This Week in Android: Transdroid, Device Activations, Google+ and Nortel Bid

This is the first in a series of posts I’ll be writing, to highlight some of the most important Android news from the past week. Hopefully it’ll be a useful summary, and also provide some incentive for me to keep the posts coming 🙂 Enjoy!

Transdroid pulled from Android Market

Transdroid, the popular torrent client for Android is the latest app to incur Google’s wrath, as it was pulled from the Android Market earlier this week. This news seemed to slip under the radar in the wake of the Google+ launch. Still no word on why. Perhaps George Lucas noticed the word “droid”?

Half a million Android devices activated per day

Andy Rubin revealed in a tweet that Google is now activating over 500,000 new Android devices per day, and that this figure is growing by 4.4% week over week. This is a big step up from 300,000 late last year. Just think about it – that’s more than 15 million new Android devices each month. And that’s not even counting the unofficial forks.

Google+ social network launched

This week Google finally launched their ambitious new social network “Google+” in private beta. I managed to obtain an invite (get free invites here). It’s actually pretty good – especially given Google’s history with social products. The Android app is nicely designed, although I’ve found a few small bugs (especially with the “Huddle” group chat feature). Expect to see more integration of Google+ and Android in the upcoming months.

I really like the concept of Circles, and my experience so far has been mostly positive. The big thing I’ll be watching out for is the announcement of an API. I think at this stage the API, and developer support, is what will make or break Google+.

The Google+ team has got one thing going for them – they’re very active in monitoring and responding to feedback. Several Googlers are on +1 and have been responding to peoples’ questions about the service in a casual way. They’ve also implemented a really neat feedback button, that somehow uses Javascript to capture a screenshot of the page. And provide in-page editing to let you redact certain elements. I’d love to know how they did that.

Apple iOS beats Android on security

Hardly surprising. According to recent research, iOS is more secure than Android on a number of counts. Basically, a closed box is more secure than an open box. The report, however, claims that both platforms are more secure than the PC counterparts.

“These platforms have been designed from the ground up to be more secure – they raise the bar”

Obviously there will be malware targeting both platforms. In general, Android provides more flexibility for apps, and accordingly more flexibility for malware. But both platforms have weaknesses, and should be treated with similar caution.

And jail-breaking or rooting? With freedom comes responsibilities.

Google bids Pi billion for Nortel patents

This isn’t technically Android news, but I thought it was pretty cool anyway. Google bid in the auction for the Nortel patent suite this week. Their final bid? $3.14159 billion. Now, it might not make good business sense. But it sure is nerdy – and the kind of humor I like to see from a major corporation.