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3 years ago

Vine for Android updated, brings performance updates, Facebook sharing and ability to clear cache

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The six second video app Vine gets a major update

Vine has been updated to version 1.1 in Google Play today, bringing along some much needed boosts in the performance category, Facebook sharing and the ability to clear out your local cache in the app settings. A quick look through the reviews of the original version in the Play store shows that plenty of folks weren't having a great experience with the app, and hopefully today's update alleviates most of their issues.

The change log has been posted, here's the sweet sweet bullet point version:

  • Search for users and hashtags
  • Share to Facebook
  • Improvements to capture speed, quality, and audio/video synchronization
  • Clear cache option available in Settings
  • Other bug fixes and UI improvements

Interesting that Facebook sharing came so quickly after the release of Instagram with video, but on Android that should have been an easy enough fix. What we're happiest seeing is a setting to wipe the local cache. What it does is erase any unposted Vines from your devices storage, freeing valuable space for other things. It's a step in the right direction, but it still doesn't address the real issue -- dumping possibly unwanted Vines there in the first place. We'd much rather see something asking you if you'd like to save your unposted Vine before just leaving it there. Every little bit counts -- especially with video files.

To update or try Vine for the first time, click the Google Play link above.

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3 years ago

Instagram's newest, most important option

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Do yourself a solid and head on into the options for Instagram v4.0. There you're find a checkbox to keep the all-new InstaVines from automatically playing. Your ears will thank you. The ears of your friends will thank you. And it should speed up the app a little as well.

And we, also, thank you.

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3 years ago

His name is Mr. Jingles ...

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Google+ gets a new notifications mascot, 'mark all read' button

Normally we wouldn't make a big deal about such a small change to Google+, but this one's kind of fun. Stick with us here.

A couple days ago the little notification identifier switched from a number (which Facebook appears to have adopted for unread posts, by the way) to a bell with a rather cute smiley face. We'll call him Mr. Jingles, because that's what Google's calling him. Blaze through all of your notifications and click on Jingles, and he does a fun little dance. Yes, we're easily amused. 

Jingles has just hit the Android app for Google+ as well. And along with it comes a new button to mark all of your notifications as read. It looks like a little bar graph, and it's now on the web version of Google+, too. Tap it or click it, and your notifications shall bother you no more. Or, in my case, for the next three seconds. Jingles then appears, applauding your notification-marking ability, and does his little dance.

And, yes, Mr. Jingles is on Google+.

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3 years ago

Modern Combat 4 Meltdown update to include new maps, game modes, and weapons

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Three new maps, two new weapons, two new multiplayer game modes, two new perks, and a new demolitions specialization

Gameloft has announced that their excellent first-person shooting game for Android, Modern Combat 4, will be updated with a bunch of new content. We've got three new maps called Fracture, Extraction, and Backfire, a new grenade launcher pistol, a new sniper rifle, two new multiplayer game modes, two new perks, and a new demolitions specialization (because blowing stuff up is kinda fun). 

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3 years ago

Sony Xperia ZL (C6506) Android 4.2.2 update now available

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Lock screen widgets, improved launcher and new animations all included

Starting today, Sony is making an Android 4.2.2 update available for the Xperia ZL, including the North American unlocked LTE model. We just updated our own handset to software version 10.3.A.0.423 via Sony Bridge For Mac (the equivalent of Sony PC Companion), which took just shy of 30 minutes including downloading of necessary files. The update process went smoothly, and the device is indeed running Android 4.2.2 as Sony claims.

The official Sony support pages are still listing information for the previous 4.1 update so we don't have an official changelog, but our initial impressions are positive. The lock screen has been slightly redesigned to incorporate Android 4.2's lock screen widgets, including swiping left to enter the camera and right to add additional widgets as you please. Turning on and off the screen now has a subtle fade in/out animation as opposed to the circular one previously.

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3 years ago

Instagram announces Vine, erm, video on Instagram

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15-second videos with filters, basic editing coming in new version of app

Instagram, today at Facebook HQ and in a livestream, announced that it's bringing video to its service. Don't call it Vine, even though it looks and acts just like Vine.

See, Vine is 6-second videos. Instagram is using 15-second clips. So it's totally different.

All kidding aside, you've got the same overall idea as Vine. Tap to record. Only Instagram merges in some basic editing -- a feature sorely missing on Vine -- and throws in a baker's dozen of new filters to boot. In addition, you can choose which video frame you want to serve as the preview thumbnail.

"It's the same Instagram we all know and love," said Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom. "But it moves."

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3 years ago

New York Times changes non-subscriber access in its Android app

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The New York Times is changing access to its stories in its Android application. Previously, non-subscribers could only read from the "Top News" section of the app. Starting June 27, non-subscribers can read three stories a day from any of the more than 25 sections in the app. You'll also be able to browser the section fronts and article summaries. 

The Times is offering a 7-day, all-access free trial if you download the current version of the Android app.

More: NYT subscription rates; Press release

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3 years ago

This week's sidebar poll: Does Google Play have all the apps you want?

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Does Google Play cover all your wants and needs in the app department, or are you left wanting? Tell us in this week's poll

Kevin, Phil and the gang have been talking apps and app stores all week in Talk Mobile. They're sharing some pretty deep insight into the way apps, and the buying and selling of them, and most important of all -- availability.

Talk Mobile is a great way to see and discuss the general mobile atmosphere, but let's drill down a bit and focus on Android for this one. Google Play has over 700,000 apps. A lot of those apps are live wallpapers, themes, icon packs, and widgets. Those are all important, and we're not discounting them at all, but they're not exactly what we think of when we talk about apps. But even then, chances are Google Play has a whole lot of stand alone programs that will run on our phones and tablets, and our choices are pretty good. But can it ever be good enough?

