Category Archives: Mobile

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Top apps for iPad 2 – picked by Wired

Which of the 65,000 iPad apps should you download? From utilities to games, here’s Wired.com’s quick list of must-haves for your brand-new iPad 2.

 

Dropbox

 

Dropbox

We rave about Dropbox all the time at Wired.com. That’s because it’s an indispensable addition to the iPad. It is an online storage service that works on an iPad, iPhone, Android phone, or any Windows or Mac PC. Your Dropbox folder is where you put all the files you want to access with any device, and the service automatically syncs so they’re available to you everywhere.

Say, for example, that you’re a student with a Mac and you want to read research papers on any of your devices. On your Mac, drop some PDFs in your Dropbox folder, then on the iPad launch the Dropbox app and you can read those PDFs on the tablet while you’re on the bus. You could also launch the PDFs with the Dropbox app on an Android smartphone or iPhone.

Besides PDFs, you can put video, pictures and music in your Dropbox, too. You have to have this app: It’ll save you a ton of time that you’d otherwise waste syncing to iTunes over USB.

Freedownload link.

 

Air Video

 

Air Video

Let’s say you’ve got a lot of video files on your PC that aren’t iTunes-compatible, or were acquired through (ahem) less than legal means. With AirVideo, you can quickly set up a server on your PC and choose a folder that you want to share with your iPad.

Then hop on your iPad and launch AirVideo, and you can instantly stream most videos inside that folder. AirVideo will even live-convert videos while you’re watching, so it’s all an instant, seamless experience.

$3, download link.

 

Friendly

 

Friendly

There isn’t an official Facebook app made just for the iPad. Until Facebook comes up with something better, Friendly is basically the best option.

It’s polished and its looks resemble Facebook’s own style, so you’ll feel right at home. After you log in with your Facebook ID, you’ll be wasting time stalking your Facebook buddies in no time.

Free, download link.

 

GarageBand

 

GarageBand

Made by Apple, the GarageBand app is simply stunning. The app packs a virtual piano, guitar, bass guitar and drum set to record songs.

Especially neat are Apple’s “Smart” instruments, which contain preset chords and rhythms for each instrument, so anything you play can sound good. This way, people of all ages will be able to pick up an iPad and compose some neat tunes.

$5, download link.

 

Infinity Blade

 

Infinity Blade

Originally made for the iPhone, Infinity Blade has been rescaled and beefed up for the iPad. While it works on the first-generation iPad, it’s even better on the iPad 2.

This 3-D sword-fighting game puts the iPad 2’s powerful graphics processor to good use. Swipe your fingers on the touchscreen to attack, parry or dodge. It’s a superfun game that should provide hours of entertainment.

$6, download link

 

Instapaper

 

Instapaper

We’ve featured Instapaper before, but we have to mention it again, because it’s just too crucial. Reading through a web browser can be a chore, with all those distracting ads, ugly sidebars, etc.

Hit Instapaper’s “Read Later” button on your PC web browser to add a page to your reading list. Then on your iPad you can launch the Instapaper app to read everything you’ve saved with just the words and pictures, stripped of all the junk.

It’s great for concentrating, and it might just change the way you read.

$5, download link.

 

Flipboard

 

Flipboard

We can’t get enough of Flipboard, a beautiful social magazine. Fundamentally, it scrapes content from URLs shared on Twitter, Facebook and RSS feeds.

But that doesn’t do justice to the elegant way it lays out the stories for easy browsing. It’s even better on the iPad 2 now because of the performance boost.

Wired.com is an official partner of Flipboard, too, so you’ll notice our site’s content has been optimized for Flipboard.

Free, download link.

 

PenUltimate

 

PenUltimate

If you come up with a great idea, you can quickly jot it down in this note-taking app that acts a a virtual Field Notes notepad. Unlike other note apps, where you have to type, PenUltimate just lets you scribble on the screen with your finger (or a stylus).

We love it because the design and overall feel of the app is just slick.

$2, download link.

 

TuneInRadio

 

TuneInRadio

Listen to all your favorite online radio stations with this app. Plus, you can use this app to set an alarm to play your favorite station in the morning.

