10 hours ago
Amazon Appstore now 'in nearly 200 countries'
Web-based Appstore now available in the UK
Amazon has announced that its Appstore for Android -- the Google Play rival operated by the online retail giant -- is now available in almost 200 countries following its expansion of the service. In a press release today, Amazon also revealed that the Kindle Fire is spreading its reach across the globe, with the total countries in which it's available set to reach 170 on June 13. To celebrate, Amazon says it'll bring back the popular Fruit Ninja as a free app of the day, along with Cut the Rope: Experimentals and classic puzzler Tetris -- these will be available from May 23.
Finally the web-based Amazon Appstore is now available to users in the UK. Brits can point their browsers to www.amazon.co.uk/appstore to look through the selection of available paid and free apps.
More details in the presser after the break.
11 hours ago
Google Play Magazines app updated with new UI
New 'Holo light' UI brings Magazines in line with latest Play Music and Play Store apps
Google has updated the Play Magazines app for Android to verison 2.0, bringing a new, lighter user interface. The new version of the app draws inspiration from the recent updates to Google Play Music and the Play Store, both of which have received UI updates in the past month or so. Everything's generally a lot lighter and brighter, and there's a new slide-out sidebar allowing you to switch between Read Now, Library and Shopping views. The official changelog also lists bug fixes in this new version of Play Magazines.
If you're already using Play Magazines, hit "My Apps" in the Play Store app to update. Alternatively we've got a Google Play web link up above.
1 day ago
Google Drive updated with card interface, OCR and document scanning and better sheets editing
Today's update brings a new look and some powerful tools to Google Drive
Google Drive has a big update in Google Play today, with two very cool features being added. The interface of the application has been redesigned, and now we see Google's new cards design at play, looking very much like a mashup of Google Now and Google+.
In addition, users can scan paper items like receipts or bills, and transfer them into pdf files to get stored in Drive, With the new OCR technology, you'll even be able to search through their contents. This should make things a bit easier to use Google Drive for things like expense reports, and the new sheets (spreadsheets) editing tools will make it easier to build that report.
There are also a few other small changes, like being able to download local copies to your Android device and use Google Cloud Print with any compatible printer. To get this one, just click the Google Play link above.
1 day ago
Chrome for Android updated, brings full screen browsing
Full screen browsing and simpler searching highlight the changes in Chrome 27 for Android
Chrome for Android has been updated to version 27 (27.0.1453.90 to be exact), bringing one of the most requested features along for the ride -- full screen browsing. In addition, other changes like simpler searching and tab history made it into Chrome 27.
The Chrome team is excited to announce the promotion of Chrome 27 to the Stable channel. Chrome for Android 27.0.1453.90 contains a number of improvments including:
Fullscreen on phones - Scroll down the page and the toolbar will disappear.
Simpler searching - Searching from the omnibox will keep your search query visible in the omnibox, making it easier to edit, and show more on your search result page.
Client-side certificate support - You can now access sites that require you to use a certificate and Chrome will allow you to select an installed certificate
Tab history on tablets - Long press the browser back button to view your tab history
And a ton of stability and performance fixes
The update is recommended, and you can get the latest version from the Google Play link above.
Via: Google Chrome
1 day ago
Google Now style voice search now live in Chrome stable channel
Google Now voice search goes live in the latest Chrome desktop builds
Ladies and gents, it's time to upgrade your Chrome browser. Google Now style voice search has just went live in the latest Chrome stable version for the desktop (Version 27.0.1453.93). As far as we can tell from
playing around testing things, the full contextual search isn't running like we saw in the demo during the Google I/O keynote, but the basic voice search and response is ready to go.
To get the latest update is easy. Open the settings in the Chrome browser, and click the Help line entry. Give it a second or two to start checking, and when it tells you to restart Chrome, just restart your whole browser session. When things come back, head to www.google.com and click the microphone in the search box.
You have to give permission (look for the bar across the top of the window) to listen to your voice, then start asking questions. Welcome to the future! We've got a couple screenshots after the break just in case you're not able to update or don't use Chrome.
