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3 years ago

How to set up the right APN on your Nexus 4

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For many people, buying the Nexus 4 will be their first time stepping into several different arenas. First GSM device, first unlocked device, first time using a prepaid carrier. Once everything is setup there's not a whole lot of difference in using an unlocked GSM phone, but unfortunately it's not always 100 percent frictionless. One of the only things that the user is likely to have to change on their devices when putting a SIM in is the APN (Access Point Name) settings.

Each carrier has distinct APN settings that let the phone operate on the network. It works in conjunction with the SIM to get you setup and registered on the network for full-speed data as well as texts and MMS. We're going to give you a quick run-down of the most popular U.S. carrier's APN settings and just how to set them up on the Nexus 4. Join us after the break.

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3 years ago

New version of Google Play app pushing, with new install screen and ability to delete wishlist items

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Version 3.10.9 of the Google Play app is pushing out to phones tonight, but there aren't any major changes. In fact, a cursory glance shows it as basically the same as the 4.2 Google apps version except that now you can delete items in your Wishist and you get a new screen when apps are installing. More than likely there are more behind-the-scenes changes as well.

The apk is floating around in the usual spots and will install right over your existing Play Store app. Or you can just wait it out and you should see it "soon". Hit the break to see what it all looks like.

Via: @WinDroidGuy

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3 years ago

Tweet Lanes also falls victim to Twitter's 100,000-token limit

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Some bad news for fans of the Tweet Lanes Twitter client. Developer Chris Lacy drops word tonight that the app won't be able to get past Twitter's 100,000-user token limit, which it's recently begun enforcing ahead of the March 2013 API changes. (A promising Windows Phone 8 client also just bit the dust because of this as well.)

Writes Lacy:

So it saddens me greatly to announce that going forward, I won't be actively developing Tweet Lanes as I have to this point. The cold hard reality is that with this immovable, 100,000 user ceiling, my plans for growing and eventually monetizing the app are no longer feasible.

This will likely be disappointing news for many of you, but given I spent a good chunk of my spare time for 10+ months working on this app, believe me when I say this decision pains me more than it does anyone else.

I'm disappointed that the app is not feature complete, that I won't be able to implement my planned premium features, and that I won't be able to demonstrate some of the cool UX ideas I had (especially in the tablet space). Also, I continue to feel strongly that Twitter users are under-served on Android, and I regret that I won't be able to give my all to try and change that situation.

For what it's worth, I have given serious consideration to creating and selling a new 'Tweet Lanes Pro' application. If I ever reached the 100k user limit for such an application, that would clearly be well worth my time, and I could do whatever I saw fit in creating that app with regards to Twitter's requirements. I am however, very hesitant about pursuing this course of action, as it seems like a bit of a slap in the face to the people who helped me promote the app via 'free for life', even if this circumstance was brought about by factors outside of my control.

One little ray of sunshine is that Lacy says he'll provide bugfixes and new features "as time permits," as well as possibly ("if/when," Lacy says) an App.net port.

Give Lacy's full post a read at the link below. And be sure to let Twitter know what you think of its move to shut out developers.

Source: +Chris Lacy

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3 years ago

HD Widgets updated with Android 4.2 lockscreen compatibility

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We saw just yesterday that Beautiful Clock Widgets was updated to support Android 4.2's new lockscreen widget functionality, and now HD Widgets is following today with its own update. There are many to choose from, and the update includes 11 new widgets in total -- 5 for the phone and 6 for the tablet -- for you to customize your lockscreen with.

We'll surely see more developers update their apps with this functionality as Android 4.2 gets onto more devices out there. For now, there are a couple good ones to choose from at least. HD Widgets will only set you back $1.99, and is available at the Play Store link above.

Source: Cloud.tv

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3 years ago

Markers updated to version 1.1, brings new features and more of the smooth

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Markers is one of my favorite apps. I'm definitely not an artist, but I have a ball doodling and scratching an image or two on my tablet. It's fun, and keeps me occupied. Today Markers gets a pretty significant update, chock full of new features, and just as important, changes to make it even smoother on large screen devices like the Samsung Nexus 10. Here's the official change log.

