3 years ago

Updated Google Search on iOS on par with Android


Google today let loose a new version of its Search app for iOS devices. Is it as good as the voice search you find in Android and Google Now? When it comes to results, yes. That is to say, when we took Google's test questions for a spin, using Google Now to launch the search (just because we felt like it) we got the same results -- in just about the same response time -- on a Galaxy Nexus as we did on iOS 6.

Why'd we use the same questions Google highlighted on its blog post announcing the update? For one simple reason: Siri, for want of an better term, sucks. And anyone who's ever tried to do the same searches Apple showcased in its advertisements is quite possibly still waiting for an answer. So we wanted to put Google's examples to the test. And we threw in one wild card at the end.

How'd they stack up? Pretty evenly matched, I think. You'd expect the results to be the same, of course. Response time is what I was really curious about. Have a gander at the video after the break and see for yourself.

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3 years ago

Diner Dash now available on Amazon's Kindle Fire


Mobile game Diner Dash has made its Android debut on the Amazon Kindle Fire.

Bad news for fans without an Amazon tablet though, because the game appears to be exclusive to the Kindle Fire for now. Searching for it on the Amazon Appstore on a different Android device returns no results (although the results return plenty of similar games to be downloaded).

The game may seem a little dated, but its publisher, PlayFirst, reminded us that it’s enjoyed over 650 million downloads worldwide.

Diner Dash was developed by GameLab before PlayFirst acquired the rights to own it. If you haven’t had enough, the game has spawned four sequels since its initial runaway success.

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3 years ago

Soti Pocket Controller coming to Android


Soti is preparing to release its Pocket Controller Pro software for Android, in beta.

The product allows you to view and control your device from your PC, as well as display your mobile device on your desktop so you can use it in presentation settings, for example.

You can also sync files between PCs and mobiles, with a file explorer tool.

The company has a longer list of features on its site.

Soti has a Pocket Controller Pro version for BlackBerry devices, and has made a Windows Mobile version before (the older Windows CE-based OS, not to be confused with Windows Phone).

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3 years ago

Pandora hits version 4.0 with completely new UI


Pandora has actually undergone quite a bit of change lately. After making notable changes to the app's UI just over two months ago, Pandora has gone back to the drawing board yet again. The new version 4.0 UI is coming to both Android and iOS with a whole host of changes, although curiously the Android update will be here "in the coming weeks". We've just got the official press shots of the UI to work with here, but it looks really nice. Pandora has gone to a completely "holo" looking design with tabs at the top, and an action bar with an overflow settings key and other action buttons. Extra functionality has been added in the form of new artist pages and improvements in your ability to make a personal music profile for better discovery.

As we noted, the update isn't live quite yet. You can hit up the Play Store link above and hopefully we'll be able to download version 4.0 soon. We've also got the press release for the latest update after the break.

Source: Pandora

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3 years ago

Rovio releases first Angry Birds Star Wars gameplay trailer


Angry Birds Star Wars is inching ever-closer to its November 8 launch, and today they've shown a little bit more than their usual cutesy teasers. The first glimpses of Angry Birds Star Wars gameplay shows a cool secondary effect whereby the red bird Luke Skywalker can mow down structures by whirling a lightsaber about while along its collision course. Meanwhile the pink bird Princess Leia can call down laser fire as she makes her descent. AT-AT walkers on Hoth and Tusken raiders on Tatooine also make a short appearance. 

As played-out out as both Star Wars and Angry Birds merchandising may be, they're both highly-valuable brands, and it's not a huge surprise to see their creators milking either one for all they're worth. 

So, any Angry Birds players digging the new look? What about you, Star Wars fans? Does a Millenium Falcon with a slingshot on top compel you to check out the next Angry Birds? 

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3 years ago

Android 4.2 is here, and it has a whole bunch of new features


With the huge bunch of Nexus news today, it almost seems as though the latest release of Android, 4.2 Jelly Bean, hasn't gotten too much press. Rest assured, Google still packed a whole bunch of new features into the latest Android release.

