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3 years ago

Original Sonic the Hedgehog now available in the Play Store

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SEGA brings yet another classic Sonic game to mobile devices

Just a handful of weeks after SEGA let everyone know that it would be releasing a natively written version of Sonic the Hedgehog for Android, it has finally arrived in the Play Store. Sonic fans will appreciate that this is the complete original game from start to finish, remastered to make the gameplay experience higher quality. Users will get access to every original level, but with an improved soundtrack and all-together new features like leaderboards, achievements and a Time Attack game mode. A new feature has been added to let players unlock Knuckles and Tails as playable characters through the game as well.

Best of all SEGA is releasing the entire game for $2.99, which is a great price for another iconic piece of classic gaming on your phone or tablet. You can grab a download of Sonic the Hedgehog at the Play Store link above.

More: SEGA Blog

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3 years ago

Pudding Monsters adds 25 new levels in 'Sky View' update

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New levels that will keep the game fresh and let you move mountains

Pudding Monsters, the latest game from the makers of Cut the Rope, is expanding the number of levels it offers today with a new "Sky View" update to the game. Sky View adds 25 fresh new levels with new gameplay and mechanics for everyone to enjoy, whether you're on the paid or free version of the app. Developer ZeptoLab says you'll be introduced to a new character, "Mr. Powerlifter Monster", that will come in handy when moving some mountains in the new levels.

You can grab your download or update to the free version of the Pudding Monsters app from the Play Store link above, or the paid version right here as well.

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3 years ago

Evernote, Twitter and Facebook apps for Google Glass announced

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Major players get official apps for Google's smart glasses

Following the start of this year's Google I/O developer conference, Evernote, Twitter and Facebook have announced official apps for Google Glass. If you're among the lucky few people packing "explorer edition" Glass devices, you can turn on these new applications by heading to your MyGlass page at google.com/myglass and enabling the app you want.

While the Facebook app for Glass is primarily focused on sharing pictures you've taken on the device, the Twitter app offers much of the functionality of a full-blown Twitter app, including the ability to send and receive regular tweets, images retweets and direct messages. (You might remember Twitter for Glass has been rumored for some time.)

Evernote, on the other hand, focuses on quickly added photo or video snippets to your notes, and sending existing notes to your Glass timeline, so it's always within view. These are small first steps, but it's early days for Glass, and we can't wait to see what developers come up with in the months ahead.

If you're rocking Glass already, be sure to hit the comments and share your thoughts on these new apps.

Source: EvernoteTwitter, Facebook

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3 years ago

'SMS integration is coming soon' to Google Hangouts [Updated]

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Update: Dori Storbeck now says Google has "nothing to announce at this time."

Original: If you were wondering why the new Google Hangouts app asked you to confirm your phone number, this might be the reason. Googler Dori Storbeck, Community Manager for Google+ Hangouts and Chat, has confirmed in a Google+ post that SMS integration will eventually be headed to the new messaging app.

Responding to a question about the unification of Hangouts and SMS, Storbeck said "SMS integration is coming soon - it is one of our most requested features!" There's no information on when this feature might arrive, nor what the implications might be for built-in SMS apps. If nothing else, it's another baby step towards the true unification of messaging that Hangouts aims to deliver.

Source: +Dori Storbeck

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3 years ago

Trek Episode Guide warps onto Android

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Star Trek Into Darkness has been in theaters around the globe for a few weeks now, but today brings the first showings in the United States, with a wider release rolling out tomorrow. To celebrate - and to take advantage of the building Trekkie craze - AppGlu today released into Google Play the new Trek Episode Guide.

The free app isn't an official one, but it what it provides is likely far better than an official app could. Late last, CBS Interactive released an official Star Trek PADD database app for iOS and, well, it was a massive disappointment. The database used by CBS was poorly written, occasionally inaccurate, and woefully lacking in detail - and the images offered in the PADD app were likewise poor and typically of a depressingly low resolution.

CBS could have done better, and in spite of lacking some features, AppGlu's Trek Episode Guide does so. Let's get this out of the way to start: Trek Episode Guide doesn't have any form of built-in search, and it's focused solely on - as the name would imply - the episode and movie summaries. Granted, that's still 716 episodes and 12 films. But you can't tap on a character's name and read everything about that character. For a character like Worf, who appeared in 271 episodes across two series, in addition to 4 films, there's a lot to be brought together.

