software

Google “not happy” with Android Market paid-app performance

Google is "not happy" with the number of paid app purchases from the Android Market, with Android platform manager Eric Chu telling developers that the company had several strategies for driving app buyers in 2011. Speaking at the Inside Social Apps conference in San Francisco this week, Forbes reports, Chu confirmed that carrier billing would be extended beyond just AT&T, so as to remove the payment obstacle for more users, while in-app payments would also come sometime this quarter. Actual discovery of apps is also being streamlined, with Chu saying that Google is tweaking the Android Market search algorithm as well as investing in more people to weed through any titles that violate the ToS. There'll also be a new push for HTML5 apps, and better social integration with the Android address book which Chu described as "the best social graph."

Android Market now checks for touchscreen use as Google TV debut nears

Google has added a new filtering option to software submitted to the Android Market, which looks to be a precursor to the download store arriving on Google TV. Developer Al Sutton spotted the change, which checks whether an app requires a touchscreen; that's something you'll find on an Android smartphone, but not on a Google TV device such as Logitech's Revue. According to the Google TV features page, Android Market access is expected to arrive early in 2011, opening the smart TV platform to a wealth of third-party apps.

Line2 VoIP/SMS app arrives on Android [Video]

Line2 has released a version of its mobile comms app for Android, bringing the same SMS and VoIP functionality iOS users have been enjoying to Android-based phones and tablets. The app allows calls to be routed over WiFi, 3G/4G data, or cellular voice using the same number. Line2 is free for 30 days and then priced at $9.95 per month for unlimited US/Canada calls and texts; calls to international numbers start at $0.02 per minute. It's a free download in the Android Market. Press Release:
Award Winning Line2 Mobile Communication App Now on Android Line2 with Unlimited Calling and SMS Texting Now Available on Android OS San Francisco, CA — The groundbreaking Line2 app – the first and only tri-mode VoIP/Cell calling app in the world - is now available for Android phones and tablets. Toktumi, Inc., the company that developed Line2, announced today that its SMS-enabled VoIP app can now be downloaded in the Android marketplace. Line2 becomes the first VoIP app for Android to feature carrier-grade SMS texting combined with feature-rich calling functionality, allowing customers to use one number for both types of communication. Customers use Line2 to add a second line to their smartphone or turn an iPod or tablet device into a fully-featured telephone. The app allows customers to make phone calls and send texts where they don’t have cell reception, reduce their cell bills, add a second line for business use, or get another number so they can keep their personal cell number private. Many customers take advantage of Line2’s free port-in offer, which lets them move an existing number to Line2 free of charge. Line2 for Android includes all of the functionality and features that are currently available to Apple iOS users plus few Android-only features, such as the ability to speak their text messages and have them transcribed so they can text without typing. No other app offers the features and functionality of Line2. Line2’s tri-mode VoIP/cellular calling capabilities allow Android users to place and receive calls over Wi-Fi, 3G/4G data, or cellular voice networks using the same number, ensuring that calls will always get through. If Wi-Fi isn’t available, Line2 can use the phone’s 3G or 4G data network to place or receive the call. This allows callers to avoid cellular minute charges while still having complete mobility. If a reliable data connection is not available, for example while in a moving vehicle, Line2 can still place and receive calls using the phone’s cellular voice line, although with the Line2 number. The application detects the best available network based on customer preferences and places and receives calls over that network automatically. This allows customers to use one app and number for all types of calling, an industry-first. “We are so excited to bring Line2 to Android devices.” said Peter Sisson, Founder and CEO of Toktumi. “We designed Line2 for Android from a clean slate, rather than just porting over the user experience from our Apple version. We kept all the features, but we adopted UI conventions familiar to Android customers, and took advantage of some cool Android capabilities.” Line2 for Android offers full backgrounding support. This means customers can receive calls on their Line2 number even when they are running other apps, browsing the web, or listening to music. Line2 customers can be sure to never miss a call, even if they don’t have cell reception. The app’s Wi-Fi capabilities allow international travelers to place and receive calls while overseas without incurring voice or data roaming charges. When using Line2 over Wi-Fi, calls to any number back home will be free as will calls to other Line2 users, wherever they are worldwide. Calls to international numbers start at $0.02 per minute, whether calling from home or abroad. Line2’s Wi-Fi call quality is better than traditional cellular quality, and Wi-Fi calls between two Line2 customers use 16-kHz HD audio for crystal clear sound quality that is stunning to experience. Line2 is a free download that comes with 30 days of free service. After that, service costs just $9.95/month for unlimited US/Canada calling and texting. Also available for Android is Toktumi Unlimited which comes with all of the features of Line2 plus business PBX features like auto-attendant ("Press 1 for..."), call screening, caller-specific call forwarding, after-hours settings, and Mac/PC-based calling for just $14.95/month.

