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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Play Safe Android App Gives Kids a Smartphone Sandbox

As I’m sure you know, hassles often extend beyond the PC.
For example, if you have young kids, it’s a sure bet they’re always clamoring to use your Android smartphone.
And with so many great games, children’s books, paint programs, and other apps, a smartphone can be the ultimate sanity-saver for a harried parent.
Play Safe For Android
But here’s the hassle: Kids too young to master the intricacies of a mobile operating system can inadvertently wreak havoc, whether it’s dialing your boss at home, deleting important data, or spending a small fortune at the Google Play store.
Enter Play Safe, a new app that gives your kids a sandbox in which they can play, well, safe.
Specifically, it provides a friendly front-end for a hand-picked-by-you selection of apps. When you want to give your young one a turn with the phone, you just run Play Safe, then rest easy in the knowledge that he or she won’t be able to do anything but run the apps you’ve sanctioned.
When the time comes to exit Play Safe, you simply hold down the app’s logo for three seconds. Older kids might be able to figure this out, which is why the developers will soon be adding password protection.
The app is free (and ad-free, which is nice). It’s compatible with all phones running Android 2.2 and later, though for some reason I couldn’t get it to work with my LG Optimus S. (It didn’t show up in Google Play, even though it appears there in my browser.)
If you want to give your kids some play-time with your phone, Play Safe offers a free and easy way to protect your apps and data. Now you just have to figure out how to keep them from dropping it.

Contributing Editor Rick Broida writes about business and consumer technology. Ask for help with your PC hassles at hasslefree@pcworld.com, or try the treasure trove of helpful folks in the PC World Community Forums. Sign up to have the Hassle-Free PC newsletter e-mailed to you each week.

How to make your Android smartphone as a wifi hotspot?

wifi is more and more hot around the world. some guys may want try to make their android smartphone as a wifi hotspot. Actually, it's not difficult to do this, there are so many ideas about doing this, dont get confused, i will collect this information and give you a clear idean on How to make your Android smartphone as a wifi hotspot.

This process doesn't require 'rooting' your phone or downloading any software. It just requires a Google Android phone with a data plan and cellular network reception. All you need to is as followings:


Android Wi-Fi Hotspot Instructions

  1. Open Settings then select Wireless & Networks
  2. Scroll down and select Tethering & portable hotspot
  3. Select Portable Wi-Fi hotspot to enable the service
There are no other settings or configuration needed, and at this point your Android phone will begin to broadcast as Wi-Fi Hotspot with the network name 'AndroidAP' and 'Open' network security. If you would like to customize the SSID name or assign WPA2 PSK networksecurity, select Portable Wi-Fi hotspot settings.

Once the computers connects to the new portable Wi-Fi hotspot (AndroidAP is default name), after a few moments the Android phone will automatically issue and IP address to the system. If you're subscribed through a phone carrier who allows pass-through data access, your computer will treat the phone as a network Internet source and can browse the web. Some carriers, such as AT&T in particular, do not allow the phone to function as a portable Wi-Fi hotspot. If your carrier is AT&T, this proceedure will work but no Internet access is passed to connected Wi-Fi devices.
Please note that Internet speeds will depend on your phone's data plan, and wireless coverage in your area.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Twilio Calling: Cloud Telephony Startup Adds An Android SDK, Now Works On 75% Of All Smartphones

