Despite the fact that any developer can upload an app to Android Market without having it verified by a tribunal (which explains why Android boasts more apps than anyone save iOS), Google does at times remove offensive apps.
One app entitled “Dog Wars” (a game where players engage in virtual dog fights) was previously removed by Google after animal rights organizations expressed outrage over the app.
Unfortunately it seems like the app is back again, although this time under a new name.
The controversial Dog Wars app has been renamed KG Dogfighting and is back up on the Android Marketplace. [...]
A Google representative said the application was “removed based on a trademark infringement complaint” but did not immediately say whether the app would be sold again if those issues were resolved. Google did not immediately respond to questions about the game’s renaming. (L. A. Now)
While the deplorable app’s reappearance underscores Android’s value in freedom of expression, itsÂ existenceÂ could dissuade parents from choosing an Android powered smartphone and instead select a rival device (like Windows Phone 7 or an iPhone).
Google might want to consider altering their terms of service and banning apps like these, as the last thing they need is bad press for their mobile OS.
Despite boasting a thriving app market, Microsoft isn’t content with remaining in Apple’s shadow as an “after thought” for developers.
Instead of spending more marketing dollarsÂ wooingÂ developers, Microsoft is now attempting to reduce the friction for iOS developers thinking about experimenting with Windows Phone 7.
Launched today, the iPhone/iOS to Windows Phone 7 API mapping tool helps developers find their way around when they discover the Windows Phone platform. [...]
With this tool, iPhone developers can grab their apps, pick out the iOS API calls, and quickly look up the equivalent classes, methods and notification events in WP7. A developer can search a given iOS API call and find the equivalent WP7 along with C# sample codes and API documentations for both platforms. (Windows Phone Developer Blog)
Honestly this is a smart move by Microsoft, who needs high quality apps built upon their platform in order to attract the attention of consumers (who thanks to Apple’s marketing are more interested in apps than tech specs).
Although this tool is great for some iOS apps, developers looking to recreate iOS apps upon Windows Phone 7 would be wise to study Microsoft’s mobile OS (or hire an expert who is fluent in WP7).
Surprisingly Microsoft isn’t offering something similar for Android, webOS or even Blackberry developers, although that could change in the future if their API matching tool proves to be successful.
After many months of waiting, HP has finally given the green light on a feature that has long been available for iOS developers.
Developers now have the ability to generate promo codes, giving you new ways to market and distribute apps. You can use promo codes to easily offer free review copies to press, or exercise your creativity by doing giveaways for special campaigns. (HP webOS Developer Blog)
Developers can only send up to 1,000 promo codes per major version, although HP is allowing developers to create an unlimited amount of campaigns (as well as the ability to track and revoke codes at will).
Promo codes also have a fairly long shelf life, as HP is limiting them to 60 days before they expire (which should give users plenty of time to use them).
While promo codes will help generate buzz about the platform (as tech journalists can review premium apps without going broke), HP still needs to figure out a way toÂ attract more developers to webOS if they want to survive the upcoming war between Android and iOS.
Google has blessed Android lovers with an official Google Docs app (which should help make the mobile OS a little bit more appealing to the corporate world).
Part of getting work done on the go is being able to easily access, edit and share content, which is why weâ€™re happy to announce the newÂ Google Docs app for Android.
With this new app itâ€™s easy to filter and search for your content across any Google account, then jump straight into editing docs using the online mobile editors. (Google Docs Blog)
The fact that Google has released an official Docs app probably indicates their HTML5 web app wasn’t the blockbuster hit Google was hoping for, as many users were underwhelmed by some of the meager features offered.
Aside from providing more features than the web app, the native Android app also supports OCR (or Optical Character Recognition), allowing users to turn images with texts into editable Google documents (which is helpful when receiving numerous business cards or photographing legal documents).
Google has not hinted on whether they will release a similar app for iOS users, although with competition heating up between Apple and Android it would not be surprising if Google left that task up to third party iOS developers.
