Headlines

2 years ago

Yahoo launches own app search engine, wants to make app discovery better for all

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Yahoo -- you know, that other search engine -- have added a search category for Android applications. The main search results page sees a new tab labelled "Apps" giving users the opportunity to find Android applications attached to any of their search queries. We're not short of ways to search for apps across the interwebs, but seeing such a well run solution from major, mainstream a search engine is definitely a good thing.

The service also covers iOS applications, but has a handy filter to ensure that we don't see those when we're searching. Search results can also be filtered for price and category. When you find an app you like, right from the search results you can head straight to the Android Market to download, send a link for the app to your phone or scan a QR code for the application. You can also quite handily view the Android Market reviews for each application you find without having to go to the Market first which is a nice touch. We also get a "trending now" box, and it too has the iPhone/Android filter choices applied. 

I tried it out by typing in "soccer football scores" and the results were pleasantly surprising. Yahoo's own apps featured pretty prominently towards the top of the results, but it brought up results for ESPN Scorecenter, ScoreMobile, and Sky Sports Football Score Centre to name but a few. 

All in all it's a pretty well designed feature, and while Yahoo may not be the most popular search engine, it does a good job of what it set out to do. Perhaps a bigger point to mention is that it offers a more comprehensive application search solution that Google themselves. Choice is always a good thing, so try it out for yourselves by hitting the source link below. 

Source: Yahoo

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2 years ago

EA bringing The Sims Freeplay to Android this month

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If you're one of the millions of Sims fans around the world this next piece of news might interest you. EA is bringing their hit freemium version of the game, The Sims Freeplay to Android. No exact date as yet, but it will be launching in the Android Market sometime in February. 

In Freeplay, you can control the daily shenanigans of upto 16 different Sims, designing and directing their lives as you see fit. In a break from the norm, Freeplay runs in 24-hour cycles meaning that you will need to check in throughout the day and respond to your Sims needs in real time. The game will also employ an in-app purchase model, but everything can be unlocked free of charge if you're willing to put the time in. 

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2 years ago

A.I.type releases FloatNSplit Tablet Keyboard

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Early last month we told you about A.I.type and their need for beta testers for a new "floating" spilt keyboard.  Fast-forward to today, and the beta product is now finished, and FloatNSplit Tablet Keyboard is now available in the Android Market.  Based on the original A.I.type keyboard and it's amazing prediction engine, FloatNSplit brings a new and unique user interface for tablet users, with a split keyboard that's not only resizable, but with a movable "window" that A.I.type says will change your tablet typing experience.

It's also completely customizable, to adapt to your typing style and needs.  Options include dedicated numeric keys that appear and hide with a finger swipe, a resizing button, and cut/copy/paste/undo/redo functions built into the app itself.  But of course the killer feature is the floating split style.

You can split the tablet version into two semi-transparent halves for easy thumb typing, and they can be dragged separately and positioned anywhere you like on your screen.  A virtual button switches through the three modes (full, split, and floating) to keep the keyboard small and in perfect position for thumb typing with one or both hands.  FloatNSplit currently supports over 30 languages and character layouts, with context-sensitive text prediction and auto-correct available for English, Hebrew, Spanish, German, Italian, Arabic, Russian, French and Dutch. Support for Greek, Turkish, Finnish, Swedish, Korean, Tagalog is said to be coming soon.  

AI FloatNSplit Tablet Keyboard requires Android 2.2 or higher, and sells in the Android Market for $5.99.  Six bucks is a lot to spend on an Android application, but A.I.type is so confident that it's offering its own two-day refund guarantee, so I'm definitely checking it out.  We've got a video, some screenshots, and a download link after the break.

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2 years ago

New Zealand winery uses QR codes and augmented reality app to suggest food pairings

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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?

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2 years ago

App Updates: Chrome to Phone gets new look, bugfixes; Google Docs goes offline

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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.

Download: Chrome to Phone, Google Docs

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2 years ago

Sony Ericsson Bridge for Mac updates to version 2.0, adds OS update support

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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.

Source: Sony Ericsson Product Blog

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2 years ago

Mint Personal Finance app updated with Honeycomb support

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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.

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2 years ago

Super Bowl XLVI app is your guide to the big game

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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.

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2 years ago

Late night poll: Do you make in-app purchases?

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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!

 

Do you make in-app purchases?

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2 years ago

ClockworkMod Touch Recovery now available for $1.99 in ROM Manager, free as flashable download

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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!

Source: +Koushik Dutta.  More: ClockworkMod

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