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2 years ago

Amazon MP3 app updated to v2.4.1, including the return of the search button

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Amazon has updated their Amazon MP3 app, which among other things, puts the search button back next to the search bar. They had taken it away, forcing users to hit enter/search on their keyboards once they typed in their query in the bar. Needless to say, it's nice to have the button back.

Other than the addition of the search button, the update brings a few fixes, including the lock-screen playback issue on some devices  and the unexpected streaming network errors on some Sprint devices.

To get the latest update or if you're interested in the free app from the Android Market, please find links after the break.

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2 years ago

Waze [Android App Review]

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The world of consumer electronics is not for the faint of heart. A company comes up with a brilliant new product that suddenly gets enormously popular but then before you know it, the next big thing arrives and the previous market demand evaporates. Exhibit A - just a few years ago, netbook computers were all the rage right up until the moment Apple launched the iPad in early 2010. 

Closer to the garage, Apple also triggered disruption in how we find our way to our driving destinations. Earlier in the last decade a new generation of smaller, cheaper GPS receiver chips made low cost personal navigation devices (PND) a very popular replacement for old school paper maps. When the first iPhone came to market in mid-2007, it ushered in an era of new smartphones with built in GPS. One of the first apps on those iPhones was Google Maps

At first Google Maps was limited to showing your current location on the map helping users to find their way around in unfamiliar places. It wasn’t until November 2009 when Google launched version of 2.0 of its own Android mobile operating system on the Motorola Droid that the end-times arrived for the makers of PNDs. For the first time, the new version of Maps included full turn-by-turn directions capability just like a PND and it was free of charge.

Since then, a wide array of free and low cost navigation apps have appeared for both the Android and Apple iOS platforms with Waze being one of the more interesting examples. Google creates its own map database from a variety of sources including its fleet of Street View cars that are driving around the world recording and photographing the world’s roads.

Waze on the other hand relies primarily on its community of users to produce maps and provide real-time traffic data that is shared with the entire community.

Warning: Tin-foil hat types that worry about being tracked everywhere they go probably should not use Waze. Actually, if you are that concerned about being followed, you shouldn’t even be carrying a mobile phone but that’s a whole different story. Follow the break to see more about Waze, and to get a download link for the application.

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2 years ago

Google Wallet updated with core fixes, prepaid cards still borked

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Google Wallet has been updated with a pretty extensive (and detailed) change log. You can now use a PO box in the address and be able to top up your prepaid card, and that address can be longer (good news for those living in Winchester-on-the-Severn, Maryland), reward card syncing has been fixed, "improvements" have been made to support more handsets, and fixes to the core wallet system have been applied.

One thing that hasn't been fixed is the prepaid cards. You can't add a new one, you can't retrieve your data for an existing one, and you'll get an error about system upgrades if you try. I know, because i tried both. I'm getting the feeling my $11.40 is gone forever.

All kidding aside, I'm sure some of you guys did drop a decent amount of cash in the prepaid card, have wiped your phone since, and can't get it back. I understand the need to change and fix a few things on the security side (Google Wallet is still very beta after all), but it would be nice to be able to access my fortune next time I wanna buy a cup of coffee. We can only hope Google gets it all figured out shortly.

There's a link after the break to the Market, but be warned -- it only will work if you've got a Sprint Nexus S 4G or an unlocked Galaxy Nexus with an AT&T SIM card in it. The rest of us will have to resort to hackery to get it installed. I'm sure the apk will be posted somewhere soon enough.

