Android Apps

Amazon Appstore: Is Choice Good for Android Users?

Competition is always a good thing, right? I mean, the iPhone was the first true innovation in the smartphone market for years. And along came Android, which accelerated healthy competition and made all smartphones better, and therefore better for users. So why am I not very happy with the Amazon Appstore, at least at the moment? The promise of the Amazon Appstore sounds great, at least on paper. Adding another option for a store for consumers to buy Android apps…


Google Plays “Hide the Honeycomb”

I am not a developer or a computer science person, so everything beyond the basic user experience is sort of like magic to me. But even as a former philosophy major, I know there’s a huge number of people out there who spend unpaid hours digging through Android’s guts to provide more services and software to the average user. And that much of that is thanks to Google being committed to open source and sharing Android with the world. Or…


How to Get Zinio “Unofficially” Working on Your Android Device

If you’re like me, and you have been waiting for the official Zinio app for Android, then you’re going to have to wait a bit longer. I like to harass Zinio every once in a while on twitter about the Android app, and they usually tell me that it’s being worked on and to be patient. That’s all fine and well, but in the meantime, since I don’t have an apple device it’s really not worth buying any subscriptions because…


Adventures in Customer Service- Zinio Edition

When the term “customer service” seems more like “customer lack-of-service” we like to call the company in question out. We did so with regard to AT&T Wireless. We did so with Amazon’s Kindle policy too. We’ve even done so with Apple. (Although, to be fair, both Apple and Amazon are usually amazing in the Customer Service arena.) Yes, when a company lets us down we aren’t shy about saying so. We WANT others to know! But what happens when a…


GD Quickie: Google’s Reaction to Android Exploits; Conspiracy Theory or Keeping Us Safe?

Original image courtesy of KnowYourCell If you were following mobile news over the weekend you probably saw some reports about Google remote killing some malicious apps that found their way to the market. While most were simply noting this because you may have been one of those affected users , others took some pretty hard jabs at Google for using an exploit of their own to remote into your phone and kill the apps. While this is not far off…


Honeycomb’s Strawman

I’ve noticed a troubling and confusing theme in reviews and comments about Google’s new OS, Honeycomb. It seems everyone thinks it’s great, but there’s an anti-Xoom, anti-Honeycomb meme that keeps appearing about the lack of Honeycomb-specific apps in the Marketplace. This is what’s called a “Straw man” argument. Rather than argue Honeycomb on its actual merits, pros and cons, they’re trotting out something that sounds awful (Honeycomb has very few apps) and using it as a distraction. Now, I can’t…


SafeWallet and SafeWallet Desktop (Android) Review

It seems like everything in life has a login,or needs a credit card or an account number. There’s tons of information to track, and you certainly don’t want to leave it open in a memo on your computer or saved casually on your phone. That’s where an app like SafeWallet comes in to help. SafeWallet, from SBSH Software, is probably familiar to anyone who came from Symbian, the iPhone or Blackberry. It’s been around for those platforms for some time,…


Mediafly Drives Apps for Ford Reality Show: Focus Rally America

If you are a devotee of reality TV programming you already know about this next event-related app/app-related event, The FocusRallyApps/Ford Focus Rally: America. Kicking off on American Idol and revisited this week on the season début of Amazing Race, the Focus Rally pits six two-person teams in brand-spanking new 2012 Ford Focus hatches driving around the country utilizing social networking to decipher a series of clues that will lead them to a grand prize of $100,000 and a new Ford…


Deal With SWAGG for Deals, Gifts and a Lighter Wallet

Sometime ago I moved most of my credit cards over to an application that is stored on my iPhone and my iPad. The application is highly secured and encrypted, and it allows me to have all of my credit card information with me all the time without having to carry the credit cards themselves. I love using the app, and I see myself doing this more and more. This thing is, my credit cards aren’t the only cards that I…


MWC: AppUp, MeeGo, Open Source, and Tablets

The partnership between Nokia and Microsoft that was announced the other day has caused some speculation that the Intel powered AppUp store in general, and the MeeGo in particular might be the losers in this story. Helena and I spoke with Peter Biddle, General Manager to AppUp Products and Services, and he said that despite this partnership, AppUp and Meego will thrive. Proprietary systems have a place in the ecosystem, and so do open ones. Further scaling the development of…


Review: WritePad for Android has the Write Stuff

[Sigh]  I miss Graffiti. I was pretty fast writing with Graffiti on my old Palm devices. I’ve never been very speedy typing with my thumbs. I carried a BlackBerry for years because that is what my employer supported, but I never was all that fast (or accurate) typing with a thumb keyboard.  The BlackBerry keyboards were great, but, you see, I’m just not all that coordinated. Of course, more recently voice recognition has gotten much better and is now being…


