10 July 2012

Android Jelly Bean Keyboard: ICS Port APK

Introduced at Google I/O 20112, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean features improved keyboard with predictive text features

Android Jelly Bean keyboard ported for Ice Cream Sandwich!

One of the more obscure features of Android 4.1 ('Jelly Bean') is a revised keyboard, said to offer better, faster text-prediction. The Day #1 Google I/O Keynote offers a very brief demo, revealing a striking similarity to the 3rd-party application called SwiftKey ...long considered by many the best Android replacement keyboard. Some users say it's better than Apple's IOS keyboard -- high praise, indeed.

Don't feel like waiting for Jelly Bean to reach your device? You're in luck; XDA vet appelflap has ported the original AOSP version for use with any Ice Cream Sandwich device...

03 July 2012

Google JellyBean Statue Loses His Head!

Google's brand new Android Jelly Bean lawn statue has lost his head, due to July heat at the company's Googleplex campus, in Mountain View, California.
Guess he heard about Apple's Galaxy Nexus injunction.
In a sure sign that things are heating up at the Googleplex, a proud new member of Team Android has very publicly blown his top.

According to Android engineer Dan Morrill, the new Google Android "Jelly Bean' lawn statue has suffered a meltdown. Apparently, a buildup of hot air inside the statue caused his dome-shaped, transparent head to warp and pop off. Adding insult to injury, Morrill suspects somebody made off with one of the statue's ersatz jelly beans before anxious Googlers could seal off the area.

Sadly, this isn't the first environmental disaster to hit the Android garden display ecosystem...

02 July 2012

Google JellyBean Sound Search 'Ears' APK

Fresh APK rip of Google Sound Search app from Android Jelly Bean. Install on any ICS device -- no root required. No waiting!
Forget the song. What's with all the names for this app?

Google Sound Search app for Ice Cream Sandwich, no root required!

If you've seen the Day #1 Keynote at Google I/O 2012, maybe you noticed one of the many new features in Android 4.1 ('Jelly Bean') was something called 'What's that song?' ...nicknamed 'Google Ears' by the Android team. We later learned this app's official name is Google Sound Search.

It installs as a widget and hooks right into Google Music, ready to provide one-click identification of the song you're playing, along with album art (in thumbnail form) and pricing info. Sound Search links directly to the Google Play Store, for easy one-click ordering of any song or album.

Ok, this is nothing new; Sound Search mimics popular 3rd-party apps like Shazam and SoundHound. But rumor has it that the final release version of Jelly Bean will install Sound Search as a native application, bringing both increased speed and closer ties with other Google services.

Of course, we won't know the final details until Jelly Bean's release, said to be scheduled for mid-July...

28 June 2012

APK Rip: Google Play Store 3.7.11

Fresh APK rip of new Google Play Store for Android Jelly Bean -- install it now, no waiting!
Why wait? Enjoy a taste of Jelly Bean, right now!
Here it is: Google Play Store 3.7.11

APK is freshly ripped from a Google I/O 2012 developer phone. This is the new Jelly Bean update to Google's Android Play Store, including features like magazine downloads (Google's partners in this are Hearst and Conde Nast) and a 'Buy Now' option for movies. Also, you can now enjoy selected television shows in addition to movies and music

06 June 2012

Offline 3D Maps Next for Android?

Google will add offline and 3D images to Google Maps for Android, by end of 2012.

Not to be outdone by recent rumors about Apple, Google now says Android will offer 3D map images and full offline navigation...'soon'.

The announcement came as part of today's The Next Dimension of Google Maps event, in San Francisco. Promoted as a "behind-the-scenes look at Google Maps", it was supposed by many to be a pre-emptive strike ahead of news that Apple would be dumping Google Maps for iPhone in favor of their own, in-house mapping solution.

04 June 2012

Instapaper for Android Now Available

Instapaper for Android: There goes the neighborhood.
Get ready for much tearing of hair and gnashing of teeth -- another iFan shibboleth has joined the dark side. And at a $2 discount.

