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3 years ago

Google I/O app updated for 2013, new features abound

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Attendees and folks watching from home can keep track of all the happenings at this years Google developer conference

Google I/O 2013 is just six days away, and to help everyone get ready the folks at Mountain View have pushed a mighty big update to the Google I/O app. What began as a way to show off Android fragments and best UI practices has turned into quite the portal for anyone interested in Google I/O, whether you're attending or not. A quick look at the change log.

  • NEW! Scan attendee badges via NFC
  • NEW! Schedule changes are immediately synchronized between devices
  • NEW! Lock screen widget for viewing your agenda on the go
  • NEW! Vector-based maps with session info
  • NEW! Dedicated HDMI video output for livestreams
  • NEW! Automatic WiFi setup for attendees
  • NEW! Off-site attendee mode for livestream-only viewers
  • Use Google+ for login
  • Support for viewing Office Hours sessions
  • Improved support for devices with RTL locales

Upon installing the app using your Google+ account credentials, you're asked if you'll be attending. This way the app knows whether or not to set up your Wifi access and let you choose your event schedule in the agenda view. 

The whole UI is now very Google Now-like, with cards and swiping taking center stage, and is optimized for phones, 7-inch tablets and 10-inch tablets. Developer Advocate Roman Nurik has a great overview of the style and design changes and improvements on his Google+ page, be sure to check that out if you're into design.

If you're attending I/O this year, be sure to look for us. If you're watching from home, we'll have all the coverage you could ask for. Six more days!

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3 years ago

Google Earth updated with Street View, better search and directions, new interface

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Check out the world without ever leaving your chair, Street View has come to Google Earth

The Google Earth application has received a major update today, and with version 7.1.1 comes a trio of great changes. The most obvious, and definitely the coolest, is that you can now zoom the whole way down to Street View to check out the world at street level. Long a staple on Google Maps for Android and the web, this is a nice addition.

Besides Street View, Google has improved the search functionality, made directions allowing you to see a 3D view of transit, walking, bike and driving directions. Another major change comes to the UI, which now offers a slide-out panel from the left side much like the Google+ app. 

Google Earth has come a long way, and it's nice to see an app that can take advantage of today's high-powered phones and their processing muscle. If you've never tried it, or if it's been a while since you had a look, grab it from the Google Play link above.

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3 years ago

Gameloft's Blitz Brigade coming to Android and iOS May 9

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Grab your weapons and 11 friends, and get ready to play Blitz Brigade, a new multiplayer FPS from Gameloft coming tomorrow

Way back in January we talked about Blitz Brigade, an upcoming team FPS from Gameloft. We just got word that we'll be able to get our hands on the official release May 9 -- that's tomorrow. The game, which is a total rip of Team Fortress 2 combined with Battlefield Heros (not like that's a bad thing), looks like a lot of bloody fun.

Set in WWII, the free to play title will be focused on team-style multiplayer, but there will also be a full set of 120 single player challenges if that's more your style. Teams can be up to 12 players, using four different maps and in death match or domination mode. With five different classes (Soldier. Gunner, Sniper, Medic and Stealth), three different vehicle types, and over 100 upgradeable weapons it sounds like a whole lot of fun.

We'll know more, and have a good look at Blitz Brigade, after it launches tomorrow. In the meantime, hit the break for some more screen shots and the original game trailer.

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3 years ago

Apex Launcher hits v2.0 with new features, improved settings

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Several new "Pro" features and even more tweaks now available in the settings

One of the most well-known names in third party launchers, Apex Launcher, has just made the jump up to version 2.0 with several new features and improvements across the app. The biggest improvements come if you've paid for the "Pro" version of the app, where you'll now get folders in the app drawer, integration with Apex Notifier and notification badge support. If you've yet to spring for the paid version, you'll still see some big changes. The free version has added support for changing vibration duration, update translations, improved the activity and wallpaper pickers and made important changes to the settings menu layout.

If you haven't taken a look at Apex in a while, now may be the time to do it. You can download the free version from the Play Store link at the top of the post, and if you want some more advanced features pick up the $3.99 paid version right here as well.

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3 years ago

CyanogenMod 10.1 RC1 builds now available

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Release candidate builds now available for some forty devices

Following the third "M snapshot" build just under a month ago, the CyanogenMod team is pushing ahead with the roll-out of the first "RC" or release candidate build of CM 10.1. RC1 of the Android 4.2.2-based firmware is now available for a total of forty devices, and in its announcement news post today the team says it expects this to be one of the last milestones before the stable release of CM 10.1.

