Today, I uninstalled the Amazon Appstore and bought all the FAOTD (free app of the day) apps I've been really using. Why did I do it? Because, mildly put, the Amazon Appstore app, which is required for all Amazon-installed apps to run and perform their license checks, has affected my battery life in very negative ways. Even if you never open it, it will keep running in the background, using up valuable CPU cycles, keeping the device awake when it should be sleeping.
We've been waiting on turntable.fm to land on Android for a while now. Well, it's finally here! The music sharing service has been available for a little over a year on desktop machines. The concept is simple: DJs join a room and share songs with an audience that can then vote on whether a song is Awesome or Lame. It's a great concept for sharing music.
The only thing that could make it better is if you could listen to (or DJ!) a room while away from your computer.
Savored, an app exclusively partnered with OpenTable to bring users an excellent reservation system and great savings, launched officially on Android today, bringing users in select cities across the country the ability to book reservations at quality dining establishments and save a ton of cash at the same time.
Savored's arrival on Android coincides with the end of its $10 booking fee, meaning reservations (along with membership) are totally free. Better still, the incredible discounts Savored offers are coupon-less, with discounts applied automatically to your bill.
Viggle, a TV check-in app that's already seen popularity on iOS, has just seen its first beta release for Android. Viggle, for those who don't know, allows users to check in to their favorite TV shows. The app accomplishes this by "listening" to audio and comparing the sounds it hears to a database, matching them with a certain television show.
What makes Viggle more interesting than many check-in apps is that users can earn tangible rewards.
After the long-awaited launch of Google Drive, it was only a matter of time before users began seeing integration with Android apps. While there's no official Android API for Google Drive just yet, many devs suspected that Drive's Java API would work just fine, despite a confusing statement on Google's developer site:
You may remember the recent Facebook update that added two rather controversial app shortcuts on users' devices, with icons that had to be revised because they looked a little too similar to a couple of Android's stock icons.
If you found the added shortcuts to be redundant, confusing, or just plain useless, you're in luck - with the app's latest update, the shortcuts have been totally removed.
It's not exactly clear why Facebook so quickly yanked the shortcuts from the app, but rumblings from the user community about the – in many cases – unwanted installation of extra apps may have something to do with the decision.
Yet another perk to the Galaxy S III (like we needed more), Flipboard, a popular iOS app for aggregating and reading news feeds, is going to be an SGSIII exclusive for a short period, before landing on the Play Store. Just like the iOS reader, you can integrate various news feeds, as well as feeds from your social networks, and control them all with a gesture-based interface.
No word yet on how long Samsung will have the exclusive on this app.
To the more budget minded, services like Hulu are a godsend; for a fraction of the cost of Cable TV, you can get a large chunk of the content. The deal isn't great for everyone, though, since it cuts into cable providers and networks' huge profits (instead, they just get... normal profits). Clearly this is a serious problem, and it's been speculated that it's probably the main reason companies like Comcast have instituted bandwidth caps on their internet service - so as to curb enthusiasm for streaming services in favor of their own (more expensive) in-house offerings.
Twitter for Android has been updated to 3.2, and brings a bevy of changes, the most important being much-needed push notifications for retweets, favorites, and new followers.
The icons at the top of the app have also been changed up, and are slightly larger (the Home icon actually looks a bit different), along with other minor UI changes. The Discover tab has been completely revamped according to the changelog, as well, which you can see below:
What's in this version:
- Updated design and improved relevance of Discover stories
- Activity in Discover tab shows who your connections follow, updates to their lists, and which Tweets they retweet and favorite
- Spelling suggestions and related searches in search results
- Username autocomplete in search
- New push notifications for when your Tweets have been retweeted, favorited, or when you have new followers
- New languages: Traditional Chinese, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, Polish, Hungarian, Thai
Get it on the Play Store now.