Long-time iOS exclusive Instapaper is now available in Google's Android Play Store. As described by the designers, Instapaper is...
"A simple tool to save web pages for [...] later offline reading, optimized for readability on your tablet or phone's screen. Critically acclaimed by top blogs, newspapers, and magazines!"
We'll second the 'critically acclaimed' part, tho' we do have some issues worth mentioning...

30 May 2012

Verizon Galaxy Nexus, Meet Android ICS (Finally)

Verizon Wireless rolls out long overdue Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0.4) update for Samsung Galaxy Nexus.
Two scoops, please..
Long-suffering G-Nex owners on VZW, your prayers are answered!

Verizon Wireless is now rolling out the official Ice Cream Sandwich update for Samsung's Galaxy Nexus. Yes, your phone that was delayed at launch and received a botched ICS update only to then disappear into the black hole of Verizon Customer and your beleaguered device will finally receive your just desserts.

See what we did, there? ;-)

Twitter Website Faster on All Browsers

Now with more tweeting, less waiting.
You can thank Twitter's new 'Time to First Tweet' metric for what promises to be a better, faster

As part of a long-term upgrades program, Twitter engineers are rolling out a series of back-end tweaks which should mean provide better front-end performance for us end-users. Changes include eliminating the 'hashbang' (#!) from all tweet permalinks and shifting most of the page-rendering  to their own servers.

So, once in place what kind of improvement can you expect?

29 May 2012

Cell Tower Workers Die for Your '4 Bars'

Did AT&T increase fatal accidents among cell tower workers by rushing to expand their 3G network. Climber deaths at AT&T job sites went up sharply, from 2006-2008..

Two days after PBS aired a Frontline report on high rates of fatal injuries among cell tower workers, one of AT&T's major construction management partners has halted tower work in several states to complete a review of safety practices.

Goodman Networks of Plano, Texas, notified workers of the mandatory stand-down on 24 May, eight days after technician Shad Lierley fell 100 feet from a tower near Austin, Texas. Reports say he was a subcontractor, hired by Goodman for an AT&T project on the site. Goodman confirmed the stoppage; AT&T refused comment.

Interestingly, AT&T had been a focus of that Frontline program, 'Cell Tower Deaths'.

27 May 2012

Can Local News Save US Newspapers? | Opinion

Waren Buffet, Stephen Colbert think local focus could save US newspapers from extinction.
Is local news the key to 21st-century newspaper success?
You needn't be a writer to know that newspapers are an endangered species.

Circulation's been in decline for years, with advertising revenue following close behind. Debate on what caused this could fill a library, with fingers pointed at everything from the publishers to Apple's iPad to Google and Craigslist. But what's clear is that even in large US cities, once-thriving publications must cut back or simply shut down.

Enter what may be the most unlikely of highly unlikely duos: the real-life Midwestern billionaire CEO Warren Buffet and make-believe Conservative Libertarian chat show host, Stephen Colbert...

26 May 2012

Google Adds Android App Subscriptions to Play Store

Google's Android Play Store adds comprehensive support for in-app subscription.

Back in April of last year, Apple introduced in-app subscriptions, via iTunes. Realizing they had to keep up, the folks at Google quickly responded by adding...basic support for in-app purchases. Well, we suppose you've got to start somewhere.

Working on the theory that it's never too late, here in May 2012 Mountain View finally catches up with their mobile sector rival. Google's Play Store now provides end-to-end subscription support for all Android applications sold there...

24 May 2012

Pres. Obama to US Govmt.: 'Go Mobile. Now!'

President Obama directs executive offices and federal agencies to optimize most-used services for mobile device access.
Operator, what number do I dial for GMail?
In a new directive, President Obama instructed the White House and all federal agencies to optimize their websites and services for mobile device access. He called for every agency to publish mobile apps for at least two of their public functions, within twelve months.

In a separate statement, Mr. Obama explained...

Nokia World: Smaller, Cheaper, Farther

Nokia World 2012 moved from London to Helsinki, reduced to series of smaller events.

