Android Market Is Bringing In-App Billing Next Week

In-app billing on Android was announced back in January and now, we are only a week away from its official launch. With in-app billing, users will enjoy easy checkout processing for apps on the Android Market.   The Android developers’ blog has announced this by saying,

Back in January we announced our plan to introduce Android Market In-app Billing this quarter. We’re pleased to let you know that we will be launching In-app Billing next week.
In preparation for the launch, we are opening up Android Market for upload and end-to-end testing of your apps that use In-app Billing. You can now upload your apps to the Developer Console, create a catalog of in-app products, and set prices for them. You can then set up accounts to test in-app purchases. During these test transactions, the In-app Billing service interacts with your app exactly as it will for actual users and live transactions.

The feature is currently in a testing phase where developers can test the behavior of the app, but not publish it along with their apps. Once the service is launched, it will complete its three milestones to the final release.

Currently, the app is restricted to Android Market version 2.3.4 and Android OS version 1.6 and higher. The payment process is secured with RSA.   More information on limitations and a sample application can be found at this page.

Motorola Working on an Alternative to Android

About a couple of years back, when Motorola’s mobile division was slowly bleeding to death, and it was no longer considered the behemoth that it once was, its CEO, Sanjay Jha, made a huge bet on Android. Motorola immediately stopped working on other mobile OSes and focused its efforts solely on the Android OS.

Its first big hit was the Motorola Droid, which was followed by the Droid X and the Droid 2. It was very instrumental in pushing for the mass market adoption of Android as an OS.

Now, it seems that Motorola is getting a bit apprehensive about putting all its weight behind a single platform. It is apparently working on an alternative to Android, a web based mobile OS. It has been on a hiring spree lately, getting some top executives as well as engineering talent from Adobe and Apple to work on this new project. Motorola may be right about this; it’s the only major Android phone manufacturer which doesn’t offer products powered by an alternative OS. Samsung has Bada, HTC has Brew, and both have Windows Phone 7. Oracle’s recent patent infringement claims against Android may also have played a part in Motorola reconsidering its fidelity to Android.

A Motorola spokesperson stated that “Motorola Mobility is committed to Android as an operating system”, but didn’t deny any rumors that it was working on an alternative.

Google Nexus S Up For Pre-Order In India For Rs.27,999

Back in December, Samsung and Google launched the Android powered Nexus S smartphone. This handset is the successor of the popular Nexus One smartphone. The Nexus S is the first device, which runs on the latest Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) operating system. The original Nexus One was never launched in India, but we have a good news for those who are eagerly waiting for the launch of Nexus S in India.

google nexus s

Flipkart, a popular online retailer is currently taking pre-order for the Nexus S in India. This handset will be launched in India with the Super Clear LCD display, instead of the Super AMOLED display. Check out the complete specs below.

Google Nexus S features a 4 inch Super Clear LCD display with 800 x 480 pixels resolution, 1 GHz application processor, Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) OS, Wi-Fi, USB 2.0, Bluetooth 2.1 with EDR, 3G connectivity, 5 megapixel camera with Auto Focus, VGA front camera, HD (720p) video recording, NFC (Near Field Communication) Capability, A-GPS, 16 GB internal memory, 512MB RAM, Accelerometer, Digital compass, Proximity and Light Sensor, Android Market and a 1500 mAh battery.

Flipkart is currently taking pre-orders of this amazing smartphone for Rs.27,999. Nexus S is the first Android Gingerbread powered smartphone to be available in India. This handset will be released on the first week of April. If you are planning to buy this smartphone, then just head over to this page at Flipkart.

T-Mobile G-Slate Hands-on Pictures and Videos

Looks like it is raining 3D mobiles and tablets at the CTIA 2011. After the HTC EVO 3D, one of the other 3D devices launched at CTIA 2011 is the LG G-Slate, which is a 8.9" HD screen tablet with a NVIDIA Tegra 2 Dual-Core processor.

T-Mobile LG G-Slate

The LG Slate is 4G ready and will be launched on the T-Mobile network. It is built to view and record 3D videos with the help of two 5MP cameras at the back. It also has a 2MP camera in the front for video chatting. The device will come pre-loaded with 32GB Internal memory and will start at $529.99.

I had a hands-on demo of the device and thought it wasn’t as light as the Galaxy Tab 10.1 device, it did have a good feel to it. The tablet is loaded with the Honeycomb OS and will have access to 150,000 apps in the Market.

Though the LG G-Slate has a feel good factor to it, I didn’t see any good selling points other than watching 3D videos and capturing 3D videos and pictures.

Take a look at some hands-on pictures of the T-Mobile G-Slate and hands-on videos after the jump.

