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3 years ago

Dayframe comes out of beta, makes an already great slideshow app even better with KitKat support

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Paid 'prime' features expected before Thanksgiving

If you're a fan of great imagery — be it digital or traditional photography — and want to show it off on your Android device, don't bother reading any further. Just click the download link. Dayframe is that good.

The Dayframe app, from Cloud.tv, has just come out of public beta testing. And what was already an excellent slide show/photo frame app has been made even better with a quick update for Android 4.4 KitKat, which throws a more immersive display into the mix. We're talking full-frame photos, folks — the way they truly should be for an app of this sort.

The gist, if you're just joining us, is this: Dayframe displays images from any of a number of sources, including:

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Tumblr
  • Flickr
  • Dropbox
  • 500px
  • Google+
  • Twitter
  • Local photos from your device

Not a bad list. Actually, it's a damn good list. It'll show your photos, your friends' photos, strangers' photos — anyone you tell it to that it can access. 

And you can't beat the price of the app — free.

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3 years ago

BBC iPlayer Radio app updated with Playlister feature

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Regular iPlayer app also updated with KitKat fixes

The BBC has updated its iPlayer Radio app for Android with support for the Playlister feature. When listening to any BBC radio broadcast through the app, users can tap the "plus" icon to add the current track to their own custom playlist, which is saved to their BBC ID account. Playlists can later be exported to music services such as Deezer, Spotify and YouTube, and Playlister also allows listeners to discover new music by following BBC presenters' playlists.

The update is rolling out through Google Play today, and in related news the regular BBC iPlayer app has also been updated with compatibility fixes for the new Android 4.4 KitKat.

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3 years ago

Samsung's Pen.UP is a great social network for people who love to create digital art

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Whether you're sharing or just looking, Pen.UP is filled with great art from people just like you and me

The folks at Samsung love the S Pen on the Note series. If you've tried one, you can probably understand. It;s not a stylus, it an integral part of the device that can do some pretty wonderful things — including create some excellent digital art. 

To showcase all this great work, Samsung has set up a unique social network that features original work from people just like you and me. Open to folks with a Samsung Note 10.1, Samsung Note 8, Samsung Note 3, Samsung Note 2, Samsung Galaxy S4 and Samsung Galaxy S3, Pen.Up is a lot like Instagram for the pictures you draw instead of the pictures you take with a camera. It's a great idea, and it's filled with some of the best artwork from creative Android users you'll find anywhere.

It's also feature-rich. You can follow people, comment on their posts, even favorite their work to show how much you like it. Of course, they can do the same to you. Hashtags are supported (which is going to be important right very shortly — stay tuned) to make for easy sorting and searching, and built-in categories let you find just the sort of thing you're looking for. Submitting your own content is easy, but even if you're not artistic it's still a great place to find some really cool pictures.

I'm just getting settled into Pen.UP (we've been a little busy here at AC the past few weeks), but I'm really liking what I see. This is something I'll stay interested in, both by just looking as well as posting my own drawings from time to time. We've got a full walkthrough after the break to help explain it all a little better, and if the Pen.UP app isn't already installed on your Samsung device, you can grab it at the Google Play link above. 

I'll see you there, look for gbhil!

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3 years ago

Apps of the Week: Smart Voice Recorder, Meltdown, Rayman Fiesta Run and more!

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A healthy selection of app picks to check out this week

It's Saturday, and along with all of the other great things that come with the weekend we have the Apps of the Week column for you to enjoy. We take up this time slot every week to show off a collection of apps from the Android Central writers, each one showing off an app they've been using in the last week.

This week's collection is primarily made up of some great games, with a few different tools and other apps thrown in for good measure. Read along after the break and take a look at what we've picked out this week, you may just find an app or two that suit you as well.

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3 years ago

Quickoffice update brings closer integration with Google Drive

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Google purchased Quickoffice over the summer, but the popular productivity app isn't being put out to pasture just yet. In fact, Google's just given it an update that brings more integration into Google's own productivity suite, Google Drive.

With this update, when you have both GDrive and Quickoffice installed on one device — hardly out of the realm of possibility given that Quickoffice is a preload on many devices — Docs, Sheets and Slides (as in word, spreadsheets and presentations) will open up in Google Drive.