The Notion Ink Adam Unboxing and Initial Hands-On

So the day has finally come for the Notion Ink Adam to become a reality. On pre-order day I ordered myself a Pixel Qi WiFi model and my brother a LCD WiFi model. Unfortunately due to some broken hardware reported during initial shipping, mine has yet to even post a ship date. Today the LCD model arrived on our doorstep and so far I can tell you it was worth the wait. After all the bad mojo Notion Ink was…


Scion and XLR8R Update City Guide App

Here is a bit of info Gear Diary received recently regarding a Scion-related app update. It is not a Scion owner-specific app, rather it’s one that seeks to enhance the lifestyle of the Scion demographic. The City Guide app now offers more than 15 locales in the database, but Dallas/Fort Worth, who is hosting the big game this weekend, is not among them. I did check out the Austin guide as I was visiting the capital city recently, but the…


Tough Call: Is Apple Being Draconian & Greedy … or Is Sony Trying to Pull a Fast One?

If you track technology, you have likely seen the NYTimes article or one of the echo-articles declaring a shift in how Apple operates the app store, citing the rejection of the Sony Reader app and a vague quote from a Sony Rep as evidence. There is a lot of speculation there, but it ultimately comes down to the interpretation of two sections of a single sentence: The company has told some applications developers, including Sony, that they can no longer…


Angry Birds Head Way South…to Rio!

Have you beaten all the “regular” Angry Birds levels, and even conquered Angry Birds Seasons? Do you open the game and admire all your 3-star levels and awesome high scores? Well, get your flinging fingers limbered up…because a new Angry Birds is coming this spring! Fox has the new animated movie “Rio” coming out this spring, about birds…Rovio has a game about birds. It’s a match made in casual gaming heaven! No word on the exact release time beyond March…


Sony Unveils New Handheld Called ‘NGP’, Brings PSOne Classics to Android, and Makes Promises I Bet They’ll Break

As expected, during a 1AM EST press event, Sony unveiled the next generation of its portable gaming systems, called the NGP, or PSP 2 for short. I have attached full press release, but let’s walk through some of the details: 5″ OLED 960 x 554 Screen – also multitouch capable Multi-touch rear panel Quad-core A9 Cortex processor Dual analog sticks Accelerometer, gyroscope, compass Normal array of speakers, microphone, WiFi, Bluetooth, etc Yet another new proprietary storage format Of course, having…


Review: HanDBase for Android

HanDBase is one of those mobile app titles that anyone who has been around mobile devices for a while will surely recognize. HanDBase, by DDH Software, was introduced for Palm OS initially, eventually migrating to Windows Mobile, BlackBerry, iOS, and now Android. While I don’t use database programs extensively, I have used one program or another for a long while to track media collections or other forms of inventories. If you’re new to HanDBase, it is a relational database program with…


Android Market Is Only as ‘Open’ as Google Allows

Loads of people from Apple haters to Apple fans have expressed displeasure at the sometimes seemingly arbitrary way that the iTunes App Store will reject apps. And for good reason – it is one thing to disagree with written and universally applied rules, as those are for the App Store owner to develop and enforce. But when the rules are vague and randomly applied … then it is correct to complain. Which brings us to the Android Market. Last week…


Nuance Gives Devs Ability to Voice-Enable iOS/Android Apps Through Dragon Mobile SDK

How amazing would it be if your favorite iOS app no longer required you to type in information in order to use it? Imagine something like Google Voice Search, but in any number of apps and with the precision of something like Nuance’s voice-to-text technology instead of Google’s hit-or-miss version. Well that just became possible with Nuance’s announcement that they will be providing access to the Dragon Mobile SDK for iOS AND Android. This will be accomplished through a new…


Contour GPS Adds Bluetooth to Hands-Free Video

It’s an issue as old as Xtreme Sportz. You’ve strapped a video camera to your helmet, and you’re convinced it’s absolutely killer footage. Unfortunately, you taped the camera at the wrong angle, and instead of seeing your wicked skating set everyone sees the sky. Luckily, ContourGPS has a hands-free video camera that solves this issue by turning your phone into the viewfinder via Bluetooth. I can see where this would be helpful since without some sort of screen you don’t…


CES: Handsets and Tablets, Oh MY! All from Motorola!

Today at CES Verizon had their day in the sun! During that announcement they officially announced what looks like a great handset in the new Droid Bionic, plus the new Xoom Tablet.  Both are due to hit Verizon early this year. The Droid Bionic boasts from the press release: Packing a dual core processor with each core running at 1GHz, delivering up to two GHz of processing power, and 512 MB RAM, the sleekly designed DROID BIONIC smartphone with 4G LTE…