Category Archives: Apps and Games
Last year Google completely redesigned the YouTube app for their Android 4.0 ICS update. Today they’ve unveiled yet another redesign for their upcoming new firmware Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. The app looks wonderful and fluid. Google has given their YouTube app uniformity with their other apps such as the new re-designed Google+ app. The main page gives you a “card” like system of your subscriptions and you can scroll down for new videos. To access your main menu and everything else, you just simply swipe to the right and you are brought to the main tabs. I love the update, it’s elegant and all of the important aspects are now easier than ever to access. You can download the new update via the Google Play store with links after the break:
source: YouTube blog
Gaming heavy hitter, Gameloft has just released The Amazing Spider-Man to the Android masses. The game centers around the new movie story line and looks pretty awesome if you ask me. I always loved Spider-Man games growing up so I will definitely be checking this one out!
The game hits the wallet a little harder than usual for mobile gaming, just under seven bones. However, you do get 25 missions in a open world environment with means this game is gonna be huge. Think Grand Theft Auto with a costume. Hit the link below if you’re ready to get your Spidey on!
Applications have come a long way, and now, a smartphone or tablet would be nothing without apps. As such, we’ve collected 25 of the best Android apps, both free and paid. From essentials to games, these apps will keep you glued to your smartphone and maybe even make your day a little better and easier.
1. Cut The Rope
By: Zepto Lab
Requires Android: 1.6+
2. Voxer Walkie-Talkie
Requires Android: 2.2+
Requires Android: 1.6+
By: Tapmojo LLC
Requires Android: 2.2+
5. SMS Popup
By: Adam K
Requires Android: 1.5+
6. Home Switcher
Requires Android: 1.5+
7. Beautiful Widgets
By: LevelUp Studio
Requires Android: 1.6+
8. SPB Shell 3D
By: SPB Software
Requires Android: 2.1+
9. Lookout Mobile Security
By: Lookout Mobile Security
Requires Android: 1.5+
10. Google Music
By: Google Inc.
Requires Android: 2.2+
If you use Google Reader and an Android tablet, chances are you’ll want to pick up the latest update for Google’s RSS app, which contains some tablet-specific usability fixes. And that’s it — we haven’t noticed any other changes in this version, and even on Honeycomb tablets the app seems pretty much the same.
In any case it’s good to stay up to date, and the new version 1.1.5 of Google Reader is available todownload now from Google Play. Existing users can fire up the Store app and head to “My Apps” to grab the update, or if you’re new, we’ve included a download link below.
Flipboard is no longer a Samsung Galaxy S III exclusive app and you don’t need to perform any mumbo-jumbo to install it on your Android smartphone. It’s now available in Google Play from where any user can grab it and install it on his device as long as it runs Android 2.2 (Froyo) or higher. You know what’s it all Flipboard is no longer a Samsung Galaxy S III exclusive app and you don’t need to perform any mumbo-jumbo to install it on your Android smartphone. It’s now available in Google Play from where any user can grab it and install it on his device as long as it runs Android 2.2 (Froyo) or higher. You know what’s it all about, right? Flipboard is a social magazine that mixes popular news and articles with stories, photos and videos your friends are enjoying. The application can pull data from 12 social networks, including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google+, YouTube, Google Reader, LinkedIn, Flickr, 500px, Sina Weibo and Renren. Moreover, it is available in 14 localized editions – for Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Korea, Netherlands, Spain, Taiwan, U.S. and U.K. However, it’s important to note that this is a phone edition of Flipboard that will work on Android tablets but will not take advantage of the extra screen estate. Guess that will be addressed in some future versions of the app. In the meantime, you can download it for your phone. about, right? Flipboard is a social magazine that mixes popular news and articles with stories, photos and videos your friends are enjoying. The application can pull data from 12 social networks, including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google+, YouTube, Google Reader, LinkedIn, Flickr, 500px, Sina Weibo and Renren. Moreover, it is available in 14 localized editions – for Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Korea, Netherlands, Spain, Taiwan, U.S. and U.K. However, it’s important to note that this is a phone edition of Flipboard that will work on Android tablets but will not take advantage of the extra screen estate. Guess that will be addressed in some future versions of the app. In the meantime, you can download it for your phone.
