Wednesday, March 21, 2012

[App Review] Opera Next

Opera Next provides a bleeding edge preview of what's to come in future versions of the Opera Mini mobile Android browser. If you enjoy using and testing out advanced features that are still under development for the next releases of Opera Mini then this browser is for you. Opera notes that they don't intend for this browser version to replace your everyday browser but after using it for some time I don't know how I  could possibly not do that!

Opera Next runs as a separate browser from other Opera browsers so if you use it and something doesn't work you can fall back to your Opera Mini browser or your stock browser. The icon for Opera Next is white so you can easily tell the difference between Opera Next. Opera Mini, and the full Opera mobile browser.

 I personally found two use cases for Opera Next as a browser replacement.

1. You are running ICS on your Android phone but don't want to use Chrome Beta. One scenario would be that you don't use Google Chrome on your Desktop or Laptop. Opera offers a Opera sync function that works similar to Chrome Beta sync but only works with the full version of Opera for your PC.

2. You are running an Android version anywhere from 1.5-3.0. In this scenario you probably don't have Chrome Beta for Android because Google currently only allows it exclusively for ICS devices. It's a great alternative to Chrome Beta for earlier Android devices.

Opera Next is a seriously fast browser that allows you to have all of the speed you would get by using Chrome Beta for Android and I view it as a bridge browser or temporary one to use until Google allows non ICS devices to get Chrome Beta for Android. Check it out to see the latest innovations by the Opera Mini team, you will not be disappointed.

Developer Website:
Opera Next Link:

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

[App Review] GrooVe IP - Use your data, not your minutes

GrooVe IP connects to your Google Voice using VoIP. This allows you to make free unlimited calls to any phone in the US or Canada without using your voice minutes from your carrier. GrooVe IP claims to work on any Android phone or tablet which makes it easy to make calls over the device's data network whether you are connected to WiFi or your carrier's mobile data network. This is extremely useful if you have a smartphone with WiFi connectivity but no mobile plan. This app converts your Android smartphone without a mobile minutes in to a free, fully working phone!

GrooVe IP has a separate dialer that is used to make calls and the native Android dialer information such as your call-log, contacts, and favorites can be shared between dialers.

Things to keep in mind during setup and while using GrooVe IP:
- In order to recieve incoming calls you need to forward your Google Voice to your Google Chat.
- GrooVe IP claims to use 1.2MB per minute while on a phone call.

Developer's Website
GrooVe IP ($4.99):
GrooVe IP Lite (Free):

Monday, March 19, 2012

LogMeIn to Provide Android Mobile Support for HTC Android Devices

HTC has entered into a partnership with industry remote support leader LogMeIn.

"Future HTC devices that run on the growing Android OS will feature LogMeIn Rescue, giving HTC customer care and support staff the ability to remotely configure, diagnose and troubleshoot a technical issue wherever the customer has a data connection. The LogMeIn capability will offer HTC customers with advanced over-the-air mobile support at a moment's notice, virtually anywhere in the world."

HTC mobile devices will come pre-installed with LogMeIn Rescue, with the mobile carriers consent of course. The pre-installed application gives customers the ability to securely connect to HTC customer representatives during support calls. Once connected, support technicians can run diagnostics and remotely control the users device and attempt to resolve the issue at hand.

This announcement from HTC follows Verizon's own announcement to include remote diagnostic tools for the LG Revolution. Since carriers have the last word on deploying this  

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Amazon Android Appstore 1 Year Anniversary

Amazon's Appstore for Android is celebrating its one year anniversary today, and they are celebrating all week long with daily discounts on apps and games. To start off the anniversary celebration, Plants vs Zombies is 67% off, making it available for a mere $0.99. Tomorrow, Amazon will announce two more app deals. On the third day of their celebration, they will announce three more discounted apps. This trend will continue all week long. Besides apps and games this week, Amazon is running other great deals such as Verizon Galaxy Nexus Extended Battery Bundle which you can pick up for 50% off.

“Customers have used the Amazon Appstore to test drive and buy millions of apps and games for their Kindle Fire and other Android devices in the first year alone,” said Aaron Rubenson, director of Amazon Appstore for Android. “To thank customers for shopping with us, we worked closely with our developers to offer special discounts on some of the most popular apps all week long.”

Over the past year, the Amazon Appstore has become a complete success for the Kindle Fire and other Android devices. Most importantly, Amazon has become more profitable in some cases for app developers than Google Play according to a recent study performed by analytics firm Distimo. They compared 110 apps offered on both markets and found that 42 of them make more money on Amazon than on Google Play. The Amazon Appstore is also responsible for 28% of the revenue in these apps. The percentage of paid apps in Google Play dropped from 38% to 32% over the past year, while the percentage of paid apps in the Amazon AppStore held a steady 65%.

Over the past 12 months, Amazon's Appstore has also accomplished the following milestones:
  • Grown its selection nearly eight-fold since launch, from 4,000 apps to over 31,000.
  • In its first year, the most downloaded paid app was Cut the Rope, followed by Angry Birds (Ad-Free) and Where's My Water?; the most downloaded free app was Angry Birds Free, followed by Netflix and Solitaire by MobilityWare.
  • Amazon Appstore offers a paid app for free every day. If a customer had downloaded every Free App of the Day since launch, they would have saved nearly $1,000.
  • The paid app with the most 5-star reviews in the first year of the Amazon Appstore was Where's My Water?, with over 3,000; the free app with the most 5-star reviews was Blood & Glory, with over 4,000.
  • In the Amazon Appstore's first year, customers spent more than 7,700,000 minutes test driving apps; Bubble Buster was the most test-driven app, followed by Amazon MP3 for Android with Cloud Player and Memory Trainer.
  • Over the past year, the most popular app category for customers is games, followed by entertainment and productivity. Some of the most popular apps include Angry Birds, Fruit Ninja, Netflix, Hulu, Pandora, QuickOffice Pro, CalenGoo and Exchange by TouchDown.
To get started with Amazon, visit the Amazon Appstore to download and install their software on your Android device.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

This week on Android Enthusiasts: MIUI v4 LIVE REVIEW

This week during our weekly live Google+ Hangouts On Air broadcast, I'll be doing a live review of MIUI v4 as I flash it for the first time on my Galaxy Nexus. A seasoned developer from, Todd Leech (aka leeech) will be joining us live as well. He'll go over the finer points of the ROM as I go through a live flash and demonstration. 

When it comes to MIUI, at least the Gingerbread version, I'm definitely not the new kid on the block. I wrote an article about MIUI, calling it the best Android ROM at the time back in June. For those that aren't familiar with MIUI, it is a feature packed ROM allowing you to completely customize nearly every single feature of your device. MIUI is also one of the most popular Android ROMs in the world. It is based on Android 2.3 and 4.0, featuring unique experiences and rich themes. MIUI is updated every Friday based on the feedback from the test user community. For a  complete list of features, head on over to the official feature set list.

MIUI and Xiaomi (the company behind the ROM) became the very first custom ROM to be featured on a retail device, Xiaomi’s phone called the MI-One. Recently, the company has published some of their source code for their ROM which includes several applications that were previously closed-source. Developers can download the code from Github.

Please join us Friday, March 16th at 9:30pm EDT on Google+. If you have any specific questions about MIUI or questions for their developers, please leave them in the comments below. 

For more screenshots, visit the official screenshot thread on