Android controller app for a while now, and we've just had a chance to go hands on with the software at the pre-MWC ShowStoppers event. Headed to the Android Market in March as a free download, the app does everything we're familiar with from the iOS version for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch, but also gets some extra functionality by virtue of Google's more flexible attitude towards hardware. So, the volume buttons on the side of the handset - in this case a demo Nexus S - will work to control the master volume or the zone volume when you're in the Sonos app, and there's integration with Google's voice search functionality too. That allows you to search for a specific artist, track or album simply by saying the name out loud (of course, you can always use the on-screen keyboard instead). [vms 2108eee6dd897f3bca8a] Functionally, it all works just as well as the Apple version, and navigating between two different zones - in this case Sonos S5 players - was a matter of tapping and picking a track to play. There's nothing here that will spoil Sonos' reputation of solid, straightforward usability. The company has promised a review copy when it comes out of final beta, so we'll save our final opinion for then, but so far things look great. [gallery]
Alien Dalvik cross-platform system. Billed as offering a seamless way to run Android apps on non-Android phones, Alien Dalvik will launch first on MeeGo later in 2011, but Myriad intends to extend support to a variety of other OSes. They claim that, with generally no modification to the core software required, and only repackaging of the Android APK files necessary, Alien Dalvik apps will run as if native on the new device. Myriad expect to demo Alien Dalvik on an N900 at MWC 2011 next week. [youtube mXWEyKjwk2g] Press Release:
Myriad Announces ‘Alien Dalvik’, Enables Android Apps to Run on Non-Android Phones • Alien Dalvik allows operators, OEMs and application store owners to create new revenue opportunities from Android ecosystem • To be demonstrated for the first time next week at Mobile World Congress 2011 in Barcelona, Myriad Suite AV91 DUEBENDORF-ZURICH, Switzerland – 08 February 2011 - Myriad Group AG (SIX: MYRN), a global leader in mobile technology having shipped over 3.7 billion software applications on more than 2.2 billion phones, today announced the launch of Myriad Alien Dalvik, enabling Android apps to run on non-Android platforms. The launch opens up the Android experience to new audiences, generating new revenue opportunities for mobile operators, OEMs and app store owners. Building on the launch of Dalvik Turbo, Alien Dalvik signifies Myriad’s latest Android innovation by enabling Android apps to operate on a much wider range of platforms and devices. As a result, operators, OEMs and application store owners can now easily access the Android ecosystem and deploy Android applications across multiple device operating systems, all without compromising performance. Alien Dalvik enables the majority of Android applications to run unmodified, allowing application store owners to quickly kick start Android application store services by simply repackaging Android Package (APK) files. From a user perspective, Alien Dalvik is completely transparent. Alien Dalvik applications appear as native and can be seamlessly installed on device without user disruption. All the user sees is that he now has access to a wider range of applications, thus encouraging a higher frequency of downloads and increased ARPU. “The proliferation of Android has been staggering, but there is still room for growth. By extending Android to other platforms, we are opening up the market even further, creating new audiences and revenue opportunities,” said Simon Wilkinson, Chief Executive Officer, Myriad Group. From application components to complete device integration, Myriad provides best-in-class Android solutions. As a founding member of the Open Handset Alliance (OHA), Myriad has been playing a key role in Android solutions since its early days. When partnering with Myriad for Android application development or porting, operators, OEMs and application store owners will benefit from Myriad’s rich heritage in Java technology and unique Android expertise. Myriad Alien Dalvik will be commercially available later this year on the MeeGo platform. Other platform support will be announced in the coming months. Alien Dalvik will be demonstrated for the first time on the Nokia N900 at this year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona from February 14th-17th at the Myriad hospitality suite located at The Avenue, Stand AV91.
