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3 years ago

The new Star Trek Into Darkness app gives exclusive access to content and Starfleet Academy

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If you're counting down the days until J.J. Abrams’ “Star Trek Into Darkness” opens in theaters, there's a new app in Google Play you'll want to give a look. Simply titled the Star Trek App, you'll be presented with missions to complete, and as a reward you'll get exclusive access to special content upon completing them.

The missions involve things like virtual scavenger hunts -- where you scan photos or other imagery, use audio, or are location aware. These use the latest tech from Qualcomm, such as the Qualcomm Labs’ Gimbal platform and Qualcomm Vuforia augmented reality tool. The Start Trek App is one of the first commercially released app to use these platforms, which we first heard about at CES.

In addition, users will have access to the latest news about the upcoming film, and be able to have assets like video, wallpapers, and images delivered directly to their device. The app is free, runs on Froyo or higher, and you can download it at the Google Play link above. The full press release is after the break.

More: Star Trek 

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3 years ago

Action Launcher 1.2.0 update brings new search feature, improves covers

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If you're using Chris Lacy's Action Launcher, there's a pretty sizable updating waiting for. Version 1.20 brings a helpful search feature right there in the Action Bar. It's able to search through your contacts, apps and even music, giving the results there there on the home screen. Action Launcher's unique "Covers" -- think folders with more functionality -- have gotten even better and now serve as app shortcuts as well as a folder with more options inside. There also are options to hide apps from the app list, some visual changes, and you can import home screens from other third-party launchers.

We've got the entire changelog after the break (Lacy jokes that it's too long to fit on a single Nexus 7 screen, which is saying something), and some demo video is ready to go there as well. The update should be live in Google Play any time now.

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3 years ago

Sony Xperia T Jelly Bean update rolling out now

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Just one day after passing through certification at the PCTRB forum, the Jelly Bean update for the Xperia T has started pushing out to users. This is an unusually quick turnaround from certification to going live, usually taking a couple of weeks. It's all the more surprising considering Sony put out an alpha release of the software just a week ago. That being said, we're not going to complain about more users getting their hands on Jelly Bean. The final update is software version 9.1.A.0.489, which consists of Android 4.1.2 and the 3.4.0 kernel.

Its unclear which regions this rollout is starting in, but XperiaBlog notes that some users in the Netherlands have it. Considering the speedy push for the T, we can hopefully see confirmation of the update coming for the TX and TL soon as well.

Source: XperiaBlog

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3 years ago

Super Grid Run is another retro-style game worth your time

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We've seen an influx of throwback or retro games hitting mobile devices, and Super Grid Run is following this trend with a fun and fast-paced title. There's honestly not to much to learn about how to play the game, but that doesn't keep it from providing hours upon hours of challenging gameplay. On top of the quality game mechanics, the combination of a black and neon color scheme along with arcade-style old school soundtrack make this game a winner.

Read on after the break and see what Super Grid Run is all about.

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3 years ago

Pocket Casts 4 to hit Google Play in February, and it's awesome

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It's been a long old time since the last Pocket Casts update, but the developers, Shifty Jelly, have today published some details on the next version of their incredibly popular podcatching application. They've been working on it now for some six months -- they are just a three man team, after all -- and what they're bringing to the table goes beyond the realms of a minor version bump. It's a complete redesign of the app. We're currently involved in beta testing the new version, and all we can say is, it's pretty awesome. 

The redesign takes in the latest Android design guidelines, and will also include proper tablet support. Shifty Jelly has specifically targeted the Nexus 7 and the Nexus 10, so it should look great on large and small tablets. Equally exciting is the cross-device syncing and remote backup promised.

Syncing will cover subscriptions, playlists and even play states on each of your Android devices. So, you're heading home from work listening to the latest Android Central podcast, but you don't finish by the time you get to the front door. Just head inside, pick up your tablet, and carry on where you left off. We're really excited for this feature. 

There's still a lot of stuff in Pocket Casts 4 that hasn't been shared yet, and won't be until it sees release. The good news is that Shifty Jelly intends to ship Pocket Casts 4 as a free update to the existing app sometime in February. We can't wait. 

Source: Shifty Jelly

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3 years ago

Delta updates its Android app with v2.0 makeover [DYKWIA?]

