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All posts tagged "app"

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Word Lens Augmented Reality Translation App Released for Android

Posted by Craig Horlacher in "Android Software" @ 09:30 AM

"The beauty of an app like Word Lens is it is really fast to use since it uses the camera and updates the image live. It also completely replaces words it sees instead of just adding overlays, all while trying to match the same font, color, background, and text size."

This looks like a pretty amazing app to me and one of the most practical uses of augmented reality I've seen. Watch the video above and see what you think. It actually replaces text you would otherwise see through the camera of your phone with the text in the language of your choice. Right now they offer Italian, Spanish, and French. Everything is done locally so no network connection needed. You basically pay $5 per language pack.

Check out the Hands-On mini-review after the break for more demonstrations and information.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Dolphin Browser HD Updated to Version 8.2

Posted by Craig Horlacher in "Android Software" @ 10:00 AM

"Dolphin HD users are introduced to several other handy features, including the option to launch bookmarks through custom gestures, load images over Wi-Fi only, launch directly to the last closed tab, disable the Add-ons and/or the Bookmarks sidebar(s), and several routine performance improvements."

If you're a fan of this excellent Android web browser update if you haven't already and check out some of the new features. If you haven't tried Dolphin maybe now is the time!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Google Currents 1.1 Translates and has Off-Line Reading

Posted by Craig Horlacher in "Android Software" @ 10:00 AM

"Google has today rolled out version 1.1 of [Currents] for Android and iOS, which makes the service available worldwide with support for 44 languages, and adds a number of other improvements including the ability to select which editions have images for offline reading, instant online sync, translation for 38 languages and a promised 7X performance boost."

I haven't used Google Currents but it looks like a great app. I may have to try it out! The fact that it does translation is cool and off-line reading could be just what some WiFi tablet owners are looking for! It's free on the Play Store and supports phone or tablet form factors.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Amazon Appstore Adds In-App Purchasing

Posted by Craig Horlacher in "Android Software" @ 10:00 AM

"...devs can now take advantage of the familiar revenue booster already available in the iOS App Store and Google Play, through the use of the Amazon Appstore In-App Purchasing API."

One of my favorite things about Android is the way you're not forced to get apps from one place. Amazon Appstore has been around for just over a year now and it's come a long way. It seems to have tons of apps and now with in-app purchasing it should be attractive to some developers who may have been holding out. Another feature they added recently was the ability to up the download limit over 3G from 20MB to 50MB. It's still 20MB by default but instead of just smaller options, they have added a 50MB option.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Instagram Update Adds Better Tablet Support and App2SD

Posted by Craig Horlacher in "Android Software" @ 09:30 AM

"The latest one to hit today (1.0.3) promises expanded support for tablets and WiFi handsets, app installation on the SD card for storage-limited users and fixing an audio mute bug during capture."

I'm not sure I can think of an App, maybe Angry Birds, that had as much hype as Instagram. Those who use Instagram seem to love it and that number grew a lot last week when it was finally released for Android. With the latest version including better tablet support and support for App2SD I'm sure the number of users will grow even more.

It's great to see a developer not just putting their product out there but responding so quickly to what people want and quickly releasing updates that address the issues.

Monday, March 26, 2012

PocketESN Checks To Make Sure Your Used Phone Was Not Stolen

Posted by Craig Horlacher in "Android Software" @ 10:00 AM

"Buying used Android phones can save you a bunch of money, but there are a few things you should check out before forking over your hard-earned cash."

PocketESN is an app that will let you check to make sure a phone was not stolen or anything like that. For free it will check the status of the phone it's installed on. The paid version, for $5.99, will let you check the status of as many phones as you want. It requires an internet connection to work but it can be over WiFi so you can do this before activating the phone and having the police come after you for buying a stolen one. PocketESN should work with any CDMA Android phone.

I don't usually recommend buying used phones since these days you can usually get a good new phone for free or nearly so under contract. Also, with a new phone you get a new battery and that alone is sometimes worth what you pay over a used phone. Still, there are definitely deals out there if you're willing to buy used.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Google Talks About Android App Security

Posted by Craig Horlacher in "Android Talk" @ 11:30 AM

"The last year has been a phenomenal one for the Android ecosystem. Device activations grew 250% year-on-year, and the total number of app downloads from Android Market topped 11 billion. As the platform continues to grow, we’re focused on bringing you the best new features and innovations - including in security."

I've never had a problem with a bad app doing serious damage. The worst problem I had was an app that was giving me advertisements as notifications. It wasn't hard to find the app and after I removed it the notifications stopped. This blog post explains some of the safeguards that are in place to protect your Android phone. One thing they highlight is the "Bouncer" service that Google developed to scan the Android Market and look for bad apps. It's good to know that however bad this problem is on Android Google is taking it seriously.

Have you ever had a problem on your Android device caused by a virus or malware?

