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2 years ago

Kayak abandons BlackBerry, will support 'Googlerola phone' -- or other Android devices

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It's bad enough that when Kayak.com announced it was dropping support for its BlackBerry app that it said it was a "practical decision." That's gotta sting, right? (Even if it's true. Or especially if it's true.) But what really gave us a chuckle was Kayak's line about devices it will continue to support. 

"If you're thinking of switching to an iPhone, Googlerola phone, other Android device, Windows Phone 7 device, or a Nokia device, we will continue to innovate and maintain our free apps for you," Kayak's billo wrote on the company's news section. "Googlerola phone." Heh. Looks like we're not the only ones chomping at the bit to see what what comes out of the proposed merger (acquisition, really -- Motorola's getting about $12.5 billion out of it) between Google and Motorola. And Kayak, like many of you, is of the mind that soon enough in the future you'll have two classes of Android -- Googlerola, and everything else.

Google's Andy Rubin, of course, has said otherwise -- that Motorola continue to operate as a separate company, and that it doesn't have a lock on future Nexus phones. (Of the major smartphone manufacturers, HTC and Samsung have been tapped for the three Nexus devices.)

"We don't expect that to change at all," Rubin said back in August 2011. "The acquisition is going to be run as a separate business. They will be part of that bidding process, and part of that lead development process. And obviously Android remains open to other partners to use as they are today."

The two companies expect the merger to be finalized "in early 2012," meaning any time now, once regulatory approval is received.

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2 years ago

Rdio app updated with new interface, lock screen track control

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Rdio, a big-name streaming music service (and my personal favourite out of the bunch), today updated their Android app with some significant changes. The last update was this summer, and simply optimized the app for Ice Cream Sandwich. With the latest version, the home landing page is now a lot more helpful, offering quick links to trending tracks, new releases, and recommendations. Thanks to Android Ice Cream Sandwich, the app also lets you control tracks and view album art from, the lock screen. The app is also getting a bit more sociable; now you can also search for users, view their collections, and add them as friends from the app. That feature in particular is great, because I consider the social element the biggest benefit of Rdio. Search has been further tweaked so that you can filter results for only what's cached locally - ideal for those times that you want to get your tuneage, but don't want to kill your battery with streaming. 

As always, Rdio for Android lets you build up a personal collection of music out of a 12 million-track library, stream individual songs and playlists, sync up some songs to your phone for offline access, and discover new music through friends that are also using the service. Up here in Canada, we don't have access to Spotify and Pandora, so Rdio and Slacker are our only options for sharing mobile music to the Facebook stream. Slacker has some solid tailor-made stations, but I tend to side with Rdio for being more personal. 

Interested? You can find a download link and video demo of the update after the jump. Just keep in mind that you have to shell out $10/month for mobile access. 

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2 years ago

DoubleTwist updated again, no longer requires payment for podcast streaming [updated]

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Update: As doubleTwist's Monique Farantzos points out, streaming podcasts is now free, but you still have to upgrade to the premium version to download, subscribe and manage podcasts.

Original: Seems that the guys over at doubleTwist have been listening to the comments from the community. The application has been updated again about a week after they first brought in podcast streaming, to remove the necessity to pay for them.

A lot of you out there weren't too impressed by the charge imposed to unlock the podcast feature. Considering you can sync your subscriptions from iTunes for free if you already shelled out for the AirSync add-on, it seemed a little steep. All that is put to bed now though, as with this latest update podcasts are available for all -- which naturally includes the worlds greatest Android podcast. No word on whether or not they intend to refund anyone who did fork out, but we're guessing that not many of you parted with your cash. 

Aside from this, we also get a couple of improvements elsewhere in the app. Fixes come for video and podcast position saving, last.fm scrobbling and general bug fixes. We also get support for the Ice Cream Sandwich lockscreen which is always a welcome addition. You'll find the download links after the break.

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2 years ago

Android Central Editors' app picks for Feb 4, 2012

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Whether looking to shake things up a bit, or help file your taxes there are plenty of application options available in the Android market. Lucky for you we take the time to check them out and see what's best, so let's hit the break and check out some of our favorites.

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2 years ago

Social GTV brings Twitter to your Super Bowl party [Google TV]

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Youtube link for mobile viewing

If you have a Google TV unit of some sort or another, and plan to watch the big game tomorrow, here's a neat app you might want to try.  Social GTV is a small utility that simply creates an overlay on your live television content where Twitter postings can be displayed.  I'm not sure I would want to see a bunch of tweets on my screen while I'm watching a movie with the wife, but I can see how useful (and fun) this could be for things like Presidential election debates and primaries, my favorite series, or live sporting events like the Super Bowl.

Setup looks pretty easy, you just fill in a few fields to let the app know what you want to see, set the position on screen and a background color, then start it up.  Press the live TV button on your Google TV remote, and away you go.  Now when Eli throws a strike to the end zone, or a referee make a questionable call, or the team you're rooting for scores you can see the social side of the Internet celebrate (or hysterically object) in real time.  Sure beats flipping back and forth from the Twitter app to live TV, and will give the same result.  