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3 years ago

Hands-on with Hangouts, Google's first step towards unified messaging

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Lots of great new features, but this may not be the unified messaging service some hoped for

We've heard a whole lot about "Hangouts" as a headline feature of Google+ since its launch, but Google is repurposing that branding today for its latest group chat service. There was a whole lot of crazy speculation and expectation leading up to Google I/O about a unified messaging platform from Google, and unfortunately Hangouts just isn't that service quite yet. As if Hangouts coming to phones as an update to the Google Talk app wasn't a good indication, this is more of an instant messaging client then an all-encompassing messaging service.

That being said, if you and the people you talk to most are all-in with Google, this update just gave you a whole bunch of new features. Read on with us past the break for a little introduction to Hangouts, Google's next step in messaging.

More: Android Central @ Google I/O 2013

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3 years ago

Android Studio is what's new in Android development tools

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To build great apps, you need great tools. The folks at Mountain View are giving us those tools

After this morning's epic three-hour Keynote event, it was just a quick trip next door to see Xavier Ducrohet and Tor Noybe give what is always one of the most popular developer sessions of the conference -- What's New in Android Developer Tools. 

If you were paying attention during the Keynote, we got a quick look at Android Studio, seeing how the new IDE can make the life of a hard working Android dev easier. Based on IntelliJ IDEA, Android Studio is a free and open source IDE specifically designed for building Android apps. Complete with templates, wizards, and some awesome WYSIWYG-style layout editing, it looks like someone at Mountain View is very serious about devs getting the tools they need.

Eclipse isn't gone, and in fact there's still plenty that has not made it's way to Android Studio just yet. But clearly, this is the future of Android app development. It's great to see the tools developers need to build the next set of great apps! If you're a developer or just want to have a look at things, visit the link below to check out an Earl Access Preview of Android Studio.

Getting Started with Android Studio

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3 years ago

Google Play Books updated with new design, PDF and EPUB uploading

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Keep up to 1,000 of your own PDF and EPUB files in the cloud for free

Caught up in all of the hullabaloo around the keynote, Google Play Books received a notable update in the Play Store to not only bring new UI elements but also a new way to view your own documents. First up is the design, which follows many of Google's latest design principles with a new left edge slide-in navigation panel and high contrast blue and white design. The interface on Play Books has always been simple, but it can't get much cleaner than it is now. You can "Read Now" (remember you can "Listen Now" in Play Music), view "My Library" or go "Shop". Very simple.

The big back-end feature that was enabled by this update is user uploads, which lets you now upload from the web (at play.google.com/books/uploads) or directly from Google Drive any PDF or EPUB document of your choice. Those documents uploaded on the web are then available for sync and download on your phone or tablet to read at any time. Users can store up to 1,000 documents at once with the service, and uploaded documents have their page position, bookmarks and notes completely synced across devices.

Play Books may not be on of the fanciest or most talked-about Google apps today, but these are huge improvements in usability that make the entire Android platform (and Google ecosystem) more compelling.

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3 years ago

Sprint Galaxy S4, HTC One and Galaxy Note 2 now have Google Wallet support

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Google and Sprint team up again to allow three of the most popular devices to have Wallet access

Not everything makes it into the Google I/O keynote, but that doesn't mean it's not still important. As a tweet from the official Google Wallet account, it announced that the Sprint Galaxy S4, HTC One and Galaxy Note 2 (also on U.S. Cellular) will all be given access to the Google Wallet app directly from Google Play. This is pretty big news, as those are likely three of the most high-profile and best selling devices available on Sprint today. The carrier was originally one of the few partners that has stuck with Google through the ups and downs of Wallet, so it's good to see that the two companies are still working together.

Users on any of the three aforementioned devices should be able to grab a direct download of the app from the Play Store, which can be found at the link above. Now all you have to do is find somewhere to actually use those NFC payment abilities.

Source:  Google Wallet (Twitter)

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3 years ago

Hands-on with the new Google Play Music app and All Access subscription service

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Improvements in design highlight the latest music subscription service

At today's massive Google I/O keynote, one of the bigger announcements was centered around music. Not only did we get the rumored Google Music subscription service -- now called "All Access" -- but we also got a completely refreshed Play Music app and web interface to go along with it. Google is making a pretty compelling push with its new music service, which goes beyond just radio and just streaming to offer customizable playlists with unlimited skips as well as unfettered online and offline access to any music in the Play Store catalog. You can also now access that music through  a beautifully redesigned Android app and web player that just tie the entire experience together.

Hang with us after the break for a closer look at Google's refresh of Play Music, one that is likely to be a hit well after the Moscone Center empties this week.

