Know someone who emerged from this holiday season with a new tablet in hand—and they now want your advice on what to do with it? An Android device is only as good as the apps you install, so we’ve drawn up a listed of some top Android apps for tablet newbies.
The apps we’ve chosen below are not necessarily new or edgy, but we’ve field-tested them all and find them solid choices for a wide variety of users wanting to get started with some basic tablet tasks. (See our iPad version as well.)
The Google Play store is not overflowing with powerful image editing applications—there are many more apps that will let you pop clip-art cats or Eiffel Towers into your pictures in lieu of doing a simple crop. Fortunately, the recent Google acquisition Snapseed takes itself seriously enough to forego the word art and gives you the essentials like cropping and adjusting exposure, saturation, contrast, and brightness, as well as tools for selective adjust and an “autocorrect button.” There are a handful of modest photo effects that are not too cheesy.
Snapseed allows you to pull in photos to edit from cloud services like Box or Dropbox, which can be handy if you tablet is stuck with only a front-facing single-megapixel camera. Honorable mention goes to Pixlr Express, which Google recommended on its list of must-have Android apps for 2012. Its controls aren’t quite as granular, but it has more creative options that you can’t find in Snapseed, like the ability to add and control color splashes into black-and-white photos.
DroidEdit is by far the most flexible of the the text editors we tried. It’s not much to look at, but the options available inside the app make it suitable for both coding and writing. Line wrap can be turned on and off, you can search and replace text, and there’s a “writer mode” that turns off autocorrect and turns on a spell-checker. The app has a number of language syntaxes available (C/C++, C#, CSS, LaTex, Perl, Python, and many more). You can change the color scheme of the app to one of the available defaults or set your own and change the font size, but the font style is fixed. Even if you’re not a coder, DroidEdit is still a capable and handy little text editor, on the level of Notepad++ for Windows.
When it comes to managing text files, you can have multiple files open at once, and the app allows you to create new folders in the file management system when saving (a feature that’s rarer than it should be). The app also provides access to Android’s share menu, so you can easily move you file to places including Evernote, Google Drive, Gmail,and Dropbox.
There are two versions of DroidEdit, one of which is free and runs a small text ad in the bottom right corner of the screen, which annoyingly changes every few seconds. We’d get a facial tic, having to sort-of look at that while writing. Fortunately, the paid version of DroidEdit is only $1.99 and has no ads.
It’s hardly a surprise that Google, what with its cloud-based service proficiency, has come from behind with Drive to unseat older and wiser competitors like Dropbox and Box. The app works particularly well on the tablets, with useful options like the ability to create new Google files (a doc or a spreadsheet) right in the app, or sort contents by date or name.
Because Google Docs is now essentially part and parcel to Drive, the Drive app allows you to both open and edit documents without having to hop over to another app. This isn’t a flawless process; for instance, when we uploaded a text file from DroidEdit to Drive, we have let it convert to Docs format to edit in Drive. If we don’t, tapping the file in Drive will prompt us to open it in another of the text editing apps we have installed.
Drive comes preinstalled on some tablets, so you don’t even have to open the Google Play store to get the best of the cloud storage experiences. If you’re looking for a bit more security than Drive can provide, that’s SpiderOak’s strong suit, though its mobile apps usually leave something to be desired.
The duel for our hearts between Pocket and Instapaper is a remarkably close one. Pocket, an evolution of the tool formerly known as Read it Later, just barely edges out Instapaper for its ability to handle images and videos with a little more grace.
If this category were simply for choosing a reading app, this would be a dead heat. Both Instapaper and Pocket allow for resizing and changing fonts, changing color schemes, and have seemingly useless brightness tuners. Pocket’s font sizes extend farther down into the smaller sizes; Instapaper offers more font choices, the ability to change line spacing, and more granularity for column width. Both allow users to perform bulk actions on their content; Pocket offers tags for organizing, while Instapaper offers folders.
But Pocket allows users to save videos and images and view them within the app. We don’t see ourselves using Pocket for images, but we’ve saved videos to Instapaper a fair few times, knowing it was little better interface-wise than sending ourselves a link in e-mail. Pocket doesn’t cache the video for offline viewing the way both Pocket and Instapaper will create offline versions of articles for reading, but we appreciate not having to redirect the app to its own browser, or relocate to Chrome, just to watch a video.
Walk away, AIM app. Go home, Facebook Messenger. Imo.im is able to handle both types of these accounts, in addition to Skype, Google Talk, and Steam. There’s also an option for Myspace, in case you just can’t let go.
