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aVia 3.2

Play movies, music and view photos from a variety of sources 

by Nick Peers

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License: Freeware
Operating Systems: Android
Requirements:

Android 2.3.7 or later 

Languages: English
Software Cost: Free
Date Updated: 03 April 2012
Watchlist: Add download to my watchlist
Downloads To Date: 1017
Developer: Videon Central
RSS News Feed:
Twitter Feed: http://twitter.com/aviamediaplayer
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/aViaMediaPlayer
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aVia 3.2
aVia makes it easy to browse and playback media on your Android device.

There’s an awful lot of media out there – and there’s quite a bit dotted around your home too. What you need is a single app for accessing it, and aVia aims to be that app.

aVia provides a one-stop shop for all your media playback and sharing needs – it’s evolved rapidly since debuting in October 2011, and has been built from the ground up specifically for Android tablets and smartphones.

Fire the app up and tap My Sources to begin. From here you can browse your local storage, snoop over the USB connection or look for content on your Facebook and Picasa accounts or stored on a DLNA server. Just select an option to browse its contents for media to access.

Select music, and you’ll get an album cover, track info and playback controls – plus you’re at liberty to wander off and browse the rest of your collection or look at some photos without disrupting playback, which can be controlled (along with the volume) via a series of gestures.

Video playback is similarly intuitive, with options for enabling and disabling subtitles, video scaling adjustments and all the all-important playback controls themselves, with options for skipping or shuffling through the contents of the current folder. Photos work in a similar way too, with a slideshow option for good measure.

aVia also allows you to create multimedia playlists, mixing the three media types together. And not only can you access DLNA servers on your network, you can turn aVia itself into a DLNA server too, giving others access to your locally stored content.

It supports a broad range of formats and containers, but video codecs are slightly restricted, although more are promised shortly. It’s the only slight blemish on what is a very capable tool for Android users. 

Verdict:

An excellent choice for Android users looking for DLNA-compliant media player - just a shame it doesn't run on older Android devices.

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Spotlight: Free Full Software

WhatsApp Messenger 2.12.5

Free Full Commercial Software

WhatsApp Messenger is the world's most popular instant messaging app for smartphones.

You can use it to send and receive text and voice messages, photos, videos, even call your friends in other countries, and because it uses your phone's internet connection it might not cost you anything at all (depending on whether you'll pay data charges).

It's easy to set up and use. There's no need to create and remember new account names or pins because it works with your phone number, and uses your regular address book to find and connect you with friends who use WhatsApp already.

You can talk one-to-one or in group chats, and because you're always logged in there's no way to miss messages. Even if your phone is turned off, WhatsApp will save your messages and display them as soon as you're back online.

There's plenty more (location sharing, contact exchange, message broadcasting) and the app is free for a year, currently $0.99/ year afterwards.

Version 2.12.5 brings:

• Per chat custom notification settings and mute
• You can now include videos in your chat backups in Settings > Chats and Calls > Chat Backup
• Mark chats as unread or read with a swipe to the right
• Better support for VoiceOver
• Directly share contacts from the Contacts app and locations from Apple Maps to WhatsApp
• Lower the data usage used during WhatsApp calls in Settings > Chats and Calls 
• Earlier messages now load automatically as you scroll chats
• Improved design for cropping photos and videos
• Location messages now use a large map thumbnail

[...]
Value:
Free
Rating: