How to set up your computer for Android application development

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The thought of creating our own Android apps amuses most of us. “I have an excellent idea for an app,” we tell ourselves. “I could do that so much better than this developer,” is another common one. We’re never going to be able to bring those admirable ideas to light or improve upon someone else’s work if we don’t start.

Starting can be difficult, though. It can be even more difficult if you don’t have the tools to begin your Android coding journey. We’re going to show you what those tools are, how to download them, and how to get them ready for you to start programming your own apps.

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Google’s Interactive Events App appears in Play Store, [APK Download]

Here we have a new application from Google called Interactive Events that has appeared in the Play Store and appears to be for conference goers. All it says in the app description is “The Google Interactive Events App provides agenda details and speaker bios for managed events.” Images and download links are after the break.  Read more

Feedly announces “Pro” version for $5/month, includes secure browsing, Evernote integration, and more

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Feedly seemingly swooped in at the perfect time, just as Google ended its Reader service for all of eternity. Users seem to be migrating to Feedly over many other alternatives that were released at the same time, most likely because of its easy navigation and lack of confusing features— people certainly like simplicity these days.

Now, it looks like Feedly wants to cash in. The service has now announced a “Pro” version, which will cost users $5/month (or an option to pay $45/year). Premium features will include article searching, secure browsing, Evernote integration, and better customer support. More features will be made available in the future, and users will supposedly have a say in what features are added later.

They are also offering a limited-time offer— the first 5000 upgrades will get lifetime access to the Pro service for only a one-time fee of $99. Lifetime edition subscriptions are open today, while monthly subscriptions will begin in the fall.

This all seems like a good idea, but I don’t think the extra features that are being offered right now are really worth the money. Plus, who’s to say that a competitor to Feedly won’t come out with an even better product, just months after you go all-in on their lifetime subscription? I’m definitely going to be sitting tight on this one and see how everything pans out before opening my wallet for something that I got for free from Google just last month. Check out the download link after the break. Read more

Best Android keyboard replacements for phones and tablets [January 2013]

Keyboards are important. They’re easily the most used application on your Android phone, so having one you actually like can go a long way towards enjoying your phone. Sometimes, you’ll get stuck with an OEM keyboard that you don’t really care for; that’s where this guide comes in. We’ll go over all the best keyboard replacements for your device to help you pick one the right one for you.

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RIM invites Android developers to port apps to BlackBerry 10 in ‘Last Chance Port-a-thon’

Sure, porting Android applications to run on BlackBerry devices isn’t fresh news by any means, but with the impending release of BlackBerry 10, RIM is attempting to bulk up its App World offerings in time for the big reveal. The Waterloo based company has already held two previous “port-a-thons” in an effort to get new developers on board, and it appears as though RIM is holding a final “last chance port-a-thon” before devices begin to hit the market later this month. Read more

“Press” is a beautiful new RSS reader that syncs with your Google Reader account

If you’re looking for a beautiful RSS reader that syncs to your Google Reader account, look no further. “Press” is a gorgeous new app released by TwentyFive Squares that features a heavy emphasis on good design and simplicity. The app was built using Android’s new design philosophy so it already looks natural on your Android phone or tablet, but TwentyFive Squares took the design language a step further and added some nice textures, shadows, icons and typography to really push the app over-the-top when it comes to great design. Press is simple and easy to use and utilizes the two panel navigation that has become so popular with Android apps as of late. Articles look great and you can change the article layout and font if you so choose. The only flaw in the app is that once you are reading an article, there is no easy way to navigate to the next (via swipe gesture or otherwise), so you have to back out to the main menu. The developer has acknowledged this issue and is working on a solution. There is also no widget in the current release, but we’re sure that will be addressed soon as well. The app is $1.99 in the Google Play store for a limited time. Hit the break to see a video, screenshot gallery, and QR code to get the app.

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Swiftkey Flow beta launching in ‘less than 24 hours’

The company behind SwiftKey, the popular Android keyboard replacement, recently revealed that its all new “Flow Through Space’ feature would be arriving sometime this month. Well, it appears as though that time may be coming sooner rather than later.

Joe Braidwood, CMO of SwiftKey, took to Twitter today to announce that SwiftKey Flow would be launching “in less than 24 hours,” ensuring that eager users wouldn’t have to wait much longer to be able to try their hand at the Swype-esque keyboard. It has also been made clear that users who wish to get in on the closed beta should sign up on SwiftKey’s official VIP forums in order to receive the email invitation over the course of the coming day.

So, are you guys as excited as I am? Have you signed up for the beta yet? If not, be sure to head to the source link below.

Source: Twitter, SwiftKey VIP Forums

Better Maps Headed to Your Apps

Soon, we should all see better maps within some of the apps that we use. Today, Google launched an update to their Maps API that developers will use to incorporate Google Maps into their apps. This new API version will benefit both developers on the front-end as well as users on their end. It’ll allow developers to create their map features with less code and also provide them with the ability to incorporate satellite, hybrid, terrain, traffic and indoor maps into their apps, much like Google Maps currently does. It’ll, in turn, offer end-users more robust options in their applications when viewing maps. The overall goal is to make in-app maps look very similar to Google Maps for a seamless experience for all, and this update is getting us closer.

source:  Google Blog

Google Play Store reaches 700,000 applications

 With all the excitement surrounding the impending launch of Google’s new family of Nexus devices, it isn’t surprising to hear that the company has reached yet another promising milestone. The folks from Mountain View announced today that the Google Play Store had surpassed 700,000 total applications. Keep in mind this is the same number of applications Apple said it had in its App Store just last week.

There’s no doubt the portfolio of games and productivity apps will continue to increase, ultimately beating out Apple for the number of total applications available to users. However, with the introduction of the Nexus 10, Google will need to make a push for tablet-specific applications if it intends to successfully compete in the 10-inch tablet space.

Source: Bloomberg 

Lookout Mobile Security issues update to protect against dialer exploits

Security is a major concern amongst Android users, and this week a major security vulnerability was found on Samsung devices which allowed handsets to be remotely wiped from the Dialer application. While Samsung says the issue has been fixed with a software update, it remains unclear whether or not other phones have been affected. Regardless, the mobile security experts at Lookout have rolled out an update to their official Android application, providing much-needed protection against malicious and hazardous phone numbers.

This makes Lookout Security & Antivirus the first application to successfully block the exploit. The protection works by scanning telephone links before they open. When selecting a telephone number, the service will proceed to warn you if the number is fake or malicious. It does require user input, however, as Lookout will ask if you’d like to scan the tel: link in question. As usual though, when making a selection you can set it as the default within the pop-up box. So, if you haven’t already updated to the latest version of Lookout, you can head to the Play Store link below. For those of you not currently using a security suite for your phone, now is probably a good time to start.

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Play Store Download Link

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