When you provide imo with your account information for the above services, it will display each entry along with an on/off switch to let you log in or out. If you’re logged into more than one account at a time, imo displays all contacts in one combined tab, while a second tab holds your past chats. The app offers options to log conversations on imo.im.
With some messaging apps in the past, we’ve had problems where one or the other will hijack messages exclusively, rather than letting it ring through to any locations where you may be logged in. Thankfully, imo.im doesn’t do this. Instead, when you receive an initial message, imo.im will display it on the tablet, but won’t continue threading the conversation through itself if you answer somewhere else. Your mileage may vary depending on the service, but we haven’t had this problem with AIM, GTalk, or Facebook chat.
To be entirely honest, none of the apps for the major streaming music services have really been optimized for Android tablets—they’re made for phones first, and it shows in their sparse layouts and overabundant whitespace. For this category, then, the content is probably more important than the apps themselves, and both Spotify and Rdio give you plenty to listen to (our recent shootout between the two will give you more insight into each service’s social features and tie-ins to their respective desktop clients).
Honorable mention: The downside to both Spotify and Rdio is that, after your trial period has expired, each will want $9.99 a month to grant you access to the service on your phones and tablets. We think that for most people that is a price worth paying, but if you want something a little more free Pandora is still a good choice if you don’t mind the advertisements.
There are plenty of touchscreen games we could recommend here, but rather than talking up Fruit Ninja or some other staple we’ll be kicking it old school with one of those timeless time-wasters: Solitaire.
Of the many, many versions of this game available in the Google Play store, MobilityWare’s Solitaire is the best—it’s clean, simple, and optimized for tablet screens in a way that some of the other available versions aren’t. The biggest drawback is probably the full-screen ads that run in between games, especially since there’s no in-app purchase or separate version of the app that can be used to disable them. They don’t ruin the experience, but they are annoying.
Honorable mention: It’s an unfortunate fact that Android’s game library still lags behind the iTunes Store—if a developer can only target one mobile OS they generally choose Apple’s, and the games that do appear on multiple platforms often appear on the iPad or iPhone first.
The situation is slowly improving, though. One of the most recent iOS ports to hit Google Play is the $4.99 Eufloria HD, a laid-back take on the real-time strategy game genre, but if you’re looking for something quicker to pick up and play there’s still nothing better than Halfbrick’s Jetpack Joyride.
The Nexus tablets include Google Chrome as their default browser, and for good reason: it’s a great browser that renders pages accurately, sticks to a vigorous update schedule, and can sync bookmarks, open tabs, and other information with its desktop counterparts. If you’ve got a non-Nexus tablet, you can easily switch from the stock browser to Chrome by downloading it from Google Play (as long as your tablet is running Ice Cream Sandwich or Jelly Bean, anyway).
Honorable mention: Firefox for Android is also solid contender, and if you use Firefox on the desktop it will also sync your data. Mozilla is also running some interesting experiments in the beta versions of the browser, one of which is an HTML5-focused app store.
Traveling in the winter can make you acutely aware of the weather in a way that you aren’t in your day-to-day life, and apps that tell you whether you can weather that weather are of the essence.
The one we like best on a tablet’s screen is the free ad-supported app from AccuWeather.com. It’s got a nice, big, readable interface, and it’s easy to swipe or tap a button to pull up hourly or 15-day forecasts, maps, and videos. The animations aren’t as smooth as they might be, but the fact that the app has been updated specifically for 7-inch and 10-inch screens puts it ahead of the rest of the pack. Notifications for severe weather and other configurable alerts are also available, as are a couple of different widget sizes can be set to give you information at a glance.
As in the music app discussion, the content available through an e-book app is a very important part of the discussion. Unlike music apps, however, you’re going to spend a lot of time in these apps actually reading books, and a poorly-optimized tablet app is harder to forgive.
In both of these respects, Amazon’s Kindle app has the edge. The app itself has improved greatly since we looked at it in our Nexus 7 review, in large part because Amazon added new, smaller font options that make books look much better on 7-inch and 10-inch tablet screens. It goes without saying that the size of Amazon’s e-book library remains unmatched, at least if you can stomach the DRM.
The Android app still lacks a couple of features available in iOS and on the Kindle Fire—the X-Ray feature, which allows you to look through a book to see all of the occurrences of certain words and names, is probably the most glaring omission—but reading Kindle books on an Android tablet is a much better experience now than it was even a couple of months ago.
