Headlines

2 years ago

Google Wallet no longer working on the Verizon Galaxy Nexus

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Verizon Galaxy Nexus users have had a long and shaky history with using Google Wallet on their devices. Now it seems that some entity -- be it Verizon or Google -- may have finally pulled the plug on this one. Users in our forums are reporting that the Google Wallet app is no longer working on their devices and is unable to be updated or installed in the Google Play Store. We're not sure at this point why the app is pulled or whether it will be coming back, but hopefully we'll hear something more definitive soon.

We recommend you go check out the thread in our forums where users are reporting their findings. There's a good chance some ingenious hackers will find a way around this soon enough: Verizon Galaxy Nexus Forums: Google wallet problem.

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2 years ago

To-Fu 2 slingshots onto Google Play

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To-Fu 2, a free and addictive puzzle game, is now on Android. Some of you might have played the original, which also featured the headband-toting wobbly white cube which you stretch and release to fling through treacherous mazes.

Players have to hit the big pink fortune cookie at the end to win, though you earn extra merit for gathering all of the Chi orbs throughout the level or completing the whole thing within a limited number of moves. The levels are really mind-bending, and require precision and timing to make sure you ricochet and stick to the right spots. The new version of the game includes a whopping 115 levels, and a new time trial mode to see how many Chi orbs you can collect within a certain time limit. There are ads, but buying any of the vanity items through in-app purchases will remove them. 

I played the first one a bunch, and To-Fu 2 is just as fun. Give it a shot!

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2 years ago

International Xperia Ion receiving Ice Cream Sandwich update

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Back at IFA in Berlin a couple weeks ago, we got a look at a yet to be released version of Ice Cream Sandwich running on the Xperia Ion. It looks like the official release wasn't far behind that build, as the international version of the Ion has started to receive its update. Only the LT28i models are seeing it at the moment, but hopefully this is a sign of things to come for those of you with the Ion running on AT&T's network here in the states.

Also, if you're one of those Sony types -- or just appreciate hard working designers -- and somehow missed our great piece by Alex with the Sony design team, it's definitely still worth a look.

Source: Xperiablog

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2 years ago

Tetris available for free today on the Amazon Appstore

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Classic puzzle game Tetris is available today for free on the Amazon Appstore for today only. You know the drill: shaped blocks come down from the top of the screen, and you have to guide them down to create solid rows to make them disappear. Players earn bonus points for knocking out multiple rows at once, though the blocks come down faster as you plow onwards. The remake has a few new twists to the original, such as a variety of challenge missions and power-ups to help clear away blocks. 

The game's normally $2.99, so definitely worth picking up while it's free. Head on over to Amazon to get downloading. 

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2 years ago

US Cellular launches Wi-Fi Now app

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U.S. Cellular is taking steps to help its customers find public Wi-Fi hotspots when they're out of the house by launching their own Wi-Fi Now app. The app, which is available for download from the Google Play Store (and soon Amazon App Store) for current customers, runs on the device and will automatically connect to known good Wi-Fi access points. The app can also be configured to automatically connect to Wi-Fi at home after manually entering the connection information. U.S. Cellular also states that it will be loading the Wi-Fi Now app on all Android devices it sells from this point forward. If you're willing, using an app like this can really help cut down your monthly data usage.

Compared to having a persistent Wi-Fi button in your notification bar bugging you all day like some recent Verizon and AT&T devices, we think that U.S. Cellular has a better approach here. Giving the user the choice on whether or not to automatically connect is a good thing.

Take a look at the full press release after the break.

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2 years ago

Google Wallet usage has doubled in usage since opening up to all credit cards

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The last big update to Google Wallet allowed users to add whatever credit card they wanted to the NFC payment app for Android. Google proudly proclaimed today that usage of the app has more than doubled since then. Though users can add any card, Google has been gently prodding credit card companies to optimize their own section for the Google Wallet app, like Discover had recently done

As a Canadian, my biggest interest in Google Wallet's increased adoption is geographic spread. Sure, the U.S. is the biggest market for this sort of thing and will be for the foreseeable future, but it's a big world out there, and Google has enough of a head start on mobile payments that they can get a foothold in new markets well before other smartphone platforms. 

