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When it comes to media playback on the desktop, few media players enjoy the kind of ubiquitous love that VLC media player from VideoLan does. Over the last few years, VLC has become *the* app of choice for playing all kinds of video and audio files without the hassle of worrying about comapatibility and downloading codecs. The app has been available on a whole host of platforms including Mac, Windows and Linux, but has taken a while to arrive on mobile operating systems — barring a short unofficial stint on iOS before being pulled from the App Store.

All that is about to change now, with the release of the public beta of VLC Media Player for Android on the Play Store. Although it wasn’t the most full featured of apps when it was announced a few months back, the development team has been hard at work adding features at a steady pace along with UI and compatibility enhancements. We will take a look at the current version of the app to try and see how well it stacks up against the host of very capable alternatives that have already established themselves on Android.


When you first buy a DSLR camera, you may not get a lot of great shots but you will get a ton of advice from everybody you encounter. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but budding photographers need to learn at their own pace when it comes to both photographic principles and operating a camera. And if you’re starting to learn by yourself, you’ll find a handy guide in Right Click.

Right Click is a simple tutorial app that contains useful information about the basics of photography, a few styles and modes of shooting and finally, a simulator for various manual camera settings found on DSLRs and even some compact models. Let’s take a look at what we can learn from it, and see what’s still missing.


One of my favorite parts about Gmail is all of the cool Labs features it has: the Send & Archive Button, Reply to All by default, Google Docs Previews, Canned Responses, and more. The problem, however, is that most (or none) of these are available on Android. Recently, app developer Apndroid decided to fix one of these issues by releasing a beta version of their app, Gmail Canned Responses, which brings Canned Responses to Android.

This app is clearly labeled as a development version but that doesn’t mean we can’t take a look at it! Let’s see how it’s coming along so far.


Even though the partial evacuation of New York City due to Hurricane Sandy forced Google to cancel their event yesterday, a whole new range of Nexus devices were announced through the press, led by The Verge. The entire Nexus lineup was revamped, with an expansion of the Nexus 7 offer, an entirely new flagship smartphone, the Nexus 4, and a larger tablet in the form of the Nexus 10.


Twitter makes a lot of sense on smartphones — the 140-character format is brief enough and suitable for smaller screens. Add to that the variety of quality Twitter clients available for Android and you can have a great social networking experience in the palm of your hand. Could things get any better?

The wunderkind behind Minimal Reader Pro (the brilliant Google Reader widget) seems to think so. Developer Joaquim Vergès and designer Jesse Coletta have come up with Falcon for Twitter (beta), a new Twitter widget that brings all the functionality you need to get your tweet on, right to your home screen. Is this your next favorite Twitter app or just the flavor of the week? Let’s take a closer look to find out.


I love finding great design and video content on my Tumblr feed, my Facebook friends never fail to entertain, and I follow a carefully curated set of creative folks on Twitter. What I hate is having to use separate apps for each network, with different interfaces and clunky workflows for sharing between them. That’s why I’m really glad I came across Scope.

Still in beta, Scope is a unified social networking app that brings together all your content and activity from Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, and Foursquare in a simple, beautiful interface that’s really easy to use. Scope differentiates itself from other apps like Flipboard and Feedly in that it not only allows you to view content from your social networks but also interact with item just like you would on their native apps.


The CyanogenMod team have begun rolling out their Alpha-rated CM10 series of custom ROMs. These ROMs use Google’s latest ‘Jelly Bean’ build of Android, otherwise known as 4.1.

I’ve been running it on my Transformer TF101 this past week, and thoroughly enjoying it. Now I would like to highlight some features of the ROM, both from the Jelly Bean updates and CyanogenMod’s own additions.


Chameleon is Teknision‘s bold attempt to re-imagine and re-invent the way Android home screens look and operate. Their view is that the home screen is what you look at on a device 90% of the time, so why shouldn’t it be fully customizable, tailored to your exact needs?

Earlier this year, the company launched a Kickstarter project, accompanied by a demonstration video of Chameleon. The project raised over $60,000 — over twice what they needed — and the beta has now been released.

In this Preview, let me take you through the current version of Chameleon…


Voice command is definitely a hot topic when it comes to mobile devices like your Android phones and Tablets. Even before Siri started strutting her stuff on prime time television, mobile users have longed for a way to make their devices take action without having to diddle with the screens and keypads.

Of course, many apps have sprung up to fill this gap, and as far as the Android landscape is concerned, Vlingo is at the top of the food chain. You can’t really discuss voice command on Android without mentioning it. This is likely why manufacturers like Samsung have partnered with Vlingo to create their own customized virtual assistant apps. Siri-competitor S-Voice, only officially available on the Samsung Galaxy S III at the time of this writing, is obviously based on Vlingo.

Vlingo Labs (Beta) is where users with an Ice Cream Sandwich device can test out the hottest new features that could end up in the official Vlingo Virtual Assistant app. In this case, we are dealing with a true beta app. It is strictly a “test kitchen” for shiny new ideas and test features that may end up elsewhere.


Google I/O 2012, Google’s annual developer conference is this week, and yesterday’s keynote speech saw the company unveil Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean), the Nexus 7 (an official Android tablet), new apps for Maps, Currents, and Google+, Android’s own search assistant, and more.

In case you missed the presentation, here’s a quick overview.


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