The latest version of the Play Store is no longer 3.7.11 – say hello to v3.7.13. I haven’t found anything different from 3.7.11 just yet – it likely only contains bug fixes. There’s no reason to lag behind, however, so if you’re running a Play Store with a version lower than 3.7.13, jump right to the download mirrors below. Before you do that, let me point out a few things.
Upon playing with the Store further, I did discover a new feature compared to v3.5.19 that I didn’t mention last time – inline app links in search suggestions. Take a look at searching in 3.5.19 (on the left) and 3.7.13 (on the right) – direct app links are now mixed in with suggested spellings. A subtle change, but if I can save a few clicks here and there and get to results faster, why not?
If you missed the 3.7.11 post, I’ll mention this feature again as well – you can now set your preferred sharing method (long-press on the new field to the right of the share dropdown). I set mine to Gmail so that I can quickly share new apps with the team. Neat.
When Samsung introduced S-Voice on its Galaxy S III smartphone, it was clear that it was ripping off Siri, the Apple iPhone 4S’ voice assistant. The world clearly has room for more than one, but how do the two voice assistants stack up when it comes to accuracy and response times?
Siri is the incumbent here, and Apple has heavily advertised it heavily with a stream of celebrities. I’ve never found Siri to be incredibly helpful, but with updates in iOS 6 around the corner, Siri looks more promising. S-Voice is a brand-new creation that is mostly playing catch-up with Siri but has some handy integrations with Facebook and Twitter, while Siri can interact with many functions inside the device itself.
Online phone retailer Dailaphone has created an infographic showing a face-off between Siri and S-Voice with some slightly surprising results, including that Siri takes an average 5.6 seconds to respond while S-Voice takes 7.9 seconds. That said, based on average accuracy, start-up times, and response times, I’d almost rather not use either voice assistant and just find the information with a smart Google search.
Let us know in the comments if you use Siri or S-Voice and how they work for you in your daily life. Check out the full infographic below:
- Voice assistant battle royale: Siri vs. S-Voice (infographic) (venturebeat.com)
- Siri = Eliza? (zdnet.com)
- Siri is rubbish, claims analyst (news.techeye.net)
- IBM bans Siri: Privacy risk, or corporate paranoia at its best? – ZDNet (blog) (zdnet.com)
- Study gives Apple’s Siri a ‘D’ for accuracy (techradar.com)
- One-third of Siri users don’t make it beyond calls, web use and texts (mobile-ent.biz)
- Siri Still Behind Google Search On Comprehension & Accuracy (devicemag.com)
- Here’s Why Google Now Is Better Than Apple’s Siri (GOOG) (businessinsider.com)
- Wait, So Apple’s Siri Won’t Kill Google Search After All? (forbes.com)
- Google Voice Search In Android 4.1 Trumps Siri In Everyday Q&A (redmondpie.com)
As noted by BGR, Google’s own Matias Duarte announced on his Google+ page that Android, specifically Ice Cream Sandwich, has been awarded the Gold Prize for best platform at the Parsons School of Design’s 2012 User Experience Awards:
Ice Cream Sandwich won the Gold Prize for best platform experience at Parsons’ 2012 User Experience Awards! Way to go team!
Thanks to Parsons for hosting a great event and thanks to IXDA, NYC UPA, and NYC CHI. We need more celebrations of UX like this!
- Ice Cream Sandwich awarded best platform at Parsons User Experience Awards (9to5google.com)
- ICS Wins Gold Prize At UX Award For Best User Experience (goandroid.co.in)
- Ice Cream Sandwich named best platform experience by Parsons (bgr.com)
- ICS wins the Gold Prize for “best platform experience” (androidauthority.com)
- Google shows their inspiration and exploration of Android 4.0 ICS design [Video] (androidcommunity.com)
- Βραβείο καλύτερου User Experience για το Android ICS στα Parsons School of Design Awards 2012 UX (funday.gr)
Flipboard is finally coming to Android. Exclusively on the Galaxy S III, we’re told, at least for some amount of time. Now, thanks to one enterprising member over at the XDA forums, an unofficial build of Flipboard for Android is available to all, and it looks great.
Waiting for end of the month (or later, depending on the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S III) didn’t sit well with XDA forum member Valcho, and considering he had an SGS III “lying around,” he decided to extract the APK and share it with the world. You can grab it at the link below.
Download Flipboard for Android here.
The app is definitely nice! Eye candy is there, smooth animations are present and functionality is maintained from the iOS counterpart. There’s also a Flipboard widget that was not covered in the video, which allows you to view your most recent cover photos in a 2×4 widescreen view.
- Flipboard for Android now unofficially available to all (9to5google.com)
- [Download] Flipboard APK For Android Available Now; Pulled From The Galaxy S III (gadgetian.com)
- Flipboard Unofficially Available For Any Android Device And Here’s How To Install It (techcrunch.com)
- Flipboard for Android leaks (thetechblock.com)
I’ve been eagerly anticipating the full-on release of BlueStacks’ App Player, so imagine my excitement, now that the software has officially made the leap from its brief alpha stage to “beta-1″ status. If you’ll recall, the App Player can virtually run over 450k Android apps on Windows XP, Vista and 7, all without developers needing to tweak their respective coding. Notably, this latest build has a host of updates including LayerCake, allowing x86-based machines run apps written for ARM — and with hardware graphics acceleration, no less. Other notable goodies from the beta build include official localization in 10 countries, mock accelerometer support (arrow keys), an updated UI and Direct AppStore Access. If the mere thought of running Android Angry Birds on Windows has your interests piqued, you’ll find further details about BlueStacks in the full press release and video overview past the break.
