Last week we heard the news that Google’s Android App Inventor was to be shut down. Speculation is that this is due in part to newly appointed CEO Larry Page’s desire to focus the company’s efforts. Of note, App Inventor isn’t the only product affected by this. The entirety of Google Labs is also “being phased out”. This is a significant loss for Android, as the Labs were directly responsible for mobile products we love like Google Goggles, Gesture Search, and Sky Map. What innovative new products might we now miss out on? Luckily the products mentioned above will continue to exist, but other Android Lab projects like BreadCrumb won’t be so lucky. It seemed at first as if App Inventor was also on that “do not recuscitate” list. Thankfully, however, Google announced that they would open source the project to whoever was willing to pick it up. Enter MIT. MIT has come up with a new Center for Mobile Learning to be housed in the famed MIT Media Lab. There, an open-sourced App Inventor will begin again in the hands of its original creator Hal Abelson as well as fellow MIT professors Eric Klopfer and Mitchel Resnick. By this partnership, App Inventor will likely be re-released under a dual Google/MIT license. Read more
That time is rapidly approaching folks and as promised
, the moment you’ve all been banging on HTC’s door for is here. The Bootloader Unlock page has gone live over at the HTCDev
site and first up on the list, the European version of the HTC Sensation.
HTC is committed to listening to users and delivering customer satisfaction. We have heard your voice and starting now, we will allow our bootloader to be unlocked for 2011 models going forward. We plan on releasing the updates that will allow you to unlock your bootloader in the coming months, please keep an eye on this website for more details on which devices will be adding this feature. We are extremely pleased to see the energy and enthusiasm from our fans and loyal customers, and we are excited to see what you are capable of. HTC eagerly anticipates your innovations.
When you see the words “Are you sure you wish to continue? You are about to start the process of unlocking your device. Unlocking your device allows you to install custom Operating Systems (“OS”) onto your device.“ Be sure to hit the ‘hellz yeah!” button. It’s been a long time in the making, but what’s important is that HTC heard us and is delivering. If you’re a Sensation owner in Europe and ready to take the plunge, you can head on over to the HTCDev site to get started via the source link. The directions are simple and easy to execute and it appears that support for other devices like the HTC Evo 3D are currently in the works. We too look forward to seeing what innovation comes out of this. HTC, we both thank and applaud you.
Looking to root your Photon 4G, but haven’t picked up the HD dock yet? I promise I’m not playing with your emotions here because the dock is no longer needed.
Member edgan over at XDA has posted a new dockless method for your rooting pleasure. It looks relatively easy, but you will need to follow some well written instructions, download a few apps from the market, and use the Android SDK. Hit up the XDA link below for the thread.
Web developer Tamlyn from London has built an Android phone controlled RC tank. After leaving only the tracks, drive motors, gears, battery and on-off swtich, an Android phone and IOIO board were added to drive the tank remotely. Now that’s cool!
Using Tamlyn’s own application, the tank can receive steering and movement commands via any web browser. The Android device is running a basic HTTP server with a web page listening for commands. These are received and then sent to the tank via USB to the IOIO board. The response time over 3G hasn’t been tested yet, but he has the current response times over WiFi down to about 30ms which he deems fast enough.
It’s also worth noting that Tamlyn stated that, with help, writing for Android was easy.
“This is my first Android project but thankfully the Android SDK and documentation are outstanding. With the help of a few tutorials I went from Hello World to a simple app that accepted HTTP connections in just a few hours.”
While he isn’t sure what this robot tank will ultimately do, it’s sure worth thinking about possibly of the camera being live. This could lead to some really cool applications besides checking on and scaring your cat or dog while at work. Be sure to check this cool creation out in the video and let us know what you think in the comments. Hit the break for another screen shot and the video demo. Read more
Pie charts: admit it, you love them. Especially when they pertain to Android statistics. What’s that? You don’t? Well then… why don’t you have a seat right over there…
But, enough shenanigans. According to the latest poll of Android devices from the Android Developers Site, Froyo is holding strong as king of the Android hill, showing up on a whopping 59.4% of all Google-loving devices; However, that number is actually down from the previous 64.6 percent for the last couple weeks in June. The version picking up slack? Gingerbread, of course! Our tasty baked treat comes in at 18.6%, double what it was in the previously mentioned time frame. Honeycomb comes in at 0.9%.
