Android Thoughts - Opinions, News, Advice & Reviews on Android Devices

Got a Hot Tip? We Want To Hear It! Use Our Contact Form

Apple Thoughts

Loading feed...

Laptop Thoughts

Loading feed...

Digital Home Thoughts

Loading feed...

All posts tagged "software"

Monday, June 6, 2011

Will Toshiba Thrive in July?

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Other Slates & Tablets" @ 10:30 PM

"Toshiba is the latest company to throw its hat into the tablet ring, as its Android-based Thrive slate has been given a release date and pricing. As with many, many others, the Thrive is powered by the new 3.1 version of Android, a.k.a. Honeycomb, and will ship in the U.S. starting July 10. The 10.1-inch tablet is powered by Nvidia’s Tegra 2 chip, has a front-facing Webcam and rear-facing 5-megapixel camera, and sports USB, mini-USB, and HDMI ports, along with an SD memory card slot. But its Internet connectivity is Wi-Fi only, which means your mobile access to the Web is limited to hotspots."

Toshiba may have discovered the right price point to compete in an increasingly-crowded tablet market. At $429, the Thrive is $70 cheaper than the iPad 2, but has only 8GB of storage onboard. However, an SD card slot enables inexpensive upgrades to 16GB and beyond, at a significantly less cost than Toshiba's 16GB ($479) or 32GB ($579) models, with the latter two each undercutting the iPad 2's price by $20. Is this just another Android tablet to further confuse buyers, or will the smaller price tag drive sales?

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Using 2-step Verification and Application Specific Passwords to Protect Your Gmail Accounts

Posted by Nelson Ocampo in "Windows Phone Talk" @ 10:00 PM

"Security is always a cause for concern, whether it be with online banking or simply ordering a Domino's pizza. Passwords used online for applications or services are no different, especially with the amount of cyber crime occuring since the boom of the world wide web. Google have published an article on their blog outlining recent attacks being made on Gmail accounts and how users can protect themselves further."

While the video only mentions a few mobile OS's by name, you should also be able to use this on other OS's like Windows Phone. You just won't have the ability to use the Google Authenticator App at this time.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

The U.S. Wait for the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Is Almost Over

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Other Slates & Tablets" @ 10:30 PM

"Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 will be on sale June 8 at Best Buy's Union Square store in New York City; everywhere else gets to wait until June 17."

If this sounds strangely like an Apple product launch, it tells me that the competition is finally learning how to compete with Apple. Limit initial sales, build up buzz (and demand) for a week or so, and then make sufficient quantities available to eager buyers, at a cost no higher than the competition. For WiFi versions, $499 for a 16GB version, and $599 for a 32GB version seem spot-on. With Honeycomb 3.1, 1280x800 resolution, up to 9-hours of battery life, and NVIDIA's 1GHz Tegra dual-core processor, 3-megapixel rear camera, and 2-megapixel front-facing camera, this may finally be a true iPad alternative.

In a nod perhaps to less tech-savvy consumers, Samsung promises all sorts of future software upgrades/enhancements, including their own TouchWiz UX, with many UI enhancements, including a 'task manager-like' utility, as well as a bunch of media-related apps. This may be what is needed to push Android more into the mainstreet. Oddly enough, no 3G or 4G versions are being reported. I do like the 7-inch Galaxy Tab, and it'll be interesting to see how its larger sibling performs with a real tablet OS.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Want to Slim Down While Eating Out? Try the Fast Food Calorie Lookup

Posted by Craig Horlacher in "Android Software" @ 04:00 AM

"This app is simple and does one thing - it tells you the calorie counts for menu items at popular fast food restaurants. Pick your restaurant, pick your item, and you get the count!"

Fast Food Calorie Lookup is a quick, easy, and free app that lets you look up how many calories are in that Bacon Cheese Burger at Five Guys! Mmmmm, Five Guys...sorry. Anyway, it has the fast food places you see in the screen shot above. If it doesn't have one you want you can request it and the fast food place you ask for just may be added. To use the app just select a fast food restaurant and then you can either select an item from the second drop down box or you can search for it in the search list.

