Google Maps has hit a new milestone as the first Android application to surpass the 50 million download mark. The free application has seen many revisions since its public introduction in 2008 as part of Android 1.6 and now includes 3D modeling with multi-touch zoom and panning, free voice-guided turn-by-turn navigation, and support for Google’s Latitude and Places products. Given that it’s available on every iteration of Android that we can think of we’re not surprised to learn it’s the most downloaded application ever. Congrats to the Google Maps team.
Angry Birds Rio, the latest free game in the Angry Birds franchise from Rovio, is now available from the Android Market. The game features two episodes a total of 60 different levels complete with some gameplay twists built around Rio the movie. Rovio has added new achievements, as well as “hidden fruits” that you’ll discover as you play. Instead of attacking pigs, as usual, your goal is to liberate imprisoned birds by knocking them out of their respective cages. We played through the first few levels of episode 1 and are digging it so far; it has the same addictive gameplay we’ve come to expect from Angry Birds. The best part? Rovio will add episodic updates each month through November. Hit the jump for a gameplay trailer.
Ahead of the release of Sony Ericsson’s highly anticipated Xperia PLAY smartphone, Sony PlayStation games have begun appearing in Google’s Android Market. Five title’s became available in the Market on Thursday, including Syphon Filter, MediEvil and Cool Boarders 2. Currently available titles are listed for $6.38 each, and more are expected in the coming days and weeks. Sony Ericsson’s Xperia PLAY will be the first PlayStation Certified Android smartphone when it launches soon, and it will be capable of playing original PlayStation games downloaded through the Android Market. The Xperia PLAY will launch on Verizon Wireless’ network in the U.S. some time this spring.
On Tuesday, Mozilla released the latest version of Firefox 4 for Android and Maemo smartphones. Firefox 4 now includes support for Firefox Sync, which allows you to sync open tabs, history, bookmarks, passwords, and other data, between your computer and your smartphone. The new Firefox allows for tabbed browsing, add-on installation, and features a new, streamlined look. Mozilla says it will also automatically hide the browser controls when they aren’t in use, which should allow users to view more of the website you’re parked on. There’s also options to save PDFs, share pages, and customize the default search engine. Mozilla says that Firefox 4 is up to 3x faster than the stock Android browser. Firefox 4 for Android is available in the Market now, and the Maemo version can be downloaded here.
Right on queue, Amazon has announced a new, cloud-based, music storage service dubbed Cloud Drive. The new offering will allow users to store up to 5GB of music in Amazon’s new, online locker and playback uploaded tracks via their Android smartphone, Android tablet, Mac, or PC. Users that purchase a complete album via Amazon’s MP3 store will automatically be upgraded to 20GB of storage, free of charge, and tracks purchased on Amazon are automatically uploaded to the cloud; purchased tracks do not count towards your storage quota. Stored music can be played-back using the Cloud Player for Web or Cloud Player for Android software (available in the Market now) and additional storage plans starting at $20 per year (we know some of you have large music collections). Congratulations Amazon, you are officially the first to market. The full press release is after the break.