Despite the amount of power packed inside modern smartphones, one of the most annoying and time-consuming hindrance to my productivity always seems to be the task of switching apps. On my Galaxy S3, I have to click and hold on the main button to get the multitasking tray, then scroll through the list to find the app I want. And then sometimes I get frustrated when I notice that the app wasn’t open before, which means that I have to exit to my main homescreen, open the app drawer, and then find what I’m looking for.
I’ve tried dozens of quick app launchers/switchers before, from Wave Launcher to SwipePad, and eventually gave up on them because they were either too intruding, too slow, or they felt like they were designed for Froyo. Then I came across Swapps! and although I approached it with skepticism at first, I’m glad to say I found the perfect solution for fast app switching. Let me show you why.
Earlier today, Joe Casabona detailed to you his experience with the Jawbone Up, a bracelet that belongs in the new category of “quantified self” gadgets and tracks your steps, sleep, and calorie intake.
If you have been following Android.Appstorm over the past couple of months, you must have noticed that we feel very strongly about Android tablets, and specifically Android tablet apps. We cried out to Google asking them to get serious about tablet-optimized apps discoverability in the Play Store, several writers on our team have rounded up tablet apps in a multitude of categories, and I personally maintain numerous Playboard channels axed towards spotlighting the best tablet-optimized apps.
Suffice it to say that tablet app discovery has been a personal cause for us, for the simple reason that we know there are thousands of excellent options out there, but Google had failed to make them visible which in turn had everyone thinking there aren’t any. So you can imagine how elated we were to see Google at I/O introducing new features that focus on tablet apps discovery, from a developer and a user standpoint. While the announcements weren’t the most impressive out of the I/O keynote, and they should have come a year ago, they do mean a lot to us at Android.Appstorm that we can’t help but make a stop to explain to you why you need to get excited.
Few articles incite as much comments and debates on our site as the OS comparisons. Whether it’s James’ “What I Miss About Android: Thoughts From an iOS User“, Hagop’s “10 Windows Phone 8 Features That Would Make Android Even Sweeter” or my “5 Impressive Blackberry 10 Features I Wish Android Had“, our team is essentially comprised of geeks who love Android but often succumb to their curiosity. So we try out everything we have access to in order to form a well-rounded opinion of the mobile landscape.
Sometimes, we’re simply forced to abandon Android as in James’ case, other times we dabble with a new OS for a bit but come back to Android as in Hagop’s case, and some of us are lucky enough to be able to use two platforms simultaneously in the long term, like me.
However, once in a while, we lose an Android fan to the lure of another platform. That’s the case with Brian Wangila who is a self-professed Android fan and a writer on our sister site Windows.Appstorm. Brian’s interest was piqued by Windows Phone 8 and the Lumia 920 and he documented his journey through a 3-part series entitled “Windows Phone 8 From an Android Fan’s Perspective.”
- In part 1, Brian explains how to choose your Windows Phone 8 device based on the different price and feature ranges and what to expect on the performance, stability and apps fronts.
- In part 2, Brian delves into the Windows Phone 8 features that he has come to enjoy, including the Live Tiles, People Hub, Office, Camera lenses and more.
- In part 3, Brian reminisces over his Android fan days and lists the things he misses now that he’s moved to Windows Phone. He does conclude though that the flaws and missing features are outweighed by the positive aspects of Windows Phone 8.
If you’re curious about Windows Phone 8, head over to the different parts of the series, read Brian’s full chronicle and let us know where you stand. We’re not encouraging you to switch over, but we don’t want to win without giving the other platforms a fair chance at a fight. Besides, competition is what drives this mobile space forward so it’s good to see other challenging and innovative players in the OS race.
Earlier this year, Blackberry finally unveiled its new and re-written Operating System: Blackberry 10. After many years of being stuck behind the curve on touch-centric platforms and modern interfaces, Blackberry 10 promised a fresh look and, most importantly, several innovations that would carry it forward and help it keep the Blackberry-fanatics satisfied while also trying to bring some new converts over.
