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3 years ago

DashClock Widget for Android 4.2

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I've made no secret about my outright displeasure for the new lock screen widgets in Android 4.2. Clunky, for one, often lacking style for another. 

DashClock Widget is quickly changing my mind. It's the work of Roman Nurik, a Googler and Android design guy and was released this morning to Google Play and as open-source code.

The widget itself is devilishly simple. Add it to the Android 4.2 lock screen like you would any other widget. From there you add "extensions." At launch you've got extensions for weather, missed calls and texts, your next calendar appointment, unread e-mails and your next scheduled alarm. Chances are we should see additional extensions pretty quickly. (Here's hoping for some world clock love, which is the only thing I'm missing from the stock Android lock screen clock.) Want to get rid of an extension? Just swipe it away. Nice.

This one's free, it's open-source, and it's definitely worth a look. Hit the link above, and ease on past the break for a little hands-on action if you need more convincing.

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3 years ago

BlueStacks brings Android apps to Microsoft Surface Pro

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BlueStacks, which is a product that lets users run Android apps on Windows computers, is releasing a new version today that brings the functionality to Windows 8 and the Microsoft Surface Pro. Until today, BlueStacks has only been available for Windows 7 and Mac OSX. The latest version of BlueStacks fully supports Windows 8 -- including new features like charms bar support and rotation support -- but is also optimized for the recently released Surface Pro.

BlueStacks has partnerships with several OEMs already, and users have made over 5 million downloads of the software directly from its website alone. The software is also free, which is fantastic for Windows 8 users looking to try out the experience of running Android apps on their PC's with full touch capabilities. You can get more information and grab a download at the source link below.

Source: BlueStacks

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3 years ago

Android 4.2.2 rolling out to Nexus 10 and 7, GSM Galaxy Nexus [Updated]

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Over-the-air updates to Android 4.2.2 are rolling out now to the current crop of Nexus devices. Reports first started trickling in on Reddit about the GSM Galaxy Nexus having its update waiting. And more recently, news from Android Police, XDA and elsewhere indicates that Nexus 10 and Nexus 7 users are getting these updates, so it looks like we're in the midsts of the 4.2.2 roll-out.

No news on the Nexus 4, interestingly enough, but we'd assume if the rest of the Nexuses are getting it, the N4 will be on that train too. We're of course not sure what all this update has in it, but we're not expecting much more than bug fixes considering it's just a x.x.1 jump. After updating our own Galaxy Nexus to 4.2.2, there don't seem to be any immediately-noticeable changes.

So have at it folks, start checking your devices for that update. If you're into manually updating (advanced users only), we've got direct OTA package links for the Gnex and Nexus 10 after the break.

Source: AndroidPolice; Reddit; Thanks, Karl!

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3 years ago

Sonos update bringing favorites improvements, new widget for Android app

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Sonos is rolling out an update to both its hardware setups and mobile apps to enable new features today. The first part of the update will come to the Sonos base station itself, and will improve the handling of favorites. Users will now be able to add tracks, albums and radio stations to favorites no matter the source. The new favorites can now be accessed from any Sonos Controller in the music menu as well.

An update for the Android (and iOS) Sonos Controller app is on the way to take advantage of the new features also. The Android version will receive a new widget that lets users control tracks and playback without launching the app itself, as well as show album art and metadata. The app will also receive universal search available from anywhere in the interface.

Both the system and app updates are expected to start rolling out tomorrow, so be on the lookout if you're a Sonos user.

Source: Sonos

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3 years ago

Indian Rides: get ready for the return of Indian Motorcycle

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Indian has been around since 1901, and they're getting ready for a re-launch of the Indian Motorcycle brand in 2013 by releasing the Indian Rides app. While the app is branded by Indian, you don't have to be an active motorcycle rider to take a look at this app though, as it has a little something to offer for travelers of any type.

Read on past the break for a few quick highlights and screenshots of the app's interface.

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3 years ago

Guilt: how bad do you feel about your spending?

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It's pretty easy to keep track of purchases based on when they occur and their price, but what if you categorized everything you bought by how guilty it made you feel? Guilt is an interesting new app that hopes to help you keep tabs on your regular purchases and not only how much they cost but also on a level of how guilty you feel after purchasing them. The hope is to give a new perspective on your finances to help keep things in order from month to month.

Read long with us after the break to see if Guilt could help keep your personal finances in order.

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3 years ago

Wordsplosion is a new word game I can't stop playing

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If you like word games and want a new challenge, you need to check out Wordsplosion. The game play is easy enough to get a handle on -- you have five chances to guess a five letter word. You can get hints if you do well, and your number of lives raises with your score. If you guess the word correctly, you move on to another word. If you're wrong, you lose a life. Lose all your lives and the game is done, and you want to kick yourself for missing the easy ones. But you can share your score to Twitter or Facebook to make you feel a little better.

The words themselves are simple, five letter words we use every day. But sitting up there without any context makes this one a real challenge. All your guesses must be words from the dictionary, so you can't cheat and try aeiou to find the vowels (foiled again!). The game is beautifully done on the design and graphics side, and everything runs smooth. The only thing not to love is the annoying in-line ads every three or fours turns, and those are easy to remove with a single in-app purchase of $2.99. Well worth it for an app I'll keep around for a long while.

The game trailer is after the break, and you can grab it from the Google Play link above and give it a try.

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3 years ago

Apps of the Week: JuiceSSH, 7x7, Audible for Android and more!

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You shouldn't be surprised at this point that we bring you the apps of the week every Saturday afternoon. What we hope to surprise you with is the variety and quality of the apps we choose. The Android Central writers try their best to find some diamonds in the rough, the little-known apps that we use ourselves but may not be on every device out there.

Hang on after the break and see how we did this week.

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3 years ago

ZOMG: Windows Phone design lead Joe Belfiore tweets from Android

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Hey, I've got absolutely no problem with Joe Belfiore, the man in charge of "definition and design" for Windows Phone, apparently tweeting from an Android device. In fact, I've long raved about how much I like the way Windows Phone 8 looks, even if it lacks the functionality of Android. I've covered enough Windows Phone events to recognize that dude knows his stuff. And I dabble with Windows Phone (and soon, BlackBerry 10) on weekends, to help keep familiar with what else is out there. Using other platforms makes good sense.

But the official Twitter app? C'mon, Joe. You can do better than that. In fact, here's a a quick primer on some much better (and more functional) Android Twitter apps. Give 'em a shot.

Thanks, Andre, for the inadvertent tip.

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3 years ago

The best Twitter apps: Comparing timeline views

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Twitter apps are funny things. Few Android applications invoke such passion -- furor, at times -- from users. And this coming at a time when Twitter itself is trying to de-emphasize applications for the mobile web. Third-party developers have a few more weeks before stricter API rules go into effect, limiting future growth. And even Twitter's own official app doesn't have all the bells and whistles that have been packed into any number of Twitter clients.

Everyone has a favorite Twitter app. Or two. Maybe even three. Like we said, Twitter apps are funny things. Even deprecated apps retain strong followings.

After the break, we put some 17 Twitter applications side by side in the timeline view. Most have the same basic functionality, and it's interesting to see how one app might have influenced another. We've throw in one outlier as well -- more on that app later.

So have a look, and see how your favorite Twitter application stands up against some other greats.

Update: If you're interested in seeing how some of the more popular iOS Twitter apps stand up, iMore took a look.

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3 years ago

Pinterest update improves group board management

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Pinterest has just updated its app offering to improve the experience of managing community boards from your Android device. The new update -- version 1.3.1 -- lets users properly view the contributors to a community board, so you can see who is pinning items with you. The update also lets you accept or reject board invites, as well as leave boards you're already a member of.

You can grab a download or update of the new Pinterest app from the Play Store link at the top of this post. Users looking to grab the update on the Amazon Appstore will see the update appear soon.

More: Pinterest Blog

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3 years ago

Verizon lists which apps will kill your battery and use up your data plan

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The folks at Verizon have put up a couple of interesting apps lists. Of course there's the requisite "Must have apps", but they are taking things a step further in app recommendations.

They are providing a list of the top 25 apps from Google Play, and rating them based on battery usage, data usage, and security. The list has a few surprises, like Draw Something getting bad marks for battery drain, while HD Widgets (which most users report as using plenty of battery) gets a perfect score. They qualify their ratings like so:

A low rating means the app might negatively affect your overall experience with your device. If you see a low rating on an app you currently use or intend to download, you should review the potential areas of concern to decide if it’s an app you want to have on your device.

In addition, they have created a naughty list of 13 apps that they are calling high risk because they "might have serious negative effects on your device." The nominees include favorites like Wreck it Ralph and GTA III, as well as Fruit Ninja free (but not the full version).

They mean well, and we're not going to fault them for trying, but one can't help but think some of their choices are a bit odd. We think your best bet when looking for information about a particular app is right here at AC, where the forums are filled with folks using all the awesome apps on Google Play. 

Source: Verizon (1), (2); Via GigaOM

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3 years ago

Real Boxing on Project Shield looks like a knock-out

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NVIDIA has posted another Project Shield teaser, this time showing off the controls of the clamshell playing Real Boxing -- an unreleased title for the Tegra platform. 

Real Boxing looks like a smash hit in the making. A full career mode, mini-games to build your character, and action inside the ring filled with blood are the keys to a great boxing game, and Real Boxing has all this and more. Since it' designed for the Tegra 4, you'll have extra texture packs, better physics, more polygons, and everything else that comes along with NVIDIA sponsored games. I'm a sucker for boxing titles, and I cant wait for this one. 

Having a built-in controller for games like Real Boxing should really take things to the next level of fun. Android, and quite a few games support external controllers, but I've found this can often be a bit janky and require a lot of setup to get things working. Having the controller as part of the device, and titles made especially for use with it, should allow us to throw all the left hooks and upper cuts we can handle. 

There's a video after the break, be sure to have a look -- especially if you're a fan of boxing games like I am.

Source: NVIDIA

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3 years ago

Roller Rally Snake Pass: jump, flip and skate through this great game

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We're always fans of well designed, easy to play (but tough to master) games, and Roller Rally - Snake Pass certainly fits the bill. Recently released, Roller Rally takes downhill roller skate racing and puts a fun cartoon twist that makes it a joy to play. Good characters, sound and gameplay all add to the appeal of this title.

We want to take a little time to highlight the features of this game, so stick around after the break and check it out.

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3 years ago

Plume for Twitter updates widget design, adds new features

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Plume for Twitter updated its main app to closely tie into Android's new design guidelines many months ago, but its widget still lacked the new visual holo flare until today. The new widget is the same as far as functionality goes, but has received a drastic facelift. It is now a "holo dark" theme, with buttons and colors that more closely match that of the actual app. You still get a great visual representation of tweets, mentions and messages, as well as direct compose, refresh and search keys.

There are also several other improvements as part of this update. You can now make multiple columns in both the app and widget that specify between accounts -- which is a huge deal for multiple account users -- and Facebook accounts can now display in the widget as well. There's also now smoother scrolling, resend dialogues when picture uploads fail and fixes with pull-to-refresh.

That's a whole bunch of notable updates that should keep Plume users happy. If you've yet to try out Plume, you can head the Play Store link at the top of this post to check it out.

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