Headlines

2 years ago

IM+ v5.0 - Now optimized for Android tablets

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If you're still maintaining multiple IM clients on your device, then you'll know how frustrating it can be at times having to keep them all in check. Luckily, there are some apps out there that combine all those platforms and one such app is IM+.

Coming in either a limited free version as well as a paid version, IM+ makes it easy to stay connected. IM+ and IM+ Pro have been updated most recently to address some bugs found in previous build but with the update -- also came quite a few additions as well:

  • Fully optimized for Android OS tablet computers
  • Support of native Android OS "Share" feature
  • IM+ widget allows to change status right from your Android home screen
  • Typing notifications
  • Upload your avatar right from IM+
  • Group chats for AOL/AIM/iChat and ICQ
  • Option to select a different notification for active chat
  • All chats are saved under Chats tab when IM+ is restarted/reconnected
  • Battery usage optimization

For a limited time, SHAPE Services has placed the app on sale in the Android Market. Normall $10, you can now pick up IM+ Pro for only $5 or if you're wishing to give it a go first, you can grab the free version and then decide. The free version download link can be found past the break for you all.

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2 years ago

Villo.net coming to Android; brings easy-to-implement cloud services for developers

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Back where I come from, the world of webOS and the PreCentral Nation, Villo.net has been a service used by more than a few great developers to bring easy-to-implement cloud services to their applications. According to a tweet sent out by the service provider, and our own conversations with the developer team, Villo.net will soon no longer be exclusive to webOS - Android developers are going to get a bit of the sweet action as well.

While there is no set date for a release just yet, when Villo does finally land developers will be able to bring push-chat, gifts, leader-boards, user-profiles and quite a bit more to their existing applications with just a few hooks into Villo API's. This takes away the hassle developers have with building and maintaining their own cloud networks, and will soon pave the way for a completely streamlined cloud ecosystem across all platforms and all types of apps.

From a user's perspective, apps that hook into Villo.net couldn't be simpler to use. Just as if you use your Google account to log into multiple services, app users will log into their Villo.net account one time and have access to their profile, friends, chat rooms, gifts and leader-boards on any Villo-powered apps that they've installed. If developers choose to do so, they can even sync the data across multiple apps and devices so that users never lose what they were doing last (similar to how the Amazon Kindle app saves where you were reading last across devices).

Villo has already seen some nice success with webOS developers, having been used in games, sports apps and location-based apps (to name a few). When it does finally hit the Android Market, you can expect to see plenty of developers get involved. And to be completely honest, it's exciting to see a great team of developers come over to the land of the living and give Android some attention. Head to the Villo.net website to find out more details and sign-up for developer access now; we'll let you know when it finally arrives in the Market, "soon".

Source: Villo.net; Via: Twitter (@Villo)

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2 years ago

Vivid Entertainment announces their own Google TV channel [NSFW]

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Well, not really sure what to say about this other then we all know the adult entertainment industry is seemingly always ahead of the curve when it comes to technology. VHS, DVD, HD, 3D and more, they've been into it all. Vivid Entertainment is no exception to that and now they've got their own Google TV channel to prove it.

"Vivid for Google TV gives our fans a new way to enjoy Vivid movies in high quality HD and with other benefits that provide a very appealing, highly enjoyable, and user friendly experience," said Steven Hirsch, co-founder and co-chairman of Vivid. "It is a central part of our making Vivid available everywhere concept, which gives fans unified access to our content through their personal computers, mobile devices, tablets, television sets and DVD players."

Can't really argue with an industry that wants to deliver their content to you considering most of the time, we're trying to convince other media outlets they should already be delivering it. If you're looking for more information, you can hit the NSFW source link below.

Source: Vivid; Thanks, Anon!

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2 years ago

Android Central Editors' app picks for Nov 5, 2011

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Mmmmm. Apps. We got some more here for you, so let's hit the break together and take a look at our favorites from this week!

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2 years ago

Google+ updated to v2.1.1 - Home screen widget returns, bugs fixed

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The last version of Google+ to roll out, while having some nice additioons with it -- also brought along some bugs as well. Google saw fit to go ahead and correct those for everyone and now v2.1.1 is available in the Android Market. You'll get the homescreen posting widget back, installation issues should be fixed along with some various other unmentioned bug fixes.

Thanks, Brian!

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2 years ago

Google TV - Sing your heart out with the new karoke channel!

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Since Google TV 2.0 has been rolling out, a lot of new apps are being added to the mix. One of those apps will help you channel your inner rock star or maybe your inner pop star. Yes, the Karoke channel is now available for Google TV.

