20
Dec
bln2

Take a look around Google and you can see that people are seriously peeved by the lack of notification LED in the Samsung Galaxy S line of devices (excluding the Epic 4G). Developer and i9000 owner Michael R. - better known as neldar on the XDA forums - was annoyed enough by the glaring omission that he decided to come up with a solution. The result: BLN (BackLight Notification). 

The basic idea behind the app is quite simple: as there's no LED on the devices, the logical decision is to light up the soft-touch keys.

18
Dec
thumb_550_E_Trade_Mobile_Pro_0

E*TRADE Financial and Fidelity Investments have finally made their mobile applications available to Android users. Up until now, both programs have been compatible exclusively with iOS and Blackberry OS. Although I'm not much of a stock trader myself, these apps are big wins for enterprise customers who use Android devices. Both are very slick and easy to use. I should also mention that both of them have very quick load times.

18
Dec
wsj_study

Way back in July, Lookout released the results of a study on app security, and found that many apps have access to user data that they have no need for - suggesting that there was plenty of potential for illicit information use. Two months later, a group of researchers from Intel, Penn State, and Duke came forth with data showing just that: 15 of the 30 apps tested sent GPS data, 7 sent unique hardware information, and a few sent more private information such as phone and SIM numbers.

18
Dec
sims

Just a short while after releasing Need for Speed Shift, EA Mobile has brought another popular mobile game, The Sims 3, to the Android Market.

A special edition of The Sims 3 has been available for some time to T-Mobile customers who own the Samsung Vibrant, but today the app has been made available to all Android users.

The official description of the app (from AppBrain):

ENJOY THIS AWARD-WINNING SIMS EXPERIENCE OPTIMIZED FOR ANDROID™!

17
Dec
nfsshift

This isn't nearly as exciting as that other thing that's just happened, but it's still fun - especially for those of us into cars and/or racing games. EA Mobile released NFS: Shift into the Market about 17 hours ago, and although it obviously packs a lot less than the PC/console version, if it's anywhere close, it should still be a blast to play. The official app description:

THINK FAST! DRIVE FASTER!

17
Dec
kindle_menu

Amazon has updated their Kindle for Android app to the ridiculously-numbered version 2.0.0.101810146. With the update comes a few notable new features:

  • Access to over 100 Kindle newspapers and magazines
  • "Move to SD Card" option
  • In-app purchases
  • Social network integration
  • Chapter titles now show in the reader status bar
  • Zoom for images
  • Volume rocker can function as page up/down

kindle_menu kindle_periodical

The app supports all versions of Android from 1.6 up. And don't forget - your purchases are linked by account, not device - meaning any books you purchase on your actual Kindle can be accessed in the Kindle app on your phone.

16
Dec
12-16-2010 9-27-37 PM_wm

Google has been making multiple changes to the Android Market recently, with the introduction of 6 additional screenshots, new promo graphics, YouTube video links, recent changes, and a whole new and refreshed Market app. It looks like they're not planning on stopping, as yet another, more subtle, update just hit the Android Market publishing interface, also known as the Developer Console.

The new change expands the previously measly 325 character Description and Recent Changes fields to a whopping 4,000 characters for the Description and 500 characters for the Recent Changes.

16
Dec
Sony_Official_PlayStation_App

It's not the PlayStation-related Android announcement we were hoping Sony would make, but the Official PlayStation app is still (sort of) intriguing in and of itself. Version 1.0 of the app will be coming soon to both our beloved Android Market and the iOS App Store, though we here in the States will be left out of the fun initially. For those lucky enough to live in the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, or the Netherlands, (the areas where the app will be available upon launch) here's what you have to look forward to:

  • Check out your PlayStation Network trophies and keep up to date with your friends’ games and online status.
16
Dec
linkedin_home

Good news for professional Android users: LinkedIn has finally released an Android app. Unfortunately, it's still in "public" beta at this point, and to get the app you have to join the Android group on LinkedIn (in other words, it's not on the Market yet). At this stage, it packs all the basic features:

  • View updates from your professional network
  • Search for people to discover things you have in common and establish new connections
  • Respond to invitations sent from people in your professional life
  • Keep in touch with your own connections on LinkedIn

linkedin_home linkedin_incommon linkedin_invitations

Given that it's not available in the Market, it's hard to say what kind of bugs and issues people are having.

16
Dec
snap20101216_091510

Google Maps 5, which we have been anxiously waiting for, mostly due to its 3D capabilities and offline map caching, has arrived! You can download the update in the Market by clicking the following QR code from your mobile phone or scanning it with Barcode Scanner:

QR code for https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.apps.maps

Here are the new changes:

  • Explore the map in 3D. Two finger drag down/up to tilt; twist to rotate on supported devices.
  • Use compass mode to rotate the map to where you're facing.
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