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2 years ago

Social GTV brings Twitter to your Super Bowl party [Google TV]

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Youtube link for mobile viewing

If you have a Google TV unit of some sort or another, and plan to watch the big game tomorrow, here's a neat app you might want to try.  Social GTV is a small utility that simply creates an overlay on your live television content where Twitter postings can be displayed.  I'm not sure I would want to see a bunch of tweets on my screen while I'm watching a movie with the wife, but I can see how useful (and fun) this could be for things like Presidential election debates and primaries, my favorite series, or live sporting events like the Super Bowl.

Setup looks pretty easy, you just fill in a few fields to let the app know what you want to see, set the position on screen and a background color, then start it up.  Press the live TV button on your Google TV remote, and away you go.  Now when Eli throws a strike to the end zone, or a referee make a questionable call, or the team you're rooting for scores you can see the social side of the Internet celebrate (or hysterically object) in real time.  Sure beats flipping back and forth from the Twitter app to live TV, and will give the same result.  

To use Social GTV you'll need a Google TV (naturally) running Android 3.1 or higher. There's a free version that allows you to pick from the top trending topics, and a paid version for $0.99 that allows you to set things like tweets from specific users, custom hashtags, and @ replies to a specific user.  Both versions have a language filter, which you might need if the Pats are losing and you follow me on Twitter.

Hit the break for a download link.

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2 years ago

Path for Android updated for proper 720p displays, adds Tumblr sharing

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The Android Path application got itself a sizable update on Friday, bringing proper support for high-resolution 720p displays, as well as the ability to post to Tumblr blogs. Here's the full changelog for Version 2.0.30:

New features:

  • Full settings screen
  • Moon phases when sleeping
  • Share to Tumblr
  • Support for 320x480 screens
  • Support for 720x1280 screens (i.e. XHDPI)

Fixes and changes

  • Better friend invite screens
  • Cosmetic enhancements
  • Improved scrolling performance on feed screen
  • Tapping menu soft key now directly displays full menu
  • Various bug fixes

If you haven't tried Path yet, think of it as sort of a Foursquare check-in app (minus the gamification) crossed with a small scale Facebook -- a smaller, more intimate circle of friends. And Version 2.0 of Path is gorgeous. 

The addition of a full settings menu is nice because now you won't have to log in from a desktop browser just to change notifications, or your name or other details. The ability to share activities to Tumblr is a nice addition as well. (Can Google give up some Google+ API love already?) But probably the biggest update is support for 720x1280 displays -- ie the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, HTC Rezound, LG Optimus LTESamsung Galaxy Note -- and countless other phones to come. (That probably makes the addition 320x480 display support seem a bit inadequate, but we're not going to complain about an app adding more resolutions -- as well it should.) Before this update for 720p, Path worked fine, but the on-screen buttons were tiny, like the bad old days when you'd jack up your monitor beyond any usable resolution. It worked, but it was tough. This is a welcome change.

Head into the Android Market for the update, or we've got download links after the break.

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2 years ago

MAGIX Camera MX allows you to add photo filters in real time

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Youtube link for mobile viewing

We all want to be photographers, right? While out and about we love to whip out the camera, snap some pics of where you are or what you are doing, but having the time to go back later and edit them can be a struggle. The ability to add real time effects to the pictures as you are about to take them would be amazing, and that is where MAGIX Camera MX steps up to the table in a big way. On iOS you have a plethora of applications that allow you to add these real time effects, but up until now Android has been left high and dry and MAGIX wanted to be the first to change that.

The application is rather simple to use, all you have to do is launch the app, select your effect and take the picture. Camera MX offers 16 various affects that can be applied with all of your common favorites such as Lomo, Sepia, Negative and various others. The editing ability does not end here, if you want to further tweak the image you can do so after the image has been captured with some more advanced abilities. Also included is the ability to adjust saturation, white balance, contrast and other image calibrations.

Once you have the image tweaked to your liking you are then able to share the photo from the application to your favorite social networks such as Twitter and Facebook or you can upload it directly to their site. Each user is given 500MB of free storage on the MAGIX website where you can store and organize your photos and even create slideshows. With all of the power that this application has to offer you are probably left waiting for the price tag and how much it is going to hurt your bank account, but you will be pleased to know it can be downloaded from the Android market for free. Be sure to hit the break for download links and get yourself ready to enter the next photo contest!

