Top 10 Android app updates: Pocket, Hooked, Skyscanner, AIVC, TapTu, …

updates-notification-10-market

Welcome back to our weekly Top 10 Android App Updates column, where we take a look at the most upgraded apps for the week. I’ve found that one of the best ways to discover useful apps is to look at what people are actually updating, and not focus on which apps have the most installs.

To find the most updated apps, I turn to AppAware. It’s a great tool that shows me which apps have active support from their developers and sometimes reminds me of an old app that I might have removed long ago. Make sure to install it so your activity can help determine our weekly top 10 list.

This week I’m going to do things a little different. I normally filter out apps that have over 10 million installs, but I’m going to make an exception for popular apps that had significant updates. I hope you enjoy this weekly feature and discover some apps that you might find useful.

Pocket – Version 4.0.2

What’s new in this version:

  1. Fixed:
  2. Select/Copy Text on 2.3 devices.
  3. Margins for smaller tablets.
  4. Duplicate items appearing when sharing.
  5. Video/Audio not pausing.
  6. Several crashes/bugs.
  7. New/Improved:
  8. Added a Report Article option in the Share Menu.
  9. YouTube viewing.

Read It Later was just rebranded into Pocket last week, and the developer already rolled out an update that fixed a bunch of bugs and improved some features. I had never used the app before last week, so I gave it a try and now I’m loving it. Pocket integrates perfectly with the built in share function of most apps and allows you to save almost any kind of content for viewing later. If you have ever been on your phone and wished you had your PC to view some content, then give Pocket a go.

TeamViewer for Remote Control – Version 7.0.405

What’s new in this version:

  1. New Design
  2. Performance optimizations (full hardware acceleration and better performance on ARMv7a processors)
  3. Tablet optimized
  4. Improved multitasking
  5. Various minor bug fixes

This week TeamViewer introduced a major update to their Remote Control and Meetings apps. The main new feature was VoIP calling, but the apps also included a new design that was optimized for tablets. I’ve never used either app, but they are both free and maintain an average review score of 4.7.

Hooked – Version 1.2.31

What’s new in this version:

  1. Improvements to loading and performance when device has low connectivity
  2. Resolves issue with G+ login for several devices
  3. Preserves user’s session when returning back to the app
  4. We are working to only display games compatible with your phone, coming shortly! We are working day and night to address any problems, device capability so please let us know. If anyone still experiences any issues at all, please contact us at support@hookedmediagroup.com

Hooked is quickly becoming one of the best ways to discover new Android games that match your liking. The app monitors which games you have installed and which games you play the most, then provides personalized recommendations for new titles that you might enjoy. The latest update is mostly bug fixes and performance enhancements, but give it a try if you have yet to check it out.

App 2 SD – Version 2.51

What’s new in this version:

  1. ★ long-press an app icon will show More options menu
  2. ★ app total used size now also includes used external code and data size. Android ICS devices only
  3. ★ tapping an app icon on the PHONE ONLY page will show App info instead of opening Google Play
  4. ★ updated untranslated strings for Vietnamese, Russian, Polish, Dutch, Spanish, Italian, Bulgarian
  5. ★ don’t export system apps to the app list
  6. ★ bugs fixed

If your Android device is over a year old, chances are you have seen the “low space warning” pop up a few times.  App 2 SD is a great tool from Sam Lu that helps manage your installed apps and clear up free space with a single click. People with newer devices might not find much use in this app, but it can be a lifesaver on older phones with limited internal storage.

Google Offers – Version 2.1

What’s new in this version:

  1. New and refreshed design: the new look for Google Offers lets you view all your offers with larger photos and crisp design
  2. Fast browsing speed: Browse smoothly between offers and purchase with faster checkout
  3. More offers for more cities, all in one place: Get offers in 40 US cities and access to offers from up to 30 partner deal sites
  4. Manage your notifications: We have fixed the disable notification option

Google Offers is similar to the popular Groupon that lets you discover, buy and redeem deals with your Android phone. It was initially only available in a couple of markets, but it has now expanded over 40 cities and includes offers from 30 deal sites. The latest version includes a fresh design that matches the Android 4.0 stylings. The annoying notifications have also been fixed and are now able to be turned off.

