Loopt for iOS got a huge update last week, but nothing was communicated about the Android version getting the same treatment. The folks at Loopt have given us good news, though: version 4.0 is now available in the Android market. Beside the fact that things just look a hell of a lot better visually, it comes with a nice bucket of changes to give similar services like Gowalla and Foursquare runs for their money:
- A streamlined new design, focused on finding friends and finding places that your friends like to go around you.
- Very cool tools to communicate with friends (like Ping, which lets you send location-text messages)
- The ability to see where friends are now, see where friends like to go around you now, and places where people are gathering right now.
- Rewards! Starting out with free music, you can now find rewards on Loopt while you go about town.
- Notifications when friends are nearby, when places are getting busy, and where the deals are to be found
- A very simple ON/OFF mechanism for automatic location sharing -- right on the Home screen of Loopt -- so you’re never in doubt about whether your location is being automatically updated; when automatic location sharing is OFF, your friends will only see where you are when you specifically check in to a place.
I haven’t used Loopt in a long time, but I’m definitely reconsidering checking it out. Take a look at the video above to get an idea of what to expect when you find it in the Android market. (It’s a look at the iOS version, but you’ll get the gist.)
Dolphin Browser HD was recently updated. We didn’t report on it because the changes weren’t that exciting, but the market listing has since been updated to bring to light a change that’ll be prepping the app for a “coming Christmas gift”. Consider me intrigued. What could they possibly be “gifting” to the hundreds of thousands of people who use Dolphin? Will it involve dolphins? Do we get to unwrap the gifts on Christmas eve? Whatever it is, it’s safe to say we should have figured this thing out by December 25th. [via Droid-Life]
Just yesterday, we were tipped off to some pretty revealing shots of the LG B. It completely trumped the iPhone 4 as the world’s thinnest smartphone, and it’s just about the brightest display we’ve seen on a mobile handset to date. We didn’t get much more than that, but LG doesn’t seem to mind just confirming that the thing exists: they’ve tweeted that the “super slim & super bright” phone will be at CES. Everyone’s been invited to see it with their own eyes. You better believe we’ll be taking them up on that offer. The tweet has since been removed, but traces of LG acknowledging its existence still roam about the twitter account as they’ve retweeted several “B” related tweets. Take a look for yourself. [via Engadget]
PS: the URL in the tweet links back to Engadget’s post about the B. How ironic.
I knew I wasn’t crazy. Ever since I got the new Android market on my device, app descriptions seemed a lot longer. A lot more winded. The initial change a while back added about 100 more characters and a “Recent Changes” feature in the developer backend, but somehow folks have been going above and beyond those. It turns out the Android developer console was silently updated again, according to Android Police.
Developers are now able to write descriptions as long as 4,000 characters opposed to just 325 before, and they’re awarded 500 characters for the “Recent Changes” section. It’s a welcome change for developers and users alike: developers can better explain their features, and users can get the skinny on an app (at the developers’ discretion, of course) without having to download it and peek into the change log. I’m all for it!
HTC has released an update to the smallish HTC Aria in Southeast Asia. It’s Android 2.2 and probably brings with it everything you’d expect, but let’s cut right to the chase: when will everyone else get it? We know there are some Aria users on AT&T here in the states. While it’s nice to see that HTC’s committed to bringing Froyo out for the device, we have to remain skeptical and reiterate that AT&T users might not be seeing it for a while. Upgrades for most – if not all – of their devices have been delayed to no end due to carrier testing. It’s hard to get even just a little bit excited assuming that things won’t change for the Aria. [HTC via Engadget]
Scosche has pulled a new case of the iPad out of its bag of tricks and the new case looks really cool. The case is called the kickBack hybrid and promises to protect your tablet and to make watching video and doing other things on the tablet more comfortable thanks to lifting the screen up at a better angle.
The case is made from polycarbonate and has shock resistant rubber in the build as well. The case has two levels with one propping the iPad up high for viewing the screen, and the other with a lesser angle that is for comfortable typing.
The case is only offered in white/gray colors. It makes the iPad look like the preferred tablet for Storm Troopers. The kickback P1 sells for $59.99 and is in stock right now for shipment. This will make a good case for the business type that does all sorts of stuff with their iPad.
With all the talk and rumors of a PlayStation phone coming there are a bunch of smartphone users out there that are really keen on playing PlayStation games on their smartphones. When the PlayStation Official Blog announced a new app coming to Android devices I bet a bunch of folks, were really excited and expected the app to be for gaming.
Sadly, there is no gaming involved with the official PlayStation App for Android devices. What you can do with the app is keep up the trophies that you and friends earn as well as the online status of your pals. The app will also allow you to browse the catalog for the PSP and PlayStation consoles as well as read news and announcements.
The app is integrated with Facebook and Twitter to allow you to share news you like and news can be shared via email as well. The app will hit the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, and The Netherlands first. Apps supporting other countries will come later.
RIM has been hurting of late with also of its smartphones slipping as the iPhone and Android devices put a hurt on Blackberry offerings across all carriers. Despite the fact that RIM is under such pressure from Apple and Android, the company offered up nice earnings predictions this week when it talked to analysts on a conference call.
The company reported that it expects revenue in Q1 to be in the range of $5.5 billion to $5.7 billion. The company also noted that it had shipped 14.2 million Blackberry handsets, up 40% from the previous year and has added 5.1 million new subscribers. It’s worth noting that Blackberry has not offered its prediction for Q1 for handsets shipped and new subscribers added and will not offer those details moving forward.
The most interesting thing to come from the call reports All Things Digital is a bit of info on the PlayBook. The device will apparently launch sometime in March 2011 in WiFi version only. A 3G/4G version of the tablet will come later. RIM’s Balsillie also noted that there would be a lot of game and media partnerships for the launch of the PlayBook.
I am not traditionally a case user on my iPhone because I like the thing to be as thin and compact as possible. After dropping my 3GS and breaking the screen and upgrading to the new iPhone 4 with twice the glass to break, I am using a case all the time. If you are looking for a cool case that has functionality built in, iKit has a new offering that may be perfect for you.
The new case is called the iPhone 4 Chrome Flip case and has a little kick stand on the back to prop the iPhone 4 up on a flat surface for more comfortable watching. I like to watch YouTube videos while waiting in front of my kid’s school in the afternoon so this case will be perfect for that sort of use. I can prop the iPhone on the dash rather than looking down at the phone.
The case has a metallic chrome finish and comes in silver, pink, and blue colors. The blue is a very pale and pastel color making the only real guy color the chrome one. Each of the cases is $34.95 and they are available right now.
I have used subscription music services before like Rhapsody and really liked them. I tend to like music for a while and then get tired of it and move on to something else so being able to get all the turns I want is better for me than buying single tracks that I will only listen to for a month or so. A couple new reports have surfaced that outline a bit about Google and its aspirations for a music service.
According to the first report from Business Insider Google was “close” to laying out some cash to buy subscription music service that is already on the market. According to the report, the two servicers that were eyed were Spotify and Rhapsody. The report claims the deals fell through after “internal fighting” between three of the groups inside Google that were involved in the buying process. Google buying up Rhapsody would have been cool I think.
The second report talks about Google’s plans to put music on the cloud. This cloud-based service is apparently what will come first, assuming the reports can be believed at all. Google is still eyeing a subscription service for later, but the cloud locker will come first. There are few details but the cloud locker would allow a user to upload their own tracks to listen to from anywhere. Negotiations with music studios have not started, but the report claims that Google is ready to throw millions at music labels to get them to agree.