Headlines

3 years ago

Readabilty for Android now available from Amazon - we've got your full review

18

Readability is the latest app to address the double-edged sword that is the modern smartphone browser. When the iPhone arrived on the scene in mid-2007 it ushered in the era of (mostly) complete access to the world-wide-web from handheld mobile devices. Up to that point even the most sophisticated mobile browsers such as Pocket Internet Explorer 4 would present a heavily pared down view of web-sites.

However, the comparatively few people that actually did anything more than check email with their phones did so through old-school WAP browsers. Readability is now available for free from the Amazon Appstore. We've got your full review after the break.

Read more and comment

 
3 years ago

Review: Boid Twitter client for Android

23


YouTube link for mobile viewing

I've always got my eyes peeled for the next great Twitter client on Android. Ever since I discovered Plume, I was hooked, but that doesn't mean I'm not open to the next best thing. Carbon looks like it'll give everyone a run for their money, but in the meantime, folks running Ice Cream Sandwich on their phones might want to direct their attention to Boid for Android, a Holo-themed, Android 4.0 exclusive that looks to tear you from the clutches of your favorite client and bring you to the Boid Side.

From the moment you open Boid for Android, the Holo look is immediately evident. Unfortunately, there's nothing to guide you through setup, either. After staring blankly at the screen for a few seconds, I realized the icon of a person next to a plus sign was my ticket in.

Adding an account is the same as with any other Twitter client (login via your browser into the Twitter website, grant access to the app), and from there, all the accounts you've added will show up on the screen. When you want to access a particular feed, you just tap that account. From there, the fun really begins.

You've got the requisite Timeline, Mentions, and Messages, but there's also a Trends feed on the far right. You move from column-to-column by swiping left and right. It's all very intuitive, looks absolutely great with the Holo theme, and for an alpha, is pretty darn stable, to boot. Refreshing is done via the "Pull to Refresh" mechanic made popular by other apps, and as far as I can tell, that's the only way.

At the bottom of the screen are your main Twitter commands: New Tweet, Search, and Profile. Each one of them acts just as you'd assume, and the New Tweet menu not only lets you write, but also lets you attach a picture, take a picture, and tag your geolocation. Sure, these are all standard Twitter functions, but to see it all in such an early alpha is excellent.

Tapping on someone else's Tweet pulls up a different contextual menu. From there you can reply, re-Tweet, check out their profile, or star the Tweet. When you're on someone else's profile you can also mention them, direct message them, or block them. I don't think Team Boid has yet implemented marking something/someone as spam.

Overall, I'm very, very pleased with where Boid for Android is at. For a free app, it's polished, relatively stable, and has plenty of reasons to become your next Twitter app. The developers have big plans for the future, too. Says Team Boid:

Features coming soon: save position in lists, finished tweetcomposer (media and location attachment), font size customization, background notifications for mentions and direct messages.

And later: a paid version (donation version), home screen widget (in the paid version), Twitlonger API (for posting tweets that are over 140 characters).

Not bad, right? Boid for Android is free in the Google Play Store. We've got download links after the break.

Read more and comment

 
3 years ago

Instagram on Android - Why you want it

42

Rene Ritchie is the editor of iMore.com and knows a thing or three about Instagram on iOS.

Why do you want Instagram on Android? Because Android users have the right to take beautiful, modern, digital pictures and filter them down to look like bad 1960s-era Polaroids just like iOS users. I kid. Seriously.

Instagram isn't Facebook or Twitter. It's not big or as broad. It's smaller and more sharply focused. More important, it doesn't exist on the web at all -- it's a purely mobile network. Sure, you can see individual Instagrams on the web, but that's all you can do on the official site -- just see individual Instagrams.

To take or upload, filter or share, your photos with the Instagram community, you need the mobile app, and right now that only exists on the iPhone. And that's a pity.

I joked about the filters at the beginning of this article, but the community is no joke. It's filled with passionate mobile photographers fully in tune with the idea that the best camera is the one you have with you, and the one you have with you is on your smartphone.

Android has some great camera phones like most everything from Samsung in the past year (save for the Galaxy Nexus), as well as some great photographers. And HTC's upcoming line looks to impress. And right now, as an Instagram user, I can't experience and appreciate their photography. I can't interact with them in place where other, like-minded mobile photographers are interacting with them without the annoyance or distraction of Tweets about politics or Likes of Bieber videos (whatever those are).

