The best smartphones to buy right now (that aren’t the iPhone)

Looking to purchase a new smartphone, but don’t want to wait around until the fall (at the earliest) for Apple to release a new iPhone? No worries, as there are countless state-of-the-art handheld devices available, Appolicious reports. In fact, there are so many smartphone options right now that the biggest challenge is choosing the best device for you amidst all of the clutter. Here are the five best smartphones to buy right now (that aren’t the iPhone).
Motorola Droid RAZR MAXX (Verizon): Before Apple forever changed how consumers view smartphones, Motorola’s thin and stylish RAZR was the hottest handheld device on the market. The 2007 debut of the iPhone exposed many of the RAZRs shortcomings, including average audio quality and poor battery life. This dulled sales and forced Motorola to discontinue the series for four years. In 2011, Motorola debuted the new Droid RAZR, a slim and sexy Android-running smartphone that still suffered from poor battery life…

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Analyst: One in three high schoolers owns an iPhone

Smartphones are exploding among the United States population, with nearly 50 percent of everyone in the country now owning one, appolicious reports. And there are rising trends even among teenagers. According to analyst Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster, a survey of 5,600 U.S. teens found that about 34 percent of them had iPhones. What’s more, Munster reported that another 60 percent of those interviewed said they intend to grab an iPhone in the near future, according to a story from Macrumors. Of course, surveys like this are far from exact. Telling a survey taker your “intentions” isn’t always accurate, because there are a lot of factors to making a purchasing decision, including price, location and other such inconveniences. Still, it suggests the iPhone remains extremely popular among young people, and that should be very good news for Apple and its marketing teams that are apparently aiming at a younger, lower-spending end of the spectrum…

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Teachers: Geocaching is easy with these Android apps

A couple of years ago, I discovered the game of geocaching via the Boy Scouts. It is fun, family-friendly outdoor game, where items (called caches) are hidden and you are challenged to find them. To aid in your hunt, you are given the GPS coordinates of where the cache is located, Appolicious reports. What makes geocaching a challenge is the types of caches used and how they are hidden. Folks can be very creative and deceptive in how they hide them. The only rule is they cannot be buried. Geocaching has been described as an “electronic treasure hunt.” Since geocaching required a GPS, Android-based smartphones are a great tool to use since you normally have them with you. To participate in geocaching, you will need to create an account at Geocaching.com. On that website, you can search for caches, create lists of them, log your finds and even create your own. Grounspeak is the company behind geocaching. They recently opened up their API so developers use create Android apps to connect directly to their
database. Below are some of the apps currently available to geocache on your Android device…

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iPhone apps that can help serve special needs kids

Engaging special needs children requires a distinctive skill set, not least among them patience, appolicious reports. But modern technology also has plenty to offer in the way of tools that foster communication and motivation. So if you are the parent or teacher of a special-needs child, put your iPhone to good use and download these iPhone apps. They will help both you and the little one make the most of their day. The free TapToTalk app is designed to allow children who struggle to speak, or otherwise communicate, to express themselves. It includes an album of photos depicting everyday activities, such as an automobile in motion or children playing, and a complementary audio message…

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Putting the APP in Apple: Does Apple own ‘app store’?

Apple (AAPL) iPhone may “own” the smartphone market by virtue of being the market leader in sales. And it may “own” the app market because hundreds of thousands of apps are available for the iPhone. But does Apple own the words “app store”? asks appolicious. Apple thinks so. But long-time rival Microsoft (MSFT) doesn’t. Todd Bishop at Seattle blog TechFlash said his homeboys are “fighting for the right to use those words for its own mobile application store.”

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‘Big App’ is watching you, with iPhone worse offender than Android

Your smartphone may be secretly transmitting to “outsiders,” such as ad networks, your name, your location, your age, your gender, your phone number, your unique device number and other personal data without your knowledge or consent, appolicious reports. As part of a series of articles on privacy, Scott Thurm and Yukari Iwatani Kane reported in the Wall Street Journal that smartphones “don’t keep secrets. They are sharing this personal data widely and regularly.”

The reporters, reviving the spyware controversy in the new era of apps, examined 101 apps and found that 56 of them transmitted the smartphone’s unique device ID and 47 apps transmitted the phone’s location. Daniel Eran Dilger said in Apple Insider: “The findings might be news to some smartphone users, who are rarely presented with simple, straightforward information about individual apps’ privacy policy.” The limited survey–where Apple (AAPL) offers hundreds of thousands of apps for the iPhone–found: “iPhone apps transmitted more data than the apps on phones using Google (GOOG) Inc.’s Android operating system.”

For example, the reporters said the worst offender in the survey was textPlus 4 for texting on iPhone, which sent unique ID numbers to eight ad companies, along with age and gender to two. The popular music app Pandora transmitted age, gender, location and phone ID to ad networks……Read More

Fresh iPhone apps for Nov. 15: UberTwitter, Target for iPad, Demotivational Creator

Heading up today’s Fresh Apps is a cool new Twitter client that makes checking out links from your Twitter feed a little easier, reports appolicious. Read about that, and a couple of other cool apps, in the list below.

UbberTwitter (iPhone) Free: Here’s a free Twitter client that supports all the usual features of Twitter, like direct messages, lists and searches, neatly arranged in tabs at the bottom of the app. It’s a nice, clean interface that makes it easy to navigate. The app also includes a very cool feature called “UberView,” which allows you to check out links in a separate pane right in the app. It’s a nice alternative to other Twitter clients — which send you to the browser every time you tap a link — and lets you avoid having to load another app to see what your friends and followers find interesting…

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Get ready for iPhone video chat, Android’s $100 tablet

Less than two weeks until Steve Jobs unveils the next iPhone at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference, it appears that the device will come equipped with video chat capabilities, according to Appolicious. Also in today’s App Industry Roundup, we look ahead to a world with $100 Android tablets and $97 iPhones. If the rumor mill about features for the 4G iPhone wasn’t enflamed enough heading into Apple’s June 7 Worldwide Developers Conference, now comes word that the device will showcase video chat capabilities. According to a report by tech blog Engadget, the 4G iPhone will accommodate real-time face-to-face conversations. Further, it appears that American Beauty director Sam Mendes is directing a new round of television commercials for Apple and the iPhone. One generation’s 1984 is another’s Revolutionary Road, perhaps. All of this of course amounts to further evidence of the world’s worst kept secret. The new iPhone is coming, and new features like video chat and multi-tasking capabilities will open up more worlds of opportunities for third-party application developers. 
Stay tuned.  

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