"Stingray is thrilled to launch The KARAOKE Channel App for Google TV", says Eric Boyko, President and CEO of Stingray Digital, owner of The KARAOKE Channel. "Google TV owners will be the first to experience the best karaoke experience of both worlds: HD karaoke videos displayed on large screen tvs with the catalog, features and convenience that Internet streaming allows on the Google TV platform".

With the app you'll have access to the Karoke channels library of over 8,000 licensed, high-quality songs available for streaming to your TV with full video in HD. A subscription will be required to access the full library of content but the free song list is updated often so that you always have some fresh songs to be rocking out to. Full press release is past the break for you or you can hit the source link for more details.

Source: The Karaoke Channel

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2 years ago

Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit now available in the Android Market, we go hands-on!

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Gentlemen, start your engines!  Need for Speed Hot Pursuit is now available in the Android Market.  No longer an exclusive for the Xperia Play, the latest in the Need for Speed series, Hot pursuit promises racing action from the perspective of both sides -- the pursuer and the pursued.  Play as a scofflaw in one of the exotic super cars like the Pagani Zonda Cinque, or be Johnny Law in your high speed police interceptor (the Lamborghini Reventon makes for a hell of a cop car!).  If you love racing games, this looks like a real treat.

The game is available in both U.S and international versions (links below) and you'll need to be running Android 2.0 or higher -- also don't expect stellar performance without a beefy piece of hardware.  The Market download is about 7.5MB, and you'll need to download an additional 291MB of content on the first run. 

Check out our hands-on video after the break!

Android Market link (US version)
Android Market link (international)

Thanks, @niwasiuk!

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2 years ago

Swiftkey confirmed to come preloaded on the Xoom 2

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When it comes to third-party keyboards on Android devices, there are two roads developers take. You have the likes of Swype, which makes its money getting preloaded onto devices (but also has a "beta" line for anyone else to download). And then there's most every other keyboard developer, which uses the Android Market (among others) for distribution. Such has always been the case with Swiftkey. Until now.

Pocket-Lint first reported -- and we have independently confirmed -- that Swiftkey indeed will come preloaded on the Motorola Xoom 2 (and Media Edition) Android tablets. That's less of a big deal for us, the users, but it's a pretty big deal for Swiftkey.

We're seeking official comment from Swiftkey. Swiftkey replied to us with a simple "No comment." In the meantime, are we about see two keyboard giants go head-to-head in the OEM space? News at 11.

More: Pocket-Lint

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2 years ago

Android App Review: Lapse It

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YouTube link for mobile viewing

Back when Google unveiled the Galaxy Nexus, we were shown a pretty cool time-lapse video that was recorded using nothing but the phone. I was curious if there was something out there that'd let all the non-Galaxy Nexus users (see: all of us) do the same thing. What I found was Lapse It.

Lapse It is a free app that takes a snapshot every couple of seconds (at an interval you decide) and then strings them all together into one nice, complete time-lapse video. It's all pretty straightforward, and if you're only using the free app, there's not too many settings to jiggle with, aside from the time interval.

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2 years ago

Challenge your brain with Revolutionizer for Android

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Looking for something a little more challenging for yourself than flinging some birds across a screen? The folks at Second Lion have released Revolutionizer for Android, a rather interesting and brain enticing puzzle game for your downloading pleasure. For 99 cents you are sure to get hours of challenge, check out the video above and hit the break for the download links.

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2 years ago

Android Game Review: Star Legends - The Blackstar Chronicles

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YouTube link for mobile viewing

It's been a crazy ride for Star Legends: The Blackstar Chronicles. The second in the "Legends" series of mobile MMOs, Star Legends started out in closed beta, then eventually was made available to the masses and now is the top dog among mobile MMOs.

It feels like forever since I last mentioned it, but I had to take make the time to really dig into this excellent game when it was announced it was finally downloadable in the Chrome Store. A fully fleshed out MMO on my phone and my browser? For free? Those charms are too strong for even yours truly to resist.

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2 years ago

iOnRoad - Using augmented reality for safer driving

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For the past few years, apps for safer driving have been popping up all over the place -- all seeking to keep you safe on the road but when you think of augmented reality, that's not likely something you relate to safer driving. iOnRoad is looking to change that with their beta application released a few days ago:

iOnRoad improves driving in real-time using the power of advanced smartphones. The app uses the smartphone’s native camera and sensors to detect vehicles in front of the vehicle, alerting  drivers when they are in danger. iOnRoad’s VisualRadar™, maps objects in front of the driver in realtime, calculating the user’s current speed using native sensors. As the vehicle approaches danger, an audio-visual warning pops up to warn the driver of a possible collision, allowing them to brake in time. The app can be used in “background mode,” allowing users to use the navigation app or take phone calls, while still remaining safe on the road.

iOnRoad has some great features baked into the app as well. Notification narration, road snapshots, so you have a record of bad drivers when you spot them or if you need to refer to them later. Plus, it learns from your driving habits which, can be viewed on your personal web dashboard. The app is available in the Android Market right now, in beta status and you can head on over to the iOnRoad website for more details. Download and some images past the break.

