More Android news to close out the day, this time it’s coming directly from Google’s Android Developers blog. Earlier this week, Tyler from Android Atlas posted up some leaked shots of a revamped Android Market. There was some speculation that the images were just a minor UI update, but now the Android team has confirmed that what we saw was just a small glimpse of a larger Android Market overhaul.
New Android Market features include:
- application screenshots
- promotional icons
- better application description
The Market will also feature sports, health, themes, and comics categories which developers can use for new or existing apps. The Android team is encouraging developers to start taking advantage of the new features now by updating their apps Android Market publisher website so that they are all set when the Android Market rolls out to handsets that get the Android 1.6 upgrade. I’m sure you all want to know when Android 1.6 is coming…. well… if I knew, I would tell you. Motorola’s new handsets are expected to ship with the new updated OS and Verizon and T-Mobile are expecting to see those new phones some time next month. Lets just hope that T-Mobile and HTC have something in the works already for those of us who already have out Android handsets. Check out a short video walkthrough of the new market after the jump.
To be quite honest, it’s a bit hard to find good quality games on the Android Market these days. Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of games out there to choose from, but most the developers don’t spend enough time refining the graphics or creating a user experience that simply leaves you wanting more. Hexage, on the other hand, has surfaced as an android game developer that understands the balance between design, usability, and fun. Their first game for the Android platform (Buka) was an incredibly entertaining game which pitted you and against a whole lot of "baddies" as you floated through space. Hexage is now gearing up for their second launch with TOTEMO which is expected to hit the Android Market on September 11th. TOTEMO is a puzzle game, offering up to 60 puzzle variations in story mode or endless fun is survival mode. I have not had a chance to review TOTEMO yet, but when I do, I’ll be sure to give you the inside scoop on the game. We have some screen shots of some of the action after the break and there’s also a teaser trailer on YouTube as well. Oh, I almost forgot to mention that Hexage submitted TOTEMO in the android Developers Challenge 2.
I’m sure that by now, most Android fans are somewhat familiar with Geodelic’s Sherpa application for Android. Sherpa allows you find local businesses based on your location without the need to search. The app worked great when you had your GPS signal turned on, but things got a little out of hand when the app couldn’t lock on to that GPS signal. Fortunately the good people over at SKYHOOK Wireless have jumped on board to partner with geodelic to give Sherpa another option to find its location. SKYHOOK Wireless has developed a hybrid positioning system to fully leverage Wi-Fi, GPS and cell towers in order to give you a more precise location regardless of whether you are indoors at the mall or standing in the middle of the street.
"Skyhook offers a major enhancement to the application’s location awareness," said Rahul Sonnad, CEO and founder at Geodelic. "This allows Geodelic to more accurately target content for a user, whether they are in a mall or walking down the street. We developed Sherpa to give users a customized experience based on their location and interests. Skyhook provides the location performance that our application demands."
Hit the read more link for the full press release.
If you’ve been waiting for the Android Developers Challenge 2 to begin, you’ll be happy to know that the wait is now over. This morning, the Android team posted a new blog posts with some new details on the ADC2 with a link to the site for developers to submit their apps. If you’re a developers who’s been holding out on releasing your app, this would be a great time to get your hard work listed in the Android Market. If you’ve already released your app and want to enter it in for the ADC2 you will need to submit it under a different name. You have until 11:59:59pm Pacific Time on August 31 to submit your apps. This will give you just over one week to finish up any last minute tweaks.
For the rest of us who simply plan on enjoying all the hard work of the app developers, we should see the ADC2 entries starting to pop up on the market any time now. Developers have been told to release full apps so that they can be judged on their complete functionality. You won’t have to worry about being stuck with a half backed version of an amazing app. The Android team will be releasing an app voting app on to the market once the submission deadline passes.
May the best developer win!
As I mentioned a few weeks back, HTC Source is taking part in the Android Network Awards. If oyu are unfamiliar with ANA, it’s a partnership between over 30 Android related sites from across the globe dedicated to helping the growth of the Android platform by helping users find the best Android apps. Members of the Android Network Awards have put together a preliminary list of some of the best Android apps in 26 different categories. Now it’s time for you to do your part. Below are links to the 26 different categories. If you have time, please vote for every category. But if time is limited, make sure you vote for the ones you really care about. Also, don’t forget to check out the Android Network Awards website and their Twitter Feed.
Let the best apps win!
- Android – Best Puzzle Game
- Android – Best Arcade Game
- Android – Best Casual Game
- Android – Best Shopping App
- Android – Best Camera App
- android – Best Home Replacement App
- Android – Best Fitness App
- Android – Best System Utility App
- Android – Best Tool App
- Android – Best Streaming Music App
- Android – Best Location Based App
- Android – Best Sports App
- Android – Best Security App
- Android – Best Organization/Productivity App
- Android – Best Wow Factor App
- Android – Best Reference App
- Android – Best Twitter App
- Android – Best Weather App
- Android – Best News App
- Android – Best Communication App
- Android – Best Finance App
- Android – Best Social Networking App
- Android – Best Entertainment App
- Android – Best Media Player
- Android – Best Widget
Over the past few months, I’ve covered a few new apps that hit the Android Market, but most the time I stick to the FREE apps since there always seems to be a good alternative that can be picked up without having to make a credit card payment. Today, things change! Album Art Grabber from MyLittleBigApps hit the Android Market shelves earlier today with the intent of helping Android users find the album art for their music. When you open up the app, you immediately are shown all the various music albums you have on your phone. For most people, the first time they use the app, most the album art will show up blank unless you’re meticulous about getting the album art synced up when your rip all your music from your CD’s. Simply press the menu button on your phone and then select "Grab missing album art" and the app will start searching the web. I only have a few hundred songs on my G1, but the app was able to locate all the images that I was missing and sync them to the correct albums in less than a minute. As most people know, many times albums have different variations of the album covers. If Album Art Grabber does not pick the one you are looking for, simply tap the image you want to view the full image and them tap it again. From here you will be able to browse through a collection of alternative album covers.
As I mentioned before, I typically don’t push priced apps that often, but Album Art Grabber is a very essential application for Android users who want to make sure they have all the album art for their music collection. You can find the app by searching "Album art Grabber" in the Android Market or you can find it under the "Multimedia" category for £0.99. And don’t forget to check out MyLittleBigApps website.
We’ve talked a little about T-Mobile’s AppPack these past few weeks. The AppPack is meant to highlight various T-Mobile and other applications that they think new Android users would be interested in. This morning, the link to the AppPack somehow made its way to several forums across the net with a note from a T-Mobile Rep. The T-Mobile AppPack for the myTouch 3G was supposed to include nine apps, but it appears Sherpa, Visual Voicemail, Hotspot Locator, and Facebook didn’t make the cut. The T-Mobile Rep sent out a second message to give a few details on why most people were only seeing the five apps in the image above.
We are evaluating issues with the AppPack and will circle back with updates. We understand many of the applications are missing and thank you for your patience.
Make sure you hit the read link to view the full original note from the T-Mobile Rep with details on how to download and install the T-Mobile AppPack