Before we dig into the meat of the topic, let me paint you a picture of the recent experience that led to my conclusions…
I’m a huge Firefly fan. For those of you unfamiliar with the series, Joss Whedon set up a universe wherein we’d used up all Earth’s resources and had to find a new home. That home turned out to be a new solar system with many “central planets” that were “civilized”, and rugged moons and planets further out which resembled the “Wild West”. After the series was cancelled a big-budget motion picture was [...]
How would you feel if your local bread store had to stop accepting deliveries of fresh loafs because a larger bread store across town had registered the name “bread store” as a trademark? Sounds absurd, doesn’t it?
That’s exactly the scenario that’s playing out in Germany between Apple’s “App Store” and Amazon’s “Appstore”.
Amazon has been sending out emails to its German app developers telling them why new apps aren’t being allowed through their Developer Portal:
Subject: Important Notice for [...]
There are lots of things to like about the third iteration of HTC Sense UI. One of my favorite features is the elegant and functional lock-screen that lets you not only unlock your device, but quick-launch an app at the same time.
While the functionality of Agile Lock isn’t exactly the same, the appearance and ability to quick-launch apps from your lock-screen is there. To unlock the phone you drag the “lock circle” upwards. To unlock and launch an app, drag the desired icon into the “lock circle” to unlock your smartphone and launch the app. [...]
Have you ever considered buying an app, but hesitated because you didn’t know how popular it was? It looks like Google is attempting to answer that question with their latest addition to the Android Market: Installation Histories.
For apps that had been installed over 1,000 times you can now see the last 30-day’s of installations on the web-version of the Android Market. While this may not be particularly practical, it is something that could prompt an impulse-buy. Conversely, a chart that shows an app is trending might hurt sales.
What do you think? Will you [...]
It wasn’t long ago that Google announced they would be getting into the Home Automation scene with Android @ Home. Although it’s only been a few months since that announcement, we haven’t seen many (any?) Google @ Home devices or systems come to market (if you know of some, please let us know in the comments!).
If you can’t wait to be able to control your home from your Android-powered smartphone, you’re in luck! There are a few (non-Google)solutions available today!
QW Home Automation
QW Home Automation is a automation solution that [...]
Dolphin Browser is one of our favorite alternate web browsers for the Android platform. But this article isn’t about the app itself, this article is about the company behind the browser.
First off, Dolphin’s developers involve their users in public betas, allowing end-users to test the product before release, and then incorporate those changes into the final release. Of course, this means tight communication with those users, and Dolphin’s developers choose to do that by email — which is what got them into trouble.
Thanks to Sony’s many, [...]
Google generally does a good job integrating their services into their products — no small feat considering the number of services they have. Google+ is El Goog’s latest offering, even though it’s only in a closed beta, they’re wasting no time tying it in to Android.
If you have an Android-powered smartphone, a Google+ account, and friends in your circles and your contacts list, you very well have some new information in a previously unseen field or two. A Google Profile link may be present as well as a Google+ link.
Though subtle, seeing Google [...]
My kids have Nintendo DS’s so they can play their Pokemon games. I rarely see them playing any other titles. That’s often the case with portable gaming platforms: once the novelty of one game franchise has worn off, there isn’t any further need for that platform.
The people behind the Pokemon franchise apparently are trying to break away from their Nintendo-centric gaming platform, and are breaking into the smartphone arena. According to a translated article, Pokemon.co.jp is forecasting the release of a “card-based” Pokemon game for Android 2.1+ [...]
If you write an app, you can either distribute it yourself, or you can have it listed in an app store. This is similar to the way a manufacturer of a physical product sells their goods — it’s unlikely that a manufacturer will sell the item themselves, they’ll look for resellers who can market and fulfill the sale and delivery of the product.
In much the same way, apps are marketed, delivered, and updated through the “app store” metaphor. Of course, stores don’t do this out of the goodness of their hearts, they’re out to make a buck. How [...]
The Opera desktop web browser just got an update, and its mobile brother did too!
Thanks to an eagle-eyed pocketnow.com reader we got a leg-up on the new features, which include:
– A new interface looks better on your device and gives Opera Mobile a sleek, modern browser appearance – Pinch zoom and smooth panning let you surf in a natural and intuitive way – Synchronize bookmarks, Speed Dial and more with your computer or other mobile devices via Opera Link – Twitter and Facebook support is built in so you can easily share Web content with [...]
Going back to the beginning of time, humans have always banded together in social groups or “circles”. These social circles include families, friends, neighbors, coworkers, and people who share similar interests.
Recreating this type of social grouping online has proven to be somewhat of a challenge. Generally speaking, sharing information with others in your circle has been somewhat of a shotgun approach wherein you either share all your information with everyone, or no information at all.
Twitter has tried to enable a sort of filtering using their [...]
Last week we told you that T-Mobile was blocking Google’s voice and video chat on their 3G/4G network — but only smartphones, tablets were getting preferential treatment.