I mentioned it was "quick". By quick I mean instant! This is a very fast app. At least on my Droid X everything seemed to happen right away. I guess with a size of 41KB it's not going to be much of a hog but you can tell it's small and clean by how it runs. The only permission it uses is network access and I think that would be for the advertisements. As I said it is only 41KB so space shouldn't be a problem for anyone. Give it a try and let us know if it's a help to you! Our fearless leader Jon Westfall who made this app would love to know I'm sure!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Miro: Media Library and Sync Software for Android, Win

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Software" @ 07:00 PM

"Miro has been around for awhile, but for many it was little more than yet another alternative video player. Today, though, Miro has overhauled its app into a full-featured media library designed to sync with Android. Android users may see an immediate resemblance to previously mentioned DoubleTwist, and Miro's Android syncing puts it in a position as a great alternative."

Looking for something to help you sync your Android phone/tablet easier, or just manage and convert video files on your desktop? Miro looks like it's worth checking out!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Have you Bought an Android App Lately?

Posted by Craig Horlacher in "Android Software" @ 06:00 PM

"What Distimo discovered this time is that, for a variety of reasons, Android generates far fewer runaway hits. The most successful app in the Android Market, with more than 50 million downloads, is a Google freebie: Google Maps. Nothing else comes close."

This is an interesting article about how developers in general seem to have a much harder time selling apps on the Android Market than the Apple App Store. I don't disagree with their general conclusion or even doubt the different statistics they present but I do think there are a few additional points to consider that I think are note worthy and valuable even it they don't necessarily change the whole picture.

First, Apple sells things at premium prices. Apple customers are used to paying and, often times, paying a lot for what they get. While one can argue that they are getting a premium product for the money the opposite can also be argued fairly easily I think. The bottom line here is Apple customers are often ready and willing to pay. Second, with iOS devices you have no choice of where to buy from. The Android Market is only one of many places to buy Android Apps. Stores like,, and the Amazon Appstore for Android are great examples of Android app stores that filter what they allow in their store keeping quality higher. Besides having less apps that are not worth your time this also provides some price competition as well as giving you other ways to find new apps. Third, I don't have good data to back this up but I think I have heard that advertisements in apps for Android are more developer friendly then they are on iOS. That could be some of the reason for the sales gap between the two platforms. Maybe programmers are happy with their ad revenue and Android. I heard a number of months ago that Rovio, the company behind Angry Birds, makes over $1,000,000 a month on advertising in Angry Birds for Android. Forth, there are benefits to the fact that anyone can create an app for Android and make it available to the consumer right away at no cost to them. Sure, you'll end up with some extra fluff that way but it also means that a developer won't need to jump through hoops to get out a critical update in a timely fashion.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this topic. I would especially be interested to here from any developers out there.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Vogel's RingO: A Universal Tablet Mounting System

Posted by Eric Juillerat in "Apple iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad" @ 10:00 AM

There are 15,873,213.5 iPad cases and stands, and dozens of iPad mounts. While that statement may not be completely accurate, it would be fair to say there are a lot. So what's with another review of the same old stuff? In a word, "System". A complete and comprehensive eco-system of compatible cases, stands and mounts for tablets. And as far as I can see, there may only be a few tablet "Systems" in existence. We're going to look at one - Vogel's RingO Universal Mounting System. Welcome to the Pros, my friend.


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Budget Tablets Head-to-Head: Galaxy Tab WiFi vs. Nook Color

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Other Slates & Tablets" @ 10:30 PM

"When Apple announced the iPad in January 2009, the entry price for the tablet market was set at $499. I saw (and still see) the web tablet as the successor to the netbook, so I assumed that it would go down over time, and we would eventually see tablets settle in the $350-400 range that netbooks sold for in their brief period of atomic glory (see what I did there?) ASUS and Acer are pushing that agenda for the moment, with the $399 Eee Transformer and the $449 Iconia A500."

