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3 years ago

Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit [Android Game Review]

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Before anyone can say anything, I know, I'm bad at racing games. I was bad at the ones you sat in at the arcades with an actual steering wheel, bad at ones on consoles with funny button configurations and control schemes, and I'm bad at ones that use accelerometer support to simulate a steering wheel, too.

Thing is, it was on sale I love you guys and gals, so I decided to bite the bullet, make a fool out of myself on video, and see what these newfangled touch racing games are all about. And that's exactly what I did.

Let's get the talk about the awesome graphics out of the way now. They're awesome (some of the best on Android, of course), but when your game is made by a huge studio that's used to producing AAA games, I'd expect nothing less. Still, racing (and subsequently crashing into everything in front of me) was still a visual treat, and that's to be commended.

Gameplay-wise, it's racing. Be default, automatic transmission is enabled, but you can switch to manual if you're feeling particularly skilled. The game starts you off with a little tutorial that teaches you how to do 180-degree turns easily and stuff, and let me say, had that not been there, I would have been even worse come recording time.

There's a couple of different options once you get out of the tutorial, like quick racing or playing through the career mode. Quick race is just what you'd think: you select some options based off of what you've got unlocked (what role you're playing, your vehicle, the time of day, etc.), and then you're off.

Career mode pits you against a computer-played adversary, whichever role you don't choose. You can pick between the cop and the street racer, and depending on which you choose, that tailors your mission objectives. More often than not, the cop is trying to catch the racer and the racer is trying to avoid being caught. Pretty straightforward stuff.

As you continue to race, you'll earn bounty (even if you lose), and after you collect so much bounty, you'll "level up" and unlock another, better car to use. Keep earning bounty and leveling up, and eventually you'll have the sweetest car in the game.

Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit also has a bevy of in-game achievements, like drifting for 25 seconds or getting five roadblock hits. Each achievement seems to unlock another, better tier of the achievement (like drifting for 50 seconds), so there's plenty to work on while you race around the world unlocking cars and earning cash.

Sure, Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit might not be the newest game out on Android, but that doesn't detract at all from how solid a game it is. Awesome graphics, tight controls, lots of missions and careers to play, and achievements all make it worthy of your time and money.

We've got download links after the break.

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3 years ago

Tapatalk v2.0 out of beta, ready for updating

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Tapatalk, the app that makes browsing vBulletin forums a breeze from a smartphone, has come out of its Version 2.0 beta and is now available for downloading. The biggest feature is an improved UI with multiple theme support, improved moderation tools, a nicer conversation style, and cloud-based account sync.

The official Tapatalk app runs $2.99 in Google Play. And, yes, we'll be updating our own Tapatalk-based Android Central Forums app in short order.

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3 years ago

Tumblr for Android gets overhauled with a new UI, better photo browsing and more

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Use Tumblr for your blogging services? If so, you'll want to fire up the Google Play Store and grab the latest update available. This release brings a whole new UI to the app as well many other improvements that have sorely been needed:

  • More responsive, faster-loading dashboard and blogs
  • Better photo browsing
  • Notifications for multiple blogs live in one place
  • Tumblr Radar

Sadly, Tumblr left tablet optimization out of the mix so you'll still have to find other ways to make use of it on any of those devices -- we're sure you all will figure it out though. Either way, it's a worthy update. You can jump past the break for some more screenshots and the download link.

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3 years ago

Naked Trailers offers thousands of movie trailers all in one app

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Have you ever sat down and put on an older movie and wondered what the trailer for that movie looked like back in the day? I've done that quite often though, I typically never follow up on the question by looking it up as it means interrupting my movie watching.

Naked Trailers has just been updated in the Google Play Store and it offers a collection of thousands of trailers to view. You get all the latest in theater, coming soon and on DVD options but more importantly it also includes trailers for movies which are currently playing on TV through the Reelz Channel

If you're a movie buff looking for quick access to a broad collection of movie trailers, give it a look, it has movie trailers going back as far as the 1940's and the more popular titles have additional content added such as short clips from the cast, producers and more. It's available for free, download link is past the break.

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3 years ago

Leaving Instagram? Here's how to do it and save all your pictures

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Apparently, Instagram finally making its way to Android was a good business move. At least Facebook thinks so, and they bought out the photo-sharing company for a cool billion dollars. Congrats to all the folks working at Instagram, and I hope you enjoy your stocks and Zuckerbucks! 

