LinkedIn joins Android

Posted: December 16, 2010 in Uncategorized

The wait is finally over for LinkedIn users. LinkedIn finally released a beta for Android users on 2.1 and above, however searching for it on the Android Market won’t help you get the beta. The beta version of LinkedIn is only available from LinkedIn mobile site at the moment.

The app revealed that it isn’t a match to their iPhone app, but it does provide some pretty good features to make for a great start. These features include:

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

Head over to the LinkedIn mobile site and give it a try if you are an avid LinkedIn user and let us know your opinion of the app.

Source: AndroidGuys

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SoundHound Vs Shazam

Posted: December 16, 2010 in Uncategorized

I decided to put SoundHound by SoundHound Inc., and Shazam by Shazam Entertainment Limited head to head to detirmine which one was the better song identifier.

SoundHound by SoundHound Inc.

Upon opening SoundHound I was impressed with how quickly it loaded. This is very important for people who are music buffs, like myself, and may have just caught the end of a song and want to know who it is by and the name. I played three different songs from three different genres, on high volume and low volume and was surprised to see that it identified each one quickly and with no problem. Next, I had my four year old son sing his favorite song, Rocking Robin by Bobby Day, and was amazed again at how quickly it recognized the lyrics and was able to give me a result.

SoundHound also has many features when it recognizes a song. This include being able to share it through twitter, Facebook, text message, and email. Other features SoundHound has is the ability to purchase the song through Amazon Mp3, bookmark the song, lyric display, YouTube search, similar artists, and song’s album appearance. Overall, I was greatly impressed with the performance that SoundHound gave me when it comes to music.

Shazam by Shazam Entertainment Limited

Upon opening Shazam I was a little upset to see that it took a little longer to open and also upon opening it has you press setup and does not take you straight to the song identifier. Also after pressing setup it took roughly 30 secs before being able to start identifying songs. Once I was able to get to identifying songs I put it to the same test as SoundHound with the same songs. Shazam did a good job identifying all the songs but only on a high volume. Also it took longer for the results. I once again had my son sing his song and was disappointed that Shazam could not identify it.

The features that Shazam offers is basically the same as SoundHound. The ability to share through Facebook, Twitter, email, and text message. Shazam also included the features of buying it from Amazon MP3, YouTube Video, and recommendations. Features that are included in Shazam and not in SoundHound are Tour Info, Biography, and Discography. Overall, I think that Shazam good be quicker and better at identifying songs.

The Winner

In my honest opinion, SoundHound is the winner when it comes to song identification. It was much better at recognizing both songs playing and songs being sung than Shazam. Also SoundHound was much quicker with the results. I believe that including features such as Tour Info, Biography, and Discography would make SoundHound a perfect app for identifying songs.

Over the last year we have seen three new operating systems come out for Android devices. These operating systems are named after desserts, Gingerbread (2.3), Froyo (2.2), and Eclair (2.0). Each OS brought new and improved features to current Android devices and future devices that are in the works.

All three operating systems were released within six months of each other. Gingerbread, the most recent OS, was officially released December 6th, 2010. Earlier this year we saw the release of Froyo on May 20th, 2010, and at the end of last year, December 3rd, 2009, was the release of Eclair. All of these operating systems brought new and improved features to Android devices to make them more stable and reliable for users throughout the world. As these operating systems continue to be developed we are sure to see many new features to make these already great devices even better.

As each OS was released they improved on the past operating systems. All three operating systems that have been released in the past year have improved on a number of similar features. One feature that Android has been working on to improve in all their operating systems is the camera. Eclair brought to the camera many new features; built in flash support, camera effects, and macro focus. While Froyo improved on these features with its release and added led flash for video and on screen buttons. The only additional feature that Gingerbread brought to the camera was easier access to all cameras on the device. While Eclair brought the most new features to Android devices each operating system after improved on these features to make the camera

With the new release of Gingerbread we saw many improvements to the Android Virtual Keyboard. Gingerbread brought with its release major improvements to the virtual keyboard. These included a redesigned virtual keyboard, a easier to read, larger and more vivid dictionary, faster text input, improved text entry, easier editing, and free selection mode which made track balls on devices unnecessary. With Froyo’s release we saw the addition of multiple Latin based languages for the keyboard, while Eclair brought to Android devices multi-touch support and a smarter dictionary. It will be great to see what the next OS brings to Android’s Virtual Keyboard.

