Headlines

3 years ago

Twitter to start pushing "promoted tweets" into main timeline on official Android app

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Twitter will be pushing mobile advertisments through their official Android and iOS applications, much like LinkedIn began doing just a month ago. You won't start seeing pop-up ads like we do in something like Angry Birds for example, but rather "promoted tweets" will begin to appear in your main timeline. 

At present, the promoted tweets and trends are only seen when you access the search pages within the app. Twitter have said though that initially only a small number of users will begin to see these tweets appear on their timeline from brands they follow. 

Twitter have tried to pretty it up and make the whole deal sound more user orientated -- but let's face it, it's straight up advertising. Mobile ads are here to stay though, and with 55% of Twitter traffic coming from mobile, it was only a matter of time before we saw something like this emerge.

Source: Twitter 

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3 years ago

Camera ICS+ brings Ice Cream Sandwich camera to non ICS phones

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The stock Ice Cream Sandwich camera application is pretty nice. Clean and simple interface, really easy to use, and of course that built in panorama mode is awesome. A developer by the name of Moblynx has taken the stock app, and tweaked it ever so slightly to add some nice extra features. Up until now the app has only been available for Honeycomb and ICS devices. Today it received an update, that now lets anyone on Froyo and Gingerbread join in. 

There is a free version -- but seriously who wants ads in their camera app? The paid version currently sets you back £0.79/$0.99. For that you get the stock ICS camera application with some added bonuses. You get some built in photo effects like mono and sepia, silent mode, a picture quality setting that goes all the way up to ultra, a silent mode and of course the panorama feature to name but a few.

Running the app on an ICS device also gets you additional video stabilization features and 720p face effects. 

Besides opening up to 2.2 and 2.3 devices, todays update also includes Intel x86 support, configurable volume buttons and a host of bugfixes. Download links to the paid version can be found after the break. 

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3 years ago

Trapster for Android updated to v3.1.0 - Now featuring intelligent alerting, new sounds and a revamped UI

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Trapster has been hard at work on a new version for Android users and has now taken the wraps off v3.1.0. This latest release packs in some new features for everyone to make use of including a new UI, NAVTEQ real-time traffic incidents and new notification alert sounds not present in any other version of Trapster.

  • NAVTEQ real-time traffic incidents - NAVTEQ real time traffic incidents are now fed into Trapster 3.1.0! When you see white icons with a red outline, you’ll be assured that this is from a trusted source.
  • New Notification Sounds - You now have the option to hear audio alerts when the posted speed limit changes. When the speed limit lowers you will hear this. And when the speed limit raises you will hear this. You will also hear a Thank You Chime after reporting or voting on a trap.

Trapster v3.1.0 is available now in the Android Market, if you're looking for the download link you can jump on past the break and grab it.

Source: Trapster

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3 years ago

Isis mobile payment system to launch mid-2012, lists Chase, CapitalOne, and Barclaycard as partners

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Isis Mobile Wallet, the service backed by AT&T, T-Mobile US, and Verizon has announced new launch partners and it's long awaited trial launch date. New financial partners Chase, CapitalOne, and Barclaycard join Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express for the  trials in Austin, Texas and Salt Lake City, Utah which are expected to begin sometime in mid-2012. Isis isn't sharing much past that, as they say the nationwide rollout will follow the trial with no further details.

Isis partners will allow users to program both credit and debit cards into the mobile system, which gives it another leg up on Google Wallet. Add in the fact that Isis has carrier backing and pre-approval, and chances are that this will be the mobile NFC-based payment system we'll see on our devices when and if it catches on, at least in the US. That doesn't mean Google Wallet will disappear, but being available and being relevant are two different animals.

This doesn't mean that Isis is inherently bad, though. It may turn out to be an excellent product, and I'm excited to give it a try. We have to remember that Google Wallet isn't open and lovable, it is a for-profit venture from Google, much like Isis is a for-profit venture for its backers. When it comes to finances, few things are open and best for the consumer. The best product will be defined by the users and that's the one that will win out. 