Quick show of hands, how many of y'all are using Google Wallet now that you can drop in any credit card? Is your phone going to be replacing your real wallet any time soon, or do there still need to be more NFC terminals out there for that to be practical? 

Source: Google Commerce Blog

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2 years ago

eBay app hits version 2.0 with UI redesign

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The official eBay app for Android has just hit version 2.0, bringing a major facelift to the online auction app. When launching the new app you're greeted with a prominent search bar and My eBay, Motors and Sell an item options at the top. The rest of the front page is filled with useful items like reminders, messages, saved searches and eBay deals. The latest offering dumps legacy Menu button support and adds an overflow settings button instead, which reveals Sign in / Sign out, My eBay and a refresh button. Search has suggested entries, voice input and even barcode scanning right from the search box. There are a few other changes behind the scenes as well:

  • Find cars, trucks, motorcycles as well as compatible parts and accessories with the mobile-optimized eBay Motors experience (US only, more countries coming soon)
  • Improved My eBay list access
  • Simplified navigation throughout the app
  • View bidding history on an item
  • Add up to 12 photos when listing an item with the app
  • Users in Italy and Spain can now list items with the app
  • Payment support for Malaysia and Singapore

You can get your hands on the latest version of the app at the Google Play Store link above, and we've included a few screenshots of the new UI after the break.

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2 years ago

Intel completes Android 4.1 Jelly Bean port

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Intel has a short and shaky history of putting its chips into smartphones, one that will hopefully go a bit farther into the future now that it has completely ported Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. Intel has to go through this porting process because Android is traditionally made for ARM processors, which operate differently from Intel's. Before this port was complete, Intel devices were only capable of running either Android 2.3 or 4.0. While no one at Intel was willing to give a timetable on when current 4.0 devices will be updated to 4.1, we can hope that the process goes smoothly. Intel's "Medfield" Atom processors seem to be a pretty good option right now, but we'll see how they do in the future against the onslaught of great ARM chips out there.

We're already hearing rumors that the Motorola RAZR M will be coming to the UK with Intel inside. Motorola and Intel have also reminded us that they're taking us to the edge on September 18th. Guess we'll see what they have up their sleeves soon enough.

Source: PCWorld

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2 years ago

Chrome for Android updated with stability and security fixes

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Google Chrome for Android has been updated over Google Play, the first such update since Google's mobile browser exited beta at Google I/O back in June. There are no major feature additions in the new version 18.0.1025308, but there is a selection of fixes for "medium"-rated security issues, as well as stability fixes.

The new Chrome also seems a tad speedier on image-heavy sites like Android Central -- let us know in the comments if you're noticing the same effect.

If you're already running Chrome, head to the "My Apps" menu in the Google Play Store to grab the new update. If you're not, you can use the Google Play link above to jump straight to the latest version. Note that you still need to be on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich or 4.1 Jelly Bean to install Chrome.

Source: Google Chrome Releases

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2 years ago

Imo instant messenger updated with NFC and location sharing

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Popular instant messenger app "imo" has just received quite the useful update. Imo has added two new sharing options: NFC for profile sharing between devices -- by holding them back to back -- and location sharing between friends. As far as NFC goes, imo is supporting the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, Samsung Galaxy S III (S3), HTC One X and Nexus 7. Anyone who is using a standalone app for managing multiple chat clients is likely interested in knowing where friends are at -- and vice versa -- so its a good thing that you can now report your location, either exactly or roughly, to your friends.

It's not the biggest update ever, but these are features that we'd like to see more apps integrate. Take a look at the Google Play Store link above to download or update imo instant messenger.

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2 years ago

OfficeDrop refreshes Android app, releases tablet version

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OfficeDrop, a service -- and accompanying apps -- that helps you organize documents electronically by scanning them in via your device's camera, has released a tablet app and refreshed its Android phone app (the iOS app was refreshed as well, for those of you who use those kinds of things). The premise is simple but has plenty of potential. Whenever you have a document or something important that you'd like to keep electronic record of, you can open the OfficeDrop app and scan in the document, which is then uploaded to your account. With the latest version, document scanning has improved, with proper trimming and improved image quality. Once imported, OfficeDrop will perform OCR (optical character recognition) on the document, making it easily searchable not only by file name but by content. Documents in your account can be quickly shared thereafter in PDF form, which is convenient and platform agnostic.

