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2 years ago

Google Translate for Android receives ICS makeover and additional text-to-speech languages

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Although Google has been constantly updating their apps on what is seemingly a more then average frequency as of late, one app left behind for quite some time now has been Google Translate. That said; Google has now gone ahead and given translate some love by adding the Holo theme to the mix and bringing in more in line with their rest of their Ice Cream Sandwich looking apps. In addition to the updated looks, folks are also getting additional text to speech language support including Esperanto.

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2 years ago

Taptu launches HTML5 site to complement mobile apps

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If you happened to check out Taptu in the past, then you likely already know that it's a pretty decent way to gather all the content you're interested in from around the web into one app. Now though the company has taken it one step further by offering up a full blown HTML5 site to make use of.

Rather than your Taptu account being contained to your Android device, you can fully access all your complete profile from any capable browser and enjoy it as you would any on your smartphone making it easier then ever before to share the news you choose with the people you choose. You can jump below for the full press release along with the download link to Taptu for Android.

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2 years ago

The middle ages meet insanity with Renaissance Blood THD, now available for Tegra 3 devices

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They probably didn't have Tegra 3-powered phones and tablets during the renaissance. Instead, they had some crazy mix of science and magic, and any geek worth his or her salt likes to think they had all sorts of killing and monsters. Renaissance Blood THD is a great way to experience all of that without ever having to roll a d20. NCsoft's latest title for the Tegra 3 platform takes the mobile first person shooter to the next level, and is a feast for the eyes of any former Dungeon Master, young or old. 

The premise is simple. You're in search of the final blueprint Leonardo da Vinci has left behind, and every imaginable sort of evil on two legs is trying to stop you. Armed with your rapid-fire crossbow, a rifle, and a big ol' spiked mace you work your way through the various stages, fighting for your life and looking for the lost document. There are no time-wasting puzzles or lulls in the action, it' straight up violence and killing of bad guys -- like a good FPS should be. 

The controls are straightforward, all you need to do is aim with an on-screen joystick and shoot from afar, or swing your mighty mace to beat the living crap out of the villains that never stop coming. You won't have to work your way through dark dungeons and twisty passages, the game AI takes care of that for you so you can focus on killing. To be sure, this is one you probably won't want the little ones to be playing.

What makes it a stand out is the way the Tegra 3 leverages the power of the Unreal engine. There's a lot of talk about quad-core this, benchmark that, and nobody can seem to agree on which mobile SoC is the best -- until it comes to games. We've talked about the technology, the 4-PLUS-1 architecture, and all nerdly stuff, but make no mistake, this is damn near console quality gaming on your Android phone or tablet. When it comes to amazing gameplay and graphics, you just don't beat NVIDIA power on the Android platform. 

If you're looking for a really fun way to spend a few hours here and there, Renaissance Blood THD is one to look at. Like any FPS, it will get repetitive after a while, but at $3.99 you'll certainly get your money's worth. I'm a self-admitted Tegra fanboy (I've come to grips with it) and games like this one are the reason why. If you've got the hardware for it, you gotta check it out. Hit the links below, and check out the video after the break.

Download Renaissance Blood THD from Google Play

More: NVIDIA TegraZone

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2 years ago

Android A to Z: Google Play

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Today on Android A to Z we're going to talk about Google Play. If you're new to Android, you see us throw it around a lot when talking about downloading apps, but there's a good bit more to it, and we think there's even more planned. It's much more than a name for Android's official application store, and it's worth having a good long look at it.

Looking at the Google Play store on your phone or on the web, you'll see categories of the different types of media Google has to offer. There are Music, Apps, Books, and Movies -- and one more treat we'll get to in a minute. At each section of the Play store you'll find media for your Android device, sometimes free, sometimes not free. For the things you'll need to pay for there's Google Wallet (the service, not the Android app) and if you're downloading from your Android phone some carriers support direct billing. Shopping is pretty straightforward, you browse the sections by category, and when you find something you want, you simply tap a button and it gets downloaded to your device. As long as the content is available in your region (that's a sore spot Google needs to work out), and you have the correct application (Books and Movies use an Android app you can get free from the Applications section of the Google Play store), things are pretty instant and pretty simple.

