software

Zipcar app lands for Android users

If you live in a larger city that is served by the Zipcar network and use an Android device the company has a new app that will help you find a car if you need to rent one for a short while. The Zipcar network lets you find a car in your area that you can rent for however long you need. The new app also uses the GPS connectivity of your Android device to put the location of a Zipcar vehicle on a map for you to find easily.

Navizon crowd-sourced Android mapping app pays you to use it [Video]

Crowd-sourced mapping and friend-finder app Navizon has released a new version for Android devices, and now users can earn cash rewards for logging WiFi access points and cell towers. The new app - a free download from the Android Market - supports friend groups for Latitude-style tracking, as well as a record of where you've travelled. There's also live mapping, and the ability to set alerts when you move into a specific location - handy if you need to remind yourself to buy something when you're near the relevant shop. Support for the people-finder tool Navimote is also baked in. Still, it's probably the cash reward scheme that most users will be interested in, as Navizon attempts to boost its database by crowd-sourcing new information. You get 15 points for each new cell tower and 3 points for each new WiFi base station you log (or 2 points for a known cell tower and 1 point for a known WiFi station), all done automatically, and when you reach 10,000 points you can swap it for $15 in cash (via PayPal). [youtube DiHeA3KtF8Q] [via Twitter]

Google cooking iMessage rival: Boosted GTalk app in works?

Google is reportedly readying an Apple iMessage and BlackBerry Messenger rival of its own, according to the latest rumors, potentially allowing Android device owners to bypass SMS and MMS messaging on their handsets and tablets. According to the WSJ, Google "has also recently worked on a messaging application, a person familiar with the matter said." The rumors have surfaced in the aftermath of Apple's iMessage announcement, part of the upcoming iOS 5 upgrade to the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. Like RIM's BBM, iMessage will allow for text, photo and multimedia messages, sent to individuals and to groups. Details on Google's system are unclear, though of course the company already has Google Talk, its IM app that integrates with Android devices as well as Gmail users in the browser and as a standalone app for PC. The most likely route seems to be enhancing GTalk so that it supports the same advanced functionality as iMessage and BBM, with the added bonus of being compatible with the established desktop ecosystem.

Samsung Smart View for Galaxy S II allows streaming from HDTV

Samsung has released its Smart View app for the Galaxy S II, allowing users of the dual-core smartphone to stream content from a smart TV directly to their phone. The app allows the phone to not only control a Samsung TV, but to pull content from it - whether broadcast, cable, Blu-ray or some other input - over WiFi. We've been tracking Samsung's Smart View technology for a while now, and played with a prototype of the system back in April. As you can see from the demo below, the phone acts as a remote and as a preview window, capable of showing different content to what's being displayed on-screen on the TV itself. [vms 7c87f97fb686b2f06867] The Samsung Smart View app is a free download from the Android Market. You'l obviously need a compatible TV from Samsung's D7000, D8000 or D9500 series, too. A version for the Galaxy player (YP-GB70) is expected in July, with Galaxy S and Galaxy Tab builds due later in 2011. [gallery] Press Release:
Samsung Launches 'Smart View' App, Puts Smart TV in the Palm of Your Hand SEOUL--(Korea Newswire) June 2, 2011 -- Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., a market leader and award-winning innovator in consumer electronics, today launched the Samsung "Smart View" application that enables users to view images from a Samsung Smart TV or other input device right on their mobile devices. Available now for the Samsung GALAXY S II, the free Smart View application displays Smart TV images right onto mobile devices via wireless Ethernet-whether consumers are enjoying cable broadcast programs or content from a Blu-ray player, camcorder, set-top box or other input device. In addition, users can browse any currently installed Smart TV applications from their mobile devices, bringing even more functionality and convenience to the Samsung Apps experience. Since last April, when Samsung launched "Samsung Remote"-an easy-to-use application to deliver general remote control functions while also supporting Smart TV's special features-the company has once again strengthened convergence between Smart TV and mobile devices through this latest Smart View app offering. Samsung has consistently brought movies, TV programs, music and other desired content stored on DLNA-certified devices such as PCs, mobile phones and cameras to the large TV screens-and is now extending this function by mirroring images back to mobile devices through this new application. The Smart View app for mobile devices also enables mobile viewing from around the home. With only one Smart TV, a family member can watch one TV program in the living room, while another family member enjoys either the same content-or movies played by the living room Blu-ray player-from the comfort of the bedroom while leaning back with a Samsung smart phone or tablet. "Samsung Smart TV is leading the "smart revolution" not only with the features of Smart TV itself-such as rich content, 2D and 3D picture quality, smart functions and design-but also with input devices using our Qwerty smart remote control, the Samsung Remote app, and now with Smart View," said Kyungsik Kevin Lee, Vice President, Visual Display Business at Samsung Electronics. "The distinctive functionality of Samsung Smart TVs will continue to deliver the most convenient TV watching experience to consumers-enabling them to truly enjoy a smarter life." Samsung will continue to update the Samsung Smart View application with various remote control functions, optimally designed for Smart TV, to ensure customers use the unique features of Smart TV in increasingly convenient ways. A "Channel List" option, which lets users search program information and change channels on their mobile devices, will be added going forward. The Samsung Smart View is now available in the Android Market for Samsung Smart TV D7000, D8000, and D9500 series, as well as the GALAXY S II, and will be available for the GALAXY player (YP-GB70) in July, along with the GALAXY S and GALAXY Tab later this year.

