software

Vodafone UK releases Samsung Galaxy S Gingerbread update

Vodafone UK has begun to push out the update for the Samsung Galaxy S, updating the smartphone to Android 2.3 Gingerbread. Vodafone looks to be the first UK carrier to offer the update. The first signs of Gingerbread for the Galaxy S were spotted over the weekend, with the new firmware being flagged up in several Nordic countries. According to Vodafone's change-list, the handset will get a "simpler and slicker" UI, the new Gingerbread keyboard, boosted power and camera management, and the ability to lock it into 2G mode. To install the new firmware, you'll need to hook your Galaxy S up to a PC running Samsung KIES. Let us know how you get on in the comments! Press Release:
NEWS: Update for the Samsung Galaxy S A new maintenance release for the Samsung Galaxy S is now available for Vodafone customers. This is an Android platform update to 2.3 Gingerbread which introduces a number of fixes and improvements which include; Ul Enhancements (simpler and slicker) New Android Keyboard, with easy copy/paste feature Improved Power Management Multiple Camera Management (front and back) The ability to switch the device to GSM (2G) only mode has been restored in this update. How will you get the latest software? This can be done manually by connecting your handset to your computer via USB and opening the Samsung KIES application. You will be prompted that an update is available and should then follow the onscreen instructions. Checking the software version To check which version of the software you have on your handset you need to dial *#1234# The new software version will show as i9000BUJV4

Google Maps 5.3 adds Latitude Location History, custom Places reviews

Google has updated Google Maps for Android to v5.3, introducing the new Google Location History dashboard. Working with Latitude's Location History, the new info pane shows your recent locations as well as how long you've spent at work, at home or simply out and about. As always, you can delete your location history either partially or completely, and it's only visible by users themselves or the people they share their location with. There's a new "check in at home" feature, too. Finally, Google Places with Hotpot now allows you to add your own rating category, so you can leave custom feedback. The Google Maps update is available via the Android Market for devices running 1.6 or higher.

Google TV User Experience Lead job wants TV app Tsar

Google is looking to recruit a new User Experience Lead for Google TV, who would take responsibility for guiding third-party software onto the Android-based STBs. Based at Mountain View, the new employee would be "asked to pioneer new possibilities for web-based and Android application experiences on the platform and establish the patterns and standards used to develop great interactive experiences on Google TV." The absence of apps has been a thorn in Google TV's side since the first products were released, limiting functionality to the preloaded software and whatever could be accessed online. Back in March, a Logitech exec suggested that the Android Market would be arriving "soon" though Google itself has given no public timescale beyond sometime in 2011. Google is believed to be looking to integrate the Google TV codebase with the Gingerbread codebase for phones and the Honeycomb codebase for tablets, into a single AOSP that would allow them to be significantly more nimble with overall updates. That is expected to be the basis of Ice Cream, the next Android release. [via SlashGear]

Dell plans Stage sync update for Streak, Streak 7 and PCs

Right now, Dell's Stage software is a vaguely useful UI and app suite for the company's Streak and Streak 7 Android tablets, along with Dell's notebooks and desktops. In the future, however, it will be a multi-platform synchronization tool, automatically transferring content between the smartphones and PCs. Talking to Android Community at a Streak 7 pre-briefing, Dell revealed that the Stage roadmap includes intelligent sync functionality which will automatically move new photos, videos and other content from your smartphone to your PC when you enter the home network. Remote access tools and streaming are also envisaged. Those without Dell computers won't be left out in the cold, however. Dell is planning to release a version of Stage for other PCs, though it will be functionally limited in comparison to the original. Still, enough to wirelessly sync. Unfortunately, Dell's Windows Phone range won't get included into the syncing fold, at least not initially. The company told us it was looking at the possibility, but right now Microsoft's limitations on OS modification mean it's not allowed.

Android in-app billing goes live

Google has launched in-app billing on the Android Market, allowing developers to offer extra levels in their games, additional services and virtual goods in their apps. The system will also enable try-and-buy, where apps can be offered free to trial and then activated in full without demanding a whole new download. As you'd expect, Google has worked with a few software vendors in advance to give a demonstration of how the in-app billing system works. Tap Tap RevengeComicsGun BrosDeer Hunter Challenge HD, WSOP3 and Dungeon Defenders: FW Deluxe have all been updated. Full details for developers are here, but the key points are that Google still takes a 30-percent cut of every transaction - just as it already does for basic app purchases - and that, since it uses no special APIs, it shouldn't require too much reworking of code. More on the security side here.

