Headlines

4 years ago

How to cheat at benchmarks (and why we should downplay their importance)

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Benchmarks can be useful, whether we're talking mobile or any other computer hardware.  There is a problem though -- you have to depend on everyone being honest.  Let me explain.  Anytime you see a video or a screenshot of a benchmark score, what you're really seeing is a measure of how the software interacts with the hardware.  There are two big problems with that: No two Android phones run the same software, and there's always some joker who wants to cheat.  recently our pal John from Phone Arena noted some Quadrant scores of a new handset that are just too low compared to the other phones listed.  And good on John for pointing it out.

Sure, benchmarks can be fun, like see how little impact LG's UI has on the Optimus 2X compared to Stock Froyo, and they can be useful if you're running them yourself to gauge some changes you're making to your own software.  But we're over it. We're going to base our judgment of performance based on performance, and not numbers.

It's just too damn easy to cheat at all benchmarks, because they are just Android apps.  Look at all the other magic folks do with Android apps, and ask yourself -- are benchmarks so different that they can't be "hacked"?  The answer is no, and we're going to show you how to hack at the easiest (but definitely not the only) one to manipulate, Quadrant. 

Check it out after the jump.

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4 years ago

Sneak peek at the Seesmic Honeycomb Twitter client

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It was less than two weeks ago that we predicted the major Twitter app developers would soon (but not soon enough) be unleashing Honeycomb apps for Android tablets. Here, friends, is one of the first. We've gotten a sneak peek at Seesmic's upcoming Honeycomb Twitter client and present it to you here.

All in all, we're not overly surprised by the GUI. It's using the fragments that make up a big part of the Honeycomb experience -- basically the ability to bring more information to a larger screen. In the example above, Seemic founder and CEO Loic Le Meur tweeted about the Air France Flight 447 crash. The tweet included a link via ping.fm (which Seesmic bought last year) to the boingboing article, and we see the page loaded in a fragment on the right. And presumably other content will at least be previewed that way, too.

We're not going to read too much more into these screen shots (there's one more after the break) just yet, except to say that this is just the beginning of the Honeycomb Twitter apps, folks, and Seesmic has previously said publicly that we'll get a look at its app next week at Google IO.

More: Take our annual Twitter client poll

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4 years ago

The top Android airline apps

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Whether you're always on the go, or are just an occasional traveler, having the correct application on your device can change the whole experience of the travel. Keeping up to date with real time flight information, maps of the airport, and even weather of the city you are traveling to are features that are found in various airline applications in the Android market. Let's hit the jump to check out some of the various airline applications from around the world.

United States airlinesEuropean airlines | Asian airlines

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4 years ago

Android Quick App: Death Worm

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I don't game often on my EVO, but when I do, I want it to be epic. Sure, there's games like Dungeon Defenders, but sometimes that just doesn't hit the sweet spot. Not enough of that Dune feeling, I suppose.

Fortunately, the aptly-named Death Worm remedies that. With 45 levels, three different types of gameplay, an entire myriad of enemies, and HD support, I feel like I picked a real winner here. Plus, the whole Dune thing helped.

Join me after the break and I'll take you through the finer points of being a gigantic, nigh-unstoppable worm that destroys everything in its path.

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4 years ago

Twitter buys TweetDeck - what's the fate of the Android clients?

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According to reports from Tech Crunch, Twitter has acquired TweetDeck, at a cost of about $50 million.  Congrats go out to the TweetDeck team for the know-how and ability to create such a lucrative piece of work, and we all look forward to your next project.  But after all the back-patting and opening of the bubbly, how will this affect us as Android users?

