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3 years ago

Pacific Rim game launches in Play Store ahead of movie release

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Game offers exclusive in-depth look at characters not fully revealed by the movie

Capitalizing on launching the same week as the feature film from Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures, Pacific Rim the game is making its way to Android today for $4.99. The game pulls heavily from the movie in terms of characters, plot and art but keeps things mobile-friendly with a head-to-head fighting style of game. The game offers both a "Story Mode" with 30 levels and "Survival Mode" for extended play, with distinct challenges in each. As you move through the game, you can customize up to five different characters with upgradeable skills and armor as you unlock different achievements.

You can watch a trailer for the game above, and grab a download of Pacific Rim from the Play Store link at the top of this post. Pacific Rim the movie is set to be released in U.S. theaters tomorrow.

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3 years ago

Jay-Z: 'Magna Carta Holy Grail' app issues 'not cool'

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Issues downloading album through app 'disheartening,' says rapper

If you tried to download Jay-Z's new album Magna Carta Holy Grail through the free promotional app for Samsung phones last week, you may have run into issues. Around launch time on Jul. 4 many users reported that the app was slow, unresponsive and crashy as servers became overwhelmed with fans trying to download the album.

And the app problems haven't escaped the attention of Jay-Z himself. According to the NY Daily News, the artist mentioned in a radio interview that he was aware of the launch-night issues, saying the situation was "not cool."

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3 years ago

Google+ update lets friends see your +1's, here's how to hide your +1 history

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Google is keeping a history of your +1's, but you don't have to share it with everyone if you don't want to

The latest update to the Google+ Android app doesn't have the most exciting changelog, but the one feature it adds is a user-facing one that brings up a larger question of the service. With the latest version, the Google+ app will now show content in your "stream" that wasn't shared directly by someone in your circles, but instead was +1'd by someone. In reverse, this means that things you +1 on your own will be shown to your friends as well, assuming you keep the default +1 settings.

Now this is far from a privacy alarm -- you have these people in circles and use Google+ for a reason -- but rather something that needs to be kept in mind. When there's an app update to specifically highlight this new content type, it's important to focus on. Stick with us quickly after the break to see how to change your settings.

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3 years ago

New Google Maps updated with offline maps button

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User feedback prompts new 'offline maps' card and 'where's Latitude' button

When Google launched its new Maps app for some users yesterday, it was criticized by some for the way offline maps had been handled. The feature, accessible via menus in earlier Maps versions, could only be activated by searching for "OK Maps" in the new app, in a sort of Easter egg.

Today the app has been updated once again with an easier way to download offline map caches — tap the (empty) search bar and you'll find "Make this map area available offline." It's perhaps not the most obvious place to put this feature, nor the most elegant-looking card, but we can't fault Google's fast turnaround on this issue. (The "OK Maps" shortcut will continue to function in the new version, Google says.)

In addition, there's now a "Where's Latitude" button in the main menu area linking to Google's support page on Latitude's retirement. The service, which is absent from the new Maps app, will be closed entirely on Aug. 9.

If you're running the new version of Maps, you should see an update to your app this morning. As an aside we're now starting to see the new Google Maps 7.0 on more of our devices, so if you're not updated yet you might want to check your Play Store app for updates.

Source: Google+

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3 years ago

Opera browser updated with faster startup, video downloads, and more

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Multiple features added for file handling and performance

A new update to the popular Opera browser has hit the Play Store, dubbed Opera 15 to those keeping count. The browser switched to being Chromium based in a previous release, which has been updated to Chromium 28. Time from icon press to actual web browsing has improved, making this release noticeably faster at startup.

Some interesting new features have been sprinkled throughout the latest version of Opera. It is now possible to download videos that can be played in Opera by either long pressing or using the download button. The location of where said videos -- and any other downloadable files -- are download to is now configurable, allowing the user to choose what device folder is used. It is also possible to browse external SD card folders and open files for use in Opera. Those with something to hide will be happy to see the new "open in private tab" context menu, as shown above.

Under the hood Opera gets an improved Cookie clearing mechanism, a fix for the unintended-uninstall-bug for Samsung devices, and memory leak plugs with stability improvements.

Check for updates directly in the Play Store or use the Play Store button at the top to get the latest version of Opera.

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3 years ago

Google Maps gains swipe-to-access gestures in latest update

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Get easy access to Views, place details, search results, and alternate direction routes

Many have heard about it, but few have received it. The new Google Maps app that was previewed at Google I/O hit the Play Store yesterday, with a reported rollout starting today. A lot of new changes come with a sizeable update (to version 7.0) such as this. Many, like the loss of Latitude and the 'relocation' of the offline maps feature have taken center stage in this update. Others, like the new gestures, were simply posted on one of Google's support pages.

