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3 years ago

Spotify updated with improved data handling and stability fixes


The latest version fixes getting stuck in offline mode and adds an option to clear local data

Now pushing to devices through the Play Store, the newest update to Spotify should fix problems users have been having with previous versions. Getting stuck in offline mode -- which rendered streaming useless -- has been fixed, along with crashes associated with running low on memory and loading artists in the radio.

The way Spotify stores data on your device has changed, with the app claiming to now "store your data in the most efficient location on your phone/device," which only applies to first-time installations. A little more control is also given over stored data via an option in settings, which allows the clearing of temporary data and downloaded songs.

Get the update now through Google's Play Store. A handy link is waiting for you at the top of the post.

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3 years ago

Google Search update adds new card functionality, improved search results


Real time package tracking from select carriers and subtle UI tweaks make it into this update

The Google Search app, better known for its transition into the Google Now interface on Jelly Bean devices, has been updated with a few more features today. The first improvement is what Google calls "real time package tracking", which should give you a better indication of the package status, rather than simple "package shipped" cards that have been there previously. The new functionality is only available for select carriers, but it isn't specified which ones at this point.

Also included is a visual redesign of the "settings" key that appears in the top right corner of every card, which has turned into an "i" (information) button. Instead of just popping up a settings option to take you deeper into the app, it expands the current card to let you toggle quick settings related to it. For example tapping the "i" on a sports score card gives you quick options to follow or not follow a team, while tapping "i" on a stocks card lets you choose which stocks you would like to always see.

It's a visual improvement that will be instantly noticeable as a better choice for managing Google Now settings. Be sure to grab the update from the Play Store at the top of this post if you've got a device running Jelly Bean.

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3 years ago

Google Maps brings navigation to 9 new countries in Europe and Africa


Voice guided, turn-by-turn navigation available for millions more people today on Google Maps for Android

The Google Maps team has taken to Google+ and announced the addition of voice navigation for 9 new countries today. Users in the following countries will be able to use the Google Maps app on their Android phone with the new (to them) feature, starting right now:

  • Ghana
  • Kenya
  • Côte d'Ivoire
  • Senegal
  • Estonia
  • Bulgaria
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Slovakia

There was no word on when to expect the same for other locations, nor about how the process is done. We tend to take Google services for granted in Western Europe, and especially, North America, but for many folks Android devices are missing some of what makes them so special. We're glad to see Google address this issue, even if it's a bit slower than we would like.

Source: +Google Maps

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3 years ago

Droid Bionic Jelly Bean soak test invites rolling out now


Turns out that Motorola support page may have been right after all

After a puzzling update to Motorola's support documentation for the Droid Bionic that indicated it would receive Jelly Bean in Q2 2013, soak test registration emails are being sent out to some users for the update. Soak tests, if you're not familiar, are a last level of testing with a small portion of users willing to give new firmware a try before it moves out to everyone. Like previous soak tests, this is a good indication that we're headed towards an official release of the update to the general public soon. 

Remember though, Q2 just started a couple of days ago, so if previous updates are any indication we may be waiting a little while to see it all out there officially. The soak test registrations go out to a small number of people and won't be available for long, so keep an eye on your inbox if you're expecting to see one.

More: Droid Bionic ForumsThanks, shayne6717! 

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3 years ago

Shadowgun: DeadZone 2.0 update hits with loads of new features


Game adds localization for several new languages; remains free-to-play for everyone

As one of the most popular mobile-only online multiplayer games, Shadowgun: DeadZone is keeping the experience fresh with a 2.0 update in the Play Store today. The update brings new maps, weapons and stat boosters for things like armor, damage and accuracy. Also new is a "friends" menu that lets you invite friends to your game or view real-time stats while they play. First time players will like the new "tutorial" mode to help get acquainted with the game.

The update also localizes the game for several new languages, including Spanish, French, German, Italian, Russian, Chinese, Korean and Japanese. If you haven't yet given the multiplayer version of Shadowgun a try yet, now may be the time.

