Archive for App Related News

From the popular Google Reader to the inconspicuous Cloud Print, Google placed numerous apps on the death row this year, some for no apparent reason. Let’s take a look at these poor creatures and Appmanimal is here to rant about them!

  1. Google Reader

One of the most celebrated tools of RSS enthusiast across the globe, Google Reader suffered an untimely death this summer. While it is true that the app didn’t enjoy the same popularity by the time its parent pulled the plug, Google’s decision came as a shock to the users who relied on the reader to stay updated via RSS feeds. Not only did Google Reader make managing subscription to feeds seamless, but app allowed you to import additional subscriptions from outside feed readers as well. Despite the fact that there are a few worthy apps that can carry on its legacy at the moment, not even a single one works as smoothly with Google News as the Reader did.

Android parts
Photo Credit: laihiu via Compfight cc

  1. Google Currents

Even though it was launched with bells and whistles, Google Currents failed to live up to its expectations; Google’s expectations, that is. Granted, Currents was not killed per se, but was rather replaced by a younger sibling, namely the Google Play Newsstand. Till this day, the motive of the murder is unknown. Perhaps it could be that Google wanted to bring a serious competitor for Apple’s mobile magazine and newspaper store.

  1. Google Talk

Google Talk was a respected member of the Android family and among the first instant messaging services of its kind. Commonly known as GChat, the service was implemented in the Gmail interface in 2005 as a feature that allowed professionals and common users the freedom to get up from their desks and tend to other tasks. You can blame it on its constant on-and-off affair with AOL Instant Messenger, but Google Talk took a radical decision this spring: it got a facelift, put on several pounds of new features and became Google Hangouts. Apparently, the cosmetic surgery didn’t provide the desired results, as many users are complaining about its overall cluttered and unrefined layout.

  1. Google Shopper

Simply because Google Shopper has a few quirks that were pretty annoying doesn’t mean it deserved to be put to sleep at the end of August. In all fairness, Shopper appeared to be addressing the indecisive consumer of today, namely the one who is not exactly sure what he’s looking for. In fact, irrespective of whether you needed electronics, apparel, office supplies or a smartphone that meets your needs, Google Shopper was a good place to start your query. Furthermore, the app’s amazing Shopping List and comparison tools used to provide you with instant price comparisons from online retailers and local stores alike.

  1. Google Play Magazines

In spite of the fact that it was launched in the summer of 2012, Google Play Magazines drew its last breath around this Thanksgiving. True enough, the app was the least popular “Play” apps for Android. Moreover, it sometimes used to lag when the pages were loading, ruining the experience. On the other hand, let’s not forget that Magazines provided users with a very simple way to subscribe and read digital magazines, even while offline. Besides, buying subscriptions or individual magazines through the Google Play service made the whole experience a lot simpler.

  1. Movie Studios

Released in 2011 alongside the anxiously awaited Honeycomb, Movie Studios was a promising application. However, as with all other video editing apps launched by Google, Movie Studios failed to meet the Android enthusiasts’ expectations. Not only did it lack important features for an app in this category, but Google didn’t even bother to update it and simply abandoned the project earlier this year. Given the numerous and frankly, more potent, video editing apps on Google Play, you can’t really blame them.

  1. Google’s official Cloud Print app

While most users claim this is just a rumor, the truth is that Google’s official Cloud Print app was indeed launched silently this summer. However, with the integration of Cloud Printing capabilities of the new KitKat, it never stood a chance and was deemed obsolete, although chances are it may stick around for a while longer.

Categories Android Apps, App Related News
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The new iOS 7 is one of the biggest overhauls Apple’s operating system has seen so far. Everything is lighter, brighter, comes with extra translucency, more animation and amazing 3D effects; in other words, forget all you knew about iOS, as you’re in for a real treat. Without a doubt, the operating system impresses with its great design, new features and extended support.

The innovative animations and text rendering engines of the iOS 7 are maybe what inspired most developers to go back to the drawing board to reinvent their apps. While it is true that most applications got rather moderate updates, a few were completely revamped and honestly, they do feel like new. In fact, some may even go so far as to state that all that development work finally paid off. And since we’re sure you want to make the best of your iOS 7 experience, here’s a list of the apps that will help you do just that.

  1. Sky Guide
Sky Guide: View Stars Night or Day

In all fairness, Sky Guide is the kind of app that can turn anyone into a passionate stargazer. Available in a brand new UI that cleverly recedes in the background, the app features all the tools you need for your newly discovered hobby. If you’re shopping around for an app that can offer you valuable information about the stars above you, then Sky Guide is up to the challenge.

  1. Simplenote 4
Simplenote

Considered a basic app for the iPhone by most, Simplenote was also one of the most neglected tools at the same time. That is, until it captured the attention of Automattic, who instead of buying the company, worked with the current team and managed to put together a magnificent note app. Integrating some of the best features of highly appreciated apps – Source Sans Pro and Vesper – Simplenote 4 is by far one of the nicest tools on the market.

