Spotify Mobile reviewed

The bottom line: A great perk for Spotify devotees with Premium accounts, Spotify Mobile allows mobile streaming and offline playback of your favorite music.


Installation Spotify's free mobile app is a cinch to set up. Provided you're signed up for a Spotify Premium account ($10 a month), all you need to do is type in your log-in and password, and your favorite music and playlists automatically populate the screen. Spotify users without Premium accounts may log in to the app and look around, but are prevented from streaming or syncing music.

Interface Spotify Mobile's user interface … Read more

Amazon lets students rent Kindle textbooks

Amazon today unveiled a textbook rental service for the company's Kindle e-reader. Students can rent e-textbooks for as few as 30 days and extend rental periods in one-day increments.

A key feature is you can keep annotations and highlighting after the rental period ends. The notes are stored in the Amazon cloud and can be automatically synced if you re-rent a textbook. The amount of storable highlighting allowed is determined by the individual publishers, according to an Amazon spokesperson.

Of course, the devil is in the details. John Wiley & Sons isn't saying how much highlighting they allow … Read more

Dolphin gets $10 million boost from Sequoia, others

Dolphin, a customizable mobile browser for Android OS, is getting a big boost to being a serious competitor for Firefox and Chrome.

TechCrunch is reporting that MoboTap, the company that makes Dolphin, has secured $10 million in a round of Series A funding with the help of Sequoia Capital and Matrix Partners. Some of that funding will reportedly be going to the following projects: making the premium (and paid) version of the app free, expanding its employee bases in San Francisco and Beijing, and developing an iOS version.

Sequoia Capital also made headlines last week after helping Evernote to secure $50 millionRead more

Android RC car perfect for running over iPhones

Bluetooth can enable you to communicate on a cell phone without looking like Zach Morris. But what if you could use Bluetooth to drive a remote-controlled car? Even Morris' "Saved by the Bell" crush Kelly Kapowski would be impressed.

Stephen Mark hopes to commercialize the idea with BlueDrone, a Bluetooth-controlled 1:20-scale Nissan GT-R RC vehicle.

Compatible with any Android phone or tablet (running 2.1+), BlueDrone is that toy we don't need, but would probably buy if it was at the front of Brookstone. The car is controlled by an Android app that offers touch-screen and/or accelerometer controls to the driver--both most certainly a wow factor. Battery life clocks in at three hours (via three AA batteries), while the maximum range is 30 feet due to Bluetooth's technical limitations.

Mark's vision, one he calls a "personal dream for many years," offers "responsive steering and a powerful motor." The promo video below most certainly affirms that claim, but we're left to wonder if BlueDrone can inspire enough people to pledge $200,000 on Kickstarter and help the product hit the highway. … Read more

Motorola Titanium hits streets July 24 for $150

First introduced in early May as the successor to the Motorola i1, the Motorola Titanium will be available starting July 24 for $149.99 with a two-year contract, Sprint announced today.

The Titanium is an iDEN device with support for Nextel Direct Connect push-to-talk services. However, it adds a full QWERTY keyboard and newer software, but don't expect Android 2.3 Gingerbread or even Android 2.2 Froyo. The smartphone is only running Android 2.1 Eclair (!!), and Sprint did not immediately respond to our question about plans for future software updates.

Like the i1, the smartphone meets military … Read more

Trash can reborn as cute Android robot

If you've always wanted that little Android icon on your phone to come to life, there's hope. Someone from Taiwan has built himself an Android robot--made from a painted garbage can.

Despite its trashy origins, the wheeled robot certainly looks adorable with its rotating arms and LED lights for eyes. All of these actions are controlled via an external remote control. There's even a little port at the back to charge the machine.

This little fella was built using Arduino, an open-source microcontroller board for developing interactive objects. The microcontroller takes commands from the remote control and sends them to the switches used to control the lights and motors of the robots.

Additionally, it has a little screen in front that reads:

The project took three days to finish and cost about $104. Right now, we're visualizing an army of these things rolling toward Apple's headquarters.… Read more

Add wow factor to your photos on Android with Magic Hour

Taking pictures with your smartphone can be a fun and easy way to share moments with friends and family. With Magic Hour for Android you can improve or make variations on your photos with the app's easy-to-use features. In just a few steps, you can give a photo an antique look, a more professional feel, or maybe something more artsy for your blog. Magic Hour offers a free filter market, and you can even make your own and share it with others. Here's how to get started:

Step 1: Download Magic Hour from the Android Market. … Read more

Android keeps lead over Apple on mobile network

Android stayed atop its perch as the leading mobile OS on Millennial Media's ad network last month, though Apple continues to shine as the top device maker.

Looking strictly at mobile platforms, Millennial Media's June Mobile Mix report found Android on top with 54 percent of all ad impressions last month. In second place was Apple's iOS with a 26 percent share. Both results were little changed from May but showed Android's growing dominance since it overtook iOS on the ad network last December.

Rounding up the rest of the pack, RIM's BlackBerry OS took … Read more

Android 3.2

Links from Monday's episode of Loaded:

Android 3.2 coming to tablets

Google Maps stops traffic estimates

iUsers enables mutliple users on iPad

Microsoft working secretly on social

No more easy passwords for Hotmail

Survey: iPhone leads Android among new buyers

The iPhone is the No. 1 choice among consumers planning to buy a new smartphone over the next 90 days, according to data released today by ChangeWave Research.

In a poll conducted in June surveying 4,163 smartphone consumers in North America, 46 percent of those planning to buy a new phone said they'll opt for an iOS device. That figure is two percentage points higher than the one seen in ChangeWave's latest survey, held in March. Trailing in second place is Android, with 32 percent saying they'll pick up a phone running Google's mobile OS, … Read more