Skyscanner – Version 2.0.1.2

What’s new in this version:

  1. Reduced the size of the app
  2. Database and memory optimisation
  3. Added Chicago Gary Regional and Lombok International Airport
  4. Added a “Done” button to the date and passenger selector as well as the filters.
  5. Added option to install the app in the internal memory when the space on SD card is not sufficient
  6. Added option in settings to clear all Recent Searches and Places history.
  7. Added new currencies: Argentine Peso, Jordanian Dinar, Bolivian Boliviano and Qatar Riyal

There are many Android apps for checking airline prices, but few look as nice as Skyscanner. The latest update reduced the size of the app and added several new airports and currencies. Skyscanner is currently available in 28 languages, so check it out before the next time you fly.

Business Calendar Free – Version 2.0.1

What’s new in this version:

  1. the agenda, month, week and day widgets have been redesigned
  2. new design and transparency options for widgets
  3. the agenda widget now is scrollable by finger gestures for some alternative home screen launchers
  4. the agenda widget now has an option to directly open the event details
  5. you now can select default values for the options “Show me as” and “Privacy”
  6. the “Show me as” option now will also be synced with Exchange on the Samsung Galaxy S / S2
  7. some more changes and bug fixes

Business Calendar is a complete calendar application that synchronizes with Google Calendar and adds a ton of additional features. The paid version normally sells for $4.99, but you can get the ad-supported version for free. This new update includes a new design, new widgets, and several minor bug fixes.

TWC TV – Version varies with device

What’s new in this version:

  1. Live TV on Android 4.x (Ice Cream Sandwich) smartphones and tablets
  2. Redesigned DVR manager interface
  3. Bug fixes and performance enhancements

Time Warner Cable customers can finally watch live TV on their Android devices with the latest TWC TV app. Live TV support is limited to the Motorola Xoom WiFi and Samsung Galaxy Nexus, but more devices should be added in the coming months. A local WiFi network is also required, but now you have the freedom to watch TV from any room in your house from your Android device.

AIVC – Version 2.1.1

What’s new in this version:

  1. Bugfix with Database initialisation
  2. Online-TTS Bug
  3. Nicknames / Aliases
  4. => Nina is my girlfriend
  5. => Call my girlfriend
  6. Choose search engine
  7. Choose Celsius / Fahrenheit
  8. Carbon Design
  9. Ton Bug

Artificial Intelligent Voice Control (AIVC) is another Android app that lets you control your device with your voice. The free version is ad-supported, but you can kill the ads in the Pro version that runs for $2.99. Voice functions in the free version allow you to control call, SMS, email, translation, navigation, alarm, timer, app launcher, calculator, Facebook, web search, weather, and search images. The Pro version ads a couple additional commands including calendar, play music, Tv-receiver control and a dialog-mode.

TapTu – Version 2.0.6

What’s new in this version:

  1. Bug fixes
  2. Faster scrolling of articles
  3. Possibility of changing article font size on the article page.
  4. Increased size of small cards. You can change the card size in the stream options menu (the one at the right side of every stream title).

TapTu is another news reader app which lets you discover thousands of streams on your favorite topics from a wide variety of web sites, blogs, newspapers and magazines. It only has a fraction of the number of installs for the main competitor Pulse, but TapTu currently sports a higher average review score. I’ll always stick with Google Reader and RSS feeds for my news fix, but give TapTu a try if you prefer a more visual approach to reading your news.

Honorable mentions

Did you see any Android apps that received notable updates in the last week? Share your suggestions in the comments below and we will add them to our honorable mentions list.


Samsung begin counting down to “The Next Galaxy” launch

Samsung have begun the official teasers for the upcoming launch of what we’re expecting to be the Samsung Galaxy S III — the Galaxy S II’s successor. Samsung have created a website that might appear to have a gibberish domain, but is in fact an anagram for “The Next Galaxy”. Clever. The countdown isn’t counting down to the May 3rd launch event, but it may be counting down to a time where a video teaser is released. Whatever it is, I’m sure Samsung will milk it for all it’s worth; there’s a lot of hype on the back of this…

Continue reading on Ausdroid…


Craigslist Notification – Android app review

Price : Free

What : Craigslist Notification is an app that lets you set specific search terms and notifies you when there is a new post relating to that search. This way, you can ensure that you get the deals you are looking for as soon as it is posted.

