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2 years ago

WWE launches first app, includes live second-screen experience for Monday Night Raw

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Wrestling fans, WWE has launched their first official app on Android today and is available in Google Play for free. For something about spandex-clad dudes pretending to beat the snot out of one another, there's actually a lot to the app.

There's a breaking news section for the latest updates in the ridiculous world of pro wrestling. There's also a ton of recent and archived wrestling videos available to stream. Wrestlers, divas, and legends all have their own bios, complete with biographies, milestones, photos, and links to their Twitter and Facebook pages. There's a full event schedule too if you want to buy tickets for the next time WWE comes to town, as well as a store to get kitted out with wrestling swag. For those that are really gung-ho about WWE, there's a bunch of community tools so you can talk shop in the forums from the app. 

The biggest thing the WWE app is offering is something called RAWactive, which allows fans to participate in live polls and get additional contextual information while Monday Night Raw is on. 

Any wrestling fans out there itching to catch up what's happening in WWE? I've got to admit to being a little inerested in checking out some of the classic videos. Yokozuna vs. Undertaker casket match really stands out for some reason, but what's your favorite wrestling moment of all time?

Via: TechCrunch

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2 years ago

Wikitude update adds image recognition, enables quick exchange rate checking

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Wikitude has updated their augmented reality platform to version 7.5 with tools for image recognition. To demo the new capabilities, they've added a feature to their app that can scan money and provide immediate information on exchange rates for the currency you're looking at. Wikitude 7.5 has a handful of other features for developers as well. 

  • HTML Drawables: it is easier to create complex visualizations of AR objects
  • Relative locations make it more comfortable to create AR content relative to the users location
  • A fully customizable AR radar
  • Sprite Animations, 3D Transformations and Animation Groups allow complex types of animations
  • Extension for Qualcomm Vuforia SDK for Image Recognition
  • Performance optimizations and bug fixes

I don't see Wikitude replacing Google Goggles any time soon, but image recognition and augmented reality are two features that really go hand-in-hand with one another, and if Wikitude can enable developers to explore both of those capabilities at once, then I'm all for it. Developers interested in trying out some of the new augmented reality tools can find the updated Wikitude SDK over here

How often do you use augmented reality apps compared to anything with image recognition? What's your most common use case for either one?

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2 years ago

Dead Trigger update adds new arenas, missions, weapons and more

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​Dead Trigger for Android has just been updated to version 1.5 with a whole lot of fresh content, including two new arenas (stadium of dead and deadly corridors), a new alien gun weapon, a laser turret and mini-morter, and a whole bunch of fresh tweaks. Here's the full changelog. 

  • 2 new Arenas: STADIUM OF DEAD & DEADLY CORRIDORS
  • Reward for everyone who had purchased DEAD TRIGGER before the game became for free (ALIEN GUN, 25 GOLD, 10 CASINO CHIPS)
  • New story missions
  • New weapon: ALIEN GUN
  • New items: LASER TURRET & MINI-MORTAR
  • Improved gameplay of protect objects missions, players can repair damaged objects now
  • New tutorial for beginners
  • Improved MINIGUN and COLT-M4
  • Increased reward in the Arenas (Players can also win CASINO CHIPS)
  • More chance to win at the Casino (including items)
  • Auto-aim works better when more enemies nearby
  • Better ammo drops for everyone who use more than one weapon

This a beefy update to an already gorgeous game. Shortly after launch, this zombie shooter went free-to-play, making  their in-game currency buyable through in-app purchases, as well as adding a premium currency. it's a formula that has worked for a lot of developers, and with a game as polished as this getting such regular updates, I'm sure it'll do well for a long time to come. 

How much time have you guys pored into Dead Trigger? What's your favorite weapon?

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2 years ago

Sony begins Android 4.0 updates for Xperia P

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Sony Mobile has announced that it’s commencing the next phase of its Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update roll-out for 2012 Xperia phones, starting with the Xperia P. ICS updates for the aluminum-shelled handset will start today, and continue “in the next few weeks in markets globally,” the manufacturer said on its official product blog.

The update will give the Xperia P a much needed bump up from the earlier Gingerbread-based firmware, and Sony’s offers a fairly substantial list of new features fro Xperia P owners in the new software --

  • New ways to experience your media with new media applications – “WALKMAN”, “Album” and “Movies”
  • Extended standby mode, increasing standby time by up to four times (depending on user-profile and data consumption)
  • Lock screen with improved functionality
  • Resizable widgets for improved personalization
  • Improved control of your mobile data consumption
  • Recent Apps button for a clear overview of your applications

As is always the case, some territories may get this update before others, and Sony points out that “in some cases” the ICS upgrade may only be available through its PC Companion app, rather than on the phone as an over-the-air update.

