Headlines

2 years ago

Telenav Scout offers another option for free GPS navigation

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Today Telenav launched Scout, their newest GPS navigation app. It has the usual plethora of live traffic conditions, points of interest, and estimated times of arrival for various routes. Voice-activated commands are also included, which is something of a necessity when you've got your hands on the wheel. The app itself is free, but there are a handful of features that are available through an in-app purchase, such as alerts to speed traps, improved lane assist, and connectivity with select Ford vehicles through AppLink. That extra stuff costs $4.99/month. 

Here's a video showing what Telenav is like. Are you happy with Google's Navigation app for Android, or do you find you need something more robust when going from point A to point B? Is there really anything particularly remarkable about Scout?

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2 years ago

Google acquires developer of Snapseed photography app

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Last January, Snapseed made its debut on Android, and though it never made its way into Play, we will likely see the photo editing suite bundled in very tightly into the core Android experience. The developer, Nik Software, has announced that they have been acquired by Google. 

Beyond the usual batch of artsy photograph filters, Snapseed includes selective adjustments, auto-correction tools, creative blurring add-ons, and lots of others. The UI is very finger-friendly, which has earned the app an excellent reputation. 

It's great to see Google picking up talented developers to keep Android fresh. Which app devs would you like to see Google acquire next? Now one can only imagine how long it will take before Snapseed disappears from the iOS App Store... 

Source: Nik Software

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2 years ago

Scosche's new Rhythm pulse monitor includes Android fitness app

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Scosche has launched this cool new pulse monitor called the Rhythm that relays workout information over Bluetooth to your phone so you can monitor intensity, set schedules, and check progress through an app. Though Scosche previously only supported iOS, their newest app is now on Android with all of the same good stuff. Scosche Rhythm also includes a lot of audio functions, including the ability to set a Power Song to help you get through the most grueling parts of your workout, control music tracks from the armband buttons, and recieve audio prompts to pace your progress. 

It's definitely a neat idea, and for those that are serious about fitness, I could see this app and the accessory getting plenty of usage. What are your favorite smartphone accessories to use during a workout? Any suggestions for stereo Bluetooth headphones?

If you're interested, the Scosche Rhythm armband is available over here for $99.99. You can check out a video of the new app below.

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2 years ago

Shazam updated for universal TV show tagging

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Shazam, the classic music ID app for Android, is expanding its presence in television. Now activating the app while your show's on can instantly pull up information about soundtrack, cast information, trivia, related celebrity gossip, and links to helpful IMDB, Wikipedia, and official sites. As always, Shazam can share tags out to Facebook or Twitter. The downside? It's U.S.-only for now. 

 

Shazam had previously tested these waters with a few select TV programs, but they've obviously expanded their database enough to handle any show on any network. Tablets are quickly finding their calling as a second screen during TV-watching, and being able to pull up relevant show info without having to type in a thing plays into that role perfectly. Of course, expanding geographic coverage of the service is the next step and making sure the ID database is deep enough to be reliable is going to be a perpetual challenge. Plus there's a bit of competition from existing TV companion apps, such as IntoNow, but I trust Shazam will be able to give them a run for their money. 

How often are you guys checking your phone or tablet while watching TV? Do apps like this enhance the experience, or is yet another distraction from what's going on on-screen?

Source: Shazam

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2 years ago

St John Ambulance life saving application comes to Android

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Already a popular application on the iPhone; St John Ambulance are proud to announce today that the application is now available for us Android users for free in Google Play.

On the unfortunate, off chance that you come across a medical emergency, the application will assist you in the right and wrong procedures to carry out. Or alternatively, it may just make for a good read just in case your medical skills are ever required. The ‘St John Ambulance First Aid’ app for Android follows a successful launch on Apple devices in 2010, where it has been downloaded over 136,500 times and has an iTunes rating of four stars.

Sue Killen, CEO, St John Ambulance, said: ‘Up to 140,000 people die each year in situations where first aid could have given them a chance to live. Even basic first aid saves lives and it’s our mission to ensure that more people have these skills. There is no substitute for learning first aid comprehensively by attending a first aid course but this app will make it easier for people with no training to be able to save a life. Now that it is launching on Android, we are making this simple, life-saving advice even more accessible.’

