Headlines

3 years ago

Google snags e-mail genius Sparrow

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Those of you dreaming of a better Android e-mail client might one day get your wish -- Google has acquired Sparrow. Sparrow's been an iOS/OSX staple, and we can only hope it'll bring its talents to Android, along with Gmail at large. 

Writes Sparrow:

We care a lot about how people communicate, and we did our best to provide you with the most intuitive and pleasurable mailing experience.

Now we're joining the Gmail team to accomplish a bigger vision — one that we think we can better achieve with Google.

We’d like to extend a special thanks to all of our users who have supported us, advised us, given us priceless feedback and allowed us to build a better mail application. While we’ll be working on new things at Google, we will continue to make Sparrow available and provide support for our users.

We're still way early into this one, but this much is clear: This is nothing but good for Gmail, and here's to hoping Android gets a boost as well.

Update: Our pals at iMore.com, who have a good bit more experience with Sparrow, have penned a few thoughts. Read them here.

Source: Sparrow

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3 years ago

BIG Launcher updated with slew of new customization options

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BIG Launcher has just updated their replacement Android launcher built for the visually impaired. As the name suggests, BIG Launcher provides a bare-bones, high-contrast interface with gigantic icons. Size can be changed, and individual icons can be read out loud through text-to-voice wizardry. Here's the 2.0 changelog for BIG Launcher.

  • sms editor
  • sms forwarding
  • unlimited screens
  • background image on screens
  • buttons can have any icon
  • buttons can link to contact detail
  • big battery and signal icons
  • search in applications list
  • new upgrade dialog with changelog
  • ability to set external dialer application
  • ability to delete call log enteries (optional)
  • battery, signal content description on home header for talkback
  • localized buttons in preferences dialogs
  • safe borders
  • favorite contacts moved to second position in phone menu
  • sent sos sms saved to database

You can check out our review of BIG Launcher, or download version 2.0 at the link below. Anyone having a hard time convincing grandma to try out an Android device? Think something like this would help?

Download: BIG Launcher ($1.49)

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3 years ago

Gameloft's The Dark Knight Rises released in Google Play today

Ed. note: We're all painfully aware of what happened in Aurora, Colo. Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone involved. And we're turning off the comments on this post. - Phil

Today is a pretty huge day for Batman fans around the world. Finally, the long awaited third Christopher Nolan adaptation, The Dark Knight Rises, hits movie theaters around the world. And, as promised, Gameloft's official companion game also sees release today into the Google Play Store. 

We're talking a premium title here, and as such, it carries a premium price. In the UK it'll set you back £4.99, and in the U.S. that equates to $6.99. But one look at the visuals alone, and it pretty much justifies the asking price. If you're still carrying some of that free Google Play credit around, what better device to play it on than your new Nexus 7? 

Be prepared though, the download is big. Actually, it's huge -- 1.7GB. But the visuals, and the huge Gotham City maps taken into account, you can see why it's so big. We're just getting started with this one, and we'll no doubt be back with more when we've spent some real game time with it. To grab it for yourselves, head on over to the Play Store, hit download, and go make a coffee while you wait. 

​Update: ​Seems we were a bit keen in wanting to play this on our Nexus 7. Doesn't look like it's compatible at the moment. Darn shame.

Download: The Dark Knight Rises

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3 years ago

Sky Go Android app gets ICS support on Galaxy Nexus, Note and S III

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Just as was promised a few weeks back, British broadcaster Sky has opened up its Sky Go on-demand video app to certain Android devices running 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and above, including the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, Galaxy Note and Galaxy S III. The update brings ICS support to the Sky Go app for the first time, allowing Sky subscribers with these devices to view the same streaming content available on approved Gingerbread devices like the Desire S and Desire HD. Unlike many other app vendors, Sky tailors its offerings to specific phones, usually high-selling models, so Sky Go remains restricted to a small number of handsets for now.

As we reported a few weeks back, Sky Go recently launches new streaming content across its range of Sky Go apps, including entertainment channels Sky 1, Sky Atlantic, Sky Living and Sky Arts 1. An app update also allowed subscribers to view and manage their accounts on-the-go.

