Addressing the smartphone market for the visually impaired is an ongoing task. Over the years, there have been plenty of advancements in this area with the introduction of numerous applications, voice technology and on screen accessibility features but now a new entrant into the market is seeking to help folks as well. Screenreader, a not-for-profit company, has now introduced the Android based Georgie app in the U.K where there 1 in every 30 people suffer from some sort of visual impairment.
Using existing Samsung phones like the Samsung XCover and Galaxy Ace 2, picked specifically to be easy to use for blind users, Georgie offers a whole new experience by allowing for such things as managing contacts, using speech input to send text messages and tag previous routes or hazards (like potholes or low hanging branches) using navigation apps.
Georgie is available for purchase on the Google Play Store in a number of different packages. The base package with all features is available for £299 with additional feature sets available for £149. You can look at the full press release below or check out the source link for video on how Georgie works on devices.
In what is likely one of the first of a lot of forthcoming app updates, the fine folks from Automattic have gone ahead an updated WordPress for Android for the Nexus 7. The update isn’t really of vital importance to a lot of folks right yet, but if you’re awaiting a Nexus 7 which is now shipping you can take satisfaction in knowing WordPress will be supported. In addition to the Nexus 7 support, you’ll also find that the app now has Danish language support included.
Download: Wordpress for Android
My Tracks, the ‘adventure’ tracking application from Google, has received an update today to version 2.0. The app itself has been around single 2009, so an update was well due. It uses the GPS on your device to “visualize your location” over time, and allow you to share the data on Google Maps and Google Earth. With version 2.0, we get a new feature that could make all this location data look oh so much better.
With the update, comes the ability to view your tracked routes right within the Google Earth for Android application. That’ll be the same Google Earth application that just benefitted from a sweet 3D update then. Relive those trips down the Vegas strip in glorious 3D.
Additionally, the whole UI has been given a pretty big spruce up and is now faster and simpler, and beautifully within the Android 4.x design guidelines — but then this is Google, so we’d expect at least that. There’s also the aggregation of statistics over time to show trends in your performance, and improved charts and stats tables that are easier to read. My Tracks 2.0 is live this very second in the Google Play Store, so head on over there to grab it for yourselves.
The wait for Android 4.0 on Canadian Galaxy Note’s (Android 4.0.4 to be precise) is now over for the most part. Samsung issued a press release yesterday, letting folks know rollout would start today and low and behold, they were right. TELUS and Bell customers are now getting the update pushed to their devices via OTA and if OTA isn’t really your thing, the update is also available for download via Kies. On Rogers? Shout out in the comments if you see it pop up on a Rogers device, because we’ve not heard word of it landing on those as of yet.
Nielsen released its mobile subscriber data for Q2 2012 today, and it shows a tight race between Samsung and HTC for the title of top Android manufacturer. Among total Android users, 17 percent own a Samsung device, while 14 percent have an HTC device. Motorola claims 11 percent of the Android market share, coming in a close third.
Among all U.S. mobile subscribers, 54.9 percent now own a smartphone, with 51.8 percent of those subscribers owning an Android device, compared to iOS’s 34.3 percent market share. Two out of three new mobile subscribers in Q2 opted for a smartphone, with 54.6 percent of those choosing an Android device, topping the 36.3 percent that chose an iPhone.
With the Android 4.1 source code having recently dropped on AOSP, custom ROM makers are quickly making progress in getting the new version ported to a variety of devices. One of those is the much-anticipated CyanogenMod 10, and this morning one of CM’s leading devs has posted a short teaser video showing the Jelly Bean-powered CM10 in action.
Ricardo Cerquiera released the above video on YouTube and Google+, demonstrating a surprisingly functional ROM on the LG Optimus 4X HD. Zipping around the UI, we see that the camera, multitasking and phone calls are all working, though this early build seems to have a couple of issues with the new Google Search app. In any case, it’s an impressive amount of progress considering how short a time the Jelly Bean source has been available.
As always, the first rule of CyanogenMod applies here, and the team isn’t giving any ETAs for CM10 nightly builds. We’ll be waiting to try this on our devices just as soon as it’s ready.
Source: +Ricardo Cerquiera
As you might have guessed by the continuing news coverage, the London Olympic Games are almost upon us. And now the BBC is launching its official Olympic app for Android (and iOS), allowing you mobile to access the Beeb’s Olympic coverage in all its forms. You’ll find the same written and video content found on the BBC mobile sites, as well as live streams of the games once things kick off on July 27. There’s also a guide to all the leading athletes, and an Olympic schedule to help users see what’s next. Once the medals start being doled out, you’ll find a dedicated guide page for keeping track of those, too.
The app is available now at the Google Play Store for devices running Android 2.2 and above. To view the BBC’s Olympic live streams, you’ll need the soon to be deprecated Adobe Flash Player. Unfortunately that means anyone on the latest version of the OS, 4.1 Jelly Bean, is out of luck. You’ll also need to be in the UK to stream content from the BBC, though if you’re in the US, you can always use NBC’s streaming app instead.
