Headlines

2 years ago

Opera hits 300 million users, confirms switch to WebKit and MWC showing of new Android browser

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We first heard of Opera's intentions to switch to WebKit back in January, following the release of a leaked internal video which made mention of the 'Ice' browser. Today, Opera has confirmed the move in a statement which also pins their user base now at 300 million. Whatever 'Ice' turns out to be will have to wait, but Opera's new browser for Android will be on show for the first time at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in a couple of weeks. 

That's not to say that 'Ice' isn't real though, Opera has confirmed its existence as one a series of R&D projects: 

Opera is also experimenting with WebKit in several research and development projects, and many of you got a peek of one of them, codenamed ‘ICE’, last month. As a leading innovator in browsers, we are very excited that ICE received such great buzz. We will provide more information about ICE and other exciting R&D projects in the future, but as we are also really proud of our new browser on Android and our Opera Web Pass operator offering, those products will be the main focus at MWC

In addition to WebKit, Opera also intends to make use of the Chromium Project too in future releases of its browsers for both computers and mobile devices. Of course, we'll be on the ground in Barcelona as everything unfolds starting in little under 2 weeks. 

Source: Opera

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2 years ago

Gotta catch 'em all, with Pokemon TV for Android

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Here's one for all the kids -- and big kids-- out there. Pokemon TV has been released into the Google Play Store bringing with it hours upon hours of cartoon battling fun. We've all come across Pokemon at some point, be it on the old Nintendo Game Boy's, or the cartoons, or the trading cards, and there's probably a good few of you guys out there that will be secretly -- or not so secretly -- delighted by this.

Pokemon TV is an official application, completely free of charge, and promises fresh episodes every week. It's good for both phones and tablets, we've had no problems installing it on a range of devices, and only requires Gingerbread and above. Grab yourselves a copy at the Play Store link above, and go ahead and pretend you downloaded it for the kids. We won't tell. 

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2 years ago

Three UK pushing out Jelly Bean update for HTC One S

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HTC started pushing out the Android 4.1.1 update to eager owners of the unlocked, international One S back on Christmas Eve. Fast forward just over a month and Three UK has today announced that they have begun to push out the Jelly Bean update to their own, carrier branded HTC One S owners. 

To snag the update for yourselves, head into Settings>About>Software Updates and start hammering on the check now option. As ever with these things though, it won't hit all of the people straight away, so a healthy dose of patience may be also be required. 

The update to Jelly Bean on the HTC One S brings with it the latest version of Sense, Sense 4+. It's a hefty download though, weighing in at over 600MB so you're likely going to want to tackle it on WiFi. If you've already managed to snag it, be sure to jump into the comments below and share with us how you're finding it. 

Source: Three UK

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2 years ago

Foursquare adds features, refreshes interface in latest update

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Everyone's favorite social check in service Foursquare has just pushed out a notable update in the Play Store, bringing a refreshed UI, some new features and a lot of polish. The previous UI wasn't bad or ugly by any stretch, but the Foursquare team has managed to add a bit more functionality and design to this latest update. The main homescreen is now a bit cleaner, with a universal "explore" search bar at the top and options to check in, see your last location and add a photo at the bottom of the screen. A now Android-standard swipe to the right reveals a settings screen to access your profile, lists, settings and friends -- although curiously there's still a very iOS-like menu slide button in the upper left corner.

The Check In screen has received a facelift as well, with some cleaner lines and little more visual flare. The text box asking "What are you up to?" is now more prominently laid over a map of the check in location with an option to add a picture still prominently set to the right of it. There's still a bit more cleaning up and unification of the UI to go, but things are looking better with each update.

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2 years ago

Real Racing 3 coming Feb. 28, speeding down the freemium route in the process

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Some great news has emerged for those eagerly awaiting the arrival of the latest in the Real Racing series, Real Racing 3. The title now has a release date, and a price. The so far stunning looking title will be dropping into Google Play on Feb. 28 and will be a completely free download. 

