The latest in Android anti-virus, called Sophos Mobile Security, has produced a report identifying the top five most frequently encountered scary problems on the platform. The first, PJApps-C, is Android’s most significant chaos causer. See the chat above and the list below for more on Android’s scariest viruses.
Read more in depth about each of them HERE
While many people may not give a second thought to the mobile computing threats emerging as the mobile industry continues to grow and expand, there is some cause for concern. Thankfully, the company Veracode has got our backs. They’ve recently released a free ebook about mobile security that offers 10 simple ways to ramp up the company protection against a very real growing mobile threat. Get the free ebook HERE.
Instagram has been around for over a year, and in that time has built up a substantial user base (over 40 million). However, with its recent release on the Andoid platform, and the current buzz surrounding this app, that user base is sure to grow.
That’s why I chose now to hop on the Instagram band wagon and try out this super app formyself.
The Gist of It
Simply put, Instagram is a social network for photo enthusiasts. Users can take photos, add filters, include geo tag captions and then have their photos posted for other Instagram users to like or comment on. They can also share their photos on other popular social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Tumblr, Posterous and Foursquare. What makes Instagram so special is how easy and quick it makes the process of taking and sharing great pictures. In a matter of seconds, users can take a picture, add a filter and share that picture for all the world to see.
New User Experience
I found Instagram to be relatively friendly to new users, as the interface was simpleand uncluttered. Also, I liked how the app walks you through the process of getting started in five easy steps.
I used the app on my iPhone and found that the icons and UI elements felt very iOS-centric, making it fairly easy to navigate my way around the app. However, I felt that some icons could have been designed to be more intuitive.
After doing a little research, I found that the icons and UI elements had been different in previous versions of the app and while the newer icons were moreesthetically pleasing, the previous used icons were more intuitive and user-friendly because they included titles.
Take for example the feed icons from the above screen shots. The feed icon in the screenshot to the left (older version) would be very hard to misinterpret. However, the one on the right (newest version) can fairly easily be seen as a home screen of sorts.
Filters & Photo Quality
I was impressed with the quality of photos that can be produced with Instagram. Just by adding one of the 18 available filters, one can dramatically improve the quality of an average photo. The trick is to experiment and learn when to use which filter.
I enjoyed not having to wait until after taking a picture to apply a filter. I could see what the picture would look like before actually snapping a shot. On the downside, one thing I felt was missing was the ability to apply multiple filters to a photo as you can with other photography apps.
I liked the use of a carousel style pop-up menu for the filter options. It was a great way to pack 18 items into a list while minimizing real estate usage. I also appreciated how the icons for each of the filters gave me an idea of what that filter did. I didn’t have to go through each filter individually until I found the desired effect.
Share and Share Alike
Another thing I liked about Instagram was the ability to import pictures from the camera roll. Users that already have a favourite camera/photo-editing app can use their preferred app to capture and edit a photo, then import it into Instagram to share with the Instagram community or on other social networks. However, it should be noted that photos imported from users’ camera roll need to be cropped to match thestandard square (1:1) images produced by snapping picture using the Instagram app itself.
Since Instagram was also just released in the Google Play Store, I also took some time to check it out on the Android platform. Right away, as expected, I noticed that all the UI was now appropriately Android-centric, but I also couldn’t help but think that the app wasn’t on par with its IOScounterpart and here’s why:
Overall, Instagram on Android offers a noticeably less streamlined experience by lengthening the process of creating and sharing images. I must also include that the short comings of the Android version of Instagram are most likely a result of technical limitations due to the many variations of Android.
Are you loving Instagram on Android or iOS? Tell us about your photo-sharing love at @plasticmobile.
There are plenty of alternative keyboards available to Android users in the Play Store. However, only a select few of these keyboard apps offer a totally creative and different mobile typing experience.
One of these rare apps is called, “Siine Keyboard.” Siine adds several interesting twists to the conventional QWERTY keyboard, including shortcuts (siines) for times, dates and commonly used words and expressions.
Check out our video (Vimeo) demonstration of the Siine Keyboard App available on Android’s Play Store. Watch as Plastic Mobile walks you through the good, the bad and the ugly of this Android app.
Practice Makes Perfect
Using the shortcuts in the Siine Keyboard allows users to type common messages like “hey, what’s up?” with only two taps and two swipes of a single finger. In theory, this should make typing messages easier and faster. However, as a first time user, I spent more time looking for the shortcuts than actually using them!
To mediate this, I found it was helpful to take time to edit and customize existing shortcuts or download new sets of shortcuts to match your texting repertoire and messaging style. Eventually, after a little time spent practicing, I became comfortable with this new way of typing and found it to be a refreshingly different experience.
Time & Date to a “T”
The time and date features in Siine are brilliant. They are highly intuitive and feel quite natural to use. Unlike the vocab shortcuts, they do not require any getting used to.
The time feature makes adding times to messages easy and fun. It is definitely one of the best features Siine has to offer, but – in my opinion – the date feature is the most innovative and useful because it allows the user to check and post dates in one easy step. No longer do we have to navigate to a calendar app to find out which day the 1st of next month falls on.
Trash it Fast
Siine gives users three options for deleting text. Tapping the delete button will delete one character at a time. Holding the delete button will also delete one character at a time, but it’s slightly quicker and doesn’t require multiple taps.
The best option for trashing large chunks of text is the quick delete function. I like to describe it as a “delete button on steroids.” Basically, users can hold the delete button then swipe their finger back and forth across their smartphone screen to delete text. The faster they swipe, the faster the app deletes the text. It’s deleting with muscle!
I found that the quick delete function felt very natural to use and was surprisingly fun. It reminded me of using rubber erasers in art class.
Do you have the Siine app? tweet us @plasticmobile and give us your review!