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2 years ago

Skitch for Android - Now includes highlighting of maps, saving to your SD Card

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You ever come across one of those applications where it seems like an obvious feature is missing and you wonder why the heck it isn't there? I felt that way about Skitch until tonight. Previously when using Skitch, you couldn't save files to the SD Card fo your device but now with the latest update you can do that and more:

  • Maps in Skitch  - Skitch is great for eliminating ambiguity: draw attention to a person in a photo or point out where that new sofa should go. And now, you can even take the ambiguity out of giving directions. With the new map feature, drop a pin with an address, then use arrows, shapes and lines to show exactly where you mean.
  • Save to the SD card - This is one of our most requested features. Now, anything you have in Skitch can be saved to your SD card. Do this by tapping on the Save icon. You can also find your saved images by tapping on that same icon.
  • Move your text - We also made it easier to add and move text. When you start typing, your text appears in place over the image. Tap and drag the text to move it to a different location, pinch the text to change its size. You can do all of this without changing to the finger tool. Easy.

Skitch has also included some bug fixes and general improvements with this release. You'll find in the Android Market right now available for download. If you've not used Skitch as of yet, go ahead and jump past the break -- you'll find a download link there waiting for you.

Source: Evernote Blog

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2 years ago

Android App Review: Who Becomes Rich

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Who Becomes Rich is a fun multiple-choice trivia game where you compete to win big bucks. It closely resembles Who Wants To Be A Millionaire and is very addicting, so watch out.

The questions start out incredible easy, but gradually get more difficult as the monetary value increases. Topics include: general knowledge, sports, movies, politics, geography, biology, computer science and mathematics.

Each question has four answers and you're given three lifelines to last through the entire game. 50/50 eliminates two of the answers, ask the audience is self explanatory, and you can scrap the current question for another one.

Once you lose the game, you can enter your name to submit it to the leaderboard and even share it to Facebook if you wish.

Options include the ability to change 'Answer Clicked Wait Time', and 'Answer Solving Wait Time'.

The game app is available for free in the Android Market. Please find links to it after the break as well as more screenshots.

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2 years ago

Google+ updated with several stability improvements and bug fixes

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If you haven't hit the Android Market yet today, then you may not be aware the Google+ team has pushed out the latest release. While no new features have been added, it is noted to contain several stability improvements and bug fixes and that sounds like something everyone should be interested in. Looking for the download? You'll find it past the break.

Source: Virgil Dobjanschi

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2 years ago

Dolphin Browser HD - Search the web and navigate the browser using Dolphin Sonar

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The folks from MoboTap have now released the latest version of Dolphin Browser HD bumping it up to v7.4.0. Aside from the usual bug fixes typically inlcuded with all updates, this release actually introduces a new feature called Dolphin Sonar that allows you to issue voice commands to help navigate the web. Once installed, you can open up Dolphin, give your device a shake then tell it what you want to do.

"Our Gesture-based browsing function was a game-changer in terms of the way people browse on their mobile devices, and Sonar is the logical next step," said Yongzhi Yang, CEO of MoboTap, makers of Dolphin Browser. "Just as sonar is used by dolphins to navigate, Dolphin Sonar interprets sound to get you where you want to be online. We are continuously thinking of new ways to heighten our users' mobile browsing experience with new and innovative features."

Having given it a quick run through, it fairs quite well when issued commands. I'm not so sure I would use it all the time but I suppose that's the good thing about it -- you don't have to but in case you want to, it's there. You can find the full press release and download link past the break.

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2 years ago

Sprint provides free Mobile Accessibility app to users with low vision

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Today at the 27th annual International Technology & Persons with Disabilities Conference Sprint announced that they will begin offering a free application to ease the use of Android phones for people who are blind or have low vision. The app, written by developers at Code Factory, is free in the Sprint area of the Android Market for Sprint, Boost Mobile, and Virgin Mobile customers.

The application normally sells for $99 US, and is for anyone who has trouble reading the small print on a smartphone. It's simple user interface and voice guided instructions help users make and receive calls, texts and mail messages, as well as access things like their contacts, calendar, and even browse the web.

We're hard on the carriers here sometimes. Sometimes they deserve it. But I want to take a moment and say on behalf of all of us at Android Central that we applaud Sprint for what they're doing here. The people that will find this application useful may not be able to afford a hundred dollar Android app, and offering it for free is a nice way to give back to customers. Nice work Sprint. 

