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All posts tagged "software"

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

SketchBook Mobile For Android Released: Doodle Like A Pro

Posted by Jason Lee in "Android Software" @ 09:00 PM

"Autodesk SketchBook Mobile uses the same engine as Autodesk SketchBook Pro desktop software, delivering much of the same power and functionality to mobile devices. A combination of high-quality digital pencils, pens, markers and airbrushes, as well as an artist-friendly, gesture-based user interface, helps enable users to capture their ideas as quick informal sketches or produce artwork on-the-go."

I've seen some pretty amazing artwork come from iPad users running SketchBook Pro, just look at Jim Lee's Twitter feed. Needless to say I was fairly excited to see that Autodesk had released an Android version of their wonderful SketchBook Mobile program. After wasting about 20 minutes doodling on my phone with the Express version (while I should have been working) I went ahead and purchased the full version. The interesting thing is that the press release lists the full version at $2.99, I just purchased it in the Market for $0.99. The free version was probably enough for my doodling needs but for 99 cents why not pick up the full version? Any of our wonderfully talented Thoughts readers out there care to share some of their work? :)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Acer's 4.8-inch "Nameless" Smartphone (Tablet)

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Android News" @ 12:00 AM

"Acer may be calling this "100 percent smartphone. 100 percent tablet," but something just doesn't add up there. That being said, we have to agree that a 1024x480 screen resolution on a 4.8-inch smartphone is downright drool-worthy. Clocking in at just a smidgen smaller than Dell's Streak, this here phone (no finalized name has been bestowed quite yet) was just revealed at Acer's Global press event in New York City."

Slightly smaller than the Dell Streak, Acer's newest curved-back Android offering sports a full metal body, 1GHz Snapdragon processor, 2mp front-facing camera, 8mp rear camera with LED flash, 720p video recording, and an odd 21:9 aspect ratio. No information on phone capabilities, and no pricing information, but availability is listed at April 2011 - everywhere. Interested?

Friday, November 19, 2010

Viewsonic ViewPad 7 Unboxing

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Other Slates & Tablets" @ 05:30 PM

"The ViewPad 7 gets unboxed!! In case you missed it, its got a 7-inch display capacitive touchscreen with 800×480 resolution, phone capabilities, front and back-facing cameras, 3G connectivity, a SIM card slot, and Android 2.2 "Froyo"."

Pretty good looking tablet, advertised as a Smart Pad with a Phone! Nice additions include SD and microSD slots. The ViewPad 7 ships with a case, with the case differing by geography. If you're in the UK, you can take part in Viewsonic's upgrade plan where you get up to £125 cash back when you trade in an old laptop, notebook or netbook. No additional solid details are available, like estimated price or availability in North America.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Should Your Next Mobile OS Cost You Money?

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Windows Phone Articles & Resources" @ 06:00 PM

"All too often, the question isn't whether a particular device is great, it's whether the manufacturer and carrier have committed to upgrading it -- quite often to a version of its operating system that hasn't officially been announced. It's a recipe for confusion and paralysis among consumers that really don't have a great reason to be putting off their purchases -- they just want a reasonable assurance that their new phones aren't going to be regarded as "obsolete" in six or nine months. And why shouldn't they?"

A really thought-provoking piece from Engadget's Chris Ziegler - he proposes that, since smartphone hardware has largely plateaued in terms of baseline features, it's time to for software to take on a larger role in the ecosystem. Part of that is for companies to charge for new versions of an operating system. Myself, I'd have no problem at all with this - assuming, and that's the key word here, that operating system updates were delivered in a reliable manner that would work a variety of hardware...and would be unencumbered by mobile operator bloatware. We pay for new operating systems on our desktops and laptops, so why not on our phones? Vote in the poll that Engadget has set up - and sound off here on why you would, or would not, be willing to pay for a new OS for your phone.

Friday, November 5, 2010

8Pen Android KeyBoard Now Available

Posted by Tony Rylow in "Android News" @ 02:00 AM,+Rumours,+and+

"We now have a new entrant to add to the mix, and it's definitely the most unique Android keyboard yet. Introducing 8Pen, a gesture-based keyboard that looks to have quite the learning curve, but is very intriguing."

