Thursday, January 31, 2013

An Android Game System From Nvidia

What do you get when you cross an Xbox controller with a five-inch Android tablet with beefy stereo speakers? Nvidia’s new touch-screen portable gaming system, code-named Project Shield. The handheld game system was unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show this month in Las Vegas, and it could spell more bad news for the Sony Vita, Nintendo 3DS or any other entry in the mobile gaming market. Why? Because it further stretches how consumers can buy and experience video games.
Besides being a complete stand-alone Android gaming system, the chunky controller can also stream games that have already been loaded on a Windows PC, providing users are sharing the same Wi-Fi router and the computer is equipped with a recent Nvidia graphics processor (specifically a Kepler-based GeForce GTX 650 or better). Even hard-core gamers take breaks, right? So now you can carry your game of Assassins Creed around the house with you. Other features include a set of standard game controls and 5- to 10-hour rechargeable batteries.
The stand-alone mode is based on the Jelly Bean version of the Android operating system. An Nvidia representative promised that it was “pure, unfiltered Android that can run anything you can download from the Google Play app store.” Games that have been modified for gamepads and five-inch landscape displays will work better.
One cannot help but notice the potential of this device for playing videos or music, thanks to the clear screen and speakers that are much better than average. Nvidia promises an SD card slot, but will not say how much internal storage the device has. Also up in the air are the final name and the price. All of that will be determined by late spring, which is the earliest consumers will be able to buy one.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Android app offers a super-secret burner phone number

Whatever the case, the new Hushed app for Androidlets you create disposable phone numbers that you can use in 40 countries.
It's similar to the Burner app for iPhones, except that Hushed transmits calls over data connections rather than over regular phone lines.
Hence, Hushed's creators say the app works in most of western and central EuropeMexicoAustraliaNew ZealandJapan and South Africa, instead of just theU.S. and Canada. (It also apparently works in Bahrain, where the government has spied on dissidents.)
"Hushed is perfect for dating, job searches, short-term projects, CraigslistTwitterTumblr and other social media, and for whenever else you want to be in touch and want to keep it on a private line, or don't want to give out your real number," says the official app description in Google Play.
The Hushed app itself is free, but a U.S. or Canadian number costs starts at 99 cents, and an overseas one starts at $1.99. You'll pay a bit for incoming and outgoing calls as well.
Each number has its own voicemail and, in the U.S., U.K. and Canada, SMS account as well. When the disposable numbers are deleted, so are all voicemails and text messages.
AffinityClick, the Canadian company that makes Hushed, says it's working on a version for iOS.
The company also says Hushed is "private, safe and secure," but doesn't explain how. 
If you're looking for serious encryption for phone calls and text messages, rather than just a burner number, it's probably best to try RedPhone or TextSecure for Android, or Silent Phone and its sibling Silent Text for iOS.

Android, iOS face challenges from BB10, Tizen, WP8, Firefox: Strategy Analytics

WASHINGTON: Android and Apple smartphones captured a whopping 92 percent of global sales in the fourth quarter, giving the two systems an effective duopoly, a research firm said on Monday.
Strategy Analytics said global smartphone shipments grew 38 percent annually to reach 217 million units in the fourth quarter, to bring annual sales to 700 million. 

Android, the free operating system developed by Google, grabbed 70 percent of the market in the final three months of the year, while Apple's iOSused on its iPhone held 22 percent. 

The news bodes ill for rivals like BlackBerry maker Research in Motion, which is launching its new platform this year, and Microsoft, which is pushing its Windows Phone system. 

"Android is clearly the undisputed volume leader of the smartphone industry at the present time," said Strategy Analytics executive director Neil Mawston. 

"Android's challenge for 2013 will be to defend its leadership, not only against Apple, but also against an emerging wave of hungry challengers that includes Microsoft, Blackberry, Firefox and Tizen." 

The survey noted that global shipment growth slowed from 64 percent in 2011 to 43 percent in 2012, as regions such as North America and Western Europe matured. 

Scott Bicheno, analyst at Strategy Analytics, said the latest trends showed "the worldwide smartphone industry has effectively become a duopoly as consumer demand has polarized around mass-market Android models and premium Apple designs

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Samsung's fridge runs on Google's Android

TORONTO: Refrigerators are getting smart. A new model released earlier this month runs apps to help users browse recipes, create shopping lists and manage the expiration dates of items like yogurt and milk. 