But anytime big changes come along, some of us aren't going to be OK with them. Now that Instagram is soon to be under Facebook's control, many are expecting privacy woes and leaving the service for greener pastures. I'm not here to judge -- each of us should do what we feel is right -- I'm only here to help. If you're going to leave Instagram, might as well do it right, and take all your stuff with you.

This is easy. Fire up your computer, and head to Instaport. It's a website whose sole purpose is to suck your pictures out of Instagram, and drop them into another account or save them to your computer hard drive. Follow the instructions, and you'll end up with all your Instagram pics bundled neatly wherever you want to keep them. Fair warning -- they are under some "heavy traffic" right now, so you may have to wait a bit. I got it to work on the third try, but your mileage may vary.

When you're done there, just head over to this link and delete your Instagram account. This way your account is deactivated, but your username still exists so nobody can snatch it up. 

See you guys on Lightbox!

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3 years ago

Android emulator jump-started with GPU support

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Firing up the Android emulator historically has been a lot like going to the DMV, or maybe the pediatrician's office. You can do it, and you'll have something to show for it at the end of the day, but you'd better take the day off work. Point is, that sucker was slow. Notice we're writing in the past tense here, though. Google's just unwrapped an update to the emulator that does a couple things. First and foremost is that GPU support has been added, which gives a much better experience as far as graphic and rendering are concerned. It's night and day. Second is that there's better hardware emulation, and you can now use a tethered device to provide input. Very cool. And finally there's better CPU performance, and operations are performed twice as fast.

What's that mean to most of us? Not a whole hell of a lot. But it will mean happier developers. And that's certainly good for everyone.

Source: Android Developers Blog

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3 years ago

Canabalt HD [Android Game Review]

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There's just something about those simple, one-touch games that I find utterly addictive. Maybe it's the no-nonsense gameplay. Maybe it's the quick pace. Maybe it's the single objective you've got to focus your mind on, like a high intensity laser, but games like this just draw me in.

Canabalt HD is no exception, and for good reason. With a kickin' soundtrack, easy-to-learn (but hard to master) gameplay, and visual effects that are simple yet endearing, this game is the whole package.

The premise is pretty plain: the city is in ruins, everything is falling down, bombs are periodically raining from the sky, and you've got to high tail it out of there as quickly as you can if you want to survive. What's stopping you? Ill-timed jumps (to break through windows) and boxes that are haphazardly strewn about. (Seriously, who left all these boxes here?)

So you tap the screen to jump, and that's about it. Unlike other games of this sort, running into something (like those darn boxes) doesn't automatically mean game over. It does​ mean you're slowed down a bit, and in a situation where every second counts, you'll want to avoid those boxes just like you would in any other game.

The folks who brought this iOS hit over to Android (Kittehface Software), added some neat visual tweaks, like being able to change the background from the original 2D to their updated 3D, and while that doesn't really make or break the gameplay experience, it's still cool to have the option.

If you find yourself becoming a Canabalt HD master, there's also online leaderboards that track who has run the farthest in a single session, so there's totally the chance to gain notoriety and fame by becoming the best Canabalt HD player in the world. (No, really.)

Overall, Canabalt HD is awesome. It gets the adrenaline pumping, the finger twitching, and burns all sorts of free time (and probably time you're supposed to spend on other stuff), so check it out.

Canabalt HD is $2.99 in the Google Play Store. We've got download links after the break.

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3 years ago

HTC Watch movie rental prices slashed for Easter

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If you picked up a shiny new HTC One X or One S this Easter weekend -- or you already own an earlier Sense device -- then you'll find a special offer waiting for you in the HTC Watch app. Until the end of Easter Monday, the rental price of many movies in HTC Watch has been cut down to almost nothing -- in the UK, the cost is just £0.05.

The HTC Watch catalog has been growing slowly but steadily since the service launched on the Sensation last spring, and it's bundle on Sense 3.0+ smartphones, as well as tablets like the Flyer and Jetstream.

A few highlights in this weekend's Easter Special offer include --

  • Transformers: Dark of the Moon
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
  • The Hangover 2
  • Final Destination 5
  • Cloverfield
  • The Matrix
  • 300

To view the full list, fire up HTC Watch and select the "Easter Weekend Special" option from the main menu.

