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2 years ago

Rovio's next game, Amazing Alex, launching on Android this Thursday

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The creator of Angry Birds is about ready to launch their next franchise this week - a physics puzzler called Amazing Alex. Rovio has been teasing this game for awhile, and though it's being painfully branded towards tweens, I have no doubt the gameplay will be polished.

The game already did well for itself independently as Casey's Contraptions by developer Mystery Coconut last year, but Rovio had since acquired the company and is now molding it in their image. In all likelihood, that means lots of spin-offs and up-selling as per Angry Birds' precedent, but the trailer video below promises that there will be many free updates. Rovio also hints that there will be a level creator with sharing options, which should be pretty fun. 

The Incredible Machine was always a favorite of mine, so I'm definitely glad to see this kind of Rube Goldberg gaming coming back. Anyone else eager to give Amazing Alex a try?

Source: Rovio

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2 years ago

Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean begins rolling out to HSPA+ Galaxy Nexus

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Google has announced that the new version of Android, 4.1 Jelly Bean, is now rolling out to GSM/HSPA+ Galaxy Nexus phones -- that's the international model, and the one sold through the Google Play Store in the U.S. Google says the update will begin rolling out today, and continue "over the next several days." The update bumps the Gnex up to Android 4.1.1 (build JRO03C), the same version that  just pushed out to the Nexus 7, and landed yesterday on AOSP. We've updated our Google I/O edition with the new OTA, and we can confirm that the search results returned through the Google Search app haven't changed -- local results are still returned, just as they were on 4.1. Also, unlike version 4.1, Android 4.1.1 is blocked from downloading the soon-to-be-discontinued Adobe Flash Player -- after updating, the app is marked as incompatible in Google Play.

If you're curious about what's new in Jelly Bean, check out our landing page, and our Jelly Bean feature articles. Writing on the official Nexus Google+ page, Google says that other Galaxy Nexus phones (presumably the CDMA/LTE versions), as well as the Nexus S and Motorola Xoom are due to receive Jelly Bean next. No time frame is provided for this, however.

If you've already got the OTA notification on your device, be sure to hit the comments and let us know how you're getting on with the new version of Android!

Source: +Nexus

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2 years ago

Twitter for Android updated to version 3.3 - adds better search and notification options

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Twitter for Android, the official Twitter application for Android devices has been updated today and the update brings along some pretty awesome new features. The folks at Twitter have been hard at work listening to users and refining the way things work, and attempting to deliver the best experience possible. In trying to do so they have released an update for the Android application, and the update brings the following new and enhanced features.

  • Expanded Tweets: when you view Tweet details containing links to partner sites, you can now see content previews, view images, play videos and more. [this feature is rolling out gradually]
  • Push notifications for Tweets: choose to receive notifications from people you follow anytime they tweet or retweet
  • Improvements to search autocomplete for users
  • Tappable avatars that take you directly to user profiles
  • Many other tweaks, polish, and bug and crasher fixes

The update is pushing its way through Google Play currently, so be sure to check for the update shortly, and as always let us know how you like it! [Download from Google Play]

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2 years ago

Smart Tools turns any Android device into a handyman's best friend

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Your Android device has a ton of sensors - why not use 'em with Smart Tools?

Smart Tools has earned one of the top seller spots in Google Play by offering a whole suite of useful measurement tools for Android devices. These run the gamut of distance, angles, and even sound, vibration, and magnetic fields. Sensors like your Android device's accelerometer, magnetometer, camera, and microphone all act in concert to offer rough measurements, if not clean and precise ones. The developer offers a bunch of these tools stand-alone apps in addition to the single paid bundle for $2.50; the only one that isn't included in the bundle is the Speed Gun, which is available for free separately. 

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2 years ago

Songza updated with suggested playlists

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Songza, a free music service that somehow manages to get away not serving up audio ads, has updated their Android app with a feature called Concierge. Concierge has been available on iOS for awhile, and now Android users can get suggested music based on the time of day. For example, this Tuesday afternoon, the app offers expert-curated playlists for the summertime, needing an energy boost, or work/study music without lyrics. After picking your current situation, you can provide additional criteria to further tailor a playlist to your mood.  

There are a bunch of different ways to explore playlists, including by mood, activity, genre, decade, or tailored based on your listening habits. Songza has all of the other standard features you'd expect from a streaming music app, like marking songs as favorites, and sharing tracks over Facebook and e-mail.

Songza for Android for is optimized for ICS and available for download at the link below. Just keep in mind that though the web streaming service might be available in your area, the mobile app might not be - that's the case here in Canada, anyway. 

