Motorola, stalwart of freedom, will work with Chinese carriers to add Bing to Chinese Android-based phones, ousting Google Search and Maps from the scene. Now this isn’t meanness on Motorola’s part although Reuters notes that this move could have something to do with that whole Great Chinese Google Hacking Incident a few weeks ago.
In December 2008, Microsoft surprised a lot of people by releasing an iPhone app — Seadragon Mobile. A month later, they ensured the move wasn’t taken as a joke or gimmick by launching another app, Tag, into Apple’s App Store. Now, they have a few, including an app for Bing. And starting today, they’re doing the same for Android.
Tag for Android is the first Microsoft-made app launched on the mobile platform. This is notable, of course, because Android is the mobile platform by Microsoft’s chief rival: Google. Still, as we saw with the iPhone, Microsoft has no problems getting its technology out there, even if it means using rival platforms. Aside from Android and iPhone, Tag also currently works on Windows Mobile, J2ME, Blackberry and Symbian S60 phones.
Microsoft’s Tag technology allows you to use your phone as a mobile barcode reader. You simply point your phone’s camera at a tag (think: a smaller QRCode), snap a picture, and the Tag program will interpret it. This can be used to place things like coupons in physical locations, for example. Other companies, including Google, are working on these mobile barcodes as well. In fact, just prior to the Nexus One unveiling, all Google employees were given the device with a special barcode on the back that other Android devices could scan to get that person’s information.
Despite the high level on animosity between Microsoft and Google, it’s great to see that Microsoft isn’t above creating apps for the increasingly popular Android platform. Microsoft made its own big mobile headlines last month with the unveiling of Windows Phone Series 7, a complete reboot of its mobile strategy, due to launch later this year. That move should help Microsoft better compete with the current hot mobile platforms, Android and the iPhone.
The Tag application is available today in the Android Market; it’s a free app.
Google has just sent out an Email to select Android developers informing them that they are eligible to receive either a Verizon Droid or a Nexus One, as part of its ‘Device Seeding Program’. The criteria for getting one of the phones is to have an application with 3.5 stars or higher and more than 5,000 downloads, which sounds like it could include quite a few developers.
In an odd move, Google isn’t actually allowing the developers to pick which device they’re receiving — if you’re in the US, you’ll get a Droid or Nexus One, at random. If you’re in Canada, the EU, Norway, Lichtenstein, Switzerland, Hong Kong, Taiwan, or Singapore, you get a Nexus One. If you’re not in any of those, you don’t get a phone at all (Google explains that the phones aren’t certified in other countries).
So why is Google doing this? Android is already having to deal with fragmentation issues, as a large number of users (and developers) have older phones that aren’t running Android 2.0. Now that the Droid, which runs 2.0, comprises a big part of Android’s market share, it’s in Google’s best interest to make sure that Android’s best developers are building software that’s compatible with the latest devices. The free phones also serve as a nice carrot to entice developers to build quality applications.
Here’s the Email Google is sending out:
Due to your contribution to the success of Android Market, we would
like to present you with a brand new Android device as part of our
developer device seeding program. You are receiving this message
because you’re one of the top developers in Android Market with one or
more of your applications having a 3.5 star or higher rating and more
than 5,000 unique downloads.
In order to receive this device, you must click through to this site,
read the terms and conditions of the offer and fill out the
registration form to give us your current mailing address so that we
can ship your device.
You will receive either a Verizon Droid by Motorola or a Nexus One.
Developers with mailing addresses in the US will receive either a
Droid or Nexus one, based on random distribution. Developers from
Canada, EU, and the EEA states (Norway, Lichtenstein), Switzerland,
Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Singapore will receive a Nexus One. Developers
with mailing addresses in countries not listed above will not receive
a phone since these phones are not certified to be used in other
We hope that you will enjoy your new device and continue to build more
insanely popular apps for Android!
Update:: And here’s a followup statement from Google about the program (it’s real, for those of you who are worried that it’s a scam):
A thriving developer community is an important part of creating a better mobile experience for users around the world. We hope that offering devices to developers will make it easier for them to create and test great applications. This is inline with other efforts to support developers, which also includes our Android Developer Labs World Tour and our upcoming participation at the Game Developers Conference.
Apple’s App Store: no more applications with “overtly sexual content”. At this point, the exact nature of that ban is unclear. But it’s a policy shift that may alarm many developers — even those whose applications have nothing to do with sexy content.
First, a little background: we’ve seen numerous reports about applications that have been pulled from the App Store for featuring sexual content, but there are still plenty of apps that have names like “Magic Boobs”. I reached out to Apple PR to ask if they’d enacted a sweeping policy change that could affect many applications, or if they were only removing a handful of applications with especially explicit content. This morning an Apple spokesperson sent back a response. It doesn’t have any answers:
“Whenever we receive customer complaints about objectionable content we review them. If we find apps that contain inappropriate material we remove them from the App Store and request the developer to make any necessary changes to their apps in order to be distributed by Apple.”