Source: iOnRoad

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2 years ago

Android App Review: HDR Camera+

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HDR is all the rage these days. Doing whatever it takes to get the true intensity of colors in a photo makes a lot of sense, as it can really add to the drama and beauty of photos you've taken.You can do this on a computer, and you can also do it on your phone.

HDR Camera+ takes a series of pictures in rapid succession (five or so), fuses them together, and then increases the range of colors in one single, high- resolution picture.

There's a built-in image stabilizer, so you don't need to try and keep your hand unflinchingly steady while all of the pictures are taken. In fact, the only time I saw a blurry picture was when I dramatically swung the camera around after I'd started the process, which speaks volumes about how strong the stabilization and merging processes are. And as always, lighting will play a key factor.

There's also a settings menu where you're able to change things like the color vividness, local contrast, micro contrast, exposure, and noise reduction, so you can tweak your newly HDR'd photos to your liking, before you've taken a single shot.

HDR Camera+ does cost a premium price of $3.99, but for the ability to take high quality HDR pictures all from your phone, that's a small price to pay.

We've got more examples of some HDR shots and download links after the break.

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2 years ago

FIFA 12 Xperia Play teaser trailer

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EA's leading soccer football title FIFA 12 is among the wealth of Xperia Play exclusives (on Android, at least) being offered towards the end of the year, and to whet gamers' appetites, EA and Sony Ericsson have released a new teaser trailer.

Both publisher and manufacturer are keen to show off FIFA's Xperia Play-optimized graphics and controls, so if you want to see both in action, join us after the jump to check out the new trailer. There's no official release date just yet, but we think a holiday launch window is fairly likely.

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2 years ago

Android App Review: SVOX Classic TTS Engine

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YouTube link for mobile viewing

I might not think Siri is all that and a bag of chips, but I've got to hand it to Apple for one thing: it sounds good. Listening to the articulate, smooth-talking Siri, I couldn't help but think how archaic Android's own text-to-speech sounded. Compare Android's voice to Siri and you're left with the inevitable comparison to the Speak and Spell.

During one of my stints in the Android Central podcast chat, a reader suggested I give the SVOX Classic TTS Engine a shot, and boy, am I glad I did. Now the text-to-speech on Android is more than tolerable, and that's saying something.

When you install SVOX, you can't really do much in terms of text-to-speech. What you can do, however, is browse more than 25 languages, and once you've chosen a language, see the available voice packs for that language. Languages are sorted by a country's flag at the top of the screen, and you can move from flag-to-flag by swiping left and right.

Once you've decided on your language, you'll see the available language packs for that language. They're all given a human name, which is helpful to give you an idea of gender, at the very least. US English has five voices to choose from, although three seem to be more "for fun" and less "for actual use."

If you tap on any voice, you can listen to a sample of the voice, go straight to the Market to buy the voice pack, or get a free trial of the voice. The free trial lasts two weeks, so there's plenty of time to get acquainted with a voice before you pull the trigger and buy it.

Once you've purchased a voice, it'll show up in your app drawer as a separate app. Opening this app gives you controls over that particular voice, so you can set things like the device volume, text-to-speech volume, speed, and pitch.

More importantly, though, is the text field where you can listen to the voice say particular phrases. You can save phrases (maybe to show to friends later) and you can also share the voice through a variety of methods as well as force different pronounciations on things.

The last tidbit is probably one of the coolest features in SVOX, and if you spell something out phonetically in one voice, it shows up in all of the other voices, too. So if you've got a difficult-to-pronounce name (like my last name, apparently), you can try and find the best way to phonetically spell out the name or word you're thinking of, and SVOX will default to that pronounciation over it's standard way. Nifty.

Lastly, once you've got SVOX (and a voice pack) installed, you'll want to set it as the default TTS engine. This can be accomplished by venturing into your settings menu, poking around in Voice input and output, hitting Text-to-speech settings, and selecting SVOX Classic TTS from the Default Engine menu. Do that and voila, you've just brought your phone's text-to-speech up to 11.

The only downside of SVOX's voice packs is that they're $2.99 a piece, but once you get used to hearing a voice that more closely resembles that of a human, you won't want to go back to anything else. SVOX itself is free, and hey, at least you can demo any of the voices for a full two weeks!

We've got more screenshots of the app and download links to SVOX, Grace, and Michael after the break.

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