Headlines

4 years ago

AppBrain's install link brings fast web install to any page

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AppBrain

You might remember last month when we talked about AppBrain's new Fast Web Install, the application that allows you to install applications from the Android Market directly to your phone right from the AppBrain web page. 

That just got waaay cooler.  AppBrain announced it has enabled extensions that allow a new Fast Web install link to be placed on any web page.  When the link is visited from your Android phone, you go directly to the application's Market page, but the real trick happens when you visit from your computer.  Rather that talk about it, have a look.  Visit the link below from your PC's browser.

Download the Android Central Widget

I know we'll be using the heck out of this new service, and I'll bet developers will, too. [AppBrain]

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4 years ago

Netflix employee: 'Good things come to those who wait'

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Netflix

We still don't have Netflix on Android. And we probably won't tomorrow, either. But that doesn't mean the movie rental company isn't hard at work on an Android app. We've been pretty sure they've been spending their summer on it, and a Netflix employee is on Reddit this morning taking some questions. of interest to us is this answer:

I just know we're actively hiring Android devs. I wish I knew more about a timeframe for you. Good things come to those who wait. Netflix is essentially a tech company and with the way Android is blowing up it would be stupid of us to ignore that.

Cliches aside, we couldn't agree more, what with all these 4-inch and higher phones floating around. [Reddit] Thanks, Kevin!

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4 years ago

Facebook confirms battery drain in latest Android build [update: Fix is out!]

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Facebook for Android

Update: Version 1.3.1 is out, and Facebook says it should fix the battery issues. What's everybody seeing?

Original: The bad news: Facebook's recent update for Android indeed is beating the crap out of your battery, as many of you have pointed out in our forums. The good news: They're aware of it, and a fix is in the works. Responding on its official Facebook for Android page, erm, Facebook says:

Hi folks, a number of you have commented on seeing a battery drain on your device since installing the new Facebook for Android app. We have identified the bug that is causing this battery drain and are working on a fix now. As soon as the patch is ready, we will push out an update. Thanks for the quick feedback and for your patience as we get this fixed!

Until then, you might have to uninstall. Hang in there, folks. [Facebook for Android] Thanks, Junior!

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4 years ago

PayPal launches updated PayPal Mobile application

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PayPal

A few months ago we caught wind of the iPhone style "bump" pay method coming to Android, and today it's officially been released. Along with the bump payment, where users can bump devices to transfer the money, the application also includes a new feature called "split the bill." This feature allows users who may be out to dinner with a group of friends or coworkers to calculate everyone's portion of the bill, including tax and tip, and request the money from them right through the application. In addition to these new features the PayPal application will also allow you to check your balance, withdraw funds and set reminders so you don't miss anymore of those pesky monthly bills. Hit the jump for all the download information!

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4 years ago

Popular wallpaper apps deemed safe, Google says

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Bad wallpaper appBad Wallpaper App

The developer of a series of Android wallpaper apps whose work was called into question last week over security concerns has been cleared by Google and is back in the Android Market.

We're only a week removed from the Android security saga that began at the Black Hat conference, and it looks like we have resolution that should put some of your fears at ease. It all started when Kevin MaHaffey, CTO of security firm Lookout, singled out Android wallpaper app developer "jackeey,wallpaper" and called it "a questionable Android mobile wallpaper app that collects your personal data and sends it to a mysterious site in China, (and) has been downloaded millions of times." VentureBeat was there and ran with the story, under the scary headline "Android wallpaper app that takes your data was downloaded by millions."

Later that day, Lookout amended its initial concerns, saying "there is no evidence of malicious behavior," though the data the apps were collected remained "suspicious." VentureBeat updated its story, which by this time was spreading like wildfire.

We contacted the developer, who explained that the data was collected "so I use the these to identify the device, so they can favorite the wallpapers more conveniently, and resume his favorites after system resetting or changing the phone." In other words, to remember user preferences. We published the developer's response in its entirety last Thursday.

That brings us to today. Google stepped in and took a look at things. And it found that indeed the apps weren't malicious or a threat to security, telling Computer World's JR Raphael "The developer's applications have been reviewed and the suspension has been lifted." The Android team did, however, point out to the developer that the method in which it was storing user preferences was unnecessary.