This keyboard looks cool, and is fairly inexpensive to get from the Android Market. I've been fooling with this for the last couple hours, and just can't seem to get the hang of it. My finger blocks half the letters I'm looking for, and I've used the backspace more than I care to admit. To say this has a steep learning curve is putting it nicely!

Tags: software, 8pen

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Thinking of Suing Someone? You've Got Competition In The Mobile Space

Posted by Brad Wasson in "Windows Phone Talk" @ 06:30 PM

"Somehow this passed us by: Information is Beautiful has a wonderful visualization of the current state of telecommunications court cases. It's actually a little out of date now -- Apple is now countersuing Motorola -- but otherwise the data is mostly up-to-date. The full image is after the break."

This is well worth a few minutes of your time. Sebastian Anthony over at the DownloadSquad noticed a very interesting posting on the Information is Beautiful website. It presents a compilation of some information found in diagrams from the NY Times and the Guardian. The compilation shows mobile phone and other industry competitors and the lawsuits being waged between them. It's a fascinating compilation, and, in my mind, highlights just how crazy (or justified, depending on your point of view) some of these cases are. As you can see, the diagram also indicates the nature of the suit, whether or not it is in process, the relative size of the suit and, of course, who's suing who. Look carefully and you will see that Kodak is suing Sony Ericsson over the creation of electronic cameras that store images digitally. Elan is suing Apple of touch screen patents, and Nokia is suing Hitachi over LCD price fixing. It makes you wonder "what will actually happen when some of these case get resolved?".

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

WD Photos: Leave Your Photos At Home, Show Them Off Anywhere

Posted by Jason Lee in "Android Software" @ 07:00 PM

"Western Digital® (NYSE: WDC), the world's leader in external storage solutions, today announced that its WD PhotosTM photo viewer app now enables AndroidTM smartphone users to view all the photos stored on their WD home network drive, including My Book® LiveTM, My Book® World EditionTM and WD ShareSpaceTM models, anywhere they have an Internet connection. The WD Photos app also is available for iPadTM, iPhone®, iPhone4 and iPod touch® mobile digital devices, and is now available at the Android MarketTM as a free download."

This is quite a nice value-add for those of you out there with almost any model of Western Digital network storage. The drive manufacturer has just released an Android version of their WD Photos software. This software, combined with a free MioNet account, will give you access to all of the photos you have placed in the share folder of your network attached Western Digital drive. You can view and search through your files, share then through the standard Android share options, set as wallpaper or contact photo, or play a slide show. Anyone with a WD network drive tried this software out? Tell us what you think.

Archos 43 Tablet Features Android 2.2

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Android Slates/Tablets & Accessories" @ 05:30 PM

"A connected AndroidTM palm-sized tablet A simple tap. Just a simple tap on the home screen of the ARCHOS 43 internet tablet and you'll be accessing all the major functions you need throughout the day wherever you are: HD video playback, HD camcorder, apps, emails and full Internet browsing. It's as simple as a tap."

An ideal form factor for carrying in a pocket at 4.3-inches, light at 4.6-ounces (130g), and sporting a ARM Cortex A8 processor with DSP at 1 GHz, as well as 3D OpenGL ES 2.0 graphics acceleration, this Wi-fi only tablet seems like quite a bargain at $249.99. With Android 2.2 (Froyo) already on-board, and a 720p video camera (camcorder), it seems that the only thing lacking is access to the Android Market. Archos' own AppLib store is offered, but is really no replacement. Reviews have been good, but many tablet seekers seem to be waiting for the larger Archos 101, already on sale in Europe ( link ), and rumored to be available soon in the US for $299.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Army Goes Android!

Posted by Jon Westfall in "Android News" @ 03:00 PM

"The Army is 20 years and a half-billion dollars into a star-crossed effort to build custom communications and digital-mapping gadgets for its soldiers. Special Operations Command, on the other hand, is taking a simpler approach: They're planning to use Android phones. Last week, the SOCOM asked coders to create a suite of applications for keeping commandos linked up while they're out on missions. The software should include chat functions, file transfers, video display and "multi-touch whiteboarding aka John Madden tool." SOCOM calls it the Tactical Situational Awareness Application Suite, or TactSA, and it has to work in low-connectivity areas - the middle-of-nowhere places you'd expect to send the military's most elite troops. It's got to be peer-to-peer, encrypted "at the application level" and able to recover from "network outages and substantial packet loss." But rather than go the Army route and custom-build hardware, SOCOM is happy to use off-the-shelf gadgetry. It's the software that interests them more."

