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3 years ago

Netflix now supports 1080p video streaming with Android 4.3

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New APIs in Android 4.3 opens up 1080p streaming from Netflix, perfect for the new Nexus 7

Netflix was mentioned at several points throughout todays Google event in San Francisco, one of which was during the Android 4.3 presentation. A seemingly small update to the app pushed out into the Google Play Store that now it seems has more weight behind it.

The new DRM APIs in Android 4.3 will allow Netflix to finally start pushing 1080p content to our Android devices. OK, so it's reliant on Android 4.3, but you have to start somewhere. And it means when you fire it up on that new Nexus 7 you're going to treat yourself to, you're going to get some pretty awesome looking video. 

More: Google officially unveils Android 4.3

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3 years ago

SwiftKey Cloud beta launched with sync, backup and trending phrases

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New cloud-enabled SwiftKey keeps personalizations in sync and up-to-date

SwiftKey has launched a new range of cloud-based features as part of its new version 4.2 beta. SwiftKey Cloud allows users to back up their personalizations and predictions to the cloud, and keep them in sync across multiple devices. That means your personally-tweaked writing style is conveniently saved if you upgrade or switch devices. The new version also allows your dictionary to be automatically updated with "trending phrases" based on local current events, without requiring a separate app update.

The SwiftKey Cloud system itself uses Google+ sign-in, meaning you can get things set up with a single tap. When you log in with your Google accounts, SwiftKey will also personalize itself based upon your Gmail history. And it's become easier to personalize your keyboard through Facebook too, with support for the social network's APIs.

We've given SwiftKey Cloud a go for a little bit now and came away pretty impressed. Setup was quick and easy — brilliantly so. We saw nothing that should scare away an average user. You can remove devices and accounts as easily as you added them. Everything's handled over SSL and https, and removing an account does so on all devices.

The new SwiftKey beta is available now from the app's beta site, linked below. We've got official promo video, screen shots and the press release after the break. You're gonna want to give this a try.

More: SwiftKey Beta

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3 years ago

Riptide GP 2 makes a splash in Google Play

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The sequel to one of the best racing games for Android is even better than the original

Chances are you've played Riptide GP on your Android. If you haven't, you've surely heard others rave about it (it's a staff favorite around here) and should have probably checked it out before now. C'est la vie. The good news is that the sequel is out, and it keeps everything great from the original and adds multiplayer and game options that make it my new favorite.

Vector Unit has outdone themselves. The same great watercraft action you loved in Riptide GP is there, along with multiplayer, Google+ login and cloud sync, and customization options for your vehicles like we see in other high-end racing games. You earn credits by competing in races, and use those credits to buy performance improvements for your existing ride or save them up to buy an all new, and hopefully better one from the store. Of course there is an in-app purchase mechanism, but by no means is it necessary to buy credits -- winning them is far too fun. 

The multiplayer and social aspect is also great. Race against up to three of your friends in real-time through Google+, and if you have more than one Android the cloud sync keeps track of your progress flawlessly. My wife and I have been thoroughly enjoying Riptide GP 2 and the multiplayer fun, and I'm pretty sure you will, too. 

Riptide GP 2 will play well on any high-end Android device, but playing on a Tegra-powered system really shines. I've tested the build Vector Unit sent on the HTC One, HTC One X (international Tegra 3 model), the Nexus 4, the Nexus 7, and the Galaxy S4 and it runs without a hitch. We've also got those NVIDIA Shield review units here, and trust me when I say that Riptide GP 2 is the first game you'll want to buy if you have ordered a Shield. It is that much fun.

Riptide GP 2 is available for $2.99 at Google Play. Grab it from the link above, and hit the break for a video and a bunch of screen shots.

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3 years ago

Sonos now plays music stored directly on your phone

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A quick but important update to the Sonos app today — you can now play back music and podcasts stored directly on your phone. (No, we're not sure how this wasn't an option before now, either.) Podcasts work so long as you're running at least Android 2.2, which should damn near be just about everyone reading this.

After you update your app, look for "This Mobile Device" in the menu, and you're good to go.

