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2 years ago

Instagram announces 80 million users, updates app and loses a Twitter API all in one day

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Today is certainly seeing plenty of news coming out of the Instagram camp. Some good, some not so good. We'll start on a positive note though. Instagram now has a pretty impressive 80 million users worldwide, due in no small part to the expansion of the platform to Android. The total number of photos shared via the service has also reached a milestone, topping 4 billion now. The takeover by Facebook thankfully doesn't seem to have adversely affected users perceptions. Although, according to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Facebook's first ever earnings call, the acquisition hasn't yet closed, which is why we've seen no integration of the two. Anything on that front will be delivered in an update when the time comes. In any case, it gives us a good feeling that Android has been such a positive part of the platforms growth. 

The Android app itself has also seen an update today, which while small brings a pretty important fix for some users. It seems some devices were seeing a black screen on the filters page, but all that should now be gone with todays update. You can grab it for yourselves using the download link below. 

Which then brings us to the not so good news. It looks like the Twitter API crackdown is definitely underway, and Instagram has just become a high-profile casualty. Trying to find your Twitter friends on Instagram now brings up the message you see here. The pre-update app still allowed you to find friends in this way, and indeed re-installing that version sees the feature return. Oddly, Twitter friends remains in the "find friends" menu instead of just having been removed completely. Making a point perhaps? You can still share your photos directly to Twitter on upload, at least for now, but finding friends is out of the equation if you update. If this is a valuable feature to you guys, it's probably worth holding out on this one. 

Source: Instagram Blog, Download: Instagram

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2 years ago

The best Android apps for following the London 2012 Olympics

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The 2012 Olympics kick off in London tomorrow, and we have a collection of the best apps for staying on top of all of the action. Whether you want to watch the games as they happen, catch up on the latest results, or just feel like a world-class athlete from the comfort of your phone, we've got a little something for everybody.

London 2012 Results

Your first stop for keeping tabs on the Olympic games should be the official London 2012 Results app. It includes schedules, results, live updates, sport details, medal tables, athlete profiles, and lots more. Users can follow specific countries so they can root for the home team. 

Download: London 2012 Results App (Free)

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2 years ago

Angry Birds Space updated with more utopia to ruin

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  The latest iteration of the Angry Birds franchise has just had a significant content update, including lots of new levels on which to obliterate greedy green pigs on. There are a few other goodies tucked away in the changelog. 
  • The epic adventure continues with the second half of Utopia! Defeat the space pigs in their delectable food world with two amazing new characters, including the never-before-seen space egg!
  • Crunch through 20 delicious new levels!
  • The Orange Bird gets an amazing superhero makeover!
  • Check out the brand new, never-before-seen space egg!
  • Three-star levels to unlock 10 new bonus levels!
  • Test your skills with a GIGANTIC new boss fight!

Angry Birds space takes the usual slingshotting destruction of the classic physics game and throws a wrench in it by introducing gravitational pull of planets and other interstellar bodies. This makes for some particularly challenging levels where you have to slingshot various birds around planets to nail pigs and their shelters on the other side. It's a great twist, even if you've spent tons of time on any of the other games in the series.

There's a free version with just a handful of levels as well as a full version for $0.99 available. 

Download: Angry Birds Space (Free/$0.99)

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2 years ago

Asphalt 7: Heat skids into Android

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Asphalt 7: Heat is now available in Google Play for $0.99, offering high-octane arcade racing to Android fans. Drive around the world in a number of different championships, earn in-game cash to tweak your ride, and go head-to-head with your friends online. 

I've poured a fair bit of time into the iOS version, and it really is a lot of fun. Sure, not as hard-bitten and realistic as some other titles out there, but the speed, soundtrack and graphics are great. IAPs are enabled, just like just about every Gameloft title, but they're generally pretty unobtrusive.  The cars are all done really nicely; you'll find recognizable brands like Ferrari, Lamborghini, Aston Marton, and plenty more. 

Any racing fans out there? What's your favorite racing game for Android these days? 

Download: Asphalt 7: Heat ($0.99)

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2 years ago

Google Talk issues affecting 'a majority of users' [Update: fixed for some]

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Update, 11 A.M. EDT: The issue seems to be fixed for some users, as Google has updated its dashboard with the following info --

"Google Talk service has already been restored for some users, and we expect a resolution for all users in the near future. Please note this time frame is an estimate and may change."

​Original story: Seems all is not well on the Google Talk front this morning. Issues were starting to be reported earlier, which upon investigation prompted the following statement from Google. 