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2 years ago

Win an HTC Sensation XL with Hyperbees, Android Central and HTC

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The Android Super Challenge on HyperQuiz

How'd you like to win one of two HTC Sensation XL smartphones by proving your superior Android knowledge in the leading quiz game for Android? We're giving you the opportunity to do just that, as part of a new contest in partnership with game developer HyperBees and HTC.

Behold the Android Super Challenge on HyperQuiz! To enter, simply download HyperQuiz and select the "Contest" game mode. From there, it's up to you to work for the highest score between now and 11pm GMT (6pm EST) this Sunday, Feb. 5, by answering questions about Android!

First and second place winners will each receive a Sensation XL, and first through fiftieth placed winners will be rewarded with in-game currency (creds). We've got the Android Market link after the jump, along with the full terms and conditions for the contest.

Be sure to check back next Tuesday, Feb. 7, to see if you've won!

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2 years ago

Dropbox releases new beta build, offers 5 GB of free storage to early adopters

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Feeling brave? The friendly developers over at Dropbox have released a brand new experimental build, and they're willing to give you early adopters 5 GB of free storage for your troubles. For every 500 MB uploaded with version 2.0.9 you will earn an additional 500 MB of storage-- up to 5 GB total. Mind you that the freebie storage is account-related rather than app-related, which means that you'll be able to upload from your desktop to earn the space as well as from the app. 

The new version comes with its fair share of new features, including:

  • Automatically uploads photos and videos in the background using Wi-Fi or data plan
  • Brand new Camera Upload feature
  • Upload files of any size (no more 180 MB limit!)
  • Support for resuming file uploads when there are network issues
  • Various performance improvements & bug fixes

If beta builds don't give you the willies, you can grab the APK from the source link, where Dropbox is urging those who download to sing out as issues arise.

Source: Dropbox Forums

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2 years ago

Gameloft LIVE! social gaming app now available from Gameloft

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Gameloft is jumping head-on into social gaming once again with the release of their freshly released Gameloft LIVE! application.  They revamped the whole idea while adding some new features to the mix:

  • An all-new 3D interface that enables players to create and customize their own unique avatar and develop it in an interactive, full-3D environment that’s full of surprises.
  • New social components that will allow you to make friends and stay in contact with them, invite them to play, send them messages, and chat with them in real-time for an even livelier experience than before.
  • More trophies and rewards to unlock through our games that will give you access to new items for your avatar and environment. Try your best and get the highest score!
  • Direct access to Gameloft’s product catalog offering exceptional offers and exclusive info, ensuring that you’ll always be the first to know about our upcoming releases.

Achievements, leaderboards, rewards and challenges are all built into the app now and currently, Gameloft has a few free games available for download just for signing up. You'll want to mind the download process though as you have to hand over your phone number plus, it's around 230MB in additional data. Still in? Hit the source link to get it downloaded.

Source: Gameloft

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2 years ago

Madden 12 for Android gets price cut just in time for the Super Bowl

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With Super Bowl XLVI looming large, gaming giant EA Sports is hoping you'll be up for some (American) football on your Android device this weekend. To celebrate the end of the season and Sunday's big game, the publisher has reduced the price of Madden NFL 12 to 99 cents in the U.S.

Europeans aren't being left out of the action, either -- the price of the international version has been dropped too, and now costs just 59 pence in the UK. Unfortunately it seems the game isn't compatible with the Galaxy Nexus just yet, but a quick glance down the list of supported devices reveals pretty broad compatibility elsewhere.

We've got European and North American Android Market links for all you football fans after the break.

Thanks, bbjonez!

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2 years ago

Late night poll: Would you use an NFC mobile payment system?

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Google Wallet and NFC is a hot topic with a lot of folks.  It seems like a whole lot of people are concerned with the availability of Google Wallet (including yours truly), and we're all curious to learn more about ISIS, but we've no idea how popular either will ultimately be.  Just how many of you guys see yourself using any sort of NFC based mobile payment method?  NFC on phones has been around for a while in many parts of the world, but it never caught on in a big way -- especially in North America.  Of course, it wasn't really very available either, so maybe it never got a fair shake.

