Mar 16th, 2010

We’ve been busy doing some “behind the scenes” work. Minor tweaks, massive feature updates, reviewing applications for writers, resolving spamhaus issues… just lots of “stuff”. Most of it you’ll never notice but SOME of it you definitely will – all in good time. But the POINT is that while we’ve been busy on stuff you can’t currently see on the surface, a few stories have slipped through the cracks. And we like to be thorough.

So here are some news stories we initially missed/skipped/passed/etc… but you shouldn’t. And now you haven’t.

Verizon Wireless Instituting Data Plan Tiers?
verizonRight now most carriers offer unlimited data plans. That’s it – if you have a smartphone and want access to everything without worrying about per minute, per MB, or per anything else fees – you’ll be paying for an unlimited data plan. Usually it’s around $35/month. But even unlimited data plans have limits. How? Don’t ask me but they cap it at something they think would be unreasonable to exceed. But with the drastic increase in data use our beloved Android and other smartphones are causing, “unlimited” might not cut it for much longer. As DSLreports, Verizon CTO Tony Melone has pretty blatantly hinted that tiered pricing for data plans is in our future. Kinda like paying for your airline luggage these days I guess. Shucks. [Read More]

South Korea May Block Android Market
xt720Android Market has been available in South Korea for quite some time, but if the country’s regulatory system gets its way, that could change. South Korea has a Game Rating Board which decides what age persons should be allowed to play certain games and 4,400 games on Android Market have no rating. The South Korean government have contacted Google requesting they work together to assign ratings to these games – I doubt that will happen. The result? Android Market could POOF disappear. It’s possible just the “Games” category gets the boot, which is the case for the iPhone App store in South Korea, but who knows how this will turn out. Note that the Motorola Motoroi XT720 was the country’s first Android Phone, pictured left. [Read More]

Tether For Android (Beta) Now Available
tether2Want to tether your phone on your current carrier without doing much besides installing an Android App? Pretty soon the folks at will have you covered, and if you’re willing to test out their beta, you could be covered now. They already have a loyal following of BlackBerry users and now they’re bringing their magic to Android. Be warned though… the Tether app made one user’s Motorola Droid CPU hit 131 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s hot – and killing Tether in the task manager cooled it off immediately. They have “Beta” tags for a reason, but I’m thinking once this thing goes Gold it’ll be one of the hottest apps on the market. [Read More]

GuidePoint Android Application Launches
guidepointYou probably won’t care about this unless you’re a fleet manager or vehicle owner providing freight services, but I’m sure there are plenty of Android-loving truckers and such out there – this one is for you. GuidePoint Systems has just launched an App for Android that works in conjunction with their GPS-based telematic services to locate stolen vehicles, provide driving directions, give emergency assistance and other guidance. On the off chance you’re already a GuidePoint customer, your Android App is now ready for download. [Read More… via IntoMobile]

PS3-like Graphics For Android In 3 Years
At a recent Game Developers Conference the makers of the PowerVR GPU chip inside the Motorola Droid – Imagination Technology – claimed that we’ll have PlayStation like graphics hitting our handsets in three years. In fact, they’re already being designed! The catch is that they take 3 years to develop. Check out what the company is working on now:

[Read More]

CyanogenMod Hits Motorola Droid
The rooters and modders out there know exactly who Cyanogen is and his work has just landed on none other but the Motorola Droid. This one is pretty straight forward – hit up his forums to get your DIY-on (with a warning of course) where Koush has provided the in-depth details. [Read More]

Nearby Products On Google Maps
This is just a Google Search story for now, but I would fully expect this to get folded into the company’s mobile offerings and Android Applications. Now, when you search for a product that is sold by companies like Best Buy, Sears, Williams-Sonoma, Pottery Barn, and West Elm, you’ll be able to see if a local store has the item in stock. Obviously they’re sharing inventory info with the GOOG or at least allowing the search provider to tap into their systems with an API of sorts. Expect this “real-time” search of inventory to include a lot more retailers as time goes on. And as that happens… it’ll become a lot more useful. [Read More]

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