Tag: android apps
Less than 500 units of the Kickstarter-funded Pebble smartwatch has started shipping, according to the device’s updates page on the crowdfunding website. The first units of Pebble, which is touted as an “E-Paper Watch for iPhone and Android” were sent to those who provided financial assistance for its development.
More units of the smartwatch are expected to ship soon, after some delays due to “documentation at the airport” held up the transportation of the watches to Pebble’s fulfillment center.
Pebble has received around 85,000 pre-orders of the device. Orders may be tracked on www.ispebblesshipping.com.
Following the release of the smartwatch, Pebble announced that the companion applications for the device are now available on the Google Play Store and the App Store. The apps will allow users to get vibration alerts sent from the mobile device to the smartwatch for calls, e-mails, messages, and information on the weather. Furthermore, the app gives users control over the smartwatch with a dashboard. Custom watchfaces may also be installed through the app. It makes troubleshooting issues and updating software easy, as well. To provide technical assistance, the app includes a Contact Support link that may be used for asking questions about the smartwatch. The cost-free Android app has a file size of 2.3M and a minimum requirement of Android 2.3.3. More features are expected to be added in the future.
Meanwhile, Pebble’s factory is producing around 800 to 1,000 units of the smartwatch daily. The team intends to produce around 2,400 units per day to reach their maximum capacity. The watches are then delivered to their two distribution centers, one of which is located in the United States, and the other in Hong Kong.
For those who are unfamiliar with Pebble, the smartwatch connects via Bluetooth the one’s smartphone, and sends notifications from the mobile phone to the watch. Apps will be able to add custom functions to the smartwatch. For instance, Pebble may be used to display sports-related information or control music playback.
Pebble features a black and white e-paper display with a resolution of 144 x 168 pixels, Bluetooth 2.1+ EDR and 4.0 (Low Energy), four buttons, a vibrating motor, and a 3 axis accelerometer with gesture detection.
The Android operating system is designed for multi-tasking because in reality, apps are running in the background just waiting to be called for use. For Android devices with lower specs, especially those with lower RAM, lags are often noticeable especially if users will run apps that require more memory. The more applications you have installed in your device, the slower it will become because majority of them eat up memory even if you’re not using them.
One of the most effective ways to make your device faster is to prevent unused apps from running in the background. This can be done by either uninstalling or disabling the apps, although the latter is the most advisable way. Devices running on stock Android 2.3 Gingerbread don’t have “Disable” option in their Applications Manager as it only started showing up in version 4.0 ICS. Fortunately, there is another option called “Force Stop” that functions almost exactly the same.
Disabling and forcing an app to stop are different. Disabled apps will not run in the background and they, too, will disappear from the App Drawer unless the user will enable them back. Applications that were forced to stop, however, will not run in the background as well, however, when other apps call upon them, they will run in the background again until the user disables them back. Forced stop apps will also be started when the device is rebooted. But either of them can make any Android device faster.
So, here’s how you do it…
Step 1: Launch Settings app and navigate through options to find Applications Manager.
Step 2: Choose “All” applications tab to display names of apps currently installed in your device.
Step 3: One by one, choose apps that you want disabled. Tapping on each one of them will launch a window asking you to “Disable” or “Force Stop.”
Step 4: Choose “Disable” to stop apps permanently until you enable them back, or “Force Stop” if you want them to stop running for the time being.
Step 5: Your Android device will ask you to confirm your action so choose “OK.”
If you can find apps that you don’t need anymore but still installed in your device, it is recommended you uninstall them to free up some space in your device’s internal memory and decrease RAM usage.
iMac, MacBook Pro, and other Apple kit owners can now enjoy roughly 750,000 Android apps Android apps on their devices thanks to the newly-released beta version of Bluestacks. The Android app player is now available for download on the Bluestacks website for Mac OS X users around six months after its alpha version was released. By comparison, the alpha version of Bluestacks only supported 17 Android apps.
For those who aren’t familiar with Bluestacks, the app player is a virtualization engine that allows apps created for various operating systems to be run on the same computer, in a simultaneous manner. On the part of the user, the process appears simple. Users can run individual apps from their desktop or use the software to enjoy the full Android experience. This is in line with Bluestack’s belief in hiding the complexity of the technology from the user, like what other advanced technology does.