If you find yourself in possession of both a Sky subscription and one of the supported devices, you download the Sky Go app for Android via the Google Play web interface linked below.

Download: Sky Go for Android; via The Verge

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3 years ago

Leaked field manual for Call of Duty: Black Ops Zombies appears, indicates an Android launch

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Fans of shooting zombies listen up. The good folks over at Xperia Gamer have uncovered a field manual for Call of Duty: Black Ops Zombies, that specifically mentions the title being on Android. To add to the legitimacy of this, it was discovered on the official Call of Duty website. 

As is so often -- sadly -- the case with big titles such as this, our iOS toting friends have been enjoying this for a while now. But, big titles are big titles, just so long as we get them. Some of the details of the game are to be found within too, such as having 50 levels, plus even some hidden ones. It's also set to have local multiplayer via Bluetooth, and online multiplayer modes too. 

Sadly, no release dates were mentioned, so we'll just have to keep our eyes peeled for this one.

Source: Xperia Gamer

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3 years ago

Dead Trigger teases new weapons

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New weapons are on the way to Dead Trigger, the zombie gore-fest launched by Mad Finger Games a few weeks ago. The teaser trailer for update 1.1.0 includes a chainsaw, some kind of lawn/face mower, a lever-action shotgun, and a WWI-era machine gun. Best of all, there are going to be zombies wearing body armor - you can expect that they'll be tough to kill the second go-around. There are a few other nice little gems nestled in the feature list.

  • experience personally four new savage weapons (including two melees): Chain Saw, Lewis Heavy Machine Gun, Marine Engine with sharp-edged blades and Repeating rifle, a classic of the American West
  • enjoy the new funny and handy gadget -- the Head-Flator X100 enables to inflate the heads of zombies to XXL size and... Headshot!
  • meet new zombie creatures -- mutated mobsters or armoured SWAT members
  • explore new fantastic environments -- underground car park or secret research base institute
  • try out new gadgets or get more money - reveal deadly survival arena, that is tailor-made for massacre of hordes of zombies
  • visit Casino and try your luck with a slot machine
  • and finally safe game data with cross platform cloud backup
  • This huge update brings Dead Trigger also to Adreno 205, including Sony Xperia Play!

I'm pretty excited about new Dead Trigger content since a lot of the time Mad Finger's titles feel more like tech demos than games. Dead Trigger in particular is a little pushy with the in-app purchases, but on the whole, it's just some great, solid zombie-killing. Besides, it's hard to go wrong for a buck. How much time have you pumped into the game? Which of the new Dead Trigger weapons are you itching to try out?

Source: @MadfingerGames

Download: Dead Trigger ($0.99)

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3 years ago

Great Big War Game review - silly but strategic

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Great Big War Game launched this week, riding on the coattails of its highly successful predecessor Great Little War Game. The same turn-based hex grid warfare is there, along with classic strategic elements such as elevation, fog of war, resource management, and a wide variety of land, sea, and air units to command. 

Great Big War Game's biggest asset is its ridiculous spin on war. The campaign mode puts you in the shoes of an inept general who weathers a barrage of sarcasm from his subordinate all while trying to impress the sexy new lieutenant. Don't let the silliness fool you, though. Great Big War Game has a ton of tactical depth.

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3 years ago

Rdio updated with UI and playback improvements

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Looks as though the development team at Rdio had another few days to go ahead and work on their Android app. The latest update is now available in the Google Play Store and has quite a few bug fixes included with it. Most importantly, some playback issues have been resolved along with some UI improvements that will offer up a better in-app experience for those of you have a keen interest in what your friends are listening to these days:

  • New Releases is now a grid view
  • Improved buffering player UI when loading tracks
  • Jump to album from track in playlist
  • Can now view all extended search results
  • Clickable URLs in activity stream
  • Playlist editing improvements
  • UI Improvements
  • Bug fixes

If you had any issues with the previous version, now would be a great time to go ahead and grab the update. If you're new to Rdio, you'll find the link below to get yourself started. Keep in mind, it is a subscription based service so I've included the site link as well below in case you need some more information. Plus, free trials are available.

