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3 years ago

There are now more than 40 million Vine users

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Vine is a six-second success story with over 40 million users

Twitter's Vine app — available for Android, the Kindle, and iOS now has over 40 million users says the company's official Twitter account.

We've said this before and we'll say it again: this community - now more than 40 million of you - is amazing. Thank you for inspiring us.

That's a lot of six-second videographers, and we're pretty sure nobody is happier about it than Twitter. Part of the reason for Vine's success is that they keep improving their app. Since it's arrival for Android in June, we've seen additions like front-facing camera support, push notifications and better Facebook integration. Users love it when the things they like get even better.

If you haven't tried Vine yet, click the Google Play link above and join the over 40 million folks using it.

Source: @vineapp

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3 years ago

Google+ Photo app now available for all Chromebooks

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The Google+ Photos app we saw Google release last June for the Pixel is now available for all Chromebooks

The Google+ Photos app was always able to be installed and "hacked" to work for Chromebooks and computers that weren't the Pixel, but now you can officially load it up and run it on all Chromebooks. The application allows for easy sharing photos from your Chromebook, and is a great front-end for viewing and sorting out your Google+ photo collection. It even starts up when you insert an SD card with pictures into your Chromebook.

Installation is easy, you just click and install from the Chrome Web Store. If you have a large collection of photos on Google+. or plan to build one, and use a Chromebook you will want to give this one a look.

Source: The official Google+ account

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3 years ago

Google Maps and Waze updated with crossover features

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Maps gets Waze incident reports; Waze gets Google Search, Street View in map editor

Following Google's acquisition of Waze back in June, we're starting to see the first signs of cross-pollination between Google's Maps and the collaborative navigation app. From today, Waze-reported incidents are starting to appear in Google Maps on mobile, and Waze users can also benefit from new Google features in their app.

Accidents, construction, road closures and other incidents reported by Waze are appearing in Google Maps for Android and iOS in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, France, Germany, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Switzerland, UK and the U.S.

Wazers are also getting a couple of new features from Google. Google Search will be added to the Android and iOS versions of the Waze app, and the Waze map editor now includes Google Street View data.

It's likely we'll see more co-operation between the Waze and Maps teams as time goes on, however at the time of the acquisition Google made it clear that the two teams will continue to operate separately.

Source: Google LatLong Blog

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3 years ago

Big YouTube app update brings new UI features

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Major update continues Google's new application look and feel, brings a unique multi-window view 

There's a big app update for YouTube beginning its slow rollout today, and while there are the standard bug fixes, the focus is on app design. Keeping with the current look and feel of Google's applications (forget all about Google Voice for a bit, Google seems to have) you have your sliding menu pane on the left, cards everywhere and a new multi-window feature that lets you keep one video playing while you look through your feed or search. While there is no official change log on Google Play just yet, somehow I was lucky enough to get the update today and here's what I'm seeing.

  • The new "hamburger" menu
  • A card based UI for your feed and search list
  • History, playlists, favorites and uploads are now at the top of the menu for easy access
  • A new icon
  • The ability to search for playlists
  • The new multi-window display

The majority of the changes are self-explanatory, for the new multi-window trick is something that needs explaining a bit. While playing a video, you can shrink it down to the bottom right corner by swiping down, tapping the down arrow overlay, or by pressing the back button. The video will continue to play while you're sent back to the UI, where you can look through the app and check your feed, look through a search list, or do just about anything else in the app while it continues to play. If you want rid of it, just swipe it away or drag it up to return it to its original position. 

As usual, this is a Google staged rollout. That means you may be waiting a bit until it's time for your account to see the new update, or it may be there waiting for you right now. (Of course, you can also download it from one of the hundreds of file mirrors that are already posted, providing you trust side-loading after the last security scare.) It's a great update, and worth the wait. See a gallery full of screenshots and pictures after the break.

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3 years ago

Minuum keyboard now available on Google Play

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The Minuum Keyboard is out of beta and available for everyone at Google Play 

After a successful Indiegogo campaign and private beta test, the folks at Whirlscape have made the Minuum Keyboard available for everyone on Google Play. We've seen plenty of other alternative keyboards for Android, but none that look or act quite like this.

The goal was to create a keyboard that was great for typing, but also only took up a tiny portion of your screen. The keys have been taken down to just one row to take care of the space issue, and a special auto-correct algorithm should take care of the great and accurate typing part.. A magnifying function takes over when you need precise and accurate typing, like for logins and passwords.

