2 years ago

Motorola starting Droid Bionic Ice Cream Sandwich soak test


Some folks have sent emails into Droid-Life indicating that they've been contacted by Motorola to participate in a "soak test" for an Ice Cream Sandwich update on their Droid Bionic. If you haven't seen this go down before, Motorola likes to try and slowly offer an update to specific users to test out before pushing it to the rest of users. It's probably a good strategy in case there are any last-minute bugs, but hopefully it won't be too long of a process.

Motorola has backpedaled a bit in their commitment to update the Bionic to Ice Cream Sandwich in the past, but this will be a good way to make amends with the loyal Bionic owners.

Source: Droid-Life

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2 years ago

Dropbox app updated with refreshed UI and photo improvements


Dropbox is the long standing king of consumer-focused universal cloud storage solutions and it continues to update its Android app with new features and refinements. The latest update -- version 2.2 -- brings a new UI for the entire app and several improvements around managing photos.

The blue and white contrast UI is still here but with a more intense blue, with small tab buttons on the top and more pronounced contrast with the white icons. Folder views are the same, except now your camera upload list is in its own tab with more of a "gallery" feel. Images are loaded with thumbnails and categorized by date. One tap on an image brings you to a full screen view with the normal favorite, share, export and delete keys. We're happy to see that Dropbox has also integrated the "holo" design standards insofar as the search and overflow settings button are concerned.

You can grab the app or an update from the Google Play Store link above, and stick around after the break for a few screenshots of the UI improvements.

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2 years ago

Play Store update pushing out, brings expandable notifications and removable entries from all apps tab


There's some changes afoot with the Google Play Store application, and we're pleased to say many of you are going to be pretty darn happy about it. A new update is beginning to push out -- version 3.9.16 if you're counting -- and brings with it a new headline feature. Now -- finally -- we're able to remove unwanted applications from the 'All' tab in My Apps. Hallelujah! 

When opening said tab in the latest version, we're presented with a symbol at the side of each application which with a simple tap allows us to remove it from the list altogether. Equally, a long press allows for multiple apps to be selected for deletion at one time. We just had a complete -- and swift -- clear out of our three year old list of downloaded applications. 

That's not all though. Also included is a slightly improved notification system for app updates, at least on Jelly Bean anyway. Taking advantage of the new expandable notifications, the update notification will now tell you which app, or apps -- up to the first few anyway. We're also seeing our position retained within a list, so when you pop in and out of app listings, you aren't returned to the top. 

If you're seeing the update yourselves, be sure to shout out in the comments below should you see something new that we didn't mention. And, if you click on past the break we've got a smattering of screenshots for you.

via Android Police

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2 years ago

The Tribez sets up camp on Android


The Tribez, a popular free casual sim game for iOS, has just migrated to Google Play. A lot of the same ol' FarmVille shtick is here, where you need to check in on your buildings collect coins, grow your settlement, and supplement your progress with in-app purchases if you're feeling it. There's not much in the way of multiplayer here, but there are a bunch of missions to embark upon, resources to exploit, buildings to construct, and a little pet dinosaur to train. Over time, you can expeand your territory over 6 islands in the prehistoric area. 

I've put a fair bit of time into The Tribez, and the graphics are surprisingly good for this kind of game. The in-app purchases can be a little on the pushy side, but if you're looking for a game that's a notch or two more casual than SimCity, The Tribez may be worth checking out - especially since it's free. 

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2 years ago

Ice Cream Sandwich update rolling out to Orange San Diego


The Orange San Diego launching in the UK was a big deal. As the first Intel powered Android device to launch in Europe, it set the ball rolling for the chip manufacturing giant in their latest mobile endeavor. One major criticism of the San Diego at launch was the OS. While very smooth and snappy, Gingerbread is still Gingerbread, and it's just starting to feel dated. Thankfully, Intel is now catching up, and we've seen Ice Cream Sandwich on the new Motorola RAZR i, the ZTE Grand X IN, and, at IFA 2012 in Berlin, we saw the San Diego itself running Android 4.0. 

On a stand at a trade show is one thing, but what really matters is getting it out there into the wild. Word has reached us today that the ICS update for the San Diego is now beginning to push out. This is great news, and as we found out during our brief hands on, ICS on this device is every bit as smooth and snappy as we would hope it to be. 

