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2 years ago

App updates rolling out for Google Chrome and Google Earth

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Updates are now pushing out for two major Google apps on the Google Play Store. First up is Google Chrome, the de facto default browser for Android 4.0 and above. ARM-based devices are updated to Chrome 18.0.1025464, while Intel-based phones like the Motorola RAZR i get version 18.0.1026320. The official Chrome release blog notes important stability fixes for the newly-announced Nexus 4 and Nexus 10, while the Play Store listing indicates performance improvements for all devices.

Meanwhile, Google Earth has been bumped up to version 7.0.1, which has been pushed out to fix a handful of remaining bugs.

Hit the Google Play Store on your device to grab today's updates. Or if you've yet to try them, you can pick up Chrome here and Google Earth here.

Source: Google Chrome Releases, Google Play

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2 years ago

Movember app for Android review

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Righteous dudes the world over are preparing to get mustachioed for Movember, the international fundraiser for men's health. The charity originally focused on raising awareness for prostate cancer, but has since spread to include male mental  disorders. As a part of the movement, Movember has launched an app for Android where participants can keep track of their pledges, ping their various social networks for donations, check messages on their Mo Space wall, and snap photos of their stylish new facial accessory. The ladies can get involved as supporters, too. 

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2 years ago

Amazon Game Studios releases their first Android game, Air Patriots

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Amazon Game Studios launched their first Android game today called Air Patriots. It's basically Flight Control with a tower defense spin. Surprisingly, the game isn't being held back as an Amazon Appstore exclusive, so you can get downloading the free title on Google Play right now. 

Players pick a squadron of planes, draw their flight paths over an incoming army, and upgrade planes in between stages. There are only seven levels, but each has three difficulty levels and an endless survival mode. As a game published by Amazon, it's no surprise to hear that Whispersync cloud saving has been employed, as well as access to GameCircle for achievement tracking and socializing if you're playing on a Kindle Fire. 

I've played Air Patriots a little bit, and the gameplay is fun enough, even if it's sort of derivative. Anyone else try it? What do you think?

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2 years ago

Amazon releases Cloud Drive Photos app for Android

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Amazon has released a new app into the Google Play Store called Amazon Cloud Drive Photos. It allows you to view and download to your device photos that you have stored on your Amazon Cloud Drive. Amazon has steadily been adding more photo features to the service; last month we saw picture sharing and iPhoto export functionality added.

It is an interesting decision by Amazon to release a standalone app for photos rather than an all inclusive Cloud Drive app. But then again, many consumers want to view photos in an elegant way rather than in a file manager, so in that manner is makes sense.

The app's UI is designed quite nicely. When you open the app, you'll notice a similar look and feel to their Amazon MP3 app. Just like the music app, you'll be able to download any photos or albums to your device as you'd like and be able to view your entire collection in the cloud or only those stored on your device.

Do you think you'll use Amazon's Cloud Drive Photos app over the Gallery app or another photo app? Sing out in our comments or shout out in the Android Central Apps Forum.

The app is available for free from the Google Play Store.

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2 years ago

T-Mobile Wifi Calling isn't coming to the Nexus 4

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The folks over at TmoNews have just confirmed that when the LG Nexus 4 goes on sale at T-Mobile stores in just a couple of weeks that it won't be coming with Wifi Calling (UMA) on board. Now this will come as no surprise to anyone who has followed previous Nexus phones in the past. The Nexus One, Nexus S and Galaxy Nexus all worked on T-Mobile's network just fine, but none of them were given official Wifi Calling support. Just because T-Mo is selling this one directly doesn't mean that changes now.

This may sound bad on the surface because many users would like the ability to have the battery life and call quality improvements that come with Wifi Calling, but this is actually a good thing. Not having the Wifi Calling app pre-installed on the Nexus 4 means that there's a really good chance it has the exact same firmware as the unlocked version coming from Google via the Play Store.

When it comes to updates and variants of Nexus devices, the fewer models that need to be supported, the better.

Source: TmoNews

More: Google Nexus 4 Forums

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2 years ago

Netflix now available on Amazon Kindle Fire in the UK

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Despite the Amazon Kindle Fire in the UK coming with Amazon's own LOVEFiLM service baked in, that hasn't stopped rivals Netflix trying to muscle in. Netflix is now available to download from the Amazon Appstore for British Kindle Fire owners. 