First held in 2006, Nokia World is traditionally a grand affair playing host to thousands of attendees -- a diverse group that includes Nokia's retail partners, mobile analysts, developers and journalists of all nations -- in a space suited to industry trade shows.

Apparently, this year will be very different tho' the official explanation is a bit vague...

23 May 2012

FB Status: Scanning a Pint of Guinness

New Guinness 'QR cup': pint beer glass with etched QR code that's visible only after glass is filled with Guinness Black Stout Beer.
(Guinness reminds you to never scan and drive.)
Explanations, first: Yes, our lead photo (above) depicts a glass of a very dark liquid with a foamy head. And, yes, that pattern on the glass really is a QR code, the fancy computer-generated barcodes you're starting to see just about everywhere.

To be specific, the fluid is Guinness Irish stout beer, made by the world-famous Irish brewers Guinness & Co.; the unusual container is a Guinness 'QR cup' -- a beer glass with etched QR code -- and that's the creation of world-famous New York ad agency BBDO.

So, Ok -- tasty and clever. Got it? But the true genius is harder to see...

Buggy Windows XP .NET Patch Causes Loop

Windows Update causes loop failure for users running Windows XP with .NET framework.
Are you feeling lucky?
Small problem with Patch Tuesday, last: if you're running Windows XP and Microsoft's .NET framework, the update cycle never ends. You may be thinking, "Heh, you've got that right. With Windows, you'll be patching forever." But we're not being sarcastic -- due to an unknown bug, the update process could loop.

22 May 2012

Skype on Nokia's Lumia 610 = HUGE FAIL

Skype app dropped for Nokia Lumia 610, due to poor user experience, RAM issues.
Nokia's Lumia 610 has unfriended Skype
More bad news for Microkia.:

After a full month's field-trial (with real customers acting as their unpaid testers), Nokia has decided they were right the first time: Skype won't run properly on Tango-level Windows Phone devices. Some users reportd a 'low system RAM' warning after installing Microsoft's VOIP app, while others complained of laggy performance.

Call it an oversight or call it poor QA, but even MobilePhonesFan would not dare to call it fragmentation...

18 May 2012

Samsung Galaxy S3: 9 million Pre-Orders?

Samsung reports 9 million pre-orders for Galaxy S III, from 100 mobile operators.
9 million Galaxy S3s: cool. 9 million iPhones: baaaaaad.
According to Reuters, 9 million units of Samsung's Galaxy SIII have been pre-ordered by mobile operators, around the world.

Wasn't it only two months ago we learned Samsung has shipped 20 million Galaxy S2 phones? Now that model's nominal successor, the Galaxy SIII, is halfway there on the basis of pre-orders alone. And since Samsung's been silent about any US release-date, that "100 operators" bit really means, "not America".


Samsung's on a tear...

Smartphones Up, Samsung Up, Nokia Down

Nokia loses world's #1 phone maker crown to Samsung, after 14 years on top.
Nokia smart phone sales take a bath. Again.
It's a classic Good News/Bad News quarterly report from Gartner.

Overall sales of mobile phones hit 419.1 million units, down 2% from this time last year -- the first 1Q drop in three years. Analysts say this reflects fewer products launched in the Asia-Pacific region, in particular during the traditional gift-giving season.

Meanwhile, the elite smartphones sector saw continued growth, rising 44.7% year-on-year to 144.4 million units. Android models accounted for 56.1% of smartphone sales, allowing top licensee Samsung to end Nokia's 14-year reign as world's #1 phone maker.

NASDAQ Open 9:30; Facebook Trades Later

Facebook paper stock certificate. NASDAQ opens at 9:30 ET, but Facebook shares won't trade until 11:00 AM or later.
Facebook paper stock certificate (Image:
At 9:30EST today, Mark Zuckerberg will ring NASDAQ's opening bell, but Facebook fans will have to wait awhile before buying a piece of the social networking giant.

NASDAQ offers companies some leeway in the timing of their Wall Street baptisms. The only hard rule for commencement of trading is that it start well before the market's 4PM ET close. So, when will Facebook shares hit the big board? NASDAQ reps declined to comment on Facebook's debut, but we do have precedent to consider.

