Social networks are great for connecting us to many other people at once. They're also bad for precisely the same reason. How many friends or followers really need to know that I am really excited to be cooking on a gas stove for the first time?* 80% won't care, 10% will comment on how electric stoves are safer, a couple will point out how induction stoves are much better at everything, and then I'm just known as that guy who started that pointless argument about stoves online.
Phones have gotten smarter over the years, but managing contacts remains a pretty tedious affair. Syncing information saved on Android devices with a Google account prevents having to manually transfer them every time you move to a new gadget, but this does nothing to stop the periodic Facebook status updates informing mass numbers of people at once that you or your friend's phone has gone for a swim or jumped off a roller coaster, and as a result, the number has changed.
Archos is known around these parts for their budget tablets, a few cheap smartphones, and, most recently, an Android-powered netbook. Well in case you've forgotten, the company has an upcoming activity tracker, scale, and blood pressure monitor that it would love for you to pick up as well, all of which it unveiled back at CES. These "Connected Self" products will require a companion app to get much use out of, which the company has just dropped into the Play Store.
Yahoo has released another Android app and - hey, come back here, this is actually cool - it's an attractive take on providing the news. Yahoo News Digest gathers bits of news from around the Internet (various reports, video, Wikipedia entries, Google maps, etc.) and puts them together to form a single story. The formula isn't quite the same as Circa's, but it should seem familiar to anyone accustomed to that bite-sized news app.
The number of weeks between us and this year's World Cup are wilting away, which makes now the time to get prepared. Snag some tickets to Brazil if you can, or, more practically, go snatch up the new Android App ESPN has just released for keeping tags on all of the goings-on. This way you don't even have to watch the games to know who's kicking whose butts, and how hard.
Full-length content is all around us. Netflix will give it out, though subscribers have to commit to a monthly fee. Hulu's willing to give at least some of its offering away for free, and Crackle's even easier. But what if all you're after are good new-fashioned clips, something that doesn't need much time or attention to digest, and something short enough to toss up onto a social network. Yahoo hears you, so they've brought Yahoo Screen to Android.
A lot of smartphone apps are just mobile translations of a standard computer program or website - useful, but they don't really take advantage of the strengths of mobile platforms beyond the interface. Here's an app that "gets" the way people use their phones, and tricks you into expanding your vocabulary. In a good way.
GRE Vocab Lock will give your phone a secondary unlock screen, which consists of a vocabulary word and two possible synonyms.
IFTTT is the kind of black magic that web mages use to bend the Internet to their will. The best part is that the command that gets it to work is pretty simple. There's no abra cadabra or expelliarmus to memorize here. Just head to the website and fill in the blanks within the statement if ___ then ___ with triggers and actions (known as channels) of your choice. Now this special craft isn't just reserved for desktop use, as an official Android app is due out today that aspiring web wizards can carry around as their well-disguised wand.
People are after your credit card information. Okay, this isn't a cable news report, so I'll dial it back a bit. Sometimes bad things happen when credit cards fall into the wrong hands, whether that's from physical theft or large-scale cyber crime. There's been a number of incidents in the news of late, so companies are doing what they can to provide their customers with peace of mind. So MasterCard has released a new MasterCard In Control app that monitors your credit card activity and notifies you if it detects anything suspicious.