As there’s no built-in alarm app on the iPad, this should come handy. Sure, you’ve just turned your iPad into a $500 clock radio, but you can’t pick up the clock radio and read Google News on it, too, can you?

$1, download link.

 

World of Goo

 

World of Goo

This cutesy puzzle game involves stretching black blobs of goo at geometric angles to reach a goal point (a pipe that sucks up the goo). The sharp graphics and clever sound effects are a nice treat for a game that challenges your noggin.

$5, download link.

Samsung beats iPhone in Android sales

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Samsung Electronics Co, maker of the Galaxy mobile phone, may have surpassed Nokia and Apple Inc in smartphone sales for the first time on demand for devices that run on Android software, a research company said.

Samsung is estimated to have sold between 18 million and 21 million smartphones globally in the April-June quarter, compared with 16.7 million for Nokia and 20.3 million iPhones, Neil Mawston, a London-based analyst at Strategy Analytics, a research company based in Boston, said in an emailed response to questions on July 22. The data exclude tablet-computer sales.

The estimates show Google Inc’s Android is gaining ground on Apple in smartphones as Nokia, which is turning to Microsoft Corp for software support, struggles to keep up with the pace. Samsung, which also produces low-end phones that aren’t capable of downloading applications, has said it aims to more than double sales of high-end devices this year.

Read more here

Angry Birds bonus level for Galaxy S2

The much-hyped Galaxy S II, which was launched in India about a month ago, is now widely available in the country and is proving to be as popular as it was predicted. Nevertheless, Samsung seems ever so eager to improve on what has been one of the best smartphones made by the company till date. The company is undertaking various media and commercial stunts to popularize the handset in the market. It is gearing up for a space launch of the handset on July 15, therefore it is for sure that Samsung is trying out every method in the book to grab attention. That could be, because one of the major markets for smartphones, North America is still awaiting the launch of the handset. Now, maker of Angry Birds, Rovio is offering an exclusive level for the owners of the Samsung Galaxy S II handsets around the world.

Galaxy S II Owners Get An Exclusive Angry Birds Pignic Level


This level can be accessed with the Angry Birds Pignic update, and will be hidden in the form of a golden egg in the game. When the golden egg is accessed by the user, they will be taken to a different location miles above in space, which is a changed and a never before seen environment. The kamikaze birds will then fight against the pigs in zero gravity. Rovio has uploaded a video demonstrating how to access the level and do a lot more.

N9 not to be launched in India

Nokia has a strong base in India and some African nations. Countries such as the U.S. and the U.K. haven’t had a Nokia fan base since some time now (with Android and iOS being the possible culprits). It is not a surprise, because developing nations have always been more receptive to Nokia handsets, mainly because of the strong build quality, and trust with the company. But now, it seems like Nokia has put all of the above countries in its low priority list. The Nokia N9 availability page doesn’t have India, U.S., U.K., or any of the African nations. This news comes as a shocker to many, since Nokia has had a very strong hold in these markets.

The Nokia N9

The absence of countries such as the United States is understandable, because Nokia has no carrier support for its devices yet, and it could take some time till Nokia gets to an agreement with the carriers in the U.S. And as far as India is concerned, the company may follow the strategy it followed while launching the N900, which was made available in the Indian market, a few months after other countries got it.

There is still some confusion over the launch of the Nokia N9. Some reports claim that the device could be launched within a month from now, while others speculate that it could take longer. Either way, excited fans in the country will have to be content with videos and photos till it’s made available. Although it is hoped that Nokia could add a bunch of countries to that list within a few days. But until then it’s disappointment all over. Users can keep an eye on the availability page over at Nokia.

These countries will be getting the phone first: Austria, Bulgaria, China, Croatia, Finland, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Malaysia, New Zealand, Portugal, Poland, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Singapore, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, UAE, and Vietnam.

Smartphones to tell you when you are sick

Your smartphone senses your location and who you talk to when. But does can it detect when you’re feeling under the weather?

Anmol Madan explored this question in his thesis at MIT Media Lab. After completing a study that involved more than 320,000 hours of data from research participants’ mobile phones, he was able to model smartphone behaviors that predict the onset of common colds, depression, and influenza.