Cloud-based telephony API startup Twilio has made significant inroads into VoIP and other carrier services like SMS by launching products that work on the web and in iOS apps, supporting 90,000 registered developer accounts in the process. Today it’s widening that net considerably with the launch of a new Android client, the first SDK from the company to work on Google’s platform. And it hints that Windows Phone may be next in line.
Considering that Android is currently the most popular smartphone platform globally, this potentially gives Twilio a much bigger opportunity to deliver services to the wider smartphone market — with Android and iOS together accounting for 75 percent of the existing smartphone market, according to Gartner.
Twilio is kicking off its Android service with features to integrate voice features into Android apps: as with Twilio’s existing APIs for iOS apps and websites, the Android VoIP APIs effectively let developers incorporate VoIP features directly into apps, to create features like in-app calling that work without needing to launch any additional apps or services. Other features in the SDK include real-time presence, with developers able to build buddy lists to let users know who is online, and who can voice chat; and app backgrounding, which lets users receive voice calls even if the relevant app is not being used.
But what’s potentially most interesting about the launch of the Android SDK is that it could lead to some interesting bridges built between Android apps, iOS apps, web apps and traditional voice calls.
“We now support the vast majority of smartphones globally,” Thomas Schiavone, director of product management for Twilio, noted in a statement. “With this many developers and our proven success on iOS, we know we’ll see some incredible and innovative cross-platform communication apps in the months to come.”
Schiavone further said that there will be SDKs for other platforms coming soon — and hints that the next SDK to come might be for the Windows Phone platform. “We are looking at what will be next,” he told TechCrunch. “Android and iOS are the leaders, but at this time there is no clear number three. However, we are watching all the other platforms and are particularly interested in Window’s Phone.”
That would also make sense, given the strategic partnership Twilio already has with Microsoft. That partnership was announced earlier this month and means that Microsoft now offers Twilio’s APIs to tens of thousands of Microsoft Azure cloud developers.
In addition to that development, Twilio has been releasing a steady stream of other news in the last month that points to the company looking to expand quickly and make good use of its $33 million in funding to date. Its services are now available in 12 countries — 10 in Europe and the U.S. and Canada — and in April, Twilio hired a full-time executive in Europe, James Parton, poached from Telefonica. But it has also seen one significant executive departure, too: Danielle Morrill, an early employee who headed up marketing, just this week left to work on her own startup, the Y Combinator-backed Refer.ly.
The Android SDK has been running in a private beta, the company tells me, and from today it will be available to all Android developers.

Monday, May 28, 2012

iPhone vs. Android vs. Windows Phone: Which Smartphone Is Best For You? (Android Edition)

For about five years now, the question for smartphone buyers has been a classic either/or: "Android or iPhone?" Answering that question is more difficult than ever, thanks to large advances in Android technology, as well as the emergence of a third viable option: Microsoft's beautiful Windows Phone OS.

This week, we'll attempt to break down your three options, looking at each operating system's greatest strengths and weaknesses. Which one you choose should depend largely on how you use your phone.
We've already looked at the iPhone, and assessed where Apple's smartphone flies and flails. Now we're going to look at the wide, wild world of Android smartphones, a much more vast universe of devices. Unlike iOS on the iPhone, Android is an open-source operating system that any manufacturer can use -- that means there are hundreds of Android smartphones out there, as opposed to just one iPhone. Popular Android phone manufacturers include Samsung, HTC, and Motorola, all of whom lay their own special "skins" over the plain Android OS to give their phones a distinct look.
At their hearts, though, all Android smartphones operate in about the same way. We'll be using Android 4.0, or Ice Cream Sandwich, as our reference point; click here for a detailed overview of what Google added to its operating system with that October update.
Let's dive in and see what they do well and what they do poorly.
Navigation: Turn-by-turn navigation with spoken direction has been baked into Android's Maps for about two years now, and it's top-flight stuff. You can also add "layers" to see what kind of traffic a location has, what the terrain is like and where the bicycle lanes are. The Map also integrates with Google Places to show you what's around, and you can switch to a Satellite View to see the buildings overhead. Great Maps/navigation is a major reason to go Android, especially for those who do a lot of driving.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Bump for Android now transfers photos directly to your PC

Mumbai: Bump is one really handy wireless data sharing software app, available for iOS and Android platforms. Now the creators of Bump have announced yet another nifty feature for the Bump Android app which allows direct photo transfer to PCs. Hence now you don't need to physically connect your Android smartphone or tablet to your PC to transfer images.
The earlier functionality Bump Android app allowed users to transfer contacts, photos and even app recommendations among devices which had Bump installed on them. All one has to do is just simply tap/bump two Android/iOS devices with Bump installed on them and the data will be moved between them.
But now, Bump developers have gone a step ahead and now allow transferring photos from the Android based devices to a desktop web browser directly. All one has to do is open the http://bu.mp website on your PC. Then open up the Bump on Android app, select the photos you wish to transfer and gently bump your phone on the keyboard's spacebar of PC. Currently this method works on Safari, Chrome and Firefox web browsers.
               Bump for Android now transfers photos directly to your PC

This is one novel way to transfer your photos from phone to the web directly. Get the Bump for Android app from the Google Play Store.
(For updates you can share with your friends, follow IBNLive on Facebook, Twitter,Google+ and Pinterest)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Fake Android apps scam costs £28,000

Malicious Android apps posed as Angry Birds and Cut the Rope in a scam that used premium rate text messages to defraud customers of £27,850.

