This Week In Android: Apr 15th-21st

Historians may remember April 21st as the modern date of the founding of Rome but the 2013 iteration of the day will forever be associated in the Android community as the conclusion of a week which included the international expansion of Amazon’s Appstore and the final release of Google’s Glass Explorer Edition models of Google Glass alongside the details of the device’s specifications.


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Google Glass Sees the World

Google Glass was a big focus in Google news this week, with the first shipments making their way into the hands of first-round developer preorders. Chief executive Larry Page also made the announcement this week that Google Glass does indeed run a form of Android, following a trend for the OS to continue making its way from exclusively powering smartphones and tablets.

Google Glass has started hitting developer doorsteps.

In a release of documentation for the Mirror API, the development interface that programmers will utilise when writing for Glass, Google also revealed a number of technical specifications of the device. Google Glass, at least now, features a 640 x 360px display alongside a 5-megapixel camera with 720p video and 16GB of storage. Perhaps the most important statistic, though, is battery, of which Glass will offer “one full day” of use.

Glass will be compatible with “any Bluetooth-capable phone”, although a specific “MyGlass” app for Android 4.0.3 and above was mentioned, which is thought to enable certain interfacing with your Android phone for services like GPS and SMS.

Amazon Expands Appstore

Amazon announced it was expanding its Android Appstore this week, telling developers they can now register apps to be distributed in almost 200 countries.

Amazon launched their Appstore in the United States, before expanding the certain European countries and Japan.

New territories will include Australia, Canada, South Africa and South Korea, joining the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Spain and Japan.

Facebook Broadens VoIP Availability

Facebook updated its Messenger app this week, allowing US-based Android users to access free VoIP calling. The free service allows Facebook users to make free voice calls to other users without relying on traditional voice calling services or cost restrictions.

Facebook says 24 countries now have access to the Android side of the social network’s VoIP calling.

Other Updates

  • Galaxy S4 preorders began this week with AT&T launching preorders in select area followed by Sprint. T-Mobile will begin making ordering available from April 24th.
  • Pocket updated its app this week to refurbish social features, introducing a new “Send to Friend” option that allows users to send links to other Pocket users. Recipients will receive a push notification inside the app alongside an email copy.
  • Microsoft updated it’s Outlook.com app this week, overhauling the user interface to become more universal with the associated web app as well as conversation threading, the option to mark specific mail as spam or junk and filtering of flagged email.

Check in with your friends here at Android.AppStorm next Sunday for a roundup of the next week in Android!