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26 May 12 Top Free Android Apps


If you own an Android smartphone, you will no doubt want to download plenty of great apps. While you may wonder about the best deals you can get from Google Play, formerly known as the Android Market, but there are plenty of quality apps you can get for free. These are all well worth exploring and downloading to your phone so that you can have the best experience in many areas, including entertainment, personal finance, navigation and more.

Google Wallet is one of the best free apps that is available for download on many Android smartphones. Created by a top developer, you will no longer have to worry about the best credit cards to have on hand when you are on the go as you can simply enter your information into this app and use it to make purchases at a variety of different vendors. This is a great app to have right at your fingertips on your phone, especially if you are a bit of a scatterbrain who occasionally forgets your wallet! It works with MasterCard credit card information.

Pandora Internet Radio is a fantastic app for Android smartphone owners who enjoy listening to music while on the go. Essentially, you can create your very own personalized radio station that you can listen to directly on your device. It runs on ads, but this is not an issue as the majority of what you will get is music. Simply select an artist or a band and the app will play them and artists and bands that are similar, which is a great way to be introduced to great music you have never heard before.

Facebook for Android is an essential free app that you can enjoy on your smartphone. It keeps you in the loop with the social networking website and all of your friends who use it. You receive many of the same features that you would have on your computer and can easily and quickly post status updates, reply to friends’ statuses and post photos and videos right from your Android phone.

Skype is a great free app that allows you to engage in video chats and IM sessions with others. You can use it to chat with anyone who has Skype, whether they have it on their own smartphone or on their computer. It is fun, easy and convenient to use.

Angry Birds is the most widely popular and successful game for mobile devices, including Android smartphones. It has recently reached one billion downloads with good reason as it is a great way to pass time. You may find yourself having loads of funs for hours on end while flinging the charismatic, colorful birds at the silly green pigs that have stolen their eggs. Even if you play for minutes at a time, you will find yourself coming back for more.

While many Android nay-sayers claim that Android has nothing over Apple when it comes to the number of apps, there is no doubt that Android does have a large number of high quality apps.  So if you have an Android phone, make sure to have the aformentioned apps on your phone to have the best Android experience possible.

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Article source: http://thedroidguy.com/2012/05/top-free-android-apps/

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17 Apr 12 LG Viper 4G LTE: Eco-Friendly, Fast, but No LTE–Yet


Click a photo to enlarge.The LG Viper ($100 with a new two-year contract from Sprint; price as of 4/12/12) is Sprint’s very first LTE phone. But the Android-running Viper is a little early to the game: Sprint hasn’t rolled out its 4G LTE network yet. Despite being stuck with 3G speeds, though, the affordable LG Viper packs some high-quality specs for the price. The dual-core processor handled everything I threw at it with ease, the 5-megapixel camera took good pictures, and the addition of Google Wallet is not too shabby.

Design and Display

The Viper has a “platinum” rating by UL Environment for its sustainable build and packaging. According to Sprint, the phone’s body is 50 percent recycled plastic. Earth-friendly phones aren’t generally the most stylish-looking models, but the Viper is an exception. The piano-black face is nicely complemented by a chrome border around the phone’s edges. The silver plastic backing has a “brushed” finish, giving it a sophisticated look. It feels a little chunkier than the other smartphones we’ve recently reviewed, measuring 4.59-by-2.44-by-0.46 inches thick, but it weighs a manageable 5 ounces.

The 4-inch WVGA display’s resolution is somewhat lower than top-tier smartphones at 480-by-800 pixels (the highest-end Android phones come with 1280-by-720-pixel screens). If you plan on using the Viper only to browse the Web, check e-mail, and do some casual gaming, the display should be sufficient.

Like many smartphone displays, the Viper is a little oversaturated. This was apparent in our color bar tests, where the color gradients bled into each other. It tended to wash out skin tones a little bit, too, but it didn’t add a reddish tint, as we’ve seen some AMOLED displays do.

Software

The Viper runs Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) with an overlay from LG and Sprint that runs atop it. The overlay is fairly lightweight and looks similar to the vanilla Android Gingerbread interface, but you’re stuck with a dedicated SprintID (Sprint’s app package service) navigation button on the display. Sprint confirmed that the Viper will eventually be upgraded to Ice Cream Sandwich, but the company did not say when we could expect that update.

Other than the permanent SprintID button, you can remove pretty much all of the carrier-added software (or, in some cases, bloatware). I wasn’t able to remove SprintZone, but I could remove Sprint NASCAR, NBA Mobile, TeleNav, and other added apps.

One useful included application is Google Wallet, which uses the built-in NFC chip in the Viper to let you make payments with your phone. For a complete overview of Google Wallet, check out our hands-on review.

Camera

I snapped a few photos indoors and out with the Viper’s 5-megapixel camera. My outdoor photos looked pretty good, with clear details and good color reproduction. My indoor photos had a bit of a dark cast to them (see the sample photo) and looked a little grainy in certain areas.

The Viper also has a front-facing camera and can shoot video in up to 1080p. As you can hear in the sample video below, the Viper’s microphone was very sensitive to wind. Colors overall looked a bit dark, but the Viper could handle fast-moving objects without any artifacting or pixelation.

Performance

As mentioned, the Sprint LTE network has not been rolled out yet in the United States. Sprint recently announced that it would roll out LTE in a handful of cities in mid-2012, but San Francisco, sadly, isn’t one of them for the time being.

When you switch on the Viper, you’ll have to immediately go into the settings and turn off the LTE. If you don’t, the phone will constantly try and search for a non-existent network and drain your battery. Until LTE comes to your city, you’re stuck with 3G. One nice thing to look forward to is that Sprint will offer unlimited data on its LTE network, so you’ll be able to use your data to your heart’s content–without getting throttled.

I ran the FCC-approved Ookla Speedtest.net app to measure 3G data speeds in San Francisco. I got an average of 0.92 megabits per second (mbps) for uploads and an average of 1.83 mbps for downloads in various parts of San Francisco. These are pretty good speeds for 3G, but nowhere near some of the LTE 4G speeds we’ve seen on ATT’s and Verizon’s networks. For example, the Nokia Lumia 900 achieved an average download speed of 13.27 megabits per second and an average upload speed of 7 mbps in San Francisco.

The Viper might be a “budget-friendly” phone, but it’s no slouch. Powered by a dual-core 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S3 processor, the Viper felt snappy throughout the user interface. I loaded a couple of graphics-heavy games on the Viper including Osmos, Edge, and the World of Goo. All three games ran smoothly, without any issue. I also ran two different benchmarks on the Viper: Qualcomm’s Vellamo benchmark and the third-party Quadrant benchmarking app. According to Quadrant, the Viper got a score of 3009, considerably higher than the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, which got a score of 2000. On Vellamo, the Viper scored 1221, which also put it ahead of the Galaxy Nexus.

Call quality over Sprint’s network was okay. The Viper was extremely sensitive to external noise, such as wind or passing cars. On a particularly windy day in San Francisco, I couldn’t hold a conversation without my friends on the other end asking me to repeat myself—the wind had completely overpowered my voice. Indoors, the Viper did a lot better. My friends’ voices sounded clear and natural, while they reported that they could hear me perfectly.

We have not yet completed our formal battery tests, but we will update this review once the results are in. In my hands on use, however, battery life wasn’t very good on the Viper. It seemed slow to charge, and I had to plug it in twice during a full day of fairly heavy use.

Bottom Line

The LG Viper is a solid introduction to Sprint’s incoming family of LTE phones—even though there isn’t a Sprint LTE network yet. The Viper might not be a top-of-the-line smartphone, but its dual-core processor keeps it running smoothly, and the camera snaps solid photos. But the Viper seems as if it is jumping the gun a bit. Being stuck on a 3G network with an LTE-capable phone is a little sad; and while Sprint did say the Viper will get the Ice Cream Sandwich upgrade, there’s no telling when that will be. If you don’t mind waiting for Sprint to switch on its LTE network (especially if you live in one of the first few cities on Sprint’s roll-out list), the Viper is a good choice. If you’re looking for higher-end LTE phones on Sprint, you might want to wait a bit and go for the incoming HTC Evo 4G LTE or the Samsung Galaxy Nexus.

Article source: http://www.pcworld.com/article/253799/lg_viper_4g_lte_ecofriendly_fast_but_no_lteyet.html

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16 Apr 12 Sprint Samsung Galaxy Nexus Available For Pre-Order


Sprint customers the wait is over: The Samsung Galaxy Nexus will be available on Sprint for $199 starting on April 22nd. The Sprint version of the Galaxy Nexus ships with Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich), and will be compatible with Sprint’s LTE network. Like the Samsung Nexus S, the Sprint Galaxy Nexus will officially support Google’s mobile payment system, Google Wallet.

I got a hands-on with the Sprint Galaxy Nexus at CES, and found it to be nearly identical the Verizon version. The phone features a 1.2 GHz dual-core processor, a 5-megapixel rear-facing camera, and a 4.63-inch 720p display. Since it’s a Nexus phone, Google will be the one issuing updates–meaning that your Galaxy Nexus will always have the latest version of Android running on it.

If you’re interested in the Galaxy Nexus and want to make sure you get one on the day it’s released, you can pre-order the phone through Sprint’s website. Pre-ordering today gives you the chance to get the Galaxy Nexus two days early, meaning you can flaunt it to those friends who waited on getting their orders in. As an added bonus, Sprint is offering an extra $40 in credit to anyone that activates the Google Wallet service on their phone within a week of receiving their Galaxy Nexus.