Have you received your update yet? Hit us up in the comments below and let us know how you're finding it. 

Thanks Paul H!

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2 years ago

New Zagat app now available on Google Play


Google-owned restaurant ratings guide Zagat has just put out version 1.0 of its Android app on the Google Play Store. A free download for devices running Android 2.2 and above, Zagat allows you to browse restaurants nearby based upon ratings, cuisine type or features. The app also has the ability to add your own ratings and reviews, and even make reservations at certain restaurants.

Coverage is limited to a selection of U.S. cities at the moment -- the full list can be found on the app's Google Play Store listing -- so international readers may want to skip this one.

Also note that the new Zagat for Android now signs in through Google+, so you'll need a G+ account to get started with this app. To get downloading, hit the Google Play link up above, and be sure to let us know what you think of it in the comments.

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2 years ago

CyanogenMod 10 M2 builds released


The CyanogenMod team sends word that they've released the second "M" -- milestone or monthly -- build of the Jelly Bean-based CyanogenMod 10 ROM. "M" builds of the popular custom firmware are described as "essentially stable" and "ready to use as your daily driver", compared to the more common but less stable nightly builds. Fittingly, M2's release comes around a month after M1 landed.

M2 builds are still rolling off CM's servers, but right now the ROM is available for all three Galaxy Nexus variants, as well as numerous Galaxy S2 and U.S. Galaxy S3 phones, among others. The newest builds of CyanogenMod 10 are available via the CM updater, as well as via ROM Manager.and the get.cm download site.

For the full list of supported devices in this latest version of CyanogenMod, check the source link below. And when you're up and running, be sure to hit the comments and let us know how you're getting on.

Source: CyanogenMod

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2 years ago

Google+ app updated with pages support


The Google+ app for Android has just been updated to version 3.2, bringing a few notable features. First and foremost, "Google+ Pages" owners -- like businesses -- can now view, post and comment from mobile. Also in this update is a new "find people" feature -- which is pretty self explanatory -- and the ability to access photos from posts with one tap. Viewing photos was a bit of a pain in the previous version, requiring a series of taps to eventually get to it full screen, so this is a good improvement.

You can grab the app if you haven't already from the Google Play Store link above. We've got a couple screenshots of the UI for you after the break.

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2 years ago

Use LinkBuster to parse short URLs (Android app review)


A couple weeks back I delicately expressed my concern about clicking shortened URLs on our Android phones. If you weren't paying attention, there's a nasty bug in some Samsung phones that can delete all user data if you click a malicious link -- one that's easily hidden behind a URL shortener like bit.ly or goo.gl. I promised to make someone famous if they would create a great solution for all of us on Android.

Quite a few folks sent apps in, and while all of them worked as intended, I have to give the hat tip to JP2014 for the LinkBuster app. It does two things I'm crazy about -- uses Android intents, and incorporates the Web of Trust service.

Using it is really easy. Install it from Google Play using the link above, and any time you click a URL you get the choice to open it in LinkBuster. If it's a link you trust, just choose your browser. But if it's a link that looks sketchy, or is shortened and you have no idea where it will take you, choose LinkBuster from the menu provided. 

One the LinkBuster app is opened, you get the full version of the URL as well as the Web of Trust rating for it. The Web of Trust is crowd sourced data from folks like you and me, and it's usually spot-on about the safety and validity of links. Cory turned me on to it last year, and I think it's a great tool. Having it incorporated this way is perfect -- you use it when you have reason to question a link, and the rest of the time it's out of the way.

The web is a nasty place. Plenty of folks want to make things miserable for others, and we have to be on guard against it. Tools like LinkBuster can help. It's free, so give it a try!

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2 years ago

Need for Speed Most Wanted racing towards Google Play


EA has announced that Most Wanted, the latest iteration of their Need for Speed franchise, will be arriving on Android this month. Takedowns, vehicle damage, and a whole bunch of recognizable vehicles from Porsche, Dodge, and Maserati are going to be available in this racing game. Firemonkeys are behind Need for Speed Most Wanted, which is great since they already have plenty of experience with these kinds of games after doing Real Racing. 

There's no mention of pricing, but I wouldn't be surprised to see this one placed in the premium $6.99 tier along with other Firemonkeys / EA games like Dead Space, Mass Effect: Infiltrator, and The Sims 3. Still, it looks like it would be worth it, especially if you're a fan of high-end racing games on Android. Gamers, do you prefer moderately realistic racing titles like this, or do you prefer goofier arcade-style racers like Asphalt 7? 

