Posts tagged android

The Best Ways to Listen to Music on Your Android

Transfer iPod Music

Dragging around an MP3 player and a phone in your pocket or briefcase these days just seems silly. There are plenty of applications available for Android that can turn your Smartphone into a fully fledged jukebox, even if you don’t have much space left available on your SD card or internal memory. Whether it’s radio or streaming you’re looking for, Android has apps to help you rock out wherever you are or whatever mood you’re in.Pandora


Pandora is an internet radio streaming service that’s gotten damn good at determing what it is you like listening to and playing more just like it. Pandora works by creating customized stations around a certain band or artist. Pandora plays a song for you from that artist, and based on the thumbs up or thumbs down you give to the song, it bases future plays on your decision. Each song has the ability to be favorite, disliked, or skipped.

These decisions help Pandora really hone in on what you like and don’t like. For Groovesharkan internet radio service, it’s quite possibly the best in the business.


At the time of writing, the Grooveshark app is currently out of service. There is rumor that it will be making a return sometime very soon, and that makes us excited. Grooveshark for Android lets you search for anything you want to hear while on the go. Hear a song in the store that you want to jam out to in your car? Search for it on Grooveshark and let it rip. Grooveshark also has customized radios, similar to Pandora, that play songs similar to the one you were already listening to. With apps like Grooveshark that let you build playlists of any songs you want, there’s no need to even havea music library on your phone. Subsonic


Tired of not being able to listen to that mountain of MP3s you have on your home computer while you’re out and about? Subsonic fixes that problem. A simple application install on your home computer provides instant access to your entire music collection from your smartphone. The Subsonic app is easy to install on your phone and provides you with the ability to play almost any music formats (including obscure ones like OGG and FLAC) streamed directly from your home computer to your phone. Subsonic is just like having your massive iPod with you, but on your phone. The desktop application interface could do with a little redesigning, but otherwise, it’s a fantastic app.




Lastly, if you’re looking to keep things “old fashioned” and want to play music directly from your phone without using the somewhat shabby preinstalled music player, give Songbird a try. The simple and streamlined look makes browsing your music easy, and with Flickr integration, automatically pulling photos of the band and album from Flickr as you listen to a song, we think Songbird may be our favorite music player out that lets us play tunes straight from our SD cards.

Windows Phone not selling? Who cares – Android makes more money for Microsoft


Microsoft may not have a runaway success in Windows Phone 7, but don’t think the company is too worried at the moment. Aside from a major “Mango” update that might make Windows Phone 7 more appealing, Microsoft can rely on the steady stream of money that it makes from Android products.

Asymco estimates that Microsoft makes five times as much money from Android sales than it earns from sales of Windows Phone 7. That’s because Microsoft pressured HTC into paying a $5 per device licensing fee based on alleged patent violations in Android. Since HTC has sold an estimated 30 million phones since the deal was reached, the $5 fee translates to $150 million. That’s a great deal more than the estimated $30 million Microsoft has so far made licensing Windows Phone (2 million phones at $15 per device).

While this is just an estimate and cannot be taken as fact, it’s a reminder of why Microsoft is going after practically any company that produces Android products. Microsoft alleges that there are patent infringements at the core of Android, so everyone releasing an Android phone, tablet, reader, or other device must pay a licensing fee ranging from $7 to $12 per device sold. Microsoft has been in negotiation with multiple device makers and has already filed suit against Barnes & Noble and Motorola.

Microsoft would surely prefer to have Windows Phone 7 be more successful, but the company will have to settle for revenues produced by Android’s popularity for now. Hey, Microsoft could use some more cash after paying $8.5 billion to acquire Skype earlier this month.

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Skype with Video for Android Mini Review

The only reason I call this app review a mini review is because there’s simply not that much to say about it. It appears, from here, and this far into the app, that this Skype with Video chat does exactly what it says it does and it does it well. Remember back when we took a look at the app called Tango – another video chat app? Believe it or not, this iteration of Skype is VERY similar to that, only Skype has a big bonus : it’s Skype.


