Mark Murphy wrote an interesting piece about fragmentation in Android. I didn't really agree with much of it but it did get me to thinking about how the space in Android is evolving compared to J2ME (Java ME).
I was the software architect for T-Mobile back a number of years ago, working on their J2ME platform launch. So I've got some inside perspective.
This is a minor release that provides sorting options for main catalog entries. There are also a number of bug fixes including: storage locker appearing blank, needing to login twice to storage locker, a possible crash after watching app video, a crash if user scanned a QR code and the catalog info had not been previously stored in SAM's catalog.
This is a major 3.0 release of SAM. Features include an image gallery for up to three screenshots and the ability of the user to play youtube videos of the applications. There is also a new feature for viewing, sorting and installing applications directly from the SD Card.
SAM 3.0 supports it's own intent for launching on application links, allowing users to scan QR Codes or click links, taking them directly to the application within SAM.
This release also includes important fixes for improved application search and for encoding problems during login.
For nearly the last two years, we've been focused on our core project SAM (SlideME Application Manager) but have never been able to release it into the Android Market due to Google's non-compete terms.
It's finally public: the SlideME Application Manager is on the HTC Hero devices released in Malaysia and Vietnam. So now I can discuss with the community a little of the background of what was happening with SlideME over the summer and what to expect in the coming months.
If you tracked SAM releases, you would have noticed that we did four releases from mid-to-late May, all containing localization support of various languages, including Vietnamese. This was to get a version of SAM into the hands of HTC.
SAM v2.8 (released on June 9, 2009) was a major re-write of much of the plumbing in SAM. We previously downloaded the entire catalog on startup and while this worked for 30-40 apps, it was killing the SAM client performance at 150+ apps; certain application entries were getting completely dropped. We needed to fix this if we wanted to scale with an HTC release.
Many developers, including myself, have wondered why Google doesn't put more emphasis on helping developers promote and sell their applications. At the launch of the Android Market, Google didn't launch with carrier-based-billing (they turned down this option, preferring to use their own Google Checkout at a later date). This decision forced many developers to give away their applications.
We all know Google would love to see more applications bought, driving in even more applications; but when it comes to backing this up with money and resources, Google seemingly falls short.
SlideME is pleased to announce SAM 2.9, a minor release of our mobile marketplace for Android applications. Features include user options of opening, re-downloading and deleting applications from within the storage locker.
This release also has important bug fixes for problems with auto-updating of newer versions of SAM and for login errors that some users experienced with the storage locker. SAM also now detects when the SD card is not available.
SlideME is pleased to announce SAM 2.4, a major release of our mobile marketplace for Android applications. Features include: catalog search, catalog refresh, featured gallery and updates page. We've also localized SAM into multiple languages - German, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese and Russian - with more languages to follow in 2.5.
We've fixed numerous bugs, including: some catalog entries not showing up, app displays without screenshots being blank, ratings not properly displaying. Also we've made a number of optimizations to make SAM more responsive to the user.
Last week, Henrique added support for device detection and a mobile theme to the SlideME site. Loading is a lot faster and all the views fit nicely on the G1 screen. If you want to get an idea of what it looks like from the PC, you can go here: http://m.slideme.org/