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3 years ago

Android apps in beta

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Beta testing can be rewarding, and Android Central is here to help you get started

In 2013, Google opened up the Google Play Store to provide proper beta testing for applications. That is, a method for the developers of the apps to have two tracks in Google play at the same time — a stable and current track for most users, and a beta branch for folks who are willing to test features that may not yet be ready for prime-time. This helps developers, and as a bonus it makes it a pretty simple affair for you and me to sign up and get in on some hot beta action with our favorite apps.

Because everything can now be hosted right on Google Play, getting signed up and updated to the latest beta version is pretty simple for both developers and end-users like us. You'll open a web page on your computer or your Android, and sign up with the Google account you use at Google Play. The rest is automatic, and once you're done you'll soon see an update right in the Google Play app on your Android that gets you going.

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3 years ago

Roku app adds local video playback on your set-top box

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Only a handful of devices supported in initial release

Brining its Android offering up to parity with the iOS version, Roku has just updated its app to enable local video playback from your phone to your Roku box on select devices. After signing in and pairing the Roku app with a Roku box (running software version 5.1 or later), you'll now have a new option to select "Videos" from the "Play on Roku" menu in the app. Now all together you can display music, photos or videos directly from your device to the Roku with just a tap.

The functionality seems to work pretty well, but Roku recommends having at least an 802.11n Wifi router for the best performance. Right at this moment the video playback functionality is available on the Roku 3, Roku 2, Roku LT, Roku HD on the set-top box side, and the Galaxy S3, Galaxy S4, Nexus 4, HTC One, and Nexus 7 (2012) on the Android side.

Grab the latest version of the Roku app from the Play Store link above and give it a try for yourself.

Source: Roku

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3 years ago

Hexage's new title Reaper looks like a great new action RPG and is available on Google Play

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If you're an Android gamer, you have to take a look at Reaper from Hexage. Released today on Google Play, it's an action side-scroller with heavy RPG influence, and incredible graphics and smoothness. You play as the Black Swordsman, and move through quests and levels slaying monsters both easy and hard.

The controls are a little complicated on a touch screen, but the good news is that the game is optimized for other input methods. Designed for controllers like the NVIDIA Shield or MOGA controller, as well as asdf / space bar controls for dockable tablets like the ASUS Transformers or the HP SlateBook X2 pictured above.

The first 10 levels are completely free — meaning no in-app purchases required — but after that you'll need to upgrade to the premium edition. There are three packages available, with the basic full game starting at $2.99 and the full Dark Legend edition, with item sets and new gameplay modes checking in at $4.99.

This one looks like an excellent, immersive little game and I'm enjoying it quite a bit. Grab the free version at the link above, and check the video and screen shots after the break.

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3 years ago

The Dead Trigger 2 tease continues: Release date to be announced at Tokyo Game Show

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We're not really fans of announcements that serve only to announce future announcements — but we know there are more than a few of you out there waiting ever so patiently for the release of Dead Trigger 2, so here goes.

The game that we've seen glimpses of (and played ourselves) going all the way back to CES in January will finally have its release date revealed at the Tokyo Game Show in a couple weeks — Sept. 19-22. Nothing more specific, unfortunately, but we can't imagine that the actual release will be too far behind that.

So, yeah. We're getting closer. We're just not there yet.

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3 years ago

Microsoft makes Xbox Music available on Android

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It's here, but it's short on some features next to the Windows Phone version

Microsoft has today made their Xbox Music streaming service available to Android device owners for the first time. The app requires an Xbox Music account to use, but essentially it gives you access to all the same music that Windows, Xbox and Windows Phone users have had for some time now. But, while it's great that Microsoft has made it available, it's lacking in a couple of key areas when compared to its Windows Phone sibling. It also doesn't seem to like the idea of tablets, since the Play Store is highlighting a lack of compatibility with them all. 

