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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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4 years ago

Verizon announces list of phones to get Ice Cream Sandwich update

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No real surprises here -- the XYBOARDS already had been announced, same for the Xoom and the Rezound. It's good to see the ThunderBolt and Droid Incredible 2 make it.

Here's the full list

  • HTC: ThunderBolt, Droid Incredible 2, Rhyme, Rezound
  • Motorola: Xoom, Bionic, RAZR/RAZR MAXX, Droid XYBOARD 8.2/10.1, Droid 4
  • Samsung: Galaxy Tab 10.1, Galaxy Tab 7.7
  • LG: Spectrum

No word on when the updates will come.

Source: Verizon

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4 years ago

Google Play unveiled - the new place for Music, Apps, Books and Video

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Google's content portal for Android apps, music, books and video content has been consolidated under a new name -- Google Play. Google Play which is now live on the web at play.google.com, will replace the old Android Market, Google Music, Google Books and Videos service, giving users  a clear one-stop location for content.

The way you buy music, apps and other content from Google through the web, or your phone or tablet won't change, but the branding behind the places where you get your content will. Instead of heading several differently-named stores for each type of content, it'll all be available under the Google Play portal.

Android (2.2+) users with the old Android Market app installed will soon see it updated to Play Store, while Google's Music, Movies and Books apps for Android will be updated to incorporate the new Play branding.

So it's an important step for Google as a content provider, existing users shouldn't notice too many changes in the way app, music and video purchasing works. You can still rent a movie once and watch it on YouTube, your phone or your tablet. And you can still send apps to your phone from Play, just as you could with the Android Market.

We've got a brief introductory video after the break. Check back later for a more extensive walkthrough.

More: Google Play Q&A

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4 years ago

Hands-on with ViewSonic's 4e and 4s dual-SIM Android phones

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  Another fringe smartphone manufacturer, ViewSonic, continued their attack on the dual-SIM market at this year's Mobile World Congress in addition to showing off some new tablets. The ViewPhone 4e and 4s are both disctinctly mid-range phones, while the higher-end model, the 5e, wasn't on display. The 4e runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread with plans of an update to ICS shortly, and is powered by a modest 650 MHz processor and 512 MB of RAM. One the back it's packing a 3 megapixel fixed-focus camera while the front constitutes a sad little 3.5-inch 480 x 320 touchscreen. "Affordable" is going to be the key word when thinking about this one. The 4e will be hitting Europe in Q2.   Climbing up the food chain is ViewPhone 4s. It runs ICS, and has a 1 GHz processor with 512 MB of RAM, and while the display is also 3.5 inches, the resolution is bumped up to 960 x 640. The camera on the back clocks in at 5 megapixels with flash and autofocus, plus it's accompanied by a secondary video camera on the front. It'll be launching in June in Europe.     

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4 years ago

Temple Run for Android to be released on March 27

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Imangi Studios announced today that the much anticipated Android version of its wildly-popular Temple Run will be available on Tuesday, March 27 in the Android Market. 

"We are excited to finally share the Android release date with our fans who have been so enthusiastic and supportive of Temple Run,” said Keith Shepherd, co-founder of Imangi Studios. “By expanding to more mobile devices, we hope to provide the same addictive and fast-paced gameplay to an entirely new group of players."

For those unaware, Temple Run is a fast-paced game of reflexes in which your runner collects coins while avoiding danger and falling off of the path. Temple Run for iOS was released in August of 2011 and, according to the studio, has been downloaded by 6% of the total US population.

Source:  Imangi Studios 

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4 years ago

Unaudited Feb. 2012 HTC revenues show signs of recovery

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HTC has published its unaudited February 2012 revenue numbers, which show that the company made NT$20.294 billion (~$688 million) last month. The figure represents a 36.79% year-on-year drop for the manufacturer, but is a step in the right direction from the 52.55% year-on-year drop in January. HTC made NT$3.679 billion (~$125 million) more in February than it did in January, a 22% increase in revenue.

After a tough fourth quarter of 2011, HTC will be hoping to turn around its fortunes with its new flagship series, HTC One, which was unveiled at Mobile World Congress last week.

Source: HTC

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4 years ago

Bunch of Android apps on sale today for 49 cents

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Looks like the Android Market has another big sale under way, with apps like SwiftKey, HomeRun Battle 3D, SoundHound, Shadowgun, World of Goo, NFL Flick Quarterback, Osmos HD, Quell Reflect and other sgoing for just 49 cents.

There must be others. Sing out the the comments if you spot 'em.

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4 years ago

Second Sony LTE phone rumored for June launch in Korea

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We recently learned that Sony will be launching the Xperia Ion in LTE markets outside of the United States, and now there's a flurry of online rumors suggesting manufacturer may be preparing a second LTE handset for the second half of the year. Korean news site MT.co.kr reports via sources within Sony that an LTE smartphone "other than the Xperia Ion" could be making its way to South Korea as early as this June.

As XperiaBlog points out, this new, high-end device may match the Sony "Hayabusa", a rumored device which appeared on a leaked roadmap earlier in the year, alongside a ~€500 price tag. System info collected by benchmarking apps suggests the device may carry the model number LT29i, and use a Snapdragon S4 CPU with a buttonless 720p display.