The T9000 refrigerator by electronics companySamsung has a 10-inch Wi-Fi-enabled touchscreen and includes apps such as Epicurious for recipes and Evernote for note-taking. 

"The fridge, because it's the hub of the family and the kitchen, is now another access point without having to drag around your tablet or have your phone with you in the vicinity of where you're cooking or entertaining," said Warner Doell, a vice president in the home appliance division at Samsung Canada. 

The display enables users to keep up with the news, weather and even Twitter from the fridge door. It can also replace hand-written calendars with Google Calendar integration, and run slideshows of photos, according to Doell. 

Shopping lists can be created on the fridge with the Evernote app, which will sync to smartphonesand recipes can be found at Epicurious. 

"You can say, 'I have these ingredients in the fridge -- what can I make?' and it will show you recipes that you can prepare," said Doell. 

For people who have trouble keeping track of expiration dates of food items, there's an app for that, too. 

But with smartphones and tablets are already ubiquitous in homes, does the smart refrigerator offer more than novelty? 

Doell said it does. 

"I get asked a lot why do you need a screen on a refrigerator? And it's a good question because we're inundated with technology today," said Doell. 

The main reasons, he explained, are ease-of-use in managing settings, such as the refrigerators' temperature, and for convenience because consumers are demanding pervasive connectivity. 

"This isn't only about today -- it's about what will the next five to ten years look like," he added. 

The T9000 is geared towards the young-minded consumer who turns to technology for convenience, according to Doell. 

Whether it's to control heating, air conditioning, lighting or window coverings, Doell said that apps for home automation will be increasingly penetrating the home. 

"The technology is converging across all product categories. With appliances being the traditional staid industry, it has not been fast to adopt it," said Doell, adding that Samsung plans to take a leadership role in the area. 

The refrigerator runs the Android operating system, but it is not possible to install other Android apps. It will be available worldwide in the spring for a suggested retail price of $3,999.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

App which click the photo of thief trying to unlock your phone

Lookout Lock Cam

The next time a thief tries to break into your smartphone or tablet, you may be able to get the culprit's mugshot emailed to you.
Lookout Mobile Security has updated its free Android app with a new feature called "Lock Cam" that helps users spot where their lost phones or tablets might be and who might have taken it.
The Lock Cam takes a picture using devices' front-facing cameras when someone incorrectly enters a device's unlock code three times in a row.
The app then emails the picture, along with the location of the device, to the users' email address. Lookout says the app does all of this silently so thieves have no idea they've been captured on camera.
The updated app with the Lock Cam feature can be downloaded from Google Play. It only works with devices running Google's Android operating system. The company said it wants to add the feature to its app for the  iPhone and iPad but doesn't have a timetable as to when that might happen

tags: android apps,new android apps,latest android apps,android games,best android apps

Friday, January 25, 2013

Temple Run 2 comes to Android, Kindle devices

Android Temple Run 2

Temple Run 2," the sequel to the wildly popular mobile game, is now available for Android and Kindle devices.
The app hit the Google Play store and Appstoreearly Thursday morning. Just like the original "Temple Run," the new game is also available free -- although users can purchase upgrades within the game.
"Temple Run 2" is similar to the original game where users are running through an endless world, trying to survive and achieve the highest score possible.
But "Temple Run 2" has better graphics and players can make more moves, such as swing from a rope or ride in a mine cart.
"Temple Run 2" made its debut in the Apple App Store last week for the iPhoneiPad and iPod Touch.
The game became the top free app in the Apple App Store within hours of its release and was downloaded more than 20 million times in its first four days.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Samsung Galaxy S4 reportedly set to launch in April

Samsung's Galaxy S3.

The successor to Samsung Electronics' blockbuster Galaxy S3 could launch in April.
That's according to Samsung news Web site SamMobile, which pegs the phone's launch on April 15.
The Galaxy S franchise has emerged as a true competitor to the iPhone, and garners as much hype and anticipation as Apple's marquee smartphone. While early iterations of the Galaxy S phone faced a slow start, the Galaxy S3 catapulted out of the gate as a smash hit, and has held up remarkably well even as other competitive phones have faded. The phone has helped propel Samsung into the top spot among handset vendors.

