A Skype PR rep confirmed to SkatterTech today that an Android app is coming to the Android Market, never mind that it's currently exclusive to Verizon. In an e-mail, the rep wrote:
"We will be bringing a direct to consumer app to the Android marketplace later this year. This application will be available for all consumers globally to download regardless of carriers. (i.e. similar to how we offer the iPhone app today)."
None too soon, and it might get even better, as this Skype "consumer app" (as opposed to ...?) may feature video chat -- though the rep backed off that claim, apparently. Either way, it's another reason to avoid last-minute surprise fees from other video chat apps that you thought were going to be free. [SkatterTech] Thanks, Jeremy.
Good news for you folks running Froyo who are sorely missing your favorite paid applications from the new and improved Android Market. A fix has actually been around at XDA Developers for a couple of days, and it's as simple as pushing over a new build.prop file that spoofs the Market into thinking you're running an older version of Android (Eclair really is ancient, ya know?) while keeping your Froyo goodness intact. There's really not too much hackery involved, though you'll likely want to run a nandroid backup first, just in case. And if you somehow have Froyo but still have no idea what we're talking about, better to just leave this one alone. [XDA Developers]
Note: Make sure the file you push back to your phone is, in fact, named build.prop and not something else.
Finally, for those of us waiting patiently for Sirius XM to bring satellite radio to Android, our day has come. The same satellite radio you've come to know and love in your car (it's a life-saver) and on your desktop is now available on your Android phone.
For those of you new to satellite radio, it's a subscription server that has channel after channel of music as well as sports, entertainment, family and heath, comedy, news, pure talk radio, religion -- just about anything and everything you could think of.
The app itself is easy to use and hangs out in your notification tray, so you can access it easily while you're off doing other things. About our only complaint is that it doesn't work in landscape mode, and the app itself is named "Online," which makes it tricky to find in your app drawer at first.
The Sirius XM app itself is free (download the app directly from Sirius here), but the service itself has a monthly fee (there are a number of packages available), though you can try it for 30 days free. More at SiriusXM.com, and more screen shots after the break. Thanks, Jay!
Not sure which one of these we wan to see released more -- the Evo 4G, or Sling Player. Regardless, here they are together. That's right, Sling Player on the Evo 4G. It's still in private beta and said to be "coming soon," so you'll have to make do with this teaser for now. Go ahead and watch it again. It'll last longer. Thanks, George!
Notice anything unusual in this picture? (Besides the obvious, of course -- I didn't do a thing with my hair today.) That's right, the front-facing 1.3MP camera on the Sprint HTC Evo 4G records things backward, at the moment. (Our pal Andrew from Androinica broke the news in a much cooler test.)
As to if and when it'll be fixed, we caught up with HTC, which told us the following: "We are looking into whether this is strictly a software issue, if, and how soon it can be corrected." Let's hope it's sooner rather than later. I'm not getting any prettier up there.
Looks like the Facebook Android app is having a bit of a conniption fit today. Could just be network problems, or maybe it's unhappy that my privacy settings quit grabbing their ankles today. Anybody else having issues? (Thanks, @vizzle07 and @hmdearras)
Along with Android 2.2 comes a new version of the Android Market. While we still wish something could be done in regards to content (the Wild West still is in effect), Google's begun to at least clean up the interface a bit. Comments are now in their own tab -- no more scrolling down to see just one or two.
You also can see here the "Allow automatic updating" checkbox -- hit it and the app will update on its own, in the background. No muss, no fuss.
(Thanks Russ! Find a cool new feature in Froyo and want to tell the world about it? E-mail us here and we'll make you famous!)
Over at LevelUp Studio they have been hard at work in their continued development and support of a highly popular application we have all grown to know and love, Beautiful Widgets. Lately there have been a slew of updates, which we have not covered, and for those that may have missed them, some of them include:
Ability to customize color of widget text
Show four day weather forecast
Hide background / adjust transparency
Download various weather skins
Custom live wallpaper
This custom live wallpaper takes your standard grass live wallpaper and adds a very nice touch, showing current weather conditions as long as you have Beautiful Widgets installed on your device. If you don't have it installed, the wallpaper will still work, except you will only have the sun and moon animations, and it will not adjust to your current weather conditions. If you have the Beautiful Widgets, be sure to check out this latest update, and if you are interested in purchasing, be sure to check it out in the Market.
While the Marketplace continues to grow and it gets harder and harder to weed through all the new applications, we aim to make your experience as smooth as possible. And so, we bring to you another week of applications that we use.
Guest writer Amit Kulkarni, Co-Founder and CEO of Manymoon, took to the Google Code blog recently with a very interesting article that gives four important tips to would-be app developers. While this is geared more to the Google apps space and enterprise solutions, it's also a must read for anyone thinking about developing applications for the Android Market. Google's cloud computing scales down very well to our phones, and potential tie-ins between Google apps and Android applications is still a largely untouched field. Whether you're an app developer, or just curious, take a look to get a little inside view from a very popular developer. [Google code blog]
Sat down (erm, stood up) at Google IO with our pals from Dataviz to take a look at Docs to Go version 3.0. We got a glimpse of it at Mobile World Congress in February, but now it's ready for public consumption, though it won't be available in the Android Market for a few more weeks. And if you're looking for an easy method of syncing your important documents between your computer and phone, this is it. Check it out.
Update: Good news, everybody. Dataviz tells us the update will be free. Quoting: "Documents To Go version 3.0, including the new desktop sync application, will be a free upgrade for all customers who previously purchased our full version. Hopefully that news will make our customers and your readers very happy!" Indeed, it does.
You can get a PDF file viewer anywhere, but we all know that Adobe does it the best, and it just released an official Adobe Reader app [Market link] for Android. First impression is its pure simplicity, and I mean that in a good way. Now, before you get excited – make sure you’re running Éclair, and have at least 550MHz CPU with 256MB of RAM, or else it’s just not going to be a smooth experience.
We've been using Vlingo during its brief beta process, and now you can too, as it's finally in the Android Market. In a nutshell, Vlingo takes the place of Google's built-in voice-to-text service, but it goes even farther (and dare we say, at times works better). In addition to allowing you to dictate just about anything to your heart's content, it also will read incoming text messages and e-mails, which is great for when you're driving. (Though let's hope we get some better voices for that in the near future.)
Vlingo's available now in the Android Market [link] for $9.99. Check out video of it in action after the break.
All our friends across the pond, as well as any expatriates living in our neck of the woods have a new application to check out. Heck, even us yanks could do well with a little English culture added to our lives. The London Evening Standard and Handmark have joined together and now the popular tabloid style London daily paper can be read right from your Android device.
Hit the break for the full press release, as well as a few screenshots. Now if you'll pardon me, it's time for tea here in Appalachia.
Location based services have become very popular, as we all know. Gowalla, one of the more common applications, started as an iPhone application, and since their Android development has began the application has come a long way. Gowalla 2.0 was just released, and let's take a look at it after the break.
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