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4 years ago

Free Android Wallpaper of the Day: Winter Windshield

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Writes today's anonymous submitter:

I took this photo looking out of the front windshield from inside my Murano one morning before starting my car.

Be sure to log into the site before submitting your wallpapers, folks! We love to give credit!

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4 years ago

Reminder: The Android Market is now the Play Store

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We've gotten more than a few e-mails today from folks wondering where the heck their Android Market app has gone and run off to. (Don't laugh, it's perfectly OK to take a day off from obsessing over Android news.)

If you missed the news yesterday, the Android Market is now the Google Play Store. Or, rather, everything that was in the Android Market is now a part of Google Play, and you get to it all through the Play Store. Or something like that. We're still trying to decide exactly how to phrase all this without having to take a second breath.

Anyhoo. Just look for the Play Store icon you see above. Same goes for Google Books, and Google Movies. And Google Music. And Play Books. And Play Movies. And Play Music. Just the same, only different.

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4 years ago

Gravilux [Android App Review]

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YouTube link for mobile viewing

One of my favorite parts of this app reviewing gig is coming across really obscure apps that can't fit into a specific genre. To me, Gravilux is just that. Its developers describe it as a "combination of painting, animation, art, science, and gaming," which is as confusing and uninformative as it sounds. Fortunately, it gives me license to create a new word in its honor, and I've settled on gamelication. (Appligametion just doesn't have the same ring to it).

Now that we've established Gravilux is an unwinnable game of beauty and finesse, what is it exactly you do? Simply put, you touch the screen. When you touch the screen, that incredible grid of dots begins to rapidly gravitate toward all of the inputs on your screen, creating a swirling mess of anarchy and motion. It's awesome.

One of the coolest parts of Gravilux is that it analyzes whatever hardware it's running on before it loads up a grid, so it knows exactly how many dots should be on screen for the best experience. By default, colors are set to black and white, but with a simple hop into the settings menu, you're able to pick up to three colors or randomize the whole bit.

The trade-off here is your performance; what once ran smoothly now might be choppy and laggy. The solution is another simple hop into the settings menu, and then change your grid density. With a couple thousand less points bouncing about on screen (using beautiful real-time physics), things will speed right back up to where they were before.

You can also toy with settings like gravity strength and turn on antigravity from said settings menu, and most importantly, you can change how the dots react to your touch. Normally, they'll be attracted to your input, but if you so desire, you can set them to be repelled.

The result is a lot of negative space on the screen and dots being pushed up against the edges of the screen, bouncing around and struggling against your fingery might. It's not quite as stimulating as the swirling mass, but it's still impressive to see.

My one major complaint with Gravilux is that it's completely devoid of sound. (I made my own sound effects in the video.) For something so visually creative and dynamic, a nice, Osmos HD-esque soundtrack would have really pushed Gravilux over the top. Still, even without it, it's a gamelication that everyone should try at least once (and if you're up for it, again and again).

Gravilux is $1.99 in the Google Play Store. We've got download links after the break.

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4 years ago

HTC unlocks the bootloader on the Dream (yeah, really)

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Chances are a good many of you out there aren't even old enough to remember the HTC Dream. (By the way, get off our lawn.) And chances are even slimmer that there are many still being used today. But if so, know that HTC has added the Dream to its cadre of unlockable bootloaders. Blow the dust off and hit the link below.

Source: HTCDev.com; via @htcdev

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4 years ago

Sony PlayStation Suite SDK public beta coming April

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Sony has announced that the software development kit for its PlayStation Suite will launch in public beta form from this April. The public release follows the closed beta of the SDK, which began in November 2011, and was open to a select few developers in the United States, the UK and Japan.

The kit allows game developers to create titles optimized for PlayStation-certified phones and tablets, like the Xperia Play and Tablet S, as well as Sony's recently-launched PlayStation Vita gaming system (and we'd expect the Vita angle alone to attract a fair few devs).

The public beta will be open to anyone and everyone, free of charge. However, the full version will set devs back $99 annually when it lands later in the year.

We've got the full press release from Sony after the break.

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4 years ago

Get a Motorola Atrix Lapdock for only $50 from 1 Sale A Day

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Just in case you never got in on the Motorola Lapdock deals that were happening before, the folks from 1 Sale A Day are now giving you the chance to go ahead and get one on the cheap again. For your hard earned $50, you can now pick up a Motorola Lapdock compatible with the Motorola Atrix 4G. The Lapdock does come brand new and not refurbished, you will however have to supply your own Motorola Atrix -- that's not included in the deal.

