Chomp was previously an app discovery service for both Android and iOS. But a few months after being acquired by Apple, Chomp.com now serves only iPhone and iPad app search and recommendation.
Om Malik noticed the change this morning, but there’s no need to be too worried. While Chomp was an excellent tool for searching the Android Market with context rather than just titles, the app is definitely not the only game in town; there are other places to get app search and recommendations.
I’m not sure how many of you were relying on Chomp to fulfill your app needs, but consider replacing it with these sources.
AppBrain.com has stellar search. The website features recommendations based on what you have installed already, removes spam and low-quality apps from the listing so it’s easier to find good apps, and shows “What’s Hot?” charts to show apps growing in popularity. AppBrain maintains lists that can sync downloads between devices and the web, and features a wealth of social and discovery features to discover great apps. Be sure to also use the Android app.
AppAware.com also has a social network of app seekers. It shows what apps your friends have installed, and uses common interests, location, and your current apps list to come up with recommendations. The services does a good job of discovering what’s trending and displaying the most popular apps based on date. It also has a very stylish Android app offering all of the previously mentioned features and handpicked lists from editors for different groups of people: Men, Women, Developers, Gamers, Music Lovers, and so on.
AppsFire.com is absolutely useless if you have an Android device because the website is so focused on iOS that you won’t get as smooth a search as you will on the other two websites mentioned. However, it does have an Android app that aids your discovery efforts. AppsFire shows what apps are downloaded by your friends, people in your area, VIP blogger recommendations, and recommendations personalized based on what you currently have installed. There are also sections for popular apps and “mixes” that bring together the best apps for categories (cooking, photography, sports, music, and so on). So when you search for an app, mixes will get more attention because they are tested and rated highly.
P.S. Gamers can also use the game focused services of Hooked or HeyZap.
Add another country to the list of nations that support Google Play Movies. Google has announced today that customers in Australia can now rent movies from the Play Store. The announcement follows rollouts in France and the United Kingdom, showing that Google is finally making progress – however small it may be – in rolling out its service globally.
Play Movies is an on-demand rental service that streams movies to Android phones or tablets. Price and selection varies in different countries, but it’s typically a mix of old films, international blockbusters, and some home-grown produced content as well. In the case of Australia, their are hits like Moneyball and Bourne Ultimatum, as well as the locally-made Snowtown and Chopper.
Android users can rent Play Movies for $3.99 to $6.99 depending on the age of the film. New releases are $5.99 for Standard Definition and $6.99 for High Definition. Older films rent for $3.99 and $4.99 for SD and HD respectively. (All prices in AUD.)
Renters have 30 days to start watching the film, but the viewer has only 48 hours to view the film once play has started. The app can download a film for temporary cache, so it can work if you need some entertainment while on a plane on long trip.
Head to Google Play if you’ve been itching to rent on your mobile. Please be aware that you cannot access Play movies if you have a rooted device.
Here’s something you don’t see every day: a U.S. television provider recognizes that its paying customers would like to be able to access video on their mobile devices, and that company steps in to provide it. And as an added bonus, it’s available to Android users first.
DirecTV has updated its official Android application to support on-demand streaming to phones. The latest version allows users to view movies and original programming from HBO, Cinemax, Encore, Showtime, Starz and other popular destinations. The app works only in the United States and not all devices are supported, but as Engadget points out, this is one of the rare times when a media app is available on Android phones before it goes to iPhone. (And yes, the app supports some Android tablets.)
There’s no live streaming of DirecTV channels yet, but users can see plenty of their favorite shows at their convenience. The DirecTV Android app also supports browsing television listings by channel or broadcast time, and helps fans discover new content by seeing what’s trending. Once a user finds what he or she wants, the app can remotely set recordings through the DVR. It also sets parental controls from the device and includes account management tools.
DirecTV is available for download now in Google Play Device and version compatibility will vary.
Every now and then, a third-party Android app emerges to give a built-in Android app a run for its money. The upstart typically does something better than the incumbent and makes users wonder if it might make sense to switch over to the new guy permanently. The latest such app is Scalado Album, an Android 2.3.7+ app that manages your photo and video gallery in a creative way. Creative enough to surpass most other options? Definitely. Creative enough to dump the built-in Gallery app even on Android 4.0? Maybe.
Scalado Album gets by on its unique organization and a level of speed rivaled only by QuickPic. My 1,000-plus images that I have stored on my Galaxy Nexus can take as long as 15 seconds to load in the default Gallery app. Album has a full library of thumbnails displayed in less than 2 seconds, and it loads full-screen views of selected images almost instantly. Scalado’s non-support for Picasa is one area where Gallery holds the advantage, but the app is still much faster even when disabling online photo storage in Gallery.
Album takes an interesting approach for displaying media. The Camera Roll (photos taken on the device) gets top billing, but users can also browse according to Folders, Months, Places, and Nearby. Using the EXIF data stored within a photo, Nearby shows photos that were taken near a given location. The same info is used for Places, which organizes photos according to the city or town they were taken. Places was slightly off on one location (it put me in Irvington when I was in Newark), but I was close to the border between cities, so I’ll cut it a break. Similarly, the Map function creates a zoomable Google Map view of the world, and then puts place markers where there are clusters of photos. Tapping on a marker shows how many images were taken near that location, and tapping again opens that gallery.
Scalado Album offers an attractive design that puts the focus on the images, and loads even large galleries in an instant. The app allows for basics like batch deleting, uploading to the Share function, and cropping or rotating images. However, it’s also missing out on some useful tools like folder selection so users can see only photos and wallpapers rather than icons and images stored for apps. That’s a small thing that can be overlooked, but to warrant paying for an app when similar ones are free, the tiniest of details need to be addressed. Luckily for Scalado, it performs well enough in other areas where I would feel comfortable paying a buck to get a much faster gallery.
Scalado Albums is available for $0.99 USD in Google Play. Android 2.3.7 or higher is required to use.