Android app growth attracts PlayStation games; Honeycomb 3.0 preview prevails

by Kristen Nicole

Android apps continue to climb

If you thought the mobile app trend was going to slow down this year, you were sadly mistaken. According to a recent Gartner report, mobile app market sales will exceed $15 billion in 2011. That’s nearly a 200 percent increase from 2010, counting both paid apps and ad revenue generated by mobile apps. That’s great news for Google’s (GOOG) Android Market, which has seen a significant amount of growth in the last year alone, and is even beginning to slow down Apple’s (AAPL) progress.

Creating new sales and marketing opportunities are attracting advertisers far and wide, with Android apps showing all the appeal of targeted demographics and personalized campaigns. It’s no surprise, then, that retail and restaurant apps, as well as entertainment apps, were among the top five advertising verticals for December 2010, according to Millennial Media’s SMART report, released this morning.

As mobile apps become more specialized and consumer-oriented, niche verticals emerge in the process. The report goes on to note triple-digit growth for a handful of verticals, with automotive topping the list. Again, retail and restaurants and entertainment apps follow suit, with travel, finance and education rounding out this list.

Sony PlayStation jumps on the bandwagon

With the explosive growth of the entertainment sector, even game console makers recognize a big break when they see one. After months of rumors, Sony (SNE) is making an official move to Android, announcing plans to bring older PlayStation games to smartphones and tablets. The PlayStation Suite is a chance to reintroduce classic games to a new group of gamers. Expect the first games to launch later this year, notes CNET.

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Honeycomb 3.0 preview reveals new details

While the PlayStation Suite will require Android 2.3, it’s the subsequent OS that’s really drawing in attention right now. The still-to-be launched Android 3.0 Honeycomb is designed for tablet use, and its preview is finally here. Android developer Xavier Ducrohet announced the features, which include a holographic UI theme, widgets, multitasking, 3D graphics and enterprise management features.