Look at you – going for a run without a gizmo to track your progress and bother your friends on Facebook. Lame, right? Well grab your sneakers, because the Nike+ app had landed in the Play Store, and it’s free.
The app connects you to nikeplus.com, which acts like a portal for all the social features in Nike+, as well as a larger interface to check out your run data. There is no additional hardware needed to use Nike+. Just load up the app, and it uses your phone’s GPS and accelerometer to record your pace, distance, and time. All that data gets fed into Nike+ and aggregated so you can enjoy some data porn later on.
Some handy features include a home screen widget that reminds you how lazy you are by displaying your total mileage and when you last ran. The PowerSong feature lets you crank your best tunes when you need a little more motivation. That’s great if you’re into 80’s sports training montages set to Eye of the Tiger (like I am).
The app itself is fairly attractive, but doesn’t really go in for the Holo UI scheme. It will pull up the legacy menu button on ICS devices. Remember that pinging the GPS and accelerometer will eat up battery life, and adding social content over wireless data to that is likely to worsen matters. Keep a spare battery handy.
If you used Windows between 1991 and 2001 then you have probably heard of (and used) WinZip.
Before Microsoft built the ability to unzip files into Windows XP, and before 7zip, WinZip was thede facto way to handle .zip files. Wind forward another ten years and WinZip is still around and it is now no longer just confined to Windows. There is WinZip for Mac, WinZip for iOS, and now WinZip for Android. I don’t know how comfortable I feel about running any apps on my Android phone which starts with the word “Win”, but I will make an exception in this case.
Starting WinZip from the launcher puts you into a simple file manager which allows you to navigate around your device looking for a .zip to open. Once you click on a .zip file, it is expanded and its contents revealed. Inside the archive image, text, and web files can be viewed directly using the built-in viewer and other file types can be opened via the standard “Complete action using” Android dialog.
One thing I couldn’t find was an option to expand a .zip file onto the SD card or the ability to extract a file from the archive. This seems to be one of the most basic needs for any decent .zip manager and I don’t know why it isn’t included. Popular file managers like Total Commander can do this.
Having said that, WinZip is available for free from Google Play and is compatible with Android 2.1 (Eclair), 2.2 (Froyo), 2.3 (Gingerbread), 3.x (Honeycomb) and 4.x (Ice Cream Sandwich).
Mobotap on 19th released some details about its upcoming Dolphin Browser engine, which they claim is 5-10 times faster than the default Android browser, and 100% faster than Chrome. When tested on HTML5test.com, it does seem to shoot ahead of its rivals, but we all know benchmarks can be deceiving, so it’ll be interesting to see how the new behind-the-scenes tweaks turn into real user experience changes. Improvements in canvas element rendering using both the gpu and the cpu seem to be behind most of the speedup. You can read more, and grab a link to the beta below.