The jury is still out on how well this will work for everyone, but the general response from the Indiegogo campaign backers seems positive. We'll take a look and see how it handles life for an AC editor. Look for more, soon.

In the meantime, there's a product video after the break and you can grab your own copy from Google Play ($3.99) at the link above.

Thanks everyone who sent this in!

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3 years ago

Help beta test AirCast by playing any of your videos on your Chromecast

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Cast videos directly from your Android Gallery, Dropbox or Google Drive with AirCast

AirCast,  a new concept application from everybody's favorite Android hacker and developer Koushik Dutta, will let you play any videos from your Gallery, Dropbox and Google Drive on your Chromecast equipped television. Using your Android, you select a video from any of the three locations and use the share menu to cast it to your TV.

Koush has worked around the closed SDK issue by reverse engineering the Chromecast protocols, which means he is allowed to share this app for us regular folks to have a go with and test it. Apps using the official SDK are not yet allowed to be released under the current agreement users of the SDK are bound to.

You'll definitely want to give this a try, so grab the APK file from Koush's website right here and give it a look. Keep in mind that this application will expire in two days, but Koush has said he has plans to release a freemium version, a Chrome extension, and the code he used to make it all work in the future. Remember, you're testing this so be prepared to submit feedback for any bugs you may find. See the source link for more details.

Source: +Koushik Dutta

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3 years ago

Apps of the Week: Dots, KeePassDroid, Middle Manager of Justice and more!

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See the apps, games and tools we've been using this week

It's that time of the week where we give everyone a look into the app choices of the Android Central writers in our Apps of the Week column. We take this post on Saturday afternoon to round up a single app pick from each of the folks here at AC that they have been using and want to tell everyone about.

We've got a jam-packed list of app picks this week, from games and entertainment to tools and icon packs. Read along with us after the break and see how these apps stack up to the rest.

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3 years ago

Check out Swipe Home Button for gesture-based home screen control

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A couple people have told me about Swipe Home Button, a new app that brings gesture controls to your Android home screen, and I had to take a look. I'm not a big fan of having a whole slew of gestures to try and remember to do things like open notifications or open apps, but Swipe Home Button doesn't have some huge list of gestures that I won't remember.

There are five actions — swipe up, swipe far up (about two-thirds of the screen height), swipe up then down, swipe up and to the right, swipe up and to the left — that you can set up to perform five actions — go back to the "home" home screen, show recent apps, show notifications, play the next track in a playlist and open an app.

The program was designed for phones with "real" buttons (read physical and/or capacitive), and can cause issues on phones with on-screen buttons. I'm not sure what issues — the developer doesn't say. We'll just trust him on that one. But so far, on the Galaxy S4, I'm kinda feeling it.

I'll play with it for a while before I can give any recommendations, but I wanted to pass it along for folks who ae always on the lookout for new apps. Grab the free trial (seven days) from the Google Play link above and jump through the break to see some images and a demo video.

Thanks, onthecouchagain and doobie for the heads-up!

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3 years ago

Goodbye Google+ Messenger, hello G+ Photos

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Out with the old, and in with the new

You might have noticed a new addition to the application drawer on your Android (provided you have the Google+ app installed) as well as the absence of a long familiar face. You're not seeing things — it's part of the Google+ app update that started rolling out a few days ago.

It seems like most users have the update by now, so they're noticing that the old Google+ Messenger application was removed (the whole service is basically gone, usurped by Hangouts), but it's been replaced by an equally redundant app icon, the G+ Photos app.

We hesitate to call it an app. It's more like a shortcut to the Photos tab inside the Google+ app. There's absolutely nothing wrong with the way the psuedo-gallery-app-thing works or looks, it's just a bit superfluous. It's easy enough to hide with a custom launcher if you just can't deal with it. 

Thanks everyone who sent this in!

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3 years ago

Google Maps update brings back the scale bar

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The bar is back, but there aren't any settings to control it

The recent Google Maps redesign was great, but were you missing the measurement scale bar? Well it wasn't just you, and Google has apparently responded to some criticism and put the scale bar for measuring distances back in with this latest app update.

There aren't any settings to show or hide the bar, and it seems to only appear when you move the map or re-zoom to a new distance, then disappears quite quickly. We might have preferred if Google just gave an option to keep the bar on or off permanently, but beggars can't be choosers, we suppose.

