If you're looking for the latest version of the Android Market, look no further than the Android Central Forums. Member Upstreammiami has blessed us with Version 2.2.11 in .apk and .zip form. He says it's a security fix, and apparently some people have seen it pushed out already. But if you're not in the waiting mood (that'd be us), you can get your download on at the source link. Huzzah! [Android Central Forums]
TouchType sent out an email Friday (Jan. 14) reminding everyone that their SwiftKey VIP program sign up was ending Jan. 18, and to announce that they're offering SwiftKey keyboard at a sale price on the Android Market. We already heard that they were closing the program to any new members (last chance to sign up), and they say this is just ahead of "releasing some great new stuff in there," so it sounds worthwhile to get enrolled while you still can.
They've also put SwiftKey keyboard on sale for just $1.99, and this one too isn't going to last forever. The sale is only going to run for a few weeks, so if you've been on the fence consider this the heads-up that you can save a couple bucks off the regular price of $3.99. We've dropped a link to the app after the break, and you can also visit SwiftKey keyboard's developer forum right here at Android Central.
Although it had a rather shaky start, NewEgg's Android app has been given a welcomed update. Now in version 1.0.2, NewEgg Mobile allows you to browse their entire online inventory (with customer feedback), create wish lists, and even buy items directly from the app. To make searching for that new CPU easier, NewEgg mobile also supports voice and barcode search functions.
NewEgg Mobile 1.0.2 does bring some enhancements, but I still notice some issues that need to be resolved. Many times in a row I received a "network error" message (I'm on Wi-Fi), which is pretty frustrating. Additionally, if you leave the app for any reason at all, it will not save your state. And don't even think about trying to use it in landscape mode -- won't happen.
Being the computer geek that I am, I browse NewEgg all the time. I've been a NewEgg customer for 10 years, so it's good to finally have a NewEgg app for Android. I buy a lot of items from NewEgg, and I'm thrilled to have the option of buying something directly from the app. It's usable as it is now, but I look forward to future refinements. Download link's after the break. [NewEgg Facebook]
While most users may be familiar with Clockr, the minimalistic time display application a lot of you may not have heard of Calendr yet. Calendr offers the same minimalistic approach as Clockr with the difference being that it's used to display your calendar events rather than the time.
Calendr, while pretty basic in function is still a nice widget to have placed on your homescreen if you need to be unobtrusively reminded of upcoming events ahead of time. Events will be displayed up to one week prior and will only display the information you enter in and nothing more. You'll also find Calendr very light on battery usage as it only updates the display once a day or when a new entry is added. Custom options include font size, color adjustments as well as background and alignment options so that you may customize it anyway you wish.
Calendr is now available for free but keep in mind it only works with the default Android calendar. If you are making use of the HTC calendar or the Moto calendar this will not work.
Telenav, makers of popular cross platform turn-by-turn navigation software, has updated their Android application to version 6.2. Many improvements come along for the ride, including improved responsiveness, 22 million new points of interest (all searchable inside the app), a new quick search bar, better voice recognition, and new multiple route suggestions.
While we applaud Google for excellent turn-by-turn navigation via Google Maps, ask anyone who uses Telenav and they will likely tell you they love it. It's a very well written and great performing application, and today's improvements should only make it better. Especially interesting is the multi-route suggestion -- enter your destination and Telenav will tell you up to three different routes to reach it. As Todd Witkemper of Telenav reminds us in their video demonstration (after the break!), there will always be certain roads you don't like to travel, so having a choice of route from the beginning is a very nice touch. And choice? I'm always for more of it.
Telenav 6.2 is available today as an Android Market update for the Samsung Captivate, the HTC Aria, and the Motorola Backflip, branded as AT&T Navigator 2.2. Telenav also tells us that Android devices on other carriers will soon be able to upgrade their version as well. Follow the break for the full press release, a series of pictures of the new UI, and a video from Telenav showing off the cool new features.
One of the coolest little projects Google's been working on over the past year has been its translation features. And the Google Translate app just turned 1 and got a pretty major update with a bunch of UI improvements -- and one very cool experimental feature.
Conversation Mode is "optimized to allow you to communicate fluidly with a nearby person in another language." Basically you and whomever you're speaking to talk into the phone, and it translates both sides of the conversation in near-real time. It's only for Spanish and English right now, and is still in its infancy. But this is very, very cool, and is likely to save our butts in a month in Spain. Check out the dearly demo from the IFA conference after the break. [Google]
If you're getting tired of the standard Android look and feel and are looking for a new vertical sliding homescreen, Spark just might be it. It's a home replacement from HipLogic, and it brings a series of panels that include weather (Android users go crazy for their weather!), news, deals, and social feeds from Facebook and Twitter. We had a look when it was in the early beta stage, and HipLogic has made a lot of improvement in the speed and useability areas. Hit the break for a download link and a walkthrough of Spark.