Immediately, on with the review. This app how four main tabs: contacts, call, my info, and events. You’re able to call human beings with voice only, via instant message, or with – yes! Video calls. If you’ve got a Skype account already, you’re in luck, since just like you get the complete Facebook familiarity when you employ a Facebook app, you get your whole list of contacts from your Sync account from your desktop version of the app.

You can access all the data the human beings you have on your contact list wish you to be able to see. You can contact them via your contacts list in a path that makes you (and me, doing this review) feel comfortable and “at house” if you know what I mean. Calls sound fantastic between telephone and telephone as well as between telephone and machine, (that’s what you’re seeing in the photograph above,) the same goes for video. Video isn’t the greatest body in the earth, however it’s certainly as excellent as Tango.

Immediately that Skype is coming outside with video calling over Android, does Tango have a chance to survive? Does Digg survive much though there’s Reddit to fight? Do some human beings own both a Motorola XOOM and an iPad as well as a hardly any smaller devices that can immediately run Skype with Video? Certain, why not?


Now that Skype is coming out with video calling over Android, does Tango have a chance to survive? Does Digg survive even though there’s Reddit to fight? Do some people own both a Motorola XOOM and an iPad as well as a few smaller devices that can now run Skype with Video? Sure, why not?

All the images you see below are either photographs of a conversation between a MacBook Pro and a HTC ThunderBolt OR screenshots of the Skype with Video app in action – there’s no screenshots of the video conversation in action because screenshots refuse to pick up the images behind the call button. Harsh! Best way to see the video quality here is to try it out for yourself. If you do, be a real pal and let us know (in comments below) how it went installing on your device (and which device it was you were using.)

Thanks a bunch! Android Community


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HTC Thunderbolt and EVO 4G finally getting Android Gingerbread update?

2011-04-11_htc The HTC Thunderbolt and EVO 4G smartphones could get upgraded to the Android 2.3 “Gingerbread” operating system by no later than the end of June, according to a TalkAndroid reader who sent in a message allegedly from an HTC representative.

Despite bountiful company resources, both device manufacturers like HTC and wireless carriers have been dragging their feet when it comes to upgrading their devices to the latest OS, which has been available for nearly six months.

Meanwhile, the hacker community has managed to push unofficial Gingerbread upgrades to the majority of smart phones running older versions of Android natively. The only device that officially runs Gingerbread at the moment is Samsung’s Nexus S, which was made in partnership with Google to run a pure version of the OS without any carrier alterations.

Justifiably, Android phone owners are pissed off that the updates aren’t coming any faster.

Unlike older versions of the iPhone, most Android phones have sufficient hardware requirements to support timely OS updates. However, upgrading to Gingerbread isn’t good for the bottom line of either the carriers or hardware manufacturers, who would rather you buy newer devices featuring Gingerbread instead of getting the update for free.


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Quick Settings Android App Review

icon There are a number of various connectivity and functionality options available in Android devices. But that also gives to the user the not-so-easy task of having to manage them all. For example, toggling with WiFi, 3G and Bluetooth might become an essential task while using it, but it requires you to dig deep into the phone settings repeatedly. Quick Settings app attempts to alleviate your troubles when it comes to toggling between multiple functionalities of your Android gadget. You’re no more required to clog up your home screen with shortcuts to multiple functionalities on your phone. The app is free.


  • Quick access to most system settings
  • Customizable to fit usage and workflow
  • Easy overview of battery and system memory
  • Low/No memory use when in tray
  • Replaces numerous apps (all-in-one)


  • LED flashlight limited to Motorola Droid
  • Theme doesn’t match stock Android UI fully

User Review

By Corey

Great app. All needed settings in one condensed area. LED returned two updates ago but the most recent update again kills it on the DX
By WinFirewall

Good App. Would be nice to toggle easier for 3G/Edge. This App seems to change my screen brightness settings for some unknown reason. Please fix. SGS

Read more comments on the market

124012 The main page of this app is very customizable, allowing you to add the settings you need to change most often while removing those you do not (Menu > Customize).  All of your settings are now located in one location and are accessed with just one click.  Everyone knows that when changing your settings (i.e. enabling WiFi or GPS), you want to get there as fast as possible.  Nothing is more frustrating than clicking through 5 pages of options to get to what you want.

