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3 years ago

LG Revolution gets bloat-removing OTA update

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Updates, patches, and bug fixes are included in version VS910ZVB

Many of Verizon's recent OTA updates have included the removal of pre-installed applications, commonly referred to as 'bloatware.' The LG Revolution's latest update (SW Version VS910ZVB) includes one of the longest lists of apps being removed from a Verizon Android device:

  • Mobile IM
  • Rockband
  • Bitbop
  • Verizon Apps
  • Blockbuster
  • Rhapsody
  • VCAST Music
  • Verizon Video

A few Android security patches are included in the update as well, which is always good see -- especially since it is very possible that the Revolution will not get a newer version of Android from Verizon. The VZW Family locator app has been updated and now has working GPS, and Google Maps Services has been updated as well. A bug involving large file sizes on the network also gets a fix.

As always, help a fellow Revolution owner out by posting in the comments when you start seeing this update going live.

Source: Verizon

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3 years ago

Player FM aims to expand your podcast horizons

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Available for devices on Ice Cream Sandwich and up, with Gingerbread support in the works

There is no shortage of podcast applications in the Play Store, and everyone seems to have a favorite. Features and UI are usually the deciding factors for users when choosing an app to listen to their favorite podcasts. Player FM's initial release (version 1.0.0) includes an attractive UI and some of the same features that any good podcast app should have: feed subscriptions with show notes and stats, automatic syncing and downloads, and an offline player. What this new app really brings to the table is the way it presents new content to podcast listeners.

Instead of users hunting for new podcasts to listen to, Player FM offers an aggregated group of shows that can be chosen by topic. For example, if the topic 'Android' is chosen, a user can play a list of shows from different feeds that all relate to our favorite mobile OS. If a new favorite show is found while playing that topic, it can be subscribed and listened to in its entirety. Users should keep in mind that this is a first release, so some caveats do apply. Details can be found after the break.

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3 years ago

Poweramp Music Player gets a major widget update

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New album art options and additional languages also make it into the latest update

Poweramp is seeing some pretty significant changes in the widget department for version 2.0.9-b528. Homescreen widgets are now fully customizable: the background, text, icons, and buttons can now be completely configured to the user's liking. For anyone that doesn't want to spend the time tweaking every aspect of a widget, up to 15 premade styles are also available to choose from. Existing widgets don't have to be trashed in favor of a fresh one when something needs to be tweaked; tapping the top right of a widget reopens the configuration screen. Phones can now resize widgets that are 4x4 and 2x2, while tablets running Android 3.1+ can change the size of any widget.

Album art gets a 24-bit RGB option, which means higher color resolution (but uses twice the memory). For older Androids, a Notification Album Art option was also added. A new Disable Route Output Button setting and support for Arabic and Vietnamese round out this update.

Follow the Play Store link up top to view and download the latest version of Poweramp Music Player.

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3 years ago

Google Now hits iOS, still better on Android, though

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Android version is more fluid, and is still the best Google Now experience

There's a little excitement this morning in the iOS camp as the Google Search app has been updated, brining Google Now cards to the fray. You get the same information you get on Android, with the same card design -- but  it's a vastly different experience. 

On Android, you simply open Google Now, and everything's there. Sports scores. Weather. Directions. Birthdays. Whatever. It takes a couple more steps on iOS. They're well-animated steps, but it takes the "Wow!" factor out of the entire operation. You're going to get the information instead of it being right there, almost before you knew you needed it.

So, yeah. Google Now's now on iOS. But it's defnitely still better on Android.

Source: Google

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3 years ago

Fieldrunners 2: Tower defense just doesn't get any better

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A tower defense sequel that is a worthy successor to the original

Tower defense is one of those genres that really translates well to a touch-only device, and one game that has made that extremely apparent is Fieldrunners. For coming up on two years now, it has been a staple in the Tower Defense category on Android and iOS alike. If you've been playing it from the start, there's no doubt you've been waiting for the sequel -- even more so as we saw it launch on iOS first.

The wait is now over, and whether you're an old pro or new to the entire genre, we think you're going to be impressed. Stick around with us after the break and see what Fieldrunners 2 is all about.

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3 years ago

Apps of the Week: Scam School, Sixaxis Controller, House of the Dead Overkill and more!

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Your weekly look at the apps we're using from day to day

You probably know it by this point, but every week we take just a little time for each of the Android Central writers to show off one of the apps they've been using on their own device in the previous week. They may not be the most popular or well-known, but they work for us, and we think that merits letting the readers know about them as well.

Another great random assortment of apps awaits you after the break, so stick around and see how we did with our picks this week.

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3 years ago

Popular iOS mail client Mailbox hints at Android version on their roadmap

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It's vague at best, but by way of their Twitter account an Android version is mentioned

Mailbox is a relatively new, but still pretty impressive iOS Email client -- for the full rundown be sure to check out iMore. Currently limited to Gmail accounts, Mailbox opened up to massive queues of people waiting to get in. It wants to help you get on top of your mail and stay on top by prioritizing what matters right now. So, why are we interested? 

