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3 years ago

Contra: Evolution now available for Android

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Scroll sideways. Shoot aliens.

Retro run-and-gun platformer Contra: Evolution has landed on Android this morning, bringing Konami's classic shooter franchise to the platform for the first time. If you're not familiar with the series, which dates back to the 1987 arcade cabinet original, it's all about finding the biggest gun you can, and shooting aliens in the South American jungle.

The gameplay is both familiar and easy. It's a virtual joystick game, where the left stick controls your direction, and the right is the jump and inventory virtual buttons. Your toon never stops shooting, and whatever direction you turn is also the direction your weapon fires. Work your way through this side-scroller, where of course there are plenty of enemies shooting back, landscape items and scenery that will trip you up, and a boss fight at the end of each level. If you've played any of the Contra series on your old console, you know what to expect here. The Android version seems very true to form, and is just as fun to play as the originals.

Contra: Evolution is available from Google Play now for $0.99 in the U.S., or £0.63 in the UK. Grab it at the link above, or head past the break for our first-look video.

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3 years ago

Orbitz redesigns entire app, adds Google Now integration

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Speeding up the process of booking travel plans, and looking good doing it

Making a big leap in design and quality from the previous version, Orbitz has redesigned its entire app in the latest update to make searching and booking travel plans easier. Realizing the massive number of Android handsets being sold, Orbitz has undergone a complete redesign to be Android native, and the performance increases are notable. Navigation is extremely smooth and easy, with a simple interface that takes fewer taps to get where you need to be — whether it's finding a hotel, booking a flight or buying a rental car.

Under-the-hood changes also include the ability to stay signed in even when you exit the app for a long period of time, offline access for booked flights and changes to flight search listings. Orbitz is also now integrated with Google Now, so Gmail users that receive Orbitz notification emails will see their relevant travel information displayed as a card in Google Now the day of their travel.

You can grab a download or update of the latest Orbitz app at the Play Store link above.

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3 years ago

Google Now adds cards for car rentals, tickets, NCAA football scores and more

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New or improved cards for both work and play

An update to Google Now is in the process of rolling out to devices, and while most of us are still waiting the official Android Google+ account has detailed the update's new features. The update brings several new "card" types across a wide variety of topics, including car rentals, concert tickets, commute sharing and NCAA football scores. Each of these is pretty self-explanatory, but just shows how much Google is working towards getting all types of relevant information in your life into Google Now.

Along with the grouping of new cards, the update also improves public transit cards which will now show times for the last bus or train for you to get home so you'll never be stranded without a way back. The general search card has been updated to include a reminder function when you search for media content, such as setting a reminder to watch a TV show that you searched for. Also related is an updated TV card, which can now show you information about music playing or news being displayed in addition to current programming information.

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3 years ago

Hangouts app gets updated in Google Play

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The Hangouts app gets a speed boost on some phones

The Hangouts app has been updated, and though we don't have a change log as of yet, long-time reader Ben has the update and can tell us a little about what to expect.

On his Galaxy Nexus, he notices a big improvement in speed, and there are more emojis for the folks who like to add a little flair to their messages. Other than that, there seems to be no user-facing changes, but we'll wager a guess that there are bug fixes and stability improvements in there, too.

The new version is 1.1.2.778356, and is doing the usual gradual rollout thing. Keep an eye on your Google Play notifications to know when it's your turn. In the meantime, you can constantly spam-click the Google play link above like we are and see when Google gets around to updating the change log.

Thanks, Ben!

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3 years ago

Motorola puts Touchless Control app in Google Play, availability not expanding

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No new features being added in this initial Play Store release

One of the new headline features of Motorola's latest Droid line and the Moto X, Touchless Control, is hitting the Play Store today. Before you get too excited tough, the app is still restricted to just those four handsets — Droid Mini, Droid Ultra, Droid MAXX and Moto X — at least at this point.

The app is showing up as an update for users of these devices, but there doesn't seem to be any change in functionality or features at this point. Moving this Touchless Control over to the Play Store does enable swift updating when new features are available though, much like we've seen with Google moving apps like its keyboard into the Play Store.

If you have your hands on one of the new Droids, be sure to grab the update on your device.

Via: Droid-Life

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3 years ago

Reminders come to Google Keep, Android app update rolling out

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Reminders and a new UI coming to the Google Keep app, your update is rolling out slowly

Google has updated the Keep service with some new functionality, allowing us to now set reminders based on time or location right from the Android app, website, or Chrome extension. Once a reminder is set and saved in your Google account, you'll receive a notification when it is triggered on your Android.