There are many iPhoneographers on Instagram whose work has elevated the medium well into the realms of art. Androidographers (live with it) deserve the same access and Instagram deserves the greater talent pool.

Android is a serious platform that's not always taken seriously by developers. It doesn't always get the great apps it deserves as fast as it deserves them. Instagram has taken its time coming to Android, but that it's coming is important. It's not as big a deal as Twitter or Facebook, but it's a much sharper deal, perhaps sharper even than Path.

Plus, Android's got gallery and sharing hooks that make some iPhone users green with envy. (Being able to share a photo as soon as you take it in the stock camera app is something you all take for granted.) 

Mobile photography is a big deal. Having Instagram on Android isn't just great for Instagram or Android, it's great for us.

Now please, for the love of Ansel Adams, go easy on those '60s filters when you get 'em, will you?

Read more and comment

 
3 years ago

Boxee looking for Android Developers, free Boxee box to interviewees

4

 

An interesting email seems to have been doing the rounds today. Boxee it seems are on the hunt for Android developers to join their organisation. To anyone interviewed either in person or via Skype, a free Boxee box will find its way to you. 

Apparently the iOS team are working on a top secret project -- something about puppies -- but that doesn't really interest us. A bit further down is the listing for an Android App Developer to be based in New York City. The listing reads: 

This position will own the entire Boxee Android product and be involved throughout the entire application development lifecycle. You must be confident, take ownership of your projects, work efficiently without management, be personable, and able to articulate yourself well verbally.

Requirements: 3+ year of professional development experience (Java or C++ preferred), Android development expertise and solid understanding of the intricacies of the platform, and an application developed by you in the Android Market (iOS or other mobile platform development experience a plus)

Sound like your cup of tea? Hit the source link below to head over to the application page. 

Source: Boxee Thanks, Rouel!

Read more and comment

 
3 years ago

Instagram for Android shown off at SXSW, 'better than iPhone app' say developers

28

Good news coming out of SXSW today for all those eagerly awaiting Instagram's arrival on Android. The application has been shown off at the event, and so say the developers that "in some ways it's better than our iPhone app." 

Instagram's Kevin Systrom took to the stage clutching a Galaxy Nexus running a prototype of the app which is currently being tested in private beta. But what about a release date? Systrom had something -- albeit not much -- to say on that subject. The team "hope to have it out to people really soon." 

Really soon isn't really much to go on, but it is really coming. By the sound of it it'll be worth the wait too. Systrom also added that the app works great on larger screens, is really fast and offers sharing to Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook and other social networks. Definitely no watered down version then. 

All that remains is to actually the see app running on an actual device. But after today, the wait appears to be nearing its end. 

Source: The Verge

Read more and comment

 
3 years ago

Android Central Editors' app picks for March 11, 2012

2

 

What good is a phone without apps? Whether you want to edit pictures, stay productive, or play some games there are tons of great options available through Google Play. Each week we take some time to share some of our favorites, so let's hit the break and check them out!

Read more and comment

 
3 years ago

Path updated with tweaked UI, half support for Nike+

3

Path for Android has been updated to Version 2.1, which brings a bit of new functionality along with a tweaked user interface. The big change is that Path is now integrated the the Nike+ fitness system. The bad news is that Nike+ is really only compatible with iOS. (More on iOS' Path 2.1 update here.) So you can view Nike+ GPS running stories, but you won't be sharing them from Android until the app is rolled out later this year.

That's half the update, though. There's a new sharing screen (that's what you see above), a Music Match feature that can identify music in the background (like Shazam), new music activities, you can tap and hold to save photos, plus other performance enhancements and bugfixes (let's hope it got this one).

You'll need to update manually in the Android Market Android apps update section of Google Play, as the apps permissions have changed. You'll also need to log into your Path account again after updating. We've got download links after the break if you need 'em.

Read more and comment

 
3 years ago

Weather Here [Android app review]

28

Your Android smartphone is your go-to device to keep current on just about everything, so it's no wonder that weather applications have become so popular. There's an abundance of weather apps on the various Android markets out there, but many of us are looking for something simple, that sits in the app drawer waiting for you to need it versus something that's more in-your-face with widgets and animations. I think I just found the one I'm looking for. 

