Monthly Archives: November 2011

Android

Google releases Ice Cream Sandwich source code. Developers can download now.

Google originally said that Ice Cream Sandwich would be open-sourced shortly after the release of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, but the code has actually been made public prior to the release of Google’s latest benchmark phone.

Software engineer and Android Open Source Project member Jean Baptiste Queru just confirmed that Ice Cream Sandwich is being added to the Android source tree. Queru says this is Android 4.0.1, the same version of the software that ships on the Galaxy Nexus. The code is being pushed right now. Download instructions for developers is available here once everything is ready.

Since most of you aren’t developers, here’s a simple explanation of why you should be happy to see this. In order to make the best ROM’s possible, developers need the right code from the AOSP. ROM’s  pieced together from the Android SDK are not as good as what can be achieved with the source. So with the proper code, those developers can get to work customizing Ice Cream Sandwich or modifying it to work with your phone long before carriers and manufacturers do (root required). It also means companies like HTC and LG can get to work on those updates that they promised.

Also of note, the source code for Honeycomb is also available today. Google previously chose not to open source Honeycomb in order to prevent people from introducing software for devices that weren’t ready for it, but the AOSP team has finally made the code available. However, Queru still says, “Since Honeycomb was a little incomplete, we want everyone to focus on Ice Cream Sandwich. So, we haven’t created any tags that correspond to the Honeycomb releases (even though the changes are present in the history.)”

That won’t stop developers and ROM modders from doing it anyway. Not everyone is a fan of Ice Cream Sandwich, so don’t be surprised if you start seeing some ROM’s or app releases with elements from Honeycomb instead.

Android

YouTube Android app adds +1 button, Watch It Later, and upload while editing

The YouTube Android app, one of the most popular on the Android platform, has been updated to tie in with Google’s services. The +1 button, Google’s soon-to-be-ubiquitous method of approval, is now available on mobile. While YouTube has traditionally relied on the thumbs up/down icons and comments for people to give feedback, users can also hit the +1 button to show their support for content. There’s no link to the sharing and recommendation gadgets seen on the web versions of the +1 button, however.

YouTube also now supports the Watch It Later queue. While watching a video that a user wants to watch later, users can press the square “+” button at the top of the screen and then select “Watch Later” (or add to Favorites or playlist). Accessing the existing Watch It Later queue is possible by pressing Menu > My Channel > Playlists > Watch It Later.

The final new twist is that the app can continue uploading while the user edits video info. I have nothing worth uploading to test this feature, but some users report being unable to get it to work. Also worth noting, the update so far seems to only be available for phones because my Honeycomb device doesn’t show an update. Head to the Android Market to put it on your phone.

Android

Peel Smart Remote is an interesting TV guide and remote almost ready for prime time. [App Reviews]

Television sucks. Not just the quality of shows on-air, but also the challenge of endlessly scrolling through the long list of what’s playing in order to find something actually worth watching. Peel Smart Remote is an Android app that seeks to give users more control of their television. The app connects to a television and cable box to become both a personalized guide and a secondary remote. At the moment, only the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus can use the remote function, but other Android phones and tablets in the United States should be able to use the guide aspect.

Results will vary when setting up Peel, but my experience was frustrating. While I commend Peel for attempting to simplify the TV set-up process – the remote sends codes to televisions and cable boxes until the right signal is discovered – it took several attempts before I finally got my Toshiba HDTV and Comcast cable box operational. I sadly then had to uninstall and reset the entire process because it performed so poorly, slowly, and inconsistently when changing channels. Things went from bad to worse when the app refused to list HD channels for live sports broadcasts. Sports are the only reason I have HD service, so it was disappointing to see Law & Order listed on TNT HD but have Peel not navigate to Oregon vs. Stanford on ABC HD. In the end, it made more sense for me to abandon Peel and use my standard remote.

