Headlines

2 years ago

Hailo branches out, can now hail a cab with your Android device in Dublin, Ireland

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Hailo has been something of an overnight success since its launch towards the end of 2011. The idea was so simple, but truly a way in which Londoners could use their Android devices in actual, real world, day-to-day situations. By making a sometimes unpleasant experience -- trying to flag down a cab -- and getting your Android device to do the work. Anyone in London for the Olympics, seriously, download a copy of this app while you're there. 

Today the Hailo team marks another milestone since the launch of the service, in their first expansion outside of London. The second city to go live, is the Irish capital, Dublin. This is fantastic news, and hopefully the start of a bright, and widespread future for the service. There's a whole lot of cities around the world that could benefit from something as useful as this. 

Source: Hailo, Download: Hailo

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2 years ago

How to: Activate the Google Sound Search widget in Jelly Bean if it's not in the drawer

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One of the many added goodies within Jelly Bean, is the Google Sound Search widget, sometimes referred to as Google Ears. It's really simple, but also a really nice touch to have built in to the OS. 

For some reason -- quite possibly some licensing stuff -- it isn't always there to choose from in the widget drawer for everybody. True, that when both my own Galaxy Nexus got the 4.1 update, and my new Nexus 7 arrived, neither had this widget. Being based in the UK, I imagine that it's got something to do with location. There are alternative apps, Shazam, Soundhound for example, but why should you have to use an alternative application when Google supposedly builds the functionality into the OS. 

Installing the apk that's been doing the rounds for a while doesn't do the trick either. On Jelly Bean it doesn't seem to like installing, but it works great on ICS. The app itself isn't missing from the device, it's just frozen so you can't use it. As too is Google Play Magazines, and Google Wallet. 

So, how do you use it? Well, to unfreeze it requires root. But from there, it's real simple. Titanium Backup is a fantastically useful root application, and is what we'll be using here to make things happen. If you're not sure on what freezing and unfreezing is, we'll walk you through it.

Once you've opened Titanium Backup, and all the application data has loaded, go ahead and hit the "backup/restore" button at the top. You should then be presented with a comprehensive list of every single application installed on your device. Including, all the system apps. Scroll through until you see "Sound Search for Google Play" -- which will also be highlighted by a purple bar -- click on it, and hit the defrost button. Next time you go into the widget drawer, there it will be, ready and waiting. 

Also, remember that clicking on a song once it's been identified won't do anything either, other than take you to the main Google Play Store front page. One day, maybe, Google will bring the full range of content to non-U.S. users. We can hope.  

The same tactic also applies to Google Play Magazines, and Google Wallet. But, outside of the U.S. there's not really anything you can use these for anyway, and Google Wallet will tell you so if you try to launch it. 

The only downside -- when you reboot your device, things will be reset and the app will be frozen again. But, if you're like me, your device rarely gets rebooted unless you're going in and out of recovery. So it's inconvenient, but not massively. 

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2 years ago

Google snags e-mail genius Sparrow

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Those of you dreaming of a better Android e-mail client might one day get your wish -- Google has acquired Sparrow. Sparrow's been an iOS/OSX staple, and we can only hope it'll bring its talents to Android, along with Gmail at large. 

Writes Sparrow:

We care a lot about how people communicate, and we did our best to provide you with the most intuitive and pleasurable mailing experience.

Now we're joining the Gmail team to accomplish a bigger vision — one that we think we can better achieve with Google.

We’d like to extend a special thanks to all of our users who have supported us, advised us, given us priceless feedback and allowed us to build a better mail application. While we’ll be working on new things at Google, we will continue to make Sparrow available and provide support for our users.

We're still way early into this one, but this much is clear: This is nothing but good for Gmail, and here's to hoping Android gets a boost as well.

Update: Our pals at iMore.com, who have a good bit more experience with Sparrow, have penned a few thoughts. Read them here.

Source: Sparrow

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2 years ago

BIG Launcher updated with slew of new customization options

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BIG Launcher has just updated their replacement Android launcher built for the visually impaired. As the name suggests, BIG Launcher provides a bare-bones, high-contrast interface with gigantic icons. Size can be changed, and individual icons can be read out loud through text-to-voice wizardry. Here's the 2.0 changelog for BIG Launcher.

  • sms editor
  • sms forwarding
  • unlimited screens
  • background image on screens
  • buttons can have any icon
  • buttons can link to contact detail
  • big battery and signal icons
  • search in applications list
  • new upgrade dialog with changelog
  • ability to set external dialer application
  • ability to delete call log enteries (optional)
  • battery, signal content description on home header for talkback
  • localized buttons in preferences dialogs
  • safe borders
  • favorite contacts moved to second position in phone menu
  • sent sos sms saved to database

You can check out our review of BIG Launcher, or download version 2.0 at the link below. Anyone having a hard time convincing grandma to try out an Android device? Think something like this would help?

Download: BIG Launcher ($1.49)

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2 years ago

Gameloft's The Dark Knight Rises released in Google Play today

Ed. note: We're all painfully aware of what happened in Aurora, Colo. Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone involved. And we're turning off the comments on this post. - Phil

Today is a pretty huge day for Batman fans around the world. Finally, the long awaited third Christopher Nolan adaptation, The Dark Knight Rises, hits movie theaters around the world. And, as promised, Gameloft's official companion game also sees release today into the Google Play Store. 

We're talking a premium title here, and as such, it carries a premium price. In the UK it'll set you back £4.99, and in the U.S. that equates to $6.99. But one look at the visuals alone, and it pretty much justifies the asking price. If you're still carrying some of that free Google Play credit around, what better device to play it on than your new Nexus 7? 