The full press release follows the break.

via BusinessWire

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3 years ago

StumbleUpon for Android - Updated with new widget, Google+ sharing and home screen improvements

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StumbleUpon has announced the latest update to their popular Android app and with this release, they've gone ahead and done some house cleaning on the app and added in a bunch of new features that are deeply integrated with Google services.

  • Android Beam (NFC): Users of the StumbleUpon app for Android can now share any content they discover on StumbleUpon to other NFC-enabled devices running Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich. This will make sharing content discovered through StumbleUpon seamless and fun.
  • Action Bar: The StumbleUpon app will now feature the native Android Action Bar, enabling users to explore the Web via the familiar Android navigation interface.
  • Resizable Widget on device home screen: The StumbleUpon app for Android will now be accessible directly from the device home screen. Users will be able to preview StumbleUpon-recommended content directly from the home screen of their device without having to launch the StumbleUpon app.
  • Sharing to Google+: The StumbleUpon app for Android will now include a sharing button to Google+. In addition to sharing to Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon and email, Stumblers can now easily share content they discover through StumbleUpon with their connections on Google+.
  • Sign in with Google: With the new app, users will be able to sign in to StumbleUpon through a Google log-in with any mobile device and on the desktop.

Aside from the new features added, StumbleUpon also updated the homescreen experience for the app, making it easier then ever to get logged in and not only finding but sharing the content you enjoy the most. The updated version is available in the Android Market right now, full press release and download link can be found past the break.

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3 years ago

Grab the official Android MWC app from the Android Market

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Not at Mobile World Congress but still want to follow along? Google has now released their official Mobile World Congress app in the Android Market. Of course, it is meant for attendees to use but it's still an awesome app to download and check out. Some of the features:

  • Event information
  • Booth & partner maps
  • Information on partners featured at the booth
  • Google Mobile apps featured at MWC
  • Android Pin checklist
  • Photo Notes

You can jump on past the break for the download link and stay tuned for more Mobile World Congress coverage right here on Android Central. Thanks, Gordon!

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3 years ago

Badge Scanner app shows, shares what's on your Mobile World Congress badge

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That's it -- no more business cards for me at Mobile World Congress. Googler Trevor Johns has coded up (and open-sourced) a little app called, appropriately enough, Badge Scanner, which will properly read the NFC chip inside the MWC badge and display it on your phone. You then can add a note and save the contact information. Begone, paper business cards!

Do note that if you use this, it'll give up your registered phone number as well. (I've blurred mine out above.) It's not that we don't love getting calls from all you PR reps out there, of course -- we just know how squeamish everyone is with their personal information these days.

If you're here in Barcelona and want to give this a go, we've got download links after the break.

Source: +Trevor Johns (via +Tim Bray)

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3 years ago

First look at NQ Mobile Security & Antivirus

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Youtube link for mobile viewing

Not a day goes by in which we don't get an e-mail from you fine folks out there asking about antivirus and security applications, and which one we'd recommend. That's a tough question, because it's tough to judge which one is the best at spotting malware. We caught up this evening with our pals at NQ Mobile (aka NetQin Mobile), makers of the NQ Mobile Security & Antivirus app. And they've got a convincing argument for using their app over the others -- it was designed and developed in the world capital of viruses and malware. (Bonus points if you can guess the country.)

Check out our video above, and check out the app in the Android Market. Basic features are free, and premium features cost on average about $5 a month, depending on where you live.

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3 years ago

SwiftKey launches SDK for handset and device manufacturers

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When BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 was we released were a little surprised to find out that it was indeed making use of SwiftKey for it's new auto-correct functionality. The latest announcement from SwiftKey sheds light on the subject though, as they've now announced a new SDK for handset and device manufacturers.

