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How good (or bad) are apps for Android tablets?

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Apple, Google, Handhelds, Software,

Android tablet apps

The following is a column sent to us by Skip Ferderber. We though it hit home on a lot of points, and decided to republish it with his permission:

Let’s start with a popular tech-talk premise especially among Apple iPad afficionados: Among the reasons Android tablets come up short is because there are only a handful of apps specifically optimized for them.

If there’s no big bucket of optimized Honeycomb apps, then it’s too soon to get an Android tablet ... not when you can get an iPad with more than 100,000 tablet-optimized apps.

The tech blogosphere (including yours truly) reported early on that only 10 apps were specifically redesigned to take advantage of the Honeycomb operating system, the Android software specifically engineered for a new generation of powerful tablets with heavy-duty processing power and bright high-resolution screens such as the Motorola Xoom and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1. A March Wired article reported it had found only 50 Honeycomb-optimized apps.  

Well, hold on there, buckaroos.

What happens when non-optimized apps — the same apps you use on your Android smartphone — are run on a Honeycomb tablet?  What’s the user experience like? Can you live with it? I decided to find out.

Click to continue reading How good (or bad) are apps for Android tablets?


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Mac OS X Lion: Has the OS become just another app?

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Apple, Editorial, Features, Software,

OS or App?

I upgraded my MacBook Pro to Apple OS X Lion in a lunch hour. Okay, it wasn't a lunch hour—I couldn't wait that long—but even more astonishing than the expediency (30 minutes to download and 35 to upgrade) was the effortlessness of the process.

At 9am yesterday morning, I opened the Mac App Store, clicked purchase, and let the installer work its magic. When I returned to my machine, it donned a fresh new log-in screen and a new OS. As tech journalist, this ought to have delighted me. Instead, I was left hungering for more.

It's not that Lion isn't a graceful creature; Apple's latest OS adds poise to an already agile predecessor. The 250 new features—Mission Control has already changed how I work—touch every corner of the OS and surpass the 150 additions of the refinement-focused Snow Leopard. Yet I can't help feel that something important is happening—has already happened—to very concept of the OS.

Click to continue reading Mac OS X Lion: Has the OS become just another app?


There are now over 100,000 iPad apps available

App Store 100,000

Apple has what is clearly the top tablet on the market with the iPad, and now it has an another achievement to celebrate. As of Tuesday, there are more than 100,000 iPad-specific apps on sale in the App Store.

The milestone comes a little over a year after Apple unveiled the original iPad. According to MacStories, it took Apple 452 days to surpass the 100,000 iPad app mark to land at 100,161 dedicated iPad apps. At Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), the company announced that it had 90,000 iPad apps, but it appears that number has grown in less than a month's time.

Click to continue reading There are now over 100,000 iPad apps available


Comcast Spectrum will bring revamped Xfinity guide, Facebook to your TV

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: HDTV, Home Entertainment,

Comcast is set to show off the next evolution of their Xfinity TV offerings, which they are calling Xfinity Spectrum, tomorrow at NCTA 2011. We've gotta say, Comcast has been long overdue for a revamp, and it's nice to see that the company is looking to step things up in a major way. As you see in the video, things are much more integrated and easier to navigate. You're even able to share things about your viewing habits with Facebook, and of course this is likely the way that Comcast will bring Skype to your television. No word yet on how long it'll take to roll these boxes out, or when it will start, but let's just keep our fingers crossed on that one. Hit the video above for a look at the new hotness.


Tip: Use Dropbox to replace discontinued iDisk

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Apple, Internet, PC / Laptop, Software,

DropboxWe've been hearing from quite a few disgruntled MobileMe subscribers who are wondering what the heck they're supposed to do now that Apple will seemingly be discontinuing the iDisk service with the launch of iCloud. As awesome as iCloud is, we do agree that iDisk is definitely a nice feature, and it's a shame to see it go away. However, Dropbox is a great alternative, and we've actually found that it often works better than iDisk does. You can sign up for free and you'll get 2 GB of space right off the bat. If you want more, you can upgrade...but it certainly doesn't hurt to try it out. Dropbox integrates right into your Finder, similar to iDisk, and gives you updates on syncing across all your devices, plus you can access your files from through the Dropbox mobile apps as well.

Read More | Dropbox

Amazon launches their own Mac App Store

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Apple, Hot Deals, Software,

Amazon Mac Download Store

Following up on the Lady Gaga album sale earlier this week, Amazon continues their digital download battle against Apple with the launch of their own Mac app download store. They've got quite a variety of available titles (though, not as much as the Mac App Store of course,) which include big games like Civilization V, productivity suites like Microsoft Office, and a bunch of others. Right now they are offering Airport Mania for free, and your first paid download will be $5 off. We like it.


Bleeding Edge TV 380: Showyou for iPad review

Showyou is a video sharing network for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch. After using it for just a few minutes, we immediately wanted to review it and give you a look at how it works. After you download Showyou, you connect it to your Facebook, Twitter, and/or VodPod networks. It will then pull in any videos that your friends on those networks link to or share. You can comment and share videos directly in the Showyou app. Even better, it support AirPlay, so if you have an Apple TV, you can pull up Showyou and go through all the videos your friends have shared, watching them on your television.

Big thank you to JackThreads for sponsoring the show - be sure to check them out, we've got exclusive invite codes that give you $5 to use towards anything you'd like.


The Definitive Guide to Watching the Royal Wedding Online

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Editorial, Features, Internet, Software,

If you're just planning to turn on the telly and tune in the Royal Wedding, you'll be missing out. It's 2011, folks! There are a host of online destinations, social media tools and mobile apps that can truly help you experience the full scope of this 21st century event.

All of the major broadcasters will be airing the Royal Wedding on live TV Friday morning, but so will several online venues. YouTube will be streaming the entire event live at The Royal Channel, built specifically for Prince William and Kate Middleton's wedding. Livestream is also streaming the AP Live feed of the day's events, plus more coverage from CBS News, ET and the UK Press Association. And you can watch full streaming BBC coverage at BBC News' dedicated wedding site.

You can also watch the event live on a smartphone or other Internet device on the Sprint TV ABC News Channel, which is part of the carrier's basic Sprint TV channel package. T-Mobile TV will only carry pre- and post-wedding coverage but start-to-finish coverage is available through Xfinity.tv, which has apps available on the Android Market and on iTunes.

In most cases, live-anchored coverage begins at 5 a.m. Eastern Time(2 a.m. Pacific) and live coverage of the ceremony starts at around 6 a.m. ET (3 a.m. PT). That's pretty early for most people, so what to do if you don't want to wake up hours before dawn?

Click to continue reading The Definitive Guide to Watching the Royal Wedding Online


Next Kevin Rose startup: Milk

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Corporate News, Mobile, Startups,

Kevin Rose Milk

It hasn't been that long since Kevin Rose left Digg, but early details of his new startup are already coming to light.

The company, a development lab focused on solving problems using the mobile Web, is called Milk. Located in San Francisco's Mission District, it has been described as an incubator, but TechCrunch notes that the philosophy behind it is much different than the approach taken by most other Silicon Valley startups.

Incubators are generally thought of as companies that take a lot of entrepreneurial ideas, fund them and help them get off the ground. Rose says that rather than launch a bunch of smaller ideas, Milk will ideally help give life to between four and six bigger, more ambitious businesses. According to TechCrunch, the Digg co-founder expects most of the ideas to fail, but ideally he hopes to see one or two "become viable companies that have a big impact."

Click to continue reading Next Kevin Rose startup: Milk


Twitter concedes, finally removes Quick Bar from iOS app

Twitter Quick Bar removal

After a rather rough start, Twitter on Thursday said it will remove the Quick Bar from its iOS app, which provided users with updates on trending topics.

Though the Quick Bar - referred to by some as the "Dick Bar" after CEO Dick Costolo - had "incredibly high usage metrics," Twitter has opted to remove it from the app rather than continually update it.

"Rather than continue to make changes to the QuickBar as it exists, we removed the bar from the update appearing in the App Store today," Twitter creative director Doug Bowman wrote in a blog post. "We believe there are still significant benefits to increasing awareness of what's happening outside the home timeline."

The Quick Bar was added to the app earlier earlier this month as part of an upgrade that also made it easier to access features like photos, trends, and links. It sat above a user's Twitter feed and displayed one of the days' current trending topics. Tapping the word would take you to a list of recent mentions.

Click to continue reading Twitter concedes, finally removes Quick Bar from iOS app


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