Headlines

2 years ago

Google+ app updated in Android Market, brings UI changes, new features, and bug fixes

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The Google+ app has just received a pretty major update that brings bug fixes, some UI changes, and new features to Googles new social media venture.  From the changelog in the Android Market:

  • Customize the main stream view to show streams from individual circles
  • Fixed some issues encountered by users with the Swype keyboard
  • Set permissions for who can start a huddle with you (Anyone, Your Circles, Extended Circles)
  • If someone you've never huddled with before invites you to a group huddle, you can now dismiss the invitation
  • New UI allows adding multiple people or entire circles to a huddle
  • Set photo as wallpaper
  • Performance improvements and bug fixes throughout the app

This addresses the biggest gripes I've been hearing about the mobile app -- a way to add entire circles to a huddle, and a way to customize which circles are visible in your main stream.  I'm sure the Google+ team is still hard at work and things will only get better.  If you don't have your Google+ invitation yet, be sure to hit the forums and sing out -- invites seem to be wide open.  Download links for the Market are after the break.

If you don't have an Android phone, you don't have a Google+ app. 

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2 years ago

Android Quick App: dealnews

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If any of you are as gung-ho about saving money as I am, I'm sure you've heard about dealnews. Their slogan is "Where every day is Black Friday" and as such, they 're constantly trying to give you the biggest and best discounts on anything they can find. Fortunately, for the bargain hunters on-the-go, they've just unveiled their latest offering, the dealnews Android app.

The dealnews app is a fully-featured, mobile dealnews experience. There are four tabs up at the top of the screen: Deals, Saved, Find, and More, respectively. Deals is where the action happens, obviously. Saved contains all of your saved deals, Find is a general product search, and More gives you four more options to find discounts and deals.

When you find yourself on the More tab, you're greeted with Twitter, Facebook, mydealnews, and their Black Friday App as options. Clicking on either Twitter or Facebook opens up a wrapped version of their mobile Twitter and Facebook feeds, respectively, without ever leaving the app or asking you to login. Pressing the back button on your phone brings you back to the app proper.

Mydealnews takes you to a non-mobile version of the dealnews website called mydealnews (big surprise!). It's populated with the standard information about dealnews and what they do and is essentially trying to get you to subscribe/register/join their website so you can have tailored deal suggestions sent to you. While back on the More screen, if you press the Black Friday App link, you're taken to the Android Market install page for the Black Friday App. As of now, too early to be useful, but definitely worth nothing once November rolls around.

Moving off of the top-most menu, you'll see there's categories of products, ranging from Newest and Hottest to Computers, Electronics, and even Office & Supplies. Clicking on any specific category hones your list of items down to that particular thing. At first I couldn't tell if it ended at electronics (you'll notice it cuts off the word a few letters in), but after a couple of attempts, I discovered you can scroll left and right on the category menu, exposing a whole plethora of things to choose from. It's intuitive once you notice it, but I would have liked something more indicative than a word being cut off in the middle.

You can also force refresh the deals via the menu button. The menu button brings up that option as well as your sole way of getting to the (as of now) meager settings menu. Once you find yourself on the settings menu, you'll notice your only two choices are Twitter and Facebook, and the app only gives you the option of automatically posting deals you've found to those two accounts.

Something else I would have liked to have seen is support for landscape mode. Even when you rotate your phone, the app is locked into portrait, which isn't terrible, but is definitely limiting, especially if you want to see more categories to choose from without having to scroll incessantly.

Overall though, the dealnews app is a strong first push into getting an app out there that isn't seasonal. While there's definitely room for improvement, it's free and still fresh (as of today), so I'm sure it'll mature as time goes on. If you're interested in bargains, consider checking it out, as it's one I wouldn't want to go without.

Oodles of pictures and download links are after the break.

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2 years ago

Motorola XT860 4G gets official on Bell

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Having been rumored for a while, Bell today has finally made the news official. They will indeed be bringing the Motorola XT860 4G to Canada. Most will know the device from its more commonly used name -- the Motorola Droid 3 but since Verizon has a lock on the Droid name, it can't be used. No pricing details have been revealed and the only time frame given is "this summer" however -- previous rumors suggest an August launch date for the device.