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Open Files Off-Line With The New Google Docs

Posted by Craig Horlacher in "Android Software" @ 11:00 AM

"Google has released a pretty useful update for their Android version of Google Docs, providing offline access for your files and a better overall experience for tablet users by providing high-resolution versions of your documents."

This was a much needed update! To not have access to files when you have no network is just dumb. Large collections of media or things you don't need often, maybe that can stay in the cloud, but small text files, documentation, or notes, I want available all the time. It sounds like the synchronization is done well also. I played with it a bit and it's easy enough to save a file locally as shown in the screen shot above. Improving the app for tablet owners was a very smart idea as well. Really, I think that should have been done when the first Xoom was released but better late than never.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

New App Store for Banned Apps on the Way

Posted by Craig Horlacher in "Android News" @ 11:00 AM

"An Android developer by the name of Koushik Dutta is building an alternative Android app store which will house the apps that have been banned from Google’s official Android Market. These will include the custom ROMs (customized versions of the Android OS), classic gaming emulators pulled due to copyright complaints, unofficial tethering apps removed at the behest of mobile operators, Visual Voicemail apps, one-click rooting apps, and more."

Koushik Dutta, the developer known for creating ClockworkMod, is creating an app store for things like tethering apps, ROMs, emulators, and whatever else doesn't have a home on any other market. There is no launch date right now but if you check the source you'll see a screen shot of a page for a developer to upload, showing progress has been made.

One thing I love about Android is the app store options you have without having to jump through hoops other than check one box in your settings. It took AT&T a while to get a clue but other than that no carrier has had a problem with alternate app stores. It will be interesting to see how carriers respond once this new app store becomes a reality.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Nuance Releases Dragon Go! Voice Command App for Free

Posted by Craig Horlacher in "Android News" @ 11:00 AM

"Today the company's pressing forward once again by introducing its Dragon Go! app for Google's mobile OS. The app focuses on verbal commands, giving you the ability to ask it to perform internet searches, make dinner reservations, buy movie tickets, play music on services like Pandora and Spotify and the list goes on."

Since Apple released iOS 5 with Siri people are really getting excited about voice commands and dictation. This looks like a very good voice command app to add to the mix of options that are available now for Android. Dragon Dictation has been around for years and I think was considered the best for a long time, it may still be. For that reason alone I'd like to give Dragon Go! a try and see how well it performs. I'm not convinced that voice control is super practical most of the time but it is fast and convenient sometimes. I especially like to use Android dictation for short messages and notes.

Do you use voice control or dictation on your Android device?

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Google Announces Scribbles for Gmail on Mobile Devices

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

"Now you can quickly convey that eureka moment to a colleague, or simply brighten a loved one's day with a personal scribble in Gmail for the mobile web browser and the Gmail app for iOS. In the compose view, click on the scribble button to open up the drawing window."

This is for phones and tablets. It works from in your mobile browser. What a great idea! Sometimes it's just easier to draw a quick doodle for someone rather than explain it with words. Now you can do that right from within Gmail! Give it a try and let us know what you think!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Time Warner Cable Releases New Apps

Posted by Craig Horlacher in "Android Software" @ 11:00 AM

"We're still waiting for Time Warner to bring its live TV streaming to Android, but the platform is enjoying some exclusive support today with two new apps."

Don't get too excited if streaming video is what you're looking for but hey, account management and a schedule tool is better than nothing. It does sound like a streaming should be coming soon but at least they put out something to tide you over.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

New Skype for Android Sends Photos and Video

Posted by Craig Horlacher in "Android Software" @ 11:00 AM

"Just in time to really annoy your family and friends with holiday greetings, Skype for Android has updated to version 2.6, bringing with it support for sharing photos, videos and other files with your contacts."

Just in case you didn't have enough options to share a picture of your Christmas tree with mom and dad you can now use Skype for this and more. The latest release of Skype for Android lets you send photos, videos, and even other files to your contacts. They also have improved video quality for Tegra 2 based devices and added support for more devices like the Droid RAZR. Do you use Skype often? If so, what do you think of the new version?

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Google Maps: Not Just for Outside Anymore!

Posted by Craig Horlacher in "Android Software" @ 11:00 AM

"Google Maps also displays additional details, such as places, landmarks and geographical features, to give you context about what’s nearby. And now, Google Maps for Android enables you to figure out where you are and see where you might want to go when you’re indoors."

Have you ever been at a huge airport trying to figure out where you were in the airport and where you needed to get to? I have. Now Google maps may be able to help! The screen shots above are of the Mall of America in Google Maps before and then after the "indoor" update. Google will be adding more but for now you'll find indoor maps of some large malls and airports around the world in Google Maps 6 for Android.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

New Version of WinAmp for Android Does Wireless Syncing to Macs

Posted by Craig Horlacher in "Android Software" @ 10:00 AM

"Winamp for Android unveiled a number of updates this morning, including a new Winamp for Mac Sync beta app that extends wireless music and video sync to Mac users, access to Spinner's MP3 of the day from your Android phone, and a new premium version of the app with extended features."

