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3 years ago

Reminders come to Google Keep, Android app update rolling out

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Reminders and a new UI coming to the Google Keep app, your update is rolling out slowly

Google has updated the Keep service with some new functionality, allowing us to now set reminders based on time or location right from the Android app, website, or Chrome extension. Once a reminder is set and saved in your Google account, you'll receive a notification when it is triggered on your Android.

Like Google Now reminders (we're pretty sure it's the same service, and first sign of the death of Google Tasks) you can tell the Keep app what time to remind you of something, or tell it to remind you when you get somewhere, like the grocery store or work. You can set things to happen at a specific time, like 3:30PM for instance, or something more general like Thursday morning. 

In addition to the new reminders feature, the Keep app is getting the same Google overhaul we've seen the other high-profile apps get. Hamburger menu, account switching and an updated new note interface round things out nicely.

If you're a Google Keep user, keep an eye out for the update that's slowly rolling out to all users. You can check using the Google Play link above. The Chrome extension update can be found here, and you can access Google Keep on the web via your Google Drive account here. Follow through the break for some screenshots.

Source: Google Drive Blog. Thanks, Jonathan!

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3 years ago

TripIt brings Seat Tracker service to Android app

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Don't get stuck in the middle seat for a long flight again

Popular travel service TripIt is adding one of its best "Pro" features, Seat Tracker, to its Android app today. The new feature leverages the fact that TripIt manages your flights for you and therefore can autonomously scan for open or better seats and offer them to you when they become available. Seat Tracker can help you get out of the middle seat, get into an exit row for more leg room or bring you closer to friends or family that you're flying with.

To take advantage of Seat Tracker you'll need the latest version of the Android app and be signed up for the TripIt Pro service, which costs $49 per year but includes several great features for the frequent flyer out there.

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3 years ago

'Dungeon Keeper' coming to Android this winter

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Classic PC franchise rebooted for 'strategy building and tower defense' title

EA and Mythic Studio have announced that they're bringing the classic strategy/god-game franchise Dungeon Keeper to Android and iOS devices later in the year, in the form of a mobile reboot. The PC original, which debuted back in 1997, saw players building an underground lair, attracting evil minions into their service and doing battle against the forces of good.

The mobile version is a "strategy building and tower defense" title, which may disappoint those hoping for a true portable re-make. Nevertheless, all the various components of Dungeon Keeper seem to be in place, including favorite minions like the bile demon, horned reaper and dark mistress, and various traps, rooms and spells.

From EA's press release —

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3 years ago

SwiftKey 4.2 launches with cloud sync, 50 percent discount

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SwiftKey Cloud goes official, now available on Google Play

A month after the first public beta launched, popular keyboard replacement SwiftKey has pushed its new cloud-based features out through Google Play with the public launch of version 4.2 of its app.

 SwiftKey 4.2 introduces cloud synchronization for personalized predictions, allowing users to easily keep their dictionaries and typing styles in sync across multiple devices. The latest version of SwiftKey also allows "trending phrases" — for example, words associated with current events — to be updated remotely without requiring further app updates.

Logging into SwiftKey been simplified too, with the addition of Google+ sign-in.

To sweeten the deal, SwiftKey 4.2 is launching at a 50 percent discount, so if you buy it today you'll pay just half the standard price. (If you've already purchased SwiftKey, you'll get an app update with all the new features.)

If you're picking up SwiftKey 4.2 for the first time today, or you've been testing it over the past month, let us know how you're getting on down in the comments. To grab the new version of the app for yourself, hit the Google Play link up top.

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3 years ago

Chrome for Android update brings WebRTC to stable channel

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Real time communication without plugins now available on Chrome for Android

Chrome for Android has been updated today, and along with improved scrolling and startup performance, there's also a pretty cool new feature — support for WebRTC.

WebRTC is a free, open project that enables web browsers with Real-Time Communications capabilities via some simple Javascript APIs. It's been supported on the desktop in Chrome for a few versions, and is a joint project between Google, Mozilla and Opera.

That's what it is, but what it does is the cool part. It allows you to use the camera and microphone on your Android to video chat without installing any pesky plugins. A website using WebRTC will request permission, and if you grant it you'll have a persistent notification reminding you that video and voice is being transmitted. Things can get interesting if web developers integrate it into their site design.

The update is "rolling out" starting today. You can check for updates from the Google Play app on your Android, or by clicking the Google Play link above.

