Advanced Task Manager

Aaron La, the developer behind Advanced Task Manager, has opened his books and gives us some interesting insight into the Android Market, profitability and his own opinions of the market.We’ll let Aaron break down the numbers for you, but some interesting points:

  • The free version of ATM can bring in as much or more advertising revenue monthly than straight sales of its 99-cent counterpart.
  • Aaron hasn’t quit his day job, but an average of $10,000 a month is quite a lot of pocket change.
  • Google Checkout and the Market app themselves are a couple of big anchors holding back Android. (And that’s a sentiment certainly echoed by a whole lot of people).
  • The 24-hour return policy isn’t evil.

Give the entire blog post a read. It’s a good one. [Aaronla.com via @romainguy]

Posted originally at Android Central

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Samsung Vibrant and Captivate

In the realm of GSM smartphones, there’s a phenomenon known as "SIM unlocked," which is the ability to use any SIM card in a phone, meaning you can easily swap from carrier to carrier. And it’s pretty rare in the United States. If you buy a myTouch 3G, it’s locked to T-Mobile. Same goes for the Motorola Backflip on AT&T. They’re both GSM phones and share radio frequencies, but they’re locked to the carriers. (The Nexus One is one of the few SIM unlocked phones available — erm, once available — in the U.S.)

In order to use one GSM phone on another’s carrier, you’ll need an unlock code. And obtaining that code (or cracking it) really isn’t new. Been doing it for years on the Windows Mobile side of things, and there are websites that will unlock your phone for a small fee. (Or, if you’re in good standing with your carrier, it may give you the unlock code.)

Now let’s turn to the AT&T Captivate and the T-Mobile Vibrant. Both Samsung Galaxy S-class phones are of the GSM variety and share radio frequencies. And it turns out that the unlock codes are stored on the phones themselves in a hex file, and the fine folks at XDA Developers — mad props to dagentooboy, rbnet.it, marcopon, Bowsa2511, RazvanG, chcp0112345 and galaxysguy — have made it dirt simple to extract your phone’s code and SIM unlock the beast. And even better is that you can relock them for warranty reasons if need be.

We’ve done both of our phones, and they worked just fine (though we’re only getting EDGE on the Vibrant, for some reason). It’s a pretty big step in the name of openness, since buying unlocked phones (which also would mean unsubsidized — read: more expensive) is pretty much non-existent in the states.

Hit up the XDA Developers link for all the details, read the instructions, and get to unlocking! [XDA Developers via Engadget]

Posted originally at Android Central

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When you first lay your eyes on the Nokia N8, the first thing that comes to mind is ‘sexy’. Although this device still sports the familiar candy bar form factor, it is able to stand out from the “ordinariness” of most Smartphones.


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droid2update

If you own a Motorola Droid 2, you may already have been prompted to install this OTA update, but that doesn’t mean you don’t want to know what it fixed. This minor update (version 2.2.20.en.US, for those playing at home) that Verizon is pushing out is not a complete update, but more so a fix for some of the issues that were reported at the release of the device. 

Improvements:

  • Enabled text and picture message scrolling.
  • Streamlined set up of Visual Voice Mail feature.
  • Improved contact sync with Corporate Exchange categories
  • and groups.
  • View accurate contact pictures when reviewing Recent Call Log.

If you have not received your OTA update for your device, head to settings, scroll down to about phone, click on system updates and then download. This will be the same as awaiting the OTA, just, well, without the wait! [Verizon Wireless via Droid-Life]

Posted originally at Android Central

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Evo captures car chase

A car plows through traffic on the Pulaski Skyway in Jersey City, and the Evo 4G is there to capture the aftermath. It’s a hell of a story, and Jerzyiroc tells it in the Android Central Forums.

"Literally no more than 3 seconds after I moved over I look at the rear view mirror and see police lights, then I quickly look to the side view mirror and what do I see… A car PLOWING through other cars trying to squeeze through then passes right by me. Had I been 3-5 seconds late in moving to the left, I definitely would have gotten rammed. When the cops drove by all I could smell was burnt oil and burnt trans from the poor police cars. As soon as he passed me I grab my phone and start recording."

Another reason why having a great phone with a great camera is important these days. Check out the entire tale and a quorum of videos (Warning: there’s a bit of salty language) in the forums. (And check out a second guy with an Evo in the second video. Classic.) [Android Central Forums]

Posted originally at Android Central

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The week in Android news

21 August 2010

news

The end of the week, already? What a slow week, under 10 devices announced and released, ugh. Okay, so seriously, the news just never ends, we are seeing new devices announced what feels daily, new applications hitting the market, and tons of great new Android development. Let’s take a look at what you may have missed this week.

News

Applications

Posted originally at Android Central

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motorola kobe

The Motorola Kobe, also known as the MB520, looks to be a mid-level Android phone that’s beginning to show its face. Looking to be directly attached to AT&T’s network, and Engadget’s tipster says it’s running the same sort of “Philblur” hybrid UI that is found on both the Droid X and Droid 2.  The MB520’s slate style design will feature a 480×854 resolution on a smaller-than-average 3.5-inch LCD touch screen. Also, as expected with most the current Motorola Androids, it features a sturdy TI OMAP processor clocked at 800MHz. Utilizing the PowerVR SGX 530 – the same GPU found in the Droid 2 – its graphics performance should be well above par, and the 2GB of internal storage along with an included 2GB microSD card is a fairly nice addition as well.

The only problem for the Android enthusiast might be the 3-megapixel camera without flash – but as you might know, megapixels don’t always mean everything. With the included Swype and Vlingo software plus DNLA support, the Kobe seems to be a solid new device for the Android novice or simply those looking for a smaller screen. Check out the full deets at the source, but a slight caveat: Don’t read too much into the Linpack scores. We’ve found that it’s not properly reporting the TI OMAP processors with the Droid X and Droid 2.  [Engadget]

Posted originally at Android Central

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 New AppBrain front page

Anyone who browses the Android Market from their phone knows one universal truth: it’s a mess. Outside of search, there really is no easy way to find great apps that might be floating just under the surface. No longer content with simply making installing apps to your phone directly from your browser insanely easy, AppBrain is looking to change all that nonsense by adding some major new features to their site.

The new sorting bar at the top allows quick access to popular and top rated apps. Clicking on any of these links will then allow you to further sort the list by category (games, social, etc) as well as free or paid apps. You can even sort the list to only turn up newly released apps to make sure you stay on top of the latest great apps. There are tons of more options, so click past the link and check it out. While you are there, check out my apps here. [AppBrain]

Posted originally at Android Central

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 Android Market Error

Looks like a good many of us had problems with the Android Market overnight, either seeing limited connectivity or just flat-out not being able to do anything. Lots of variables get thrown into the mix here — carriers, phones, ROMs — so share your experience in the comments, and let us know if things are back up for you this morning.

Posted originally at Android Central

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