T-Mobile LG G-Slate Hands-on Pictures

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T-Mobile LG G-Slate Hands-on Videos

T-Mobile G-Slate Hands-on Video

T-Mobile G-Slate Hands-on 3D Experience Video

T-Mobile G-Slate Hands-on Gaming Experience Video

Samsung Galaxy S 2 Previewed on Video

The Samsung Galaxy S was the best Android smartphone of 2010. Naturally, all eyes were on Samsung when it unveiled its successor – the Samsung Galaxy S 2 – at MWC 2011.

The Galaxy S 2 is bigger, faster and better in every way than the Galaxy S, and should be launched in a couple of months. It has excellent hardware specs, and is easily the most powerful Android phone yet.

Today, a pre-production unit of the Galaxy S 2 was preview on video by the guys over at Gagadget. They have given us a rough idea of what we can expect with the Galaxy S 2, and it is, indeed, an incredible device.

Samsung Galaxy S 2

They have also posted UI screenshots and some captured images and videos over at their blog. The review seems to be in Ukrainian, so you probably won’t get much of it, but it’s worth a watch nevertheless.

Here’s the video review of the Samsung Galaxy S 2:

Even Mobile-review has done a quick review of a prototype of the Galaxy S 2. Here it is.

Sony Xperia Play Hands-on Pictures and Video

Sony Xperia Play, the PlayStation phone from Sony will be out shortly. It brings together a phone and a gaming device and clubs them into a single device.

I had a chance to play around with the Xperia Play at CTIA 2011 and it was definitely worth all the hype. The gaming is smooth and the controls are very similar to a controller for a game console.

I was able to play a few games including Asphalt 6, Sims 3 and Madden NFL and the experience was really good. The Xperia Play will come out with 5 full games pre-loaded for free and have about 50 game titles for sale at launch.

If you are looking to get a complete gaming experience on a phone, the Xperia Play is the phone to buy. Take a look at some pictures and a hands-on video of Xperia Play after the break.

Sprint Unveils The HTC EVO View 4G Tablet

Sprint recently announced the new HTC EVO View 4G tablet at the CTIA show. This device is the company’s second Android tablet, after the HTC Flyer, which was unveiled last month at the MWC 2011. HTC EVO View 4G comes with a 7 inch touchscreen display, 1.5 GHz Qualcomm snapdragon processor, 5 megapixel auto-focus camera, 4G connectivity and more. This device runs on the Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) operating system and it will be exclusively available on the airwaves of Sprint in the US.

At HTC, we believe in offering a wide portfolio of beautifully designed, powerful and highly customizable devices for our customers, and the HTC EVO portfolio at Sprint does just that,said Jason Mackenzie, president HTC Americas. As HTC continues to push the limits of innovation, we are looking forward to delivering the HTC EVO 3D and our first 4G tablet, the HTC EVO View 4G, to Sprint customers this summer.

htc evo view 4g

HTC EVO View 4G features a 7 inch touchscreen display with pinch-to-zoom, 1024 x 600 pixels resolution, 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon Processor, Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) operating system, HTC Scribe technology, 3G/4G connectivity, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, 5 megapixel auto-focus camera, HD (720p) video recording, 1.3 megapixel front facing camera and more.

Other features include a 3.5 mm stereo headset jack, Stereo Bluetooth 3.0, 3G/4G Mobile Hotspot capability, Android Market, Integrated GPS, Blockbuster On Demand, Sprint Zone, Sprint Mobile Wallet, Sprint Family Locator, Sprint Navigation, 32GB internal memory, 1GB RAM, microSD slot, 32 GB expandable memory and a 4000 mAh Lithium-ion battery

HTC EVO View 4G measures 195.4 mm x 112.5 mm x 13.2 mm and weighs 421.84 grams. this device also comes with the pre-loaded Blockbuster On Demand application that has access to one of the largest catalogs of movies, including 3D titles. The price of this device has not been announced yet. HTC EVO View 4G will be available from summer in the US.

T-Mobile Announces the LG G2X

LG T-Mobile G2XToday, T-Mobile has announced the LG G2X at CTIA 2011. It is identical to the LG Optimus 2X, but is a T-Mobile branded phone and will come with pure, vanilla Android 2.2 Froyo. It will likely get Android 2.3 Gingerbread soon, mainly because it doesn’t have any custom UI to delay the update. It comes with Swype pre-installed.

It has a 4 inch TFT capacitive touchscreen display and a resolution of 480 x 800 pixels. It will come with a dual core ARM Cortex A9 processor on the Tegra 2 chipset. It will have 512 MB RAM and 8 GB internal storage.

