The rise of McDonald’s burgers has been slow but steady – the franchise took nearly half a century to sell a hundred billion burgers. But today’s mental staple food – apps – don’t have that time. With a smartphone in nearly every pocket have they managed to outpace our need for burgers? Well, not that those two are somehow interchangeable, but this infographic does well in illustrating what a brilliant job Apple and Google have done in distributing apps as both are well on track of delivering its 100 billionth application.
While now the app download count stands at some 15 billion for Apple, a milestone proudly announced by the company a couple of weeks ago, the rate at which users download application is only speeding up. Actually, if it follows the envisioned pattern, in a mere five years and a half since its launch the App Store may reach McDonald’s 100 billion mark.
You might wonder where does that leave Android and rightly so. The platform has been enjoying booming popularity as it covers devices from the low-end to high-end, and subsequently app downloads are growing even faster there. The time span expected for it to reach the same milestone is just 3.5 years. Bottomline seems to be that you could only eat so many burgers, while app gluttony with a 100 billion apps might seem insatiable. Have you found your app downloads growing with time?
Oh messaging, it has seriously become one of the most dominant forms of communication in our age, but seeing that Facebook is known for keeping people together, it’s only inevitable to see them concoct some sort of messaging app.
Of course, you can message friends by using the various Facebook apps out there, but you’re generally limited to interacting with one specific individual at a time. Well, that’s where their brand new Messenger app comes to mind as it simplifies how messaging is accomplished – while making the task of contacting multiple people very simple.
Specifically, the Messenger app delivers messages through notifications and texts – meaning, there’s more of a chance that they’ll see the message right away. Not only are you given a threaded conversation view, but you can chit chat with multiple contacts as well, which means that everyone included in the conversation will be aware of what’s being talked about.
Additionally, it features the ability for you to coordinate your plans more effectively seeing that locations can be attached to conversations – thus, keeping everyone in the loop if your plans on going out change constantly. Not only that, but you can even attach photos to reduce the hassle of sending it individually to everyone.
For those drooling at the chance of checking out the new app, it’s available for both iPhone and Android right now, however, there’s no word about any additional platforms getting it.
Not to be forgotten amongst the heap of newer Honeycomb tablets that are on the market, the 3D video recording capable T-Mobile G-Slate is more than likely to start receiving its Honeycomb 3.1 tasting tomorrow; August 10th.
Actually, LG says that they’ll be rolling it out some time today, but device owners would more than likely see it come in tomorrow – especially when it’s being rolled out in waves. Either way, it’s expected to arrive over the course of the next few days for the majority of people.
As we all know, Android 3.1 Honeycomb isn’t a dramatic upgrade, but rather, T-Mobile G-Slate owners will find the host of improvements to be more than satisfactory in the near term. In fact, it features some UI refinements, connectivity for USB accessories, the recent apps list is now scrollable to see all opened apps, certain core widgets are resizable, support for external keyboard, and some updates to some of the preloaded apps.
Taking into account that it was one of the very first Honeycomb tablets to arrive on the scene, the update surely did take some time to come to fruition, but it’s nonetheless nice to see it finally here.
Google has always had a somewhat idiosyncratic way of numbering its software versions. Sometimes, big software changes get a big number increase, like the jump from Android Gingerbread (2.3) to Honeycomb (3.0/3.1). However, sometimes big number changes fly by (Chrome’s newest stable release is version 13, and the Chrome browser isn’t even 2 years old yet.) But, with the newest version of YouTube for Android, Google is taking a different path: a minor version number bump (from 2.1.6 to 2.2.14), and brings a couple of very nice features.
Along with the requisite bug fixes, the new version of YouTube will allow you to edit the title, description and privacy of your uploaded videos, and create, edit, and delete playlists on the go. It seems amazing that before now, these features weren’t around, because they seem somewhat basic, but now that they are here, we’re pretty sure you’ll find uses for them. Obviously, if you don’t take many videos, the added upload description, title, and privacy features won’t mean much, but just about everyone should find some good uses for making playlists on the fly. YouTube gets somewhere around 48 hours of new video every minute, so there’s always plenty to queue up and watch.
As always, YouTube is available for free in the Android Market.
As if the Google Search app isn’t already more than useful to millions of people around the world, but it’s being updated to offer an even easier-to-use experience – well that’s not too shabby, right?
Some might fathom how else they can innovate a web search app, but Google manages to tastefully update it enough to warrant some recognition. For starters, the new version is compatible to run on Android 2.2 and up devices, and packs along quite a few new features.
At its core, it features new search suggestions that are grouped according to the search type, and of course, web suggestions are placed prominently at the very top of the listing. Moreover, we find that search suggestions are categorized according to countries, there is a faster deletion for search history by executing a long press, and an updated interface that’s more attuned in actually helping you get results.
Naturally, Android users can update the app right now through the Android Market. Meanwhile, for those owners using a Bing-a-fied device can also download a fresh copy.
Not everyone can happily sit at a sports bar or at home with friends when the UFC decides to throw down one heck of a show, but if you find yourself outside of those two options, then you might find the UFC TV app for Android to be especially engaging.
That’s because the app gives you all the latest fights and news information regarding the UFC all in the palm of your hands! Essentially, you no longer need a super-sized high-definition TV to enjoy content since the app allows you to view live UFC fights, watch the weigh-in process, and even get a front seat at the post fight press conference.
In addition, if you’re sporting an Android device with HDMI out functionality, you can literally bring the fight to your living room television set – or anywhere else you please! In all honestly, it’s potentially the ultimate thing you’ll need if you’re a diehard UFC fan.
Of course, the app is available to download for free through the Android Market, but you’ll naturally need to pay to watch live and past fights – still, it’s something that might perk the interest of some people.
Convinced that your smartphone is immune to malware? Well, as long as you don’t download any apps coming from suspicious sources, then you are virtually safe, but the thing is that every single mobile platform has its own security flaws exposing your privacy at risk.
The latest vulnerability that was brought to our attention targets Android users, and although it has not caused any damage yet, it has the potential to give you quite a headache. It has been discovered that “a design flaw” in the Android operating system could allow for unwanted pop-ups to appear whenever a set application is running thus defiling your smartphone with annoying pop-ups. However, if executed properly, the flaw could potentially be used for phishing attacks to be targeted at your device.
In a nutshell, when the malware detects that your banking app or e-mail client, for example, is running, it can launch an identically-looking pop-up app asking for your credentials. What makes things worse is that the execution of the pop-up app can happen so fast that the user would probably never realize what has happened until it is too late. The malware could even install itself as a service and run seamlessly in the background even after the phone is rebooted.
There have been no registered cases of the so-called design flaw being used in a malicious way, but a proof-of-concept application has been demonstrated just recently at the DefCon hacking convention. That is why we have said it before and we will say it again – you should always be extra careful when downloading apps from any shady-looking software marketplaces as you never know what might be coming along with them.
Want the Samsung Galaxy S II so badly that you can’t wait for it to be offered by your carrier? Well, if you are an AT&T or T-Mobile customer and don’t mind spending the money, an unlocked version of the phone offered right now by Newegg will let you use the pipelines belonging to the two GSM mobile operators (although AT&T users will have 3G only). The unit, available from the retailer for $649.99, has quad-band GSM (850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900) and quad-band UMTS (850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100) connectivity. And for those Canadians who don’t want to buy the phone from Virgin Mobile or Bell, Newegg Canada is offering an unlocked model for the same price.
Besides having to pay an unsubsidized price for the phone, you could also be missing out on certain design changes. For example, as we reported, the Samsung Hercules is expected to come to T-Mobile and there is speculation that the phone-with its larger 4.5 inch display-is a variant of the Samsung Galaxy S II for the nation’s fourth largest carrier.
We recently told you that speculation was centering on Verizon becoming the first carrier to offer the Samsung Galaxy S II with a possible August 12th launch date. With that day increasingly becoming more unlikely for the release of this summer’s hottest smartphone, the most likely scenario now is a September launch. And don’t forget, the recently leaked Verizon roadmap mentioned a September launch of the Samsung Stratosphere, a phone with specs that exactly match those of the Galaxy S II.
In what we see as one more step towards our dream bendable phone, researchers at Queens University Human Media Lab in Ontario, Canada, demonstrated a flexible display gizmo, whose software can be navigated by different bending gestures like flexing the screen’s corners.
The inventors call this PaperPhone, but the concept can also be used in other portable devices, like tablet computers. “This computer looks, feels and operates like a small sheet of interactive paper. You interact with it by bending it into a cellphone, flipping the corner to turn pages or writing on it with a pen. It can be best described as a flexible iPhone“, commented creator Roel Vertegaal, the director of the Human Media Lab.
From what we see in the pictures and video below, this thing is actually running some sort of Android, and the idea about flexing the screen around to invoke actions from the mobile OS can certainly come in handy – if you are wearing gloves, for instance. In the research paper PDF there appears to be a whole set of suggested bend gesture movements for various navigational functions, based on user input, so you can hit the source link for some bedtime reading on the matter.
While we are seeing some pretty rigid contraption to be attached to the PaperPhone, where presumably some of the non-elastic circuitry is, the flexible E-ink display, which transfers its shape-shifting into software commands, is a step in the right direction for our dream future of bendable smartphones. We’d still place our screen type preferences on Samsung, with its foldable AMOLED screen concept that doesn’t leave a crease in the middle, but perhaps the bending gesture idea can co-exist in concepts like the Samsung Skin, coupled with those flexible transparent batteries as well.
Don Bailey and Matthew Solnik from iSec Partners demonstrated how to break into a car, hacking into its remote control system via text messages.
Their research was demoed at the Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas, and they unlocked a Subaru Outback and started the engine from afar using an Android handset and the so-called ‘war texting’. You need to set your own GSM network around the car for that, and then intercept the password authentication text messages between the server and the car, all in the span of a few hours.
Actually the researchers are not worried about breaking in cars, “Gone in 60 seconds”-style, but rather that the same remote control systems with text messaging updates are in traffic lights and security cameras, as well as the power grid and water supply infrastructure. If anyone with skills, an Android handset and some relatively inexpensive wireless network equipment can hack into the remote control system of popular car brands, what’s to stop someone from doing it on a grander scale, they argued.
“I could care less if I could unlock a car door. It’s cool. It’s sexy. But the same system is used to control phone, power, traffic systems. I think that’s the real threat.”, said Don Bailey for CNN.