Headlines

3 years ago

Lookout updates premium service with 'Safe Browsing' feature, announces partnership with Sprint

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Lookout has announced a new feature to their premium service, called Safe Browsing.  What it does is spread protection from malware beyond installed applications, and into your browser.  If you've ever used the Chrome browser, and spent any time on the Internet, you've surely seen sites blocked because of malware or phishing -- that's what the new Safe Browsing feature does.  I spent some time talking with Lookout's Marketing Director Alicia diVittorio, and Senior Software Engineer Anbu Anbalagapandian and got a little explanation of what to expect, and then spent a little time going through the paces and testing it out. 

First the technical details.  Safe Browsing sits idle in the background, listening for the "intent" (think of that as a command) to open a web URL through the browser.  It checks that URL, and if it comes back clean, it goes back to sleep.  If not, you get a message pop-up with a warning.  This means it works with website addresses from any source, including Twitter and Facebook.  Since the necessary evil of URL shorteners is now pretty commonplace, this is a pretty nice way to be sure you're going where you think your going.  In the usage department, it's simple.  Open Lookout, go into the settings, and turn it on.  If you stumble across a website that's acting a little suspicious, it tells you.  If not, it sits quietly out of the way.  Anbu told me they tested the battery life and performance impact, and found no issues at all.  While one day is hardly a perfect use case, I didn't notice any more wear and tear on the battery than normal, and saw no change in the way my phone performed, so my short test agrees. 

In addition to the new Safe Browsing feature, Lookout also announced that they are partnering with Sprint, making Lookout available directly from the Sprint Zone, and the Sprint tab in your phone's Android Market page.  This should make it much easier to find for those new to Android, and especially those new to smartphones and the most susceptible to the dirty tricks out there in the wilds of the web.

Safe Browsing is a premium feature.  We've went over the other premium features pretty well when they were released.  You need to look at what's offered, then decide if you need to go premium.  If you do need the pay services, it will cost you $2.99 per month, or $29.99 a year.  To celebrate the launch of Safe Browsing, Lookout is offering $5.00 off the price of the subscription for the next seven days.  Just use the code BESAFEAC when you purchase your subscription via the app and you'll save enough money for lunch.  You'll also wanna jump past the break and read the press release, watch a short video of Safe Browsing in action, and find the download link. 

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3 years ago

Ask AC: Why was the HTC Desire Gingerbread update canceled, and what can you do now?

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Update: ... And apparently HTC has changed its mind and decided to update to Gingerbread after all. Go figure.

So you woke yesterday morning to the news that your trusty HTC Desire will be left without an official upgrade path to Android 2.3 Gingerbread, and now the world seems a cold and uncaring place. Fear not -- we’ve got the complete lowdown on what today’s news means for Desire owners, along with a details of some leading Gingerbread-based custom ROMs that can bring you right up to date with the latest version of Android.

Let’s begin by revisiting exactly what was announced today, and what it means for Desire owners.

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3 years ago

Starbucks for Android now serving in the Android Market

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Sweet mother of all things caffeinated -- the Starbucks Android app is finally in the Android Market. And it's everything our jittery hands could have dreamed of.

When you first launch the app, you'll be asked if you want to log in, sign up for an account, or continue without an account. We logged in (as any good over-paying coffee drinking would do) and then were greeted with the option to enter any Starbucks cards. Your phone will then display the card's barcode, which you can have scanned in a store to pay for your coffee. (Who needs NFC?)

You can also check your balance, add your credit card information and refill your Starbucks card that way, check your transaction history, find a store on Google Maps, track your Stars in the My Starbucks Rewards program, and basically do everything you'd expect to be able to do with a proper Starbucks Android app.

A couple of caveats: U.S. only, for now. And you can only have a card on one phone at a time. If you want to reload someone else's card, you'll need to do it from a proper browser.

That's it, folks. We're off for a triple vanilla latte (and maybe a cinnamon twist, if we're feeling saucy). Download links and screen shots are after the break!

Thanks, @ahdelo!

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3 years ago

Kiloo partners with PapayaMobile, bringing their games to Android

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Kiloo, the folks behind the huge hit Frisbee Forever for iOS, will be partnering with PapayaMobile and launching their games on Android using the social gaming network.  Using Papaya's social SDK, Killo games will have access to features like news feeds, leaderboards, chat, achievements, and custom avatars.  There's also those 18 million existing Papaya users on Android, so it's easy to see the draw here.  For users like you and I, the best part of this mutually beneficial partnership is more quality games for the Android platform.  Everyone's a winner. 

We don't have all the details, but expect to see Kiloo games, starting with Frisbee Forever, in the Android Market sometime later in the year.  You can read the full press release after the break.