The Galaxy S4 -- which ultimately might be branded Galaxy S IV -- will feature wireless charging as a key feature. But unlike other smartphones such as the Nokia Lumia 920 orDroid DNA, the service won't be built-in. Users will have to buy a kit with a wireless charging station and replacement cover, according to the report.
The next Galaxy S phone will also reportedly feature a larger 2,600 mAh battery, compared with the Galaxy S3's 2,100 mAh battery.
With a launch date in April, SamMobile said Samsung could hold its own event in March, or possibly unveil the smartphone at Mobile World Congress, which begins in late February. The Galaxy S3 was unveiled at a Samsung event in May last year.
Even if the April 15 launch date holds true, that doesn't necessarily mean the Galaxy S4 will make its way to the U.S. at that time. As with the Galaxy S III, the phone may launch at different times depending on when the U.S. carriers want to release the phone, which could vary from days to weeks.
CNET contacted Samsung for comment, and we'll update the story when the company 

tags: samsung galaxy s4,samsung galaxy s4 release date,samsung galaxy s4 specification,samsung galaxy s4 review

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Is Apple Stealing Android Users?

(NASDAQ:AAPL) may have gotten a string of bad news about its products recently, but according to a new survey, its iOS platform continues to be the market leader in the U.S. and is stealing users away from rivalsGoogle (NASDAQ:GOOG) andResearch In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM).
Should you buy or sell Apple’s stock ahead of earnings in a few days? Our 20-page proprietary analysis will help you save time and make money. Click here to get your SPECIAL REPORT now.
According to Kantar Worldpanel ComTech data, Apple’s iOS accounted for 51.2 percent of all U.S. smartphone sales for the 12-week period ending December 23, 2012. This represented a growth of more than 7 percent from the 44.9 percent over the same period in 2011. Meanwhile, Android’s share fell from 44.8 percent in 2011 to 44.2 percent, while RIM suffered an even bigger decline — falling from 6.1 percent of smartphone sales to 1.1 percent.
“Apple’s continual improvement is thanks to both the iPhone 5 and older models attracting various customer groups, from repeat Apple buyers, first time smartphone buyers and those coming from other smartphone brands,” Kantar’s Mary-Ann Parlato said in a statement. According to Parlato, 36 percent of iOS sales were derived from other smartphone users over the last year, including 19 percent from Android users. That was up from 9 percent Android converts in 2011.

IPhone remains top-seller in U.S., Android taking other big markets

Apple Inc.'s iOS operating system continues to hold the largest market share in the U.S. and Japan, while Android devices are winning out in other major markets globally, according to new research.
Devices using iOS accounted for 51.2 percent of all smartphone sales in the U.S, a rise of 6.3 percentage points, and 66 percent in Japan, according to data from Kantar Worldpanel Comtech, a division of WPP that tracks handset sales.
Devices using Google Inc's Android operating system, meanwhile, led in key world markets including Britain, China, Spain, Australia and Germany.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 will be announced during Mobile World Congress

Last week brought rumors about the Samsung GT-N5100, which is expected to arrive as the Galaxy Note 8.0. Based on those details, we were expecting Samsung to announce the 8-inch version of the Galaxy Note during Mobile World Congress. And on that note, it looks like a MWC announcement will be coming.


The latest chapter in the Galaxy Note 8.0 story is coming courtesy of the Korean languageiNews24 who are reporting that the tablet will indeed be announced at MWC in February. According to the report, JK Shin was the person who confirmed the Galaxy Note 8.0 announcement. Sadly though, Shin didn’t go into any further details.
Based on previous details courtesy of the GLBenchmark filing, the Galaxy Note 8.0 is expected to debut with a 1280 x 800 display resolution, 2GB of RAM, microSD card slot, 4600 mAh battery, 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera and a 5 megapixel rear-facing camera. Otherwise, the tablet is expected to be running Jelly Bean and have options for either 16GB or 32GB of internal storage.
All that being said, while those hoping for an 8-inch Galaxy Note now have something to look forward to seeing — there are obviously lots of details that still need to be released and confirmed because as of now, the only bit confirmed by Shin was that the Note 8.0 will be unveiled duringMWC.

