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2 years ago

Android Central Editors' app picks for July 7, 2012

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Here we are, back again. Another Saturday we get to spend together checking out some of our favorite applications, and sharing them with you. We know you guys have your favorite apps as well, so this week we challenge you to list them out -- we love hearing about the apps folks are using! Let's hit the break and see what we have for you this time around.

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2 years ago

The Amazing Spider-Man slings webs, beats up bad guys on Android

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The Amazing Spider-Man swung into theaters this week, and along with him came an Android game. 

The Amazing Spider-Man by Gameloft follows closely in the spirit of their previous web-slinging title for Android, Total Mayhem - you'll find the same 3D beat-'em-up gameplay, open world exploration, interactive cinematic sequences, and Spidey-sense dodging. 

There's plenty that's new, however - namely, the graphics have had a complete overhaul for the movie and to take advantage of the horsepower in the latest Android devices. There's also an extensive talent tree structure that allows players to unlock new abilities and tailor Spider-Man to their style. 

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2 years ago

Get all hot and steamy in the shower with your Android device - wait, what?

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We can control our music from our Android devices. And our TVs. Open garage doors. Play instruments. And now, control your steam shower. If you've got a ThermaSol ProSeries, you apparently can control the start of your "steam session," including setting the time and temperature, so long as you're connected to your home's router. You also can control light and music settings, and it'll hook up to Pandora, Spotify and other streaming services for your steaming enjoyment. And it'll also run the diagnostic and maintenance features, which we presume is some sort of self-cleaning mode and that it doesn't just call over the local plumber's crack.

We're currently in the midst of a no-holds barred cage match to see who gets to demo this one. Rubber ducky not included.

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2 years ago

YouTube Android Player API finally bringing proper YouTube content to Android apps

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Quick question -- how many of you used the I/O 12 Android application to stream the live developer sessions from Google I/O? If you did, as it turns out, you were taking advantage of a brand new, as yet un-released YouTube Android Player API. The API was 'pre-announced' during one of the YouTube developer sessions, with a full announcement and release in the coming months.

At present, viewing YouTube content on your Android device -- outside of the YouTube app anyway -- isn't a particularly seamless and enjoyable process. There are three ways in which such content can be presented. The first, a browser plugin/flash based embed, but this isn't a true mobile experience, there is no access to the YouTube player API, and suffers when there's no flash of course.

The second -- which we use to embed videos here on AC -- is the iFrame based embed. This does offer access to the player API's, but has to be embedded into a webview, and is un-supported on older versions of Android.

The third way, is to throw in an instruction to open up the content in the YouTube app itself. All well and good, but it's an extra step for consumers, and for developers, it means that those consumers are having to leave your application to view the content.

And that, is where the new YouTube Android Player API will come in. In simple terms, it will allow for a full, native YouTube video experience, right within an application with full player controls to boot.

This sort of integration has been a long time coming, but with the sheer volume of content shared through YouTube today, it's a very necessary step too. No-one likes having to leave an application just to watch a YouTube video.

The API will be optimized for all the form factors that Android supports, mobile, tablet and Google TV, and will support OS versions right back to Froyo. For developers, integration will be made as easy as possible, with the basic code requirement sitting at just three lines. It will provide automatic support for fullscreen and orientation change, and will adjust the quality of the stream based upon the strength of the network connection.

Importantly too, for content providers, the release of this API will allow support for monetized content. Everyone has to earn a few bucks, after all.

The session itself goes into all the nuts and bolts, and you'll find it ready to watch after the break. It's something we know a lot of you will be excited about, just as we are. The ability to play YouTube videos, in line, within the Google+ app -- yes please.

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2 years ago

Ready Steady Bang brings pixelly western shootouts to Android [App Review]

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Ready Steady Bang has made the leap from iOS today, and thankfully left the pricetag behind. 

Ready Steady Bang is a positively charming one-touch western game made by a London design firm called Chambers Judd. The game is a dead-simple test of speed, pitting you in a series of old-timey shootouts with AI-controlled enemies, or against a friend in local multiplayer. 

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2 years ago

Cthulhu has a change of heart, tries to saves the world [App Review]

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The Great Old Ones spend a lot of time trying to devour souls, but in Cthulhu Saves the World for Android, one is trying to do something nice - even heroic - for a change. 

