Android Apps – When is Free Actually Free?

If you are a newbie Android smart phone user you have most likely joined millions of others partaking in the growing app craze. No doubt you have heard from friends and family or seen commercials on TV about all the great features these phones offer. Your Android came with some apps and games but these barely scratch the surface of what this device can do. The challenge for you will be in deciding which apps you will want to have on your device. As with most electronic gadgets you will have limitations on memory so your choices will be important for you.

As you search the internet for applications and games you will find that many vendors offer a variety of “free” products. Your dilemma will be in finding candidates that are worthy of space on your Android. To explain, many software developers and vendors work to monetize the so-called “free” stuff. In some cases the “free” app may be a demo or “lite” version with limited functionality or may be filled with some type of marketing material. For some this may be acceptable but if you want anything that is actually “free” you will need to be patient and willing to take the time to search for what is right for you.

Below is a short list of free apps that are fully functional with no marketing material:

a. Space War by Virtual GS

b. Klondike Solitaire by Softick

c. iSafe by Navee Technologies LLC

d. SocialDROID by MF Team (ready for Twitter & FollowME!

e. The Weather Channel for Android

f. Bible by

Here are a few apps that are “lite” versions but still offer great functionality:

a. Colorix Lite by Awesome Software S.A.

b. AstroClock Lite by Arno den Hond

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Galaxy Tab 2: Is It Worth The Purchase?

Samsung and Apple are into court battles because of the claims of the latter copying the designs of the former. The Galaxy Tabs are one of those products that said to have been copied from the iPad. But amidst the controversies, it had enjoyed some success behind Apple. It provided some alternative for those who either have no money to spend on shinier devices or just hate all products by Steve Jobs.

Users are expecting another product when the Galaxy Tabs 2 was announced. This was during the time when the rumors of the release of the iPad 3. But when the news about the specifications of the new tablets by Samsung came out, there was nothing to be impressed about.

All the hardware remained the same as the original. There is the dual-core NVIDIA Tegra 2 which is the same with the one on the Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus. This processor is not an improvement over the original’s Exynos processor. Actually, the Exynos is faster at is clocked at 1.2 GHz while the Tegra 2 is clocked at only 1 GHz.

The screen resolution is also the same which is depressing for Galaxy Tab loyalists. This is probably because of the news that the iPad 3 will have retina display and their favorite tablet has no improvements on this area. The 10-inch version will remain at 800 by 1280 pixels and the seven-inch version will stay at 600 by 1024 pixels.

While tablets are now transitioning to 4G LTE connectivity, the Galaxy Tab 2 remains at 3G. Just like the original, you have a choice between 3G and Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi only models. The speeds are the same as original: 21 MB/s for download and 5.76 MB/s for upload.

The only improvement on the Galaxy Tab 2 is the interface as it now sports the latest Android version, Ice Cream Sandwich. This version is the best looking version of Google’s mobile OS besides offering a slew of new features. Ice Cream Sandwich is Android’s answer to the simple elegance of Apples iOS 5.

With all of these, it seems like the Galaxy Tab 2 is just the original upgraded to the latest Android OS. ICS is good but we would have expected something better in terms of hardware from a company such as Samsung like what ASUS did with their Transformer Pad. There could have been added functions such as NFC or, as mentioned, support for 4G LTE. No prices have been released yet for these devices. But there are rumors that they will be sold at a lesser price than the original. If this is true then the Tabs are worth a look in terms of practicality. But performance wise, the new tablets by Samsung are depressing.

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iPhone Apps Go Corporate – How Big Companies Are Getting in on the iPhone App Game

iPhone apps aren’t just for small development firms and gadget geeks anymore these days even big banks, retailers, and software giants like Microsoft and Oracle are getting in on the app act. Why? Not only does the next generation of consumers feel comfortable with spending much of their life online, they expect their retailer, bank, or software company of choice to offer them the freedom to do business anywhere, from their iPhone. To meet the demands of its internet and iPhone savvy customers, more and more big businesses are debuting their own iPhone apps. Here’s a look at a few of them:

Microsoft’s Seadragon iPhone Application.

