Sure, Google may have acquired Zagat and used the company's renowned ratings engine to start powering its data on everything from electronics stores to car washes. However, the review site got its start in restaurants way back in the day, and even after the purchase, continues to provide helpful information on every aspect of your food consumption outings. So, why not give the service its own app? Well, that's just what everyone's favorite search giant did!
One of the biggest drawbacks to buying apps on things like the Play Store is wondering if it does what you need it to do before you put your money on the line. AppSurfer, an India-based startup, is building a platform to alleviate this concern and give developers a web-based tool to let users test drive their apps before they buy. If this sounds familiar, it's because Amazon allows customers to do this very thing on its Appstore.
One of the most popular third-party browsers in the Play Store, Dolphin Browser, received a fairly major bump today up to version 9.0. This brings a handful of worthwhile enhancements, including support for the HTML5 rendering engine from Dolphin Beta. In this case, however, the Dolphin team has made the engine an optional addon called Jetpack instead of making it the default. So, basically, making the browser faster on HTML5 sites is optional, for whatever reason.
It seems like you can't go a day anymore without something new being added to Google+. Today, the mobile app is seeing an update that brings some much-requested features, including the ability to manage Pages from mobile. The method is a little wonky. Unlike on the web version, you can't just hop over to a page you're managing. You have to manually log out then log back in, at which point you will be asked what profile or page you want to control.
If you didn't see our initial post on Maluuba, a rather nifty voice assistant app, check it out. The service has now gone global, though English remains the only supported language, with the beta release of Maluuba International.
As with the normal version of Maluuba, you can get directions, find restaurants, movie showtimes, create alarms, and more. The app itself has a pretty neat UI, too (even if it is a total Windows not-Metro ripoff).
Google's magazine app, Play Magazines, just received a bump up to v1.1 in the Play Store. It's a small update, but a good one nonetheless:
- Significant performance improvements for all devices (page flipping and rendering)
- Now available in Australia!
So there you go - not only does the app work better, but now those of you Down Under can get your mag fix! At the time of writing, the update isn't yet showing in the Web Store for most of us, but you should be able to pull it down through the Device Store.
According to a Czech press release unearthed by The Verge, Microsoft may be readying native Office apps for Android. As of right now, the only programs that have mobile versions on the Play Store are OneNote and Lync. Otherwise known as "the ones very few people care about." If this report is to be believed, though, we may see native versions of the entire Office suite.
According to the Verge's translations, Microsoft said this:
"In addition to Windows, Office will be also available on other operating systems, Windows Phone, Windows RT, Mac OS, Android, iOS and Symbian"
Redmond, by way of the Czech Republic, also pointed out that there would be new versions of its Office Web Apps.
Android users tend to balk at apps that cost more than $5 or so, but in this case it might be worth shelling out, at least if you're a SlingBox owner. The mobile client for the popular media streaming gadget has been given a temporary price cut: a whole 50% off! ...which sounds a lot better than $14.99, half its normal price of $30. On top of that, there are separate versions of the app for smartphones and tablets.
There are no shortage of keyboard replacements on the market. Between SwiftKey, Swype, and the various manufacturer-skinned versions, you can't help but have three or four options on your phone. Today's latest entrant, iKnowU, still manages to stand out with the ability to predict entire phrases and highlighting of the next letters it thinks you're going to type. Pretty impressive.
Of course, the feature that catches our eye most of all is phrase prediction.
If you use Tapatalk for your forum-browsing needs on Android, you've probably lamented the lack of a proper tablet client for some time. After all, reading forums is one of those tasks you might actually want to do with a big screen capable of displaying significantly larger amounts of information than your phone.
You'll be relieved to hear, then, that Tapatalk now has an open beta for Tapatalk HD, the upcoming slate-specific version of the app.