If your smartphone is running Android 2.2 Froyo or above and you’d like to get a taste of what the keyboard that will be coming in Ice Cream Sandwich is like, you’re in luck!
Using this app, anyone can try they keyboard out — no root or custom ROM is required. Simply download and install the app, enable the keyboard in Language and keyboard settings, then select it as your Input Method.
When I tried it out, I noticed that it’s smaller than the multi-touch keyboard on the Droid RAZR but was every bit as usable. It even seemed a little [...]
Since the beginning, the biggest drawback to Google’s Android OS was the lack of a full-featured music app. The old player would play music, but that was just about it.
The iPhone’s music player evolved from the iPod — the industry leader in portable music players — so it’s no surprise that the music experience on iOS was better than that on Android. iOS also has iTunes, a complete experience for obtaining, organizing, and synchronizing your music library with your phone. Android didn’t have anything remotely similar.
Google’s new [...]
Earlier today we learned about Google Music and all the cool new features it will be bringing to not only listeners, but artists as well.
Equally as interesting was the fact that T-Mobile is one of their launch partners — again. As you may recall, back in 2008 T-Mobile was Google’s partner with the G1, the first Android-powered smartphone. Now they’re teaming up to allow purchases of tracks and albums billed directly to your T-Mobile bill.
According to one sharp-eyed pocketnow reader, the demo was performed on a Galaxy Nexus.
Disappointingly, no [...]
When I was a kid, the coolest gaming console around was the Nintendo Entertainment System. One of its cooler accessories was the “Light Gun” — a pistol-shaped controller that would detect squares of light on the screen to register “hits” or misses.
There were two especially sweet games that you could play with your Light Gun: Hogan’s Alley and Duck Hunt.
Now that I’ve grown up and moved on to Android, one of those games from my childhood has come to my smartphone!
Duck Hunt is an unofficial port of Nintendo’s game, [...]
The Centers for Desease Control and Prevention says that one out of three adults in the USA is fat. I have to admit, I’ve got more than a few pounds I wouldn’t miss. Since I’m a geek, how can I use my Android-powered smartphone to help me shed those pounds — and keep them off?
There are really three factors to why a person weighs what they do: caloric intake, calories burned, and genetics.
You may not know it, but a “calorie” is a unit of energy, specifically it’s an amount of heat equal to 4.1840 joules. Given that context, the [...]
If you’ve rooted your Android-powered phone and installed a nightly build of the CyanogenMod custom ROM, you probably have run into problems with the Netflix app at some point in time.
The problem had to do with Netflix’ paranoia around securing their digitally delivered content, and only allowing playback on certain “approved” devices. Whenever Netflix pushed an update to their app it would usually stop working properly on phones running CyanogenMod ROMs.
CyanogenMod developers, being the skilled people they are, would come up with an update [...]
Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. Over here in the States, we dress our children up in costumes, then send them around the neighborhood, knocking on doors to receive candy. At the same time we, as parents, usually stay home to hand out candy to others as they come knocking at our door.
As the night grows on and the kids haven’t made their way home, it might cause some anxiety to build up, not knowing where the kids are.
If you kid has an Android-powered smartphone and this new app, you might be able to get by with a little less anxiety this [...]
We’ve told you in previous articles how bits of Android Ice Cream Sandwich have leaked. Here’s another!
Thanks to the creative folks over at XDA-Developers, you can now install the Android Market (Vending.apk) from Ice Cream Sandwich, on your smartphone running Froyo or Gingerbread!
Other than a slightly more “Honeycomb-like” user interface, a few bug fixes, and speed improvements, there’s not much to be seen.
Now for the bad news: – To install the .apk, since it’s a system file, you have to either to a lot of leg-work; [...]
Near the end of 2010 we started seeing smartphones without notification LEDs. While it seemed insignificant at the time, there’s something to be said for being able to tell what notifications you have just by glancing at the device, without turning the screen on.
To remedy the lack of this basic feature we told you about a developer who wrote an app to take advantage of another feature of those notification-LED-less phones — their SuperAMOLED screens, which consume almost no power when displaying “black” pixels. This developer built his app to float [...]
The Android Market is no stranger to controversial apps. This time around it’s an app that attempts to convey the story of how your smartphone came into being — which may not be a pretty story.
From the Market Description: Phone Story is an educational game about the hidden social costs of smartphone manufacturing. Follow your phone’s journey from the Coltan mines of the Congo to the electronic waste dumps in Pakistan through four colorful mini-games. Compete with market forces in an endless spiral of technological obsolescence. You can keep Phone Story in [...]
When the Internet was invented (no, not by Al Gore), unlike traditional data networks which sent data as a contiguous stream, a packet-based delivery system was implemented. Your data, just like an order from Amazon.com, is split into lots of packages, called “packets”. These packets are then sent via the fastest route from the source to the destination.
Depending on what technology is being used, those packets might be very small, or relatively large, but they’re still just a bunch of puzzle pieces that get put back together and turned into anything from a [...]
Samsung Pure Breeze Launcher is a cool launcher replacement app that tries to organize your apps into groups, helping to prevent app-overload. You might be tempted to think that this is a new launcher coming to Android-powered phones built by Samsung (I did), but that may not be the case.