Additionally, the app offers you information about the free space left on your phone as well as your SD card.  It also displays your current battery percentage if you’re worried about your phone dying too soon.  Great to have this information conveniently displayed along with your settings options.

A couple more great features of this app are located in the Menu > Preference page.  For even faster access to your own settings, you can choose to add a status bar shortcut.  You can choose an icon that is permanently displayed, or if you’re like us, you can add an icon that only shows up when you pull down the notification window.  The streamlined design really makes this app extremely user friendly

This handy app allows access to almost every possible setting you would need to change, all from the status bar. No need to switch to your desktop to change the screen timeout or notification volume. A quick swipe of the finger from inside almost any app will bring up a dashboard giving you full control over your device.

There are already a number of “toggle” programs available on the Market to accomplish this same feat. Most are limited to desktop widgets, buttons that take up space, or static menus that do not match your workflow. Quick Settings rectifies these problems and more.

You can easily customize which settings are available to toggle and in what order. A quick tap on any setting, rather than the toggle button itself, jumps you straight to the system menu for easy and in-depth changes. It also provides a quick overview of your phone and SD Card’s available memory, your battery statistics and settings, and a flashlight.

The developer is very responsive to suggestions and questions, and has some small upgrades in store for the app. One of the upcoming features is a small battery widget that allows access to the Quick Settings dialog.

Overall, Quick Settings rivals Toggle Settings because of it’s polished look, 1 click settings adjustments, and customizability.  Unfortunately, there aren’t any saved settings profiles, but this app is so easy to use it’s a moot point.  We highly suggest you try this one out!  Scan the QR code with Barcode Scanner or click the QR code (if you’re on your Android phone) for the direct link to Quick Settings in the Android Market.


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SPB Shell 3D Android Review

SPB Mobile Shell is one of the essential applications I have on my Nokia N8 and previously on my older Windows Mobile phones. It is a replacement application launcher that works not only quicker and better than Nokia’s default homescreen, but also in a way that makes the device much more pleasant to use. So when SPB asked if I wanted to try out the beta for SPB Shell 3D for Android, I seized the chance. It is hard getting excited about applications these days, more so mobile applications, but I truly had high hopes for SPB.


What you’ve got here is a vast array of possibilities with the ability to add or subtract panels to and from your home set of screens, each of them containing widgets, shortcuts, and app thumbnails both like you’re used to and in a new SBP set of ways, including, but not limited to, 3D animations. Each panel sits in a carousel next to the rest of your panels as you place it in the editor. While you’re in edit mode, you’re allowed to store panels in a 3D pile, change the names of each of your panels, or change the colors of each of your panels. Colors only appear in the editor and in the 3D carousel, same with names, and to edit the contents of each panel you must be in your normal homescreen edit mode.

In the 3D carousel mode, you’ll see animations of the widgets SPB has prepared, each of them either functioning to show you a preview of your widget’s functions, or to show you bits that you’d otherwise have to enter the widget to see – for example messages will pop up and loop around in the air, each of them just large enough to peek at. Panels in regular homescreen mode appear very similar to what you’re used to in HTC Sense or ADW, one of their only differences being the transition between panels being a bit more dynamic.


Once you’re out on your desktop and you’d like to add an app to your desktop, you head to your app drawer as you normally would. You’ll notice a flat scroller and a splash of blue, and you’ll see that apps that are already appearing on your panels in your homescreen are marked with a tiny homescreen thumbnail. When you long-press an app, your homescreen panels appear, but you’re also allowed to place this app in a tray that only appears when you’re in this app re-arrangement mode. Very helpful!


Widgets behave exactly as they normally would, but your brand new SPB widgets are fabulously 3D in nature, flying here or there when you view them in preview mode in your 3D carousel, and in at least one case (for now) you’re able to see the 3D movement on your homescreen. The single widget that can be activated for 3D on your homescreen panels is the world time viewer, each of the times popping up around the world for you to view from a spaceship’s point of view.