Looking ahead, Sony says the next phones due for ICS upgrades will be Xperias U, Sola and Go, promising updates “shortly.”

Source: Sony Xperia Product Blog

More: Sony Xperia P review

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2 years ago

Sky Sports TV released on Android, supporting few phones and no Jelly Bean

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We shouldn't be at all surprised by the lack of supported devices for this, after all, it's happened before with Sky. But, in any case, the Sky Sports TV app is now available in Google Play just in time for the start of the English Premier League season. An active Sky subscription isn't required to use it, Sky customers can already view the channels through the Sky Go app should their subscription allow. You do need to be in the UK or ROI though. Figures.

Instead, subscription for the application is set at £4.99 / €5.49 with no annual contract, and payments are directed through your Google Play account. Pretty reasonable, especially if you've an unlimited data plan to really put it to use with. 8 Sky Sports channels are included; Sky Sports 1-4, Sky Sports News, Sky News, ESPN, At The Races, and their new Sky Sports F1 channel. On the face of it, sounds like a really good offering. 

Then you look at device support, and as with the Sky Go launch, this is where it starts to go downhill. The list of supported devices isn't too depressing, but still omits the latest and greatest Android phone in the UK right now -- the Samsung Galaxy S3. Another issue is Jelly Bean compatibility. While the Samsung Galaxy Nexus is a supported device, Jelly Bean is not supported. And it force closes. In the UK, there is only the GSM Galaxy Nexus, which it's safe to say the vast majority of owners have now upgraded to Jelly Bean. Madness. 

The full list reads as follows: 

  • HTC Desire, HTC Desire S, HTC Desire HD, HTC Incredible, HTC Sensation, HTC Sensation XE, Galaxy Nexus, Samsung Galaxy S, Samsung Galaxy S II and Samsung Galaxy Note.

The Galaxy Note is a welcome addition, with that massive screen it's a match made in heaven. Just don't upgrade it to Jelly Bean if anything shows up any time soon. Oh, and if you're rooted, sorry. Right out of luck. For rights reasons the app will not work on rooted devices. 

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2 years ago

Google Voice Search adds 13 new languages

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International Voice Search users rejoice! Google's ever-evolving search service has been updated to add another 13 languages, bringing the total to an incredible 42 languages supported. The list of new languages should make a lot of European Android users happy. It includes Basque, Bulgarian, Catalan, European Portuguese, Finnish, Glacian, Hungarian, Icelandic, Norwegian, Romanian, Serbian, Slovak and Swedish.

With this update, Google claims another 100 million people will be able to use the service in their native tongue. Voice Search can only get more accurate over time with additional users, as Google uses the search queries to improve the service. This is simply a cloud-side update, which means that no additional action should be required to start using the new languages -- outside of possibly changing the device's default language.

Source: Official Google Blog

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2 years ago

Bank of America update adds mobile check deposit

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Bank of America has finally updated its Android app to include a couple features that iOS users, as well as Android users with other banks (all the way back in late 2010, we might add), have enjoyed for a while now. The app has generally had a good and usable UI, but has lacked both mobile check deposits and notifications. We're happy to report that both of these features are now available and ready for download in the form of an update from the Play Store. Unfortunately, the tablet version of the app has yet to be updated with the same features.

Additional functionality is nice, but what we would really like to see is Bank of America choosing to follow Android style guidelines and remove the legacy menu button from the app. There's really no reason, almost a year after the release of Android 4.0, for any developer -- let alone one of this size -- to keep coding their app without an action bar and overflow settings button.

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2 years ago

Twitter bringing changes to API access that's bound to affect Android developers

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Twitter has announced that they will be bringing some pretty big changes in version 1.1 of their API, and these changes are something that will affect just about every third-party Twitter client . In a post today on the official Twitter blog, they explain things a bit, but there's really three major changes:

  • authentication is now required on every API endpoint
  • there's a new per-endpoint rate-limiting methodology
  • changes to our Developer Rules of the Road, especially around applications that are traditional Twitter clients

The first two deal with how often third-party applications can query Twitter, and whether they can do it anonymously. Come March 2013, all developers are going to have to use something like OAuth when making API requests, instead of the current methods that allow an anonymous grab of things like Tweets on a current trend, or with a certain string of text embedded. This really only affects scrapers and aggregators, so it's not that big of a deal for app developers. The rate-limiting will adjust how often apps can use the API, which currently sits at 350 times per hour. With the new changes, different types of API calls will have different limits. The example limits given by Twitter have 60 calls per hour, per endpoint listed. That means that you can send 60 Tweets, look at 60 user profiles, and refresh 60 times in an hour. These changes will be live in "the coming weeks". On the surface, these changes make sense, and developers should be able to work with them in most cases.

