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3 years ago

Nokia's new Windows Phone NFC writer app gives props to Google+

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How do you know you've started to make it as a social network? When Nokia, that misfit manufacturer that's keeping Windows Phone alive one Lumia at a time, adds Google+ to its new NFC tag application.

Our pals at WPCentral have the scoop on this one, but the gist is that you can create a tag to a Google+ link. Say, to the highly popular +Android Central page. That's a good sign for ye olde G+.

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3 years ago

About that Google Settings app that appeared on your device today

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As part of its new Google+ sign-in initiative that went live today, Google pushed a silent update to the Google Play Services app to support the new feature, which also brought along a new app called Google Settings. Google Play Services updates in the background routinely, much like the Play Store itself, in order to have phones up to date and syncing properly. The updates don't usually install new apps, but there's nothing to worry about here, the Google Settings app is indeed supposed to be there.

That being said, it doesn't seem all that useful, as it just provides shortcuts to the settings menus of other apps on the phone -- like Google+, Maps and Location. These settings could all be accessed previously, but in order to have everything working out of the box and have a settings area set up for the new Google+ sign-in, Google had to push something out there. We may have preferred if there was some kind of notice of what was going on though.

Going forward it's likely that Google will use this app to house more than just a few settings shortcuts -- and the functionality could easily just be baked into the general OS settings as well. For now, just let it be -- at least the icon isn't too ugly.

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3 years ago

Pocket Casts 4: more than just a fresh coat of paint

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Pocket Casts has been around for some time, and is always part of the conversation when talking about podcast apps on Android. But like many other apps, it was long overdue for a redesign. This latest update, Pocket Casts version 4, has thrown the app back into the forefront of quality Android design. But the update is more than just skin deep -- underneath that design is a whole bucket of new features that are just as appealing as the visuals.

Hang around with us after the break, and take a look at the completely redesigned Pocket Casts 4.

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3 years ago

TuneIn Radio updated with new Google+ sign-in feature

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Google only just today announced their Google+ sign-in features that are opening up to app developers, but TuneIn Radio is one of the first out of the gate to implement it. Much as they were involved early on with Jelly Bean expandable notifications, the extremely popular radio streaming app is in on the ground floor with Google's latest features. 

To the user, it's exactly the same process as signing in via Twitter or Facebook, without the necessity of course to enter any login details. You choose which of your Google accounts you wish to sign-in with, and that's it. You're also presented with a check box allowing you to restrict who has access to content you share on Google+ -- although sharing something only you can see does seem a little, well, pointless. 

Google+ sign in isn't the only new feature in this update either. TuneIn Radio will now integrate with your calendar, so if you don't want to forget about that big soccer football game coming up, tapping the 'add to calendar' button will produce a handy reminder when the program is about to begin. Additionally, Chevrolet drivers with the MyLink functionality can now access TuneIn Radio directly from the car. Download the free version of TuneIn Radio can be found at the Play Store link above.

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3 years ago

NVIDIA shows off 5 new Tegra 4 optimized games at MWC

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With the announcement of the new Tegra 4 processor and devices, NVIDIA is looking to showcase what it is capable of by highlighting 5 new Tegra 4 optimized games in TegraZone. Burn Zombie Burn, Carie: Blood Mansion, CODEX: The Warrior, Dead on Arrival 2 and RU Golf have all been updated with enhanced graphics to show off just what makes Tegra 4 so much more appealing over other processors when it comes to playing games. NVIDIA is well known for partnering with game developers to release these high-end titles via the TegraZone, and these will kick it off for Tegra 4.

Hang with us after the break and see some impressive gameplay videos, as well as a screenshot gallery of the titles.

Source: NVIDIA

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3 years ago

Qualcomm and doubleTwist team to create MagicPlay - an open source media streamer

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Chip maker Qualcomm has teamed up with the folks at doubleTwist and will be delivering MagicPlay - a platform they're billing as an open-source challenger to AirPlay. Running on Qualcomm's AllJoyn protocol, MagicPlay will allow  any Android device to stream media to any other device -- provided it uses a Qualcomm chip running the AllJoyn protocol. 