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Airline still lacking a proper tablet app, however

A bit of good news tonight for those of you who a decent amount of time at 35,000 feet. Delta has updated its Android application to Version 2.0, just a couple weeks after it dropped for iOS. With it you'll get a brand-new user interface, as well as a bevy of new options, including the ability to purchase domestic flights from your phone (they're still working on international flights), or add economy comfort seats and other trip extras.

A Delta representative on the Flyer Talk Forums expanded a bit on the update, saying:

Just like we’ve added in the iPhone version of the app, we’ve included the ability to find, compare and book flights. We’ve also updated My Trips to give you a quick and easy way to purchase Economy Comfort and our Trip Extras, including Wi-Fi and Priority Boarding. You’ll also be able to use the Track My Bags and Check Flight Status features to improve your day of travel experience.

At the core of the new functionality, we’ve optimized (and in some cases completely re-written) our backend systems to provide you with faster response times in all areas of the app. Additionally, we have updated the look and feel to help you find the most important features easily.

Missing -- still -- is any sort of tablet application. That's been annoying enough in the past (never mind that the phone application has worked just fine when sideloaded on tablets), but it's especially disappointing given the awesomeness that Delta brought in its iPad app, particularly when it comes to seeing what's on the ground beneath your flight at any given time.

More: Android travel apps

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3 years ago

PaperBoy: Quick and casual news reading for Android

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PaperBoy is a quick and easy way to browse through news stories from a useful but concise list of sources. Some of us like to have our Google Reader lists filled with hundreds of RSS feeds at our fingertips, and others (read: most people) just want a casual way to browse through the day's headlines. PaperBoy caters to this market with a simple and smooth UI that presents a curated list of sources and quick snippets of information.

Read along after the break and see what PaperBoy has to offer as a minimalistic news reader.

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3 years ago

Pandora now using Play Store to manage One monthly subscriptions

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Pandora users wishing to upgrade from a free to paid account via the Android app can now manage their subscription directly in Google Play. Following a link in the settings of the app now takes you to a Play Store in-app purchase page to start the subscription. A Pandora One account will still set you back the same $3.99 (plus tax, at least in my state,) but this way it will be tied to your Google account. The terms right on the Play Store payment page explain that the app will continue to charge you on a monthly basis via Google Wallet.

This is a really nice way to manage subscriptions for many people, as having things tied to your Google account is usually better than individual logins and payment processes for each service. The new functionality is included in the latest version of the Pandora app, available at the Play Store link above.

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3 years ago

Cubes vs. Spheres makes physics fun again

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Great gameplay and superb graphics make Cubes vs. Spheres a must-buy game

Are you looking for a great new game that isn't hard to learn, is a ton of fun, and will make you smile while you burn through your battery? I think we've found one with Cubes vs. Spheres. The premise is super simple -- you are inside a circle in a uncomfortably white room, and cubes are rolling (as well as a 6-sided cube can roll, anyway) toward you. Your job is to keep them away by flicking balls at them. When the balls hit them, they explode in a satisfying shower of particles. If more than three cubes cross inside your circle, the game is over and you've lost.

Just because it's simple doesn't mean it's not fun as hell, though. The gameplay gets pretty frantic. There are assorted blocks that vary in how easy or hard they are to destroy (the invisible ones are rough), and you use points earned by playing to buy power-ups (exploding spheres, anyone?) to handle them all. The game physics are great. The faster you flick the balls the faster and further they fly, and the bouncing balls and blocks interact with the scenery just like you think they should. 

Most importantly, to me anyway, are the game controls. I hate games that have too many buttons and thing-a-ma-bobs to press and swipe just to play. Cubes vs. Spheres has none of that. It's simply swiping and tapping, you play it with one finger. This makes it perfect for a wide variety of devices, from a small 4-inch screen up to a full sized 10-inch tablet. Cubes vs. Spheres is just as fun on my Nexus 4 as it is on my Nexus 7, and that's something not every game can pull off. 

If you've been looking for a new time waster, check Cubes vs. Spheres out. It costs a buck, but once you pay you're done -- no in-app purchasing required. It runs on Froyo or higher, and you can grab it using the Google Play link above. There's a short video to explain it all after the break.

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3 years ago

Sony Music Unlimited now offers 320 kbps AAC high-quality streaming

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Sony's Music Unlimited streaming service is being updated today to offer high-quality 320 kbps AAC music on all platforms, including Android. The service, which offers unlimited (go figure) music streaming for the monthly price of $9.99, is hoping to persuade users to try it over competing services like Spotify and Rdio. 320 kbps AAC is generally regarded as a high enough quality streaming that general users won't notice the difference between it and locally stored files, but also keeps data usage from streaming reasonably low.

