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2 years ago

Super Monkey Ball 2 for Android delivers primates, transparent spheroids

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Building on its ever-growing back-catalog, SEGA has just released primate-based puzzler Super Monkey Ball 2: Sakura Edition for Android. Monkey Ball, which rolled its way onto iOS months ago, joins SEGA classics like ChuChu Rocket and Sonic CD on the Android Market Google Play from today.

So here's the deal with Super Monkey Ball -- you've got a monkey, which is sealed inside a ball. You've got to roll around eating bananas, because that's what monkeys do, and being encased within a hurtling transparent spheroid isn't going to change that. Like on iOS, controls are primarily tilt-based, as you guide your chimp of choice to the end of the stage with as many bananas as possible. Yeah, we're not exactly dispelling any monkey stereotypes here.

Super Monkey Ball 2: Sakura Edition is out now for devices running Android 2.1 and above, promising 125 levels of ape-based antics. The current price is just $0.99, which SEGA says is a special introductory offer. We've got the usual Google Play links after the break.

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2 years ago

NOOK for Android - v3.1 update brings access to Barnes & Noble’s collection of comics, graphic novels and manga titles

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The latest update to NOOK for Android has bumped the app into v3.1 and aside from having the normal bug fixes and stability improvements in it, you can now also have access to Barnes & Noble’s collection of comics, graphic novels and manga titles.

With exciting graphics in stunning color that virtually jump off the page, NOOK Comics enables customers to explore favorite super heroes and characters in landscape and portrait and pinch and zoom to dive into even the tiniest details of the action. Barnes & Noble’s vast selection of NOOK Comics features the largest digital collection of Marvel’s graphic novels available through a third party, as well as titles from other leading publishers including Archie, IDW, Dynamite and Dark Horse.

The v3.1 update also includes NOOK Shop enhancements that allow folks to easily add or edit the default credit card associated to their account, as well as  un-archive content with a single tap in NOOK Library. The update is available now in the Google Play Store and you'll find the download link, past the break.

Source: Barnes & Noble

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2 years ago

The Telegraph to launch new Android application

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The Telegraph, long respected British broadsheet newspaper, have announced they are to launch a new application for Android. 

Not content with just pushing their printed content to a mobile app, The Telegraph's offering will also bring with it breaking news, live financial data, picture galleries and video content. 

Perhaps the best feature though -- well for soccer football fanatics like myself -- is how The Telegraph will be handling their football coverage. Live scores, tables, fixtures and results are a given, but subscribers in the UK will also be able to access Premier League highlights courtesy of ESPN. Goals can even be viewed when a match is still being played. 

The usual social network sharing options are on board, so your friends on Facebook and followers on Twitter can see the news stories you want to share with them. A customizable homepage is also thrown in for you to tailor the content you want to see.

Print subscribers -- and iPad subscribers if you're into that sort of thing -- will be able to take advantage of this application free of charge. The rest of us will have to pay a subscription fee, but The Telegraph are offering a free one month trial before you commit. No launch date has been given as yet, but is expected to be announced in the coming weeks. 

Source: The Telegraph

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2 years ago

Nova Launcher Prime [Android App Review]

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YouTube link for mobile viewing

The first time we took a look at Nova Launcher, I could only pine away for the day I'd actually have a phone that could run it. Finally that time has come, so after consulting the Google+ populace to make sure I was making the right choice, I installed Nova Launcher and upgraded to the full, Prime-laden version. Let me tell ya, it was so worth it.

If Nova Launcher by itself is a completely superior launcher to the stock Ice Cream Sandwich launcher (and it is), Nova Launcher Prime takes it up to 11. When you upgrade to Prime you unlock swiping gestures for your phone, app hiding in your app drawer, dock swiping, and a whole host of cool scrolling effects.

Nova Launcher by itself is unbelievably awesome because it's so darn fast. Scrolling is fast, menus are fast, screen previews are fast. It's like the Speedy Gonzales of Ice Cream Sandwich launchers. And on my Galaxy Nexus, Nova Launcher Prime absolutely screams.