It's available in both English and Spanish, free for Sprint customers with Android phones running 2.1 or higher. Download links are below, and a short video and the press release are after the break.

Download Wireless Accessibility in English

Descargar accesibilidad inalámbrica en español

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2 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S II inexplicably wins smartphone of the year at MWC

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The GSMA -- the group that puts on the fine Mobile World Congress we've been attending all week -- has released 17th annual Global Mobile Awards for this year's show. Of note for you Android fans out there are:

  • Angry Birds Rio (Rovio), best mobile app for consumers
  • WhatsApp (WhatsApp), best overall mobile app
  • SwiftKey (TouchType), best innovative mobile app
  • Google Maps for Android (Google), best consumer mobile service
  • Galaxy S II (Samsung), best smartphone
  • Samsung, device manufacturer of the year

We have absolutely no idea how one of last year's top smartphones -- the Galaxy S II -- won an award this year, especially with the likes of HTC, Sony, LG, Nokia, ZTE and Fujitsu all bringing new products to Barcelona. OK, OK. Yeah. It's last year's phones. We get that. But we're also under an avalanche of this year's phones. We know what we liked. We wanna see what everyone else like from the show, too.

The judges' comment was "A phenomenal success around the world, this has outperformed all its Android rivals and demonstrated the maturity of the ecosystem." We wouldn't argue against that. But that was last year. It's also worth noting that the categories have changed a bit. In 2011, the iPhone 4 won Best Mobile Device (never mind that Apple is nowhere to be seen around here), and HTC was Device Manufacturer of the year.

You can check out the full list for yourself at the link below.

Source: GSMA Global Mobile Awards (2012, 2011)

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2 years ago

Twitter to start pushing "promoted tweets" into main timeline on official Android app

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Twitter will be pushing mobile advertisments through their official Android and iOS applications, much like LinkedIn began doing just a month ago. You won't start seeing pop-up ads like we do in something like Angry Birds for example, but rather "promoted tweets" will begin to appear in your main timeline. 

At present, the promoted tweets and trends are only seen when you access the search pages within the app. Twitter have said though that initially only a small number of users will begin to see these tweets appear on their timeline from brands they follow. 

Twitter have tried to pretty it up and make the whole deal sound more user orientated -- but let's face it, it's straight up advertising. Mobile ads are here to stay though, and with 55% of Twitter traffic coming from mobile, it was only a matter of time before we saw something like this emerge.

Source: Twitter 

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2 years ago

Camera ICS+ brings Ice Cream Sandwich camera to non ICS phones

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The stock Ice Cream Sandwich camera application is pretty nice. Clean and simple interface, really easy to use, and of course that built in panorama mode is awesome. A developer by the name of Moblynx has taken the stock app, and tweaked it ever so slightly to add some nice extra features. Up until now the app has only been available for Honeycomb and ICS devices. Today it received an update, that now lets anyone on Froyo and Gingerbread join in. 

There is a free version -- but seriously who wants ads in their camera app? The paid version currently sets you back £0.79/$0.99. For that you get the stock ICS camera application with some added bonuses. You get some built in photo effects like mono and sepia, silent mode, a picture quality setting that goes all the way up to ultra, a silent mode and of course the panorama feature to name but a few.

Running the app on an ICS device also gets you additional video stabilization features and 720p face effects. 

Besides opening up to 2.2 and 2.3 devices, todays update also includes Intel x86 support, configurable volume buttons and a host of bugfixes. Download links to the paid version can be found after the break. 

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2 years ago

Trapster for Android updated to v3.1.0 - Now featuring intelligent alerting, new sounds and a revamped UI

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Trapster has been hard at work on a new version for Android users and has now taken the wraps off v3.1.0. This latest release packs in some new features for everyone to make use of including a new UI, NAVTEQ real-time traffic incidents and new notification alert sounds not present in any other version of Trapster.