Source: 1SaleADay via: Android Central Forums

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4 years ago

comScore: Android building on its lead, Samsung still top manufacturer

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comScore today released its latest MobiLens report, which shows that Samsung is maintaining its lead among mobile phone manufacturers, while Android is continuing to grow at the top of the mobile OS heap. The data, representing the total U.S. mobile phone marketshare for November, December and January, shows that Samsung, despite a tenth of a point drop from its October score, remains the number one manufactuer with 25.4% of the total marketshare. LG and Motorola also saw slight drops, down to 19.7% and 13.2% respectively. Apple, reaping the benefits of its iPhone 4S release, saw a 2% gain in the market, now maintaining a 12.8% share, while RIM stayed dead even with 6.6%.

Among all mobile operating systems, Android remains top dog with 48.6% of total marketshare, up 2.3% from the last quarter. Number two iOS also saw a gain with 29.5% of the market. RIM, Windows, and Symbian all saw losses, coming in at third, fourth, and fifth respectively.

Mobile content usage is up across the board, with 74.6% of all mobile phone owners using their device to text message. 48.6% of the market use apps on their device, while 48.5% use their device's mobile browser. Social networking, playing games, and listening to music are up as well at 35.7%, 31.8%, and 24.5% respectively. comScore's full report can be found at the source link.

Source: comScore

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4 years ago

Bank of America introduces new tablet optimized app for Android

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If you're an Android tablet owner, you'll likely have noticed that most banking apps out there haven't really been optimized for tablet usage. Looking to change that is Bank Of America, which has introduced a tablet-optimized version of its mobile banking application.

Features:

  • Pay bills and transfer funds.
  • Review account balances.
  • Find ATM and banking center locations using GPS, with no address input required.

While the features are what you would expect from a mobile banking application, the layout is what really takes the cake here. The design of the app looks great and offers a way better viewing experience for those who are on the go but still need access to their financial info. Keep in mind, you will have to be subscribed to online banking in order for it all to work. You'll find the download beyond the break.

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4 years ago

Galaxy Note 'premium suite' coming soon (and so is that Ice Cream Sandwich update, by the way)

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Oh, Internet. How you love to make something out of nothing. A new trailer for Rovio's Angry Birds Space appeared today, indicating that the game would launch first on the Samsung Galaxy Note. At the end of the trailer, Samsung teased that a "galactic update" would soon land on the Note, along with a "premium suite." That, for some reason, has lead some people to believe (and write on the Internet) that the promised Ice Cream Sandwich update for the Galaxy Note may have been canceled.

Confused? The (warped) logic goes something like this -- Samsung reportedly once planned a "value pack" for the original Galaxy S (a phone which launched in 2010 with Eclair), in lieu of a full update to ICS. Therefore, because Samsung is using similar language here, it must also have dropped ICS for the Galaxy Note. Only, that "value pack" thing was bull, too.

So, yeah. In essence, it's nothing more than FUD. The idea that Samsung would leave the Galaxy Note, a flagship device that is barely four months old, on Gingerbread, is ridiculous. And to suggest it based on such flimsy evidence is irresponsible. The Galaxy Note, along with the Galaxy S II, was one of the first Samsung devices to be confirmed for an ICS update. The official line from Samsung has always been that it's on the way, and we've even seen fairly stable leaked builds for the GT-N7000 and GT-i9220 variants surface online in recent weeks.

So calm down, folks, we've seen absolutely nothing to suggest that the Galaxy Note ICS update is in any danger of not materializing. (When it gets it is another matter.)

If you want to check out that Angry Birds Space trailer for yourself, we've got it embedded after the break.

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4 years ago

Android File Transfer, Moving apps to the SD Card [From the Forums]

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Just in case you missed out on the biggest news of the day, we're here to help. Google has been rolling out their new branding and we've got all the details. Get yourself caught up here on the blogs and don't forget to drop by the Android Central forums to discuss everything Android.

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

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4 years ago

Google Play Store now replacing Android Market over-the-air

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The new Google Play Store has started rolling out to Android phones, tablets and Google TV's over the air, following Google's announcement earlier today. The Play Store (or Play Shop in the UK) replaces the Android Market, and unites all of Google's content delivery platforms under one single brand. Essentially, you can buy music, apps, books and movies just you've always been able to do, only now the naming scheme is a little more coherent. The icon may be different, but the app works just the same.

If you want to speed up the update process, the usual trick involving force-closing Market, clearing data, uninstalling updates and then loading up the app again seems to work.

The arrival of Google Play brings to a close the era of the Android Market, which launched way back in October 2008, shortly after the original Android smartphone, the T-Mobile G1. Back then, this is what it looked like. We've come a long way.

So farewell, Android Market. If you've already noticed the Play Store on your device, be sure to shout out in the comments. We've got pics of the new Play Store on Google TV after the break.

