3 years ago

HBO Go now supports Jelly Bean - and Jelly Bean devices [updated]


Update 2: Everything's working now. Huzzah!

Update: HBO has removed that Jelly Bean line from the "What's new" section. So much for that.

The HBO Go app today got an update to support Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, as well as "performance enhancements and bug fixes." Unfortunately, it doesn't actually support any devices that are actually running Jelly Bean. Go figure.

As you can see above, you still can't install HBO Go to the Nexus 7 from Google Play. Or, on a stock Galaxy Nexus -- also running Jelly Bean. 

We're hoping HBO just needs to flip the permissions switch in Google Play to allow the devices that actually are officially running the version of Android it now officially supports. But until then, we're just gonna stick to Netflix, we guess.

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3 years ago

'Recommended for You' section shows up in Google Play


The Google Play Store has quite stealthily started showing "Recommended for You" sections today. Tapping into the recommendation area (found inside Apps, Music, Magazines, etc.) you'll see a list of apps based on a factors described within each entry. For example if you're recommended a camera app, it may say that the app is popular with users of another camera app which you've purchased previously. Other recommendations come from the nondescript "popular with similar users", "+1'd by your friends" and "popular in your area". The exact metrics for recommendations aren't known, but if we had to guess we'd say Google has a pretty sophisticated algorithm working on this.

Thankfully, you can help Google define what you'd like to see in your recommended list by hitting the hide button on any app that you'd prefer not to see from that point out. It's yet to be seen whether or not that will permanently hide the recommendation forever or if it'll come back eventually, but it's nice to know what you can influence the selections a little bit. What it all comes down to is increasing app discovery, which is a good thing. There are a ton of really great apps out there in the Play Store that just don't get enough attention.

Thanks, Archit!

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3 years ago

Horn review - golem battles have never looked so good


Horn has launched in Google Play and the Nvidia Tegra Zone today, offering a blend of 3D combat and platforming action in a very nicely-rendered package. The game’s story takes you through the quest of a young blacksmith that wakes up one day to find his world is in ruin and populated by large, grouchy golems. By sheer happenstance, the boy discovers these golems are actually people under a curse, and takes it upon himself to restore his friends and family to their original state and ultimately bring the world back to normal.

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3 years ago

Hands on with the new TomTom for Android satellite navigation app


TomTom for Android has been an awfully long time coming. Having been available on iOS now for a number of years, the global satellite navigation giant has been somewhat tardy in bringing it to Android. But, it's officially official now, we're getting it on Android in October. The biggest question still remains the same though -- why buy this on an OS that comes with a perfectly good satellite navigation system built in for free? We went hands on at IFA 2012 in Berlin to see if maybe we could answer that. 

First things first, TomTom is a really nice looking application. The interface is well designed -- and by that we mean it's designed as if this were a stand alone TomTom device. One of the not so great points about Google Maps Navigation is that the in app menus are still designed like a smartphone app. TomTom has some really large, bold icons that make for simple use in the car. 

All the necessary information is present too, speed, distance to destination, arrival time as you would expect from an app such as this. Also available is HD traffic, which during the demonstration showed just how bad an idea driving in Berlin in the afternoon can be. Speed camera locations are also available in TomTom -- not that anyone at AC speeds anywhere, ever -- and the locations are community built. For example, if you drive past a location not registered and you come across a mobile speed camera, by tapping the relevant icon you can report this information back for inclusion in the database. 

The demo unit also shows the universal TomTom docking system in action. This is perfect for use with an Android smartphone, as it has adjustable arms to suit the differing sizes of devices. It also has a microUSB charging facility so there's still only need to have one device plugged into the cigarette lighter socker. 

We're going to have to wait until October though to really get to grips with TomTom for Android. No matter how good it may look on a show floor, real world performance is what matters here. There are definitely features in TomTom which is going to make it justifiable for regular drivers over something like Google Maps Navigation, but price is going to play a big part in that decision. 

And as yet, we still don't know that price. TomTom informed us that the pricing information will be announced at launch, but that it will be available in Google Play in markets around the world sometime in October. It does feel like a full on TomTom navigation system though, and with an application available for a smartphone, it makes you wonder how long the stand alone systems will continue to sell. You can find our hands on video after the break.