Weather Here does only one thing -- display the weather for where you're located. There's nothing to set up, it just checks to grab your location (it uses Wifi and cell tower location first, keeping the GPS off unless absolutely needed) then tells you the current weather, a forecast, and a local radar map. Using NOAA/National Weather Service data, it seems fairly accurate, and the application is fast to load and doesn't bog down your phone with fluff. If you like the fluff, I can understand and Weather Here probably isn't for you. Think of it as a no-nonsense approach to show weather data on your phone, but done well and great looking.

Just because it's lean, doesn't mean it's lacking in features. It's warm(ish) and windy here today, and I get a weather warning alert about wildfire dangers with just a tap. Tapping on any day in the forecast list gives me the details, and Menu>Radar shows me the animated precipitation radar map for my area. Again, with nothing to set-up -- just install, and go. The free version has mobile ads and a timed dialog when opening the radar screen, but the full version for $0.99 removes both. Add in no goofy permissions, and you have a hell of a nice, simple, app that does exactly what it says on the tin. Hit the break for a couple screenshots and download links.

Read more and comment

 
3 years ago

Put a little Ice Cream Sandwich in your computer with Roboto fonts

11

We're all frustrated at the wait for Ice Cream Sandwich on our phones and tablets, but maybe a little Roboto on your computer can help fill that void. The Android design team has popped out some official Roboto fonts that can be installed on just about any device that can display True Type fonts, and they look great on your desktop or laptop. Getting them is easy, just download them from the Android Design page, and install according to your OS specifications.

They'll give you a fresh, clean look that's easy to read and scales great. The best part is that they're absolutely free for use and "without restriction" for use in applications, so developers can use them in things like Web apps and desktop widgets. Sure beats the Comic Sans look. See the source link for downloads and the specimen book.

Source: Android Design; via +Android

Read more and comment

 
3 years ago

Get Google Play up and running on your Logitech Revue [How-To]

24

Ask anyone who has a Logitech Revue, and they'll tell you it can be a temperamental son-of-a-biscuit every now and then. Most of us still love the Google TV experience, but owning a Revue means you'll need to get familiar with work-arounds. Here's a simple one to get the Google play update running on your Revue if you got stuck in the "update available/updating" loop:

Pull the plug for 10 seconds.

In fact, pulling the plug and counting to 10 before you re-power your Revue solves a lot of problems. I found myself with the Market update waiting, and nothing I could do would fix it until I just powered the whole damn thing down. When it came back, I had the shiny new Google play service ready and waiting. If it would only work for Hulu plus...

Source: Android Central forums

Hat tip to ryanfoley613 for reminding us of the trick!

Read more and comment

 
3 years ago

Google Maps updated with simplified Navigation menus

9

Google Maps for Android has received a minor update today, bringing it up to version 6.4.0. The new version introduces some minor changes to Google Maps Navigation on ICS devices. Gone is the large, unwieldly vertical list activated by the menu key -- in its place is a more accessible grid-based setup. And as part of Google's ongoing war against the menu overflow key, those pesky three dots are no longer present in Maps Navigation in ICS -- they're replaced with a completely different menu key a few pixels above your virtual buttons.

In the unlikely event that you're not currently using Google Maps, we've got the Android Market Google Play Store link after the break. We've also got a screenshot of the new Navigation menu, if you're into that sort of thing.

Read more and comment

 
3 years ago

Flying to SXSW? Get your Android device online at 35,000 feet free through March 16

1

Just a quick heads up for you folks flying to Austin, Texas, for SXSW -- GoGo Inflight Internet is free if you're flying on Alaska Airlines, American Airlines or Delta Air Lines to Austin from March 10-16. That means you can use the GoGo Android app to keep reading Android Central while you're at 35,000 feet. And that's a good thing.

Read more and comment

 
3 years ago

Solar System Explorer [Android App Review]

12


YouTube link for mobile viewing

It's not often I come across an app that both humbles me and causes me to have an existential crisis, so when I find one, I know it's a keeper. Solar System Explorer caused me to go through both of these things simultaneously, and apart from making you question your tiny, insignificant self in this grand universe, you're also treated to a gorgeous layout loaded with more information about our solar system than you probably knew existed.

