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2 years ago

Oscura review - spooky, simple, and challenging

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Earlier this month, an abstract Android title by MTV called Oscura slashed its price in half, and continues to rank highly among the top paid games in Google Play. Oscura has a minimal, silhouetted style that bears a striking similarity to an indie PC game Limbo, not that that's a bad thing - it suits mobile wonderfully.  

The premise is a little on the fairy tale side, yet doesn't stop the game from being tense or downright scary at times. There's a lighthouse that keeps dark creatures at bay. One day it explodes and the impish keeper, Oscura, has to run out, collect the scattered light shards and restore protection to the lands. Of course, with the lighthouse out of commission, it leaves the doors wide open for red-eyed monsters to roam freely, making Oscura's repair mission a fair bit more challenging. 

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2 years ago

IM+ updated for Android with a host of new features

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The popular cross platform instant messaging app IM+ from Shape Services has received a nice update today bringing some welcomed new features. I'm a big fan of the app, having used it on iOS, BlackBerry and Android over the last couple of years. With a host of integrated services, such as Skype, Gtalk and Facebook just to name a few, SMS may well be a thing of the past. IM+ also includes Beep, a free mobile to mobile in-app messenger. If you want to manage all your instant messaging clients in once place then IM+ gets my vote.

If you haven't tried IM+ before now may be a good time to do so.

New to version 6.3 are the following features:

  • Significantly improved battery life.
  • Message Queue: Outgoing messages are queued is network not available and will be sent upon reconnection.
  • New IM services: mig33, SINA Wiebo, Mamba.Ru and Fetion.
  • Option to set master password: App can not be launched without password being entered.
  • Contact list can now be grouped by accounts
  • Preview to links for images and video in chat window.
  • Option to expand/collapse chat groups in charts tab.
  • Option to import accounts and settings from IM+ to IM+ Pro.
  • Option to disable system notifications for AOL and AIM IM service.

Download: IM+

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2 years ago

Instagram updated with Nexus 7 support, Flickr sharing

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If you're among the lucky few to already be in possession of a Google Nexus 7, then you'll be pleased to see hear that the Instagram app for Android has been updated to support your new tablet. The latest version 1.1.7 of Instagram for Android is now fully functional on the Jelly Bean tablet, whereas before N7 owners were turned away with a compatibility message. Though the focus of Instagram on a tablet is on viewing, not creating content, you can also use the Nexus 7's 1.2MP front-facing camera to take your own mugshots and filter them to your heart's content.

In addition, the latest update includes the ability to share Instagram'd photos directly to Flickr as part of the sharing menu once you've saved your image. (Unfortunately there's still no native Google+ support right now, though our fingers remain crossed.)

Check the link below to download Instagram for Android from Google Play.

Download: Instagram for Android

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2 years ago

Chromemote offers another solution for controlling your Google TV

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Although there is quite a few options for controlling your Google TV out there already, such as the included remote or any one of the numerous apps in the Google Play Store not all of them work they way some folks want or how they wish to use their Google TV. For me personally, I like to have my Google TV fired up and on when I'm writing up posts as I sit in front of my laptop. The included remote isn't all that great for this and an app would mean picking up my smartphone every now and then and messing around with it. Granted, I'm likely doing that anyhow but that's kind of the point. I have other things on my phone to be doing than controlling my Google TV with it.

Luckily, a new project is under way by a fellow named Robert Smith. His project is called Chromemote and the premise behind is that it allows you to control your Google TV right from within as you may have guessed already, Google Chrome. Chromemote is an extension available for Google Chrome in the Chrome Web Store and in Robert's own words, he is what you can expect from Chromemote:

This will enable any device running a Google Chrome browser or the Google Chrome OS to have complete control over any Google TV device. With Chromemote you will be able to use your notebook's keyboard and touchpad to control your Google TV. Chromemote is designed to have the look and feel of the original Google TV Remote app for Android, but has been expanded to allow a multitude of new features. Chromemote will allow you to rearrange buttons and create custom buttons tailored for your home entertainment system.

Sure enough, after installing the extension from the Chrome Web Store and entering my secure PIN, I was up and running with Chromemote and able to control my aging Logitech Revue all from my MacBook Pro with ease. Other functions such as turning my TV off and on also worked rather flawlessly as well, so I'm starting to think I may have found a pretty decent solution to my remote control problem. If you have a Google TV and are looking for a better way to control it, then I'd say Chromemote is certainly worth a look.

Source: Chromemote, via: GigaOm

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2 years ago

Metal Slug 3 review - classic cartoon carnage

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Metal Slug 3 blasted into Google Play last week, complete with a tankload of nostalgia and old-school graphics. Don't let the pixel art style fool you, though - Metal Slug's animation is buttery smooth, explosive, and full of character. 