You can download the Music Unlimited app from the Play Store link above, and there is currently a 14 day free trial available when you sign up. The higher quality audio may be enough to have more users trying this service going forward.

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3 years ago

Google+ app adds new notification tray, links when posting

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The Google+ app has just been updated to add a few bits of functionality and a new notification system. With the previous update we received a new post composition screen that let you add a photo or mood to the post, and this update is putting a "link" option between the two. Tapping on it lets you manually add a URL, although we'd bet most people will be copy/pasting URLs in. On the main UI side, notifications have been redesigned as well. Instead of being hidden underneath the navigation controls in the left slide-in panel, you get a separate notification number between the refresh and settings buttons, that when tapped brings in a full notification-specific panel from the right.

The update also allows for more moderation options in Google+ Communities, which were recently released. You can grab a download of the new Google+ at the Play Store link above.

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3 years ago

Google Play Music update improves widget, adds features, fixes bugs

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Google Play Music has just received a notable update to add a few features that have been bugging users for some time now. Right off the top you'll spot a proper reverse button on the music widget, letting you go backwards in albums or playlists without entering the app. Instant mixes can now continue on past 25 tracks as well, and you can shuffle albums, artists or playlists. The default album art is changed to a simpler grey tile also.

When you pin albums or tracks, you can now see the progress of the download from that album or playlist view rather than just in the settings. There is also apparently a bugfix that should solve the problem of some Galaxy SIII (S3) devices freezing when using the app. It's a whole bunch of useful fixes and improvements, so go grab the update from the Play Store now.

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3 years ago

Waste time and flex your brain with Shift It

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There's no shortage of quick and fun puzzle games on Android, and Shift It still stands out as a great one. When you start up Shift It and play the first level, you'll instantly draw comparisons to the paradigm of a Rubik's cube. The basic idea of the game is to take the nine section grid of different colored blocks, and move it around so that the blocks of the same color are all connected. You are faced with a 2D view, but the blocks are effectively 3D -- moving blocks off of one edge, you will see them reappear on the other side.

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3 years ago

Carbon backup app launches on Google Play [updated]

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Update: Whoops. Koush sends word that Carbon wasn't quite ready to go when we posted and that the folks in the forums spotted it early. It's now "live" live, so make sure you have the most recent version.

After a couple of weeks in beta, Koushik Dutta -- aka Koush -- has released his Carbon backup app on Google Play. The app uses Android's built-in backup feature to sync apps -- and crucially, app data -- to the SD card or cloud storage. If you're rooted, you just need the app itself. If not, there's an accompanying desktop app that can help you sync an unrooted phone.

A word of warning for Motorola users -- the app isn't available for Moto devices due to a bug in these phones which prevents Android's backup features from working correctly. A manual download link is provided on the Play Store listing for those running custom ROMs, or anyone who just wants to try anyway.

Carbon comes in two flavors -- there's a free version, which offers an basic ad-supported service. Then there's an ad-free premium version, which costs $4.99 and adds in more advanced stuff like Android-to-Android sync and cloud storage sync.

Both apps are available for phones running Android 4.0 or above -- hit the Google Play link above to grab the basic version, or head over here for the premium version.

via Android Central forums

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3 years ago

Cameringo update fixes sharing intents, bugs

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We took a look at Cameringo a couple days ago, and the one issue we had was that sharing intents didn't work. Thankfully the developer has made a couple updates in the last day, fixing a few issues including sharing. We've gone through version 1.1 and 1.2 in the last 24 hours, and both have brought notable updates. 1.1 brought improved rendering on HTC devices and other internal improvements, and 1.2 fixed the sharing bug. The developer has been quick to respond to bug reports and get these fixes out quickly, which is great to see.

The end result is that Cameringo's UI has improved notably. Gone is the legacy menu key, and the UI elements to control settings and to capture photos are now transparent, giving you a full-screen viewfinder. When taking a shot you can now properly share that image to any available app, and the picture will actually come along.

As we said in our initial look at the app, it has a lot of great things about it that make it worth the $1.00 to purchase. Now with these improvements and bug fixes it's really a no-brainer if you're looking to add filters to your photos.

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