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3 years ago

Buying the Granny Smith game is the best buck you'll spend this week


So imagine you're a sweet little granny, who wears roller skates and can use a cane like some sort of geriatric ninja. Add in a chubby little thief, who seems to have one goal in life -- to steal your apples. No, this isn't some bizarre M. Night Shyamalan film, it's a great new game from Mediocre. The same folks who brought us Sprinkle now have a new title, and I predict it will be an instant hit.

It's simple to play -- tap the right side to jump, and the left side to swing your cane and grab things overhead. You'll twist and turn through 36 levels where you get dirty with pigs, break through windows, and generally show some amazing parkour skills to get your apples before the thief does. It sounds simple to play because it is, and it sounds fun as hell because it is. 

If you're rocking a Tegra 3 device, it's even better. Granny Smith is fully Tegra optimized, with extra "breakables", scenery, and particle physics. That's not to say it doesn't play well on other devices, but you get that little bit of extra oompf from the Tegra. Be honest, that little bit of extra oompf is why we bought Tegra devices to start with.

Anyhoo, the game is live in Google Play and only costs a buck. Stop thinking about it and go buy it. When your battery is dead, you can come back and thank me. Video trailer is after the break.

More info at the TegraZone

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3 years ago

Amazon App Store comes to Europe


Amazon have today announced they will launch their App Store in the UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain giving European customers more options to purchase Android apps for their smartphones and tablets. As well as getting fast access to Amazons 'free app of the day' content will be localized and each countries app store will differ slightly.

Amazon will do their own app testing to ensure the quality of the product they are delivering. In addition, customers will be able to view recommendations and reviews before selecting the 1-click payment option. With sales of the Amazon Kindle Fire getting overshadowed by the Nexus 7 this looks likely to help Amazons market presence. Head over to www.amazon.co.uk/get-appstore to get access. You can check out the full press release below.

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3 years ago

PayPal updated with refreshed UI


Although the previous version of the PayPal app was functional, it wasn't going to win any design awards. It was clearly something from a previous era -- one where phones had menu buttons to be specific. Luckily the latest version has undergone quite a bit of a makeover, following a few of the latest Android design guidelines for 4.x devices. Gone is the legacy menu button, replaced by an overflow settings button in the top action bar. The app now looks like it follows more of a "holo" UI, with separate tabs at the top of the app, but unfortunately looks can be deceiving and the only way to switch between tabs is to select them directly. It's understandable that each app will tailor the guidelines to their own needs though.

Overall, it's great to see another app developer putting in the time to update and follow the latest guidelines. The apps look and perform better, especially as a higher percentage of users move up to Android 4.0 and above. Hit the Google Play link above to download or update the app on your device.

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3 years ago

Google Now updated in the Google Play Store - Expands support for movies, sports and more


For those of you making use of an Android 4.1 Jelly Bean device and wondering when Google Now might be updated with some new features, we now know. The latest update has gone live in the Google Play Store and is ready for download. The changelog is more so an expansion of features that already existed, though there is a few new things as well:

For Android 4.1+ (Jelly Bean) devices, this update to Google Now includes:

  • Movies - see movie showtimes and more
  • Public alerts - receive emergency messages such as storm warnings and earthquake alerts
  • Add favorite sports teams to follow in real time (from Settings)
  • Support for Korea

As some may have noticed, sports team access was there previously but it was never active, so now it is. Also, Public Alerts used to come through Google Maps, they'll now also come through Google Now. it's a nice update, so be sure to grab it.

Source: Android

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3 years ago

Falcon review - a sharp, customizable Twitter home screen widget


Falcon is a really great homescreen widget for Twitter. It follows closely in line with the Android design guidelines while still having its own distinct style.  The widget is fully resizable and offers a handful of solid color choices and layouts. It still carries a beta tag, so Falcon is totally free, but still a work-in-progress.

The full complement of standard functions are available, including replying, retweeting (both native and quoted), favoriting, and sharing tweets via the system-wide menu. Conversations are threaded, though the tweets within the thread don’t have in-line reply/retweet/favorite controls, which is occasionally an issue.

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3 years ago

Cricket's Muve Music service will be bundled with all Android plans starting September 2nd


Back in January, Cricket announced that its music service, Muve Music, surpassed 500,000 users. That number is about to increase as the wireless provider announced that the service will now come bundled with all of its Android plans.

The new package takes effect September 2nd, so any Android plan purchased from Cricket after that will come with Muze Music.  It's a pretty good deal, especially considering the fact that the cheapest plans start at $50/month.

If you're a Cricket customer and have been considering Muve Music but haven't yet pulled the trigger, a good time to try it out is after Sept. 2. Full press release after the break.

