This Week On Twitter #3

Gingerbread Hits AOSP

Gingerbread is the latest version of Android (version 2.3).  It’s currently unknown whether or not the HTC Desire will be getting it.  However, the good news is that the source code for it has just been released on AOSP (Android Original Source Project), which means that it’s available for developers to download, tweak and compile for use on devices.  We can expect custom ROMs to start being released over this weekend for the Desire from talented developers such as AdamG and RichardTrip who you can find in the Desire Development section of XDA-Developers.

Kindle For Android Version 2 Released

This morning users with the Kindle application will have received a new update in the Android Market for this application.  The new update brings a series of new features, 2 of my favourites being scrolling through pages using the volume keys, and having the store accessible within the app instead of opening a new browser window.  The full list of changes is as follows:

  1. Newspapers and Magazine
  2. Zoom into images
  3. Integrated store
  4. Share progress via Social Networks
  5. Application now installable to SD Card
  6. Bug fixes
  7. I’ve noticed a Grid view, which I’m pretty certain wasn’t in the previous version

Need for Speed Shift Now in the Market

EA games has just released their Need for Speed Shift game into the Market.  The official description being:

THINK FAST! DRIVE FASTER! OPTIMIZED FOR ANDROID™! Drive 20 awesome cars including the BMW M3 GT2, Lamborghini Gallardo, and Pagani Zonda. Features 18 tracks in 3 stunning locations, Quick Race and Career Modes, 3 difficulty settings, and physics-based accelerated 3D graphics.

I guess they’re a little late as the latest console version is Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit (also available on iPhone), but any 3D game being added to the Android Market is welcome by me.

If you want it, here’s the QR code for you to download it from the Market:

PlayStation Application for Android Coming Soon

Unfortunately, it won’t let you play PlayStation games on it, but it’s still useful in the sense that you can access your PlayStation Network (PSN) account to see your friends statuses, learn about new games and share news via social networks.  Whilst that doesn’t sound like a lot, we’re promised lots of new features to come.  You read more about it on the Official PlayStation Blog

Changes to the Android Market

The past few weeks have introduced several new changes to the Android Market, most of which you’ve already noticed but here’s a summary in case you haven’t:

  1. Application descriptions can now be up to 4,000 characters long
  2. There’s a field for recent changes
  3. The refund time for applications is 15 minute instead of the previous 24 hours
  4. There’s a new tab for Similar applications
  5. The biggest update is a new UI for the Market, which I haven’t received myself but I’m told should be available shortly.  Here’s a preview of it on YouTube:
    <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EWdex2J43Jo">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EWdex2J43Jo</a>

Facebook Application Receives A New Update

As you can tell, this week’s mostly been about application updates. People on Facebook can enjoy a new update to the Facebook application which allows:

  • Chat
  • Push notifications.  This is a lot better for battery life because it means the app works in the same way as Talk or Gmail.  Instead of having to connect to the server every so often to check if there’s any new updates, Facebooks servers themselves send out an update to your phone as soon as the update becomes available.
  • Some bug fixes

Google App Inventor Beta Now Open to the Public

If you missed the previous announcement, App Inventor is a way for anyone to develop Android applications using a simple web browser based interface.

You learn more about it, and signup to start using it here