Download: BBC Olympics app on Google Play
In the true spirit of all things Google, the source code for the Google I/O 12 companion application has been released. Google will often try and slip some new bits and pieces into the I/O app, and this year was definitely no exception. The new YouTube Android Player API that was announced at the conference, was first put to good use in this very application.
If you’re a ‘code-monkey’ at heart, and want to go poking around to see what’s what, head on over to the source link below and get yourselves knee-deep in code.
Source: Google Code
Just in case you missed out on some of the Android news today, now is the time to go ahead and get yourself fully caught up. Here on the blogs and in the Android Central Forums there is plenty to talk about. Have some questions? Need some help or just looking to chat Android? You know where to go, check out some of the threads below to get started.
* Droid RAZR MAXX Forums - Thank you, ICS!
* HTC EVO 4G LTE Forums - Google Maps (Improving Location Accuracy)
* HTC One X Forums - Anyone’s One X starting to slow down?
* Samsung Galaxy S III Forums - Google Play Books OR Kindle Amazon Books?
* Galaxy Nexus Forums - [ROM][JB][AOSP] 4.1.1 Bugless Beast VZW Galaxy Nexus
If you’re not already a member of the Android Central forums, you can register your account today.
HTC has (finally) released the kernel source for the EVO 4G LTE, allowing developers to build their own custom kernels for Sprint’s flagship. The majority of users won’t have any reason to grab it and get down to business, but we all will benefit when the developers give us something sweet to flash. Custom kernels can make the biggest difference, as third party developers can tweak things and squeeze extra performance, as they target advanced users with their wares. We like performance. We like tweaks.
If you’re in need of source for your own project, or one of those mentioned developers, grab it at the link below. Game on.
The Internet Movie Database has updated their Android app with a bunch of new features.
* Sharing – check in on Facebook & Twitter to share what you’re watching
* Recommendations – discover other titles you might be interested in
* Mobile IMDb message boards – join in the discussion on your Android phone or tablet
* Filming locations & soundtracks – learn even more about the movies you love
* Similar titles – discover new movies and TV shows
* Metacritic – now see both the IMDb user rating of a title as well as how the film critics scored it
* Amazon login – log in using your Amazon account
This is all in addition to the usual stuff, like looking up movie information, watching trailers, rating shows, checking the top charts, and perusing through interesting trivia. At the low, low price of free, it’s hard to go wrong.
Are there any great movies coming out this summer that you’re really looking forward to? The last big updates were geared towards tablet layout and HD video, but are there any other features out there that could complete your movie-watching experience? Maybe real-time actor commentary like IntoNow offers?
With the London 2012 Olympic stage now all set, millions of people around the world will be tuned in to see who takes home the gold. To ensure a wide range of coverage, NBC and Adobe have teamed up to bring two new apps to Android that will help folks on to go take in what will amount to over 3,500 hours of content covering 32 sports and every one of the 302 medal events. The two apps, NBC Olympics and NBC Olympics Live Extra, are both available for free right now but there are some differences between the two that you’ll need to be aware of.
* NBC Olympics - NBC Olympics app will be the home for everything else Olympics, including short-form highlights, event schedules, TV and online listings, results, athlete profiles, columns and the new Primetime Companion feature.
* NBC Olympics Live Extra - The NBC Olympics Live Extra app will live stream every athletic competition for the first time ever. NBC Olympics Live Extra will also live stream the Olympic content that airs on the four NBCU cable channels — NBC Sports Network, MSNBC, CNBC and Bravo and as such, requires an account from existing cable, satellite and telco providers to gain fill access.
Clearly NBC’s goal here was to provide the most comprehensive coverage for the Olympics as possible and the apps do look pretty awesome. If you’re looking to take in the Olympics on the go, you’ll find the links below along with the press release. If you’re a Samsung Galaxy S III owner in Europe, don’t forget to grab your free Eurosport subscription.
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As we learned at this year’s Google I/O keynote, Android adoption is booming in developing countries, including many in Africa. And so to help these new users get the most out of the platform, Google is continuing to build on its own mobile app offerings, including the launch of walking directions for Google Maps users in Africa. Following on from the launch of driving directions in Africa in 2010, walking directions are now available in some 44 African nations, with the feature being accessed in the same way as it is elsewhere.
Whether they’re using the mobile app or web interface, users can select the walking icon when they choose their start and end locations, and they’ll get a direct walking route from one location to the other. As ever, Google reminds us that walking directions are (still) in beta, so you’ll want to take basic safety precautions when you’re out and about.
Source: Google LatLong
Looks like something big is happening down at the ZTE camp. The company’s just tweeted that it’ll be launching ‘advanced gaming smartphone’ in just six days time. That’ll be next Wednesday, July 18, then. We saw plenty of devices from ZTE at Mobile World Congress this year, including smartphones and tablets, but nothing which quite matches this description. We’re eager to see how ZTE’s new stuff differentiates itself from previous gaming-focused phones, including the ill-fated Nokia N-Gage, and the Sony Xperia Play, which wasn’t exactly a resounding success.
So roll on next week, and we’ll let you know what they have lined up for us. We will of course be at the event to bring you full coverage of whatever ZTE announces.