Headlines

2 years ago

Amazing Alex from Rovio arriving on Android in July

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Rovio's next eagerly awaited title, Amazing Alex, will be with us on Android sometime in July. The above trailer has been created by Rovio confirming such, that we'll be seeing it this month. Sadly, what the trailer doesn't give us, is any sign of gameplay footage. 

Amazing Alex will of course be a follow up title from the developers of the smash hit, Angry Birds franchise. It will  be a physics based puzzle game, with over 100 levels to tackle. Additionally players can design their own levels using 35 different interactive objects. And, in true Rovio style, we're promised regular, free updates. We're looking forward to getting our hands on this one.

Source: Amazing Alex (Rovio)

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2 years ago

Final Fantasy III finally breaks free of Japanese exclusivity, comes with a price tag

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The 3D remake of the 90's classic, Final Fantasy III. has been available on Android since March, should you live in Japan. If you're looking for something to occupy, post Google I/O, the title has now become available to the rest of the world as well. 

Priced at a whopping $15.99/£10.99, FInal Fantasy III isn't much of an impulse buy. But, if anyone knows how to make a great game, it's Square Enix. Additionally, the Android version comes with improved 3D visuals, and story sequences that are exclusive to Android. The download also weighs in at 172MB, so worth making sure you've got the space, but it will work on Android 2.2 and above. Time to get your quest on. 

Download: Final Fantasy III

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2 years ago

Android Central Editors' app picks for June 30, 2012

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​With Google I/O only just barely behind us, the excitement is probably still running through you. Whether you just flashed some Jellybean love for yourself, or you are just overly excited about any of the announcements, odds are you want a new application to check out on your device. Let's hit the break and check out some of our favorites from this week!

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2 years ago

Google Currents to be part of Jelly Bean OTA for Nexus devices

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As you'll know if you've been following our Google I/O coverage, Google Currents will ship on the Nexus 7 tablet when it launches next month. But now it's been revealed that Google's digital magazine app will also be part of the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean OTA that'll be sent to ICS-running Nexus devices around the same time. An email sent to currents partners today indicate that Currents' user base is set to increase significantly as it goes from an optional app on the Play Store to a part of the core collection of Google apps. As such, we'd also expect to see Currents shipping out on future Google-certified Jelly Bean devices, as it becomes a more established member of the Google apps family.

If you're using Currents, be sure to add Android Central to your library today.

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2 years ago

Face Unlock in Jelly Bean gets a 'Liveness check'

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One of the more frivolous features introduced into Android with Ice Cream Sandwich, was the Face Unlock. While it's always been something cool to show off against your iPhone toting friends, it's never really been overly useful, or secure. It's not the most reliable feature in the world,  and it can be duped by a photograph, and generally makes unlocking your phone longer. 

Enter Jelly Bean, and an improvement to Face Unlock. Pointed out in the Android Central Forums, by member ​Jays2Kings​, within the security settings menu in Jelly Bean is a new option -- Liveness check.

So, this is supposed to get round the potential picture duping issue, by making it so Face Unlock will check for the person in front of it blinking. In other words, making sure you're alive. While it's good to see solutions for potential security risks, ​Jays2Kings ​also points out that it doesn't really pick up normal blinking too well. Seems that it works best when you have your eyes open really wide, and all it seems to do is to further slow down the process of unlocking your phone with Face Unlock

How about you guys? Anyone who's running one of the Jelly Bean ROM's already out there, and tried this out, shout out in the comments and let us know how it works for you. 

​thanks Jays2Kings!

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2 years ago

Google announces 'Save to Wallet' for offers and payment cards

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Google I/O has been jam packed full of new, and exciting Google software and technology. While the headline acts are no doubt the arrival of the Nexus 7 and Jelly Bean, there has been some pretty interesting stuff going on in the developer sessions. One such session, dedicated to Google Wallet, unveiled a new feature, called Save to Wallet. Initially for offers and payment cards, it is seen as the first step in opening up Google Wallet to a wider audience. 

So, what's it all about. Taking offers first, the Save to Wallet API will allow consumers to save offers from a stores website, directly to their Google Wallet. Wallet will then remind you to take advantage of it before the coupon expires. The offers can then be applied in the store, either by showing the offer code in your Wallet, or by using the NFC capabilities on your smartphone. Pretty slick. 

