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Google Takes Its Google+ Platform Mobile With Android, iOS SDKs & Social Plugins For The Mobile Web

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Google+ is obviously a major focus for Google these days, but until now, the company hasn’t really focused on extending the Google platform beyond its own services and its +1 buttons. Now, however, the company is extending the Google+ platform to mobile with the upcoming release of its Google+ SDKs for iOS and Android. This new platform will allow developers to use Google+ sign-in buttons, sharing widgets, and the Google+ history API it quietly launched yesterday. Developers will also be able to pull in public Google+ content through the existing (but limited) Google+ API. In addition to these SDKs, these features are also now available as mobile web optimized social plugins.

It’s worth noting that the program is launching slowly. The Android version will be available in the coming weeks and on iOS, Google is initially launching the platform in Developer Preview, meaning developers can test and run their apps, but not release them to the public.

As Google announced during its I/O keynote yesterday, “there are now more people that use Google+ from a mobile device than from a desktop computer.” Because Google has always “believed in the importance of mobile for [its] users,” but the company is obviously also interested in establishing a foothold on mobile, where Facebook and Twitter have already established their own presence over the last few years.

Source : "Techcrunch"

With New Mobile Apps, Eric Schmidt-Backed HealthTap Brings The House Call Back To Healthcare

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Over 80 percent of people seek health-related information online, on everything from insurance to help diagnosing aches and pains. As the world goes mobile, so too does health. Instead of using Google for your health queries or perusing WebMD, HealthTap launched last year to give people a way to connect with doctors in realtime via their mobile devices.

Today, the startup is announcing a significant update to their interactive mobile health network, including a suite of new apps for the iPhone, iPad, Android and the Web, and a revamped, cleaner UI.

Since launching last year, HealthTap has built a network of 12,000 licensed physicians — no easy task — to allow its users to get answers to medical questions for free without relying on algorithms — and has raised $14 million from Mayfield Fund, Mohr Davidow Ventures, Eric Schmidt’s Innovation Endeavors, Esther Dyson, and more. With its new mobile apps, HealthTap is essentially trying to bring the house call back to life, giving users the option to text doctors from their mobile devices for free.

Founded by Ron Gutman, who previously founded health information portal Wellsphere, HealthTap offers a directory of over one million doctors, which includes transparent doctor-to-doctor ratings by way of its so-called “DocScore.” The ranking system is basically the medical equivalent of a FICO score, incorporating both publicly available data and peer reviews from other doctors. It also gives doctors the opportunity to rank each other based on their expertise in specific fields or procedures.

The other nifty feature is the ability to not only ask questions but make in-person appointments from your phone via direct messaging or or calls. HealthTap shows users which doctors are available (via a green dot), whereupon they can send HIPAA-compliant texts with the option to include images, health records, test results, etc.

Sending that initial text message costs about $10, with follow-up messaging at $5 a pop. It’s admittedly far more expensive than your average SMS conversation, but compared to the cost of the average office visit (and the typical lengthy wait time to make those appointments), the convenience of realtime, mobile messaging and virtual appointments is more-than-a-little appealing. Plus, HealthTap archives those conversations and virtual in-person meetings along with giving you the ability to store your health records.

There are a number of startups trying to give people better access to health information on the web and telehealth, too, is growing fast. HealthTap is really trying to focus on educating the average user through informational Q&As, rather than giving doctors a virtual practice, which gives it the ability to avoid the kind of regulations and constraints it would have were doctors using HealthTap to write prescriptions, for example.

It’s a pretty comprehensive mobile platform for health education and it offers doctors an easy way to build their online presence and reputation, while giving developers the chance to tap into a whole mess of health content and data.

Source : techcrunch

Apple Quietly Releases Their Standalone Podcasts App Ahead Of iOS 6

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It wasn’t long after the iOS 6 developer beta first started hitting devices that people started noticing something peculiar about its iTunes app — the iTunes U, Audiobooks, and Podcast sections had disappeared.

That prompted quite a bit of speculation that each of those content types would get their own standalone app when the update launched, and now Apple has seemingly confirmed those inklings by releasing a new Podcasts app for iDevices running iOS 5.1 or later.

Upon launching the app, users are greeted with all of the podcasts they subscribe to laid out in a handsome grid. Not a fan of the blocky default layout? A quick tap brings up a list view of all of your downloaded podcasts for easier access to stored audio and video content.