More: Sonos

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3 years ago

AOKP Milestone 2 now available to the masses

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44 devices receive the second major Android 4.2.2-based AOKP release

A little more than 3 months after its first Android 4.2.2-based milestone, the ever-growing-in-popularity custom ROM AOKP gets its second stable release, Milestone 2. The Android Open Kang Project ROM is now available on 44 different devices, including new devices such as variants of the HTC One, Samsung Galaxy S4, Samsung Galaxy Note 2, and Sony Xperia. Notable new features include:

  • AOKP Ribbon
  • Permission management
  • Dark AOKP
  • mGerrit – check our latest changes anytime
  • Persistence support – keep DPI/hosts settings between wipes
  • Quick Torch on Lockscreen
  • HDR mode in AOSP Camera (does not work on every device)
  • Few new Toggles – StayAwake, Custom, Sleep, Reboot, etc.
  • Superuser from Koush

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3 years ago

T-Mobile offers free Lookout Premium subscriptions for Asurion PHP and Jump! customers

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New partnership will help keep your personal data, and your phone, a little safer.

Lookout and T-Mobile have a special treat for customers who elect to purchase Asurion PHP (Premium Handset Protection) or enroll in T-Mobile's new Jump! program -- a free subscription to Lookout's premium features. 

If you're enrolled in the Asurion program, or have signed up for Jump!, and a current Lookout user, you should soon be getting an email about the new promotion telling you a little more information. The gist of it all is that in addition to the antivirus, find-my-phone and backup and restore options offered in the free version of Lookout, you'll also have access to photo backup, remote lock and wipe, Safe Browsing, and Lookout's privacy advisor.

This is very much like the partnership between US Cellular and NQ Mobile, and any trend that helps people keep their phones and personal data more safe is a very good thing -- we hope it continues.

These tools are pretty useful, and Lookout has a long history with Android. You may or may not find the antivirus features useful, but the monitoring ans security features are great to have. Look for your email soon!

Source: Lookout. Thanks, Jimmy!

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3 years ago

Apps of the Week: Blue Board, MX Player, Tetris and more!

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A look at the best apps we have on our devices this week

Here we are once again introducing you to another edition of our 'Apps of the Week' post, where we break down all of the latest apps that the folks here at Android Central have been using. We ask each of the writers here at the site to chime in on Saturdays with an app that has piqued their interest over the last week, and let us know why it has stayed on their device despite the thousands upon thousands of options out there.

We round up these picks and put them together for all to see and hopefully find some that match their own interests and needs as well. Stick around with us after the break and see how we did this week.

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3 years ago

USA PRISM Plus trolls the NSA on Twitter

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Points for creativity here. USA PRISM Plus plays off the recent NSA flap and attempts to turn the tables by randomly taking pictures with your phone and then Tweeting them at the @NSACareers account "to determine that you are not engaging in illegal activities."

The result is, well, pretty much what you'd expect. Random pictures, Tweeted at the NSA.

Wanna see what folks have been snapping? Ease on past the break.

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3 years ago

Chromium team working on Chrome Remote Desktop app for Android

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Todays large-screen Android devices can be a perfect remote viewer for your desktop, and it looks like a native app for Android to do it through Chrome is in the works.

Using your Android phone or tablet as a gateway to your desktop is already possible with apps that use various remote viewing protocols, but they all have one common barrier that keeps plenty of people from trying it -- the require a server set up and running on your desktop. While setting one up isn't difficult, it's one of those things that people aren't confident in doing, or just don't want to fool with.

Chrome has offered a built-in solution for a while with the Chrome Remote Desktop function built into the Chrome browser, and that barrier of installing and setting up a separate server goes away, thanks to using your Google account and Chrome's excellent syncing abilities. It looks like the Chromium team is determined to bring this to Android.

While at the moment the project is in its infancy, and most of the functions are still a ways off, this will be an excellent resource once it's finalized and available. We're keeping a close eye on this one!

Source: Chromium Code Review; Via: +François Beaufort

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3 years ago

Making apps beautiful: The icons

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Beautiful apps start with a beautiful icon, and Google's Android design team offers some great advice for all developers.

Google's Android developers are constantly working with the growing community of application developers and designers to help makes apps that not only do great things, but look lovely while doing it. Building responsive and unique apps is only half the battle, because you and I aren't going to install them -- let alone recommend them to others -- if they don't look good.