The first of those is the lack of artist based radio. It's not the end of the world, but it does mean you're basically limited to searching for music to listen to. The bigger omission, at least for now, is offline music. Unless you're connected to an Internet connection, you won't be able to listen to your music. Microsoft has said it will be hitting iOS and Android in "coming months" but for some, the lack of it now could be a deal breaker. 

Otherwise it's not a bad app to use. It's not exactly Holo, but it looks pretty nice, with a distinct flavor of Xbox to it. It's not mimicking the Windows Phone app, though, so it's more within the user experience we're familar with on Android. Grab the app for free now from the Play Store at the link above. Besides not liking tablets, it will also only be available in regions supported by Xbox Music. 

Source: Microsoft via Windows Phone Central

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3 years ago

Apps of the Week: Buffalo Bills Mobile, YouTube Floating Player, Canvas for Pebble and more!

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Another great round-up of apps from the Android Central writers

It's been a busy week here at Android Central — between travel and all of the news coming out of IFA in Berlin, we've had our hands full. But that doesn't mean we can't still bring you our great Apps of the Week column, where we show off apps that the Android Central writers are using, this Saturday.

This week we're looking at apps that will help get your ready for the NFL season, pick a new watch face for your Pebble and keep you entertained no matter what the situation. Stick around after the break and see how we did this week.

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3 years ago

Sony wants developers to make great apps to control their cameras

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Expect to see some great apps to control your Sony cameras on Android, iOS and Windows

Sony is in pretty deeply with Android in their mobile division, but they're also known for making some pretty good stand-alone cameras. It looks like the two teams have got together, and they've released a developer program to help the folks who make Android apps build something wonderful.

I've got a couple Android tricks I use for photography, from a Triggertap and app (once the beta app gets ironed out, look for a full review of this awesome little tool) to an app from Panasonic that lets me use my Nexus 7 as a remote viewfinder and controller for my video camera. If you take a lot of pictures or video, whether as a hobby or for work, these tools can come in very handy.

With Sony's new program and Camera Remote API, it looks like they are prepared to push that envelope a little further. The API will help you build apps that can control the camera, get the image of what the sensor sees, upload the images and even do some fancy things like time-lapse photography. The API is also platform agnostic, and will work with developers writing apps for Android, iOS and Windows. To top it off, it's JSON based so most developers will be able to learn how to implement it quickly.

With the new QX10 and QX100 gaining a good bit of interest, it's smart for Sony to do this. They have a basic app in Google Play, and one coming to the Apple app store, that you can control things with, but it needs some improvement to really use these new lens cameras to their fullest potential. The tools are in place (at the beta stage, at least) to make that happen. We're excited to see where this goes.

Source: Sony

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3 years ago

The Galaxy Gear Manager app for the Galaxy Note 3

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If you're going to have a Galaxy Gear, you're to also have a Galaxy Note 3. And you're also going to need the Galaxy Gear Manager app.

Want to change settings on your Galaxy Gear? This is the place to do it. This is where you'll change camera settings, add new watch faces — basically anything and everything runs through this guy.

And, here, we run you through the process from the floor at IFA in Berlin.

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3 years ago

Turn any website into a marble maze with the latest Chrome Experiment

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Google's new World Wide Maze Chrome Experiment shows you the web like never before

Got a computer and an Android device? If so, you're fully equipped to have a bit of fun with Google's latest Chrome Experiment — the World Wide Maze. Google's Chrome team is celebrating their fifth birthday, and nobody knows how to have fun quite like Google. Want to have a go at it?

Get Chrome installed on your phone (use the link above), then fire up the Chrome browser on your computer and click this link.

Once there, follow the instructions and you can whittle away the hours rolling your marble through a 3D "conversion" of any website into a maze. Protip: AndroidCentral.com is hard.

You'll have shades of Teeter (remember Teeter?) but you'll have a lot of fun.

Source: +Sundar Pichai

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3 years ago

Latest Facebook beta (finally) lets you edit posts, comments

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Facebook's beta app for Android has gotten an update today — and it's one we've been waiting for for quite some time. You can now edit your posts and comments. 