Interesting comparison, to see if the Nook Color can be modded to make it a low-priced competitor for the Galaxy Tab WiFi tablet. The $249 Nook Color, with a 7-inch 1024x600 IPS color screen, runs Android 2.2 internally, on an 800MHz ARM Cortex A8 processor with 512MB System RAM, and 8GB of flash storage. The $349 Galaxy Tab also has a 7-inch (1024x600) screen, Android 2.2/2.3, on a 1GHz Cortex A8 processor, with also 512MB of system RAM, but 16GB of flash storage.

A very interesting piece of information is that B&N encourages modding, unlike some companies. In any case, after turning the Nook into an Android tablet, the Galaxy Tab proved itself to be faster in almost all cases, even though the WiFi-only version is a step down in performance from the 3G versions. Usability went also to the Galaxy Tab, as it just seemed like a more finished product. Display quality went to the Nook Color, with its IPS display. Cameras were no contest, as the Nook Color has none. Battery life also went to the Galaxy Tab, 8.75-hours, to 6.45-hours on the Nook Color.

The bottom line is that the competition was really between a "finished" product, and one that can be "hacked to oblivion." If you want to be able to mod, customize, and tweak each and every part of the system, the Nook has the advantage, although both offer almost infinite customization. The bottom line here was that the Galaxy Tab is the better tablet, but at $100 more than the Nook Color.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Web Version of Google Maps for iOS and Android Now Available

Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple Software (iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad)" @ 02:00 AM

"Google wrapped up on Friday with a long-requested version of Google Maps for smartphones. Both Android and iOS users can both track their individual location with the usual Google Maps layers, such as satellite maps and traffic, as well as get directions. Place pages have their own optimizations and tie in properly with the map."

This was released Friday and works anywhere Google Maps exists. On top of that, the one big advantage is the continual updating you get from web versions over apps, which require updates from either Apple or Google. Sign-on to Google and you get access to all your favorite locations, saved maps and landmarks.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 LE Reviewed

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Other Slates & Tablets" @ 02:30 PM

"It may be a bit difficult to pay attention to the spate of Honeycomb tablets that seem to be popping up left, right and center -- you know, now that Ice Cream Sandwich has been officially promised -- but what's not easy to overlook is an 8.6mm slate. Checking in at a sliver of a pinch thinner than the illustrious iPad 2, Samsung's rethought-out, redesigned and definitely-not-renamed Galaxy Tab 10.1 is the first Android tablet to date that seriously goes toe-to-toe with Apple in both specifications and design."

Looks like we may soon have a new leader in the Android Tablet Race. Scheduled for release on or about June 8, 2011, Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 is, in the reviewer's eyes, the first Android tablet to equal and (or) surpass the iPad 2 in most areas. Larger (wide) screen, sleek and attractive, better resolution @ 1280x800, lighter, and arguably more powerful, the Galaxy Tab 10.1 appears to be arriving at the same price as the iPad2, starting at $499 for a 16GB WiFi model. Come on, Samsung, how about being a tad cheaper than the iPad?!

Still, looking at the video, I think that the iPad still leads in ease-of-use out of the box, but Android seems to be catching up. With Android 3.1 on the near horizon, some of the complains are remedied, like adding re-sizeable widgets, USB host support, better HTML5 support, task switcher improvements, and improved performance. Looks like the gauntlet has been thrown down - it'll be interesting to see if iOS now 'borrows' some of the better features from Android. And, again, the consumer benefits!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Wuala: The Best Alternative to Dropbox?

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Software" @ 03:00 PM!5798179/wua...xtra-free-space

If you're looking to get more bang for your buck than what Dropbox offers, Wuala might be worth checking out: their prices are cheaper, they have more "in-between" pricing in terms of storage, and they cover the Windows, OS X, iOS, and Android platforms. Perhaps the coolest thing they've done though is allow you to offer Wuala the use of your hard drive; if you give them 100 GB of space on a your always-on computer (that's an important part), you'll get 70 GB of storage on their servers. Given how cheap local storage is, that seems like a good deal to me! I'm a very happy Dropbox user, but I find myself tempted by about you?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Notion Ink Adam: From Prototype to Disappointment

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Other Slates & Tablets" @ 11:00 PM

"The saga of the Notion Ink Adam is a tale like many we could name -- it's the story of a tiny company struggling to bring a vision to market, facing friction from investors, factories and the march of time itself. The difference is that the Adam captured the imaginations of gadget fiends like ourselves with ideas that were fantastic from day one and are still novel now that it's finally been released, including a paneled UI, full USB host functionality, and of course that Pixel Qi screen. But does the Adam deliver on the promises of unifying form and function with such technology? In two words: Not really."

