From e-readers to streaming video, Android devices have become hubs for our every entertainment need. The FLUD news reader has made its way to Android, bringing the best of headlines to your mobile device, while Verizon’s re-branded V Cast service has been updated for Android with several new features. Other brands like Citi and BestBuy look to Android as a way to communicate more directly with consumers, giving something back for their loyalty and dedication.
FLUD News (Free)
Having made a splash on iOS devices, FLUD has finally made its way to Android. The mobile news apps grabs headlines from a range of websites, delivering it to your handset in a well-designed magazine format. Customize the news reader by selecting from FLUD’s database, filtered by name and topic, or add sites by URL. You can even import your feeds from Google Reader. All articles are interactive, and can be shared and bookmarked. Moving from article to web is seamless, as media is played in-app.
Verizon Video (Free, requires subscription)
V Cast has been re-branded, with an updated service called Verizon Video. The new name certainly is indicative of the product, as Verizon updates its Android app in the midst of a streaming video surge. For existing Verizon subscribers, you’ll get video previews to screen purchases, access to the NFL Mobile app for premium content, and your choice of full episodes from a range of channels. This will cost you about $10 a month (there’s a daily subscription option for $3), and the app serves as great marketing for Verizon’s growing 4G LTE network.
Citi ThankYou Rewards (Free)
The latest marketing trend seems to be customer rewards, and if you’re on the consumer end, it’s not such a bad deal. Citi, in cooperation with BestBuy, has launched a mobile rewards app for users to redeem points from Citi’s ThankYou program. If you have redeemable points in your Citi account, you can redeem them from the mobile catalog, which includes BestBuy products. You’ll also receive discounts for redeeming points for BestBuy products, and selecting in-store pick up. The ThankYou program is the latest in a growing movement around collaborative efforts with retailers to offer more direct and tangible rewards to consumers.
The Skitch Android app got a lot of attention this past week after its developer was acquired by Evernote. With features to annotate photos with sketches, images and words, Skitch makes photo-sharing fun. Add captions or other notes, and post the enhanced image on Twitter or Facebook. With the updated Evernote integration, you can also send the photo directly to your saved notebooks. It’s a useful way to add triggers to photos you bookmark with Evernote, and Skitch’s acquisition is yet another way Evernote is making it easier to remember things and save them to the cloud.
The RedEye remote has made its way to the Android Market, with a beta version that’s ripe for testing. The app offers a home entertainment control for your television, stereo and other equipment, like your cable box or Blu-ray player, offering a universal management tool. You’ll still need a PC to configure this app for its accompanying hardware, but at least the remote has an Android interface. RedEye has set out to make a fluid experience between users as well as controllable devices, so you can use the app in different rooms, and multiple users can interact with different devices at the same time.
Ask.com has undergone many changes in the last decade or so, and its new Android app is another iteration of the search tool’s survival. Combining mobile Q&A with an online community, Ask.com is a little bit Google mixed with a bit of Quora and a dash of ChaCha. The new search app features voice-to-text support, gives you top-voted community results as well as an option to route questions to a live person in the Ask.com Q&A community. You’ll then receive an alert when a new answer has been posted. You can personalize your Q&A based on your interests, and follow users you’ve found helpful in the past.