TweetDeck is a really popular cross platform application, using Adobe Air on the desktop as well as having Android and iOS apps.  It's touted as posting over 1 million tweets per day on Android alone, so a lot of users seem to like it just the way it is.  The native Twitter client for Android, on the other hand, leaves a lot to be desired in many folks eyes.  Will we see a mash-up of the two?  Will one or the other get dropped?  And what about TweetDeck's support for other networks like Google Buzz or Facebook?  There's a lot of what-ifs to be considered, but in the end the question is simple -- will this make TweetDeck for Android better, or worse?  Vote away!

Source: Tech Crunch

 

Will Twitter's aquisition of TweetDeck make it better?customer surveys

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4 years ago

Bump 2.0 update brings speed, layout, and feature improvements

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Bump, the popular contact and content sharing app, recently was updated to version 2.0. The update contains new features such as the ability to send more than one app, picture, or contact card at a time to friends and remembers people you have previously bumped for quicker future sharing. In addition, the update brings a new and improved photo viewer and general speed and design improvements. 

Check out the standard download links past the break or current users can just open the Android Market and go in to Menu > My Apps.

Source: Bump

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4 years ago

Lloyd Launcher Pro theme now available [from the forums]

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Lloyd gets around, and now Android Central member Benny879 has him strutting his stuff in his very own Launcher Pro theme.  Besides the calendar above, the skinnable widgets in this theme include:

  • People
  • Bookmarks
  • Messaging
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Friends
  • Gmail

Rock!  The theme is free in the Android Market, and you'll need a phone running Android 2.0 (Eclair) or higher, running Launcher Pro Plus to use it.  I know a lot of you guys and gals use LP, and everybody loves Lloyd.  It's a no brainer.  A couple more pics, and the download link after the break.

Source: Android Central forumsThanks, ragnarokx!

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4 years ago

PBS Kids brings 'Super Why' to Android

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OK, all you parents out there. Here's another one that's sure to keep the kids occupied for a good three, maybe four minutes. Chances are you've sat through an episode or two of PBS Kids' "Super Why" -- and now it's available on Android. For the uninitiated, "Super Why" is an award-winning children's TV show that teaches reading, spelling and story-telling. PBS describes the app as:

The SUPER WHY App for Android helps children achieve the power to read with four fun SUPER WHY interactive literacy games in addition to a colorful virtual sticker book. Young learners can play along with each of the four main characters from the PBS KIDS series: Alpha Pig, Princess Presto, Wonder Red, and, of course, Super Why, while practicing the alphabet, rhyming, spelling, writing and reading.

The app will cost $2.99 (ask your kids for help -- they probably already know how to buy them), though it's free today on Amazon. Download it at the source link.

Download: Amazon Appstore; Source: PBS

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4 years ago

HBO Go for Android is here; we go hands-on!

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It's been just 10 days since HBO teased that its HBO Go streaming service would be coming to Android -- and today's the day.

It's a simple premise: If you're an HBO subscriber, you sign in (I used my Cox Cable log-in) and have access to movies, series -- all the content HBO has to offer, really -- and it's served up to your Android phone. Hopefully we'll see it on Honeycomb tablets in the near future. But for now, that's not an option.

The user interface is simple enough. Browse programs and watch them. You can dive through the extensive list of movies, series, comedy, sports, documentaries and (of course), late-night.

The streaming quality was pretty good, though you're a bit let down because the preview images on the app are nicer than what you'll actually be watching. It'll work on either 3G or Wifi. And if the buffering drops off, the stream will revert to audio-only while it catches up.

Anyhoo, if you're looking to get your HBO fix while you're on the go, the aptly named HBO will get it done.

We've got video of it in action, as well as download links, after the break.

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4 years ago

Android 2.3.4 and proprietary binaries pushed to AOSP

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Looks like folks with rooted and hacked phones won't have to wait very long to have a crack at the Android 2.3.4 update, as the code and the proprietary binaries (radio and GPU software) have already been pushed to the AOSP source tree.  Googler Jean-Baptiste Queru has sent out word via the Android Building Google group, and I'm sure the wires and tubes are on fire getting things downloaded.  At least they are here at Chez Jeri'.