That's right, Real Racing 3 will be a freemium title. Knowing that would be met with mixed reaction, the developers, Firemonkeys, made a statement regarding the decision:

Today we announced Real Racing 3 will be free. And yes, Real Racing 3 was designed from the ground up to be a free to play experience. We are so excited about this game and wanted it to be accessible to everyone so we didn't want there to be any barriers to entry. This accessibility is also what drives the awesome new Time Shifted Multiplayer feature, in that you can play competitive multiplayer with anyone any time, and they don't need to be online with you at the same time. At launch we have 46 licensed vehicles covering 3 classes, a 22 car grid, real world tracks, 8 varied event types and 900+ events. This means hundreds of hours of gameplay for free making this one of the most expansive games ever on mobile. We plan to continue to add more free and exciting content with every update.

Doesn't sound all that scary, and being free to download will potentially drive higher initial download figures. In any case,  we're looking forward to this one a lot, and thankfully we only have a couple more weeks to wait. 

Source: Firemonkeys via Facebook

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2 years ago

Shapes & Sound: a beautifully designed and Android-exclusive game

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Retro-style arcade games are definitely "in" right now, and the new title Shapes & Sound: The Shape Shooter is a great offering in this quickly expanding genre. Shapes & Sound brings a clearly well thought-out game from end-to-end, with awesome gameplay, soundtrack, graphics and performance that all add up to a great experience.

Oh, and did we mention this is an Android-exclusive title? Read on past the break and see what it's all about.

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2 years ago

DashClock Widget for Android 4.2

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I've made no secret about my outright displeasure for the new lock screen widgets in Android 4.2. Clunky, for one, often lacking style for another. 

DashClock Widget is quickly changing my mind. It's the work of Roman Nurik, a Googler and Android design guy and was released this morning to Google Play and as open-source code.

The widget itself is devilishly simple. Add it to the Android 4.2 lock screen like you would any other widget. From there you add "extensions." At launch you've got extensions for weather, missed calls and texts, your next calendar appointment, unread e-mails and your next scheduled alarm. Chances are we should see additional extensions pretty quickly. (Here's hoping for some world clock love, which is the only thing I'm missing from the stock Android lock screen clock.) Want to get rid of an extension? Just swipe it away. Nice.

This one's free, it's open-source, and it's definitely worth a look. Hit the link above, and ease on past the break for a little hands-on action if you need more convincing.

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2 years ago

BlueStacks brings Android apps to Microsoft Surface Pro

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BlueStacks, which is a product that lets users run Android apps on Windows computers, is releasing a new version today that brings the functionality to Windows 8 and the Microsoft Surface Pro. Until today, BlueStacks has only been available for Windows 7 and Mac OSX. The latest version of BlueStacks fully supports Windows 8 -- including new features like charms bar support and rotation support -- but is also optimized for the recently released Surface Pro.

BlueStacks has partnerships with several OEMs already, and users have made over 5 million downloads of the software directly from its website alone. The software is also free, which is fantastic for Windows 8 users looking to try out the experience of running Android apps on their PC's with full touch capabilities. You can get more information and grab a download at the source link below.

Source: BlueStacks

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2 years ago

Android 4.2.2 rolling out to Nexus 10 and 7, GSM Galaxy Nexus [Updated]

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Over-the-air updates to Android 4.2.2 are rolling out now to the current crop of Nexus devices. Reports first started trickling in on Reddit about the GSM Galaxy Nexus having its update waiting. And more recently, news from Android Police, XDA and elsewhere indicates that Nexus 10 and Nexus 7 users are getting these updates, so it looks like we're in the midsts of the 4.2.2 roll-out.

No news on the Nexus 4, interestingly enough, but we'd assume if the rest of the Nexuses are getting it, the N4 will be on that train too. We're of course not sure what all this update has in it, but we're not expecting much more than bug fixes considering it's just a x.x.1 jump. After updating our own Galaxy Nexus to 4.2.2, there don't seem to be any immediately-noticeable changes.

So have at it folks, start checking your devices for that update. If you're into manually updating (advanced users only), we've got direct OTA package links for the Gnex and Nexus 10 after the break.

Source: AndroidPolice; Reddit; Thanks, Karl!

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2 years ago

Sonos update bringing favorites improvements, new widget for Android app

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Sonos is rolling out an update to both its hardware setups and mobile apps to enable new features today. The first part of the update will come to the Sonos base station itself, and will improve the handling of favorites. Users will now be able to add tracks, albums and radio stations to favorites no matter the source. The new favorites can now be accessed from any Sonos Controller in the music menu as well.

An update for the Android (and iOS) Sonos Controller app is on the way to take advantage of the new features also. The Android version will receive a new widget that lets users control tracks and playback without launching the app itself, as well as show album art and metadata. The app will also receive universal search available from anywhere in the interface.

Both the system and app updates are expected to start rolling out tomorrow, so be on the lookout if you're a Sonos user.

Source: Sonos

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2 years ago

Indian Rides: get ready for the return of Indian Motorcycle

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Indian has been around since 1901, and they're getting ready for a re-launch of the Indian Motorcycle brand in 2013 by releasing the Indian Rides app. While the app is branded by Indian, you don't have to be an active motorcycle rider to take a look at this app though, as it has a little something to offer for travelers of any type.

Read on past the break for a few quick highlights and screenshots of the app's interface.

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2 years ago

Guilt: how bad do you feel about your spending?

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It's pretty easy to keep track of purchases based on when they occur and their price, but what if you categorized everything you bought by how guilty it made you feel? Guilt is an interesting new app that hopes to help you keep tabs on your regular purchases and not only how much they cost but also on a level of how guilty you feel after purchasing them. The hope is to give a new perspective on your finances to help keep things in order from month to month.

Read long with us after the break to see if Guilt could help keep your personal finances in order.

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2 years ago

Wordsplosion is a new word game I can't stop playing

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If you like word games and want a new challenge, you need to check out Wordsplosion. The game play is easy enough to get a handle on -- you have five chances to guess a five letter word. You can get hints if you do well, and your number of lives raises with your score. If you guess the word correctly, you move on to another word. If you're wrong, you lose a life. Lose all your lives and the game is done, and you want to kick yourself for missing the easy ones. But you can share your score to Twitter or Facebook to make you feel a little better.

The words themselves are simple, five letter words we use every day. But sitting up there without any context makes this one a real challenge. All your guesses must be words from the dictionary, so you can't cheat and try aeiou to find the vowels (foiled again!). The game is beautifully done on the design and graphics side, and everything runs smooth. The only thing not to love is the annoying in-line ads every three or fours turns, and those are easy to remove with a single in-app purchase of $2.99. Well worth it for an app I'll keep around for a long while.

The game trailer is after the break, and you can grab it from the Google Play link above and give it a try.

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2 years ago

Apps of the Week: JuiceSSH, 7x7, Audible for Android and more!

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You shouldn't be surprised at this point that we bring you the apps of the week every Saturday afternoon. What we hope to surprise you with is the variety and quality of the apps we choose. The Android Central writers try their best to find some diamonds in the rough, the little-known apps that we use ourselves but may not be on every device out there.

Hang on after the break and see how we did this week.

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2 years ago

ZOMG: Windows Phone design lead Joe Belfiore tweets from Android

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Hey, I've got absolutely no problem with Joe Belfiore, the man in charge of "definition and design" for Windows Phone, apparently tweeting from an Android device. In fact, I've long raved about how much I like the way Windows Phone 8 looks, even if it lacks the functionality of Android. I've covered enough Windows Phone events to recognize that dude knows his stuff. And I dabble with Windows Phone (and soon, BlackBerry 10) on weekends, to help keep familiar with what else is out there. Using other platforms makes good sense.

But the official Twitter app? C'mon, Joe. You can do better than that. In fact, here's a a quick primer on some much better (and more functional) Android Twitter apps. Give 'em a shot.

Thanks, Andre, for the inadvertent tip.

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