The list of devices with RC1 builds available includes the current crop of Nexus phones and tablets (and the Nexus Q), various U.S. Galaxy S3 phones, U.S. Galaxy Note models, the international HTC One X and LG Optimus G. You can see the full list of codenames over at the CM announcement post, linked below. As usual, the builds themselves are available from the official download page at get.cm. Happy flashing!

Source: CyanogenMod

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3 years ago

Welcome to the all-new Android Central app!

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Get the latest news, reviews, forum posts, podcasts, wallpapers and more, all from the Android Central App!

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls! Behold, the all-new Android Central application. Known as an "app" on the streets, this is a long overdue endeavor for us. We've been testing internally for some time now, and it's been floating around our forums for a week or so, and now we've officially gone public, for Android 4.0.3 and up.

So what's in the app? We'll have posts detailing the features over the next few weeks, but here are the broad strokes:

  • All the posts from the blog side of things. News. Reviews. Apps. Accessories. Editorials. It's all there.
  • Plus, you can comment on posts directly from the app.
  • Access to our Android forums. If you've used Tapatalk or our dedicated Android Forums app, you'll be used to things here. (We've still got some bugs to iron out on this one, but a good bit of functionality is there.)
  • Podcasts. We're big fans of the major podcatcher apps out there. But why not bake it into our app as well? You can stream or download all of our episodes right from the app.
  • Wallpapers. Downloading from our Wallpaper Gallery is easier than ever. Browse and install, all from the app.
  • Accessories. We've got direct access to ShopAndroid.com, right in the app. 
  • Videos. You can check out everything that hits our YouTube channel -- often before it hits the blog.

That's quite a few features for a v1.0 release. But we've still got work to do.

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3 years ago

Spotify update brings filters and sorting to playlists and tracks

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New sorting methods for your tunes and playlists plus bug fixes make today's update a must-have

If you're a Spotify user there is an update available that you'll want to download. While the list of new features is short, as is often the case quality trumps quantity and today's update allows users to filter and sort their playlists and songs, making searching and categorizing much easier. The full list of changes:

  • New: Now you can filter and sort your playlists and tracks.
  • Fixed: When returning to your playlist view, you’ll always go back to the same position.
  • Fixed: No more crashing when faced with special character$ in usernames.
  • Fixed: When you next log in, Spotify will remember what you'd been listening to.
  • Fictitious: This app looks great in trousers.

Besides the new sorting capabilities, correctly remembering where you left off is a welcome fix, and looking good in trousers is always a bonus. If you're a current user, or want to check out Spotify to see if it satisfies your streaming music needs (there's a free 48 hour trial), hit the Google Play link above.

Thanks, David!

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3 years ago

Viber launches desktop client, refreshes mobile app design

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Seamlessly continue conversations, calls and video chats from mobile to desktop

Popular cross-platform messaging and VOIP service Viber is introducing brand new desktop apps along with a complete refresh of its mobile apps today. First up are the desktop apps, which are now available for both Windows and Mac and give users the ability to continue all of their VIber conversations and activities just as they would on the phone. You can text and voice chat, send pictures and stickers, make video calls and even transfer audio calls between devices mid-call.

On the mobile side, Viber v3.0 refreshes the interface, and enables a new set of features to be in sync with what the desktop now offers. The mobile app now lets you send stickers, leave video messages and a couple of back-end improvements such as sound quality and language localization. If you haven't yet tried Viber you can grab the app from the Play Store link above, and the desktop versions from the link below.

More: Viber

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3 years ago

RunKeeper for Android updated with Pebble smartwatch support

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Latest app update allows workout tracking on Pebble

Good news for RunKeeper users also lucky enough to be in possession of a Pebble smartwatch -- the former has just been updated to take advantage of the latter. In its latest update, RunKeeper for Android has gained the ability to connect to Pebble, allowing users to track their workouts in real time.

The app still does all the heavy lifting, with the watch acting as a secondary display, so you'll still need to keep your smartphone on you during your workout. However, the ability to track your stats without reaching (possibly with sweaty hands) for your phone.

Unsurprisingly, with wearable devices set to become more widespread over the next year, RunKeeper says Pebble integration is "one of many integrations with hardware and fitness tracking devices in the coming months." 

To grab the latest version of RunKeeper, hit the Google Play link above.

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3 years ago

Weekly picks from Google Play: Metal from $5.99, The Guardian, Google Keep and more!

