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2 years ago

Gameloft LIVE! social gaming app now available from Gameloft

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Gameloft is jumping head-on into social gaming once again with the release of their freshly released Gameloft LIVE! application.  They revamped the whole idea while adding some new features to the mix:

  • An all-new 3D interface that enables players to create and customize their own unique avatar and develop it in an interactive, full-3D environment that’s full of surprises.
  • New social components that will allow you to make friends and stay in contact with them, invite them to play, send them messages, and chat with them in real-time for an even livelier experience than before.
  • More trophies and rewards to unlock through our games that will give you access to new items for your avatar and environment. Try your best and get the highest score!
  • Direct access to Gameloft’s product catalog offering exceptional offers and exclusive info, ensuring that you’ll always be the first to know about our upcoming releases.

Achievements, leaderboards, rewards and challenges are all built into the app now and currently, Gameloft has a few free games available for download just for signing up. You'll want to mind the download process though as you have to hand over your phone number plus, it's around 230MB in additional data. Still in? Hit the source link to get it downloaded.

Source: Gameloft

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2 years ago

Madden 12 for Android gets price cut just in time for the Super Bowl

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With Super Bowl XLVI looming large, gaming giant EA Sports is hoping you'll be up for some (American) football on your Android device this weekend. To celebrate the end of the season and Sunday's big game, the publisher has reduced the price of Madden NFL 12 to 99 cents in the U.S.

Europeans aren't being left out of the action, either -- the price of the international version has been dropped too, and now costs just 59 pence in the UK. Unfortunately it seems the game isn't compatible with the Galaxy Nexus just yet, but a quick glance down the list of supported devices reveals pretty broad compatibility elsewhere.

We've got European and North American Android Market links for all you football fans after the break.

Thanks, bbjonez!

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2 years ago

Late night poll: Would you use an NFC mobile payment system?

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Google Wallet and NFC is a hot topic with a lot of folks.  It seems like a whole lot of people are concerned with the availability of Google Wallet (including yours truly), and we're all curious to learn more about ISIS, but we've no idea how popular either will ultimately be.  Just how many of you guys see yourself using any sort of NFC based mobile payment method?  NFC on phones has been around for a while in many parts of the world, but it never caught on in a big way -- especially in North America.  Of course, it wasn't really very available either, so maybe it never got a fair shake.

So let us know -- if and when NFC ends up on more new Android phones, will you use a mobile payment service?  Let us know in the poll.

Would you use an NFC based mobile payment system?

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2 years ago

What is sideloading? [Android A to Z]

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What is sideloading?  It's a term you see a lot thrown around while talking about Android applications, and it's simple to explain.  It means installing applications without using the official Android Market.  What's less simple is how it's done and why you would do it.  That's where this post comes in.  Let's explain it, shall we?

How to do it is easy enough, so let's start there.  In the Application settings on your Android phone, you'll find a check box to "Allow installation of non-Market applications."  When it's checked, you can sideload.  You'll also see a pop-up warning when you check this box letting you know that your phone is now more vulnerable to attacks from applications, and that you accept all the responsibility that comes with doing this.  It makes sense -- you can't hold Google responsible for applications you didn't download through their service using their security methods.  

Sideloading apps is easy to do as well.  You download them to your phone, then use a file manager application to find them and "click" their entry.  You'll invoke the app installer program, and it will install your app just as if it had came from the trusted Android Market.  It won't be associated with your Android Market account, but it shows in your app drawer just like all the rest.  It didn't used to be this easy for everyone.  Under the guise of security, AT&T used to block users from sideloading by removing the Unknown sources field in the device settings.  Whenever you tried to manually install an app, it would be blocked because it wasn't allowed.  This could be circumvented by using adb from the SDK or by using a program like the Sideload Wonder Machine.  Luckily, those days are past us and AT&T has re-evaluated their position, and now allows the installation of non-Market apps.

Why would you want to sideload.  There are several reasons, one being that Google has allowed carriers to block certain applications based on the model and network your device is running on.  We've seen carriers block apps that permit tethering without paying the extra associated fees, and some carriers have exclusives for certain apps and they aren't available for the others.  That's a whole other mess that we'll tackle in another post -- just know that it happens.  There are other reasons to need to sideload apps, too.  Want to use a different appstore like the one from Amazon?  You'll need to enable sideloading.  The same goes for beta testing apps for developers, or even coding your own apps and testing them on your phone.  There are a lot of legitimate reasons for sideloading.  Of course, there's always the piracy aspect.  If you want to steal from hard working developers you'll need to enable sideloading.  You also suck.  Sideload, but don't steal from developers.

Previously on Android A to Z: What is recovery?; Find more in the Android Dictionary

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2 years ago

Facebook Android app gets an update for bugfixes, memory management

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Facebook's Android application just got an update that the social network says will bring better memory management, and "all kinds of bug fixes." If history repeats, we should see an update to fix this update any time now.

Source: Facebook

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2 years ago

Yahoo launches own app search engine, wants to make app discovery better for all

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Yahoo -- you know, that other search engine -- have added a search category for Android applications. The main search results page sees a new tab labelled "Apps" giving users the opportunity to find Android applications attached to any of their search queries. We're not short of ways to search for apps across the interwebs, but seeing such a well run solution from major, mainstream a search engine is definitely a good thing.

