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3 years ago

Official eBay for Android app hits version 2.1

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After a little slip-up with a bad v2.0 update, ebay has charged ahead with a feature release, v2.1 to its official app. What we're looking at here is a smattering of fixes and a couple of feature enhancements. As for new features, you can now save multiple draft listings, shipping can now be calculated (in the U.S.) and there are more pre-populated fields to simplify posting. As for fixes, there are improvements to saved searches, improved tracking information handling and better image handling.

Snag the update at the Play Store link above.

Thanks, Ellis!

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3 years ago

Sprint Galaxy Note 2 OTA bringing Multi Window View

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When the Galaxy Note 2 started showing up on carrier store shelves here in the U.S., there was one curious omission to the firmware. The U.S. variants of the device were shipping without Samsung's touted Multi Window View software that lets users move around different apps in small windows while they do other things on the device. Well, fear not if you're on Sprint because the feature is rolling out OTA (Over The Air) starting today.

The update to software version L900VPALJC is primarily to bring the new Multi Window View feature, but also includes a few other fixes. GPS lock settings can now be controlled by corporate administrators, email messages properly go into the Outbox when sending with no signal (or in AIrplane Mode) and SMS notifications will now beep while in a phone call.

Have you received the OTA yet? Let the other users know in the forums.

Source: Sprint Support Community; More: Sprint Galaxy Note 2 Forum

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3 years ago

Arcane Legends review

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Arcane Legends recently enjoyed a soft launch in Canada and Australia, bringing a fresh, colorful fantasy MMORPG to Android. The developer, Spacetime Studios, has a lot of experience in freemium mobile massively multiplayer online games, having kicked off the trend with Pocket Legends way back when, and since released other themed games such as Star Legends and Dark Legends. I've dabbled in those previously, but let me say right off the bat that Arcane Legends blows the others out of the water. 

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3 years ago

Motorola Photon Q receiving maintenance OTA

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Sprint's leading hardware keyboard slider device from earlier this year, the Motorola Photon Q, is receiving a sizable maintenance OTA (Over The Air) update today. Software version 7.7.1Q-6_SPR-125_ASA-10 is bringing a whole host of enhancements and fixes to known bugs:

  • Improved text messaging when requesting usage and upgradeability through Sprint Zone; seamless international text messaging; Improved MMS functionality
  • Enhancements for WiFi hotspot in GSM/UMTS mode and adding new WiFi connections; select number of users to access Wi-Fi hotspot
  • Random power cycle when using Wi-Fi Direct
  • Manually send or auto-sync emails from outbox
  • Faster launch and playback using the YouTube application
  • Improved browsing with Google Chrome for Android Mobile Browser
  • More easily import contacts from SD card
  • Improved music playback, both streaming from Amazon Cloud or Internet Radio services and music saved to the phone - minimizes occasional skips or -repeats
  • Now supports 1080p HD video capture, and enhanced video settings for more responsive playback
  • Easier creating and accepting calendar meeting notices on the phone

The support page notes that the update will be rolling out in stages, and all devices should have it within the next 14 days. To apply the update, make sure your device has a 50-percent or greater charge and Wifi or 4G (preferred) for downloading. Has your device received the update? Let the other users know in the forums.

Source: Sprint Support Community(2)

More: Sprint Motorola Photon Q Forums

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3 years ago

Rhapsody for Android updated with personalized recommendations

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Rhapsody's subscription-based music app for Android has been updated with personalized recommendations on the home screen based on what you've previously listened to and what time of day it is. That last part is very reminiscent of what Songza's offering, though the update also includes a UI overhaul, and some performance improvements for offline playback. 

As always, Rhapsody offers the usual streaming music features, including creating playslists, sharing tunes out to Facebook, and offline caching.

Any Rhapsody subscribers out there, or are the existing free streaming alternatives good enough for you? What's your favorite on-demand mobile music app? 

Source: Rhapsody

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3 years ago

Curiosity experiment tempts Android users to dig into a mysterious cube

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Famous game designer Peter Molyneux has kicked off his first of 22 mobile experiments today called Curiosity. It presents players with a large cube composed of an inordinate number of smaller cubes. That big cube is the same one shared by all of the other players around the world, and they have to work together to chip away at it to find what's at the middle. The catch? Only one person finds what's in the middle, and it's apparently a "life-changing secret buried inside." On the way, players earn coins which can be spent on more powerful cube-destroying tools. Sure beats tapping them away one at a time. The whole thing has a surreal, artsy vibe with wispy music.  I'm just surprised that in-app purchases weren't employed to sell more coins. 