Strikes Against

SPB doesn’t work with bigger screens yet (tablets,) it doesn’t work with live wallpapers, and it only works in portrait mode. These are all items we’re hoping for in the near future.

Strikes For

It’s a completely new way to look at Android without changing the heart of the user interface. You still know you’re using Android, but in a lovely new way that doesn’t bog down your system in the least (or so it appears thus far), adding to the enjoyment you get out of simply moving back and forth between apps as well as leading toward more productive days. You’re able to customize your Android experience in a way that’s only otherwise been available via hacking and rooting your system – this homescreen replacement is available in the Android Marketplace and does not require hacks at all.

One innovative feature that is present in SPB Shell 3D that isn’t present on the default Android homescreen is the implementation of folders. The folders here are a bit different compared to the regular folders you find on the iPhone or Symbian. You can have a compact folder like on the iPhone, or one that opens up partially, with three or seven applications always directly accessible from the homescreen. Tapping the folder icon will open the folder fully. It’s a handsome way of expanding the concept of folders in general, as well as proving that folders can work rather well on a homescreen. In fact some of the widgets can even be put into the folder!

Performance wise, SPB Shell 3D works extremely well on the Milestone 2. I have had performance issue with the Milestone 2′s MOTOBLUR homescreen and third party launchers like Launcher Pro, but not with SPB Shell 3D. Still a little stuttering is expected on the carousel screen. While I am impressed by how much optimisation SPB has made into ensuring a smooth user experience, I am not surprised. Previous experience with their other mobile applications has always given me confidence that they were able to deliver.

As a user of their previous SPB Mobile Shell applications, I found SPB Shell 3D to be a huge step forward. New users may find themselves overwhelmed with the number of features available and settings available. There are a couple of features I wish SPB will eventually port from Mobile Shell 3.5 to Shell 3D like the ability to pin short cuts in the launcher and the more comprehensive contact management system. As is however I have nothing but praises for this. If you are in need of a replacement launcher for your Android phone, SPB Shell 3D comes highly recommended.

SPB Shell 3D supports Android 2.1 smartphones with OpenGL ES 2.0 graphic accelerator and is available from today for US$ 14.95.

It would work on Google Nexus S ,Samsung Galaxy S,  HTC Desire HD and it worked for us on the Motorola Milestone 2 and LG Optimus 2X

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Android Chief: We’re Still Open?

IMG_0433-660x495 Android chief Andy Rubin took to the blogs Wednesday evening to combat recent reports of Google clamping down on Android’s openness.

“We continue to be an open source platform and will continue releasing source code when it is ready,” wrote Rubin on the Android Developer Blog. “As I write this the Android team is still hard at work to bring all the new Honeycomb features to phones. As soon as this work is completed, we’ll publish the code. This temporary delay does not represent a change in strategy.”

Google has championed its platform as the open alternative to Apple’s closed iOS system. That openness has been called into question recently, as Google has yet to release the Honeycomb source code to all developers and manufacturers.

Honeycomb is Android’s first tablet-optimized software release. Rubin cites the difference in form factor between tablets and phones as the reason Google hasn’t released Honeycomb’s source code to device manufacturers and developers.

Motorola is the exception: The company’s Honeycomb-fueled Xoom tablet has been on the market for more than a month, which makes Google’s decision to hold the code from wide release a bit mystifying.

Members of the Android industry showed faith in Google, however.

“They say they’re going to release it, I’m not gonna call them liars,” Linux Foundation executive director Jim Zemlin told in an interview. The Android OS is based on a version of the Linux OS, which has been an open source, collaborative platform since its release decades ago.

Rubin’s post also addressed questions raised in a recent Bloomberg story about Android’s level of control over its partners. Bloomberg wrote:

Over the past few months, according to several people familiar with the matter, Google has been demanding that Android licensees abide by “non-fragmentation clauses” that give Google the final say on how they can tweak the Android code — to make new interfaces and add services — and in some cases whom they can partner with.

