Android 3.0 SDK Preview released

Google has just released a preview of the Android 3.0 SDK that can be downloaded right now for all you Android developers out there looking to build applications for the soon to be released Honeycomb tablets. Here’s what’s new in the SDK:

- An early Android 3.0 system image for use in the Android emulator
- An Android 3.0 library with non-final APIs
- A new WXGA emulator skin for an extra large Android Virtual Device
- New documentation for Android 3.0, including a complete API reference, new developer guides, and an API differences report between Android 3.0 and 2.3.

UI framework for creating great apps for larger screen devices: Developers can use a new UI components, new themes, richer widgets and notifications, drag and drop, and other new features to create rich and engaging apps for users on larger screen devices.

High-performance 2D and 3D graphics: A new property-based animation framework lets developers add great visual effects to their apps. A built-in GL renderer lets developers request hardware-acceleration of common 2D rendering operations in their apps, across the entire app or only in specific activities or views. For adding rich 3D scenes, developers take advantage of a new 3D graphics engine called Renderscript.

Support for multicore processor architectures: Android 3.0 is optimized to run on either single- or dual-core processors, so that applications run with the best possible performance.

Rich multimedia: New multimedia features such as HTTP Live streaming support, a pluggable DRM framework, and easy media file transfer through MTP/PTP, give developers new ways to bring rich content to users.

New types of connectivity: New APIs for Bluetooth A2DP and HSP let applications offer audio streaming and headset control. Support for Bluetooth insecure socket connection lets applications connect to simple devices that may not have a user interface.

Enhancements for enterprise
: New administrative policies, such as for encrypted storage and password expiration, help enterprise administrators manage devices more effectively.

Continue reading Android 3.0 SDK Preview released →

Google plans to improve the Android Market in the coming months

Unhappy with the current state of the Android market, Google is planning to introduce several improvements this year to help third-party developers sell more applications. There’s no denying that the market is somewhat of a mess right now and far from being on the same level of the iOS or even Windows Phone 7 Marketplace in terms of user experience and especially application discovery (and when I mean applications I’m talking about real genuine great applications which are buried under tons of crap). Here’s what’s apparently coming:

- In-app payments system similar to what’s currently available on iOS.

- Carrier billing: Already available on some carriers all over the world (same for Windows Phone 7) but Google wishes to have more carriers on board.

- Improve user discovery of apps in Market.

Continue reading Google plans to improve the Android Market in the coming months →

Over 2 Million Windows Phone 7 devices sold to carriers and retailers

Microsoft doesn’t seem to want to communicate on the end-user sales numbers but has indicated today that 2 Million Windows Phone 7 devices have been sold to carriers and retailers in Q4 2010. This is 500K more than the latest announced number in December but obviously still way behind it’s main competitors (iPhone and Android):

“We’re still in the early stages,” Microsoft Senior Product Manager Greg Sullivan told Mobilized in a phone interview on Wednesday. “When people use this phone, they really, really like it.”

Microsoft will definitely have to answer lots of questions about Windows Phone 7 sales and forecasts tomorrow during its Q2 2011 earnings conference call. But keep in mind that Microsoft only sells Licenses to OEMs not phones. This is still a far cry from the projected 30 Million sales that Microsoft hopes to accomplish this year.

Continue reading Over 2 Million Windows Phone 7 devices sold to carriers and retailers →

Parachute Panic HD for Windows Phone 7 Hands-on video review

As promised on Monday, Parachute Panic HD for Windows Phone 7 has just been released in the Marketplace for $2.99 (it’s$1.99 on iOS). What we have here is a perfect port of one of the the best selling iOS game (iPhone, iTouch and iPad) with zero performance issues in sight contrary to other ports recently released. Now you probably already know how this thing works so I’ll just let you watch the game in action after break:

Continue reading Parachute Panic HD for Windows Phone 7 Hands-on video review →

LG announcing Optimus Smartphone with 3D screen at MWC

You’ve probably already heard about this so I won’t go into details (mainly because there isn’t any details at al…): LG is apparently going to  unveil a new LG Optimus handset featuring a 3D screen in on February 14th during MWC. I just received my invite to the event which is probably going to be packed. I’ll make sure to get some hands-on action with it and with all the other Tegra 2 powered devices they are going to showcase like the G-Slate tablet which is also rumored to have a 3D screen. Nothing on the Windows Phone 7 front though. So don’t be surprised if we don’t see any new WP7 devices from LG or any other OEM during the event next month.

Enable Tethering on the Dell Venue Pro

Tethering can now be enabled on all Windows Phone 7 devices! Following today’s post on how to enable tethering on HTC’s WP7 handsets a friendly fellow managed to figure out a way to get it to work on the Dell Venue Pro (and tipped Pocketnow about it after they linked back to my story). There’s no need to unlock the devices here all you got to do is edit the .inf file of the HTC USB driver provided here and follow this:

Continue reading Enable Tethering on the Dell Venue Pro →