I've played a little bit of it, and Curiosity seems like little more than a worldwide collective scab-picking game. Players just mindlessly scrape away at a layer just  because they know that there's something else underneath, though I guess showing that this is how people act is kind of the point. There's already plenty of progress being made on the cube, revealing parts of an image on at least one side. In fact, it's so busy that their servers are having trouble keeping up with the activity. It's definitely neat to see thousands of users collectively weather away a shared object, and what kind of patterns emerge when they do it. 

What do you guys think? Is there anything practical to be gleaned from an "experiment" like this? How long do you figure it will take to get to the middle? Or is there even an end to it? The app is free, so there's really nothing to lose from trying it out.  

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3 years ago

Green Throttle hopes to turn your phone into a game console replacement

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While Ouya is trying valiantly to create a new Android-based home gaming console, a new start-up founded by the guys behind Guitar Hero is trying to see if your existing device can do the job. Today Green Throttle released a software developer kit that will enable Android devs to map games to their Bluetooth hardware controllers. Once an Android phone or tablet is plugged into a TV over HDMI, users will be able to play games just as they would on any other traditional console. You'll even be able to play with two separate controllers for the real multiplayer experience. When out of the house, players will be able to continue playing the same game with standard on-screen controls. An on-device app will enable discovery of compatible games and quick access to any existing favorites. 

It sounds promising, and with devices with 1080p displays becoming more prevalent, games that properly take advantage of the high resolution won't look bad at all on the big screen. Of course, optimizing titles for TV isn't something all developers will have the resources to do, nevermind going through the trouble to map in proprietary controls. On the upside, Green Throttle will be making some of their own games within the framework, which should set a solid bar for what to expect from other devs and provide at least a few titles for end-users to enjoy. I'm also worried that not every player is going to have a phone powerful enough to play a wide selection of high-end games optimized for 1080p. For those that do, a real, solid, controller will be more viable than on-screen controls for some game types, like first-person shooters and racing games. 

Developers can get testing with the hardware controllers by pre-ordering two controllers with connectors for $89.95, with shipments heading out December 12. The included HD connectors are compatible with the Galaxy Nexus, One X, Galasy S2, and Galaxy Note. The SDK can be downloaded from the Green Throttle developer page. Any developers interested in giving this a shot? Gamers, are you willing to pitch in for an Ouya system, or would you just as soon see if your phone or tablet could do just as well? How many of you already use separate Bluetooth hardware controllers for your Android games? 

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3 years ago

Verizon Apps is shutting down by March 2013

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Since March of 2010, Verizon has been including a Verizon Apps store on its Android and BlackBerry handsets. When it was first created, the app landscape on Android wasn't the same as it is today. Nowadays, we're not sure who actually chooses to get an app from the Verizon store rather than Google Play. Verizon realizes this, and is going to start completely removing its Verizon Apps store from all devices starting January 2013 via software updates. Beginning immediately, customers that have installed apps from Verizon Apps are going to be notified of the changes, and monthly recurring subscriptions will be set to expire in December.

The removal process is expected to be completed by March 2013, but Verizon points out that certain apps -- especially specific business ones -- may still remain on some handsets in special cases. Presumably any additional devices that aren't updated will be phased out as new devices come to the market without Verizon Apps installed in the first place.

Source: Verizon Developer Community

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3 years ago

Instagram profiles coming to the web

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After holing up on mobile since its inception, Instagram has announced that their iconic photo sharing app will be hitting the web with full profiles over the next couple of days. Previously, you could only really view individual pictures on the web, but these new profile pages allow users to follow fellow Instagrammers, leave comments and likes on pictures, or edit their profiles. 

Instagram was recently snatched up by Facebook, so it's not surprising to see them opening up a little bit. Once Instagram on the web is fully matured, it will be interesting to see how the two social networks drift into one another. Will they eventually merge userbases, or will they still coexist as separate entities? The update doesn't allow web uploads of images, instead continuing to favor mobile, which should give us an idea of Instagram's future direction.

Any heavy-duty Instagram users out there? Serious photographers, what's your take on the service? Is it legitimate enough for Time magazine to use it to cover Sandy, or is Instagram overhyped and tacky?

