Top 3 Weather Apps for Android

Android Market is becoming more and more popular nowadays, and after games the most popular apps are perhaps the weather apps, since they’re both useful and amusing.

There are many, many weather apps designed for Android, and sometimes it’s really hard to choose only one. I’ve tried a number of such apps on my good old Samsung Galaxy Ace in 2011, and here are the best three I’ve found, and they’re all FREE. I hope this list of mine will be helpful for you, too.

1. GO Weather

Go Weather is my most favorite weather app for Android, because it’s different from all the others. Designed as live wallpaper and very good-looking desktop widgets, this app offers some basic weather info (current weather and some forecast), but nothing more (no Doppler radar, no weather cams, no weather alerts… but I can’t say it’s a serious shortcoming – not everyone needs all these features after all). The app also offers cached data for offline viewing and 3D HD weather videos, which is also very useful.

2. MyWeather Mobile

MyWeather Mobile is another good free weather app that provides more customized info than many others. If you have an account on MyWeather.com, you can synchronize your app with it to receive timely weather info. Unlike the first app from my list, Doppler radar is present here together with futurecast maps. The app will also let you save unlimited locations worldwide, which can be very useful for many of us.

3. Weatherbug

Weatherbug is the next free weather app for Android OS I’d like to include in my list, since it has many useful features other similar apps don’t have (I think this is the most complete weather apps including all the necessary features), and it’s very popular thanks to them. Doppler radar, weather cams, video forecasts, weather alerts – Weatherbug has it all, plus it will give you the opportunity to share your weather info and the rest of the info from the app with your friends via social networking sites.

These were the best of 2011, according to me. Lets see what 2012 has in store for us…

CES 2012: BlackBerry Playbook OS 2.0 (video)

Amid much fanfare and brouhaha at the Consumer Electronics Show here in Las Vegas, a slightly unforgotten and heavily criticized company called Research in Motion has something new to offer to its loyal Playbook users: BlackBerry Playbook OS 2.0. The update is a welcome one for productivity-minded Playbook users as it makes work merry with the introduction of (finally!) a new email client and address book that offers a unified inbox, application integration and ties to social networks such as Twitter and LinkedIn; a new calender app that displays both day and agenda views, along with the individuals you”ll meet during the day; and most importantly BlackBerry Bridge – which aims to bridge the gap between your smartphone and tablet with some neat integration.

Check out the Playbook OS 2.0 in action, courtesy of :

CES 2012: Nokia unveils Lumia 900, looks more than just decent (video)

Following some good reviews of the Lumia 710 and Lumia 800 – the new Nokia devices running on Microsoft’s Windows Phone Mango OS, the Finnish mobile-maker today unveiled the much awaited Lumia 900 at CES in Las Vegas. From the outset, the device looks pretty neatly done and thankfully, even from its spec-sheet, it doesn’t disappoint.

Taking up a notch from its older sibling – the Lumia 800, the Lumia 900 is all about speed, packing in a 1.4GHz single-core CPU, 512MB of RAM, 16GB of built-in storage and the LTE goodness we all seek. As for the photographer in you, it comes loaded with a 8MP Carl Zeiss f/2.2 camera with LED flash that’s capable of cranking out 720p HD video capture, as well as a 1.3MP front-facing camera that uses f/2.4. And while it is reasonably fast to leave your impatient self satisfied, it doesn’t compromise on its battery life either with a built-in 1,840mAh battery (that can’t be removed due to the phone’s unibody polycarbonate build).

The rest of phone design is inherited from its predecessor, with only the front-facing shooter and the Lumia 900’s huge 4.3-inch AMOLED display differentiating between it and the Lumia 800.

The Nokia Lumia 900 is expected to utilize AT&T’s LTE network in the US from March 18th, as tipped by well known Microsoft enthusiast Mary Jo Foley (although we still haven’t received any official announcement yet as regards its pricing or availability).

Related: Buying one of the new Nokia Windows Phone devices? Hold on.

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Videos

Nokia Lumia 800 and 710 Windows Phones leak ahead of tomorrow’s announcement at Nokia World

With just hours to go for Nokia World to kick off, two new Nokia Windows Phone devices have made their way out a little too early before they are dashed out officially tomorrow. The two devices in question are the Lumia 800 and Lumia 710 — both, of course, running Microsoft’s Windows Phone OS donning the Nokia hardware. Unfortunately there isn’t much information available about the said devices as yet but we’re sure to find out more over a cup of coffee tomorrow morning at Nokia World at these times:

10:00PM – Hawaii (October 25th)
01:00AM – Pacific (October 26th)
02:00AM – Mountain (October 26th)
03:00AM – Central (October 26th)
04:00AM – Eastern (October 26th)
09:00AM – London (October 26th)
10:00AM – Paris (October 26th)
12:00PM – Moscow (October 26th)
05:00PM – Tokyo (October 26th)

As always, we’ll keep you updated with the latest. Enjoy these close-ups of the 800 and 710 till then:

Image via WinRumors

Head-to-head: iOS 5 vs Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich vs Windows Phone 7.5 Mango

So there we are, looking at three newly reformed OSes, two of which have already had some playing time while one of them is yet to enter the field. Its a battle between Apple, Google and Microsoft. Who’s is the best?

iOS 5

Apple launched the final version of iOS 5 earlier this month on October 12, packing a host of new features in it which further epitomizes the iPhone’s classiness. With over 200 new features, iOS 5 enables you to do more with your iGadget than you previously could have. And as Apple once said: iOS is the most advanced operating system available in the market and it, combined with the iPhone, was 5 years ahead of anything else available out there.

Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich

Yet to enter the field as of yet, Android 4.0 ICS, officially unveiled just last week, is quite an improvement over its predecessors. Previously criticized for not being user-friendly to match its exceptional features, the ICS overcomes this criticism in some style with a vastly improved UI (Google claims that design and UX was a primary focus during development). This takes it on par with Apple’s OS (Apple, of course, is known for the overwhelming user friendliness of its software).

Oh, and, just like iOS, ICS too is now compatible with both smartphones and tablets, unlike previously where smartphones used Android 2.3 Gingerbread and tablets ran on Android 3.0 Honeycomb. This gives the Android fanbois definitely something to cheer about.

Windows Phone 7.5 Mango

Launched only weeks ago, Windows Phone 7.5 Mango has already been touted the best mobile OS to come out from Redmond after Microsoft’s previous attempt (WP 7) was regarded as a big failure according to many. Mango, as sweet as it can get, has brought many new features that Windows Phone lovers were craving for, and add to it hardware as good as Nokia’s, one of the best in the industry, Windows Phone 7.5 is sure give a good fight to Apple and Google as far as mobile OS is concerned.

So now the question arises – Which of the three operating systems is the best?

Each OS has its own advantages and disadvantages and each individual has his/her own preferences with regards to OS used on his/her device. So picking a winner out of the three wouldn’t be fair in my opinion. But if you ask me, personally, i’d prefer iOS 5 to the other two simply because of the smooth and very friendly user interface Apple has made us accustomed to which i couldn’t find in Windows Phone or Android devices (though i must add that i’m yet to use ICS and Mango).

Related Entries:

Both the articles are guest posts written for Firstain by industry recognized authors having over 10 years of experience and a wealth of knowledge in their respective fields.

Image Credit: Redmond Pie

Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich – Features at a glance

If you are a techno buff, you must already be aware of Google’s latest and greatest version of its Android operating system finally becoming a reality – 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS). And if you’re a nerdy geek, chances are you already know what ICS is all about. But if you are one of those who are not so well informed, here’s a recap of the several enhancements Google’s Andy Rubin announced for ICS:

  • Option to use virtual buttons in the UI, instead of taking up capacitive touch buttons
  • Widgets are in a new tab, listed in a similar list to apps
  • Folders are much easier to create, with a drag-and-drop style similar to iOS
  • A customizable launcher
  • New phone app with visual voicemail functionality that lets you speed up or slow down voicemail messages
  • Pinch-to-zoom functionality in the calendar
  • Gmail has offline search, a two-line preview, and new action bar at the bottom
  • Swipe left or right to switch between Gmail conversations
  • Integrated screenshot capture by holding power and volume down buttons
  • Improved error correction on the keyboard
  • Ability to access apps directly from lock screen (similar to HTC Sense 3.x)
  • Improved copy and paste
  • Better voice integration
  • Face Unlock, a facial recognition service
  • New tabbed web browser, allowing up to 16 tabs
  • Browser now automatically syncs your Chrome bookmarks
  • Modern “Roboto” font
  • Data Usage section in settings lets you set warnings when you reach a certain amount of use and disabling data when you go over your limit
  • Ability to kill off apps that are using data in the background
  • Camera app: zero shutter lag, time lapse settings, zoom while recording
  • Built-in photo editor
  • New gallery layout, organized by location and person
  • Refreshed people app with social network integration, status updates and hi-res images
  • Android Beam, a NFC feature that lets you exchange websites, contact info, directions, YouTube, etc.
  • Don’t like some of those preloaded carrier apps? Disable ’em. Android Engineer Dan Morrill mentions that, among other new features, any app can be disabled, and while it will still take up space in ROM, it won’t be snatching any of your precious resources or clock cycles again if you don’t want it to.

We’re glad that ICS is nothing like we thought it would be back in August. It is much better than that with a lot more features and a smooth UI that will engage the user pretty nicely.

The ICS update is expected to roll out to select devices come November, with more devices gaining the chilly desert gradually.

Via Engadget

Microsoft launches HTC Radar, Samsung Omnia W and Acer Allegro Windows Phone ‘Mango’ devices in India, wants some love

Microsoft has, now, officially released its first Windows Phone devices in India and the first three to arrive will all run on the company’s new Windows Phone 7.5 ‘Mango‘ OS. The three devices in question are HTC Radar, Samsung Omnia W and Acer Allegro, and the company believes the trio is good enough to eat into Android’s growing market share in the sub-continent, especially in India, and make Windows Phone devices the number one choice for consumers in this part of the world.