Using MagicPlay and AllJoyn will allow users to connect via Wifi and avoid Bluetooth (which doubleTwist labels as a headache). Manufacturers can add support by embedding a small open-source component, and application developers can embed MagicPlay services into any application to add media streaming. 

See the press releases from Qualcomm and doubleTwist after the break for more details.

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3 years ago

News360 v3.0: a big update to the popular app

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News360 chooses to sidestep other apps that focus on social news recommendations, and instead offers user-focused content generation from a wide variety of sources. The aim is to provide multiple angles to the same story, which is said to offer a well-rounded experience. The app continues to offer the same feature set as before, but is now wrapped in a much more attractive user interface.

Hang with us after the break and see if the redesigned News360 is still a compelling news reader option.

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3 years ago

Samsung announces new KNOX system for secure BYOD

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Samsung is hoping to further its position in the enterprise space by introducing Samsung KNOX, a full software solution for companies to implement with BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) programs. KNOX is aiming to be an end-to-end solution for securing corporate data on a personal device, keeping both sets of data and apps completely separate. The solution provides system-level encryption of the enterprise data and apps, which are accessed via an app icon on the employee's homescreen. Everything inside KNOX is a completely separate container from the rest of the phone, and ships with integrated email, browser, contacts, calendar and file sharing apps for the enterprise.

Additionally, any Android app can be made KNOX-compliant without any change in the source code, so developers don't have to submit a new version of the app to work with KNOX. Samsung can add features like FIPS compliant VPN, on-device encryption and Single Sign On (SSO) to these existing apps.

These security features require changes in both the hardware and software of the devices, and Samsung is saying that KNOX will be available on "selected Samsung devices" starting from Q2 2013 as part of its SAFE (Samsung for Enterprise) platform. This is a great step forward for users that want to have both corporate and personal data on a single device.

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3 years ago

ClockworkMod SuperUser released in beta, free and open-sourced

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Koushik Dutta of ClockworkMod, ROM Manager and Carbon (Backup) fame continues his long standing contributions to the Android community with his latest creation, ClockworkMod SuperUser. Currently in beta, eventually there will be an installation process in the APK itself, but for now it must be flashed either via ROM Manager or manually via recovery. 

There's a few headline features to speak of, the first of which is that unlike the Chainfire SuperUser offerings, this one is open-sourced with the full code available for download from Koush's Github. Also on board is support for the multi-user option found in Android 4.2. Impressive. Equally impressive is that this one version is compatible with both ARM and x86, with Koush claiming "magic" in getting it working. 

The impressive full feature set reads as follows:

  • Multiuser support
  • Open source
  • Free
  • Leverages Android's permission model
  • Logging (and per app logging)
  • Pretty UI
  • PIN Protection
  • Request Timeout
  • Customize notifications
  • x86 and ARM support
  • Handle concurrent su requests properly
  • NDK clean

Follow the source link below or head on into ROM Manager on your rooted device to flash a copy and take a look for yourselves. Click on further past the break for a demo video of ClockworkMod SuperUser in action. 

Source: +Koushik Dutta

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3 years ago

Polycom updates RealPresence app for Android tablets

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Polycom has updated their RealPresence application for Android, bringing support for even more tablets, and new features like smart pairing technology, content sharing, and SVC (Scalable Video Coding) format support. Before you click the link to install this one, take a few minutes to see exactly what the RealPresence app is.

This isn't regular video chat where you goof off with your friends or talk dirty to each other. RealPresence is an enterprise video conferencing solution, and it requires and it requires the proper infrastructure to run on. It's designed for professionals who need to speak with each other, in real-time, securely. As the video you'll find after the break explains, industries from healthcare to construction have a need to conference remotely, and when video is involved things are more efficient. When things get more efficient, we all benefit.

Android adoption for the enterprise has always paled when compared to the consumer space, or to Apple's iOS. Applications like RealPresence can change that, and expand the choices made when it's time to buy equipment. Jump past the break to see the mentioned video, and read the press release.