The last change is the big one. Twitter is tightening the rules for unofficial clients, in ways that isn't likely to go over very well with developers. The three "Rules of the Road" changes they have highlighted are new display requirements, pre-installed mobile applications must be approved by Twitter, and requiring developers with a large amount of users to work directly with Twitter. The new display requirements dictate how Twitter apps will look and feel, and cover things like @ links and re-tweet formats. The approval of pre-installed apps means folks like Samsung and HTC who build Twitter into their software will have to get approval if they continue to bundle in the service. If developers ship a product without this approval, Twitter may revoke the applications use of the API. The last portion, which affect popular clients like Plume, spells out that apps with more than 100,000 users will have to work with Twitter. This isn't immediate, as apps that currently have more than 100,000 users will be allowed to grow another 200-percent before they will get limited functionality from the API. 

At a quick glance, none of these changes seem too drastic. But the real stickler will be what Twitter will and will not approve. Twitter has been accused of not playing fair in the past, even leading to a probe from the FTC. Developers and Twitter power-users are rightfully concerned, as most of the third-party applications both on iOS and Android offer more than the official clients do. We can't say for sure that these changes will be a bad thing until we see them, but there's certainly plenty of ways things could go wrong. The Internet will be watching to see how this all plays out.

Source: Twitter

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2 years ago

Trainyard review - when painting trains gets confusing

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The free version of Trainyard was recently launched on Android, which was our queue to get up close and personal with the full version. The premise of laying down tracks so trains can get to their destinations seems easy enough, until you start factoring in switches for overlapping tracks, merging trains into single entities, and crossing them over one another to change their color.

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2 years ago

Pinterest for Android review - mobile scrapbooking for fashion enthusiasts

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Pinterest finally launched an Android app, offering all of the scrapbooking appeal of the growingly popular social network in a mobile format. Right off the bat, it’s clear that the Pinterest guys took their time and made sure that experience was as smooth and reliable as the web version.

Just like the site, users can browse through boards of items surrounding themes they’re interested in, post pins to their own boards, repin items from others, leave comments and likes on specific items, and share pins out to other social networks.

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2 years ago

Instagram 3.0 adds photo maps, new profile pages and speed

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If you've been itching for a new Instagram update, your wish has been granted. Instagram 3.0 has now landed in the Google Play Store and it brings along plenty of changes. A new feature called photo maps allows you to showcase where you’ve taken your photos and check out where others have taken photos. In addition to that, new profile page changes are in effect and various other bits within the app have changed as well. Nothing drastic but it cleans the app up nicely.

Finally, the most welcome change for me and likely others -- speed. Instagram has been updated to allow for faster, endless scrolling and overall browsing of the app has picked up the pace. Users should notice less jerkiness in the app and images loading relatively faster. Instagram has dropped a new video highlighting the changes; you'll find it down below if you're looking for a walkthrough. Otherwise, go ahead and fire up the Google Play Store and get to downloading Instagram 3.0.

Source: Instagram

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2 years ago

Google Wallet users can now save their Discover card

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If you've got a Discover card and want to get in on the Google Wallet action, you'll be happy to hear that you can now save your card for easy access on your Android device. Just head on over to the Discover page to link your card, and before you know it, you'll be tapping, paying, and earning rewards from your phone. This is the first public partnership to use the Save to Wallet API, which helps keep rewards consistent, plus the Discover card shows up nice and identifiably within the app. 

I'm in Canada, so Discover cards and Google Wallet are both entirely foreign things to me, but gawrsh, do they sound exciting. How many of you guys have been using Google Wallet since the update earlier this month that allowed users to add whatever credit card they wanted? Are there a lot of stores in your area that support it?

Source: Google Commerce

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2 years ago

Ubi plug-mounted Android device gives your phone eyes and ears in the home

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A Kickstarter project out of Toronto called Ubi recently reached its funding goal for a tiny Android-powered computer that plugs directly into a power socket. It's riddled with sensors and hooks up to the local Wi-Fi network so it can push out notifications to your phone about the room's conditions - lights, temperature, sound, movement... Even humidity. It's got a full-sized USB and headphone jack and RF and Bluetooth capabilities for added connectivity. There's an LED light on the back plus speakers so the Ubi can do some communicating of its own, plus a decent amount of horsepower under the hood to keep things running (800 MHz processor, 1 GB of RAM). The unit itself will ship with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and is going to have its own app ecosystem with a handful launching with the device.

