CES "officially" starts today, but that doesn't mean that we haven't already seen a ton of new Android stuff. Traditionally, hardware vendors and other companies showing off their gear at CES take a day to have press conferences and presentations with all the media outlets in attendance, and it's always full of good stuff. We saw phones, tablets, televisions, heck even a refrigerator or two. Here's a quick list in case you missed any of it
Ford's SYNC system is pretty cool, and it just got a bit cooler with on-demand playlists and programming from NPR, all controlled via voice using SYNC AppLink. NPR is the first major player to embrace the Internet-Enabled Car market, releasing a dedicated NPR News app. The NPR News app lets users create playlists of stories and programs for later listening, and lets you pick a topic and hear the news without touching a thing. With hands-free laws becoming prevalant, it's high time we see voice automated apps for the car. We imagine this is a trend that will continue, and it's great to see NPR on board. You can grab the updated NPR news app after the break, as well as read the official press release.
Google+ went and got itself an update today, bringing some important bug fixes to the table. The changelog reports that it "fixes crashes and problems loading in messenger." Hit the download links after the break to grab it for yourselves.
If you own a TiVo and an Android device and have been waiting for the official TiVo app to arrive for Android, then the wait is now over. TiVo has finally announced the full release of the Android app at CES 2012.
Features of the app include:
Schedule – Schedule one-time recordings and Season Pass® recordings from the device at home or on-the-go.
Get more from your shows and movies – Explore cast and crew and other recommendations of your favorite shows without interrupting the big screen.
Search – Search for TV shows, movies, actors or directors across both broadcast and broadband from providers such as Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant Video and more.
Share comments with your friends – From within the TiVo App, comment and share your thoughts on your favorite programming on social networks such as Facebook or Twitter.
Gesture-based controls – Now you can take complete control of all recordings, even move forward and backward though a show with a simple tap or swipe.
Program Guide – Browse your full-screen TV program guide without interrupting TV viewing.
Guest Mode – If you don’t already have a TiVo DVR, you can still get the TiVo experience. Users can browse, search and scroll through program and channel guides and experience the simplicity of the TiVo interface.
The download is live in the Android Market right now. If you're interested in learning more, you'll find the full press release and download link past the break.
What you see here folks is something that a lot of us in the UK have been waiting a long time for. Netflix is now finally live in the UK, and that of course means the Android offering is too.
Reports have been drifting across the interwebs over the last couple of days about PS3's in the UK mysteriously receiving a Netflix application but that signup wasn't yet possible. But now, you can head on over to Netflix.com right now and sign up for a one month free trial to the service which will cost just £5.99 a month thereafter to stream as much content as you like.
There seems to be a pretty decent selection of content at launch, and this is sure to only increase as time goes by. But for now, you get it free for a month so hit the download links after the break to see what all the fuss is about. It seems to be compatible with a wide range of Android 2.2 and up devices as well.
You see stories everywhere saying how insecure and malware ridden Android is, most of which are just sensationalism and FUD. The fact is that Android is very much like Windows, where developers (and unsavory types) can write software that you install without it being poured over and approved. This means some of it will be malware -- them's the breaks and there's not much that can be done about it. Paranoid users will just not install any third party applications, savvy users will research every piece of code they install, and normal users can use a mobile security app like Kaspersky Lab's latest offering, Mobile Security Lite.
It has the malware scanning you hear so much about, but it also has some other -- possibly more important -- features baked in. SMS and call filtering are a must have for some (including yours truly) and anti-theft tools are almost a must have when we keep so much personal information on our Android phones. Kaspersky Mobile Security Lite offers both in addition to malware scanning, which makes it worth a second look. Many of us use apps that block random callers and texts, and having a solution baked in to an all-in-one security app is a great idea. Add in the ability to track your phone via GPS, and remote lock and wipe it when you find out it's not in your pocket or purse where it belongs, then make it free -- that's a recipe for success.
We're going to have a closer look at this one, and if you're looking for a mobile security solution you should as well. Find the download link and press release after the break.
Dropbox recently got a pretty big update and some nice ICS optimizations, but it seems there were some issues reported within the app. Today sees an update land in the Market for bug fixes and a fix for an issue surrounding some file types refusing to open. Hit the link after the break to grab the update.
Love or hate Apple products, the AirPlay feature is an excellent way of sharing your mobile content on your TV. In a not overly surprising move, Samsung are keen to get in on this and are set to show of their SwipeIt application at CES.
Operation is set to be as simple as Airplay. If you're watching something on your mobile device, hit a button and voila; it's on your TV.
The application started being pushed out by Samsung on New Year's Day to all their internet connected TVs. The mobile application was pushed out to the Android Market a couple of days later, albeit very low key. The listing is referenced to MOVL who built it for Samsung.
While Apple's alternative requires an all Apple lineup to utilise, SwipeIt will work with any Android device as our graphic below indicates. This is great news for anyone who owns a Samsung SmartTV but prefers a different brand of mobile device. Download links are after the break.
We love to see Android applications get updated, and we love even more when they are completely re-written and redesigned. Ultimate Stopwatch & Timer has just received a huge update that brought a ton of new greatness to it like
New clean design
Action Bar on all versions (using ActionBarCompat)
Touch feedback on all elements
Light face for stopwatch, Dark face for countdown
Lap Times separated out
Built for Android 4.0 with support for versions 2.0+
Portrait / Landscape layouts for all sceen sizes including QVGA and Tablets
Beyond these additions they have also implimented a bunch of bug fixes for various issues that were reported from the users. Update should be hitting the market, so be sure to hit the break for download links.
With the Amazon Kindle Fire making its way to plenty of consumers hands, a lot of companies are working on making their apps compatible with the Kindle Fire. Once such company that has completed the process is Redbox.
If you've not already grabbed the Kindle Fire optimized version, you can do so now from the Amazon app store -- Redbox for the Kindle Fire is optimized for the devices larger screen size and tablet gestures allowing you to view trailers, reserve movies & games with ease.