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3 years ago

Apps of the Week: Yahoo! Weather, Fractal, PaperKarma and more!

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See what apps we're using this weekend

It's Saturday, and that means its time for our weekly post where we show off the best apps that the Android Central writers are currently using. Each week we ask the folks here at AC to chime in with a few words about an app that is sticking around on their devices and why it works for them.

This week we're looking at a beautiful way to check the weather, a way to cut down on spam in your (physical) mailbox and a few games to help you pass the time. Hang with us after the break and see how the picks stack up this week.

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3 years ago

Circuitry Live Wallpaper updated - HOLO everywhere

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The full Holo color palette and new settings make the Circuitry Live Wallpaper update feel like an all-new app

One of my favorite live wallpaper applications has received a big update, and it's a veritable HOLOVERLOAD. The Circuitry Live Wallpaper app as an all new design and look, with tons of new settings, and still delivers that same cool electro-geek look of ICs and circuit traces to your phones screen. 

It's one of those live wallpapers that can deliver a lot of motion and animation to your home screen without killing your battery or grinding your phone to a halt, and everyone loves those. The difference is, now during the set-up you've got a slew of options and the full HOLO color palette to choose from. I still prefer grey on black, but the new background colors, patterns and shades combined with the 16 HOLO-color component and circuit choices make it look and feel like an all new application. 

There's a new product video after the break so you can see exactly what some of these colors look like, and you can grab the app ($1.99, Android 4.0 and higher) or the update at the Google Play link above. 

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3 years ago

Amazon Appstore offering 10 apps for free today

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'Free app of the day' gets bulked up to celebrate one-year anniversary of European Amazon Appstore

Amazon's Appstore may be best known for its "Free app of the day" promotion, but today's sale jumps from one to 10 apps that won't cost you a penny. To celebrate one year of availability of the Appstore in Europe, Amazon is making 10 different popular apps free for the entire day, valued at over $35 normally:

  • Angry Birds (Ad-Free) - regularly $0.99
  • Drawing Pad - regularly $1.99
  • PAC-MAN HD (Kindle Tablet Ed.) - regularly $2.99
  • World of Goo - regularly $2.99
  • SwiftKey - regularly $3.99
  • CalenGoo - regularly $5.99
  • Sprinkle - regularly $1.99
  • Paper Camera - regularly $1.99
  • Jamie's 20 Minute Meals - regularly $7.69
  • Shazam Encore - regularly $4.99

Even though the sale is being kicked off because of a European milestone, the sale is available in the US, Canada, UK, Germany, France, Spain, Italy and Japan. Head to the Amazon Appstore on your device or the source link below to grab your free apps.

Source: Amazon Appstore

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3 years ago

Pocket Casts will be getting Chromecast support in the future

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Just as soon as Google will allow, we can have it

Pocket Casts by Shifty Jelly is one of our absolute favorite podcast apps for Android, and it turns out that it'll be getting support for one of our new favorite devices. Just as soon as Google allows it. We're of course talking about the Chromecast, and the good folks at Ausdroid have popped along to the Shifty Jelly offices to get a brief look at it in action. 

The issue isn't that they don't want us to have it, but that Google is currently forbidding the release of any third-party apps supporting Chromecast while some final details are finished off. But Pocket Casts works just fine with it, as the short video after the break shows. What better way to listen to the best damn Android podcast in the world than on your big screen TV? 

Source: Ausdroid

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3 years ago

BBM for Android inches closer to release (and/or obscurity) with landing page

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We still don't have BBM for Android, but we now have a landing page that talks a little bit about BBM for Android. Let's hope that design isn't quite finished yet either — white text on gray is kinda hard to read, but what it says is "BBM is the best way to connect and share instant messages, pictures and more for free, in real time."

Kinda like every other messaging app available.

Source: BBM for Android; via CrackBerry

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3 years ago

Facebook for Android getting some bugfixes

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Facebook this morning dropped word that its official Android app is getting an update. Nothing huge in this latest v3.6 update — a few bugfixes, mainly. Here's the deal:

  • Fixed a crash when deleting a photo from a comment
  • Fixed music controller notifications from disappearing
  • Various other crash and bug fixes 

Presumably it also contains the improvements found in last week's beta update. The update is available for the Facebook beta testers now and will roll out to everyone else in the next few days.

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3 years ago

Google Keyboard update adds long-press numbers on tablets, bug fixes

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Tablet users can now quickly type numbers in the same way as the phone

One of the biggest reasons Google has taken apps like its keyboard and moved them into the Play Store is for updates independent of the OS, and we're getting one of those today to add a feature for tablet users. The main user-facing change in this update is the addition of a long-press action for numbers in the top row of the keyboard on tablets, something that was available on the phones but oddly missing on larger-screen devices.

Additionally, the update is improving keyboard layouts for some languages, fixes various bugs and makes stability improvements across both phones and tablets. You can grab a download of the latest version of Google Keyboard from the Play Store link above, no matter what device you're on.

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3 years ago

Twitter improves conversation view, ups performance on low-end devices

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Easily follow and respond to conversations from the timeline view

Twitter is pushing out updates today across its apps and website to make it easier for you to track the flow of conversations in your timeline. Now when browsing through tweets, conversations will be indicated by a blue line that links up between two or more users' profile pictures. The conversation will show at most three replies in the timeline itself, in chronological order, and if there are more replies you'll be able to hit a button to expand the complete conversation outside of the timeline. You can then reply to the conversation directly from this new view.

It's an interesting change that we think is necessary to help users wrap their heads around the way conversations work in Twitter, and it will just make things easier to follow overall. It is interesting that your timeline will now not be completely chronological, as the replies listed underneath the original tweet will be time stamped differently.

