Monday, December 13, 2010

Google's Week of Fury

You might wondering what took so long for the most important things Android has to offer to write about? Me too. And it was a hell of a week in announcements of new Google stuff.

But here we go for the Android-things:

New Android Market: New appearance, many features added that users screamed for years, news categories for widgets and wallpapers. Furthermore the market is now better of sorting out apps that you can't run on your device. This will hopefully bring false excitement over an app to an end. It's really annoying if you download something only to see a message saying that your device sucks. So a lot of great things.
But there is something that I can't get. You now have only 15(!) minutes(!) to apply for a refund! Instead of 24hrs. I can understand that some developers were not pleased by that. Especially game-developers might see people return stuff after playing it through. But 15 minutes? Give me a break.

Gingerbread (Android 2.3): How long did we wait for it? Oh wait... most of us doesn't even have 2.2 Froyo? Yeah, that's some problem. But now you can start to be excited about even the next version.
It features a "slightly" different UI. It got darker, obviously to save battery.
A new virtual keyboard. Interesting new copy&paste features with markers (thanks :) ).
Internet Video Calls - Lets see what this means exactly when it's available. Why the hell Google didn't integrate GTalk Audio/Video chat at last? It's all I want.
Most important for me: It supports the open, license-free, unencumbered WebM video-standard.
And a bunch of new features has been added under the hood.

Nexus S: I waited for this. A new pure Android phone from Google. That's the thing. No slow Sense, no strange TouchWiz, no uncomfortable WhatsOrEverBlur, just the pure stuff.
And it has some unique things like NFC. Near field communications let's you use your phone to read RFID-Tags and later even send IDs to a receiver.
A 4" Super AMOLED screen with a special form-factor should fall in love with your eyes.
2 cameras, front-facing 640*480, backside 5 megapixels with flash.
16GB iNand flash memory is integrated. But no microSD-Slot? A big minus.
The rest of the phone is pretty much like the Samsung Galaxy S in Europe.
I will get it asap.

Google Maps 5.0: Vector-oriented with 3D buildings. That's makes navigating easier and speed up scrolling. No tiles anymore.

Gmail 2.3.2: Priority inbox! Some UI improvements and you can set notifications to priority mails only. Thanks, that's what I needed. Oh, and you can send mails from different addresses.
Oh and it's working on Froyo 2.2 or newer (hum) Android versions.

Motorola tablet and Honeycomb: Yes, Andy Rubin dropped the nuke. He showed the upcoming Motorola tablet together with the new Android-Version Honeycomb (3.0 apparently). Yes it's different. I don't know what to think about. Check the links in the article to get a glimpse.
I'm a little confused. Just released Gingerbread and now showing Honeycomb.

Now that's some big things. Can't wit to get all those in my hands.

Photo "Gingerbread man" CC License BY by dannysullivan
Photo "Gmail 2.3.2" from Google Mobile Blog © by Google Inc. All rights reserved.