Sonos Controller for Android delayed

Sonos has confirmed delays in the release of the Android controller app, which will now arrive sometime in April. Originally the company had promised to release it this month. "We know you’re anxiously awaiting the Sonos Controller for Android. Unfortunately, testing the app is taking a bit longer than we anticipated" Andrew Schulert, Vice President of quality at Sonos says. "The latest addition to our free controller line-up won’t arrive until April, but when it does, it is going to rock." More info on the app here. [vms 2108eee6dd897f3bca8a]

Logitech Squeezebox Controller app for Android released

Logitech has released a free Squeezebox Controller app for Android devices, allowing users to remotely control the company's multi-room streaming audio system. Operating over WiFi, the app allows music-lovers to remotely browse, select and control playlists and tracks in all of their zones. It also supports files, station, or playlist album art. You'll obviously need some Squeezebox kit to start with, but the controller app itself is a free download from the Android Market.

Amazon App Store quietly populated: Apps and Pricing detailed

Evidence of the incoming Amazon App Store has reportedly been sighted in advance of the retailer's official launch. AndroidNews.de found that visiting amazon.com/apps shows a selection of 48 titles already in the retailer's catalog, including Scan2PDF, EasyTether and Space War HD. None of the titles have a product page as yet - clicking them goes straight back to the Amazon homepage - but they do have pricing information. A quick comparison against the official Android Market, and it seems there will be some variation in prices, though one download store isn't conclusively cheaper than the other. Note, we had to log out of our Amazon account in order to see the apps; otherwise our personalized Recent History recommendations squeezed out the software suggestions. However, the listings are still visible at time of posting. [gallery]

Angry Birds Rio for Android exclusive to Amazon Appstore, plus ad-free Angry Birds

If Google thought Amazon was playing safe with its Amazon Appstore plans then it has a nasty wake-up call this morning. Rovio has announced that it will dump GetJar and throw in with the new Amazon download service for its new Angry Birds Rio for Android game. Amazon's Appstore will be the exclusive place to get Angry Birds Rio, while Rovio will also offer ad-free versions of Angry Birds and Angry Birds Seasons for Android, again exclusively through Amazon's system. Angry Birds Rio for Android will be available at amazon.com/angrybirds. It will come with 60 levels, with more on offer via in-app purchases. Press Release:
Angry Birds Rio for Android to Debut Exclusively in the Amazon Appstore AUSTIN, Texas/ ESPOO, Finland – March 14, 2011 – Rovio today announced that the highly anticipated game Angry Birds Rio will be introduced for the Android platform exclusively in the Amazon Appstore. Developed in conjunction with Twentieth Century Fox, Angry Birds Rio features the animated stars of the studio’s upcoming motion picture, RIO. Additionally, for the first time ever on the Android platform, fans of Angry Birds games will have the opportunity to purchase and download ad-free versions of Angry Birds and Angry Birds Seasons. Both will debut only in the Amazon Appstore. “The Android platform has seen phenomenal growth, and it’s great that new avenues for app distribution are opening up,” said Mikael Hed, CEO of Rovio. “The openness of the Android platform works for the benefit of consumers and developers alike. It has been delightful to team up with Amazon to bring the Angry Birds franchise to this great new application marketplace.” “Amazon is thrilled to work with a leading developer like Rovio in offering our customers Angry Birds Rio for Android exclusively in the Amazon Appstore,” said Aaron Rubenson, category leader for Amazon Appstore. “We think Angry Birds Rio is sure to be an instant customer favorite.” “Angry Birds Rio is a fun and interactive way to introduce millions of fans to the exciting world of 'RIO,' and we are proud to work with both Rovio and Amazon to make this experience available to users on the Android platform,” said Peter Levinsohn, president of new media and digital distribution for Twentieth Century Fox. “The Amazon Appstore will be a great new way for consumers to download all their favorite Android apps, and we’re excited to offer Angry Birds Rio as one of the first pieces of content to be made available to consumers through this new store.” In Angry Birds Rio, the original Angry Birds are kidnapped and taken to the magical city of Rio, where they eventually escape their captors and set out to save their friends, Blu and Jewel – two rare macaws and the stars of the upcoming Fox motion picture, RIO. From the creators of Fox’s blockbuster ICE AGE motion picture franchise, RIO debuts in theaters worldwide on April 15, 2011. Angry Birds Rio will launch with 60 dedicated levels, with more content to follow via app updates. Angry Birds Rio will be available for download on Android phones and tablets at amazon.com/angrybirds.

Android apps apparently caught running on BlackBerry smartphones

Signs that RIM may be testing BlackBerry devices capable of running Android applications have been spotted, with the eagle-eyed developers responsible for ShopSavvy finding mention of various BlackBerry handsets in their flurry logs. The BlackBerry 8300, 8600 and 8520 were all caught running ShopSavvy at different times in January and February this year. Talk of RIM experimenting with an Android-compatible virtual machine on smartphones and the incoming PlayBook tablet surfaced last month, amid suggestions that the company hoped to broaden its consumer appeal by tapping into the wealth of apps available for Android devices. Whether Google will allow BlackBerry devices to access the official Android Market remains to be seen, however. [via BGR]