software

Skype Android update enabled 3G VoIP in US

Skype has updated its Android app, with the biggest change being that VoIP calls are now supported over 3G in the US. Previous versions of the app had limited 3G voice calls via Skype to WiFi connections, though only in the US; now, it seems Skype has wrangled access from the carriers for all. Skype for Android v1.0.0.983 also tweaks some security issues identified recently, but it's the 3G functionality that makes the biggest difference. Previously only the Verizon-specific version of the app had allowed data use of VoIP. You can download Skype for Android from the Android Market; at time of writing the updated version isn't showing in the online Market. It's a free app.

Sonos releases Controller for Android app

The Sonos Controller for Android app has finally made it into the Android Market, being available to download today. Delayed a little from its original release schedule in March, the app allows Android 2.1 or above devices to control the Sonos multi-room audio system, just as the existing dedicated remotes or the iOS apps. We played with the beta version of the app back in February and came away mightily impressed. You'll need a device with an HVGA 320 x 480, WVGA 480 x 800 or WVGA 480 x 854 display in order to use it, along with some Sonos kit of course. Meanwhile Sonos is also adding AirPlay support; you can find m [vms 2108eee6dd897f3bca8a] Press Release:
Sonos Controller for Android Now available on Android Market Sonos Gives Android Fans Amazing Sound, Unlimited Music and Incredible Wireless Control in Every Room of the Home London, UK – April 19, 2011 – Sonos, the leading developer of wireless multi-room music systems for the home, today announced that the Sonos Controller for Android is now available for download as a free app on the Android Market™. Sonos Controller for Android transforms most Android™ smartphones into a wireless music controller for the award-winning Sonos Multi-Room Music System. To see a video on how you can use an Android smartphone to control music all over the home with Sonos, please visit www.sonos.com/android. “We’re pleased to deliver a great new way for music lovers to tap into all the music on earth,” said John MacFarlane, founder and CEO, Sonos, Inc. “Now Android owners can pull out their phones and bring music home with Sonos.” With the award-winning Sonos S5 in any room and an Android smartphone in hand, music fans can now enjoy an unmatched wireless music experience in the home. Access and play all the music on earth – from the Internet and your personal music library – throughout the home, wirelessly. Play the same song in every room of the house – perfectly synchronized. Or mix it up and play different songs in different rooms. Use the free Sonos Controller for Android to control the music in each room, all from the palm of your hand. Search for songs and stations by typing, or by speaking, thanks to the new Sonos music voice search feature. Also, turn the hard buttons on the Android smartphone into volume control. And because your Android phone is controlling the music – not the source of it – when a text comes in or you need to make a phone call, the music doesn’t stop. The Sonos Controller for Android works on any Android smartphone running Android 2.1 or later with a screen size of HVGA 320 x 480, WVGA 480 x 800 or WVGA 480 x 854. Sonos Controller for Android joins the family of Sonos Controllers which includes free apps for iPhone and iPad, a dedicated touchscreen controller, the Sonos Controller 200, and free software for your Mac or PC, which is included with every ZonePlayer. All controllers work together seamlessly. In conjunction with today’s Sonos Controller for Android availability, Sonos has released Sonos System Software v3.4 which features support for Apple AirPlay music sources, iOS multi-tasking and more. For more details, see additional press release or visit: http://sonos.com/support/software_update.aspx

Spotify for Android updated: Faster, frugal streaming music

Spotify for Android has been updated, with the new version being quicker to load, having a tweaked UI and reducing its demands on battery. The tweaked app also now allows users to choose which storage device to keep cached tracks on, for Android devices with more than one memory card; music sync over WiFi is also said to be improved. There are also fixes for voice search and missing cover art, along with how audio restarts after phone calls. Devices with dedicated media buttons are also supported in v0.4.9 too. The Spotify app for Android is, as before, a free download. However you'll need a premium account with the service in order to actually use it when mobile.
  • Ability to choose storage location on devices with more than one memory card.
  • Changes to user interface.
  • Reduced startup time.
  • Improved battery life when using Spotify.
  • Volume control now always controls media volume, even if music is not playing.
  • Support for media buttons and audio focus APIs introduced in Froyo.
  • Much improved music syncing over WiFi.
  • Voice search now works properly when in Spotify.
  • Scrobbling issues have been fixed.
  • Bug causing missing cover art for local files has been fixed.
  • Failing to sync with locked screen has been fixed.
  • Music starting by itself after a phone call has been fixed.
  • Many other stability and performance improvements.