How : Hit the Search link to add a new search. In the screen shown below, add a new search. You have the option of saving the search or doing a one-time search. If you want notifications anytime a new result becomes available,  the ‘Enable Notifications’  box should be checked.  If it is not checked, remember that you will have to explicitly enter into the search for it to show new results. If it is checked, then it automatically notifies you in the status bar if there are any new results.

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Here are some searches.

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Usefulness : If you are watching  a particular product on Craigslist,  this is the way to go.

 

QR Code :


Discover how Samsung is about to challenge the way you view the Galaxy in new teaser

samsung-galaxy-teaser

Samsung is scheduled to unpack the next Galaxy on May 3rd, but we should get some new details early tomorrow morning. A new teaser site just went live which has a countdown that ends around 5 PM EST.

Earlier today Samsung Mobile tweeted out an anagram which led people to tgeltaayehxnx.com. The site features a message that says, “Coming soon. You can take the next step in…” and the page’s metadata reveals, “Discover how Samsung is about to challenge the way you view the GALAXY once more.”

The “Galaxy S III” has been one of the been one of the most hyped Android phones to date, but no official information has been revealed. We don’t even know what the product will be called or what the final specs might become. Our alarms are set for early in the morning, so check back first thing tomorrow to see what clues get revealed.


Samsung launches teaser site for Galaxy S III – More details tomorrow

If you want to learn more about the hotly anticipated Samsung Galaxy S III smartphone you’ll want to tune in tomorrow. Samsung has just launched a teaser site for the new phone after scrambling “The Next Galaxy” into tgeltaayehxnx and launching tgeltaayehxnx.com earlier today. With a countdown ending early morning tomorrow we shouldn’t have to wait too much longer, only about 13 hours or so.

Samsung’s done a great job keeping this entire phone a mystery and they’ve continued it with these recent leaks. Posting nothing but a picture on Facebook stating May 3rd as the announcement date, and now this site. After going to www.thenextgalaxy.com I was greeted with a password encryption so the possibility that it will open up tomorrow is likely. We can expect to see more teasers, some sort of riddle, or possibly a scavenger hunt as some have suggested over on Twitter.

Sadly I don’t expect any sort of reveal or pictures of said device, only more teasing and something to keep us busy until May 3rd when we see the real thing up on stage at the London event. I’m hoping I’m wrong and maybe they’ll do a scavenger hunt similar to the DROID DOES promotions by Verizon. Looking at the countdown you’ll see “you can take the next step in” listed — so tomorrow morning we’ll all be headed for the next clue.

Stay tuned for all the juicy details, leaks, and possible riddles we are expecting from Samsung and their Galaxy S III. Don’t forget we’ll be live in London with all the details and hands-on coverage you won’t wanna miss. Who’s getting excited?


Samsung launches countdown and teaser site for “The Next Galaxy”

The first teaser for the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S III could be unveiled in just a few hours. Samsung has set up a special website with a countdown timer (14.5 hours left at the time of this post) at tgeltaayehxnx.com, an anagram for TheNextGalaxy. The company made the announcement of the special teaser site earlier today via its official Twitter account.

No, we won’t be seeing the Galaxy S III tomorrow; Samsung has May 3rd set for the unveiling of the phone. What we will be seeing tomorrow is most likely a teaser of the device.

The model number for the Galaxy S III is most likely going to be the GT-i9300. In the past week, many leaked images, including a full video, of the GT-i300 have surfaced. It is believed that the specs of the GT-i9300 (1.4Ghz quad-core processor, 4.6-inch HD display, NFC, 1GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage, 2050mAh battery, 8-megapixel camera) appear to be correct. The phone’s housing, on the other hand, appears to be a dummy which is currently being used to conceal the true looks of the device.