A HTC smartphone and an Apple iPhone are displayed for the photographer at a mobile phone shop in Taiwan

Malevolent smartphone apps were 'trojanised' by posing as Angry Birds or Cut the Rope Photo: Reuters

The attack took place at the end of last year and affected 1,391 mobile numbers in the UK. Although regulator PhonepayPlus received just 34 complaints, all those who lost money will automatically be refunded. The most any individual is thought to have lost is £80.
The fake apps were planted in the Android Market, posing as Angry Birds, Assassins Creed, Cut the Rope and other popular titles. The ‘Trojanised’ attacks gained access to users’ phones when they were downloaded and then sent three premium rate text messages each time the app was opened, without the users’ knowledge. The total cost was therefore £15 each time the app was accessed, and a number of users attempted to start the app several times before realising it wasn’t working as the real apps would.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Friday folly: HTC changes U. S. Android phones to avoid injunction

Summary: HTC has changed the Android software on its newest US phones to avoid an injunction brought by Apple.

The technology legal system is a mess by anybody’s standards, a situation made clear with US Customs seizing shipments of HTC smartphones to make sure they don’t violate an injunction on Apple’s behalf. Customers were left wondering when (and if) they would get their phones from HTC, with no word from Customs when a decision would be given.

To make matters worse, The Verge confirmed that HTC has changed the behavior of the AT&T One X and Sprint EVO 4G LTE to avoid infringing on Apple’s patent # 5,946,647. This patent covers the detection of certain data, e. g. email addresses and phone numbers, in text on the screen and presenting options for dealing with it.

HTC had been determined to infringe on this patent (in the U. S.), and according to tests by The Verge have removed this functionality from the phones in the US. This means HTC is producing two different software sets for these phone models, one in the US. to avoid the injunction and one for the rest of the world where they are free to use that method.

An Android for the Prepaid Set

Huawei's Mercury is the best device offered on Cricket's monthly prepaid smartphone plan. Photo by Maurizio Pesce/Wired
If you already have an iPhone, a Galaxy Nexus or some other head-of-the-class smartphone in your pocket, the Huawei Mercury isn’t the phone for you. But if you’re upgrading from a feature phone, or if you’re loathe to sign a two-year contract and would prefer a pay-as-you-go plan, it’s likely the perfectphone for you.
Huawei’s handset — available on Cricket’s smartphone plans, which start at $55 per month with no contract — is a mid-level Android device that makes a great first smartphone, and it performs solidly enough even though it lacks the specs and polish of the latest top-tier hardware.
The Mercury (also known as the Huawei Honor and Huawei Glory elsewhere) is a little bit wider and slightly thicker than the average Android. The build is mostly plastic and the quality of the case is kind of cheap-feeling. The touchscreen is nice, though — a 4-inch Gorilla Glass panel that’s durable and scratch-resistant. The display is also bright and relatively clear, with a FWVGA 854×480 pixel resolution screen that can display 16 million colors.

Monday, May 21, 2012

We're not waiting for Android 5 'Jelly Bean,' developers say

Despite the rumors, developers are focused on making apps -- and money -- from today's Android
Unconfirmed reports say that Android 5 "Jelly Bean" could be released this fall, featuring such improvements as Chrome browser integration, better enterprise security, better power management, and maybe dual-booting support for Microsoft's Windows 8. Google did not respond to requests for comment about its future OS plans.
But Android developers at this week's AnDevCon developer conference were too busy dealing with current releases like Android 4 "Ice Cream Sandwich" to stall their development efforts for yet another OS upgrade. "You have to deal with what's available now," said Chris Morris, a developer for the Weather Channel.
[ Xamarin this week began offering a designer tool for Android applications that will work with Microsoft's Visual Studio IDE. | Subscribe to InfoWorld's Developer World newsletter for the latest insights and news on software development. ]

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Smartphones could be next on the agenda for Facebook

  A Facebook phone, maybe ... Mark Zuckerberg checks his mobile phone for messages. Photo: AP

With Facebook now sitting on $US16 billion after its flotation, will we see the massive social network do a Google and develop its own phone?
With its flotation, many think that Facebook is now a juggernaut, sitting pretty on $US16 billion of cash and a valuation that started the day at more than $US100 billion.

