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.
See here! There's the Bump contact-sharing Android application. And it's just like it sounds: Bump your phone against another with the app, and it shares the info. Oh, and see that iPhone cowering in the corner? It's there for a reason. You can now Bump from one platform to another, which has to be some crime against nature, right? Check it out after the break.
Yes that is a real picture, even though it's blurry as all get out. (Never claimed to be a photographer :P) No, I didn't get a magic OTA from Phil while he was at Google I/O, it's a 2.2 SDK emulator virtual machine ported over to run on the Nexus One. I'm not the only one doing such outlandish things either. It's mostly for the novelty, and now I can say I have FroYo on my Nexus. It crashes (a lot), not much works, and it's a real PITA to do, but for those who feel the need, links, instructions and a couple more pics are after the break.
I'm pretty sure I could probably fly myself home after spending a few minutes with Laminar Research's X-Plane Android flight simulator (this is no mere "app"), which we toyed around with at Google IO. You have seven airplanes -- Piper Malibu, Beach King-Air, Eclipse Jet-500, Piaggio Avanti, Cirrus Vision, Cessna 172 and Columbia 400 -- from which you can choose, and it features custom terrain (no Google Earth here) and even shows where lift is affecting the aircraft. It's not available yet in the Android Market because they're waiting for a few technical issues (with the Market, not their app) to be resolved. But hopefully we'll see this soon. Check it out after the break. Anybody want to navigate for me?
Hot on the heels of the news this week that the Chevy Volt is getting Google Maps support comes our hands-on with the upgraded Android app. You'll remember much of this from our hands-on at CES in January. But new this time around is the ability to locate the Volt anywhere from your phone, feed directions to the car's on-board navigation system from your phone, and otherwise make it the coolest electric-gas (the gasoline engine is only used to power the generator) vehicle we'll likely see this year. Check it out after the break.
Seesmic has been busy lately it seems. Not only did they reveal a preview of their new desktop client but they also have a new beta build of their popular Android Twitter client for Google I/O attendees. Since we have a man on the floor at Google I/O, we get a sneak preview of it too. As you can see from the screen shot, support for Google Buzz is in the works. No word on when it's expected to be released, but you can bet as soon as we know, we're going to share the good news.
The Android Amazon Kindle app: Coming this summer. The Android Amazon Kindle hands-on video: Coming right now, after the break. It's not a bad little app. Download and read ebooks right on your phone, change the font size and background color, and all the usual bells and whistles you'd expect. Check it out.
Blogger and Tech Lead of Mozilla's mobile devices team Stuart Parmenter has slipped out a new pre-alpha build for Android 2.x users. He still warns that it's likely to be very buggy and isn't even close to ready for prime time, but for us curious types he has posted it on his blog here to download and play with.
It's considerably better running and a bit smaller (the download is 9.6 MB, and the install is now 25MB versus 30MB in size) than the last build. I put it through the paces a little bit and found it to be quite a treat, especially knowing that it's still an early development version. And interestingly enough, it outscores the native Android browser on the Acid3 test. If you're feeling adventurous head over to Stuart's blog and give Fennec a spin. [pavlov.net]
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