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2 years ago

Samsung TecTiles brings new rewritable NFC tags solution

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Looks like it's time for NFC tags to hit the big time. Samsung tonight announced TecTiles, its own rewritable NFC tag solution. 

For those of you new to the game, NFC stands for "Near Field Communication" -- think of it as very short-range wireless data transfers where you literally tap your phone against something to initiate the transfer. NFC tags are little stickers that, when touched by an NFC-enabled device, can then cause an action to happen. 

We got the opportunity to give them a spin last week in New York City and, guess what -- they're rewritable NFC tags. But they're going to be pretty darn handy.

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2 years ago

Songkick [Android App Review]

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Apps that genuinely fit into your life are always the best. There are those that you genuinely cannot function without, and those which fill a void you never knew you had until it was filled. With the release of Songkick today, a void I never realised I had, has now been filled. Filled to the point I just found out that Lostprophets -- who I happen to adore -- are playing in my home town this November. A good end to the day for sure. 

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2 years ago

Spotify for Android officially updated, all new UI and Last.fm scrobbling on board

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The Spotify app for Android has always been a let down to what is otherwise a first rate music streaming service. We recently got a preview of their latest efforts in the form of a preview edition, and the difference was staggering. For some people -- myself included -- it rekindled a love affair with the service. Suddenly, Spotify for Android had become beautiful as well as functional, following the Android 4.0 design themes superbly. Today sees the end of the preview, and the general release of the update into the Google Play Store.

But, not content with what we've already seen and played around with, Spotify has gone and added yet more new features. One of which being Last.fm scrobbling, another being a new widget. 

So, what do we actually get? The answer, quite a lot: 

  • Totally new app with full support for Android 4.0
  • Top-to-bottom redesign
  • All-new slide-out navigation
  • Even more social - check out friends’ profile pages and playlists on the go
  • Artist imagery in high resolution
  • Related artist view - available for the first time on mobile
  • ‘Extreme’ sound quality setting for 320kbps listening
  • So much faster!
  • Play queue
  • Last.fm scrobbling
  • Crossfade/gapless playback settings
  • Widget – control Spotify from the home screen
  • Folder support

The update now seems to be live in the Play Store, so head on over and grab yourselves a copy. As always though, please remember it does require a Spotify Premium account to use on mobile. But, if you've ever thought about signing up, now is definitely as good a time as any. 

Download: Spotify

Source: Spotify

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2 years ago

Max Payne Mobile for Android finally landing June 14

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The wait is almost over boys and girls, as Max Payne Mobile will finally shoot its way onto Android this coming Thursday, June 14. Fully optimized for Android, promising HD graphics and the full and uncut classic Max Payne experience, it looks like it will be worth the wait when we finally get our hands on it. 

Pricing is set at $2.99 from the Google Play Store, but as with GTAIII there is a slight catch. Officially at least, there is a compatibility list at launch of the lucky phones and tablets that will be able to play. Notably missing -- the Samsung Galaxy S III. We're sure that won't be for long though. The full list reads as follows: 

Supported Android Phones: Motorola Razr,  Razr Maxx, Motorola Atrix, Motorola Photon, Motorola Droid Bionic, HTC Rezound, HTC One X,  HTC One S,  HTC Evo 3D, HTC Sensation, HTC Droid Incredible 2,  Samsung Galaxy Nexus, Samsung Nexus S, Samsung Galaxy Note, Samsung S2, Samsung Galaxy R, Sony Xperia Play, Sony Xperia S, Sony Walkman Z Series Media Player

Supported Android Tablets: Acer Iconia, Asus Eee Pad Transformer, Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime, Dell Streak 7, LG Optimus Pad, Medion Lifetab, Motorola Xoom, Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 / 10.1, Sony Tablet S, Sony Tablet P, Toshiba Thrive, HTC Flyer, HTC Jetstream

Source: Rockstar Games

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2 years ago

Euro 2012 Live Wallpaper lets you cheer on your team and play with balls!

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If you're a fan of The Beautiful Game (that's soccer for you Americans), you've no doubt been taking in some of the action already coming out of EURO 2012. Poland and Ukraine are hosting this year, and if the first few games are an indicator we're going to see a lot of awesome football games over the next few weeks.

And thanks to the new Adidas Euro 2012 live wallpaper you can cheer on your favorite team right from your Android 2.2 or greater device by placing the national flag of one of the 16 qualifying countries onto the homescreen soccer field. You can also customize the halfway lines to reflect the host countries.

The best part of this live wallpaper? You get to have fun playing with balls! You can select to have from one to five "Tango 12" Match balls appear on the homescreen, which you can kick, tap and volley around. Check out the video above to see it in action. My words don't do it justice.