tags:samsung galaxy note 8,samsung upcoming phones,samsung latest android phones

Temple Run 2 Hits Android, Thousands Of User Reviews Already… But wait it's more

Temple Run 2 is already breaking records in the App Store as iPhone & iPad users download the game in droves.
Temple Run 2 hits Android with over 3,000 reviews but it’s a fake
Just like the original Temple Run, it is based around a temple but this time around there is a twist. Your new location is some kind of floating environment and there are other goodies like zip lines and mine carts.
With all these goodies, you can expect Android users getting in line to get Temple Run 2. However the Android version will only hit the Google Play Store on January 24. Until then, we have knockoffs flooding the Play Store to capture on the hype while they can.
One in particular is surprisingly fooling a lot of users. Called Temple Run 2 of course, it has a whopping 3,000 reviews already and the folks over at Google still haven’t caught it as a scam despite clearly not being developed by Imangi studios – Fake Temple Run 2.
Update – And it’s gone. Google has realized the mistake and removed it!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Temple Run 2 Android Release Date due Next Week, Available Now For iPhone

Temple Run 2 is expected to hit the Google Play Store somewhere around next week. It will come in the Amazon app stores simultaneously. Temple Run 2 is now available in the App Store for iPad and iPhone users. Users on other platforms still have to wait for the sequel of Temple Run.

temple run 2
This is a free to install game akin its original version Temple Run. Users can install the game for free on their Android devices; however, there are quite a few in-app purchases which will entice users to shell out. These paid in-apps include packs of coins, pack of gems and coin multiplier. They are available for a price range of $0.99 to $19.99.  These coins are used to upgrade the abilities and get new characters during the game. The gems give the extra lives to the player and also upgrade their power. One gem will give one life to the player.
The trails are redesigned in the second version of the game, a few hills and stairs are added in the second level obscuring the path of the player. These added trails, stairs and hills increase the fun element as well as perks up the looks of the game.
There are also a few more features added in Temple Run 2 including the zip lines and mine carts for Guy Dangerous. These zip lines are used to slide down and the mine carts make players bend over from side to side while running through the trails.
Temple Run 2 is an interesting game with 4.5 star rating (Avg) in the app store. Players loving the original version of the game will surely enjoy the sequel with added features.

How to get the best gaming experience on Android

Android gaming is starting to make gamers look like overly amorous honeybees in a halvah factory: The prospects are so sweet that they might put your teeth at risk. With the advent of dedicated Android gaming devices such as the Ouya and Project Shield, Android is quickly gaining respect as a serious gaming platform alongside consoles and PCs. And with powerful phones rapidly becoming ubiquitous, Android is beating the pants off of iOS as a gaming platform for enthusiasts and nongamers alike. In this article, we’ll help you stay on top of evolving Android hardware, and use it to its maximum high-scoring, social-browbeating, multicore-rendering potential.

All shapes and sizes

First of all, let’s review those dedicated gaming devices. Last summer’s Kickstarter darling, Ouya, starts shipping this spring, with Nvidia’s Project Shield and others expected to reach market soon afterward. These stand-alone game consoles are likely to set the tone for the next generation of gaming on Android phones. I say “next generation” because, for all the fancy new tech that rolls out every month, the first truly mature group of Android devices (from 2010 or so onward) can still run almost any game on Google Play.
Of course, a device's ability to run a game at all doesn't mean much to a gamer who wants to play at full speed and top quality; and owners of two-year-old phones may find themselves resorting to games’ low-spec options more often, resulting in games that may look as though they came straight out of the early 1990s. Still, aside from graphics-intensive titles like Horn and Dead Trigger, you won’t have much trouble with the current crop of games on a single-core, first-generation Snapdragon processor (just ask my old HTC G2). Accessibility is a good thing; PC-quality visuals are even better. So how do you keep up, in a market that encourages people to throw something new in their pocket every two years and hope for the best?
A safe bet would be to skew as close to dedicated gaming devices as possible, knowing that the high-end games of 2013 and 2014 will look and perform as well on your phone or tablet as they would on your HDTV. That means insisting on Qualcomm’s quad-core S4 Pro hardware—which in turn means springing for one of the current top-of-the-top smartphone models: the LG Optimus G, the HTC Droid DNA(which also has Beats audio), or the Samsung Galaxy Note II.
Nvidia's quad-core Tegra 4 processor ships on Project Shield and will be included in select 2013 smartphones and tablets.
Having said that, however, I advise you not to get stressed about the CPU. As long as your phone is less than two years old, you should be fine. The three phones I just mentioned represent each major manufacturer’s current flagship device—so your phone won't feel outdated 12 seconds after you buy it—and there’s no reason to expect that all Android developers will start making games that require a four-core beast. Scooch down to the HTC One S (also with Beats audio) or the Samsung Galaxy S3, both of which run on a dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor, and you can still play most games that are available in the Play Store without much trouble. Cheapening my own advice? Maybe—but now you know!
Among the other hardware features to consider, a high-resolution display is especially important. HTC's Super LCD 2 technology is responsible for some of the nicest screens around, followed closely by LG (with IPS) and Samsung (with Super AMOLED). Audio quality follows a similar path, with HTC's phones equipped with Beats Audio providing a much better overall listening experience when compared to the competition.