Out of all three of the Android operating systems, Gingerbread brought the most to the table with many new enhancements to the system. The UI has been refined across the system to make it easier to use and faster. The vividness and contrast on the notification bar and menu has been enhanced. Also an improved power management for better application management  for the best possible performance and battery life. There is also better control over applications and to check what applications are active and how much storage and memory they are taking up. Gingerbread also brings users new ways to communicate with Internet calling and NFC (Near Field Communications)*. These are just some of the great features that Gingerbread brings to users, out of all the operating systems thus far Gingerbread has brought the most.

There are significant changes in all three operating systems. Eclair brought many basic enhancements and Froyo improved on those enhancements. Gingerbread, however, is a different story as you can see. It not only improved many of the basics, but it also did a complete overhaul of the system to make any device that is lucky enough to receive it perform better and faster. So far Gingerbread is the best of all the Android desserts.

*NFC relies on wireless technology in device hardware, support for the platform’s NFC features on specific devices is determined by the manufacturers.

Source: Android

I have been searching high and low for the 10 best free apps to help get you ready for the Christmas season. Here are the best apps from the Android market.

10) Sleeps Till Christmas by Neuro Software

Sleeps till Christmas is a widget for your home screen that displays the sleeps till that Christmas morning that everyone is waiting for.

9) Santa Spotter by Ogilvy Group UK

This is a fun app that turns your Android phone in to a magic telescope to help spot Santa on his journey when he leaves the North Pole. While you wait for that day use your magic telescope to spot festive constellations each night.

8) Christmas Wallpapers by Sancron

This is a great app for finding festive Christmas wallpapers to liven up your phone for the holiday season.

7) Countdown till Christmas by Onteca

This great app counts down the time till Christmas comes. It also has “sightings” of Santa and his reindeer for your children.

6) Christmas Decor Sticker Pack by Studio Mort Development

This widget gives you everything from snowflakes to pine trees to candy canes and more to liven up your home screens for the holiday season.

5) Free Christmas List by Developers Simplify Lives

This app comes in both a free and paid version and gives you the ability to add the people you are shopping for along with their sizes and notes. It also offers gift tracking, cost tracking, and cost summary. A great app for holiday shoppers.

4) Android Christmas Ringtones by Sancron

This is a great app that has many different Christmas ringtones for your Android phone. Also has the ability to assign different ringtones for your contacts. Great app for the holiday season.

3) All I Want From Santa by Iconosys, Inc.

This is a great app for both parents and kids. When you register you get to put your child’s name and their wishlist can be sent to the parents email address. Starting December 15th your kids will also be able to write their letters to Santa.

2) Advent Calendar 2010 by MagicSolver.com

This is a great app that not only helps countdown the 25 days till Christmas but also for each day shows you a free app from the Android Market. Before you get to see the free app you have to open your present in fun ways. Definitely a must have for app lovers!!!

1) Angry Birds Seasons by Rovio Mobile

Not only is this a fun holiday game for all Angry Bird lovers but it also helps countdown the days till Christmas by playing one level for each day in this snowy Christmas game. Also includes the unreleased Halloween levels.

Well, there you go these are my top ten Christmas apps to get you through the season. Hope you enjoy!!! Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!!!

Cliq 2

Posted: December 13, 2010 in Android Devices, Rumors
Tags:

Not much has been heard regarding Motorola’s Cliq 2. However, yesterday Android sites started posting information regarding the Cliq 2 trademark passing the Us Patent office. Not much more is known at the moment regarding the Cliq 2 although it is one step closer to a possible debut. The rumored specs include:

  • 2.2
  • The keyboard is interesting with no gaps
  • WI-FI calling

Hopefully we will hear more regarding specs or a release date. Stay tuned.

Angry Birds

Posted: December 13, 2010 in Android Games
Tags: , , ,

I just recently started play Angry Birds by Rovio Mobile and I have to say I am official addicted!!!!! This isn’t the first night I have been up the whole time thank’s to those flying birds and green pigs!!!! Angry Birds is a game where you use different types of birds to get those pesky green pigs that stole the eggs. Throughout out the game you acquire different types of birds that have different abilities. So far I have acquired the use of six different types of birds with six different abilities. These abilities included head-butts, super speed, multiplying, egg bombs, exploding, boomerang, and extra strength. The goal is to kill the pigs in their forts while at the same time trying to achieve three stars on each level. Also in certain levels you have the opportunity to acquire golden eggs. I have to say that this is on my top ten list of favorite Android games. It is highly addictive and hours of fun!!!

Motorola Cliq 2.1 Review

Posted: December 12, 2010 in Android Devices

The Long Haul:

In January 2010, Motorola’s CEO Sanjay Jha announced at CES that the Motorola Cliq would be updated to Android 2.1. Since that announcement Cliq owners waited for the update as each quarter passed. At the end of quarter two Motorola postponed the update to ensure the best possible user experience once it was released. Finally, on November 9th, 2010 Motorola officially released the long awaited 2.1 update for the Motorola Cliq.

