Zynga New York Bringing iOS-Compatible Words With Friends To Android

Saturday, February 5, 2011 0 comments

Less than a month after NewToy's purchase by social game giant Zynga, the newly re-branded Zynga New York has announced plans to bring a version of its hit iOS crossword board game Words With Friends to Android devices by the end of the month.

In an announcement on the Words With Friends Facebook page, the company said the Android title would be fully compatible with the iOS version of the game, which the company said had been downloaded to over 10 million devices as of last October.

Zynga released its first Android title, Texas Hold'em Poker, last November, and one month later announced plans to bring Facebook and iOS mega-hits FarmVille and Mafia Wars to the platform.

Google's mobile operating system, which was recently seeing over 300,000 phone activations per day, is becoming increasingly attractive to game developers as an alternative to the still-dominant Apple App Store.

Rovio released a free, ad-supported version of its top-selling Angry Birds on the platform last October, attracting over 7 million downloads despite some initial performance issues.

And web-game portal Kongregate recently chose Android as the exclusive platform for its mobile Kongregate Arcade app. "Our background is all about the open web [and] the nice thing for us about Android is it's very open, too," Kongregate CEO Jim Greer told Gamasutra.

Originally released on iOS in July, 2009, Words with Friends is available in both an ad-supported free version and paid versions designed for both the iPad and iPhone. A similar Wordfeud app for Android has attracted over 250,000 downloads since its release in October.

Enterprise Mobility: Google Android 3.0 Honeycomb on Xoom Wows Crowd at Googleplex


Google built on the buzz swirling around its forthcoming Android 3.0 operating system for tablets during an event showcasing the Honeycomb platform tailored for tablets. After a brief introduction at the Googleplex in Mountain View, Calif., Android lead Andy Rubin passed the torch to Hugo Barra, product management director for Android, and Chris Yerga, Android engineering director for cloud services. Barra whizzed through an array of demos using Motorola's soon-to-be-launched (as in late February, early March) Xoom tablet, showing off multitasking, widgets, application bars and several other perks that were introduced to developers via the Android 3.0 preview SDK last week. Yerga then relieved Barra to show off Google's new Android Market Website, a destination that will allow consumers to purchase applications, games and music on Android smartphones and tablets. In-application purchasing is also part of the mix, as you'll see here. Peruse the Honeycomb demos and the new Android application perks here in this eWEEK slide show.

Dell Streak 7 Android tablet has hidden, non-working phone features


The Dell Streak 7 is an Android tablet with an NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor and Android 2.2 operating system. While its little cousin, the Dell Streak 5 is basically a large smartphone that can connect to the internet over 3G and make phone calls, the Streak 7 doesn’t officially support phone functionality. Dell and T-Mobile are offering it as a standalone tablet with 3G and WiFi access.
But Jenn K. Lee at StreakSmart discovered something interesting: If you tap the phone icon to open the contact manager, you get a phone-like user interface. And you can actually get it to bring up a dialer, show voicemail, and even initiate phone calls. The only problem is that calls always fail after a split second.
I would be tempted to think the phone functionality was just a bit of legacy code that Dell forgot to remove from the Android 2.2 operating system except that Jenn noticed she could actually call another phone and have it ring. So clearly some sort of call is being routed over the phone network, even if the call isn’t completed.
It’s possible that Dell could offer phone capabilities for the Dell Streak 7 tablet in Europe or other countries. There’s precedent for that: It’s only the US version of the Samsung Galaxy Tab which doesn’t make phone calls. Around the rest of the world you can use the 7 inch tablet as a (very) large smartphone.
You can check out the video from StreakSmart after the break.

The Apple iOS vs. Android Fight in 2011

Tuesday, December 28, 2010 Labels: , , 0 comments

Originally posted on Communications and Technology Blog - Tehrani.com, here: http://blog.tmcnet.com/blog/rich-tehrani/apple/the-apple-ios-vs-android-fight-in-2011.html. As TMCnet's Tom Keating mentions on his blog, there are many factors to consider in the fight for mobile supremecy between Apple, Google Android and yes, even Microsoft. Tom's point about Microsoft injecting itself into the Android relationship with carriers to become the defacto search engine has even happened already.

But what caught my eye regarding the controversy is will Apple become the defacto high-end alternative which is priced out of the reach of most of the market?

The answer may lie in production numbers alone.

You see the Apple hardware is virtually unchanged from iPod to iPhone to iPad so economies of scale work in the companies favor.

Yet Android devices are gaining massive share. If these gadgets can also leverage the same hardware with other mobile operating systems then they too can take advantage of the same efficiencies. Perhaps Samsung and HTC are best positioned in this regard as an HTC device for example can do double-duty as an Android and Windows Phone 7.

A while back I asked Nokia execs about the disadvantage they had in supporting a plethora of form factors while Apple gets away with one and they didn't have a good answer.

