Headlines

2 years ago

BaconReader gets major update, adds Android Beam support, scrollable widget and more

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If you frequent Reddit, you may be aware of BaconReader, a highly polished and fully-featured Reddit client for Android that launched late last year. Today sees developer OneLouder release a substantial update for the app, bringing some major improvements across the board.

BaconReader 1.25 introduces performance improvements, including hardware acceleration for Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich devices. Honeycomb and ICS users will also get access to a scrollable homescreen widget, and the existing 4x1 static widget has been redesigned to better fit with the Android 4.0 design language. And Android Beam support has been added, allowing you to share Reddit posts over NFC the same way you can with videos, web pages and other content on certain devices.

It's great to see BaconReader going from strength to strength with each update, and we're sure all you Redditors on ICS devices will appreciate this latest update. If you've yet to give the app a try, we've got Android Market links to the free version after the break.

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2 years ago

Steam beta for Android updates with hardware acceleration, stability fixes

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Valve Software has updated its Steam beta app for Android, bringing the application up to version 1.0.3. There's a sizeable list of changes in this latest update, including stability fixes and hardware acceleration for Honeycomb and ICS devices, which should fix some of the jerkiness that's been reported. Czec and Thai language support has been added too, in addition to Bulgarian, Dutch, Greek, Hungarian Norwegian, Polish and Turkish, which came in version 1.0.2.

Steam for Android is a community app that gives gamers access to Steam community news and chat, along with the all-important Steam store for impulse PC and Mac game purchases on the go. We went over it in more detail a in our hands-on feature a few weeks back.

If you've yet to grab the Steam for Android, it's now open to all Steam account holders, so you can pick it up using the Market link after the jump.

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2 years ago

Late-nite poll: Is no Flash on Chrome a non-starter?

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So we've finally got a Chrome browser on Android. Huzzah. But it's missing Adobe Flash support. Uh, not huzzah. That is, for some. While Flash is going the way of the dinosaur -- an extremely slow-moving, refuses-to-die dinosaur -- being phased out it is. And for that reason, says Adobe, the new Chrome browser for Android doesn't support it. (And let's face it -- while Flash may have an expiration date, nobody actually knows what it is.)

So is that a deal-breaker for you? Will you stick with the (current) stock Android browser, or a third-party browser, to get you through the interim? 

Is a lack of Flash on the Chrome mobile browser a deal-breaker?

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2 years ago

Microsoft's OneNote now available on Android

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OneNote, Microsoft's popular Office-bundled software, is now available in app form on the Android Market. OneNote allows users to take notes on the go, complete with photos, bullets, and to-do lists. Notes will sync with OneNote on your computer, and will also be available to view and edit online using the OneNote Web app at www.skydrive.com

OneNote began shipping with Micrsoft's Office Suite in 2010 and has since landed on iOS, Windows Phone 7, and now finally Android. The free app lets you create and edit up to 500 notes, with unlimited views and syncing. You'll need a Windows Live ID and Android 2.3 or higher to use the OneNote app, and to sync with your computer, you'll need OneNote from Microsoft Office 2010. Give us some quality time with OneNote for some deeper thoughts, and hit the break for the Market download link.

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2 years ago

Minus for Android - Updated with bug fixes, stability improvements, and optimizations

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Minus has rolled out its latest release for Android users, bumping the app up to v3.0.17. If you're currently using Minus on your device for your file sharing needs you'll want to make sure you grab this update as it brings some much needed changes:

  • Basic searching for users/folders
  • Upload multiple files at once with new built-in picker
  • Upload faster and more stable than before
  • User profile added, with folder lists and avatars
  • Copy Link button returns, now with options!
  • Updated Image Editor to use new Aviary Feather 2.0
  • Invite and follow friends on Minus for Android
  • View all of your folders, and all files in a folder
  • Context Menu in Folder View
  • Clearer error messages
  • View captions and other file info
  • SSL connections added for more security
  • Many other stability and bug fixes

As a reminder, Minus will give you to 50Gb in storage for your hosting needs and files as large as 2GB can be uploaded to your account, although you'll likely want to use their desktop solutions if you're moving that much content. The updated release can be found past the break for you all.

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2 years ago

What is a widget? [Android A to Z]

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What is a widget?  In Android, the word widget is a generic term for a bit of self-contained code that displays a program, or a piece of a program, that is also (usually) a shortcut to a larger application. We see them every day on web pages, on our computer desktop and on our smartphones, but we never give too much thought into how great they are. Widgets first appeared in Android in version 1.5, and really gained traction thanks to HTC's Sense-flavored version of the operating system. Prior to the release of the HTC Hero and our first taste of Sense, widgets were functional, but pretty bland in appearance. Since then, OEMs and independent developers alike have done some marvelous things with widgets, and it's hard to imagine using Android without them.

