Headlines

3 years ago

Google Maps adds walking directions for 44 African countries

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As we learned at this year's Google I/O keynote, Android adoption is booming in developing countries, including many in Africa. And so to help these new users get the most out of the platform, Google is continuing to build on its own mobile app offerings, including the launch of walking directions for Google Maps users in Africa. Following on from the launch of driving directions in Africa in 2010, walking directions are now available in some 44 African nations, with the feature being accessed in the same way as it is elsewhere.

Whether they're using the mobile app or web interface, users can select the walking icon when they choose their start and end locations, and they'll get a direct walking route from one location to the other. As ever, Google reminds us that walking directions are (still) in beta, so you'll want to take basic safety precautions when you're out and about.

Source: Google LatLong

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3 years ago

Rovio's latest creation, Amazing Alex, now available in Google Play

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It's been known about for sometime, and teased recently, but today sees Rovio Mobile's latest creation, Amazing Alex, finally hit the Google Play Store. There are three 'versions' to choose from, a free, ad-supported version, a paid version coming in at $0.99/£0.64, and a HD version for $2.99/£1.93. 

Despite the teasers we've already seen, what we hadn't seen until this point was some actual gameplay. Amazing Alex is a physics based puzzle game, which sees you creating all kinds of funky chain reactions using various objects. Often, this involves knocking stuff over. Set across four different settings, there are 100 levels to be had initially, and, knowing Rovio, probably as many still to come in future updates. 

It starts off really simple, but in a good way, as you're guided through the opening few levels to help you get a grip on the gameplay, and the controls. The controls are really straight forward, it's as easy as picking up objects, moving them, rotating them, very simple to get the hang of. 

It looks great too. We've sprung for the HD version, and it's so bright and colorful it'd be hard not to love it. It's literally just dropped, so we're only just getting into it, but first impressions are good. This is sure to be another hit for Rovio. We've dropped you guys some handy download links to all three versions below, and after the break you'll find the official trailer, as well as a few screenshots we've thrown in for good measure. Hit us up in the comments if you give this a try, and let us know your thoughts. 

Download: Amazing Alex Free, Paid, HD

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3 years ago

Alarm Clock by doubleTwist for Android offers a few new ways to wake up

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Awhile back doubleTwist decided to dabble in something other than media sync and cooked up a simple alarm clock Android app. Fast forward a few months, and it's now featured prominently in Google Play, but what's so great about it? After all, there's only so much you can do with an alarm clock, right?

All of the core functions are there, such as repeating and multiple alarms, each with custom labels and user-picked sounds and volume. There are flip and analog-style faces with a low-brightness nightstand mode available, plus custom snooze durations and vibration toggles. Beyond that, things get a bit more interesting.

Instead of setting alarms for just any ol' time, doubleTwist's app offers ideal times to set alarms in line with common sleep cycle durations. That way, you can either figure out what time you should go to sleep if you want to get up for a certain hour, or what time would be best to wake up without messing with your natural rhythm.  Based on your location and the latest weather reports, the app can also figure out what time the sun is rising, if you're the type to go by Mother Nature's alarm clock.  

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3 years ago

Great Big War Game heading to Android on July 18

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Rubicon Development, creators of the popular Great Little War Game, has today announced a proper sequel to the popular strategy game. Titled Great Big War Game, it will arrive on Android on July 18 for $2.99, accompanied by a free, 'lite' version. 

The single-player campaign mode brings 50 all new levels, as you take charge of Jenkins as he tries to prevail in battle amid orders from the Generalissimo. Perhaps more exciting though, especially for a game of this nature, is the all-new, cross-platform multiplayer option. Take the fight to your 'enemies' on iOS, and prevail for the sake of the Android army. Or, something. 

Check out the trailer for Great Big War Game after the break

Source: Triplepoint

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3 years ago

Domino's Pizza USA app available in the Amazon App Store

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First today we had coffee and now it is pizza time, yummy. Domino's dropped us a line today to let us know that their new application for the USA is now available to download from the Amazon App Store. The free app will allow for a whole range of features including the following:

  • Order delivery or carryout
  • Store locator
  • Full menu including build your own pizza
  • Use of coupons
  • Domino's Tracker

All this talk of food is making me hungry.

Download the Domino's Pizza App

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3 years ago

Google Maps soaks in some culture with indoor guides to museums

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Google Maps for Android was recently updated their indoor location database with over twenty popular museums across the U.S, including the de Young Museum in San Francisco, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Cincinnati Museum Center, the Indianapolis Museum of Art, the American Museum of Natural History, and 17 Smithsonian museums. 