Finally.

Here's the full changelog:

  • Use icons in status updates to express what you’re feeling or doing
  • Edit your posts and comments, and tap to see all your changes
  • See upcoming events at a glance on your favorite Pages
  • Create and share new photo albums from your phone

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3 years ago

BBC iPlayer now lets you download shows for offline viewing

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Downloads only available over Wifi, expire 7 days after watching

The latest version of BBC's iPlayer app for Android has finally caught up to its iOS counterpart, and now offers content downloads for offline viewing. Building on its expanded device support in the last update, the iPlayer app will now let you download complete shows in either standard or high-definition, provided you're on a device with Ice Cream Sandwich or above.

Once downloaded, shows will be stored on your device for 30 days, but will expire just 7 days after the first time they are played. The download feature is only available while connected to Wifi and the changelog indicates that it will only initially be supported on certain devices, but that the list will be expanding quickly. Grab a download of the BBC iPlayer app from the Play Store link above.

Thanks, Paul!

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3 years ago

PayPal redesigns entire app, revamps in-store payments

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New interface that looks great and makes it easier to manage all functions of your account

While the previous version of the app wasn't exactly hard on the eyes, PayPal is completely revamping its interface and adding new functionality in its latest update. First and foremost is an entirely new design that is simpler and better fits in with the latest Android design looks — we're now seeing full use of the action bar and left edge slide-in menu. The entire app makes use of a nice blue, white and grey color palette and seems to perform extremely well.

Underneath all of the clean new design is a reimagined PayPal experience, making it simpler to use the app for shopping, managing your account or transferring money. The new app makes it easy to find retailers that accept PayPal as a payment method and help you choose your payment methods and even order or pay in advance at certain retailers.

It's now even easier to manage your payment methods from the "Wallet" menu, check your recent transactions or transfer funds to and from other people as well. If you're a big PayPal user, this is going to make your day — you can grab the update from the Play Store link at the top of this post.

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3 years ago

Is it better to zoom out, or just fade away? Android Central app gets new transitions!

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Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls: We've uploaded a new version of the official Android Central App (accept no substitutes!) to the wonderful and bizarre bazaar that is Google Play, to be downloaded at your earliest convenience.

In addition to the standard (and unfortunately necessary) bugfixes and performance improvements, in Version 1.4.3 we've also added in an option for screen transitions. If you like nice fade, you can have one. Or if you're more into a zoom sort of thing, you've now got that option, too. Look for it in the settings menu under "Screen transitions."

As always, you can see previous changelogs at http://phon.es/achange. Enjoy!

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3 years ago

Get ready for the 2013 football season with these essential apps

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Are you ready for some football?

The 2013 football season is upon us. College games started last weekend and the NFL kicks off tomorrow night, so we wanted to provide you with some essential apps for getting you through the season. Whether you're a fantasy junkie or just want to keep up with league scores on-the-go, we've got you covered. Enjoy! Now onto the list, after the break.

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3 years ago

BBM for Android demoed on video [Updated]

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Update: And just like that, the video has been removed. Enjoy this pic instead.

Update #2: Working video (for now) after the break. Thanks, Jean-Baptiste!

A brave soul has broken BlackBerry's embargo and produced a video demo of BlackBerry Messenger running on Android

If you've been waiting to see just how BlackBerry Messenger would look and act on your Android phone, here's your chance. The app has been in a not-so-secret but tightly controlled beta test for a while, but it looks pretty much the same as it does on a BlackBerry 10 device.

The app seems to have all the same basic features on Android as it does on BlackBerry, including NFC abilities. The layout and controls are different from what we're used to as Android users though, and that may mean some adjustment time.

BlackBerry has stated that they would have the Android and iOS versions out by the end of summer, so it's good to see they are close to the finish line. 

Source: BBOS; Via: CrackBerry

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