We had a run-in with Google’s flagship smartphone today and we put it to work right away. The Nexus 4 is built by LG and follows the Galaxy Nexus very closely in terms of design and aesthetics. We’ll have an in-depth first impressions of the phone for you very soon, but first, how about a little camera showdown against the Galaxy Nexus. The camera in the previous phone was only good if all the conditions were ideal like a bright summer’s day. Anything else and you might as well not bother taking the phone out of your pocket. The Nexus 4 on the other hand has an 8MP BSI sensor from Sony, so we can expect great things from it, especially in low light.
We will be comparing it with other handsets like the iPhone 5, Lumia 920, etc in the future but for now, we just want to see how much of an improvement it is over its predecessor.
We’ve shot a quick hands-on video of the LG Nexus 4, highlighting its design and build as well as a quick comparison with the Galaxy Nexus itself. We also get to see the new powerful Qualcomm SoC in action through a quick lap of NFS: Most Wanted.
Good detail on both but the Nexus 4 edges out the GNex with better depth of field
In the first out door test, both cameras appear to capture very good amount of detail. However, the colours are a bit exaggerated in the Galaxy Nexus as compared the Nexus 4. Also, the depth of field is stronger in the Nexus 4 as the blue wall and shrubs in the background are more blurred out.
No real competition here
Our second test was indoors, under sufficient ambient lighting. Here, the BSI sensor come into play by offering a much better white balance as well as a lot more detail. The Galaxy Nexus is simply unable to capture enough detail and colours in this sort of lighting.
Good detail and accurate colours from the Nexus 4
We finally come to our macro test. Once again, the Nexus 4 came out on top with better white balance and much better contrast. The detail is also a lot better.
There’s no word when the Nexus 4 will actually launch in India but latest rumours state a possibility of an early Jan launch. You can buy the handset right now from the gray market for approximately Rs 36,000 for the 16GB model. You can read our in-depth first impressions of the handset right here.
Product sourced from: Cell Point, Shop No.76, Heerapanna. Contact no:+91 9819 031 860
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Below are the three features that you may not know your LG Nexus 4 have.
On the other hand, some reports said that search engine giant Google is already working on the successor of the popular LG Nexus 4.
Google has been releasing Nexus smartphones and tablets over the years. Since it was launched, the Nexus line has included handsets from HTC, Samsung, and LG. However, it seems Google may be using the recently-acquired Motorola for its next phone.
Wall Street Journal quoted unnamed sources that a new device is on its way from Google-owned Motorola. These people say Motorola engineers are hard at work on a “sophisticated” handset codenamed ‘X phone.’ However, it is still unsure whether the device will be a Nexus-brand phone.
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Another app has joined the list of alternatives to Android’s stock keyboard, offering themes and layout options along with the features you love from other popular keyboards.
The Kii Keyboard can be download for free from Google Play and is available in 34 languages.
The new keyboard, recently announced on XDA Developers forum, brings together popular features from alternative keyboards such as SwiftKey, Swype, and others.
The keyboard is still in beta, however, it already promises the following features:
The Kii Keyboard also has support for Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, though, it will run on devices with Android 2.1 or later.
You can download the keyboard from the Google Play store, though there is no indication yet when it will come out of beta.
Those of you with an Android device should be on the lookout — the security firm Dr. Web is warning users of a new trojan that disguises itself using the Google Play icon. Dubbed Android.DDoS.1.origin, the malware creates an application icon that looks just like the Google Play icon. When opened, the malware actually opens Google Play, helping disguise the malicious activity taking place in the background.
Once Android.DDoS.1.origin is running, it attempts to connect to a remote server and sends the device’s phone number down the pipeline. If successfully connected, the device is now compromised, and remains in a state awaiting commands from whoever is on the receiving end of the phone number. The cyber hooligans can then make the compromised device send SMS messages, or perform DDoS attacks on a specified target.
Aside from having your device compromised and responsible for a DDoS attack, the criminals controlling the device could also run up SMS and data charges depending on how frequently they send messages and perform DDoS attacks. Of course, the frequency and intensity of this malicious activity could affect the performance of a compromised device, based on simple processor and memory allocations and usage.
At the moment, Dr. Web reports that how the trojan spreads is unclear, but is most likely spread through social media tactics, getting users to download the code themselves in some manner.