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3 years ago

Google Play Sound Search now available in the UK


"What's this song?" working in Google Now as well

Google's Sound Search, which lets users identify music tracks and artists by letting their phone listen to them, is branching out from the U.S. to include users in the U.K. In addition to the stand-alone app and widget for Sound Search, the same functionality also seems to be working within Google Now for U.K. users. Saying "What's this song?" then letting it listen will field results.

While the app's changelog hasn't been updated to reflect it, there has been an update in the Play Store and our own Alex Dobie in the U.K. is confirming that it does work now. Head to the Play Store link above to grab your download and test it out, and let us know in the comments if it's working in any other new countries.

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3 years ago

Chrome for Android gets password and auto-fill sync in latest update


Chrome 26 for Android hits the stable channel, also brings improved performance and bug fixes

Google Chrome for Android has hit version 26, bringing with it the ability to sync passwords and auto-fill data from the desktop browser. If you've been running the beta version of Google's browser then this may sound familiar, as it's been in testing in the beta channel for a few weeks now.

Chrome 26 also fixes a bug where a blank page would be displayed instead of the requested URL. In addition, there's the standard assortment of performance improvements -- and we have to say Chrome for Android feels pretty speedy on this latest build.

Head to the Google Play Store app to update, or hit the link above if you're a first-time installer.

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3 years ago

Wallaby: Get the most out of your credit card rewards


A wallet full of credit and debit cards, each with different rewards; Wallaby shows you which one to use

When you have several different credit and debit cards in you wallet, it can be hard to choose which one to use to maximize the rewards and savings associated with it. Each restaurant, shop or store you visit may have a particular card that will work out to your advantage -- so how do you choose?

Wallaby hopes to help solve the problem by giving you recommendations as to which card to use to maximize value when you shop, and it's doing so in a much cleaner way with version 2.0 of its app. Read on past the break and see what the new Wallaby has to offer.

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3 years ago

Looking back on one full year since Instagram for Android launched


One year on, almost half of all Instagram use comes from Android

Today marks exactly one full year of Instagram on Android. The hipster filter, photo dedicated social network has its fans, and its critics alike. Love it or hate it, it's one of those 'must have' apps for a mobile platform -- just take a look at the number of BlackBerry 10 and Windows Phone users screaming out for it. To mark the year, the Instagram team has shared some numbers with us. 

Despite the critics, despite the whole #TeamAndroid and #TeamiPhone deal back in the early days, Instagram for Android is booming. Booming to the point where almost half of all use comes from the Android app. Less than a day after launch the app had been downloaded 1 million times, and to date has in excess of 50 million downloads. 

Also in that year since we saw the Android launch, there was of course the much debated Facebook takeover that priced Instagram at $1billion. In fact, the Android launch and Facebook takeover all happened within the same week.

Over on the official Instagram blog, the developers have highlighted some pretty awesome looking snaps taken using Instagram for Android, so be sure to head on over and check them out.

Source: Instagram

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3 years ago

Google+ update adds better cover photo editing, fixes bugs


Mobile users can now see strikethrough text formatting as well

Google has been knocking out some serious updates to both its mobile and web interfaces over the last few weeks, and today's Google+ update cleans up some odds-and-ends. Users now have better options for selecting and editing cover photos, which falls in line with the move on the web to big (well actually, huge) cover photos. You get a better preview of the photo you're choosing, as well as granular control over what part of the photo is displayed. Interestingly, this update also includes support for strikethrough text formatting, which is something you'll be used to from the web as well.

And what would an update be without a nice grouping of "bug fixes and performance improvements"? Those are here too, of course. You can grab a download or update to the Google+ app from the Play Store link at the top of this post.

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3 years ago

Twitter for Android updated with UI overhaul


Official Twitter client gets a Holo-style re-vamp

The official Twitter app for Android has been updated to version 4.0, and with it the UI has been significantly overhauled to be more in-keeping with the Android 4.x "Holo" design language. The visual changes are plain to see -- new icons, a cleaner layout and generally closer to the native Android look -- though the layout remains much the same. Like other official Twitter apps, you can now swipe left and right to jump between the four main tabs.

The new app also includes the ability to load tweeted content from other apps -- such as Foursquare -- directly in that app using a special link. On the whole, it's a significant step forward for the long-neglected official Twitter app.

