Apple vs Android – Tech Warfare

Posted by Tyler Kirwan on October 10, 2014
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apple vs android

 

Throughout recent history, technology companies have waged war on each other with no apologies. Whether it be video games, personal computers, smartphones or TV’s; fierce competition drives technology companies forward. It’s this competition that makes technology one of the fastest growing sectors in the business world. Apple vs Android brings to mind some of the video game console battles of recent past.

In the early 90’s it was Nintendo vs Sega.  Did you prefer the cute and cartoonish Mario or the sharp, slightly more aggressive Sonic The Hedgehog? Although I was partial to Sega, Nintendo certainly won that battle. That was thanks in large part to the somewhat surprising fall of the Sega Dreamcast.

Playstation vs Xbox is a battle that continues to rage on to this day. Xbox gets the edge in online play but you have to pay for it. Playstation has always had slightly better graphics but less dedicated game titles. My money is on Playstation to take the edge in this battle, but it may be one that never ends.

The current Apple vs Android struggle is most reminiscent of the Apple vs Microsoft battle in the mid 90’s. Steve Jobs had a late return to Apple and gave Microsoft time to take the edge in that battle. I expect the same thing to happen in the present day battle of Apple vs Android. The sad truth is, without Steve Jobs, Apple loses the majority of their innovative inspiration. It’s hard to maintain that kind of consistency in the tech world.

When Steve Jobs left Apple in 1985 the company went into a tailspin. When Jobs returned to Apple in 1997 the company started its journey back to the top of the mountain. The iPod, iPhone and iPad are three of the most revolutionary pieces of technology the world has ever seen. They brought an artistic spin to normally rigid devices. But with Steve Jobs’ tragic passing, the stage is set for Android to take their place atop the mountain and be crowned the winner of the Apple vs Android debate once and for all.

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Free Android Games – September 2014

Posted by Tyler Kirwan on September 23, 2014
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Free Android Games

 

If you have one of the latest smartphones (Galaxy S5, HTC One M8, LG G3, etc.) then you want to take full advantage of all the processing power at your fingertips. The free Android games being designed today allow you to do just that. Whether you’re into sports games, super hero games, or just funny games, Google Play has what you’re looking for.

Check out our list below of some of the best free Android games available as of September 2014.

 

Spider-Man Unlimited (Free)

Free Android Games

If you’re a fan of the extremely popular Temple Run series of Android games, then you’ll probably love Spider-Man. The art is a fantastic representation of the classic Spider-Man comic books. The game comes complete with cut scenes, engaging music and unlockable characters. For a free Android game, it’s a great value.

 

videogametester-banner-1

 

FIFA 14 (Free)

Free Android Games

This is an excellent port of the popular and addictive console version of FIFA. For veterans of the FIFA franchise, the game might seem quite easy at first. Be sure to increase the difficulty level as you get used to the controls for a more challenging experience.

 

Batman Arkham Origins (Free)

Free Android Games

Upgrading your levels and attaining new attributes are the main objectives in this iteration of Batman. So if you enjoy resource building games, then you’ll like Batman Arkham Origins. The graphics are quite sumptuous as well. That’s a quality that is becoming more common with free Android games but can still be hard to find.

 

Baseball Hero (Free)

Free Android Games

It can be hard to make baseball games accessible on Android devices. The key to Baseball Hero is its simplicity. The controls are easy to pick up and involve a short learning process. You’ll be bashing home runs 2 minutes after you pick up the game.

 

Dumb Ways To Die (Free)

Free Android Games

This is easily one of the funniest games you will find in the Android marketplace. The charming characters create a visual dichotomy against the light-hearted violence that is thoroughly entertaining. You’ll find yourself trying harder so you can save these goofy little beings.

 

Check back monthly for more free Android game suggestions and all the latest Android news from Android Apps For Work.

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Android Recipe Apps – Chewsing The Right One

Posted by Tyler Kirwan on October 02, 2013
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Android Recipe Apps

We all have different needs when it comes to recipes. Some of us are single (ah-hem) and some of us have big families to cook for every night. No matter where you fall on that spectrum, it’s always handy to have an Android recipe app nearby. A good recipe app can be the difference between a good meal and a great meal. Check out our top 3 Android recipe apps below.

Big Oven

Big Oven is one of the simpler Android recipe apps available on the Google Play store. And we here at AAW love simple. Big Oven’s logo is reminiscent of the classic and SIMPLE board game Othello. In actuality its the top of a stove within a dialog bubble. Does the name Big Oven sound a little intimidating, as perhaps an homage to the always scary “Big Tobacco”? It sure does. And we like it that way.

But enough about Big Oven’s name. Let’s get to the functionality of the app. When you first open Big Oven, you’ll have three options to begin with, “Get Ideas”, “My Kitchen” and “More”.  The “Get Ideas” option will give you the massive collection of recipes and menus to search through. You can also select the “Use Up Leftovers” option that is very handy for mixing and matching on hand ingredients. The “My Kitchen” section will  let you set up meal plans, make grocery lists, and view your favorited recipes and menus. There is plenty to explore when it comes to Big Oven. That’s why think it is one of the best Android recipe apps on the market. Download it for free today on the Google Play store.

 

All The Cooks Recipes

As much as we love the name of the Big Oven recipe app, we can’t help but feel All The Cooks Recipes is a little uninspiring. Regardless, this is still a fantastic Android recipe app that deserves the second spot on our list. When it comes to sheer volume of recipes, “Recipe Search” cannot be beat. It’s hard to compete with over 150,000 different recipe variations . With so many recipes, it can be a challenge to organize and present all of that data. Recipe search steps up to the challenge. With an endless array of pictures to scroll through, you’ll begin eating with your eyes before you chop your first head of bok choy.

 

ChefTap

Cheftap is a unique app that pulls recipes from all of your other favorite recipe websites. Like most recipe apps, ChefTap gives you recommendations to choose from before you have to type anything. For those of you who like a little more control, you can utilize the search tool and find something more specific to your tastes. What makes ChefTap unique however, is the focus on favoriting recipes. ChefTap lets you save your favorites, add your own recipes and even import from your browser’s bookmarks. It’s a unique take on the recipe app. One that we think works wonders for the budding chef.

Android Music Apps – The Best Of The Best

Posted by Tyler Kirwan on July 11, 2013
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Android Music AppsOne of the pleasures of owning an Android device is the ability to download a wide array of Android music apps. Whether you’re looking for the best music streaming app, music organization app, or simply a music player, we have the app for you. Check out our list of the best Android music apps available on the Google Play Store.

 

Songza

Songza takes music recommendations to a whole new level. When you first open Songza, you’ll see a message indicating what day of the week it is and what time of day it is. Songza uses this information and gives you a list of activities you might be doing during this part of your week. So you’ll see six possible activities that they will help you create a playlist for. For example, if it’s Thursday morning Songza may suggest “waking up happy”, “singing in the shower, “driving”, or “feeling confident” to name a few. After you select the activity you will be doing, you’ll be given a list of genres to choose from. These include, but are not limited to “today’s biggest hits”, “absurdly fun sing-alongs”, “80’s”, “90’s”, etc. This makes for an instantly fun experience just choosing your music. Songza’s new take on the music streaming industry makes it one of the best Android music apps available today. Check it out for free on the Google Play Store.

 

Pandora

Amazingly, Pandora Radio was founded back in 2000. However, the mobile version of the streaming music service didn’t make an appearance until 2008. As “aged” as Pandora is, it still remains one of best music streaming services available. A trailblazer in the industry, Pandora continues their success with only limited ads in the free version. The music genome project, which identifies your tastes based on your likes and dislikes, works as well today as it did 10 years ago. It may be one of the oldest Android music apps, but it’s also one of the best. Download for free on the Google Play Store.

 

PowerAmp

If sound quality is important to you, and for most music fans it certainly is, then PowerAmp is a tool you should undoubtedly have in your Android tool belt.  Some of the incredibly useful features include a 10 band optimized graphical equalizer, crossfade, stereo eXpansion, mono mixing, four types of widgets, downloads missing album art. We could on for a while. The point is, PowerAmp is a feature packed music player that optimizes sound quality for just about every format available. PowerAmp may be the most customizable Android music app available. You can try the 2 week free trial before downloading the full version for $3.99 on the Google Play Store.