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2 years ago

The Economist app updated to fix battery drain issues


The Economist app hasn't been the most visually appealing out there, but it was always at least functional. One of the main usability gripes facing the app was a nasty bug (or two, or seven) that caused some serious battery drain if you didn't look out for it and force close or reboot. Now that's no way to code an app, and today its been updated specifically to fix the battery issues. Unfortunately, the app still uses the legacy menu button configuration, which really shouldn't be around in modern apps anymore. Plenty of other developers (big and small) have removed it, and we think The Economist could do the same.

The app is of course most useful if you've committed a bit of money towards a yearly subscription, but there are still some free portions available if you want to get a feel for the content. You can find the app at the Google Play Store link above.

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2 years ago

Google Play Magazines updated, now available in Australia


The gradual worldwide spread of Google Play content wrote another chapter today. The Google Play Magazines application has received an update which brings with it availability in Australia. Magazines was one of the additions to the Google Play content portfolio following the launch of the Nexus 7, and while the tablet becomes available in more and more markets, sadly the content is slow in following. 

Additionally, users outside of Australia will benefit from todays update. We're promised a "significant performance improvement for all devices." in particular relating to page turning. Performance improvements are always welcome improvements. 

If you're a reader down under, why not hit up the comments below and let us know how you're finding the new service. 

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2 years ago

Microsoft Office for Android may be landing in March


Microsoft Office has been flirting with Android for awhile now, but things may be getting a lot more serious now that MS Product Manager Petr Bobek said that the full productivity suite may be landing in March 2013 on mobile. The full desktop version of Office 2013 should be available for businesses in December 2013 and consumers in late February.

If you're really interested in checking it out, a customer preview was made available over the summer. Which mobile apps do you use to handle presentbations, documents, and spreadsheets? Are they good enough, or does Microsoft need to make something that ties in really tightly with the desktop counterparts? I could certainly see some solid Microsoft Office apps getting some use on tablets with keyboard docks, but do people do a lot of serious editing on smartphones?

Update: Microsoft corporate PR is saying that the information is bogus. Take that as you will. 

Via: The Verge

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2 years ago

Lookout for Android gets a redesign and dialer threat protection


As mobile devices become smarter and more prolific, mobile security threats are continuing to diversify. And with more and more of us becoming more security conscious these days, mobile security apps like Lookout are becoming increasingly popular. 

The latest update to the popular security app, now available on Google Play, includes a fresh coat of paint, as well as new features. Most notable is the "safe dialer," which protects against that nasty USSD code exploit on certain Samsung phones.

  • Intuitive user-friendly design.
  • A new Activity Feed – an intelligent dashboard which allows you to see your mobile activity and how Lookout protects you in one glance.
  • Signal Flare – allows you to locate a missing device, even if the battery has died.
  • Safe Dialer – protects against a new mobile threat: dialer-based attacks. It scans every phone number you click to call from your mobile browser, alerting you to potential threats.

You can grab the latest version using the Google Play Store link above. Check past the break for the full presser.

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2 years ago

CoPilot Live announces compatibility with over 250 Android devices


It was only last week that we got the news that TomTom was available for Android devices - well, some of them. TomTom was incompatible with many of high-profile handsets such as the Samsung Galaxy S3 and HTC One X, which excluded them from a large portion of the market.

In what's probably more than a coincidence, ALK Technologies has today announced that its CoPilot Live offline GPS navigation apps are now compatible with over 250 Google-certified Android phones and tablets. The company even hand picks some devices that don't play nice with TomTom  for mention in today's presser --

 “Our mission is simple – to make sure CoPilot runs brilliantly on as many Android devices as possible.” said David Quin, Head of Consumer Applications at ALK Technologies. “We have been developing GPS navigation apps for the Android platform since the launch of T Mobile G1 in 2008 and we’ve learned an incredible amount about handling differing screen sizes and resolutions. The latest additions to the Android family such as the Samsung Galaxy SIII and HTC One X are perfect for GPS navigation with their high resolution touch screens.”

So despite Google Maps navigation being bundled on all Google-certified handsets, it seems the GPS navigation market is still alive and well on the platform. We've got the rest of today's announcement after the break.

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