Posts Tagged Apps

Google Glass users gain five new Glassware apps

Google Glass has remained in the news as of late due to some new apps and the DVF | Made for Glass collection of frames and shades. Of course, there was also the news about how those in the UK can now purchase Glass and enter the (still in beta) Explorer program. But more recently we’ve seen a handful of new Glassware apps come available for Glass users.

This latest round includes five new apps. One of these is for the sports fan, two are music related, one is for those who enjoy looking up at the stars, and the last is for the runners in the audience. The apps (respectively) include Goal.com, musiXmatch, Shazam, Star Chart and Zombies, Run. These apps are all free and available as of now.

Goal.com will allow you to stay up to date on the world of football. Or for the American audience, soccer. Seems this one may be a must have for those who have been paying close attention to the World Cup. Next up are the two music related apps. Those included musiXmatch which is touted as being the “ultimate experience for music fans and artists” and offers the “world’s largest official catalog of lyrics.” The, musiXmatch app allows the user to search for song lyrics to identify songs.

Similar to musiXmatch, the next app is Shazam. Those familiar with Shazam will recognize the similarity here. The Shazam app will let the Glass user say ‘Ok Glass, recognize this’ to learn the artist and track name of the song they are currently hearing.

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Start Chart allows you to look up at the sky, and know what you are seeing. The app has a database of all visible stars in the northern and southern hemispheres including all 88 constellations and all planets. Glass users need only say ‘Ok Glass, Explore Stars’ to get started. Last up is the Zombies, Run app. This one is touted as a running game and audio adventure and has you trying to “save the last remnants of humanity by running in the real world.”

Google Glass users looking to check out any (or all) of these apps will be able to find and install them from the Glassware section of the MyGlass website.

VIA: Medium @ryankopinsky

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New Glassware apps will help you run, talk, cook, and see the stars

Google today pushed a whole new batch of Glassware apps for Google Glass into MyGlass. The twelve apps span the gamut, and include apps for fitness, travel, translation, news, music, and just in time for the closing days of the 2014 World Cup: a little bit of football.



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CyanogenMod adds Protected apps, teases CMHome

Users of one of if not the most popular Android custom ROM might have something to look forward to, either in their nightly builds or M releases. CyanogenMod‘s weekly report has revealed a couple of very interesting features, including a super hidden app utility, a dedicated search panel for the home screen, new floating notifications, and a reorganized settings app.

The biggest new feature that CyanogenMod has cooked up is Protected apps, which take the Hidden apps feature introduced last April to a whole new level. Instead of simply hiding apps, the new protection feature will require users to swipe a pattern to gain access to the app. But this feature doesn’t just work on the default Trebuchet homescreen launcher, it will actually be enabled anywhere you try to access the app. For example, protected apps cannot be uninstalled or cleared even from the Applications section of the Settings app. However, they will still appear in the list of recently used apps. As an added bonus, there is also a new protected folders feature that lets you group apps on the homescreen and protect them all with a separate pattern unlock code for the folder.

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CyanogenMod has also laid the groundwork for new kind of homescreen replacement that will theoretically mimic the Google Experience Launcher or GEL. For those unfamiliar with it, GEL, also called Google Now Launcher, gives you access to Google Now when you swipe to the leftmost panel of the homescreen. CyanogenMod has added a similar “search panel” to Trebuchet. For now, that panel only launches Google Now but the dev team seems to have something in store, teasing the name “CMHome” along the way.

There is also a new type of notification called “Heads Up”. This notification is actually buried deep within Android itself but left unused. It basically shows your usual Android notification in a popup window in the middle of the screen, just like those types of dialog boxes on desktops computers. Heads Up notifications support the whole gamut of actions available to regular notifications, like reply, share, or expand. This might be useful for instances when fullscreen apps don’t immediately give you access to critical notifications but it is easy to imagine this being abused and quickly getting annoying. Fortunately, CM is throwing in a Do Not Disturb list of apps that lets you pick which apps will not allow heads up notifications.

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For those wondering when CyanogenMod 11 will start incorporating the newly released Android 4.4.4, the good news is that it’s all practically there. The OpenSSL-related fixes that prompted the surprise Android update have already been in CM11 since early this month, and “switching” to Android 4.4.4 will merely be a matter of changing the version number. In any case, many of these features will be available in the next M8 release or already there in nightly builds.

SOURCE: CyanogenMod

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Using Google Search for music can now redirect you to compatible apps

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Figuring out what apps have your favorite artists and tunes just got a whole lot easier. Performing a search with Google Search regarding a particular artist will return results that can redirect you to music streaming apps that are already installed on your device. The list are apps that contain songs with that particular artist. Currently, the function works in the United States with Rdio, iHeartRadio, Spotify, Google Play, TuneIn, and YouTube.

Source: Inside Search (Official Google Search blog)

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Nokia pre-beta tests Z Launcher for Android

For heavy smartphone users who have more than 40 apps on their devices, sometimes managing them or even finding them easily can be a challenge. Nokia’s technologies group has come up with its first project since the Microsoft deal was concluded and it’s aiming to fix that particular problem for Android users with the pre-beta testing of their Z Launcher.

The launcher is an alternative replacement to your normal home screen and it determines what apps to place on the screen based on analysis of your usage within a day. It will give you the apps that you normally use at certain moments of the day by predicting it through the time of day, your location and even through your call logs. It also has this feature called Scribble that lists down the apps that contain the letter that you write on your screen.

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According to Brett Eaton, the product manager of the technologies group, this customer insight about apps has come from their research. They concluded that instead of creating something that would use folders to organise the apps, they thought of using the first thing that people see on their phone, which is the home screen.

Z Launcher was named after the gesture you make when you want to write on the screen instead of typing on a keyboard. Currently, since it is still in its very early stage of development, the apps are just listed, with a clock and a calendar at the top. There are still no widgets or even a Google search bar, things that Android users are used to having. Well, at least, you can still suggest these things as feedback is something that the developers are asking those who will access the pre-beta version.

[vimeo 98567567]

Download: Z Launcher
VIA: Slashgear

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The next version of Android will enhance battery life, speed up apps

Several months ago, Google added an experimental runtime option to speed up apps in Android 4.4 KitKat. A runtime, for the record, supports the apps running on your device — without it they’d be nothing but piles of useless code. Called ART (short for Android Runtime), that same mode will become the default when Mountain View releases the next version of its operating system. Developers spotted tweaks to Android’s open-source code indicating the upcoming change, and the update looks to be a positive one. Without getting bogged down in details, ART essentially makes apps run faster and more efficiently, with the downside being that they’ll take up slightly more space on your phone, as well as lengthier install times.

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Via: Phone Arena, Android Authority

Source: XDA Developers

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The best dietary apps for Android

Get healthy and eat right with these great Android Diet apps

Healthy eating isn’t easy. Places like 5 Guys or your local watering hole make it even harder. But it’s one of the keys to living healthy and getting in shape. Like a lot of things, your Android can make it a bit less painful with some great apps. If you want to track calories, or get a little deeper and analyze fats or carbs, or if you just want a good diet plan laid out to help make shopping healthy easier, these apps can help. Head past the jump and have a look!



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US Transportation Department investigating ways of regulating navigation apps on your smartphone

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One of the greatest features of a modern smartphone is its ability to completely replace your GPS. There are tons of navigation apps, from Google Maps for your location searching and turn-by-turn directions, to Waze for crowd-sourced road data, to apps like Foursquare that help you find interesting places in your area. The apps are fantastic, but there’s always a risk of distracted driving (and accidents) if a user plays with the app instead of paying attention to the road. Because of those accidents, the US Transportation Department may be looking into ways to impose stricter rules on the use of those apps.

Rumors say that the USTD wants to institute rules for in-car navigation that will only allow them to be accessed for a brief period of time. That “brief period” may be something like two-seconds per interaction, and twelve seconds for each total action. While that would certainly remove most distracted driving, it would also make it pretty difficult to use any device at all on the road.

It’s tough to say if this would have much of a substantial effect on distracted driving, if any of this turned into a law. Many apps explicitly prohibit the use of their services while driving, but that’s a tough rule to enforce. There’s grey area to deal with, like stop lights, dealing with situations where a passenger is handling the app instead of the driver, and things like that. It may not ever make it past the speculation stage, but expect to hear more about regulations like these in the future as smartphones get more and more popular.

source: New York Times

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Amazon Appstore triples selection in a year to 240,000 apps

Amazon’s Appstore for Android apps has seen tremendous growth over the past year. That growth has seen the selection triple from 80,000 apps to more than 240,000 today. Other companies like Apple or Google might announce such a thing at a press event like WWDC or I/O, but not Amazon. Even though there’s an Amazon event set for Wednesday (which we will be attending) where we expect to see their first foray into smartphones, apparently Amazon couldn’t wait to get the word out.



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How to change or clear default app settings in Android

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Ever browsed through your Twitter feed on your device, tapped on a link, and been directed to the page via your ‘non-preferred’ browser?

Have you ever wanted to snap a picture using the hardware camera button on your device, but it keeps opening your default camera app, rather than the brand new Google Camera app you downloaded, or perhaps another third-party camera app?

There are plenty of apps in the Play Store that can be used  to “replace” functions already on your device. In order to use them properly and set them as the “default” app for the specific function they fulfill on your device, you’ll have to do some tinkering.

It isn’t tough, but some Android users have expressed frustration with the ease of setting up default apps and even completely resetting the functions. In order to help you out, I’ve set up this guide to show you how to both change default apps in Android as well as quickly wipe your previous settings.

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You’ve seen that before, haven’t you? It’s quite frustrating to continually tap the “just once” button, but it’s maybe even more frustrating to tap the “always,” just before you find that “perfect app” to replace the functions of the one you’d be using as your default.

So how do you go back into your settings and reset your default app?

It’s easy.

STEP ONE:

Settings

Head on over to your phone’s “Settings” app. If you don’t know where that is, you probably shouldn’t have an Android phone it’s in your app drawer. The icon looks different on different devices (depends on manufacturer, icon pack, ROM, etc.), but it shouldn’t be hard to find. With most devices, you can also swipe down from the right part of the notification area and tap on the gear icon.

STEP TWO:

Once you’re in the “Settings” app, select the “App manager” or “Apps” button. (Again, it may appear differently depending on your device.) In the picture from the last step, you’ll see the “App manager” at the bottom of the screen. This is on my HTC One (M8), so if you have an HTC phone, it should look familiar.

STEP THREE:

app manager

Once you get into the “App manager,” you’ll find that the default screen of apps is your “Downloaded” apps. If you swipe your finger to the left (again, on most devices) you’ll be able to see the apps “On SD Card,” “Running,” and “All.”

Move over to “All,” (some apps won’t appear in the other sections of the app manager, especially if they come pre-downloaded on your device) and select the app you want to clear the default settings for.

STEP FOUR:

For the sake of this guide, let’s pretend that you want to remove Firefox as the default browser on your device and set Chrome as the new default.

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Tap on Firefox (or whatever app you want to remove as the default), and you’ll get a screen that looks like this near the bottom (you’ll have to scroll down a bit):

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Tap on “Clear defaults,” and now whenever you click on a link on your phone, you will no longer go directly to Firefox by default. Now, you’ll be prompted to select a preferred application, and if you want to set a new default, just click on Chrome (or whatever other app you want to use) and select “Always.”

Unfortunately, unlike Windows (and some other operating systems), Android doesn’t let its users look at all of the default applications at once on a list. However there are some apps that exist on the Play Store that will give you that functionality.

One such app is Default App Manager Lite and another is Clear Defaults.

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Both apps let you look at a category of functions, such as “Browser,” “Phone,” “Music,” “Calendar” or “Camera,” remove the default app for that function, and set a new one. You can look at a list of all of the preset apps (seen above) you have set on your device, and either reset them one by one or all at once. Both apps work very nicely and are a more efficient way to get the job done if you want to fully customize your device’s preset functions. See below for QR Codes and links to both apps in the Play Store.

qr codeDefault App Manager Lite – Link to Play Store

qr codeClear Defaults – Link to Play Store

I hope this guide helped you figure out how to reset the default app settings on your device! It’s a pesky process, but I trust you’ll be able to figure it all out. And remember, to do a more efficient job if you’re resetting a bunch of apps at once, consider a third-party app manager application such as Default App Manager Lite or Clear Defaults.

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Get Samsung’s Smart Alert feature on all phones with Vibify

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When you’re in a hurry you don’t have time to wade through notifications from apps you don’t care about. You just want to know if there is anything important that needs your attention. Samsung phones come with a feature called “Smart Alert” that vibrates when you pick up your phone if there is a notification from an important app.

This feature is very handy because it lets users know if they should delve deeper into their phone. Vibify is an app that brings this same functionality to all Android phones. It only works if you phone remains locked and still. Upon picking you phone up you will feel a small vibration if one of your selected apps has a notification. For example, you can have it so when you pick up your phone it gives you a little buzz if you have a missed call or SMS message. New Facebook comments or other non-important things will be ignored.

Vibify can also turn the screen on for you when you pick up your phone, granted there is a notification from one of the apps you selected. The app consumes battery (using wakelock) only if screen is off and still for more than 7 seconds, and it does not run when the battery is low. Head on over to XDA to download the APK on your phone. Requires Android 4.3 and above.

[via Lifehacker]

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The best Android apps to help you hit the gym and lift weights

You don’t need a fancy gym membership or a personal trainer, but using these apps to manage your fitness and do the correct exercises will certainly help

The hardest part about getting to the gym and hitting the elliptical or weights for a solid workout is building up a routine and having a set of goals to strive for. Once you make it there, making sure you’re getting the most out of your gym time with the right weights and exercises is the next step.

With the extremely powerful mobile devices we each have access to, that motivation is a bit more attainable than before, and there are dozens of fantastic apps that can help you get started and (more importantly) keep going to the gym. Getting a personal trainer and a fancy gym membership isn’t a requirement for getting in shape and losing a few pounds, and that holds true even more today with the wealth of knowledge contained in just a few apps — many of which are free or a simple one-time purchase.

We’ve rounded up some of the best apps for your Android that will help you get a routine, hit the gym and do the best exercises to help you meet your fitness goals. Whether you’re looking to simply cut a few pounds or you want to completely change your physique, these Android apps can help you get to where you want to be. Read along and see which meet your needs.



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LG releases various SDKs ahead of June 24 Developer Event

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LG is being pretty open these days — the company has just announced the release of multiple SDKs for developers to use as they please.

The SDKs include the following:

  • LG QCircle is a new folio case that lets users receive and interact with basic functions of their smartphone directly from the round QuickCircle window, without having to open the case. With the new LG QCircle SDK, developers can enhance their apps with this redefined UX, making their apps compatible and directly accessible from the QuickCircle window.
  • LG QSlide Function amps up multitasking, letting users open multiple apps that can be resized and moved to float on the screen. Developers that leverage the LG Qslide Function SDK, simplify toggling between apps that can be resized into small windows that users can still see even when they run other apps.
  • LG QRemote enables LG smartphones to easily become universal remote controls that are compatible with many different IR (infrared) home entertainment systems. The LG QRemote SDK provides APIs to control IR-controlled devices easily, so developers can quickly enable their apps for the connected home.
  • LG QPair is a feature that provides a seamless environment between Android phones running Android 4.1 or later and LG tablets. With the QPair SDK, set for release soon, developers can create interesting apps that run over the QPair connection. For example, calls can be received, messages can be sent and SNS can be updated on one device while simultaneously being synced with other devices.

We’ll get a whole lot of more information on these SDKs at LG’s Developer Event on June 24 (right before Google I/O). Interested in registering for the event? Click here for more info, and check out the full press release below…

NEW LG Q CIRCLE SDK OPENS DOORS FOR APP DEVELOPERS WITH NEW LG G3 SMARTPHONE

Full Suite of LG SDKs Showcased during Google I/O at Second Annual LG Developer Event

ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J., June 9, 2014 – LG Electronics today announced the availability of its new QCircle SDK (software development kit), enabling Android developers to hook into simplified UI features unique to its latest flagship smartphone, the LG G3. Joining LG’s QSlide Function and QRemote SDK, which are also based on features inherent to LG devices, the LG QCircle SDK provides a new opportunity for developers to tap into LG’s popular G series smartphones for an enhanced user experience.

LG – the maker of the acclaimed G smartphone series, LG G Pad 8.3 tablet and innovative, curved LG G Flex – will give Google I/O attendees the exclusive chance to explore LG SDKs during the second annual LG Developer Event on June 24 from 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. at the W Hotel in San Francisco. During the evening event, LG mobile engineers will provide technical talks and deep dive walkthroughs of each LG SDK.

Developers attending the event will be treated to special giveaways, as part of LG’s Developer Loaner Device Program. The LG Loaner Device Program gives developers access to build and test their apps on the newest LG devices. By arming developers with the latest software, hardware and app store channels, LG is facilitating faster innovation so developers can focus on monetizing their apps.

Simple is the New Smart

LG SDKs that will be featured at the 2014 LG Developer Event include QCircle, QSlide Function, QRemote:

  • LG QCircle is a new folio case that lets users receive and interact with basic functions of their smartphone directly from the round QuickCircle window, without having to open the case. With the new LG QCircle SDK, developers can enhance their apps with this redefined UX, making their apps compatible and directly accessible from the QuickCircle window.
  • LG QSlide Function amps up multitasking, letting users open multiple apps that can be resized and moved to float on the screen. Developers that leverage the LG Qslide Function SDK, simplify toggling between apps that can be resized into small windows that users can still see even when they run other apps.
  • LG QRemote enables LG smartphones to easily become universal remote controls that are compatible with many different IR (infrared) home entertainment systems. The LG QRemote SDK provides APIs to control IR-controlled devices easily, so developers can quickly enable their apps for the connected home.
  • LG QPair is a feature that provides a seamless environment between Android phones running Android 4.1 or later and LG tablets. With the QPair SDK, set for release soon, developers can create interesting apps that run over the QPair connection. For example, calls can be received, messages can be sent and SNS can be updated on one device while simultaneously being synced with other devices.

To learn more about LG’s Developer Program or to register for loaner devices, please visit the LG Developer Portal:http://developer.lge.com or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

To register for the LG Developer Event, please visit: http://bit.ly/lg-developer-event.

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Apps of the Week: Hodor Keyboard, Hitman GO, Wikipedia Beta and more!

This marks our first Apps of the Week column for the month of June, and we’re going to kick it off the right way with a great grouping of app picks from each of the folks here at Android Central. We get a great mix of apps coming through here with each Saturday afternoon post, and this week is no exception.

Read along with us and see what apps we’ve all picked this week, and you may just come away with a couple that catch your eye.



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The most popular running apps for iOS, Android, Windows Phone and BlackBerry

Earlier this week we highlighted the best running apps on Windows Phone, iOS, Android and BlackBerry. All month we’ll be looking at the top apps across a variety of categories related to fitness. Why? It’s #MobileFit month! We’re exploring the intersection of a healthy lifestyle and technology. When we posted those top rated running apps, we also included a poll for the various communities to select their favorite running apps. Those results are in. Here are the best running apps according to you.



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Phan Favs: What are the best Android apps for kids? [VOTE]

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Phan Favs is a recurring feature that turns the tables and asks you, the readers, about the best apps and games. It’s your turn to drop some knowledge on us! Read more.

We’re back with another edition of Phan Favs! This time we are asking about apps that some of you may have no experience with: apps for kids. Any parent or babysitter knows how much kids love to play with smartphones and tablets. There is something about a touchscreen that seems so magical to young kids. That, or they just like to touch everything.

Either way, there are tons of great apps in the Play Store for kids, babies, and toddlers. We are currently working on a list of kids apps, but we also wanted to get some input from you. If you have kids, or have experience with kids, we’d love to know which apps they enjoy. These can be educational, stories, creative, or just plain fun. Let us know!

How to vote

  1. Upvote the comment that mentions your pick.
  2. If no one has mentioned your pick write your own comment.

It’s as simple as that. Next week we will release our list of best apps for kids with some of the suggestions from you. In order to get a good sample size we need your help in sharing this poll. Please share this poll with any parents you know, or just anyone that has experience taking care of kids. Thanks, and happy voting!

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Apple will let you log into other apps with TouchID

Guess what folks! With iOS 8 Touch ID will finally be useful for something besides unlocking your phone and buying apps. During the big keynote at WWDC 2014 Apple announced the debut of an API for TouchID. That means other apps will be able to use the fingerprint scanner on your iPhone for authentication. Your actual fingerprint data is still stored securely on the hardware, and is never actually exposed to developers. That means you could quickly and easily order a bombproof case for your precious phone just by holding your thumb across the home button and never worry that a bug in the Amazon app could expose your fingerprint to nefarious actors. That should relive some of the pain associated with keeping all your various accounts secure — which, as you’ve been told countless times, should all have unique passwords with a mixture of letters, numbers and special characters. Android users may have in-app access to LastPass, but simply scanning your thumbprint seems that much easier.

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The best running apps for Android

Apps that will help you get moving — and keep you moving

Running, for many of us, is hard work. Maybe it’s a motivation thing. Maybe it’s physical thing. Whatever. It’s exercise, and exercise is a pain.

Apps make it better. As part of Mobile Nations Fitness Month — MobileFit, we’re calling it — we’re looking at apps that can help you grind through an exercise. Or, actually, apps that will get you up and moving in the first place And that’s OK — we could all use some help.

Today we’re looking at some of the best running apps for Android. And we’ve got a few different kids of apps here. Some are more of the hard-core variety, for folks used to exercise and who may be looking to increase and improve the way they do things. Others are more basic — simply tracking steps or basic movement. There’s a place for all of these, as one may lead to another.



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Apps of the Week: Hurricane, Bridge Constructor Medieval, Origami Live Wallpaper and more!

It’s the last edition of Apps of the Week for the month of May, and we’ve pulled together a great list of apps from the folks here at Android Central to get the month ending on a good note. Just as we do every week, this list is comprised of apps that we’ve all been using whether they’re new, old or maybe just recently updated. What really matters is that we’re using the apps, and want to give a personal recommendation for them.

Read along with us this week and see the apps that we’ve been using — you may just find an app or two that work for you as well.



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Best Android apps from May 2014

best apps may

Previous months: March, April

April showers bring May flowers, but also new app releases. Yes, another month has gone by and summer is just about to officially kick off. There were some great new app releases and major updates in the world of Android this month. If you’ve been outside enjoying the warmer weather you may have missed a few of them. That’s where we come in. Here are the best apps to launch this month, and a few major updates that you should check out. Go forth and be download!

AllCast Reciever

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AllCast is an awesome app that allows you to send almost anything to a Chromecast. In order to get this working with the Fire TV the developer made a special app called “AllCast Receiver.” This app essentially turns the Fire TV, and any other Android device, into a Chromecast. Now you can send stuff from one device to another. It’s very cool. Check it out for free or unlock the full version for $4.99.

BoltBus

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Catching a bus in the modern age is not nearly as difficult as it once was. BoltBus by Greyhound is the perfect example of this. With this new app you can buy a bus ticket right from your phone. No more fiddling with crappy machines or wonky websites. The app is actually really well designed. If you use a Greyhound bus often this app will quickly become one of your favorites. It is available for free from Google Play.

Bright Weather

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There is no shortage of weather apps in the Play Store. LevelUp Studio, the creators of Beautiful Widgets, have entered the ring with Bright Weather. This gorgeous new app claims to be the most “comprehensive weather app” available for Android. We don’t know if that’s true, but it certainly could be one of the prettiest. You can try it out for free in the Play Store right now.

Klout

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Klout has undergone some serious changes in the past year. The service that used to be all about tracking your social importance is now more about helping you share great content. It uses the same tools from before, but now it’s using that information to suggest things you might want to share. Their brand new Android app will help you do all of this on the go. It’s available for free.

Motorola Alert

Motorola Alert screenshots

Alongside the launch of the Moto E, Motorola unveiled a new app to be your personal body-guard. Motorola Alert works by sending location-based alerts to a circle of friends/family of your choosing. This can be set to alert a parent when their child arrives safely at home, or alert a wife when her husband has left for/arrives at work. This app can come in handy during emergencies, and it won’t kill your battery in the process. You don’t need a Motorola device to download this app for free.

NomNom Finder

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Food trucks are all the rage these days if you live in a big city. Instead of you going to a restaurant to eat the truck can come to where the people are. Since they move around a lot it can be hard to find your favorite truck. NonNom Finder is a new app that allows you to easily see where food trucks are on a map. It’s well designed, simple to use, and super handy when you’re in the mood for some food. It can be yours for free.

Secret

Secret, which has been an iOS exclusive for the past 4 months, is now available for Android. Secret allows you to “speak freely” by sharing your thoughts with friends while being anonymous. The idea behind Secret came about so that people could share moments, like posts, and re-share other’s posts without the need to be embarrassed. The coolest thing about Secret is that the secrets are from people you know, which makes it more fun. Download it today for free.

Slyde

slyde

One of the coolest new apps from this month is called Slyde. This app is a new way to do multitasking on your Android device. Instead of using the built-in multitasking button you simply slide a little round button over to the app you wish to open. You can add your five favorite apps to the slide out area. It’s a really quick way to switch between your often-used apps. Slyde is $0.99 from the Google Play Store.

Swarm

swarm

What do you get when you take the social aspect out of Foursquare? Swarm. This new app from Foursquare aims to make all of the social aspects of the original app easier to access. You can see when your friends are close-by, tag friends when checking-in, see a feed of what your friends have been up to, and much more. Swarm has some stiff competition in this space, such as Facebook Places, but this is a good start. Swarm is available for free.

Yahoo! News Digest

Keeping up with the news can be a difficult thing to do, especially since we all have busy lives. Many apps have tried to remedy this situation in the past, and Yahoo is the next to give it a try. News Digest sends you personalized news round-ups every morning and night. The stories are bundled with information that makes them easy to digest. News Digest is the perfect app for the casual news reader. It is available for free in the Play Store.

Big Updates

Pushbullet

Pushbullet

Pushbullet received a massive update this month. They have added a new sliding drawer navigation, a  new sharing interface, the ability to push to all devices, easier notification mirroring, improved tablet UI, and a better widget. If you’re not using Pushbullet you really should be. Download it for free.

Tumblr

tumblr profiles

This month Tumblr got serious about profiles in their mobile app. You can now fully customize the way your personal page/profile looks. Some of the customization options include background color, cover photo, font type, font color, highlight colors, and more. If you’re a Tumblr user be sure to go in and customize your profile. You can get Tumblr for free.

Snapchat

snapchat messaging update

One of the biggest updates from this month is Snapchat. This update puts the “chat” in “Snapchat.” Users can now send disposable text messages to each other ad view snaps in a conversation view. If your friend is viewing the conversation at the same time you can even do a live video call. It’s a whole new way to communicate with your friends. Snag the update for free from the Play Store.

That’s a wrap! Let us know if we missed any apps that launched in May. June should be another awesome month for new Android apps. We can’t wait!

Previous months: MarchApril

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How to install Android apps from the Google Play website

Installing Android apps to your phone or tablet from any computer with a web browser

Google is one of the biggest web service companies around. Their cloud-based apps and services can do some pretty wild and wonderful things, and we’re about to look at one of them — installing apps to your Android device remotely through the Google Play website.

All the complicated issues, like making sure apps are compatible and available for you, or keeping track of which device(s) you’re currently using are done by Google behind-the-scenes, leaving us with just a few clicks needed to make some serious magic happen. All you need is an Android device registered with Google Play, and a computer with a modern web browser.

There’s a complete video walkthrough of the process after the break, but we’ll spend a few minutes and talk about it as well. This is the way I install almost all my apps, because I only have to find them once and can install them to any device I may have in service. It goes a little something like this.

Visit our Google Play mini-site for everything there is to know about Google Play



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Apps of the Week: Screen Maker, Record Run, AmazonFresh and more!

It’s Memorial Day weekend for many of us out there, so we’ve been busy getting in a little relaxation time, but we’ve still pulled together a great Apps of the Week column for your enjoyment this Saturday afternoon. Each week we pull together a list of apps from each of the writers here at Android Central, with a quick explanation of why and how we’re using them throughout the week.

Read along with us for another edition of Apps of the Week and see how this week’s picks stack up with the others — you may find an app or two that appeal to you.



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Warning: next Android update might break quite a few root apps

broken roots

In way more words and technical explanations than I’m comfortable repeating here, Chainfire — the developer who creates one of the best SuperUser (root access) apps out there, as well as gems like 500 Firepaper — has given developers of root apps an ominous warning. According to him, the forthcoming upgrade to Android (whether that be 4.4.3 or some other number Google plans to use) changes things in a way that breaks functionality for a good deal of root apps.

Most of the changes have to do with SELinux and the ART runtime possibly being enabled by default, as well as other developer-centric changes. Long story short, Chainfire has come to the conclusion that the changes won’t necessarily break all root apps, but he’s seen enough to believe that the changes will undoubtedly affect enough of them that this big warning is needed.

He’s already gotten to work on his own SuperSU, and invites developers and advanced users to download the latest version (not yet being distributed via Google Play) and help knock out some of the kinks. He’s also urging developers to re-read the SELinux section of his How-to SU guide, as he’s made some important changes that detail some of the forthcoming changes in the next version of Android.

Chainfire takes special care to remind developers to test their apps against ART, as its possible future status as the default runtime for Android could make it more important than ever to pay attention to. If you’re a developer then be sure to head to the source link for all the detailed explanations and relevant links you can handle.

[via Google+]

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CM Apps brings CyanogenMod goodies to any ROM

If you’ve ever wanted to use CyanogenMod‘s custom Android apps but didn’t want to say goodbye to your favorite ROM or stock version, then worry no more. This handy CM Apps utility makes a good number of those apps available, no matter what Android ROM or firmware you are running.

To be fair, CyanogenMod’s apps are all open source and are available for the taking, but who really has the time to build an app from source? CM Apps takes the drudgery of that process and delivers a list of those apps for easy installation. From here you can install the Apollo music player and manager, or the nice cLock homescreen and lockscreen widget, or DSP Manager for tweaking your device’s audio, or even the Trebuchet launcher.

Do note, however, that not all of these apps are guaranteed to work outside of their CyanogenMod environment. And even if they do install and run, they might not function properly. The Torch app is something you might want to skip, since turning it off doesn’t seem to work, leaving your LED flash turned on until you shut down or restart your smartphone. You also have to install apps via other means, as CM Apps doesn’t really give you the option to remove those apps once installed.

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There are, of course, other means to get CyanogenMod apps in an easy to install format, like F-Droid where you can find both Apollo and CM File Manager, though not the others. CM Apps, however, gives users a convenient one stop shop to find and install almost all of them, though it doesn’t exactly make it convenient to remove them afterwards.

Download: Google Play Store

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Google Play Store ‘freemium’ apps being investigated by Italian regulator

Google, Apple and Amazon are being investigated by Italian regulators over freemium apps. It’s no secret that the freemium model for financing apps on mobile app stores have taken off in recent years. Simply doing a quick search on popular mobile platforms today will yield hundreds of results for freemium games and apps, initially free-of-charge to download, but sporting in-app purchases. The issue is whether or not consumers are being misled.



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Students get iOS apps running (slowly) on Android

iPhone 5 and Galaxy S5

Running apps from one mobile platform on another is theoretically great for boosting your app selection, but it’s not a trivial task — even BlackBerry’s Android support is rough. However, some Columbia University students have managed the daunting feat of running iOS apps on Android with their Cider compatibility layer. This isn’t a regular emulator or virtual machine, like you might expect. Instead, it simply tricks apps into believing that they’re in a native environment: they adapt code on the fly to make it work with Android’s kernel and programming libraries. Even 3D benchmarks run properly.

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Via: 9to5 Mac, The Next Web

Source: Columbia University

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Updating your Android apps: Choosing automatic or manual, and how to get it done

Keep your apps up to date at the pace you want

As the number of apps on our (sometimes multiple) devices continues to grow, it becomes quite a chore to keep them up to date on a weekly basis. App developers are pushing out updates just to change app icons or small strings of text, and for this reason (among others) Google has set the Play Store to update apps automatically by default. Still, some of us would prefer or be better off not updating apps without our explicit permission and action.

So which path is right for you? Do you let the Play Store do its thing and simply find out an app was updated when you check your notifications, or do you hop into the Play Store and manually hit the box to let the bits flow for just that single version number jump? Let’s dive into the details.



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The top 10 best travel apps for Android

With these apps your Android phone or tablet becomes an essential travel companion

There are a whole bunch of great apps available in the Google Play Store for those of us who travel, be it regularly or only occasionally.

Whatever the trip, whatever the purpose, with an Android smartphone in your pocket you’ve got the potential to have a powerful travel arsenal at your disposal to help you out in any situation.

It’d be impossible to mention them all, or even just all of the good ones, there’s so many. But we’ve whittled down to a list of what we consider to be 10 of the very best travel apps available for Android, in particular apps that aren’t too specific (like airlines) or too region restricted. Let’s take a look.



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Apps of the Week: Shadow Fight 2, Pebble Locker, Fing and more!

Another weekend worthy of showing off the apps we’re using this week

Weekends are great for many things, but for us here at Android Central it’s a great time to show off our Apps of the Week column. Every Saturday afternoon we use this post to show off an app pick from each of the writers at the site, and give a quick explanation as to why we’re using it on our phone or tablet. It could be a tool, service, game or random app we found and like — all that matters is we’re using it.

This week we have a full list of great apps, including a couple of games that will be worth your time, a few utilities and a way to keep up on sports scores. Read along and see what this week’s list has to offer.



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AT&T Galaxy S5 gets an update with the addition of two new apps

AT&T Galaxy S5 Update

If you own the Samsung Galaxy S5 on AT&T, you can expect to receive an update shortly. Don’t get excited much though, as it’s not a feature rich update and will only bring a couple of new apps (or bloatware) to your smartphone. After this update, you will find apps like Yellow Pages and Lookout Security on your AT&T Galaxy S5.

The Yellow Pages app is quite barebones really and not many might find the use for it, but it’s included nonetheless. As far as the second app is concerned, Samsung actually struck a deal with the folks from Lookout Security to bring antivirus coverage to future Samsung devices, so it was always expected.

The update isn’t all that large and shouldn’t take up a lot of your time either, so if you don’t mind having these apps on your handset, make sure you download it when the OTA notification pops on your handset. Make sure you let us know if you have received the update already on your handset.

Via: Android Central

The post AT&T Galaxy S5 gets an update with the addition of two new apps appeared first on The Droid Guy.

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