  • Photo Sphere: A new way to capture panorama photos, Photo Sphere creates huge multi-shot scrollable images very similar to those found in Google Maps Street View.
  • Gesture Typing: Lots of comparisons being made to the third party Swype keyboard, and rightfully so. You can now type by tracing the words on the keyboard with a single finger.
  • Multiple User Support: A feature that many people have been asking for, Android 4.2 now supports multiple user logins on a single tablet device. Widgets, wallpapers and even game save states are all tied to the unique user logins.
  • Wireless Screen Sharing: Watch YouTube videos, movies and anything that's on your screen to an HDTV with a wireless HDMI adapter.
  • Daydream: Setup your tablet to display photos, news and more while the device is idle or docked.
  • Expandable, Actionable Notifications: First introduced in Android 4.1, improved in Android 4.2. Interact with apps directly from the notification pane.
  • Google Now: A headline feature coming with the first release of Jelly Bean, Google Now is getting revamped with new kinds of cards and improved interactions.

We can't wait to get our hands on Android 4.2 and explore these new improvements. Until then, check out our continuing coverage of the Nexus line refresh and join the conversation in our forums.

Source: Android
More: LG Nexus 4 Forums

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3 years ago

Google Now adds a slew of new trackable features


Google Now just got even more useful, adding a number of new things it can keep an eye out for through your Gmail account. That includes flights (you can see my hop out of NYC was canceled), restaurant reservations, hotel confirmations, events and packages. Basically, it's getting really close to mimicking a lot of what apps like Tripit and Slice can do.

Also in the update are some new cards, such as nearby attractions and photo spots, movie openings, concerts and more, Google says. Plus, there are new voice actions for launching apps, scheduling meetings and checking on upcoming appointments.

This is all part of the Android 4.2 improvements, as well. Have a look in Google Play and get your upgrade on!

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3 years ago

Google releases Photo Sphere panorama mode promo video


One of the new features of Android 4.2 and the Nexus 4 is a camera mode called "Photo Sphere". This new camera mode, shown off in a quick promotional video from Google, is a mash-up of the traditional panorama mode offered starting in Android 4.0, and something like a "Gigapan" photo.

Basically, the Photo Sphere overlays a UI with a starting point for you to take your first photo. After it is taken, It'll give you another point of reference to take a photo that is overlapping onto the first. Over and over you take pictures that overlap one another until you have a large area covered. It takes some time to render, but you are then presented with a large scrollable panoramic image that will remind you of street view in Google Maps. It's quite an interesting idea, and we can't wait to get our hands on it.

More: LG Nexus 4 Forums

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3 years ago

Chrono Trigger role-playing game released for Android


Attention old-school gamers: Chrono Trigger has just launched on Google Play, bringing the classic role-playing game to Android. The Dimensional Vortex and Lost Sanctum are two new areas that were included in the Nintendo DS port which have found their way to this iteration as well. Despite most of the graphics and gameplay staying intact from the SNES original, some of the controls have been tweaked for touch interfaces. Language support spreads English, Chinese (Traditional and Simplified), French, German, Italian, Japanese, and Spanish. 

As the title suggests, Chrono Trigger features a lot of time travel, from prehistory to the far future to the the end of time. Even the original contemporary setting that the heroes start in is only Earth-ish and has some of its own unique fantasy flair. Along the way, your party grows to include a robot, a half-man half-frog, a cavewoman, and plenty of other colorful characters. 

As with most Square Enix games on mobile, you'll be paying a premium for the privilege of playing their games on mobile devices, but $9.99 isn't quite as bad as what they're charging for some of their other titles. Although I played a bunch of Final Fantasy 3, I never had a chance to dig into Chrono Trigger. This might be my cue, but what about you guys? Did anyone here play the original, but are still tempted to pick up the mobile version? Any DS players able to vouch for the quality of the new content? 

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3 years ago

Apps of the Week - Nun Attack, UNIQLO Wake Up, Exodus Live Wallpaper and more!