Have you ever wanted an app to do something and couldn't find a solution in Google Play? Or maybe an app you really want is exclusive on another platform. Here's you chance to be heard. In the sidebar to the right, as well as after the break, you'll find a poll where you can tell everyone if you've been able to score everything you want on Android. Be honest, and be sure to participate.

For the record, I had to vote no. I want an accessory and accompanying app to plug my guitar into the Nexus 10 and use it as an amp. I know why this isn't easy to do, but I still want it badly. Maybe one day.

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3 years ago

Rockmelt brings the best of the Internet to Android

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No longer 'just' a browser, Rockmelt has released its app for Android

Rockmelt is bringing their critically acclaimed "everything" aggregation service and social network to Android, and they're doing so with style. If you're not familiar with Rockmelt, they started life as a web browser on the desktop, complete with social tools and ways to subscribe and share what the web has to offer, and now their new content discovery and delivery system has made it's way into Google Play.

We sat down and had a little chat with Tim Howes, Rockmelt's CTO and Co-founder, and Sharon Chang, Head of Marketing for the company and and discussed both the history of the Rockmelt brand as well as the present iteration. They're excited about what they're doing, and after having a go with the Android version of Rockmelt for a while, I think they have good reason to be.

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3 years ago

Dolphin Browser hits version 10 with a fresh design, new features

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Version 10 brings a refreshed design to the entire app, with small feature enhancements to keep the experience fresh

With over 10 million downloads to date in the Play Store, Dolphin is one of the most popular browsers on Android. It's moving right along with development though, and with a bump up to version 10 including a refreshed interface and new set of features that should build on its great user experience. With its latest version Dolphin left no portion of the interface untouched, keeping the same color scheme but rethinking the design and interaction at every point. On the back-end, a revamped web app store and development tools increase the potential for expansion.

This is a big step towards modernity for Dolphin, and things are looking good. Hang with us after the break where we break down the improvements in Dolphin Browser version 10.

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3 years ago

Falcon Pro removed from Play Store while dev addresses Twitter token issues

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Developer says Twitter may have 'shut him down'

On Monday, for the second time in just a few months, popular Twitter client Falcon Pro ran up against the 100,000 user token limit imposed upon most third-party clients. And as it did back in February, the app managed to sidestep the restriction by revoking all the old keys and requiring users to sign in again. But Falcon Pro has run into additional issues this morning, as it seems it may have once again exhausted its available tokens.

Writing on the official Falcon Twitter account, developer Joaquim Vergès said "Wtf? I wake up one day after resetting keys and they're already all used? Did twitter just shut me down?" In a later tweet, the dev said he'd unpublished the app from the Google Play Store "for now" while he figures out a new strategy.

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3 years ago

Quick look: Hootie for Twitter

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A clean and well-designed new client with a shortage of features but lots of potential

Twitter has been not-so-subtly placing restrictions on developers of third-party Twitter clients in recent months, drastically cutting down on the number of new options out there. But they haven't scared everyone away quite yet -- Hootie is a new client from developer Two Toasters that's a little rough around the edges but has a lot going for it. While it isn't likely to replace your main client of choice if you're a junkie for tweaks and settings, there's a lot here to love that will have us keeping our eye on it going forward.

Hang around after the break and learn a little more about Hootie, a new Twitter client that just hit Google Play.

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3 years ago

Humble Bundle 6 now available, get 7 great games and support some great charities

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Buying the latest Humble Bundle is easy, it's cheap, it's fun, and it helps some important causes.

The Humble Bundle is back, and with version six you're able to get up to seven great games for your Android device at one low price. It's a pay-what-you-like affair, and any amount will get you these five great games:

  • Aquaria
  • Fractal
  • Organ Trail: Director's Cut
  • Stealth Bastard Deluxe
  • Pulse (Android-only)

If you opt to pay more than the average payment, you also will unlock Frozen Synapse and Broken Sword: Director's Cut. Right now, the average payment is just $4.50, but that changes as more people pay (it's the average).

Besides getting a handful of great cross platform games, a portion of the price will be donated to the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Child's Play Charity, two very worthy organizations.

Have a look at the video, then head to the source link to grab the latest Humble Bundle. They accept PayPal, Amazon payments, Google Wallet and Bitcoin. 

Source: Humble Bundle

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3 years ago

Minus 2.0 brings a redesigned interface and simplified navigation

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Following up on a pivot that shifted Minus to be a chat and photo sharing service, an update to version 2.0 today brings a nicely refreshed and improved interface to the table. Building on the idea that Minus is made to help people meet and chat with its app, the new interface gives users an easy option to browse around a globe to find new people to connect with. Once you've made some new connections, the changes continue including a new greetings inbox for incoming chats, icons to indicate online users and an overall simpler navigation paradigm. As always, you still have access to a full-featured chat interface with both text and media sharing options.

The new version 2.0 update of Minus is now available in the Play Store, which you can find at the link above.

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3 years ago

Dragon Mobile Assistant hits version 4.0 with new features, stability improvements

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Nuance's assistant app, Dragon Mobile Assistant, has just received a notable update to version 4.0 today bringing in a new set of features and enhancements. With this latest update, Dragon Assistant will now automatically switch to Driving Mode when it detects that you are moving quickly enough to be driving, creating a seamless experience. Additionally, users can now have email dictation, so you can now create, dictate and send email through the app. Facebook activity will now automatically read out when enabled for notifications and newsfeed updates as well.

And what good would an update be without a bunch of stability and performance improvements, along with a bunch of bug fixes? Those are all here too. The version 4.0 update of the app has just been pushed out to the Play Store, which you can find at the link above.

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