Rubin combats this claim directly, stating Google’s so-called “anti-fragmentation program has been in place since Android 1.0,” citing a list of compatibility requirements manufacturers must adhere to in order to market a device as “Android-compatible.”

He’s referring to Android’s compatibility test suite, or CTS, an automated litmus test to measure whether or not a piece of hardware can claim to run Android.

“Our approach remains unchanged: There are no lock-downs or restrictions against customizing UIs,” wrote Rubin.

Motorola vouches for Rubin’s statement.

“In the time since we’ve started working with Google, our relationship has matured, but it isn’t any more limiting than it ever has been,” Christy Wyatt, Motorola’s VP of mobile software development, told “I don’t believe that anything has changed in the CTS since the beginning.”

Finally, Rubin emphatically denied other rumors of ARM-chipset standardization in the platform, much of which arose in the wake of an anonymously sourced DigiTimes story.

“There are not, and never have been, any efforts to standardize the platform on any single chipset architecture,” Rubin wrote. With the Nexus One, Google’s first flagship phone, the company worked with Qualcomm to install its 1-GHz Snapdragon ARM processors in the HTC-manufactured handsets. The subsequent Nexus S came equipped with Samsung’s 1-GHz Hummingbird processor, which is also based on ARM architecture.

It’s out of character for Rubin and Android to post such a defensive update. Usually, rumors circulating in the media are usually given a brusque “no comment” by Google’s communications team.

But the title of Rubin’s post — “I think I’m having a Gene Amdahl moment” — explains it all. Amdahl coined the acronym FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) in 1975. After leaving IBM to form his own IT company, Amdahl claimed he suffered attacks by IBM sales staff attempting to undermine his new venture.

All of this negative attention isn’t good for Android’s “open” image, and maybe that’s what overcame Rubin’s reluctance to speak: too much FUD about Android’s future.

Whether or not this FUD is warranted, however, remains to be seen.



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Samsung Galaxy S To Get Android 2.3 Gingerbread Within Weeks

samsung_galaxy_s_smartphone_display The popular Samsung Galaxy S smartphone will receive the latest Gingerbread update according to Three’s Twitter feed where a post mentions that the update is expected to come within the next couple of weeks but that they cannot yet confirm a date.

We saw Android OS 2.3.4 popping in our Google Analytics logs, aversion which was also powering the Sprint Nexus S 4G (the successor of the Nexus One and build by Samsung) towards the end of March 2011.

The Galaxy S, like the HTC Desire, can be purchased for as little as £18 per month on a two year contract on Talkmobile with 300 minutes, 1000 texts and an unlimited data allowance (subject to fair usage).

For those looking for an uber-cheap package, there’s an 18-month contract with 100 minutes, 100 texts and unlimited data allowance for £20.42 per month (or just over £360 for the duration of the contract) via Buymobilephones.

Given that the phone itself costs around £320, it is a smashing deal. Unfortunately, the cheapest such deal from 3 was a £28 per month on a two year contract with 900 minutes, 5000 minutes and a mere 1GB data.

As for the phone, it is just like the Samsung Galaxy Tab but only smaller, with less onboard memory and a better camera. There’s a 1GHz processor, 512MB RAM, a 4-inch WVGA AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, a 5-megapixel camera, HD video recording capabilities, DLNA support and weighing only 118g.


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Yahoo! Mail for Android Review

icon Description: The official Yahoo! Mail app for your Android phone: Notifications, Access Yahoo! Contacts, Send & receive attachments, Smart Folders & Full Search, Write with rich text & emoticons, Switch to Yahoo! Messenger with ease.

The official Yahoo! Mail app for Android
– Multiple Yahoo! Accounts
– Preview photos in your inbox
– Enhanced integration with Yahoo! Messenger
– Push notifications
– Send and receive attachments
– Compose with rich text & emoticons
– Smart folders and powerful search
* Samsung Galaxy devices are currently not supported
Recent changes:
New in 1.2.1
– Fixes for erroneous bizmail login errors that prevented access to regular accounts
New in 1.2
– Add multiple Yahoo! accounts
– Preview photos in the inbox
– Enhanced integration with Yahoo! Messenger
– Fixes inc. notification reliability, speed & stability

When the app first loads you can log into your Yahoo! Mail accounts one by one in order to access them with this app. You also have the option to create a new Yahoo! Mail acount from the home screen which after the first time you add or create a Yahoo! Mail account will be the Acounts menu. To access Yahoo! MEssenger as well as the Compose, Search, Refresh Options and More (the ability to Add a folder, empty trash and empty spam) features press the menu button on your Android device when you have the account you want on your screen.

