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3 years ago

SuperBeam: Transfer files using Wifi Direct, NFC or QR codes

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A great file transfer tool for power users

As advanced as modern mobile devices are, getting files from one phone or tablet to another can still be problematic. Cloud storage apps like Dropbox can clog up your Internet connection. The BlueTooth-based Android Beam is slow, and can only be used for certain items. And S Beam, though faster, is restricted to Samsung devices.

Enter SuperBeam, an app that aims to take advantage of a range of wireless technologies to juggle files between Android phones. The heavy lifting is done over Wifi or Wifi Direct, with an NFC connection or QR code being used to get things going.

First up, both devices must be running the SuperBeam app. Next, select the file you want to send -- either in the gallery app, or a file manager Astro or OI -- and choose SuperBeam. The app will then ask you if the device you're sending to is on the same network. If so, it'll send your bits over that network; if not, a Wifi Direct connection will eventually be established between the two.

From there you've got a few options. The easiest is NFC -- hold the two devices back-to-back and press the screen on the sending device. Alternatively you can use the "SuperBeam Scanner" app from the app drawer and scan the QR code on the sending device's screen.

Transfer speeds will depend on the Wifi capabilities of the devices (and infrastructure) you're using, but we got solid transfer rates of up to 20Mbps between our Nexus 4 and HTC One on a 5GHz Wifi N network. SuperBeam isn't as simple as S Beam or Android Beam, but its ability to transfer just about anything between just about any device makes it more versatile for power users. It's available for free on the Google Play Store for phones and tablets running Android 4.0 and above.

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3 years ago

Marvel Comics app offering 700 free first issues: the sequel

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About a month ago, Marvel offered 700 free first issues through its Marvel Comics Play Store app. Not even the sum of Marvel's top superheroes could defend the comic giant's servers against the incredible beating that fans dispensed that day, during the struggle to grab as many free comics as possible. The result was an unusable app for most, with problems lasting beyond the free-download deadline.

Marvel issued an in-app message saying they were working on making things right, and have since come up with a new strategy to get those free comics to their fans. To minimize server strain, downloads will be offered to groups of users in waves. Head over to the registration page to sign up for the promotion. Starting April 11, Marvel will be sending emails to those that registered to let them start downloading any of the 700 free first issues being offered.

Sign ups end on April 9 at 11:59 p.m. EDT (as in midnight tomorrow night), so don't waste any time -- this offer might not be a trilogy.

comiXology sign up; Thanks Steve!

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3 years ago

Facebook Home cobbled together from leaked ROM

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'Chat heads' feature missing from this developer build; full official app available for free on Friday

MoDaCo's Paul O'Brien has thrown together a trio of files with which you can get a half-working version of Facebook Home onto your phone -- five days before it'll be available to everyone as a free download.

We've played with it for a few minutes now, and it'll basically give you the look and feel of Facebook Home. But it doesn't quite match the performance (at least on our Nexus 4) that we saw on the HTC First, nor on the Galaxy Note 2 we used it on at Facebook's launch event lasts week. It's also lacking the "chat heads" messaging -- that's a huge part of Facebook Home. There's also no Google Search bar in the app drawer. That's consistent with the installed version of Facebook Home we used on a Galaxy Note 2 at Facebook HQ, but it's different than what you'll find on the HTC First. (Edit: Ah. There's a toggle for that in the settings, it seems.)

So, again, this is a dev version off a leaked ROM -- not the official release. If you're just dying to see what all the fuss is about (and, again, Facebook Home looks really nice), Paul's got full instructions at the link below.

Update: Looks like Facebook might have killed things on its end, as our Coverfeed has gone blank.

Source: MoDaCo

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3 years ago

Skala View comes to Android, helps designers make better looking apps

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Skala Preview and Skala View are brilliant pieces of software from the brilliant piece of software makers at Bjango. It's not an app combo for everyone, but for Android app designers and developers who have long been seeking a way to preview pixel- and color-perfect versions of their app designs on Android devices, it's a miracle. Now Fair warning: Marc Edwards, who runs Bjango, is also my co-host on the Iterate podcast so some may think I'm predisposed to give his stuff a defacto recommendation. Far from it. It just means I was fortunate to have known about it in advance.