The app is already proven to be life saving after a mother was able to save her choking baby’s life by recalling information she’d absorbed from the app.

Got to be worth checking out. Incidentally, I shall be offering free mouth-to-mouth sessions at a location to be announced soon!

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2 years ago

Five (mostly) innocent Android apps that can help hide your naughty side [#NSFW]

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Yeah, yeah. We've heard it all before. Android and its mostly open application ecosystem in Google Play is a haven for smut. The Android Phone is for Porn, and all that. Of course, so is any device with a web browser. And as we've seen before, there are some "good" adult apps in Google Play -- as well as a bunch of crap that you'll want to say far away from.

But what about applications that for all intents and purposes are completely acceptable to have on your phone? Apps that nobody would think twice upon seeing. For parents who keep track of what their kids are downloading, some apps might not garner a second glance. Spouses might not suspect a thing.

We all know better, of course. Here are a handful of mostly innocent Android applications that can bring out the naughty side without, ahem, arousing suspicion. 

More: Our NSFW Android section

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2 years ago

Why you'll never have the latest version of Android

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Inside the ‘broken’ Android updates process

If you have an Android phone, chances are it’s not running the most recent version of the OS, 4.1 Jelly Bean. According to Google’s own figures, just 1.2 percent of active devices run the latest version of Android. Some 57.5 percent remain on Android 2.3, a version rapidly approaching its second birthday.

If you were lucky enough to buy a Nexus device -- the right Nexus device -- you might get the latest sweet treat from the Mountain View chocolate factory immediately, or within a few weeks of it being finalized. But for most of the countless millions of active Android devices, it’s quite a different story. They’ll probably never run the latest version of Android, whatever that may be. They’re on ICS if they’re lucky, Gingerbread if they’re not, and by the time they get Jelly Bean we’ll already be singing the praises of Key Lime Pie.

This vicious cycle is a product of Google’s approach to its OS, combined with a mess of other factors including carriers, manufacturers and users’ own expectations. It’s one of the platform’s most significant issues, and one that’s all but impossible to solve. Read on to find out exactly why, as we dissect the Android software update process.

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2 years ago

Carbon for Android potentially days away according to developers

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Carbon for Android has been a long time coming, and has to be one of the more hotly anticipated apps of recent times. While the original projected release date may have come and gone, no-one can deny that the developers, Dots and Lines, have been working hard to complete. A recent tweet posted to the official Carbon for Android account gives further hope that soon we'll be able to try it for ourselves. 

Turns out, that we might only be a few days away from launch; 

Matter of a few dayz now...yea, still alive and kicking! Next up will be a full video and our Google Play link...

Exciting news for sure. The Twitter client space has seen some interesting competitors in recent months such as Boid and Tweet Lanes, but it's no secret that this is the one a lot of people are going to want. And of course, it's going to be free. 

Source: @CarbonAndroid

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2 years ago

Apps of the Week - Tasker App Factory, ESPN Radio, Bombshells: Hells Belles and more!

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We've got a jam-packed week of app picks for you guys today. Everyone around Android Central is chiming in with their favorite app. This is another diverse week where we hit all the different app genres -- games, sports, productivity, tools and more. The best part about these picks is they're all either completely free, or have a free version. That's how we like it, folks. Read on.

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2 years ago

Ebay pushing an 'update' to previous version of the app, v2.0 has been recalled

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The official eBay app recieved a much needed update just a few days ago, bringing a much improved visual experience and some new features depending on where you are in the world. Now though, v2.0 has been recalled, and replaced with an 'update' to the previous version of the app, which is now live in Google Play. There isn't much clue as to what the issues may have been -- unless you experienced them personally -- as eBay is being a little vague at this time. Whatever it is, must be something pretty big. Opening the application now greets you with a message as we see here, and has been accompanied by an email from eBay which dropped into our inbox this morning. 

