Over the last several years, as computers became more powerful and take increasingly different form factors, the landscape changed so that it is no longer unusual for users to have several devices at their disposal. With all these devices, it is not uncommon for a user to find themselves working on something on one device and needing to transition to another device. Apple recently introduced Continuity features as part of iOS and OS X Yosemite to address this need. Not to be outdone by one of their major rivals, Samsung announced at their developer conference that they too are working on a system called Flow intended to address similar consumer needs.
Amazon‘s Flow has been available on iOS since November of last year and has finally made its way onto Android. Not unlike Google Goggles, Flow let’s you scan products like DVDs, books, video games, and more, and shows product details, pricing, and a buy button (to purchase from Amazon, of course). The scanning is done by simply pointing your phone’s camera at the product, or scanning the product’s bar code. The Android version of Flow also scans QR codes, a feature currently lacking in the iOS version but expected to come in the future.
Something Flow does on both platforms, however, is provide a live augmented reality view for certain products which displays things like movie trailers and other media using its image recognition technology. Simply point the camera at a DVD cover, for example, and instantly see an overlay popup with movie info and video previews. I guess you can technically call this augmented reality, but it’s not quite as fancy as other AR apps since you’re just looking at a closeup of a single object and seeing related information… something just as easily done by scanning a bar code.
Head on past the break for screenshots and a Play Store download link.
I’ve been a big fan of FriendCaster for a while now. Sure I may not have jumped on it the day it was released from developer Chris Banes, but ever since I’ve had the application, I’ve never looked back to the native Facebook app. A quick search will drum up four posts alerting our reader about updates to Flow for Facebook (now FriendCaster). Now that Handmark has a hand in the development I believe it can only get better (Although to be honest, the app has been rather buggy lately). Look at TweetCaster (free version), by far my favorite Twitter app and loved by many.
Now to the news. Over at XDA, member senab (aka Chris Banes, see his profile) has brought to our attention that FriendCaster is being optimized for Honeycomb tablets. senab is sure to inform, that this will be a private alpha release by the end of the week. So if you run an Android 3.0 tablet, and are hunting for a great alternative to the native Facebook application, get over to the XDA thread and leave your feedback, and register for the private alpha.