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3 years ago

Zinio releases Tegra 2 optimized version of its Honeycomb eZine reader

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Zinio for Android just got a huge performance boost if you're using a Tegra 2 powered Honeycomb tablet.  The app harnesses the GPU and uses full OpenGL ES acceleration for page turning animations, page panning and zooming, and to deliver high resolution scalable page images instead of downsizing them for your tablet.  The video of Zinio in action (see it after the break) shows this in a side by side test of the old versus the new.

This was accomplished partly because the folks at Nvidia were given access to the Zinio source code, where they integrate their own code that takes most of the heavy graphical work off the CPU, and putting it all on the GPU.  This is what an open platform is all about -- developers working together to deliver a superior product, with no restrictions on the build environment or code compilers.  We've seen it in Tegra optimized games, and it can make a huge difference.  Drop these optimizations on an already great cross-platform app that gives access to excellent content (there's tens of thousands of magazines available through Zinio), and syncs across multiple devices and you have the recipe for success.  Toss in free single issues of ESPN, Harper’s Bazaar and Popular Science for new Android users and it's something you need to take a look at.

Of course, even without the Nvidia tweaks it's still an excellent app, they just make it that much better.  You can find the download link (Android 3.x, free), the full press release, and the aforementioned video after the break.

More: Nvidia

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3 years ago

Cut the Rope officially released for Android, available on GetJar

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The wait is over. The hints are done. Cut the Rope has been released for Android, and it's available exclusively on GetJar. If you've yet to play it, it's a simple premise: A piece of candy dangles from a rope. Your job is to cut the rope and drop the candy into the little frog-thingy's mouth (his name's Om Nom, by the way). Sounds simple enough -- and the game play is so intuitive, my 4-year-old loves this thing -- but the latter levels can be a bit tricky. And speaking of levels, there are 175 of them, so you'll be busy for a while.

Give it a whirl. For the low, low price of free, you can't go wrong. Full press release is after the break.

Download: Cut the Rope for Android

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3 years ago

Animated weather widget, clock gives you touch of Sense 3.0

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Living where I do -- in Halifax, Nova Scotia, nice sunny days are kind of a rare thing now, and knowing when they are coming so that I can plan ahead to enjoy them is a good thing. Right now there is a multitude of weather apps in the Android Market to choose from, some better then others but today I decided to give Animated Weather Widget, Clock by Mobilityflow Arts a shot to see how I like it. It has plenty of features included and the animations thus far look great on my Desire HD:

  • Desktop widgets with digital clock
  • Animated daily weather forecast
  • Realistic Video effects of cloudiness, rain and snow
  • Multiple scene landacapes
  • Custom (user-defined) backgrounds
  • Global world weather
  • 50000+ locations worldwide
  • Auto update forecast
  • Data in Metric/Imperial
  • Geolocation (GPS Search)

The app is offered in both a free and paid version, the free version does lack some of the features such as the ability to view a full forecast and has an upgrade ad right at the top but for my purposes I really don't mind the ad. Read on past the break for more info and screenshots.

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3 years ago

Android Quick App: Exchange Rates

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Summer means travel, and for some you, that means crossing borders (or oceans!) to new and exotic lands. One of the things you're going to want to have in order before you leave (besides hoping you don't get picked for the special search at the airport) is how your native currency stacks up against wherever you're going. That's where Exchange Rates comes in.

Exchange Rates, at its core, is a simple currency conversion calculator. You choose what your native or main currency is, and by tapping on it, can choose what amount you want to see exchange rates for. By default, it's set to USD and $100, but changing either of those isn't an issue.

You can also add other country's currencies to your hotlist by choosing "Add Currency" from the app's menu. Doing so brings up a list of, what I assume, is every country in the world (and their respective currency). Simply tap on the country you want and it gets added to the bottom of your list.

If the order on your list isn't to your liking, long-pressing brings up another menu that has the options to move the item higher or lower on your list. This menu is also where you're given the option to choose something else as your base currency, enter an amount on the selected rate, or view a chart of how it compares to your base currency.

If you're a fact nut, the same long-press menu also can direct you to a Wikipedia article all about the currency you're looking at.

Exchange Rates is a really stellar app, regardless if you're a frequent international traveler or only cross borders infrequently. It's free to download, but despite that, it isn't cluttered up with ads. There is a donate version available on the Market, if you want to support the developer, but fortunately you're not obligated to just to unleash the full power of this app.

Download links and screenshots are after the break.

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3 years ago

Angry Birds Seasons Summer Pignic update now live in the Market

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We heard yesterday it was coming this summer, and technically it's summer.  If you have the Angry Birds Season app installed through the official Android Market, the latest pig pounding update is sitting there ready for you.  Promising a new level every day for a month, it looks like another cool update for one of the most popular mobile apps of all time.

Folks who have installed Angry Birds Seasons through the Amazon app store or other markets, no word on when you'll get this one, but it shouldn't be long.  The link to the Android Market version is after the break.

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3 years ago

Android Quick App: GMail Label Notifier

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For someone who uses labels so extensively in Gmail, I'm not quite sure how I lasted this long without this app. I was one of those compulsive manual refreshers, spamming my refresh button when I was out and knew a label was expecting mail. It seems those days are now behind me, thanks to GMail Label Notifier.

