Archive for July, 2011

CNET 100: Nicole Lee’s favorite Android apps

July 21st, 2011

Editors’ note: Until Friday, 10 CNET personalities are showcasing their 10 personal favorite Android apps as part of the CNET 100. With each post, you can read why they hold the apps so dear and you’ll get the opportunity to vote for your own favorite title. Then after the series ends, we’ll collect the full list of 100 apps and announce the 10 that you, our readers, love the most.

Senior Associate Editor Nicole Lee is an integral part of CNET’s cell phones team. Over the years, she’s reviewed countless handsets, ranging from quick messaging phones to the latest BlackBerrys. She’s also our resident Bluetooth headset expert and writes a bi-weekly column called The 411 where she answers your questions on all things mobile.

Nicole’s favorite Android apps allow her to indulge her other interests outside of technology. This includes keeping up with the World Champion San Francisco Giants, checking out reviews for the latest movies, and catching up on the latest issue of The Economist. Always one to try out new tech, she’s quite smitten with the new Google+ and Rdio music service. Nicole also enjoys a mean game of Words with Friends, even though it refuses to accept LOL as a legit word.

Be sure to check back tomorrow on Android Atlas to see app choices from Molly Wood. For yesterday’s list, check out the picks from Jaymar Cabebe.

Originally posted at Android Atlas

SoundHound adds LiveLyrics

July 21st, 2011


SoundHound today launched LiveLyrics, a new feature for the popular SoundHound music discovery app for iOS. Now, when you are using SoundHound to identify a song, the new feature will let you view lyrics in time with the music. What’s more, you can double-tap any line of lyrics to skip to that specific point in the song, or if you scroll through a song, the lyrics will scroll along with you.

At the moment, SoundHound is armed with about a half million lyrics in its database. However, the folks behind the app are promising to ramp up to 1 million by the end of 2011.

The new LiveLyrics feature is available starting today, with unlimited usage for version 4.0 of both the free SoundHound app and the paid SoundHound Infinity app for iOS.

Updated Netflix app supports more Android phones

July 20th, 2011

Netflix for Android now works with a lot more phones--and, finally, a tablet (but only one).

Netflix for Android now works with a lot more phones–and, finally, a tablet (but only one).


As someone who’s been happily streaming the likes of “Party Down” and “Phineas and Ferb” to his iPhone and iPad for the better part of a year, I can’t help but feel for the poor Android phone and tablet owners who can’t get in on the Netflix goodness.

Sure, a Netflix app is available for Android, but it’s compatible with only a handful of devices. Or, at least, it was: Yesterday, Netflix 1.3 landed in Android Market, bringing with it support for a whopping 15 additional Android phones–and one tablet: the just-announced Lenovo IdeaPad K1.

That’s a bit of a rub to owners of tablets like the Acer Iconia A500, Motorola Xoom, and Samsung Galaxy Tab, which are, you know, available. Although the K1 just went on sale, it’s not expected to ship until next month.

Still, for folks pocketing an HTC Droid Incredible 2 or Thunderbolt, a Motorola Droid 2 or 3, a Samsung Epic 4G or Nexus S 4G, or any of the other newly supported models, the news is all good.

Indeed, I just downloaded and installed Netflix 1.3 on an Nexus S 4G. It works–and it’s awesome. Alas, there’s still no love for any of Virgin Mobile’s prepaid phones, like the LG Optimus V or new Motorola Triumph (two models that strongly appeal to the cheapskate in me). Dangit.

At least this update is a big step in the right direction, and proof positive that Netflix is working to overcome Android’s inherent fragmentation problems and support as many devices as possible. Meanwhile, Hulu is ramping up device compatibility as well, having recently added support for four new Android handsets (for a grand total of 10).

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’d like to go spend some quality time with Wallace and Gromit.

Originally posted at Android Atlas

Java for OS X Lion available from Apple

July 20th, 2011

With the release of OS X 10.7 Lion, Apple has made an effort to streamline the OS to the prevalent technologies used in OS X and on the Mac platform in general. Apple is pushing developers to use 64-bit code instead of 32-bit code even for applications that do not need it, use native Intel code instead of maintaining PowerPC code and optimizing its performance under Rosetta (which is now missing from the OS), and implement Objective-C Coco APIs instead of Java and alternatives. Nevertheless, many programs (including popular tools like Adobe CS4 and earlier) still require alternative runtimes like Java, and even though Apple has left Java out of the OS by default, you can still get it for the OS if you need it.

Java Install Window

This window will pop up if you do not have Java installed and have launched an application that requires Java.

Apple has announced it will not be maintaining an in-house version of Java, but for now Apple has made available Java 1.6.0_26 (the same version that is available for Snow Leopard) for people to install in OS X 10.7 Lion if needed. The update is available for download from the Java for OS X Lion Web site.

In addition to being available as a standalone installer, the OS should present the option to install Java if you run any program that requires Java to be present. As with Rosetta in Snow Leopard, if you run such a program the OS will trigger Software Update to download and install the required Java runtime, and will ask you if you would like to do this.

The future of Java on OS X is unclear, but for now it appears when Apple drops development of Java that Oracle will assume the reins and maintain future releases of the runtime for OS X, should demand for it by Mac users continue.

Questions? Comments? Have a fix? Post them below or e-mail us!
Be sure to check us out on Twitter and the CNET Mac forums.

Originally posted at MacFixIt

Baidu launches browser with Chrome-like design

July 20th, 2011
Baidu's new browser.

Baidu's new browser


Baidu has offered up a beta version of its first-ever browser, and at first glance, it looks quite similar to Google’s Chrome.

The browser, which was made available for download earlier this week on Baidu’s site, includes a single bar at the top, allowing users to either input addresses or search the Web. In addition, the browser’s home page offers access to an application marketplace, similar to the Chrome Web Store, featuring thousands of programs users can access. When users choose an application, including the Youku video service or Sina’s Weibo microblog offering, it’s added to the home page.

According to The Wall Street Journal, opened applications appear in a new tab, and many of them are hosted by Baidu.

With the launch of a browser, Baidu now puts itself squarely in competition with Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, the most-used browser in China. According to data from China-based researcher CNZZ, Microsoft’s market share in June stood at nearly 63 percent, easily overshadowing Chrome’s 2.52 percent share and Firefox’s 2.06 percent slice of the market.

Although it might have a long way to go to catch Microsoft, Baidu is an online force in China. The company owns nearly 76 percent of the Chinese search market, according to China’s Analysys research firm. That alone could help the search giant push its browser to more users and become a major player in that market.

Although Baidu has its sights set on Internet Explorer, the company has actually formed a close bond with Microsoft. Earlier this month, the companies announced that Microsoft would supply results to all English-language search queries through Baidu.

Baidu’s new browser is available now as a free download to XP, Vista, and Windows 7 users only. The company has yet to reveal whether it will launch Mac or Linux versions in the future.

Originally posted at The Digital Home

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