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3 years ago

Google adds tablet optimization tips to Google Play Developer Console

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Google proactively scanning apps uploaded to Google Play for tablet compatibility, provides feedback to developers in real-time

Google has added a new tablet optimization tips page to the developer console in order to provide feedback about apps and how they fare against the Tablet App Quality Checklist. When developers upload their apps, the Developer Console now runs a "series of checks to verify basic criteria" against the list, and displays the results in a new page. Android was built with application scalability in mind, meaning there is no need to build multiple apps designed for different device types, and instead use tools and assets designed for each under the umbrella of one app. It sounds great on paper, and works great when developers take the time to build out apps with this in mind.

Taking time is the key part. It's not easy to build mobile apps, especially ones that look good and take advantage of each device screen size and dimensions. Starting today, Google can help a little more by analyzing an app when it's uploaded, then placing some tips how it can be done "better" for tablets in the new optimization tips page.  

While this is one of those things most of us will never see, having it in place means better apps -- something we can all get behind.

Source: Google

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3 years ago

Iron Man 3 now available in Google Play

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Iron Man 3 flies his way to Android, grab it for free from Google Play

Gameloft has published Iron Man 3 to Google Play this morning, bringing the Marvel hero to life on your Android phone or tablet. Fly your way through this endless runner meets on-rails shooter, fighting against A.I.M. forces in Malibu Shores, New York city, and China. You can even fight some of your favorite bad guys from Iron Man comics, with boss battles against the likes of Crimson Dynamo, Ezekiel Stane, Living Laser and the mighty M.O.D.O.K. All while trying to manage Stark Industries and develop 18 new suits and keep your armor and super powers updated.

At 768MB it's a fairly big install, but the graphics and sound are pretty awesome. And of course, there are in-app purchases at every turn, but hopefully the game can be played without nickel-and-diming its way through your wallet. We'll be taking a good long look at this one, but in the meantime you can check out Simon's hands-on from GDC after the break. The game requires Android 2.3 or higher, and you can grab it from the Google Play link above.

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3 years ago

Sprint Galaxy S3 OTA bringing multi-view and home screen security fix

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Software version L710VPBMD4 rolling out in stages to devices starting today

Sprint's version of the Galaxy SIII (S3) has a software update rolling out today with notable feature enhancements and fixes. The biggest welcome improvement will likely be Multi-View, which has been a staple for users of the Galaxy Note 2 and other versions of the S3. Multi-View lets users run two apps simultaneously, each on one half of the screen. Beyond that, we're looking at improvements to the Gallery and Camera experiences, as well as the Paper Artist app.

There's also what Sprint is calling a "home screen security fix", which is always important, along with fixes for group SMS. The update is set to roll out OTA (Over The Air) in stages starting today, and some users in the forums are reporting seeing it on their own devices. Seeing the update yet? Let other users know in the forums.

Source: Sprint; More: Sprint Galaxy S3 Forums

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3 years ago

Remember The Milk updated to v3.0 with new interface

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Redone interface, new widgets and full tablet support all in one update

Popular to-do list app Remember The Milk has just updated in the Play Store with a completely redesigned and improved user interface. The basic interface of the app new follows what it is calling a "card stack concept", which Android users should be familiar with as sliding panels that show/hide information when it is needed. The interface is smooth and intuitive, with the added bonus of scaling extremely well for tablets. This version 3.0 release focuses on having a tablet-specific design that looks great all the way up to the 10-inch screen.

The update goes beyond just the main app as well. Users running Android 4.1 and above will enjoy expandable and actionable notifications, which give you more information and let you "complete" or "postpone" tasks right from the notifications pane. The entire set of widgets has received a facelift as well. You can grab a download of the latest redesigned free version from the link at the top of this post.

More: Remember The Milk Blog

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3 years ago

Sony Xperia P, Xperia go, and Xperia E dual Jelly Bean updates rolling out soon

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Android 4.1 updates will be available starting this week

Following the announcement that there would be an announcement, we now have the official roll out schedule of three Sony Xperia phones: Xperia P, Xperia go, and Xperia E dual. All three phones will get Android 4.1 updates beginning this week. The update roll out is planned to happen in phases, so not all phones will see an update notification by Saturday. Sony says as we finish April and get through May, the update schedule will ramp up and eventually reach all users.