Splashtop Remote adds Android support to PC access app

Splashtop has broadened platform support to include Android devices in addition to iOS, meaning that Android smartphone users can now use Splashtop Remote to access their PC apps and digital content, including real-time video and audio streaming. Splashtop Remote allows for movie and music streaming, together with access to files and applications, remote PC and Flash gameplay, and the ability to wake up a computer remotely via "Wake-on-LAN". The company recommends using an Android 2.2 phone or tablet for the best results. Press Release:
Splashtop Remote Seamlessly Connects Any Computing Device – Now Adding Support for Android and Windows Now anyone with a tablet or a smartphone, regardless of operating system, can access their PC content, media and applications from anywhere SAN JOSE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Splashtop Inc., the worldwide leader in instant-access computing, today announced that it is making its popular Splashtop Remote Desktop software available for Android and Windows clients, in addition to its current support for iOS clients. This expanded support for client platforms enables anyone with an Android or a Windows smartphone or tablet to access their PC content and applications while on the go, regardless of mobile device operating system. "Splashtop is building the 'Bridge to Anywhere,'" said Mark Lee, CEO and co-founder of Splashtop. "Of course, we're talking software here, not Alaskan politics. Whether you’re a consumer with an Android-based eReader, or a business using iPhones, iPads or Windows tablets, now everything on your PC at home or in the office is at your fingertips no matter where you are. Splashtop Remote seamlessly bridges all of your devices.” Splashtop Remote allows users to effortlessly access and control their computer remotely through a mobile device, such as an iPad, an iPhone, or an Android-based Dell Streak, Samsung Galaxy Tab or Lenovo LePad, bridging the computing experience across devices. For the first time, users can enjoy a rich and interactive remote PC experience that includes full real-time video and audio. With Splashtop Remote, users can watch movies, listen to music, access all of their files and applications, play PC and Flash games remotely, and even wake up a computer remotely via a “Wake-on-LAN” feature. Splashtop Remote is available localized for English, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, and Spanish users. Splashtop Remote is available now in the Apple App Store and on iTunes, and on the Android Market. To learn more about Splashtop Remote, please visit: http://www.SplashtopRemote.com.

TweetDeck for Android beta v1.0.6 released

TweetDeck beta 1.0.6 for Android has been released, for those at the very cutting edge of mobile social networking. The new release sees the friend database code rewritten for boosted performance, Facebook photos changing automatically within the app when a user's profile is updated, and the ability to see full-sized profile pictures within the app. Meanwhile there's also a shift to Foursquare's v2.0 API, which should mean less data used in the process, and various fixes including how dates are formatted. You can download the APK file directly here.

Amazon Android AppStore taking app submissions; due later in 2011

Amazon's Android AppStore, rumored back in October 2010, is now open for business, on the developer side at least. The alternative download store will be hitting Android devices later in 2011, but the retailer is inviting app submissions from developers to populate it ahead of launch. Unlike the official Android Market, Amazon will be quality checking each application prior to its listing in the store, and the retailer will also be taking control over how apps are priced. Developers will be able to set "List Price" guidelines, but Amazon itself will be setting the retail price, much as it does with books and other products. Developers get 70-percent of the proceeds, but if Amazon decides to significantly discount their app or even make it free, they're guaranteed a minimum of 20-percent of their list price. Amazon's recommendations engine will also come into play, suggesting apps based on other downloads or even other products bought, and users will be able to browse apps via the web interface and send them to their phone (though they'll need to open the Amazon AppStore program on the phone in order to install the software). Payments will be through Amazon's One-Click system, though Android device users will need to allow "Unknown Source" installations to get the store up and running. [via TechCrunch]

Samsung Kies Air adds wireless sync & access to Galaxy S

Samsung is rolling out wireless sync for users of its Kies desktop media management app for certain Android smartphones. Kies Air is showing up in the Samsung Apps download store on the Galaxy S, and allows PCs running Kies to access the smartphone over WiFi and view call logs, videos, photos, bookmarks, and IMs, as well as send SMS messages from the computer's browser. Unlike HTC Sense Online, Kies Air only works if all devices are on the same WiFi network, and we're not seeing it show up in the Galaxy Tab apps store, only on the Galaxy S. Still, it's a useful tool if you want to use your full-sized keyboard to punch out messages more quickly, or manage content on the Galaxy S without having to plug in a USB cable. Kies is a free download for PC only. [gallery] [via Samsung Blog]

Geinimi Android trojan piggybacks 3rd-party apps & sends personal info to hackers

A new Android trojan has been discovered, Geinimi, capable of stripping information from a user's device and sending that to a third-party, or even allowing the handset's functionality to be remotely controlled. According to Lookout, the Geinimi malware is installed as a side-effect of compromised third-party applications; these have been found in Chinese app stores. Installed, the trojan sends the phone's location coordinates and unique identifiers for the device (IMEI) and SIM card (IMSI) to remote servers. Titles in the Android Market are clean, however, so only those users who side-load apps onto their smartphones should be at risk. Still, it's a good idea to check the security permissions on each app rather than blindly stab at the OK button, since these compromised Geinimi titles ask for far more access to your phone than a regular app might.

SoundHound app now gives unlimited music IDs

Music identification company SoundHound has unlocked the free version of its software to support unlimited track IDs. Previously, SoundHound - which is available for Android devices as well as iOS devices - only supported five IDs per month in the free version, requiring an upgrade to the premium app for any more than that. The app also shows lyrics, artist information and previews the top songs. SoundHound is still offering the premium app, for those who don't want adverts.

Web-based Android Market imminent as Google updates app links?

The online version of Google's Android Market - as promised earlier this year - may well be just around the corner. Developer René Hesse spotted that Google has updated its Market URL convention, now using a http://market.android.com/ prefix, and indicating that a more iTunes-like system is about to be launched.
Old version: market: / details? / Id = de.appsplus.widgets.footballwidget New version: http://market.android.com/details?id=de.cellular.ottohybrid
In the iTunes ecosystem, clicking on an iTunes link - whether for software or multimedia - opens a webpage for that content that automatically loads the Apple software if present on the computer you're using. While Google has online listings for some of the most popular apps available in the Android Market, you can't yet buy them online nor browse the entire catalog. Back at Google I/O, Vic Gundotra previewed the online Android Market; you can see it from around the 31 minutes point in the video below: [youtube IY3U2GXhz44]