Along with the new platform, Blackberry announced two new devices: the touch-only Z10 that started shipping a while ago and the traditional keyboard Q10 that’s just starting to ship. I’ve had a Z10 in my hands for several weeks now, enough to get used to the platform and the device and to form my own opinion from extended use. As a Blackberry novice — I had never even tried a Blackberry device before — I’m impressed by what I’ve seen, enough to make me step away from my trusted Galaxy S3. Normally, when I get new devices, I try them for a while, feel excited for a bit, then move back to the S3, but that isn’t the case with the Z10. I’ve come to find several features that keep me going back to it. Read on to find out what they are.
Earlier this week, we published a recap of our favorite Android Twitter clients. Some of our team members love the unique look of Falcon Pro, others the versatility of Plume, and others the simplicity of the official Twitter client.
These were the most popular choices, but there were a lot of other less obvious picks as well, ranging from the old and still excellent Twicca to the new and promising Robird. We realize the choice of a favorite Twitter app is unique for each of us, depending on our uses and needs, so that’s why we ask you: what Twitter client do you use?
Since the timid beginnings of the Android platform, we have seen several Twitter clients rise and soar, some falling quickly, others garnering a loyal fanbase and developing further. From the good ol’ Tweetdeck and Seesmic to the shiny new Falcon Pro and Tweetings, passing by the ever-present and ever-loved Plume, there’s no shortage of Twitter client choice and you’d be hard-pressed to find a topic that ignites passionate debates as much as the “best Twitter client” conversation. Mention that once, and you’ll have a slew of replies from people naming one of dozens of different apps and discussing how excellent their choice is.
On Android.Appstorm, we’ve long ago recognized that there’s really no definite answer to the question. As long as there are developers out there coding new clients, we will try them and we will review them for you. We also reckon that every client is flawed and perfect at the same time. Because there are as many different Twitter usages as there are Twitter users, any app can be excellent for a particular person but simply dreadful for another. That’s why, over the past couple of months, we have shared with you our favorite clients in our “My Twitter Client” series.
Below, you will find quick links to some of our writer’s picks, where they explain what they need in a Twitter app, the reasons for their choice and what they love about it. I’ve also added links to some of our most recent reviews, for a more complete overview of the Twitter options landscape. Check them out, and let us know in the comments which app you use and why.
Team’s Favorite Twitter Clients
- Richard Moss: Plume
- Mark Wilson: Janetter
- Abhimanyu Ghoshal: Twicca
- Md Saim Fattah: Tweetings
- Robert Iagar: Twitter
- Joe Casabona: Robird
- Rita El Khoury: Twitter, Falcon Pro and Plume
Other Twitter Client Reviews
I still remember having a few heated debates back in 2008 with social media advocates about the future of Twitter. At the time, although I had an account on the service, I had never used it. Instead, I was a firm believer that Jaiku — which Google later bought and used as a stepping stone for Buzz and Google+ — would prevail because of its native support for conversations. Twitter was a chaotic mess, with no way to follow a conversation back. But oh how things change!
In 2009, I had abandoned Jaiku and moved to Twitter. But when I switched to Android 2 years ago, the sheer amount of Twitter clients had me befuddled for months until I settled on the official app. Then I got bored, tried several alternatives again, used some for a while, dismissed others quickly… And up to this day, I don’t think there is one Twitter Android client to rule them all, so I use the official Twitter app on my phone, Falcon Pro on my tablet, and Plume on my Android TV stick. Read on to find out why.
Earlier this week, Amazon announced that they were expanding the availability of their Appstore to 200 more countries, which brings them to an almost worldwide audience. Earlier, if you lived in an unsupported country, you had to resort to a few tricks to install the Appstore on your device, so thankfully, this will no longer be the case.
However, having used the Appstore for a while when it was first launched — especially because of the daily free app offer — I admit that it has lost its appeal and it’s been ages since I’ve even bothered to install it on any of my devices. The main reason is that any app purchased through it requires the Appstore to be installed on your device to even work. That verification process annoyed me enough that I simply let go of Amazon’s Appstore, purchased the free apps that I had gotten through it and that I needed from Google’s Play Store, and never looked back.
Apart from owning a Kindle device, I see very few reasons one would use the Appstore, but I might be wrong. What about you? Do you use the Appstore on your non-Kindle devices?