  •  You can now set the background color! Press and hold on a color in the palette to choose an opaque background, and long-press the checkerboard to go back to transparent.
  • 10 undo steps.
  • Retains color & tool selections between launches.
  • Much smoother and more responsive on devices with large displays.

To make things even better, Markers is entirely open-source. The source code has been updated as well, grab it here.

Markers was already one of the smoothest digital sketchpads available, and today's update makes it even better. If you like to doodle, especially on a tablet, check it out.

Via +Markers

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3 years ago

Pit might against magic in upcoming Dragon Slayer game

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Today Glu announced their next free-to-play game, Dragon Slayer. It's shaping up to incorporate a lot of Infinity Blade's one-on-one dueling format, except instead of wielding steel, players cast a variety of spells to subdue all manner of menacing dragons. Details are scarce for the time being, but you can count on upgradeable equipment and in-app purchases being in the mix somewhere. Plus, as you can tell, the graphics are pretty slick. 

What do you guys think of the trailer below? Glu has been publishing a lot of the duel-style games lately, including Blood and Glory: Legend and Death Dome... Any favorites, or is the freemium model an instant turn-off? Either way, expect to see Dragon Slayer in Google Play next week. 

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3 years ago

Nexus 4 Dot Live Wallpaper brings the back of the Nexus 4 to your wallpaper

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The simplest things in life often bring us the most pleasure, and this one sits somewhere in that category. One of the defining features of the new LG Nexus 4, is of course the pattern on the rear. Paying homage to the original Nexus One live wallpaper pattern, caught in the right light it's a pleasure to look at. Not content with limiting to the rear of Google's latest baby, there's now a live wallpaper that attempts to bring the effect to the front. 

Simply known as Nexus 4 Dot Live Wallpaper, it's available for free download from the Google Play store now. There's a bunch of advertisements to deal with, but only in the settings menu. There's a few different settings to customize, namely color, size of the dots and the speed of the animations. Our personal preference is for small white dots -- the closest resemblance to the actual pattern on the Nexus 4. Click on past the break to see how it looks in a couple of other colors, or head on over to the Play Store and snag yourselves a copy.

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3 years ago

Spark socket to turn your phone into a light switch and make bulbs app-friendly

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A fresh Kickstarter project is aiming to provide smartphone-friendly home lighting through a socket accessory.  The Wi-Fi-enabled Spark goes right into normal light sockets, then your light bulb goes into the Spark. Once that's done, users will be able to set flashing rules for notifications, fade-in for alarms, and otherwise remotely control your home lighting. 

Spark isn't alone in trying to bring home lighting to Android, though. Lifx recently wrapped up funding for their smart light bulb, which includes a wide range of color options and the same degree of programmability. Of course, when a Lifx Bulb burns out, you're out $70, while Spark seems like it will weather the test of time a little bit better, plus there are APIs available for developers to plug their apps into Spark. My only worry is that the added bulk in the socket might not be practical for all lamps. 

Spark is only a few days into its Kickstarter campaign and still has a ways to go to meet its $250,000 goal, though they've already sold out of the early bird special. You can still back them and preorder on for $59, though. Any takers? Would you rather Spark or Lifx? Are there other solid smart home lighting solutions out there?

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3 years ago

Pandora rolls out version 4.0 update with a new feature set

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We got a look at the press images of a new update to Pandora -- version 4.0 -- a couple weeks ago, and now it has finally gone live for everyone to get their hands on. The app got a pretty substantial UI facelift in the previous update, and now this one brings extra features to fill out the entire experience. After linking the app to your Facebook and Twitter accounts, you can share the current playlist or song directly to each network. On the listening side, you can create and manage your different playlists, and add variety to current ones.

You can also now create a "music profile" for yourself, making a central repository for everything you do in Pandora. You can browse and follow other users' music profiles in what's being called the "music feed" as well. The update has just gone live in the Play Store, and you can grab a download at the link above.

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3 years ago

Twitter for Android updated with in-line media previews

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The official Twitter for Android app has been updated yet again to come closer to the feature improvements that have been made in the web version of Twitter. Tweets in the regular stream now include previews of any media attached to the tweet. Pictures, videos and articles will show up in-line with the tweet so they can be easily accessed after the preview. Several improvements have been made to the search functionality as well -- there are media previews in search stream tweets, and you can now get a "Photo Stream" to see what's happening at a given moment in pictures.