Source: Google Chrome Blog

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3 years ago

There are now more than 40 million Vine users

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Vine is a six-second success story with over 40 million users

Twitter's Vine app — available for Android, the Kindle, and iOS now has over 40 million users says the company's official Twitter account.

We've said this before and we'll say it again: this community - now more than 40 million of you - is amazing. Thank you for inspiring us.

That's a lot of six-second videographers, and we're pretty sure nobody is happier about it than Twitter. Part of the reason for Vine's success is that they keep improving their app. Since it's arrival for Android in June, we've seen additions like front-facing camera support, push notifications and better Facebook integration. Users love it when the things they like get even better.

If you haven't tried Vine yet, click the Google Play link above and join the over 40 million folks using it.

Source: @vineapp

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3 years ago

Google+ Photo app now available for all Chromebooks

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The Google+ Photos app we saw Google release last June for the Pixel is now available for all Chromebooks

The Google+ Photos app was always able to be installed and "hacked" to work for Chromebooks and computers that weren't the Pixel, but now you can officially load it up and run it on all Chromebooks. The application allows for easy sharing photos from your Chromebook, and is a great front-end for viewing and sorting out your Google+ photo collection. It even starts up when you insert an SD card with pictures into your Chromebook.

Installation is easy, you just click and install from the Chrome Web Store. If you have a large collection of photos on Google+. or plan to build one, and use a Chromebook you will want to give this one a look.

Source: The official Google+ account

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3 years ago

Google Maps and Waze updated with crossover features

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Maps gets Waze incident reports; Waze gets Google Search, Street View in map editor

Following Google's acquisition of Waze back in June, we're starting to see the first signs of cross-pollination between Google's Maps and the collaborative navigation app. From today, Waze-reported incidents are starting to appear in Google Maps on mobile, and Waze users can also benefit from new Google features in their app.

Accidents, construction, road closures and other incidents reported by Waze are appearing in Google Maps for Android and iOS in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, France, Germany, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Switzerland, UK and the U.S.

Wazers are also getting a couple of new features from Google. Google Search will be added to the Android and iOS versions of the Waze app, and the Waze map editor now includes Google Street View data.

It's likely we'll see more co-operation between the Waze and Maps teams as time goes on, however at the time of the acquisition Google made it clear that the two teams will continue to operate separately.

Source: Google LatLong Blog

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3 years ago

Big YouTube app update brings new UI features

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Major update continues Google's new application look and feel, brings a unique multi-window view 

There's a big app update for YouTube beginning its slow rollout today, and while there are the standard bug fixes, the focus is on app design. Keeping with the current look and feel of Google's applications (forget all about Google Voice for a bit, Google seems to have) you have your sliding menu pane on the left, cards everywhere and a new multi-window feature that lets you keep one video playing while you look through your feed or search. While there is no official change log on Google Play just yet, somehow I was lucky enough to get the update today and here's what I'm seeing.

  • The new "hamburger" menu
  • A card based UI for your feed and search list
  • History, playlists, favorites and uploads are now at the top of the menu for easy access
  • A new icon
  • The ability to search for playlists
  • The new multi-window display

The majority of the changes are self-explanatory, for the new multi-window trick is something that needs explaining a bit. While playing a video, you can shrink it down to the bottom right corner by swiping down, tapping the down arrow overlay, or by pressing the back button. The video will continue to play while you're sent back to the UI, where you can look through the app and check your feed, look through a search list, or do just about anything else in the app while it continues to play. If you want rid of it, just swipe it away or drag it up to return it to its original position. 

As usual, this is a Google staged rollout. That means you may be waiting a bit until it's time for your account to see the new update, or it may be there waiting for you right now. (Of course, you can also download it from one of the hundreds of file mirrors that are already posted, providing you trust side-loading after the last security scare.) It's a great update, and worth the wait. See a gallery full of screenshots and pictures after the break.

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3 years ago

Minuum keyboard now available on Google Play

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The Minuum Keyboard is out of beta and available for everyone at Google Play 

After a successful Indiegogo campaign and private beta test, the folks at Whirlscape have made the Minuum Keyboard available for everyone on Google Play. We've seen plenty of other alternative keyboards for Android, but none that look or act quite like this.

The goal was to create a keyboard that was great for typing, but also only took up a tiny portion of your screen. The keys have been taken down to just one row to take care of the space issue, and a special auto-correct algorithm should take care of the great and accurate typing part.. A magnifying function takes over when you need precise and accurate typing, like for logins and passwords.