LogMeIn is easily one of our favorite VNC applications available for Android. With the explosion of Android tablets we're seeing, it only makes sense for app developers to begin integrating unique tablet functionality and support into their applications. LogMeIn announced that it has released an update that brings optimization for Android tablets, and brings a few new features along with it. LogMeIn now supports Wake-on-LAN, remote sound, and my favorite; multi-monitor support. It's good to see the developer really stepping up to the plate to take advantage of the capabilities of Android tablets. The update is available immediately in the Android Market for free to existing users, and for $29.99 to new users. Check out the full presser and download links after the break. [LogMeIn]
MiniSquadron, one of our favorite games of 2010, is back in 2011 with a 99-cent special edition. New planes (and helicopters), new levels, and hours and hours of my workday spent "testing" the updated app. The game's on sale through Jan. 17. Download links are after the break.
Google Goggles is pretty damn cool, being able to nearly instantly recognize just about anything you can take a picture of. And in Version 1.3, it's gotten faster -- and smarter.
First off, scanning barcodes is much faster. Takes about a second now. Then there's the print ad feature -- scan the ad and it'll find search results about the product. And what's really cool is that you can scan a Sudoku puzzle and have the puzzle solved for your lazy butt get a little help. It's pretty damn cool. Video of it in action and download links are after the break. [Google]
Just a few weeks separated from its beta launch in the Android Market, the new Dolphin Mini browser has grown out of beta status and officially entered the Android Market, V1.0. Along with the release comes several new features and bug fixes, including a new data backup and restore feature.
New backup and restore feature
Refined UI and toolbox design
New bookmarks label
New flash plugin and updated flash settings
New address bar "quick options" by long pressing address bar
Dolphin Browser mini has quickly become one of our favorite browsers of choice, so be sure to check out this official release in the Market and let us know what you think in the comments section. [via Dolphin Browser Blog]
During Samsung's CES Keynote Thursday, Comcast CEO Brian Roberts spent a little time with the Xfinity application, both on a smart TV and the Samsung Galaxy Tab. We've been told this was coming, and it looks really cool. Not only can you change the channel on your cable box, you can find content and watch it right on your Android device. Social media and live TV playback are coming soon, so it's likely the app will launch without either.
Speaking of launch, no details about when, or OS requirements were announced. Hurry Comcast, we've waited patiently long enough.
Android users will be able to download apps through Amazon later this year
Amazon today announced its Amazon Appstore Developer portal -- an Android app store within the Amazon ecosystem. It's largely familiar, with the usual hooks for developers, though we'll have to wait a little while to judge its usefulness from a consumer standpoint. We spoke with Amazon's Aaron Rubenson, category leader for Mobile Services for Amazon.com, and Ameesh Paleja, general manager for the Engineering Division of Mobile Services for Amazon.com, for more details.
Today's launch is for developers. Consumers will be able to download apps through Amazon later this year.
Developers will upload apps through a self-service portal, developer.amazon.com, and include screenshots and metadata.
Developers keep 70 percent of the revenue, with Amazon getting the other 30 percent. That's in line with the other major app stores.
Developers will be paid once a month, within 30 days of the end of the month.
There's not mechanism for app refunds, other than for installation problems. That's much like Amazon's MP3 store. If you buy it, you buy it.
Amazon will screen apps to make sure they pass basic functionality. They'll test on a multitude of devices, on a the various versions of Android, to make sure it works and isn't malicious.
Apps may be rejected for content; guidelines will be publicly posted.
Amazon's not sure yet how long the app approval process may wake.
When the customer-facing store is launched, you'll be able to purchase phones from the website, or directly from the phone.
Amazon wants its app store to be available on as many phones as possible. Amazon was a little vague on how AT&T's ban on sideloading may affect this, but said "We're working with them to figure out the best way to resolve that."
There's a $99 annual program fee; Amazon's waiving it for the first year.
Given Amazon's size, this obviously is one of the larger competitors to Google's own Android Market. Will it take off? We'll have to see. A couple of major questions that remain are whether it'll be preloaded on phones, and just how easy it will be to install apps. Today's just about the developers. So get to downloading, and let us know how it works out.
We've got more screen shots and a Q&A chock full of questions and answers after the break.
TouchType online, the folks behind the amazing SwiftKey keyboard for Android (check out their development forum here at Android Central), has sent out an email to all their beta test program participants letting them know that open beta sign-up for the SwiftKey VIP program is ending Jan. 18. The SwiftKey VIP program gives access to testing builds of the application, as well as access to the confidential VIP discussion forum at SwiftKey's website. Anyone with software beta-testing experience, or who would like to get started should enroll while they can -- you can do that right here. Word is some great new features are soon to be tested, and you don't want to miss out on a chance to test them.
Joe Braidwood, Chief Marketing Officer at TouchType also reminds everyone that it's not too late to vote in the CES Mobile Apps Showdown, so check that out right here, and make your voice heard.
We've read enough books on the Samsung Galaxy Tab to say that e-reading's a breeze on Android tablets. But that hasn't stopped Amazon from wanting to improve its Kindle app, and today it announced it's working on a new version for Android tablets. Amazon didn't offer up much beyond that, though it's probably safe to say we'll see something along the lines of the iPad version. And that ain't too shabby. [Press release]
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