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3 years ago

Android app developers: If you're not watching the Making Apps Beautiful series videos, you should be


Google's DevBytes series is a great way to refine your development process and build better apps

Google's Android Developers have a great series they publish to YouTube, called DevBytes. The episodes are always full of great info for the people developing Android apps, but the latest -- the Making Apps Beautiful trilogy -- is a must watch.

You'll learn all there is to know about making your apps look modern in episode one, nailing typography and spacing in episode two, and episode three tackles what it takes to make your apps look good on a tablet while using the same code as the phone.

You want your apps to look good. We want your apps to look good. Most importantly, your customers want your apps to look good. Take a few minutes and watch the DevBytes shows and learn how to write better apps. Be sure to let us know what you're working on, too.

You can visit the link below to see all of the Android Developers videos, and the Making Apps Beautiful series videos are embedded after the break.

Android Developers on YouTube

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3 years ago

Angry Birds Star Wars II coming September 19, along with a full line of merchandise


May the Pork be with you

Rovio continues to milk the Angry Birds franchise for every thing it's worth, and coming this September the latest -- Angry Birds Star Wars II -- will be launching on app stores worldwide. This time though, there's a new piece of merchandising that fans of the series, as well as Star Wars fans, are going to be excited about.

They're called TELEPODS, and they bring more to the table than your typical plushie or keychain figurine. As you can see in the video after the break, they are action figures of your favorite Angry Birds Star Wars characters, that can be imported right into the game. Place the base of the figure on your phone or tablets camera and they're instantly available as a playable character.

Also new is the ability to choose your faction, and you can play as part of the good or evil side -- or "Pork Side" as Rovio puts it. All in all, this latest looks to breathe new life into the most popular mobile gaming series of all time. We'll give it a good long look this coming September.

Source: Rovio

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3 years ago

Android Central App v1.3 now in beta testing


Update: Due to overwhelming response from way more people than we expected, we're going stop accepting new applicants to the Android Central app beta group. We're already getting great feedback, and we hope to push v1.3 out to production just as soon as we can.

A quick heads up for you hard-core fans of the Android Central App. We've finally rolled out proper beta testing, and we're starting with a pretty good build to try it on. Version 1.3 of the app has been pushed out to our beta group for some final testing. There it will remain until we're happy with it, or until we just can't stand it anymore and have to release it into the world, free to spread its wings and become a beautiful butterfly. Or something. 

If you want in on the action, just hit the link below to get going. Namaste.

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3 years ago

Amazon offering free productivity app bundle today only


Amazon has seven great apps for free in this one-day promotion

Amazon has a big app promotion going on today in their app store, and they are offering seven great apps in their freee productivity app bundle. These are popular applications that plenty of folks think are well worth their normal price, all free for Sunday July 14 only.

The apps are:

  • WiFi File Explorer Pro by Dooblou (normally 99-cents)
  • Documents To Go (Full Version Key) by DataViz, Inc. (normally $14.95)
  • PrinterShare Mobile Print by Dynamix USA, LLC (normally $12.95)
  • Tasks N Todos Pro by Handy Apps Inc (normally $5.99)
  • Splashtop Remote Desktop HD by Splashtop Inc. (normally $8.99)
  • Spacedraw Key by Scalisoft (normally $4.99)
  • Splashtop Remote Desktop by Splashtop Inc. (normally $4.99)

You'll need the Amazon app store installed to buy these, and keep it installed while you're using them. This sounds like a great way to save some serious cash, and score some really nice apps while doing it.

More: Amazon

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3 years ago

Apps of the Week: URL Ripper, Garfield Daily, APTuner and more!


See which apps the Android Central writers have been using this week

Welcome back to another edition of our 'Apps of the Week' series, where we highlight several apps from the Android Central writing staff. Once a week we give each of the writers a chance to tell everyone about an app that they have been actively using in the last week and bundle them up for some light Saturday afternoon reading.

