Google Reader for Android just got a nice little update -- mainly that it's now optimized for tablets, too. You now have the basic two-pane system. Folders on the left, stories on the right. And it's all synced with your Google Reader account, just as it should be. Also noted in the app's changelog is that the "Mark Previous as Read" button is now a long-press function. Just FYI.
While Google Reader might not be the prettiest news reader for Honeycomb, but it's definitely one of the more useful ones. Download links are after the break.
Say what you want about Bing on Android -- and we've said plenty -- but it's always been a pretty visually stunning app, and darned useful, too. It was never the app itself we had a problem with -- it was a certain carrier (that might or might not start with a V) stripping out Google services on some top-shelf phones and replacing them with Bing.
But we digress. The standalone Bing app just got itself an update and is more beautiful than ever. The menus have been redone, bringing a bit of the Windows Phone 7 "Metro" user interface. All of the services remain -- they just look better.
For those who have been waiting for the opportunity to take panoramic pictures on your phone, the wait is over. Pano for Android is made by the same folks who developed the hit iOS app, and like the iOS app, it works really well.
Using Pano is simple: take your picture, line up the edge along the left of the picture, and continue snapping away until you're done taking your panoramic shot. When you're done, you click the check button and your images are merged. Simple. Painless. It's awesome.
Settings are pretty nonexistent in Pano. If you press menu, your only option is to enable or disable geotagging. On the main interface, you can only merge your pictures, take another, or rotate the orientation. And really, you shouldn't need to do much more than that.
A little niggle of mine (and maybe it's just me), is that the shutter button on my EVO 3D doesn't take a picture if I've got Pano open. Maybe it was designed for all of the button-less Android phones in mind, but now that I've got one, I want to use it, and I can't. Otherwise, Pano rocks.
Pano doesn't come free but it does come pretty cheap, weighing in at a mere $1.99 for unlimited panoramic pictures, cell phone-style. If you've been itching for this functionality and have been burned otherwise, it's definitely something I would consider buying.
A few more pictures and download links are after the break.
We've briefly mentioned this one before, but I thought it was so awesome, it deserved a full-blown review. It's the Captain America Live Wallpaper, and while it looks good on a phone, it looks even better on a tablet.
It's as straightforward as they come, with no settings menu to speak of. You either use it as your wallpaper or you don't. In stock Captain America fashion, the shield repels bullets that you can activate by touching the screen.
Once you've picked it as your wallpaper, you can change the angle of the shield by swiping around your screens. When you're on your home screen, it's perfectly centered. Swipe left and right and the angle changes appropriately. Simple, but awesome.
Performance is fine, with the Tegra-2 never missing a beat, so there's no screen lag whatsoever. To top it off, if you tap on the Captain America icon that'll be added to your home screen, a menu pops up that allows you to set the wallpaper and buy the Sentinel of Liberty game, and it has some rockin', heroic music.
It's a free install, so if you enjoy the comic books, the movie, or just feel like being really patriotic, get to the Market and start downloadin'.
More pictures and download links are after the break.
Google has updated the Google Maps app for Android to version 5.9.0, bringing continued improvements to Transit Navigation, along with a new Labs feature. Here's a rundown of what you'll find in the latest version --
Voice and ring tone notifications for Transit Navigation (Beta)
Tablet support for Transit Navigation (Beta)
'Bubble Buttons' Lab to add call and navigate buttons to results on the map (see above)
The Transit Navigation changes should be welcomed by anyone that's ever missed their stop on the train or bus, and we always like a new Labs feature to play with. Head to the Android Market to grab the latest update, or use the QR code after the jump.
For some business users LinkedIn is a vital resource and in an effort to bring their online experience to the mobile environment, LinkedIn has gone ahead and revamped their mobile application. The new update, aside from getting a visibly better UI also has some great new features baked into it.
Updates: View updates from your network and top news from LinkedIn Today
Inbox: You can view your invitations and messages in one place
You: Access your profile, connections, share updates, and even more in the future
Groups & More: Browse and interact with your groups, as well as build your network through our People You May Know feature
While the previous version worked just fine, the new layout here and added features make the whole application overall just all that more functional -- if you're a LinkedIn user, make sure you grab the update.