So let us know -- if and when NFC ends up on more new Android phones, will you use a mobile payment service?  Let us know in the poll.

Would you use an NFC based mobile payment system?

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2 years ago

What is sideloading? [Android A to Z]

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What is sideloading?  It's a term you see a lot thrown around while talking about Android applications, and it's simple to explain.  It means installing applications without using the official Android Market.  What's less simple is how it's done and why you would do it.  That's where this post comes in.  Let's explain it, shall we?

How to do it is easy enough, so let's start there.  In the Application settings on your Android phone, you'll find a check box to "Allow installation of non-Market applications."  When it's checked, you can sideload.  You'll also see a pop-up warning when you check this box letting you know that your phone is now more vulnerable to attacks from applications, and that you accept all the responsibility that comes with doing this.  It makes sense -- you can't hold Google responsible for applications you didn't download through their service using their security methods.  

Sideloading apps is easy to do as well.  You download them to your phone, then use a file manager application to find them and "click" their entry.  You'll invoke the app installer program, and it will install your app just as if it had came from the trusted Android Market.  It won't be associated with your Android Market account, but it shows in your app drawer just like all the rest.  It didn't used to be this easy for everyone.  Under the guise of security, AT&T used to block users from sideloading by removing the Unknown sources field in the device settings.  Whenever you tried to manually install an app, it would be blocked because it wasn't allowed.  This could be circumvented by using adb from the SDK or by using a program like the Sideload Wonder Machine.  Luckily, those days are past us and AT&T has re-evaluated their position, and now allows the installation of non-Market apps.

Why would you want to sideload.  There are several reasons, one being that Google has allowed carriers to block certain applications based on the model and network your device is running on.  We've seen carriers block apps that permit tethering without paying the extra associated fees, and some carriers have exclusives for certain apps and they aren't available for the others.  That's a whole other mess that we'll tackle in another post -- just know that it happens.  There are other reasons to need to sideload apps, too.  Want to use a different appstore like the one from Amazon?  You'll need to enable sideloading.  The same goes for beta testing apps for developers, or even coding your own apps and testing them on your phone.  There are a lot of legitimate reasons for sideloading.  Of course, there's always the piracy aspect.  If you want to steal from hard working developers you'll need to enable sideloading.  You also suck.  Sideload, but don't steal from developers.

Previously on Android A to Z: What is recovery?; Find more in the Android Dictionary

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2 years ago

Facebook Android app gets an update for bugfixes, memory management

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Facebook's Android application just got an update that the social network says will bring better memory management, and "all kinds of bug fixes." If history repeats, we should see an update to fix this update any time now.

Source: Facebook

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2 years ago

Yahoo launches own app search engine, wants to make app discovery better for all

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Yahoo -- you know, that other search engine -- have added a search category for Android applications. The main search results page sees a new tab labelled "Apps" giving users the opportunity to find Android applications attached to any of their search queries. We're not short of ways to search for apps across the interwebs, but seeing such a well run solution from major, mainstream a search engine is definitely a good thing.

The service also covers iOS applications, but has a handy filter to ensure that we don't see those when we're searching. Search results can also be filtered for price and category. When you find an app you like, right from the search results you can head straight to the Android Market to download, send a link for the app to your phone or scan a QR code for the application. You can also quite handily view the Android Market reviews for each application you find without having to go to the Market first which is a nice touch. We also get a "trending now" box, and it too has the iPhone/Android filter choices applied. 

I tried it out by typing in "soccer football scores" and the results were pleasantly surprising. Yahoo's own apps featured pretty prominently towards the top of the results, but it brought up results for ESPN Scorecenter, ScoreMobile, and Sky Sports Football Score Centre to name but a few. 

All in all it's a pretty well designed feature, and while Yahoo may not be the most popular search engine, it does a good job of what it set out to do. Perhaps a bigger point to mention is that it offers a more comprehensive application search solution that Google themselves. Choice is always a good thing, so try it out for yourselves by hitting the source link below. 

Source: Yahoo

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2 years ago

EA bringing The Sims Freeplay to Android this month

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If you're one of the millions of Sims fans around the world this next piece of news might interest you. EA is bringing their hit freemium version of the game, The Sims Freeplay to Android. No exact date as yet, but it will be launching in the Android Market sometime in February. 