What do you think of these numbers? Be sure to let us know what you would like to see on the latest devices in the comments below.
[via Android Developers Site]
Today Samsung has launched the Android Developer Forum. This new forum will provide Android specific access to technical support and functionality for the Android platform. With-in this forum you’ll have access to Samsung Android device technical specs, so you as the developer can determine which device would be the best fit for use with the application you’re developing. You will have at your disposal, Samsungs tools and Software Development Kits (SDK). Developers can also make use of the Knowledge Base which will contain a growing number of technical documents, notes and guides. Also included in this wealth of information is Samsungs remote service, Lab.dev. As a member of Samsung Mobile Innovator, you’ll have access to Samsungs Remote Test Labratory (RTL), which is defined by Samsung as the following:
RTL is a remote test laboratory that allows the installation and testing, over the Web, of applications on Samsung devices.
It is the best way to reduce your development costs and make your applications compatible and easy to use on Samsung devices.
RTL provides real-time online access to networked Samsung mobile devices for remote application development and testing.
It’s the easiest way to verify application functionality before deployment.
Hit the break for the official press release from Samsung Mobile.
More great news is trickling out of Google I/O today and as expected, it’s regarding Google TV. Google has announced that this summer Google TV will be upgraded to Android 3.1 and access to the Android Market will soon follow. According to developer Mike Cleron, developers will be able to use the Vanilla Honeycomb SDK to build applications for the platform. In addition, a few other vendors are jumping on board, such as Samsung, Vizio, Logitech and Sony. This still begs the question though, what about Toshiba, Sharp and LG? In any event, we can’t wait to see what developers do with the platform. Let us know what you think of it all in the comments below. Own a Google TV enabled device? Feel free to tell us what you’d like to see come to the platform in future updates? Read more
Could it be? Could it possibly BE!? Yes folks, you read right – Samsung has released the source code for the Fascinate. This means some killer development in the 2.2.1 world, and pretty soon, thanks to sites like xda-developers.
The released version is ED01, and it has tons of Fascinate users bouncing with joy. We personally can’t wait to see the ROMs that come out for it now. You can check out the source code yourself at the source link below and searching for SCH-I500. Be sure to let us know what you think in the comments!
Over at a company called InKnowledge, developers have come up with a native SDK for Bing Maps by Microsoft… for Android. The SDK is said to bring a plethora of map control options to the table, so if Google Maps (for whatever reason) isn’t your thing, then maybe you should check this out.
Those who may be waiting to get their hands on the Android 3.0 source code may have a little while to wait as it was confirmed by Engadget that, following a report from BusinessWeek, Google will be hanging onto the source code because they essentially don’t feel it’s ready for people to hack it into pieces and start porting onto devices other than OEM tablets. Google had this to say;
Android 3.0, Honeycomb, was designed from the ground up for devices with larger screen sizes and improves on Android favorites such as widgets, multi-tasking, browsing, notifications and customization. While we’re excited to offer these new features to Android tablets, we have more work to do before we can deliver them to other device types including phones. Until then, we’ve decided not to release Honeycomb to open source. We’re committed to providing Android as an open platform across many device types and will publish the source as soon as it’s ready.
There you have it, no Honeycomb for a little while yet. No doubt Google has become a little hardened by Android’s “opensourceness’ when Android 3.0 was released originally for tablet use, when manufacturers continued and still continue to put Android 2.3 or earlier versions on their tablet offerings. Google isn’t saying it ‘won’t’ get released, just that they need to work out a few bugs yet. Stands to reason I say, look at how far Android has come since the first smartphone version came out. The same can be said for the first version designed for tablets. That said, I suspect we’ll see faster releases after Ice Cream starts making its way to devices in the near future.