I guess it's telling - first you see your brother-in-law (who is a 1LT currently in Afghanistan) using a Droid at Christmas time, and before long he's convinced his entire company to adopt Android! Seriously, Android makes a logical choice for the Army: They can control the entire operating system, since it's open source, and build exactly what they need. Not a bad idea - let the hardware be off-the-shelf, program all the software!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Advertising Revenue: Apple vs. The (Android) World

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Apple Talk" @ 04:00 PM

"Millenial Media has released its latest report on cross-platform mobile advertising, and the iPhone has lost another step on the Android platform. According to Millenial's reporting, revenue for advertising from the Android platform has exceeded iPhone-only revenue. That's not quite as bad as it sounds -- the Android platform, as we already know, has outstripped the iPhone in terms of user numbers, just because there are so many more available handsets and carriers for those devices."

Ah, nothing like hard statistics to tell a fuzzy story. Android cross-platform mobile advertising revenue (that's Android on -all- devices) has exceeded ad revenue generated from (only) the iPhone. That's a nice many-to-one statistic, but the true numbers behind the numbers indicate that iOS revenue growth (again, from advertising) increased 316% in the last quarter. At the same time, Android ad requests have grown 1283% since January 2010. So what does this all mean? We're getting more and more targeted advertisements on our mobile devices, one might even say that the onslaught is just beginning. Now, if I only had a TiVo-like device on my iPhone to let me skip (or fast forward through) advertisements ...

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Another 7-inch Android Tablet: ZTE Light, by ZTE

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Android Slates/Tablets & Accessories" @ 09:00 PM

"ZTE didn't exactly manage to impress with its low-cost ZTE Racer Android handset, but the company's now back with yet another Android device: the 7-inch ZTE Light tablet."

Another tablet announced: 7-inch screen (no details on whether it's resistive or capacitive); Android 2.1 with a custom skin; WiFi and 3G (UMTS 2100 MHz/900 MHz HSUPA); 403 grams, or slightly less than 1-pound; 512MB RAM and 512MB ROM; built-in GPS; SD card slot; Bluetooth; 3MP camera; music and video player; a 3.5mm headset jack; and a battery rated at up to 10 hours. The picture is a rendering, so the shipping product may be different. No information on availability or price.

Monday, October 11, 2010

CherryPad America - Silly Name, Maybe a Decent Tablet

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Android Slates/Tablets & Accessories" @ 04:00 PM

"Cherrypal, a California-based manufacturer, today announced the availability of its new sub $200 Android tablet – CherryPad America. CherryPad is powered by Samsung ARM11 800 MHz processor and runs Android 2.1 with an upgrade to 2.2 is planned for the fourth quarter 2010. CherryPad America also comes with a 7-inch resistive touch widescreen display at 800×480 resolution with built-in gravity sensor and 3200 MAH battery. Memory, storage and wireless functions include 256 MBs of DDRII RAM; 2 GB NAND Flash; Micro SD (1x) reader, and WiFi 802.11 b/g."

Silly product name aside, here's a sub-$200 7-inch tablet with what appears at first glance to offer decent specs. Samsung processor, SD card support, 1.1-pounds, Aluminum case, 6-8 hour battery life ... With a 30-day money back guarantee, and a 1-year replacement warranty, this may be an affordable way to get to know Android. No camera, no 802.11n wifi, but several external accessories mentioned. Zecozi's website has the CherryPad America listed ( link ) for $188, and shows the country of origin as being China, with support coming out of Palo Alto, CA, if needed. The tablet is shipped from Hong Kong, for a flat fee of $18.80 to the USA and Canada, and can be expected to arrive in the USA in about seven (7) days.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Give Those People Air: Adobe AIR Now Available For Android

Posted by Jason Lee in "Android Software" @ 11:00 AM

"We showed you video last month of what Adobe has in store for Android with Adobe AIR apps. And AIR is now available for Android, downloadable in the Android Market."