By now, you have probably noticed that we experienced an issue with the latest version of our Android app. As a result, we have temporarily replaced the latest version with the previous one. We value our customers and regret any inconvenience. Delivering the very best shopping experiences to our customers is our goal – anywhere, anytime and on any device.

Thank you,

eBay Mobile Team

So, there's no choice in the matter, even if it worked perfectly OK for you. To carry on using eBay on your Android Device head on over to the Play Store and grab the latest -- and previous -- version. In the meantime, what issues did you guys see? Sing out in the comments below and share with us all. 

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2 years ago

Google Wallet no longer working on the Verizon Galaxy Nexus

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Verizon Galaxy Nexus users have had a long and shaky history with using Google Wallet on their devices. Now it seems that some entity -- be it Verizon or Google -- may have finally pulled the plug on this one. Users in our forums are reporting that the Google Wallet app is no longer working on their devices and is unable to be updated or installed in the Google Play Store. We're not sure at this point why the app is pulled or whether it will be coming back, but hopefully we'll hear something more definitive soon.

We recommend you go check out the thread in our forums where users are reporting their findings. There's a good chance some ingenious hackers will find a way around this soon enough: Verizon Galaxy Nexus Forums: Google wallet problem.

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2 years ago

To-Fu 2 slingshots onto Google Play

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To-Fu 2, a free and addictive puzzle game, is now on Android. Some of you might have played the original, which also featured the headband-toting wobbly white cube which you stretch and release to fling through treacherous mazes.

Players have to hit the big pink fortune cookie at the end to win, though you earn extra merit for gathering all of the Chi orbs throughout the level or completing the whole thing within a limited number of moves. The levels are really mind-bending, and require precision and timing to make sure you ricochet and stick to the right spots. The new version of the game includes a whopping 115 levels, and a new time trial mode to see how many Chi orbs you can collect within a certain time limit. There are ads, but buying any of the vanity items through in-app purchases will remove them. 

I played the first one a bunch, and To-Fu 2 is just as fun. Give it a shot!

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2 years ago

International Xperia Ion receiving Ice Cream Sandwich update

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Back at IFA in Berlin a couple weeks ago, we got a look at a yet to be released version of Ice Cream Sandwich running on the Xperia Ion. It looks like the official release wasn't far behind that build, as the international version of the Ion has started to receive its update. Only the LT28i models are seeing it at the moment, but hopefully this is a sign of things to come for those of you with the Ion running on AT&T's network here in the states.

Also, if you're one of those Sony types -- or just appreciate hard working designers -- and somehow missed our great piece by Alex with the Sony design team, it's definitely still worth a look.

Source: Xperiablog

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2 years ago

Tetris available for free today on the Amazon Appstore

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Classic puzzle game Tetris is available today for free on the Amazon Appstore for today only. You know the drill: shaped blocks come down from the top of the screen, and you have to guide them down to create solid rows to make them disappear. Players earn bonus points for knocking out multiple rows at once, though the blocks come down faster as you plow onwards. The remake has a few new twists to the original, such as a variety of challenge missions and power-ups to help clear away blocks. 

The game's normally $2.99, so definitely worth picking up while it's free. Head on over to Amazon to get downloading. 

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2 years ago

US Cellular launches Wi-Fi Now app

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U.S. Cellular is taking steps to help its customers find public Wi-Fi hotspots when they're out of the house by launching their own Wi-Fi Now app. The app, which is available for download from the Google Play Store (and soon Amazon App Store) for current customers, runs on the device and will automatically connect to known good Wi-Fi access points. The app can also be configured to automatically connect to Wi-Fi at home after manually entering the connection information. U.S. Cellular also states that it will be loading the Wi-Fi Now app on all Android devices it sells from this point forward. If you're willing, using an app like this can really help cut down your monthly data usage.

Compared to having a persistent Wi-Fi button in your notification bar bugging you all day like some recent Verizon and AT&T devices, we think that U.S. Cellular has a better approach here. Giving the user the choice on whether or not to automatically connect is a good thing.

Take a look at the full press release after the break.

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