Other than the new conversation feature, the latest update on Android brings the ability to report individual tweets for abuse or spam. Users with lower-end handsets should also see speed improvements and a 50 percent reduction in overall app size. You can grab the latest version from the Play Store link above.

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3 years ago

The official Android Central app passes a major milestone, so let's give away something!

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls. We're proud to announce that the official Android Central app has surpassed, for us, a major milestone, amassing more than 100,000 total downloads. (And, quite frankly, with a keep rate that even I'm astounded by.) 

So from all of us to everyone who's tried the application, thanks! We've still got plenty of work to do with the app — features to add, items to improve and bugs to squash — but we're making great progress. Huge props to our developer Neil for all the hard work.

And as but a small token of appreciation for helping make us the No. 1 source for all things Android, we're going to give away a new Nexus 7 we've got laying around here. Still in the box, of course. To enter to win, just leave a comment on this post. That's it. We'll close down the comments at midnight Eastern tonight, pick a winner and get the tablet shipped out on Thursday, so the winner can have it ASAP.

And if you haven't already, please give our app a try!

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3 years ago

Google+ gets Auto Awesome notifications

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Auto Awesome — the photo enhancer built in to Google+ — just got a little more awesome. Now, whenever Auto Awesome does its thing, you'll get a notification telling you so. That saves you from having to dive into your photos and figure it out on your own. This works on the app as well as the web, of course.

A bugfix update reported is coming down for the Google+ app as well, so be on the lookout for that.

Source: +Virgil Dobjanschi

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3 years ago

Action Launcher updated to v1.9, brings 'vastly improved overall experience'

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Android developer Chris Lacy has updated his great home replacement app Action Launcher, and brings a promise of a much more stable and enjoyable experience. In version 1.9 of the app, the base launcher code has been updated to the Android 4.3 launcher base. this will make Action Launcher faster, use less resources, not suffer from any redraw issues and be "smoother and more responsive than any other release to date."

The changes aren't all under the hood though. Two highly requested features have been baked in — the ability to hide the status bar, and the ability to change your "desktop" icons on an individual basis. In addition, users with a Galaxy S4 can now enable a transparent status bar.

These new features, combined with covers, shutters and the quickdrawer make Action Launcher worth having a look at in our opinion. You can grab the full version from the link above for $3.99, and read the full release notes here.

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3 years ago

Messaging app imo launches video calling

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Instant messaging platform imo sends word that it's launched video calls across its Android and iOS mobile apps. The feature works over Wifi, 3G and 4G connections, adds to imo's array of messaging features, which includes support for nine third-party IM services.

To call a contact, users simply select the video icon that appears next to the person's name. Video calling joins existing imo features, such as group text chats, video messages and voice messages.

The new video calling feature should be hitting imo on Android and iOS in an update landing right about now, so hit the Google Play link above if you want to try it out.

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3 years ago

Samsung steps up BBM marketing push in Africa

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A few weeks ago Samsung confirmed that it'll be offering BlackBerry Messenger through its Samsung Apps portal, with particular focus being given to the African market. Now our pals over on CrackBerry have unearthed some of the manufacturer's advertising efforts for BBM on Galaxy devices, which also seem to be specific to that region.

CrackBerry forums users report that ads for BBM on Galaxy phones has appeared in football matches on South African TV. And it also seems Samsung Ghana has been promoting the upcoming BBM launch through YouTube and Facebook.

So far we've not seen any similar push in Europe or the U.S., but it's possible we might see more around the time BBM for Android launches. The messaging software is set to go multi-platform before the end of the summer, with both Android and iOS versions in the works.

More coverage: CrackBerry

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3 years ago

Sony releases maintenance updates for Xperia S, SL and acro S

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Camera, apps, battery and navigation fixes included

After pushing out updates to Jelly Bean earlier in the year, Sony has released maintenance updates for the Xperia S, SL and acro S to fix issues based on user feedback. On the camera front, Sony has fixed issues with white balance in pictures, improved the "quick launch" button and improved 1080p video recording to reduce lag. In terms of apps and data, EAS (Exchange Active Sync) has been streamlined, 2G network stability is improved and an issue that removed third-party default app preferences after a reboot has been fixed.

Battery life should improve with the latest update due to improvements in power consumption and heat dispersion, and battery level notifications have also been corrected. Working to build a more consistent navigation experience, the home key will now access Google Now when long pressed, and launch recent apps when double pressed.

Sony says that these handful of fixes will be coming to all three handsets, with variations in availability based on market and carrier, naturally. This is a good grouping of fixes and improvements, so keep an eye out on your own handset.

Source: Sony Mobile Blog

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3 years ago

Asphalt 8: Airborne and the Nvidia Shield is a match made in Android gaming heaven

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The built-in controller of the NVIDIA Shield makes it a perfect match for Asphalt 8: Airborne

Like many of you guys, I've been playing Asphalt 8: Airborne and destroying my battery for the past couple days. It's without a doubt a fun-as-hell game, and one of the best we've seen yet for any mobile platform. But while playing, and drifting my way around the corners, trying to catch the ramp "just right" for the barrel roll, I had to think to myself — what this really needs is a controller.

That's where the NVIDIA Shield comes in. I was delighted to find out the Asphalt 8: Airborne was optimized for the Shield, and you get that level of control you want in a fast, action-packed game that really needs it. A look at the image above tells you everything you need to know. The dual joysticks are perfect for this one, and with just a little more practice I'll be ready to take on all of Google+.

If you picked up a Shield, you really need to spend the buck and check this one out!

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