Besides being a first rate application regardless of platform, the developers have publicly hinted at an Android version being on their roadmap. It's pretty vague, but when questioned on Twitter they did indeed confirm that "other platforms are coming down the road - including Android."

We're definitely wanting to hold them to that. Gmail on Android is a pretty decent experience, but we're never going to snub the prospect of getting in on one of the hottest new apps. 

via Techcrunch

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3 years ago

The new Android Central App: What do you want to see?

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We're not just in New York City working on the (more or less) super secret #tm13 -- we're also still hard at work at the all-new Android Central application.

We're edging closer to a public beta. But before we put this guy out in the wild, I want to hear what you folks want to see in it. We like to think we've thought of everything that we want to have in a v1 release, but it's still possible we've missed something completely obvious.

So what are you looking for in the all-new Android Central application? Let us know in the comments. And I'll maybe even drop a few hints of what's ready to go, what's in the works and what's a great idea for a future feature.

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3 years ago

Google: If you distribute your app through Google Play, you'll update it through Google Play

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Facebook had been confusing users with unsolicited 'beta' updates outside the app store

Google recently changed its Google Play Developer Program Policies to prevent applications from using Google's app store and then going off the reservation for updates. 

The change likely is in direct response to Facebook doing that very thing under the guise of a "beta" program. While there might be any malicious intent there, it is a bit specious, and confusing to consumers.

The new policy language reads thusly:

An app downloaded from Google Play may not modify, replace or update its own APK binary code using any method other than Google Play's update mechanism.

That should still leave room for applications that are distributed through Google Play to simultaneously have beta tracks outside of Google's app store, so long as those trains stay on their proper tracks. 

Source: Google Play Developer Content Policy; via The Verge

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3 years ago

Vine coming to Android 'soon' say creators

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Vine creators to bring their social video app to Android "soon"

Vine is going to come to Google Play "soon", according the the folks who created the popular iOS app. Speaking to The Verge, there was no timeline or any further details given about the Android version, and we're not even going to guess.

If you're not familiar with Vine, think of it as YouTube for folks with very short attention spans. It captures six seconds of video, letting you stop and start as many times as you like, then assembling everything up ready to post to Twitter. There is no secret sauce or other magic at work -- just a six second video clip. Have a look at it here, where Phil breaks it down.

The app itself allows you to follow users and view their Vines, and there's an unofficial website to follow along for those who don't have the app at VinePeek. Warning -- this is exactly what you would expect to see when you give everyone an uncensored arena to post six second clips. If you find wieners and teenagers using foul language offensive, you have been warned.

When Vine does come to Android, we'll give it a good look. I'm calling in sick that day.

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3 years ago

Chrome Beta updated with better rendering and bug fixes

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Page rendering performance and frequently occurring crashes addressed in today's update

Chrome Beta has been updated in Google Play this afternoon, and along with the usual (and often cryptic) fixes and enhancements, this version was specifically updated with an "Improvement to page rendering performance."  Here's the full list of changes, because we know some of you are into that sort of thing.

  • 179250: Black screen during load on Huawei tablets
  • 224379: Cannot scroll images after zooming in
  • 226193: Blue line displayed below the omnibox
  • Improvement to page rendering performance
  • Fixes for some frequently occurring crashes

We don't post every time a beta version of an app gets updated, but we know more than a few folks are concerned with things like improvements to page rendering performance -- we know we are. You can update, or grab the beta from the Google Play link above.

Source: Google Chrome blog

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3 years ago

iBomber: The popular game comes to Android

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Take a time machine back to 1943 to make bombing runs in the Pacific

A popular iOS game for years (yes, years) has finally made its way over to Android, and is packing many gameplay features that took two full game releases to hit the other platform. iBomber is a top-down plane bombing game set in the WWII era, with quality graphics and gameplay that won't blow you away but will certainly leave you satisfied. The game mechanics itself are simple to pick up, but are deceptively hard to master.

iBomber is a great game to spend some time on, so stick around after the break and learn a little more about the title before you give it a shot for yourself.

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3 years ago

HTC Rezound finally gets global roaming, Jelly Bean nowhere to be seen

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Numerous fixes and improvements are also included in build 4.05.605.14 710RD

No luck this time around for HTC Rezound users hoping to receive Jelly Bean, but the update still has a pretty cool feature nonetheless. As promised -- although not exactly timely -- the Rezound is finally getting Global Roaming Support. This enables roaming on networks previously inaccessible to the phone, which covers over 205 countries.

A couple pre-installed apps have gotten updates, while a handful of others have been removed. Mobile Hotspot and Visual Voicemail get bug fixes, and improvements were made to Skype, Backup Assistant, and overall data connectivity. Users that have been experiencing freezes and random reboots should see system stability improve as well.

There is no word yet on when the update rollout will begin. If notifications start popping up, let our other Rezound owners know in the comments. For the complete change log, check out the source link below.

Source: Verizon

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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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