HowStuffWorks.com, together with its numerous video and podcast series, like the hilarious Stuff You Should Know, is arguably one of the most interesting websites on the Internet. It's no wonder - HSW is owned by Discovery Communications, which you may recognize from, oh, I don't know, the Discovery channel. Sometime ago, Discovery finally decided that Android users are not discovering enough and not figuring out exactly how all of this stuff works, and got to work on a dedicated HowStuffWorks app.
Artem is a die-hard Android fan, passionate tech blogger, obsessive-compulsive editor, bug hunting programmer, and the founder of Android Police.
Most of the time, you will find Artem either hacking away at code or thinking of the next 15 blog posts.
Last week, LauncherPro's Federico Carnales launched a beta version of the new LP Plus with skinnable widget support, and this update, tagged 0.8.5, made its way into the Market as of this morning. Skins can be downloaded and installed as regular Android apps from the Market or from 3rd party websites (sorry, AT&T users) and then applied to LauncherPro Plus (you need the Plus edition to have widgets).
Besides skins, the new version brings reduced memory usage, improved scrolling performance, and calendar widget daylight savings bug fixes.
If there's one thing we still don't know for sure about the Toshiba Android tablet, it's its name. At this year's CES, when the product was first announced and demoed, Toshiba refused to give up the name, simply referring to it as "the unnamed Toshiba tablet." The company then followed up with the site named just TheToshibaTablet.com, leaving us guessing and puzzled as to why it takes months to give a gadget a name.
Almost 2 months ago, CNN pushed out its first news app to the Android Market, though with one quite annoying caveat - it was created specifically for Honeycomb devices, which were quite scarce to say the least (i.e. the XOOM).
As you can imagine,
those without Honeycomb tablets pretty much everyone started demanding an app as well and today finally got their wish granted. CNN App for Android Phones (as opposed to CNN App for Android) was just released to the Market, with support for Android 2.1+ and full of features you would expect from a smaller screen port of its big brother:
I know the subject of Twitter buying another company is not directly related to Android, but considering the importance of the social service in our day-to-day operations and the target of the rumor being TweetDeck, a crowd favorite when it comes to Twitter clients, I thought I'd give this one a mention.
According to a report published today by The Wall Street Journal, Twitter is reportedly in talks to buy TweetDeck for $50 million.
Today, for the first time ever, my EVO 4G had an unexpected failure installing updates for some of my Android apps. All update attempts would inevitably end in an almost instant failure with the message that read:
Couldn't install on USB storage or SD card
The weird part was that some apps installed OK but some got stuck in a perma-fail mode and could no longer be updated. After mucking around for a bit, I dug into the logs and found the following relevant log line:
Failed to create secure container smdl2tmp1
To shopaholics' delight, Internet superstore Buy.com quietly graced us with its official Android app this evening. After playing with it for a few minutes, I found it to be quite similar to Amazon's shopping app, including a prominent search box, product listings, Buy buttons, account management, barcode scanning, and voice searching.
All in all, not bad for the initial release, but considering the account management is just a wrapper over their mobile site, it's nothing to write home about either.
When it comes to testing bandwidth throughput of your Android device, the Speedtest.net app is considered a de facto standard - it's functional, the UI is gorgeous, and there is a good chance they have a server pretty close to your location. I've tried all the speed testing programs in the Market, and always kept coming back to this one. For a long time the app has remained unchanged on the Market, lagging behind its iOS counterpart and its shiny new user interface.
After a bunch of relatively uninteresting premium apps given out for free in Amazon's Android Appstore, today's offering is really quite refreshing. Users of the desktop version of Trillian will instantly recognize their beloved multi-network IM client's logo, and those new to it will find its features quite impressive:
- support for AIM, Facebook, Live Messenger, Yahoo! Messenger, ICQ, and, of course, Google Talk
- Trillian synchronizes contacts, avatars, statuses, and accounts between Android, Mac, Windows, and Web clients
- push notifications for those on Android 2.2+
- multiple chat windows, emoticons, and more
While Trillian is no longer my client of choice on the desktop (Digsby took that spot), I must say that if you're looking for a great multi-network IM client on Android, it's hard to go wrong with this [normally $4.99] offering from Cerulean Studios.
For all 5 people who are actually using the gTablet's stock UI instead of a custom ROM that is miles ahead of it in features, ViewSonic released a new over-the-air (OTA) update that finally adds Adobe Flash, along with external docking station and USB keyboard/mouse support and a few other things. The full list, found on ViewSonic's news page, is reproduced below:
- Adobe Flash support
- External docking station support
- USB keyboard and mouse support
- International cities available in Weather
- Spanish and French language support
- Energy saving screen lock
The update notification should pop up automatically upon your gTablet's next boot and won't require a wipe, so don't be afraid to flash away.