Headlines

2 years ago

Gears & Guts brings together zombies and reckless driving

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Gears & Guts cruised into Android today, bristling with all manner of unlikely weaponry. This free top-down action game puts players up against a horde of zombies that they have to clear out with car-mounted chainsaws, flamethrowers, and machine guns. Here's what you can expect. 

  • Wide-open combat in massive environments.
  • Sports cars, monster trucks and armored vehicles.
  • Dozens of cars and items to earn, including rare, experimental weapons.
  • One car vs. hundreds of zombies, like...
  • The Walker: Cannon-fodder, but deadly in groups.
  • The Bruiser: A walking mountain of undead flesh.
  • The Runner: Keep your speed up or they’ll drag you down.

Glu recently churned out Mutant Roadkill with an obscene reliance on in-app purchases and ads, and was also oddly about running over mindless shamblers. I've played around with Gears & Guts for a little bit, IAPs and ads aren't quite as obnoxious, though they're still a big part of the picture. If you're into gore, give Gears & Guts a shot. 

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2 years ago

Browse all of your online pictures with Pictarine for Android

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A new photo app called Pictarine was launched today, tying into multiple photography sites and offering a single a dashboard to flip through them. 11 networks are currently supported, including the biggies like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Flickr, as well as some smaller ones like 500px, Photobucket, and Shutterfly. It can even tap into your Google account, Tumblr blog, or Dropbox for pictures. Depending on the networks you plug into, you can also see what your friends are sharing and leave comments or likes without leaving the app. Here's a quick feature run-down. 

  • Connect Pictarine up to 11 social networks, streamlining photos and activities like commenting, liking and sharing.
  • Rediscover your memories through our selection of the photos that matter most to you. You will be surprised!
  • Get photos from all of your services in your pocket, so they are always one touch away.
  • Bookmark your favorite photos in playlists
  • Works with Android versions 2.2 and above

It seems like this is a great little app for those that don't want to get too invested in any single network. Where do you tend to share most of your mobile pictures? Are they scattered in a million different places, or do they tend to all get dumped in the same spot?

(Background image)

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2 years ago

SeatGuru by TripAdvisor helps you get that extra legroom on your next flight

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Today TripAdvisor launched a new Android app called SeatGuru, which helps users book flights, pick seats, and monitor flight status. The app has access to over 700 seat maps across almost 100 airlines, as well as a plethora of user reviews from their travel network to make these choices a bit more easily. 

The last we heard from TripAdvisor, they were focusing mostly on city guides, but they've made a name for themselves by hooking up travellers with hotels, flights, restaurants and events across the world for awhile now. 

As a dude who measures in a six-foot-eight (or 203 centimeters for our metric friends), I can appreciate an app that helps me get that exit row seat before anyone else. Anyone booked anything through TripAdvisor lately? Any testimonials as to the quality of their service? Which mobile app do you usually use to book flights?

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2 years ago

Verizon to pay $1.25 million for blocking tethering apps on C block devices

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The FCC has released a statement today concerning its investigation into Verizon Wireless blocking access to applications (specifically tethering apps) for devices using the "C block" spectrum they use for LTE services. Under the terms of the settlement announced today, Verizon will be paying $1.25 million to the U.S. Treasury, and implement a "compliance" plan consisting of more training to ensure that they do not violate the C block rules in the future. 

The issue stems from the rules of the C block auction, which Verizon bid on and won to get the spectrum they use for LTE. I won't bother going into all the numbers here, but the wavelength of the C block makes it a very desirable piece of the airwaves, and the FCC placed a mandate that the auction winner must allow customers to freely use devices and applications of their choosing when accessing the frequencies. Verizon had successfully blocked tethering apps from appearing in Google Play, including their LTE devices. This is against the rules, and the FCC had to take action. 