From a unique prototype to a disappointment in production, the Notion Ink Adam tries to implement some of the features that techies initially found so cool, but fails on most. The Pixel Qi screen can be used outdoors with the backlight turned off, but it disappoints otherwise. With Android 2.2 (Froyo) and a UI called Eden, the Adam looks cool, but fails to deliver on its promises. Frequent crashes on apps and games, reboots, and hangs are the order of the day. Apps don't behave the same in different modes, and, for instance, the calendar app doesn't import-from or export-to any other calendars, so it's a standalone calendar. Even the battery life is about 1/3 of what was initially anticipated. The Adam really is not ready for the marketplace in this version.

Developers Losing Interest In Developing for Android

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Apple Software (iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad)" @ 05:30 PM

"Appcelerator and IDC surveyed 2,760 Appcelerator Titanium developers from April 11-13 on perceptions surrounding mobile OS priorities, feature priorities, and mobile development plans in 2011. The survey reveals that developer momentum is shifting back toward Apple as fragmentation and tepid interest in current Android tablets chip away at Google's recent momentum gains."

More interesting statistics, guaranteed to generate at least some some controversy. According to these sources, interest (for Android) is waning in developing cross-platform applications, at least in what may be considered more generic apps. Disappointing and fragmented Android sales have no doubt impacted development for smaller companies that don't have resources to commit to multiple platforms. iOS interest is still high, followed by Android, then, surprisingly, Windows Phone 7. As with all statistics, I'd expect these numbers to fluctuate, and maybe even match up to tablet sales. Competition for the number three position may be the most spirited, with MS, RIM, HP and others lagging far behind Apple and Android, but with possibly compelling products on the horizon.

RealVNC Viewer App for Android: Your PC On Your Phone

Posted by Chris Baxter in "Android Software" @ 09:00 AM

VNC Viewer screenshot

VNC Viewer for Android ($9.78 on the Android Marketplace) by RealVNC is an app that allows Android smartphones, such as my HTC Evo, to establish a remote desktop connection to any Mac OSX, Windows, Linux, or UNIX computer running compatible VNC server technology. Using a remote desktop connection, or RDC, you can access and work with your home or office computer remotely, just like you were sitting in front of it. Macs running OSX 10.4 and up conveniently have the server technology built into the OS. For Windows, Linux, and UNIX, third party server software will have to be installed. RealVNC suggests using their RealVNC Enterprise Edition software ($50 on their website) for the best compatibility and features. For testing purposes I used the RealVNC Enterprise software for Windows 7 and Mac OSX. Read on after the break for my impressions.


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Android Widens Lead on iOS

Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple Software (iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad)" @ 07:58 AM

"Google's Android smartphone OS now has a double-digit lead on Apple, according to a new survey released Tuesday morning. Android is used by 37 percent of smartphone users, compared to the iPhone, owned by 27 percent of smartphone users, found a March survey by measurement firm Nielsen."

From number 3 with 22.7% of the market in October of 2010, to leading the market in March of 2011 with 37%, Android OS now has a double digit lead on Apple iOS. Also, the number of people planning on purchasing Android over Apple is increasing, now at 31.1% from 25.5% in 2010. In the same survey, 30% of consumers surveyed said they would be buying an Apple iOS smartphone, which is a drop from 32.7% in 2010.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Amazon Tablet: Possibly a "Disruptor in the Mobile Space?"