 

MixZing

MixZing combines the recommendations of a music streaming app with the organization of a music player app. Touting itself as “the most advanced media player around”, MixZing finds songs on your phone even if they don’t have valid tags. You can then clean up the tags and album art straight from the app. It also features a mood player for custom listening sessions, graphic equalizer, automatic saving of playlists and new music recommendations based on your playlists. These features make MixZing one of most versatile Android music apps available. Check out MixZing for free on the Google Play Store.

 

doubleTwist

Continuing the theme of music players mixed with music streaming apps is doubleTwist with magic radio. This Android music app adds the ability to subscribe to podcast feeds on top of an already jam packed feature list. What’s great about doubleTwist is that you can control just about every sound that comes through your headphones from this one app. They also tout a catalog of over 13 million songs, so the streaming service isn’t just a secondary feature. Check out doubleTwist for free on the Google Play Store.

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Secure Work Space Comes to Android And iOS

Posted by Tyler Kirwan on June 25, 2013
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Secure Work SpaceIf you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. Blackberry today released Secure Work Space for Android and iOS platforms. Secure Work Space is an app that will allow Android and iOS users to enjoy the much heralded security touted by Blackberry for so many years. Companies will now have the ability to manage employees’ smartphones and tablets in conjunction with Blackberry’s Enterprise Service 10.

Secure Work Space uses 256-bit AES encryption. The data that is managed by the app is kept separate from the user’s personal data. This way the company won’t have access to your personal photos and text messages. So feel free to continue disparaging your employer to your friends and family. All kidding aside, it is nice to know that users can use a personal device for work purposes without relinquishing what little privacy they have left.

Another benefit of Secure Work Space is that employees can access work documents without logging into a VPN (Virtual Private Network). Users of the app will also have the ability to edit documents with the help of Blackberry’s Documents to go. Other options include integrated email, a secure browser that connects to the company’s intranet, and syncing of contacts and calendar events.

With this move, it appears that Blackberry is conceding the fact that many employees prefer to use Android or iOS devices over their Blackberry counterparts; even at work. Making Secure Work Space compatible with all three formats gives employees and employers more flexibility when setting up a secure process for exchanging data. The corporate and government clients that Blackberry thrives on, may now have more reason to keep a Blackberry product in their employees’ pockets. It could turn out to be a defining move in Blackberry’s future. The Secure Work Space app is expected to play a crucial role in keeping Blackberry relevant for years to come. Investors seem to be impressed by the move. In pre-market trading Blackberry’s stock rose more than 2% Tuesday following the announcement of the Secure Work Space.

I guess the only question that remains is what about the Windows phone?

 

 

Android Texting Apps – Which One Is Best?

Posted by Tyler Kirwan on June 03, 2013
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Android Texting AppMuch has been made of the texting capabilities (or lack thereof) that come standard with most Android devices. I can’t tell you how frustrated I’ve been, and continue to be with the majority of the Android texting apps I have tried. Most of my fellow Android users concur with that sentiment. That’s why we’ve brought you a review of the two best Android texting apps available for download. The touchscreen phone community still has a long way to go before they perfect texting on these devices. But we feel these Android texting apps have made great strides in the right direction.

 

Handcent SMS

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.handcent.nextsms&hl=en

Handcent is our favorite Android texting app available on the Google Play Store. It’s bright and modern interface only scratches the surface of what makes this app special. But when you compare the white and blue interface with the default black interface on most Android devices, it’s no contest as to which one is better. This app is lighting fast and comes loaded with features. Attaching a picture, smiley, contact info, or even a handmade doodle is all one touch away.

Perhaps the most unique feature of this Android texting app is the privacy box. It is with this function that users can hide text messages from certain contacts in a password protected area that is discreetly located within the app. This obviously comes in handy for a variety of reasons. It is a great deterrent for snooping loved ones who may have the urge to dig through your private text messages. On top of all these features, Handcent is free to download on the Google Play Store. Check it out today, you won’t be disappointed.

 

WhatsApp

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.whatsapp&hl=en

For those of you looking to send free text messages to your friends, look no further than WhatsApp. With over 3 million downloads on Google Play, WhatsApp is one of the most popular Android texting apps in the world. Free texting is a priceless feature for some people. You can even send text messages internationally for free. The only downside is that both parties must have the app installed on their phones for it to work. It comes with all sorts of features too. You can see when the other party has viewed your text messages, there are premade away messages (such as my battery is about to die), and you can block specified contacts from reaching you if need be. The first year of WhatsApp is free. After that it is $0.99 per year. It’s a fair deal considering what most phone companies charge for texting these days.

Android Podcast Apps – Which One Is Best?

Posted by Tyler Kirwan on May 23, 2013
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Android Podcast AppNothing gets you through your work day faster than a good podcast. Whether you’re commuting to the office or sitting at your desk, podcasts are a fantastic way to free your mind from the pressures of the day. That’s why having a useful Android podcast app is crucial. The Google Play Store has an abundance of Android podcast apps to choose from. Being the avid podcast fans that we are, we’ve decided to choose the best podcast apps of the bunch. Check out our list below for the top 3 Android podcast apps to get you through your day.

 

1. Podkicker

Podkicker touts itself as being the alternative to all the bloated podcatchers out there; and that’s exactly what it is. We’ve been using Podkicker for over 3 years and it never disappoints. The app has a simple user interface, which is the first step to having a great app, regardless of what it’s function is. The “Channel” section of Podkicker displays all of your podcast subscriptions. While the “New” section of the app displays all of the latest episodes from those subscriptions. Podkicker’s “Player” section is tremendously simple. All of the episodes you’ve loaded are listed in sequential order. When you stop the episode you are listening to and switch to a different episode, Podkicker saves your spot on the original episode for easy listening later. Podkicker is sturdy, reliable, and most importantly simple. That’s why we think it’s the best Android podcast app available on the Google Play Store.

 

2. iPP Podcast Player

If your looking for a few more bells and whistles in your Android podcast app, iPP Podcast Player has you covered. This fairly new app gives you access to the iTunes podcast directory on your Android device. It also lets you search the iTunes top podcast chart.

The interface is aesthetically pleasing and there are thousands of podcasts at your fingertips. However, when you first start using the app it will take some time to become accustomed to the layout.  It is not as simple to use as Podkicker, but that’s the price you pay for the extra features and access to iTunes. Check it out on the Google Play Store.

 

3. BeyondPod

BeyondPod is a unique Android podcast app because it doubles as a fully functional RSS feed downloader. That means that you can download any RSS feed through BeyondPod. This includes magazine and newspaper subscriptions, which works well with the Google Reader integration.

The ability to download non audio RSS feeds is a superb feature, but does come with a cost. After the 7 day free trial of BeyondPod has expired, you’ll have to pony up $6.99 for the BeyondPod Unlock Key. However, based on the high reviews of BeyondPod on the Google Play Store, most users don’t seem to mind paying the extra cash. Considering BeyondPod offers the most features of any podcast app, we’re inclined to say it is the best PAID Android podcast app available on the Google Play Store.

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Samsung Galaxy S4 – Is It Worth It?

Posted by Tyler Kirwan on May 06, 2013
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Galaxy S4If you’re in the market for a new smart phone, it’s hard to get a straight answer as to which one is best. With all of the new Android apps hitting the market at a dizzying pace, you want a phone that can keep up. By all accounts, the Samsung Galaxy S4 has the hardware to do so.

But the most pressing question among Android users is a simple one. Is the GS4 that much better than its predecessor, the GS3? We think the answer is a resounding YES. Here’s why.

The Samsung Galaxy S3 was released 0n May 3rd 2012. It just had its first birthday a few days ago, and the fact that it remains relevant in an ever changing smartphone marketplace is highly impressive. However, the dual core processor you’ll find in the U.S. version of the Galaxy S3 is dangerously close to being outdated. Smartphone apps are constantly requiring better hardware performance, and soon a dual core processor will be struggling to handle those needs. The Galaxy S4 is able to handle those needs adeptly with its breezy 1.9 GHz quad core processor.

Many Galaxy S3 users like to download movies and music with their phones. However, transferring those files can be a hassle. Sure there are services such as AirDroid that allow users to do this wirelessly. But we have found those services to be long winded and sometimes troublesome to use. AirDroid, for instance, makes you log onto a webpage while also opening the app on your phone in order to transfer files. With Galaxy S4 there is a new feature called Samsung Link Play. This service allows users to wirelessly connect to their PC, tablet or television to immediately share files. It’s nice to know that there is a built in app for this that phone was designed specifically to use. It makes for faster transfers. And these days, it is imperative to be able to share your media files across wifi connected devices.

