software

Skifta DLNA-certified: Free, easy streaming with an Android remote

Skifta has been bubbling away in Qualcomm's labs since 2009, and the company's Android app is the first to be DLNA certified under the Digital Living Network Alliance's new software certification program. Skifta promises to funnel content easily from a phone, NAS or cloud-store, via your Android 2.2+ smartphone, to any DLNA playback source. That could be a PS3, an HDTV, stereo, PC or other device; there's a list of examples here. While we've seen DLNA-compliant Android smartphones before, Skifta promises to boost usability with a slicker remote control display, as well as giving the functionality to every Android device. More details in the video below. [youtube ezP6Ee9HoRo] Press Release:
Skifta Becomes First Software Application to Receive DLNA Certification Application-based Service Turns Smartphones and Tablets into Global Remote Controls for Streaming Media and Furthers DLNA Vision for Connected Digital Home SAN DIEGO — February 2, 2011 — Skifta™ for Android, a product of Qualcomm Services Labs Inc., has become the first application to be certified by the Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) under its new Software Certification program. Skifta is an application-based media shifting service that allows consumers to access and play their digital media from virtually any source, whether it’s accessed on the phone, from the cloud, or remotely from home. Consumers can then stream this media to DLNA Certified® consumer electronics such as TVs, IP-connected stereos, Windows 7 PCs, PlayStation3 game consoles and many other consumer electronics product via their Android smartphones and tablets. As a DLNA-Certified® software application, Skifta now gives Android users the added assurance that digital music, photos and videos from the phone and around the connected home can be streamed easily to DLNA Certified® products at home or on the go. Through DLNA Certification, Skifta helps meet digital media consumers’ demand for a reliable, interoperable platform for accessing and streaming media within the connected home, or accessing it remotely via smartphone. “We are proud that the Skifta Android application has become the first DLNA Certified software application,” said Bruce Jackson, vice president of technology at Qualcomm Services Labs. “The Skifta application demonstrates our commitment to DLNA and to making the smartphone central to the connected home and lifestyle. The Skifta application creates the potential for tens of millions of smartphones and tablets to run DLNA Certified® software and stream multimedia content reliably to devices around the home.” Analysts estimate that that there will be nearly two billion DLNA Certified® devices in homes worldwide by 2014, and some expect that DLNA software certification will propel adoption and usage of DLNA devices on consumers’ home networks. The Skifta application takes advantage of the rapid adoption of DLNA-enabled devices, the growing desire for on-demand streaming media, and the rapid proliferation of smartphones to deliver an easy-to-use service for taking your digital media with you, without actually having to take it with you. “DLNA Certified® software such as Skifta will help bring content such as photos, videos and music, stored on DLNA Certified® devices, to an even larger selection of consumer electronics, mobile and PC products,” said Nidhish Parikh, chairman and president of DLNA. “Qualcomm has been an active DLNA member for some time and as the first Certified software application, Skifta complements the DLNA standards and vision.” Availability The Skifta application beta is currently available as a free download in the Android Marketplace for smartphones running Android version 2.2 and higher.

Aussie develops software that connects phones directly without a mobile carrier

A researcher from Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia has developed a new technology that uses software giving Android smartphones the ability to directly connect to each other without needing a mobile carrier. The software is apparently for emergencies where the normal infrastructure is down, such as in some areas where flooding has been bad in Australia.

Sony Ericsson XPERIA update released: Multitouch for X10, ANT+ for X8

Sony Ericsson has begun pushing out its promised update for the XPERIA X10 and XPERIA X8, adding pinch-zoom multitouch to the larger handset and enabling ANT+ support for the smaller. The long-awaited multitouch addition to the X10 will work in both the browser and Google Maps; Sony Ericsson is hoping feature tweaks like these will salve the pain of never getting an Android OS update beyond 2.1. There's also some on-device video editing support and more languages; the full list of changes is below. The X10 and X8 update can be installed manually, via USB, or Sony Ericsson say that most markets will have an OTA option as well.
  • Addition of some bi-directional languages (Arabic, Farsi, Thai and Hebrew) – All products.
  • Pinch/zoom touch for mobile Internet and Google Maps. – Only Xperia X10.
  • Moxier in an updated version (2.7.13) that includes a great overview widget for e-mail, calendar and tasks.
  • Moxier e-mail shown in Timescape.
  • Possibilities of trimming videos in the phone.
  • Videos are transcoded to fit into MMS-messages even if they were recorded in high quality.
  • Minor changes to Mediascape with access to “Now Playing” in the top right corner.
[via SmartDroid]

Google pushing internal app development in play for mobile software market

In a move that could seriously impact third-party developers, Google is reportedly making significant investment into in-house app designers for mobile software. According to the WSJ's sources, Google is hiring software engineers, product managers, user-interface experts and others with Android app concepts, as well as re-purposing existing staff, to significantly broaden the number and quality of mobile apps they offer. The new strategy is apparently intended to further take on Apple, which has a strong reputation for solid in-house apps. Some of the new Google titles would be Android-specific, the sources claim, but not all, and Google will bankroll small teams with product-manager Benjamin Ling supposedly taking responsibility for overall management of the project.

Sony Ericsson LiveView update goes live: Bluetooth issues addressed says SE

Sony Ericsson has pushed out the promised LiveView update, promising improved stability of the remote display and automatic reconnection of the Bluetooth link. There's also support for a greater number of simultaneously installed plugins, now raised to 30.
  • Improved stability in the phone application (update available on Android Market since some weeks ago)
  • Improved plug-in handling and limit of number of installed plug-ins raised to 30.
  • Connection stability improved – most identified reasons for random disconnects should be fixed now.
  • There were some cases of random reboots reported, and all those reported crashes have now been resolved.
  • Compatibility with competitor phones is greatly improved, both in regards to stability and to battery life time.
  • Automatic reconnect when coming back in range improved.
As for those plugins, Sony Ericsson says there are over 30 in the Android Market today. The update will hopefully address some of the issues we experienced in our review of the LiveView over at SlashGear. You can find details on the update here.

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.