  • Voice-enabled Internet search
  • Speakerphone
  • Indicator light (light changing based on events, e.g. weather, stock, email)
  • Home speaker system with sound piping
  • Virtual assistant (audio calendar, feed reader, podcast etc)
  • Voice memos
  • Alarm clock
  • Intercom system
  • Baby monitor
  • Noise pollution monitor
  • Controlling the climate of your home perfectly (through web enabled thermostats like Nest) 

It's a pretty sweet little device by the looks of things. In some ways, I prefer Belkin's Wemo, since it has the ability to power on or off home appliances within a wide range of criteria, but maybe these two home accessories could work in tandem (especially if Ubi has support for IFTT). The main use case here is going to be making voice-activated web searches without even having to pick up your phone, but no doubt developers are going to find all sorts of other fun things to do with the Ubi. 

The funding campaign is ongoing, so if you want your own unit, you'll need to pitch in $189. They should be hitting retail in early 2013 for $199. Who's biting?

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2 years ago

ESPN Goals updated with soccer video streams

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ESPN UK announced an update to their Goals app for Android with a bunch of new features for soccer football fans. Here's a run-down of the major changes. 

  • Fans can watch video from selected ESPN studio-based programming, such as its pre- and post-match studio analysis around its live televised football coverage, and video previews of upcoming matches featuring ESPN’s line-up of football experts.
  • Introducing in-app social media functionality: video highlights can be shared with other ESPN Goals users and friends who do not have the app
  • Enhanced video quality and design across all platforms: a new club personalisation tab allowing fans to track all videos, fixtures, news and scores around their clubs
  • Goal and video alerts including half time, full time and weekend round-up clips
  • Key season stats – top scorers, assists and discipline
  • New Android version plus widget on home screen displaying live information when games are on

They also announced another Android app to go along with their new ESPNFC brand, though details on that are a bit skimpier.  Anyone in the UK will be able to download the latest version of ESPN at the Google Play link above. Any football fans in the house? Which apps do you use to keep tabs on the latest matches? 

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2 years ago

Dunkin' Donuts goes mobile with the release of payment and gifting app

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The daily grind can be tough on some folks. For that there is coffee. Mass amounts of coffee. Looking to keep up with competitors such as the infamous Starbucks, Dunkin' Donuts has now gone ahead and launched a new app that will help caffeine deprived individuals get their fix a little bit faster. It's a combination app that allows you to process payments, send virtual gift cards, look up store locations and finally, check out the menu and nutritional facts.

  • Purchase, manage, and reload a Dunkin’ Donuts Card: Guests can purchase a new mobile Dunkin’ Donuts Card (selecting from multiple designs for many occasions), add money to an existing card, and view all previous card transactions. The Dunkin’ Mobile App supports American Express, Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and PayPal.
  • Pay right from the app using a virtual Dunkin’ Donuts Card: Guests can purchase Dunkin’ Donuts products with the Dunkin’ App by simply tapping the mobile Dunkin’ Donuts Card and presenting the screen to the crew member to be scanned. Balances are updated immediately after purchase.
  • Send an mGift: Dunkin’ Donuts Cards can be sent to friends, family, or colleagues via email, text, or Facebook. Dunkin’ Donuts is now the only national coffee retailer to offer people all of these options for sending an mGift. Dunkin’ Donuts Cards can be sent in denominations between $2 and $100.
  • Locate the nearest Dunkin’ Donuts: A detailed restaurant locator makes it easy to find directions to and information about local Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants, including store hours, in-store Wi-Fi, drive-thru availability, and more.
  • Find nutritional information: The Dunkin’ App makes nutritional facts available for guests’ favorite Dunkin’ Donuts menu items.
  • Link to Dunkin’ Donuts’ social media communities: Dunkin' Donuts is actively engaged within leading social media channels, with more than 6.8 million Facebook fans and 160,000 Twitter followers. Easy links to “Like” Dunkin’ Donuts on Facebook or follow @DunkinDonuts on Twitter can be found in the “Social” section of the Dunkin’ App.

The app is available in the Google Play Store right now, though it does seem as though it's only available for folks in the U.S. and it doesn't appear to be compatible with any Android tablets. If you prefer Dunkin' over Starbucks, it might be worth checking out.

Source: Dunkin' Donuts via: CIO

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