One really cool thing we never seem to remember to talk about is downloading apps from the web on your computer directly to your Android device. Using a regular hyperlink to the Google Play store, like this one for Dropbox, you'll find a handy install button you can click to install it to your phone or tablet. If you have more than one Android device, you'll get to choose which on to install it to. Books, Movies and Music work the same way -- once installed from the web they are instantly available on your Android device(s). This type of integration between the web interface and the phone version is pretty awesome, and makes for easy shopping.

There's one more section of the Google Play store. You won't see it from your phone, and it's the latest (and most exciting) section of Google Play. It's the Devices section. Right now you can buy a factory unlocked Galaxy Nexus, as well as a few accessories, direct from Google. The cupboards looks pretty bare now, but we have a feeling it may soon have more to offer, and we'll see phones, tablets, Google TV units and related accessories there for sale.

Google seems pretty dedicated to their new Google Play branding, and so far it's worked well. Android is turning into it's own ecosystem, and as dedicated Android enthusiasts we're excited to see how it all plays out!

Check out the complete Android Dictionary

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2 years ago

Google+ Local arrives to makes use of Zagat acquisition, brings along Google Maps update

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It has been quite some time now since Google acquired Zagat, and while we've seen some embedding of reviews and such in the past, Google has now brought Zagat into the fold in a much larger way. Google+ Local has now been introduced making it easier to find Zagat scores and and restaurant suggestions from folks you interact with on Google+. In addition to the Google+ integration roll out, various other Google apps and sites will be updated Zagat support over the next little while, starting with an update to Google Maps that includes a fancy new "Local" button that when tapped, will show you Zagat reviews in your general area. Both Google+ Local and the Google Maps update are live right now, you'll find the Google Maps download below in case you've not already updated as of yet.

Source: Google Blog

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2 years ago

Swiftkey 3 beta keyboard updated with a slew of fixes, improvements

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Just a quick heads up, boys and girls, that Swiftkey (our 2011 editor's choice for Android Keyboard of the year, btw) has updated the versions of the Swiftkey 3 beta in the company's VIP forums. Here's what's new:

  • Improved prediction algorithms
  • Better, more consistent punctuation key behavior
  • Smarter Smart Space functionality (which will make it easier to enter email addresses etc)
  • A refined experience in Google Chrome Beta
  • Fixed missing predictions on the longpress of @ and .com
  • Improved gestures
  • Eliminated lag on letter pop-ups
  • Various other minor bug fixes and usability improvements

Any improvement is a good improvement, of course, but do remember that this is beta software. Bugs happen. (And let's all try to remember that part of being a beta tester is providing good feedback.)

The update applies to the keyboard version as well as the tablet version. You can snag them at the links below.

Download: Swiftkey 3 beta (phones, tablets)
More: Swiftkey blog

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2 years ago

Flipboard for Android to break free from the Galaxy S III officially

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Love it or hate it, Flipboard coming to Android is big news. We first took a look at it back at Earls Court in London during the Samsung Galaxy S III launch event. Initially at least, Flipboard is exclusive to the Galaxy S III, but as is often the way this didn't last very long at all. Unofficial versions were 'ported' from the Galaxy S III and hosted on the interwebs for all the world to download and use at their leisure. Word from Flipboard now though, is that the application will soon be available on all Android devices. 

The story goes that in concentrating on one device, with one screen size and resolution, Flipboard could ensure that their massively popular iOS offering wouldn't suck when it arrived on Android. That, and quite possibly the bazillion number of units Samsung were likely to -- and eventually will be -- shipping of the Galaxy S III. As far as a test bed goes, a device that ended up with 9 million pre-orders probably wasn't a bad choice. As it turns out, Flipboard is pretty close to having a beta version of the app ready for the rest of the Android world. 

The developers are planning to release it to a small amount of users initially under a strict beta tag, to help test it out, submit bug reports, and generally make sure that the app is as polished as it needs to be. Makes sense, after all, Flipboard is all about the visual, and a janky experience would be the quickest way to put users off. 

There is no mention of the magic date that Flipboard may start to make it into eager beta testers hands, but by all accounts it sounds like it's pretty close. Could it even appear before the Pebble Blue Galaxy S III perhaps? 

Update: Well, that was quick! Seems like the beta is now live with reports of invites heading out to users who had signed up. 