The service also covers iOS applications, but has a handy filter to ensure that we don't see those when we're searching. Search results can also be filtered for price and category. When you find an app you like, right from the search results you can head straight to the Android Market to download, send a link for the app to your phone or scan a QR code for the application. You can also quite handily view the Android Market reviews for each application you find without having to go to the Market first which is a nice touch. We also get a "trending now" box, and it too has the iPhone/Android filter choices applied. 

I tried it out by typing in "soccer football scores" and the results were pleasantly surprising. Yahoo's own apps featured pretty prominently towards the top of the results, but it brought up results for ESPN Scorecenter, ScoreMobile, and Sky Sports Football Score Centre to name but a few. 

All in all it's a pretty well designed feature, and while Yahoo may not be the most popular search engine, it does a good job of what it set out to do. Perhaps a bigger point to mention is that it offers a more comprehensive application search solution that Google themselves. Choice is always a good thing, so try it out for yourselves by hitting the source link below. 

Source: Yahoo

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2 years ago

EA bringing The Sims Freeplay to Android this month

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If you're one of the millions of Sims fans around the world this next piece of news might interest you. EA is bringing their hit freemium version of the game, The Sims Freeplay to Android. No exact date as yet, but it will be launching in the Android Market sometime in February. 

In Freeplay, you can control the daily shenanigans of upto 16 different Sims, designing and directing their lives as you see fit. In a break from the norm, Freeplay runs in 24-hour cycles meaning that you will need to check in throughout the day and respond to your Sims needs in real time. The game will also employ an in-app purchase model, but everything can be unlocked free of charge if you're willing to put the time in. 

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2 years ago

A.I.type releases FloatNSplit Tablet Keyboard

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Early last month we told you about A.I.type and their need for beta testers for a new "floating" spilt keyboard.  Fast-forward to today, and the beta product is now finished, and FloatNSplit Tablet Keyboard is now available in the Android Market.  Based on the original A.I.type keyboard and it's amazing prediction engine, FloatNSplit brings a new and unique user interface for tablet users, with a split keyboard that's not only resizable, but with a movable "window" that A.I.type says will change your tablet typing experience.

It's also completely customizable, to adapt to your typing style and needs.  Options include dedicated numeric keys that appear and hide with a finger swipe, a resizing button, and cut/copy/paste/undo/redo functions built into the app itself.  But of course the killer feature is the floating split style.

You can split the tablet version into two semi-transparent halves for easy thumb typing, and they can be dragged separately and positioned anywhere you like on your screen.  A virtual button switches through the three modes (full, split, and floating) to keep the keyboard small and in perfect position for thumb typing with one or both hands.  FloatNSplit currently supports over 30 languages and character layouts, with context-sensitive text prediction and auto-correct available for English, Hebrew, Spanish, German, Italian, Arabic, Russian, French and Dutch. Support for Greek, Turkish, Finnish, Swedish, Korean, Tagalog is said to be coming soon.  

AI FloatNSplit Tablet Keyboard requires Android 2.2 or higher, and sells in the Android Market for $5.99.  Six bucks is a lot to spend on an Android application, but A.I.type is so confident that it's offering its own two-day refund guarantee, so I'm definitely checking it out.  We've got a video, some screenshots, and a download link after the break.

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2 years ago

New Zealand winery uses QR codes and augmented reality app to suggest food pairings

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Brancott Estate, a winery based out of New Zealand, has just launched their first Android and iOS app, and along with it, they've started putting QR codes on all of their wine bottles. When you use the app to scan the code printed on the label with your phone's camera, it offers food pairing suggestions, along with some more elbaorate promotions, like an augmented reality view and a puzzle game. The Brancott Estate app (called "World's Most Curious Bottle") also provides descriptions of  aromas, and some info on the climate in which the grapes were grown for 14 of their wines.

While there are plenty of other apps out there that offer a broader selection of wines to reference, not to mention the ability to search by meal, it's not often you see retail products ship with legitimately helpful QR codes on them. For wine in particular, a few third parties have stepped in to provide rich data for wines, namely Cellar Key, which hangs a little QR code around the bottleneck. 

Considering how little I know about wines, quick, in-store references like this can be hugely helpful when picking something out. Even seasoned wine-drinkers will appreciate the added level of detailed information set-ups like this can provide. It's just unfortunate that even after over a decade of being largely available, QR codes still haven't quite caught on. Maybe pairing up with apps will become more of a necessity if they're going to see any real use. I'm also a little worried that as much hype as there is behind NFC, it will end up in the same boat. 

You can download the Android app at the link below, if you're curious. Do you guys use QR codes regularly? What would it take to get you to use them more often?

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2 years ago

App Updates: Chrome to Phone gets new look, bugfixes; Google Docs goes offline

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Google today has updated a couple of its apps -- Chrome to Phone and Google Docs.

Chrome to Phone, which was rolled out alongside Android 2.2 Froyo in 2010, is a slick little service that lets you send links from your computer directly to your phone. No e-mailing, no ... whatever -- just click "Chrome to Phone," and it zips from big screen to small. Today's update brings an "updated look and feel," fixes crashes when copying text and adds support for landscape.

Google Docs also got a sizeable update today. New is the ability to make any file available for offline access, and your'e also able to manage content while offline, including seeing files that are out of date. Such offline content will be synced while over Wifi, and you can star and rename files without a connection as well. And nearly as important is a further improvement to how GDocs looks on an Android tablet -- not the first time it's gotten a makeover.

Snag the updates in the Android Market, or at the links below.

Download: Chrome to Phone, Google Docs

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