Though voice control apps have been around for quite some time, it took Apple's release of Siri to bring the functionality to the mainstream. Now, competing manufacturers are trying to push out similar services. Samsung's first to the punch with a Vlingo-based "S Voice" service, though it remains to be seen how well it works.
With the advent of the latest and greatest APIs, amazing new apps have been made possible. Unfortunately, these developments have also given rise to another, more insidious trend on Google Play: cruel and unusual advertising. For example, ad network SellARing allows developers to play a 10-second audio ad whenever users make a phone call.
Fortunately, Lookout recently released an app called "Ad Network Detector" to help with such obnoxious, intrusive ads; however, up until today, SellARing was not among the detected networks.
The world of the future has some pretty great products to keep productive. Things like Google Calendar, Dropbox, Evernote, and a myriad of other services all aim to make our lives easier and more cloud-centric. Trouble is that these services are all separate. When a group you're working with adds a new event to a Google Calendar, adds some relevant files to Dropbox, and scribbles some notes in Evernote, that's three different sites you need to track.
Two weeks ago, Google announced a series of expansions to carrier billing options for Play Store Apps, Movies, Books, and Music on various carriers. While some changes went into effect immediately, Sprint, which already allowed direct billing for apps, was one carrier that was listed as "coming soon."
As of today, all three additional options are available to Sprint customers: books, music, and movies. Not surprisingly, carrier billing is the default option since it's by far the cheapest to carriers and Google as they get to bypass credit card fees.
We've all seen the hilarious eCards that pop up on sites like Facebook, Twitter, and reddit (over and over and over...), but you may not know that they come from Someecards. The company has an iOS app, but otherwise the only way to get the hilarious goods right to your mobile device was to visit the site directly. Not anymore, as the company released an Android app a few weeks ago to little fanfare.
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: