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2 years ago

Apps of the Week: Halloween Soundboard, Terrene, GrubHub and more!

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Get your weekly selection of app picks from the AC writers right here

Welcome back to another Saturday afternoon edition of Apps of the Week, our compendium of apps, tools and games from the Android Central writers. Each week we gather up picks from the folks here at AC, asking them to submit an app that they've been using recently. It can come from any area of the Play Store, with any rating or feature set — all that matters is that we use it and it works.

This week we're looking at a couple of Halloween-themed picks, a game, a great app for making some music on your tablet and a few other odds-and-ends as usual. Stick around after the break and see how this week's picks stack up against the rest.

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2 years ago

Buffer, a cross-network posting service that also does Google+, is hacked

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Facebook, Twitter compromised, founder says

If you're a user of the Buffer app for cross-posting to various social networks, be aware that the service got hacked today, with spam messages going out over Facebook. The ability to post has been revoked, and the spam appears to no longer be accessible.

As you can see from the image above, the spam was of the "Lose weight now!" variety. (And do us a favor and don't go venturing to that link in our picture, m'kay?) Buffer bosts some 1.08 million users on its home page, with more than 98 million updates posted.

Buffer founder and CEO Joel Gascoigne — that's his name you see on e-mails from Buffer — confirmed the hack on Twitter and said that Buffer's Twitter authorizations also were compromised.

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2 years ago

BBM passes 10 million downloads on Android, waiting list is no more

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Just a quick heads up that BlackBerry has let us know that the waiting list for BBM has been dropped, and anyone who wants from this point out should be able to start using the service as soon as they install the app.

And speaking of which, BBM — which hit the 1 million to 5 million downloads category in its first day on Google Play and more than 10 million on Android and iOS in that same span — is now showing more than 10 million downloads on Google Play since launching on Monday.

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2 years ago

Motorola Spotlight Player app now live in Google Play for Moto X devices

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Now all we need is some content ...

Remember when Motorola teased a bit of augmented reality with the Windy Day YouTube short earlier in the week? Today we see a second part to this puzzle, as the mostly unused Avatar app buried inside your Moto X software gets an update and actually does something.

If you have a Moto X, you'll see an "update" to the Motorola Spotlight Player —- an app you probably don't have installed. That's because there was no associated app icon or widget. That changes with today's update. After installation (yes, you'll install it, too) you have a new 1 x 1 widget and three new activities in the software. Tapping the widget will show you two of them — the page that tells you Motorola can't wait to show you how all this works and that your Moto X loves you, and a page where you can opt in or out of the service — which Motorola swears will have no ads.

The third activity — the Settings page — is there but doesn't do anything just yet. I've dropped screenshots of all three after the break.

It looks like we'll soon have everything in place here, and it will be interesting to see how Motorola uses this. Will it be something worth keeping, or will it quickly be placed on the disabled list? We'll probably know on October 29.

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2 years ago

Call of Duty: Strike Team now available - latest postmodern war shooter is $6.99

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Full campaign and survival mode with both first-person and third-person action

The latest in the Call of Duty line, Strike Team, has just hit the Play Store for everyone to get their hands on. With a new story line based on modern combat in the year 2020 between the "world's superpowers," Strike Team will certainly appeal to any CoD fan out there. In terms of gameplay, Strike Team is introducing an interesting idea — you'll be able to quickly switch between first-person and third-person game modes, giving you control over your squad and individual actions.

The game offers both a full-features campaign mode that delivers the same CoD experience you know and love, and a survival mode to test your skills against waves of incoming enemies with increasing difficulty. Survival mode also has an online community leaderboard component, which will keep things frustrating competitive.

The game is live now in the Play Store at $6.99, but that's not too big of a price to pay for a full-featured shooter nowadays. Heads up if you're not on Wifi though, the download weighs in at 1.9GB.

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2 years ago

Google Sound Search lands in Canada [Update: not anymore]

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Update: Looks like things have reverted back, and the Sound Search widget is once again unavailable in Canada.

Original story: Though they're still unable to stream from Google Play Music, Canadians now have the ability to use Google's Sound Search widget to identify music. The widget works on home screens and lock screens, and uses your phone or tablet's microphones to match what's playing against Google's vast library of music. (The same library still unavailable in Canada.)

Strangely, MobileSyrup reports that asking Google Now "What's this song" still returns an error message in Canada, while the standalone widget works as expected.

Would it be overly optimistic to think Sound Search's launch in Canada might signal the arrival of more Google music content for Canadians in the near future? Who knows, but surely it's about time.

Source: MobileSyrup

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2 years ago

BBM updated to support more devices, doesn't list which ones

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Performance enhancements and bug fixes also included in version 1.0.0.72

Just in case your device wasn't on the list of supported phones or tablets at launch, BBM has just been updated to support even more. Unfortunately the changelog doesn't indicate a complete list of supported devices nor does it say which were added in this round, but we're never going to turn down an update for wider support on a popular app.

The update also includes "bug fixes and performance enhancements," naturally, but again no specifics were given. If you were unable to install BBM before, hit the Play Store link above and see if your devices are supported now.

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2 years ago

Cover aims to be a smarter lock screen, is invite-only for now

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Think lock screen that learns which apps you use in various locations — home, work, car and out — and floats them to the lock screen as you go about your day, much like Aviate does with your home screens. Pretty slick idea, and it actually does go beyond the lock screen and the full usage of the phone.

It's invite-only for now, so sit back and let the hype flow freely around you. Can't wait to try this, though, especially the sick transition between the lock screen and an app whose shortcut you picked.

Check out one more demo video after the break.

