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3 years ago

Plants vs. Zombies 2 now live in Google Play

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It's about time — in more ways than one

There have been rumors all day of a release tomorrow during Google's Google Play even in New York (fueled by things like this) but about 45 minutes ago Plants vs. Zombies 2 has popped up in Google Play.

Having been released on iOS for a while, and with the speculation that Apple paid EA a large sum to keep it an exclusive for a while, there hasn't been much noise about the game being released on the most popular mobile platform in the world. But now that it's happened, that will change.

As it should — PvZ 2 is a fun game. It follows the footsteps of the original, with a bit of a storyline and an adventure game quest based twist. It's free, with plenty of in-app purchases to get you along, but it's very playable as-is and will be a success for Pop Cap. 

Plants vs. Zombies 2 runs on Gingerbread devices and higher, checks in at about 170MB worth of downloaded files, and you can grab it from the Google Play link above.

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3 years ago

The Sims FreePlay gets Teen update, Halloween event in full swing

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Celebrat​e Halloween with ghost hunting and obnoxious teenagers

It’s been a while since we wrote about The Sims FreePlay, Electronic Arts’ mobile version of the hit life simulation series. Even still, the game is going strong. EA has released two major updates for FreePlay in the last two months: the Teen and Mysterious Island updates. Together, they add new quests, areas to visit, loads of items, and of course teenage Sims.

We’ve put ample time in with both updates, just in time for the the Halloween Madness Event that’s lasts through October 31st. Read on for full details on the event and how The Sims FreePlay has grown!

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3 years ago

SwiftKey 4.3 beta updated with bug fixes, more layouts

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A quick heads-up for anyone using the beta version of SwiftKey 4.3 — an updated version is now available from beta.swiftkey.net. The new SwiftKey beta 4.3.0.149 adds fixes various bugs — including issues when moving between layouts and problems causing the keyboard to jump around the screen ​— while adding some new localization features. This latest version ensures the currency key matches your phone's locale, and implements ​Punjabi, Icelandic, Bulgarian, Azerbaijani, Russian Windows and Turkish keyboard layouts.

Grab the new version from the source link, or click below to check out our recent hands-on preview of SwiftKey 4.3.

More: SwiftKey 4.3 hands-on

Source: SwiftKey

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3 years ago

BlackBerry 'aware' of suspect reviews, 'working with Google to resolve this'

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Scores of positive reviews repeat the same wording in broken English

BlackBerry's launch of BBM on Android this week was marred by a rather large number — and extremely suspect — reviews left in Google Play along with its 10 million installations on Android and iOS. Apparent to anyone with a set of peepers, the reviews in question all share the same broken English and likely Indonesian origins, though the number of stars left on each review varies.

The reviews read, "Thank you so much blackberry team. I was waiting this app. Its really great user friendly and smooth"

It's still unclear whether the scores and scores of copycat reviews are a coordinated (if ridiculously obvious) effort to game the system, who, exactly, was behind it — as we all know, BlackBerry and BBM have a very ... passionate ... user base — and why the hell they didn't think anyone would notice. To leave a review on an app in Google Play, you have to have a Google+ account. So there are at least names and faces to go with the farce.

BlackBerry's Victoria Berry, director of PR for BBM, gave Android Central the following statement:

We have recently been made aware of a number of potentially fake five-star reviews of BBM for Android on Google Play. We do not approve of or condone such activities and are committed to working with Google to resolve this. There are also many genuinely great and useful reviews from our new BBM users on Google Play. We would like to encourage our passionate fans and users to continue to provide true assessments of the BBM experience through the proper channels.

So, yeah. Something's up. We still don't know exactly why, though.

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3 years ago

Chickens Can't Fly flies the coop to Android

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Save a hapless chicken from harm in this charming game

Given that Android has the largest market share of any smartphone platform, underdog competitor Windows Phone has far fewer exclusive games worth noting. Windows Phone’s precious few exclusive Xbox-branded games often jump ship to other platforms – just look at Wordament and Kinectimals.