Download: Rdio for Android, Site: Rdio

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3 years ago

Auralux hits the Tegra Zone and Google Play today, it's an RTS game with style

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Wardrum Studios' Auralux is now available for Tegra devices on the Google Play store, and it's a new take on an old favorite. When we first saw the press announcement for Auralux, I knew I would enjoy this one, it combines real-time strategy with the modern look and feel you expect in 2012, and does it well. The premise of the game is ultra-simple. You have one type of unit, and you can tell them to move from your planet to a vacant or enemy planet. There are no buttons, or complicated actions involved, just select your troops and move them across the playing field. You start against two opponents, and you all have the same size base and same number of troops. The goal is to wipe the opposition off the map.

We've seen games of this type before, but they never looked or sounded this good. It's very minimalistic, yet detailed when you zoom in tight on an occupied zone. The catchy new-age soundtrack plays in the background without distracting you, which may not have been as "relaxing" as the game description claims, but there is definitely a more casual feel to this one until you get to the more difficult levels. You can take things slow, or enable speed mode for a fast-paced battle of wits. It's very fun, and very simple to play. I've been playing one of the insane difficulty levels for over 8 hours of gameplay (I may retreat, but I never quit!), but the normal levels can provide five minutes worth of entertainment at a time. Gameplay has been excellent and trouble-free on both the Nexus 7 and the HTC One X, and the easy controls make it enjoyable on both devices. It's an addicting little app, and well worth checking out.

To do that checking out, you'll need a Tegra device -- at least for a few weeks. The game is launching as a Tegra exclusive for the first few weeks and then will come to more Android and iOS devices afterwards. The Tegra exclusive Andromeda Pack from the in-game shop, where you've got plenty of action going on at once and a more complicated game layout, will remain afterwards. The app is free in Google Play, and has optional in-app purchases. Grab it at the link below, and check out the trailer and a handful of screenshots after the break.

Download Auralux from Google Play; Auralux on the Tegra Zone 

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3 years ago

Doodle Jump for Android updated with four new themes

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The classic endless jumping game Doodle Jump has recently been updated to include some of four additional themes that were previously available on iOS. It doesn't seem like there are any other major has been added; the last update fixed a sound glitch, before that it was a long time before we had seen any new features to Doodle Jump.

Although there are plenty of free Doodle Jump clones available on Android, there's a certain charm to the original that others can't quite match. It's an oldie, but a goodie. Get a-downloadin' at the link below. Any Doodle Jump veterans out there? What's your high score? 

Thanks tobi512!

Download: Doodle Jump ($0.99)

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3 years ago

Camera MX updated with new filters, video, geotagging, and more

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The Camera MX photography app for Android has been updated to version 2.0 with a bunch of new features, such as fresh effects, video handling, and geotagging. Here's the full feature list:

  • New effects: HDR, Tilt-shift, Little Planet, Color Glow, Kaleidoscope, Drawing
  • Customize effects
  • Textures, borders and picture effects
  • Record and trim videos
  • Random effect feature
  • Save effect combinations as templates
  • Design and add subtitles
  • Video support in the media manager
  • GPS map: pinpoint photo locations on map
  • Hide music folders

We're big fans of Camera MX, particularly since it's free and they offer a chunk of cloud storage. The usual sharing options to Facebook, Flickr and Twitter are there of course. 

Which photography apps are you guys using this summer? Any in particular leaping out at you? Does Camera MX have what you need, or is there anything more you're looking for?

Download: Camera MX (free)

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3 years ago

Telstra: HTC 'preparing' Jelly Bean updates for One XL and One S

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We haven't heard much from HTC on the subject of Android 4.1 updates of late. When Jelly Bean was first announced, the manufacturer said it was "reviewing the software" in order to determine which devices would be getting an update, but we've yet to see any definitive list of phones to be upgraded. However, it looks like owners of the One S and One XL (that's the international name for the Snapdragon S4-powered One X, with LTE) can rest easy, as Aussie carrier Telstra has indicated on its software updates page that both of these phones are due for Jelly Beans at a future date.

