Some interesting statistics and surveys about the US smartphone and tablet markets have been released in the past month. The Android operating system is still trailing behind iOS in overall userbase, but Android handsets are becoming more and more desirable compared to all other devices: Blackberry, Windows, and, yes, even iPhones.
Self identified as an “external brain”, Evernote aims to capture and organize all types of data and make it searchable from multiple platforms. Use cases have ranged from taking notes for research for writing a book, planning events and even taking notes for class. Evernote is avaliable on every major smartphone platform, on PC and Mac, and even as a web client, making all of your data accessible and searchable from anywhere.
Evernote stores text, images, voice, entire web pages or nearly any other file type as a note, and organizes them in Notebooks the user creates. Each note can then have tags associated for deeper organization, and using Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software even text in images are searchable. It’s also a “Freemium” service, meaning there is a free version and a $5/month premium version. The free account allows up to 60 MB of data per month while the premium can upload up to 1 GB and has more bells and whistles.
Evernote recently released Version 3.0 of the Android client. Let’s take a look at what’s new.
Both Google and Apple have had some big privacy concerns pushed upon them in the past week after revelations that phones powered by iOS or Android store a user’s location in a history that can even be mapped out to show where you’ve been. Of course, we’ve known for a long time that our smartphones know where we are, but not that they’ve been storing that data in a file that’s relatively easy to access.
Location services that use a phone’s GPS have been fairly popular on smartphones. They provide an interesting specification to phones that allow them to transform into navigation systems and to allow you to find out their position should they be lost or stolen.
For iOS, a user can download a simple application that maps out your location history from accessing a database file that’s stored on whatever computer you’ve synced your phone with. For Android it’s a little more difficult to retrieve the file, but it’s still there and doing a similar job to Apple’s file. (more…)
There is no shortage of puzzle games on the Android platform. A new one comes out virtually every week, boasting of a never-before gaming experience, and pushing the limits of what the latest handsets have to offer in terms of raw processing power. It is heartening, then, to see a new game that focuses less on cutting-edge graphics and more on innovative gameplay mechanics and puzzles. It’s called SocialScape and it is being billed as a brain and puzzle game with a ‘social’ twist.
The term ‘social’ has become so synonymous with the web and virtually any new web service that comes out these days, my first reaction to a game named SocialScape was wondering how it will integrate with Facebook and the likes. Turns out it’s nothing of that sort. On the contrary, the game refers to the literal meaning of social – “related to a society or organization” – and weaves the gaming mechanics around the concept.
As a web developer/programmer/nerd, this is a statement I get a lot: “Hey Joe, you know what would be cool? An app that [insert something here].” Sometimes I’ll get a justification that it “shouldn’t be too hard to do” (they’d probably feel differently if they were programming it), or more commonly I’d get, “I think a lot of people would use this.” That’s how a lot of great ideas get started: someone has a want or need. On the other hand, sometimes a developer wants to take on a project, but doesn’t have an idea to run with. Need An App aims to bring these two groups of people together.
Need An App is a pretty simple app with one purpose: get app ideas from people. Once you use the app to submit an idea, “a team of Android developers will continuously evaluate the proposals … and your desired app may be realized!!” This seems pretty cool.
Apple has an interesting relationship with Samsung. They are Samsung’s biggest customer, buying up valuable components to power the successful iPhone and iPad lines. However, right now they’re suing Samsung’s mobile division for copying Apple’s intellectual property.
Samsung are, of course, the makers of the Galaxy line of smartphones and tablets, all running Android, while Apple produce the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad, all running iOS. The intellectual property specified in Apple’s case refers to both the hardware and software design aspects of iOS and the devices that run them.
Today, we’ll take a look at the claims of Apple and the community’s response. (more…)
When the iPad was released in April 2010, it completely changed the way we looked at tablet computing. Before the iPad, tablets were seen as a niche market, and rarely seen on the shelves of stores. Nowadays, tablets are everywhere with a whole range of different price levels and features and they are the hot gadget to get at the moment (remember the queues outside the Apple stores on the day of the iPad 2 launch).
Google is now wanting a slice of a market which is still predominantly dominated by Apple and it hopes that the latest version of its popular Android operating system, Android 3.0 (codenamed Honeycomb), will knock Apple off that top spot. Honeycomb is the first version of Android that was designed specifically for tablets, and you really do get whiffs of this whilst scouting round their brand new OS. Previous Android tablets ran Android 2.2 (Froyo), which, as noted by one of my colleagues in another article, looks pretty dire when stretched across a large screen.
Read on for a detailed review of Honeycomb, including a look at the new features, how it fares up to other versions of Android, and the crucial question: is it up to iOS standard?
There’s a number of times you might need send a polite hint that you’re busy. Say you’re watching a movie at a cinema and don’t want to break the unwritten rule against phone activity. Or you’re driving and don’t want to break the governed law of not texting whilst driving. However, it would still seem rude to completely ignore the sender’s attempts to get in touch with you.
Well, luckily you’re phone is smart. You can use a variety of applications to automatically respond to your messages noting your inability to respond. Bzzy is one of these applications that not only responds to text messages, but also counts how many you missed.
Did you catch Toby Seers’s roundup of live wallpapers earlier this week? There are some stunning background effects in there, whether you want to adorn your phone with galaxies, flowers, hamsters, or a fat little plumber in overalls.
The trouble with live wallpapers is: they use a lot of battery. Way more than regular wallpapers. So, while I think we can all agree that live wallpapers are impressive, I’d like to know whether you actually use them. Let us know by voting in the poll!
The IGDA (International Game Developers Association) has warned Android game developers about Amazon’s Appstore, telling them to read Amazon’s terms carefully. They have been told to “educate themselves on the pros and cons of submitting content to Amazon”.
In their “important advisory“, the IGDA’s main concern is over the payment terms with Amazon. Amazon pays developers “the greater of 70% of purchase price or 20% of list price”. For reference, Amazon does not allow developers to set list prices in the way they can on other marketplaces. Like other Amazon-sold products, from TVs to toasters, the list price is set by Amazon. (more…)