Initially, Bluestacks was only available for Windows users. The company has even forged deals with companies like Qualcomm, ASUS, and AMD to encourage a wider adoption of Bluestacks, bringing plenty of Android titles to Windows users. Asus is offering Bluestacks as ASUS@Vibe whereas AMD calls it the AMD AppZone Player. AMD, as TechCrunch reports, is pre-installing AMD AppZone Player on more than 100 million units, whereas Asus will have 22 million pre-installs. Meanwhile, just this month, Bluestacks announced that its software has gotten more than 5 million organic installs on both Windows and Apple.
Slashgear says that Apple users may not exhibit the same level of interest for Bluestacks, given that Android and Apple are fierce rivals. Still, Mac users who are eager to explore Android apps will possibly find the innovation from Bluestacks interesting. One notable feature of the Bluestacks App Player for Mac is an App Discovery feature that assists users in finding fresh apps.
Bluestacks for Mac OS X may be downloaded from this link.
With the tablet market currently heated up, there’s very little to choose from when it comes to Android tablets and other competitive offerings (read: iPads). And one area where the iOS platform completely dominates Android is app support, where there are over 275,000+ apps written specifically for the iPad. This, in comparison to Android tablet apps which are merely blown up versions of the mobile app. But things have begun changing in the world of Android with Google now having its Nexus branded tablets in the market. Since the number of Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 users are increasing, it was about time that app developers came up with tablet apps specifically for these devices. And now, the Tumblr app on Android has been updated to support bigger devices.
The app is a welcome addition from the previous iteration where it wasn’t all that great. However, this app too has a few shortcomings. For starters, it seems like Tumblr devs only had the Nexus 7 in mind when working on this new update, so any device with a display bigger than 7-inches would feature a not so great version of the app. Also, the new Tumblr update works only in portrait mode and there’s no landscape mode support. The recently updated Skype app also had a similar issue. So I guess it’s more of a norm to keep these things in mind when developing an app for bigger devices. Prior to this update, users heavily relied on third party Tumblr apps to satisfy their social networking needs on tablets.
Besides being tailored for 7-inch tablets, the new Tumblr app also comes with a few UI tweaks to make use of the screen real estate appropriately, although it’s indistinguishable. A new dedicated notifications icon can be spotted, which is a neat touch and gives easy access to all the notifications. That’s pretty much it really. And if you’re still not convinced with this official app update, you can always find a bundle of third party Tumblr apps which are supported by your tablet. A job half done, I would say as 10-inch tablets aren’t supported. But I’m guessing it’s under development and we should see one hitting the Play Store fairly soon.
Facebook is one of the greatest stories in the Silicon Valley. Its rise to the top has been rather phenomenal and is undoubtedly one of the marvels of the modern century. However, the public company has had to take some bold steps to get where it is today. The company recently acquired the photo sharing service Instagram for a massive price, which surprised us all. And then there were talks of the company purchasing the incredibly popular cross platform instant messaging application, Whatsapp. Although most of it seemed to be false, there is now strong evidence that Facebook is indeed trying to step into the instant messaging arena, where apps like Whatsapp and KIK are widely popular. Facebook has its very own IM app in the form of Facebook Messenger which lets users chat with their buddies on Facebook, it however requires the user to have a Facebook account.
But Facebook has now removed that limitation by making Facebook Messenger available to all without having to type in their Facebook credentials. All a user needs is a phone number and the Facebook Messenger app on their Android smartphone. So this is pretty much like a clone of Whatsapp, but with a complete Facebook feel to it. It will retain all the features of the old Facebook Messenger app, albeit in a new avatar. This new version of Facebook Messenger is available only for Android devices right now and only in selected locations. So basically, instead of sharing all your details with the person on the other end, Facebook Messenger will only ask for your name and a working cellphone number. Pretty cool, right? It however seems pretty mundane that Facebook Messenger doesn’t require Facebook access. But I don’t think the Facebook team is all too worried about that.