Source: Engadget

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2 years ago

How to get the HTC Flashlight on the EVO 4G LTE [From the forums]

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The Sprint HTC EVO 4G LTE is nearly devoid of bloatware. It's got the Sprint Zone and HTC Hub apps, but it's missing all of the usual carrier-loaded crap we're used to finding littered in our app drawers. It's also missing a few staples, though, including the Flashlight application. Getting it back is pretty simple, as SuicydeStealth points out in our forums. (As did EeJLP, apparently.) Just fire up the HTC Hub app, go to HTC Essentials in the categories, and there you'll find the flashlight app. And while you're there, might as well poke around and see if anything else is missing.

Interesting is that this isn't even an option on the AT&T HTC One X. Flashlight just doesn't show up. 

More: HTC EVO 4G LTE forums

Updated Jan. 13, 2015: Added additional forum link. Thanks, EeJLP!

 

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2 years ago

Gyro a fun way to kill a few minutes

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Let's not overthink this one. Gyro's a deceptively simple game in which you rotate a three-color circle, match colors and earn points. It's simple. It requires very little thinking. And it's an easy way to kill a few minutes. The game does get a little tougher as more and more balls come flying at you. But you've also got power-ups like shields and energy refills to help you on your way. Hit up the free download below.

Download: Gyro

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2 years ago

Digital Flux Live Wallpaper [Live Wallpaper Review]

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Continuing our live wallpaper reviewing extravaganza is another from masterful wallpaper developer, D'Keesto. This entry in the "digital" series is called Digital Flux Live Wallpaper, and while it's definitely cool, I have no idea where the "flux" comes into play. (That's okay, though.)

Instead of embers or honeycombs or anything of that sort, you've got rectangular prisms that move up and down, seemingly at random. Touch the screen and they'll either be pushed down or pulled up (depending on what you pick in the settings). It's all very mechanical, and reminds me of that crazy complicated choreographic dance that happened at the Olympics in Beijing. (You know, the one with the people underneath the boxes!)

The settings menu is a bit simpler than some of D'Keesto's other offerings, limiting you to a mere two colors (and utter dominance by your color in slot one), but you can still pick from all sorts of different single colors or have the colors go off of the battery level.

There's also some performance options, like adjusting the camera zoom, turning anti-aliasing on or off, or enabling accurate shadows. Depending on your device, you might change these settings around, but with close camera zoom, anti-aliasing off, and accurate shadows on, I didn't see any performance issues as I slid and swiped from screen-to-screen. Of course, your mileage may vary.

If bouncing boxes are you thing, Digital Flux Live Wallpaper is the wallpaper for you. It's inexpensive, runs well, and has just enough customization to keep things interesting. I'm not quite sure where the digital aspect comes into play (especially compared to Digital Hive and Digital Embers), but maybe it's just a name continuity thing. Regardless, as far as live wallpapers go, this one certainly doesn't disappoint.

Digital Flux Live Wallpaper is a mere 99 cents in the Google Play Store. We've got download links, screenshots, and video after the break.

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2 years ago

Samsung announces Music Hub, exclusive to the Galaxy S III for now

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Samsung today announced "Music Hub," the "first completely integrated, all-in-one mobile music service," it's calling it. Samsung's based its service off mSpot and with this UK release has teamed up with 7digital to give access to more than 19 million songs for purchase. You get 30-second previews free of charge, and everything has been optimized for the Galaxy S III, Sammy says. (It'll eventually be made available on other devices, and, we presume, outside the UK.)

There are two versions of Music Hub. The free iteration, which stores any purchased music in the cloud for easy playback, and a £9.99-per-month job in which you can upload your own songs and enjoy unlimited streaming.

In addition, there's also a web interface at MusicHub.com, from which you can purchase and play back music. It all sounds a bit familiar, doesn't it?

Check out the full presser after the break, and be sure to check out the eerily Wonka-esque promo video.

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2 years ago

Jumpgate Live Wallpaper [Live Wallpaper Review]

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I sure love me some quality live wallpapers. I know, I know, they can sometimes slow down sliding between screens and if they're poorly done, they're a huge drain on the battery. That's why I'm keen to use wallpapers by Kittehface Software. They've brought us great wallpapers like the Thunderstorm Live Wallpaper, Galactic Core Live Wallpaper, and even an excellent Canabalt HD port.

Today I bring you another in a line of great live wallpapers, the Jumpgate Live Wallpaper. What could be better than watching our favorite android, Andy Bugdroid, careen through space with a jetpack strapped to his back? It's hilarious!