HTCdev and OpenSense SDK get official: Coming Summer 2011

HTC has officially launched HTCdev, it's mobile developer support program with the accompanying OpenSense SDK that it revealed at Uplinq 2011, this week allowing developers to get up close and code-personal with HTC Sense on the company's smartphones. Expected to launch this summer, HTCdev.com will have a library of tutorials, best practices, documentation and support, along with a way for developers to communicate with HTC. As for the OpenSense SDK, that will deliver the APIs for integration with HTC Sense 3.0. As well as the pen-input APIs, as used on the Flyer, there'll be 3D systems for HTC's upcoming 3D handsets, like the EVO 3D. HTCdev continues the work HTC began last year with HTCpro. Last month, the company announced that, moving forward, it would be unlocking bootloaders on its Android devices so as to make third-party modifications more straightforward. Press Release:
HTC Announces Mobile Developer Support Program and SDK Toolkit HTC launches HTCdev and announces HTC OpenSense SDK to support developers' innovation in mobile apps and experiences across HTC portfolio of devices SAN DIEGO, June 2, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- HTC Corporation, a global leader in mobile innovation and design, today launched HTCdev, a program designed to support mobile developers through tools, resources and community. HTC also announced the HTC OpenSense SDK, which will allow developers to harness software and hardware innovations on HTC phones to develop more richly integrated mobile applications and experiences. In launching HTCdev, together with the HTCpro program launched last year, HTC is creating a network of resources to help developers and businesses meet challenges and opportunities across the mobile space. "HTC is a company of engineers excited about the possibilities of the mobile space with the goal of fostering choice through innovation," said Peter Chou, CEO of HTC. "We believe in openness and the power of imagination to create that innovation and are excited that HTCdev will extend new tools to mobile developers, helping them create the next wave of mobile experiences." The HTCdev program will support developers across the industry and around the world, from individuals to large enterprises. The new program website, www.HTCdev.com, is scheduled to launch in summer 2011 and will feature an extensive resource library of tutorials, best practices, documentation and support. The site will also offer a user feedback channel to HTC for ongoing investments and improvement to the developer toolset and program resources. The core offering of the program will be the HTC OpenSense SDK, which will enable Android developers to more deeply integrate into the HTC Sense 3.0 experience. The framework will also provide APIs and sample code for 3-D display and the Tablet pen. The HTC OpenSense SDK will be released in parallel with the launch of the new HTCdev.com site, and will have regular updates and expansions based on inputs from the developer community. Users can visit www.HTCdev.com today to sign up for a release alert for availability of the HTC OpenSense SDK. About HTC HTC Corporation (HTC) is one of the fastest growing companies in the mobile industry. By putting people at the center of everything it does, HTC creates innovative smartphones and tablets that better serve the lives and needs of individuals. The company is listed on the Taiwan Stock Exchange under ticker 2498. For more information about HTC, please visit www.htc.com. HTC and the HTC logo are the trademarks of HTC Corporation. All other names of companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