This new feature could certainly go a long way in making Facebook Messenger more popular among the masses. But we fear that the limited availability might hinder the success of the new app. It is hoped that Facebook will roll out the same update to other mobile platforms as well. Obviously, the new Facebook Messenger probably won’t reach out to as many users as Whatsapp does. This is because Whatsapp supports a wide range of mobile platforms and is pretty well set in the industry. Also, the thing about Facebook Messenger is that people use it only to connect with their Facebook friends. So it could be somewhat of a hindrance to expect people to instantly take a liking to this new look Facebook Messenger app. And as we already mentioned, the Facebook team must expand the reach of this app beyond Android. Let’s see if that happens anytime soon. In the meantime, if your Android device has received the said update, let us know how you like it.
Windows RT is a relatively new concept and is targeted at the increasingly developing tablet industry, although without much success. There are plenty of reasons for the success or failure of a mobile platform, and in this day and age, applications have a huge role to play. And if app support was a problem with your Windows RT device, there could soon be a solution for that. According to BlueStacks, the team could work on bringing over 700,000+ Android applications to the Windows 8 RT platform. What this means is that devices like the Surface RT could benefit from the large amounts of Android titles. However, all of this is based on a BlueStacks forum post by a member of the BlueStacks team, and nothing has been confirmed as of now, but the idea has certainly gotten us excited. BlueStacks has a similar project which brings Android apps to Mac and Windows platforms. Taking this as the premise, a user decided to ask if the gang had something planned for Windows 8 RT devices. And the answer coming from a BlueStacks member called Deepak Sharma was the following – “We are considering offering BlueStacks for Windows R/T next year.”
Now that the idea has been teased, it would behoove us to see if it holds any weight. Microsoft is known to be pretty strict with its devices and platforms. Many already fear that Windows Defender on Windows RT devices would stand in between the user and the thousands of Android apps. For any of this to be actually real, BlueStacks will have to make its app available in the Windows Store. Now given the kind of reputation Microsoft has, it is very unlikely that the app will be approved. So it wouldn’t be wrong to take this with a pinch of salt for now.
Although BlueStacks provides Mac and Windows users with the ability to run Android apps, Windows tablets is a whole different ball game, as it has Microsoft’s dedicated app hub now. With the arrival of Windows 8 Pro tablets on the cards, users can be assured that BlueStacks will function well with those devices. Compatibility with RT devices however will remain a mystery till then. Let’s hope the idea materializes and Microsoft goes easy on BlueStacks. Because let’s face it, for the limited number of apps that Windows Store brags of right now, users could be more happy with the thousands of Android titles. This is a great initiative by BlueStacks and Mac/Windows users are already benefiting from it. Would the inclusion of Android apps on Windows RT have an effect on your overall opinion of the Windows RT platform? Let us know in the comments below.
China, known to be the home of smartphones, is now facing a dilemma caused by the malware that seeks to gain access to user’s SMS payment system.
More than half a million of smartphone users in China have been affected with a new virus that has a capability of making unauthorized payments through the Android app market. This is according to the evaluation from a security company.
The virus named ‘Trojan!SMSZombie’, was identified last August 8. The virus is rapidly growing in apps located in GFan which is known to be one of China’s brilliant app stores, and believed that more than 500,000 users are currently infected. TrustGo managed to contact Gfan, and surprisingly, the apps are still available and active for downloading.
Six weeks ago, TrustGo, an anti-virus specialist, managed to determine a highly developed malware that has a capability of making payments, gaining access to bank/card information as well as previous payment and bill history. TrustGo said that the virus is hiding in different wallpaper applications with intriguing pictures and teasing titles. Such application will then ask to install more files presumably associated with the said application, but the truth is it downloads and executes a payload known as the “Android System Service.” This step is hard to cancel. When the user clicks the “cancel” button, the page will just reload instead.
Knowing that majority in China make payments through SMS, it is anticipated that accessing the messages will enable the malware’s creator to obtain bank and card account information.
Users that have been infected by Trojan!SMSZombie virus were instructed by TrustGo to visit http://www.trustgo.com/en/smszombie-eliminate, where the information for removing the malware is provided.
There had been updates made by the company to its apps that handle the virus automatically. The added app is expected and set to be released before the month ends.
CEO of TrustGo Li said, “By waiting to deliver malicious code until after installation, this virus is difficult to detect. Sophisticated malware like this highlights the fact that the openness of the Android platform is a double-edged sword. Users are able to access an amazing breadth and variety of apps, but must take precautions to ensure the apps they want have not been compromised by hackers.”