So in the end, this was a case of bad coding, not malicious intent. What can be done about this in the future? It'd be great if there were some sort of system to inspect apps before they hit the Market. Maybe not with walls as high as the app store, but something to check basic security and functionality up front. We're all about the Android Market being open to all. But with Android and the Android Market growing as quickly as they are, caveat emptor may not be the best policy any more. [Venture Beat, Computer World]

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4 years ago

Nimbuzz 2.0 available for Android

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Nimbuzz for AndroidNimbuzz for Android

Nimbuzz just dropped version 2.0 of its popular Android VOIP application, bringing a slew of new features. Here's what's up: 

  • NimbuzzOut will allow you to make cheap international and local calls to mobile phones and landlines over the internet without using your minutes! The new keypad located on the NimbuzzOut screen lets you access your entire phone book so you can make quick calls to anyone outside your Nimbuzz network.
  • A Dialer Tab: call mobile phones and landlines via NimbuzzOut, SkypeOut or any of our SIP partners (Google/Gizmo5, Sipgate, Xeloq, T-Pad, VoIPax, Gulfsip, IPS, Badatel and more)
  • Friend suggestions see which of your phonebook contacts are already using Nimbuzz so you an add them to your network. The more you add the more you save! ; )
  • Facebook connect: more stable connection, improved the security of your Facebook data, and allow you to see the status message of your Facebook friends.
  • New options in the settings, allowing you to choose different layouts, account credentials and profile information.

And best of all, Nimbuzz is still free. Check out video of it in action, plus download links, all after the break. [Nimbuzz]

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4 years ago

Facebook's Android app gets a fairly major overhaul

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Facebook for Android

Android's official Facebook app just got a pretty major upgrade in Version 1.3.0. You'll immediate notice the difference in the user interface, with a photo reel at the bottom that lets you quickly flip through your friends' recent photos and videos. And see that notifications bar at the bottom? Drag it up for the list of recent notifications.  There's also one-tap access to post a status update or search for friends, video playback withing the app using H.264 encoding, support for Facebook events (review, see details, RSVP) within the app, and respond to friend requests.

We can't help but wonder how much of a hand Erick Tseng had in this, given that the former senior Android product manager left Android for Facebook just a few short months ago. Regardless, we're mostly liking what we're seeing. Check out some more screen shots after the break, and let us know what you think in the comments.

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4 years ago

Win a 90-day Thumbplay trial subscription

Thumbplay

Want millions of songs at your fingertips? How about on your Mac or PC, and your Android smartphone? Then it's time to check out Thumbplay, which does that, and more, including iTunes library importing, auto-syncing, a playlist genie, favorites and the ability to listen offline.

Sound good? Well, let's make it even better. We've got 30 free 90-day Thumbplay trials to give away. Full details, a video explainer of Thumbplay and instructions on how to enter are after the break.

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4 years ago

AT&T now has own barcode scanner

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Since you probably already lost faith and jumped the ship with Microsoft's Tag application, and maybe you're still not quite happy with the Barcode Scanner from the ZXing Team -- don't worry, AT&T has thrown its hat in the ring, announcing its own Code Scanner. The scanner will allow AT&T customers to scan 2D (QR and datamatrix codes) and 1D (UPC and EAN) 

In addition to basic scanning, the app has the ability to make your own barcodes. Visiting www.att.com/createacode will ask you to register. Once registered, you can start making those secret barcodes you've always dreamed of (why, however, is another qusetion). Just don't send anything stupid like, "Be sure to drink your Ovaltine." I'm pretty sure your friends would get mad at you.

Finally, AT&T is also offering a business solution for its partners. It will allow buisnesses to "create, manage and measure mobile barcodes campaign experiences for their customers." According to the press release, a recent consumer survey is claiming that 80 percent of respondents are interested in scanning barcodes with their phones. Are you part of this 80 percent? And if so, did you really need another scanner app? Let us know in the comments section. [AT&T]

Another screenshot and download links after the break.

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4 years ago

On-device app promises one-click root for the Motorola Droid, Droid X

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Easy Root for Droid X

We haven't tried this one ourselves just yet, but what you see before you here is an app that purportedly roots the Motorola Droid and Droid X with a single tap, all on the device, no USB sync required. That alone makes it worth the 99 cents you'll shell out for it in the store.  Give it a shot, and sing out in the comments. Download link and barcode after the break. [Unstable Apps] Thanks, Nathan.

