Over the past year or so, my tablet has become my primary mobile device, replacing my phone for most things. However, while I appreciate the bigger screen and better battery life my tablet has over my phone, there are still things that I must use my phone for, like calling and texting.
I have a Bluetooth keyboard connected to my tablet a lot of the time, especially if I'm sending a lot of emails or taking notes for a review.
We've got a two-fer for you gamers today. While Android has always excelled at managing notifications, the one area that's always been a little bit troublesome is when you're using full-screen apps, like games. When receiving a message, your phone might vibrate, but you'll get no info on what kind of message you just received. NotifierPro and SMS Flash are two apps that are designed to help with this.
The first app, NotifierPro, provides a notification overlay that appears above whatever you're running.
All you Handcent loyalists should love this one - your favorite SMS app just received a pretty major up to version 4.0 in the Play Store. If you've been testing the open beta for the last several weeks, then none of these changes should be surprising to you, but if you haven't been in the beta loop, this version brings several new features:
What's in this version:
Main update of Handcent,include universal messaging with free Handcent talk services and new style user interface
It seems Sprint just can't catch a break lately. After the LightSquared LTE fiasco (it seems eminently likely Sprint will be forking over $65 million and have to cancel the deal), this just seems a bit like kicking the company when it's already down. Comcast has filed suit in Pennsylvania against the nation's number-three carrier, and it's for patent infringement.
Namely, Comcast alleges that Sprint is violating patents it owns covering technologies like SMS/MMS, mobile broadband cards and hotspots, as well as certain traffic routing technologies (IP/MPLS).
Powow: Text Messaging is an alternative messaging app made by Handmark, the company that produced One Louder Apps. Now, I know that you're thinking about all of the other messaging apps on the Market and want to know what makes this one special. The fact of the matter is that only a small percentage of the endless waves of similar apps are worth using, and despite missing a couple key features, Powow is one of few I would consider fully committing to.
The Android Market certainly doesn't have a lack of group chat-messaging clients, but it appears that Yahoo is ready to throw its hat into the ring away. Separate from the Messenger app (which has been available on Android for quite some time), Hub uses text messages over a data connection - meaning that you won't incur any text messaging charges from using it. Unfortunately, your friends who don't have the client installed will, and in fact they may not be able to use it at all.
What? Google Voice is getting a feature update? People still work on Google Voice?
Update: Well, it's official. Just like suspected, it's currently only working for Sprint customers, and text to email forwarding must be enabled. Not to worry, though, El Goog is working on incorporating this feature into the Voice inbox.
They're also working with other wireless carriers to enable the feature for all Voice users as soon as they can, so just sit tight if you're not on the Now Network -- shouldn't be too long.
Update: If you've been itching to try this workaround on a non-T-Mobile phone, then now's your chance. The Snozzy dev has added experimental support for AT&T and Sprint, and untested support for Verizon, Virgin, Cricket, Straight Talk, US Cellular, and Viaero. Since the latter group is completely untested, there's a good chance that it will be extremely buggy, if it even works at all. If you decide to give it a go, make sure to drop us a line and let us know how it turns out!
You could continue to add events to your Google Calendar the old fashioned way, or you could use this super cool (and fun!) method of SMSing things to your GCal.
The process is so easy a caveman could do it, so follow along and you'll be one step closer to speaking (almost) directly to your calendar:
Add GEvent (48368) to your contacts, name it “Magic Calendar”
Click and hold the Search button to bring up Google Voice Search and say, “Text to Magic Calendar, Pick up kids 2pm at the Cliffs in Valhalla, New York” (or, you know, whatever event you want to schedule)
Wait a bit… you should receive a confirmation text and it should show up on your Google Calendar
Bring up event in your favorite calendar app or widget… click on the link for the location
Click on bubble to check out Places and to get turn-by-turn directions from your free Google Navigation
Extra credit – do the step #2 voice search hands-free using VLingo InCar
If you've ever received a notification and thought to yourself, "I really wish my phone would play some colorful and fun animation every time I get a message," then there's no doubt that Pops is the app for you.
Calling itself the "ringtone for the smartphone generation," Pops is an app that lets you customize notifications for certain apps, namely Gmail, SMS, Facebook, and Twitter, with full-screen animations. To get a better idea of what it's all about, here is a video showcasing most of its features: