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3 years ago

Skype takes video messaging out of 'preview' status

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Skype this morning announced that it's taking its video messaging feature out of "preview" status and keeping it as a free feature on its desktop, Android, iOS and BlackBerry apps. (Windows Phone, oddly, is omitted.)

The feature records up to 3 minutes of video that then gets sent to a specific contact's Skype account either directly, or as soon as they're back online. 

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3 years ago

Dark widgets invade v1.2.5 of the Android Central App

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Ask and ye shall receive. We've just rolled out Version 1.2.5 of the Android Central app, adding (among other things) a dark-themed widget, which you can see here.

We've also squashed a couple of pressing bugs. Want the full changelog? Of course you do.

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3 years ago

Hardware identification tool CPU-Z makes its way to Android

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Know everything you would ever want to know about your device hardware with CPU-Z

The folks at CPUID have been around for a while. Folks using Windows computers have been using their software to get information for overclocking their computers, optimizing performance, and getting hardware information to install Linux since 2009. Yesterday, they brought a beta version of their wildly popular CPU-Z tool to Android.

The app is super simple to use, you just open it and read the screen. There no challenge, or high score, or inviting of friends involved, you just get a pretty darn complete set of information about the hardware inside your Android that you can use for debugging, or optimizing, or tweaking just like you would a Windows computer. 

Everything is nice and simple, with different tabs for your SoC, system build information, battery stats and live sensor data. The interface is superb, and follows Google's Android app UI guidelines -- no black bar on your HTC devices to be seen. There's also an easy method to send debugging information to the folks at CPUID if you find any problems, as well as a setting for temperature in Celsius or Fahrenheit. Not a lot of fuss is needed to get just about all the data you would ever need about your phone or tablet.

There are plenty of apps out there that will give you this same information, but people are excited about CPU-Z because  of who is behind it, and what else they may have to offer. The folks at CPUID have a few legendary performance and monitoring programs for Windows, and seeing an app like TMonitor or PerfMonitor2 come to Android would get every Android nerd in a tizzy, and your favorite ROM developer would have an amazing set of tools at his or her disposal. 

Of course, there's no promise that any of the other products will make their way to Android, but it's nice to dream. If you want to give CPU-Z a try -- and you should, it's free -- grab it from the Google Play link above. There are a few screenshots after the break showing you just what you'll see.

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3 years ago

Apps of the Week: Bandsintown Concerts, Google Translate, Runtastic Pedometer and more!

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Another diverse set of picks to give a try this week - see if some are right for you

It's hard to believe we're already half way through June, but that means we have another edition of our weekly app picks for your enjoyment. Every week the Android Central writers take a few moments to show off an app that they're using on their own device regularly, and we group them up to show off each Saturday. They aren't always the newest or flashiest apps out there, but they always serve a purpose for us that other apps just haven't.

Hang around with us after the break and see how this list stacks up against the rest -- you may just come away with a few new apps to try out for yourself.

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3 years ago

Another look at Dead Trigger 2 on NVIDIA Shield

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Our first look at Dead Trigger 2 at CES was great, and since then the game has come a long way. We met up with the guys from Madfinger Games at E3 for a walkthrough of a new gas station arena level.

Of course the zombie-infested first-person shooter is well-known for its excellent graphics, and they're now including dynamic reflections and shadows in addition the the already great water and lighting effects. Graphics aside, Madfinger emphasized that Dead Trigger 2 plays fundamentally differently than the original. For one, there won't be any premium-only weapons; you'll be able to get everything through a blueprint-based crafting system.

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3 years ago

NVIDIA Grid shows you can play Borderlands 2 on Ouya

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Back at CES, NVIDIA announced a cloud gaming solution called Grid, though it was mostly overshadowed by the Shield portable console. Luckily at E3 we got some time with one of the grid engineers, Chad Cooper, to talk about what Grid can do. Specifically, they were showing how the Android-powered Ouya game console could play big-boy games like Borderlands 2 thanks to their tech. 

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3 years ago

Candy Crush Saga for Android: Help, hints and cheats

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If Candy Crush is bleeding you dry, fear not - these tips can help you out 

Admit it: You're playing Candy Crush Saga. Or you know somebody who does. The Bejeweled clone has become a big of hit on iOS as well as Android, amassing more than 50 million total downloads on Google Play, with an average rating of 4.4 on some 1.2 million reviews.

Like the app or not, you can't deny those numbers.

And so Candy Crush has quickly become the latest and greatest timesuck, not to mention a money pit thanks to some devilishly good in-app purchases to get you through those tricky levels. Fortunately, our pals at iMore.com are damned wizards when it comes to Candy Crush Saga, offering up a number of tips and tricks that can keep the frustration at a minimum.

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3 years ago

Devil May Cry developer leaps into mobile with 80s-style beat-'em-up game

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At E3 2013, we got some time with Ninja Theory, who's been working on their first mobile title called Fightback. These guys made the latest Devil May Cry game, which is part of a well-respected console action series, so it was pretty exciting to see what they'd be able to do on Android.

Fightback is straightforward (but gorgeous) beat-em-up where players have to tap and swipe their way through waves of 80s-era goons within a limited timeframe. If things get tight, you can always bust out the guns to clear a wave, but depending on your weapon and upgrades, you'll have to wait on your reload time to use them again. 

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3 years ago

Press updated with Feedbin and Feed Wrangler support, interface changes

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Popular RSS reader Press rolled out an update on the Play Store today that added two new options for managing RSS feeds as well as new interface changes. Getting out in front of the planned Google Reader shutdown on July 1st, the latest update now supports both Feedbin and Feed Wrangler alongside the original Google Reader login option. Both of these options are paid ($2 per month for Feedbin, $19 per year for Feed Wrangler), but are a couple of the only viable options available as a Google Reader replacement at this point. Other leading options are Feedly, which Press indicates should be integrated before July 1st, and Fever, which is marked as "coming soon" to the app.

