Headlines

3 years ago

ZTE pushes its first Android 4.2 update to mid-range device

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In a rather quick turn-around since the code has gone live, ZTE has just announced that it is pushing an Android 4.2 update to one of its devices. Interestingly enough, this update is pushing to a mid-range device only being sold in the Chinese market, the N880E. This device has a 4-inch WVGA screen, 1GHz processor and just 512MB of RAM, but ZTE has still given the green light to push the update. The N880E was one of the first devices in the world to ship with Android 4.1 (which was nearly stock as well), so in that regard it's fitting that this was the device chosen to receive the first 4.2 update as well.

This is an astonishingly quick update cycle that ZTE is operating on considering that even Nexus devices just received the update a couple of weeks ago, some of which likely still haven't pulled it down. We really wish more manufacturers out there could operate this quickly when it comes to software updates.

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3 years ago

Black Friday Android app sale round-up [updating]

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Black Friday is upon us, and the thrashing mobs are either stampeding the malls or pounding the F5 key on their favorite retail sites. We're keeping an eye on Google Play to see what prices have been slashed. Let us know in the comments if you find any more! 

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3 years ago

Granny Smith updated with 9 bonus levels and 'expert' mode

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Granny Smith has been one of our favorite games lately, and thankfully the developer has been quick about bringing out updates with fixes and new levels. The last update brought a whole new world of space-themed gameplay, and this one is adding another 9 "bonus" levels. These levels are dispersed among the other levels, which gives the game good replay value. There's also now a toggle to select a "hard" mode in the settings, which makes the thief move faster, brings trickier jumps and requires at least one apple to move on to the next level.

Haven't grabbed Granny Smith yet? It's probably the best $0.99 you'll spend on a game this week. You can take a look at the Google Play Store link above.

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3 years ago

SwiftKey 3 and SwiftKey 3 Tablet now half off

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Yet another app sale for the Thanksgiving / Black Friday weekend is SwiftKey. Both smartphone and tablet versions of the custom Android keyboard are half off - $1.99 a pop. 

For those unfamiliar, SwiftKey is a highly respected Android keyboard replacement that emphasizes predictive suggestions based on Twitter, Facebook, and Gmail usage. There's a really wide range of language support too, which is a must-have for many users. If you're looking for something comparable to Swype with gesture-based typing, you'll have to wait for SwiftKey Flow.

Any big SwifKey users here? Who's been holding off for a price cut?

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3 years ago

Amazing Spider-Man, Gangstar Rio, and other Gameloft titles on sale for Thanksgiving

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Gameloft has kicked off their Thanksgiving / Black Friday sale by cutting the price of a handful of their titles down to a buck.

First up is The Amazing Spider-Man, an action game based on the latest movie. You can see our full review over here. Then there's Gangstar Rio, the "homage" to the popular open-world GTA games. Then there's BackStab, which mixes up 3D platforming and stealth action with a pirate-flavored twist. If you're looking for something a little more lighthearted, The Adventures of Tintin offers fast-paced action that's suitable for the young'uns. Finally, the sci-fi shooter N.O.V.A. 3 is also on sale, though you've got to get it through the Amazon Appstore.

So, anything catching your eye? Seeing any other solid Android game sales for Black Friday? 

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3 years ago

Plague Inc adds Neurax Worm for $1.99

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Bored with bacteria? Fed up with fungus?  Bio-weapons got you down? If you're tired of the same old destruction in Plague Inc. -- a happy little game from Ndemic Creations in which your job is to eradicate humanity -- a new update brings forth the Neurax Worm, a "manipulative organism that burrows into the brain."

The expansion pack also burrows into your wallet a tad, to the tune of a $1.99 in-app purchase. But when was the last time you purchased a mind-controll worm so cheap?

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3 years ago

Plume updated with Android 4.2 lock screen widget

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One of the leading Twitter apps in the Play Store, Plume, is joining the small list of apps that have been updated to work with Android 4.2's lock screen widget functionality. In this latest update -- version 4.70 -- users can add the regular Plume widget to the lock screen, with full support for scrolling, buttons and responses. It looks and acts exactly as the home screen version does. These kinds of widgets are actually one of the few that may actually be considered useful on the lock screen, and we're glad they've chosen to incorporate it.

There are a group of quick fixes as part of the update as well, including fixes for DM (direct message) display, issues with the Facebook timeline not loading and unread list items appearing multiple times. If you're interested in trying out a Twitter client with lock screen widgets, take a look at Plume via the Google Play Store link above.

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3 years ago

Team Boid lays out future plans for its Twitter client

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We heard from a member of Team Boid on Monday that the group would be ceasing future development of its Twitter client. Now the team has released its official statement regarding its plans. As was eluded to before, the Boid Twitter client is now going open-sourced, and the team itself will be ceasing all future development. They hope that the project will continue to help other developers with their own design and app development.

This doesn't mean that the updates will stop coming to users that are currently using the Boid app, however. Updates will come when developers working on the project add their own changes and fixes. The team has already set up a Git instance to help the process along as well. It will be exciting to see how the app looks in the future under community development.

Source: Team Boid

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3 years ago

Dragon Slayer game breathes fire all over Google Play

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As promised, Glu's free to play Dragon Slayer game has swooped into Google Play. This title takes the familiar one-on-one gesture-based duel format but pits dragons against mages. Mages blast through levels that are composed of a series of dragons, one after another. They all have their own elemental weaknesses as well as special attacks. As with all Glu games, there are lots of in-app purchases being nudged your way, but the graphics are pretty slick, and the game's premise is a nice change of pace for fans of high fantasy. 

I've been playing a little bit, and though there seems to be a lot more emphasis on improving gear rather than stats or abilities, it's pretty fun trying to read the movements of a variety of dragons and preparing to defend accordingly. Luckily there are also the occasional text warnings to provice cues. There's also a pet system in place, which can offer slight, and sometimes necessary back-up. 

Any takers, or is a reliance on in-app purchases a dealbreaker? Any other dueling games that you're digging lately? 

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3 years ago

Marvel’s Avenger Initiative now available on Google Play for a promotional price of $5

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Although it landed on iOS first, Marvel’s Avenger Initiative has now arrived in the Google Play Store. Noted as being "the first installment of Marvel's biggest cross‐over mobile gaming event" you'll start the game off playing as Hulk and take on the task of hunting down the world's most notorious villains and send them back S.H.I.E.L.D. In other words, Hulk. Smash.

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3 years ago

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City to launch on Android on December 6

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We've previously heard that GTA Vice City 10th Anniversary edition would be heading to our Android devices, but until now we didn't know when. The wait is almost at an end, with today's announcement from Rockstar Games that we can expect Vice City to drop on December 6. Following on from last years release of GTA III Anniversary edition, Vice City of course takes us back to the 1980's as Tommy Vercetti. 

The price of GTA Vice City is to be a reasonable $5, less than the price GTA III made at launch, although like its predecessor there is a potential compatibility issue. Rockstar has kindly listed the devices that will be compatible at launch, though thankfully this time round, it isn't quite so depressing. Many of the latest devices are to be supported immediately, including the new Nexus 4 and Nexus 10:

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3 years ago

µTorrent update adds WiFi only option, spares your data plan

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Although it's probably a long overdue addition for some, the folks from Bittorrent have now updated their Android torrent client µTorrent to offer a WiFi only download option. Previously, when using the app you ran the risk of  blowing through your entire data plan or racking up overage charges by leaving some torrents running, but no more. You'll now be able to set it to download over WiFi only and never really worry about it.

In addition to that change, there is also some unspecified stability improvements in this release.

Hit the Google Play Store link above to grab the latest version.

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3 years ago

Amazon's suite of apps on Verizon phones isn't a bad thing

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Once upon a time there was a leaked memo regarding Verizon beginning to load "a suite of Amazon apps preloaded on one dedicated home screen for all newly launched Android devices." Wit the launch of the HTC Droid DNA, we now now exactly what that entails. And the results are not nearly as scary as some had feared.

First off, the sentence in and of itself should have made things pretty clear. Apps. On one home screen. Nothing about replacing Google Play. Nothing about going solely with the Amazon Appstore. But we can't blame folks' ears from perking up a little bit. Verizon, after all, is the carrier that once swapped out Google's maps and search for Microsoft's Bing. That ended poorly.

More: Read our complete Droid DNA review

Fact of the matter here is that there's a nicely designed widget on one of the home screens that pushes to Amazon storefront, as well as apps such as Amazon MP3 and Kindle. No surprise there, and it's not like those apps had never been preloaded on any other devices before.

The really interesting thing is how it handles the suite of apps. Instead of pushing links to the Amazon Appstore, you're directed to Google Play. We're willing to put good money on that being a requirement from Google in order to pass compatibility testing -- and there's no reason why you can't install the Amazon Appstore later, if you so desire.

We've got a little video of the whole thing after the break.

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3 years ago

Creatorverse brings physics sandbox to Android

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Linden Lab, the folks behind the Second Life virtual world, have released their first creation for Android. Creatorverse isn't so much a game as it is a toy. Though there are simple, intuitive controls for placing virtual objects into a space, resizing, connecting, and coloring them, the breadth of mechanics that can be applied to them are truly boggling. Virtual magnetic fields, alterations in gravity and friction, levers, pivots, triggers, and many more tools are likely to keep tinkerers busy for a long time. Best of all, any creations, be they cute pieces of interactive art, explorations in physics, or even simple games, can all be shared online to other creators on all platforms. They can then download, experience, and tweak creations as they see fit. 

As Android fans, I think we all have a bit of a tinkerer's mindset. That said, an open, creative sandbox like this is well-suited to us. I can definitely see the use of Creatorverse for getting kids interested in engineering; the rules and interface are accessible, but deep and potentially inspiring. I've only been playing around with Creatorverse for a little while, but I can already tell that it's going to be keeping a permanent spot on my Android device. 

What do you guys think? Any Little Big Planet fans in the house? How about Second Life? 

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3 years ago

ForeverMap 2 brings offline-ready OpenStreetMaps to Google Play

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After hanging out on the Barnes & Noble Nook since the summer, Skobbler's ForeverMap 2 has found its way to the Google Play store. Like a few other non-Google solutions ForeverMap 2 taps into OpenStreetMap for its data, which is created thanks to the collective contributions of users. The core app costs $0.99, and you can download locally-stored maps for individual cities for $0.99, single states for $1.99, whole countries for $2.99, continents for $5.99 each, or a full global map for $9.99. Though that sounds like a fair bit to ask, users get one country for free out of the box. All of the usual services are there, including turn-by-turn directions, points of interest search, and address lookup. 

Skobbler is pushing ForeverMap 2 as a Google Maps alternative, which is a pretty hard sell considering the high quality of Android's built-in navigation and local search apps. Offline access is always handy, especially if you're visiting someplace outside your data coverage, but it that alone enough? What would it take for you to switch to something other than Google Maps? Does ForeverMap 2 look like it could fit the bill, or are there other third-party maps applications that you're already comfortable with? 

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