Other Peripherals

Who needs an Ouya when your phone can  output 1080p video to your TV? The only extra you’ll have to supply is an MHL (Mobile High-Definition Link) adapter dongle. As usual, there are OEM versions and super-cheap no-name brands that may or may not work; always search with the name of your device in mind, and keep in mind that theGalaxy S3 MHL adapter is strictly proprietary (you’ll need to buy their official product). Wikipedia has posted a short list of phones that support MHL; you’ll generally have good luck with high-end phones from late 2011 onward.
With an MHL adapter, you can play your games and other media on a bigger screen.
If your HDMI display doesn’t already have audio onboard (because, for example, it’s a monitor rather than an HDTV), rather than adding additional cabling, try attaching a pair of wireless speakers. I can vouch for the quality of Logitech’s Z515 Bluetooth speakers, which come with a USB dongle for connecting to a PC. If you’d rather work with a wireless headset, make sure that you get something that was made in the last four years or that supports the A2DP Bluetooth protocol, which guarantees that you’ll have full stereo sound.
MHL adapters let you use your phone as a controller and focus your eyes on an external display; you can also get something like MOGA to use as an external controller, so that your phone becomes a dedicated screen. As you might expect, not all touchscreen games are configured to work with a traditional game controller, but MOGA is stands out among competing mobile gamepads because it allows you to play any game by using the analog sticks in lieu of touch input (with imperfect yet interesting results). If you happen to have a PlayStation 3 controller lying around, you can go a little cheaper and invest in a GameKlip (which lets you mount your phone to the controller), instead.
The GameKlip can connect a controller to (in this case) a Samsung Galaxy S III smartphone.

The Games

As for games, we recently ran an article highlighting some of the most polished and accessible titles on Android. If you’re looking for more-involving, higher-end games, and you have one of the phones mentioned in this article, try searching on Google Play for “THD” or “Tegra HD” to find candidates such as Need for Speed: Most Wanted and Galaxy on Fire 2 that are designed to work only with high-end graphics hardware. Good luck, and happy gaming!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Google Nexus 7 Outsold iPad in Japan During the Holidays

June28 GoogleNexus Nexus7 Google Nexus 7 Outsold iPad in Japan During the Holidays

As reported by research firm BCN last Thursday, ASUS-made Google Nexus 7 was able to outsell Apple’s entire iPad lineup in Japan during the holidays last year. This displaces the dominant tablet from the top spot for the first time since its launch in 2010. In relation to this, Nikkei cited the Android tablet’s price as the driving factor behind the shift.
Nexus 7: Garnering Huge Marketshare
A survey of 2,400 electronic stores across Japan revealed that the Nexus 7 acquired 44.4 percent of the market in December 2012. Apple, on the other hand, came in at 40.1 percent.
BCN also noted that that the iPad has been the top-selling tablet in Japan since its debut in 2010. On the other hand, devices manufactured by domestic companies such as Sony and Fujitsu only account for two to three percent of the over-all sale through the same period.
Last year, Apple started with a Japanese market share of just under 50 percent, and then it rose to about 70 percent when the fourth-generation iPad was released in March 2012. Meanwhile, ASUS’ share remained at less than 10 percent. But when Google rolled out Nexus 7 in September, their market share skyrocketed to around 40 percent within a month.
In relation to this, the November launch of iPad Mini tamped down demand for Nexus 7, but the lack of inventory because of supply issues caused the Apple tablet to see a decline in sales during the holidays.
The report also added that the cost was also a major factor in Nexus 7’s market growth. In Japan, the Android tablet’s 16 GB model costs 19,800 Yen or about $224. Meanwhile, an iPad Mini is priced at 28,800 Yen or around $326.
The Future of Tablet Market in Japan
With the growth of Nexus 7’s market share in Japan, an IDC Japan report estimates that about 3.6 million tablets were sold across the country in December 2012. It almost tripled the sales during the same period in 2011.
That number is expected to increase to 4.9 million units this year. That’s because tablets are seen as one of those consumer electronics segments expected to grow this year.