1 day ago
Latest Sony Xperia ZL C6506 update now rolling out OTA
OTA starts rolling for the latest update previously only available with a manual install
Well then, here's a nice surprise. Our unlocked Xperia ZL (that's the C6506 model) has just received a 66.1MB OTA update touting improved battery life, user experience and software performance. The update is to version 10.1.1.A.1.253, which is the build that has been available for a couple of days (according to Sony) but only via its desktop companion software. After quickly downloading, the update will install with just one more tap and indicated that it will take "about 9 minutes" to update (which seems about right). You'll still be on Android 4.1.2 and likely won't see any other cosmetic changes from what we can tell.
We obviously haven't had enough time to evaluate whether or not Sony's claims of improved battery life and software performance are true, but we'll take any improvements they have for us. If you have an unlocked Xperia ZL, be sure to head into your settings menu and check for the update.
More: Sony Xperia ZL Forums; Sony Support
1 day ago
Watch this Google I/O session on Android design principles because it's awesome
Real world examples and practices from the Android design team make this session from Google I/O 2013 a must-watch -- even if you'll never write your own app.
See how Android apps should look and act, and see what the folks behind Android say about why they should be this way. Whether you're into design, or just into great looking Android apps this one is a treat. Catch it after the break.
2 days ago
Ingress app gets a major update
Major update delivers new features and support for new animations, notifications, bug fixes
Ingress, everyone's favorite sci-fi virtual reality simulation game, got a major update this afternoon. Everything you love about the game is still there, with less bugs, but a couple very nice features were added.
Portal health and faction control info on Portal Keys in the Inventory carousel.
Android Notifications for "Portal under attack," "Portal neutralized," and "@<codename>" messages.
Support for Jarvis Virus and ADA Refactor objects.
New Recharge visual animation.
The new notification system will get all the attention, but the new information displayed about your Portal keys in inventory is probably the change people will use the most. The Jarvis Virus is something new started earlier this month, and it will flip an infected Portal to the opposing faction.
You can get today's update from the Google Play link above, and learn more about Ingress (and try to score an invite) in the Ingress forums.
2 days ago
Zoes now even more fun with Google+ Auto Awesome motion
HTC's Zoe feature is a perfect way to play with Auto Awesome motion on Google+
Google+ got some great new image tools and toys last week and Google I/O, including the "motion" portion of the Auto Awesome tweaks. How it works is, it takes any series of pictures of the same subject that have been shot in quick succession and transforms them into an animated gif image. You can then share it on Google+, or download it to share anywhere. Everyone loves animated gifs!
As it turns out, the Zoe feature on HTC's Sense 5 camera software is perfect for this. A Zoe is a series of high resolution stills that get stitched in series to create an animation on the phone, and since they are individual jpg files, Google+ can work its magic the same way.
To play with it, you'll have to either turn on auto-upload to Google+ on your HTC One, or find the frames of your Zoe and upload them individually. You'll then find all 20 stills, the small video that your phone exports, and a single gif file of the full animation in your Google+ photos. If you're a nut about housekeeping, you can then delete the 20 stills and the video, leaving your animated masterpiece available for the world to see.
Now get out your Ones, hit the Zoe button, and drop some links in the comments to show off your stuff! Hit the break to check one out.
Via: Android Central forums; Phil's humidifier
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2 days ago
Opera browser leaves beta, stable version now on Google Play
New WebKit-powered Opera 14 stable now available for Android
The Opera browser for Android has exited beta and arrived on the Google Play Store as a fully-fledged stable app. The mobile version of the long-running browser is based upon the WebKit rendering engine -- the same software used by the stock Android browser and (for the moment) Google Chrome.
But it's user-facing features rather than technical details that Opera's counting on to help it compete on Android. Speed Dial has long been part of the desktop Opera browser, allowing quick access to frequently visited bookmarks. The "Discover" tab provides a summary of news items. The "Off Road" mode uses data compression to make the most out of slow or expensive connections. And text reflow is included in the initial release, too.
Opera for Android is available now on Google Play at the Play Store link above. If you decide to take it for a spin, be sure to hit the comments and let us know what you think.