Like Google Now reminders (we're pretty sure it's the same service, and first sign of the death of Google Tasks) you can tell the Keep app what time to remind you of something, or tell it to remind you when you get somewhere, like the grocery store or work. You can set things to happen at a specific time, like 3:30PM for instance, or something more general like Thursday morning. 

In addition to the new reminders feature, the Keep app is getting the same Google overhaul we've seen the other high-profile apps get. Hamburger menu, account switching and an updated new note interface round things out nicely.

If you're a Google Keep user, keep an eye out for the update that's slowly rolling out to all users. You can check using the Google Play link above. The Chrome extension update can be found here, and you can access Google Keep on the web via your Google Drive account here. Follow through the break for some screenshots.

Source: Google Drive Blog. Thanks, Jonathan!

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3 years ago

TripIt brings Seat Tracker service to Android app

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Don't get stuck in the middle seat for a long flight again

Popular travel service TripIt is adding one of its best "Pro" features, Seat Tracker, to its Android app today. The new feature leverages the fact that TripIt manages your flights for you and therefore can autonomously scan for open or better seats and offer them to you when they become available. Seat Tracker can help you get out of the middle seat, get into an exit row for more leg room or bring you closer to friends or family that you're flying with.

To take advantage of Seat Tracker you'll need the latest version of the Android app and be signed up for the TripIt Pro service, which costs $49 per year but includes several great features for the frequent flyer out there.

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3 years ago

'Dungeon Keeper' coming to Android this winter

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Classic PC franchise rebooted for 'strategy building and tower defense' title

EA and Mythic Studio have announced that they're bringing the classic strategy/god-game franchise Dungeon Keeper to Android and iOS devices later in the year, in the form of a mobile reboot. The PC original, which debuted back in 1997, saw players building an underground lair, attracting evil minions into their service and doing battle against the forces of good.

The mobile version is a "strategy building and tower defense" title, which may disappoint those hoping for a true portable re-make. Nevertheless, all the various components of Dungeon Keeper seem to be in place, including favorite minions like the bile demon, horned reaper and dark mistress, and various traps, rooms and spells.

From EA's press release —

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3 years ago

SwiftKey 4.2 launches with cloud sync, 50 percent discount

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SwiftKey Cloud goes official, now available on Google Play

A month after the first public beta launched, popular keyboard replacement SwiftKey has pushed its new cloud-based features out through Google Play with the public launch of version 4.2 of its app.

 SwiftKey 4.2 introduces cloud synchronization for personalized predictions, allowing users to easily keep their dictionaries and typing styles in sync across multiple devices. The latest version of SwiftKey also allows "trending phrases" — for example, words associated with current events — to be updated remotely without requiring further app updates.

Logging into SwiftKey been simplified too, with the addition of Google+ sign-in.

To sweeten the deal, SwiftKey 4.2 is launching at a 50 percent discount, so if you buy it today you'll pay just half the standard price. (If you've already purchased SwiftKey, you'll get an app update with all the new features.)

If you're picking up SwiftKey 4.2 for the first time today, or you've been testing it over the past month, let us know how you're getting on down in the comments. To grab the new version of the app for yourself, hit the Google Play link up top.

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3 years ago

Chrome for Android update brings WebRTC to stable channel

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Real time communication without plugins now available on Chrome for Android

Chrome for Android has been updated today, and along with improved scrolling and startup performance, there's also a pretty cool new feature — support for WebRTC.

WebRTC is a free, open project that enables web browsers with Real-Time Communications capabilities via some simple Javascript APIs. It's been supported on the desktop in Chrome for a few versions, and is a joint project between Google, Mozilla and Opera.

That's what it is, but what it does is the cool part. It allows you to use the camera and microphone on your Android to video chat without installing any pesky plugins. A website using WebRTC will request permission, and if you grant it you'll have a persistent notification reminding you that video and voice is being transmitted. Things can get interesting if web developers integrate it into their site design.

The update is "rolling out" starting today. You can check for updates from the Google Play app on your Android, or by clicking the Google Play link above.

Source: Google Chrome Blog

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3 years ago

There are now more than 40 million Vine users

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Vine is a six-second success story with over 40 million users

Twitter's Vine app — available for Android, the Kindle, and iOS now has over 40 million users says the company's official Twitter account.

We've said this before and we'll say it again: this community - now more than 40 million of you - is amazing. Thank you for inspiring us.