Nova Launcher Prime is also incredibly customizable. You can change how many homescreens you have, change the amount of icons on the dock, change the screen transitions, the folder background shape, how many docks you have, well, the list goes on and on. If you're a bit OCD about how your launcher operates (or just about what size your grid is), Nova Launcher will help you keep everything in check.

Last but not least, there's also a backup and restore function included, so in the event you lose everything (or get a new phone or do a ROM wipe or something), you can easily restore all of your settings that you so painstakingly put together once and save yourself both the heartache and time. It might seem like a small thing, but once you restore a launcher once, you'll wonder why you ever bothered to manually set one up again.

My final verdict? Nova Launcher Prime is the real deal. It's easily the best launcher for Ice Cream Sandwich that's out right now, and if you're rocking a phone with Android 4.0, at the very least, Nova Launcher (free) should be installed. It's that good. TeslaCoil Software knows how to produce great Android apps, and with Nova Launcher, they've kept their streak going.

Nova Launcher Prime is $4 in the Android Market Google Play Store. We've got download links after the break.

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2 years ago

A number of European developers left waiting for Google Play payouts

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Admittedly we're not all that versed on the ins and outs of how Google pays developers for apps purchased from the Android Market Google Play. But one thing we do know is an angry mob (editors are particularly good at spotting them), and one appears to be growing in the Google Checkout Merchant forums. In a nearly week-old thread with more that 100 posts, it seems a growing number of European devs have yet to receive payment for February. Almost worse is that they apparently aren't getting much in the way of explanation.

Developers are the lifeblood of any platform. (Perhaps you've heard.) Let's hope this gets straightened out soonest.

Source: Google Product Forums

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2 years ago

Android Central weekly photo contest: Photo filters and effects

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With word that Instagram will soon be heading to Android, we all had better get ready for the invasion of photo filters and effects. It's not really new, we've been able to edit our pictures with hipster filters on Android for quite some time, but Instagram is sure to become hugely popular on Android -- Rene hits it right on the head as to why.

To prepare, this week's photo contest is all about the hipster effect. Grab a picture, grab an app, and get to work applying filters and/or effects -- or both. Some great free apps to do it with are PicsArt and PicSay from Google Play, and there are plenty of others -- I'm partial to LightBox myself -- so everyone can get in on this one. 

This week's prize is something new and cool that I want for myself -- the Smart Phone Sleeper. It's a universal stand that holds your phone just about anywhere, and would be perfect for a little night-time Netflix viewing or Youtube surfing. Winning one is easy:

  • Use an Android device to take a picture of something cool.
  • Use any method you like to apply some filters or effects to it.
  • Send it to pics@androidcentral.com, along with a name we can use and the model of Android you used to take it. Let us know what effects or apps you used, too. We like knowing this kind of stuff.
  • If you send in more than one, or send me a link instead of an attachment, your entry gets filed in the trash folder, so don't do that. I hate it when I have to do that.
  • Get me the pictures before the end of the night on Friday.

We'll pick the best 11 of the entries, then decide on the best of the bunch. We'll show you all of them Sunday afternoon. Now head down to the closest bodega, find something ironic, and take us a picture!

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2 years ago

Why privacy matters

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Privacy is a hot subject across the Internet lately, and we think it's high time to dissect the mountains of information and pick out what's relevant amidst all the FUD and nonsense out there. You'll see a series here this week about privacy issues and policies, and the best way to kick it all off is to discuss why it matters in the first place.

The fact is, if you use and enjoy Google services you have to give up some privacy to get the most out of them. Things like Gmail and Google Voice don't cost money, but in order to make ads that are lucrative Google mines some of your data and can sell ads targeted at things you like. Advertisers love this, as it keeps big nerdy guys in West Virginia from seeing ads about women's shoes that they will just ignore, and instead shows ads about Android, computer parts, and fishing guides. Google has made this a huge business, and to keep it working, Google needs your data. Google does not sell mail or search -- it sells ads. For the most part, this isn't too intrusive. The data about you is kept in some odd string of computer generated numbers and is only used to display things you are likely to want to see. None of it is sold to anyone else, that would disrupt G's business model. That data is their cash cow. 

