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3 years ago

The new Android Central App: What do you want to see?

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We're not just in New York City working on the (more or less) super secret #tm13 -- we're also still hard at work at the all-new Android Central application.

We're edging closer to a public beta. But before we put this guy out in the wild, I want to hear what you folks want to see in it. We like to think we've thought of everything that we want to have in a v1 release, but it's still possible we've missed something completely obvious.

So what are you looking for in the all-new Android Central application? Let us know in the comments. And I'll maybe even drop a few hints of what's ready to go, what's in the works and what's a great idea for a future feature.

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3 years ago

Google: If you distribute your app through Google Play, you'll update it through Google Play

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Facebook had been confusing users with unsolicited 'beta' updates outside the app store

Google recently changed its Google Play Developer Program Policies to prevent applications from using Google's app store and then going off the reservation for updates. 

The change likely is in direct response to Facebook doing that very thing under the guise of a "beta" program. While there might be any malicious intent there, it is a bit specious, and confusing to consumers.

The new policy language reads thusly:

An app downloaded from Google Play may not modify, replace or update its own APK binary code using any method other than Google Play's update mechanism.

That should still leave room for applications that are distributed through Google Play to simultaneously have beta tracks outside of Google's app store, so long as those trains stay on their proper tracks. 

Source: Google Play Developer Content Policy; via The Verge

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3 years ago

Vine coming to Android 'soon' say creators

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Vine creators to bring their social video app to Android "soon"

Vine is going to come to Google Play "soon", according the the folks who created the popular iOS app. Speaking to The Verge, there was no timeline or any further details given about the Android version, and we're not even going to guess.

If you're not familiar with Vine, think of it as YouTube for folks with very short attention spans. It captures six seconds of video, letting you stop and start as many times as you like, then assembling everything up ready to post to Twitter. There is no secret sauce or other magic at work -- just a six second video clip. Have a look at it here, where Phil breaks it down.

The app itself allows you to follow users and view their Vines, and there's an unofficial website to follow along for those who don't have the app at VinePeek. Warning -- this is exactly what you would expect to see when you give everyone an uncensored arena to post six second clips. If you find wieners and teenagers using foul language offensive, you have been warned.

When Vine does come to Android, we'll give it a good look. I'm calling in sick that day.

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3 years ago

Chrome Beta updated with better rendering and bug fixes

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Page rendering performance and frequently occurring crashes addressed in today's update

Chrome Beta has been updated in Google Play this afternoon, and along with the usual (and often cryptic) fixes and enhancements, this version was specifically updated with an "Improvement to page rendering performance."  Here's the full list of changes, because we know some of you are into that sort of thing.

  • 179250: Black screen during load on Huawei tablets
  • 224379: Cannot scroll images after zooming in
  • 226193: Blue line displayed below the omnibox
  • Improvement to page rendering performance
  • Fixes for some frequently occurring crashes

We don't post every time a beta version of an app gets updated, but we know more than a few folks are concerned with things like improvements to page rendering performance -- we know we are. You can update, or grab the beta from the Google Play link above.

Source: Google Chrome blog

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3 years ago

iBomber: The popular game comes to Android

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Take a time machine back to 1943 to make bombing runs in the Pacific

A popular iOS game for years (yes, years) has finally made its way over to Android, and is packing many gameplay features that took two full game releases to hit the other platform. iBomber is a top-down plane bombing game set in the WWII era, with quality graphics and gameplay that won't blow you away but will certainly leave you satisfied. The game mechanics itself are simple to pick up, but are deceptively hard to master.

iBomber is a great game to spend some time on, so stick around after the break and learn a little more about the title before you give it a shot for yourself.

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3 years ago

HTC Rezound finally gets global roaming, Jelly Bean nowhere to be seen

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Numerous fixes and improvements are also included in build 4.05.605.14 710RD

No luck this time around for HTC Rezound users hoping to receive Jelly Bean, but the update still has a pretty cool feature nonetheless. As promised -- although not exactly timely -- the Rezound is finally getting Global Roaming Support. This enables roaming on networks previously inaccessible to the phone, which covers over 205 countries.