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Other Slates & Tablets" @ 04:30 PM

"It's something of an open secret that Amazon is working on an Android tablet and I am 99% certain they are having Samsung build one for them. Does the world really need yet another tablet? If it were anyone else, I'd say no, but I think Amazon is uniquely positioned to layer in a set of products and services that would differentiate its tablet from the flood of Android tablets hitting the market this year. "

Some great thoughts to ponder. Amazon is not a technology company, despite the success of the Kindle. But, they do have an excellent 'ecosystem' already in place, and adding their various services to a basic tablet OS (like Android) can be done at a reasonable cost. Comparisons are being made to the color NOOK, the thinking being that Amazon can create their own tablet OS (rather than going to Google), add their content, avoid the Android Market by substituting their own, and get a product to market for a reasonable price. Need an app? Amazon has one. An obvious target is the iPad, and if Amazon can seriously undercut the entry-level price, with all their various services on-board, they may truly have a market disruptor. Despite having an office full of gadgets, I still go back to my Kindle for my pleasure reading, so I eagerly await more news from Amazon.

HBO Go Coming Soon to Android, iPad and iPhone

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Apple Talk" @ 02:30 PM

"HBO's streaming service is coming to a tablet and smartphone near you."

HBO will soon be streaming content to your Android or iOS device, if you are a Comcast or DirecTV customer, and subscribe to HBO. But wait, where's Time Warner in all this, since they own HBO? Not offered to subscribers yet. Starting date guesswork is currently early May 2011, providing competition to Netflix. Few details are available, for example, will this service be offered over 3G (or 4G), or, why are they so adamant about not partnering with Netflix?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Clean Up Your Android Device With SDMaid

Posted by Kevin Jackson in "Android Software" @ 02:00 PM!5791392/

"It's helpful to have access to your phone's SD storage, but it's concerning when you don't know what's a crucial data file and what's leftover cruft. SD Maid scours your SD card and clears out thumbnails, log files, and other stuff you don't need."

I've been using this for about a week now and it does what it says. You won't regain a lot of space, but every little bit counts and keeping caches clean can often keep your device humming along quite nicely. SD Maid is free for the downloading in the Market and works wherever the little green guy is rooted.

Google Adds Undo Feature to iOS and Android Devices

Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple Software (iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad)" @ 10:30 AM

"Google has recently added an "undo" bar to its web app for iOS and Android devices. You can navigate to the web app by heading over to in Safari on your iOS device."

I think we all could have used the "undo" feature at least a time or two in various situations, and now for Gmail at least you can use it to undo one of four actions: archive, delete, add or remove a label, or move a message/conversation. When any of these actions is done, via the web app, you get a small window of opportunity to "undo" it when the yellow bar displays as it is in the above image. After that time though, you are out of luck.

Monday, April 11, 2011

To Swype or Not to Swype ? Is That The question ?

Posted by Chris Hordley in "Android Software" @ 08:00 AM

Product Category: Keyboard app (for Android and Windows Mobile touchscreen devices)
Manufacturer: Swype Inc.
Where to Buy: Pre-installed or Beta release from
System Requirements: Android, Windows Mobile platforms and certain new Nokia smart phones, but not on iOS devices as at time of review. It requires 500k to 900k depending on options.


  • The original slide/trace touchscreen keyboard for Windows Mobile and Android platforms;
  • Can enable faster and more flexible input, especially on phones in portrait screen orientation;
  • Good interactive tutorial and support on website (which is professional and on-going).


  • Still only available as a beta release for many phones and not at all for iOS devices;
  • Rival slide/trace keypads available;
  • Many people do not see any reason to change from tapping.

    Summary: Swype is a slide-to-type touchscreen keyboard, installed on devices such as Galaxy Tab and My Touch 4G and available again (as of December 2010) in beta version for many others. First released a year ago, it is designed to work on a wide variety of devices. It was hailed (or was it hyped?) as the input software that would revolutionize the way we use touchscreens and the first beta release was over-subscribed and closed until recently. World record texting speeds were set using Swype, yet, many have still not heard of it and it is only in beta version for most of us. So, the question is to Swype or not to Swype ? I hope that this review will help you to answer it. Read more...

    Reviews & Articles

    Loading feed...


    Loading feed...

    Reviews & Articles

    Loading feed...


    Loading feed...

    Reviews & Articles

    Loading feed...


    Loading feed...

    Reviews & Articles

    Loading feed...


    Loading feed...

    Reviews & Articles

    Loading feed...


    Loading feed...

    Sponsored links