This Euro 2012 live wallpaper is free so jump on over to the Google Play store to grab it. And while you're waiting for it to download, be sure to leave us a comment and tell us who you're cheering for. I'm Polish/Ukrainian (50/50) by descent, but being engaged to an Italian (and seeing what happens when they lose) I'm cheering for Italy all the way!

Get your download on after the break.

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2 years ago

Apple ditches Google Maps for its own solution

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We knew it was going to happen, right? Apple has ditched Google Maps for iOS, rolling its own in-house cartographic solution, including turn-by-turn navigation, which has never been as good on the fruit phone as it has on Android.

What's that mean for us? Not a whole hell of a lot, and it's not like Google's been resting on its mapping laurels. It was just last week that El Goog announced some major 3D renovations, which will be coming to Android along with offline access. We'll be just fine, thank you very much.

Also: iMore's WWDC coverage

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2 years ago

Ford SYNC and AppLink for Android set to expand globally

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Back during CES 2012 we got a real good look at all the things Ford was doing with their Sync service including the deep integration with Android and AppLink. Having put it all to the test in the U.S. Ford has now announced they'll be expanding the offerings globally with the introduction of the services to Asia.

“We will continue to work closely with leading developers and companies in local markets and around the world to make existing apps compatible with SYNC AppLink and provide the best services for our customers,” Ed Pleet, Director, Connected Services, Ford Asia Pacific and Africa, and Europe.

To help expand the offerings, Ford will be working with developers locally to create localized content using the SYNC Developer SDK. On hand at Computex 2012, Ford will be hosting a hackathon with Ford engineers to help developers started on integration applications and more. The full press release from Ford is available below.

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2 years ago

Android Central Editors' App Picks for June 10, 2012

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We're a day late but worth the wait! Welcome to the latest iteration of our Android Apps of the Week, where we showcase apps that we find interesting. Have an app you think we should take a look at? Feel free to e-mail us and we'll give it a gander.

And now, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, onto the show!

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2 years ago

No extra free storage for AT&T and Verizon Galaxy S III owners! The horror!

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So if you get the AT&T or Verizon version of the Galaxy S III, you won't be getting a free extra 48 gigbytes of online storage on Dropbox. That sucks, considering that our European friends have it, and presumably Sprint and T-Mobile will as well. (And it's little toughter for AT&T fans to swallow since you can only get the AT&T GSIII in a 16-gigabyte flavor -- OK, throw a microSD card in there, but still.) But, hey, that's the carriers' right. They don't want to pick up the tab, Dropbox doesn't want to give it away for free (not that we necessarily blame them after what some folks did with the SGSIII promotion), and so we won't be getting the extra free space, a fact Dropbox has been happy to advertise in its help forums:

U.S. AT&T and Verizon customers

Select carriers have opted-out of the promotion on phones otherwise eligible. Unfortunately, AT&T and Verizon are among these carriers not currently participating.

It's not like you can't get a buttload of free Dropbox space already, though, with the usual 2GB of initial space, plus another 500MB for each referral, up to 18GB. (And if you have a friend with an HTC One phone, you probably can finagle a bit more, too.) If it's not worth it to AT&T and Verizon in this case, them's the breaks. End of the world? Not hardly. And if you really do need that 50 gigabytes, you can always pony up the $9.99 a month (or $99 a year) in that old-fashion, capitalistic manner.

Source: Dropbox; thanks to everyone who sent this in!

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2 years ago

Sprint rumored to be launching their own NFC mobile wallet

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NFC Times is reporting that Sprint is currently working on their own NFC-based mobile payment system, which would put them at odds with the rest of the US telcos and Google. Until the Samsung Galaxy Nexus appeared at Google Play, Sprint was the only carrier to ship phones with Google Wallet, though it was relatively easy to install on other devices with the proper hardware. If the news we're hearing today is true, Google may be left with no carrier phones supporting their payment services, as it's US only (for now) and the US carriers have opted for alternative systems -- which would require exclusive control of the secure element inside our phones. Sprint, having hired systems provider Sequent Software looks to be developing their "Touch" wallet system and retain complete control over partners, development, and security. The rest of the US carriers have opted to use the Isis payment system

This is turning into a mess. The lure of transaction fees and lucrative partnerships has become so important that everyone is forgetting that we need to use it for them to make money on it. Instead of fighting tooth-and-nail with each other over every penny, they could take one of the existing standards, garner more support from new financial partners, and have a system that works at most every point-of-sale, for most bank cards. Instead, there are a huge group of folks who want to use an NFC-based mobile wallet system, but can't. That's money not being made and not lining the pockets of investors. Everyone needs to get on the same page, pick a system, and put their support behind it so we can use it instead of bitching about it on the Internet. 

I understand the driving force behind innovation in the mobile space is the almighty dollar. I don't like it, but I get it. How about getting it all together and making some, instead of adding another "standard" to the mix?

Source: NFC Times

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