Zinio digital magazine app hits Android phones & slates

Digital magazine app Zinio has landed on Android, with versions for smartphones running Android 2.2/2.3 and tablets running Honeycomb. Well established on other smartphone and tablet platforms, Zinio offers titles like Men's Fitness, Esquire and ELLE through its on-device store, as well as digital subscriptions that can be read across multiple devices. To encourage downloads, Zinio will be giving every Android user who grabs the app prior to June 15 a free copy of 24 different magazines. They include: AFAR, BlackBook, Cosmopolitan, ELLE DECOR, ELLE, ESPN The Magazine, Esquire, Food Network Magazine, Harpers Bazaar , Harvard Business Review, Home Theater, Juxtapoz, Marie Claire, Men's Fitness, Men's Journal, Motor Trend, O, The Oprah Magazine, Outdoor Photographer, Outside, Popular Mechanics, Road & Track, Robb Report, Rolling Stone, Seventeen and Us Weekly. Zinio for Android is a free download from the Android Market. [gallery] Press Release:
ZINIO PUTS THOUSANDS OF MAGAZINE TITLES IN ANDROID MARKET FOR TABLET DEVICES 24 Top Magazines Given Free to All Android Users Who Download Zinio before June 15 SAN FRANCISCO, May 31, 2011 – Zinio, the world’s largest newsstand, announced today that its market-leading digital magazine experience is now available on Android 3.0 tablets. Thousands of magazines that satisfy every passion and hobby, from Road & Track and Rolling Stone to Robb Report, ELLE and BlackBook are now available to Android users on the Zinio app in Google’s Android Market. Whether they are at home on their PCs and Macs, or on the road with their Apple or Android tablets and select smartphones, magazine lovers get the most from their magazines with Zinio. At launch, more than 20,000 magazines will be available through Zinio on Android devices spanning select 2.2, 2.3 and all 3.0 Honeycomb versions, including Motorola Xoom, LG Optimus Pad, Acer Iconia Tab a500, Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 and more. All Android users who download Zinio before June 15 will automatically be given – for free – 24 of the latest issues of top magazines across all major genres, including Cosmopolitan, ESPN The Magazine, Harvard Business Review, Men's Fitness, O, The Oprah Magazine and Us Weekly Unlike digital magazine options that require a different app for every title, or that are only available on one operating system, Zinio users get to keep all of their current and archived issues in one application, across multiple devices. “Zinio offers the greatest breadth for magazines today, both in terms of device and platform availability and sheer number of titles globally,” said Rich Maggiotto, Zinio president and CEO. “We continue to deliver new features and platform availability that allows our users to enjoy their favorite magazines in the most compelling way. In the coming month, we will also be adding other operating systems to the mix to allow Zinio users access to their magazines from all of their devices, as well as introducing new ways to explore and enjoy digital content,” continued Maggiotto. Android users who download Zinio will also be able to explore the interactive features in Marie Claire and Seventeen at launch, with other interactive titles, including Harper's Bazaar, Harvard Business Review and Zinio’s sister company’s exclusively digital title VIVMag, available in the coming months. These titles leverage Zinio’s interactive capabilities to provide an enhanced reading experience including embedded video, dynamic ads, social connections and search. Free Magazines upon Download, through June 15: AFAR, BlackBook, Cosmopolitan, ELLE DECOR, ELLE, ESPN The Magazine, Esquire, Food Network Magazine, Harpers Bazaar , Harvard Business Review, Home Theater, Juxtapoz, Marie Claire, Men's Fitness, Men's Journal, Motor Trend, O, The Oprah Magazine, Outdoor Photographer, Outside, Popular Mechanics, Road & Track, Robb Report, Rolling Stone, Seventeen and Us Weekly. Android Device Availability: • Android 3.0 Honeycomb Devices supported: Motorola Xoom, LG Optimus Pad, Acer Iconia Tab a500, Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 • Android Preload Devices (Android 2.2, 2.3, 3.0): Samsung Galaxy Tab, Samsung Galaxy S II, Dell Streak, Motorola Atrix, T-Mobile G2x, T-Mobile G-Slate About Zinio Zinio is where the world reads, interacts with and explores the largest selection of magazines across the most popular reading devices. No other platform provides global access to more than 4,200 magazine titles covering every major genre, industry, specialty and hobby. Zinio users currently download millions of magazine issues a month in 33 languages and 19 currencies – from every major global publisher. The company is focused on creating an intuitive and effortless reading experience that transforms how we read, from passive to active, from solo to social. With Zinio, readers can easily search for what they are passionate about, share with friends, save and curate content, shop for products and house and store all of their favorite magazines in their Zinio applications.

Android users spurn paid apps say researchers

New stats seemingly confirm anecdotal evidence that Android users are less likely to download paid applications than their Apple-using counterparts. According to researchers Distimo, 80-percent of paid applications in the Android Market have been downloaded less than 100 times. In the competitive gaming segment, only five titles in the Android Market have been downloaded more than 250,000 worldwide. In contrast, ten iPhone games in the App Store were downloaded in excess of 250,000 times in the US in the past two months alone. It's a trend that's seemingly shared across app segments, too:
"It is more challenging for developers in the Google Android Market than in the Apple App Store to monetize using a one-off fee monetization model. We found that only two paid applications have been downloaded more than half a million times in the Google Android Market worldwide to date, while six paid applications in the Apple App Store for iPhone generate the same number of downloads within a two month timeframe in the United States alone." Distimo
Distimo suggests that Google's slow rate of change of the top ten charts - which incorporates long-term performance and as such varies at a slower pace than Apple's charts - is a significant cause of the download scarcity. That means there's less fresh meat for users to see and be tempted by. You can download the full Distimo report here [free registration required].