Go grab the update from the Play Store link above. It seems to be pushing out widely right now.

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3 years ago

Facebook Beta update brings animated stickers, music on lock screen for Home

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Beta track continues to get quick and useful updates

The beta track for the Facebook app has been updated today with a few useful features, showing once again that it intends on iterating quickly with its beta fixes. This update brings one new feature to the Messenger function, and that is animated stickers for some of the categories — Pusheen, Beast and Anooki are listed — which has been the case on iOS devices for some time now, but stickers don't seem to be animating properly for us at the moment. A new feature for those using Facebook Home is the ability to control music playback on the lock screen.

Also included is a fix for a bug that caused album covers to show rather than a specific photo you tapped, as well as a bug that crashed the app when viewing photos in full screen mode. Naturally, various bug fixes and speed improvements were made as well.

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3 years ago

Press adds offline image caching, settings redesign

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Caching saves on data, new settings get you in and out quickly

One of our favorite RSS readers on Android, Press, has just made some significant improvements in its latest update in terms of interface and features. The biggest feature inclusion is likely offline image caching, which will download article images when syncing so that you're not pulling them down every time you open an article. It's great for low connectivity or low data cap situations when you still want to get your news. By default images aren't cached, but you can turn it on, restrict it to just Wifi and limit or clear the cache at any time.

Helping you manage these new cache options is an entirely redesigned settings menu, which breaks up settings into separate categories. Now you won't have to scroll through an annoying long list to get to that one setting you need to change.

There are also a new settings for changing the look and feel of the app, with the ability to show just titles in the articles list or on the widget, and a few new options for readability and accessibility. Press also says that there are performance, sync and bug fixes — although we were hard pressed to find any hiccups before.

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3 years ago

Asphalt 8: Airborne launching August 22

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Dev offering the chance to win pre-launch download codes for Nexus 7-optimized racer

First unveiled at Google's Nexus 7 and Android 4.3 event in San Francisco a few weeks back, Gameloft's Asphalt 8: Airborne was due to be released back on Aug. 8. Obviously that didn't happen, however there's now a new release date on the cards — next Thursday, Aug 22.

But if you can't wait that long, Gameloft is giving away a pre-launch code to one lucky winner, who'll be able to play the game before anyone else. To enter, you'll need to subscribe to the developer's YouTube channel and fill out the form on its website.

Asphalt 8 is one of the new Android titles optimized for OpenGL ES 3.0, the new 3D graphics standard included in Android 4.3. The title promises 180 events, 47 licensed cars and social integration, including  Facebook support.

Source: +Gameloft; Gameloft blog

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3 years ago

Google Translate adds Hindi and Thai handwriting input, camera input for four more languages

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Further expanding the methods of communication with a single app.

Android is an operating system that is truly global, and Google is expanding the capabilities of Google Translate today to reflect that by adding important new languages. First are two new languages that can be used for handwriting recognition, and those are Hindi and Thai. It's especially important for handwriting recognition for languages such as these because they have a non-Roman character set that is difficult to use on a standard keyboard layout.

Today's update is also expanding the capabilities of Google Translate's "camera input", which reads languages you capture from physical objects with your phone's camera, to Afrikaans, Greek, Hebrew and Serbian. With these new capabilities in Google Translate for six more languages, Google is adding to an ever-expanding list of foreign languages that can help people communicate whether they're traveling or hosting travelers themselves.

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3 years ago

GIF Chat launches on Android, offers looping video clips and text messaging

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Another way to show off your 6-second video skills.

The group messaging app space is full of great choices, but GIF Chat is trying to get in on the craze with its own set of features. Walking the line between apps like Snapchat which only do short video clips and fully-featured voice, video and text chat apps like Viber, GIF Chat offers group chatting with up to 6-second looping video as well as text chatting.

Given it's name, GIF Chat naturally focuses on the video aspect of the service, with plenty of features for recording and editing videos. Using either front or rear cameras, you can collect up to 6-seconds of video, select the playback speed and even set how many times it will loop — 1 to 10 times or never — before disappearing.

GIF Chat launched on iOS last week and is cross-platform compatible with the Android version, which is also a nice feature. The app is free and displays ads at the bottom of some pages from time to time, and there's no indication of whether or not there will be a paid, ad-free version. Ready to try another group messaging client? grab a download from the Play Store link above.

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