A couple pre-installed apps have gotten updates, while a handful of others have been removed. Mobile Hotspot and Visual Voicemail get bug fixes, and improvements were made to Skype, Backup Assistant, and overall data connectivity. Users that have been experiencing freezes and random reboots should see system stability improve as well.

There is no word yet on when the update rollout will begin. If notifications start popping up, let our other Rezound owners know in the comments. For the complete change log, check out the source link below.

Source: Verizon

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3 years ago

Google adds tablet optimization tips to Google Play Developer Console

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Google proactively scanning apps uploaded to Google Play for tablet compatibility, provides feedback to developers in real-time

Google has added a new tablet optimization tips page to the developer console in order to provide feedback about apps and how they fare against the Tablet App Quality Checklist. When developers upload their apps, the Developer Console now runs a "series of checks to verify basic criteria" against the list, and displays the results in a new page. Android was built with application scalability in mind, meaning there is no need to build multiple apps designed for different device types, and instead use tools and assets designed for each under the umbrella of one app. It sounds great on paper, and works great when developers take the time to build out apps with this in mind.

Taking time is the key part. It's not easy to build mobile apps, especially ones that look good and take advantage of each device screen size and dimensions. Starting today, Google can help a little more by analyzing an app when it's uploaded, then placing some tips how it can be done "better" for tablets in the new optimization tips page.  

While this is one of those things most of us will never see, having it in place means better apps -- something we can all get behind.

Source: Google

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3 years ago

Iron Man 3 now available in Google Play

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Iron Man 3 flies his way to Android, grab it for free from Google Play

Gameloft has published Iron Man 3 to Google Play this morning, bringing the Marvel hero to life on your Android phone or tablet. Fly your way through this endless runner meets on-rails shooter, fighting against A.I.M. forces in Malibu Shores, New York city, and China. You can even fight some of your favorite bad guys from Iron Man comics, with boss battles against the likes of Crimson Dynamo, Ezekiel Stane, Living Laser and the mighty M.O.D.O.K. All while trying to manage Stark Industries and develop 18 new suits and keep your armor and super powers updated.

At 768MB it's a fairly big install, but the graphics and sound are pretty awesome. And of course, there are in-app purchases at every turn, but hopefully the game can be played without nickel-and-diming its way through your wallet. We'll be taking a good long look at this one, but in the meantime you can check out Simon's hands-on from GDC after the break. The game requires Android 2.3 or higher, and you can grab it from the Google Play link above.

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3 years ago

Sprint Galaxy S3 OTA bringing multi-view and home screen security fix

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Software version L710VPBMD4 rolling out in stages to devices starting today

Sprint's version of the Galaxy SIII (S3) has a software update rolling out today with notable feature enhancements and fixes. The biggest welcome improvement will likely be Multi-View, which has been a staple for users of the Galaxy Note 2 and other versions of the S3. Multi-View lets users run two apps simultaneously, each on one half of the screen. Beyond that, we're looking at improvements to the Gallery and Camera experiences, as well as the Paper Artist app.

There's also what Sprint is calling a "home screen security fix", which is always important, along with fixes for group SMS. The update is set to roll out OTA (Over The Air) in stages starting today, and some users in the forums are reporting seeing it on their own devices. Seeing the update yet? Let other users know in the forums.

Source: Sprint; More: Sprint Galaxy S3 Forums

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3 years ago

Remember The Milk updated to v3.0 with new interface

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Redone interface, new widgets and full tablet support all in one update

Popular to-do list app Remember The Milk has just updated in the Play Store with a completely redesigned and improved user interface. The basic interface of the app new follows what it is calling a "card stack concept", which Android users should be familiar with as sliding panels that show/hide information when it is needed. The interface is smooth and intuitive, with the added bonus of scaling extremely well for tablets. This version 3.0 release focuses on having a tablet-specific design that looks great all the way up to the 10-inch screen.

The update goes beyond just the main app as well. Users running Android 4.1 and above will enjoy expandable and actionable notifications, which give you more information and let you "complete" or "postpone" tasks right from the notifications pane. The entire set of widgets has received a facelift as well. You can grab a download of the latest redesigned free version from the link at the top of this post.

