Thursday, March 29, 2012

Google rolls out Android 4.0.4

There's Ice Cream Sandwich in the air today as Google starts pushing out Android 4.0.4 update to Galaxy Nexus devices. The update brings stability improvements, better camera performance, smoother screen rotation, improved phone number recognition etc. According to Google's post on Google+, the devices to receive the update include, the Xoom Wi-Fi, Galaxy Nexus and the Nexus S. The latter device will be receiving the Ice Cream Sandwich for the first time.

Source: Google+

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Seesmic update supports ad, introduces Pro version.

My favorite app got a not so interesting update on Android. In Fact, Seesmic latest update brings ad support to the app. I guess the move is necessary in order to keep a free version of the software available. To get rid of the ads, Seesmic now offers the Pro version. The latter has added features like the capability to combine your Facebook and Twitter stream on one screen. Seesmic Pro is priced at $2.99.

Evernote update: Speech to text.

Jotting down notes with the onscreen keyboard is nice, especially if the keyboard is really good and allows for fast typing. The same is better if you own a Galaxy Note type of device that comes with a stylus. What if you don't have a good onscreen keyboard or a stylus? Or what if you're in a hurry and want to rapidly take a note before you lose that idea that just popped out of the blue in your head? Worst, what if you did not update Evernote to version 3.6?

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Reminder: Google to turn off Wave on April 30, 2012.

Google is definitely pulling the plug on Wave at the end of April this year. If you have been using the short-lived Wave, now is the time to export your data using the free PDF tool on the read only site. Note, that you may also also export your waves to open source platforms such as Walkaround.

More info in Google's reminder below.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

LogMeIn partners with HTC for remote Android phone support.

LogMeIn is partnering with HTC to allow the latter to provide customer support remotely. To make this possible, future HTC devices with Android will have LogMeIn Rescue built-in. That app will let HTC Customer Care remotely access, troubleshoot and configure customers phone, provided the latter has a data connection. No remote session can be established without the phone owners consent, thus protecting users privacy. 
According to the press release, future HTC devices will come pre-loaded  with "a user-enabled LogMeIn Rescue applet". So, I expect to see this on the upcoming HTC One series of devices.

Read the full press release after the break.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Softmaker Office for Android sounds promising.

I received Softmaker's newsletter today and they are currently doing an internal testing of their Office suite of applications for Android phones and tablet. Based on what I've read on Softmaker's blog, the product sounds robust compared to existing Office-like products on the Android platform. Even Microsoft office for Windows Phone pales in comparison. The latter doesn't support office 97.

"I have already talked in the past about the features that make SoftMaker Office the most powerful Android office suite – such as tables, PDF export, a full implementation of tracked changes, comments like in Microsoft Word, image support in many different file formats, exact rendering of all Excel charts, a huge number of calculation functions in PlanMaker, and the ability of SoftMaker Presentations to show all animations and transitions of Microsoft PowerPoint.
But the most important thing: all three programs read and write the classic and the current document formats of Microsoft Office 97 up to 2010 seamlessly:
  • TextMaker reads and writes DOC and DOCX files,
  • PlanMaker reads and writes XLS and XLSX files,
  • and SoftMaker Presentations reads and writes PPT, PPS, PPTX, and PPSX files."
Softmaker Office for Android supports Dropbox and integration with the popular Evernote is in the works. The blog post also announces the availability of the app for public beta testing soon. 

Friday, March 9, 2012

Angry Birds Space announced by NASA.

Mark your calendar: Angry Birds Space will be released on March 22 on Android, iOS, PC and Mac. The announcement was made by Flight Engineer Don Pettit aboard the International Space Station "to explain the unique properties of physics in space, including a demonstration of a catapult in zero gravity using an Angry Bird."

Watch the zero gravity demo:

Read the full announcement.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Android Market gets replaced by Google Play - takes yours books, apps & movies to the cloud.

Until yesterday - at least for me - Android Market was the place to go to download apps.Google Music was where I would get my music were it supported in my region. And, finally, Google eBookstore served my reading needs. But that was yesterday.

Today, Google is pushing out an update for Android phone and tablet that will bring these three services under one umbrella app called Google Play. With Google Play, your music, apps, books and movies will get stored in the cloud. With Google Play you won't have to worry about availability of your stuff anymore, no matter the Google device you have.

With Google Play you can:
  • Store up to 20,000 songs for free and buy millions of new tracks
  • Download more than 450,000 Android apps and games
  • Browse the world’s largest selection of eBooks
  • Rent thousands of your favorite movies, including new releases and HD titles
Hit the break for a video introduction to Google Play.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

TED's official Android app released.

This is a must have app not only on your Android, also on any platform where it is available. I love to watch TED talks. If you've never heard about TED before, i'll tell you briefly about it.

TED is a venue where people of various backgrounds come to share their passion and ideas through talks that you can now watch online. These talks can be fascinating, ingenious, courageous, inspiring, funny, informative. Sometimes they are all of that.

Again, I really recommend this app that will let you stream or save talks to your smartphone and tablet.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Check out Seesmic Ping.

Finally Android gets an app that will let users post to multiple social networks once. With Seesmic Ping, users will be able to update their status to Facebook, Twitter and Linked from one place. Curiously, Google+ is not included. Besides the multiple update function, Seesmic Ping also lets you schedule your updates for a later time.

The ability to post to multiple social networks is native into Windows Phone. So let's hope Google will do the same in Jelly Bean.

Get Seesmic Ping here.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Skitch update lets you annotate maps.

The ability to annotate a map has been available in Skitch for iPad for what seems an eternity now. I'm glad to see that the same function has been ported to Android. and I have a simple and good reason why. I have found this app to be very useful on my non-3G iPad. Whenever I received a request from my non-Mauritians colleagues to provide them with a map to a certain location, it proved cumbersome to send it to them from my iPad; even with tethering. Data connections is slower in tether and forced me to wait when I'd reach a WiFi spot. Skitch for Android will help solve that problem. I'll just be able to annotate maps anywhere and share them with my colleagues on the go.
"Using the map feature is a two-step process. Tapping on the Map icon on the home screen launches a live map. Here you can pinch, pan and zoom or search for what you need. Tapping anywhere on the map will drop a pin to mark a location. Now that you’ve framed your map, it’s time to mark it up. Tap on the Skitch icon to begin annotating the map with arrows, text and freehand lines. When you’re finished, you can save or share the map."
Get Skitch here.