Friday's launch was fun (Zuckerberg's status update: "Mark Zuckerberg listed a company on Nasdaq"), but there's a tendency to see stock market flotations as the culmination of a company's existence. That's a common mistake, like first parents being excited about the baby's birth, and forgetting that it's the next bit that really matters.

It has taken eight years to get here, yet it's easy to forget that this is actually just the beginning.

What to expect now? Don't be surprised if the next big thing is a Facebook phone - running its own software and developed from top to bottom to involve you in the site all the time.

Zuckerberg's team has been advised to do this directly, because it needs to reach the "next billion" internet users, and they are mainly going to be using mobile phones, not desktop or laptop computers. Selling its own phone would mean it could make itself the background hum of people's lives everywhere - and show adverts and collect data on its own terms.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Are Android smartphone and tablet makers getting impatient with Google?

Tired of being unable to differentiate, some device makers could follow Amazon’s path and break away from Google's rules regarding the Android operating system.
Android device makers may be getting frustrated with being locked into making uniform, generic devices with no competitive differentiation from each other and getting their rear ends handed to them by Apple in the process.

The problem has been around for a while. More than a year ago, Bloomberg first reported that Google was coming down hard on licensees who it felt were fragmenting the operating system.
These "non-fragmentation clauses" give Google the final say over the platform tweaks from OEMs, which had them up in arms. Google has also dragged its feet, splintering the versions of Android all over the place, but update schedules vary from one vendor to the next.  As a result some devices are on version 2.2, others 2.3, some 3.0, and others 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich). Meanwhile, most every Apple product on the market has the latest iOS 5.1.1.

That fragmentation cuts across a lot of devices. A recent report by OpenSignalMaps indicates there are 3,997 distinct Android devices. Meanwhile, Ice Cream Sandwich, the latest version of Android released last year, is only installed on less then 10% of Android devices.

For vendors, Google's rules about how Android can be implemented on their hardware in order to be blessed with the "compatible" label has resulted in a lot of lookalike tablets and smartphones.
The one Android success story on the market, the Kindle Fire, features a heavily-modified version of Android that's primarily used as an outlet to buy Amazon products. As a result, the only apps for the Fire come from Amazon and not the Google Marketplace.

Ted Morgan, CEO of Skyhook Wireless, said he is hearing discontent from more than a few OEMs (the companies that build devices) on this issue. Skyhook provides geolocation services for OEMs, so he's talking to players across the ecosystem.

"This is a real trend and it includes more than one major player.  It really is only logical when you think about how critical it is to own the ecosystem of your platform in order to be able to compete," said Morgan.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Samsung Galaxy Note Android 4.0 Update: How To Get It Right Now

The official Samsung Galaxy Note Android 4.0 update rolled out earlier last week in certain parts of Europe. So far, the verdict seems to suggest that there are no bugs and it brings a host of new improvements to the already feature-rich Samsung Galaxy Note.

Samsung Galaxy Note Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update: how to get it right now
                                       Samsung Galaxy Player 4.0 Review 
Unfortunately, the rollout of the Samsung Galaxy Note Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich Premium Suite update is staggered and the update appears to be available to some regions in Germany mainly at this time. However given that it is for the GT-N7000 model which is the international GSM Samsung Galaxy Note and is used all over Asia and UK as well, it is technically compatible with many Galaxy Note units.
 If you happen to have a Samsung Galaxy Note GT-N7000 model (you can check by rebooting your Galaxy Note as the boot animation will clearly state your model number), then you can now trigger the update yourself.                                                                                                                                                 
The folks over at XDA Developers forums have prepared a concise instructions guide on how to do it. Do note that you will need to root your Samsung Galaxy Note to accomplish this so only proceed at your own risk.
News From: motoringcrunch

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Android malware families nearly quadruple from 2011 to 2012

Summary: F-Secure has found that between Q1 2011 and Q1 2012, the number of Android malware families has increased from 10 to 37, and the number of malicious Android APKs has increased from 139 to 3,069.