These gestures come in two varieties: two-finger and one-finger. To access satellite imagery, public transit, and traffic, use two fingers to swipe from left to right, and the Views portion of Google Maps will open right up. The remaining gestures all use a single finger. Place details -- such as information about businesses -- can be accessed by swiping up on the info sheet header. To view additional search results, a left or right swipe can be used on the bottom info sheets. Alternate direction routes can also be summoned with an info sheet swipe to the left or right.

Source: Google Support

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3 years ago

Chrome for Android updated with full screen tablet browsing and automatic page translation

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Version 28.0.1500.64 has been promoted to the stable channel, now rolling out to devices via Google Play

Google is pushing out an update for the Chrome (stable branch) browser, with two very nice changes for Android users. The first, and one that everyone with an Android tablet will love, is full-screen browsing for Android tablets. This works the same as we've seen for phones, and the title bar disappears as you scroll down the page. Letting your tablet make full use of the screen real estate is a welcome change.

Also in version 28.0.1500.64 is automatic page translation via Google Translate. If your web surfing takes you to a page that's not in your device's native language, Google Translate kicks in and translates the page for you -- just like it does on the desktop. 

There's also a new optimized interface for RTL languages (including Arabic, Farsi, and Hebrew), and the ubiquitous stability and performance fixes. Grab your update via the Google Play link above.

Source: Google

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3 years ago

SEGA's Crazy Taxi now available on Android

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Once a Dreamcast hit, now an optimized Android port

In the continuing movement of bringing popular Dreamcast games to Android, the once console-system-maker SEGA has brought us another classic: Crazy Taxi. For those who didn't play it back in its heyday, Crazy Taxi puts players in the shoes of manic cabbies whose ultimate goal is to collect as much fare money as virtually possible.

The rules of the road do not apply in the Crazy Taxi world, where players are encouraged to barrel through crowded city streets, speed off the tops of parking garages, and combo their way to winning the race to collect the most cash. Not even the ocean is off-limits, where deep sea exploration is possible by hurdling off parked transporter ramps.

The Android version features Arcade and Original modes, with 16 playable mini games -- letting players choose from longer or shorter sessions of dangerous driving. The original music from bands like The Offspring and Bad Religion is even included.

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3 years ago

LG Optimus G Pro 'Value Pack' now available via OTA update

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New tools include Smart Video, Dual Camera and Pause & Resume Recording

Update: detailed software information and what is needed to update have been added after the break.

Original:

LG Optimus G Pro owners on AT&T should be on the lookout -- an over-the-air update is coming your way. Dubbed the 'Value Pack,' this update brings features very reminiscent of another popular flagship phone. We've been expecting this update for a few months, so it's good to hear the rollout has begun. New features are detailed as follows:

New Tools:

  • Smart Video intelligently recognizes the position of a user's eyes, automatically pausing the video when the user looks away and then restarting it once they resume active viewing.
  • Dual Camera, an extension of the Dual Recording feature, lets users simultaneously capture photos of the subject and the shooter using both the front and back cameras for a picture-in-picture composition, so both sides of an experience are snapped and saved.
  • Pause & Resume Recording allows user to pause video in record mode and then restart the recording to create one continuous video file. 

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3 years ago

Skype for Android updating with sign-out improvement

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Bug fixes also in first update following major design overhaul

We couldn't blame you for being a little confused as to how you're meant to sign out of the new Skype for Android. The messaging app received a major update last week with a brand new UI, and as a side-effect, the sign-out option — now buried under a menu overflow in the "profile" section — became a lot more difficult to find.

Skype has today responded to user criticism with a new update that makes it easier to sign out wherever you are in the app. In a new update pushing out through Google Play today, you can now sign out by pressing menu (or the menu overflow) in Recent, Favorites, People or Profile.

The new update also includes bug fixes for issues affecting users who set to "offline" on the old Skype 3.2 and then had problems making calls in 4.0. In addition, video capabilities have been re-enabled for some devices, and there are improved translations for Russian, Brazilian Portuguese and Traditional Chinese, Skype says.

The update should be pushing out through Google Play sometime today.

Source: Skype

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3 years ago

New Google Maps app starting to seed on Google Play

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Update 'rolling out to Android 4.0.3+ users over the next few weeks,' according to Play Store listing

A little under two months ago at Google I/O, Google offered a preview of the next version of Maps for Android. Stand-out features included a completely revamped UI, with a search bar front and center, together with smoother visuals, a re-tooled Zagat experience and Google Offers support.

Today it seems the new version of Maps — ver. 7.0 to be precise — has started to push to some users though Google Play. If you're not seeing it yet, you're not alone. None of our devices are seeing the update, and the "what's new" entry for the app suggests it could be weeks before many get access to the new Maps — "This update will be gradually rolling out to Android 4.0.3+ users over the next few weeks."

Google also highlights a re-worked UI for Android phones and tablets, including a new tablet UI with less chrome and clutter, and a greater focus on the actual map. There's also enhanced navigation including "live traffic updates, incident reports and dynamic rerouting," and a new "explore" section showing shops, restaurants, hotels and other attractions nearby.

Google's transitioning certain features away from Maps, and as such check-ins and Latitude support are absent in the new version (the company's blog post says it'll be retired altogether from Aug. 9). "My Maps" support is also absent for the moment, as is offline map caching, at least as officially — you can still cache areas of the map by typing "OK Maps" in the search box, in a sort of Easter egg.

As always, the version of Google Maps available to you will vary based on your device and which version of Android you're running. If you're on 4.0.3 or above, hit the Google Play Store to see if your update is ready, and let us know if in the comments if you manage to pick it up.

More: Google previews next major Maps update at Google I/O

Source: Google Maps Blog

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3 years ago

Bluebox Security Scanner attempts to scare the living shit out of you

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Somewhere, someone is going to make this a thing. Only, it's not really a thing. So let's just get out in front of it here.

Bluebox — the group behind this "Master Key" scare — has an app that will tell you if the exploit is on your phone, or if it's been patched. Cool. But remember:

  1. We're really not all worried about this. Here's the long version of why we're not worried about it.
  2. It's an exploit that needs to be fixed, and it's being fixed.
  3. Google took care of things on the server side, in Google Play.
  4. Google is patching things in the code side and working with the manufacturers to get it pushed out.

What we don't like to see is all of those scary "Unable to scan app xxxxxx, it may be trying to evade the scanner" lines. As if the apps themselves — apps we've been using for years — are to blame. That's bullshit.

And a word of advice, folks: If you're going to try Bluebox's little scanner app here, make sure you download it directly from Google Play, so you know it's safe. It'd be bad if someone used the "Master Key" exploit to circulate a malware-laden version of the scanner app without breaking the signature.

Us? We're uninstalling this thing ASAP.

Via Android Central Forums

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3 years ago

Phone calls via Hangouts makes its triumphant return

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Fear not telecommuters -- phone calls via Hangouts are coming in the next few days

If you decided to take the plunge and move to Hangouts in your Gmail account or install the new Chrome extension, you might have noticed that the ability to initiate a phone call was missing. Unlike the Chat feature that came before it, where you could make a voice call to any of your contacts, you only had two options -- a text Hangout or a full-fledged video-conferencing Hangout to another party with a camera. Plenty of us missed that feature.

Now its back! Or it will be soon, according to the official Gmail blog. Included with today's news are a couple new features. Calls to the US and Canada are now free from all countries where Hangouts calling is available. And international rates remain "super, super low." Additionally, you can now add multiple voice and video participants to the same Hangout, and Google has a couple fun effects (like a laughing voice) you can use for a bit of added foolery.

The change will be rolling out to users in the next couple of days. To check if you have it, or to use it when you do, simply look for the new phone icon in the new Hangout box in your Gmail, or the "Call a phone" entry in the Chrome extension menu. Nobody here at AC has the feature enabled just yet, but we're ready.

Source: Official Gmail Blog

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3 years ago

Yahoo! Mail adds seamless Dropbox attachments

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New attachment functionality rivals Google's Gmail and Drive integration

Dropbox and Yahoo! announced today that the companies will be integrating to offer seamless file attachments in the Yahoo! Mail Android app. Unveiled at its "DBX" developers conference, Dropbox and Yahoo! have now teamed up to challenge the added functionality Google offers with Gmail and Google Drive. Users that authenticate with their Dropbox account from within the Yahoo! Mail app will now be able to select either local or Dropbox files from the "attach" menu, and simply send out files that are stored in the cloud.

This pretty much directly mirrors what Google currently offers for sending large file attachments with Google Drive, with the added bonus that Dropbox is still the de facto cloud storage solution for so many people. The update is set to be live in the Play Store today from the link above, but doesn't seem to be available just quite yet.

Source: Yahoo!

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3 years ago

Kyocera Torque receiving Jelly Bean update starting today

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The rugged device makes a necessary move up to a modern version of Android

Sprint's latest rugged device offering, the Kyocera Torque, is making the jump from Ice Cream Sandwich to Jelly Bean today via an OTA update that is rolling out now. The update, which Sprint says will roll out to users "during the next few weeks", includes all of the expected Jelly Bean improvements such as Google Now, Project Butter and expandable notifications. We were relatively happy with the performance of the Torque when on ICS, so we expect things can only get better with the upgrade to Jelly Bean.

It's nice to see a relatively timely update to Jelly Bean for a device that launched with ICS far beyond the window of acceptance for that software. As we have seen in recent Platform Version numbers, more and more devices are making that move up to Jelly Bean every month.

Source: Sprint

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