Dance Legend Gives Android Gamers A Reason To Dougie

Android gaming continues to grow in popularity by the day. There are all types of games from first-person shooters to racing games to casual puzzle games, but what about some Dance Dance Revolution-type games? Well the fine development team at TuneWiki thought about curious absence of a dance game and created the surprisingly good Dance Legend. The game provides a decent lineup of tracks, solid customizations, great graphics and easy controls. The game is easy to pick up and start playing right from the get-go. Simply put, this game is a must-have for not just hardcore gamers, but casual Android users as well.

Dance Legend is based off a simple concept: pull off new and classic dance moves while gaining major street credibility. In order to pull off the dance moves and gain credibility, you’ll need music to jam and groove to popular tunes and Dance Legend delivers. You”ll find tracks from top-40 artists such as LMFAO to Lady Gaga and even classics like Vanilla Ice or MC Hammer. Gaining the street credibility will allow you to look cooler and more hip as you’re trying to pull off dance moves anywhere from the Running Man to the Dougie. Pulling of the various dance moves will allow you to build momentum which will allow you to “Kick It Up” in the middle of your dance session and pull off even more moves at a faster pace in front of a raucous crowd.

Executing the dance is a breeze thanks to the great controls. Before jumping into the first dance session and song, the game provides a straightforward tutorial that’s moderately detailed describing how players will perform the moves given to them on the screen. The way it works is simple too. As you’re holding your Android device in front of you, you’ll need to pay attention to the top right-hand corner of your screen which is the dance move queue for the proceeding action. So basically you’re performing your current dance move which is immediately proceeded by the next move followed by the next moves after that which are consecutive until the song is finished. It sounds simple enough, but it can get quite challenging as you’re trying to make sure you follow the patterns correctly while minimizing your mistakes or misses. Speaking of following the patterns— that’s the essence of the game: utilizing the touchscreen controls in order to follow the patterns and perform the moves. To perform the moves, you flick your thumb in the direction of the glowing indicators. If you’ve performed the moves correctly, you’ll see the indicators glow green. If not– you’ll see them glow red.

The controls are complimented by excellent graphics and sounds. During gameplay, players will notice no slowdown whatsoever even if there’s a ton of animations going on at once. In addition, for a dance game, there’s great details shown in the game. For example, you’ll find there’s no hint of pixelation, jagged lines and distortion. The colors are deep and rich and there just seems to be a strong sense of quality when it comes to the visual design of the game, while maximizing the Android software’s capabilities. The sound is also on par as it’s clear and rich. It’s almost as if you’re listening to a high quality of the actual track of a song! The only giveaway is the fact that you’ll hear the various sound effects as you are progressing throughout the song.

The gameplay is great, but there are a few minor quibbles I have with the game. The game is free technically speaking, but it should be classified as a game in the freemium category. Dance Legend comes with two free songs, but you’ll have to purchase acquire additional coins in order to buy additional songs or premium gear for your character. 99¢ will get you 80 coins for example which may be good for a few songs. The problem with that is a few songs is definitely not enough as you’ll get bored of the music quickly, so you’ll want even more music. But keep in mind that buying the music can definitely add up, so be prepared to spend some money. In addition— there are some incredibly annoying ad banners that appear throughout the game. I understand that ads help pay for gaming content, but I think it would have been wise for TuneWiki to provide a paid version of the game which would remove the distracting ads.

I think in the end, many gamers will be able to overlook those negatives and focus on the positives of the game. Dance Legend easily provides a solid dance experience for all and is a must-have for all. Be sure to grab the game today if you’re on an Android 2.1+ device. You’ll be able to find it in the Play Store or by using the QR code below.

Play Store



Sprint Galaxy Nexus Running Android 4.0.4 While Verizon’s Still Stuck On 4.0.2

As some Sprint customers begin to receive their pre-ordered Galaxy Nexus phones, we have learned that the device is running Android 4.0.4, which is a more updated version than Verizon’s Galaxy Nexus, which is still only on 4.0.2. Verizon customers are not too happy right now since they bought a Google Experience phone to get timely updates, but haven’t gotten an update since 4.0.2 dropped on launch day 5 months ago.