Adding the Save to Wallet button to an existing website requires little more than a piece of Javascript code. The benefits to retailers pretty much speak for themselves, but the consumer benefits are really nice too. By managing your offer coupons for you, Wallet will give you the notifications, to remind you to use them. After all, we all want to save some money, right? 

The Save to Wallet API also applies to payment cards as well. It works pretty similarly to offers, and allows payment card providers the ability to provide the same button on their website, and offer a seamless way to enter your card into your Google Wallet. 

Naturally, since we're dealing with potentially sensitive data here, the API isn't just opened up to anyone who wants it. It will be opened up to a limited number of users initially, in a closed beta. Anyone interested can register, but Google will only be releasing the API to approved partners. This applies to offers, as well as payment cards. 

And, what about the future? As the slide here shows, Google are promising more, coming soon. It's a smart move, if they can make a go of it. Apple's Passbook is likely the beginnings of their own Wallet solution, and Windows Phone 8 has theirs on the way. Google's taking a good first step here into expanding the functionality of Wallet. What we need now, is greater adoption -- we'd like to use our phones to pay for stuff in Europe too, Google. 

For your viewing convenience, we've embedded the Google Wallet session after the break. 

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2 years ago

The Amazing Spider-Man now available from Google Play

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Roll up, roll up. Get your daily super hero fix here. Well, sort of. If you are a Spider-Man fan or just a gamer on your Android device you will be pleased to hear that The Amazing Spider-Man is waiting for you to download it from Google Play.

It does come with a hefty price tag of £4.99 which isn't cheap but it sure looks fun. With 25 action packed levels will you be the one to save Manhattan from the evil Lizard?

FREE NEW YORK CITY
• Explore the city through its five distinctive districts (Central Park, Business, Downtown, Pier and Residential)
• An exciting and enjoyable fighting system with melee, ranged, combo attacks and much more
• A wide selection of upgrades to customize your style, attacks and skills

It looks like Gameloft have given us another cracker. Sweet.

Download here

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2 years ago

Hands-on with 3D buildings in Google Earth at Google I/O 2012

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Google Earth 7.0 has been released, introducing 3D maps for a selection of major cities around the world. Based upon 3D telemetry and textures taken from aerial photography, Earth 7.0 conjures a virtual city right onto your smartphone or tablet screen. What this means is you can now fire up Google Earth and zoom around any of the supported cities, which include San Francisco, Boston, Charlotte and Rome. There's also a dedicated tour mode which will give you a virtual fly-by view of major landmarks, including the Transamerica Pyramid in San Francisco.

As you might expect, the new 3D mapping capabilities require a fair amount of graphical power and bandwidth to use, though we demo'd the new Google Earth on the 18-month-old Motorola Xoom, and the app remained fairly smooth and speedy.

Check out our hands-on video above. Google Earth 7.0 is available to download now from the Google Play Store. For 3D building support, you'll need to be running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich or later.

Download: Google Earth

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2 years ago

Google app updates continue as Currents and Drive step up for their turn

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The mid-I/O Google app updates continues, this time round it's the turn of Google Currents and Google Drive. Both have updates waiting for them right now in the Google Play Store. So, what's new? 

In the case of Google Currents, the biggest change is that finally, it fits into the Android 4.x design guidelines. That pesky menu, it's up top where it ought to be. You might also notice, that it's got a new, less colorful logo too. The full changelog for Currents reads a little like this: 

  • User interface - updated to Android standards
  • Top navigation bar - auto hide, touch to show
  • Library/trending toggle - moved to navigation bar
  • Performance enhancements
  • Bug fixes

Sweet, so, what about Google Drive? Well, an update was to be expected, after the cloud service was heavily featured in todays Chrome based Keynote. One of the biggest new features available in Drive on Android, is the ability to upload, and download, all file types to and from your Drive. Pretty much a standard requirement for cloud storage. The changelog for Drive reads as follows: 

  • Quickly find files that have been recently opened, edited or shared with you
  • Upload/Download all file types to/from your Google Drive
  • Selecting contacts to share with is easier
  • Faster navigation of folders when syncing in the background
  • Choose text alignment in the documents editor

Add these two the lengthy list of Google apps that received updates yesterday, and we've been pretty well spoiled. Some may be more significant than others, but updates are updates nonetheless. Head on over to Google Play and snag yourselves a copy of these two. 

Download: Google Drive, Google Currents

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2 years ago

Google+ SDK for Android and iOS is coming, along with a handful of APIs

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Google has made it clear at Google I/O -- they love Google+ and are going full steam ahead with the social platform. We don't blame them, as we think with the right nurturing it can stand out among the rest. What's been sorely missing is options for third party applications to integrate with G+ as the do with Facebook and Twitter. Google has made that one step closer to reality today with the announcement of the upcoming Google+ API for Android and iOS. Based on the platform notes, supported out-of-the-box are Google+ sign-in, a share plug-in to share your app content to the G+ stream,  +1 button integration, Google+ history functions, and a personalization feature, which will allow developers to pull in public G+ content and use it in their app. 

It's not exactly perfect, but it's very close to what everyone was asking for. Now we just need to see the SDK and some apps built with it.

Source: Google+ Developers

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2 years ago

Bladeslinger video demo on the Google Nexus 7

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The inclusion of an NVIDIA Tegra 3 CPU (and GPU) in the Nexus 7 tablet indicates that Google's betting on mobile gaming to generate sales of the device. That's only natural considering the slew of graphically-rich titles coming to Tegra 3 devices we've seen over the past six months.

One of the upcoming games Google chose to plug in its day-one I/O keynote was Bladeslinger, by Luma Arcade. With a horror-themed Western setting, Bladeslinger sees players taking on the role of William Glaston, who's returned home to find that his hometown overrun by the undead hordes. Gameplay is hack 'n'slash, with a little third-person shooting thrown in for good measure.

We caught up with the devs on the show floor to grab a quick gameplay demo of Bladeslinger on the Google Nexus 7. Hit the embed above to check it out. Bladeslinger is expected to arrive on Tegra 3 Android in a couple of months.

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2 years ago

Google says that Chrome is now the worlds most popular browser

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We're knee deep into the day 2 keynote presentation at Google I/O, and we're expecting lots of Chrome news. The first piece that just dropped highlights the massive popularity of the Google Chrome browser. 

To date, there is now 310 million daily active users of the Chrome browser, which Google says makes it the worlds most popular browser. And, for the data nerds, there's some pretty impressive statistics that accompany it. 60billion words typed, 1TB of data downloaded, and 13 years saved each and every day within Chrome. Thats a whole lot. The keynote continues, so stay tuned for the rundown.

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2 years ago

Google Now official landing page now live

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One of the most impressive new features in Android 4.1 Jelly Bean shown off yesterday, is Google Now. The new, personalized search system that tries to make your day that little bit easier. 

The official landing page for Google Now has gone live -- hit the source link below to head over there -- with the official lowdown on the service. That, and the video you see here. As Jerry said yesterday, it is a little scary, but it does sound pretty cool at the same time. 

Source: Google Now

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2 years ago

Netflix for Android updated to support Jelly Bean

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Seems like the Google suite of applications aren't the only ones being updated to show some Jelly Bean love. Netflix has pushed out an update to the Google Play Store that promises support for Android 4.1. Additionally there are some general bug fixes included too. 

Guess now the guys have something to do with those shiny new Nexus 7 tablets, should the I/O action ever get a little boring. Yeah, we know, unlikely. Hit the Google Play Store now to snag yourselves a copy. 

Download: Netflix

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2 years ago

BlueStacks app player brings Android apps to Mac OS X in Alpha form

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Previously a Windows only affair, BlueStacks app player allows folks to load up Android apps onto their personal computers and run them directly within a slim, virtualized environment. Today, at Google I/O 2012 BlueStacks has taken another jump forward and released their Alpha build of BlueStacks for Mac OS X. I've given it a run through to see how well it works and well, it works like an Alpha meaning it's all a little bit buggy but that's why BlueStacks is offering it up, so they can get feedback on it. If you're interested in giving it a go, you'll find the link below.

Download: BlueStacks Alpha For Mac; Source: Engadget

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