17 May 2012

Facebook Shares Priced at $38 for IPO

Facebook shares priced at $38 for historic IPO, at high end of estimated range. (Photo shows Facebook's Eduardo Saverin, getting a head-start for Singapore.)
Eduardo Saverin, getting a head-start for Singapore...
Facebook is reportedly pricing their IPO offering at $38 per share, at the extreme high end of the previously announced $35-$38 range.

If they get that price, Facebook's total valuation would be approximately $104 billion, with the stock sale raking in some $18.4 billion, total.

via: CNBC; WSJ

Verizon: 4G LTE = No More Unlimited Data

Verizon says customers who buy subsidized phones will lose their unlimited data plan.

Are you a Verizon customer?

When your contract's up, are you looking forward to an upgrade? Maybe one of those speedy LTE models, like the Galaxy Nexus (by Samsung) or the mega-powered Motorola's RAZR Maxx? And do you still have a Verizon Wireless $30 unlimited data plan, the popular option they stopped selling last summer?

If so, you might want to think twice about that new phone...

Google Bashes Facebook for GM Ad Loss

Google advertising executive says Facebook is not a good place to advertise.
There's no love lost between these two.
Everybody knows Google's famous internal mantra, "Don't be evil." So, is it evil to kick a competitor when they're down? Less than 24 hours after news that Facebook is losing General Motor's $10 million ad campaign, we were a bit surprised to see one Google executive tweeted a public slam of his employer's social media rival.

And MobilePhonesFan saved a copy for you...

16 May 2012

Android Fragmentation: Bad or Worse?

Android fragmentation is very real and very serious, but not a fatal disease.
And this is just last year's phones...
OK, let's get this out in the open right away: Android is fragmented. No joke.

In any phones store, you'll see dozens of Android phone or tablet models. The most recent of these will be running either Android 2.3 ('Gingerbread') or Android 4 ('Ice Cream Sandwich'), but if the shop has any leftover stock from late 2011 those devices could just as likely be loaded with Android 2.2 ('Froyo').

So, yeah, fragmentation's right out in the open. It's so obvious, the only question is a matter of scale;  are we looking at a manageable mess or a crushing impediment? Between model SKUs and OS versions, there are thousands of Android device types...and that looks really bad. Our lead photo (above) doesn't do it justice.

But this one does.:

Evernote 4 for Android: It's Beautiful

Evernote 4 for Android is beautiful and an important milestone in the history of Google's mobile operating system.
Evernote wants to be your brain in the cloud.
More than 'just another update', the latest version of Evernote for Android is an important milestone. A big achievement for Evernote's design team, over their long history of iterations? Maybe not -- has anybody used every version, on every platform? But Evernote 4 for Android is a clear landmark in the history of Android as a mobile OS.

Yes, MobilePhonesFan believes it's a really big deal. No exaggeration.

Does New Apple Patent Threaten Android ?

New Apple patent covers on-screen controls for selecting soft keyboard options.
According to rumor, Apple plans to patent 'patents'.
On Tuesday, Apple Inc. became the lucky recipient of "Method, system, and graphical user interface for selecting a soft keyboard", U.S. Patent 8,179,731.

This +5,500-word beauty starts off by discussing the typical soft ('virtual') keypad found on every smartphone and tablet. Specifically, it's concerned with a common keyboard function: clicking a virtual button to alter the keyboard's layout...for example, switching from letters to symbols or from Russian to English.

And it was at this point where MobilePhonesFan was struck by a horrible thought, "Holy crap -- has Apple patented keyboard layout controls!?"

GM Says Facebook Ads Don't Pay Off

US car maker General Motors cancels $10 million Facebook ad campaign.
General Motors votes with their advertising dollars.
With a long-awaited Wall Street IPO scheduled for this Friday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerburg must have a million -- or maybe 100 billion -- things on his mind.