In today's segment, they focus on the app icon itself. It's the first thing we see when we install an app, and it's important that it make a good impression. The blog posting lists all the important things to consider when designing your application icon, including the various sizes and formats that will make it look great on every Android device.

Android has taken the world by storm, and a big part of the reason is the rich app catalog. You want to make apps that stand out, and using tips like this will help. It's a must-read for any developer, and worth reading for the curious layman as well. Follow the source link and have a look.

Source: Android Developers

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3 years ago

MLB.com At Bat now compatible with Ford SYNC AppLink

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Get instant, hands-free MLB updates in supported Ford vehicles

Red-blooded Americans who drive a Ford and follow our greatest American pastime can now do both at the same time, safely. MLB.com At Bat is now accessible in Ford vehicles that support the Ford SYNC AppLink. This includes 2012, 2013, and 2014 models like the Fiesta, Fusion, F-150, Super Duty, E-Series and Expedition.

Ford SYNC AppLink allows drivers to use simple voice commands to interact with Android applications. Users of MLB.com At Bat can use these commands to access schedules for all 30 Major League Clubs and get game scores in real time. Having a subscription to MLB.com At Bat 13’s premium features enables users to connect their Android devices to listen to the home and away games of the regular season and postseason, which includes the 2013 World Series.

Those without a subscription to MLB.com At Bat 13 can sign up for a free trial through July 31, 2013. After the trial ends, a one-time seasonal fee of $9.99 will buy access through all supported platforms (including iOS). Those that are already MLB.TV Premium subscribers get this service for free.

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3 years ago

Google Play Books now official in 13 more countries

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Thousands of titles, both new and old, are now available for reading on your Android, iOS device and the web across Europe.

We've been getting reports of Google Play Books showing up on phones and tablets in new countries across Europe since the beginning of the week, and today Google has made it "official" and announced that their book store and reader is ready to go in: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania and Sweden.

Books are available to purchase and add to your library on the web, on your Android devices and on iOS devices in the new countries.

The revamp of the Google Play Books app makes this news even better. You're not only able to read your books purchased from Google in the cloud from anywhere, but your personal ePub files and pdf files can be uploaded and added to your library, and the app syncs your place and bookmarks as a proper app should.

We've no idea when Books or other services will push out to more countries, and content deals can be tricky. We're just glad every time we see more content available for more users. If you're looking to get your library started with Google, hit the Google Play link above for the Android app.

Source: +Google Play. Thanks, everyone who sent this in!

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3 years ago

The Android Central App: Which theme should be the default?

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I don't think we ever got around to actually asking this one officially, so let's do it now. We've got two themes available in the official Android Central App. One's light, one's dark. Right now we serve up the light theme by default. And it's a fine theme.

But that dark theme just keeps calling to us. It beckons us into the settings every time we install some new test build.

And, so, we put it to you. Which theme should be the default? Light? Or dark?

Choose wisely. Poll's after the break.

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3 years ago

Path app now available on Amazon Appstore

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Those of you who enjoy the tight-knit social network Path and have a Kindle Fire are in luck, as the app has just hit the Amazon Appstore for those non-Google Play equipped devices to download. If you haven't heard of it before, Path is a social network focused on sharing more personal moments with a small group of people, which is strongly based on using mobile apps rather than the web for sharing. With Path, you can share status updates, pictures and private messages between users in a different setting than the generally "broadcast" style mediums like Facebook and Twitter.

Kindle Fire users, as well as other users who happen to prefer the Amazon Appstore for one reason or another, can download Path for free from the source link below.

Download: Path (Amazon Appstore)

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3 years ago

Download the Mobile Nations Forums app to keep up with every site!

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Download the app that Apple wouldn't approve for the App Store

We all love Android around here, but we also recognize that there are other platforms that hold a special place in many user's hearts. That's why we have different sites that focus on the other platforms -- iMore, CrackBerry, WPCentral -- as well, and now we've also released an app that lets you access the forums for every site in Mobile Nations. The Mobile Nations Forums app is now available in the Play Store for you to download and participate in all things Mobile Nations, meaning that you can keep up with every platform without downloading individual apps for each.

And remember that if you just need access to the fantastic Android Central forums, you can look no further than our new Android Central app, which has just been updated with even more interface and feature improvements.

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