Vodafone UK releases Samsung Galaxy S Gingerbread update

Vodafone UK has begun to push out the update for the Samsung Galaxy S, updating the smartphone to Android 2.3 Gingerbread. Vodafone looks to be the first UK carrier to offer the update. The first signs of Gingerbread for the Galaxy S were spotted over the weekend, with the new firmware being flagged up in several Nordic countries. According to Vodafone's change-list, the handset will get a "simpler and slicker" UI, the new Gingerbread keyboard, boosted power and camera management, and the ability to lock it into 2G mode. To install the new firmware, you'll need to hook your Galaxy S up to a PC running Samsung KIES. Let us know how you get on in the comments! Press Release:
NEWS: Update for the Samsung Galaxy S A new maintenance release for the Samsung Galaxy S is now available for Vodafone customers. This is an Android platform update to 2.3 Gingerbread which introduces a number of fixes and improvements which include; Ul Enhancements (simpler and slicker) New Android Keyboard, with easy copy/paste feature Improved Power Management Multiple Camera Management (front and back) The ability to switch the device to GSM (2G) only mode has been restored in this update. How will you get the latest software? This can be done manually by connecting your handset to your computer via USB and opening the Samsung KIES application. You will be prompted that an update is available and should then follow the onscreen instructions. Checking the software version To check which version of the software you have on your handset you need to dial *#1234# The new software version will show as i9000BUJV4

Google Maps 5.3 adds Latitude Location History, custom Places reviews

Google has updated Google Maps for Android to v5.3, introducing the new Google Location History dashboard. Working with Latitude's Location History, the new info pane shows your recent locations as well as how long you've spent at work, at home or simply out and about. As always, you can delete your location history either partially or completely, and it's only visible by users themselves or the people they share their location with. There's a new "check in at home" feature, too. Finally, Google Places with Hotpot now allows you to add your own rating category, so you can leave custom feedback. The Google Maps update is available via the Android Market for devices running 1.6 or higher.

Google TV User Experience Lead job wants TV app Tsar

Google is looking to recruit a new User Experience Lead for Google TV, who would take responsibility for guiding third-party software onto the Android-based STBs. Based at Mountain View, the new employee would be "asked to pioneer new possibilities for web-based and Android application experiences on the platform and establish the patterns and standards used to develop great interactive experiences on Google TV." The absence of apps has been a thorn in Google TV's side since the first products were released, limiting functionality to the preloaded software and whatever could be accessed online. Back in March, a Logitech exec suggested that the Android Market would be arriving "soon" though Google itself has given no public timescale beyond sometime in 2011. Google is believed to be looking to integrate the Google TV codebase with the Gingerbread codebase for phones and the Honeycomb codebase for tablets, into a single AOSP that would allow them to be significantly more nimble with overall updates. That is expected to be the basis of Ice Cream, the next Android release. [via SlashGear]

Dell plans Stage sync update for Streak, Streak 7 and PCs

Right now, Dell's Stage software is a vaguely useful UI and app suite for the company's Streak and Streak 7 Android tablets, along with Dell's notebooks and desktops. In the future, however, it will be a multi-platform synchronization tool, automatically transferring content between the smartphones and PCs. Talking to Android Community at a Streak 7 pre-briefing, Dell revealed that the Stage roadmap includes intelligent sync functionality which will automatically move new photos, videos and other content from your smartphone to your PC when you enter the home network. Remote access tools and streaming are also envisaged. Those without Dell computers won't be left out in the cold, however. Dell is planning to release a version of Stage for other PCs, though it will be functionally limited in comparison to the original. Still, enough to wirelessly sync. Unfortunately, Dell's Windows Phone range won't get included into the syncing fold, at least not initially. The company told us it was looking at the possibility, but right now Microsoft's limitations on OS modification mean it's not allowed.

Android in-app billing goes live

Google has launched in-app billing on the Android Market, allowing developers to offer extra levels in their games, additional services and virtual goods in their apps. The system will also enable try-and-buy, where apps can be offered free to trial and then activated in full without demanding a whole new download. As you'd expect, Google has worked with a few software vendors in advance to give a demonstration of how the in-app billing system works. Tap Tap RevengeComicsGun BrosDeer Hunter Challenge HD, WSOP3 and Dungeon Defenders: FW Deluxe have all been updated. Full details for developers are here, but the key points are that Google still takes a 30-percent cut of every transaction - just as it already does for basic app purchases - and that, since it uses no special APIs, it shouldn't require too much reworking of code. More on the security side here.

Sonos Controller for Android delayed

Sonos has confirmed delays in the release of the Android controller app, which will now arrive sometime in April. Originally the company had promised to release it this month. "We know you’re anxiously awaiting the Sonos Controller for Android. Unfortunately, testing the app is taking a bit longer than we anticipated" Andrew Schulert, Vice President of quality at Sonos says. "The latest addition to our free controller line-up won’t arrive until April, but when it does, it is going to rock." More info on the app here. [vms 2108eee6dd897f3bca8a]

Logitech Squeezebox Controller app for Android released

Logitech has released a free Squeezebox Controller app for Android devices, allowing users to remotely control the company's multi-room streaming audio system. Operating over WiFi, the app allows music-lovers to remotely browse, select and control playlists and tracks in all of their zones. It also supports files, station, or playlist album art. You'll obviously need some Squeezebox kit to start with, but the controller app itself is a free download from the Android Market.