Between taking calls from bankers, conferring with lawyers, meeting with staff, fending off reporters, plus killing and slaughtering his own food -- well, we'd guess he's one busy guy. With all that going on, the last thing he needs is word that one of his top customers has taken their money and gone home.

But that's exactly what he got, yesterday...

Tokyo Team Demos 3Gbps Terahertz WiFi

Researchers achieve wireless data transmission at 3Gbps, a new world-record.

tl;dr Researchers set new record with world's first terahertz-band WifI -- 3Gbps.

That's a big bump over the 'blisteringly quick' 1.5Gbps recorded last year.

Who accomplished this feat? How'd they do it? What are 'terahertz', anyway? How much time would this save if using home WiFi to download every episode of 'Game of Thrones'? And the really important bit: what's the catch?

Excellent questions! Let's take them one at a time...

15 May 2012

70% of Mobile App Users Are Cheapskates

ABI Research: 70% of mobile app users rarely buy apps; 3% of users pay 20% of app revenues.
I said, the rent is too dam high !
This just in from the tech consultants at ABI Research: 70% of mobile app users are cheapskates who buy very few apps. And even when they do get around to buying some,  they tend to pay very little.

Wait, do you hear that...sort of a high-pitched shriek, somewhere off in the distance? Unless we're mistaken, that's the sound you get when several thousand mobile developers all scream, "No s#@t!"

Time Warner Cable CEO: 'What's AirPlay?"

Glenn A. Brit, CEO of Time-Warner Cable has never heard of Apple's AirPlay system.
Can I use this AirPlay thingie with a VHS recorder?
In case you missed (or didn't understand) the title, let's try a re-phrase:

The CEO of Time-Warner Cable doesn't know what Apple's Air Play is.


MobilePhonesFan will now paste the quote, verbatim. Nothing more to add...

Google's Android Army Seems Unstoppable

Android continues to outsell iPhone; doubles market-share in some Europe countries.
They look like me...but they are
In spite of big numbers posted by Apple, Android smart phones outpaced iPhone during 1Q2012, more than doubling Google's market-share in some countries.

Meanwhile, Windows Phone has made some long-promised gains, the most notable being in Germany (6% share, + 3 pts.). Microsoft's mobile platform now sits at 3-4% share in the United States, France, Italy and Great Britain (United Kingdom).

Here's a quick sampling of the significant numbers...

Video Game Revenue Now at 6-Year Low

NPD says retail video gaming revenues in 2012 could be lower than the $12.6 billion earned in 2006.
Gaming industry, you've been pwned.
Last week, NPD Group reported (handheld and console) gaming software sales down 32% year-over-year, plunging from $503 million in April 2011 to the current $292 million.

Assuming this trend continues, retail video gaming revenues in 2012 could be lower than the $12.6 billion earned in 2006...the first year for Sony's Playstation 3 and Nintendo's Wii, as well as the first full year of sales for Microsoft's Xbox 360.

Apple Inc. Earns More than New Zealand

Market cap of $520 billion makes Apple Inc. the world's largest corporation.
Rumor has it, Apple are planning to patent 'numbers'.
With a market-cap of some $520 billion, Apple, Inc., is the world's largest corporation.*

You may wonder how Apple got to be 'biggest' in value when they seem relatively small in other metrics. After all, WalMart has more employees, Best Buy has more stores and Exxon-Mobil takes in more cash...

14 May 2012

Apple 'Fixes' Siri on 'Best Cell Phone' Issue

Apple's iPhone voice assistant Siri no longer says Nokia's Lumia 900 is 'best cell phone'.
"According to my database, Blackberries have cooties."
Well, that didn't take long.

After a day of ribbing from giddy Windows Phone fans, somebody at Apple gave Siri a lecture in brand-loyalty. Or maybe they employed the old duct tape, screamed abuses and rubber hose method. Either way, she's been 'corrected'. Now, if asked 'What's the best phone', Siri gives a coy, playful response but basically demurs.

And Siri absolutely, positively does not check in with Wolfram Alpha.

