Samsung’s U.S. market share grows as LG, Motorola, and HTC all see small dips

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For the month of June, the top smartphone manufacturers in the United States did not see much of a change in United States market share. Apple and Samsung, the two leaders, are the only of the top five manufacturers to see growth. LG, Motorola, and HTC all saw very small changes that went south; however, none of the declines were more than -0.6%. Also, those three companies combined have yet to near Samsung’s 28.6% market share in the United States. On the overall software front, Android still leads iOS by an amount nearing 10%.

Hit the break for details on what mobile applications have the most reach.
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Google announces the end of packaged apps in move to Chrome Apps

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Last year for the fifth anniversary of the Chrome browser, Google announced a “new breed of apps” known as Chrome apps. The new apps function much like a traditional program when launched on a computer, appearing in its own window and capable of being used when offline amongst other features. When launched, Google’s intent was for these Chrome apps to be the next generation of apps replacing the “packaged apps” that they first introduced in 2010. Google has now announced their end of life plans for “packaged apps” including an immediate halt to the ability for developers to submit them to the Chrome Web Store.
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Google adding native “help page” interface on its Android apps

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If you’ve ever needed to go to the “help” section in an Android app by Google, your usual course of action would be to head to the hamburger menu on the left side of the screen, and click on the “Help” tab. Once you tap on it, you are directed to a web page.

It’s a bit old-fashioned to be directed to a web page from an app, and it’s especially old-fashioned if Google is the company that developed the app. In an effort to update things, Google will soon direct users to a native help page within both the Google Wallet and YouTube applications.


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Here are the top functions and apps available on Android that are NOT on iOS

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Because there are so many different Android devices (and so many variants of those individual devices), developers tend to begin programming their apps on iOS before putting together the resources (and endless hours) to begin porting their creations to Android.

Developing for Android is an arduous task, and Google knows it. That’s why the company will soon be making a concerted effort to streamline the development process. Google has also pushed manufacturers/carriers to stay as close to stock Android as possible by criticizing bloatware and OEM custom skins. But with different phones running different processors, having different amounts of RAM, different screen sizes/resolutions, etc., it’s tough to make sure an app will work seamlessly across the platform, no matter what Google does to ease the process. Android’s vast device offering can be seen as a major strength (and something that has led the platform to be an industry leader in market share) but it’s also been a weakness from the development side.


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How to change or clear default app settings in Android

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Ever browsed through your Twitter feed on your device, tapped on a link, and been directed to the page via your ‘non-preferred’ browser?

Have you ever wanted to snap a picture using the hardware camera button on your device, but it keeps opening your default camera app, rather than the brand new Google Camera app you downloaded, or perhaps another third-party camera app?

There are plenty of apps in the Play Store that can be used  to “replace” functions already on your device. In order to use them properly and set them as the “default” app for the specific function they fulfill on your device, you’ll have to do some tinkering.

It isn’t tough, but some Android users have expressed frustration with the ease of setting up default apps and even completely resetting the functions. In order to help you out, I’ve set up this guide to show you how to both change default apps in Android as well as quickly wipe your previous settings.


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Best Android educational apps and games for kids [May 2014]

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We all know how hard it is to hand over your brand new tablet to your wide-eyed kid or younger sibling, but when we do, why not make sure there are age-appropriate applications on the device? Instead of  having them stare mindlessly into a game of Angry Birds, why not have them play something educational?

Fortunately there are plenty of great apps for kids available on the Play Store, and many are even free. Whether you’re looking for an enjoyable experience learning to read or an exciting game to teach your kids math, these apps open up a new world of learning through technology.

To help you weed out the apps that won’t entertain and enrich kids, we’ve created a list of my top five educational apps and games that kids are sure to enjoy. Be sure to let us know about what apps your kids enjoy in the comments!


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IFTTT finally makes an Android version available

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IFTTT (IF This Then That) is a fantastic automation and task engine application that was previously only available on iOS, but today it’s finally jumped onto the Play Store, completely free. All you’ll need is an Android tablet or smartphone running 4.0 and up, which should cover just about everyone.

The app showcases a few examples of how you can automate your device, including setting your latest Instagram upload as your device background or uploading to cloud storage of your choice, or upload any screenshots you take to Google Drive. Outside of backing up your photos, you can also set up alerts for sports games or create emails to be sent out once you reach a certain location. Pretty powerful stuff.

If you’re a fan of apps like Tasker, you’ll definitely want to give IFTTT a spin. Hit the break for the download link and some screenshots.
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Images from Samsung’s new “Kids Store” apps store now available

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Before the Galaxy S 5 was announced, we let you guys know about the “Kids Mode” that would be featured on the device.

The owner of the device will create a PIN to control Kids Mode, and from there, settings can be customized— some of these settings include which apps your child can use and who your child can contact. A timer can also be set to limit how much time your child is playing with your device.

We also had some information regarding a Kids Store which will feature applications in different categories which can be downloaded, including both paid and free apps. (PINs have to be entered before buying an app.)

Now, we have some screenshots of the Kids Store for you to check out. Hit the break below for more pictures.


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