new firmware update for its Adam tablet, addressing multiple launch issues with the Tegra 2 slate and generally smoothing out the overall user-experience. According to Notion Ink Fan, the Eden UI panels are now more stable, browser tabs are more reliable, and the video player is less jumpy when you toggle play/pause. Meanwhile, Adam owner Shane Trafford - who you might recall was among the first wave of recipients - has sent in his own video demo of the Notion Ink slate doing its thing (which you can see below). [youtube FbAtgrO01S4] [via Lilliputing]
Dropcam has added an Android app for accessing its streaming webcams to the Android Market, having previously only offered basic browser support for non-iOS devices. The app itself is a free download, though you'll need to be a paying Dropcam subscriber in order to actually access your cameras. As well as regular streams, you can set alerts to be notified on movement or audio. [youtube jIbzF3RQf6g] [via AppScout]
Skifta has been bubbling away in Qualcomm's labs since 2009, and the company's Android app is the first to be DLNA certified under the Digital Living Network Alliance's new software certification program. Skifta promises to funnel content easily from a phone, NAS or cloud-store, via your Android 2.2+ smartphone, to any DLNA playback source. That could be a PS3, an HDTV, stereo, PC or other device; there's a list of examples here. While we've seen DLNA-compliant Android smartphones before, Skifta promises to boost usability with a slicker remote control display, as well as giving the functionality to every Android device. More details in the video below. [youtube ezP6Ee9HoRo] Press Release:
Skifta Becomes First Software Application to Receive DLNA Certification Application-based Service Turns Smartphones and Tablets into Global Remote Controls for Streaming Media and Furthers DLNA Vision for Connected Digital Home SAN DIEGO — February 2, 2011 — Skifta™ for Android, a product of Qualcomm Services Labs Inc., has become the first application to be certified by the Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) under its new Software Certification program. Skifta is an application-based media shifting service that allows consumers to access and play their digital media from virtually any source, whether it’s accessed on the phone, from the cloud, or remotely from home. Consumers can then stream this media to DLNA Certified® consumer electronics such as TVs, IP-connected stereos, Windows 7 PCs, PlayStation3 game consoles and many other consumer electronics product via their Android smartphones and tablets. As a DLNA-Certified® software application, Skifta now gives Android users the added assurance that digital music, photos and videos from the phone and around the connected home can be streamed easily to DLNA Certified® products at home or on the go. Through DLNA Certification, Skifta helps meet digital media consumers’ demand for a reliable, interoperable platform for accessing and streaming media within the connected home, or accessing it remotely via smartphone. “We are proud that the Skifta Android application has become the first DLNA Certified software application,” said Bruce Jackson, vice president of technology at Qualcomm Services Labs. “The Skifta application demonstrates our commitment to DLNA and to making the smartphone central to the connected home and lifestyle. The Skifta application creates the potential for tens of millions of smartphones and tablets to run DLNA Certified® software and stream multimedia content reliably to devices around the home.” Analysts estimate that that there will be nearly two billion DLNA Certified® devices in homes worldwide by 2014, and some expect that DLNA software certification will propel adoption and usage of DLNA devices on consumers’ home networks. The Skifta application takes advantage of the rapid adoption of DLNA-enabled devices, the growing desire for on-demand streaming media, and the rapid proliferation of smartphones to deliver an easy-to-use service for taking your digital media with you, without actually having to take it with you. “DLNA Certified® software such as Skifta will help bring content such as photos, videos and music, stored on DLNA Certified® devices, to an even larger selection of consumer electronics, mobile and PC products,” said Nidhish Parikh, chairman and president of DLNA. “Qualcomm has been an active DLNA member for some time and as the first Certified software application, Skifta complements the DLNA standards and vision.” Availability The Skifta application beta is currently available as a free download in the Android Marketplace for smartphones running Android version 2.2 and higher.
begun pushing out its promised update for the XPERIA X10 and XPERIA X8, adding pinch-zoom multitouch to the larger handset and enabling ANT+ support for the smaller. The long-awaited multitouch addition to the X10 will work in both the browser and Google Maps; Sony Ericsson is hoping feature tweaks like these will salve the pain of never getting an Android OS update beyond 2.1. There's also some on-device video editing support and more languages; the full list of changes is below. The X10 and X8 update can be installed manually, via USB, or Sony Ericsson say that most markets will have an OTA option as well.
- Addition of some bi-directional languages (Arabic, Farsi, Thai and Hebrew) – All products.
- Pinch/zoom touch for mobile Internet and Google Maps. – Only Xperia X10.
- Moxier in an updated version (2.7.13) that includes a great overview widget for e-mail, calendar and tasks.
- Moxier e-mail shown in Timescape.
- Possibilities of trimming videos in the phone.
- Videos are transcoded to fit into MMS-messages even if they were recorded in high quality.
- Minor changes to Mediascape with access to “Now Playing” in the top right corner.
WSJ's sources, Google is hiring software engineers, product managers, user-interface experts and others with Android app concepts, as well as re-purposing existing staff, to significantly broaden the number and quality of mobile apps they offer. The new strategy is apparently intended to further take on Apple, which has a strong reputation for solid in-house apps. Some of the new Google titles would be Android-specific, the sources claim, but not all, and Google will bankroll small teams with product-manager Benjamin Ling supposedly taking responsibility for overall management of the project.
promised LiveView update, promising improved stability of the remote display and automatic reconnection of the Bluetooth link. There's also support for a greater number of simultaneously installed plugins, now raised to 30.
- Improved stability in the phone application (update available on Android Market since some weeks ago)
- Improved plug-in handling and limit of number of installed plug-ins raised to 30.
- Connection stability improved – most identified reasons for random disconnects should be fixed now.
- There were some cases of random reboots reported, and all those reported crashes have now been resolved.
- Compatibility with competitor phones is greatly improved, both in regards to stability and to battery life time.
- Automatic reconnect when coming back in range improved.
Android Market, with Android platform manager Eric Chu telling developers that the company had several strategies for driving app buyers in 2011. Speaking at the Inside Social Apps conference in San Francisco this week, Forbes reports, Chu confirmed that carrier billing would be extended beyond just AT&T, so as to remove the payment obstacle for more users, while in-app payments would also come sometime this quarter. Actual discovery of apps is also being streamlined, with Chu saying that Google is tweaking the Android Market search algorithm as well as investing in more people to weed through any titles that violate the ToS. There'll also be a new push for HTML5 apps, and better social integration with the Android address book which Chu described as "the best social graph."