  1. Konvert
Konvert

Simply because you updated to the new iOS 7 doesn’t mean that your apps have to share the same appearance as everyone else’s. This is where Konvert comes in to help you create an ingenious customizable UI suitable for your taste and preferences. All in all, it’s an amazing app that reflects the new operating system perfectly; you will be impressed with its amazing 3D transitions.

  1. Evernote 7
Evernote

While it does feature the same old green display and its main role implies storing your notes, everything else about Evernote has changed. For started, the app allows you to record even more data than before without the feeling that it’s too cluttered. In addition, introducing notes is now easier, while jumping to your recent notes and shortcuts can be done with just a tap from your home screen.

  1. Reeder 2
Reeder 2

Even though the death of the Google Reader started a steep competition for the number one RSS feed, Reeder 2 managed to occupy the first position with no difficulty. Now, it is considered one of the most centric redesigns to hit the Apple Store and, as users underline, one of the best. You have to hand it to the developers who managed to keep its unique design, while still making it look like a built-in iOS 7 widget.

  1. Screens 3
Screens - Control Your Computer Remotely

If you got the chance to check out the iOS 7, then you can agree that the new operating system is all about prioritizing content, while allowing the UI to disappear. Screens 3 doesn’t just apply this strategy to iPhone apps, but also takes things to the next level by allowing you to connect to your Mac or PC remotely. Incorporating a powerful VNC engine, Screens 3 allows you to take your computer with you anywhere you go.

  1. OmniFocus 2
OmniFocus 2 for iPhone

Similar to the iOS 7, OmniFocus has also undergone a complete revamp worthy of the new operating system. Not only does it pack an amazing interface, but the app itself has become more functional. For instance, the app uses the iOS’s background update and keeps all your data synced even when it’s not open. Even though it doesn’t have the landscape mode and TextExpander support yet, the developers have promised to release these features in the near future.

Categories App Related News, App Vs App
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While its foundation – Linux – is a highly secured platform, the same cannot be said about one of the most popular mobile OS worldwide, Android. In case you preferred to skip the news bulletins during your summer vacation, Android has become a key mobile target for cybercriminals over the past few months. Moreover, despite Google’s constant reassurance, several mobile security services have revealed the vulnerability of the Android OS and the shocking news that almost 9 million devices have been infected with malware apps in the last year.

Even though Google has reacted promptly and eliminated all potential threats from Google Play, in the end it turns out     that Android users are doing it to themselves, especially since the OS makes the installing process a no-brainer. If you want to download and install Android apps safely and avoid becoming yet another victim of cybercrime, here are some simple rules to follow.

  1. Stay away from third-party Android stores

Considering that almost all Android devices come with a direct link to Google Store, frankly it makes no sense to search for and download application for third-party sources. Granted, if your provider or device manufacturer has an app store – as Samsung does for instance – it is usually safe to download from there. But keep in mind that it is overall a lot safer to get your apps from Google Store.

  1. Make sure the app asks only for the necessary permissions

<a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/hendry/3616643414/” title=”webvm win32 permission dialog by Kai Hendry, on Flickr”><img src=”http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3321/3616643414_aab99bdbb9.jpg” width=”404″ height=”422″ alt=”webvm win32 permission dialog”></a>

Just because you are downloading from the trusted Google Store, than does not automatically mean it is completely safe and that you should not read the permissions of each app. Before you install an app on your device, check out its rating, the number of reviews and the permissions it requires. In case you are not sure why a certain permission is necessary, then find out what the developer has to say about it. If you find nothing about this topic, then it is best to search for an alternative app.

  1. Remember to upgrade to the latest Android version

If you want to avoid waking up with a hefty phone bill by the end of the month, then consider upgrading the OS to the latest Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. In the eventuality you did not know, Android 4.2 has been designed to notify users about attempts from unauthorized apps to send premium SMS to testing services. Rest assured, this is just a notification and it is up to you to block it or allow it, in case you are using these services.

  1. Do not download five-star apps with no reviews

If you come across a five-star app that does not have any reviews, then stay away from it. More often than not, these are malicious apps built to ask users for ratings before they even get to try them out. Obviously, none of them work.

  1. Be wary of apps that suddenly become free

While it is true that there are numerous apps with Lite versions on Google Play, it is advisable to verify the full version first and find out if it is free of not. In general, these types of apps contain keyloggers that record your typing and eventually steal your passwords and other private data.

  1. Never cache your passwords

Without denying the fact that caching passwords comes in handy most of the times, it is important to note that it also simplifies the job of anyone who attempts to steal your smartphone. To put it simply, by caching your passwords, you are practically laying out a big invite sign for identity thieves. On a side note, if you hate typing in your passwords each time you log into your account, at least consider a two-factor authentication option.

  1. Be extra cautious with the SuperUser privileges

In the eventuality that you took the sensitive decision to root your Android device, then it is imperative to install a tool that allows you to monitor the apps that you granted root access to and that are actually using these privileges. Granting SuperUser privileges to a malicious app is dangerous, especially since the application can now do anything to your phone, while you watch helplessly. As a rule of thumb, the SuperUser privileges should only be awarded to apps you downloaded from trusted sources and that you are thoroughly familiar with.

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