Now, according to a Phandroid article, Nexus S users are reporting that Google’s voice and video chat is no longer restricted to Wi-Fi, and is flowing again over T-mobile’s cellular network. We assume the correspondence with with today’s formal announcement of myTouch 4G Slide, which features a front-facing camera for “T-Mobile Video Chat powered by Qik”, is not [...]
Some of today’s best apps do nothing more than present information. While that may be a bit overly broad, eBooks and reference apps make up a good deal of the apps you’ll find in the Android Market.
For many, app writing is a bit beyond their technical capabilities — or they simply don’t have time to write apps. Others are more skilled at creating content than apps. For both types there is now a solution that will let you create an Android app simply by filling in a few blanks and supplying a valid RSS feed. (Yes, that means you can make an app for your [...]
I’ve been a fan of CoPilot Live for quite some time and have used their apps for laptops, Windows Mobile, and Android devices. What sets CoPilot Live apart from most other GPS navigation apps is their ability to function without a data connection — or even a data plan. They do this by installing a “map pack” on your sdcard, which their app uses rather than downloading map information over the Internet.
Earlier today ALK announced that they are putting the final touches on a major update to their mobile navigation apps for Android, iPhone, and iPad [...]
Some of my favorite pocketnow readers are very outspoken when it comes to benchmarking utilities. Benchmarking, if you don’t know, is the process of measuring one item against another, or against a pre-determined point of reference. In the case of benchmarking applications, a series of tests are run and the outputs are measured. These measurements are then tallied and a score is derived. This score, in theory, can be used as a point of comparison between dissimilar hardware to determine relative speed.
That’s an oversimplification, but I hope you get the point. A [...]
It seems like not so long ago that we were telling you about the fifth version of Dolphin Browser for Android leaving beta. Now the next version is available (in beta form) from the Android Market.
New in version six is what’s being called “Webzine” that the developer promises will change the way you browse the mobile web.
Other than the weird Comic Sans style font, the new webzine concept looks very interesting. But I’m more interested in what think. Do you like the new webzine feature? How about that font? What do you think browser manufacturers [...]
The most coveted aspects of HTC‘s Sense UI are their animated widgets — specifically their flip clock, complete with smooth animations. Others (including LevelUp Studio) have attempted to replicate the look of the trademark flip clock, but to the best of my knowledge, all have fallen short of replicating the animation.
Peppernut Studios has been quietly working on fixing this and have recently released their Animating Flip Clock Widget. True to it’s name, this widget uses your smartphone’s clock and time settings to reflect the current time in a 4×1 [...]
Earlier today, Android developers were sent an email indicating the Google Checkout portion of the Android Market would be unavailable between 4pm and 5pm PDT due to “planned system maintenance”.
Planned system maintenance isn’t unusual. Planned maintenance during business hours is a bit out of the ordinary. When you add in the fact that developers only got a few hour’s notice, that’s where things begin to get a bit worrisome.
Visitors to the web version of the Android Market are being met with a notification bar, complete with yellow [...]
The Android 2.3 Gingerbread update was a bittersweet for owners of the Motorola Droid X and customers of Netflix. The phone’s update to the latest version of Android broke compatibility with the Netflix app. Some were able to “unofficially work around” this problem, but it took an update to the official Netflix app to bring full support back to the Droid X.
The Droid X now enters an elite group of Gingerbread phones that are officially supported by Netflix — Google’s Nexus family being the only others with “official” Gingerbread [...]
Best Wishes is an Android app that downloads your Facebook friends, along with their birthdays, to your phone. Once the data is in the app your smartphone can send your friends a pre-written note on their birthday. The concept is pretty simple, but the positive impression you can have on your friends could be profound!
In addition to automatically sending your best wishes, the app comes with a desktop widget so you can see upcoming birthdays, too.
The app comes in two flavors: free, and paid. The free version sends generic birthday wishes, the paid version allows you to [...]
If you’re like me, you’ve got way too many apps installed on your Android-powered smartphone. Although it’s relatively easy to uninstall an app, it’s a bit more time consuming and has far more steps than should be necessary. Multiply that by a few dozen apps and it’s a pretty powerful disincentive for even the most organized among us!
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could bulk-remove all the apps that you never use anymore? That’s exactly what one developer thought, and he did something about it!
Silent App Uninstaller displays a list [...]
The Android Gallery is the app that most Android-powered smartphones use to display photos and videos. Unfortunately it also picks up other folders that contain images — not necessarily photos. For example, I use LauncherPro as my launcher app, which allows me to set a custom background image behind the dock. These images show up in my Gallery alongside pictures of my family and friends. It’s not a problem, it’s just annoying to have to sort through all those non-photo images every time I’m looking for a picture.
To remedy the situation you can place a [...]
SwiftKey X Beta is a replacement soft-keyboard for your Android-powered smartphone. It’s got a few bells and whistles over traditional input methods, but in the end, it’s still a keyboard. That is, until you look at its real power.
SwiftKey X figures that your writing style is pretty much the same and can use what you’ve written in the past as a predictive method in the future. Sounds fair enough, right? But where can SwiftKey X get information about what you’ve written in the past? Sure, you could use it for a few weeks and it could “learn” [...]