The convergence of Sony's software with Google's Android 4.1 Jelly Bean promises to bring some useful features to these three Xperia phones. New versions of the WALKMAN, Album, and Movies apps are included in the update. A 'Battery STAMINA Mode' is now part of the OS, and aims to shut down battery draining apps when device screens are off. Sony's launcher gets new features for its homescreen and app drawer, making it more customizable and easier to use. The normal Jelly Bean features, like Google Now, are also included.

Not all Xperia models will be able to download the update over the air. Updates that are especially large, like the one for the Xperia go, will need to be downloaded using Sony's PC Companion or Bridge for Mac. An in-phone notification will alert those still running Ice Cream Sandwich.

The next devices in line for updates are the Xperia S, Xperia SL, Xperia ion, and Xperia acro S, which will be getting Android 4.1 starting at the end of May. Good news indeed for Xperia users.

Source: Sony

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3 years ago

Fieldrunners 2 now available for your tower defending pleasure

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Fieldrunners 2 introduces elevation to the classic tower defense formula

The sequel to one of the most widely-loved tower defense games has finally come to Android. Fieldrunners 2 expands on the cute graphics and wide strategic elements of the original with new maps, new towers, new creeps, and upgraded visuals.

The biggest change is the introduction of trenches, bridges, and tunnels. Adding elevation to the mix introduces a whole new challenge to the classic tower defense formula.  Puzzle, sudden death, and time trial game modes are all available across a bunch of different landscapes. 

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3 years ago

HTC One gets updated with camera and audio enchancements in Europe

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While a significant update at over 200MB, the Android version remains the same

Owners of the international version of the HTC One are reporting that an OTA update is currently being pushed to devices in Europe. The new software version is 1.29.401.12, which makes improvements to the phone's camera, audio, and system stability, among other things. Thanks to a screenshot posted by hamdir on XDA Developers, we have the change log and update size.

HTC Zoe gets sound quality improvements, and the camera gets 'parameter fine-tuning.' The Beats Audio 'sound experience' has been improved, and the One gets location service updates. System stability and miscellaneous improvements, along with bug fixes, round out this software update.

If any HTC One users are getting the update, hit the comments and let us know if these improvements are noticeable. A screen shot of the change log and update size can be found after the break.

Source: XDA

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3 years ago

Amazon Mobile for tablets now available in 9 countries

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Amazon brings their tablet-optimized experience to shoppers outside the US

When Amazon launched their Amazon Mobile version that had been optimized for tablets, it was only available in the United States. This, of course, frustrated many who live elsewhere  who wanted to access the app, because it's pretty well done. Over the past few months, Amazon has been making it available in more locales and the total is now at 9 countries, including the United States.

Here is the full list:

  • United States
  • Canada
  • United Kingdom
  • Germany
  • Spain
  • France
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • China

If you're located in any of these places and have not yet checked out the tablet optimized version of Amazon Mobile, hit up the Play Store link.

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3 years ago

Swype finally makes its debut in the Google Play Store

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99 cents gets you one of the best-known third party keyboards on Android

Hell may have just frozen over today, because Swype is now available for purchase in the Play Store. Previously, as many of you are aware, the only way to have Swype on your device was to sign up for the beta test and install it manually, or have one of the many devices with it pre-installed. A $0.99 purchase now gets you a proper and easy to manage Play Store download, ready to install on your devices.

Its hard to believe that one of the most used keyboards on Android -- Swype claims 250 million users -- wasn't available through the primary app store up to this point, but we're glad today's the day. You can grab a download of the latest Swype from the Play Store link at the top of this post.

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3 years ago

BBC launches iPlayer Radio for Android devices, including Kindle Fire

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Now available from Google Play for smartphones and tablets, the iPlayer Radio app will shortly follow in the Amazon Appstore

The BBC first launched their iPlayer Radio application on iOS in late 2012. Essentially, a way to gorge yourselves on all the best BBC radio content national and local, as well as podcasts, in much the same vein as the main iPlayer app. Some 6 months on from that, the app today launches on Android for the first time, and will follow shortly in the Amazon Appstore as well. 

In coming to Android, the iPlayer Radio app has been made available for tablets for the first time. The UI has also been tweaked to better suit the Android user, so while it retains the same general look and feel of the iOS version, there are platform specific changes. Additionally, the Android version will make use of the notification tray to allow an easy return to the app. 

The BBC has acknowledged an issue with the app on the Galaxy S3, which it says it hopes to rectify soon. For more on this and the full run down on the Android app, hit the source link below. 