More information: PapayaMobile; Kiloo

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3 years ago

Thoughts on the ASUS Transformer, Motorola or HTC? [From the forums]

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New tablets, device software updates and more. Can't ask for a better day then that, unless of course you're hoping to get OEMs to stop skinning their devices -- in which case, I think we'll be waiting awhile but we won't go down the road right here, right now. By all means though, feel free to ramp up a discussion in the Android Central forums about it or join in on some of the ones highlighted below:

If you're not already a member of the Android Central forums, you can register your account today.

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3 years ago

Vizio 8-inch tablet priced by Walmart and promoted by Blake Griffin, coming soon?

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Back in January at CES, Vizio announced that they would be coming out with a phone, tablet and Google TV device. Since then, not much more information has been discovered, including release dates. Until today, when we were sent this picture of Walmart's pricing -- $349.

Today, however, NBA star Blake Griffin has uploaded a video to his YouTube channel that shows off the 8-inch device, hinting that there might be a release date imminent.

In the video, the Vizio rep that is showing Griffin the tablet talks about a unified Vizio experience that will allow the phone, tablet and TV to all work well together. One example he gives is flicking pictures from the smaller devices to the TV in order to show them off to everyone.

What we know about the upcoming Vizio tablet is what was announced back at CES, which is that it will feature:

  • 8-inch touchscreen
  • Honeycomb
  • 1GHz processor
  • Front-facing camera
  • WiFi
  • HDMI-out
  • 3 speakers

The tablet looks intriguing and for $349 is definitely undercutting the rest of the competitors out there. The only bug noticeable from the video is the slow transition from portrait to landscape and vice versa, but again, it is an unreleased product that will likely get the bugs ironed out before launch.

Check out the video after the break. If it's going to be released soon, who's going to be like Blake Griffin and go pick one up?

Source: YouTube

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3 years ago

Adobe AIR for Android updated to v2.7

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If you haven't already got the update notification, you soon will. Adobe AIR for Android (v2.72.7.0.1948 if you want to get technical) is now starting to roll out and looks to correct some issues over previous versions. As noted in the Android Market change log:

  • SD Installs - Now you can install or move Adobe AIR onto the SD card on your Android device to free up storage space.
  • New developers APIs such as Media Measurement.
  • Important bug fixes and security enhancements.

For end users, much of the same with the exception of the SD card install option but for developers -- this new update fixes and addresses some of their concerns for when they go to develop Adobe AIR apps for Android. For the full change log that involves a lot of the developer changes hit up the source link below.

Source: Adobe

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3 years ago

Strava launches free Android application for cyclists

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Riding a bike is one of my favorite pastimes -- my friends and I used to hop on our bikes and take off. But, sadly, at the end of the day none of us ever knew how far we went, how fast we went, or any other information about the ride. Previously I have driven the route that I rode to find out how far it was, but gone are those days as Strava has launched an application which solves all these issues.

Android owners can download this free application from the market and it will allow users to track their distance, speed, climb and much more in real time right from your device, no more uploading data to a computer to view it. Users can upload their information to the site to keep running records of their rides, but they can also compare and compete with others right from their device. So if you enjoy riding your bicycle and don't want to spend tons of money on a ride monitor, be sure to head to the market and download this today for free. Download links after the break.

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3 years ago

Sprint ID teases the Samsung Chief, LG Q, LG Optimus B and Motorola Sunfire

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Wanna have a little fun poking your nose around where it doesn't belong? Tucked deep inside the Sprint ID app is a not-so-secret menu for downloading the Sprint Employee Pack for Sprint ID. And before you download the pack, you're asked which phone you have. And there are a few interesting names in that list. Namely:

  • LG Optimus B
  • LG Q
  • Samsung Chief
  • Motorola Sunfire

Those four listings, unlike the Samsung Epic 2.2/2.3 you see in the picture above, don't have images with them. Just the Sprint logo. So what are they?

The LG Optimus B, it stands to reasons, could be the Optimus Black. The Motorola Sunfire is believed to be the recently announced Photon 4G. And the Samsung Chief could be the mid-level "Conquer" everybody's geeking out over today. As for the LG Q? Your guess is as good as ours. The upcoming LG Optimus Slider, perhaps?

Any Sprint employees wanna chime in and clear things up?

Thanks, anon!

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3 years ago

Google brings more features to mobile search

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Earlier today Google held its "Inside Search" event in California, where they showed us a lot of cool new features built in (or being built in) to Google.com, both on the desktop and mobile.  We were hinted at one of them earlier -- Google Places buttons and code added right into the mobile page.  The final version looks pretty slick -- tap a place icon, and you're presented with a map that stays above your search results and adjusts to fit the results you're seeing.

What we didn't see coming, but is every bit as cool, is a type of query builder now built into the search box.  If you use search auto-complete, you know what happens if you tap one of the suggestions -- you start a search for it.  Now, you have a new choice -- a plus button that will add the term to the search box, but let you add more.  Yes, it's the same as was offered in the Google Search app, but now available on the web as well.  These additions are available for Android 2.2 and higher, and iOS 4 or higher.  Check it out, as well as some more about the Places icons, in a couple short videos after the break.

Source: Google mobile Blog

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