The week in gadgets

30 May 2011

A look at gadgets in the week ahead, as Google removes emulator apps from the Android market, ASUS introduces a smartphone/tablet docking package and TomTom van sightings suggest a Street View rival.

Google removes video game emulators from Android Market

Google has removed a number of video-game emulators from the Android Market.

The emulators, which ran games for consoles such as the Nintendo, the Super Nintendo, the Nintendo 64 and the Sega Mega Drive on Android smartphones, were reportedly abruptly removed. The developer’s account was removed from the market.

Developer Yongzh said he would move the emulators to third-party store SlideME, but said he was “not optimistic about his prospects.”

While the emulators were among the most popular paid-for apps on the Android Market, the legalities of them are quite questionable. Sega submitted complaints to Google before and Nintendo believes that console emulation has “the potential to significantly damage” the games industry.

ASUS reveals the Padfone

ASUS has introduced an Android smartphone which comes with a tablet it can dock into.

The 4.3-inch smartphone docks onto the 10.1-inch tablet dock, allowing for an expanded battery life and dynamic display switching.

The Padfone will also run on Android, though ASUS has not confirmed which version yet.

TomTom working on Street View-like service?

There have been numerous sightings in Europe of TomTom vans equipped with 360-degree cameras, suggesting that the navigation company may be working on a Street View service to rival Google.

According to Engadget, the van has appeared in France and Belgium.

The camera seems to be able to rotate 360 degrees, hinting that TomTom could be releasing a more detailed, photo-based navigation service.

The company recently acquired TeleAtlas, which uses vans with cameras, lasers and GPS to create its maps.