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1 year ago

Payment processor Bango bringing carrier billing to Google Play

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Bango, a mobile payments and analytics company, works with carriers (and other companies) as a middle-man to help set up payment systems and has now started offering Google Play billing as well. Carrier billing for items on Google Play is something that many carriers around the world are looking to get involved with. It's not always practical (or profitable) at the start to get it set up, however. Effectively outsourcing the payment processing and setup to another company makes sense for many companies out there trying to get into this game.

The first carrier on board with Bango for their mobile payments is Telstra in Australia. Given some of the big names that Bango currently does business with, we could see more carriers rolling out Google Play carrier billing with them soon. You can check out the full press release after the break.

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1 year ago

Apps of the Week: Add Watermark, Calvin and Hobbes Search Engine, PhotoVault and more!

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We've got the usual great set of app picks for your enjoyment this week, covering all genres. You can add a watermark to a picture, keep those pictures safe from unwanted eyes, check out some classic comic strips and more.

Read on and see how we did this week. And if you see an app you like, spend a couple bucks on it -- hard working developers deserve to be paid when they make something great.

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1 year ago

ASUS PadFone 2 receiving Jelly Bean OTA

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The PadFone 2, ASUS' successor device to that weird interesting phone inside a tablet inside a laptop contraption, is finally grabbing an OTA to Jelly Bean starting today. We were surprised when the phone was announced back in October with just Ice Cream Sandwich on board, but it's good to see ASUS following it up quickly with an update. The device keeps the skinning present in the previous version, but new features like Google Now and enhanced notifications are all included here.

According to FoneArena, the OTA is starting its rollout in Asia -- although that makes sense because the device is primarily being sold there. If you happen to have imported one of these to the states, you'll likely have a shot at receiving the update yourself with this batch.

Source: FoneArena; More: ASUS PadFone Forums

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1 year ago

Delta updates app with a privacy policy; California is safe again

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Delta Airlines has updated its Android app, bringing $2,500,000,000 worth of new features. All in the form of a privacy policy. 

It's still the same app as before, letting you check in to your flights, grab a mobile boarding pass, or even check your SkyMiles balance. If you are a frequent flier on Delta, it's probably a very useful download.

So what is this upgrade all about, and what does it have to do with billions of dollars? Good question, with an easy answer. Seems that the state of California slapped Delta with a lawsuit because the app had no clear privacy policy attached. Delta had 30 days to comply, or be faced with fines that could total up to $2.5 billion (with a b). Rather than make a large donation to California's economy, Delta updated their app today. Quick work, and the addition of the privacy policy is easy to get to -- simply tap Traveling with Us, then tap Privacy Policy. 

It's good to see a privacy policy for any app, especially one that collects your credit card info by design. It's also good on some level that the state of California looks out for their citizens, keeping them safe from those who would steal and abuse their private data.

But I can't shake the feeling that threatening a $2.5 billion fine ($2,500 per download)is the best way to go about it. Anyhoo, if you're using the Delta app go grab the update, and if you're not using it but think you should be, download it from Google Play.

More: InformationWeek

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1 year ago

Google Now making it clear that it is keeping location data

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If you've got a Jelly Bean device -- say a shiny new Nexus 4 -- and open up Google Now today, you'll likely be greeted with a notice about Google's location policy. The notice reminds users that Google does keep location history in order to serve location-relevant information (like traffic and walking stats), and prompts to be granted additional access to this data. This looks to be related to those "distance walked and ran" cards users saw a while back.

Even though you're reminded of this whenever signing into a new device or starting Google Now for the first time, we don't think it's a bad idea for Google to remind users of the data being collected.

More: Google Nexus 4 Forums

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1 year ago

The best wine apps for Android

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With the holidays just around the corner, odds are you’ll be uncorking at least a couple bottles of wine. While you might not need any help emptying them, there are a bunch of solid Android apps out there that can help you pick out the best ones and share your experience with the wine-loving community at large. Now, I’m not a wine guy at all and usually reach for whatever’s in the bargain bin, but maybe with the help of some of these apps, we can classy things up a bit.  

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1 year ago

Action Launcher now available - improves on folders with 'Covers'

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We brought you the first look at developer Chris Lacy's "Action Launcher" a couple of months ago, and today we're happy to announce that it's now available in the Google Play Store for $3.99. (Actually, that's in Google Play is a "Pro" unlock code -- you'll download the launcher itself from within the app after you purchase.)

The basic premise, as you'll recall from our Action Launcher preview, is that the idea of the app drawer is just too slow. In Action Launcher, the drawer is moved to a list view, and the "main" home screen shifts to the far left. So all you have to do to open it is slide left once more. (Or hit the apps button in the top left, or your home button from the home screen.) From there you've got a an easy list of your apps. And new from our preview version are letter shortcuts, so you don't have to scroll all the way through the list.

Also customized is how you add widgets, apps and wallpapers -- all in one place, just long-press on the home screen.

But that's still not the really cool part.

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1 year ago

Top Gear Stunt School Revolution now available from Google Play

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"Some say he never blinks and that he roams local woodland foraging for mouse meat. All we know is, he's called The Stig."

BBC Worldwide released an Android title back in October, known as Top Gear Stunt School Revolution. Back then, the title was exclusively available from the Amazon Appstore. An unusual tactic for launching the game, especially considering that at the time the UK launch of the Amazon Kindle Fire was still three weeks away. That exclusivity period is now at an end, and the title is available to download from the Google Play Store. 

There's two flavors available for download, one free, one paid. The free version doesn't come with all the stunts unlocked, but the paid version does along with 300 free permits -- the paid version is linked at the top of this post. The price for the paid version is £0.69/$0.99, which isn't a lot for what we found was a fun, if basic driving game.

One word of caution. The Play Store version seems to have to 'set up' before playing. This seems to be a potentially lengthy process for some, so something to bear in mind. Before downloading though, be sure to head back and check out our hands on video.

More: Hands on with Top Gear Stunt School Revolution

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1 year ago

New accessibility features coming to Kindle Fire and Fire HD 7-inch

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We take time to applaud companies whenever they bring new accessibility features to their devices. Amazon has just announced today that it will be bringing two new features for visually-impaired users, "Voice Guide" and "Explore by Touch", to both the original Kindle Fire and the new 7-inch Kindle Fire HD.

Voice Guide lets the user tap on any part of the screen and receive an audible description of that item, which is supposed to be more in-depth than regular text-to-speech. Explore by Touch lets the user swipe across the screen to receive menu names, allowing a second touch to actually do the intended action, hopefully reducing accidental launching of apps or opening of menus.

These two features were already available on the Kindle Fire HD 8.9-inch, but its great to see them come to the whole line. Amazon expects them to head out to devices in early 2013.

Source: Amazon; Via: Engadget

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1 year ago

Gameloft's Modern Combat 4: Zero Hour hitting Android 'very soon'

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Gameloft is quickly expanding on its popular "Modern Combat" game franchise with the latest revision: "Zero Hour." The game has just launched on the iOS platform, but Gameloft assures us that the developers are putting the final touches on an Android version and "expect it to launch very soon." Games this big can never come too soon, so we hope to see it go live in Google Play very shortly.

You can get a taste for the gameplay in the latest version in the trailer above. (Spoiler alert: you shoot guys in the face.)

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