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4 years ago

Are you an Android developer? Or a Google Play developer?

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Above are two sets of branding standards, one old, one new. It's pretty obvious to tell which is which. On top, the now-defunct "Available in Android Market" badge you might have seen on any number of Android app developers' websites. Beneath is the new Google Play branding, which either denotes an "Android app on Google play" or tells you to "Get it on Google Play."

For the moment, we'll forgive the fact that Google Play and the branding apparently have decided to diverge when it comes to proper capitalization. (We're going to stick with Google Play, not Google play.)

And we're not going to weigh in on the new triangle logo. Either you love it or you don't. And all the polls in the world won't change anything -- Google Play and the triangle logo will still be there in the morning.

But we are a little concerned about how this new branding takes Android out of play, at least visually. The Android green (#A4C639, if you didn't know) certainly is recognizable after all these years. Same goes for the Bugdroid logo. Now we've got the new triangle logo, none of the Android green, and no happy Bugdroid showing you the way.

Is this an insurmountable problem for developers and marketing firms? Probably not. It's doubtful you'll see the Bugdroid or Android green disappear from boxes or signage anytime soon. But it is an interesting move by Google. And it begs this question:

Where will we see the triangle logo next? 

More: Android brand guidelines

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4 years ago

OnLive Desktop [Android App Review]

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YouTube link for mobile viewing

If there's one company I've been incredibly impressed with as of late, it's got to be OnLive. First they bring their popular game streaming service to Android, give us a fully functional universal remote to use with it, and then, as if to top themselves off, bring something altogether unheard of: OnLive Desktop.

For those curious about how OnLive Desktop works, the premise is pretty simple: instead of streaming games to your Android tablet over a high-speed internet connection, you're streaming a fully functional Windows 7 installation, thereby allowing yourself to keep the laptop at home and do your Windows work on your tablet. It's a cool idea, and fortunately for OnLive, it works really well.

If you have an OnLive account (for games), you've already got a standard OnLive Desktop account. Simply login and you're taken to your Windows 7 desktop, complete with Microsoft Office programs, Adobe Reader, and your own personal Documents folder, ripe for hosting up to 2GB in OnLive's cloud. (If you want to be able to surf the internet using Internet Explorer or host more than 2GB of files, you'll have to pony up $4.99/month for OnLive's "Plus" service. Boo.)

As far as function goes, OnLive has really hit the nail on the head. Opening programs is snappier than on some older computers I've used, and pairing your tablet up with a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse only enhances your experience and efficiency. If you're using your finger to navigate (as I suspect most of you might), you'll notice that no double-clicks are needed; all programs act almost like hyperlinks. With only a single tap, you can open anything your heart desires (as long as it's installed on OnLive's machines).

Overall, while I think OnLive has built a really great app that functions well, I'm not sure it's entirely practical, given the options you have to edit programs natively on Android. With apps like QuickOffice Pro (or HD, in the case of tablets) giving you rich document editing right in Android, services like Dropbox giving you excellent document syncing and cloud storage, and full Flash support built right into the standard browser (something you only get with OnLive's "Plus" plan), I'm left scratching my head about how many people will jump on OnLive's bandwagon and really need it.

Regardless, the app is phenomenal (and it's free!). If you're up for giving it a spin, we've got download links after the break.

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4 years ago

Pick up 25 top Android apps for 49 cents each on Google Play

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We could tell something was up when a bunch of leading applications suddenly appeared on the Android Market for just 49 cents. And now we know why -- Google is celebrating the launch of its new Google Play content portal by offering a 25 leading Android apps for 49 cents each (49p in the UK). There also seems to be a new daily "Play of the Day" promotion running, in which one app has its price slashed to just 25 cents -- or 20p if you're in the UK.

The first Play of the Day is Where's My Water, and the top 25, 49-cent apps include top-tier games and programs like World of Goo, Osmos HD, SoundHound, Dead Space and SwiftKey X. There's a lot of great stuff on there that usually sells for a much higher price, so if you're after a few new games or apps, hit the source link to browse through the top 25.

Source: Google Play

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4 years ago

Rebranded Google Play apps starting to push out already

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The ink is hardly dry on the new Google Play signage, and newly rebranded Google Play apps are already starting to drop into the Android Market Google Play Store Android apps section. (See, isn't that easier to say?)

Google's Music, Videos and Books apps will update and rebrand themselves to Play Music, Play Movies and Play Books, if you're running Android 2.2 and above, and if you've already got them in your country of residence. (Paid apps are available in these countries, music in the U.S. only, movies in the U.S., UK, Canada and Japan, and books in the U.S., UK, Canada and Australia.)

The Android Market will update itself to the Google Play Store at some point.

More: Google Play FAQ

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