Source: CNW

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2 years ago

Hands-on with the Motorola Droid 3

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Youtube link for mobile viewing

Here she be, folks. The Motorola Droid 3 on Verizon. We're knee deep into this sucker right now. But our initial thoughts are that this is a pretty worth upgrade to the Droid 2, even if nobody seems to be making a big deal out of it. Fast with a dual-core 1GHz processor. A larger, 4-inch display at qHD (960x540) resolution. And Android 2.3.4 Gingerbread -- egads, the most recent version of Android! -- on there to boot.

Other specs to note:

  • Android 2.3 Gingerbread
  • 5-row keyboard with dedicated number row
  • Display: 4-inch qHD (960x540)
  • Processor: Dual core TI OMAP at 1 GHz
  • RAM: 512MB
  • Storage: 16GB internal, support for up to 32GB microSD card
  • Front camera: VGA
  • Rear camera: 8MP with LED flash
  • Dimensions: 2.5 x 4.9 x 0.5 inches
  • Weight: 6.49 ounces
  • Cellular data: CDMA/Quadband GSM/Triband UMTS
  • Battery: 1540 mAh (up to 550 minutes talk time, 300 hours standby time)
  • 3.5mm headphone jack
  • USB 2.0, HDMI, DLNA
  • Bluetooth 2.1+EDR
  • FM radio
  • Video: 1080p video capture (up to 30 fps), 1080p output via HDMI

We've got lots more on the way. For now, feast your eyes on the quick hands-on video above.

Update: And now with plenty of pics below!

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2 years ago

Googlers to host 17 sessions at OSCON 2011

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Anyone interested in open source development with the means to attend should check out Portland on July 25 to July 29, where O'Reily Media's annual open-source convention will be held.  This year, there will be 17 Googlers hosting sessions, with a variety of subject matter ranging from AppEngine development to programming Android apps with App Inventor.  Besides the popular development breakout sessions, Chris DiBona will be hosting two "Ask Google Engineers Anything" sessions on the 28th, one in the morning and one in the evening.

The conference is being held at the Oregon Convention Center, and be sure to check out the source links for the full listing of sessions and more information about OSCON.

Source: Google Open Source; OSCON

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2 years ago

Facebook for Android updated to v1.6.1

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If you are a Facebook lover who has yet to desert to magic of Google+, you will be happy to know that they are hard at work behind the scenes to continue to bring additional features to the mobile world. The application has been updated to version 1.6.1 which brings better pages support, tag pages in updates by using an "@" prior to the name, as well as viewing all pages that you like, and pages that you are an admin of. Be sure to check the market and ensure that you are on the latest update, as they also have implemented various bug fixes in this build as well as the other changes. Download links available after the break.

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2 years ago

OG Motorola Droid sees Android 2.3.4 build courtesy of Peter Alfonso

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Still holding onto that beloved Motorola Droid, hoping and praying that updates will continue to roll through for it? Peter Alfonso, a name that most of us OG Droid owners know has released his GPA16 build, which is not an official from Motorola and Verizon, but one that would replicate it.

He has been supporting the device for as long as we can remember, and his purpose of these releases are to continue what users would have hoped to see in the updates, keeping a clean stock appearance, with a few extra tweaks throughout. If you're still rocking out with the Droid, be sure to download and install this build, as you are sure to be happy with it. Full change log to come and be available on Pete's site soon.

Source: Peter Alfonso: Thanks, David!

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2 years ago

Android Quick App: Kona's Crate

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YouTube link for mobile viewing

Every so often a game comes around that makes you stop, take pause, and admire it's design. As the hardware we're using continues to improve, I think we'll be seeing more of that, but until we do, there is Kona's Crate.