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3 years ago

New Google Play Store app sighted on Google+

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A visual refresh could be coming soon to Google's content portal

The last time the Google Play Store app got a major redesign, it was still called the Android Market. So we're about due a visual refresh, and it looks like a new version could be headed our way sooner rather than later.

YouTube's Eileen Rivera posted the screenshot above on Google+, showing a lighter, more colorful design with more prominence given to the main store areas, and larger app icons below. "Games" also gets its own entry, whereas before it was found under "Apps."

Right now it looks like Google's just "dogfooding" this new version of the Play Store among its employees -- check out the little dog bowl icon on the top left -- but if Googlers are posting pictures of the new app publicly, chances are we won't have too long to wait for the public roll-out.

Source: +Eileen Rivera

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3 years ago

Facebook shows us what life can be like with Facebook Home front and center

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You'll never be lonely when all your friends are just a tap away, but Facebook thinks you'll have more fun when they are right up front

A long plane ride is a pretty boring thing. Sure, you could get out your laptop and work, or keep handing over your plastic for those tiny bottles of entertainment, but Facebook has another idea -- with Facebook Home and the HTC First you can bring along all your friends. And cats.

While we imagine the average Facebook user's feed will be slightly different (and a lot less safe for work), this is a good ad that gets the idea across. I have a feeling we're going to see a lot more like it.

Source: YouTube

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3 years ago

Apps of the Week: AppSales, Goodreads, Epoch and more!

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It's "Apps of the Week" time, and the first weekly post of April is looking to be a good one

If you haven't been keeping up on things, each of the Android Central writers take the opportunity every week to tell you about an app that they've been using regularly on their device. We package 'em up nicely and post them on Saturdays -- Apps of the Week. This week we have a good way to get slick deals on apps (how meta), a way to keep up on your reading, a great new game and a few odds-and-ends.

Hang tight, as you'll be able to see every one of our picks this week after the break. Let's see how they stack up.

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3 years ago

Facebook addresses privacy concerns over Facebook Home

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Facebook answers important user privacy questions. Read them before you install or buy anything.

A lot of folks have serious privacy concerns about Facebook's new Home application. Questions about location gathering, message reading, and the general "safeness" of Facebook tracking what you do on your Android phone. We have our own here as well, and have had plenty of internal discussion.

Facebook doesn't want folks to worry, so they released a privacy FAQ about the new product. It's a short read that everyone who might install the app needs to look at, but here are some highlights:

  • You can use Facebook without using Facebook Home
  • Facebook Home is just another app you install from Google Play. You can uninstall it at any time.
  • Facebook Home collects your Facebook activity, location, Facebook messages, and the apps in your Home app launcher. This data is user-identifiable for 90 days.
  • Facebook can not collect any data outside of the Home app, unless you use the HTC First  -- then it can track what apps generate notifications, but not the content of the notification.

We're not going to judge any of these policies -- that's for you to do. We are going to tell you about them and direct you to the full statement so you can read it and discuss. And you should.

Read Facebook's FAQ on Home and privacy

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3 years ago

Magic Fluids: Fun with water and smoke animations

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There isn't exactly any functional purpose to it, but that doesn't mean it's not incredibly fun

Magic Fluids is an animation app that simulates the effects of liquid and smoke with a bit of artful flair. With a pretty robust number of settings to tweak and play with, you can spend hours getting lost in this app. When you're done actively using it, Magic Fluids can be turned into a live wallpaper as well.

While it doesn't have any value other than being extremely cool to look at, Magic Fluids is still worth playing around with. Hang with us after the break and see what it's all about.