Android widgets come in all shapes and sizes and range from the utilitarian 1-by-1 shortcut style to full-page widgets that blow us away with the eye-candy.  Both types are very useful, and it's pretty common to see a widget or two on the home screen of any Android phone. A full-page widget, like HTC's weather widget for late-model Android phones, tells you everything you need to know about the current conditions, and is also a quick gateway to the weather application where you can see things like forecasts and weather data for other cities.  At the other end of the spectrum, the Google Reader 1x1 widget watches a folder in your Google Reader account and tells you how many unread items there are, and opens the full application when pressed.  Both are very handy, and add a lot to the Android experience.  

Most Android phones come with a handful of built-in widgets.  Some manufacturer versions of Android offer more than others, but the basics like a clock, calendar, or bookmarks widget are usually well represented.  This is just the tip of the iceberg though.  A quick trip into the Android Market will dazzle you with the huge catalog of third-party widgets available, with something that suits almost every taste.  With Ice Cream Sandwich supporting things like higher resolution screens and re-sizable widgets, it's going to be an exciting year seeing what developers can come up with.

Previously on Android A to Z: What  is USB?; Find more in the Android Dictionary

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2 years ago

Telus launches on-demand TV streaming app for smartphones and tablets

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TELUS has just launched a new app that ties in with their Optik TV service. Canadian customers can now watch a bunch of their subscribed channels streamed wirelessly to Android or iOS tablets and smartphones. Unfortunately, the channel selection is a little limited for the time being; through the app, you'll be able to access YTV, HBO, two Disney channels, and a few others. You'll also be able to access those channels on a laptop or other web-enabled device through their online portal. On top of that, if you've got an Xbox 360 with Kinect, you can now use the game console to control everything with gestures and voice. 

This is a fine companion to the existing remote recording app TELUS offers Optik TV subscribers, and it's good to see there's a wide array of device support. TELUS LTE is right around the corner, likely coming out on February 14 with the Galaxy Note, which will no doubt be a great host of streaming mobile TV. It's worth noting that while Android devices with Optik TV will be able to benefit from LTE (with the usual data charges applicable), the iPhone and iPad versions are relegated to Wi-Fi networks. 

If you're a TELUS customer and want to give this a shot, head on over here for instructions, or download the tablet app at the link after the jump. There's a video demo down there, too. 

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2 years ago

New browser (Chrome) doesn't support dying plug-in (Flash)

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Everybody's all in a tizzy over the new Chrome for Android browser -- and rightfully so. It's likely the future of default browsing on Android going forward. But, guess what: It doesn't support Adobe Flash Player.

And that should not come as a surprise to anyone.

Adobe in November announced that Flash Player would be taken off life support, insofar as mobile browsing is concerned, and that the company would focus on AIR instead for cross-platform applications. And, so, Adobe Flash Player isn't supported in the new Chrome mobile browser. And that's a good thing. It's time we all -- from end-users to developers to OS-makers -- start weening ourselves off Flash for browsing

And Adobe said exactly as much in a blog post today.

Adobe is no longer developing Flash Player for mobile browsers, and thus Chrome for Android Beta does not support Flash content. Flash Player continues to be supported within the current Android browser.

Makes perfect sense, folks. If your favorite website's not yet moving toward HTML5, it's time to warm up your e-mail-writing fingers.

Source: Adobe

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2 years ago

Google Authenticator updates with 'UI improvements', looks the same to us

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There's only so much you can do to improve the appearance of an app that's essentially a black screen with a six-digit number on it. But that's exactly what Google's done with the latest version of its Google Authenticator app, which has just been pushed out on the Android Market. The official changelog for version 0.87 notes "UI improvements" as the only new feature in this version. We'll have to take Google's word for it -- to us, it's still just a blank screen with a number on it.

In any case, Google Authenticator is an important app for those using two-step authentication for their Google account, so it's always best to keep things up to date. We've got the Android Market link for you after the break.

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2 years ago

Google Chrome Beta now available for Android 4.0 devices

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It's been rumored for some time, but now it's finally here -- Google Chrome has landed on Android. Android 4.0 phone and tablet owners in selected countries can now grab a beta version of Chrome from the Android Market.

Chrome for Android expands on the stock ICS browser with faster performance and speed-boosting features like the ability to pre-load web pages, and a brand new tabbing interface. Tabs are now handled through a card-like interface, allowing you to flip between open pages, seeing more of the sites you've got open. Familiar features from the ICS browser, including incognito mode, and bookmark sync, have made it across to Chrome for Android too.