First thing you'll notice when you open up Solar System Explorer is how great it looks. This is a seriously polished app, with beautiful 3D models of every planet in our solar system, the moons of each planet, and each satellite the United States has launched. There's full pinch-to-zoom on all of the models as well as swiping support so you can change your perspective, too.

You move from planet to planet (or moon to moon) using pictures along the bottom of the screen. All of our planets are there, ordered from closest to farthest from the sun, and on the very end, you can get to the satellites. When you pick a planet, the pictures at the bottom of the screen change, and if the planet has any moons, images of those moons appear so you can see models and read up on them, should you choose to.

Aside from all of that, there's also an incredible treasure trove of information at your fingertips, all of it a button push away. When you've got a heavenly body selected, you're shown its general information by default, but should you leave this screen, tapping the eyeball will take you back to it. The little bar graph looking button shows you stats for your planet, all in relation to Earth.

Finally, the upside down peace sign tells you information about the structure of your planet and the 3D model changes to reflect said information. It's really quite cool seeing Earth broken up into differently colored layers and an explanation about what's going on in this beautiful blue-green ball we call home. (Plus, it reminds me of elementary school science class.)

Solar System Explorer also gives you the opportunity to just admire the solar system by hiding the information panel and zooming in and out. The full-screen experience is quite incredible, and at times like these, I wonder why I didn't do more to become something like an astronaut or work for NASA. This might "just" be an Android app, but it certainly instills a sense of awe in me.

If you're someone who has even a slight interest in our big, mysterious solar system, check this app out. It's great to just poke around in, but it's also chock full of such solid information, I don't see any reason why it couldn't be used as an educational tool, too.

Solar System Explorer is $1.99 in the Google Play Store. We've got download links after the break.

Read more and comment

 
3 years ago

Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary 8th Edition for Android

6

Oxford University Press -- the folks behind that big book full of words and defintions -- have just put out an android version of the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary, 8th edition. It's geared toward those who are learing Englishi -- and let's face it, a goodly number of 'mericans might be able to take advantage of it, too.

It's got full-sentence pronunciations, more than 1,300 illustrations to explain words -- and more than 184,000 individual words, phrases and meanings.

The full presser and download links are after the break.

Read more and comment

 
3 years ago

Hands-on with the Onkyo Android app

22

So I rearranged my living room over the past weekend and decided to retire my (gasp) 9-year-old receiver. Wasn't looking to spend a fortune, but surround sound is a must, Internet access is a plus. Ended up going with The Wirecutter's recommendation of the Onkyo TX-NR509. It's got a rear Ethernet port (if that's how you roll), or an optional Wifi dongle that plugs into the front USB port -- and an added bonus -- a companion Android application.

Let's really start off by saying that home audio is a pretty personal and finicky thing, and your setup will determine the usefulness of features. I've got an Xbox 360 and a Logitech Revue to handle most of my multimedia functions, so there's a good bit of what's the in Onkyo app -- specifically the music playback --  that I'll never use. You've pretty much got full remote capability, including switching inputs and sources. The app's layout's pretty intuitive, as are the settings. I'm not going to walk you through them as, again, your setup will vary from mine, and chances are you're a proper nerd and can do it yourself.

(I'll mention that the Onkyo has things like Internet radio and DLNA streaming, which is nice, but the on-screen UIs are so horrid that you'll likely not want to touch them.)

No, the one shining feature of the Onkyo Android app -- for me, anyway -- is the ability to change  the volume from another room. I've got kids. Two of 'em. The eldest is 5, and she can rock the Logitech Harmony One remote just fine to get her Dora on. But she's also going deaf, I'm convinced, because the TV will get louder and louder as she watches. Thanks to the Onkyo app, there's no more getting up from what I'm doing. No more arguing. I just turn the damn thing down, and no one's the wiser. (I can do the same thing with the Google TV Remote app, by the way.)

So that's what I'm rocking in the living room now, all connected like. (And it sounds good, too.) Onkyo says the app's compatible with all network AV receivers released since 2010, as well as the TX-8050 Network Stereo Receiver and the T-4070 Network Stereo Tuner. You may need to do a firmware update (mine took about 5 minutes) to get things going.

We've got screen shots and download links after the break.

Read more and comment

 
Show More Headlines

Pages