The experience and content catalog is exactly the same as on regular Android devices, giving new Kindle Fire owners in Britain their choice of streaming providers. Both LOVEFiLM and Netflix come with free trials too, so be sure to check them both out first before committing your cash. 

Source: Netflix

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2 years ago

'It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown' free today in the Amazon Appstore

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Looking for a fun way to entertain the kids -- or big kids -- in your house this fine Halloween? Amazon has you covered, as their free app of the day today is "It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown." When launched in the Google Play Store, this storybook app cost $5, so if you've got access to the Amazon Appstore, this is a great deal for this and future Halloween's.

Of course, if Charlie Brown is a little too young for you, or your kids, be sure to check out our run down of the best Android games for Halloween.  

And, while the kids are entertained, be sure to head on over to ShopAndroid.com to take advantage of the 15% off special Halloween deals, or enter our sweet Halloween costume contest

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2 years ago

Waze updated with pick-up request and social features

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The Waze navigation app has recently been updated with a whole bunch of new social features, ranging from seeing the ETA of your friends, location sharing, pick-up requests, and lots more. Here's the full changelog for Waze 3.5.

  • See friends driving to your destination & everyone's ETA
  • Send a pick up request to grab anyone's location & navigate to them
  • Share your drive by sending a live map of your route & ETA to anyone
  • New design and UI throughout
  • Sign in with Facebook
  • Nearing destination bar
  • Toll road usage indication
  • Private messages
  • Parking location pin

As always, Waze continues to offer croudsourced mapping data, live traffic alerts, points of interest searching, finding the best gas prices, and the usual voice-based turn-by-turn navigation.

The new features are pretty sweet, especially being able to request a pick-up, even if you don't use Waze. Still, it seems like the majority of Waze's new features depend on other friends using the same app, which can be hard to count on for less regular meet-ups. 

Any active Waze users out there? How often do you think you'll use the friends ETA feature? Anything else new that's really leaping out? 

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2 years ago

Zombie Driver game splices Mad Max with undead apocalypse

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Zombie Driver launched on Google Play for $6.99, giving players with Tegra devices the pleasure of running over undead with a wide variety of vehicles. Of course, nitro boosts can help a bunch when the hordes get a little thick, plus military-issued weaponry can thin the ranks from range. Beyond the story-based campaign, there's a race mode where you compete with other survivors to complete three laps, or you can try to weather an endless tide of zombies in the slaughter mode. Over time, players upgrade their various vehicles according to their playstyle. Like to get up-close and personal? Crank up your armor and dozer ratings. Prefer to hit and run? Upgrade your nitro and get a fast car. 

I played the first few levels and the graphics are beautifully gross on the Nexus 7. My only serious qualm is that the controls aren't that awesome. The game came to Xbox Live Arcade and Steam first, and it really shows. The default control scheme lays out WASD-style virtual keys with some awkward diagonal movement. At least there's support for keyboards and gamepads if you've got either handy. 

In any case, if you can't get enough gruesomeness this Hallowe'en, Zombie Driver is a nice change of pace from the deluge of other slaughterfests out there. 

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2 years ago

Skitch for Android enters v2.0 - New home screen, new tools included

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Looking for further integrate Skitch and Evernote, Skitch v2.0 was released today. For those of you out there who use it often, you'll notice plenty of changes within the updated version. To start, you get a whole new home screen that has been cleaned up to allow for ease of use. In addition to that, you'll also get a whole new subset of tools to make use of:

  • Pixelate - The new Pixelate feature is a great way to quickly obscure a part of an image that may contain personal or sensitive information. Take a photo or choose one from your gallery, tap the Pixelate tool and drag it across the section of the image that you want to hide. Now you can annotate and share an image without worrying that others will be able to read sensitive information in it.
  • Highlighter - When you need to emphasize something, the best way is often to use a highlighter. That’s why we created the new highlighting tool. Choose the highlighter, a color and line thickness, then start drawing. The lines appear just like a highlighter on paper, allowing you to clearly see the background objects.
  • Panning Tool - The left-most option on the toolbar is the Panning Tool. It lets you select, move and resize annotations. After you finish adding a shape, text or arrow, the Panning Tool is automatically selected, so that you can easily adjust the object.