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4 years ago

EVO's Froyo update to bring a Flashlight app and other new goodies

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Patience is a virtue. Remember that! With all the Froyo news around the web, it's a little hard to be patient though. But hey - we can't blame you. We can't wait to get our grubby paws on the Evo 4G's new Android 2.2 update. But until Aug. 3, we all need to sit tight.

In the meantime, Engadget scored some screenshots of a few little apps and features that the EVO will be getting next Tuesday. For all of you folks out there who struggle finding the right key in the dark, HTC now has you covered. It looks like the update will bring a new Flashlight app to owners of the phone. Finding that key was never easier. 

In addition, it looks like HTC will allow you sync all of your Facebook events and birthdays to your calendar. Finally, if that wasn't enough, app sharing will also be made available. That is, only if the developer has not made the app copy protected. Remember what your mother said when you were young, "Remember to share Johnny." To view the rest of the screenshots, hit the source link. [Engadget]
 

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4 years ago

Beautiful Widgets gets updated, brings AccuWeather and more

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BW1

Beautiful Widgets, the application that is known for bringing a Sense like style to any device, received a nice update today. The update changed the weather service to AccuWeather, which we hope can be just a little more accurate. The menus of the application also have been updated making the application way easier to navigate. In the past, the menus were not the easiest thing to look through, they now allow users to easily set and change the many features of the application. In addition, one of the other great new features is the unlock animations, which brings some brief animations of the current condition to your homescreen after unlocking the device. If you have not checked the update out, be sure to do so. Market links after the jump.

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4 years ago

Security firm details privacy concerns; developer tells us its side of the story

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Bad wallpaper appBad Wallpaper App

Let's recap: Late Wednesday night (or early Thursday morning), we reported on a story published at Mobile Beat that came out of the Black Hat online security conference. At the conference, Kevin MaHaffey, CTO at mobile security firm Lookout, told of an app from developer "jackeey,wallpaper," which basically is a portal for downloading wallpapers for your Android phone. The story told the tale of "a questionable Android mobile wallpaper app that collects your personal data and sends it to a mysterious site in China, (and) has been downloaded millions of times."

We've been in contact with Lookout -- which reiterates that the apps, while suspect, aren't necessarily malicious. We've also have a response from the developer in question. Updates from both, after the break.

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4 years ago

Android Central Editors' app picks for July 29, 2010

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apps

Applications -- they make the world go 'round. OK, maybe not exactly, but there sure are a ton of great ones in the Android Market, and finding the right one can be a bit difficult. Take a look after the jump, as we bring you another edition of our weekly selections.

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4 years ago

Another rogue app stealing data, security firm reports [updated]

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Bad wallpaper appBad Wallpaper App

Update 2: We've heard back from the developer of these apps, who tells us the following:

"What the ceo [sic] of Lookout said  makes no sense. I will email you with details later."

We await the details. In the meantime, be aware that the developer listed on the suspect wallpaper apps has been changed to callmejack. We're still diving into this one. But for the time being, we recommend not installing these apps.

Original: Before we start, grab your phone and your computer and hit this link: Android apps by jakeey, wallpaper.  If you have any of these applications on your Android phone, uninstall them.

We'll wait.

Now you ask why did we recommend (nay, demand!) you uninstall any of those apps?  Lookout says that one or more of these apps are stealing your data and sending it to an unknown person or persons in China.  Yup, innocent looking wallpaper apps.  According to Lookout, the app(s) in question are collecting:

  • browsing history
  • text messages
  • your SIM card data
  • subscriber ID
  • voicemail password (if it's set to be entered automatically)

Look for Google to pull these soon, as they potentially affect at least 1.1 million users, but for now remember to read what an app can do when you install it. That's that screen you ignore every time you install an app. The one that tells you what system permissions the app has access to. If, say, a calculator wants to see your contacts list, think twice.

It's worth reminding that Android is the only OS that gives you these sort of warnings. And before any Apple fanatics get too cocky, at least these apps aren't stealing money from your Google checkout account.  We're keeping a close eye on this one, you'll hear more as it unfolds.  [Mobile Beat via 9 to 5 Mac]

Update: Lookout got back to us during the overnight to clarify a few things as reported in the Mobile Beat story. They're not going quite so far as to call the app "malicious," but questions remain. Read Lookout's e-mail to us after the break. We've e-mailed the apps' developer for further explanation.

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