So the merging continues. We'll see how long it is before the Quickoffice name gets merged as well.

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3 years ago

Delta Air Lines app updated for Android 4.4 KitKat fixes, throws in UI tweaks for free

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A quick heads up for those of you who spend too much time in the air — or just enough to warrant having this app, anyway. Delta Air Lines has updated its aptly named Fly Delta app for Android 4.4 compatibility issues as well as some unnamed bugfixes. (Could be a placebo effect, but it almost seems a little faster, too.)

In addition, Detla's thrown in a small UI tweak — gone is the darker blue gradient, replaced by a different, flatter shade a blue. The legacy overflow menu button is still there, however — it'd be great to see that go. Otherwise, same old Delta app, though you can now use it from takeoff to landing.

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3 years ago

WatchESPN receives dramatic update with new interface and features

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On-demand highlights and news available even without cable subscription

What some would call a long-overdue update to the WatchESPN app has finally arrived, and it seems to have been worth the wait. While the previous version was certainly functional, it was far from attractive or a joy to use. The new version takes things to the next level, with a completely redesigned interface. You now have a new main interface with simple lists and sliding tabs to choose between live TV and other on-demand programming, as well as a new slide-in drawer.

You'll use that left drawer to switch between content on specific sports or channels, separated first by "featured" and then alphabetically and by channel. Streaming seems to kick in faster in our experience, and the app even properly hides all navigation elements to put the video in completely full screen on the Nexus 5 — a nice touch.

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3 years ago

Kingdom Conquest II now features classic Sega characters

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Altered Beast and Golden Axe characters return for a SEGA 25 year anniversary cameo

Sega’s Kingdom Conquest games are well-liked for their mixtures of action, strategy, and MMO gameplay.  The latest entry: Kingdom Conquest II features a variety of gameplay styles all thrown into a pot and cooked together. One of those styles involves collecting monster cards to send into battle against monsters in neighboring lands.

In celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis videogame console, SEGA has just released monster cards based on its classic franchises into Kingdom Conquest II. The special cards feature artwork and characters from Altered Beast and Golden Axe, two arcade hits.

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3 years ago

[Updated] Feedly backs off transition to Google+

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Twitter, Facebook and Wordpress login options also in testing

Updated 9:49 a.m.: Whoa. Feedly has announced that it's in fact not going to force users to Google+ and will keep traditional Google login. Here's its official update:

The fact that this changing is forcing users to create a Google+ profile and that Google+ is not available in some companies and on some Google Apps domains outweighs the benefit of being about to login more seamlessly across devices. So we are going to rollback this change later this afternoon - Friday 1:00pm PST. We will try to make it optional in the future for some users who like Google+. Thanks for the feedback.

Original post follows:

With the death of Google Reader earlier this year, Feedly emerged as one of the major players in RSS, and since its inception it's been using Google's OAuth authentication service to sign in users. With the gradual shift towards Google+ sign-in across Google properties however, Feedly is following suit and introducing G+ sign-in. The transition will take place "this week" on the web and "later this month" through the Feedly Android and iOS apps.

The move to Google+ sign in, Feedly says, allows for easier sign-in on mobile devices and opens up more sharing possibilities, on which it promises to divulge more over the next couple of weeks.

But if Google+ isn't for you, Feedly is also testing Twitter, Facebook and Wordpress login options, with the aim of rolling them out over the next seven weeks.

Source: Feedly Blog

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3 years ago

The Galaxy Note 3 Experience app shows you what using a Note is all about

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Get a deeper look into the many features of Samsung's latest Note

Ever been curious about using a Note device, but never given one a try? Well Samsung is hoping that an app in the Play Store called the Galaxy Note 3 Experience will help you discover all of its great features. You get a chance to watch some promo videos, and live interactive full-screen tutorials showing how features work on the Note 3 on whatever device you currently use.

Things like Air Command, Multi Window, Scrapbook and more are all on display, and they actually look pretty good considering that everything is just running in an app. You can also see how interactions work between the Galaxy Note 3 and the Galaxy Gear, although that implementation is a little clunky to our eyes.

The app also does you some good even if you already have made the choice to go with a Note 3. If you install it on your device, you'll get tutorials on all of the great features at your disposal that you may not have discovered on your own. If you're at all curious about the Note 3, you may want to take a look.

