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If you’ve been hesitant to download the leaked APK for Flipboard’s exclusive Android app, now may be a good time to try it out. An over-the-air update from Flipboard has fixed many of the bugs reported by those anxious users that downloaded the app early. Version 1.8.4 should increase speed and stability for leaked Flipboard app users, as well as the ability to set a widget update cycle (never, weekly, hourly or daily). And articles now open in your default browser instead of a web preview window. See here for details on how to add Flipboard to your Android device ahead of the Samsung Galaxy S III launch.
Flipboard’s not the only one upgrading mobile software. Google’s improvements to its own Google+ app for iOS has proven successful, if you take Google’s word for it. The interface for the redesigned Google+ app is much better, with some serious usability considerations incorporated into the app. Now one of the more interesting social mobile outlets, Google+ has become the poster child for what a Google app should look like on any OS.
Rival platforms bring their own cloud solutions
But one app Google can’t save is Maps on iOS. Apple will reportedly drop Google’s backend for the built-in Maps app in iOS 6, swapping it out for their own app powered by OpenStreetMap Foundation data. Google Maps and navigation have been a mainstay for iOS devices since the iPhone first launched, but the growing rivalry between Apple and Google has unsurprisingly caused a rift. Apple’s already ditched Google Maps integration in the latest iPhoto release, and has made a number of recent acquisitions towards developing its own mapping and navigation software.
And Apple isn’t the only competitor after Google these days. Chinese search giant Baidu is set to launch its first low-cost smartphone running its newest mobile OS, granting access to Baidu applications, music and 100GB of storage on its cloud system. The move could really shake up China’s mobile market, where Android phone have seen rapid uptake and Baidu seeks more mobile inroads. Samsung, too, is building more cloud services into its platform, with the recent acquisition of mSpot. The cloud-based media streaming service has powered white-label solutions for carriers and manufacturers for over a decade, making the Samsung merger a strategic move for both parties. An app is expected soon.