Of course, it's just to regain the terrible powers that have been stripped from him, but that's besides the point. Cthulhu Saves the World originally launched on PC through Steam and Xbox Live Arcade, and quickly followed-up with a mobile port for iOS and Android. 

The gameplay will be more than familiar to anyone that has put any time into old-school RPGs on the original Nintendo. You guide Cthulhu and a party of adventurers through a linear series of quests that usually end up in wacky hyjinx. You'll get 6 - 10 hours of gameplay, with some additional unlockable game modes (including Highlander Mode, which quadruples your XP, but only allows one hero to fight in each encounter) and vanity collectibles. 

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2 years ago

Google Play update rolling out to non-Jelly Bean devices

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If you fire up your Google Play app this morning and things look a little more awesome, don't be alarmed. It's just that you're now rocking the same version as the folks running Jelly Bean ROMs. And that means, along with a spruced-up layout, you also should have access to Magazines (if you didn't already).

You don't have to do anything to get the update -- it'll push out to your phone in due time. So sit back, relax and marvel at how far we've come since the old days of the Android Market.

More: Android Forums; thanks, @armaniblake!

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2 years ago

iFixit's bible of repair available in one handy, and open-source, Android application

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If you really want to see what lies inside many of the popular Android devices -- without of course hacking your own to pieces -- there are few better places than iFixit. The popular, home repair manual is now available in a new Android application, which also boasts support for Jelly Bean. Oh, and did we mention that it's open-source?

The code has been posted over at Github, and users are encouraged to "improve or fork it." But, as it stands in its released condition, it's a pretty nice app. The ability to have the knowledge provided by iFixit, but in your pocket is really handy -- I, for one, never like having to sit next to the PC to follow instructions while I'm 'repairing.' 

It isn't a watered down for mobile version either. Contained within is the full instructions for a variety of devices complete with all the necessary images. The app is designed for Android 4.x, but works all the way back to devices running Froyo. It's simplicity is one of its most endearing factors. Finding the guides you want is incredibly easy, and the text, and images, is clear and well laid out. 

Sounds good right? Hit the links below to either download a copy of the app from Google Play, or to head to the the iFixit Github page if dabbling with the code is more your thing. 

Download: iFixit; More: iFixit Github

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2 years ago

Want early access to the new Google Play developer console? Sign up to request early access now

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During the first day of Google I/O, one of the post-keynote developer sessions was dedicated to Android Apps in Google Play. While the buzz was all about the newly announced Jelly Bean update, and the Nexus 7 tablet, the real meat of Google I/O was going on in the developer sessions. 

Google Play is an ever increasingly important part of the Android ecosystem, but still remains the best way to distribute, and consume Android applications. After all, before Google Play, it all started with just apps in the Android Market. 

One of the new developer features announced at the conference, is a new Google Play developer console. The emphasis is on being faster, and easier to use. It isn't ready for general use just yet, but, if you're a developer that fancies taking it for a "test drive," Google is accepting registrations for early access now. Just hit the source link below, and head on over and enter your details. 

For a more in depth look though, you'll find the entire I/O session embedded after the break. 

Source: Google Play

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2 years ago

Sky Go for Android gets fresh on-demand content, ICS support inbound

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British broadcaster Sky has announced some major updates to its Sky Go streaming application for Android. The update adds on-demand streaming of Sky Movies content, and "popular entertainment channels" including Sky 1, Sky Atlantic, Sky Living and Sky Arts 1. The new channel listing brings the Sky Go Android app up to par with its iOS cousin. There are also additional account controls built into the new app, which allow customers to view their Sky package and monthly bills.

Compatibility is still an issue, as Sky's been slow to test and certify new devices (likely due to licensing restrictions rather than the broadcaster's own intransigence.) Right now official support is only available for the HTC Desire, Desire S, Desire HD, Incredible, Sensation, Sensation XE, as well as Samsung's Galaxy S and Galaxy S II. And they're only supported on Android 2.2 and 2.3, so you're SOL once you get that long-awaited ICS update.

In any case, Sky says a future update, due by the end of July, will add support for Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, as well as the Galaxy Nexus and Galaxy Note. There's no word on Jelly Bean support, though right now the app refuses to install on our Nexus 7 and I/O edition Galaxy Nexus. The Galaxy Note, it seems, is currently supported, according to the Google Play Store listing.

If you're a Sky subscriber, hit the comments and let us know how you're getting on with the new version. We've got Sky's press release after the break.

Download: Sky Go

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