But if a phone manufacturer can leverage multiple operating systems to drive scale they can then compete more effectively with Apple. Again, companies like HTC and Samsung may be in a great position here.

When I saw the Droid X I immediately thought of how the PC overtook Apple's share because of the massive price/performance advantage. If we take my personal experience of implementing desktop publishing back in the eighties, the price for a loaded Mac was over $4,000 if my memory serves and you could get a PC clone with equivalent or greater processing power for less than half the cost.

But in the smartphone and tablet markets the prices are in the hundreds not thousands meaning even if you can undercut Apple on price because the Android market explodes with growth and Windows Phone 7 devices use the same hardware, it is tough to see the prices for non-Apple devices having a dramatic price advantage. Obviously this is a fluid situation and one I will watch closely.

But to me the plethora of Android devices is the challenge Apple will have to contend with - as well as the plethora of marketing campaigns. Remember Gateway Computers for example? They were a hot PC maker for years using the branding of cows in massive magazine inserts to push their cause and increase awareness.

Then you had Dell, HP, Compaq, Acer, Toshiba and a slew of other companies - each with its own marketing ideas and each with its own successful sales strategies.

But more than marketing it is the form factors which will be worth watching closely. Is the ideal tablet size larger or smaller than the iPad? Is not supporting Flash going to be a factor in Apple losing lots of sales? I already know people who have returned iPads because they don't support Flash - will this become a differentiator for other device makes in 2011?

Consumer electronics have become more important to consumers over the years and this trend is fantastic for the market and especially Apple who is the hands down leader and trend-setter. Next year, we will get to see if other companies are able to at least equal the street cred of Cupertino.

Report: Android Market Tops 200K Apps

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android logo In a matter of months, it appears that Google's Android Market has doubled in size. Numbers from AndroLib.com show more than 200,000 apps available in the store as of Tuesday.
At the end of October, Google confirmed that the Android Market had surpassed the 100,000 app milestone. Google has yet to confirm the latest numbers.
However, Apple's App store is still the largest source of apps, with more than 300,000 applications in its catalog. But with more than 2.5 billion apps downloaded from the Android Market, said AndroidLib.com, it seems Google's platform is gaining ground.
The Android Market debuted in October 2008 with just 34 apps and nine games. Google started accepting priced applications from developers in the U.S. and the U.K. in February 2009. The very next month, the Android Market reportedly had 2,300 apps, and that number surged to 20,000 by the end of the year.
2010 has seen huge growth for the store, as well as the platform itself. In April, the Android Market hit 38,000 apps. In July, Google contradicted AndroLib's reports of 100,000 apps in the store and said that the official figure was closer to 70,000.
Comparatively, Apple's App Store was launched in July 2008 and reached 100,000 apps in November 2009; several months after it achieved 1.5 billion downloads.
Google vice president of engineering announced earlier this month that 300,000 Android devices are activated every day. His announcement came just months after the company's chief executive Eric Schmidt said that Google was activating 200,000 Android devices daily.
In November, comScore reported that Android had 14.9 percent of the global market, a 6.5 percent increase from the October statistics. In the U.S., two separate studies have said that Android was ahead of both RIM and Apple in the last quarter, with 44 percent of the market.
Source: PCMag

Google Voice Search App for Android Updated

Friday, December 17, 2010 Labels: , 0 comments

Google Voice Search App for Android Updated

The Google Voice Search App for Android has been updated and lets you train the voice search software to respond to your vocals. The App now lets you set-up "personal recognition" which is found within settings and then its possible to fine tune the App to respond to your voice.
To see this in action Sony Ericsson has produced a video with Maria Sharapova using Google Voice Search.
Prior to the Google Voice Search update it was necessary for the user to adjust their voice to what the App found easy to understand. Now, once the App has been "trained" this is no longer a problem.
The Google Voice Search App for Android can be downloded from Android Market but it should be noted that the App is only currently compatible with phones running Android 2.2 and above.

Google's App Inventor for Android now available to all

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App Inventor Logo Announced by Google back in July, App Inventor for Android, the simple development system for Android phones, has now been made available to anybody with a Google account. Previously, interested users needed to request access by completing an online form.
The system is intended to allow non-programmers easily to develop applications without having to write any code. Instead, the target phone is connected to a PC, and the user creates the application using graphical building blocks in their browser.
On the Google Research blog, Karen Parker, the App Inventor Program Manager, claims that the reason for this change has been the high demand for access to the development system shown by users; she also cites a wide variety of applications developed by those users. Parker also encourages users to share details of their new applications on the App Inventor user forum.
The system remains in beta, and no indication has yet been given when this might change.
Source: http://www.h-online.com/open/news/item/Google-s-App-Inventor-for-Android-now-available-to-all-1155542.html