In Freeplay, you can control the daily shenanigans of upto 16 different Sims, designing and directing their lives as you see fit. In a break from the norm, Freeplay runs in 24-hour cycles meaning that you will need to check in throughout the day and respond to your Sims needs in real time. The game will also employ an in-app purchase model, but everything can be unlocked free of charge if you're willing to put the time in. 

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2 years ago

A.I.type releases FloatNSplit Tablet Keyboard

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Early last month we told you about A.I.type and their need for beta testers for a new "floating" spilt keyboard.  Fast-forward to today, and the beta product is now finished, and FloatNSplit Tablet Keyboard is now available in the Android Market.  Based on the original A.I.type keyboard and it's amazing prediction engine, FloatNSplit brings a new and unique user interface for tablet users, with a split keyboard that's not only resizable, but with a movable "window" that A.I.type says will change your tablet typing experience.

It's also completely customizable, to adapt to your typing style and needs.  Options include dedicated numeric keys that appear and hide with a finger swipe, a resizing button, and cut/copy/paste/undo/redo functions built into the app itself.  But of course the killer feature is the floating split style.

You can split the tablet version into two semi-transparent halves for easy thumb typing, and they can be dragged separately and positioned anywhere you like on your screen.  A virtual button switches through the three modes (full, split, and floating) to keep the keyboard small and in perfect position for thumb typing with one or both hands.  FloatNSplit currently supports over 30 languages and character layouts, with context-sensitive text prediction and auto-correct available for English, Hebrew, Spanish, German, Italian, Arabic, Russian, French and Dutch. Support for Greek, Turkish, Finnish, Swedish, Korean, Tagalog is said to be coming soon.  

AI FloatNSplit Tablet Keyboard requires Android 2.2 or higher, and sells in the Android Market for $5.99.  Six bucks is a lot to spend on an Android application, but A.I.type is so confident that it's offering its own two-day refund guarantee, so I'm definitely checking it out.  We've got a video, some screenshots, and a download link after the break.

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2 years ago

New Zealand winery uses QR codes and augmented reality app to suggest food pairings

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Brancott Estate, a winery based out of New Zealand, has just launched their first Android and iOS app, and along with it, they've started putting QR codes on all of their wine bottles. When you use the app to scan the code printed on the label with your phone's camera, it offers food pairing suggestions, along with some more elbaorate promotions, like an augmented reality view and a puzzle game. The Brancott Estate app (called "World's Most Curious Bottle") also provides descriptions of  aromas, and some info on the climate in which the grapes were grown for 14 of their wines.

While there are plenty of other apps out there that offer a broader selection of wines to reference, not to mention the ability to search by meal, it's not often you see retail products ship with legitimately helpful QR codes on them. For wine in particular, a few third parties have stepped in to provide rich data for wines, namely Cellar Key, which hangs a little QR code around the bottleneck. 

Considering how little I know about wines, quick, in-store references like this can be hugely helpful when picking something out. Even seasoned wine-drinkers will appreciate the added level of detailed information set-ups like this can provide. It's just unfortunate that even after over a decade of being largely available, QR codes still haven't quite caught on. Maybe pairing up with apps will become more of a necessity if they're going to see any real use. I'm also a little worried that as much hype as there is behind NFC, it will end up in the same boat. 

You can download the Android app at the link below, if you're curious. Do you guys use QR codes regularly? What would it take to get you to use them more often?

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2 years ago

App Updates: Chrome to Phone gets new look, bugfixes; Google Docs goes offline

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Google today has updated a couple of its apps -- Chrome to Phone and Google Docs.

Chrome to Phone, which was rolled out alongside Android 2.2 Froyo in 2010, is a slick little service that lets you send links from your computer directly to your phone. No e-mailing, no ... whatever -- just click "Chrome to Phone," and it zips from big screen to small. Today's update brings an "updated look and feel," fixes crashes when copying text and adds support for landscape.

Google Docs also got a sizeable update today. New is the ability to make any file available for offline access, and your'e also able to manage content while offline, including seeing files that are out of date. Such offline content will be synced while over Wifi, and you can star and rename files without a connection as well. And nearly as important is a further improvement to how GDocs looks on an Android tablet -- not the first time it's gotten a makeover.

Snag the updates in the Android Market, or at the links below.

Download: Chrome to Phone, Google Docs

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