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.
Mobile payment systems have been moving toward NFC technologies, with Google Wallet and other NFC-based systems like ISIS. This requires the use of a device with an NFC chip, and NFC-enabled pay stations.
NCR Corporation has something different in mind with their QR code-based ATM withdrawal system called NCR Mobile Cash Withdrawal. While not exactly a point-of-sale system like Google Wallet, it allows you to get money from any supported bank’s ATM. The technology does not require any new hardware on either end for it to work. NCR is using standard QR codes that can be scanned by any Android device with a camera. A user simply needs to have the NCR app installed, walk up to a supported ATM, scan a code, and withdraw money. No passwords are swapped between the phone and the ATM, so ATM password skimmers become useless.
Without more information, it’s difficult to say how secure this system is, but NCR is planning implementation this year and is currently looking for banks “with an innovative spirit” to partner with.
Watch the demo video after the break.
First of all, I’d like to tell you that you made the right choice grabbing an Android device. So, let’s get down into just what your new Android smartphone can do for you. The best way to do that is to grab the apps that get you up and using the power of Android quickly, without causing too much reading. Let’s be honest here, you don’t want to read a novel on how to use your smartphone, you’d rather take the knowledge in doses so you can get back to the 108th level of Angry Birds. If you’ve had an Android device for some time, pass this information around to other Android newbies you know around you.
A question many people have when they look around in stores and websites now, is what the heck are those black and white squares for? Those are called ‘QR Codes‘ (quick response code), and your Android device has the ability to scan them and display information. Until the past year or so, QR codes didn’t really take off into mainstream advertising. Now, you see them everywhere from Real Estate, Starbucks, and the latest Best Buy flyers. They can do much more than just display websites and facebook pages though, with the right app, you can easily share your installed apps, contact information and clipboard to anyone with a QR code scanner too. (The other person will need an Android device to grab your shared application though).
Click here to continue reading below…
Plenty of us come into contact with public access terminals on a daily basis, especially those of us spending the better part of our day at colleges and universities. While menial, logging into your account each time you use these services can become a pain compared to just having your browser save credentials. Before I’m berated, I’m sure many of you would never dare dream of storing passwords in your browser and for you, the public access computer becomes more a matter of what keyloggers may be hiding on the system. What I’m getting at is that in either case, wouldn’t it be nice to have a digital Open Sesame speed up and secure the process? Google thinks so too, and so they have created a page that randomly generates QR codes. What good is that you may ask; well here’s how it works.
First, point your insecure browser to accounts.google.com/sesame. Now pull out your Android and open any app capable of reading QR codes. Take a shot of the generated QR code and activate the browser link. When your phone visits the URL encoded in the QR code, that will signal to Google’s servers that you’re at this computer, and the public browser will automatically log you into your Google account without any typing on your part.
Pretty slick eh? Give it a go.
Facebook’s latest mobile app update has managed to drop a nice little bundle of improvements on us. Most notably is the new access to their timeline feature (if you have one), but it also provides some new photo enhancements too, like viewable tags on pictures and let us not forget the real time alerts – thanks to their new push notifications.
Hit the break to see everything that’s new in this version and to grab the Android Market link or a QR code.
YouTube for Android has rolled out its latest version 2.3.4, which includes a few neat improvements like a +1 button and the ability to add annotations along with a new and very handy “Watch later” queue for videos you’d like to save for another time. Lastly, this update will now allow you to edit video info while uploading within the app, this fills in the gap of a long overlooked feature and will surely bode well with users.
Jump past the break for a link to this app in the Android Market or grab the QR code from our Apps Database.
Movie-goers with a special appreciation for a “big screen experience” will likely appreciate browsing for movie showtimes, watching trailers and buying their tickets on the new tablet-optimized Fandango app; now available in the Android Market. Sure, it’s the same features as the standard app, but BIGGER.
Hit the break for a link or QR code to this app in the Android Market.
Netflix has announced the launch of their newly updated application in the Android Market, made to support Android Honeycomb 3.x tablets. News of this tablet-minded app update comes as especially good news for users in Canada and Latin America, as the app will now extend Android support in those areas for the first time – welcome to the party!
Hit the break to get a link or QR code for this application.
If you’re a child of the 1980’s like me, you may be best equipped to enjoy the unique sense of irony that comes from the rise of popular multi-directional tilt control Android games over recent years. I remember all too well, my father joining with us kids in a round or two on any of the original game consoles we grew up with, and we – the future tech geeks of the world, laughing wildly as he twisted, tilted and quickly lifted the controller with every move little Mario or any of his friends made. “Dad, use the buttons!” we’d shout. This never helped matters very much, eventually the plug would be ripped from its socket or the console itself would be tugged unintentionally, though quite violently to the ground. Who knew that these kind of parents weren’t exactly as misguided as we thought; they were just ahead of their time.
Case in point: GAMEVIL Inc.’s Air Penguins. This game puts the concept of tilt control to perfect use and gives its users smooth colorful graphics through 125 stages of Story Mode and offers a Survival Mode seemly build for good old Dad as he would surely reign victorious over me on instinct alone.
With some well-timed tilts of an Android device, you’ll help Air Penguin jump, fly, dodge, bounce and glide his way to saving his family from Antarctica’s melting ice caps. Along the way you meet some helpful turtles, angry sharks, whales with powerful blow-holes, jumping fish and other cute sea creatures in high-resolution graphics.
You can download Air Penguins now in the Android Market for free, a price that you know good old Dad would appreciate. One glance at the user reviews will spell things out clearly: this is a fun, nice-looking and addictive game about 25 years in the making.
Hit the break to snag a link or QR code for this game in the Android Market.
The newly released SanDisk Memory Zone app offers its users the ability to take greater control over their memory and offers management functionality with an “intuitive, graphical user interface” that encompasses your phone, microSD card and cloud storage services. I find the app to be super easy to use, it’s nice-looking and quick too. Oh and did I mention, it’s free?
No need to take my word for it though; hop past the break to watch a video on the SanDisk Memory Zone app or grab the Android Market Link / QR code if it tickles your fancy.