As one might expect of a security company, Dr. Web notes that users running Dr. Web products for Android will be protected from the trojan. If you aren’t cool with that, just pay attention to what you download, or don’t enable the feature that allows you to download apps that didn’t come from the Google Play store.
via Dr. Web
If you’re still toting Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1, good news – CyanogenMod let loose a flurry of new nightlies for the device today, all carrying the CM 10.1 moniker, meaning owners of Samsung’s ten-inch Tab from 2011 can enjoy a stock Android 4.2 experience with some key improvements. Among those receiving the new nightlies are the Wi-Fi only Tab (p4wifi), Verizon and T-Mobile connected variants (p4vzw and tmo), the p4, and even the p3, which is the Galaxy Tab 10.1v.
If you’ve been waiting to get a taste of Android 4.2 with CyanogenMod enhancements on your Tab 10.1, just hit the appropriate link below and grab the nightly.
Definition: A “nightly” is a bleeding edge release that is built on a daily basis, usually at night after a full day’s worth of new code has been committed.
It could oftentimes be unstable and not properly tested, lacking any changelogs, but eventually evolving into alphas, betas, release candidates, and finally stable releases.
The England midfielder could earn $6.5million a year — equal to £4million —
plus a potential $1million (£619,000) in merchandise sales.
A source said: “The club feel Frank is what they’re missing now David
“He has the profile to fill Beckham’s role as the face of the club globally.”
Frank, 34, is mulling over his next move after
being told by London side Chelsea to find another club.
Despite helping the Blues to the Champions League, three Premier League
titles, four FA Cups and two League Cups, he was told he can go from January
If he accepts a contract with LA Galaxy, it will make him the highest-earning
player in the US league.
Former Spurs ace Robbie Keane, 32, is the Galaxy’s current highest player on
$3.5million dollars (£2.1million).
Ex-Arsenal favourite Thierry Henry, 35, is the second highest-earning player
in the MLS on $5.5million (£3.4million).
A California move could be an exciting new start for Lampard’s fiancee
The Dancing on Ice host, 33, got engaged to Frank last year. She has told pals
she is confident she could start a new career Stateside.
Now you have a shiny new Samsung Galaxy S3, you’re probably going to want to accessorise a little bit.
Why not check out our best accessories for the Galaxy S3 and make the most of the Android beast’s capabilities?
With such a stunning screen, you don’t want the display all scratched up. The official Samsung Galaxy S3 flip case comes in a range of colours and attaches to your phone by replacing the battery cover.
It may be a little more expensive than cheap imitations, but it does the job perfectly, keeping the profile of the Galaxy S3 nice and slim, just as it should be.
Want to watch your video content on the big screen? Samsung’s HDMI adaptor allows you to watch all the content from your phone on your TV, whether you want to view YouTube content, a video you made with the camera, photos, documents, games or anything else.
You will need to buy an HDMI cable too, but you can pick one up for a little over £1 on Amazon.
The Globalgig Wi-Fi hotspot allows you to data roam in the US, UK and Australia for just £15 a month. The device will cost £79 upfront, but can save you hundreds, or even thousands of pounds if you’re a frequent traveller.
Although the device will only work in the US and Australia at the moment, it should be heading to Europe and other territories by the end of 2013. Just like a regular mobile Wi-Fi hotspot, it has its own data connection and connects to your phone as a Wi-Fi network.
Keep your Samsung Galaxy S3 juiced up at all times with this cover for it. Although it makes the S3 looks a little chunkier, it will give you an extra 2200mAh of battery power while on the move.
The case charges via your standard microUSB charger and when the battery on your phone gets low, just turn the case on and it’ll start transferring power from the case to your phone.
A bonus addition is a hidden kickstand, putting your Galaxy S3 at the perfect angle for watching TV or a film on your journey to and from work.
We’ve been big fans of Etymotic earphones for a while and the HF2s double up as a handsfree kit too.
The in-ear ‘phones come with a range of different sized flanges to fit in any ear canal size, but if you really want to splash the cash, go for the custom fit solution, which costs an extra £100, but is well worth it for the most amazing sound experience you’ve ever felt. Etymotic EF2s come in a range of colours too. We prefer the red.
Samsung produces a number of products from kitchen appliances to PCs but it was the company’s mobile division that made the most headlines in 2012.
The Korea-based company dominated the mobile phone space, introducing several new Galaxy devices throughout the year. But it couldn’t shake one its biggest rivals, Apple, which proved to be a worthy opponent in the courtroom and in stores.
Still, despite all the hysteria surrounding the launch of the iPhone 5 and iPad mini, it was Samsung and its Android-heavy lineup of devices like the Galaxy S III and Galaxy Note II that were the really mobile winners in 2012. Those two smartphones were only introduced in the second half of the year and they have already sold at least 30 million and 5 million worldwide, respectively.