More: Remember The Milk Blog

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3 years ago

Sony Xperia P, Xperia go, and Xperia E dual Jelly Bean updates rolling out soon

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Android 4.1 updates will be available starting this week

Following the announcement that there would be an announcement, we now have the official roll out schedule of three Sony Xperia phones: Xperia P, Xperia go, and Xperia E dual. All three phones will get Android 4.1 updates beginning this week. The update roll out is planned to happen in phases, so not all phones will see an update notification by Saturday. Sony says as we finish April and get through May, the update schedule will ramp up and eventually reach all users.

The convergence of Sony's software with Google's Android 4.1 Jelly Bean promises to bring some useful features to these three Xperia phones. New versions of the WALKMAN, Album, and Movies apps are included in the update. A 'Battery STAMINA Mode' is now part of the OS, and aims to shut down battery draining apps when device screens are off. Sony's launcher gets new features for its homescreen and app drawer, making it more customizable and easier to use. The normal Jelly Bean features, like Google Now, are also included.

Not all Xperia models will be able to download the update over the air. Updates that are especially large, like the one for the Xperia go, will need to be downloaded using Sony's PC Companion or Bridge for Mac. An in-phone notification will alert those still running Ice Cream Sandwich.

The next devices in line for updates are the Xperia S, Xperia SL, Xperia ion, and Xperia acro S, which will be getting Android 4.1 starting at the end of May. Good news indeed for Xperia users.

Source: Sony

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3 years ago

Fieldrunners 2 now available for your tower defending pleasure

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Fieldrunners 2 introduces elevation to the classic tower defense formula

The sequel to one of the most widely-loved tower defense games has finally come to Android. Fieldrunners 2 expands on the cute graphics and wide strategic elements of the original with new maps, new towers, new creeps, and upgraded visuals.

The biggest change is the introduction of trenches, bridges, and tunnels. Adding elevation to the mix introduces a whole new challenge to the classic tower defense formula.  Puzzle, sudden death, and time trial game modes are all available across a bunch of different landscapes. 

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3 years ago

HTC One gets updated with camera and audio enchancements in Europe

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While a significant update at over 200MB, the Android version remains the same

Owners of the international version of the HTC One are reporting that an OTA update is currently being pushed to devices in Europe. The new software version is 1.29.401.12, which makes improvements to the phone's camera, audio, and system stability, among other things. Thanks to a screenshot posted by hamdir on XDA Developers, we have the change log and update size.

HTC Zoe gets sound quality improvements, and the camera gets 'parameter fine-tuning.' The Beats Audio 'sound experience' has been improved, and the One gets location service updates. System stability and miscellaneous improvements, along with bug fixes, round out this software update.

If any HTC One users are getting the update, hit the comments and let us know if these improvements are noticeable. A screen shot of the change log and update size can be found after the break.

Source: XDA

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3 years ago

Amazon Mobile for tablets now available in 9 countries

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Amazon brings their tablet-optimized experience to shoppers outside the US

When Amazon launched their Amazon Mobile version that had been optimized for tablets, it was only available in the United States. This, of course, frustrated many who live elsewhere  who wanted to access the app, because it's pretty well done. Over the past few months, Amazon has been making it available in more locales and the total is now at 9 countries, including the United States.

Here is the full list:

  • United States
  • Canada
  • United Kingdom
  • Germany
  • Spain
  • France
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • China

If you're located in any of these places and have not yet checked out the tablet optimized version of Amazon Mobile, hit up the Play Store link.

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3 years ago

Swype finally makes its debut in the Google Play Store

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99 cents gets you one of the best-known third party keyboards on Android

Hell may have just frozen over today, because Swype is now available for purchase in the Play Store. Previously, as many of you are aware, the only way to have Swype on your device was to sign up for the beta test and install it manually, or have one of the many devices with it pre-installed. A $0.99 purchase now gets you a proper and easy to manage Play Store download, ready to install on your devices.

Its hard to believe that one of the most used keyboards on Android -- Swype claims 250 million users -- wasn't available through the primary app store up to this point, but we're glad today's the day. You can grab a download of the latest Swype from the Play Store link at the top of this post.

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