And here it is, Adobe AIR is now available for download to your Froyo powered Android device strait from the market. If you're not familiar with it, Adobe Air is a runtime environment similar to .Net or a Java VM. It provides all the necessary tools and libraries for you to run programs written using Adobe AIR on your Android device. This opens up the possibility for some great cross-platform software in the near future. In theory the exact same app could run on your Android phone and your PC/Mac without having to be recompiled.

You might also like to know that AppBrain has put together a very nice way for you to browse all of the Adobe AIR apps currently in the market. Check it out here. Find anything you just can't live without? Let us know.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Amazon to Launch Android App Store

Posted by Tony Rylow in "Android News" @ 12:00 AM

" According to the latest bits of rumour in the blogging world, Amazon might be getting ready to launch an Android App market/store."

Amazon is rumored to be building their own app store that will be available, along with their own tablet. There will be a $99 fee to be a developer. There is no information about the tablet available.

Tags: software, amazon

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Skype Now Available For Non-Verizon Android Phones

Posted by Jason Lee in "Android Software" @ 07:00 PM

"It seems unfathomable that Skype didn't have an app for Android until now*, but it's true. Phones running Android 2.1 or 2.2 can download the free app now, for free Skype-to-Skype calls, IM and more."

Good news! Android users not on the Verizon network can finally get their Skype on... kind of. Apparently everyone in the world can make calls and send texts over WiFi or 3G, except for anyone who just happens to live in the United States. Those of us living in the states must fire up WiFi to make a voice call over Skype. That, along with the hefty 13.84MB install on my Nexus One pretty much means this is getting uninstalled very soon. Any Skype users out there glad to finally be able to make calls from your Android phone?

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Android Manager WiFi: ActiveSync/iTunes For Your Android Device

Posted by Jason Lee in "Android Software" @ 11:00 AM

"Mobile Action has launched free Android Manager Application, which lets users sync contacts, messages, photos, videos, music, applications as well as calendar event with PC via Wi-Fi."

Got an Android device? Just not into that whole "cloud" thing? Well then, perhaps Android Manager WiFi is just what you need. Android Manager WiFi offers you the ability to sync your photos, videos, music, contacts, SMS messages, files, programs... about everything from your Android device straight to your PC over WiFi. You can browse and manage files on your device, organize your photos and music playlists, even send SMS messages strait from your computer through your phone. Seems like a really nice and very powerful program, especially for free. Does Android Manager WiFi sound like the perfect solution to anyone?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

7-Inch Nationite Rocktab Android Tablet Starting at $129

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Android Slates/Tablets & Accessories" @ 11:30 PM

"For those who think most high-end Android tablets seem way too pricey, but still like the idea of having a tab around, the entry-level Nationite Rocktab may prove to be an acceptable alternative with its modest $129.50 price tag (2GB model)."

Another in a series of modest but inexpensive tablets with a 7-inch resistive WVGA screen, this Android 1.5 (ouch!) device is available in 2, 8 or 16GB of storage, 128MB RAM, a Rockchip RK2808 600MHz processor, trackball, accelerometer and Wi-fi. Maybe a good entry-level device for Android newbies!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Verizon Posts Droid X Update Info

Posted by Tony Rylow in "Android News" @ 03:00 PM

Verizon has posted a benefit sheet and upgrade information for Android 2.2 software. This update includes Adobe Flash Player, automatic upgrades from the market, and the Verizon VZ Navigator application.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

CNET News, now on Android

Posted by Tony Rylow in "Android News" @ 12:00 PM

"This may be the year of the iPad's debut, but it's also the year that Android devices exploded in availability. To go along with the extra attention that Android's been getting of late, CNET News has ported its month-old iOS app to the Android marketplace."

As a long-time CNET reader, I am excited to see this app. I've installed it on my Incredible and poked around a bit. The interface is straight-forward and easy to navigate, the content is easy to read, and there plenty of sharing options available.

Tags: software, cnet

Automate Your Android with Tasker

Posted by Tony Rylow in "Android News" @ 09:00 AM

"What if your phone automatically went silent when you step into the movie theater? Texted your significant other when you finished your long commute? Or automatically turned down the volume when a particularly loud friend called? It can; here's how."

I recently purchased Tasker, and have started adding my own tasks. My favorite task so far is checking when I am at work - silencing my phone and forwarding calls to my desk. This app can do everything you can think of and more, but can be a little tricky to get the hang of at first.

Tags: software, tasker

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