User Review:

By Aurel

Works great, a must have. Although I’m not excited about its constant reminder to enable background data.
By Estus

Used to hate this app! Now it went from 1 star to 5! THEY MADE IT RIGHT. Now probably my most used app! Great job Yahoo. MotoDroid

Read more comments on the market

Ratings :

  • Speed (4/5) –Pretty good, as you scroll it loads more emails without much lag.
  • Features (5/5) – Everything the web offers so its good.
  • Theme (5/5) – Looks just like the mobile Yahoo email.
  • Overall (4/5) – Nice but needs some work

Pros & Cons:


  • Nice search feature.
  • Emails from contacts.


  • Clunky move/delete/spam feature
  • Have to scroll down and allow messages to load. K-9 shows more emails up front. 1

How it works: If you have a Yahoo email address, this app will allow you to access it directly as opposed to using a 3rd party app. You can read, delete and compose emails. You can also view drafts you may have started on another device or computer and previously sent emails. It has a separate section for emails from your contacts so you don’t have to surf the whole inbox just for them.

When viewing the inbox it has an option to search emails by search item and can be filtered by who it is from or whom it is to or the subject.

Clicking on the ‘edit’ button in the inbox shows three buttons: Move, Delete and Spam. When you use this it has a check box next to each email. You have to make all the selections for the particular action you want because after submitting one of them as spam, for example, it closes the buttons and you have to re select ‘edit’ to do any additional ones. I hope this improved on with future updates.

The options allow you to change the preview of the email and how you get notifications for the email i.e. sounds or if you want it to show in status bar. You can also jump to Yahoo Messenger (if you downloaded that app) to IM one of your friends/contacts.

Opinion: I don’t know if I will use the native app for Yahoo exclusively since I have been using K-9 to get my emails previously. It isn’t as easy to delete spam and unwanted email with this app and it doesn’t load as many emails up front. So the initial version isn’t as strong as I had hoped. However, it does allow for notification in the status bar which K-9 only does once I open it to view mail.

Conclusion: this is a great app for accessing and utilizing your Yahoo! Mail account(s) on your Android device. The Yahoo! Messenger feature is a nice bonus as well. At the time of this review the Yahoo! Mail Android App is free. Thumbs Up.


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HTC Evo View 4G definitely an Android 3.0 Honeycomb tablet

If there was any doubt about which version of the Android operating system the HTC Evo View 4G will carry when the tablet finally hits store shelves, Sprint’s Web site dispels it.

One CNET reader spotted the spec for the Android 3.0 Honeycomb operating system on this Sprint page.

The last we heard from Sprint on the matter was at CTIA, when the carrier told us that it would update the Evo View 4G from Android 2.3 Gingerbread-which we saw on demo tablets-to Android 3.0 Honeycomb as soon as Google makes the tablet-optimized OS widely available to manufacturers and carriers. (Right now, Motorola’s Xoom is the only tablet on the market with Honeycomb installed, thanks to a partnership with Google.)

Papa Android itself could delay HTC and Sprint’s aspirations, according to the new word on the street that Google’s Andy Rubin is cracking down on fragmentation by more tightly controlling who gets access to operating systems. Regardless, we can say that without a doubt, Sprint is hoping to hop on board with Honeycomb rather than keep the Evo View a maverick Gingerbread device.

The HTC Evo View is the U.S. version of the HTC Flyer first seen at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. It features a 1.5GHz Snapdragon processor, 32GB internal memory, a 5-megapixel rear camera, a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera, and 4G capability with Sprint. Sprint has not yet released pricing and availability. A representative was not immediately available for comment.


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