New to Apple’s Podcast experience is the Top Stations feature, which allows users to browse podcasts based on genre and subsets within those genres. Take the Games & Hobbies genre for instance — swiping left and right within that set of podcasts will expose users to shows about Aviation, Video Games, Hobbies, and the like.

In usual Apple fashion, they’ve loaded up with the app with skeuomorphic design elements. Scrolling through those Top Stations bears a mild resemblance to the radio dials of yore, and most notably the podcast player itself is designed to look like an old reel-to-reel tape player. The level of detail at play here is what you’d expect from Apple, and there are quite a few neat touches — the rotation rates of those reels vary in accordance with the playback speed controls.

The free app is available in the App Store now. Now we just have to wait and see if iTunes U and Audiobooks apps soon make their way out of the woodwork as well.

Source : techcrunch

Box Brings Its OneCloud Platform To Android With 50 Apps HA4RX4PV99UJ

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My Technorati Claim Token : HA4RX4PV99UJ

Back when Box launched its OneCloud platform for enterprise mobile apps back in March, VP of Platform Engineering Chris Yeh says that virtually all of the user comments boiled down to a single question: What about Android? So today, Box is answering the cry of forlorn Android owners by releasing OneCloud for Android.

OneCloud is basically a collection of mobile apps that integrate with Box. Viewers can browse, purchase, and download apps from a gallery. Then, when you’re browsing your documents in Box, you can interact with them using the apps that you’ve installed. Yeh says that 25 percent of Box iOS users are visiting the gallery every day, and that OneCloud is already on-track to drive hundreds of thousands of dollars of app sales for developers in its first year. The most popular apps involve document editing and PDF annotation, he adds.

As for Android, Yeh says it was always on the roadmap, especially since the company’s mobile user base has more Android owners than iOS. (So why start with iOS? Because of the potential of the iPad.)

“In a perfect world we would have launched [Android and iOS] simultaneously, but it was a lot to bite off,” Yeh says.

He adds that in some ways the experience is better on Android, specifically in allowing for a smooth transition from opening a file in Box, opening an app to edit the file, then saving that app back to the same location in Box, which he says is not as clean in iOS.

There has been one big surprise, Yeh says: The relatively small overlap between OneCloud apps on iOS and Android. Initially, he expected to bring most of Box’s iOS partners into the Android platform, but he realized that many small developers only have an app on one or the other — they don’t have resources for both. So even though Box has signed up 50 launch partners to OneCloud for Android, only 11 of them are also available on iOS. This, Yeh says, is an indication of how “fragmented” the smartphone landscape has become.

The Android apps include printing app Breezy, note-taker FetchNotes, and e-signature app Docusign. And with today’s release of the Box OneCloud Android SDK, their ranks should grow. (Yeh says the Box team likes to work directly with each partner, although that may become less feasible as the platform scales.)

T-Mobile’s Galaxy Note Press Shots Leak Out, Expected On July 11


It’s all but confirmed.

We’ve seen plenty of evidence over the past few months, including an image of one, but today we’ve spotted some interesting new press shots of what appears to be T-Mobile’s Samsung Galaxy Note (blue). If the phablet isn’t coming to T-Mobile, we should all consider ourselves Punk’d.

The latest come by way of Cell Phone Signal, which claims that the T-Mobile Galaxy Note will be available July 11. The phone will reportedly come with HSPA+ on T-Mobile’s 850/1900 bands.

Samsung’s mobile head JK Shin today predicted that Samsung would hit a cumulative 10 million Galaxy Note sales by July. That would be on par with the 5 million units sold in five months on the market.

In any case, hopping on to a new carrier can’t do anything to hurt sales, even though the Galaxy S III — which will be riding in on many a carrier — is sure to start chomping into the Galaxy Note’s numbers.