Source: Instagram

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3 years ago

Rovio teases Angry Birds Star Wars gameplay prior to November 8 launch

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Angry Birds Star Wars is approaching its November 8 launch, and Rovio continues to tease us, today with another gameplay trailer. The birds all look like characters from the classic sci-fi movie, complete with special Star Wars-themed abilities.

The red bird will be able to spin with a lightsaber, taking down structures and deflecting fire from Stormpiggies. The yellow bird is donning Han Solo's appearance, and will be able to make strafing runs over the course of his trajectory, while the black bird Obi-wan Kenobi will be able to execute a force push before making impact. The egg-laying bird actually drops an R2-D2 unit now which electrocutes everything in a certain radius. We've also seen the pink bird dressed up as Princess Leia, who will have a kind of laser shot ability similar to (but more direct) than Han's. Check out some of the other gameplay videos on Rovio's YouTube channel for a further sampling. Chewie looks like he's just huge and will roll over just about everything. 

So, who's going to be picking up Angry Birds Star Wars? Is this licensing deal tacky or adorable? How do you guys feel about the Disney acquisition?

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3 years ago

Hands on with Echofon beta for Android

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Anyone who has ever used an iOS device or an Apple computer, will likely have come across Echofon at some point along the way. While it may have been caught up, and even passed, in popularity since, it has been around for some time. Funnily enough, around the same sort of time the Echofon team announced that they would be withdrawing any future support for their Mac client, the alpha build of their Android application started doing the rounds. The desktop app is now no longer, with the Mac version having been withdrawn from the Mac App Store leaving the developers, Naan Studio, free to concentrate on mobile. The Android build of Echofon recently entered its beta phase, so we took some time out to take a look and see how it fares. 

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3 years ago

Apps of the Week: Bakery Story, Knights of Pen and Paper, Halloween Live Wallpaper and more!

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Now that the initial flood of Nexus news is over and we're all waiting patiently with our credit cards out ready to spend some money on November 13th, take a few minutes to check out this week's app picks. This week, we have a couple belated Halloween apps, a couple fun games and a few others as well -- all hand picked for your enjoyment. Stick around after the break and see how we did this week.

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3 years ago

Google slips a walking and cycling tracking card into Google Now

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Google Now continues to try and improve our daily lives one little step at a time, and the latest addition seems to be doing just that. Some users are reporting this card now appearing when they open up Google Now, which reports on the distances you walked and cycled in the last couple of months, with a comparison of the two. Pretty nifty, and while not quite at the same level as an actual pedometer, those of you who like to keep active will no doubt find it useful. 

How accurate it actually is -- especially for the cycling -- remains to be seen. Presumably this relies on having your location data, so turning this off should disable it if you're not too keen. Have you seen this card show up yet? Shout out in the comments below, let's see how active we all are. 

via Android Central Forums

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3 years ago

Google Wallet will soon let you make purchases on mobile sites

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If you're on the go and need to make a purchase at a website on your phone, it's always going to be a hassle to juggle your wallet in one hand and your phone in the other, trying to enter your credit card into a mobile site. Google is hoping to fix this, bringing Google Wallet credit card payments to mobile sites on your phone. The idea is that the site will integrate with the Google Wallet information already associated with your device, and let you auto-fill your name, billing address and card information into the proper fields of the website. Easy as that.

For everything to work properly, this is going to require that the websites partner up with Google and get it integrated just right. At launch, Google is partnering with 1-800-flowers.com, Rockport.com and FiveGuys.com -- although they're quick to note that partnerships are in the works with Finish Line, MovieTickets.com, Seamless, SwimOutlet.com and more.

This is only going to become second nature if all of the most popular retailers are on board -- which turns into a "chicken and the egg" problem -- so Google is also offering discounts for using the service right now to try and get people interested in using Google Wallet for more than just NFC payments.

Source: Google Commerce Blog

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3 years ago

Pocket receives a speed boost in its latest update

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Extremely popular news reading app Pocket has just received an update focused on one thing: speed. Sure we all like new features and UI elements, but if an app is slow, nothing else really matters. If you haven't used Pocket (or similar apps) before, it basically allows you to use Android's built-in sharing functionality to add all types of content to a queue of things for reading later. This latest update improves the speed of launching and navigating through the app, as well as scrolling and responsiveness.

In addition to the overall speed improvements, this latest update has added a couple small feature changes. You can now edit tags while reading articles, issues with ASUS tablets have been resolved and numerous bugs have been fixed.

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