The malware which infected more than 500,000 devices rapidly for just a month is truly threatening. Added that the malware is difficult to recognize, one must be very careful in downloading applications on their cellphones.
Tablets are often on the top of the list of students who are getting ready to go back to school. However, having the right apps is just as important in helping students with plod through piles of schoolwork. Below are some apps recommended for those who are going back to school this fall.
- Air Display. Air Display essentially converts a tablet into a display for a Windows or Mac. The app allows students to have multiple displays sans the need for cables. This app costs $9.99 to download and can be a huge help for those who wish to take advantage of both a tablet and a desktop computer in studying. Download it here.
- Quickoffice. Google Play abounds with mobile productivity suites, attesting to the tremendous convenience of having these on tablets. They allow students to create and edit documents, presentations, and spreadsheets right on a tablet or a smartphone. Quickoffice has been identified as one of the best of these office suites. This app costs $20 to download for those on tablets or HD devices, and $15 for those using smartphones. Download it here.
- Google Drive. Google Drive is the go-to app for students collaborating on a project. The main advantage of using this device is that the changes made on a file are made available in real time. With the app, users can also upload files such as documents, videos, and photos to their Google Drive account. As a bonus, Google Drive is free to download. Download it here.
- Any.Do. Any.Do is the digital version of a to-do list which features gesture-based input and an intuitive interface. Cited as one of the Top 10 Android apps of 2011 by the New York Times and The Best Android app of 2011 by TechCrunch, this simple app is free of features that can distract students from accomplishing their tasks. Download it here.
- Google+ (Hangouts). Google+ Hangouts is a free app that enables users to engage in video chat with multiple users. For students, this can be the virtual answer to study groups. Download it here.
- Evernote. Evernote is a handy app that facilitates note-taking across various devices including tablets, smartphones, and desktop computers to help users organize their ideas better. A cloud-based app, Evernote is able to sync the notes taken from these devices. Users may not only use this app to save text but also photos, videos, and audio files with their notes. Download it here.
- AutoCAD. AutoCAD is an app that those studying to become engineers might want to download. It lets users access DWG, DWF, and DXF files right from their tablets as well as share these files with their classmates through the app itself. Download it here.
- Adobe Photoshop Touch. This is the mobile version of the popular photo-editing software and will be useful for design students. With this app, they can use their mobile device to perform simple editing tasks. It doesn’t carry all of the features of the software designed for desktop or laptop computers, but it does get the job done when one needs to edit quickly but does not have a laptop or desktop computer on hand. This app costs $10 from the Google Play Store. Download it here.
When used correctly, apps can increase the productivity of students by helping them save time so they can use the extra hours for more studying. It helps as well that these apps give a novel feel to repetitive tasks, giving students a motivational boost in their studies.
It is no secret that Android devices are great for playing music when one is always on the go, especially since they eliminate the need for bringing a separate music player. To enjoy music, one can always stream the content from an online source. However, some prefer building a personal music library with downloaded music.
To download music onto an Android device, one simply may install an app. Here are several for that purpose:
1. MP3 Music Download V6
This app from Gtunes Music V6, provides a list of songs that one may download. The list is pretty extensive, covering the Billboard Charts and even those in other languages. Users of this app may download the songs to an SDcard. The app includes options like renaming, categorization, sharing. It also allows users to use a downloaded song as a ringtone.
Download it here.
2. Easy Downloader
Easy Downloader, which was developed by 2Easy FM Team, is an app that may be used to download file types other than music. It can work with various browsers like Dolphin Browser, Firefox, and Android’s stock browser. Moreover, it is able to perform batch downloads and can organize files in folders.
Download it here.
3. Music Download Elite
This app is by Craig’s Android Tools, which provides users with a simple interface that lets users download songs, sound effects, and royalty-free audio files. It likewise allows users to create playlists. As well as preview songs before downloading them.
Download it here.
4. MP3 Music Download
Developed by axtell38e9idas, this app may not have a memorable name, but it does fulfil the function of enabling users to download music files. Additionally, it permits users to edit the downloaded file through a music editor and later use the file as a ringtone.