That's a lot of six-second videographers, and we're pretty sure nobody is happier about it than Twitter. Part of the reason for Vine's success is that they keep improving their app. Since it's arrival for Android in June, we've seen additions like front-facing camera support, push notifications and better Facebook integration. Users love it when the things they like get even better.

If you haven't tried Vine yet, click the Google Play link above and join the over 40 million folks using it.

Source: @vineapp

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3 years ago

Google+ Photo app now available for all Chromebooks

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The Google+ Photos app we saw Google release last June for the Pixel is now available for all Chromebooks

The Google+ Photos app was always able to be installed and "hacked" to work for Chromebooks and computers that weren't the Pixel, but now you can officially load it up and run it on all Chromebooks. The application allows for easy sharing photos from your Chromebook, and is a great front-end for viewing and sorting out your Google+ photo collection. It even starts up when you insert an SD card with pictures into your Chromebook.

Installation is easy, you just click and install from the Chrome Web Store. If you have a large collection of photos on Google+. or plan to build one, and use a Chromebook you will want to give this one a look.

Source: The official Google+ account

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3 years ago

Google Maps and Waze updated with crossover features

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Maps gets Waze incident reports; Waze gets Google Search, Street View in map editor

Following Google's acquisition of Waze back in June, we're starting to see the first signs of cross-pollination between Google's Maps and the collaborative navigation app. From today, Waze-reported incidents are starting to appear in Google Maps on mobile, and Waze users can also benefit from new Google features in their app.

Accidents, construction, road closures and other incidents reported by Waze are appearing in Google Maps for Android and iOS in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, France, Germany, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Switzerland, UK and the U.S.

Wazers are also getting a couple of new features from Google. Google Search will be added to the Android and iOS versions of the Waze app, and the Waze map editor now includes Google Street View data.

It's likely we'll see more co-operation between the Waze and Maps teams as time goes on, however at the time of the acquisition Google made it clear that the two teams will continue to operate separately.

Source: Google LatLong Blog

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3 years ago

Big YouTube app update brings new UI features

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Major update continues Google's new application look and feel, brings a unique multi-window view 

There's a big app update for YouTube beginning its slow rollout today, and while there are the standard bug fixes, the focus is on app design. Keeping with the current look and feel of Google's applications (forget all about Google Voice for a bit, Google seems to have) you have your sliding menu pane on the left, cards everywhere and a new multi-window feature that lets you keep one video playing while you look through your feed or search. While there is no official change log on Google Play just yet, somehow I was lucky enough to get the update today and here's what I'm seeing.

  • The new "hamburger" menu
  • A card based UI for your feed and search list
  • History, playlists, favorites and uploads are now at the top of the menu for easy access
  • A new icon
  • The ability to search for playlists
  • The new multi-window display

The majority of the changes are self-explanatory, for the new multi-window trick is something that needs explaining a bit. While playing a video, you can shrink it down to the bottom right corner by swiping down, tapping the down arrow overlay, or by pressing the back button. The video will continue to play while you're sent back to the UI, where you can look through the app and check your feed, look through a search list, or do just about anything else in the app while it continues to play. If you want rid of it, just swipe it away or drag it up to return it to its original position. 

As usual, this is a Google staged rollout. That means you may be waiting a bit until it's time for your account to see the new update, or it may be there waiting for you right now. (Of course, you can also download it from one of the hundreds of file mirrors that are already posted, providing you trust side-loading after the last security scare.) It's a great update, and worth the wait. See a gallery full of screenshots and pictures after the break.

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3 years ago

Minuum keyboard now available on Google Play

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The Minuum Keyboard is out of beta and available for everyone at Google Play 

After a successful Indiegogo campaign and private beta test, the folks at Whirlscape have made the Minuum Keyboard available for everyone on Google Play. We've seen plenty of other alternative keyboards for Android, but none that look or act quite like this.

The goal was to create a keyboard that was great for typing, but also only took up a tiny portion of your screen. The keys have been taken down to just one row to take care of the space issue, and a special auto-correct algorithm should take care of the great and accurate typing part.. A magnifying function takes over when you need precise and accurate typing, like for logins and passwords.

The jury is still out on how well this will work for everyone, but the general response from the Indiegogo campaign backers seems positive. We'll take a look and see how it handles life for an AC editor. Look for more, soon.

In the meantime, there's a product video after the break and you can grab your own copy from Google Play ($3.99) at the link above.

Thanks everyone who sent this in!

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