It will also have an 8 MP camera with autofocus and LED flash which is capable of shooting 1080p videos. It also has a secondary 1.3 MP camera for video calling powered by Qik.

The LG G2X will be the first phone to ship with Tegra Zone and supports T-Mobile’s 4G network.

It will come with Need for Speed Shift HD and will be available by spring.

HTC Incredible S Launched In India For Rs.28,900

Last month, HTC announced the Android powered HTC Incredible S smartphone at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2011 in Barcelona. This handset is the successor of the popular HTC Incredible smartphone. It currently runs on the Android 2.2 (FroYo) operating system, but it will be soon upgraded to Android 2.4 (Gingerbread) operating system. Within a month of its announcement, HTC finally launched this powerful smartphone in India. Check out the complete specs, after the break.

HTC Incredible s

In today’s mobile market, where one is bombarded with choices and features, users are looking forward to an offering which amalgamates the best of both. HTC has always endeavored to take the mobile phone experience to a higher level and with the launch of the Incredible S is set to create a new paradigm in mobile experience for the users,said Mr. Ajay Sharma, Country Head, HTC India. The HTC Incredible S is the answer for those looking for the perfect combination of performance and style and will help them stand out from the crowd as an icon.

HTC Incredible S features a 4 inch touchscreen display with 480x 800 pixels resolution, 1 GHz processor, Android 2.2 OS, HTC Sense, Bluetooth 2.1 with FTP/OPP, Wi-Fi connectivity, 8 megapixel camera with auto focus and dual LED flash, HD (720p) video recording, 1.3 megapixel front camera, 3.5 mm headset jack, micro-USB, 1.1 GB internal storage, 768 MB RAM, microSD card slot, 32 GB expandable memory, Internal GPS antenna, G-Sensor, Digital compass, Proximity Sensor, up to 580 mins talktime, up to 370 hours stand-by time and a 1450 mAh battery.

This handset measures 120 mm x 64 mm x 11.7 mm and weighs just 135.5 grams. The HTC Incredible S comes with a MOP (Market Operating Price) of Rs. 28,900. You can easily purchase this handset from any of the authorized HTC resellers across the country.

Opera Mini 6 and Opera Mobile 11 Released for Java, Symbian, Android, BlackBerry, Windows 7 and Meego

Is today a big day, or what! Amazon’s Android App Store will be released today. The much-delayed Firefox 4 is also slated to officially arrive soon. And now, Opera Software has made what is possibly the biggest product launch in its history. Opera Mini 6 and Opera Mobile 11 have been released for as many as six different platforms. Here’s a quick summary of the new stuff from the Norwegian browser vendor:

  • Opera Mini 6 for Java
  • Opera Mini 6 for Android
  • Opera Mini 6 for Symbian
  • Opera Mini 6 for legacy Symbian (S60 v2)
  • Opera Mini 6 for Blackberry
  • Opera Mobile 11 for Android
  • Opera Mobile 11 for Symbian
  • Opera Mobile 11 for Windows 7 (tablets and touch-screen devices)
  • Opera Mobile 11 for Meego

While Opera might be the little guy in the desktop segment, it is the king of mobile browsers. It already has more than 100 million users worldwide, and the number just keeps on increasing. Opera Mobile is Opera Software’s full-fledged mobile browser, which uses the same rendering engine (Presto) as Opera for desktop, and brings a desktop-like browsing experience to mobile devices. Opera Mini was originally developed for budget phones, which didn’t meet the hardware and software requirements of Opera Mobile. In Opera Mini, the webpage is routed through Opera’s servers, where all the rendering is done, and a static and highly compressed representation of the page is sent to the browser.

Opera-Mobile-11-Android

There are quite a few exciting improvements in both the products. The first thing that will catch your attention is the new skin. The bright shades of red, which have been a part of Opera’s mobile offerings for a long long time, have been replaced by a sleek black gradient.

Opera-Mobile-11-Android-Sharing-Options

Also new is the “Share” option, which enable you to quickly share a link through Twitter, Facebook and other social networks. The lack of sharing options was one of my major grievances with Opera Mobile 10 for Android, and I am glad that Opera Software has rectified this rather quickly.

Opera-Mobile-11-Windows-7-Tablets

Unsurprisingly, Opera’s mobile offerings are now optimized for high-resolution devices like tablets. This bit was already demoed at SXSW and MWC, and now you can try it yourself. Scrolling, panning, and zooming should be a lot smoother than before, and pinch-to-zoom support is included in all devices that are capable of supporting it.

All versions of Opera Mini and Opera Mobile can be downloaded directly on your mobile phone from m.opera.com.