Dr. Ben Medlock, CTO of SwiftKey explains: “As we are interacting with more devices, technology that accurately understands what a user is trying to say or do with their devices is vital. It only takes a cursory look at user groups to realize that typing is one of the biggest frustrations that people have on tablets and smartphones. The launch of our SDK will give OEMs access to better typing experience, with their own look and feel.”

The SwiftKey SDK is being made available to various platforms including iOS, QNX/BlackBerry 10, Windows and more. You can find the full press release from SwiftKey past the break for you all.

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3 years ago

Domino's delivers an Android app, and free with contract smartphone offer

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Getting a hot pizza delivered just got a little easier, thanks to Domino's Pizza and their Android application. Getting a cool Android phone free with a new contract did as well, again thanks to Domino's Pizza. Confused? Don't be, it's simple, really. Domino's knows you love pizza (we all love pizza) and they've made it super-simple to get one. Grab the new Domino's app from the Market, click through to make your order, and wait for the delivery. You can even watch the progress of your order right from the app, just like you can from the website when you order online. It's like the best invention of the 20th century (pizza) meets the best invention of the 21st century (Android), and it's a perfect match.

So perfect in fact, that Domino's wants to help make it happen by offering free Android phones when you sign a new agreement with a US carrier. Offerings like the Motorola Droid 3 from Verizon, or the HTC Wildfire S from T-Mobile are yours for the taking from Domino's online, and fulfilled by Simplexity, and authorized agent for the carriers.

So what are you waiting for? The app is free in the Market for phones running Android 2.1 or higher, and the phones are free from Domino's when you sign up for a new agreement. We've got more screenshots, the press release, and the download link after the break.

More: Domino's

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3 years ago

Ubuntu for Android at Mobile World Congress

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There's been quite a bit of buzz since the announcement of Ubuntu for Android, and there's quite a bit of buzz in Hall 7 here at Mobile World Congress. That's where Canonical is showing off just what Ubuntu can do when paired to a dual-core smartphone, and it remains every bit impressive as when we got our preview a week ago.

The basic idea is this: Your smartphone (at minimum a dual-core device) will have a custom Linux kernel. And on top of that runs Android and Ubuntu. They run in parallel; when you plug your phone into a HDMI display, it switches from Android to Ubuntu and you get a full desktop experience.

Probably the most impressive aspect is in how it handles the data and applications from your Android phone. Ubuntu's got full access to your contacts and apps. So you can search your contact book to send an e-mail or make a phone call, right there from Ubuntu. Apps run in windows form, but Canonical tells us that will be refined some by launchtime, still set for later this year.

The other remaining question is exactly how us mere mortals will be able to get Ubuntu onto our phones. It's not just an .apk that you can download. But we're more than positive some enterprising neckbeards will have it all worked out.

We've got some a walkthrough video from Mobile World Congress after the break.

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3 years ago

Carrier IQ unveils tool operators can use to open up about data collected from your phone

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Carrier IQ cares. Or, rather, for Carrier IQ, it's all about care. The much-maligned California analytics company has weathered the Great Privacy Scandal of 2011 and today at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona announced a new product for its customers -- the operators -- to give greater transparency to consumers -- that's you and me -- regarding data being collected from your smartphones and tablets.

Let's be clear here: You are not Carrier IQ's customer. It provides network and hardware analytics capabilities to companies that sell smartphones by the millions, not folks like you and me who buy them every year or so (or, in our case, more often). That's not to say that CIQ is deaf to the recent surge in the push for privacy. Far from it. And that's not to say it hasn't learned a thing or two since everybody started to care about on-board analytics. It most certainly has.

And that brings us to today's announcement.  

Dubbed the "Customer Experience Dashboard," CIQ will begin offering -- again, to operators, not to end-users directly -- tools that the operators can then use to show their users basic fault explanations. Is your phone's battery draining? Dropping a lot of calls? Constantly rebooting? CIQ's new tools would all the operator to better explain to you what's going on with your phone, as well as with the network it's on. CIQ would essentially provide APIs to the operators, who then could build into their own websites the ability to see exactly what's going on with your phone.