In mid-December 2008, Microsoft released its first iPhone app a photo gallery app called Seadragon. Perhaps users were hoping for an iPhone app like Microsoft Office for the iPhone, or at least FreeCell, but Seadragon is Microsoft’s toe-dipping experiment into the iPhone application pool.

Google’s iPhone App

Far ahead of Microsoft (as usual), in December 5, 2007, Google released its iPhone app that, like a Google homepage, consolidated all of Google’s services into one page, so that users could easily access their Gmail, YouTube, Google Maps, and other services. In-line with Google’s typical corporate attitude, Google’s press release on this iPhone application stated that their commitment to provide “users with access to information, wherever they are is a device-independent commitment” in other words, expect to see similar versions of this app on Google’s own Android phone, as well as other touch-screen phones. (Source: Google Press Center, December 5, 2007)

Target’s Holiday Shopping iPhone App application

Target created a holiday shopping iPhone app that lets you browse through gifts and offers the ability to locate a store to purchase them, or buy them online at If you don’t know what to get, you can shake your iPhone as you would a snow globe (the app’s intro animation), and a random gift from Target will pop up.

The Weather Channel’s iPhone Application

The Weather Channel wants you to be able to know what weather conditions will be like no matter where you might be. This iPhone app allows you to get the typical Weather Channel local weather information for your city or region, but its customizable weather maps also allow you to pick multiple layers of maps, displaying radar, UV index, rain/snow fall, and more.

Oracle’s iPhone App for Business People

Business software giant, Oracle, posted an iPhone app in November 2008 to allow sales managers to review quotes, approve or reject these quotes, chart sales forecasts, etc. Another Oracle iPhone application allows general managers to review expense reports, job postings, purchase orders, etc. As the business world becomes increasingly mobile and global, Oracle is one step ahead of its competitors in allowing its customers to access business information on the go. (Source: Information Week, November 29, 2008)

Bank of America’s iPhone App Helps you Find the ATM

Remember that old television commercial for Visa, where a couple lost in the desert of some remote part of the world with no cash was met by a young boy frantically shouting, “Ateeim! Ateeim! Ateeim fix everything!” As the couple wondered who Ateeim was, the boy led them to the village center, where, miraculously, an ATM stood. With Bank of America’s iPhone app, you don’t have to rely upon the natives anymore to find the closest ATM. Bank of America’s iPhone application will show you the nearest ATM to your location and will also allow you to check your balance and pay your bills, all from the convenience of your iPhone. Only now we need all the other banks to come out with iPhone applications so other customers can have the same easy access.

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The Samsung Galaxy S – A Smartphone Filled With Android Features

When Android smartphones are concerned, there have been a number of handsets that are synonymous to this genre of smartphone. These handsets are the HTC Desire, the Google Nexus S, and the LG Optimus One. Samsung has also created a smartphone that is jam packed with modern features. This is the Samsung Galaxy S.

This handset comes with one of the earlier Android operating systems the 2.1 OS Éclair. Most of the new handsets are pre-installed with a more up to date version the 2.2 OS Froyo. You do not have to worry about this. You can easily update the OS of this handset to the latest 2.2 version. This will allow you to enjoy faster web browsing, better web fidelity, and smoother multi-tasking. This will make the S version even better.

If you love installing apps on your phone, this smartphone is for you. It will give you quick access to the Android Market. Here, you can choose from a variety of apps. There are literally thousands to choose from. You can choose to download mobile tools. You can install apps that are all about entertainment. You can download eBooks. You can get widgets that customize the Samsung Galaxy S even more. Of course, you can download an assortment of games. There is so many things you can do with these apps.

With all the power this smartphone’s software has to offer, you may be thinking that its battery will not last as long as you expect. If this is what you think, think again. Not only does its OS allow smoother multi-tasking and faster web browsing, it is also highly energy efficient. This simply means that you will enjoy its features for hours upon hours.

Of course, an Android handset will never be complete without access to an assortment of Google tools. This is exactly what the phone has to offer. It will give you quick access to Google Search, Gmail, Maps, Calendar, YouTube, and GTalk. You will never have to wait till you get to your computer or laptop to enjoy these features. With the Samsung Galaxy S, you get a smartphone filled with Android features.

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