With all of the hubbub about how poorly Facebook's app for Android functions, I went on a hunt. A lot of people (both in comments here and on the Market) talked about using FriendCaster as a superior alternative, so I started my search there.
As you can no doubt see, the interface is strikingly similar to the traditional Facebook app. That's not a bad thing, as it keeps everything nice and familiar, which is what I was hoping for. The news feed is just about what you'd expect, and getting from screen to screen to comment or like is as simple as a tap or a long-press.
There's also the requisite "Places" option, (named Checkin here), that allows you to find places via GPS or coarse location, and also tag friends.
One of the features I was most impressed with was the picture viewing. While viewing pictures, the picture will take up your entire screen, by default, and there's a nice, slide-to-move dynamic that is very Android, and very cool. You can keep track of where you are in an album by looking at the string of dots at the top of the screen. The solid dot is where you're at, the empty dots are all of the other pictures.
There's also a strong settings menu, filled with all sorts of notifications options. I learned (by accident) that when someone "Likes" one of your posts, FriendCaster gives you a popup on your homescreen, instead of an icon in the notification bar. It's real-time (something not readily available on the Android version), so that's always a plus.
There's also a setting for tablet-sized screens that comes built into the app, so you don't need to worry about getting yet another app (or waiting for Facebook to come around and do it themselves).
Where FriendCaster falters, I think, is the price. There's a free version in the Market that's ad-supported as well as a Pro version for $4.99. The Pro version is definitely good, but unless you absolutely abhor the stock Facebook app, pushing five dollars seems a little steep to feed your Facebook addiction.
At any rate, more pictures and download links are after the break.
The fellows at Mozilla have updated Firefox for Android to Version 6, and it comes with a huge changelog full of fixes, improvements, and features. Things like a visual update for phones running Gingerbread, better right-to-left language support, and adjustment of page element locations and sizes when using on a tablet. We won't list each individual change here, but they're available at the source link. There's also over 160 add-ons now available, ranging from Ad-blocking to themeing with personas. With the same rendering engine as the desktop version, Firefox mobile can handle pages with complicated scripts better than the stock Android browser, or other browsers based on stock. Not that anyone would want to, but it's close to the point where we could use our system and write blog posts with it.
Firefox mobile is shaping up nicely, and if you haven't had a look lately, you really should. Download link is after the break, for devices running Android 2.0 and higher.
We'll ignore, for the moment, the fact that this Google app hits iOS before Android, and instead focus on how much easier the Google Catalogs app appears to make shopping. The tablet app aggregates some of your favorite catalogs in a single app. Tags in each catalog bring up photos and video of an item. You can search across catalogs, and favorite items for later, and save items across catalogs.
A sampling of the catalogs included in the app are: Anthropologie, Bare Escentuals, Bergdorf Goodman, Crate and Barrel, L.L. Bean, Lands’ End, Macy’s, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Pottery Barn, Saks Fifth Avenue, Sephora, Sundance, Tea Collection, Urban Outfitters and Williams-Sonoma.
Hot on the heels of today's Minecraft announcement, Sony Ericsson and EA Mobile have revealed that the Android version of FIFA 12, the latest instalment in the popular soccer football game series, will be available exclusively on the Xperia Play for a limited time.
Xperia Play owners will be able to get their hands on FIFA 12 when it's released during the holiday season, while other devices will have to wait until Feb. 21, 2012. SE and EA promise a game experience optimized to take advantage of the Xperia Play's hardware, with frame rates up to a silky 60fps.
Join us after the jump for the presser, and if you're rocking an Xperia Play, let us know in the comments if you plan on snapping this one up.