It's a twofold proposition. At its core, the idea is to place some of the customer care onus back onto the customer, specifically to cut down on customer care phone calls. In other words, to help you help yourself. That, in turn, saves the operator money. It's also a great opportunity for the operator to show exactly what sort of data it's harvesting from your phone. But -- and this is a pretty big "but" -- it's up to the operator to implement any or all of this. As with Carrier IQ's current suite of products, it's completely customizable to for each operator and platform. It doesn't (and probably wouldn't) look like what you see in the picture above. Operators would be free to customize and present as much data as it sees fit, and in whatever manner it sees fit. And as of right now, it's still completely optional (and in fact will raise the cost of the CIQ platform for the operator).

For our part, we believe that would be money well spent by the operators. As much as the operators need analytics, the end-users need greater transparency. And done right (there's always a catch, right?), the operators could conceivably kill two birds with one stone here: continue to learn about the devices it supports in a real-time manner, and do so in a way that doesn't scare the hell out of its users.

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3 years ago

Opera Software announces Opera Mini Next & Opera Mobile 12

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[YouTube link for mobile viewing]

Opera Software software has been working with mobile devices for quite some time now so they're not new to the mobile web by any means. They know the web os constantly changing and evolving and adaption of new techniques for use and implementation is vital to their success. With Mobile World Congress now kicked off into full swing they've gone ahead released the final version of Opera Mobile 12 to the Android Market:

  • WebGL on Android phones, for all things 3D and web. With WebGL on mobile, it’ll be even easier to make games cross platform and to distribute them. “Opera have contributed significantly to the development of the WebGL specification and now Opera Mobile is playing a leading role in the roll-out of GPU-accelerated WebGL on Android,” said Neil Trevett, Khronos president and vice president of mobile content at NVIDIA.
  • Ragnarök, Opera's HTML5 parser support, meaning better web apps and increased compatibility with websites. More HTML5 means more advanced web functionality.
  • Support for camera use in the browser.
  • More possibilities for customizing the Speed Dial of Opera Mobile, including entering as many Speed Dial entries as you like.

In addition to the availability of Opera Mobile 12, Opera Software has also introduced support for MIPS based devices and Intel architecture. Opera has also introduced Opera Mini Next. A new version of Opera Mini that highlights social networking at the forefront. You can check out their full press release past the break, as well -- grab the download for Opera Mobile 12.

Source: Opera

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3 years ago

Official Hotmail for Android app updated, now supports Ice Cream Sandwich

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Remember the days when absolutely everyone used Hotmail for their email needs? Seems there's a lot of people who still do, but couldn't use the official Android application if they were running Ice Cream Sandwich

An update pushed out this week that addressed just that issue. However, while it now supports Ice Cream Sandwich, it definitely isn't optimised for it. 

There's also a fix for some issues on the HTC Desire, various crashes, improvements to battery life for anyone still running Android 2.1, and various improvements to calendar and meeting requests. Download links after the break. 

Thanks John!

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3 years ago

HTC and Dropbox team up to offer 25GB of storage on all Sense 4.0 devices

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Along with HTC's announcement of their One series devices, one thing that may have been overlooked while mulling the specs over was their new agreement with Dropbox. Previously, HTC was working with Dropbox to offer folks a free 5GB when using HTC devices but they've now bumped that up to 25GB free for 2-years:

Dropbox integrated with HTC Sense - HTC One gives you an easy way to save and share your photos and videos. HTC has integrated Dropbox into HTC Sense 4 enabling HTC One customers to get 25 gigabytes of free Dropbox space for two years. That’s enough to keep more than 10,000 high-quality photos. Dropbox is also integrated throughout HTC Sense 4, so it’s easy to edit, save and share your documents and other kinds of files.

We've gone through the process of explaining cloud storage services like Dropbox can be used for storing files, and now with it built-into Sense 4.0, it'll make things easier then ever.

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