  • NAVTEQ real-time traffic incidents - NAVTEQ real time traffic incidents are now fed into Trapster 3.1.0! When you see white icons with a red outline, you’ll be assured that this is from a trusted source.
  • New Notification Sounds - You now have the option to hear audio alerts when the posted speed limit changes. When the speed limit lowers you will hear this. And when the speed limit raises you will hear this. You will also hear a Thank You Chime after reporting or voting on a trap.

Trapster v3.1.0 is available now in the Android Market, if you're looking for the download link you can jump on past the break and grab it.

Source: Trapster

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2 years ago

Isis mobile payment system to launch mid-2012, lists Chase, CapitalOne, and Barclaycard as partners

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Isis Mobile Wallet, the service backed by AT&T, T-Mobile US, and Verizon has announced new launch partners and it's long awaited trial launch date. New financial partners Chase, CapitalOne, and Barclaycard join Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express for the  trials in Austin, Texas and Salt Lake City, Utah which are expected to begin sometime in mid-2012. Isis isn't sharing much past that, as they say the nationwide rollout will follow the trial with no further details.

Isis partners will allow users to program both credit and debit cards into the mobile system, which gives it another leg up on Google Wallet. Add in the fact that Isis has carrier backing and pre-approval, and chances are that this will be the mobile NFC-based payment system we'll see on our devices when and if it catches on, at least in the US. That doesn't mean Google Wallet will disappear, but being available and being relevant are two different animals.

This doesn't mean that Isis is inherently bad, though. It may turn out to be an excellent product, and I'm excited to give it a try. We have to remember that Google Wallet isn't open and lovable, it is a for-profit venture from Google, much like Isis is a for-profit venture for its backers. When it comes to finances, few things are open and best for the consumer. The best product will be defined by the users and that's the one that will win out. 

The full press release follows the break.

via BusinessWire

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2 years ago

StumbleUpon for Android - Updated with new widget, Google+ sharing and home screen improvements

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StumbleUpon has announced the latest update to their popular Android app and with this release, they've gone ahead and done some house cleaning on the app and added in a bunch of new features that are deeply integrated with Google services.

  • Android Beam (NFC): Users of the StumbleUpon app for Android can now share any content they discover on StumbleUpon to other NFC-enabled devices running Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich. This will make sharing content discovered through StumbleUpon seamless and fun.
  • Action Bar: The StumbleUpon app will now feature the native Android Action Bar, enabling users to explore the Web via the familiar Android navigation interface.
  • Resizable Widget on device home screen: The StumbleUpon app for Android will now be accessible directly from the device home screen. Users will be able to preview StumbleUpon-recommended content directly from the home screen of their device without having to launch the StumbleUpon app.
  • Sharing to Google+: The StumbleUpon app for Android will now include a sharing button to Google+. In addition to sharing to Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon and email, Stumblers can now easily share content they discover through StumbleUpon with their connections on Google+.
  • Sign in with Google: With the new app, users will be able to sign in to StumbleUpon through a Google log-in with any mobile device and on the desktop.

Aside from the new features added, StumbleUpon also updated the homescreen experience for the app, making it easier then ever to get logged in and not only finding but sharing the content you enjoy the most. The updated version is available in the Android Market right now, full press release and download link can be found past the break.

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2 years ago

Grab the official Android MWC app from the Android Market

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Not at Mobile World Congress but still want to follow along? Google has now released their official Mobile World Congress app in the Android Market. Of course, it is meant for attendees to use but it's still an awesome app to download and check out. Some of the features:

  • Event information
  • Booth & partner maps
  • Information on partners featured at the booth
  • Google Mobile apps featured at MWC
  • Android Pin checklist
  • Photo Notes

You can jump on past the break for the download link and stay tuned for more Mobile World Congress coverage right here on Android Central. Thanks, Gordon!

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