Look for a pre-built Nexus S version of the Gingerbread update (which will be GRJ22) shortly, and I'm sure builds for other devices will follow quickly -- as will CM nightlies.

Source: Android Building

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4 years ago

Parenting Magazine brings Ages & Stages app to Android

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Attention all parents of youngsters: Android is here to save you from being overrun, a tall order, especially if you've got more than one running around, or will in the future. But Parenting Magazine has launched the Parenting Ages & Stages app, which aims to guide you through the early years. It's broken down into five categories -- pregnancy, first year, second year, the early years and school years. You can customize the app with pictures of your children, the names and ages, so you get a more personal experience in learning whether that thing Timmy swallowed is really harmful.

You can check out the press release after the break, and we've got more pics and download links after the break.

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4 years ago

Android Quick App: Slayer

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If you're a fan of Slayer and have an Android phone, you're in luck. Sony Music has released the Slayer app for Android, and it's really good. And loud. And evil. You'll find everything you ever wanted to know about Slayer at your fingertips, including show information (with a quick link to buy tickets), the full discography, news, weblinks, and a fanwall for commenting and leaving photos. On the multimedia side, you have a well rounded list of tracks that play right from the app, as well as plenty of concert footage in the form of mobile optimized video. 

Besides being a feast for the senses, the Slayer app has some social media functions as well.  Not all death metal fans are anti-social, so the app gives quick ways to share via SMS or Twitter, and is integrated with Foursquare for concert venue check-ins.

Even if you're not a fan of Slayer -- and you really, really should be -- you have to appreciate the polish and thought that went into this one.  It's done very well and would be a very nice format for other apps of this nature to follow.  If you are a fan, the download link and a bunch of screenshots are after the break. 

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4 years ago

Android Quick App: Google Docs native app

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Youtube link for mobile viewing

Now that we've got a proper native Google Docs Android app, it's time to take it for a spin. Here's the thing: It's a native app, all right. But if you're looking for an experience that's far and away better than editing Google Docs on the mobile site, you're going to come away disappointed. It definitely borrows from the mobile side of things.

But that's not to say it's horrible. On the contrary. It's relatively fast (your data connection will affect that, obviously), and the app's pretty intuitive to navigate. And, more important, it lets you search through all of your docs, making for easy reading and editing.

The optical character recognition -- where your phone takes a picture of a piece of paper and turns the text into a Google doc -- works surprisingly well. Our first test was flawless. Our second test -- the one you see in the video above -- didn't go quite as well. Your mileage may vary.

Peep our hands-on video above, and hit up the download link after the break if you're ready to give it a try.

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4 years ago

Viewdle SocialCamera now available, uses facial recognition to automatically tag photos

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The Viewdle SocialCamera, that nifty little facial recognition app we first saw back at CTIA, is now available for download. The concept is really cool and from what we saw back in March, it works like a charm. Simply take a photo with your camera and Viewdle will recognize the faces in the picture and automatically tag them for Facebook, Flickr, MMS, or e-mail.

Viewdle does need to learn the faces you frequently snap, but once you’ve told it who’s who, it delivers on its promise. Check out the demo above and grab the newly released beta version for free directly from Viewdle or in the Android Market. Download links are after the break.

Source: Viewdle

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4 years ago

Defend the castle from invasion with Hero Princess

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Youtube link for mobile viewing

Sometimes a video is just the best way to explain exactly what you can be looking forward to when purchasing a new game. That is exactly the case with Hero Princess, a fast-paced game in which you continually fight off a rather large collection of potential intruders in attempts to keep the castle safe. There are tons and tons of extra powers, and abilities that can be unlocked and used, and the graphics are nothing short of spectacular.

Hero Princess is only available in the Amazon Market currently, so that means most AT&T users, and International users are left out on this one, but if you have the ability to purchase this game, it is 99 cents well spent.

Source: Amazon Market

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