Download it here.
5. Tunee Music
Tunee Music is from Tunee Labs Limited. It can search and download music files. To help users know if they have selected the correct song to download, users can stream the entire song prior to downloading it. A Share feature allows the user to tell their friends what songs they acquired through this app.
These apps, among many others available on Google Play, lessen the time and the effort that it takes to search for songs to include in one’s personal playlist. Thus, it would be wise for music enthusiasts to download one or several of these apps depending on one’s needs.
Download it here.
Gameloft has made available the official companion app to the movie The Dark Knight Rises, the third and final instalment in Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy. The app, which carries the same name as the film, may now be downloaded by users of Android devices on the Google Play Store for $6.99. Its launch coincides with the movie’s opening the United States.
The Dark Knight Rises: The Mobile Game is an action-adventure game that allows users to take on the role of the Caped Crusader as he fights his way against lawless elements to bring back peace in Gotham City. The game’s storyline is tied in with the movie, which has Bruce Wayne returning to the city after an absence of eight years and needing to confront Selina Kyle and Bane. Among the movie characters who make an appearance on the companion app are Catwoman, Commissioner Gordon, and Lucius Fox. Users are likewise able to take vehicles like the Batcycle and the Bat for a spin on the game.
Fans of previous Batman games may find some similarities between this game and Batman: Arkham City by Rocksteady, which for its part was released for gaming consoles and PCs. For instance, time is also made to slow down during fight scenes. Moreover, users enjoy Gotham City as open world in this game as well. This means that there is no pre-determined correct way of going about completing Batman’s mission. Users can be as creative as possible and enjoy the freedoms that an open world offers.
The price may throw some people off, but it may be well worth the game considering that users are given excellent graphics and smooth gameplay on the app. In terms of file size, it is a bit hefty at 1.8GB plus an additional 1.8GB of data download so interested users might need to free up some space. Its minimum requirement, meanwhile, is Android 2.2.
All in all, the game looks like a must-have for Batman fans, or even for anyone who appreciates nice graphics coupled with thrilling fight scenes.
This question never popped in anyone’s mind before, but suddenly after reading the title, everyone is thinking about it! Well to break the ice, the credit of this question goes to Microsoft that recently made a presentation that showed that Windows Phone users have the same number of apps installed on their phones as the Android users. In the presentation, it was mentioned that the average number of apps downloaded on a Windows Phone was basically equal to the average number of apps downloaded on Android handsets. The stats showing the results of this presentation was released by the Redmond based software giant, which showed that as of last March, the average Windows Phone model downloaded 50.9 apps.
As of last year November’s figures, the average Android handset user also installed 50.9 apps. However, both Windows and Android handset figures were trailed sharply by the number of apps that were installed on an average Apple iPhone as of March 2012. According to the stats, the average iPhone user had installed 88 apps on their device.
These stats do tend to give an idea that the importance that was given to the number of apps available on an online application store is nothing because it is the quality of apps that matter the most and not the quantity. Moreover, it might also reduce the importance given to certain handsets that supported extra memory when the user needed it because extra storage is nothing if you do not have quality apps to use it for. Since, both Windows Phone and Apple iPhone lack the slot for a micro SD card, the extra storage requirement is out of the question because handsets from both of these manufacturers are doing pretty well without the advantage of extra memory slot.
The recent Android models usually support up to 32 GB micro SD card. Moreover, the handsets that are running on Android version 2.2 or higher, have the option of storing certain apps on their micro SD card without having to use the phone’s internal memory. This would give any person the idea that the average android user has the incentive to install more apps on their smart phones as compared to Apple iPhone and Windows Phone users. However, that is not the reality.
You can take it as a bottom line that Windows Phone Marketplace does have higher quality apps as compared to the apps found on Google Play Store because the average apps installed on both handsets are the same, despite the fact that the number of apps available on Google Play Store easily outnumbers the apps available on Windows Phone Marketplace.
However, this cannot be related to the large number of apps installed on an average Apple iPhone because Apple does have more apps in its store as compared to Windows Phone Marketplace and Google Play Store. So, we can say that Apple iPhone users have more apps installed on their handsets because they have a fairly large number of apps to choose from as compared to Windows and Android users.