Samsung didn’t fare as well in court, however. Though it nabbed a few patent victories here and there in its battle with Cupertino, it suffered a huge setback in August when a California jury handed down a $1.05 billion judgment; Samsung is appealing.
The Galaxy Train Steamrolls the Competition
The year opened with some hands-on time with the huge, 5-inch Galaxy Note “phablet” at CES. Samsung unveiled the massive smartphone/tablet at IFA several months before, and PCMag was a tad skeptical that it could succeed. But by March, Samsung announced that the Galaxy Note had been snapped up by 5 million consumers.
In late April, Samsung unveiled its new Exynos Quad 4 chip, which it said would power the next-generation of Galaxy devices. That included the much-anticipated Galaxy S III , which Samsung showed off during a London press event in May. It hit Europe later that month and the U.S. in June. It has been released for all major U.S. carriers and sold at least 30 million units worldwide.
One hit smartphone was not enough, however, and Samsung followed up with the Galaxy Note II, which was even bigger than its predecessor at 5.3 inches. Despite its almost comically large size, shoppers were intrigued by the gadget and its built-in stylus, snapping up more than 5 million by the end of November.
Samsung also released the Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet, which included a split-screen mode, and the Android-based Galaxy Camera. The company will also try its hand at the Windows Phone platform with the Ativ S smartphone.
We’re already hearing rumblings about a Galaxy S IV, which could make an appearance at February’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, so stay tuned.
Patent Showdown at the Cupertino Corral
But despite all of Samsung’s successes with its Galaxy lineup this year, the company spent a good chunk of its time (and money) battling Apple over patents.
The two companies have been battling since April 2011, when Apple sued Samsung for “slavishly” copying the look and feel of the iPhone and iPad with its Galaxy lineup of devices. For the first half of 2012, there were a number of headlines about wins and losses in German and Dutch courts, but things really got rolling when Apple and Samsung faced off against a jury in a California courtroom this summer.
Following several weeks of sometimes intense and sometimes boring testimony, the jury gave Apple an early Christmas present in the form of a $1.05 billion judgment. The jury did, however, find that Samsung did not infringe on Apple’s iPad design patent, so the judge lifted a ban on the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in the U.S.
That’s not the end of it, of course. Samsung is appealing and the two companies have another, very similar case in the same court that will go to trial in 2014. Just last week, meanwhile, Judge Lucy Koh denied Samsung’s request for a new trial over juror misconduct and shot down Apple’s injunction demands.
Samsung did score a small victory in the U.K., when a court there required Apple to state publicly on its website and in newspaper ads that Samsung did not copy the iPad with its Galaxy tablets. An initial post on the Apple website did not satisfy the court, and Apple was forced to update its “noncompliant” message.
While it might seem like Apple is the bad guy here since it started things, Samsung hasn’t gotten off with some scrutiny of its own. Last week, the European Commission accused Samsung of patent abuse by not offering Apple fair and reasonable licensing terms for its 3G patents. The patents are considered “essential” for the operation of today’s most popular gadgets and Samsung, therefore, has an obligation to license them at a fair price, but Apple claims Samsung is asking for too much. Samsung, naturally, disagrees. Samsung now has a chance to respond to the EU’s charges and the commission will then decide what, if any, action to take.
Battling for the Smartphone Crown
Many of the Samsung-related headlines this year, meanwhile, touched on Samsung’s domination of the mobile phone market. The success of the Galaxy lineup even helped Samsung best Nokia, which had been the biggest phone maker for the last 14 years.
For more from Chloe, follow her on Twitter @ChloeAlbanesius.
Article source: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2413529,00.asp
Google has blocked access to Twitpic.com, a popular photo sharing tool for Twitter, after identifying it as a malware risk. Some users are also complaining that Twitter’s own t.co URL shortener service is also broken at the moment but we are not sure if the two are incidents are linked in any manner.
Interestingly, pics posted via Twitpic appear in the expanded mode on Twitter when viewed on Google Chrome. We should hopefully get an update soon on the situation. It is unlikely for the block to remain for long and in all probability the affected services are working it with Google as we file this post.
UPDATE: Twitpic denies there is anything wrong with its service to invoke the malware notice and is trying to contact Google.
Working to fix the google chrome malware notice when visiting Twitpic.com as this is not true or the case, trying to contact google
— TwitPic (@TwitPic) December 30, 2012