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Fresh Android Apps for Jan. 21: Reader, Surf Canyon, HD Sleuth

by Ian Black

Big companies continue to drop new apps into the Market. Yesterday, it was MasterCard, today Sony. Check out their Reader app for Android that lets you bring your Sony Reader e-books on the road. Also, just when you began to think there was nothing new in search, the fresh Surf Canyon app hits the shore to deliver a new kind of search results. Finally, HD Sleuth aims to troubleshoot your home audio-visual problems.

Reader (Free)

Sony’s new Reader app hopes to join the ranks of Nook and Kindle apps for e-books. Like those apps from Barnes & Noble and, Reader lets you synchronize bookmarks, highlights, and reading position across devices, in Sony’s case the synchronization currently only works with certain models of their Sony Reader devices. You can also purchase new books directly from the Sony online store.

The Reader app comes pre-loaded with three complete classic novels and excerpts from three new bestsellers. As with other e-book apps, you can adjust the font size to customize your reading experience.

Surf Canyon (Free)

Search engines are great for finding the easy answer. For more complex subjects, you often need to click on a few results links before your true answer emerges. With Surf Canyon, the app scans not only for relevant links but also the content at the links so that it can display what you’re looking for without you clicking any more.

Surf Canyon “learns” more about your search as you go. To help it get smarter, click the bull’s-eye next to any link that shows the information you need.

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HD Sleuth ($3.99)

How many times have you called the cable guy or the HD TV “geek squad” to fix some audio-visual issue in your house? Next time, before you call, try the HD Sleuth app. The main menu asks the straightforward questions – No video? No Audio? Audio/Video Intermittent? Then it gives you a series of yes/no questions – some of which ask you to try something to address the problem. Impress your friends by telling them you fixed your own flat screen problem.