Sony PlayStation App For iPhone & Android Announced

Sony has announced that an official PlayStation app will soon make its way to the iOS and Android platforms. Writing about this on the PlayStation blog, Emmanuel Orssaud, Portal Manager at Sony, has said that the first iteration of the application will only be available in UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, and The Netherlands. A second version that will support the rest of Europe is also noted to be on its way.

The PlayStation app will let users check on their friends’ activities, read and discover the latest games, news and hardware and keep a tab on their PSN trophies. The application shall be free to download.

While this application is sure to let gamers keep a tab on theirs and their friends’ activities, it will not be a useful gaming device. That gap, it has been speculated, will be fulfilled by a PlayStation phone. Reports have suggested that this new Android based smartphone – complete with gaming controls – shall be announced sometime in the first quarter of next year. If you are a hardcore PS gamer, keep your fingers crossed until then.

Android App Refund Window Reduced To 15 Minutes

This is something that is likely to tick you off if you are an Android user. Google has announced a few significant changes to their Android marketplace. While most of the changes – like an increase in the size-cap of .APK files and the launch of a carousel on the market place home are positive changes, a new policy to restrict the refund window on paid apps is likely to irk many.

According to the latest update, Android users will now only get 15 minutes from the time of purchase to try an app before deciding to ask for a refund. This is drastically lower than the 24 hour window that existed until now. Why’s that? Eric Chu from the Android Developer Ecosystem explains,

“Since most users who request a refund do so within minutes of purchase, we will reduce the refund window on Market to 15 minutes. This change will be largely transparent to buyers, but will help developers manage their businesses more effectively.”

While a 24 hour window is agreeably too large for trying an app out, a 15 minute window does not help either. It makes sense to give the users at least an hour or two before shutting the refund window. What do you think?

Skype Video Calling For Android & iPhone Coming Next Month?

As of now, the only mobile phone that can make video calls over Skype is the Nokia N900. If you are the owner of an iPhone, Android or any other smartphone, you are unfortunately out of luck since Skype video calling is still not available on these devices.

That could possibly change soon. According to reports, Skype has called up for a media gathering on January 6, 2011 on the sidelines of  the Consumer Electronics Show. Speculations are rife that Skype could be announcing a new mobile application for a number of platforms like the iOS and Android that will come equipped with video calling functionalities.

To be fair, there is nothing explicitly mentioned in the invitation itself and this is just a speculation based on the invitation list that includes blogs focusing on Android platform. So if anything, at least something big for Android is on the cards. So keep watching out.

NOOKcolor App Development – New SDK Released

Barnes & Noble has announced the roll out of the SDK for the recently launched NOOKcolor eReader. The launch will mean developers can now start building applications specifically for the eReader. Interestingly, though the eReader has been built over the Android framework, it will not be possible for Android app developers to directly port their apps over the new platform. Instead, we hear that there will still be a significant amount of work required to make the apps NOOKcolor-compatible.

Nevertheless, with the device being rooted recently, a number of users should now be looking at NOOKcolor as a cheaper alternative for tablet. This increased interest should get more developers doing the extra work to bring applications for the platform.

We look forward to this spurt in activity on the Nook ecosystem. If you are a developer, you can find all the needed SDK tools here.

Hack To Transform Android Phone Camera Into A WebCam For Computer

Want to video chat with your friend over your computer but don’t have a webcam? No worries. DroidCam is a new application on the Android market that will let you easily turn your Android phone into a webcam for your computer. The application connects the camera on your Android phone to your computer using a desktop client that needs to be installed. Once done, the phone camera can seamlessly function as a webcam and can be used with a number of third party chat applications including MSN, Skype, etc.

What’s interesting is that DroidCam connects wirelessly over Wi-Fi and so there is no cable-hassle involved. Do note though that the application is currently compatible with only a Windows or Linux computer. If you are a Mac user, then you are out of luck at the moment.

Check out the application from the Android market and let us know how it works in the comments below.