Now Chickens Can’t Fly from British developer Amused Sloth – long considered one of the best Windows Phone exclusives – has debuted on Android as well. At $1.99, it’s quite a steal.

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3 years ago

Humble Bundle with Android 7 adds three more games to the list

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Additional DLC also included, all for a simple donation to charity

Building on the seventh iteration of its Humble Bundle with Android, three more games have just been added to the list for those who donate over the average. Adding to the four games offered for any donation — Ticket to Ride, Greed Corp, Incredipede and Anodyne — and two games that were available for an above-average donation — Worms Reloaded and The Bard's Tale — you now have access to three more:

  • Anomaly Korea
  • Broken Sword: Director’s Cut
  • Organ Trail: Director’s Cut

Humble Bundle is also including a Europe DLC for Ticket to Ride as an added bonus. You'll now lock up a total of nine games for your above-average donation to charity, which currently stands at $6.20. Humble Bundle has raised nearly $900,000 so far, and you could be a contributor as well by following the source link below.

Source: Humble Bundle

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3 years ago

BBM bests 1 million installs in its first day on Android

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We're getting our first look at the popularity of the recently released BBM for Android. Fresh out of the gate, the Google Play listing has placed the app in the 1 million to 5 million category. Those are total installations, and not "current" installs, so you've got to keep those numbers in context. Still. More than 1 million installs — and potentially as many as 5 million (we've got an e-mail in seeking more specific numbers) in a day is nothing to sneeze at.

Additionally, BBM's garnered more than 87,000 star reviews on Google Play — with the vast majority a full five stars.

A pretty big caveat, though — remember that there's a waiting list. So you can install the app, but you might not be able to use it just yet.

It's also worth keeping in mind that BBM doesn't work on nearly 30 percent of existing Android phones. BBM runs on Android 4.x, which as of the beginning of October made up 69 percent of active devices, according to the Android platform versions chart.

But either way, it's pretty damned impressive for BlackBerry — and for what many of us consider a dying platform.

Update: BlackBerry has made it official — more than 10 million installs on iOS and Android. We don't get any more of a breakdown than that, but BBM's already climbing the charts.

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3 years ago

Every podcast we've ever done — all in the Android Central app!

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We're suckers for nostalgia. And so today we're taking a look back at our 156 episodes (not counting a few special editions, mind you) of the Android Central Podcast!

And the easiest way to listen has got to be the official Android Central App! You can download or stream, right on your phone, at your leisure. 

It's a gas to listen to those early episodes. Give 'em a go if you've only recently joined us. And thanks for listening!

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3 years ago

SwiftKey keyboard half-price for one day only

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SwiftKey celebrates five years of Android phones with 50 percent off deal

Popular third-party keyboard SwiftKey can be had for half the usual price today, in celebration of five years since the first Android phone, the T-Mobile G1, launched in the U.S. That means depending on your location, you can pick up one of the best aftermarket keyboards out there for $1.99, £1.49 or €1.99.

SwiftKey's also pushing ahead with the next major version of the app, which adds more keyboard layouts for easier operation on tablets and larger smartphones. Check out our hands-on preview at the link below.

Also see: Hands-on with SwiftKey 4.3 beta

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3 years ago

New version of Google Play Store app pushing out, brings pull-out menu and little else

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No secret KitKat changes came with today's Google Play store update

You may have noticed a new look in your Google Play app this evening, as the 4.4 update is rolling out to users. There's not a lot to talk about with changes, because the only thing we're able to see different is the new hamburger menu is now implemented in the app, leading to a more consistent feel across Google's closed and proprietary applications.

This does affect users who still have a menu button on their device, as now instead of opening the overflow the menu button only opens a window with a "settings" and "help" entry, while the rest of the shortcuts are in the drawer. Other than that, it's the same Play store app you're used to, with the same wish list screen, my apps pages, and shopping menu as always.