Be prepared though, the download is big. Actually, it's huge -- 1.7GB. But the visuals, and the huge Gotham City maps taken into account, you can see why it's so big. We're just getting started with this one, and we'll no doubt be back with more when we've spent some real game time with it. To grab it for yourselves, head on over to the Play Store, hit download, and go make a coffee while you wait. 

​Update: ​Seems we were a bit keen in wanting to play this on our Nexus 7. Doesn't look like it's compatible at the moment. Darn shame.

Download: The Dark Knight Rises

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2 years ago

Sky Go Android app gets ICS support on Galaxy Nexus, Note and S III

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Just as was promised a few weeks back, British broadcaster Sky has opened up its Sky Go on-demand video app to certain Android devices running 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and above, including the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, Galaxy Note and Galaxy S III. The update brings ICS support to the Sky Go app for the first time, allowing Sky subscribers with these devices to view the same streaming content available on approved Gingerbread devices like the Desire S and Desire HD. Unlike many other app vendors, Sky tailors its offerings to specific phones, usually high-selling models, so Sky Go remains restricted to a small number of handsets for now.

As we reported a few weeks back, Sky Go recently launches new streaming content across its range of Sky Go apps, including entertainment channels Sky 1, Sky Atlantic, Sky Living and Sky Arts 1. An app update also allowed subscribers to view and manage their accounts on-the-go.

If you find yourself in possession of both a Sky subscription and one of the supported devices, you download the Sky Go app for Android via the Google Play web interface linked below.

Download: Sky Go for Android; via The Verge

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2 years ago

Leaked field manual for Call of Duty: Black Ops Zombies appears, indicates an Android launch

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Fans of shooting zombies listen up. The good folks over at Xperia Gamer have uncovered a field manual for Call of Duty: Black Ops Zombies, that specifically mentions the title being on Android. To add to the legitimacy of this, it was discovered on the official Call of Duty website. 

As is so often -- sadly -- the case with big titles such as this, our iOS toting friends have been enjoying this for a while now. But, big titles are big titles, just so long as we get them. Some of the details of the game are to be found within too, such as having 50 levels, plus even some hidden ones. It's also set to have local multiplayer via Bluetooth, and online multiplayer modes too. 

Sadly, no release dates were mentioned, so we'll just have to keep our eyes peeled for this one.

Source: Xperia Gamer

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2 years ago

Dead Trigger teases new weapons

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New weapons are on the way to Dead Trigger, the zombie gore-fest launched by Mad Finger Games a few weeks ago. The teaser trailer for update 1.1.0 includes a chainsaw, some kind of lawn/face mower, a lever-action shotgun, and a WWI-era machine gun. Best of all, there are going to be zombies wearing body armor - you can expect that they'll be tough to kill the second go-around. There are a few other nice little gems nestled in the feature list.

  • experience personally four new savage weapons (including two melees): Chain Saw, Lewis Heavy Machine Gun, Marine Engine with sharp-edged blades and Repeating rifle, a classic of the American West
  • enjoy the new funny and handy gadget -- the Head-Flator X100 enables to inflate the heads of zombies to XXL size and... Headshot!
  • meet new zombie creatures -- mutated mobsters or armoured SWAT members
  • explore new fantastic environments -- underground car park or secret research base institute
  • try out new gadgets or get more money - reveal deadly survival arena, that is tailor-made for massacre of hordes of zombies
  • visit Casino and try your luck with a slot machine
  • and finally safe game data with cross platform cloud backup
  • This huge update brings Dead Trigger also to Adreno 205, including Sony Xperia Play!

I'm pretty excited about new Dead Trigger content since a lot of the time Mad Finger's titles feel more like tech demos than games. Dead Trigger in particular is a little pushy with the in-app purchases, but on the whole, it's just some great, solid zombie-killing. Besides, it's hard to go wrong for a buck. How much time have you pumped into the game? Which of the new Dead Trigger weapons are you itching to try out?

Source: @MadfingerGames

Download: Dead Trigger ($0.99)

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2 years ago

Great Big War Game review - silly but strategic

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Great Big War Game launched this week, riding on the coattails of its highly successful predecessor Great Little War Game. The same turn-based hex grid warfare is there, along with classic strategic elements such as elevation, fog of war, resource management, and a wide variety of land, sea, and air units to command. 

Great Big War Game's biggest asset is its ridiculous spin on war. The campaign mode puts you in the shoes of an inept general who weathers a barrage of sarcasm from his subordinate all while trying to impress the sexy new lieutenant. Don't let the silliness fool you, though. Great Big War Game has a ton of tactical depth.

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2 years ago

Rdio updated with UI and playback improvements

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Looks as though the development team at Rdio had another few days to go ahead and work on their Android app. The latest update is now available in the Google Play Store and has quite a few bug fixes included with it. Most importantly, some playback issues have been resolved along with some UI improvements that will offer up a better in-app experience for those of you have a keen interest in what your friends are listening to these days:

  • New Releases is now a grid view
  • Improved buffering player UI when loading tracks
  • Jump to album from track in playlist
  • Can now view all extended search results
  • Clickable URLs in activity stream
  • Playlist editing improvements
  • UI Improvements
  • Bug fixes

If you had any issues with the previous version, now would be a great time to go ahead and grab the update. If you're new to Rdio, you'll find the link below to get yourself started. Keep in mind, it is a subscription based service so I've included the site link as well below in case you need some more information. Plus, free trials are available.

Download: Rdio for Android, Site: Rdio

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