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3 years ago

Facebook Home opens up to show media from Flickr, Tumblr and others

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Multiple content sources can now populate your home or lock screens

Facebook is rolling out a new feature to its Android beta testing group that enables the ability to add other media content sources to Facebook Home or your lock screen. The ability to set Facebook Home as just your lock screen and not primary launcher isn't new, but being able to customize what media sources populate it is. Now when setting up Home, you can choose to sign in and add Flickr, Pinterest, Tumblr and Instagram accounts to the service.

After setting up your accounts, you will now see a mixture of photos from all of the services you've selected on your lock or home screens, rather than just content from your Facebook friends. You'll be able to "like" or comment on the pictures and simply hit the "view on" button to open the media in your browser as well.

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3 years ago

Rdio 'Stations' now free in hopes of challenging Spotify and Pandora

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New free listening option will hopefully build a user base that can convert to paying subscribers

Streaming music service Rdio is opening up its "Stations" radio service to everyone starting today, meaning that you'll no longer need to pay a subscription to use the base level service. Much like Pandora and Spotify, Rdio is now lowering the entry point for its service to everyone, giving unlimited listening of randomized stations — based on artists, albums, genres or tracks — for free. Stations are now free in the US, Canada and Australia, and at the moment are ad-free as well.

To coincide with Stations going free, the Rdio app has also received a few new features that help tweak your listening experience. In the new Stations, you can now "tune" the station to be more adventurous with its selections or more strictly stick to one artist. There are also new playlist views if you're a paying subscriber.

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3 years ago

TripAdvisor launches refreshed native app with improved performance, interface

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New interactive map and 'Hotel Price Comparison' makes it easier to research

Travel planning and research app TripAdvisor has refreshed its app with a new interface, features and drastically improved performance this week. Along with a simultaneous launch on iOS, the new TripAdvisor Android app is completely rebuilt natively to offer a better experience and integrate everything the service has to offer. You'll notice a new and simple UI for quickly researching or booking travel plans, focusing on a search box and a few quick buttons for hotels, restaurants, attractions and flights.

With the redesign you also have access to TripAdvisor's new "Hotel Price Comparison" feature, which compares booking options at a glance. You'll also be able to look at hotels easier on an interactive map, which displays results alongside nearby attractions and restaurants you may want to visit.

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3 years ago

Google Now adds 'OK, Google' hotwording, reminders for notable people

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Keep up to date with all of that Justin Bieber news, nobody has to know

Google Now is picking up an update today with a few new features to improve your search and predictive information experience. First up is a new "hotword" that can be detected  — "OK, Google" can now be said to initiate a voice search if you're in the US, although the regular old "Google" still seems to work just fine for us.

Once you've performed a search, if it happens to be for information on a "notable person" Google will offer you the ability to have new cards show up in Google Now for updates on that person. There's no indication of what makes a person notable, but we found searching some regular famous musicians and celebrities yielded the desired result.

Google also says that "more beautiful search results" are rolling out gradually, but you can get the two aforementioned features with an update to the latest version of Google Search at the Play Store link above.

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3 years ago

Hulu Plus gets Chromecast support

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Google's Chromecast streaming dongle now supports Hulu Plus, the company has announced on its official blog. The TV streaming service's mobile apps will be updated on Google Play and the iOS App Store today with a new "Cast" button, similar to other Chromecast-supported apps.

Until now Chromecast owners have been able to stream Hulu content through Chrome's tab cast feature, however official Android and iOS app support should make things a lot easier from now on. Hit the Google Play button on the left to grab the latest version of the app.

Source: Google Blog

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3 years ago

Google developers explain Wallet's new direction and the tools that power it

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There's more to the new Google Wallet than a pretty app

Google Wallet started as a simple (but not very well adopted) NFC based tap-to-pay system, but it has turned into a app that really plans to hold everything your physical wallet can. We're not convinced that it will be successful, but of course we're plenty interested in just how it progresses.

We've see the transformation of the Android app itself, but what about developers interested in working with Wallet? GDL (Google Developers Live) aims to explain the features and methods to work with them to developers and interested parties alike with their Wallet Objects video.

Check it out after the break.

Source: +Google Wallet

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3 years ago

Chrome for Android getting updated with new gesture support

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The Chrome stable channel for Android has a new update brewing, with a short new feature list. According to Google, the update will enable new gestures.

  • Swipe horizontally across the top toolbar to quickly switch tabs.
  • Drag vertically down from the toolbar to enter into the tab switcher view.
  • Drag down from the menu to open the menu and select the item you want without having to lift your finger.

We saw these gestures hit the beta channel last month and they seem to work well.

Users should expect to see the new update shortly, thanks to Google's new rolling release strategy. 

Source: Google Chrome blog

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3 years ago

Motorola Connect Chrome extension updated with cleaner design, bugfixes

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Important improvements to Motorola's first-party software for its new devices

Motorola has just pushed out an update to its Motorola Connect Chrome extension to improve the overall look and fix several bugs. The Motorola Connect extension works in conjunction with software on one of Motorola's latest devices — that'd be the Moto X or a new Droid on Verizon — to display text messages and incoming call information on your computer, saving you from having to pick up the phone as often.