BlueStacks Brings 450,000 Android Apps to a Billion PCs
After 3-month alpha test attracts a million users and a Best of CES award, company releases beta-1 version of “App Player”
CAMPBELL, Calif. – March 26, 2012 – BlueStacks announced the availability of the beta-1 version of their App Player for PC today. The software supports Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7, and enables Android apps to run in windowed or fullscreen mode on PC.
The beta-1 version now incorporates the company’s patent-pending LayercakeTM technology. LayerCakeTM enables apps written for ARM processors like Angry Birds and Fruit Ninja to run seamlessly on x86-based PCs. It also enables hardware graphics acceleration. These capabilities were not part of last year’s alpha version. Apps designed for high-end tablets that use graphics-intensive engines such as Unity can also run on the platform.
“LayerCake is a disruptive technology that enables PC manufacturers to bring the best of the Android ecosystem to their customers. It also leverages the advanced graphics capabilities of AMD APU and GPU platforms,” said Manju Hegde, corporate vice president, Content, Applications and Solutions at AMD (NYSE: AMD). We are excited to work with BlueStacks to make the emerging Android mobile apps market part of the broader computing arena, especially given that the beta-1 version has been localized for 10 different countries.”
The alpha test of BlueStacks ran from October through December of last year, and included a more limited app selection. In those three months, it attracted over a million users in more than 100 countries such as the US, Korea, Brazil, Germany and China. Over 4.5 Million apps were opened. Especially popular were apps like Kakao Talk in Korea, Wordfeud in Germany and WhatsApp in the US. “You know, first there was Angry Birds on Chrome which was a big deal, then recently Steve Ballmer stood up at CES and announced that Cut the Rope had been ported to IE9 – with BlueStacks, it’s 450,000 apps coming to Windows at once,” said BlueStacks CEO, Rosen Sharma.
The developers behind top apps like Fruit Ninja, SliceIt!, Barnes & Noble’s Nook, Townsmen, Evernote, Defender and StumbleUpon have partnered with BlueStacks to have their apps pre-loaded in the beta-1 version. “A Billion PCs is a huge potential market for any developer. There is the potential to make good money from the additional app discovery and usage,” said Markus Kassulke, CEO of popular developer HandyGames. “The best part is, we don’t have to do any work. Our apps run without any modifications or porting.”
- BlueStacks Beta brings Android apps to Windows, now with better graphics (liliputing.com)
- BlueStacks App Player Enters Beta, Brings Android Apps To Your PC Desktop (mashable.com)
- BlueStacks App Player beta-1 brings Android apps to PCs (slashgear.com)
- After Alpha Attracts 1M Users, BlueStacks Goes Beta To Bring 450K Android Apps To Your PC (bulletfame.wordpress.com)
- Latest BlueStacks ARMs your PC (download.cnet.com)
- BlueStacks’ Android on Windows App Player enters beta (electronista.com)
- Bluestacks beta lets you run almost any Android app on Windows (venturebeat.com)
If you happen to have a Samsung Galaxy S2 then be extra cautious today with the notifications in your Status bar as you may end up installing a malware by accident.
Samsung Galaxy S2 users prompted by Google Play Store to install suspicious app
We are receiving reports that the Google Play Store a.k.a Android Market, is prompting Samsung Galaxy S2 users that an update is available for them. It appears to be disguised as a Russian language firmware update.
From what we’ve heard, it is apparently screwing up Samsung Galaxy S2 phones already but we haven’t received any details yet as to what exactly it is trying to do. Given that its name is in Russian, we can’t tell you what it is called but it is developed by OJSC Mobile Telesystems and its icon is a red box with a white “@” logo inside. Check out the screenshot at the bottom to see what we mean.
Have you received a similar prompt to update your Samsung Galaxy S2? Did you accidentally install it? Sound off in the comments below.
Samsung has several pieces of software that it installs on it devices but that aren’t in the Google Play store (for obvious reasons). However, every single Android app has an app name that identifies it on the Android system, in this case the “unique” name is com.seven.Z7, which identifies Samsung’s email app. What appears to have happened is that Russian developer OJSC Mobile Telesystems gave that unique identifier to its “МТС Мобильная Почта” app, and so these Samsung devices were tricked into thinking it was an update to Samsung’s email client. Since Google Play allows for automatic updating of all apps, it was installed on many devices.
Η νέα ενημερωμένη έκδοση για το Android χρήστες και φέρνει την εφαρμογή στην έκδοση 3.5.15. Η ενημερωμένη έκδοση εισάγει μια σειρά από νέα χαρακτηριστικά που θα κάνει την εμπειρία των android εφαρμογών καλύτερη . Η αλλαγή στο “my ” είναι η πιο προφανής αλλαγή που επήλθε με αυτή την τελευταία ενημέρωση. Νέα χαρακτηριστικό που προστίθενται σε αυτήν την έκδοση είναι η μουσική, το ολοκαίνουργιο περιβάλλον και ειδικά σχεδιασμένα για τη μουσική της Google.Play Store είναι διαθέσιμη για
Υπάρχει πλέον η δυνατότητα ταξινόμησης και φιλτραρίσματος των σχολιών στις εφαρμογές, όπως και κάποιες διορθώσεις-βελτιώσεις.
- [Download] Google Play Store (Formerly Android Market) v3.5.15 APK With A New Tabbed My Apps Interface (androidpolice.com)
- Geek 101: How to install Android apps (geek.com)
- How to Manually Update Android Market to Google Play Store (news.softpedia.com)
- Android Apps Can Now Be Greater Than 50MB In Size! (techie-buzz.com)
- Download APKs Directly From The Web Market To Your Computer With The ‘APK Downloader’ Extension For Google Chrome (androidpolice.com)