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3 years ago

Audiobooks.com launches new Android app, offers all you can eat for a small fee


If you dig audio books over their other physical and digital counterparts, then you might be interested to know audiobooks.com has now launched a new app for their customers. The app is available as a free download from the Google Play Store but in order to make full use of it, you'll need to sign up for a subscription.

Luckily, Audiobooks gives you a free trial to start off with offering an 'all you can eat' selection of audio books for 7 days wherein after that time, you'll be liable to pay $25/mnth. You can stream audio books from the app, your computer and more importantly there is a no hassle cancelation policy that goes along with it. Don't like it, cancel any time.

Learn more about Audiobooks.com

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3 years ago

Google Maps updated to v6.11.1, runs short on changelog information


The latest Google Maps update has now appeared in the Google Play Store and shows the app has been bumped up to v6.11.1. After the last update, many HTC Rezound users had issues and were forced to downgrade to an earlier version so this might be a fix for that given Google hasn't really posted a changelog for it as of yet. In fact, it looks like they simply reworded the last one:

  • See borders of cities, postal codes, and more highlighted on search.
  • Browse a day-by-day display of where you've been using location history.
  • Improved transit information layer and added the ability to browse by mode of transportation.

If you happened to have any issues with the older build, go ahead and give this one a shot and see if there is any changes. We'll keep an eye on the changelog and see if Google adjusts it in anyway and update if necessary.

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3 years ago

TomTom coming to Android - possibly as soon as October


When it comes to voice guided satellite navigation the one company that springs to mind for most people is TomTom, but sadly we haven't had any Android love - until now. Today at IFA in Berlin TomTom are previewing their long awaited Android version. Pricing and availability is yet to be confirmed but clearly it needs to be an attractive package to tempt us away from using Google's own solution, although Tom Tom will certainly have more features.

“We aim to make TomTom content and services available to as many devices and platforms as we can,” says Corinne Vigreux, Managing Director at TomTom. “Bringing TomTom navigation to Android smartphones is, therefore, a significant milestone for us.”

TomTom for Android will include the following features:

  • World-class navigation - The latest, most accurate TomTom maps available – with no need for a mobile signal or data plan.
  • Lifetime maps – Free updates that ensure access to the latest maps and fastest routes.
  • IQ Routes - Arrival times that drivers can rely on – at all times of day.
  • Advanced lane guidance – Gives drivers extra clarity when navigating difficult junctions.
  • Spoken street names – Makes turnings even clearer.
  • 2D / 3D driving view – The clearest display for the safest driving.
  • TomTom HD Traffic – Available as an in-app purchase. It’s the quickest way through traffic. Proven.
  • TomTom Speed Cameras – Available as an in-app purchase. Save money and drive safely with real-time mobile and fixed camera alerts.

We will of course bring your further TomTom news as we get it.

Source: Business Wire

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3 years ago

Astro file manager updates to v4 for Jelly Bean users


One of the more popular file managers, Astro, has been updated to v4 today -- with a complete overhaul from a new icon to redesigned UI. The update is bittersweet however, because v4 is only available to Jelly Bean users right now. Devices on lower versions of Android will be stuck on v3.1.387 for now, but will hopefully be pushed up to v4 with the Jelly Bean users soon enough.

The UI redesign is certainly different from what Astro users are used to, but that being said it seems well designed and useful. On launch you're greeted with a new three-paned start screen offering a search box, folder options, locations and a list of recent files. Swiping left offers similar options as the start screen but with more granular settings control. Swiping to the right instead gives quick access to SDcard usage statistics, a task killer and application manager.

Hit the Google Play link above to download Astro, and be sure to have a look at the full press release after the break.

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3 years ago

Gogo inflight Wifi coming to Canada next year


We're more than a year out from when we actually need to write this post, but whatever. When it comes to Canada, our motto is better get while the gettin's good. (At least that's what our Canada motto would be, if we actually had one.)

Anyhoo. Gogo, the company that brings you that sweet, sweet Wifi in the sky here in the States, will begin work later this year to bring that same nectar over the Canadian skies. Work starts on the ground with the construction of cell sites later this year. The whole thing's expected to be up and running by the end of 2013. So, yeah. We're a little ahead of ourselves. There's no need yet to fire up the Gogo Android app anytime you cross the border.

But trust us, it's never too early to get excited about Wifi at 35,000 feet.

Source: Gogo

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