This week we have yet another diverse set of apps ranging from tools for tuning a guitar to games with stick figure army guys. Stick around after the break and see how this week's picks stack up.

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3 years ago

Carbon for Android getting long-awaited features, fixes in v1.2.0


The world of third-party Twitter apps is anything but certain these days, so it's good to see one of the more popular apps getting a major update. Carbon, which has been mostly stagnant for some six months, is getting a pretty major update in version 1.2.0. 

Included in the update is a new widget, in-app browsing and support for Vine and Youtube directly within the app. Plus there are new styles available, a bunch of newly supported image previews and update frequency options. And, conversations are back following a change to Twitter's API.

What's more is that the developer hopes that this marks the start of smaller but more frequent updates. Let's just hope Twitter doesn't spoil that party.

We've got the big strokes after the break, and hit the source link for more, as well as the list of bugfixes.

Source: +Carbon for Android

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3 years ago

Rovio teases new Angry Birds Star Wars news on July 15


Could we be getting a follow-up game based on the prequels? We'll find out on Monday

Rovio, the makers of Angry Birds, have put up a page teasing an upcoming announcement on Monday July 15th with a decidedly Star Wars theme to it. The accompanying image in the post shows an angry bird in an Anakin Skywalker getup -- Ep. 1 goggles and all -- with a shadow cast onto a rock showing the silhouette of Darth Vader on a rock.

Looks like we may be in for a new Angry Birds Star Wars based on the prequel movies. We'll know for sure come Monday.

Source: Rovio

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3 years ago

HTC One MoDaCo Switch: dual booting GPE and Sense with one data set


Paul O'Brien demos seamless switching between Google Play Edition and Sense software

With the recent release of the Google Play Edition HTC One, two software versions now exist for the same hardware: Google's 'stock' version of Android (as found on the Google Play edition), and HTC's Sense version of Android (as found on all other models). Those who are willing to unlock the bootloader on their phones and install some custom software gain the ability to switch between these two different versions of Android. Each version has its benefits and drawbacks, making staying on one exclusively a difficult decision.

Thanks to Paul O'Brien's newly developed MoDaCo Switch, users can now have their Android cake and eat it too. Visually an app like any other located in the app drawer, the MoDaCo Switch -- when pressed -- presented the user with two options: Stock (HTC Sense) or Google Play edition (AOSP). If AOSP is selected while on HTC Sense, the phone will quickly shut down and immediately reboot into the Google Play edition side of the phone.

More, and a video, after the break.

Source: MoDaCo

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3 years ago

Audible receives major interface overhaul in latest update


Not a single piece of the app left untouched, bringing the it up to modern design standards

Users of the Audible for Android app are in for a treat tonight with a complete interface design overhaul update pushing out through the Play Store. Previously a very functional but also clearly dated app, Audible has completely moved into the modern design era with a new interface that relies on tabs, proper use of the action bar and smooth interface movement all around. The app keeps a familiar grey, black and orange color scheme, but improves every bit of functionality, adds in a few new features and improves stability.

It seems as though not a single piece of the app was left untouched, and we have to hand it to Audible for making the necessary improvements to bring the app up to par with modern standards. You can grab a download or update of the latest version from the Play Store link at the top of this post.

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3 years ago

Vine adds new channels, capture tools and revining


Improved capture and sharing experience follow in the footsteps of Instagram

The initial popularity of Vine on Android may be hit-or-miss, but updates with new functionality just keep coming -- this time with improved capture tools and new ways to manage sharing. First up are new improvements to creating Vines, which in addition to front-facing camera support now includes the option to show a viewfinder grid, manage auto-focus and add a "ghost" effect to your video. The main overflow menu for the app also now includes a global "mute" switch (thank you!).

On the content side, users can now browse and submit posts to 15 new channels in the app, and can easily "revine" (share) posts to your own stream. The update also includes a "fast capture" widget, which lets you jump straight into the capture mode of Vine to catch those short-notice moments.