Press has also improved the interface, with better categorizing of feeds and some subtle changes to clean up the reading experience. The app is $2.99 in the Play Store and still stands as one of the best designed apps out there today. You can grab a download from the Play Store link above.

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3 years ago

Google+ update rolling out with new notifications and other tweaks

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Notification sync comes to Google+

An updated notification interface is now rolling out to Google+ on the web and through the official Android app. First up, notification sync is coming to Google's social network, and reading or dismissing a notification on one device or platform will register the change across all platforms. (Google recently announced something similar for Cloud Messaging in Android at Google I/O.)

And the notification UI has been given a fresh coat of paint, too. A new bell icon makes it easier to see if there are any new notifications waiting, and notifications are grouped based on whether they've been read or not.

Google's also used this opportunity to roll out some new features and tweaks elsewhere in Google+.  For instance, it's now possible to delete photos from directly in the "photos" view. Reshares are now shown alongside comments and +1's in the post view. And the left-hand menu has been redesigned to fit with the new look seen in other Google apps, such as Gmail.

The new version of Google+ is being rolled out gradually on the web and Android. Shout out in the comments and let us know if you're seeing the update yet.

Source: +Balaji Srinivasan

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3 years ago

Google Play Music update brings faster downloads, better data controls

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We've found ourselves plenty impressed with Google Play Music of late, but one area of concern has been with mobile data usage. Looks like that's being addressed in the most recent update (version 5.0.1052J, for those of you keeping track), along with some other improvements. 

Of the greatest interest to us is the addition of "new settings for mobile network bandwidth usage." Taking a quick look at the updated app, you have now have a "Mobile networks stream quality" section in the settings with three options -- low, normal and high, and there's definitely a noticeable difference between the best and worst quality. 

As carriers keep pushing us away from unlimited data plans -- and they've been pushing a lot harder over the past year or so -- that's become a cause for concern when you're away from the relative comfort and safety of Wifi. Google says this new version also reduces overall data usage, which is a good thing.

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3 years ago

Google releases Cloud Print app for Android

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I don't often have to print documents, but when I do ...

Google Cloud Print is pretty handy, letting you print anything from anywhere using Chrome with your own computer and printer. With today's release of the official Android app, you can now print to your Cloud Print enabled printers straight from your Android devices.

Doing so is simple, just open the app and use Android's sharing menu to import whatever it is you want to print. In fact, the hardest part of it all is setting up your computer and printer to work with Google Cloud Print, and that's pretty easy

While most of us send files and documents through the Internet in this day and age, having an easy fall back to get paper copy is nice. Grab it from the Google Play link above.

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3 years ago

'Easy privacy' may be coming soon to CyanogenMod via Incognito Mode

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The new method would make it easy to hide your data from any application

Steve Kondik took to Google+ earlier today to talk about something new he's been working on called Run in Incognito Mode. Designed to help maintain control over your personal data, it's a per app command that will stop your phone from sending out data to an app that might ask for more than you're comfortable sharing.

We aren't providing ad-blocking or device info (IMEI) spoofing. This feature is designed explicitly to help protect your personal data, and it will remain as such.

So what exactly will Incognito Mode do? Of course we haven't seen it yet, but according to Kondik, the new flag will allow the software on your phone that delivers data (called content providers) to either return the "real" data, or a limited set of data using the following privacy features:

  • Return empty lists for contacts, calendar, browser history,and messages.
  • GPS will appear to always be disabled to the running application.
  • When an app is running incognito, a quick panel item is displayed in order to turn it off easily.
  • No fine-grained permissions controls as you saw in CM7. It's a single option available under application details.

In other words, with Incognito Mode turned on, an app like Facebook will be told that you have zero contacts, nothing in your calendar, no message history and no browser history. Your real contact list, calendar, messages list and browser history will remain unchanged, but the third party app will never know the difference. If the app queries for a location, it will be told that GPS is turned off. All of this will be easily toggled on and off in the quick panel.

No word on when to expect this feature, or even a promise that it will make it's way into CM. It sounds like a pretty easy way to keep your valuable data safe, though, and we hope to see it soon.

Source: +Steve Kondik

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3 years ago

Yes, a MySpace Android app is coming

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Some of you kids might have to ask your parents what MySpace was ...

MySpace is attempting to reinvent itself as a the space for music and video discovery, and today it took itself out of beta and is available for anyone willing to sign up for yet another space to discover music and video. 

"Millions of musicians, artists, filmmakers, designers and curators are making their way to the new Myspace," reads the tag line. "Start connecting with them and channel an ever-widening stream of culture, creativity and sound directly to your eyes and ears." 

So there's that. There's also an Android app "coming," MySpace says in an e-mail blast today. Assuming it's on par with the iOS app (currently available), you'll be able to create animated gifs and browse people and music and videos. So, hang tight.

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3 years ago

eBay updates item listing UI, home screen layout

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Proper scaling to larger tablet screens improves the experience

The official eBay app has just been updated in the Play Store with several improvements to both the main home screen and the item listing experience for devices of all sizes. The main view when you open the app has changed to be cleaner and more prominently display your recent searches near the top, with a similar interface for both tablets and phones. The item listing function has received a bit of an overhaul, with the ability to see a full preview of your listing before posting, access to draft listings between devices and a proper tablet UI that takes advantage of large screens.

eBay is also expanding the ability to list items through the app to Ireland, Singapore, Malaysia, and the Philippines. You can grab a download of the newly improved eBay app at the Play Store link above.

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