We knew that Android 4.2 would see the introduction of new security features both on your device and in the Play Store, but Computerworld got a chance to speak with Android's VP of Engineering, Hiroshi Lockheimer, about the platform's beefed up security measures, specifically Android's new real-time app scanning utility.
The scanner builds on the functionality of the Play Store's existing security features by bringing app-scanning security to the frontend, scanning incoming apps from third party sources (including apps like Amazon's App Store). Read More
Taking a new approach to firmware upgrades, Panasonic has decided to update its Eluga handset to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich via a downloadable Play Store app appropriately named 'ELUGA ICS Update.'
For those who don't remember, the Eluga is a little-talked-about handset that debuted in Spring 2012 in Europe and Japan, touting a waterproof and dustproof chassis.
According to its description, Panasonic's update app "connects to Panasonic download server [sic] and downloads the Ice Cream Sandwich software update." Of course, many of us are familiar with what improvements Ice Cream Sandwich brings over Gingerbread 2.3.x, but Panasonic emphasizes the new "powerful new features" of its custom skin as well, listing the lock screen, status bar, home screen, and app drawer as areas of improvement with the update. Read More
Skitch, a popular annotation and sharing app, received an update to version 2.0 today with a redesigned interface, a handful of useful markup tools, and improved Evernote integration.
For those unaware, Skitch is an app that allows users to "communicate visually with friends, co-workers, or anyone." Essentially, it can draw in resources like notes, photos, screenshots, or maps, and then add markup to convey ideas or highlight important aspects of the document for later reference or sharing. Read More
This is why it's great that Google unbundles core apps from the OS. While it might take a considerable amount of time before the newest version of Jelly Bean rolls out to your device, current Android 4.1 users can upgrade Google Search right now and get access to the latest improvements to Google Now. The list of fun new features includes additional cards (like Stocks, News, Concerts, and Packages), as well as voice actions, including the glorious ability to add events to your calendar with via speech. Read More
We know a lot of our international readers have been eager to get their hands on the Play Store's content ecosystem. It turns out Google is just as eager for that as you are. In addition to movie rentals, users in Canada, the UK, France, Spain, and Australia will be able to purchase movies outright and watch them forever.
Said Google on the matter:
We’ve recently added a ton of great new entertainment to Google Play, such as movies and TV shows from Twentieth Century Fox.
One of the things that makes Fraps so popular among PC gamers is its ability to capture frames per second info in the corner of just about any game, allowing users to monitor and benchmark performance.
Bringing similar functionality to your Android device, FPS Meter shows just how many frames per second any app is running at, and by extension allows you to capture video of that performance with the recording app of your choice. Read More
Orbitz.com, one of the top online travel/booking resources around, has just released a new app – Hotels by Orbitz, meant to help users find, book, and enjoy hotels in thousands of destinations world-wide, whether you need a room tonight, or want to book a future stay.
The app, which has a somewhat slick – though not strictly holo – interface, not only lets users search for and book hotels, but also provides access to Orbitz Mobile Steals – "exclusive mobile-only discounts of up to 50%." The app also allows you to find hotels based on your current location, and sort search results, like with Orbitz's online interface, by best value, lowest price, or by distance. Read More
The American Red Cross has been releasing a series of apps to help people deal with disasters. We've already seen apps dedicated to hurricanes and earthquakes, as well as one for first aid. The fourth app in the series just hit he Play Store, and this one's designed to keep people safe during a wildfire.
Much like the Hurricane and Earthquake apps, Wildfires can alert users of nearby fires and offer quick ways to stay safe:
Step-by-step instructions let you know what to do even before/during/after an wildfire, even if no data connectivity.
You'd be forgiven for not knowing exactly what Color is or does. The sordid history of this app, and its parent company Color Labs, is a complicated one. Headed by Bill Nguyen, famous for founding Lala, the incredible music streaming service that was purchased by Apple and promptly closed down, Color Labs received $41 million in funding for its initial app Color for Facebook. Several fundamental changes and a year and a half later, the company is reportedly going to close the books on itself. Read More