Source : Techcrunch

‘Find Friends Nearby’: Facebook’s New Mobile Feature For Finding People Around You

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Facebook has created a new feature that lets users find friends and potential friends nearby. Currently Initially called “Friendshake” and also accessible through a URL that is the abbreviation of “find friends nearby” (http://fb.com/ffn), it’s another step in Facebook furthering its reach into mobile, and creating services to meet new people — rather than building up more connectivity with the ones you already know. And, in keeping with Facebook’s emphasis on being as ubiquitous as possible, for now it’s not being delivered in a native app, but via the mobile web. Update: it’s accessible via Facebook’s mobile apps, too

The service comes a little under two months after Facebook announced the acquisition of Glancee, a mobile app that helps users discover people near them with similar interests, whose three founders have now joined Facebook and closed down their app. It is not clear if Friendshake has been created out of that acquisition, or if it has been developed along an altogether different thread — or how the functions of the two may eventually dovetail.

The feature has not been officially launched, but it is live and visible for those seeking it out.

For now, the app works like this. Users have to be logged into Facebook and also into the Friendshake URL, and then others who are near can pick each other up. You can see both your own friends, as well as those you may not know.

For now it looks like the main purpose is to quickly add people who you meet at a specific event — like a hackathon, or a bar.

As Pincombe points out, “Before, you would need to tell them your name, probably spell it for them, and then depending on how common your name is, you’d have to tell them which of the results is actually you. This makes it 2 taps if you save a bookmark.”

And there is, of course, the potential of how this basic service could be further developed: finding people who are friends of friends, or who have flagged similar interests in their social graphs; and it potentially could be something to incorporate as a push service, rather than one you have to be activate to use every time.

All of these features could make Friendshake into a Highlight killer — which can already do all of the above — and a lot more like Glancee, too.

But as with so many of these kinds of features, you have to wonder how and if it will be abused — random people you would like to shake off suddenly start asking you to friend them on Facebook, for example.

However, it appears that, even if Friendshake is already publicly available, this is still a work in progress being tested out, and so we may see more controls getting put in place, in addition to the fact that you have to activate the service to use it. “To my knowledge, the few people here at AngelHack that the Facebook employee tested it with are the only people to know about it yet,” said Pincombe.

Before this, Facebook already had an ambient location feature, but it worked somewhat less in real time, and it is more about friends you have rather than making new ones. Facebook’s Check-In feature, when enabled, lets users see contacts who have visited the same places they have, or who has checked-in to a Facebook event.

Update : It looks like the Find Friends Nearby option is now available on Facebook’s iOS and Android apps, too. It’s here: menu > apps > find friends > other tools > Find Friends Nearby, which takes you to a page that looks exactly like the mobile web page.

Source: techcrunch

Boost Your Android Device’s Sound Quality With an Equalizer

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Android devices sometimes get criticized for sound quality, but Gingerbread’s EQ has changed that. We’ll show you how to take advantage of audio equalizers to boost your music and system sounds, whether you’ve got Gingerbread or you’re stuck with FroYo.

Audio Equalization on Android

One of Gingerbread’s biggest features was the ability to really dig into the audio features. It allowed the creation of system-wide equalizers that will work on any music player, live streams, and even system sounds. You don’t have that on iOS! We’ll be featuring a great, free piece of software that works well, but also has some extra features you can purchase to unlock.

 On the other hand, if you’re stuck on FroYo or below, you won’t be able to take advantage of system-wide EQ settings. Don’t worry, though, as we’ve found a fantastic music player that has a 10-band software EQ for your music. It may not be as universal, but it’s a great player and gets the job done very well. Of course, you’ll want to know how equalizers work in general to use this to its fullest advantage. We’ll touch on that as well.  

For Gingerbread and Above: Equalizer (Smart Android Apps) 

 There are quite a few different EQ apps on the Android Market, but Equalizer by Smart Android Apps is one of the best we’ve found for a number of reasons. 5 band system-wide EQ 11 stock presets Custom Preset feature Bass Booster Room Virtualizer Reverb setting Home Screen widgets and Notification Bar option Tablet support (and optimization!) No rooting necessary 


On the main screen, you can choose EQ settings and also enable automatic detection (based on your track’s “genre” tag), which will change the preset if one is available. 


 The second tab lets you add presets, but that’s a “pro” feature. The third will allow you define the “Custom” preset yourself. It works and remembers the settings in the free version, but paying for the pro version will allow you to save these custom settings as new presets.


The last tab shows advanced settings. You can change the level of the Bass Booster, which boosts in addition to the EQ setting, and the Virtualizer, which tries to simulate “surround sound” a little better when you’re wearing headphones. Lastly, you can change the Reverb Preset.


You can selectively enable each setting individually by tapping on the Power icon up top. 


All in all it’s a great app and lets you do almost everything for free, including use the widgets:

 The 4×1 widget: 


The 2×1 widget: 


By paying $1.99 for the Unlocker Key and upgrading to the Full/Pro version, you’ll gain the ability to save custom presets with whatever name you like (thus expanding the auto-detection feature), backing them up and restoring them from an SD card, and creating Home Screen widgets for individual presets. 

 For FroYo: PowerAMP Music Player (Max MP)

  PowerAMP by Max MP is another jewel for those of you who can’t run Equalizer or who just want a more customizable EQ. It is a 15-day fully-featured trial, and the full version costs $5.17


It’s a beautiful music player, but let’s focus on the EQ, which is found on the bottom of the app window.

  As you can see, they give you a full 10 bands to adjust and a pre-amp, as well as the ability to customize the overall tone independently of the presets.


Actually, my version is a tad out of date and there’s an ability to save custom presets as well. My device has a custom ROM and I haven’t had WiFi access but you can see the whole list of features on PowerAMP’s website. And, of course, you will get free updates should you decide to buy the app. It really is a great music app aside from the EQ and we urge you to give it a try. One of the nice features is auto-pause when headphones are unplugged and auto-resume when they’re reconnected (second
option below): 


PowerAMP also allows you to use plain folder-based navigation in addition to Android’s library system.


And the widgets don’t look bad either. 

The 4×2 widget: 


 Two different 4×1 widgets: 


How To Use Equalizers

 In general, EQs are primarily used to make up for deficiencies in sound, either due to bad equipment or poor acoustics. If you have headphones where the bass response is lacking in some ways, you can boost the bass via an EQ or other option in your music player to try and make up for that. If your speakers muddle out the high end, you can give them a boost and cut back on your mids to make things a bit more clear. The better your equipment, the less you need an EQ, but also the more acutely you will notice the changes that are made. Of course, better acoustics can help with poorer hardware, too.

For the most part, EQ presets help round-out the sounds in particular genres of music, cutting frequencies that may be too loud or overused and boosting others that aren’t emphasized. This helps bring out whole underlying parts of songs you may not notice and is great when using headphones. Alternatively, you could boost sections that are already fairly prominent for various purposes, like for dancing, head-banging, or focusing on lyrics. Ultimately, how you choose to use your equalizer is up to you. Fiddle with settings and pay attention to what sounds clear and what doesn’t, what gets louder and what gets softer. Also remember that many artists are very dynamic in their music, so you may need to change your preset album by album instead of basing it off of genre.

Sony Xperia tipo with 3.2″ Full Touchscreen Display Features

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Sony Mobile has officially announced its new Xperia smartphones – Xperia tipo. The new Xperia tipo is designed for consumers who want to realize the benefits of a smartphone for the first time that migrate from a feature phone. Sony Xperia tipo available in a dual-SIM version. With a simple touch, consumers can switch between tariffs to stay on the most cost effective plan. The Xperia tipo comes with a 3.2-inch scratch resistant display. It’s powered by an 800 MHz Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM7225AA processor and launches with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich that let users enjoy faster browsing the web, sharing photo, and downloading apps. Key Features and Specs of Sony Xperia tipo: Large 3.2-inch HVGA TFT screen with scratch-resistant mineral glass (320 x 480 pixels resolution) Run Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich Powered by an 800MHz processor (Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM7225AA chipset) microSD card slot and 2.9GB of built-in memory with 2.5GB accessible to the user 3.2-megapixel camera 3.5mm audio jack HSPA-enabled 3G, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi802.11 b/g/n/a connectivity GPS Rechargeable 1,500 mAh lithium battery The new high-end Sony Xperia tipo smartphone looks very sturdy and solid, and its 3.2 megapixel camera also works well for video, picture with its super-high resolution and brilliant color. Sony has addressed your concerns as a rechargeable large-capacity 1500 mAh lithium battery is assigned to support the high power consumption mobile device. Sony Xperia tipo comes bundled with a stylish new and lightweight which measures just 103 x 57 x 13 mm and weighs in at 99.4 grams is portable enough to carry around. The phone is available in red, white, blue, and black color and plan to hit the market during the third quarter but its exact launch date and price info are yet to be known.