If you haven't received the update, there are a couple things you can try. There are (as always) mirrors floating around out there, but if you're not keen on trusting a file that updates a system app when you don;t know where ti comes from, we found a few ways that ended up forcing the updates here.

  • Just reboot. That's how Andrew was able to get the update pushed to him.
  • Uninstall updates for Google play in settings > applications. This worked for Alex.
  • Clear cache and data for Google Services Framework in your settings, then reboot (advanced). This is what I had to do.

Or just wait it out, because you're not really missing anything except a cleaner app navigation system. We've got a handful of screenshots after the break.

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3 years ago

BBM has an annoying persistent notification — but you might not want to turn it off

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That persistent icon is there for a very good reason, and it's not going to get 'fixed' any time soon

One of the biggest gripes from people who tried BBM during the original failed launch was that you had to live with a persistent notification in your status bar. BlackBerry responded with a setting in the beta version — which found its way into today's actual launch — that allows you to turn off that nagging notification in your status bar.

But you probably want to leave it alone — if you actually want to get messages, that is.

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3 years ago

AT&T U-verse opens up over 100 live TV channels to Android users

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Just 20 channels available for streaming when outside your home network, however

Building on the announcement earlier this month that it would be bringing live TV streaming to mobile devices, AT&T U-verse has just announced that Android users now have access to over 100 channels in its app. The service lets U-verse TV subscribers authenticate within its app on either a phone or tablet and have access to live TV along with On Demand programming and the ability to manage your DVR remotely.

There is a caveat, however. The quoted 100 live TV channels are only available when streaming on your home network, and the number of available channels dips to about 20 when you're out-and-about. We can likely blame this on media rights holders, but it still stinks to see such a pared-down offering out of the house where you're most likely to take advantage of such a service.

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3 years ago

A reminder: BBM only works on one device at a time

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It's 2013, the era of the cloud. But for whatever reason — it really doesn't matter why — BlackBerry's still stuck in a one-device frame of mind.

We live in a world of multiple screens. Some of us use more than one phone. More likely, however, is the combination of using a phone and a tablet. Being able to access your data anywhere is the crux of everything Google — and therefore Android — does. Apple's stumbled with iCloud, but damned if it's not trying. And for all its faults in the past, even Microsoft had this one figured out long ago with its "Three screens and the cloud" strategy

And then there's BlackBerry. BBM — BlackBerry Messenger — is finally available for iOS and Android. Sort of. You can download the app, then get on a waiting list, as BlackBerry's ramping things up slowly. But know this: You can only use one BBM ID on one device at a time. One ID, one phone. Or one tablet. 

And not at all (yet — it's coming) on a desktop or laptop computer.

Anyhoo. This isn't a surprise to anyone who's used BBM before. (Or the popular WhatsApp, for that matter.) But for those of us used to accessing our conversations on any connected device, it's a bit of a shock.

And it's really not how things work in 2013. 

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3 years ago

Official BBM how-to videos show the ropes to new users

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Got BBM on Android? Here are the basics.

BBM is starting to get (kinda-sorta) rolled out today on Android, and to get folks acclimatized, BlackBerry has posted a few how-to videos on their YouTube channel. Videos show how to manage groups, how read/delivered receipts work, handling multi-person chat, checking status updates, sharing files, and adding contacts.

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3 years ago

BBM for Android finally here today ... later ... eventually ... NOW!

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Some will be waitlisted when app is available this afternoon

Update: OK, folks. The app is (mostly) live. Go ahead and get on the list.

OK, folks. Here's the deal. BBM for Android — that's BlackBerry's proprietary messaging system — is finally going to be publicly available later today, BlackBerry announced in a blog post.

Only, things aren't quite that simple.

Here's the deal: BlackBerry is going to release it in Google Play and in Samsung's own app store in a few select locations. (Yes, Samsung has its own app store.) If you've already registered with BlackBerry somehow, you'll be good to go and BBM should work. If you've yet to sign up, you'll be able to today — and you'll be placed in waiting list. No telling how long that list will be.

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