XPERIA Play and Arc Android 2.3.3 update released with Facebook Inside [Video]

Sony Ericsson has begun pushing out its Android 2.3.3 update the the XPERIA Arc and XPERIA Play. The update includes the new Facebook Inside XPERIA functionality which Sony Ericsson debuted on the XPERIA min and mini pro. That inserts deeper Facebook integration through the various preloaded apps, including the ability to "Like" the track you're currently listening to in the media player, share updates more quickly, and pull Facebook events down into the phone's calendar. There's also various other bugfixes and the like, along with Google's own minor improvements in 2.3.3. It's rolling out progressively across markets - no word on which is first at this stage - so don't be surprised if the update doesn't show up on your phone quite yet. Sony Ericsson has also confirmed that the Gingerbread update for the XPERIA X10 will include Facebook Inside XPERIA too.
  • Battery performance
  • General software stability
  • Wi-Fi stability
  • HD Video recording performance (Xperia arc)
  • Touch responsiveness
[youtube _OjP4bPDBcY]

Notion Ink Adam gets Kindle support

Notion Ink has announced that users of its Adam tablet will now be able to read their Amazon ebooks, with the news that the Kindle app is now available for the slate. The app does make considerable sense when you consider the optional Pixel Qi display, which can function in a similar manner to an e-ink panel on one of Amazon's own Kindle ereaders. Of course, the Kindle app for Android is nothing new, and so this is more an announcement about Amazon giving Notion Ink permission to distribute it through its download store than anything else. Adam lacks official access to the Android Market, and instead uses its own download system. As usual, there's Whispersync support so that reading progress is synchronized over all Kindle apps and hardware: you can pick up your Adam and carry on reading where you left off on your Kindle. The agreement is said to be the first of several imminent from Notion Ink.

Qualcomm Augmented Reality Platform gets commercial release

Qualcomm has released the commercial v1.0 build of its Augmented Reality Platform, enabling Android app developers to integrate AR into their software. The Qualcomm AR Android SDK and AR Unity Extension allow for games like Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots as shown at Uplinq 2010. Beta versions of the AR Platform were released last year, with Qualcomm demonstrating an interesting augmented reality photo frame concept which used the camera on Android handsets to identify different displays and then easily change what was being shown on them. This v1.0 release of the SDK now means developers can release apps commercially using the technology; Qualcomm says they'll work on any Android 2.1+ device, though suggests that performance will be stronger on those using Snapdragon chipsets. Qualcomm's AR Platform is available to download at developer.qualcomm.com/ar now. There's a demo of the AR photo frame concept below. [vms 97ccb54be14d6a47439b] Press Release:
Qualcomm Announces Commercial Release of its Augmented Reality Platform Platform Enables Android Developers to Create and Distribute Vision-based AR Applications SAN DIEGO — April 27, 2011 — Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM) today announced the immediate commercial availability of its Augmented Reality (AR) Platform for Android smartphones. Offered through Qualcomm’s online developer network, this 1.0 release marks the successful completion of the Company’s beta program. Developers can now build, market and commercially distribute applications based on the Qualcomm AR platform. Qualcomm’s award-winning AR platform will enable a broad range of experiences that entertain, engage and inform consumers with a new form of interactive media. The platform’s rich feature set enables developers to build high-performance, interactive 3D experiences on real world images, such as those used in print media (books, magazines, brochures, tickets, signs) and on product packaging. The platform supports multiple development environments. The Qualcomm AR Android SDK supports native Android development with the Android tool chain, including the Android SDK and NDK. The Qualcomm AR Unity Extension supports rapid development with the Unity 3 game development tool. A web application is also included for creating and managing image resources that can be used with either development environment. Industry-leading performance is achieved through Qualcomm’s innovations in advanced computer vision algorithms and close integration of hardware and software. The effect of this performance is a higher fidelity user experience in which graphics content appears more real against the real world background. While applications built on the platform will run on all Android smartphones using Android 2.1 or greater, optimal performance will be exhibited on phones using Qualcomm’s Snapdragon™ chipset. “Qualcomm has a long history of providing advanced technologies that drive innovation and opportunity for the mobile ecosystem,” said Jay Wright, senior director of business development, Qualcomm. “We continue the tradition by making leading AR technology widely available to developers for commercial use. With more than 6,000 registered developers, we look forward to a new generation of AR applications available in the Android Market and other application stores.” Qualcomm and BigPlayAR recently collaborated with the Dallas Mavericks to introduce the first commercial application using Qualcomm’s platform. Mavs AR, a game developed by Big PlayAR, has enabled fans attending the Mavs playoff games at American Airlines Center to point their smartphone running the Mavs AR application at their ticket to play a virtual basketball game in the palm of their hands. “We are thrilled with Mavs AR – it has really added a new layer of fun and interaction to the Mavs fan experience,” said Mavs owner Mark Cuban. “Based on the game’s success, we expect to use AR for future fan promotions, and Qualcomm’s AR platform has demonstrated itself as a powerful platform for creating these types of 3D experiences.” The Qualcomm AR Platform is available immediately at developer.qualcomm.com/ar
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