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Google unveils Android 3.1

Posted in Android by Conner Flynn on May 10th, 2011

Google has now unveiled Android 3.1 at Google I/O 2011. This update offers more advanced multitasking that shows all recent tasks, even if they have been shut down to save memory and the USB host device is also new, so Android devices can now import photos from a camera, use a gamepad, etc.

Some other new features include: Widgets that are resizable and can use XML code as well as finger dragging to expand windows. So with Gmail you can check more e-mail even from the home screen now.

Facebook and Video Chat Apps Coming to BlackBerry PlayBook

Posted in Facebook by Conner Flynn on May 2nd, 2011

Playbook users have some new toys to play with. Rim has officially announced that a dedicated Facebook app for the BlackBerry Playbook is on the way. The app has been optimized for the PlayBook’s 7″ display and will let users view and add friends using the grid view of profile pictures. You can also view profiles with photos and videos, Facebook chat, view and interact with the news feeds, and of course tell the world about your Likes and Comments.

You can also upload photos directly from the PlayBook to Facebook. Book to Book as it were. It sounds like one of the best Facebook app choices available yet. BlackBerry has also announced a Video Chat for the BlackBerry Playbook app, with support for One-Click Video and Voice over WiFi Calls, Incoming Call Notifications, a picture in picture function and a friends list. Both apps will be available tomorrow May 3rd as an over-the-air update. They sound great.

NOOK Color 1.2 update delivers E-Mail, Flash Support and 125 Apps

Posted in ebooks by Conner Flynn on April 25th, 2011

The NOOK Color’s software was finally been updated with a bunch of new and useful features, thanks to the 1.2 update. The 1.2 update gives the NOOK Color much more potential to become a full-fledged honest to goodness tablet. The update includes a fully functioning email client, support for Adobe Flash player and Adobe Air, and you can also purchase apps.

The Nook color is sounding pretty right about now huh? There are already 125 apps, like Epicurious, Angry Birds and Pulse to name a few. The underlying Android OS has been updated to Android 2.2 (Froyo) and you can expect several system improvements, including better browser performance.

Android Market to hit Google TV sets in March or April?

Posted in Google by Conner Flynn on January 22nd, 2011

While Google TV has had it share of challenges, Google isn’t giving up. They are moving forward on the platform in a big way if rumors are accurate. Now rumor has it that Google is adding a filtration system into the Android Market that will prevent users of non-touchscreen devices from viewing apps that require a touchscreen.

That would be very useful if the Android Market arrives on Google TV, since you wouldn’t want to sort through apps that don’t work on your device. The rumor is that Android Market for Google TV is expected to arrive very soon. In March or April specifically.

Apple’s App Store likely to pass 500,000 apps in 2011

Posted in Apple by Conner Flynn on December 30th, 2010

There’s an app for everything, or so it seems. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Apple has a high chance of passing the 500,000 app milestone for the App Store in 2011, based on current data. They have already unofficially passed 325,000 active titles as of December 26, with the App Store seeing about 25,421 apps submitted per month.

That means that if every app were approved, Apple could exceed the half-million point in just seven months or so. Of course what with app rejections, titles voluntarily pulled from the store etc, it might take a bit longer. Whenever it actually hits, it is quite a milestone.

onLive gets into streaming apps

Posted in News by Conner Flynn on December 7th, 2010

OnLive has expanded its scope beyond gaming with plans to stream regular apps and websites to other devices. The company is targeting it at mobile users and showed apps and features running through the OnLive Viewer iPad client (free in the App Store) that wouldn’t have been possible otherwise. Users could Internet Explorer with Flash on Apple’s tablet, or even a high-end professional rendering app like Autodesk’s Maya.

The support would also extend to Android through a beta for the Samsung Galaxy Tab, and on all platforms it would support spectating on someone else’s session. However, collaborative editing isn’t possible with the current version, even though it hasn’t been ruled out.

Web browsing and Last.fm coming to new Apple TV via hack

Posted in Apple TV by Conner Flynn on November 18th, 2010

The new Apple TV is pretty disappointing since it is so limited. It sits collecting dust like many Wiis do. So if Apple doesn’t decide to release Apps for it in the near future, jailbreakers certainly will. In fact, some hackers have managed to get a web browser running on the new Apple TV and also added Last.fm integration.

The latest apps were created by the folks over at Firecore, and they will be releasing a package for Apple TV called aTV Flash. A beta of the package should be released within the next couple of weeks.

Samsung offering free games and apps to new Wave owners

Posted in Samsung by Conner Flynn on October 26th, 2010

If you own a Samsung Wave 525, 533, 575 or 723, we have some good news. The company has announced several free apps and games for the phones. They include FIFA 10, Tetris Refresh, Spore Creatures, Assassin’s Creed II, DioDict French/English dictionary, and Princess Magic Therapy ebook.

It won’t last forever though, so you better hurry. FIFA 10, Tetris Refresh and Spore Creatures will be free for the first 250,000 downloads while Assassin’s Creed will be available for 300,000 downloads and the remaining apps will be available for a limited time only.

iPhone apps save UK government millions

Posted in News by Conner Flynn on September 8th, 2010

The UK take their apps seriously. The government is reportedly saving millions of Pounds (about $350 million US dollars) just by developing iGovernment apps that help citizens. The Local Government Association (LGA) implemented the apps to allow iPhone users to get information on road conditions, pay for parking and lots of other stuff.

They can send in complaints or inform the government about any issue they want. One app allows users to send in hygiene ratings of local restaurants, another is used to complain about vandalism, snap a picture and send it in as a report.

Smartphone apps market hit $2.2B in the first half of 2010

Posted in Software by Shane McGlaun on August 26th, 2010

If you needed anymore proof that the sale of apps for smartphones was a huge and booming business than the success of the App Store here it is. A company called Research2guidance has offered up the results of its app research.

According to the company, the market for apps was worth $2.2 billion in the first half of the year. To compare for all of 2009 the app market was worth only $1.7 billion. The number of apps downloaded in the first half of 2010 was 3.9 billion with only 3.1 billion downloaded in all of 2009.

PayPal in talks with Google about Android payments

Posted in Paypal by Conner Flynn on August 14th, 2010

PayPal is in talks with Google to add PayPal as a payment method for the Android Market. Apparently Google wants to make paying for apps as easy as possible for Android users so they can start shifting apps. As it stands, you can buy apps through Google Checkout and sometimes using carrier billing.

Both options are fine, but not popular. Using PayPal as a payment option would likely open the flood gates and move a ton of apps. On the other hand, PayPal currently powers Blackberry App World, illustrating the point that no matter how easy it is to buy apps, people still need good apps to buy.

Augen’s Kmart tablet and smartbook won’t have Google-branded apps

Posted in Tablet PC by Conner Flynn on August 8th, 2010

The future of Augen’s $150 tablet and $100 smartbook isn’t looking as bright as we had hoped. They have slow processors and resistive touchscreens and now their official Google app privileges have just been revoked.

Augen has confirmed that the entire proprietary suite (including Market, Gmail and more) was preloaded on the devices without Google’s permission, and won’t appear on new batches that make it to store shelves. Augen says it’s working with Google to secure rights to these apps for new products down the road. Hopefully it gets sorted out quickly.

Google TV combines TV, Android and…everything else

Posted in Google by Conner Flynn on May 20th, 2010

Google is finally launching Google TV, which brings regular TV and web video to your TV. Plus, Android apps. Should be very powerful, given those factors. Google says that there’s the web, which lives on your laptop and your phone, and the TV world, which lives on your TV.

Google wants to incorporate both of those worlds into “a single seamless experience.” They want to give you the same experience at home on your TV as you get on your computer. A Google search box lets you search and find results from your TV and from the web. If you select the TV channel it goes to your TV channel. Pretty straightforward.

Some apps blocked, throttled on 3G iPad

Posted in iPad by Conner Flynn on May 2nd, 2010

Looks like certain iPad apps are dramatically scaling back or even blocking the video altogether when on the 3G-ready iPad, according to some new owners. The YouTube app significantly degrades the quality of video, while ABC’s TV viewer doesn’t allow video at all unless via Wi-Fi. Only a few apps, such as Netflix, appear to work normally.

It was suspected that AT&T had demanded the limits, but an AT&T representative has denied the carrier’s involvement. Apparently the policies are so far self-imposed. ABC is allegedly prevented from streaming over 3G due to rights issues, while YouTube is most likely emulating the same bitrate scaling seen on the iPhone, with the larger screen size magnifying the drops in quality.

Android Market passes the 50,000 apps milestone

Posted in Android by Conner Flynn on April 24th, 2010

Let us play the Android Market’s overbearing Aunt for a minute as we pinch it’s cheeks and tell it how big it has grown since we last saw it and dig in our purse for a quarter as we pet it’s head. Though Apple is still top dog when it comes to its App Store, the Android Market is also growing at a very rapid pace.

The latest reports say that the Android Market has crossed the 50,000 app mark, which is about a week after Google confirmed the 38,000 app mark. 50,000 is still a way off from the App Store’s official 185,000, but at the rate it’s going, it’ll provide Apple with some healthy competition in no time.