Unfortunately for HTC One owners however, the Black Bar of Doom (on-screen menu key) on HTC devices is still present in this release. Worse still, it now does absolutely nothing but take up space. Oh well.

Grab the new version of Twitter from the Google Play link above, or hit the Google Play Store to update.

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3 years ago

Tasks update brings multi-app integration, better usability


Now integrated with Google Now, DashClock Widget, Gmail, and calendar apps

Tasks -- the app that looks so good you'd think it was made by Google -- is getting a big update today. No longer limited to typing out tasks, users can now use the voice command "note to self..." in Google Now to add task entries to the app. The ever-popular DashClock Widget gets Tasks support as well, with the ability to display pending tasks. But the app integration doesn't stop there -- support for related Gmail messages has been added, along with support for third party calendar widgets.

There are a handful of other notable changes, too. Reminders now have a snooze function, and an indicator has been added for overdue tasks. Lists get the option to sort items alphabetically, and the date picker is now easier to use with new shortcuts for today, tomorrow, and next week.

Upon installation of the new update, a permission change is requested. This adds the option to donate to the developer from within the app. If you're using the free version, we'd suggest getting the full version before donating. Hit the Play Store link at the top to get started.

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3 years ago

Mozilla, Samsung team up on 'Servo' next-gen browser engine


Android code for 'Servo' and 'Rust' language available to download and build

Browser-maker Mozilla has announced that it's teamed up with Samsung in the creation of a new web browser engine, 'Servo,' built upon a new, modern programming language, 'Rust.'

Both projects are focused on fully exploiting modern, multi-core hardware in a way that maximizes performance, while avoiding  the kinds of bugs and glitches that can lead to crashes and security vulnerabilities. The source code for the latest version of Rust, v. 0.6, and the Servo browser engine, is available to download for Android today. The first major  release of Rust -- let alone the Servo browser based upon it -- isn't expected anytime soon. Today's Mozilla post outlines development work continuing "in the coming year" as it approaches its first major revision.

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3 years ago

Rovio to launch mobile app for Angry Birds Friends


Facebook-based bird-flinger reportedly heading to Android and iOS

Social avian catapulter Angry Birds Friends is set to launch on Android and iOS, according to reports from TechCrunch. The title's move to mobile was apparently revealed at a Facebook event in Helsinki, Finland, following the Facebook version's push past the 60 million install mark.

In contrast to the single-player focus of vanilla Angry Birds, Angry Birds Friends lets players hold weekly tournaments and compete for medals. Naturally, moving this new social pig-slaughtering experience back to mobile makes sense for Rovio given its web-based success and its familiarity with both platforms.

No word on release dates just yet. In the meantime, you'll just have to make do with of the gazillion other Angry Birds titles currently on Google Play.

Source: TechCrunch

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3 years ago

Agenda Calendar for Android gets long-awaited widget


Resizable, and as stylish as it is simple, the Agenda Calendar widget makes this app an easy recommendation

It's a good day for those of you who have waited on a widget for the excellent Agenda Calendar. (Be sure to check out our full look at Agenda Calendar.) We now, in fact, have a widget. Actually, it's a resizable widget, which any self-respecting widget connoisseur knows is the best kind of widget to have. 

And this is what it looks like. Not a whole lot more to say about it -- it's a big black-and-white widget with some colors thrown in depending on the calendar sync. Tap a listing to see it in Agenda, and hit the big + button in the top right to add a new event. Tapping a day (or date) opens that day in the Agenda app.

You could argue that there's a little wasted space here. But, truth be told, the Agenda widget looks a little different on different launchers. In the example above, we've got it set as a 4-by-3 widget on top of Action Launcher. By default, you get a 2-by-3 widget. And the spacing is different on, say, the Nexus 4. So you might have to futz with it a little.

We've been using the Agenda Calendar widget for a couple days now in place of our old standby, Pure Calendar (Agenda). This one's much simpler to set up, but that also means it's not quite as full-featured. That's not really a strike against it, though. There's much to be said about that simplicity, and the overall design is more sophisticated.

All in all, this is a $1.99 that's definitely worth trying out now.

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