2.1-Éclair Sweetened by Froyo:

Motorola included many new features in the long awaited update for the Cliq. The update is officially called 2.1.5, due to the addition of Android 2.2’s Jit Complier. Below you will find a list of enhancements that waits in the 2.1 update.

• 7 screens-More room for widgets and applications

• Resizable Widgets-The ability to resize certain widgets

• Task Manager-The built in Task Manager helps improve battery life with an auto end list

• Ability to Customize Happenings-Choose which contacts to display and from what account

• New Widgets

– Contact Quick Task-Widget for the people that you call and text the most
– Sticky Note-Keep all your important notes right on your home screen

• Improved Media Player
– Internet Radio
– Lyric Display
– Tune Wiki

• New Google Apps
– Speech to Text
– Voice Search
– Turn by Turn Navigation

• Improved Multimedia Apps

• Multiple Google Accounts

• Jit Complier (Froyo Addition)

A Little Less Sweet:

Even though the 2.1 update includes many new features, several people are wondering why the two most wanted aspects of 2.1 were left out of the Cliq’s update. From what I gather Live Wallpapers were left out do to poor performance and battery life. Multi-touch could not be included do to the lack of hardware in the Motorola Cliq. A small disappointment, but if they had been included it would have drastically changed the performance of the phone.

The Future of the Cliq:

As 2.1 has finally been released many people are wondering what the future has in store for the Cliq. Unfortunately, it is uncertain at this time. Motorola has not confirmed nor denied future bug fixes or updates for the Cliq. So when and if we see any future enhancements are uncertain. However, my personal opinion on the matter of the Cliq is that we may see a bug fix or two, but as far as any future upgrades I doubt it due to the hardware limitations in the Cliq.

I have owned the Cliq, Motorola’s first T-Mobile Android phone, for a little over a month now. I was a little wary buying it but by the end of the first day I fell in love with it.

The Cliq does run on Android 1.5, with MotoBlur running on top. If you are not familiar with Motoblur it is Motorola’s own special blend. You create an account and with that account you sign in. The Moto Blur service is quite unique for many reasons.

  1. First, if you need to do a reset on the phone it saves your settings, which in my opinion, is a very nifty idea.
  2. Second, say your phone gets lost or stolen you are able to login to your Moto Blur account from another computer and wipe all your information from the phone and track it. You can also put the info back on the phone. Thankfully I have not had to do this.
  3. Third, the Motoblur service syncs all you contacts and accounts such as Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, Gmail, and more. It is a little much at first but you are able to link the accounts together. Say your Mom has Twitter, Facebook, and Gmail you can link all three contacts together to make one. Also you can choose which account your contact’s pics come from.

Unlike the MT3G and G1 you have five screens instead of three. So there is plenty of room for widgets. The Happenings widget displays all updates for your accounts. Let’s say Mary updated her status on Facebook, it will show up right in the Happenings widget.
The Messaging widget displays any and all messages you receive such as Text, Myspace, Twitter, and Facebook messages. So instead of having to sign in to multiple accounts you can do it all right from your screen. You can also add news widgets and stay up to date with all your RSS Feeds. All you have to do is click and scroll.

Now the phone itself I think is lovely. The overall design makes it really attractive. The screen is a little bit smaller than my MT3G, but like I said just a little. The phone is not heavy at all in my opinion it feels quite solid.
Oh and the keyboard is excellent, it is small and compact, the buttons are raised a little bit so you can actually feel them. The only draw back is no backlight inless you hit the alt button, which truthfully does not help that much at all inless you want to type with numbers and symbols. The Cliq does have a back light although it seems that some don’t work while others do.

The battery life on the phone is basically the same as all other smart phones. Depending on how much you are on the phone surfing the net,playing on Myspace, Facebook, or Twitter determines how long your battery will last. Let’s put it this way I am easily on my phone 12 hours a day, since I pretty much manage my life from my phone. So I usually go through, on average, three full charges a day. Like I said if you are going to own a smart phone expect poor battery life, it just comes with the package.

On to the camera/ video recorder. I like it, it takes decent pics nothing to get all crazy about. I do believe it would have been quite a bit better if it had flash.

Now the biggest debate concerning the Cliq is weather or not it will be updated. Truthfully, I do not know. However, I do believe it will be updated probably around the same time all other android phones get updated.

Overall, if you are big on social networking and staying connected to the world I would recommend the Motorola Cliq, it is an excellent phone with a lot of features to keep you connected.