Indoor maps originally launched in November, allowing users to set routes within buildings, navigate by floor, and sort through points of interest. It's an awesome feature, and a sensible extension of Google's current walking directions. Who knows, maybe indoor maps will expand to include audio guides that are sensitive to where you are within a building. 

A full list of indoor Google Maps is available here, and if you're really into art, be sure to check out the Google Art Project. If you have the latest version of Google Maps for Android, you should be ready to start planning your next museum trip. Do you go often? Which buildings would you like to see with full indoor maps? 

Source: Google Lat Long

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3 years ago

Amazon GameCircle introduces achievements, cloud saving, and leaderboards to Kindle Fire

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Amazon has just announced a service called GameCircle, which will allow Android developers to add unified achievements, leaderboards, and progress cloud sync to their Kindle Fire games. Doodle Jump, Temple Run, and Triple Town are already making use of the new APIs. Amazon also took the occasion to remind devs that there's a fully-functioning in-app purchase mechanism too. 

It's too bad Google hasn't really taken the reins and offered a similar social gaming experience baked right into Android natively, but the gap has allowed third parties like OpenFeint to step in and build a network. iOS has Game Center, and though there's still a lot of room for improvement there, GameCircle could stand to include something similar to its friending system to promote social spread of games. For now, Amazon is limiting GameCircle to KindleFire, but who knows if they'll open up the service to other devices, so long as they can get people to sign up for Amazon accounts. 

Developers interested in getting involved can head over to the sign-up page. Kindle Fire owners, how has your gaming experience been so far? Was the device really hurting for this kind of thing? Developers, does GameCircle make a Kindle Fire port more palatable?

Source: Amazon

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3 years ago

Starbucks app update bringing coffee goodness to the UK and Canada

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Attention coffee fans. Great news; the Starbucks app for Android has today received a large update bringing support to the UK and Canada. That means that coffee addicts on both sides of the pond can now enjoy mobile payments, the store locator, My Starbucks Rewards Stars, check balance and reload, pin code protection, a home screen widget and transfer capabilities. Good stuff!

Users of the app in the USA still get a few added features including a widget, PayPal support, pin code protection and the ability to view 'My Starbucks rewards' history.

You can find the full press release below or just grab your download of the updated Starbucks app here.

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3 years ago

Rovio's next game, Amazing Alex, launching on Android this Thursday

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The creator of Angry Birds is about ready to launch their next franchise this week - a physics puzzler called Amazing Alex. Rovio has been teasing this game for awhile, and though it's being painfully branded towards tweens, I have no doubt the gameplay will be polished.

The game already did well for itself independently as Casey's Contraptions by developer Mystery Coconut last year, but Rovio had since acquired the company and is now molding it in their image. In all likelihood, that means lots of spin-offs and up-selling as per Angry Birds' precedent, but the trailer video below promises that there will be many free updates. Rovio also hints that there will be a level creator with sharing options, which should be pretty fun. 

The Incredible Machine was always a favorite of mine, so I'm definitely glad to see this kind of Rube Goldberg gaming coming back. Anyone else eager to give Amazing Alex a try?

Source: Rovio

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3 years ago

Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean begins rolling out to HSPA+ Galaxy Nexus

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Google has announced that the new version of Android, 4.1 Jelly Bean, is now rolling out to GSM/HSPA+ Galaxy Nexus phones -- that's the international model, and the one sold through the Google Play Store in the U.S. Google says the update will begin rolling out today, and continue "over the next several days." The update bumps the Gnex up to Android 4.1.1 (build JRO03C), the same version that  just pushed out to the Nexus 7, and landed yesterday on AOSP. We've updated our Google I/O edition with the new OTA, and we can confirm that the search results returned through the Google Search app haven't changed -- local results are still returned, just as they were on 4.1. Also, unlike version 4.1, Android 4.1.1 is blocked from downloading the soon-to-be-discontinued Adobe Flash Player -- after updating, the app is marked as incompatible in Google Play.

If you're curious about what's new in Jelly Bean, check out our landing page, and our Jelly Bean feature articles. Writing on the official Nexus Google+ page, Google says that other Galaxy Nexus phones (presumably the CDMA/LTE versions), as well as the Nexus S and Motorola Xoom are due to receive Jelly Bean next. No time frame is provided for this, however.

If you've already got the OTA notification on your device, be sure to hit the comments and let us know how you're getting on with the new version of Android!