Facebook for Android updated with faster photo viewing, broader story sharing, and voice messages

facebook android update 730x432 Facebook for Android updated with faster photo viewing, broader story sharing, and voice messages

Facebook on Friday updated its native Android app with one improvement and two new features. In the latest version, the company claims photos load faster, and you can now share stories to Timelines, Pages, and Groups, as well as send a voice message to your friends.
You can download the new version of the app now directly from theGoogle Play Store. The version number “Varies with device” according to the page but most of you will see it as 2.1.
The first one change is fairly straightforward. Your mileage will of course vary depending on your device, which version of Android you have, what else you have running, and so on.
The second change simply refers to an expanded Share button. It’s no longer limited to just your own Timeline, but you can use it share stories on your friends’ Timelines, Pages you have Likes, and Groups you can post to.
Being able to send a voice message isn’t completely new. Facebook Messenger on iOS and Android already has it, but here we’re talking about the main Facebook app. As we’ve noted before, Facebook uses all its other apps to test certain new features before rolling them into the main Facebook mobile app.
Today’s update comes just over a month after the last one for Android. This is in line with Facebook’s recent promise to update its mobile appsevery four to eight weeks, including Facebook for iOS, Facebook for Android, Facebook Messenger, and Facebook Camera.
Here’s the full Facebook for Android version 2.1 changelog:
  • Open and view photos faster.
  • Share your friends’ stories to timelines, pages and groups.
  • Send voice messages when you have more to say.
tags :facebook for android,facebook update,android news,technology news,android apps,update facebook for android

Friday, January 18, 2013

Samsung is building its own Android platform for the enterprise

As RIM tries to reinvent itself with BlackBerry 10 and Microsoft tries to gain a secure foothold in the smartphone market with Windows Phone, we're often told that one of those two platforms will emerge as the eventual third platform that might rival the marketshare of iOS and Android. Often an appeal to business and enterprise users is seen as part of the lure that will carry one of these platforms forward.
While it's reasonable to debate which of these platforms might that mythical third platform, that debate stems from a false assumption that the mobile space is currently dominated by just two platforms (iOS and Android). I'm not saying that there's some hidden platform out there. Rather, it's becoming increasingly difficult to consider Android as a single platform.
The open nature of Android has caused it to diversify across an incredible range of devices. With so much diversity, some forks of Android can credibly considered to be their own platform. The Kindle Fire and Nook tablets are Android-based, meaning that Android is doing the heavy lifting, but their interfaces, app markets,and setup processes have been tailored so much that for practical purposes, most people don't consider them to be Android devices.

A new kind of Android fork
Another company is beginning to develop its own platform based on Android as well. In this case, however, it isn't differentiating itself based on its interface or app/content stores. Instead, this new Android-based platform is being built around the ability to secure, manage, and integrate with key enterprise systems in ways that go beyond what Google builds into the stock versions of Android.
The company building this new platform is Samsung and that platform is the company'sSAFE (Samsung Approved For Enterprise) program.
Samsung is the biggest Android manufacturer on the planet and it offers a very complete range of Android devices, many of them designed for the consumer market. With Apple's iOS devices take the mobile enterprise crown from RIM and the BlackBerry, Samsung developed its own strategy for getting its own slice of the enterprise pie.
In order to compete against Apple in the business and enterprise market, Samsung chose to address a core Android issue: the platform's fragmentation. Fragmentation is a general Android headache with dozens of manufacturers making hundreds of different devices, many of which get tweaked by manufacturers and carriers. That diversity means that not every device will support the same security and management features.
It also means that the Android update cycle for existing devices is long and complex, meaning there's rarely a clear timeline for when a given update will reach a given device on a given carrier. All to often, there are devices that simply stop getting major Android updates or even smaller patches.
Fragmentation of this type or on this scale simply doesn't happen with iOS because Apple develops the OS, builds the hardware, and prevents carriers from tweaking either. Apple also releases a new major iOS update every year that, on average, supports the past two generations of hardware. The bulk of important security and management capabilities were baked into iOS 4. iOS 5 and 6 included just a handful of additional mobile management policies. That means the vast majority of iOS devices ever made can be a pretty good fit for enterprises. In many ways, Apple's model isn't that far off from the model that allowed RIM to be so successful for many years.