We're aware of a problem with Google Talk affecting a majority of users. The affected users are able to access Google Talk, but are seeing error messages and/or other unexpected behavior. We will provide an update by 7/26/12 12:50 PM detailing when we expect to resolve the problem. Please note that this resolution time is an estimate and may change.

We're seeing the issues first hand, with a total outage on various devices including phones, tablets and even the desktop. Our status is still available, but we're not seeing anyone else online across all devices. 

The latest update says that the investigations are ongoing, and we're expecting a further update within about half an hour which is supposed to detail the timeframe for resolving the problem. To keep an eye on progress, hit up the source link below. 

Source: Google Apps Dashboard

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2 years ago

Half of mobile gamers use phones and tablets as primary home entertainment console

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A recent survey of U.K. and U.S. mobile gamers by PopCap shows that around 50% of respondents preferred their phone to PC, console, or dedicated handheld gaming console (like a  PSP or Nintendo DS). Tablet owners ranked a bit higher with 57%. Despite the portability that tablets and smartphones offer, 69% reported to play on their phones at home on the couch (78% among tablet owners), 41% while watching TV (52% for tablet owners), and 57% while in bed (51%). 10% of the 602 American respondents had played mobile games while in a place of worship, driving a car, and/or while watching a movie at a theater. The survey's sample size was a little over a thousand-strong - take that as representative or not as you will.  

With stuff like Ouya coming out of the woodwork, I'd be interested to see just how much Android manages to displace the traditional console gaming industry and which players are savvy enough to get with the times. So far, EA has done a great job of adapting to and addressing the mobile market, meanwhile Nintendo has been vocally against the app store model.

Will players really take to switching to mobile full-time, though? I know I've definitely spent less time on my Alienware since getting really involved with mobile games, but what about you guys? Is your Xbox getting jealous of your tablet?

Source: Information Solutions Group

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2 years ago

Epic Meal Time review - the bacon-covered turkey-stuffed pig of Android games

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Epic Meal Time has just turned their debaucherous online cooking show into an Android game, and as a meat-lover, I couldn't be happier. It's a simple game that involves guiding steaks, slices of pizza, and bacon strips into the host's face, while flinging away broccoli, turnips, and other greens. Energy drinks, booze, chocolate syrup, and whole pigs keeps things interesting while players earn Internet Money to finance new swag and a wider variety of food.  

For those of you unfamiliar, Epic Meal Time has been on YouTube for a little over two years, showcasing extravagant abominations that can barely be considered food by traditional standards. Rarely does a weekly episode go by that doesn't involve Jack Daniels, Four Loko, or bacon of some kind. Lately they've been branching out into desserts with obscene calorie counts, but at its core EMT is all about making carnivore dreams come true. Vegetarians (or anyone with a sense of modesty) may want to skip this video, one of their earlier breakout episodes. 

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2 years ago

Retro Olympics becomes Retro Athletics, still don't mention the Olympics

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What we see here is a perfectly innocent Android game known as Retro Athletics. But, it didn't always go by that moniker. No, sadly it seems the world has officially gone mad, as the title had to be renamed for using the 'brand' of the Olympics summer sporting occasion taking place in the UK this year. 

We're not going into politics, that's not why we're here. But, it's a pretty sad day when the Olympics summer sporting occasion taking place in the UK this year is deemed more as a brand to be infringed upon, than the global event it's meant to be. The point to note here is that should you have previously downloaded the title under its old name, it's probably a good idea to uninstall and download again from the Play Store. Seems that Google pulled the title completely, so should you want to benefit from any future updates you'll need to have this variant. 

Source: Droidgamers, Download: Retro Athletics

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2 years ago

Gameloft unveils five new free-to-play casual games for Android

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Gameloft has announced that they will be expanding their Let's Play brand with five more games launching this summer on Google Play. Let's Play is geared towards casual mobile gamers in a free-to-play (read IAP-heavy) format. The new games will be:

  • Cosmic Colony: The action unfolds on a mysterious planet where players must create and organize their colony and make it prosper. Surprising events and space missions await players of all ages as they become space pioneers.

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2 years ago

Dungeon Hunter 3 adds multiplayer support

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Gameloft's free fantasy hack-and-slash game, Dungeon Hunter 3, now lets players team up or duke it out online with new co-op and competitive multiplayer modes. 

As usual, you chose one of multiple standard classes, and defend against waves of monsters for as long as your weapons, armor, and powers will allow you. 

As with most of Gameloft's free titles, this one's rife with in-app purchases, but I never found them particularly intrusive in the time that I put into Dungeon Hunter 3. To start slaying some dragons with buddies, hit up the download link below. 

Download: Dungeon Hunter 3 (Free)

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