One neat feature of BlackBerrys is that when you put the phone in its case, the screen automatically shuts off. The effect is only part novelty; after all, by shutting the screen off sooner, you're saving battery (although in all honesty, it's doubtful you're saving that much battery). Developer Fahrbot Mobile has devised a solution for Android that "uses a combination of sensors to control the sleep state and screen lock of any device...
Analyst Egle Mikalajunaite of research2guidance has modeled the growth of the Android Market and Apple App Store, and based on his predictions, the former will overtake the latter in August of this year. While we're generally pretty weary of these sort of predictions, the short-term nature certainly makes this much more plausible.
The graph largely speaks for itself, but there's a bit more to be said in terms of specific numbers.
PowerAMP, hands down the best music player in the Android Market, was updated today to include a couple of long-sought features, most notably true gapless playback and crossfading between tracks. Gapless playback is pure joy for people who listen to a lot of mixtapes broken down into individual songs, and crossfading is the icing on the cake, preferred by many music lovers.
Other notable additions include .cue file support, a silence remover, backing up and restoring settings into the cloud (finally someone's implementing this functionality available ever since Froyo!), and a host of bug fixes.
Last week, I went for a nice vacation in the Caribbean and because of that, there was no Best Apps issue at all. Instead, I've rolled 2 weeks' worth of stuff into this week aaaaaaand because it's turned out so long, I am splitting it up into multiple posts (apps are coming soon after this, most likely tomorrow).
I'm going to be really honest about this one: I had no idea that anyone still uses LiveJournal. Much to my surprise, though, it has been going strong all this time - it's even ranked #71 in the world according to Alexa. After realizing that tidbit of information, it's not surprising at all that there is now an official LiveJournal App for Android.
For a mobile blogging app, I must say that this one seems quite feature rich: you can post new journal entries and photos, create polls, edit entries, create drafts, and manage settings.
I remember when I first saw Plants vs. Zombies. I believe it was before I had an Android phone (*gasp*) and, even though it originated on the desktop, a friend of mine showed it to me on his iPhone. Once I got my OG Droid, it was one of the first games that I searched for in the Market, but of course it was irritatingly absent. So I waited... and waited...
While some apps use a mile long feature list to attract users, there are others that use a very opposite approach. They use simplicity, subtlety, and effectiveness as their calling card. One such app is DuckDuckGo for Android: a search app that bases its entire existence on privacy and efficiency.
On the surface, DuckDuckGo is not unlike other search engines - type in what you're looking for and get your results.
Like a lot of users, I'm guilty of mashing the "install" button when I'm in the Marketplace and ignoring those lovely warnings that tell me what permissions apps want to use. This isn't really the best practice to keep, especially in the wake of all this location-tracking madness that's been plaguing both Android and iOS.
While I'm not exactly sheepish about what my location data says about me, not caring about the rights that you have as a user (and the rights that you're letting apps take advantage of) just shows a lack of responsibility.
A couple of months ago, we told you that the HTC Desire HD and Incredible S would be getting an OTA update to Gingerbread, but we didn't know exactly when this would happen. It looks like the wait is over though, because HTC has started rolling out the official OTA update to European users. Unfortunately, there is no official word when the Desire Z will see an update, but we're still expecting it sometime close to the end of the second quarter.