Virgin Atlantic OKs Cellphones In-Flight ...Sometimes

Virgin Atlantic Airways is first British airline to allow in-flight mobile phones use.
Making her virgin mobile call on a Virgin Atlantic flight.
Bad news for people who enjoy quiet flights.

Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Atlantic Airways will be the first UK carrier to allow personal cell phone use, in-flight. All passengers will be free to make or receive calls except at takeoff and landing, or when otherwise directed by the crew*. The plane's onboard network works throughout the cabin -- no restrictions.

Best (and perhaps most surprising) of all, there's no extra cost. Just sit down, buckle up, then start gabbing.

Easy peasy, right? Still, if only to show that you're a smart consumer, you might want to ask MobilePhonesFan if there's a catch...

T-Mobile Doubles Your Fun Next Week

T-Mobile Buy-One-Get-One-Free sale features Samsung Galaxy SII, HTC Amaze 4G
When T-Mobile offers a deal like this, jump on it.
In the market for a new phone?

How about two phones, one for you and one for a special someone? Let's say you're a happy T-Mobile customer whose contract is nearly up and you need a second line. Or maybe your current plan is with a 'top 3' US mobile carrier, but for some reason -- your meds ran out?* -- you'd like to sign with T-Mobile...and add another line?

MobilePhonesFan suggests you think, uh, twice. A hot deal's coming up, next weekend...

Verizon Skips HTC 'One'-Series Phones ...for Now

Verizon won't offer HTC One X, HTC One S or HTC One V phones in current form.

At CTIA, HTC said Verizon Wireless won't sell HTC's 'One'-series phones, as "currently announced".

MobilePhonesFan would like to point out the extra-careful wording...

Microsoft Supports New BitTorrent Killer

Bill Gates mugshots: Microsoft funds Russian startup trying to kill BitTorrent traffic.
Would you buy an operating system from this man?
Can "Pirate Pay" stop BitTorrent sharing at the seeding server?

Engineers from the Russian start-up say they can do just that. Now they have funding -- including $100,000 from Microsoft Seed Finance -- to aid them in further developing their methodology.

Whether they can or can't, the claim raises two questions that could be even more important : (1) How does their system work? (2) Is it legal to block BitTorrent, whether in this manner or any other?

13 May 2012

Android Game Dev: "We Like Fragmentation"

Android game developer Animoca keeps 400 Android device models on hand for QA testing.
At Animoca, we eat fragmentation for breakfast...
That's right: at least one games developer likes Android fragmentation.

First off, let's note that the following info (and images) came from Animoca, a Hong Kong developer of mobile apps for Android, iOS and other platforms. From a look at the website, their product portfolio consists mostly of inexpensive games.
That's the 'who' in this story. But after reading the title ("We like fragmentation") and seeing our lead photo, you're probably more curious about 'why' they said it and exactly 'what' was being discussed. Let's start with the rest of that quote...

Flipboard Updates Ripped Android App!

Flipboard Android app updated for phones running older versions of Android.
Just our way of saying, "Thanks for stealing our app!"
Official Flipboard app now available! See 22 June update, below.

Less than 48 hours after learning their 'exclusive' new Android application had escaped into the wild, the folks at Flipboard hurriedly rushed to deliver...a free update.

Quelle panache!

For those coming in late, here's the story.:

Video History of Windows OS 77 Min.

Video shows all 20 years of Windows versions installed in sequence, in 77 minutes.
Let's all be thankful that he skips 'Windows ME'

Ah, Microsoft's Windows -- love it or hate it, we've all been forced had occasion to use it. If you're older than the age of consent, then you likely grew up doing 100% of your computing in a Windows PC environment. Even after Apple Computer entered their renaissance period, anyone engaged in serious commerce -- anywhere in the world -- still needed ready access to the Windows Office™ Suite, on occasion.

Of course, nothing lasts forever. MobilePhonesFan kicked the Microsoft habit a few years back, after a disturbing experience with the black sheep of the Windows family, Vista. Still, we do have fond memories of PCs past. Assembling your first Windows box from scratch is a character-building experience. And we were plenty excited about the release of Windows 95, especially after the Rolling Stones commercials.