GMail Label Notifier is just what the title suggests, a notification for all your labels that aren't your Inbox. Once you've installed, setup is beyond simple. Open the app, select your Google account or add another Google account, and you'll be taken to a menu that shows you all your labels. From here, you select the labels you want to be notified about (one at a time), and customize your settings for each label.

This is especially cool because you can set certain labels to blink the LED while others don't, for example. Similar options exist for vibrating the phone and playing a notification sound. Every label can have a different sound/vibration pattern/LED color, if you so desire it, so you can really make these notifications your own.

My favorite part is that you can pick a color for each label's Gmail envelope. The list is pretty long, so I actually managed to have each label's envelope color be the same as the label color online.

For everything to work smoothly, you've got to make sure the labels you want to be notified about are set up to sync (Gmail settings > Labels > Choose your label), but that doesn't take any time or effort to get working, either. Once you've got all your labels set up to sync and have set everything up in GMail Label Notifier, it's just a matter of time until you start seeing notifications.

GMail Label Notifier also comes with customizable 1x1 widgets that display an unread counter. You can customize the envelope's color as well as label with these, if you prefer a widget to a notification.

The one difference between this and Gmail's native Inbox notifications is that Gmail's notifications show you the subject and sender, whereas GMail Label Notifier only shows you the unread count of your label. It's not a huge deal and it doesn't really sully the experience, but if Hubris was to ever change that in the future, I wouldn't mind at all.

GMail Label Notifier is pretty inexpensive, costing around 81 cents. So if you're dependent on Gmail's labels, I'd snap this app up right away. It's wonderful peace of mind, knowing your phone will let you know about new emails without chronic refreshing, plus, setup is so easy you can totally make the 15-minute refund window if you don't like it.

More pictures, as well as the download links, are after the break.

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3 years ago

HTC EVO 3D - What apps will you load first?

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It's been a while coming but now that the HTC EVO 3D is here, we know a lot of you are picking one up. With picking up a new device comes the task of loading up some apps as well, unless you have a previous device and just plan to use what is already synced on your Google account. For new comers to Android who may be making the HTC EVO 3D their first device we have to ask, what apps will you load first? We've listed some of our top choices after the break, share yours in the comments.

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3 years ago

Firefox 5 now available, brings 'Do Not Track' function

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Firefox has just hit another milestone for their mobile browser releases. Previously in beta, Firefox 5 has now gone official and is available for all to download. The latest release includes the Do Not Track feature to ensure safe and private browsing among many others bug fixes such as faster page loads over 3G as well as improved compatibility with SwiftKey keyboard. The full list is available after that break, as well as the download link for the Android Market.

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3 years ago

Bolt browser's back, in private beta (and we have codes!)

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You folks who came from Windows Mobile or, more recently, defected from BlackBerry should well remember the Bolt browser. It's webkit based, as are a good number of other browser these days, and it's full of all that HTML5 goodness the kids are talking about it.

And now it's coming to Android. It's currently in a closed beta program. But we've got your key to entry. Head on over to boltbrowser.com/android, give 'em your name and address, and use the code androidcentral. It's that easy.

Better hurry, though, cause it's only open to the first 500 who enter. And we know how much you folks like beta testing. 

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3 years ago

Zipcar for Android comes out of beta

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Now that summer is here it's perfect timing for Zipcar for Android to arrive officially. Having been available in the Android Market for a while now under the beta tag, Zipcar has taken v1.0 through the approval process and made it available for all.

If you're not familiar with Zipcar, it's a metro-based service that makes the process of renting cars easier just by simply signing up for their site and reserving a car as needed. You'll find the full press release and more information about the service past the break.

Source: PRNewswire

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3 years ago

Android Quick App: Quickoffice Pro

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Using your phone to do everything is all the rage these days, be it sending emails, connecting on Facebook, or editing documents. There's a few popular options in the Market for this, but we'll start by taking a look at Quickoffice Pro.

Quickoffice Pro is one of the more widely known viewing and editing apps, largely in part because a free version of Quickoffice comes bundled on certain phones. As far as a document viewer goes, this app is great, but how does it stand as a full editor?

Before we delve into that, I've got to talk about the look. The interface is slick as oil, with a kind of glossy, iOS feel to it, but that's not a bad thing. It's polished and really refined, plus it's obvious where everything is located. Want to deal with PDFs? Fine, click the big PDF icon. It's this kind of simplicity combined with functionality I can really get behind.

Opening or editing files is a snap. If you know what kind of file it is, just click the associated menu button, and pick the appropriate location of the file. Is it on the microSD? There's an option for that. Is it hosted somewhere in the cloud, like Google Docs or Dropbox? Tap that menu and within seconds, your file will be loaded up and readying for viewing or editing, right on your mobile phone's screen.