Source: Songza Download: Songza

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2 years ago

Sky News app for Android gets updated with better image support for tablets

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This may not be the biggest app update of the year but due to the popularity of the Sky News app I thought it was news worthy.

Todays update brings only one new feature and that is high resolution images for large screen devices. We all know that Android smartphones seem to be getting bigger and with better screen technology. So it makes sense that apps take full advantage of this.

In addition, the update will be perfect for Tablets. With the Google Nexus 7 recently announced and due to hit the shelves this month I suspect that app developers are under the same opinion as me; that the tablet is going to be a hugely popular piece of hardware. Once again, a perfect reason for devs to update their apps to make them look as fantastic as possible on a larger screen.

More information/Download Sky News for Android

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2 years ago

Android 4.1 Jelly Bean released to Android Open Source Project

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Android Open Source Project guru Jean-Baptiste Queru sends word that the new version of Android, 4.1 Jelly Bean, is being released to AOSP today. This process is the first step in the official release of Jelly Bean, allowing anyone and everyone to download the Android 4.1 source code and compile their own version of the OS. It's also an important milestone towards getting Jelly Bean out there on existing devices. The exact version number that's being released is Android 4.1.1_r1, so it's likely that this will be the final shipping version of Jelly Bean, just as Android 4.0.1 was for ICS. (We're seeing no OTAs on our Google I/O Jelly Bean devices just yet, though.)

The code being published right now includes proprietary binaries that allows Jelly Bean to be built for the Galaxy Nexus and Nexus 7, and Nexus S and Motorola Xoom binaries are promised in the near future. As always, note that this source code is for developers only -- you can't download this and magically get Jelly Bean on your device -- it's a bit more complicated than that. Nevertheless, today's release will be exciting for Android devs and custom ROM enthusiasts, as it starts the process of getting popular custom ROMs merged with the Jelly Bean code, and eventually pushed out to eager ROM flashers.

Source: JBQ on Google Groups

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2 years ago

Official GitHub for Android app released

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If you're a code junkie, then you likely dig around GitHub quite a bit. To take it even further, if you're an Android code junkie you've likely looked in the Google Play Store for a GitHub app and found there was nothing official to be found. That changes now though as GitHub has finally rolled out their own Android app for their services and more importantly, it's built using Open Source projects such as ActionBarSherlock, Android-ViewPagerIndicator, Maven and SyntaxHighlighter. So what all can you do with the app itself? Quite a bit actually:

  • The app features a dashboard for quick access to all your created, watched, and assigned issues so you can always stay connected with the discussion and progress. You can also view and bookmark any repository's issue list with configurable filters for labels, milestones, and assignees.
  • Includes support for working with Issues and Gists as well as an integrated news feed for keeping up to date with all your organizations, friends, and repositories.

Also, in keeping with the nature of GitHub if you're looking for the source code of the app, it's available for viewing and download as well. Code Junkies, you'll find the download below so you can get started.

Source: GitHub Download: GitHub for Android

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2 years ago

Endomondo gets big UI overhaul, smattering of new fitness features

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If you're thinking of getting in shape this summer, Endomondo has just updated their fitness tracking app with a new look and a whole bunch of new features. The tracker in version 8.0 now has a pause state before full stop, since a lot of users were accidentally stopping their workout. The history page now lets you switch between total distance, duration, and calories sorting for days with more than one workout, along with a revamped summary screen for individual workouts. There's now a rating system for routes along friend tracking and records, so you can pick the best places to run, bike, and otherwise burn off calories. The social news feed has been tidied up so it 's easier to see what friends are up to, as well as being easier to drill into their specific profile.

Endomondo is hugely popular among fitness freaks, and even if you're only casual about your exercise regiment, the free version should be enough to keep you on task. Go ahead and get downloading at the link below! If you're still on the fence, check out our review over here.

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2 years ago

LiveShare group messaging app tries to muscle in on crowded turf

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Android already has a ton of different messaging options - what can one more really add to the mix?

LiveShare, an instant messaging and photo sharing app for Android, iOS, and the web, was updated recently with a bunch of new features. 

For one, they're getting cozier with Facebook, so not only can users register for an account through the massive social network, but they can also share pictures from their group conversations to their wall. There's a new activity tab so chatters can see all of the latest conversation updates and photos at a glance. A new contact tab pulls in people from both Facebook and a device's local address book, making new additions easier. Lastly, the whole app got a fresh coat of paint by way of a user interface overhaul.

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