I’ve asked Apple to further clarify their stance — does this only apply to applications that have received complaints? Do they have any plans to specify what exactly makes an application too sexy for the App Store? I’ll be surprised if they get much more specific.
Now, it’s true that many of these “sexy” applications were little more than spam, featuring titillating titles, perhaps a handful of sexy photos, and little else. There were some applications that included more functionality, but it’s safe to say that the average quality of the applications on the App Store has almost certainly improved because of the new ban. But it’s still a disturbing move on Apple’s part.
Most worrying is that “sexy” applications were already blocked at one point until Apple specifically changed its policies to begin letting them in. It was only a little over a year ago that the words “Boobs” and “Booty” in an application’s description weren’t allowed. But Apple made the conscious decision to lift that ban. In effect, Apple sent a message to developers that on a platform where the rules are nebulous and anything innovative is risky, these applications were safe. Now it’s changing its mind.
Since the App Store first launched in July 2008, Apple has gradually loosened restrictions on what kinds of applications it would approve. In December 2008, it started approving “humor” apps like iFart and Pull My Finger, as well as an NC-17 rating for adult applications. And over the last year, it began allowing more and more sexy applications — it even began offering parental controls with the iPhone 3.0 software update to help parents keep what their kids accessed in check.
Now Apple is moving in the other direction, and it’s setting a scary precedent. It’s showing that it’s comfortable throwing out applications that developers have spent their time and money building, without even bothering to give them advance notice. It’s one thing to have an application get denied when it’s first submitted — it’s another thing entirely to have the rug pulled out from under you once your app has thousands of downloads and customers. Is Apple going to start blocking apps like Qik if it builds its own live streaming service? Are iFart’s days numbered? Could Apple simply ban all NC-17 rated applications because too many parents complain?
And then there’s an entirely different issue: censorship. Apple is now one of the world’s largest gatekeepers to content, with a store that encompasses music, video, applications, and soon, books and magazines. And it’s shown before that it’s a totally inconsistent hypocrite when it comes to which content it’s willing to sell. Have exposed breasts in an R rated move? Sell it! Jiggling boobs in a silly iPhone application? Banned. Apple previously blocked an iPhone application that allowed users to access the Kama Sutra. What happens if it gets too many complaints about iTunes making it too easy to purchase books and magazines with sexual content?
Google has submitted a new version of its Google Mobile App for the iPhone platform (iTunes link), and the fresh app now finally boasts built-in support for Voice Search on iPod touch devices (2G or newer). Version 0.4.5.3281 also brings improved stability when using Voice Search on ‘restrictive networks’ and is also said to make Search by Voice completion detection function a bit better. Other than that, the update brings a number of bug fixes, one that fixes pasting into the search box and one that should prevent the app from crashing when you do a search for ‘@’.
Start developing the next generation of innovative applications for iPad with iPhone SDK 3.2 beta. iPhone Developer Program members can download iPhone SDK 3.2 beta today.
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iPhone SDK 3.2 beta
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iPad Programming Guide
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iPad Human Interface Guidelines
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A Friend of mine flashed the danger spl before flashing the radio and he’s stuck on the G1 screen
Is there any way to recover it from that?
Please give ur suggestions
It can’t go into recovery
can’t go into the bootloader mode also
try to let it sit powered off for at least half an hour . then try to get into recovery pressing the home key the WHOLE time . if not , try to get into bootloader mode . if i remember , youre not in the US . contact htc customer service for a replacement , tell them that you went to bed it was fine and woke up with the phone on the g1 screen . www.htc.com
I must say that I was a bit dissapointed today, when I got my I7500 android device, and wanted to imediatley check for upgrades, and sync with computer. The NPS CD in the box was aged, so I uppgraded from Samsung.com ( Version 1.3.0 IH4). So I have 2 issues with this software
1) It does not install succesfully on my Windows 7 64-bit machine
2) It installs on my windows 7 32-bit, but it does not “connect” with the i7500. I can see that the two storage devices, and it is impossible to “connect” the phone.
Does anyone know of samsungs plans to release a suite for Win7, and also for plans and timelines for 1.6 or 2.0 firmware upgrade from samsung. Or would I be better off to just run this device in Dev mode ?
My I7500 has 1.5 running I7500XXII8. In advance, thanks.
ext3 To ext4 T-Mobile G1. … Angryspoon is on a distinguished road. Default Re: ext3 To ext4. Third post down on this link tells you what you need to do. http://forum.xda-developers.com/show…543985&page=11. Rooted G1 ROM: CM 4.0.4 …