Apparently, some Verizon customers are still complaining about some serious bugs in 4.0.2, specifically mic dropping during calls, bad reception, random reboots, performance issues, and poor battery life. A leaked 4.0.4 build seems to have fixed many of those issues but has not yet been officially released on Big Red. The only solution for many right now is to root their device and install the leak, a process only us geeks are really comfortable doing. Most customers are not like us and have no other choice but to wait for an official update.

Some rumors point to Verizon deciding to wait until 4.0.5 to update their Galaxy Nexus devices, but they are just rumors and we don’t know for sure one way or the other. So what’s the hold up? Is Verizon the blocker here, or is it Google? The way carriers control their roll-outs, it would seem it’s Verizon stalling the updates… but doesn’t that mean the Galaxy Nexus is not a true Google Experience device on Verizon? Remember, Google already stated that the CDMA Galaxy Nexus is not an AOSP supported device due to intellectual property issues with the CDMA technology, but that it would still be updated and supported by Google, whcih further points the finger in Verizon’s direction.

So what’s the deal, Verizon?

source: droid-life

 



ASUS Transformer Pad TF300 now available

ASUS has finally released its follow-up to the Transformer Prime, the Transformer Pad TF300. Available for order now at all the usual major retailers, the new tablet will be replacing the original Transformer in the line up and sell along with the Transformer Prime. At $379 it should make it easier for people to get into a the popular tablet style computing device without having to break the bank.

Even though the TF300 is budget oriented, that does not mean you will be giving up tons of performance to get it. You still get the 10.1″ screen with a 1280×800 resolution. 1GB of RAM and the Tegra 3 quad-core processor. Where they save the valuable dollars is by changing the backing to a plastic one from the metal one of the Prime as well as a slighty lower quality display. Not necessarily bad cuts if you consider the plastic back should help with the antenna reception for the Wi-Fi. Also as part of the Transformer family, you get the option for the docking keyboard to add to its flexibility.

So if you are looking to get into a 10.1″ screen for a value, it is worth checking out. Thinking to yourself now you are glad you waited? We recently did a review on the TF300 and gave it pretty high marks so check it out here. Let us know in the comment section if are looking to get into one or if you get a chance to use one, let us know what you think about it. Others may like what you have to say about it.

Device Specifications and Information
Device Info
    Device Name : Transformer Pad 300
    Manufactuer : Asus
    Carrier : NA
    Announced Date : February 27, 2012
    Release Date : TBA
    Also Known As :
Display
  • Screen Size : 10.1 Inch
  • Resolution : 1280x800
  • Screen Type : IPS LCD
Dimension & Weight
  • Height : 10.35 Inch
  • Width : 7.12 Inch
  • Depth : 0.39 Inch
  • Weight : 635 Grams
Battery & Power
    Battery Type:
  • Lithium Polymer
  • Battery Capacity : mAh
  • Talk Time : NA
  • Stand By Time : NA
Software
    Android OS:
  • 4.0.x
    Audio Playback:
  • AAC
  • AAC+
  • MID
  • MP3
  • WMA
    Video Playback:
  • h.263
  • h.264 / AVC
  • MPEG-4 (MP4)
    Messaging:
  • SMS
  • MMS
Hardware
    CPU : Tegra 3
    CPU Clock Speed : Mhz
    Core : 4
    Ram : 1024 MB
    Internal Storage : 16 GB
    Front Facing Camera :
    Camera Resolution : 8 MP
    Camera Features:
  • Auto focus
  • 1080p Video Recording
    Sensors:
  • Accelerometer
  • Ambient light
    QWERTY :
Cellular Network
    Network Technology:
  • GSM
    GSM Band:
  • 850
  • 900
  • 1800
  • 1900
Device Connectivity
    Wi-Fi:
  • 802.11b
  • 802.11g
  • 802.11n
    Bluetooth:
  • Bluetooth 3.0
    Location Features:
  • GPS
  • Cellular location
  • Wi-Fi location
    FM Radio :
    NFC :

[via ASUS]