Source: +Nexus

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3 years ago

Android 4.1.1 - an early look at a compiled build

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As the resident Android Central code-monkey (a badge I proudly wear) I've been running on fumes and caffeine to test out the AOSP 4.1.1 code since it dropped last night. You knew I had to do it, I knew I had to do it, so there was no use fighting it. For the nerdly inclined out there, building it is easy -- just change the branch to 4.1.1_r1 and go. We'll update the tutorial in the forums as soon as we're sure there are no new nuances we need to address. In the meantime, we were curious about the local search "issue" and if Google had made any changes in the code itself to be Apple-certified™.

Building the unedited, bone-stock Android 4.1.1 and using the Google apps from the Google I/O units and their Jelly Bean update, it looks as if on-device search still exists. Our theory (it's always a guess until Big G says otherwise) is that changes to search will be done with a change to the Google Now and Search applications themselves, which are part of the closed-source Google apps. That's why we see no changes here -- we're still using the old ones. This theory was further bolstered when we learned that Sprint removed local search from the Galaxy S III, but it could be restored by using the old search box app. 

There are two things to take away here -- when we see an OTA update for the Galaxy Nexus, Xoom, and Nexus S, we expect a newer set of G apps that remove the local search options, and that it will be easy enough to restore the functionality if you're willing to root your phone. 

I'll keep building and tinkering with 4.1.1, and if I come across any real changes (it seems a bit faster loading apps, but the placebo affect is strong) you'll be the first to know.

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3 years ago

Twitter for Android updated to version 3.3 - adds better search and notification options

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Twitter for Android, the official Twitter application for Android devices has been updated today and the update brings along some pretty awesome new features. The folks at Twitter have been hard at work listening to users and refining the way things work, and attempting to deliver the best experience possible. In trying to do so they have released an update for the Android application, and the update brings the following new and enhanced features.

  • Expanded Tweets: when you view Tweet details containing links to partner sites, you can now see content previews, view images, play videos and more. [this feature is rolling out gradually]
  • Push notifications for Tweets: choose to receive notifications from people you follow anytime they tweet or retweet
  • Improvements to search autocomplete for users
  • Tappable avatars that take you directly to user profiles
  • Many other tweaks, polish, and bug and crasher fixes

The update is pushing its way through Google Play currently, so be sure to check for the update shortly, and as always let us know how you like it! [Download from Google Play]

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3 years ago

Smart Tools turns any Android device into a handyman's best friend

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Your Android device has a ton of sensors - why not use 'em with Smart Tools?

Smart Tools has earned one of the top seller spots in Google Play by offering a whole suite of useful measurement tools for Android devices. These run the gamut of distance, angles, and even sound, vibration, and magnetic fields. Sensors like your Android device's accelerometer, magnetometer, camera, and microphone all act in concert to offer rough measurements, if not clean and precise ones. The developer offers a bunch of these tools stand-alone apps in addition to the single paid bundle for $2.50; the only one that isn't included in the bundle is the Speed Gun, which is available for free separately. 

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3 years ago

Songza updated with suggested playlists

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Songza, a free music service that somehow manages to get away not serving up audio ads, has updated their Android app with a feature called Concierge. Concierge has been available on iOS for awhile, and now Android users can get suggested music based on the time of day. For example, this Tuesday afternoon, the app offers expert-curated playlists for the summertime, needing an energy boost, or work/study music without lyrics. After picking your current situation, you can provide additional criteria to further tailor a playlist to your mood.  

There are a bunch of different ways to explore playlists, including by mood, activity, genre, decade, or tailored based on your listening habits. Songza has all of the other standard features you'd expect from a streaming music app, like marking songs as favorites, and sharing tracks over Facebook and e-mail.

Songza for Android for is optimized for ICS and available for download at the link below. Just keep in mind that though the web streaming service might be available in your area, the mobile app might not be - that's the case here in Canada, anyway. 

Source: Songza Download: Songza

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3 years ago

Sky News app for Android gets updated with better image support for tablets

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This may not be the biggest app update of the year but due to the popularity of the Sky News app I thought it was news worthy.

Todays update brings only one new feature and that is high resolution images for large screen devices. We all know that Android smartphones seem to be getting bigger and with better screen technology. So it makes sense that apps take full advantage of this.

In addition, the update will be perfect for Tablets. With the Google Nexus 7 recently announced and due to hit the shelves this month I suspect that app developers are under the same opinion as me; that the tablet is going to be a hugely popular piece of hardware. Once again, a perfect reason for devs to update their apps to make them look as fantastic as possible on a larger screen.

More information/Download Sky News for Android

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