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3 years ago

Android Central Editors' app picks for April 7, 2012

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Looking for some new applications to help pass your Easter weekend? Let's jump past the break and take a look at some of our favorites for this week.

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3 years ago

IMDb Movies & TV app updated to support HD streaming of movie trailers on tablets and smartphones

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When we chose IMDb Movies & TV as the tablet app of the year in our 2011 Android Central Editors' Pick Awards it was a pretty fine looking app and in that time, IMDb has continued to improve upon the app overall. The last update brought a new layout and ICS features but now a new update is available for download.

Movie buffs will want to grab this one for sure as it addresses some long standing bugs but more importantly it adds HD streaming of trailers for both tablets and smartphones. Download is past the break for you all, also if you're checking it out let us know what movies you're looking forward to this summer in the comments.

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3 years ago

Instagram updated once again, brings support to tablets and Wifi devices

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Instagram has received another update, this time opening the app to Android tablets and other Wifi devices. Not a lot has changed, as sideloading the old version on tablets or Wifi devices worked, but it's nice to see it done officially. The camera and picture import process is still broken on the Transformer Prime, but seems to work fine on both the Galaxy Tab 10.1 and the Galaxy Tab 7 plus. It's a bit of a bummer, but with no support yet for the HTC One X camera, we expect the Tegra 3 has something to do with it.

The cool thing about using Instagram on a tablet is viewing the images in your stream, which works very nicely. We've got the download link after the break, grab the update if you've been wanting this on on your tablet.

Thanks, ohaaron!

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3 years ago

Max Payne Mobile coming to Android April 26th

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If you dig third-person shooter games then chances are you've checked out Max Payne at some point since its original release in 2001 and now, Rockstar Games is taking Max Payne to new territory. As announced on their blog, Max Payne Mobile will be arriving on Android devices come April 26th and will feature the full classic game optimized for mobile experiences and include HD graphics, high-resolution textures, Social Club connectivity and user-customizable controls. Sadly, Rockstar has yet to announce which devices will be compatible at launch but that will come soon enough and it should be a broad range.

Source: Rockstar Games

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3 years ago

Facebook Messenger updated, with updated visuals and better support for ICS

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That other Facebook app, Facebook Messenger, just received an update that among other things is supposed to make it play better with Ice Cream Sandwich

The visuals have also been updated, and while not a major update, things do look crisper all round. They haven't totally bought into the ICS way of things though, as on the Galaxy Nexus for example, the menu button is still the 3 little dots next to the onscreen buttons. 

So what else do we get then? Faster ways to start conversations and group conversations -- faster than using the full bore Facebook app that's for sure. Hitting the + button brings up a list of your more recently contacted friends, and right at the top is the "new group conversation" button. 

Otherwise, we're treated to the usual smattering of bug fixes, and performance and battery life improvements. We've got the download links for you after the break.

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3 years ago

Friendcaster for Facebook updated with refreshed UI, themes and realtime notifications

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For all you Facebook fans out there not overly pleased with Facebook for Android, Friendcaster for Facebook has always been a great alternative. The latest update pushes the release to v5.0 and brings some pretty nice changes along for the ride. Real-time notifications, new themes to choose from, a new check-in interface along with some Android 4.0 enhancements and memory improvements make it all a worthwhile update from OneLouder Apps. The update is available now in the Google Play Store where you'll also find the full change log. Jump on past the break for the download link.

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3 years ago

Cinemark debuts new Android app - Find theatres, purchase tickets & more

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Despite there being a ton of Android apps for movie discovery in the Google Play Store, there is still a clear demand for dedicated movie theater apps out there. With dedicated apps such as the newly released Cinemark Theaters you can find not only movies playing in your area but also purchase tickets directly from your smartphone and Cinemark has loaded their app with features:

  • Search for your preferred Cinemark theatre location
  • Purchase movie tickets securely
  • View your gift card balance
  • Search for movies Coming Soon
  • Search for movies Now Playing
  • View movie trailers
  • Share showtimes, theatre locations and movie via email, text, Facebook or Twitter

If your planning an outing to the movies, you can check out the app which is now available in the Google Play Store and you'll find the download past the break. Now, I know I won't be waiting in line when The Avengers comes out.

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