Full Press Release after the break:
SAN FRANCISCO, CA, Jun 19 (Marketwire)Dolphin Browser, the most popular third-party browser on Android and iOSand the only Gesture and Voice enabled browser, today announced thelaunch of Dolphin Engine, behind-the-scenes technology that makes DolphinBrowser Beta the highest performing HTML5 browser available today. Dolphin Engine allows HTML5 rendering up to 5-10 times faster than thedefault browser on Android, and at times, 100 percent faster than Chrome. Dolphin Engine was tested on HTML5test.com, the industry’s mostrecognized tool for testing a browser’s support of HTML5 functionality. Dolphin Beta Engine performs significantly better than other mobilebrowsers available today: Browser HTML5 Test Score Dolphin Browser Beta 450+ Opera 369 Chrome Beta 364 Firefox 325 iOS 5.1 324 MeeGo/Harmattan 284 Android 4.0 273 BlackBerry OS 7 273 Bada 2.0 268 Nokia Belle FP 1 226 webOS 2.2 210 Android 2.3 189 Windows Phone 7.5 138 “Dolphin is committed to building a browser that provides theabsolute best consumer experience for mobile Web browsing, Web apps andgaming,” said Yongzhi Yang, CEO of MoboTap, makers of Dolphin Browser.”We’re always looking for ways to tweak the browser to make it faster,easier and more fun to use. Dolphin Engine’s tremendously high scores area testament to the tireless work of our engineering team. “Dolphin was able to achieve this remarkable accomplishment throughextensive canvas improvements, with particular attention to canvaselement, 2D context and text. In addition, Dolphin Engine madesignificant GPU technology improvements around GPU accelerated canvasrendering and optimized CPU / GPU parallel computing. About MoboTap MoboTap is a mobile technology developer that is committedto advancing the mobile revolution by improving the way peopleexperiences the mobile web through their smartphone devices. Founded andled by an international team of proven engineers and entrepreneurs andbacked by leading venture capitalist firm Sequoia Capital, MoboTap hasbegun this revolution with the launch of Dolphin Browser, a freeWeb-browser specifically optimized for mobile users. Contact: LaunchSquad (415) 625-8555 Dolphin@launchsquad.com Copyright 2012, Marketwire, All rights reserved.
Have any of you found yourself jealous that your fancy Android device is lacking the Galaxy S III’s ability to keep the screen on while looking at it? I mean, how annoying is it when you are reading a webpage and your device’s screen times-out and you have to power it back up and unlock it to just keep reading from where you left off? The Galaxy S III combats this annoyance by using Samsung’s new Smart Stay feature that prevents your device from going to sleep by using the front facing camera to detect an onlooking face. When Sammy first announced the device and its nifty features, I figured it would be the custom ROM development community who would port the feature over to be used in various ROMs. Looks like I was wrong. Now everyone can get in on the action by simply grabbing the ISeeYou app from the Google Play store.
ISeeYou comes in two different flavors. A free version and a paid version. The only difference besides $.99? The paid version allows you to change the scan interval and how long the camera will search for your face, the free version does not allow any changes. I opted for the paid version only because I wanted to change how often my Nexus scanned for my face in hopes to preserve precious battery life. You see, out of the box the free app will attempt to detect your face every 20 seconds which can be a bit overkill if you have your screen timeout set to 60 seconds like in my case. I have the ISeeYou app set to scan every 55 seconds for 5 seconds for those times when I am reading something that may require the screen to stay on for longer than a minute. For those times when I am only looking at the screen for 30 seconds or so, I wont be wasting battery by having the front facing camera power-up every 20 seconds scanning for my mug. You see where I am going here? I guess if battery life isn’t concern of yours then the free version will do the trick just as well, but for those of you who are like me and try to squeeze every amp hour out of your device, then I would suggest going for the paid. Either way, start with the free version to make sure the app is compatible with your device because I only tested it on one phone and only for about 20 minutes. That being said, while testing with the ISeeYou app activated, my phone never shut itself down while looking at it even though I never had any touch interaction. Pretty sweet if you ask me!
The jury is still out on whether or not the use of this app will cause any unwanted side affects like accessive battery drain or wake locks. I assume there is going to be some toll on battery life but I am hoping the benifit outweighs the possible lack of juice. Either way, this app will keep me happy until I get my GSIII in the mail and now I don’t need to feel like those folks with the international GSIII are enjoying features I can’t.
Check out the app for yourself through one of the links below and let us know what you think!
We may have seen our fair share of Siri clones out here in the Android world, but there’s one that’s looking to put all other virtual assistants to shame called Robin. This virtual assistant is aimed specifically for use when driving and allows drivers to use voice in/out and hand gestures in order to establish communication with the device. Robin comes jam-packed with the abilities and features such as give navigation, real-time traffic and parking information, gas prices, weather and more. When you’re sitting in rush hour or just plain bored during your drive, Robin can narrate personal Twitter news and even tell a joke or two.
The app is currently in beta, but it’s certainly looking like it’s on the right track for impressing users. Hit the break to see the full presser from the developers as well as grab the QR code and Play Store links.