Some of you might remember our review on the fantastic application Slices, a Twitter client, from One Louder apps. The wait is almost over, Slices.me just went into BETA and those of you who requested access to the BETA through their website should be getting an e-mail with log in information soon. It functions almost identical to the Android application, with your slices being displayed on the left along with mentions and messages. As the BETA tag entails not every feature is out yet for Slices.me, the Stats category and the People category still have a “Coming Soon” tag on them. All of the functions that Twitter.com has are there so you could easily drop it after Slices.me goes live. My only nitpick so far is the theme of the whole site. Sticking to the darker theme like in the Android application would have probably looked nicer. Who knows though, changing the theme could be on the way after the release of the BETA, only time will tell. So, check your e-mails and give the new Slices.me a spin.
If you own a Galaxy Note there’s a good chance that you’ve installed custom firmware to get more speed, or take full advantage of the high resolution screen through ROMs such as Paranoid Android. There’s no doubt that you’ve missed the one thing that Samsung has done right with their software: S-Memo. S-Memo is an awesome application that allows you to quickly and efficiently caption photos, or take notes for later while being optimized for the Note’s S-Pen. Thanks to developer Nathan Garside, you won’t have to miss it any longer.
Every Android user is aware of the necessity of a decent file manager for their phone. Often times file managers aren’t extremely aesthetically pleasing or rich with features, but most users tend to look past that picking whatever application provides the most features. There is one explorer that has reset the bar for these utilities. Solid Explorer 2, developed by KRZYSZTOF GŁODOWSKI, is a pleasant surprise and a head above the rest in the field of file management. Users new to managing files on an Android device will be pleased to know that the app features a detailed tutorial on its’ various features. Several pages of pictures and descriptions remove any uneasiness newer users to Android might have.
Chrome has launched in the Android Market for phones and tablets operating 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich). This is the first “official” Chrome to be released for Android. Since it’s a beta rollout, it’s not going to be a game changer for how use utilize your mobile browser, but it definitely creates a more fluid way of browsing, and for that alone Google gets an A for effort from me!
Popular web browser Dolphin has put out its most recent version of itself on the Android Market today. The V6 update is in beta alongside the more official 5.1.
The beta allows you to use the upcoming features for the official V6 while they’re still being worked out instead of waiting for all the bugs and kinks to be eliminated.
A new feature that comes with the beta is Webzine, a format that lets you create a digital magazine of interests, news and entertainment. Each section has deeper layers within it leading to additional articles, images, and text.
It’s a great thing to grab if you’re a fan of getting the latest Dolphin browser and aren’t asking for perfection just yet. But, if you’d like to get your hands on the most up-to-date and fully functional version, you can still get it from the Android Market.
Want to listen to your music but don’t want to crowd the storage of your phone with it so you can save room for those large applications and games? Thanks to Google (what don’t they have?) it’s possible.
Google Music Beta gives you exactly that possibility. The awesome application provided by Google gives you an .exe to install on your computer which uploads your music to Google “cloud.” The music that you upload is then accessible from anywhere where you have internet access whether it is on your laptop, netbook, tablet, or mobile phone.
The setup is easy, you click a directory or folder which you want to upload to Google Music and it does the rest. Fair Warning: the upload takes a LONG time, expected, but it does. It’s been running non-stop for around 2 days for me and has not finished uploading my music (roughly 4,000 songs). It’s set to upload the fastest it can, and by no means is the internet connection “slow.” After the music is uploaded it’s as simple as using a media player built into a computer or iPod. You can select artists, albums, songs, as well as create and edit playlists right from your browser or Android device.
(snapshot of the desktop browser Google Music)
Want to listen to some of that music and don’t have an internet connection around or running low on data? You can also check albums, artists, or songs to be available offline. This feature downloads the music to your phone so it is available wherever you go (kind of defeating the purpose of the application, but it’s a nice feature anyway).