If you use a Mac you may be interested in the latest version of WinAmp which supports WiFi syncing to the Apple platform. Also, some features that are available in the $5.00 "Pro Bundle" are support for FLAC files, a 10-band equalizer, and gapless playback. Take a look at the article for more info!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

DroidSheep is a Good Reminder to Browse Safely

Posted by Craig Horlacher in "Android Software" @ 11:00 AM

"...people running DroidSheep can use victims' accounts, gaining access to sites that don't use a secured and encrypted SSL connection..."

DroidSheep is a freely available app that allows you to steal session information for web sites that are not well secured. Using DroidSheep you can make your phone look like the network router so all external network requests pass through it. DroidSheep will then identify different web sessions and show you which ones are most likely to be exploitable. You can check out the source link to see a video of how it works.

This app makes stealing information look easy. Keep that in mind the next time you enter sensitive information on a web site. Make sure your session is encrypted. You can look for the "HTTPS" at the beginning of a URL to make sure at least basic security is in place. Most browsers also have an indicator that will let you know when a connection is secure. Google actually removed DroidSheep from the Android Market but it's still available on the developers web site. If you use it, you're responsible for your actions.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Check the Buzz Near You with Proximitips

Posted by Craig Horlacher in "Android Software" @ 11:00 AM

"Proximitips is yet another addition to the long list of aforementioned apps that brings a brand new concept of providing localized social media content to you in the form of a virtual magazine! By localized, we mean accessing only the content shared by people (including you) in your vicinity through said services. With Proximitips, you get maps, tweets, next door stuff (local multimedia sharing), bookings to your favorite venues and more."

Proximitips is a social media aggregator that gets its data from all the major social networks. It tweets, facebook posts, and other information based on your location. You can change the distance from you that it will consider to be near you. You can filter information based on categories like check-ins, events, or music. It also has a feature that lets you make reservations at hotels, restaurants, etc. It looks like a very useful tool if you're traveling and want to find something to do. Check out the source link for more details or download Proximitips from the Android Market and give it a try!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Manage Your Data Usage With Onavo Lite for Android

Posted by Craig Horlacher in "Android Software" @ 10:00 AM

"“We are all addicted to data, but like junkies we don’t stop and count the cost — we just want our hit,” Onavo cofounder and CEO Guy Rosen says. “With capped plans now the norm, we’re here to remove the confusion and baffling small print to make it clear and simple.”"

Onavo Lite for Android is an app that monitors and helps you manage your data usage. It can notify you of a specific app that's using a lot of data or let you know when you're close to your monthly data limit on your plan. If you have you had problems going over you're monthly limit this could be a huge help to you. Even if you haven't it could be cool to see which apps, that you may not expect, are using the most data. Follow the "Read" link for a bunch of screen shots and some more information.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Better Apps for a Better Device

Posted by Craig Horlacher in "Android Software" @ 10:30 AM

"Android lets you customize just about every aspect of your device through the use of apps, and we've got a great list of apps to strengthen the weak points that come with an unadulterated version of Android."

This is a great list of apps you can use to enhance your Android experience. From that list, two of my favorites are Dolphin Browser HD and HandyCalc. Dolphin HD is a great browser with fast and accurate rendering and it's especially cool that Flash works in it. HandyCalc is a sort of weird but very cool and very powerful calculator. It has a lot of logic to guess what you're trying to do and help you along the way. It works in pages and lets you go back to previous ones which is helpful. A swipe of the keypad will give you a qwerty keyboard with useful punctuation on screen as well.

For me, one favorite app that I would recommend is actually a Widget. It's called "No Screen Off" and it's by Etienne de Closmadeuc. As the name would suggest it's a toggle to keep your screen from turning off. It's great because when it's on it puts an item in the notification bar that you can use to toggle the lock off. For me it's perfect if I'm reading slowly, transcribing off the screen to something else, or using an app that should keep the screen from going off but doesn't. Do you have an Android App you can't live without? What are some of your favorites?

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Google Maps 5.8 Released with Improved "Places" Features

Posted by Craig Horlacher in "Android Software" @ 10:00 AM

"When deciding on a place to go, people often want to know what a place looks like in addition to seeing ratings and reviews. You can now contribute photos to help others get a sense of places. You can now attach your photos to Places, and yours may even become the profile picture for that page."

Google has added a number of social features to Maps. As mentioned above it will now let you add your own photo of a place. New descriptive terms will also show up when you search for a place. You can add places if the one you're looking for doesn't exist. So now you can check in anywhere - even when the place isn't listed. Make sure you check the source for all the details but there is a lot here - especially for people who love to explore and try new destinations! Google Maps 5.8 for Android is compatible with Android 2.1 and newer. Have you been playing with any of the new features? Let us know what you think!

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