That's not even remotely surprising -- as flagship products that are less than three months old, the One S and One XL were pretty much dead certs to receive Jelly Bean anyway. And as for the international Tegra 3-based One X, we're sure that'll be on the Android 4.1 update path too, it's just not listed by Telstra as they don't sell it.

Unsurprisingly there's no ETA provided for these Jelly Bean update, though if we had to guess, we'd say they're probably months, not weeks away at this point. The final Jelly Bean source code was released just over a week ago, so HTC will need time to get its devices up to speed on the new version of Android.

In the meantime, be sure to check out our predictions about when your phone will get Jelly Bean.

Source: Telstra; Thanks to everyone who sent this in!

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3 years ago

CyanogenMod 9 RC2 emerges with new devices, stability improvements

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As it rapidly approaches a final, stable release, CyanogenMod 9 has reached the second release candidate milestone, or RC2. CM9, based upon Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich, supports dozens of devices, and the latest release candidate adds support for several high-profile Samsung phones and tablets --

  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 (all variants)
  • Samsung Galaxy SII on AT&T – Skyrocket
  • Samsung Galaxy SII on T-Mobile – Hercules
  • Samsung Galaxy Note on AT&T
  • Samsung Galaxy SIII – i9300 (International GSM model)

In addition, CyanogenMod lead Steve Kondik says the new release includes bug fixes and new translations, and stabilizes CM into "a product that you’d let your mom use." As for the full, final, stable version of CM9, Steve says should be "just around the corner." Once CM9's out the door, work on the next version, based on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, should begin in earnest.

If you know what you're doing and want to skip straight to the download, check our linkage below.

Source: CyanogenMod.com

Download: get.cm

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3 years ago

Vodafone Australia halts Jelly Bean update, cites regulatory issues

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Uh oh. Seems all is not sweetness down under, with yesterday's news of an impending Jelly Bean update for the Nexus S from Vodafone Australia, today replaced with the news it has been pulled.

The Aussie carrier has put out a new statement on its blog, which reads something like this: 

Important news

We’ve just been advised that due to a software issue, the roll-out the of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update to Vodafone Australia customers has been delayed.

It’s been advised the software currently does not meet all the Australian regulatory requirements related to emergency calls.

At this stage, we don’t have any further information on when the roll-out will resume, but as soon as we do, we’ll let you know here on the blog.

We thank you for your understanding and appreciate your patience at this time.

While, understandably, eager Nexus S owners will take this as a bitter blow, regulatory requirements are just that. Requirements. At least Vodafone has been good enough to give their customers an actual, specific reason for the delay. 

Of course, this particular issue only applies in Australia. We had heard word from France too that an update for the Nexus S was in-bound, so we'll carry on keeping an eye out. This statement from Vodafone, while frustrating, does at least give a pretty clear indication that such an update does exist. Somewhere. 

Source: Vodafone Australia

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3 years ago

Be sure to check out AC on Google Currents with your new Nexus 7

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Google has made Currents part of Android with Jelly Bean, and anyone with a Nexus 7 or other Nexus device who's updated has it sitting in their app drawer. That's not a bad thing -- the Currents app really is a great way to read the news, especially on today's big-screen devices. Refer back to our full walkthrough and review for tips on getting it all set up, but be sure to subscribe to Android Central. You'll find us in the Science & Tech section -- we're the ones with over 450,000 subscribers. 

Once you've got everything added, you'll find Currents a well thought out and handy way to read the news your way. Whether you skim headlines or delve into every story, the content is provided in an easy to navigate way with all the media you get from the desktop version of a particular news story. We really dig it around here, and think you will, too.

If you're not rocking with a Jelly Bean device, have no fear -- it's available in the Google Play store for devices running Froyo or higher. You can find it at the link below.

Download Google Currents  from Google Play

 

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