The jury is still out on how well this will work for everyone, but the general response from the Indiegogo campaign backers seems positive. We'll take a look and see how it handles life for an AC editor. Look for more, soon.

In the meantime, there's a product video after the break and you can grab your own copy from Google Play ($3.99) at the link above.

Thanks everyone who sent this in!

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3 years ago

Help beta test AirCast by playing any of your videos on your Chromecast

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Cast videos directly from your Android Gallery, Dropbox or Google Drive with AirCast

AirCast,  a new concept application from everybody's favorite Android hacker and developer Koushik Dutta, will let you play any videos from your Gallery, Dropbox and Google Drive on your Chromecast equipped television. Using your Android, you select a video from any of the three locations and use the share menu to cast it to your TV.

Koush has worked around the closed SDK issue by reverse engineering the Chromecast protocols, which means he is allowed to share this app for us regular folks to have a go with and test it. Apps using the official SDK are not yet allowed to be released under the current agreement users of the SDK are bound to.

You'll definitely want to give this a try, so grab the APK file from Koush's website right here and give it a look. Keep in mind that this application will expire in two days, but Koush has said he has plans to release a freemium version, a Chrome extension, and the code he used to make it all work in the future. Remember, you're testing this so be prepared to submit feedback for any bugs you may find. See the source link for more details.

Source: +Koushik Dutta

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3 years ago

Apps of the Week: Dots, KeePassDroid, Middle Manager of Justice and more!

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See the apps, games and tools we've been using this week

It's that time of the week where we give everyone a look into the app choices of the Android Central writers in our Apps of the Week column. We take this post on Saturday afternoon to round up a single app pick from each of the folks here at AC that they have been using and want to tell everyone about.

We've got a jam-packed list of app picks this week, from games and entertainment to tools and icon packs. Read along with us after the break and see how these apps stack up to the rest.

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3 years ago

Check out Swipe Home Button for gesture-based home screen control

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A couple people have told me about Swipe Home Button, a new app that brings gesture controls to your Android home screen, and I had to take a look. I'm not a big fan of having a whole slew of gestures to try and remember to do things like open notifications or open apps, but Swipe Home Button doesn't have some huge list of gestures that I won't remember.

There are five actions — swipe up, swipe far up (about two-thirds of the screen height), swipe up then down, swipe up and to the right, swipe up and to the left — that you can set up to perform five actions — go back to the "home" home screen, show recent apps, show notifications, play the next track in a playlist and open an app.

The program was designed for phones with "real" buttons (read physical and/or capacitive), and can cause issues on phones with on-screen buttons. I'm not sure what issues — the developer doesn't say. We'll just trust him on that one. But so far, on the Galaxy S4, I'm kinda feeling it.

I'll play with it for a while before I can give any recommendations, but I wanted to pass it along for folks who ae always on the lookout for new apps. Grab the free trial (seven days) from the Google Play link above and jump through the break to see some images and a demo video.

Thanks, onthecouchagain and doobie for the heads-up!

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3 years ago

Goodbye Google+ Messenger, hello G+ Photos

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Out with the old, and in with the new

You might have noticed a new addition to the application drawer on your Android (provided you have the Google+ app installed) as well as the absence of a long familiar face. You're not seeing things — it's part of the Google+ app update that started rolling out a few days ago.

It seems like most users have the update by now, so they're noticing that the old Google+ Messenger application was removed (the whole service is basically gone, usurped by Hangouts), but it's been replaced by an equally redundant app icon, the G+ Photos app.

We hesitate to call it an app. It's more like a shortcut to the Photos tab inside the Google+ app. There's absolutely nothing wrong with the way the psuedo-gallery-app-thing works or looks, it's just a bit superfluous. It's easy enough to hide with a custom launcher if you just can't deal with it. 

Thanks everyone who sent this in!

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3 years ago

Google Maps update brings back the scale bar

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The bar is back, but there aren't any settings to control it

The recent Google Maps redesign was great, but were you missing the measurement scale bar? Well it wasn't just you, and Google has apparently responded to some criticism and put the scale bar for measuring distances back in with this latest app update.

There aren't any settings to show or hide the bar, and it seems to only appear when you move the map or re-zoom to a new distance, then disappears quite quickly. We might have preferred if Google just gave an option to keep the bar on or off permanently, but beggars can't be choosers, we suppose.

Go grab the update from the Play Store link above. It seems to be pushing out widely right now.

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