Its been a long time coming but it's finally here for Sony Ericsson Xperia Play owners at least. Yes, Minecraft Pocket Edition has gone live in the Android Market and is now available for download. As noted on the Mojang blog:
The first version (Alpha 0.1) will focus on the creative aspects of Minecraft. We have tried to put in the features that make sense for playing on a mobile device while still keeping the core of the Minecraft experience. You will be able to select blocks on the touchscreen or just scroll through them with the circle and square buttons on the Xperia Play device. The first version also supports multi-player on a local wireless network allowing you to create a world and invite friends to build together. Some of the features in this release include:
Build anything you can imagine
Build with 36 different kinds of blocks
Invite and play with friends to your world (local wireless network)
Save multi-player worlds on your own phone
Awesome! For now, Minecraft is a Sony Ericsson Xperia Play exclusive with it rolling out to other Android devices at a later time. Ready to get your mobile Minecrafting on? It'll set you back $6.99 -- you can jump past the break for the download and some slick videos of it in action.
Source: Mojang; Thanks, everyone who sent this in!
If there's ever an app I'm always willing to try out, it's a new newsreader. And today we bring you Flud News (or FLUD News) for Android. It's a graphically intensive newsreader, with story thumbnails getting prominent play. Flud comes preloaded with a few feeds -- there's The Flud, which features stories aggregated from various sources as voted on by Flud's users, plus a few other design and tech-related sites. Or, you can include your Twitter timeline, add your own feeds, or connect to Google Reader and pick and choose from feeds you already follow.
Graphically, Flud is beautiful. The ability to easily bookmark and share stories makes it that much better. Other features include:
Search for sites, blogs or other RSS feeds
Customized categories and sortable feeds
Sync with Google Reader
Option for web view
Tweet and retweet from your social stream
Share to Twitter, Facebook, Email
Offline reading mode
This is one you definitely need to check out, especially seeing as how it's free. And check it out we have. Hit the break for our quick video hands-on and download links.
Fliers rocking an Android tablet or phone can now get online above 10,000 feet just a little bit easier. Gogo, the company that supplies in-flight Wifi, has just released its long-awaited Android application. Available for free in the Android Market (you can find links after the break), the Gogo flight streamlines the process of getting online. Just enter your account credentials and you're golden. (The app will also make sure your phone or tablet actually has Wifi turned on, which is nice.)
Now, you don't get something for nothing here -- you'll still have to pony up a few bucks for your Wifis. Short flights -- up to 650 miles -- will cost $4.95. Longer flights will run $7.95 a leg.
Astraware has released their new Word Games application, and are offering it exclusively on the Barnes & Noble store. It's a suite of five word games, that share a 100,000 word dictionary. The games calculate scores based not only on the letters used and the length of the words, but also how "interesting" or uncommon they are. The games are:
Shuffle - Make as many words as you can with the letters provided including the 5, 6 or 7 letter target word to unlock the next level. The more small words you get, the bigger your score. Use the Shuffle button to mix the letters up and help yourself spot more words!
Hexxed - Make words by tracing your finger through the tiles to make a chain within the hexagonal grid! Two play modes - limited tiles or limited time. Create long, interesting or unusual words to keep your word power score up and earn more tiles or time!
Wordsearch - Find all the listed words within the grid of letters, horizontally vertically, or diagonally! Play using the standard dictionary, or choose from over 20 special lists of themed words!
Gridlock - Make words by tracing your fingers through the letters to make a chain. As you make words this lights up the tiles. Light up the whole grid to level up! Use special tiles to boost your word power, score bonus points and more.
Spellmaster - Challenge your spelling skills against words of increasing difficulty. Choose the correct spelling from a choice of 4 words, 3 of which are misspelled!
Games of this nature should appeal to Nook Color buyers, and having it included in the on-device app store makes it easy for Nook Color users to download and enjoy them. Word Games costs $4.99, and of course is available from the Nook Apps Store. The full press release is after the break.
Sit around doodling a lot of pictures? If so, we have just the puzzle game for ya. Drawdle allows you to take your doodles, and turn them into awesome physics puzzles where you must solve the puzzles using your own doodles. The folks from One Side Softwarerolled by the Android Central forums to let us know the latest update is now currently available. In the latest version you get, HD graphics for tablets and new zooming and aiming features. If you're looking to have some fun with your doodles, give Drawdle a go -- you can thank us later. Download can be found past the break.
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