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2 years ago

Aviary goes big time, releases standalone photo editing app

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Over the past few years Aviary has been making a name for itself by offering its photo editing solutions to the masses through its web applications. They've produced an Android SDK, iOS SDK and even a Windows Phone 7 SDK but now they've gone ahead and released their own self-branded standalone photo editing app. It's quite beautiful and feature packed, as you would expect, and there's an equally impressive feature list --

  • One-tap auto enhance
  • Gorgeous effects
  • Fun stickers
  • Color balance
  • Crop and rotate
  • Adjust brightness, contrast, color temperature, and saturation
  • Sharpen and blur
  • Draw and add text
  • Create your own memes
  • Cosmetic tools: fix redeye, remove blemishes and whiten teeth

In addition to all this, there are add-ons that can be purchased from the Play Store, including extra effects packs. Just a quick look at the app tells you Aviary took their time in making this one, it's a showcase app for them that will not only serve consumers but also show developers what Aviary is capable of. We'll get a deeper look at this app later, but for now we've got download info after the break.

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2 years ago

Motorola Droid Bionic's .905 update now available

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Just a quick heads up that the .905 update for the Motorola Droid Bionic is now pushing out in earnest, according to the fine Bionic-owning fellers in our forums. Here's what you can expect in this update:

  • Recalibrated volume of the call connect and disconnect tones to be more comfortable for Bluetooth users.
  • Improved Visual Voice Mail to ensure delivery of a notification to the Status bar.
  • Reduced data stalls to improve 4G LTE data connectivity.

You should be able to pull it down through the system menu if you haven't already.

The Droid Bionic is still scheduled to receive its Ice Cream Sandwich update in the third quarter of 2012.

More: Verizon Droid Bionic forums

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2 years ago

BBC launches sports streaming over mobile networks

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​Broadcaster's Euro 2012 and Olympic live streams will be available over 3G on phones and tablets

The BBC has traditionally been big on Android, and mobile content in general -- back in 2010 it was one of the first broadcasters to bring live, streaming TV to the platform in its iPlayer app. Today the Beeb launches its latest mobile endeavor -- a re-vamped BBC Sport mobile site with support for video streaming over mobile networks.

Right now the new site features the same video clips found on the BBC Sport desktop page. But when the BBC is covering a sporting event live, as it's doing with the Euro 2012 soccer football championship and the Olympic Games, those live video streams will be available on mobile too.

In the past the BBC had limited this sort of thing to Wifi users, presumably to avoid the wrath of network operators. But with the increasing speed of 3G and HSPA+ networks across the country, it seems the broadcaster decided it's safe to make the switch. Needless to say, the video content is limited to users in the UK for the moment.

The new mobile site is live now at bbc.co.uk/sportmobile. To view video content, you'll need an Android device running version 2.2 or better, or an iPhone or iPad on iOS 5 or greater.

Source: BBC Blog; More: BBC Sport Mobile

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2 years ago

AT&T getting the Sony Xperia Ion on June 24

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It's been many moons since the announcement of the Sony Xperia Ion -- more than five months since it was announced for AT&T, and more than five months since we went hands-on with it AT&T's developer event at CES, actually. But today, AT&T has announced it'll carry the 4G LTE Android smartphone starting June 24. It'll cost $99 with a two-year contract.

In exchange for that Benjamin, you'll be getting a 4.6-inch device with what Sony's branded an "HD Reality display." It's powered by the Sony Bravia display engine and is pushing a 720x1280 resolution. Sony's also pimping the 12-megapixel camera with a shutter speed of less than a second. It's also got a dedicated camera button that can take the phone from standby to snapping the first shot in a second and a half. 

Other specs of note include a Qualcomm S3 dual-core processor at 1.5GHz, 16 gigabytes of internal storage, plus a microSD card slot. And it's PlayStation Certified, to boot, so you can expect some games on this guy.

But the one spec we (and Sony) have been dancing around is that, yes, it's running Android 2.3 Gingerbread. In June 2012. That's a tough one to swallow. But Sony tells us that, yes, the Ion's in line for an upgrade to Ice Cream Sandwich just as soon as it can be, and that the customizations on board already make up for a lot of the Android 4.0 functionality. 

So, we've got a week to go before this guy hits the streets. Who's buying?

More: Sony Xperia Ion Forums

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2 years ago

Sony Tablet P joins its big brother on Android 4.0

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The Sony Tablet S was one of the first Honeycomb tablets to be upgraded to the latest version of Android, Ice Cream Sandwich. And now its clamshell-shaped sibling, the Tablet P, has received its own ICS update. In a post on its Developer World blog, Sony announced that Android 4.0.3 is now available for Tablets S and P, with the Tablet P update being limited to "selected markets" for the time being.

In addition to standard ICS features like the improved launcher and multi-tasking menu, Sony's baked in some new stuff for its tablet owners. These include direct SD card access, "small apps" that can run in a window, and a re-vamped photo viewer.

To grab the new software for either device, head to Settings > About tablet > System updates.

Source: Sony Developer World

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2 years ago

Achtung! Germany gets Google Play Books

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Good news for our friends and readers (both, I guess; they're not mutually exclusive) in Germany. You've now got access to Google Play Books. That means easy purchasing through Google Play, and easy reading through the Play Books application.