Source: BBC

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3 years ago

Facebook Messenger gets official sticker support

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Previously hidden, stickers are now accessible using an actual button

Sending stickers in Facebook Messenger was possible before today's update, but only using an invisible button that was located just to the left of the "+" button. It looks like Facebook is finally ready to reveal this feature, and has added a smiley face button to access the sticker screen. Multiple pages of smiley face and critter stickers are included in the app, with an optional sticker store that has even more cute critters you can download. Also listed in the change log is a batch of bug fixes, which is always good to see.

This version is available now in the Play Store for all your adorable smiley and critter needs.

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3 years ago

eBay app updated with new UI, improved search and shopping cart

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Version 2.2 adds new features for US and UK users

Today the eBay app for Android is getting an update to version 2.2, bringing both visual and functional changes. The Home, Cart, and Checkout areas of the app have received a new look. Users in the US and UK get a Shopping Cart that will synchronize across all devices that use eBay -- the items to your cart on one device will be reflected when the cart is viewed anywhere else. Checking out with cart items becomes easier, with the option to pay for multiple items at the same time using a single checkout. eBay's item search was updated to feature inline search suggestions, autocorrect, and expanded international results when few to no results are returned.

The app is live in the Play Store for those wanting to update; new users can follow the Play Store link above. We hope this update was more thoroughly tested than the previous one, and won't be recalled in the next few days.

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3 years ago

Samsung Stratosphere update coming soon with improvements and bugfixes

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Software version changes to i405.GC1, Android version remains the same

Those still rocking their Samsung Stratosphere will be pleasantly surprised today -- Verizon has announced it has a brand new update finished and almost ready to download. Although small in size, both Verizon and Samsung feel this is an important one and 'encourage you to download this update.' The new software version is i405.GC1, and includes a hand-full of enhancements:

  • Improved clarity during calls
  • Improved reliability when sending emails using Outlook
  • Improvements to Sync and Connect server have been made
  • My Verizon application has been improved
  • Improvements have been made to the Set Up Wizard to clarify what is required in the Google Setup screen
  • Correct the IMAP implementation related to the E-mail Sync and connect operation
  • The following applications have been removed as preloaded: IM, Blockbuster, Verizon Video and Verizon Vcast
  • Single Sign On application has been updated to version v3.1.9
  • VZtones version 5.1.3 has been added

We've yet to get reports of anyone receiving the OTA update just yet. If you're one of the first, hit the comments and let us know the roll out has begun.

Source: Verizon

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3 years ago

Netflix $11.99 plan will allow simultaneous streaming on 4 devices

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Company is 'shortly adding' new plans for US customers

Netflix subscribers who are liberal about sharing their login information with family and friends may have run into the 2-stream cap before. As of now, Netflix accounts can stream content on 2 devices at the same time; any more, and you'll get denied until someone else stops their online viewing.

Netflix has recognized that some customers need more than the current 2-stream maximum, and are planning to roll out $11.99 plans that will allow for 4 streams at once. Although Netflix thinks the need is there, they expect less than 1% of members to take them up on this new offer. While the numbers don't quite speak to the current need of the new plan, continuation of the company's recent growth could make this a more widely used option in the future.

There is no official date just yet, but if your family falls in the 1% that wants the ability to watch Netflix shows on your Google TV, computer, tablet, and phone all at the same time, these plans should be available very soon.

Source: Netflix, via: The Verge

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3 years ago

Minuum keyboard fundraiser a runaway success - coming soon to Android

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Supporters will get access to the first beta version in June

Whirlscape started an Indiegogo campaign about a month ago to raise funds for development of their new keyboard. The fundraiser started with a goal of $10,000, and ended today with a total of $87,369 raised (almost 900% of the original goal). The solution to the problem that this keyboard proposes to deliver resonated with over 9,500 financial supporters.

The goal of the Minuum Keyboard Project is to create a keyboard that is both effective in typing and small in screen real estate. Taking down keyboard rows to just one, the Minuum keyboard allows for highly imprecise typing by using a specialized auto-correction algorithm. A magnifying function will allow for precise typing when needed, such as when entering passwords.

A second 'stretch goal' was hit once the fundraiser reached $60,000. This money will be put towards the wearable development kit (WDK). In the demo video, the potential of typing using wearable items was shown, which could be extended to peripherals like watches, glasses, or even rings. This could be the perfect complement to the upcoming Google Glass.

It's too late to get access to the early beta, but it shouldn't be long before we see a general release as well. If this keyboard delivers the functionality it promises, this could be the biggest thing in mobile typing since Swype.

Source: Indiegogo

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