ESPN hasn't exactly been the poster child for great app design in the past. While the company has made several Android apps, many of them have looked rather atrocious and a bit too iOS-y. ESPN, however, has re-launched its ESPN Radio app. The old app appears to have been made by independent company Airkast, while the new app has been brought in-house. And, apparently, ESPN's house does a fine job of making an app.
I first saw Word Lens for iOS on TechCrunch back in 2010 and instantly fell in love with the concept - just point the camera at foreign words, and all of them get translated in front of your very eyes, live. Amazing, isn't it? If you haven't seen this promo video yet, watch it first:
Every month since, I searched the Play Store for Word Lens, hoping its developers brought it to our favorite OS, but found nothing.
I have a confession to make: I don't use ringtones. Most of the time, my phone is on vibrate, and when it's not, I insist that my ringtones actually ring. However, if I were to use custom ringtones, Ringtonium is the app I'd use to set them up. This app is beautiful. In a way that few apps are. The interface is brilliantly easy to use and accessible to even the most tech illiterate users.
What would be another month without another quick roundup of our top five favorite apps? For those just joining us, our monthly "top five" roundups are meant as a quick primer for those who don't have time to wade through the dozens upon dozens of awesome apps we've looked at in the course of the past four weeks. We've selected the cream of the crop, and taken a quick look at five of our favorite apps from June 2012.
On day one of Google I/O, the Play Store team announced an upcoming brand new version of the Android Developer Console - a publishing interface developers use to, you guessed it, publish apps to Google Play. The completely redesigned UI contains improvements based on feedback from the past several years and is fantastic. For further details, hit the link above or just watch this video:
As promised, you can now sign up to be first in line to give the private beta a go by following this url.
Xuxian Jiang, along with his research team at North Carolina State University, has cooked up a proof-of-concept "clickjack rootkit" which targets Android. The rootkit is unique not only in that it can function without a device restart, but also in that it targets Android's framework, not requiring deep modifications to the underlying firmware or kernel.
Clickjacking, for those unfamiliar, is a malicious technique typically used on the web to "trick" users into handing over control of their device or confidential information.
Perhaps the most popular (and complete) free repair manual in existence, iFixit, launched an official app for Android recently, bringing detailed step-by-step repair instructions and (of course) the saucy teardown images we've come to know and love from the service's online counterpart to your Android devices.
For those who don't know, iFixit provides users with incredibly detailed repair guides for a huge variety of things from laptops to mobile devices, game consoles, and even cars, including great imagery and nice explanations for why hardware is the way it is.
Costco, promising to take customers "beyond the warehouse walls with the ease of [their] smartphone," released an official Costco Wholesale app to the Play Store recently.
The app, created by one of the most popular (and largest) wholesalers in America, allows users to do much of what they could do in a physical Costco location, or shopping online – users can shop Costco.com's "unique, expanded" collection, locate the nearest Costco location, grab online and in-store coupons, refill prescriptions, read "The Costco Connection," choose business or home delivery options, and take note of what you need to buy with a handy built-in notepad.
Amazon-owned development house A9 Innovations has released a product search app built on the idea that instead of tapping buttons to take pictures of products, you'd rather just point your camera at products. Probably not a bad notion! Not exactly the most important thing to spend a bunch of money and time developing, but hey, if you can just wave your phone in front of a movie and get pricing and review information, it's gotta be worth it, right?
Now here's a novel idea! Putting weather information on the television! Weather Underground is now available for the Google TV, bringing a rather nice, simple weather app to the Google TV. The app features a 6-day forecast, hourly forecasts, and maps of your local area with weather information overlaid. It's pretty nifty.
It may not be the most exciting app, but this is the way it should be, shouldn't it?