Netflix just got itself a little update in the Android Market. First and foremost, new phones are officially supported, with the LG Revolution, Motorola Droid and Casio G'zOne Commando getting access. That brings the total number of supported devices eight, including the Droid Incredible, Nexus One, EVO 4G, T-Mobile G2 and Samsung Nexus S.
There also are a few bugfixes, including:
Fixed application failure on startup when phone's embedded storage space is almost full.
Removed check that prevented attempt to playback on unsupported devices.
And we've noticed that the volume's not as low as it used to be, so that's nice, too. If you've got one of the supported phones, get your download on in the Android Market. We've got links after the break.
Although it's not the Android 3.1 update that is set to arrive in June, Acer Iconia Tab A500 owners are now reporting that a system update weighing in around 38MB is now starting to appear. As reported in the Android Central forums -- the update will bring your device up to system software version 1.141.07 and appears to be mostly bugfixes but a changelog is not yet available. Some of the fixes users have been reporting:
Daylight savings time fixes
Calendar appointment fixes
Fixes the screen wake/sleep issue
Adobe Flash Player 10.2
Improved Wi-Fi signal
Improved GPS signal
Corporate Exchange email support
One thing to keep in mind is that of you are currently rooted -- you may not see this update available as of yet. Returning to stock should help with making the update arrive, and you can re-root again using Gingerbreak. Did your device get the update? If so, jump into the forums and let us know what changes you've spotted.
Fans of the IZOD IndyCar series can now feel safe leaving their couch during any of this summer’s races: Verizon has released the IndyCar Mobile app for its customers, available now for free in the Android Market. The app features a live audio feed, timing and scores during all races, as well as a detailed database of driver bios, stats, videos and tweets. You’ll also never miss a race (though we know you never have) with full event schedules right on your smartphone or tablet. So while you’re preparing yourselves for Sunday’s Indy 500, text INDY to 3406 to grab your Verizon-exclusive download, or hit the break for the Android Market link.
Google today officially announced Google Wallet and Google offers: The search giant's foray into mobile payments. Teaming up with MasterCard, Sprint and Citi -- and using MasterCard's PayPass system -- Google Wallet is being put into beta mode starting in San Francisco and is scheduled for full launch later this summer.
The concept is pretty much how it sounds -- turning your NFC-enabled smartphone into your wallet. Credit cards use several layers of encryption, and you'll basically tap to pay using MasterCard's PayPass system.
Google debuted its Wallet services on the Sprint Nexus S 4G (the Nexus S is still the only smartphone in the United States with NFC). Launch the app, and it asks to connect to your account. Then you'll have to enter a PIN. You'll then enter your card information, again, a Citi MasterCard, for now. Note that this is different than merely storing your credit card information on the phone -- it's provisioned through a third party.
Don't have a Citi MasterCard? And don't want one? Google's also including a prepaid card that will let you add funds from other credit cards. But that's not to say you won't be adding other companies' cards in the future -- Google Wallet is an open platform.
More on security: If the phone's screen is turned off, NFC is turned off. And NFC also is inactive until the Google Wallet App is launched. It's got a tamper sensor as well, and will withstand laser attacks. Really. Google said so.
Google also announced Google offers -- deals done through Google, naturally.
Today, Samsung Mobile announced the grand prize winner of their "Kick it with the Band" contest, which challenged Sidekick 4G owners to promote their music using nothing but their phone via social networks.
The winner was chosen by vote, and after everything was tallied, the T-Mobile Sidekick 4G Champion artist is 18-year-old Jake Miller, from Weston, FL. As a result of his victory, Jake scored some marketing budgets as well as being invited to participate in some music videos that will be posted on Facebook.
Each phone has its advantages, it's just a matter of personal preference for which one you choose. The Xperia Play is the first "Playstation-certified" device and will be extremely robust for gaming. Oh, and Minecraft will be available exclusively for the Play for a limited time.
The Droid X2 is an incremental improvement over the original. The dual-core processor inside will make it incredibly snappy and the lack of LTE means good battery life.
The Revolution stands as the only 4G LTE device launched today, and that means you’ll be paying a bit more for the phone as it can be had for $249 with a 2-year contract. It is also the first phone to come preloaded with Netflix, an app that I'm sure many don't mind to come with the device.
The Xperia Play and Droid X2 can both be bought for the standard $199.
Verizon's Android lineup got a lot juicier today. What's everyone picking up?
The Wall Street Journal Android app is heavy on news — as long as you're a member of the club
Fans of the Wall Street Journal -- WSJ is what the kids call it these days -- take note: an Android app is finally here. And with it you can get all of the stories, video, photos, podcasts and stocks info you've come to rely on in more traditional (ie: old) formats like computers and that ancient newspaper thing.
And the WSJ app is a pretty darn good one. It's easy to navigate, with the sections clearly labeled. Stories are easy to read, though we'd prefer to see some spacing between paragraphs. (Yeah, we're picky about our formatting.) And photos are vibrant, with easy-to-read captions.
One catch: If you're not a WSJ subscriber, you might as well go elsewhere. You're basically dead in the water if you're not logged in, and even then there's a mountain of content you still can't access without some higher-level subscription -- and possibly a secret handshake.
So that's that. A nice news app from a great news organization -- just make sure you're a subscriber. The app itself is free; download links are after the break.
Good news for those of you in Europe with Sony Ericsson's Xperia Play and Xperia Arc -- an Android 2.3.3 update has started to roll out. The list of improvements, in handy bullet form, includes:
General software stability
HD Video recording performance (Xperia arc)
All that, plus Sony Ericsson's "Facebook Inside Xperia" feature. (More on that after the break.) Remember that this update is for the non-U.S. version of the Xperia Play (which just launched today on Verizon).
Today mSpot released the latest in their suite of products, mSpot Radio Spotter. mSpot Radio Spotter is a free part of the mSpot music app and broadens your access to not only your own music stored in the cloud, but also streaming radio finely tuned to your listening habits.
What helps to set mSpot apart from the other music solutions out in the Market is that mSpot combines a full cloud storage locker with a personalized radio station or stations that match the style or genre or whatever song you're listening to or the kinds of music you listen to most often.
The mSpot Radio Spotter Discovery Feature is easy to use, as you just click the radio icon when you're listening to a song, and mSpot will populate a list of songs similar in taste to what you're listening to. mSpot has also partnered with more than 80 commercial-free online radio stations and live, local radio stations to stream their content to you from the 'Radio' section of the app.
mSpot Radio will also generate a list of suggested stations for your use based on what you listen to the most from your cloud storage locker, so the more you use the cloud service, the more fine-tuned your suggestions are.
This is a pretty big step forward in uniting cloud storage and streaming radio into a single entity, and it works rather well. Now, we can only wait to see if any other products come up to challenge.
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