Speaking of cloud services, Quickoffice Pro supports Box.net, Dropbox, Google Docs, and MobileMe from the get-go. To add one of these accounts, click on 'Accounts' and choose the appropriate option. You'll be prompted to enter your information, and once it's been verified, your cloud storage will appear as an option on every menu to pull files from. It's quick and easy, and it gives you more freedom about where you're storing your files. Quickoffice Pro also supports syncing with SugarSync, and if that's something you're interested in, your registration email will tell you all about it.

As far as the file editing capabilities go, I couldn't be more pleased. I tried on both a Word document and an Excel file, and with both, it was a breeze. Word documents are especially straightforward, just type and you're off. Excel can be a bit trickier, depending on how many cells you've got, but that being said, I could still navigate and type without problem in landscape and portrait alike. With Excel files, you've also got the option to format cells, numbering, alignment, and borders.

Something you'll notice almost right off the bat is that the menu button actually brings up dual menus on your document, so if there's one menu you're after, you might need to exercise a bit of double tap to get where you want to be, but that's such a small, split-second thing, it won't ever become a bother.

Overall, I think Quickoffice Pro is a great option for people who need to be able to access and edit documents wherever they are, no matter the time of day. It's clean interface, easy-to-navigate menus, and rich, full rendering of files makes this an easy app to navigate and take full advantage of. At $9.99, it's far from free, but still priced competitively when compared to the other options in the Market.

Download links as well as more pictures can be found after the break.

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3 years ago

Cut the Rope for Android coming Friday

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Might it finally be here? Might Cut the Rope finally be released for Android? If the CTRAndroid Twitter account -- newly created and pinging the hell out of the Android blogs -- is any indication, we could well see it on Friday, folks.

Question is, is it teasing the Android Market (while at the same time mistakenly calling it an App Store), or is it headed to the Amazon Appstore? Either one's likely, though the latter has been scoring some nice exclusives of late. Guess we'll find out in a few days.

Source: CTRAndroid

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3 years ago

ITV Player for Android launches in the UK

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British TV network ITV has brought its catch-up TV service ITV Player to Android, with the launch of an official app. Just like the recently-released BBC iPlayer app, ITV Player allows viewers to watch shows broadcast from the past seven days across ITV's four channels. At the moment, though, there's no live streaming option included.

The ITV Player app is available for free on devices running Android 2.2 or higher in the UK. Join us after the jump for the Android Market link and QR code.

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3 years ago

Friend Me -- A tablet-optimized experience for Facebook

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So you managed to pick up a fancy new Android tablet only to realize that working Facebook in the browser is kind of a drag and it doesn't provide an optimal tablet experience. Enter Friend Me -- a new Facebook application optimized for use on Android tablets running Honeycomb. Friend Me comes to us all from the maker of Newsr and TweetComb and brings Facebook to tablets, as you would expect it to be.

  • News Feed - Quickly and easily browse the latest news from your Facebook friends.
  • Comment and Like - Stay in touch by liking and commenting on news items posted by your friends.
  • Profile - Easily view your profile info, wall, and photo albums.
  • Friends - Explore a list of your Facebook friends and drill into their profile info and wall.
  • Photos - Beautifully experience your photo albums on the tablet.
  • Games - Play your favorite Facebook games directly in Friend Me. Friend Me offers a web view of your Facebook games, including Flash-based games, a feature of the Android platform.

Friend Me is available now in the Android Market for free and comes with no ads. With this being the first release of Friend Me, more features will be added in the coming weeks. If you're looking for a better Facebook experience on a tablet then give Friend me a go, you'll find the download link past the break. 

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3 years ago

Android Quick App: Robo Defense

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Robo Defense is one of those staples of the Android Market. It's been around since very early on in Android's life, and has been consistently updated to keep the game up-to-date graphically and in gameplay.

Robo Defense is a tower defense game where you're repelling hordes of robots. Defending against robots, ergo, Robo Defense ... everyone clear?

The gameplay is straightforward. You start off on an empty canvas with one hole on one side, another hole on the other, and you need to strategically set up your towers to stop the baddies as they march through. Different levels are set up differently, but Level 0 is a no-frills, easy-to-grasp starter level.

You have a pretty wide range of towers to choose from. Your main three that you'll be picking from are the regular gun tower, missile tower, and slow tower. Over time, as the enemies get stronger and you accumulate more money, you can upgrade your towers. For example, the missile tower can be upgraded to anti-air missiles, a mortar tower, or a medium strength missile tower. Even subclasses of tower you choose, like mortars, have an upgrade (artillery). It's this wide swath of options that affords you the opportunity to avoid repetitious and boring gameplay. Do I want the flame tower (yes, there is one) or anti-air cannons?

Because achievements are all the rage, Robo Defense tracks certain achievements, like beating your first map, playing 25 levels or more all in "fast" mode, or completing a map without losing any life. If you're a completionist, there's enough achievements to keep you occupied for a while. There's also a "reward points" system, where you're awarded points at the end of a game based on how much life you had remaining, how much cash you had, and what your score was. You can spend these points on upgrades to towers you have or you can buy new towers altogether, like the famed teleport tower.

There's both a free and a paid version (with more levels) in the Market, but if you have any love for tower defense games, Robo Defense is like their Android-based grandpa. Do it a favor, respect your elders, and give it a try.

More pictures and download links are after the break.

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