Now he and two other MIT alumni are using the research to launch a business. GINGER.io uses an Android app to collect SMS data, calling data and location data. When these behaviors change in a way that signals something could be wrong, it alerts the user.

Early stages of depression, for instance, often involve changes in how someone communicates. GINGER.io’s app, DailyData, picks up on those changes. In test deployments, the app was able to identify 60%-90% of the symptomatic days for mental health and common respiratory conditions. Theoretically, it will become better at doing so as more users opt to anonymously add their data to the pool for analysis.

“If you’re showing early signs of loneliness/depression, you might not report them to your doctor or family,” explains Madan. “The app currently detects these changes and sends alerts to you, but in the future, these alerts could be sent to a caretaker with your explicit permission.”

Users also have access to a dashboard that shows their baseline behavior and deviations from that baseline. It tries to predict when you might be symptomatic.

The startup used seed funding to launch with its first users in January, and it graduated from Boston TechStars earlier this month. Two medical providers are currently using the app with their patients.

Eventually, Madan hopes to pull in revenue from enterprises, providers and pharmaceutical companies that want to help their employees or patients stay healthy.

“We’re not a diagnosis,” he says. “We’re an early warning, self-support, self-serve tool.”

iPad 2 has the best display

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The first thing you notice about a tablet is its display. Even when a tablet is powered down, its display is what jumps out first, since the screen is the most dominant part. The quality of the display is a critical component of a tablet, just as image quality is essential to any screen, be it for a laptop, a monitor, a smartphone, or even an HDTV.

I’ve had dozens of tablets cross my desk, and their display quality has varied dramatically. When I look at a tablet’s display quality, I judge it on a number of criteria: brightness, color accuracy, contrast, and image clarity. The last point is a tricky one, as it covers image sharpness and detail as well as text sharpness, areas that can be influenced by how well a mobile operating system renders those elements in software.

Rewind to the debut of the first Android 3.0 Honeycomb tablets–those early models running Android 3.0 all suffered from a bug that caused digital images to render improperly in Google’s Gallery app, the default program for viewing pictures. Images looked fuzzy, with little detail. Google quietly fixed the bug later, in Android 3.1; nevertheless, image reproduction could be better, and the Gallery still natively displays images in just 16-bit color.

So where does that leave the discerning buyer hoping to get the best tablet display possible? To find out, the PCWorld Labs lined up eight tablets and compared their image quality side by side.

Head over to the website to see the comparison

iPad 2 achieves invisibility

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Levity Novelty LLC has today released an iPad app that provides simulated invisibility of the iPad 2 screen on a table or other environment, even as the device is moved. The Invisibility™ app is available in Apple’s online App Store for US$0.99.

The Invisibility user simply takes a photo of the table, then lays the iPad flat on the table or lifts one corner. As the user rotates the iPad around its center, or a corner, a perfectly stationary image of the table underneath remains clearly visible.

By all appearances, the screen has disappeared and the user is looking through the iPad as it moves. Users can even see the inside edge of the iPad through the screen, as well as shadows seemingly cast on the table by the empty iPad frame.

Dream of Invisibility Achieved
From the Arabian Nights to the Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter’s cloak, storytellers have dreamed of invisibility. Magicians use mirrors and sleight of hand to astonish audiences and make objects disappear. While the Invisibility iPad app can’t yet be adapted to the size and flexibility of a garment or cloak, its core method – combining cameras, motion tracking software, and a large display – can some day be combined to make a greater range of objects disappear.

Read more at the original website

Nokia N9 coming soon

Troubled smartphone giant Nokia has unveiled a range of new handsets including the company’s new flagship device, the N9. Featuring an ‘all-screen’ design, the phone replaces a home button with a universal ‘swipe’ gesture that takes users back to the devices main screen from wherever they are in its operating system.

Marko Ahtisaari, Nokia’s head of Design, said, “The details that make the Nokia N9 unique – the industrial design, the all-screen user experience, and the expressive Qt framework for developers – will evolve in future Nokia products.”