More: Cover

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2 years ago

Vine update adds video drafts, new clip editing options

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Two more tools to make the best Vines possible

Everyone's favorite 6-second video making app Vine is receiving an update today that helps you create even better videos. The first new feature is called "Sessions," and its basically a drafts folder for videos. You can take portions or complete Vines, and save them for later, up to 10 at a time. You can access these Sessions with a tap on an icon in the bottom right of your capture window.

Next up is "Time Travel," a new way to edit the Vine you're currently working on. At any time in your creative process, you can tap the green progress bar and go back through your clips to rearrange them. While you may not use this often for basic editing, it'll be useful if you need to re-shoot any portion of a scene and put it in its proper place.

You can grab the latest version of Vine from the Play Store link at the top of this post.

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2 years ago

Who's using BBM on Android?

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App surpasses 5 million downloads — but did you use it before Android?

I'll freely admit I'm still trying to wrap my head around BBM. I was never a BlackBerry Messenger user in the past, and it's entirely possible I won't be in the future. But obviously someone is using BBM — the app passed into the 5 million to 10 million downloads category in Google Play in just its second day. There's no denying how impressive that is.

Those who know and love BBM continue to sing its praises. Those of us who don't are still wondering what the big deal is.

So, after the break, a quick poll. If you're using BBM on Android — as in really using it — were you a BBM user before Android? Or are you new to the game?

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2 years ago

Dead Trigger 2 arrives in the Play Store right on schedule

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A whole new world of weapons and online cooperative gameplay

Madfinger Games' follow-up to the hugely popular Dead Trigger is here, and it's now available for free in the Play Store. True to its word that the game would make its debut on October 23rd, Dead Trigger 2 brings all of that zombie-killing action you love with a new storyline.

The game also has a new set of game mechanics, building on a system of crafting new weapons before you go back out to fight the incoming zombie horde. You'll also have the option to combine forces with other players worldwide for missions and rewards, with weekly and monthly content updates. The graphics have received a nice bump as well, which we'll never turn down in a second generation game.

You can grab a download of Dead Trigger 2 from the Play Store link above.

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2 years ago

Plants vs. Zombies 2 now live in Google Play

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It's about time — in more ways than one

There have been rumors all day of a release tomorrow during Google's Google Play even in New York (fueled by things like this) but about 45 minutes ago Plants vs. Zombies 2 has popped up in Google Play.

Having been released on iOS for a while, and with the speculation that Apple paid EA a large sum to keep it an exclusive for a while, there hasn't been much noise about the game being released on the most popular mobile platform in the world. But now that it's happened, that will change.

As it should — PvZ 2 is a fun game. It follows the footsteps of the original, with a bit of a storyline and an adventure game quest based twist. It's free, with plenty of in-app purchases to get you along, but it's very playable as-is and will be a success for Pop Cap. 

Plants vs. Zombies 2 runs on Gingerbread devices and higher, checks in at about 170MB worth of downloaded files, and you can grab it from the Google Play link above.

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2 years ago

The Sims FreePlay gets Teen update, Halloween event in full swing

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Celebrat​e Halloween with ghost hunting and obnoxious teenagers

It’s been a while since we wrote about The Sims FreePlay, Electronic Arts’ mobile version of the hit life simulation series. Even still, the game is going strong. EA has released two major updates for FreePlay in the last two months: the Teen and Mysterious Island updates. Together, they add new quests, areas to visit, loads of items, and of course teenage Sims.

We’ve put ample time in with both updates, just in time for the the Halloween Madness Event that’s lasts through October 31st. Read on for full details on the event and how The Sims FreePlay has grown!

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2 years ago

SwiftKey 4.3 beta updated with bug fixes, more layouts

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A quick heads-up for anyone using the beta version of SwiftKey 4.3 — an updated version is now available from beta.swiftkey.net. The new SwiftKey beta 4.3.0.149 adds fixes various bugs — including issues when moving between layouts and problems causing the keyboard to jump around the screen ​— while adding some new localization features. This latest version ensures the currency key matches your phone's locale, and implements ​Punjabi, Icelandic, Bulgarian, Azerbaijani, Russian Windows and Turkish keyboard layouts.

Grab the new version from the source link, or click below to check out our recent hands-on preview of SwiftKey 4.3.

More: SwiftKey 4.3 hands-on

Source: SwiftKey

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2 years ago

BlackBerry 'aware' of suspect reviews, 'working with Google to resolve this'

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Scores of positive reviews repeat the same wording in broken English

BlackBerry's launch of BBM on Android this week was marred by a rather large number — and extremely suspect — reviews left in Google Play along with its 10 million installations on Android and iOS. Apparent to anyone with a set of peepers, the reviews in question all share the same broken English and likely Indonesian origins, though the number of stars left on each review varies.

The reviews read, "Thank you so much blackberry team. I was waiting this app. Its really great user friendly and smooth"

It's still unclear whether the scores and scores of copycat reviews are a coordinated (if ridiculously obvious) effort to game the system, who, exactly, was behind it — as we all know, BlackBerry and BBM have a very ... passionate ... user base — and why the hell they didn't think anyone would notice. To leave a review on an app in Google Play, you have to have a Google+ account. So there are at least names and faces to go with the farce.

BlackBerry's Victoria Berry, director of PR for BBM, gave Android Central the following statement:

We have recently been made aware of a number of potentially fake five-star reviews of BBM for Android on Google Play. We do not approve of or condone such activities and are committed to working with Google to resolve this. There are also many genuinely great and useful reviews from our new BBM users on Google Play. We would like to encourage our passionate fans and users to continue to provide true assessments of the BBM experience through the proper channels.

So, yeah. Something's up. We still don't know exactly why, though.

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