Let's take this with an extra-large helping of salt for now, though, as we're still dealing with rumors and speculation here. However, it's no secret that the Xperia S isn't exactly packing the most up-to-date hardware, so we wouldn't be too shocked if a slightly higher-specced version was planned for later in the year.

Source: XperiaBlog

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4 years ago

HTC EVO 3D UK off-contract price falls to £209

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With the first of this year's leading Android phones launching in the next month or so, last year's models are starting to show up online with significantly-discounted prices. Yesterday we saw the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc S on sale for under £200, and now the price of the HTC EVO 3D has been lowered to around the same level by one retailer. Asda Direct, which was previously selling the EVO for £250 and £230, is today offering it for a mere £209.

That's still a fair amount of cash, but it's less than half what you'll likely pay for the privilege of owning something like the HTC One X later this year. It's also around £350 less than the initial asking price for the GSM EVO 3D when it launched last August.

Despite its discounted price, the EVO still packs some impressive specs. There's a 1.2GHz dual-core Snapdragon S3 chip inside, a 4.3-inch qHD 3D display, dual 5-megapixel 3D cameras, Android 2.3 Gingerbread and HTC Sense 3. And as we mentioned in our review, the GSM version boasts excellent battery life. Like many other leading HTC handsets, it's due an update to Ice Cream Sandwich later this year, too. If you're not planning on holding out for the next wave of high-end Android phones, we can certainly think of worse ways of spending 200 quid.

Source: Asda Direct

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4 years ago

Amazon App Store hits v2.2.0 with new notification settings, improved app compatibility checks

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It's been a while since the last Amazon App Store update was pushed out and it seems Amazon has been working on some improvements in that time. The latest update pushes the Amazon App Store into v2.2.0 and brings some welcomed changes with it aside from the usual bug fixes and stability improvements:

  • New notifications settings: Enable or disable notifications for - Download and Installation, App updates, Status Bar.
  • Improved messaging regarding payment options.
  • Improved app compatibility checks.

Overall a decent update, especially to the notification system that more or less harassed you each and every second until you attended to them. Plus, app compatibility checks will hopefully help against wasting your time in downloading an app that simply won't work for your device. The update is live now, so go ahead and check for updates or hit the source link to head on over to Amazon and grab the download.

Source: Amazon

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4 years ago

Ice Cream Sandwich adoption grows ever so slightly in February, Gingerbread up a bit, too

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Google's just released the Android platform version statistics for the two weeks ending March 5. As a reminder, these are representative of the entire Android ecosystem and comprise devices that have accessed the Android Market within the last 14 days, so these would be "active" devices. Here's the breakdown:

  • Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.x): Up a little more than half a percentage point to 1.6 percent. That encompasses Android 4.0 through Android 4.0.3.
  • Honeycomb (Android 3.x): Dropped 0.1 percent to 3.3 percent total. That change should be due to the Motorola Xoom and ASUS Transformer and Transformer Prime getting their ICS updates.
  • Gingerbread (Android 2.3): Saw some decent growth, actually, from 58.6 percent in February to 62 percent today.
  • Froyo (Android 2.2): Falls a couple of percentage points to 25.3 percent.
  • Eclair (Android 2.1): Fell a percentage point to 6.6 percent.
  • Donut (Android 1.6) and Cupcake (Android 1.5): Combine for 1.2 percent of active devices. Who's still using these?

And here's a full look at last month's numbers. We'd imagine Ice Cream Sandwich percentage will start trending up now that we've got a new crop of phones on the way, but there's no denying that upgrades are taking entirely too long. 

Source: Android Developers

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4 years ago

HTC One X and One S will launch on every UK network

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One X and S headed to all five major carriers; O2 and Three will range the entry-level HTC One V

If you're hoping to get your hands on an HTC One series phone in the UK, it looks like you'll be spoiled for choice -- O2, Three, Vodafone, Orange and T-Mobile have all indicated that they'll carry the One X and One S. For the price-conscious, the HTC One V will also be available on O2 and Three. O2 and T-Mobile are listing an April launch date for the One series, while others simply say it's "coming soon."

The One X is HTC's flagship device for 2012, with a quad-core Tegra 3 CPU, a 4.7-inch 720p screen, Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and a brand new version of HTC Sense. The One S takes a small step back from the bleeding edge of tech, with its Snapdragon S4 dual-core chip and a 4.3-inch qHD display. Across the entire HTC One range, the manufacturer's delivering Beats Audio support and some fancy new camera technology. In the U.S., AT&T will get an LTE-toting version of the One X with a Snapdragon S4 chip instead of Tegra 3, while T-Mobile USA will range the One S.

In the UK, though, it's a far cry from last year's situation, in which Vodafone had a one-month lead on other networks with the HTC Sensation. Given that all five networks will be vying for our attention with such a highly-anticipated series of phones, the result should be better deals for consumers. If you're considering picking up one of HTC's shiny new toys, shout out in the comments. And if you haven't already, check out our hands-on coverage of the One X, One S and One V from Mobile World Congress.

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