Enable Copy-Paste On Android Phones With New CopyAndPaste Application

Why is it that every new smartphone platform in the market has to go through a phase when basic functionalities like copy-paste are not available to users? Anyway, there is a tweak available now for Android phones that will enable this feature. The application is right now in the alpha phase which quite obviously means that there are a lot of bugs that need to be worked on. Developer ‘indexphp123‘ writes,

I have just released an application CopyAndPaste in alpha release onto the market if anyone would like to try it out.

The application is one way of solving the issue of selecting text in android. There are a lot of bugs to be worked on, but the main problem is the inaccuracy of the OCR engine. If enough people find the app useful then I will continue to update it and possibly make it open source.”

You can check out the application as well as monitor the updates from this XDA forum thread here.

MOG Android App Comes Out Of Beta

Music buffs on Android will be excited to know that the MOG music player app is now out of beta and is now available for download. MOG is a pretty nifty tool that lets you to search, manage and download songs from their Android phone. Some of the notable enhancements in the new version of the application include a ‘Now Playing‘ screen, the ability to shuffle and repeat and a redesigned home page and skin. Apart from this, the new release also adds the ability to seek within a screen using a seek bar. Other updates include the ability to download from any page, enhanced queuing and favorite options.

The MOG team notes that another update to the app is coming soon and that will bring more features like playlist creation, drag & drop feature for song and albums,etc. You can download the latest version of the MOG Android app from the Android market now.

Netflix App For Android Phones Coming In 2011

The Android platform has been overtaking the iPhone in popularity over the past couple of months. Despite this encouraging growth, popular movie streaming website Netflix had stayed out of venturing into Android so far. After all these months of silence, Netflix has finally opened up on the reasons that has prevented the company from opening up to Android. In a recent blog post, Netflix Product Manager, Greg Peters has noted that the absence of a complete platform security system on Android as the reason why Netflix has not been able to enter the marketplace yet.  Peters wrote,

“The hurdle has been the lack of a generic and complete platform security and content protection mechanism available for Android. The same security issues that have led to piracy concerns on the Android platform have made it difficult for us to secure a common Digital Rights Management (DRM) system on these devices. Setting aside the debate around the value of content protection and DRM, they are requirements we must fulfill in order to obtain content from major studios for our subscribers to enjoy.”

That does not mean Netflix app for Android is a goner. Peters has indicated that the first Netflix Android app will make its appearance in early 2011 and it will not be for all handsets. The company is reported to be talking to individual handset manufacturers to add content protection to their systems and so it will be a while before the application becomes available on all the Android handsets.

Upload High Resolution Photos To Facebook With Updated Android App

Facebook has announced on their Android app fan page that a new version of their application is now available for download at the Android market. This is just a minor update over the version 1.4.0 that was released less than ten days back. You would remember that the earlier update brought new features like Places and Groups to the Android app.

Unlike the earlier update, this new version primarily fixes a number of bugs in the application. One significant addition though is the ability to upload high resolution pictures from your Android phone to your Facebook profile. Summarizing what the new update is about, Facebook has said,

Hey Android fans, we just released Facebook for Android v1.4.1. This upgrade includes a number of bug fixes and higher resolution photo uploads. It’s available in the Android Market right now.

Facebook for Android v1.4.1

It goes without saying that Facebook for Android v1.4.1 is a free-to-download app. Do check it out and let us know what you think of it in the comments below.

New Android Skype App For HTC Wildfire-Like Low Resolution Devices

If you an Android handset like HTC Wildfire that has a pretty low resolution compared to other popular smartphones in the market, then you may have realized that the current version of Skype app for Android does not support these devices. Now, the popular VoIP communications company has announced a new version of their Android app that brings their service to Android devices with smaller resolution like 320×240 and 240×400.

Apart from this additional resolution compatibility, Skype for Android 1.0.1 now also comes with additional features like support for hardware back key, improved performance on accounts with large contacts lists and reduced power consumption in idle mode. Also, the new application consumes less space on the device and unlike the earlier version, the new app automatically exists the Skype app while signing out.

You can download the latest app by visiting the Android market or by visiting skype.com/m from your Android phone. Do you like the new version?