Kona's Crate is a game about delivering stuff. What stuff, you ask? A crate, undoubtedly! It's not just any crate, however. It's filled with stars (you know, for points) and you give it to Chief Kona, the guy with the terrifying mask that you'd otherwise avoid. But hey, he's the one dishing out stars, so you have to do it. Just remember, if anyone ever offers you stars to get in their van and give you a ride home, the answer is no.

Anyway, because Kona is a jerk chief, he's opted for a less-than-conventional method of getting his cargo shipped to him. Instead of the standard fare, you've got to move a jet-controlled delivery platform to wherever he is on any given level. If it sounds simple, it's not.

Yes, the controls are simple. A left tap on the screen powers your left thruster, and a right tap powers the right. You've got the option to invert the controls, but regardless, a tap on the screen gets your engine purring. From there, this game turns into a split-second hating, reflex-challenging, make-you-want-to-throw-your-phone-in-agony kind of experience, but you won't be able to stop.

Gameplay starts off in a tutorial. As you advance through the laughably simple tutorial stages, you'll notice difficulty starts to ramp up. At first, where you needed only to nudge the crate over to the left, now you've got to navigate curvy freefalls and float over tricky walls. This is only the beginning of the challenge, as the farther you progress, the more intense gameplay gets. Falling blocks, TNT and physics are there to derail your next-day delivery shipment, and you've got to use your catlike reflexes to overcome it all.

A speedier delivery nets you more stars (maximum of three) at the completion of a level. If you can't hit your goal, the game tells you what time you need to have delivered in to reach the next tier up. Unique to Kona's Crate are the vines that wrap around your stars. Vines are your reward for not running into any obstacles like walls or ceilings, or in later levels, debris. I think this is more for the completionists in all of us, so be aware that it's there.

Kona's Crate contains more than 60 levels in three campaigns, with superb graphics and OpenFeint support. With OpenFeint, you can see how you stack up on the leaderboards for time, stars and vines earned, and even publicly post your bests on Facebook and Twitter (but not Google+!). There's also achievements to be had, like New High Score and Safe Landing, plus a plethora more I've not yet been skilled enough to unlock.

Overall, Kona's Crate is a solid game on Android. It's combination of beautiful graphics, challenging, unique gameplay, and high replayability factor are all reasons to invest in it. There's a free version as well as a paid version, but for a scant 99 cents, you can buy yourself the whole package as well as support a developer who is wholeheartedly deserving of it.

Download links are after the break.

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2 years ago

Google Shopper 2.0 keeps you updated with cheap Google Offers

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Google has updated Google Shopper to version 2.0 to coincide with the launch of its new service Google Offers. The newly updated app ushers in a new design and makes it easier to find cheap on the go. Here is what the update includes:

  • Today’s Offer: part of the Google Offers beta program, this tab displays a single offer for discounted goods or services in your area. Today's Offer is currently available in Portland, Oregon, the San Francisco Bay Area and New York, with other cities to follow.
  • Nearby Offers: when you click this tab, you'll see offers in the 'Eat' and 'Play' categories which nearby businesses have submitted through Google Places.
  • My Offers: for those of us who occasionally misplace coupons or gloss over expiration dates, Google Shopper makes it easy to stay organized. When you come across an offer you like you can save it for later. Your saved and purchased offers appear on this tab and you can see which offers are close to expiring. To take advantage of an offer, just navigate to ‘My Offers,’ select the one you’d like, and click ‘Redeem’. In the future you’ll also be able to access and redeem your saved offers using Google Wallet.

And as always, hit that jump button for a download link.

Source: Google Mobile Blog

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2 years ago

Motorola Droid 3 available in store today

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Just last week Verizon made the Motorola Droid 3 official, and a few days after that we started to see some devices arriving at the homes of people who placed their orders early, and today it is available for anyone who wants to walk in and grab one. If you have been waiting for this 4inch, Gingerbread running, 1GHz powered big brother to the Droid 2, your time has finally arrived. Be sure to head into your local Verizon store today, and pick one up for yourself. And hey, if you do, be sure to let us know what you think about it in our forums, will ya?

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