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3 years ago

Jelly Bean update for Sprint Galaxy Victory 4G leaks out

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Frequent firmware leaker Samsung-Updates has just put up a preliminary leak of the Jelly Bean OTA for the Galaxy Victory 4G on Sprint. The device launched back in September of last year, disappointingly so when we saw just Ice Cream Sandwich on board. What we're looking at here though is software version L300VPALJ9, based on Android 4.1.1, which is a complete OTA package. We don't have a proper changelog associated with this update, which weighs in at a hefty 370MB, but that tends to be the case with leaks.

There's no indication as to whether this is what the software will look like when it officially hits, but for now it's all we've got. Sprint and Samsung have yet to publish any support documents confirming the update. If you've got a Galaxy Victory 4G and are interested in giving the latest firmware a shot, hit the source link below.

Source: Samsung-Updates; Via: Android Police

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3 years ago

Snapdragon BatteryGuru (Beta): is better battery life really just an app install away?

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Qualcomm has seemingly out of nowhere released Snapdragon BatteryGuru, an app to help users with devices that have Snapdragon processors make the most out of their batteries. The app has some pretty lofty promises, and with support from the same manufacturer as your processor you'd hope that it would be able to help with battery life a notable amount.

So can Snapdragon BatteryGuru solve the battery woes on your new phone? Hit the break and see our results.

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3 years ago

Another big-time Twitter app hits big wall: Falcon Pro can take no new users

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Twitter's 100,000 user cap strikes again, which should surprise no one

Falcon Pro, one of the most popular third-party Android Twitter clients, has hit the infamous 100,000-user token limit. This means that unless you've already used and authorized Falcon Pro, you're not going to be able to log into Twitter from the app.

That, in a word, sucks. But neither should it surprise anyone.

Before you go and start leaving one-star reviews and whining on Google Play, you need to understand what happened, and who is at fault. Last August, Twitter announced it would be updating its API. Two major changes from that update come into play here. The first is that every call back to Twitter requires authentication, and that the number of tokens used to authenticate would be capped at 100,000 for new applications. If an existing application already has more than 100,000 users, its cap is set at double its existing user base. It sounds complicated, but what it means is that if someone were to build a Twitter client (like let's say, Falcon Pro) only 100,000 users could log into Twitter using it. Twitter can grant an exception, but they haven't yet as far as anyone is aware.

That's the why, now a look at who to blame for it. It's not the application developer's fault. Twitter makes them jump through hoops, and the folks building Twitter apps like Falcon Pro do a good job working inside Twitter's strict parameters. But the 100,000 token (read: user) limit can't be worked around. Twitter puts it there so no one third-party client can become dominant, or more popular than their own lackluster app. The cause of this one all lies at Twitter's feet.

What can we do, you ask? Well the first thing you'll want to do is release any tokens you're not using. This makes them available to someone else, and every little bit helps. After that, there's not much we can do about it. There's a petition going around about Falcon Pro hitting the limit, but Twitter isn't going to change policy over a petition. You've got two choices: find a different Twitter app, or stop using the service and vote with your feet. 

I'm doing the latter.

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3 years ago

Slingshot Racing brings one-touch steampunk bobsledding to Android

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An absolutely fantastic racing game called Slingshot Racing hit Android today, and I couldn't wait until our next Apps of the Week to tell you guys about it. Players are thrust into steampunk-style world where, for some reason or another, bobsled racing is a big thing. Instead of manually steering as one usually does in racing games, players have to instead tap, hold, and release the screen to deploy grappling hooks to the nearest spinning pivot point and slingshot around the bend. Timing is critical, and with competitors muscling for rank, it can get pretty intense. The best part about the control scheme is that it enables four people to play locally on the same device, which is a ton of fun. 

All sorts of game modes are available, including the standard time trial, another where you have to collect cogs, and one where you have to flee for as long as possible from a nasty chomper. The graphics in Slingshot Racing are full of character, and there's no shortage of replayability. Pick this one up for a mere $0.99 - trust me. 

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3 years ago

Apps of the Week: Ski TrailMaps, The Simpsons Tapped Out, Nexus 4 Display Control and more!

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It's a short month so this is going to end up being our last Apps of the Week column for February, but we think we've got a good set of app picks for you to make up for it. Even though we have folks in the air on their way to Barcelona for MWC, we've still got a full set of picks for your enjoyment from the Android Central team.

Read on with us after the break and see how we did with this week's picks.

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