We trust Google to do the right thing with our personal information, and for the most part they have done so. But Google isn't the only game in town that's collecting data about you. Other ad networks, Facebook, Microsoft, Apple, and your cell carrier collect a good bit of information as well. We want to trust the big players, and don't think Facebook or Apple will sell your data away to some spammer (or worse), but when we get to the lower tier, where ad networks and smaller companies collect and store your information, things get a little muddy. If these can't be trusted (and we're not saying they can't) why is it important?

Imagine how you would feel if you lost your Android phone and didn't have it password locked. I could find it at Five Guys, open it up and look through everything. Besides the horrible things I could do with your pictures and accounts, I'd also have access to your contacts, your Internet history, your search history, and message archives. Even if you have nothing to hide, you wouldn't want me rifling through all that data. When apps and services have the same access, it's the same thing. I do not want the ad company that is being used in my favorite Android game to look through my Internet history. They would be bored, and find nothing incriminating, but I still don't want it to happen. Nor do I want some rogue app developer to steal that data and send it off to China. It's my data, and I want to know it's being treated properly. When I imagine it happening to my daughter, I get a little angry. Thankfully, those types of scenarios are few and far between. But they do happen

Data collection isn't inherently evil. It's a standard practice in today's digital world, and we've come to terms with it in some ways. It does need to be done correctly and handled securely, though. That's where the real issue lies -- we know the data is being collected, so can we trust those doing the collecting? That's a question each of us has to answer for ourselves -- we just want to spark the conversation. 

Look for plenty more on security and privacy coming up this week.

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2 years ago

Facebook updated, presumably fixes something

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Android's Facebook app got an update today. Presumably something has been fixed in Version 1.8.4. But just like the last update, there's no changelog to be found, and Facebook's Android page just redirects to the Android Market Google Play.

(Aside: Seriously, developers. Enough of that shit. If you update your app, you tell us what's new. And Google, perhaps apps that update without changelogs shouldn't get your "Editor's Choice" badge of honor.)

Anyhoo. We digress. Download links are after the break if you need 'em.

Thanks to everyone who sent this in.

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2 years ago

Official Roku app arrives for Android

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An official Roku Android app has been in the works for some time and was finally released at the beginning of March. There have been many unofficial apps available but it's nice to have the one developed by Roku itself. The app is a remote for the Roku box that allows you to directly control it with your Android device, so if you ever lose the tiny remote, don't worry! In order to connect your device with the Roku box, both will need to be connected to the same Wi-Fi network. It doesn't matter which Roku box you own, this app is compatible with all of them.

The Roku app boasts a large set of features, including:

  • Launch or rate any Roku channel with a tap of your finger.
  • Use a touch remote control. Includes instant replay, back and options buttons as well as a keyboard for text entry.
  • Easily browse hundreds of channels and games in the Roku Channel Store.
  • Quickly add and remove channels to/from your Roku player.
  • Control and switch between multiple Roku players.

The app is available for free from Google Play. Please find links and more pictures after the break.

Source: Roku

 

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2 years ago

NCAA Tournament Android apps - Basketball apps at their best

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The greatest sports playoff system -- college basketball's NCAA Tournament -- is upon us. The games have always been played at odd times, particulalrly those in the first couple of rounds. And since so many of us will be stuck at work, it's a must to have great mobile apps to keep you up-to-date on how your bracket is stacking up or how your favorite team is performing.

We've put together a collection of some of the best Android apps to help you out during March Madness. There are a lot out there, especially scoreboard apps, but these are the few that we feel rise above the rest. Enjoy! By the way, if you don't notice from the screenshots, I'm a Syracuse fan, so go Orange! Feel free to sing out in the comments which team you're rooting for.

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