One of the biggest drawbacks to buying apps on things like the Play Store is wondering if it does what you need it to do before you put your money on the line. AppSurfer, an India-based startup, is building a platform to alleviate this concern and give developers a web-based tool to let users test drive their apps before they buy. If this sounds familiar, it's because Amazon allows customers to do this very thing on its Appstore.
It seems like you can't go a day anymore without something new being added to Google+. Today, the mobile app is seeing an update that brings some much-requested features, including the ability to manage Pages from mobile. The method is a little wonky. Unlike on the web version, you can't just hop over to a page you're managing. You have to manually log out then log back in, at which point you will be asked what profile or page you want to control.
According to a Czech press release unearthed by The Verge, Microsoft may be readying native Office apps for Android. As of right now, the only programs that have mobile versions on the Play Store are OneNote and Lync. Otherwise known as "the ones very few people care about." If this report is to be believed, though, we may see native versions of the entire Office suite.
According to the Verge's translations, Microsoft said this:
"In addition to Windows, Office will be also available on other operating systems, Windows Phone, Windows RT, Mac OS, Android, iOS and Symbian"
Redmond, by way of the Czech Republic, also pointed out that there would be new versions of its Office Web Apps.
There are no shortage of keyboard replacements on the market. Between SwiftKey, Swype, and the various manufacturer-skinned versions, you can't help but have three or four options on your phone. Today's latest entrant, iKnowU, still manages to stand out with the ability to predict entire phrases and highlighting of the next letters it thinks you're going to type. Pretty impressive.
Of course, the feature that catches our eye most of all is phrase prediction.
Amazon, in an effort to continue expanding its services globally, announced today that its Android app distribution service, the Amazon Appstore, is heading for Japan.
The shopping and media giant is now inviting developers to submit their apps and games for distribution in Japan, giving them the chance to participate in a new market with Amazon and "expand their business." Jim Adkins, VP of the Appstore, explained:
For the uninitiated, 2Checkout is a web-based storefront service that allows users to both create an online checkout system for their products as well as handle merchant services like credit card payments. If you've ever tried to set up your own shop, you know how difficult it can be to get all the moving parts together. Now, 2Checkout is making it even easier with the release of its mobile app that will allow sellers to track sales, issue refunds, and even contact customers.
Amtrak, aiming to give you a "new way to take the train," released an official app to the Play Store recently.
The (logically named) Amtrak app allows passengers to plan their entire train excursion, from buying tickets (which can be displayed right on your device) to navigating to a nearby station, changing/upgrading seat selections, checking train schedules, and using an Amtrak Guest Rewards account.
"Optimized for Android," the app carries a holo-ish interface with swiping tabs, proper navigation and scrolling, and all the visual flair you may expect from an app in line with Android's design guidelines.
I just want to put this on the table: I don't like football. It's not that I don't understand it - I just find it boring. And silly. I tried to get into it once, and that just wasn't happening. But, I also realize that many of you lovely folks do like football. So this is for you. Well, kind of.
The NFL pushed a pretty major update to its "NFL '12" app last night that brings some pretty nice features for anyone who uses the app:
What's in this version:
- All new Thursday Night Football Xtra companion experience
- Completely redesigned Videos section (Android tablet only)
- Access to the NFL.com/Live look-in show for TNF (Android tablet only)
- Ability to share all your favorite News
- Added more stats
- Bug fixes
So, what's the problem?
Looking to give users the "fastest, smartest launcher for Android," Jesse Andersen brought Conjure to the Play Store recently. The app, which is actually more of a launcher companion, can perform an incredible range of actions, from finding and launching apps to calling contacts, adjusting device settings (like volume, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, etc.), and searching the web.
What's great about this app is not that it can do a lot, but that it actually adapts to your usage, storing a history of actions and listing content results by frequency of use.
Those of us with rooted devices and a penchant for flashing ROMs know just how valuable a great backup tool can be. Titanium backup is undoubtedly one of the most popular (and most useful) backup tools around, and it just got an update to version 5.6.0.
The update, which had been floating around as a "test version" prior to official release, brings a few UI enhancements and fixes, an updated set of translations, and improved "Market Doctor" and "Force Attach" functions to repair broken links between apps and the Play Store.