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3 years ago

YouTube gets 'My Subscriptions' feed and One Channel branding in latest update

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Updated with quick access to your new videos

YouTube is getting updated to version 4.4.11 today, with a small addition to the left toolbar. A new 'My Subscriptions' feed provides easy access to view any uploads made by channels you currently subscribe to. Also new for video creator channels is YouTube One Channel branding.

Of course, no good update would be complete without addressing some existing bugs. One that was squashed was a problem causing accounts to be signed out at random. Other minor bugs were also fixed, and stability enhancements were added to this latest version of the app.

The update is now live in the Play Store for download. If you don't already have YouTube installed for whatever reason, the link at the top will lead you to the download page.

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3 years ago

iHeartRadio brings "Perfect For" and alarm clock features to Android

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Find a radio station that's just right for the time of day or mood you're in

Just a couple of months after new features of iHeartRadio were released, the Android app has been updated to integrate the new features of "Perfectly For" and alarm clock. Perfectly For is an interesting idea that aims to automatically select from a curated list of radio stations depending on the time of day or activity you're involved in. For example in the morning you could listen to "A Traffic Jam" or "Drinking Coffee", or on the weekend select "Relaxing".

The alarm clock feature is pretty self explanatory, but makes a lot of sense on mobile devices as more and more people give up the traditional bedside alarm. The iHeartRadio app now makes it easy to set alarms or reminders to wake up to your favorite music or talk radio stations.

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3 years ago

Box for Android gets updated with media previews and better shared link options

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The latest update to the Box for Android app gives you better control over shared file access and lets you preview audio and video files as they download

Box updated their Android app today, and a couple really nice features are now available -- finer control over how you share a link to your files, and the ability to see and hear the media you're downloading within the Box app itself.

The new media preview is an extension of the way you've been able to preview more than 75 file types by just tapping them in the Box app. This is a great way to view documents like pdf files or presentations, and it turns out that it's also perfect for rich media files. All users will be able to preview supported audio files and images, but video preview is only for enterprise users. 

The new shared access controls are also a nice new feature. Using the existing collaborator permissions, you can now send a link to any file or folder and limit access When you create a link to any file or folder, you can now also limit access to collaborators only, people at your company only, anyone with the link, or no one at all. This is a quick and easy way to share files with multiple users without dropping a link that anyone can use.

We know plenty of you guys and gals took advantage of that free 50GB Box account offer, and will get plenty of use from these new features. Hit the break for a demo video.

Source: Box

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3 years ago

Facebook Home coming to Ice Cream Sandwich and Jelly Bean only

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Gingerbread users out of luck in getting Facebook Home on their devices

Facebook Home -- the new app suite announced today by Mark Zuckerberg at the 'Facebook's New Home on Android' event -- has been confirmed in an after-event Q&A session to be compatible only with devices running Ice Cream Sandwich and Jelly Bean. That means any phones or tablets running an Android version older than 4.x are out of luck when it comes to using the upcoming Facebook software.

Right now the official list of phones that'll support Facebook Home at launch is as follows: HTC One, HTC One X, HTC One X+, Galaxy S3, Galaxy S4, Galaxy Note II, and of course the HTC First.

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3 years ago

Facebook Home event replay now available

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The live stream for the Facebook Home event has wrapped up, but the replay is available for those of you that want to really know the ins and outs, but missed the show the first time around. The short version is, Facebook is making a launcher that has a bunch of in-depth customizations for notifications, news feed, and chat. It's not a whole new operating system, but it does promise to be a unique experience - at least for those of us that spend a lot of time on Facebook. 

So, notice anything especially interesting from the live event that hasn't really been highlighted yet?

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3 years ago

Facebook Home video shows Chat Heads and Cover Feed in action

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Alongside the big Facebook Home announcement today was a short and sweet video which ran through what these new Android apps were all about. Sure, the video is mostly about invoking all the feels for social networking, but we do get to see Chat Heads, Cover Feed and notifications in action. It looks like it's working smoothly enough, anyway.

Expect Facebook Home to be landing April 12, alongside the new HTC First

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