Hit up the full press release after the break, and find the OfficeDrop app at the Google Play Store link above.

Source: OfficeDrop

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2 years ago

Zuckerberg admits fault in Facebook's HTML5 focus, pledges native Android app

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Over the summer, Facebook had a rocky update to its iOS app when they tried to shift everything away from HTML5. Ultimately focusing on HTML5 was a mistake, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a recent interview. He promised that we would see much better native apps (including one for Android at some point), and that mobile was going to be a huge part of the company going forward. Zuckerberg went so far as to say that Facebook is now a mobile company and that he expects mobile revenue to surpass desktop in the near future. As a side-note, Zuckerberg reiterated that no, they aren't working on making their own phone and that the strategy is still to wriggle onto every platform out there. 

How happy are you with Facebook's current Android app? What improvements need to be made? Will switching to a native framework fix everything? Which apps do you use to follow Facebook? Developers, is HTML5 a viable way to go, or is Facebook right to skip it in favor of a native app?

Source: TechCrunch

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2 years ago

Keep up with SAMCRO with the Sons of Anarchy app

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Season 5 of the critically acclaimed show Sons of Anarchy starts tonight, and many of us at Mobile Nations are super excited about it. If you're a fan of the show too, you'll definitely want to check out the Sons of Anarchy app from Fox Digital Entertainment. Though the app has been out for awhile now, it's just been updated and has a bunch of new material to explore as well as a whole new interface.

As season 5 progresses, you can access new content including production stills, alternate scenes, storyboards, trivia and more. Explore character bios and rap-sheets, and even shop for merchandise right from the app. One of the cool things about the shop, you can buy items you see your favorite characters wearing on the show! Some of the current content in the app includes Jax's rap sheet, Bobby's recipe for banana bread, an inside look at what it takes to be an SOA prospect, and a peek inside Happy's locker. With more to be added throughout the season, I am excited to keep up with the extras to tide me over each week while waiting for the next episode.

  • New content is introduced as the season progresses
  • Use 'Perspective' to navigate the SOA clubhouse using your devices gyroscope or using swipe mode
  • Access to alternate scenes and 'appisodes’
  • Explore character bio's and get rap-sheets of your favorite characters
  • Production Stills
  • Storyboards
  • Exclusive trivia from the upcoming board game
  • Factoids from the show

The Sons of Anarchy app is free to download and requires Android 2.3.3 and up.

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2 years ago

Sonar's location-based friend-finding app for Android exits beta

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Sonar, a location-based social networking app for Android and iOS, has exited beta and is now available in Google Play for free.

Although Sonar plugs into Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Foursquare to keep tabs on your existing friends, it can also be used as a discovery tool to meet new people. Users can broadcast their presence to other local Sonar users, or go black if they want to stay off the radar for awhile. All of the usual social elements are there, such as profiles, direct messages, updating statuses, and plenty more. 

Ideally, I stick with Latitude to keep up on where my friends are, but they're often scattered across multiple networks with their check-ins, plus meeting new people with similar tastes in hang-outs is always a good thing. To what extent do you guys use location-based social networking? Is Foursquare as far as you go? Do you ever actually meet anyone thanks to these networks? Is this sort of thing creepy, or the natural evolution of online socializing?

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2 years ago

Google discontinuing their pre-paid credit card from Google Wallet

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Back when Google Wallet first launched, Google also launched their own, pre-paid credit card for use with the mobile application. Then, just recently the service was opened up to allow the addition of other credit cards. Today, we're receiving emails in our inbox from Google themselves with further Wallet related news. As a result of opening up the service to other cards, the Google pre-paid card is going away. So you need to spend that money, and spend it soon.

It isn't just over, just like that, though. There are some key dates provided that run down to the discontinuation of the card. On September 17, additional funds can no longer be added to the card. Then, following behind a month later on October 17, the card will disappear completely from Google Wallet. If you still have remaining funds on there though, don't panic, you will be able to request a refund. 

One further point to note however, is that resetting the application after September 17 will also remove the card. And it can't be re-added. So, probably better to spend your money first. 

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