The newly designed extension improves on the initial release with a better design that is easier on the eyes, along with a bunch of unspecified bugfixes. Motorola Connect is still a good leap away from what other third-party apps have done and far from what Google Voice offers, but it's a simple solution to managing calls and texts for folks who just want something that's baked into the phone out of the box.

Source: Chrome Web Store

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3 years ago

Sensorly receives redesign, now shows data speed results on maps

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Get a better feel for real-world usage with user-submitted speed tests

Crowd-sourced mobile coverage mapping app Sensorly has received a big update today with a new interface and set of features. First up is a general redesign of the whole app that brings it more into a modern interface. The maps have been updated and show more detail, and functions are now accessed with slide-in drawers from the left and right edges.

These are the same crowd-sourced data sets for all major carriers in the US and beyond, but now end users have access to the vast number of speed test results collected in these locations. Where available, you can choose to view average speed results for the carrier's coverage that you're viewing, giving you a better look at real-world speeds.

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3 years ago

Verizon HTC One receiving first OTA update

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Enhancements in stability and accessibility included

Verizon's variant of the HTC One may have launched with a newer version of software than the other US carriers, but it is still in need of some improvements and is receiving an OTA update starting today. The update to software version 1.10.605.10 has three main changelog components:

  • Device lock-ups have been reduced
  • Internet accessibility for the visually impaired is now supported
  • Update to ISIS Mobile Wallet

The update to ISIS Mobile Wallet probably isn't valuable to just about anyone, but improvements in accessibility and overall system stability are always welcomed. Keep on the lookout for the OTA prompt on your own Verizon HTC One, and chime in in the forums once you've received the update to let other members know how things go.

More: Verizon HTC One Forums

Source: Verizon

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3 years ago

Apps of the Week: WiFi Mouse, Pocket Ninjas, Splashtop 2 and more!

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A weekly grouping of apps that have grabbed our attention

Hard to believe that we're already looking at the end of September, but we have room for one last Apps of the Week column before we end the month. As always, we use this weekly post to highlight a group of apps from the Android Central writers that have turned out to be fun, useful or just interesting bits of mobile software.

This week we have a light grouping of tools, games and other odds and ends for your enjoyment. Stick around after the break and see how this week's picks stack up.

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3 years ago

Light Flow receives interface refresh, Galaxy Note 3 compatibility

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27 new apps now compatible with the service, including Google Keep

One of the most popular notification sound, vibration and LED control apps, Light Flow, is picking up a notable update with a refreshed interface and lots of compatibility improvements. First off you'll notice a refreshed white interface that takes advantage of new design and animations popularized by Google Now. The developer now makes use of the "card" UI for selecting notifications in the settings and for newly refreshed widgets.

On the back-end, the update brings compatibility fixes for the Galaxy Note 3 as well as other Samsung phones using its Knox enterprise security suite (provided you're not rooted). As usual the app adds new app compatibility, and this time around we see 27 new supported apps including Google Keep and the official BBM client.

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3 years ago

AOL releases news app for Android - yes, really

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The name we all know for dial-up internet is now bringing news to our smart phones

In an attempt to ride its memorable brand name for as long as possible, AOL has just released a full-fledged news reading app on Android. Not unlike many other apps in this genre, the Flipboard-esque interface lets you casually scroll through top news broken down by category. Entertainment, food, health, money, sports and others are all represented here, and AOL says that if you're signed in the content will tailor to you over time as you use it.

Beyond just news, the new AOL app gives you access to a full AOL email experience on both phones and tablets within the app. While its odd that it wouldn't break this out into a separate app, it's there and accessible right from the top bar. The whole interface is pretty standard and doesn't exactly make us want to drop everything and start using it as our primary news reader, but it is a first release after all.

If you're used to the AOL news ecosystem and want to give the app a shot, it is now available in the Play Store.

More: AOL Blog

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3 years ago

Speedtest.net app updated with new interface, maps feature

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Drastically improved UI with better accuracy and new tools

Everyone's favorite app for comparing network speeds, Speedtest.net, has received a substantial update today with a new interface. The new interface won't be much of a surprise for anyone who has used the app recently on iOS, but it is drastically nicer looking than what Android users had previously. The app performs better in terms of UI but also in network accuracy, and packs a few extra features.

It is now easier to share speed results right from the first page, as well as dive deeper into your results by looking at their details and even where on a map each speed test took place. The new app is a welcomed update, and we're sure many of you will be grabbing this download as quickly as possible.

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3 years ago

Google Play Movies & TV updated, brings easier TV browsing

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Get to watching the next episode with fewer taps

Google has updated its Play Movies & TV app to allow you to browse your TV collection more easily. Before, when you were in the My TV Shows tab, you would have to scroll down a huge list to find the TV show that you wanted. The update brings a grid of icons for the shows so you're not bothered by individual episodes in the main My TV Shows menu. It's a much cleaner look and one that was long overdue. The update also brings the ability to buy the next episode directly from the app and several bug fixes.

Full changelog:

  • Browse by TV show in "My TV Shows"
  • Buy the next episode directly from the app
  • Several bug fixes

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