30 best Android apps this week

Talking Angela, MediaFire, Oscars, NFL Matchups, Rise of the Blobs, Kingdom Conquest II and more
Talking Angela Android
Talking Angela joins Talking Tom Cat and others on Android
It's time for our weekly roundup of brand new Android apps – and that's new as in newly-released, rather than new updates to old apps. In a busy week, we're back up to a Top 30 post.
The weekly iOS roundup will follow later in the day. For now, here's this week's pick of the Android world:

Talking Angela (Free)

This is the latest app in Outfit7's series of Talking Friends apps, following Talking Tom Cat, Talking Ginger and others. And if the idea of a talking cat who repeats your words and accepts virtual gifts sounds niche, bear in mind that millions of children have gone wild for the series.

MediaFire (Free)

Cloud storage service MediaFire provides its users with 50GB of free space to store their documents, photos, videos and other files. This is its official Android app to access those files, including watching video and listening to audio. You can also upload photos and videos from your device to your MediaFire locker.

Oscars (Free)

Available only in the US – this is the work of broadcaster ABC – this official Oscars app aims to provide film fans with information on nominees, movies and fashion in the run-up to the awards on 24 February. That'll include livestreams from the red carpet on the night itself, as well as backstage.

NFL Matchups (Free)

Japanese social games giant DeNA wants to get more Western gamers hooked on card-battling games. Swapping out monsters and wizards for NFL (American) footballers is one strategy. This is an official NFL game that ses you collecting digital cards to play against others over the network.

Rise of the Blobs (Free)

If colourful, quirky puzzle games are your bag, Rise of the Blobs is an essential download. It sees you chaining together "hungry blobs" as they stream up a tower, filling them with fruit as you go. Power-ups, achievements and Facebook-powered high-score tables add to the fun.

Kingdom Conquest II (Free)

Altogether more serious is Sega's Kingdom Conquest II, a sequel to the games veteran's free-to-play strategy game. No NFL players here, but plenty of monsters and wizards. It includes elements of card-battling and real-time dungeon dust-ups.

Weather° (Free)

On a day when the UK is getting to grips with snow all over the shop, here's an app claiming to be "The most beautiful weather app. Ever." It serves up current weather conditions and future forecasts around the world, with swipe-centric controls and eye-catching widgets.

D.O.T. Defender of Texel (Free)

Here's another game from DeNA (well, its Mobage subsidiary) which sees you doing battle with robots and dragons in a pixelly 8-bit universe. Your job is to explore the world, evolve your characters and tinker with battle formations to get the best results.

PBA Bowling Challenge (Free)

Bowling games have a long heritage on mobile phones – Jamdat Bowling was one of the first big downloadable hits back in the pre-iPhone days. PBA Bowling Challenge is thankfully bang up to date, getting you to virtually bowl against 21 famous (if you follow the sport) ten-pin bowling stars.

Simple (Free)

Simple is a US thing for the moment, but it's interesting: a digital bank (a bit like FirstDirect on this side of the Atlantic) with a new Android app for people to manage their accounts. Helpful features for budgeting and tracking spending add to its appeal.

DeezCovr (Free)

This app is built using APIs from streaming music service Deezer. The focus is on discovering new music, with the app recommending songs and artists you might like, adapting them based on your mood, and then saving the ones you like to a playlist in your Deezer account.

Inaugural 2013 (Free)

As Barack Obama prepares to be sworn in for his second term as US president, here's an official app for the inauguration celebration. It promises a livestream of the event, as well as other related info. Note: the app is provoking debate in the US over what data it collects on users.

The Lords of Midnight (£2.99)

A title to bring a nostalgic glow to the eyes of gamers of a certain age: this is a 2013 update of Mike Singleton's 1984 adventure The Lords of Midnight. It sees you exploring the land of Midnight while also commanding armies to fend off a witch king named Doomdark. It was an 8-bit Skyrim! Sort of...

Asura Cross (Free)

Here's an entirely modern game from Gamevil: an "adventure fighting" title that sees you building up hero Jin to fight against a series of mysterious foes. Eight game modes and a local multiplayer option provide plenty of action to chew on.

