Brancott Estate, a winery based out of New Zealand, has just launched their first Android and iOS app, and along with it, they've started putting QR codes on all of their wine bottles. When you use the app to scan the code printed on the label with your phone's camera, it offers food pairing suggestions, along with some more elbaorate promotions, like an augmented reality view and a puzzle game. The Brancott Estate app (called "World's Most Curious Bottle") also provides descriptions of aromas, and some info on the climate in which the grapes were grown for 14 of their wines.
While there are plenty of other apps out there that offer a broader selection of wines to reference, not to mention the ability to search by meal, it's not often you see retail products ship with legitimately helpful QR codes on them. For wine in particular, a few third parties have stepped in to provide rich data for wines, namely Cellar Key, which hangs a little QR code around the bottleneck.
Considering how little I know about wines, quick, in-store references like this can be hugely helpful when picking something out. Even seasoned wine-drinkers will appreciate the added level of detailed information set-ups like this can provide. It's just unfortunate that even after over a decade of being largely available, QR codes still haven't quite caught on. Maybe pairing up with apps will become more of a necessity if they're going to see any real use. I'm also a little worried that as much hype as there is behind NFC, it will end up in the same boat.
You can download the Android app at the link below, if you're curious. Do you guys use QR codes regularly? What would it take to get you to use them more often?
Google today has updated a couple of its apps -- Chrome to Phone and Google Docs.
Chrome to Phone, which was rolled out alongside Android 2.2 Froyo in 2010, is a slick little service that lets you send links from your computer directly to your phone. No e-mailing, no ... whatever -- just click "Chrome to Phone," and it zips from big screen to small. Today's update brings an "updated look and feel," fixes crashes when copying text and adds support for landscape.
Google Docs also got a sizeable update today. New is the ability to make any file available for offline access, and your'e also able to manage content while offline, including seeing files that are out of date. Such offline content will be synced while over Wifi, and you can star and rename files without a connection as well. And nearly as important is a further improvement to how GDocs looks on an Android tablet -- not the first time it's gotten a makeover.
Snag the updates in the Android Market, or at the links below.
Sony Ericsson is updating its "Bridge" application for Mac users, adding the ability to apply OS updates to Xperia smartphones over USB. This functionality has been available in SE's PC Companion tool for Windows for some time, but until now Mac users have had to wait for updates to roll out over the air.
If you're rocking the Xperia/Mac combo, you can grab the current version 1.2 of the SE Bridge app from the source link, and you'll be notified when the new version is available.
Mint, Intuit's popular personal finance app and long-time favorite of ours here at Android Central, has finally been given the Honeycomb treatment in its latest update. Available now in the Android Market, Mint's tablet attire has all of the features included in the smartphone version, along with a few extra goodies, including an updated overview page, spruced-up spending graphs, and a very handy offline mode.
For those unfamiliar, Mint is a free app that aggregates your financial accounts into an easy-to-read layout. Mint shows you when your money is coming in, when it's leaving, and exactly where it's going. All information is updated in real-time, and with the tablet version's new offline mode, you'll be able to access all of your financial information as it was at your last online sync.
If you've already been using the Mint app on your tablet, simply upgrade from the market for the new Honeycomb-optimized version. Intuit's full presser, along with a market link, is waiting at the jump.
The Super Bowl is on Sunday, and what better way to get ready for the game than with the Super Bowl XLVI Guide app? This app is aimed at everyone who will be in the metro area of Indianapolis. It will not be of much use if you're not going, unless you want to check out where some popular Indianapolis restaurants are located. Don't worry when you see that it's presented by Verizon because it is compatible with all carriers.
The Super Bowl XLVI Guide app's goal is to provide everyone in and around the Indianapolis metro area with schedules, recommendations and stadium layouts. The app provides a great 3D map of Lucas Oil Stadium, which is where the game will be played. In addition, you can find out your current location if you're lost, check out upcoming Super Bowl related events, or search categories such as Eat and Drink, which recommends popular restaurants.
It's a great companion app to have if you will be attending the game. It's free and available from the Android Market. Please find links and more screenshots after the break.
In-app billing is a bit of a touchy subject. Nobody begrudges developers that try to make a few dollars, but billing for extra content as a per-app basis just isn't very popular among users. Some don't like the fact that purchases are tied to a particular phone, and we can certainly understand that. Wiping your phone or buying a new one and losing all your game content is no fun. For others, the only acceptable way to monetize applications is to charge a flat fee up front. We won't even comment on paid applications that offer in-app purchases as well, but they're out there.