There also are couple things here we need to keep in mind. Other carriers (hello, AT&T!) can block apps from the Play Store, as they didn't win the C block auction and don't have to follow those rules. The second is that while Verizon has to allow access to the applications, nothing was mentioned that said they had to allow free tethering on its LTE network. It can still block access server-side, or monitor accounts and charge users that download and use applications to tether. We're not sure what, if any, precautions Verizon is going to implement here, but before you celebrate by downloading Easy Tether and burning through a few GBs of data, keep in mind that few things in life are actually free. 

Source: FCC

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2 years ago

Amazon Cloud Player now matches iTunes purchases and CD rips

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Amazon Cloud Player has been updated with a bunch of new features, including some hefty new licensing deals with Sony, EMI, Universal, and Warner to beef up their music selection for sale. There's also some new ways to make sure all of the music on your computer is in line with what's being stored in the cloud, namely that 250 of your songs (even ripped or purchased iTunes music) is automatically added from Amazon in 256 Kbps audio. 

  • Amazon MP3 purchases — including music that customers purchased in the past — are automatically saved to Cloud Player, which means that customers have a secure backup copy of the music they buy from Amazon, free of charge.
  • Amazon scans customers’ iTunes and Windows Media Player libraries and matches the songs on their computers to Amazon’s 20 million song catalog.  All matched songs – even music purchased from iTunes or ripped from CDs – are instantly made available in Cloud Player and are upgraded for free to high-quality 256 Kbps audio.  Music that customers have already uploaded to Cloud Player also will be upgraded.
  • Any customer with a Kindle Fire, Android device, iPhone, iPod touch, or any web browser —and soon, a Roku streaming player or Sonos home entertainment system — can play their music anywhere.

Soon, Amazon Cloud users will be able to access their remote libraries through Sonos and Roku boxes too - a palatable option for real music junkies. Currently, Amazon Cloud offers 5 GB of free storage with plenty more available for $24.99 annually. Of course, any music you buy on Amazon doesn't count towards your storage limit, which is a nice touch. A significant change starting today is that Amazon Cloud Player and Cloud Drive will be separate storage bins and have their own subscription fees. That's not so great news for those that use the service for both tunes as well as documents, though they've lowered the Cloud Drive price to $10/year for 20 GB.  

You can get more information about signing up here, but us international folks are out of luck on this one, unfortunately. How many of y'all are already Amazon Cloud Player users? Are you happy with the experience, or is Google Music doing the job for you just fine? Would these new features get you to switch?

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2 years ago

Romney to announce VP pick via Android, iPhone apps

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Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney will announce his running mate ... on his official Android and iPhone apps.

The Android app, which gives you plenty of opportunities to sign up, sign in and donate (via a poorly formatted web view) will be the first place to learn who will join Romney on the Republican ticket this fall. In fact, jests the app, you'll learn it before just about anyone else. (Of course that's not actually true, but it's a nice selling point.) Says the app:

"Who will be Mitt's VP? There's no telling when the announcement will be, so check back often and enable push notifications to get the exciting news before the press and just about everyone else (except maybe Ann)."

The app gets some kudos for properly having an option to turn off push notifications (actually, they're off by default), and it's attractively designed, though it doesn't really follow Google's design cues.

Download: Mitt's VP

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2 years ago

ScoreMobile for Nexus 7 and Android tablets released

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Sports fans, you'll be happy to hear that most excellent ScoreMobile app for Android has been re-jiggered to run on the Google Nexus 7 and other Android tablets. The usual features are still there, like:

  • Personalized navigation with "My Score"
  • Game view offering scores, stats and Twitter streams
  • Interactive live blogs during key games
  • TV segments and video highlights for selected leagues
  • Integrated social sharing tools

There's also some dedicated 2012 Olympics coverage nestled in the app among all of the other football, basketball, golf, MMA, auto racing, soccer, and tennis sections. If you're seriously into the Olympics, be sure to check out our Olympics app roundup for a few more suggestions. 