Among the three, the HTC Radar will be the first one to be available from as early as next week for a rumored price of around Rs. 23,000 (Approx. $490), while the Samsung Omnia W and Acer Allegro are all set to arrive sometime in November.

Some rumors also suggest that the Acer Allegro will be the cheapest of the lot and will retail for something around Rs. 18,000 (Approx. $400).

Microsoft has also launched Windows Phone Marketplace and voice recognition support in India officially in order to win over some hearts.

Via Engadget

OS X 10.7.2 Lion arrives with iCloud support

After updating their mobile OS shortly ago, Apple has released an OS update for the Macs with OS X updated to 10.7.2, roping in iCloud features to the desktop. The update is 435.5MB heavy and brings several bug fixes and stability fixes to Lion. You can download it via Software Update (also includes Safari 5.1.1).

Release Notes

The 10.7.2 update is recommended for all OS X Lion users and includes general operating system fixes that improve the stability, compatibility, and security of your Mac. It also includes support for iCloud, a breakthrough set of free cloud services that automatically and wirelessly store your content on iCloud and push it to all of your devices. iCloud on OS X Lion includes the following features:

  • iCloud stores your email, calendars, contacts, Safari bookmarks, and Safari Reading List and automatically pushes them to all your devices.
  • Back to My Mac provides remote access to your Mac from another Mac anywhere on the Internet.
  • Find My Mac helps find a missing Mac by locating it on a map and allows you to remotely lock the Mac or wipe all its data.

Getting started with iCloud is easy. After installing the update, OS X will automatically present an iCloud setup panel. Simply enter an existing Apple ID or create a new one and then follow the on screen instructions. To learn more about iCloud visit http://www.apple.com/icloud.

The 10.7.2 update also includes Safari 5.1.1 as well as fixes that:

  • Allow reordering of desktop spaces and full screen apps in Mission Control.
  • Enable dragging files between desktop spaces and full screen apps.
  • Address an issue that causes the menu bar to not appear in full screen apps.
  • Improve the compatibility of Google contact syncing in Address Book.
  • Address an issue that causes Keynote to become temporarily unresponsive.
  • Improve VoiceOver compatibility with Launchpad.
  • Address an issue that causes a delay in accessing the network after waking from sleep.
  • Enable booting in to Lion Recovery from a locally attached Time Machine backup drive.
  • Resolve an issue that causes screen zoom to stop working.
  • Improve Active Directory integration.

Google, Samsung pay tribute to Jobs, delay launching Ice Cream Sandwich and Nexus Prime

They may be arch rivals to Apple but they do recognize the moment: both Google and Samsung have announced that there will be no goodies at Unpacked next week following the sad demise of Steve Jobs. Here’s their joint statement:

Samsung and Google decide to postpone the new product announcement at CTIA Fall. We agree that it is just not the right time to announce a new product. New date and venue will be shortly announced.

When asked for the reason for the delay, they issued this statement:

“We believe this is not the right time to announce a new product as the world expresses tribute to Steve Jobs’ passing.”

Yes we are disappointed that we’ll have to wait a tad little longer to know the full potential of the next AndroidIce Cream Sandwich, and Samsung’s next big thing – Nexus S / Nexus Prime, but more than that we are happy with this gesture of both the companies.

Confirmed: Ice Cream Sandwich-equipped Adam tablet coming early November

Remember iPad’s biggest competitor yet, the Adam tablet PC from India? The device has been confirmed to arrive early November and will ship with Google’s latest version of Android OS, Ice Cream Sandwich on board, confirmed Notion Ink CEO, Rohan Shravan. This fits well with Eric Schmidt’s claim that Ice Cream Sandwich will be launching sometime in October.

Via Notion Ink

Samsung to launch 3 new Bada OS 2.0 smartphones in India next month

Samsung have confirmed they will be launching 3 new smartphones in India next month that will run on the latest version of their proprietary OS, Bada 2.0. The three new devices are identified to be the Wave 3, Wave M and Wave Y which Samsung officially announced at the end of last month.

Samsung has been conducting most of the development work on Bada OS at the Samsung research and development facility in Bangalore, India which apparently is the company’s largest R&D facility outside Korea.

The company also mentioned that the Bada OS got a very good response in the Indian market and hence the new Bada 2.0 based smartphones will hit the country sometime in the month of October.

In this age of cut-throat competition, where companies like Apple and Google have already established themselves with their iOS and Android operating systems respectively, Bada 2.0 really has to be something special for Samsung to eat some market share out of the two giants’ pockets. But given the hardware quality Samsung has, if Bada 2.0 does make it big then Samsung can be a real threat to Apple, and especially Google, whose Android OS is found mostly on Samsung devices. Only time will tell how far they’ll go.

Do you reckon Samsung can pose a threat to Apple and/or Google?