In a nutshell, Metal Slug 3 is Contra with a goofy cartoon twist. The side-scrolling shoot-em-up action is pretty much exactly the same - use the joystick to aim a weapon and move, and buttons to jump, shoot, and use special abilities. Enemies can kill your character in one shot, which quickly turns the game into a test of survival; three lives and three continues will only get you so far. Everyday bad guys drop quickly to a hail of bullets, but prolonged boss fights can be particularly harrowing. Power-ups pepper levels and provide access to limited-use bombs and bigger guns to clear a path to the end. 

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2 years ago

Sky's Now TV launches on Android and other platforms tomorrow

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British broadcaster Sky has announced that its new Internet-based, on-demand TV service Now TV will be launching on Android and other platforms tomorrow. Competing with the UK's LoveFilm and the recently-launched Netflix, Now TV promises customers an "easy and commitment-free way to enjoy amazing movies, instantly." The first round of content will be taken from Sky's library of movies, with Sports and other TV content due to be added over the next few months. Movies will be available to view for a one-off fee of between £0.99 and £3.49, or view unlimited movies with a Sky Movies Pass for £15 per month. To sweeten the deal, Sky's giving users a free 30-day trial of the Movies Pass, similar to what Netflix currently offers.

The service launches on PC, Mac and "selected Android smartphones" tomorrow, with other platforms including Xbox and iOS begin added later in the year. The "selected" part may set alarm bells ringing, as Sky operates a similar policy for its Sky Go streaming service, which so far has the Android app for that service limited to just a few handsets, with no support for Android 4.0 and above.

Given Sky's comprehensive library of content, though, it certainly has the potential to become a major player in the on-demand TV world. Check past the break for today's press release in full.

Source: Sky

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2 years ago

HTC One V software update brings with it compatibility with the Media Link HD

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Owners of the HTC One V may well soon receive a notification to update their devices software. The update to version 2.08.401.2 weighs in at 46.77MB, and brings with it in particular one rather tasty new feature. 

Support is included within for the HTC Media Link HD, HTC's wireless media streaming device. Not too shabby, and an excellent feature for the entry-level, yet handsome and feature packed One V. The usual caveats apply, in that if you bought a carrier unlocked version, you're most likely going to see this one first. Anyone with a carrier locked One V may have to wait a little while longer. 

To check if it's ready for you, head into your settings menu, then hit About>Software Updates>Check Now. And, if this now whets your appetite for the Media Link HD, be sure to check out our review

via Clove Technology

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2 years ago

U.S. Xoom Wifi owners being invited to take part in software tests, cue speculation

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U.S. Motorola Xoom Wifi owners look set to receive a software update in the not too distant future. Users registered on the Motorola feedback network are starting to receive emails asking them to take part in a software test. The full email reads like this: 

Hi. Thanks for joining the Motorola Feedback Network. We would like to invite to you take part in a software test for owners of the U.S. Wi-Fi Xoom. If you are not using a U.S. Wi-Fi Xoom, please excuse and ignore this message.

If you're interested in testing new software and providing feedback about your experience, please fill out this short registration form: We recommend you respond as quickly as possible as start times are generally fluid. Please be patient if we don't contact you right away -- and be prepared for a launch at any time. When we're ready to begin we will send an email with more information, if you register successfully.

Regards, Matt Motorola Feedback Network Motorola Owners' Forum

We've known since Google I/O, that the Motorola Xoom is set to be one of the initial Jelly Bean upgrade devices. With the Galaxy Nexus well underway, speculation is bound to begin, hoping that this might well be an indication of Jelly Bean heading to the Xoom sometime soon. Until we see just what it is though, speculation is all it will ever be. 

Thanks Chad!

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2 years ago

Try out the Jelly Bean Keyboard on your ICS device

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One of the, many, awesome new features in Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, is the keyboard. While sharing appearance with it's predecessor, where the Jelly Bean keyboard excels over Ice Cream Sandwich, is in its built in prediction engine. Predictions when done correctly -- see the Android Central favorite, Swiftkey, for a striking example -- they are an incredibly useful tool.

Thanks to a developer going by the handle of Beansoft, this new prediction filled keyboard has now been ported for use on ICS devices running 4.0.3 and above. Simply known as Jelly Bean Keyboard, the early alpha build is out there in the Google Play Store now. As this is an early build, a big old bucket of bugs are likely, but for the most part some users seem to be enjoying reasonable success. 

Currently known limitations surround languages, in that full next word prediction and auto correction is only currently supported for English. Additionally, only English, German, French, Spanish, Portugese (Brazil) and Russian is supported at this time. The user dictionary also doesn't work on ICS, and trying will push it into a force close. 

To use once installed, don't forget to head into the "Language and Input" settings menu, and select Jelly Bean Keyboard as your default input. If you decide to take the plunge, hit up the comments below and let us know how you get along. 

Download: Jelly Bean Keyboard

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2 years ago

Apps of the Week - Boid, Songza, Tasks, and more

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It's that time again - Android Central's editors are showing off their favorite recently discovered apps. This week we've got some social stuff, we've got some gaming, and a dash of productivity. Let's dig in. 

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