The Galaxy S3 has the equivalent to a 2006 HDTV with it’s 720p display. The Galaxy S4 upgrades to a full 1080p HD display. Users who own HDTV’s at home will know that this is a noticeable difference in picture quality. The battery on the GS4 is 2,600 mAh as opposed to the GS3’s 2,100 mAh. You should be noticing a trend at this point. The Galaxy S3 was basically the best all around smartphone ever created. Samsung played it smart and simply upgraded almost every feature of the phone to bring us the Galaxy S4. We think the upgraded phone is worth a buy and will remain relevant for the next 2 years.

Samsung Galaxy S4 I9500 16Gb White WiFi Android Unlocked Cell Phone – In Stock

Google Project Glass Apps

Posted by Tyler Kirwan on April 11, 2013
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Google Project GlassAs you’ve probably heard by now, Google Project Glass is the latest innovation from Google X Labs. It is essentially a wearable computer that gives the user an augmented reality. The device is designed as a pair of glasses and is hands free. Users will control their experience via voice commands. Personally, I’m not a fan of voice activated technology but the concept of the Google Project Glass design intrigues me more by the day.

When I first heard of the idea for Google Project Glass, I thought it sounded gimmicky. We already have our heads buried in our phone screens all day. Do we really need another screen attached to our face, never escaping our glance? But as I hear about the latest developments of the project, I am drawn deeper into the idea.

Recently, there have been some big name companies that have signed on to develop Google Project Glass specific apps. Twitter has confirmed that they will be designing an app for the wearable computer. So too have Evernote, The New York Times, and Path.

These developments got my mind racing about the idea of reading a newspaper on the train without having to hold anything in front of my face. About thinking of a to do list item, then simply voicing a command and having it saved to my Evernote app. It’s these types of ideas that have me more and more excited about Google Project Glass every time I hear news about the technology.

Recently, Path CEO David Morin said “Glass represents a future of freedom. A future where you spend more time focused on the people you are with and the experiences you are having, rather than focused on your mobile device.” Talk about a great quote! Mobile device users have been looking silly for the better part of decade. How often do you see a girl walking down the street, head buried in her latest texts, and think to yourself “What a lost soul.” If Google Project Glass can help people come back to reality, while also integrating their mobile experience into that reality, I’m all for it.

Check out the video Google has put on their website for Google Project Glass. It’s hard not to get excited about the concept after seeing it.

http://www.google.com/glass/start/how-it-feels/

Facebook Home

Posted by Tyler Kirwan on April 06, 2013
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Facebook Home

The latest buzz around Android circles is the introduction of Facebook Home. This launcher app is Facebook’s latest attempt to remain relevant as skepticism continues to grow about the internet giant’s privacy policies. Facebook Home will be available to select Android smartphone users on April 12th. It will be a free download on the Google Play Store. You can check out the flashy new video with plenty of people smiling hard under flattering lights.

The phones that will be able to run Home from the start include the Galaxy S III and S4, HTC One, HTC One X, and Galaxy Note II. Facebook has not specified how soon Home will be available on other devices, but we assume it won’t be long until it is a standard feature on all new Android handsets. Facebook will not be available for iPhone users. iOS is far to cumbersome to allow the amount of customization required for Facebook Home.

Mark Zuckerberg’s goal for Facebook Home is to turn Android smartphones into “Social Phones”. The app is designed to feel like system software that is part of your phone’s operating system. Zuckerberg does not want the experience to feel “third-party”.

When you initially boot up your phone, the first thing you will see is your “Cover Feed”, which is being touted as a deeply rich newsfeed that resembles the popular Flipboard app. The background will feature images from your friends profiles. Depending on your fluctuating relationships with your friends from different circles, this could be a good or a bad feature. Hopefully you will be able to decide which friends pictures appear as the background to your home screen. Personally, I’m not thrilled about the idea of having a third tier acquaintance from high school being the background on my phone for the day.

Considering that more people access Facebook via their mobile device than they do via their home computer, the introduction of Facebook Home appears to be a wise move by they company. However, Facebook is already such a huge part of people’s lives. Do we really need it to be integrated even further into our psyche? I understand Facebook’s desire to remain relevant. Their entire company is based upon being involved in your life personally. But I just don’t know how many more reminders of Mark Zuckerberg I can handle in my life. I will be downloading the app out of curiosity and to write a review, but after getting a taste, I can safely assume that I will be uninstalling it.