Google has won another battle over their iOS nemesis, as the US Army has selected to launch their first smartphone using Android.
The device, known as a Joint Battle Command-Platform, or JBC-P Handheld, is the first developed under an Army effort to devise an Android-based smartphone framework and suite of applications for tactical operations. The government-owned framework, known as Mobile /Handheld Computing Environment, or CE, ensures that regardless of who develops them, applications will be secure and interoperable with existing mission command systems so information flows seamlessly across all echelons of the force. (Army.mil)
Previously the US Army was testing Android as well as iOS (via iPhone) in December of 2010 in order to see which phone was suited better for their military branch.
Although the army does show a bit of iPhone envy (as they confusing mention that Android has “the Apple-made apps” like contacts and emails), they apparently chose Android over iPhone due to the ability to customize Google’s mobile OS (for security reasons of course).
While this gives Google a marketing advantage (as soldiers leaving active duty will be accustomed to Android as they embrace civilian life), it also opens up the doors for developers as the US Army will court private companies to create innovative apps for solders.
The military is planning on rolling out these army certified Android smartphones in 2013, with the US Military and US Marines receiving first dibs on the devices.
Although I’m personally skeptical about this rumor, a world iPhone (i.e. one that embraces CDMA and GSM) would make sense. It may also explain why Apple is releasing the upcoming iPhone in September instead of June or July.
Verizon Wireless will soon release a Verizon iPhone that works overseas, Verizon Chief Financial Officer Fran Shammo said in a conference call with analysts this week, according to the Associated Press. The current Verizon iPhone works only in North America, while the AT&T iPhone can run onÂ overseas GSM networks. A rejiggered Verizon iPhone would put the handset on level with the rival AT&T edition. (Christian Science Monitor)
The current Verizon iPhone is CDMA only, which means that its limited to the US, parts of China and a few locations in South America (if you’re fortunate enough to stumble upon them).
While the call quality is superior (at least in the US), the phone is utterly useless for those who travel the globe for business and pleasure.
Selling a world phone would put Verizon on par with AT&T (who embraces GSM), giving one less reason for American consumers to embrace Ma Bell over “Big Red.”
Hulu apparently is continuing their “iOS only” campaign, as the company has reportedly blocked Blackberry Playbook lovers from viewing videos over the web.
Some sad but expected news folks — we’ve started gettingÂ tips in the forums and through the CrackBerry support tips line that Hulu has gotten a little cranky about offering content on the BlackBerry PlayBook. Although PlayBook ownersÂ previously have had access to all movies and TV shows it now looks that Hulu has added the BlackBerry PlayBooks browser string to their blocked list. (Crackberry)
The block came within 48 hours of Playbook’s release which means fans of the device now have no way of watching Hulu as the company has yet to make an app for Playbook (or even Blackberry smartphones for that matter).
Currently there is no workaround for Playbook fans (at least not yet), although hopefully Hulu considers releasing an official app in the future (at least for Hulu Plus fans).
Android users have one less reason to gripe about Skype as the VoIP king has given the green light for 3G calling upon their Android app.
And to show there are no hard feelings, tucked into this morning’s update is “Calling over your 3G connection is available worldwide – now including the US.”Â This opens up 3G calling to everyone, not just Verizon customers like we’ve seen so far. (Android Central)
Previously Skype only allowed WiFi calling for their Android devices which was odd seeing as their official iPhone app could make 3G phone calls as well as WiFi.
Surprisingly Skype did not update any their corporate blogs highlighting this new ability, although they did note the change upon Android Market.
With the inclusion of 3G calling upon Android Market, Â it looks like Skype is ending their practice of playing carrier favorites with users (although the Android app is still lacking when compared to its iOS brother).
Note: Unfortunately video calling over 3G isn’t listed as a feature for Android (is video calling even available for Android?), although hopefully the company will add that feature soon (so yours truly can video chat with his Droid loving relatives).