If you haven't given the official Twitter app a look in a while, you may want to give it a try. A lot of improvements have come in the recent updates. Grab a download at the Play Store link above.

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3 years ago

Popular Science picks Google Now as the Innovation of the Year

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Since its launch alongside Android 4.1 Jelly Bean back at Google IO in the summer, Google Now has become an intriguing, and in some cases integral part of every day life. Android nerds aren't the only ones to take a shine to the service either it seems, with Popular Science naming it as the Innovation of the Year. 

Make no mistake, this is an impressive accolade to receive. Google Now finds itself among such distinguished company as the digital camera, the Large Hadron Collider and follows on as the second Google service to receive the honor after Google Maps.  

In naming Google Now as the winner, Popular Science editor-in-chief, Jacob Ward, even took a slight swipe at Apple's Siri in the process:

Voice interfaces like Siri seem outdated by comparison. With Google Now, you don’t pull the phone out when an idea occurs to you. You pull it out when an idea occurs to it.

Google Now is still in the early days, and as promised at Google IO during the unveiling, we're expecting to see much more from it as time goes on. To see more, click on past the break for a video on the award, starring Jacob Ward. 

Source: Popular Science via Phonearena

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3 years ago

Chameleon Launcher gets a significant price reduction to $3.99

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Following a successful Kickstarter campaign, Chameleon Launcher made public release into the Google Play Store priced at $10. It's predominantly widget based UI is a different take on how a tablet homescreen should look and feel, but make no mistake, $10 is a lot to pay for any app. As such, download numbers -- at least on Play Store figures anyway -- remain quite low. 

However, anyone who ever wanted to try it out but couldn't justify the price now has an opportunity. The price of the application has been reduced to just $3.99, still a premium price, but a lot more reasonable than previously. It's unclear as to whether this is a limited time sale or a new, more permanent price point. And, if you're still undecided, be sure to check out our review first, before parting with any cash. 

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3 years ago

Draw a Stickman: Epic brings a new drawing adventure to Android

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You know those games that seem to crop up every now and then that are just a little bit different from everything else out there? The games that make you think 'Wow, that's cool!'. Draw a Stickman: Epic is one of them. To start off the game, you must draw a stickman. From there, your adventure throughout depends entirely upon what you draw and you'll do plenty of it.

Draw a Stickman: Epic has 13 levels and one bonus level that you can uncover. How you go about conquering each level, will determine how your next level will go. It'd liken it to a choose your own adventure book but only this time around, you get to draw the adventure. With almost every aspect of the levels within your control, it's an interesting game experience.

Check out the video below to get a better look at it. If after that, you want to give it a go you'll find both a free limited version  containing 5 levels as well as a paid version available in the Google Play Store for download.

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3 years ago

SkyDrive updated with SDcard uploads, feature improvements

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Microsoft just announced updates to both its Android and Windows Phone versions of its SkyDrive app, which is their version of a consumer cloud storage solution. This latest update -- version 1.1 -- brings the ability for users to upload any file type to their SkyDrive directly from the SDcard, rather than only from internal storage. Additionally, Android users can now properly manage and rename folders, something that the iOS app already had. There are also new settings to manage photo uploads and downloads.

Its good to see Microsoft work to support users on all platforms, rather than sticking to just Windows Phone. Supporting other platforms is often the only way to have a service gain traction nowadays.

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3 years ago

Facebook updated with improved sharing, photo albums

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Most people who use the Facebook app on a regular basis have somewhat of a love/hate relationship with it. While we continue to wait for a native app experience that would greatly improve performance, Facebook continues to roll out updates with basic feature enhancements. This latest one improves sharing and management of photos. Posts in the timeline now have big simple buttons across the bottom of them to "like", "comment" and "share" (where applicable) the post. Tapping the "share" button instantly puts you into an edit mode to re-share the post onto your own timeline.

On the photo side, users can now create albums completely on the device when accessing the "photos" tab from the timeline, which is a welcomed addition. The update also improves photo tagging as well. The update is worth a download if you're using Facebook, so grab it at the Play Store link above.

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