If you're anything like the writers here at Android Central, you're probably losing your mind a little bit waiting for the big Google news to hit on Monday. If you were looking for a bit of a distraction to keep from going off the deep end, we wouldn't blame you. Luckily, our app picks this week should help you out with that. Per usual, we've got a handful of games and a few utility apps that should keep you entertained for the weekend. Take a look after the break and see how we did.

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3 years ago

Droid RAZR HD and MAXX HD receiving small security patch OTA


It looks like the Droid RAZR HD and MAXX HD are receiving an extremely small OTA update -- about 6MB -- according to Verizon support documentation. There's just one bullet point to this update, "Updated Google Security Patch has been added.", which is pretty obscure. Rooted users beware, this may be closing up an exploit hole that you used. Better wait and see what the final implications of this update are.

That aside, it's always good to see updates coming out, even the small bug fixes like this.

Source: Verizon Support; PDFThanks everyone who sent this in!

More: Verizon Droid Forums

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3 years ago

Tricks and treats: Halloween live wallpaper roundup!


You may not always run a live wallpaper on your Android device, but they can definitely be fun for a couple weeks at a time around different holidays. Luckily, app developers in the Play Store are offering hundreds of live wallpapers for every occasion, including Halloween, for your enjoyment. The unfortunate part is that not all of these wallpapers will perform as well as you'd hope.

So we've spent the time and effort to find the best looking and best performing Halloween live wallpapers in the Play Store today. Take a look after the break and see our top five picks that are real treats.

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3 years ago

Xbox SmartGlass now available on Android


Looking to extend your Xbox to your Android smartphone? It's now possible, with today's release of Xbox SmartGlass for Android. (Never mind that Microsoft itself said it wasn't coming until 2013.)

In a nutshell, the app connects your Android smartphone to your Xbox live account. From there, you can expand Xbox content onto your phone, control the console, or even browse the Internet, though your phone certainly can do that well enough on its own.

The release of SmartGlass (which also is available on Windows 8) is part of Microsoft's slightly ridiculous (but equally impressive) launch of Windows 8, and coming soon, Windows Phone 8.

Here's to hoping we see Xbox music hit Android sooner than expected, too.

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3 years ago

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City for Android announced


As a part of their 10-year anniversary for Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, Rockstar Games has announced that the classic console game will be finding its way to Android this fall. The original graphics will be included along with a few "enhancements" for mobile. It sounds like device compatibility is going to be limited for the time being, but they aren't telling us specifics just yet. 

The third-person shooter puts players in control of Tommy Vercetti, a mobster who has been sent from New York Liberty City to Miami Vice City after being in jail for a few years. While there's a main storyline, GTA games are well-known for their open-world exploration, allowing you to really soak in an exaggerated, parodied atmosphere of 1980's Florida. Of course, there's plenty of random acts of crime to indulge in, too.

GTA 3 has been available on Android since last December, and is actually on sale now for $0.99 as a part of the Vice City anniversary. Any big Vice City fans out there? How well did Rockstar do porting GTA 3 to Android?

Source: Rockstar

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3 years ago

Penny Arcade's On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness 3 comes to Android


Following an initial launch on PC, Penny Arcade's latest game, On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness 3, has found its way to Android and iOS for $2.99. As an added bonus, they've included the first DLC pack and a Fanfiction option where you can gender- and species-swap the sprites for the main characters (if you're into that kind of thing).

While the game follows closely in the footsteps of the last two as a tried-and-true turn-based RPG with hilarious writing, OtRSPoD 3 cranks up the 16-bit charm.  The main characters from the popular webcomic, Gabe and Tycho, figure prominently in your party, with plenty of cameos made by the supporting cast throughout the rest of the game.  Just a few of the classes you'll be able to level up as include Crabomancer, Tube Samurai, Hobo, and Delusionist. Combined with the above screenshot, you should be amply prepared for the hilarity On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness 3 has to offer. 

Any of you guys Penny Arcade fans? Played the other two games? Anyone headed to PAX East? 

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