With Marco Arment’s recent announcement of his sale of a majority stake in Instapaper to Betaworks, his work on the app is worth returning to with an eye towards where it is now and where it will be in the future.
For a long time, Instapaper was crippled on the Android platform in comparison to its iOS counterpart. As a matter of fact, we took a look at the app’s many problems in July 2012, and found that its biggest struggle was for feature parity. However, Android developer Mobelux has recently caught up to the iOS feature list, but does that make the app worth getting or is it still inferior compared to contenders like Pocket and Readability?
In the modern digital age, media is king. Whether it’s music blaring out of speakers, photos being styled and shared, movies and TV shows on demand, or the online video craze – we are all consuming entertainment at a mind-boggling rate, on an ever-growing number of devices.
iTunes is one of the most popular platform for organizing and collecting media, and for good reasons – it gets the job done, and it is backed by a goliath of an online store. It does have its limitations, though. If you want to stream media from your iTunes library, you’re going to need an iOS device. I’m guessing that if you’re reading this, here, that’s not going to suit you.
An alternative streaming system worth considering is Plex. Once you’ve set up a Plex media server on your Windows, OSX, or Linux computer, you can stream content to nearly any smart mobile device via Plex’s app. Unfortunately, there are times when streaming doesn’t cut it, either because you are restricted by a data cap, or because wi-fi isn’t available. For this kind of problem, Plex offers a syncing service (part of the PlexPass subscription), which, when combined with its beta Plex for PlexPass Android app, allows you to download media to your Android device, with ease.
Or, at least, that is the claim – but can media management really be that simple? Time for a test…
Android users have always struggled to find a a complete and attractive Craigslist application. This is because for some strange reason, the people behind the service have never bothered to create an official application. As a result, third-party developers have taken it upon themselves to provide solutions for mobile users.
No other Craigslist application has caused more excitement among Android users than Mokriya Craigslist. With its complete experience and gorgeous user interface, the application is shaping up to easily overtake any other third-party client currently available.
Plain text files are great because they are low on file size, but they are extremely limited when it comes to presentation. To that end, noted blogger John Gruber created a simple markup language called Markdown, which allows for easy formatting for writers and increased readability when displayed. The syntax used in Markdown is simple to learn and use, and can be processed by a number of programs. So what’s all this got to do with your documents?
Most text editors for mobile devices typically allow either plain-text editing or rich document editing, which are both cumbersome to deal with when it comes to posting your content on the web. With Markdown, you can create formatted text documents that are as light as plain text files, read them using any plain text editor and display the content with headings, bold and italic text and active hyperlinked text. And now, you can do this on the go with Draft.
Games have been aping Indiana Jones since Raiders of the Lost Ark burst into the cinema in 1981, but few execute on their vision as well as Relic Rush — a retro-styled one-touch game of racing through dungeons and tombs in search of treasure.
It’s pretty light on depth, but it’s so well made and cleverly conceived as to be a glorious distraction worthy of the hour or two time investment.
On our Android devices we use our keyboards an awful lot. Whether it be to send an email or comment on a forum, we resort to the same keyboard to type everything out — this makes it quite an important part of the device. Developers have realised this and developed applications that give you a different form to type on. However, the developers of Ginger have taken this an extra step further.
In their keyboard design resides a built-in grammar checker that makes sure that all typos and mistakes are picked up before you finish typing. The app saves time by giving you the ability to quickly proof-read text without the need to do too much. For users who are constantly sending messages and emailing, Ginger avoids embarrassing mistakes. Read on to find out how it works.
There’s something strangely cathartic about watching cute cartoony animals marching off to their doom, oblivious to the dangers that lie ahead. Lemmings was great not just for its level design and presentation but also for the way in which its blissfully ignorant critters were always mere seconds from annihilation.
EliteWare’s debut Android game, The Penguin Trials, harks back to this Amiga masterpiece with helpless penguins that need guidance from a higher power to herd them safely from igloo to flag pole. It’s far from perfect, but the quirky concept and clever level design make Penguin Trials a worthy test of your time.
Before we get any further, I should come clean — I’m a die-hard Winamp fan. I began using the desktop version back in 1997 and it suited my needs over the years as my music collection grew. When I got my first Android phone, I immediately sought out Winamp’s app for the platform and enjoyed the interface as well as the desktop-to-mobile wifi syncing. But I soon wanted more from my music player and started trying out everything the Play Store had to offer. I still haven’t found a favorite, but GoneMAD Music Player sure comes close.
Perfect for power users, GoneMAD Music Player is packed to the gills with features and configurable options to tweak the app to do your exact bidding. From detailed playback control to lockscreen and homescreen widgets, passing by smart playlists, gesture support and configurable multi-band EQ, this player has got it all. Let’s see how well it handles tuneage with some real-world testing, and how it stacks up against the competition.
Managing finances is a task that’s often taken for granted. We’d rather play games on our mobile phones than make records of how much we’ve spent for the day. Toshl Finance, a money management app for Android, seems to understand this challenge and offers the easiest possible solution for tracking, planning and overseeing your spending habits. It may be simple and straightforward, but it works.
How can you not love Pixlr? I’m certainly a fan of the series of photo-editing apps. Originally, I was impressed by the desktop version of Pixlr-o-matic, and then by Pixlr’s free online Editor. Nowadays, however, Pixlr has moved with the times, and has added its own app, Pixlr Express, to the massed ranks of mobile editors available for download on both Android and iOS.
Pixlr Express is free in the Play Store, which is surprising, given its apparent wealth of features and editing competence. At the time of writing, well over ten million folks have installed this freebie, so the assumption is that Autodesk, the developer, is doing something right. Does Pixlr Express provide genuine competition to Adobe’s paid-for Photoshop Touch, or is the lack of price-tag attached to Pixlr Express indicative of a lack of quality? Time to find out…