So if you’ve been itching to get your hands on the phone we rated best Android phone and best smartphone overall, get in line and place your order now.

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Article source: http://www.pcworld.com/article/253856/sprint_samsung_galaxy_nexus_available_for_preorder.html

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16 Nov 11 Soon you can order Chromebook in India


Internet giant Google’s Chromebook, the much-celebrated mobile device tailor-made for Web browsing and running on its Chrome Operating System, is likely to be shipped in India by early 2012.

Speaking to presspersons at an interaction here, Sundar Pichai, senior vice-president, Chrome and Apps, Google, said: “I would be very surprised if Chromebooks are not shipped in India by early 2012. We see India as a huge potential market for us,” he said. Chrome, he pointed out, is very popular on laptops, where 98 per cent of the time is spent browsing, and, hence, he believes it was natural for them to take the next step: build an OS to bring the full power of the Web to users in a fast, simple and more secure package. In October 2011, Chrome overtook Microsoft’s Internet Explorer as the most popular browser in India.

Chromebook first began shipping globally in June with the devices being manufactured by Acer and Samsung.

Mr. Pichai, who leads the product management and innovation efforts for Google’s consumer products including Chrome, Chrome OS, Gmail and Google Docs, says the user experience is key.

He added that over time there will be more hardware partners.

Google’s flop

On Google Plus, and the company’s failed foray into the social media space with Buzz, Mr. Pichai said that it was “all part of the journey”. “We understood more about privacy and related implications through Google Buzz,” he said, pointing out that features on Plus such as ‘hangouts’ and ‘circles’ were products of this understanding. “Yes, there would not have been a Google Plus without Google Buzz.”

Google has around 2,000 employees working in India in offices in Hyderabad and Bangalore, with sales and marketing teams in Gurgaon and Mumbai. Mr. Pichai said the teams here were extremely talented and focussed on innovation, with a lot of technologists working keenly on the application feature suite here.

e-commerce market

Besides Google’s Chrome and Chromebook, Mr. Pichai said that there is a huge e-commerce market in India that remains to be tapped.

“I found that online transactions are cumbersome and not at all easy,” he said, comparing this to the “seamless, easy” experience abroad, and the even smoother experience he had with Google Wallet while making simple grocery payments in the United States. A product like Google Wallet can take online money and transactions here to a different level, he added.

Keywords: Google Chrome

Article source: http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Bangalore/article2632277.ece

Tags: , , ,

16 Nov 11 Soon you can order Chromebook in India


Internet giant Google’s Chromebook, the much-celebrated mobile device tailor-made for Web browsing and running on its Chrome Operating System, is likely to be shipped in India by early 2012.

Speaking to presspersons at an interaction here, Sundar Pichai, senior vice-president, Chrome and Apps, Google, said: “I would be very surprised if Chromebooks are not shipped in India by early 2012. We see India as a huge potential market for us,” he said. Chrome, he pointed out, is very popular on laptops, where 98 per cent of the time is spent browsing, and, hence, he believes it was natural for them to take the next step: build an OS to bring the full power of the Web to users in a fast, simple and more secure package. In October 2011, Chrome overtook Microsoft’s Internet Explorer as the most popular browser in India.

Chromebook first began shipping globally in June with the devices being manufactured by Acer and Samsung.

Mr. Pichai, who leads the product management and innovation efforts for Google’s consumer products including Chrome, Chrome OS, Gmail and Google Docs, says the user experience is key.

He added that over time there will be more hardware partners.

Google’s flop

On Google Plus, and the company’s failed foray into the social media space with Buzz, Mr. Pichai said that it was “all part of the journey”. “We understood more about privacy and related implications through Google Buzz,” he said, pointing out that features on Plus such as ‘hangouts’ and ‘circles’ were products of this understanding. “Yes, there would not have been a Google Plus without Google Buzz.”

Google has around 2,000 employees working in India in offices in Hyderabad and Bangalore, with sales and marketing teams in Gurgaon and Mumbai. Mr. Pichai said the teams here were extremely talented and focussed on innovation, with a lot of technologists working keenly on the application feature suite here.

e-commerce market

Besides Google’s Chrome and Chromebook, Mr. Pichai said that there is a huge e-commerce market in India that remains to be tapped.

“I found that online transactions are cumbersome and not at all easy,” he said, comparing this to the “seamless, easy” experience abroad, and the even smoother experience he had with Google Wallet while making simple grocery payments in the United States. A product like Google Wallet can take online money and transactions here to a different level, he added.

Keywords: Google Chrome

Article source: http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Bangalore/article2632277.ece

Tags: , , ,