There's also a big focus on maintaining a consistent browsing experience across multiple devices, so you can send pages between desktop Chrome and mobile Chrome right from the menu button. We'll be diving further into Chrome for Android in a our hands-on feature. In the meantime, we've got screenshots, an official Google video and the Market link after the break. Note that you'll need an Ice Cream Sandwich phone or tablet, and live in the U.S., Canada, UK, France, Germany, Spain, Australia, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Argentina or Brazil to use it.

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2 years ago

How to sync tabs in Chrome desktop and Android

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So we've now got Google Chrome for Android, eh? How's about that. And one of the shining features Google's pimping is the ability to sync your desktop tabs over to your phone or tablet. No muss, no fuss. That's not actually a new feature for mobile browsing -- Mozilla's certainly had it in Firefox and Fennec for quite some time. But today is Chrome's day.

So how do you go about syncing your desktop tabs to your phone? First things first: You need to be signed in to your desktop Chrome browser. Hit the little wrench icon that's about halfway down, and make sure you're logged in with your Google account.

Next you'll need to hit the "Advanced" button, right next to the "Disconnect your Google Account" button. Hit it, and you've got a bunch of options of what to sync. The option you want, which we've conveniently highlighted above, is "Open tabs."

Theoretically, you should now be able to see your open tabs on the Chrome app on your phone or tablet. We say theoretically, because we and others (hat-tip to Mr. James Kendrick) have had to restart one browser or the other to get things to work, and hit the tab sync button a time or two. But once that's out of the way, the sync is quick and painless.

We even went so far as to try and melt the operation with dozens of tabs open at once. Wasn't a problem for the phone -- can't say thet same for the desktop version of Chrome. But sync they did. Quick and easy.

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2 years ago

Google Voice updated with new features, new icon

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Google Voice just got itself a nice little update today, with a slew of improvements coming down the pike. They are:

  • Asynchronous SMS sending (offline queuing) Google says it works synchronously for multiple recepients.
  • New style UI in Honeycomb and Ice Cream Sandwich
  • Official user feedback menu on each screen. (Brought forward, out of the dogfood menu)

 

Head into the Android market to get your update on, or we've got download links after the break.

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2 years ago

Announcing the Android Super Challenge on HyperQuiz winners!

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Over the weekend we gave you the chance to win one of two HTC Sensation XL handsets by proving your superior Android knowledge in the addictive HyperQuiz game. Today we're back with the full list of winners. Join us after the break to find out who managed to walk away with a shiny new handset...

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2 years ago

Seesmic Ping brings easy posting to Twitter, Facebook, Salesforce and LinkedIn

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It's been a while since Seesmic, makers of the excellent social networking app of the same name, acquired Ping.fm. Since then they've slowly been working on Seesmic Ping getting it ready for release and now, the time has come for some beta testing in the real world. The multi-platform posting application (think one-way posting to Twitter, Facebook, Salesforce and LinkedIn) is now available in the Android Market and has a great set of features to go along with it:

  • Post via web
  • Post via email
  • Attach links & images (post pictures on Facebook and Twitter as if you were posting them “natively”)
  • Schedule your posts at any time, save drafts and more

Right now, there is support for Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Salesforce with more planned at a later time. One thing to note though -- the app once out of beta will be a paid app, but currently it's free for now so if you're looking for a multi-posting platform app, it's worth a look. You can find the download past the break, or you can hit the source link for the full details.

Source: Seesmic

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2 years ago

Rogers One Number lets you take video calls and answer texts on PC

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Today Rogers launched a new service called One Number, which lets you initiate video calls, SMS texts, and standard voice calls from a web console. Calls can be shunted to and from the computer with a few quick commands; dialling *11 on your phone pulls the call to your phone, while the browser app has a dedicated button to take the call from your phone to the PC. As a nice little perk, any calls to Canada started on your computer are free, even if you hand it off to your phone later on. One Number also lets you send e-mails easily to saved contacts through the web interface.On the mobile side, there are going to be Android and iOS apps available so you can manage permissions and visibility while you're on the move. 

It's an awful lot like T-Mobile's Bobsled Messaging, but unlike T-Mobile, Rogers is only offering it to their customers. At least it's free - normally, I wouldn't put it past Rogers to charge extra for these kinds of services. Since we don't have Google Voice in Canada, telephony-PC crossover apps like this are a rare sight, so it's good to see at least one of the carriers getting on the wagon.  With any luck, we'll see a few other service provers offer some alternatives. 

Rogers customers can head on over here to sign up for One Number. Video demo after the jump.

Source: Rogers RedBoard

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