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The past week has been a boost for Android, with several big name brands making waves in the Market. We saw new apps from Pizza Hut and WebMD, and a major update from Mozilla with Firefox Beta. LinkedIn’s Android app has also gained some attention thanks to its successful IPO launch, highlighting the social network’s focus on mobile moving forward with fresh funds. Always amped for innovation, this week also introduced News360 to the Android Market.
Pizza Hut (Free)
A household name for over two decades, Pizza Hut stays relevant with a new Android app. There’s access to the restaurant menu, complete with specialty pizzas, pasta, wings, drinks and dessert. Looking to save a buck? The app features special deals and new products as well. Pizza Hut’s Android app wouldn’t be very useful without online ordering, and if you’re a frequent pizza eater, create an account for easy reordering. In an era where customer service means on-demand access, it’s great to see Pizza Hut finally making its way to the Android Market.
WebMD for Android (Free)
Sometimes a simple search can ease your pain, just knowing what the prognosis could be. The popular WebMD website has delivered its database to Android users, with quick tabs for symptoms, conditions and local health facilities. A helpful feature is the pill identification tool, which helps you make out prescription and over-the-counter medicines. There’s also a search tool for drugs and treatments, so you can take more control of your health research. A noteworthy perk is the offline access to first aid info, in the event you have no Wi-Fi during an emergency. Send friends pertinent articles, add doctors and hospitals to your contacts, and keep track of your own health.
For professional social networking, LinkedIn is the standard. It’s been building up its mobile app for some time, adding features for search and updating contacts in your professional network. One of the most useful aspects of this Android app is the ability to quickly review a person on the way to a meeting, or right after an introduction. With real-time updates, you’re able to stay connected with every link in your network, helping you along your professional goals. Now that LinkedIn has gone public, the company has made clear its plans for improving its mobile presence even further.
Firefox Beta (Free)
Mozilla’s always had a fresh take on web browsing, and that goes for the mobile realm as well. Recently updated, Firefox Beta has added several features, including one that concerned consumers will appreciate. The “Do Not Track” option is now included in your preferences setting, enabling you to opt out of online behavioral tracking while surfing the web. With Google in the midst of a privacy backlash debacle, savvy consumers are hungry for such control features on their mobile apps. Other updates include speed improvements and smoother scrolling, making for a better hands-on experience.
The popular social app is looking to get more social, adding a share option to send product details via email, or to your Twitter and Facebook networks. The product details page itself has also been improved, with new zoom options, review details, and review options for new, used and refurbished items. To more readily identify discounts, PriceGrabber has also been updated with a discount badge for severely dropped prices. There’s also an option to view locally available products, shortening the amount of time you spend traveling to various venues or doing comparative research.
Making its mark on the tablet world, News360 has launched for Android Honeycomb. The news aggregator pulls from over 1,500 news sources, delivering them in an optimized stream. Recommendations for prioritized articles are based on the app’s semantic analysis, bringing you background on the companies, people and locations mentioned in various articles. You get a custom experience with personalized feeds, spanning lifestyle, political and global news. News360 looks to your social networks for recommendations as well, tapping Facebook for your interests, and TripIt for local news from upcoming destinations.