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3 years ago

Hangouts 2.0 now rolling out with SMS support

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New version lets you use Google's IM app to send and receive texts

As promised at last week's Google+ event, the new version of Hangouts capable of sending and receiving text messages is now rolling out through Google Play. The update to brings things up to speed with the version of Hangouts on the Nexus 5, which is the default SMS app on that device. When you first load up the updated Hangouts you'll be presented with a fullscreen message asking if you want to enable SMS support — tap yes and your messages are imported into the app, and you'll receive future SMS notifications through Hangouts instead of your preloaded SMS app. Tap "Maybe later" and things will stay as they are.

For the most part, the texting experience through Hangouts 2.0 on any other device is the same as it is on the Nexus 5 — SMS conversations are shown in a list alongside your other, and you can choose whether you want to communicate over Hangouts or SMS when starting a new conversation. Want out? At any point you can go to Settings > SMS > Turn on SMS to enable or disable SMS in Hangouts.

The update also adds animated GIF support and a new location-sharing button, which you can tap to tell contacts where you are.

As usual the update is being rolled out gradually across the Android user base, so don't be surprised if you don't see it immediately. If you're updating today, be sure to hit the comments and let us know whether you're opting into SMS in Hangouts or not.

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3 years ago

Google Keyboard update brings KitKat features, drops the holo blue

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A little KitKat style on any device running ICS or above

The Google Keyboard is getting a nice update that brings it right up to speed with the latest KitKat features and styling, offering what was only available on the Nexus 5 for a few days. Now any device running Android 4.0 or above will see the newer black and grey look (no more holo blue here), along with a few new features. First up, the long-press menus have been revised and you now access emoji rather than just basic smilies if your phone supports it.

The update also adds "space-aware gesture typing," which is just a fancy way of saying you can swipe over the space bar rather than lifting your finger between words. You'll also see a better punctuation layout across phones and tablets of different sizes, making the best use of the real estate at hand.

You can grab an update to the latest Google Keyboard and get a taste of KitKat on your own device at the Play Store link above.

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3 years ago

Rayman Fiesta Run now available on Android

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New platformer arrives today on Google Play and Amazon Appstore

Platform veteran Rayman returns to mobile today with the launch of Rayman Fiesta Run, a new running game that follows on from last year's Rayman Junge Run. Like that title, Fiesta Run features fast-paced platforming across a range of colorful worlds, with a total 76 individual levels. The concept isn't new — run around cartoon worlds tapping the screen to jump, collecting glowing critters as you go. But Rayman Fiesta Run seems nicely polished, with slick visuals and new ways to play including "invasion mode," which can be unlocked by beating stages, and three boss battles to contend with.

Rayman Jungle Run is available now on Google Play and the Amazon Appstore, priced at $2.99 in the U.S. and £1.99 in the UK. For the price, it's definitely worth a look if you're a platformer fan. The game is also available on iOS from today.

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3 years ago

Google Text-to-Speech now on Google Play, update rolling out

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New version adds Korean support

As part of Google's ongoing effort to spin off certain software features into Google Play for easier updating, the company has today launched the Google Text-to-Speech engine as a standalone app on the Play Store. The will push out automatically to those using an older version (not you, Nexus 5 owners, you're already up-to-date out of the box). If you install it on a device that doesn't have it already, it'll appear as an option alongside whichever manufacturer-loaded text-to-speech service is currently in use.

The only major change we're seeing compared to the older pre-loaded version is the addition of Korean as a supported language. However the ability to update text-to-speech without requiring an OS upgrade presents the possibility of Google introducing more advanced TTS features through future app updates.

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3 years ago

Gallery and Photos: Why does the Nexus 5 have two ways to handle images?

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You'll likely be using two apps to manage your pictures on Android 4.4

If you're lucky enough to have picked up a Nexus 5 this week, you may be puzzled by two of the apps on your new phone. Not necessarily by the apps themselves, but rather the existence of both at once on one phone — Photos and Gallery. Two pre-installed apps that have many overlapping functions between them. You can tap either one to get to your photos, and in either case you'll have access to your automatically backed-up Google+ photos as well.

So why does the Nexus 5 have both a "traditional" Gallery app and this new Photos app at the same time? There are a few reasons. Let's dig into this somewhat bothersome phenomenon after the break.

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