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Android Market filters mature content but has one fatal flaw

Among the many, many, changes to the Android Market announced in recent weeks, Android users can now personalize their Market by filtering out apps marked as mature. Turning on app ratings will then block Android apps that have a maturity rating higher than the setting that a user chooses (Everyone, Low, Medium, or High).

Android Market filtering is great, but the problem is that it relies on developers to be honest and accurately rate their apps. Considering how many developers cheat search results by putting in keywords that have absolutely nothing to do with their app, trusting devs to be honest seems silly. That’s as crazy as letting the banking industry police itself.

I grow tired of seeing “Sexy Girl” wallpaper apps every time I search for new Android apps, so I set my Android Market to only show apps available to “Everyone.” But instead of blocking all of the crappy sexy apps, Everyone merely dropped the number of those apps from to 1,164 to 182. It’s good to see a decline that steep, but 182 is still a large number of offensive apps trickling into what should be a mature-free browsing experience. Read the rest of this entry

Android Market Surpasses Apple App Store in Free Apps

It’s been a widely shared fact that the Android Market has the highest free to paid ratio of any of the mobile application stores, particularly Apple. In fact, it’s sort of been a rallying cry for lovers of the Android Market, where you can get games like Angry Birds for free while other mobile users have to pay for them. According to research company Ditismo however, it’s no longer about percentages, but whole numbers, as the actual number of free Market apps is now higher than that of the App Store by about 12, 500 apps. That’s quite a few. Not only that, but apparently Ditismo has claimed that the Android Market will overtake the Apple App Store as the premier app provider of the world in about five months. Ditismo also discovered that while Apple has always bragged about the number of tablet developers pushing tablet-optimized apps into the App Store, many of these developers have also been working on apps for other tablet devices, like Android. That said, we know that quite a few of these free apps aren’t of the highest quality and many of these will probably be pared away when Google optimizes the Market in the future. Still, you really can’t complain about free, can you? What do you guys think? Let us know in the comments!

[via intomobile]

HTC Sensation offers just 1GB of 4GB ROM to users

HTC has confirmed that, while the HTC Sensation has a 4GB ROM, only 1GB of that will be user-accessible. The dual-core smartphone reserves 3GB of the ROM for the Android install and the latest version of HTC Sense.

The news is likely to disappoint long-time Android users, who had hoped that more of the 4GB ROM would be available to install apps from the Android Market. While the OS now has support for Apps2SD, allowing software to be shifted from the phone’s ROM to a memory card, not all apps support the system.

It remains to be seen how straightforward the Sensation’s bootloader is for third-party hackers to tinker with the OS. Sense is looking increasingly bloated – though still fast-moving on the Sensation’s 1.2GHz MSM 8260 processor – and stripping that out for a vanilla Gingerbread install would likely free up plenty more than 1GB of ROM.

Hands-on with Android’s in-app billing


Youtube link for mobile viewing

In-app billing for Android is a pretty simple thing, really. Say you’re playing a game and want to buy a new level, song, weapon — whatever. All it takes is a couple apps, and you’ve got the new level, song, weapon — whatever.

We gave it a go on Tap Tap Revenge — you should remember our early look at it back at the Honeycomb event at Google HQ. And indeed, it’s simple enough. Tap on the song we wanted to purchase, confirm the purchase, and we’re on our way. (That was the easy part — Tap Tap Revenge itself is something of a confounding application, or maybe we’re just old and couldn’t handle all the flashing lights.)

Anyhoo, look for in-app billing to really take off in the coming months.

Android Market in-app billing enabled: Try-and-Buy apps, extra levels, more

The Android Market has had in-app billing enabled, allowing developers of Android apps to offer upgrades, virtual goods, extra levels in games and other services from within their titles. Using the same checkout system as the Market itself, Google will take the usual 30-percent cut from developers’ proceeds and do all the hard work when it comes to processing. The system will also allow for try-and-buy apps, offering a test period of use and then the ability to unlock the full title rather than having to re-download the app.

 

Google has worked with the developers behind Tap Tap RevengeComicsGun BrosDeer Hunter Challenge HDWSOP3 and Dungeon Defenders: FW Deluxe to demonstrate the in-app billing system, and the updated versions are now available in the Android Market. There are more details for developershere.

[via Android Community]

Only 2 percent of Android phones have the latest software; tablet stats likely worse

The latest Android Market stats have been released to remind users that their phones are out-of-date. The majority of Android phone are reasonably capable and in-line with major features released from Google. However, the Google Android charts highlight that the latest software version is available to only a small group of Android phones and tablets.

The Android distribution chart, which is based on the OS versions of smartphones and tablets accessing the Android Market in the past two weeks, reveals that 1 percent of users are running Android 2.3.3. When combined with the 0.7 users still on Android 2.3, that’s less than 2 percent of Android phones powered by Gingerbread. Considering that a large number of those phones likely use custom ROM’s, most notably CyanogenMod 7, it’s a rather disappointing reminder that most phones have yet to be updated.

The prime benefits of Gingerbread (Android 2.3) are incremental or hardware dependent – slightly better battery life or NFC support – so it’s not too much of a blow for that 61.3 percent of devices use Froyo (Android 2.2).

On the tablet side, Honeycomb Android 3.0 is used by 0.2 percent of visitors to the Android Market. TheMotorola XOOM is currently the only Android device that supports Honeycomb in an official capacity, though some have chosen to root the Nook Color and run Honeycomb in a limited capacity. The majority of Android tablets are either like the Galaxy Tab, running Android 2.2, or not officially supporting version 3.0. We should see more Honeycomb tablets soon; maybe companies like Samsung and LG will even provide some solid release dates at CTIA next week.

Android Stats March 2011

[Android Developer] via IntoMobile

Angry Birds hits 30 million downloads on Android

Angry Birds is printing money

Don’t look now, but it would seem that people love them some Angry Birds. A shocker, we know. Rovio announced at the annual Game Developers Conference (GDC) that the free-with-ads Android version of the popular game had been downloaded an astounding 30 million times. What is even more impressive is that Rovio claimed five million downloads back in early December. They said they were pulling in $1 million in ad revenue back then, so some quick math would estimate that they might be raking in north of $6 million per month now. That’s a lot of irate avians. [Joystiq]

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