However, I didn’t walk away completely sour from Peel; the app truly is smart when it comes to recommendations. Peel takes cues from user preferences on television shows, movies, and sporting events, then spits back fairly accurate recommendations of interesting broadcasts. Someone who claims to be a big fan of reality TV, comedy, lifestyle, and baseball will get a nice mix of options for what’s broadcasting at any given time (schedules revealed up to a week in advance). Thumbnails for shows like Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Shrek the Third, and VH1 Video Pop-Up will appear, along with a brief description and a link to tune to that network (GTab 7+ only for now). Users can also mark a show as a favorite or cut a program so it’s no longer shown. That can also lead to better recommendations.

Peel does a good job of highlighting interesting programs. A complete TV guide is not available in the app, but it does let users browse by genre and get targeted recommendations. While I was greatly disappointed by the remote function – which, again, will vary by user and television provider – having a heads-up on broadcasts that may interest me was beneficial. Far from perfect, Peel does a decent job saving users from bad programming fatigue. It’s certainly better than aimlessly flicking through channels.


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Android

Pogoplug Cloud offers FREE 5GB cloud storage, auto-upload, streaming & sharing

From Dropbox to Skydrive to SugarSync, there’s no shortage of cloud storage options. Pogoplug, already known for its local hardware storage and media streaming, is getting in on the action with the just-launched Pogoplug Cloud.

Pogoplug Cloud is an upgrade that puts user data – photos, music, documents, and more – in online storage, aka “the cloud.” The first 5 GB members use is completely free, but additional space can be purchased to store 50 GB ($9.99 per month) or 100 GB ($19.95 per month). Combined with the hardware options like Pogoplux box that can stream media on a home server, users can backup a lot of content.

The new Pogoplug Cloud is more than just an online locker; members also get access to the content that they store online. So users can stream HD videos on their phone, browse photos, and listen to music without having to download those files to their local storage. And should you record video or snap photos with your device, those images will automatically upload to Pogoplug for safekeeping and streaming to other devices.

Pogoplug Cloud enables personal storage and streaming, as well as the ability to quickly share to others. (Content kept in shared folders can be linked on social networks or in email.) Download the Android 2.2 or higher application and sign-up to get 5 GB of free service.

UPDATE: CNET members can temporarily get 10 GB of storage.

Android

Google Music launching with Free Song of the Day, might have all 4 major record labels after all [Screenshot/Rumor]

Google is believed to relaunch its Google Music service this week with the addition of paid music downloads, a feature not currently available in the music streaming app. However, screenshots from a Venezuelan blogger show what appear to be the upcoming music store that ties into the Android Market and Music app.

A writer for TecnoDroidVe claims that while playing around with an HTC Inspire, he came across several pages that offered songs from artists like Green Day, Joss Stone, Ricardo Montaner, and Shakira. The images below show albums and songs that users can tap to purchase from the Android Market, similar to the set-ups that Google already has for Books and Movies. Songs range from $0.99-$1.29, and a “Free Song of the Day” tab appears as well. (Google has introduced a similar feature on its Magnifier music blog.)

The screenshots, which appear to be legit, lend credence to reports that Google’s November 16 “These Go To Eleven” event in LA is to relaunch Google Music as a proper streaming service with a storefront built-in. What’s interesting is that these screenshots also shoot down a rumor floated by AllThingsD’s Peter Kafka. Citing unnamed sources, Kafka said Sony and Warner Music Groups were unlikely to sign a deal by Wednesday to license its music to Google. However, Shakira is signed to Sony Music and Green Day is signed to Reprise, a subsidiary of Warner Music Group. EMI and Universal Music were already on-board according to Kafka, so perhaps Google managed to finalize those last-minute licensing deals after all? (For the record, Joss Stone and Ricardo Montaner, both EMI artists, are also pictured in the screenshots.)

View the full gallery of screenshots at TecnoDroidVe

via AndroidPolice


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Mobile

Lenovo prepares to launch a 10.1-inch Tegra 3 tablet with Ice Cream Sandwich by the end of the year

CES 2012? Psh, Lenovo is better than that apparently, as reportedly, they are going to launch an Ice Cream Sandwich running Tegra 3 tablet by the end of the year.