Malware targeting Android users has nearly quadrupled since 2011. As you can see in the graph above, 10 Android malware families were detected in Q1 2011. This number increased for two quarters in a row, then dipped for one, and then finally settled at 37 in Q1 2012. That means a year-over-year growth of 270 percent.
The data comes from security firm F-Secure. The trend was revealed today in the company’s 47-page Mobile Threat Report Q1 2012 (PDF). Here’s the corresponding excerpt:

It makes sense that both the number of malware families and malicious Android APKs is increasing, but it’s still staggering to see that the latter number is now over 3,000, whereas last year it was just above 100.
The increase in malware numbers is indicative of a wider increase in mobile threats, according to F-Secure. Even more worrying, however, is that the Finnish security firm warned many of the apps are targeting Android users’ financial data, noting that 34 of the current malware families are designed to steal money from infected smartphones.
“The most interesting malware trend over recent months has been the increase in Trojans that deliver on their promises,” F-Secure analyst Sean Sullivan said in a statement. “This makes it harder for victims to know they have been victimised as there is less for them to detect.”
 Reprint  from: ZDNT

Gamestop Android app brings the store to your pocket

Gamestop is in the news today for more than a few reasons. For one they’ve now started allowing buyers to trade in used games, consoles, iPods and more all for Steam gift cards — Yup Gamestop is being nice to the PC gamer again. Along with that news they have also released an all new app for Android that brings Gamestop’s services to your pocket.

Gamestop for Android has actually been available for about two weeks but recently has been spotted now that they’re in the news for their Steam agreement and being friendly to the PC gamer again. The folks at Android Police tipped us off on the new app and it has tons of features making it worth a quick shout out.
Gamestop Mobile for Android allows users to track rewards, find stores, check local store games availability and even has an included barcode scanner for people looking to find the best deal on a game. A quick scan will show you all the content you’d ever want to know on the game, as well as local stores with it in stock. Gamestop will also allow for in-app purchases where you can buy the game right from your Android phone and pick it up in-store. Gamestop Mobile Android (the official name) is available now and seems to be compatible with every phone and tablet I’ve ever owned. Get it from the link below and let us know if it helps you find your next favorite Xbox game.

Reprint from:http://androidcommunity.com/

Monday, May 14, 2012

All-in-one Android photo app lacks usability

Photo applications for smartphones usually come in one of three flavors: those that are designed around one or two really interesting effects, those that offer the ability to throw some text or pre-made borders and art on your shots, and those that apply Photoshop-esque filters to your photos to make them more artsy.
PicsArt Photo Studio is an amalgamation of all three of those types of apps, with a feature set that combines the best (and worst) of all three. There are so many options in this free app that, if anything, the sheer volume of options is overwhelming.

If you've got a particular effect in mind, whether it's applying shapes, filters, text, contrast/brightness adjustments, borders, or blur, then you can probably get the job done. It may take some extra cajoling to get the photo where you want it, but if you're looking for a do-almost-everything photo app, you're in the right place.
Our main complaint with the app comes down to usability — specifically a lack of interface uniformity (a runaway problem with the Android OS itself, as well as its many apps) and a hitch between moving sliders and seeing a preview of your image.

The latter problem is more a matter of patience than anything, but it makes very small adjustments to some filters more difficult than they are in some other apps. That being said, the fact that each filter has sliders at all provides a level of granular control that many apps of this type simply don't have—including Instagram for Android.

The lack of interface uniformity is a bit of a pain, however, with the app's many modes seemingly governed by different design principles. Even something seemingly simple like an "undo" key is often found in different places depending on what part of the app that you're in. It's a small complaint, but it's the kind of thing an app this complex needs to sort out in future versions.
Overall, we're very impressed with PicsArt Photo Studio. Sure, just about everything it offers can be found in different apps, but the key there is the fact that you'd have to download several programs to do all the things PicsArt can do for free in just one. If you've got an Android device and you want to edit photos on the go, PicsArt Photo Studio is a one-stop shop you'll want along for the ride.
reprint from:http://www.theaustralian.com.au/

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