The “Samsung” that makes this app is “Samsung San Jose Mobile Labs”, and they are distinct and separate from the “Samsung” that makes your cellphone — it says so in the several page EULA that you have to read and agree to before you can start using the [...]
Wave Launcher for Android is a launcher-style app, though it’s not a true launcher. This is an app that essentially sits on top of your screen, waiting for you to call it up, then lets you quickly launch any one of 5 apps, widgets, and/or folders. It’s quick, it’s smooth, it can be called up from any screen (not just your homescreen!).
Watch the video, take a look, and let us know what you think in the comments below!Wave Launcher for Android on AppBrain
Download from the Android Market
Last week I wrote about how I didn’t particularly like the new Android Market and how to get the old Android Market back. One of the reasons I gave was Google’s choice to disable playback of movies on rooted devices, which makes one of the three content types inapplicable to my phones.
Google, we assume, enacted their root and tamper checks at the direction of the movie studios, who seem to be “afraid” of streaming their content to customers. Ironically, studios don’t seem to care if a laptop or desktop OS has “root” permissions (which [...]
The new Android Market app is something you either love, or you hate. I’m leaning toward the latter. I mean, sure, it looks cool, but I’m not able to “rent” movies on my smartphone because I’m rooted, so those are just taking up space (besides, I have Netflix). For books I prefer Nook, so those are taking up even more space.
The new Market seems to be “out of date”. I’ll see an app that says it needs updating, but when I go to update it I’m only given the options to “open” and “uninstall”. Today I was [...]
Before we dig into the meat of this article, let’s lay a little groundwork.
Google is the driving force behind the Android operating system. Google has an application that lets you find, download, and install apps on Android-powered smartphones, tablets, and soon televisions (this is called the “Android Market”, for those who were wondering).
An app store isn’t useful if it doesn’t have any apps in it. Apps are written by developers. Developers need direction and assistance from time to time, not just writing apps, but publishing them into [...]
Being in the industry that I’m in makes me more aware of what can be done using technology than others who simply use the technology. To keep myself protected I’ve had some sort of a screen-lock on my computers, laptops, and smartphones as long as I can remember. True, some have called me paranoid, but it’s a label I welcome.
Those screens used to be unlocked by tapping in cumbersome passwords using a stylus, followed by PIN codes. Luckily with Android, we now have pattern unlockers that are significantly faster to unlock, but are still inconvenient.
If Google Maps is your preferred GPS solution you’ll be pretty happy with the latest update (5.9).
This update allows you to personalize your “place pages” by uploading pictures from your visit, manage your starred and recently visited Places in the “My Places” tab, see descriptive terms for Places in search results and Places pages, and add a new place to Places when checking in.
Also, if you use mass transit (and are in a locale that Google supports) you can now set up custom notifications for transit navigation. If you’re a tablet [...]
Plants vs. Zombies is one of my son’s favorite games. He was very excited when it finally came to the Android platform, but wasn’t enthused to find out he had to get if from the Amazon Appstore — not Google’s Android Market.
Recently that changed! Or has it?
Plants vs. Zombies is now on the Android Market — but, even though it has similar (identical?) artwork, it’s not the original version of the game. It’s a Chinese knockoff — with a tempting price: free.
The real Plants vs. Zombies is distributed exclusively through [...]
Those of you following the evolution of web browsers already know about the desktop version of Firefox hitting the 6.0 milestone — ahead of schedule — last week. Today, some of the same goodness that’s packaged inside the desktop version is available in the updated version for Android-powered smartphones and tablets.
Firefox version 6.0 includes the following upgrades and enhancements: 1. Higher-quality image rendering and smoother zooming 2. First wave of optimizations for tablets and large-screen devices 3. Improved interaction with touch-optimized [...]
One of our developer friends pointed us in the direction of what appears to be a growing problem with Google’s Android Market.
What this developer saw was a drastic decrease in ratings for his company’s apps. While it’s not uncommon for ratings to lag behind in the developer’s console, it is quite unusual for the opposite to happen.
While missing ratings and reviews may not be considered mission critical, users do use them as a measure of an app’s value. Our friend wasn’t alone. Many, many others have reported the same problem as [...]
I’m really into technology. In addition to being pocketnow.com’s Android Guy, I’m also into what some call “green tech, including high-tech cars. I drive a Prius — not to save the planet, but because it’s technologically advanced and gets great mileage. I’m also impressed with the Chevy Volt And Nissan Leaf. But what does any of that have to do with smartphones?
The Volt has an Android app that let’s you start your car, lock or unlock the doors, and even check on the battery state-of-charge. Pretty cool, but that’s old [...]
I’m a fan of CoPilot Live, but recently had an experience that soured my opinion of the company. I’m what some call a “power user”, and as such I do a lot of stuff with my smartphones that “normal” people don’t do. This time around, however, it was power-users like me that helped identify an underlying problem that “normal” people would likely run into — eventually.
Here’s what happened. I flashed a new nightly build of CyanogenMod ROM and performed a full wipe (which I like to do every few months to keep things [...]