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2 years ago

My BMW Remote app unlocks car doors, starts the A/C, and more

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BMW just announced that their remote control application for cars has made the leap from iOS to Android. With it, users can unlock their car, find where it's parked, alter the climate control, and launch into local points of interest search. Here's the full feature list. 

  • "Remote Door Lock & Unlock" allows the car to be locked and unlocked from a smartphone.
  • "Climate Control” makes it possible to control the interior temperature by adjusting the auxiliary ventilation and heating settings, and programming the systems by timer.
  • With “Horn Blow” for sounding the horn and “Flash Light” for briefly switching on the exterior lights, users can trigger acoustic and visual signals to help them find their vehicle in crowded car parks, for instance.
  • If the car is out of sight and hearing distance but within a radius of up to 1,5 km, the “Vehicle Finder” function is able to display a map on the smartphone screen showing the way to the vehicle’s location. This function is only available when the ignition is switched off, thereby making it impossible to track the vehicle’s movements.
  • Finally, using Google Local Search, users are able to import points of interest (POIs) from their smartphone into the vehicle’s navigation system via the message list.

BMW 7 Series 2010, 6 Series 2011, 5 Series 2010, X3 2010, and 1 Series 2011 should all be compatible with the app. Any BMW owners in the house? 

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2 years ago

Samsung Music Hub goes live in the U.S., but not for everyone just yet

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Samsung today announced that its new Music Hub service, previously only available in the UK, is now available in the United States. But only on the Galaxy S III, and only on two carriers. That'll change, as the service expands, but for now, it's not all that widespread.

We've been using Music Hub for a couple weeks now. In a nutshell, it's an expanded and improved -- though more complicated -- version of Google Music, combining locally stored songs, songs uploaded to Samsung's MSpot cloud storage and streamed back to the phone, and the 7digital online music catalog.

For now, it's only available on AT&T and US Cellular's Galaxy S3. Music Hub will be announced later for Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon.

There are a couple versions of Music Hub available. First is the free Music Hub Store, which gives you access to 7digital's library for purchase, along with 30-second previews of songs. Any music you purchase is automatically uploaded to the Music Hub cloud, as well as remaining on your phone locally for offline playback.

Then there's Music Hub Premium. It costs $9.99 a month, but you get a free 30-day trial. With the premium version, you can upload up to 100 gigabytes of music to your Music Hub account. Music Hub scans your directories for any music already in its system. If it finds a match, it'll simply stream the songs, saving upload time and space. Along with  that, you get personalized and customized Internet radio, and music recommendations.

Other features include a EQ, a number of storage and streaming settings, and the ability to change the quality of the audio to better suit your data speeds.

In our testing, Music Hub worked pretty well. Samsung's streaming and uploading services (you install an app on your Mac or PC just like you do Google Music) work as advertised. 

The 100GB of cloud storage is five times greater than what Google currently offers, though Google's giving you that 20GB for free. The question at this point is whether you're ready to invest in yet another music service, both in the time it takes to set up, and with the $120 a year it'll cost. At the very least, though, the 30-day trial is worth a look.

We've got loads more info and screen shots after the break, so let's hit it.

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2 years ago

Final Fantasy 3 announced for Ouya Android gaming console

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Ouya's partnerships aren't stopping at OnLive; today they've announced that Square Enix will have Final Fantasy 3 available on the Android-powered gaming console in time for launch in March. Worried about an obscenely huge pricetag, since FF3 originally launched on Android for $15.99? Ouya promises that a free demo will be available, and make a very interesting point about the launch: "This will be the first time gamers outside of Japan can play FFIII on their televisions through a console." What most of us considered Final Fantasy 3 was actually Japan's Final Fantasy 6, which also explains why it was a big jump to FF7 for many gamers. 

It's great to see Ouya roping console developers as readily as those on the mobile side. Seeing as there's still 8 months to go before launch, I suspect we'll see many more big-name games find their way to Ouya. Which Android games would you like to play on the big screen with an honest-to-goodness controller? 

Source: Kickstarter

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