In an effort to provide quick and easy updates, HTC has been uploading their system apps to the Play Store, and today the HTC Weather app makes its debut on Google’s marketplace. The download is exclusive to HTC devices. No new features or improvements are included, this just allows HTC to update the app without the need for a full system update. Hit the break for a gallery of screenshots and a download link.
Come comment on this article: HTC Weather app now available on Google Play Store
Apps are easily the biggest draw of owning a smartphone, but unfortunately, they can also be what hinders the performance of our devices, too. AVG anonymously collected data from over 1 million smartphone and tablet users to measure just which apps drained battery the fastest and used up the most storage space, and the results are pretty interesting.
Performance draining apps were considered on a combination of battery drain, storage space used, and data consumption, and Facebook rounded out the top 10. Yep, the Facebook app that nearly everyone has installed is responsible for more performance drain than any other app. Some other culprits include Facebook-owned Instagram, Path, Spotify, and BlackBerry Messenger.
The second list just focused on which apps drained the most battery, and Samsung embarrassingly managed to snag 3 of the top 10 spots on the list. Samsung’s AllShare Cast Dongle updated took the top spot, with ChatOn at number 2 and WatchOn at number 5. While it’s technically not a Samsung app, the number 3 battery draining app was the Beaming Service for Beep’n’Go, which sometimes does come preloaded on Samsung devices. Facebook grabbed the number 6 spot on this list.
The list for which apps use the most storage spins some negative light on other pretty commonly used apps, too. The number 1 app was the New York Times Breaking News app, while Spotify sits at number 3, Facebook at number 4, and Google Chrome at number 5. Surprisingly, Google Play Music didn’t break the top 10, but Instagram showed up on this list again.
AVG separated the most performance hungry games in their own category, and it shows that games from Candy Crush Saga developer King are responsible for quite a bit of battery drain. 4 of the top 10 games were developed by King, although Minecraft snagged the number 4 spot and Angry Birds pulled up at number 10.
You can check out the full list of apps at the break. How many of these performance draining apps do you have installed on your devices?
Come comment on this article: See which apps and games are draining your phone battery and chewing up the most storage
Purchase a new device? Its time to accessorize. Accessories, believe it or not, are a big reason a person will purchase a specific device. It is a way to personalize the device. With the Nexus 6, Google will have options available directly through the Play Store. There are two cases listed in the Play Store, both manufactured by Case-Mate.
The first, and the expensive, case is a stand folio. Called the Stand Folio Case, it props up the Nexus 6 for longer viewing sessions. It also stores things like IDs and credit cards with a few slots on the inside. The backside has a cutout for the camera but it will be blocked when the front cover is opened and folded over. The Stand Folio Case costs $40.
The other is the Naked Tough Case with a $35 price tag. It is your standard hard shell case meant for production. It is has no color as it is clear, so you can still show off just how nice your Nexus 6 is. The Naked Tough Case has an integrated stand that is somewhat unnoticeable due to the clear design.
Come comment on this article: Google puts two Nexus 6 cases in the Play Store, labeled as “Coming soon”
Breaking the trend, Android’s market share has risen from 51.9% to 52.1% in the three months ending September 2014. Apple’s iOS, however, saw a slight dip down to 41.7% from the 42.1% share they saw in the previous three month period. Good new for Microsoft though as they saw another steady increase from 3.4% to 3.6%. Blackberry, however, lost 0.1% of the market, which Symbian somehow managed to pick up, going from 0.1% to 0.2%.
Samsung and LG both managed to grab a larger share of the market than the previous cycle, while Apple, Samsung and HTC all saw a decrease. Unsurprisingly the amount of smartphone users grew by 1%. As in the past Facebook and Youtube hold the top spots for most-installed apps. Not a very interesting report this time around, but stay tuned for next month which will reflect sales of the iPhone 6, iPhone 6+ and the Samsung Galaxy Note 4.
Come comment on this article: Android sees market share growth in latest Comscore report
According to at least one study, observing police officers on the job leads to a massive decrease in citizens making brutality complaints. Now that same philosophy is being taken with how officers drive their cars while on the job. Ford, makers of various Police Interceptor models, has developed a system that relays telematics of driver behavior directly back to HQ, presumably for a heavy-set officer to scream at them when they get back. The system, designed in partnership with Telogis, monitors if drivers are flashing their sirens to get through red lights, driving over 110mph and even if they’re not wearing a seatbelt. As much as this is designed to protect the public, it’s also received acclaim from the police’s own memorial charity, since automobile accidents have been the biggest cause of fatalities for the bulk of the last 15 years. According to Autoblog, the LAPD is already considering a purchase, which can only be a good thing, right?
Filed under: Misc
Scribd’s e-book subscription service seems to be making some inroads on Amazon’s turf, and now the company is looking to take a swipe at Audible’s lunch. From today, subscribers will be able to access a library of 30,000 audiobook titles that include big name authors like Suzanne “Hunger Games” Collins, Haruki “Norwegian Wood” Murakami and Cormac “The Road” McCarthy. Fortunately, there’s no extra charge despite the bounty of new content, so users will still only be paying their regular $8.99 fee, and is available on Android, Kindle Fire and Nook devices. What about iOS users, you presumably ask? The company’s still working on that particular app, but it’s scheduled to land “in the coming days.”
Rule changes that could give internet TV services a boost may not come in time for Aereo, which sent a letter to employees of its Boston development office (posted by BetaBoston) saying it will shut down business operations as of November 12th. Aereo tried to build a business using microantennas to stream OTA TV broadcasts to its customer’s devices over the internet, but the Supreme Court decided its approach was too much like cable TV — causing it to cut off service in June — while a District Court judge refused to acknowledge it as one. In the letter the company says it has been pursuing the possibilities of an acquisition or additional outside investment, but after the most recent loss October 23rd, that was just impossible. According to VP of communications Virginia Lam “In an effort to reduce costs, we made the difficult decision to lay off some of our staff in Boston and New York. We are continuing to conserve resources while we chart our path forward.”
[Image credit: AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews]
Zepp’s 3D motion sensor has been analysing tennis swings and improving golf games in the US for the past year, and now it’s arrived in the UK to tell us how bad we are at sports. The small Bluetooth-equipped sensor clings to the bottom of your tennis racquet, or attaches to your golf glove, and sends all kinds of data about your wild swings to companion Android and iOS apps. The info it records is tailored to whichever sport you’re playing — not that the links are particularly welcoming this time of year — with the idea that insight into your game will help improve it. The golf app is especially geared towards lowering your handicap, with various training resources and a feature that lets you compare your swing to those of professionals. Both the golf and tennis versions are now available at Apple, Curry’s, PC World, Argos and John Lewis stores for £130 a piece.
The only difference between the two editions is the mount included with the sensor, so you can buy or home brew the other enclosure and use the same hardware for both sports. For obvious reasons, the fact that Zepp’s sensor can also analyse baseball swings isn’t being communicated in the UK. But, with the right app, you could theoretically ruin next summer’s friendly rounders matches. Well, ruin it for anyone that isn’t on your team, anyway.
If you’re after a Android Wear device that looks more like a traditional timepiece, Google put LG’s wearable in its online store. The G Watch R was already tipped for the shelves of AT&T, but it made its way to Google Play today, ready to be snatched up after you part with the requisite funds. And yes, the stainless steel option with its “fully circular” display and various faces still carries that $299 price tag.
Today, Google has announced that people in India can now make free international voice calls to phone numbers in US and Canada through Hangouts. These free voice calls can be made through Google Hangouts apps on Android and iOS, and through the web.
Voice calls to other Hangouts users is always free over the Internet, but users can also make voice calls to phone numbers in these countries at nominal rates. Google is also offering free first minute during these voice calls.
- Dominican Republic
- South Korea
- United Kingdom
“Starting today, the Hangouts app on your phone will help you stay connected with your family and friends around the world in more ways than ever. Now you can make voice calls to phone numbers outside of India on Android, iOS and the web from Hangouts in Gmail.”
– Google India
It’s a great offering from Google since there are a lot of Indians residing in the US and Canada. A lot of people in India would be amazed to call their loved ones in those countries for free. You will need the Google Hangouts and Hangouts Dialer installed on your Android device to utilize it on mobile. On the web, it will be available the next time you open the app.
Due to regulatory issues, users won’t be able to call phone numbers in India. Even though Skype is offering local calls, they will be pulling out support very soon.
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