So this YouTube "History of WIndows" video by thePatrickMonroe takes MobilePhonesFan back...

12 May 2012

XDA: Get Any Android App in Any Country

Modified version of Google's Play Store lets you install any Android app - no country restrictions.

XDA: ...for when an app absolutely, positively has to be there, overnight right now.

A new, modified version of Google's Play Store lets you install any Android app in any country. You read that correctly: get any app, regardless of the country in which your Android phone was sold. No more annoying "This application is not available in your region" messages...

Vintage Cell Phones, from Cool to Crap ...

Image gallery of mobile phones history shows old cellphones weren't as great as we remember.
Yes, kids, once there were giant mobile handsets. And pay phones.
...a photographic tour through 20 years of portable cellular mobile phone history.

You'll see a mixed bag of phones, phone users and use-cases, many of which older readers are bound to recognize. MobilePhonesFan's reactions ranged from warm nostalgia to abject horror ('People actually paid money to carry that hideous...thing!?').

Good times.

The overall effect is very entertaining, with enough factual content in the captions to qualify for continuing education credits. Once you forget that you're watching yet another !@#$% Web slideshow, you'll have a ball. Hit the source link (below) or click here.

via: TPM

Apple 3D Navigation App Replaces Google?

Will Apple iOS v6 replace Google Maps with a new 3D Apple maps & navigation app?
Here it is, gentlemen, your target for tonight...
One thing MobilePhonesFan knows about tech: Apple, Inc., makes a lot of money.

A big part of why they're so profitable is that they hate paying others to do work they could do as well, in-house. Ok, sure, they'll pay outside vendors to make stuff that could explode. Just about everything else gets done by trusted Apple employees.

And then there's Google. Under a longstanding deal, they work with Apple to produce a custom Google Maps app for iPhone. But for some reason -- arguably, due to Apple's jealous control of the iOS platform -- iPhone has no Google Maps turn-by-turn navigation.

Which brings us back to money...

Socialmatic: Instagram for an Analog World

Antonio DeRosa's Socialmatic camera concept is like Instagram for the real world
Looks familiar and yet it doesn't...
This my friends is 'Socialmatic', the as-yet-unreleased creation of Italy's ADR Studios; certain to delight the eye and tantalize the senses, as well as maybe giving your brain a wedgie. Oh, I know what you're thinking; you've never before seen or heard of this pretty thing and yet it seems so very, very familiar...

11 May 2012

Want Free WiFi with That? (War-Driving Tips)

Good Morning America's Becky Worley shows you how to get free WiFi, almost anywhere. which our intrepid correspondent shows road warriors how to get free WiFi just about anywhere. It's a fun video with lots of tips, but we have doubts about the concept as well as some of the methods on display. Watch it for yourself, after the break.

Wait ...Google Cares About Web Design? :sigh:

Before Larry Page took over as CEO, this is what most Google pages used to look like.
Not pretty, but memorable.

With all the reports about Google's new focus on design and user-friendly appearance, we are oddly comforted by obsolete examples like the one shown above. It's a good example of those classic Googley webpages where the design is what you might call 'low-concept'. Ok, maybe the 'design' is simply non-existent.

Or just downright fugly.

So, let's celebrate how Google pages looked, back when User Experience Group (UX) didn't fuss over every pixel. Sure, we're talking about pathetic zombies, shambling toward deprecation. But knowing they haven't long to live intensifies our nostalgia. It's like saying goodbye to an old, faithful (and homely) friend...

Smart Car Co. Has Smart Twitter Ad

smartArg division of SmartCar create clever animated Twitter advertisement

You've got to see the brilliant tweet-stream advertising by the smart folks at SmartCar of Argentina.

Think 'flip card animation'. Try it for yourself, right after the break...

APK Rip: Google Play Store 3.5.19

Google Play Store 3.5.19 APK available for download, ripped from latest Android ROM

Here it is: Google Play Store 3.5.19

APK is freshly ripped from a donor-phone. No word on what's new, but some users (including us) report marginally faster loading and operation...

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