Asian market, where developers are shifting their focus onto Android at an alarming rate.

400,000 active apps in Android Market

The Android Market now contains over 400,000 active applications, checks from Distimo have revealed, with the growth of Google's software store accelerating at a faster pace than Apple's rival App Store. 68-percent are free or freemium, versus paid, a possible reaction to the increase in in-app purchasing noted recently. While Google lagged behind Apple when it came to hitting the 200,000 apps point in the Android Market - taking 31 months versus Apple's 22 - subsequent milestones were racked up more quickly. Android apps reached the 300,000 mark in a further four months, then 400,000 in four after that. In contrast, it took iOS developers eight months to go from 200k to 300k, and seven months beyond that to get to 400k. Nonetheless, iOS users still have more choice in titles, but if the pace of submissions continues then that may not be the case for much longer. Google also nears the 100,000 active developer milestone, with each submitting 4.1 apps on average. [via SlashGear]

Nexus Tablet? Eric Schmidt teases official Google-branded slate

The Nexus line of smartphones has been coveted by Android fans for its "pure Google" experience, eschewing carrier and manufacturer customization in favor of the latest clean build on Android. But if you want a pure version of Android in the tablet form factor, you're largely limited to the original Motorola XOOM. Speaking with an Italian newspaper, Google chairman Eric Schmidt said that the company is planning to release a tablet within the next six months to directly compete against the iPad.

Android 4.0.3 Update: Better social integration, camera capabilities, and tons of fixes

Whoa that sure was fast. Google isn't wasting any time and have already announced the next incremental update for the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich platform. We just received 4.0.2 on our Verizon Galaxy Nexus phones yesterday and it looks like 4.0.3 will be here very shortly. That is the wonderful part of owning a Nexus -- it gets all the updates right away. All the details are after the break on the new update.

Android is the most closed open source OS, say analysts

Google gets a lot of praise for bringing open source to the masses with Android, and a lot of flack for some of its more closed-off activities. On a technical level the company complies with the fundamental principles of open source software, but not always in the way that FOSS proponents would like. A perfect example is Android 3.0 Honeycomb, which never saw an open source release until version 4 was already available. These tendencies and more technical details led VisionMobile to rank it the "most closed" open source OS among a field of the most popular examples.

HP going open source with WebOS

This isn't technically an Android story, but we know there's lots of Palm Pre and HP Touchpad users out there in the reading audience. After months of indecision over the future of WebOS, HP has decided to release open source code for the operating system, allowing anyone from hobbyists to manufacturers to create versions of WebOS for different devices. There won't be any more hardware from HP featuring WebOS, at least not in the immediate future.

PandaBoard ES updates with new OMAP 4460 processor

There aren't many in PandaBoard's target market, but those that are find the gadget extremely useful. PandaBoard is a development system, basically the bare minimum parts required to run an ARM-based operating system like Android, while accepting inputs, displaying output and making network connections. The manufacturer has upgraded its developer-friendly device with a Texas Instruments OMAP 4460 processor in its new PandaBoard ES model.

Android Design Preview tool mirrors PC screens for live previews

Here's a fun hack that should be useful for Android developers and designers, and at least interesting for the rest of us. If you're designer who's working on high-quality mock ups for a new app, seeing how they look on your actual device is a bit of a hassle - you've got to save the files, copy them over to the device, try it out, then make changes and repeat. The Android Design Preview tool takes all those steps out by allowing your phone to see a one-to-one pixel representation of your computer screen.

ARM Development Studio 5 toolkit launches to public

ARM has released an update to their development toolkit that claims an increase in Java performance by up to four times. Yes, this software is free and DS-5 CE (Community Edition) and some major enhancements from the previous version. The main difference is the including of ARM Streamline Performance Analyzer; this little tool helps developers keep an eye on how efficient their code is as it's executed, what more could a dev ask for?

Apkudo helps devs test apps to be sure they work on multiple devices

One of the biggest challenges for app developers on platforms like Android where there are multiple smartphones and all those smartphones tend to have different hardware is fragmentation. Just because the app the develop runs on one Android smartphone doesn't mean it will run on all of them. Some devs have found that out the hard way, as have Android users when they try and use the app. Apkudo is a new testing platform that devs might find interesting.