(screenshots from the Android application, showing the now playing, music browsing, and options including offline feature)
The service is free, for now, and invitation only; you can request an invite at music.google.com to set up your account and start streaming music to your phones for free. Hit up this offer while it still lasts and start streaming to your Android now! If you do, make sure you have an unlimited data plan, or keep a close eye on your data usage with a program like 3G Watchdog; Going over can incur some major fees… Head over to the Android Market to pick up Google Music Beta so you can start listening to your music collection no matter where you are!
If you don’t have Swype installed on your Android device you’re missing out on one of the greatest features for Android. Swype minimizes the speed of typing by instead of hitting each key you simply trace the letters of the word you are trying to type. Swype has the “beta” on their website ready to download for free; all you have to do is register, confirm your email, and install the .apk (so you’re going to need a device which allows the installation of third party applications). The beta includes all the features of the versions that are installed with modern devices natively and also is updated often to fix bugs and glitches; you must have a compatible device in order for the Swype Beta to work properly. You can visit beta.swype.com to register and download Swype for your device as well as check compatibility before you download.
Some alternative to Swype are available on the market such as SlideIt keyboard which is pricey at $6.50 but can be used on tablets and phones alike. The process is easier and SlideIt includes functions which are easy to use, such as copy and paste, built into the keyboard. You can get SlideIt off the Android Market here.
Here’s a quick video done by recombu.com to give you an idea of Swype and the features:
Last Friday Mozilla announced the new beta for Android devices of the latest mobile FireFox browser, as we posted earlier this week, But just how does it compare? Although the browser has been a favorite on the desktop for quite some time now, how is it holding up in the mobile market? Not too good to be honest.
The new Firefox 5 release brings a few new features to the Android device such as the “Do Not Track” option in the settings to disable the ability for sites to monitor you for online behavioral tracking, CSS3 Animations, Smoother panning, Speed improvements, and bug fixes. Although the new version boasts a few key features, is it enough to make up for it?
I installed the beta on a Motorola Xoom, and a Samsung Captivate to compare it with a few other browsers as well as the default one. The websites loaded with pretty good speed, the interface is nice, but overall I do not think it compares to other browsers available out there, even the default cooked into Android. Although this is a beta, it is missing one of the key reasons of owning an Android device: Adobe Flash Player. Loading a website only to see “To view this movie you need to have Adobe Flash Player plugin…” really is a downer with such a modern application. It’s better than it was, for sure, but it still needs a lot of work (especially UA string changer) before it is ready to replace Dolphin or Opera which are both rated at least one and a half stars higher on the Android Market. Feel free to test out the application for yourself for free off the Market and provide us with some feedback; let us know how it runs on your device compared to the stock one.
It may seem a bit soon for the Firefox 5.0 Beta, since Firefox 4 just came out like eight weeks ago. But, the interesting part is the added feature that many mobile users are definitely going to appreciate- on top of improved speeds and performance, the Firefox 5 Beta for Android offers customers a ‘Do Not Track’ privacy option.
“Do Not Track to give users more control over the way their browsing behavior is tracked and used online. It enables users to tell websites if they prefer to opt-out of online behavioral tracking,” reads Mozilla’s blog.
It’s simple enough, you can easily switch the privacy option on or off in the preferences. Grab the browser here.
In case you’re interested, Firefox has the same ‘Do Not Track’ feature on their desktop version as well.
Thumb Keyboard is a recently redesigned app by XDA member Appelflap which offers loads of customization options as well as more efficient methods of typing and web surfing on your tablet. The application includes a new optimized core design and support for screens of various sizes and resolutions, not to mention various new features such as: Multi-touch, shortcuts to store and insert lines of text or logins with the touch of a button, resize the width of keys, redesigned UI, and many more improvements. The program has just been launched in a public beta and is available on their blog. Appelflap is accepting suggestions and ideas that users would like to see in future updates, so why not check out the official XDA post and leave a comment? With the level of customization available, it could turn out to be a well designed tablet keyboard.