Mobile

QuickOffice Pro is free on the Amazon appstore today, here’s your chance to save $14.99

Free app of the day is one of the best parts of the Amazon appstore and today it offers one of the best bargains in its history. QuickOffice Pro is one of the most functional office applications around and thanks to Amazon, you can download it for free today.

Android

Space Leap: A Gorgeous Looking And Atmospheric Sounding Space Puzzler

The premise is your planet is dying, you must navigate it through space collecting life essence to sustain life along the way. If you’ve played Rocket Bunnies before, the gameplay here will feel very similar to you. Your planet will be orbiting around a star’s gravitational field and you can “space jump” and slingshot it towards another star’s gravity. Along the way though, there are asteroid belts, weak gravitational fields on other stars, unstable exploding stars, and wormholes to keep you on your toes. The soothing and atmospheric soundtrack also helps get you into a relaxing gaming mode along with its simple but challenging gameplay. Being a Feint enabled game, you’ll also be able to compete with others to complete the levels the quickest. Currently, Space Leap is free and packs 3 zones and 63 levels with more on the way. This game is sure to keep you busy for a while and impress with its good looks and smooth play. Hit up the break to check out the screenshots, video, and of course a link to download from the market. Don’t forget to let us know what you think right down there in the comments as well.

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Space Leap: A Gorgeous Looking And Atmospheric Sounding Space Puzzler


Android

Test Your Brain With The Revolutionizer Puzzle Game

I love a good puzzle game for Android. What I love even more than that though is a puzzle game that’s free to try. The concept here is super simple: there are fruits of different colors on a wheel you can spin to match them up with a plate of the same color. Sounds pretty easy right? Well, as the game adds in more wheels to spin with more fruits on them, you’ll definitely find a good challenge here. The challenge is not only to match up all the colors, but also to match them in the least amount of moves. If I was forced to come up with some negatives about the game, I would prefer to be able to change the cartoonish looking fruit to something else. There is also only one static background for every level and no sound. Though there is nothing fancy happening here graphics wise, this also leads to the game being ultra smooth. If you’re looking for a brain twister and a good time waster, Revolutionizer should be next on your list. If you enjoy the free version you can go ahead and grab the full version with more levels for $.99. Check out the screenshots and game video after the break and let us know what you think. QR code and market link to follow as well.

Read More…

Test Your Brain With The Revolutionizer Puzzle Game


Android

Syncplicity Android Launch Delivers Secure File Access and Sharing for Mobile Workers [PRESS RELEASE]

MENLO PARK, CALIF. – November 15, 2011 – Syncplicity, a leader in cloud based file management solutions for businesses and individuals, today announced the immediate availability of Syncplicity for Android. With the 100 percent native Android app all the files and folders a user needs – from their existing folders on their PC’s and Macs, cloud apps like Google Docs and Salesforce, and on premise apps like SharePoint – are accessible and shareable using Android 2.x phones and tablets.

Syncplicity delivers unparalleled convenience and protection because users do not have to think ahead about moving or storing files from where they already keep them in order to gain ubiquitous mobile access. With Syncplicity, users have their own secure Virtual Private Cloud where they work naturally using the applications and folders they are used to. File changes, no matter where they happen, are automatically synced across all their computers, available in cloud and on-premise applications, accessible on their mobile devices, backed up with version control, and easily shareable with colleagues.

Syncplicity gives business of all sizes the administrative features they need to make it easy for users to access, share and back-up files while enforcing policies over control and security of data. The new Android app continues Syncplicity’s drive to provide exceptional and unique security and administration features including the ability for users or admins to remote wipe files and enable client-side data encryption for files on mobile devices.