Still, as hilarious as it might be, it's also really well done. There's nary a screen stutter when I swipe from left to right, and if you purchase the full version of the wallpaper, you unlock the full settings menu, which really lets you customize your experience.

From the settings menu, you can mess around with everything from the camera speed to the flight speed, to even the amount of asteroids barreling down on our fair, green friend. You can also customize the "energy style" (which is the swirly lane of color Bugdroid is flying through) between three choices: monochrome, Google colors, and pixilated. Monochrome and pixilated are dangerously close to being similar, but if you check them back-to-back, you'll quickly notice how much smoother the non-pixilated option is.

If you eschew the Google colors option, you can also change the color of the energy lane using the energy color​ option. (Go figure!) It uses three sliders, which is certainly appreciated (and a welcome improvement over that circular color picker Android had going on for a while).

Rounding out the settings menu are options for star brightness and turning the helix on and off. Other than that, you're done. Well, except for the character option. Did I mention you can get rid of Bugdroid and have a spaceship flying on screen instead? Cause you totally can.

Honestly, Jumpgate Live Wallpaper is probably one of the coolest live wallpapers I've seen in a while. Obviously you've got to be an Android diehard to even consider using it, but if you're reading this article, you probably are.

Jumpgate Live Wallpaper can be had for a cool 99 cents. We've got video and a boatload of screenshots after the break.

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2 years ago

Comcast releases Xfinity TV Player for Android

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We've been waiting on this one for a while now, but thankfully Comcast has finally decided to release an Xfinity streaming app for the most popular mobile OS on the planet. With Xfinity TV Player for Android you can stream thousands of on-demand movies and television shows from Comcast, right to your Android phone or tablet. The only catch (you knew there would be one) is you have to be a Comcast customer and have to be paying the monthly subscription for the premium channels you want to stream content from.

The biggest plus here is the tablet availability. Other on-demand streaming apps (hello HBOGo) are a little late with the tablet support, but Xfinity says it's compatible with any Android device running 2.3 or higher, and we've verified it works on the Transformer Prime and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1. The app itself is free and available in the Google Play store, and will stream with any data connection. If you've been waiting, go grab it!

Download Xfinity TV Player from Google Play

Thanks everyone who sent this in!

 

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2 years ago

Android Central Editors' App Picks for May 26, 2012

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Looking for some new applications to fill your long weekend? With so many applications in the Android market it becomes overwhelming to find something new or exactly what you are looking for, but we do our best to share with you some of our favorites. You have a favorite that you don't see on this list? Be sure to drop a note in the comments or head into the forums to let us know about your favorites, and why they are the best!

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2 years ago

Hands-on with the Chameleon skin for Android tablets

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Canadian design firm Teknision recently announced Chameleon, which promises to be an interesting twist on Android tablet home screens. Besides having streamlined, resizeable widgets that span a bunch of third-party apps like Netflix, Twitter. Spotify, Flickr, and others, Chameleon's signature trait is its ability to automatically change modes based on its surroundings -- hence the name. By setting up certain rules, you can set up Chameleon to shift to a different home screen layout depending on the time of day, GPS location, or which Wi-Fi network you're connected to. In short, it's a smarter version of "scenes" that you might find in various manufacturer UIs.

The build that I played with here in Ottawa was still very much in development, and all of the apps being shown were canned, but the animations and transitions were definitely slick. Teknision is hoping to get outside developers interested in making their own Chameleon widgets with HTML5, but the current sampling that they cooked up with publicly available APIs is pretty sweet. It sounded like it will be a ways off before we'll see these widgets coexisting peacefully with other home screen widgets, so be prepared for an all-or-nothing affair. 

Teknision previously worked on the BlackBerry PlayBook operating system which, say what you will about the app ecosystem, was very nicely designed. Most of the time, these guys work behind the scenes with partners, so it's really interesting to see them step into the limelight a bit and pump out something that's entirely their own. Here's hoping it pays off and they consider doing more slick custom work on Android. 

Chameleon is due out this August, and Teknision is using Kickstarter predominantly to handle preorders and speed up the release. Right now, they're at $31k out of a $50k goal, which is due in 20 days. You can pitch in $5 to get Chameleon before it goes public, and if you're really jazzed about the project, you can help out by providing Android tablet diagnostic information to ensure compatibility. Check out our hands-on video, a few screenshots, and their pitch below that. Any takers?

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