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There are more than just apps in Google Play, and we want to let you know what we've found

For weeks upon weeks, we've been bringing you a weekly digest of the best apps each of the Android Central writers have been using. But starting this week, we're going to be mixing things up a bit. Google Play has expanded far beyond just apps -- there's a great selection of books, magazines, music and movies out there that deserve more attention.

So today we're going to kick off a new set of picks, ones that expand beyond just apps to include the best content each person at Android Central has found in the last week. Hang with us after the break and see what we've found in the Play Store for you today.

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3 years ago

Buying Punch Quest from Google Play is the best way to spend 99 cents ever

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8-bit glory at it's finest, Punch Quest is fast, furious and fun

Cheesy 8-bit graphics and sound, insane fast game play and super easy controls make Punch Quest my instant new favorite game on Android. It's an old-school side-scrolling arcade fighter, where you throw overhand punches and uppercuts to work your way through the dungeon filled with some pretty evil characters. There are power-ups, mini-bosses and plenty of pottery to break, and you even get to ride a dinosaur that shoots laser beams from its mouth.

Dinosaurs and freaking lasers!

There are in-app purchases if you want to play that way, but I'm zooming through the levels without using any. If you like a little gaming on your Android device, especially if you're a fan of pixel art and old-school titles, grab this one for a buck from Google Play. The game trailer is after the break so you can see just how much fun this one is.

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3 years ago

Galaxy Note on AT&T receiving Jelly Bean starting today

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Update only available through Samsung's Kies desktop software

It's been a long time coming, but the original Galaxy Note for AT&T is finally receiving an update to Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean. Starting today, willing users can grab the update although it will only be available via Samsung's Kies software and not OTA (Over The Air). But we're not going to look this gift horse in the mouth, as Jelly Bean will bring some serious improvements to the device. Above and beyond the improvements in terms of overall UI, you'll also be getting changes like Project Butter, a better camera interface and Google Now. AT&T also says that the update will improve both the keyboard and call quality.

Still holding onto the original AT&T Note? Head to the source link below for some detailed information on how to get Kies working on your computer and apply the update. Once you have the update loaded onto your device be sure to let other members in the forums know how the process went for you.

Source: AT&T; More: AT&T Galaxy Note Forums

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3 years ago

Action Launcher update makes customizing even easier

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Action Launcher is getting an update today, making customizing the third-party launcher even easier. You can now drag apps directly from the quickdrawer onto the homescreen, speeding things things up even more. You're also able to lock the desktop, so things won't slide around so much.

I've been using the update for a couple days now. Put simply, it makes a great launcher even greater. Give it a shot, and check out the demo video after the break.

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3 years ago

Room 237 is a movie for movie buffs - and available in Google Play

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Cook some Jiffy Pop and keep that tin foil for a hat -- Room 237 is 100 minutes of thought-provoking conspiracy theories

With no podcast tonight, I've been forced to find something else to occupy my idle hands. A quick trip into Google Play found the film Room 237, and halfway through I'm hooked.

Without any spoilers, it dissects Stanley Kubrick's take on The Shining into a million tiny slices, and analyzes it all with a keen eye for detail -- and conspiracy theories abound. Half of what I'm hearing sounds absolutely insane, but all of it sounds interesting as heck. Well worth the $7, and I didn't have to get dressed and head to the theater.

Remember, there's more to Google Play than just apps if you're in a country that supports all the content. If you're bored, or a film enthusiast I think you'll like this one. 

Rent Room 237 from Google Play

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3 years ago

Halo feature from Paranoid Android team demoed in video

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Facebook's Chat Heads feature taken to the next level with the Halo mod

For many folks, half the fun of having an Android phone or tablet is hacking the daylights out of it. For the average user, that means installing custom tweaks and ROMs. For the developer types, though, it means something different. They get inside things, and twist everything around until they get it all the way they like. Here's a great example of that.

The folks hard at work on the Paranoid Android ROM have been teasing a new feature, and today we get a four-minute glimpse of Halo.

Think Chat Heads on steroids. It's an entirely new way of handling notifications, and it looks pretty slick. Trun it on from the status bar, and your notifications appear in a small circular icon and flyout. Tap said icon, and whatever you might be doing will pause, and a small version of the application that gave you a notification will open, allowing you to respond appropriately.

There's no public release available yet, but word is you'll soon be able to try it yourself. We'll keep an eye out for this one.

Thanks, David!

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