The round out the update, that mentioned Skitch and Evernote relationship has been improved. Now, when you view your Skitch notes, those are actually coming from within Evernote. To coincide with the release, a small Evernote update was released today as well. You'll find both available for download in the Google Play Store.

Source: Skitch

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2 years ago

ADW Launcher comes back from the dead with a new update

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Just in time for Halloween, ADW Launcher is back from the dead. One of the more popular launchers all the way back in the days of Android 2.3, ADW hasn't seen an update in quite a long time. The latest update, version 1.3.3.7 cleverly, brings a completely redone UI and set of features along with compatibility all the way up to Android 4.1. Both the free and paid versions have been updated, and offer a crazy amount of customization options on the homscreens, app drawer, icons, themes, folders and anywhere else you could think of. It may be a bit overwhelming for some, but if you're willing to put in the time to customize it, you may get just what you're looking for.

There are way too many new features to list, especially in the paid version for $3.00, but overall things seem smooth and well improved. It's good to see that ADW is back in the launcher game with Jelly Bean. You can grab ADW Launcher at the Play Store link above.

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2 years ago

Need for Speed Most Wanted review

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Need for Speed Most Wanted careened into Google Play today, hauling with it high expectations based on the long-standing franchise. The latest Need for Speed racing game for Android excels in graphics, and offers an otherwise pared-down, straightforward racing experience. Race types are all familiar, including the usual 6-car run, one-on-one, time trials, and checkpoint races.

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2 years ago

Shadowgun: Deadzone open beta expanded to include Android SDK 3.0+ devices

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Roughly two weeks ago, the Shadowgun: Deadzone beta was opened to Tegra 3 devices. Now, MADFINGER games has opened up the beta to include Android devices with SDK 3.0 or higher. Besides the updated device compatibility, they also introduced some new features as well:

  • Research system (you can use a research to make weapons, items and perks)
  • Ranks
  • Protection for the beginners (players with RANKS 1-3). They are connecting to the isolated servers
  • You can make money by playing the game
  • You can now collect experience points (XP) and level up
  • New Weapons available (Atilla, Agony, Warmoger, etc.) 
  • New Gadgets available (Detector, Jammer, FlashBang)
  • Player Perks
  • Equip Enhancements

So if you've been itching to give this a try, but didn't have a Tegra 3 device, now is your chance to hop over to the Play Store and give it a try. Just a reminder, this is a beta, so don't be surprised if you find a glitch or two. Check the Play Store link above to see if your device is compatible.

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2 years ago

Updated Google Search on iOS on par with Android

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Google today let loose a new version of its Search app for iOS devices. Is it as good as the voice search you find in Android and Google Now? When it comes to results, yes. That is to say, when we took Google's test questions for a spin, using Google Now to launch the search (just because we felt like it) we got the same results -- in just about the same response time -- on a Galaxy Nexus as we did on iOS 6.

Why'd we use the same questions Google highlighted on its blog post announcing the update? For one simple reason: Siri, for want of an better term, sucks. And anyone who's ever tried to do the same searches Apple showcased in its advertisements is quite possibly still waiting for an answer. So we wanted to put Google's examples to the test. And we threw in one wild card at the end.

How'd they stack up? Pretty evenly matched, I think. You'd expect the results to be the same, of course. Response time is what I was really curious about. Have a gander at the video after the break and see for yourself.

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2 years ago

Diner Dash now available on Amazon's Kindle Fire

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Mobile game Diner Dash has made its Android debut on the Amazon Kindle Fire.

Bad news for fans without an Amazon tablet though, because the game appears to be exclusive to the Kindle Fire for now. Searching for it on the Amazon Appstore on a different Android device returns no results (although the results return plenty of similar games to be downloaded).

The game may seem a little dated, but its publisher, PlayFirst, reminded us that it’s enjoyed over 650 million downloads worldwide.

Diner Dash was developed by GameLab before PlayFirst acquired the rights to own it. If you haven’t had enough, the game has spawned four sequels since its initial runaway success.

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