More: Android Central @ Google I/O 2013

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3 years ago

YouTube for Google TV gets updated with a whole new homescreen UI

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New home screen UI, paid subscriptions and enhanced playback controls the name of the day

While all eyes were on the 3+ hour monster keynote at Google I/O, Google quietly slipped out a decent looking update to their YouTube app for Google TV. Top of the order is a nice looking new user interface for the homescreen, that simplifies everything and makes it all a little more user friendly. 

Official support for Google's new paid subscription channels is also included, with Google TV surely being a prime option to take advantage of the new content. Playback video controls are also improved, and it's easier to subscribe to that content creator's channel. Grab it now from the Google Play Store, and be sure to let us know what you think of it. 

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3 years ago

Hangouts app now available in the Play Store, comes as update to Google Talk

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Google's new cross-platform group messaging service is pushing out to devices

Hangouts, the long-rumored messaging service from Google that pulls together text, photo, video and group chat all into one service, is pushing out in the Play Store today as an update to the Google Talk app. The app is a serious departure from the old-school design found on talk, with an all new layout that focuses first on conversations and then on individual contacts. The main screen is a list of your different ongoing conversations -- "Hangouts" -- with pictures of the people involved in them. When you start a new hangout you can search people by name, email, circle or even phone number and start a chat.

Right now it looks like it's basically building on just the previous Talk system of chatting, and although it does ask to confirm your phone number and you can search contacts by their numbers, there's no SMS support here just yet. Go grab a download of the new Hangouts app from the Play Store link above.

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3 years ago

Google Play Music updated, includes UI overhaul and All Access subscription service

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Google announced a music subscription service today called Google Play Music All Access. It provides unlimited access to music for $9.99/month (or $7.99/month if you sign up for the free trial before June 30th.)

The Google Play Music Android app has been updated to reflect the All Access subscription service, but also provides an entire UI overhaul that is very slick. It's simplified and much easier to navigate, in my opinion. There is a navigation pane to the left that allows you to select between Listen now, My Library, Playlists, Radio and Explore. You can quickly swipe it away to view your choice, which will be taken over by larger album art.

The update is available via the Google Play Store. If you don't see it just yet, sit tight, you'll see it soon. Follow our Google Play links for the update.

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3 years ago

Google previews next major version of Maps for Android

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New look, new features for Google's mobile mapping software

At the Google I/O keynote in San Francisco, Google showed a sneak peek at the "next major version" of Google Maps for Android. Visually, it looks a lot like the iPhone Google Maps app, with a big search bar front and center, and re-vamped, smoother graphics. There's also a new Zagat experience built-in, with a new five-point rating scheme. Google Offers are now built into the app too, allowing offers to be saved directly from the Maps app.

The tablet maps UI has been overhauled too, with a UI tweaked to take advantage of the additional screen realestate. And in big news for iOS, there's finally a dedicated iPad app for Google Maps.

The company also showed off a re-vamped version of Google Maps on the web, with WebGL-based vector graphics as standard, and a bigger focus on search, through a large search bar at the top of the screen. There's been a complete UI overhaul too, designed to make features like navigation and public transit directions easier to use. For the first time, Google Earth-like 3D imagery is included in Maps on the web, too.

The new Google Maps experience for Android is due to launch "this summer."

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3 years ago

Android Central App Version 1.1 brings landscape support, scrollable widget

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Updates are always good, and this one is filled with some of the things you've been asking for

Our awesome Android Central app just got .1 more awesomer, as we've pushed out an update that addresses some of the things you've been asking for. With version 1.1, you've got a sexy new scrollable widget (which is also resizable and will work with your lock screen if you're running Android 4.2.2) that puts the latest Android news right on your home screen, keeping you up to date. (It currently refreshes every half-hour -- we're looking at making that more frequent in a future update.)

Normally, that in and of itself would be enough to make a new release, but that's not how we roll here. In addition, you've got landscape support throughout the entire app, including the settings panel tucked on the left side. That same side menu now works on all screens, too. 

One last thing -- when we write a story that includes a link to Google Play, you'll now have a shiny Google Play Store icon in the Action Bar across the top of the app. Tap it, and you can open the link to the app directly in Google Play using Android's powerful intents system. 

We think you'll enjoy this latest version, and we're already hard at work on the next -- using your feedback as a guideline. Update your copy of the Android Central app through Google Play, or you can just tap the link above to check it out. You'll also find a handful of screenshots after the break.

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