On the good side, it's a way to offer a basic application for free, which everyone likes to see. On the bad side, it can get expensive in addition to the above. Tonight we're asking you guys. Vote in the poll and let us know!
There's a Market update available for ROM Manager, and it brings a new feature that many have been wanting -- automatic installation of ClockworkMod Touch Recovery. ROM Manager itself is still free (you can buy the premium version for more features), but if you want to use it to flash CWM Touch, it's going to cost you. The price is $1.99, and it's available as an in-app purchase from the ROM Manager app, billed through the Android Market, PayPal, or via e-mail with a redeem code.
ClockworkMod Touch is still available for free, though. If your phone is supported you can download and install it manually through fastboot from the ClockworkMod website. What you're paying for is the convenience of having ROM Manager do it for you, or for not having to configure and install the Android SDK and set up fastboot. As some of you know, sorting out fastboot and drivers for your computer can be a pain, so here is your way around it once again.
Anyone who hacks at their Android phone needs a custom recovery. Besides having an easy way to flash modifications and new ROM's, a custom recovery gives us something that is indispensable -- a way to create a restore point for our phone or tablet and go back to it at any time. While there's a lot of good to be said for the "old style" that forces you to read every option and select carefully, there's no denying the allure of a touch-based version for many folks. If you're one of them, now you have an easy way to get it on your device. Koush is currently adding more builds for more phones, so if your's isn't listed just keep checking. Happy flashing!
The gamers in the house will be familiar with the Humble Bundle; it's a batch of indie games that periodically go on sale for as much as you're willing to offer, split up as you like between the developers or charity. Traditionally, the Humble Bundle has only been available for PC games, but today they've expanded to Android, and the titles the developers are offering are fully cross-platform (meaning you can redeem these games to play on PC through Steam, or download directly on Mac and Linux).
The first game the Humble Bundle for Android is offering is Anomaly. It's basically a reverse tower defense, where you're the one trying to send your waves of troops through a treacherous maze. EDGE is a simple yet colourful puzzle game where you navigate a cube through a surreal and animated landscape. Osmos is a strategy game modeled after molecular biology - get bigger, and absorb the lesser cells. If you pay more than the average price (currently sitting at $4.95), you also get World of Goo, which is a classic physics puzzle that tests your structural engineering skills.
I'm a huge fan of the Humble Bundle and have bought into it once or twice before. The payment scheme is smart, simple, and new. The titles are quality, and a lot of money is raised for excellent causes. Now, the danger here is that a lot of people simply pay nothing and get some free games. That strikes me as a bit of a cheapskate thing to do, considering the earnest spirit in which these titles are being offered, but I guess it can't be helped that a lot of folks will pounce on a freebie.
GetGlue, a popular social media application for the television and movie lover, has just released an update to its Android application that brings few new features to the table. For those unfamiliar with GetGlue (check out our review here) it allows you to "check-in" to the show or movie you are watching or even what music you're listening to, or something you and your friends are discussing.
The update adds a new visual stream of check-ins, which gives you all of your friends check-ins with some additional style. Each check-in will have user generated art, and if the user left a comment while checking in that will show over top of the image.
They have also added a real-time conversation mode which allows you to keep in the conversation about particular shows with ease. Each time you click to check-in to a show you are opening the gateway to a new conversation and now you are able to keep up with these conversations with ease. They have also included the ability to go back through other recent check-ins and view the conversations on those as well.
Finally they have added Guides, which aim to make it a whole lot easier to find things to watch, read or listen to. Each of these guides is unique and based on the users previous preferences and they are also updated regularly so you never have to fear being bored without something new to watch.
If you are a current GetGlue user you will want to grab this update and if you are not currently using it there is no better time than now to check it out. Download links are available after the break.
Have a garage full of stuff you never see any more? How about a closet full of clothes that no longer interests you? Have you thought about ways to get rid of it all but give up after a while and just never do it? If you answered yes to any of those questions, you may want to have a look at Listia. They've released their new app in the Android Market and if you're looking to trade your old stuff possibly for new stuff, the app can help you do it:
List any item directly from your Android phone
Search, browse and discover items others are giving away
Keep tabs on your favorite listings, as well as the most popular items up for grabs
Get live alerts and reminders for items on your watch list
Review seller profiles before you buy
Bid and win the things you want!
Find listings close to you, in over 3,000 global cities
Listia works on a credits system, meaning any action you take -- can earn you credits. You sign up, that's 400 credits. You post an item that's 100 credits. There is no cash involved, so unlike eBay or Craigslist list you never have to worry abt losing out on actual money. You can hit the break to download the app and check out the service, or if you're looking for more info just hit the source link.
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