Now ... Which George R.R. Martin book to begin with?

via @chowdarygm

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2 years ago

Take on Gotham's worst in The Dark Knight Rises, coming to Android this summer

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We're probably not alone when we say that we're looking forward to the next Batman movie, The Dark Knight Rises. In fact, looking forward to it doesn't even come close. Tieing in with the movie release, Gameloft have partnered with Warner Brothers Games and DC Comics to bring the official game of the movie to Android this summer.

Details are pretty scarce at the moment, but this looks to be a full on 3D action game. The folks over at IGN ​have scored an early trailer for the title, and it looks pretty darn good. Gameloft have been bringing some pretty stellar visuals with some of their recent titles, and The Dark Knight Rises looks to be no exception. 

There is no official release date beyond summer, but as with recently released Men In Black 3, it's a safeish bet that it will appear around a similar time to the movie. In the meantime, hit the break to check out the trailer for yourselves.

Source: IGN via Droid Gamers

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2 years ago

Max Payne finally comes to Android [Android app review]

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After several delays, Max Payne has finally made its way to Google Play. Rockstar did a pretty good job with device support, and we got an early look at the enhanced Tegra 3 version. If you're a fan of this sort of action shooter, you're in for a treat. If you're not into the cinematic action genre, you'll still appreciate how the game looks and the excellent graphics Rockstar came up with on this one.

After you get it installed, that is. We can't go any further without mentioning that Max Payne requires a whopping 1.4GB download of game files. The servers were pretty speedy (with nobody using them, anyway) but that's still about half a data cap worth of downloading. Make sure you're somewhere with Wifi when you install this one. I don't want to sound like I'm knocking them for doing it, the game certainly looks great and those resources need to be downloaded. Consider yourself warned.

As a cinematic action-shooter, there's quite a bit of story behind the game. Without too many spoilers, Max Payne is a DEA agent with the task of taking out a group of designer drug peddlers. You'll have plenty of time to follow the story, as Max Payne is a mix of gameplay, cut-scenes, and cinematics. The story-board style cut-scenes will remind you of a graphic novel or comic, and are done with just a touch of 1950's style gangster-noir -- which fits Max Payne really well.

As expected, the gameplay on the Tegra 3 is superb. The additional textures and filtering, as well as all the lighting and physics enhancements really show off NVIDIA's gaming heritage. Controls are a bit complicated, especially on a smaller screen, but the game played great on both the Transformer Prime and the international HTC One X

Two things help with those complicated controls, though. There's a pretty thorough tutorial that helps you understand the movements and actions your toon can do, as well as demo how to interact with the world around you. The second thing is the excellent game controller support. I used a Logitech F710 wireless controller, which worked flawlessly with zero setup. This controller is known to work well with Android anyway, but not having to change any settings or map any buttons was a really nice touch. In the end, if you have the means to use a controller with this one you'll be glad you did. 

There's other options and settings, where you can change video properties and sound settings, as well as aming settings to adjust the sensitivity and speed of that little dot on the screen (use them). full integration with Rockstar Social Club -- Rockstar's online gaming community -- is also part of the package, and users can earn achievements and unlock cheat codes. Pretty cool if you're into that sort of thing.

The gameplay itself is smooth and fluid, seems to be at a really high framerate, and rivals what you'll find on a console with the Tegra 3 version. You progress through the game, killing bad guys and finding you way to the next level by checking out everything round you. There's some clipping and bodies can find their way into some pretty unnatural positions, but for the most part it's a realistic representation with excellent game physics. I just wish there was more of it. Max Payne was designed strictly for fans of cinematic action games, and if you don't enjoy plenty of cuts and video, you'll get a bit agitated. I found myself instantly fast-forwarding any time I could, as I just wanted to kill things. That's not a fault of the game, though -- it's just not my style. If it's your style, you'll love his one. 

Max Payne will be found at the Google Play store shorty, and will set you back $3. Hit the break for a spoiler video of the first act and some screenshots.

Rockstar Games on Google Play

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2 years ago

Maybe a matte EVO 4G LTE isn't that bad after all ...

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OK, maybe I was wrong. Me, the guy who from Day 1 stuck up for the EVO 4G LTE, saying that the plastic section above the kickstand -- the glossy, fingerprint-loving, mirror-finish plastic section that nearly caused wars on both coasts before the phone was ever released -- the section that nearly led apple to cancel its complaint with the International Trade Commission ("Let them have it!" Tim Cook reportedly never said) -- the section that ...

You get the point. Some folks hated it. Some didn't. 

Me? I never thought it was that bad. But check out what Android Forums member yocubed did to his EVO with $23, a few minutes of time and some Ghost Armor. Be gone, Glossy finish, and hello, marvelous matte! And it looks pretty damn good, even if it's not a perfect match. Hit the link below for more info on the mod.

More: Ghost Armor Matte Backing on the HTC EVO 4G LTE

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2 years ago

Google I/O countdown, Multitasking conspiracy theories [From the Forums]

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Just in case you missed out on some of the Android news today, now is the time to go ahead and get yourself fully caught up. Here on the blogs and in the Android Central Forums, there is plenty to talk about. Have some questions? Need some help or just looking to chat Android? You know where to go, check out some of the threads below.

If you're not already a member of the Android Central forums, you can register your account today.

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