Jun 032013


Android smartphone owners can finally stop trading dirty looks with their iPhone-carrying friends: Twitter’s increasingly popular Vine six-second video and creativity app is finally available on the Android platform.

Vine, which Twitter snapped up late last year has quickly blossomed into a surprisingly versatile (and popular, Twitter reports 13 million users) app for creating not only six second video clips, but also amazing animation creations. The latter capability is all thanks to Vine’s most unique feature: the ability to stop and start recording video with a tap on the screen. Expert users manage to turn six seconds into dozens of taps for smooth, engaging animated tales (see the example below).

To download Vine for Android now, we suggest searching for “Vine Co.” in the Google Play store — it’s been otherwise difficult to locate and it still doesn’t show up as the first result.

MORE:   Vine for Android Finally Arrives.




Mar 132013


When Google unveiled its latest mobile operating system to the world last week, the company asked a reserved but extremely confident man named Hugo Barra to grab the microphone, and celebrate Android 4.1 as the best mobile operating system the world has seen. It couldn’t have been easy to sing the praises of an OS code-named “Jelly Bean” with a completely straight face, but Barra, Android’s director of product management, was cool and composed as he shared Android’s latest killer features.

There was the new graphically enhanced search tool, Google Now. There was the new voice-based search assistant — Google’s answer to Apple’s Siri. And there was also a new piece of hardware — the Nexus 7 — which would show off Android’s full potential. Barra anchored all these announcements, reporting the Google I/O news that the world was most interested in hearing.

And now he speaks directly with Wired about Google’s mobile future. We sat down with Barra last week at Google I/O to pick his brain about the Nexus 7, and all the other key Android announcements. Here is the edited conversation.

READ MORE:  Android Director: ‘We Have the Most Accurate, Conversational, Synthesized Voice in the World’ | Gadget Lab | Wired.com.




Mar 052013


The first results of Operas WebKit brain transplant are now available for people to try: a beta version of Opera for Android.The new version uses Android-native user-interface elements but preserves many Opera features such as Speed Dial. It gets some new features, too, such as Off-road Mode to enable a proxy-browsing technology designed for slow network connections and the Discovery tool for people who want to browse content tailored to their interests.

READ MORE:  Operas overhauled Android browser now in beta | Internet & Media – CNET News.




Feb 192013


Justin Ferrell, mobile strategist and developer at Digital Relativity, explains the fundamental differences between the user expectations of today’s most popular mobile platforms, and illustrates how developers can build cross-platform applications without neglecting the user experience

The words “cross-platform development” have a somewhat negative connotation within the mobile development community. When we think cross-platform, we immediately think of compromising designs and user experiences, with poor performance that caters to the lowest common denominator of device. There are so many people doing cross-platform development badly that we’ve started to assume that all cross-platform development is bad.

Like all things, there are bad examples of cross-platform development and design. But there are also some very good examples of applications that use cross-platform technologies and techniques.

Companies like Xamarin offer great cross-platform development products

Before we can understand going across platforms, it’s important that we understand the platforms themselves, the fundamental differences and what sort of experience they create for the end user.

READ MORE >> Dos and don’ts of cross-platform mobile design




Jan 172013


Back in August, I wrote about cloud-storage service MediaFire, which was offering a whopping 50GB of free space, no strings attached.

Well, there were strings in the form of certain limitations (see below), but it wasn’t like you had to provide a credit-card number or start paying for the space after, say, six months.

Yesterday, the company unveiled MediaFire for Android, which joins the iOS version in giving you mobile access to your cloud drive. And new users still get 50GB of storage, free of charge.

Like other apps of its kind, MediaFire for Android lets you view documents and photos, stream audio, watch videos, share files with others, and so on. It also lets you upload snapshots and videos directly to your account, a nice option for folks who are running low on local storage. Unfortunately, there’s no batch-upload option, meaning there’s no easy way to archive, say, a photo gallery. That’s one area where an app like Dropbox holds the edge.

MORE:  MediaFire debuts for Android, offers users 50GB of free cloud storage




Jan 162013

Want a smartphone on the cheap? Usually that means going the subsidized route, signing up for a two-year contract that’ll cost you a small fortune by the time you’re done.

The Kogan Agora is an unlocked Android 4.0 smartphone priced at $149 (plus shipping). Due to arrive in the U.S. next month, it’ll support no-contract, pay-as-you-go plans from AT&T and T-Mobile. Oh, and it has a 5-inch screen.

To put that in some perspective, the similarly phablet-size LG Optimus Vu 2 and Samsung Galaxy Note 2 sell unlocked for $860 and around $700, respectively.

Needless to say, $149 won’t buy you quite the same level of specs that you’ll get from those models. But as entry-level phones go, the Agora might prove appealing to budget-minded buyers.

MORE:  Kogan announces $149 unlocked Android smartphone




Jan 102013


The Facebook Pages Manager Android app offers a variety of features.

You can post new updates and photos and answer user comments. You can reply to private messages sent to your page. You can also receive notices about new activity on your page and see data revealing how many people are checking out your page. You can even manage multiple pages from the app.

Facebook has long offered a similar app for iOS. So it’s about time Android users had their own version.

MORE:  Facebook’s latest: A Pages Manager app for Android




Sep 122012

Google won’t be able to compete with the attention lavished on Apple for the launch of the sixth-generation iPhone, but it did announce the notable milestone late tonight of half a billion device activations.

“Today is a big day for Android… 500 million devices activated globally, and over 1.3 million added every single day,” said Hugo Bara, Android’s director of product management, in a Google+ post. It’s not clear how many devices are replacing older ones, though.

Barra said in June at the Google I/O show that 400 million Android devices had been activated and that the rate was 1 million per day.

MORE:  Google: 500 million Android devices activated | Mobile – CNET News.


Jul 052012

Upcoming Android 4.1 Jelly Bean devices, starting with Google’s recently unveiled Nexus 7 tablet, will not receive official Flash Player support from Adobe. Moreover, Adobe announced plans to pull Flash Player from the Google Play Store on August 15 for unsupported devices, and while you can expect Flash updates to roll out for older hardware running Android 4.0 or earlier, it’s clear the future lies in HTML5.

“Devices that don’t have the Flash Player provided by the manufacturer typically are uncertified, meaning the manufacturer has not completed the certification testing requirements. In many cases users of uncertified devices have been able to download the Flash Player from the Google Play Store, and in most cases it worked. However, with Android 4.1 this is no longer going to be the case, as we have not continued developing and testing Flash Player for this new version of Android and its available browser options. There will be no certified implementations of Flash Player for Android 4.1,” Adobe confirmed in a blog post.

MORE:  Maximum PC | Adobe Not Developing Flash Player for Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.


May 182012

Chinese retailers have started selling a miniature Linux computer that is housed in a 3.5-inch plastic case slightly larger than a USB thumb drive. Individual units are available online for $74.

The small computer has an AllWinner A10 single-core 1.5GHz ARM CPU, a Mali 400 GPU, and 512MB of RAM. An HDMI port on the exterior allows users to plug the computer into a television. It outputs at 1080p and is said to be capable of playing high-definition video.

The device also has a full-sized USB port with host support for input devices, a conventional micro-USB port, a microSD slot, and an internal 802.11 b/g WiFi antenna. The computer can boot from a microSD card and is capable of running Android 4.0 and other ARM-compatible Linux platforms.

SOURCE  New $74 Android mini computer is slightly larger than a thumb drive | Ars Technica.