You can grab the Vine update from the Play Store link above.

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3 years ago

Sprinkle Islands launches for $1.99 as a worthy successor to the original


New gameplay mechanics through 48 all-new levels hit Google Play

Sprinkle is an extremely popular game that has been around since 2011 (yes, that long), and today developer Mediocre has finally released a much-anticipated follow up title: Sprinkle Islands. Known more recently for releasing the also-popular game Granny Smith, the developers haven't been asleep at the wheel when it comes to a sequel to Sprinkle. Islands picks up where the original game left off, adding new game mechanics and improved graphics that were already top-of-the-line.

The latest iteration of Sprinkle hits Google Play today, so let's take a little deeper look at the game after the break.

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3 years ago

Pacific Rim game launches in Play Store ahead of movie release


Game offers exclusive in-depth look at characters not fully revealed by the movie

Capitalizing on launching the same week as the feature film from Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures, Pacific Rim the game is making its way to Android today for $4.99. The game pulls heavily from the movie in terms of characters, plot and art but keeps things mobile-friendly with a head-to-head fighting style of game. The game offers both a "Story Mode" with 30 levels and "Survival Mode" for extended play, with distinct challenges in each. As you move through the game, you can customize up to five different characters with upgradeable skills and armor as you unlock different achievements.

You can watch a trailer for the game above, and grab a download of Pacific Rim from the Play Store link at the top of this post. Pacific Rim the movie is set to be released in U.S. theaters tomorrow.

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3 years ago

Jay-Z: 'Magna Carta Holy Grail' app issues 'not cool'


Issues downloading album through app 'disheartening,' says rapper

If you tried to download Jay-Z's new album Magna Carta Holy Grail through the free promotional app for Samsung phones last week, you may have run into issues. Around launch time on Jul. 4 many users reported that the app was slow, unresponsive and crashy as servers became overwhelmed with fans trying to download the album.

And the app problems haven't escaped the attention of Jay-Z himself. According to the NY Daily News, the artist mentioned in a radio interview that he was aware of the launch-night issues, saying the situation was "not cool."

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3 years ago

Google+ update lets friends see your +1's, here's how to hide your +1 history


Google is keeping a history of your +1's, but you don't have to share it with everyone if you don't want to

The latest update to the Google+ Android app doesn't have the most exciting changelog, but the one feature it adds is a user-facing one that brings up a larger question of the service. With the latest version, the Google+ app will now show content in your "stream" that wasn't shared directly by someone in your circles, but instead was +1'd by someone. In reverse, this means that things you +1 on your own will be shown to your friends as well, assuming you keep the default +1 settings.

Now this is far from a privacy alarm -- you have these people in circles and use Google+ for a reason -- but rather something that needs to be kept in mind. When there's an app update to specifically highlight this new content type, it's important to focus on. Stick with us quickly after the break to see how to change your settings.

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3 years ago

New Google Maps updated with offline maps button


User feedback prompts new 'offline maps' card and 'where's Latitude' button

When Google launched its new Maps app for some users yesterday, it was criticized by some for the way offline maps had been handled. The feature, accessible via menus in earlier Maps versions, could only be activated by searching for "OK Maps" in the new app, in a sort of Easter egg.

Today the app has been updated once again with an easier way to download offline map caches — tap the (empty) search bar and you'll find "Make this map area available offline." It's perhaps not the most obvious place to put this feature, nor the most elegant-looking card, but we can't fault Google's fast turnaround on this issue. (The "OK Maps" shortcut will continue to function in the new version, Google says.)

In addition, there's now a "Where's Latitude" button in the main menu area linking to Google's support page on Latitude's retirement. The service, which is absent from the new Maps app, will be closed entirely on Aug. 9.

If you're running the new version of Maps, you should see an update to your app this morning. As an aside we're now starting to see the new Google Maps 7.0 on more of our devices, so if you're not updated yet you might want to check your Play Store app for updates.

Source: Google+

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