Crazy Blind Date by OKCupid (Free)

Dating service OKCupid has a new spin on location-based romance: "You just tell us when and where you'd like to go, and we set you up with one of our millions of awesome singles," claims its Google Play listing. This is another app provoking scrutiny over its privacy policies though: abug exposing people's details in this case.

Sundance Film Festival 2013 (Free)

January is Sundance Film Festival time, and there's an official app for the 2013 event. It enables film fans to browse trailers, photos and descriptions for this year's entries, while also providing a guide to the event, including screening schedules and visitor information.

Gunslugs (£1.65)

Gunslugs is a brand new game influenced by some old classics, featuring "a bunch of expendable action hero's [sic] from the 80s". So yes, also inspired by The Expendables films. Random level generation and unlockable characters look like keeping the challenge fresh in this side-scrolling romp.

Lumen: Playground Beta (Free)

One of the fun things about Android gaming is getting to play some games in beta before their commercial release. Lumen Playground is an early look at developer Sockeater Studios' upcoming Lumen game, which already looks like a beautiful thing, as you roll a ball through a series of lush environments.

GroupVox (Free)

A few years ago, the idea of Push-To-Talk (PTT for short) was all the rage among some mobile operators, who thought adding walkie-talkie features to phones was The Future. It wasn't. Can the idea make a comeback with apps? GroupVox hopes so: it's a walkie-talkie app for talking to your Facebook friends, including the ability to record messages for people when they're offline.

Jongla (Free)

More messaging, but this time the instant variety. Jongla is a new cross-platform messaging app with hopes (even if they're slim hopes) of taking on WhatsApp and the like. Sharing photos and locations is included, and the app uses push notifications to ensure messages aren't missed.

Colosseum Defense (Free)

Another game from Gamevil, this is more of a tower defence-style title where you tap the screen to shoot at the waves of monsters trying to storm your castle. Weapons upgrades and magic help your efforts, with a boss hoving into view every 10 levels to test your progress.

Gaana (Free)

Gaana, like rivals Dhingana and Saavn, is an Indian streaming music service that's available worldwide, catering for anyone keen to listen to songs from that country as well as Western tracks. It has more than 1m tracks available, and recommendations to help you mine the catalogue.

Tupsu-The Furry Little Monster (Free)

Physics-puzzlers have become one of the most popular genres onsmartphones and tablets, with Tupsu hoping to become as big a hit (or, at least, nearly as big) as Cut the Rope's Om Nom. It sounds like painful work though: you play the game by linking Tupsu's waggly eyes to floating islands in order to propel him around the screen collecting stars.

Lode Runner Classic (£1.99)

Here's some good news for retro gamers with a yen for the days of the Apple II computer. It's a conversion of Lode Runner, collecting all 150 levels of the original. New to it? It's a platform game where your stickman hero runs around collecting gold and dodging enemies.

Diglr (Free)

Lots of social location apps have crashed and burned in the last couple of years, so the jury's out on whether Diglr has what it takes to catch on. It's an interesting idea though: aiming to connect likeminded people based on their interests and locations around specific events.

Never Be Bored UK (Free)

If you do a lot of travelling around the UK, Never Be Bored's Android app may be as useful as its website. It throws up guides to restaurants and bars, evenings out, shops, sport and leisure venues and tourism hotspots, as well as hotels and B&Bs. The people behind it want users to share their own recommendations too, to help its database grow.

CleverLock (£1.01)

One of a number of apps designed to make Android handsets child-safe (or, rather, keep a parent's emails, data and apps safe from children's wandering hands). It's a simple way to lock off certain applications with a password before handing a device over to a child.

Umano: News Read to You (Free)

Why would you want the news read to you on a smartphone? No, not lazy eyes. Think driving, for one. Umano promises "real people with amazing voices read interesting news articles to you", with a dash of personalisation as you choose which categories you're interested in.

Yelo : Cheap Calls Worldwide (Free)

Voice-over-IP apps are plentiful on Android, so Yelo is one more for the list – albeit one claiming to be lots cheaper than Skype, Jajah and other similar apps when calling mobile and landlines. As ever with these apps, scrutinise the terms and conditions before diving in.

Gene Effect (£2)

Finally, one more game this week: a side-scrolling action game that sees you exploring mines on a planet called Kratoss. Puzzles, ship upgrades and randomly-generated levels hope to hold your attention.


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