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The company, has not yet, however, demonstrated any of the long-awaited Windows Phone handsets that it says it will release by the end of the year. Nokia chief executive Stephen Elop said “Earlier this year, we outlined a comprehensive strategy to change our course. Innovation is at the heart of our strategy, and today we took important steps to demonstrate a new pace of innovation at Nokia. It’s the beginning of a new era for Nokia.”

 

HTC sensation available online in India

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Something strange is going on, and Indian Android enthusiasts will find the news a little too good to be true – the brand new HTC Sensation is now available in India. Known to be HTC’s flagship Android device, sporting a 1.2GHz dual core processor and Adreno 220 GPU, part of Qualcomm’s new MSM8260 Snapdragon chipset.

The HTC Sensation has been listed on the popular Indian online retailer, Letsbuy.com, for Rs. 30,699, with a delivery time of 5 to 8 working days at the time of writing. Just like with the HTC Salsa and HTC Flyer, we expect HTC will officially bring the HTC Sensation to Indian retail shelves in a few days. At this pricing, the dual-core phone competes directly with the Galaxy S II, Samsung’s Android flagship phone.

image:http:// iGyaan.in

Something strange is going on, and Indian Android enthusiasts will find the news a little too good to be true – the brand new HTC Sensation is now available in India. Known to be HTC’s flagship Android device, sporting a 1.2GHz dual core processor and Adreno 220 GPU, part of Qualcomm’s new MSM8260 Snapdragon chipset.

The HTC Sensation has been listed on the popular Indian online retailer, Letsbuy.com, for Rs. 30,699, with a delivery time of 5 to 8 working days at the time of writing. Just like with the HTC Salsa and HTC Flyer, we expect HTC will officially bring the HTC Sensation to Indian retail shelves in a few days. At this pricing, the dual-core phone competes directly with the Galaxy S II, Samsung’s Android flagship phone.

Something strange is going on, and Indian Android enthusiasts will find the news a little too good to be true – the brand new HTC Sensation is now available in India. Known to be HTC’s flagship Android device, sporting a 1.2GHz dual core processor and Adreno 220 GPU, part of Qualcomm’s new MSM8260 Snapdragon chipset.

The HTC Sensation has been listed on the popular Indian online retailer, Letsbuy.com, for Rs. 30,699, with a delivery time of 5 to 8 working days at the time of writing. Just like with the HTC Salsa and HTC Flyer, we expect HTC will officially bring the HTC Sensation to Indian retail shelves in a few days. At this pricing, the dual-core phone competes directly with the Galaxy S II, Samsung’s Android flagship phone.

Apple iOS 5

The iOS preview stole the limelight at the WWDC event in San Francisco. The event also saw the beta release for iOS Developer Program members. The prominent features announced were Notification Center, iMessage, Twitter integration, Newsstand, Game Center, and Airplay.

Apple claims that the Notification Center provides an innovative way to easily access notifications such as text messages, missed calls, calendar alerts, app alerts, and more. This is a nice addition, but it cannot be labeled as innovative, knowing that it’s already present on Androids.

Considering the popularity of Twitter, its integration was inevitable. Twitter integration runs down to apps such as Contacts, Photos, Camera, Safari, YouTube, and Maps. Interestingly, there is no word on Facebook integration. Makes us wonder if the relations between these two companies aren’t that good.

With iMessage, you get the functionality of iPhone messaging to all of your iOS devices such as the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. The application lets you send text messages, photos, and videos to other iOS devices. Thankfully, it not only works with Wi-Fi but also with 3G. iMessages actually sounds like BlackBerry Messenger to me. After all, there is nothing wrong in taking inspiration.

Newsstand will help you organize all your newspaper and magazine subscriptions at one place. Game Center will now let you add photos to your profile. It will also let you find new friends online. Airplay is essentially Apple’s version of DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance), letting you stream videos to your HDTV wirelessly – provided your HDTV supports it.

The Camera app gets a long awaited update. The volume rocker on the phone now doubles up as a shutter key. This is weird, knowing that the Camera + app with the same functionality was banned from iTunes last year.