To use Social GTV you'll need a Google TV (naturally) running Android 3.1 or higher. There's a free version that allows you to pick from the top trending topics, and a paid version for $0.99 that allows you to set things like tweets from specific users, custom hashtags, and @ replies to a specific user.  Both versions have a language filter, which you might need if the Pats are losing and you follow me on Twitter.

Hit the break for a download link.

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2 years ago

Path for Android updated for proper 720p displays, adds Tumblr sharing

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The Android Path application got itself a sizable update on Friday, bringing proper support for high-resolution 720p displays, as well as the ability to post to Tumblr blogs. Here's the full changelog for Version 2.0.30:

New features:

  • Full settings screen
  • Moon phases when sleeping
  • Share to Tumblr
  • Support for 320x480 screens
  • Support for 720x1280 screens (i.e. XHDPI)

Fixes and changes

  • Better friend invite screens
  • Cosmetic enhancements
  • Improved scrolling performance on feed screen
  • Tapping menu soft key now directly displays full menu
  • Various bug fixes

If you haven't tried Path yet, think of it as sort of a Foursquare check-in app (minus the gamification) crossed with a small scale Facebook -- a smaller, more intimate circle of friends. And Version 2.0 of Path is gorgeous. 

The addition of a full settings menu is nice because now you won't have to log in from a desktop browser just to change notifications, or your name or other details. The ability to share activities to Tumblr is a nice addition as well. (Can Google give up some Google+ API love already?) But probably the biggest update is support for 720x1280 displays -- ie the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, HTC Rezound, LG Optimus LTESamsung Galaxy Note -- and countless other phones to come. (That probably makes the addition 320x480 display support seem a bit inadequate, but we're not going to complain about an app adding more resolutions -- as well it should.) Before this update for 720p, Path worked fine, but the on-screen buttons were tiny, like the bad old days when you'd jack up your monitor beyond any usable resolution. It worked, but it was tough. This is a welcome change.

Head into the Android Market for the update, or we've got download links after the break.

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2 years ago

MAGIX Camera MX allows you to add photo filters in real time

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Youtube link for mobile viewing

We all want to be photographers, right? While out and about we love to whip out the camera, snap some pics of where you are or what you are doing, but having the time to go back later and edit them can be a struggle. The ability to add real time effects to the pictures as you are about to take them would be amazing, and that is where MAGIX Camera MX steps up to the table in a big way. On iOS you have a plethora of applications that allow you to add these real time effects, but up until now Android has been left high and dry and MAGIX wanted to be the first to change that.

The application is rather simple to use, all you have to do is launch the app, select your effect and take the picture. Camera MX offers 16 various affects that can be applied with all of your common favorites such as Lomo, Sepia, Negative and various others. The editing ability does not end here, if you want to further tweak the image you can do so after the image has been captured with some more advanced abilities. Also included is the ability to adjust saturation, white balance, contrast and other image calibrations.

Once you have the image tweaked to your liking you are then able to share the photo from the application to your favorite social networks such as Twitter and Facebook or you can upload it directly to their site. Each user is given 500MB of free storage on the MAGIX website where you can store and organize your photos and even create slideshows. With all of the power that this application has to offer you are probably left waiting for the price tag and how much it is going to hurt your bank account, but you will be pleased to know it can be downloaded from the Android market for free. Be sure to hit the break for download links and get yourself ready to enter the next photo contest!

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2 years ago

Win an HTC Sensation XL with Hyperbees, Android Central and HTC

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The Android Super Challenge on HyperQuiz

How'd you like to win one of two HTC Sensation XL smartphones by proving your superior Android knowledge in the leading quiz game for Android? We're giving you the opportunity to do just that, as part of a new contest in partnership with game developer HyperBees and HTC.

Behold the Android Super Challenge on HyperQuiz! To enter, simply download HyperQuiz and select the "Contest" game mode. From there, it's up to you to work for the highest score between now and 11pm GMT (6pm EST) this Sunday, Feb. 5, by answering questions about Android!

First and second place winners will each receive a Sensation XL, and first through fiftieth placed winners will be rewarded with in-game currency (creds). We've got the Android Market link after the jump, along with the full terms and conditions for the contest.

Be sure to check back next Tuesday, Feb. 7, to see if you've won!

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2 years ago

Dropbox releases new beta build, offers 5 GB of free storage to early adopters

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Feeling brave? The friendly developers over at Dropbox have released a brand new experimental build, and they're willing to give you early adopters 5 GB of free storage for your troubles. For every 500 MB uploaded with version 2.0.9 you will earn an additional 500 MB of storage-- up to 5 GB total. Mind you that the freebie storage is account-related rather than app-related, which means that you'll be able to upload from your desktop to earn the space as well as from the app. 

The new version comes with its fair share of new features, including:

  • Automatically uploads photos and videos in the background using Wi-Fi or data plan
  • Brand new Camera Upload feature
  • Upload files of any size (no more 180 MB limit!)
  • Support for resuming file uploads when there are network issues
  • Various performance improvements & bug fixes

If beta builds don't give you the willies, you can grab the APK from the source link, where Dropbox is urging those who download to sing out as issues arise.

Source: Dropbox Forums

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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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