This week marks a milestone for Android as we celebrate it’s fifth birthday, the anniversary of the operating system’s first unveiling. This special week has also given form to new Kindle Fire models from Amazon, a golden Galaxy S4 and more, so let’s dive in and check in with This Week in Android! (more…)
I’ve been an Android user for a few years now – and a devout one at that. You know those people who are the anti-apple-fanboys, the ones who proudly refuse to buy Apple products, who gloat at every opportunity to criticize the iconic company and its fanboys? Yeah, that was me. Actually, I’m still not a big fan of Apple, but things have been different since I had to get my first iDevice – an iPod Touch – simply to be able to preview and test the apps we design for iOS at work.
Having lived extensively in a two-devices-in-my-pocket-at-all-times world, I’ve come to see reason in my arguments – both for and against Android & iOS. There are multi-platform apps that I happily use on both, my Android phone and the iPod touch. And there are those that I’ve come to love on Android, but just haven’t found replacements on iOS as yet. What follow is just that – apps I can’t live without on Android, and miss sorely on iOS.
The new fall TV season is upon us and, if you’re anything like me, you’re already giddy with excitement to see your favorite shows return or new ones grace your screen. This TV season promises to be quite impressive, with How I Met Your Mother bowing for its final run, The Big Bang Theory’s nerds improving their social skills one awkward step at a time, Scandal continuing to grab everyone’s attention, and Revolution, Elementary and Arrow returning after a lot of success in their first season.
That’s not to mention the many new exciting shows and incredible actors coming back to TV. James Spader is already causing trouble on The Blacklist, Andy Samberg has induced many giggles on Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Robin Williams is going bonkers on The Crazy Ones, Tony Shalhoub and Michael J Fox are set for a big comeback in We Are Men and The Michael J Fox Show respectively. And did I even mention the high-concept Sleepy Hollow and Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D?
So how do you keep track of what’s airing and when? There are probably dozens of solutions, but none have worked for me over the past couple of years as well as SeriesGuide. Being a self-confessed TV addict — my Trakt profile tells me I’ve seen over 5000 episodes in more than 80 series — I can vouch for how well SeriesGuide works for any serious TV enthusiast and in the following post I’ll show you the three features that I really love about it.
I’m always impressed when I find a really great game on a smartphone that feels like it’s really been handcrafted for the platform. Most of the games I play on smartphones feel like they’re console game imitations, unaware of their own limitations or grossly ignoring them.
That’s what makes Finding Teddy such a joy for me. This is one of those rare Android games that’s not only excellent and tons of fun to play, but truly built from the ground up for a mobile platform. In every sense of the word, this is a smartphone experience. But that doesn’t mean it feels small — in fact, I’d argue the opposite.
Digg had been stagnating over the past few years. The site’s previous owners weren’t investing the time or effort in updating the systems or design and users rapidly fled to Reddit and Twitter for their news fix. However, new Digg owners at Betaworks have launched a long waited for Digg app for Android.
The app, which brings the web’s news aggregator to smartphones goes head to head with several other RSS readers that promote popular news stories such as Feedly and Pulse. Initial impressions are good as the app mirrors the look and functionality of the Digg website. Set-up time is extremely fast as it pulls your preferences from your current Digg account. But has Digg done enough to entice users?
When was the last time you forgot your phone at home and spent the whole day thinking about all the text messages and missed calls you got while you were away? How about that evening when your workout drained your energy away and made you too lazy to stand up, walk all the way to your phone just to reply to that text you just received — Oops, it was just your bank promoting their newest credit card!
We have the right apps for these occurrences: the ones that let you read your text messages straight from your computer, wherever you — and your phone — are. Even better, you’ll be able to reply to messages, send new ones and even check your missed calls from your PC or tablet. Some apps offer even more advanced features, so it’s worth checking them out to find the perfect one for you!
In a fairly quiet week for Android news, we say hello to a new phone [variant] but goodbye to a beloved classic. This week has seen Google end sales of its own flagship Nexus 4 handset while developers can now get their hands on a special edition of the Moto X. Let’s jump in and take a look! (more…)
The idea of looking after yourself is no longer an activity restricted to a reliance on common sense. Where professional sport led, the rest of us followed, and today, personal well-being is a science. The volume of personal data that we can capture, and the depth in which we can analyze it, have provided new insights into how we should be eating, drinking, sleeping, living and exercising.
The mainstream cultural acceptance of fitness-related data logging can really only be attributed to the sporting world’s superbrands. Nike+ and Adidas’ miCoach, for some time, have dominated the market, and have been pushed by their respective parent companies at every opportunity. As the fitness app market has matured, however, numerous apps from infinitely smaller development teams have become some of the most popular offerings in the genre.
One iOS product which falls into this category is Moves. It’s an app which can best be described as a smart pedometer, and its simplicity and high quality design have won it a significant fan base over on the Apple-flavoured side of mobile computing. But now, Moves is making an entry into the Google Play store, and I got the chance to play with the pre-release version. Here’s how I got on…
Email is essential these days. Virtually anyone who owns a smartphone can be accused of being a Crackberry addict, regardless of the particular phone they own. And although it’s great to be able to get emails no matter where you may be, there’s a downside to this level of connectivity.
If you’re anything like me, you’ll receive a huge volume of email each day. If my phone was to audibly notify me of the arrival of each new message, I would go insane — so I’ve disabled sound notifications. This means that I have to keep looking at my phone to see when I have a new message. Sometimes every hour, sometimes every couple of minutes. It’s infuriating. It drives me mad … almost as mad as constant sounds would do. It’s Catch 22.
What does this have to do with Boomerang? Well, aside from the fact that this is an app that can be used to send and receive emails, not a lot! My point is that email is something we can’t do without. But for too long we have all been constrained by the way email works. Boomerang has been designed to wrestle control out of the hands of email clients and place it back under your command.
When Chromecast launched in July, it was all the Internet could talk about. The small, HDMI-enabled device allowed users to easily stream video content straight to their TVs. Gone were the days of hooking up your laptop or transferring films to a USB stick. Well, that is, if you were lucky enough to get a Chromecast. BestBuy sold out in a day with orders from Amazon severely backlogged. It hasn’t even launched in Europe and already there’s insatiable demand on eBay for second hand devices.
But you don’t have to wait for a Chromecast unit to try out the experience because an indie developer has made CheapCast available. It’s an Android app that turns any Android tablet or phone into a make-do Chromecast. But does it actually work?