“The Syncplicity Android App helped me look great in front of a client within hours of downloading it,” said John M. Johansen, Partner at Agile Technologies, LLC. “I was sitting with a client with a hard-copy of an NDA but the client wanted to pass an electronic copy to legal for a quick review. I just accessed the file from Syncplicity on my Droid and sent her a link to the file in an email. My client was impressed, saying  ‘Wow, now that’s agile…’. In today’s business environment speed and agility are everything, and Syncplicity for Android helps me access the files I need when it matters most. Even if I don’t have access to my work computer or remember ahead of time that I need them.”

“We are focused on helping our clients become more effective, improve efficiency and save money by deploying innovative cloud technologies, said Isidoro Reyes de Zuloaga, CEO and Managing Director at Cloud Partners. “As both a Syncplicity and Google Apps reseller, having Syncplicity available on Android phones and tablets further rounds out the secure end-to-end cloud and mobile solutions we can offer our clients. As Syncplicity Business Edition users ourselves, our employees love it, too!”

“We are passionate about the future that cloud and mobile computing offer businesses and individuals and are laser-focused on making file access, sharing and backup easy and effortless for users while providing the security and control that businesses and power users expect,” said Jeff Schultz, Chief Marketing Officer at Syncplicity. “Syncplicity for Android continues the strong momentum we have seen from the release of our native iPhone and iPad apps earlier this year and is another example of how we can satisfy both the users and the IT professionals that support them.”

Key Syncplicity for Android Features

Syncplicity for Android works on Android 2.1 and above phones and tablets including the newly available Amazon Kindle Fire. It allows users to access, create, delete, view, download, and upload files on their Android devices with changes available on all of the other computers, mobile devices, on-premise file servers and cloud applications, such as Google Docs, SharePoint and Salesforce. Because Syncplicity for Android is a native app it makes use of unique features of the platform and offers a consistent user experience with other native apps.

 

Key features include:

 

Productivity and Flexibility

 

  • ·         Users gain automatic access to all files and folders in their Virtual Private Cloud without having to “check them in” or move them manually
  • ·         Users can view a Newsfeed to see what file activity has been happening across all their computers and devices, including updates in files and folders shared among colleagues
  • ·         Users can share files of unlimited size with others, both with or without Syncplicity accounts, directly from their Android device without needing access to their computers, either directly or through a VPN
  • ·         Users can access current and past versions of files directly from their Android device without requiring administrator intervention
  • ·         Users can use 3rd party apps on Android to open, edit and save files in Syncplicity – changes are then uploaded to a user’s Virtual Private Cloud where they are synced to their other computers, devices, on-premise file servers and cloud apps such as Google Docs, SharePoint and Salesforce
  • ·         Users can create new content and move them to Syncplicity through support of the native Android File System, built in Camera and Media, and SD card support

 

Security and Control

 

  • ·         IT professionals can provide support for users’ preferred mobile devices while still retaining control over corporate assets and reducing end-user support costs that result from complex system and security configurations
  • ·         Users and IT Administrators can remotely wipe downloaded data and credentials if their device is lost or stolen
  • ·         All cached files stored encrypted at rest with enterprise-grade AES-256 encryption
  • ·         Organizational controls, permissions and policies set by administrators in Syncplicity Business Edition are enforced – extending control, information security and corporate data compliance to employee’s mobile devices
  • ·         Syncplicity optimizes device performance, data plan usage and battery life by accessing files and folders from the cloud, but also provides offline access to previously downloaded files

Cost and Availability
Syncplicity for Android is available free of charge from the Google Android Market. Existing Syncplicity users can log in to their Syncplicity account with their current credentials and download the app for free. Syncplicity for Android works with Syncplicity free, Personal Edition and Business Edition accounts.

About Syncplicity Inc.

Syncplicity is a leading provider of file management and storage solutions in the cloud, offering instant synchronization, mobile access, backup, file sharing and collaboration in one integrated solution. Based in Menlo Park, California, Syncplicity offers solutions for both business and individual users. For more information, visit www.syncplicity.com.

Syncplicity Android Launch Delivers Secure File Access and Sharing for Mobile Workers [PRESS RELEASE] originally appeared on AndroidGuys.

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