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3 years ago

Google+ app adds new notification tray, links when posting

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The Google+ app has just been updated to add a few bits of functionality and a new notification system. With the previous update we received a new post composition screen that let you add a photo or mood to the post, and this update is putting a "link" option between the two. Tapping on it lets you manually add a URL, although we'd bet most people will be copy/pasting URLs in. On the main UI side, notifications have been redesigned as well. Instead of being hidden underneath the navigation controls in the left slide-in panel, you get a separate notification number between the refresh and settings buttons, that when tapped brings in a full notification-specific panel from the right.

The update also allows for more moderation options in Google+ Communities, which were recently released. You can grab a download of the new Google+ at the Play Store link above.

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3 years ago

Google Play Music update improves widget, adds features, fixes bugs

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Google Play Music has just received a notable update to add a few features that have been bugging users for some time now. Right off the top you'll spot a proper reverse button on the music widget, letting you go backwards in albums or playlists without entering the app. Instant mixes can now continue on past 25 tracks as well, and you can shuffle albums, artists or playlists. The default album art is changed to a simpler grey tile also.

When you pin albums or tracks, you can now see the progress of the download from that album or playlist view rather than just in the settings. There is also apparently a bugfix that should solve the problem of some Galaxy SIII (S3) devices freezing when using the app. It's a whole bunch of useful fixes and improvements, so go grab the update from the Play Store now.

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3 years ago

Waste time and flex your brain with Shift It

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There's no shortage of quick and fun puzzle games on Android, and Shift It still stands out as a great one. When you start up Shift It and play the first level, you'll instantly draw comparisons to the paradigm of a Rubik's cube. The basic idea of the game is to take the nine section grid of different colored blocks, and move it around so that the blocks of the same color are all connected. You are faced with a 2D view, but the blocks are effectively 3D -- moving blocks off of one edge, you will see them reappear on the other side.

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3 years ago

Carbon backup app launches on Google Play [updated]

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Update: Whoops. Koush sends word that Carbon wasn't quite ready to go when we posted and that the folks in the forums spotted it early. It's now "live" live, so make sure you have the most recent version.

After a couple of weeks in beta, Koushik Dutta -- aka Koush -- has released his Carbon backup app on Google Play. The app uses Android's built-in backup feature to sync apps -- and crucially, app data -- to the SD card or cloud storage. If you're rooted, you just need the app itself. If not, there's an accompanying desktop app that can help you sync an unrooted phone.

A word of warning for Motorola users -- the app isn't available for Moto devices due to a bug in these phones which prevents Android's backup features from working correctly. A manual download link is provided on the Play Store listing for those running custom ROMs, or anyone who just wants to try anyway.

Carbon comes in two flavors -- there's a free version, which offers an basic ad-supported service. Then there's an ad-free premium version, which costs $4.99 and adds in more advanced stuff like Android-to-Android sync and cloud storage sync.

Both apps are available for phones running Android 4.0 or above -- hit the Google Play link above to grab the basic version, or head over here for the premium version.

via Android Central forums

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3 years ago

Cameringo update fixes sharing intents, bugs

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We took a look at Cameringo a couple days ago, and the one issue we had was that sharing intents didn't work. Thankfully the developer has made a couple updates in the last day, fixing a few issues including sharing. We've gone through version 1.1 and 1.2 in the last 24 hours, and both have brought notable updates. 1.1 brought improved rendering on HTC devices and other internal improvements, and 1.2 fixed the sharing bug. The developer has been quick to respond to bug reports and get these fixes out quickly, which is great to see.

The end result is that Cameringo's UI has improved notably. Gone is the legacy menu key, and the UI elements to control settings and to capture photos are now transparent, giving you a full-screen viewfinder. When taking a shot you can now properly share that image to any available app, and the picture will actually come along.

As we said in our initial look at the app, it has a lot of great things about it that make it worth the $1.00 to purchase. Now with these improvements and bug fixes it's really a no-brainer if you're looking to add filters to your photos.

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3 years ago

Zombie Road Trip might make you love zombie games again

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Ready for yet another zombie themed game for your phone or tablet? Yeah, I'm getting a little burnt on the whole zombie kitsch myself, too. But this one's actually a good zombie themed game, and one you'll want to try.

Zombie Road Trip has a simple, yet familiar premise -- stay away from zombies that will eat you, and kill the ones that get in your path. Sounds familiar, right? Now imagine instead of running away, you're driving a dump truck that can do mid-air stunts and flips -- with a machine gun mounted on the hood. Now we're talking. Add in the upgradeable equipment, and easy controls and you have what I call a winner. Play it for ten minutes, and I think you'll agree.

Zombie Road Trip is an endless style game, where the gameplay only stops if you get eaten by the zombie horde that's trailing you. While you race for your life, you'll be faced with zombies in all shapes and sizes coming at you, just waiting for you to tap the screen and fire your weapon. You can mow them down (what good is a dump truck if you can't turn the bad guys into a bloody smear with it?), but this also slows you down. Slow players and fast zombie hordes make for a short game. While you're driving through the various terrain, you can flip and do stunts each time you get airborne. Each stunt you successfully pull off, or zombie you kill gives you coins which you can use to buy stuff to better kill zombies with. If you're impatient, you can also buy the coins via an in-app purchase.

The controls, as mentioned, are easy -- tap the bottom right to tilt clockwise, and the bottom left tilts you counter clockwise. Tapping anywhere on the screen fires your weapon. Controls that are easy to learn and master are a must for touch screen gaming and Zombie Road Trip does a great job here. This is a fun little game that you'll be able to play during those times when you only have a few minutes to kill, as well as when it's play time and you're up for a serious gaming session. It's free, runs on Gingerbread and higher, and you can grab it at the link above. Hit the break for some screenshots and the trailer video.

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3 years ago

Epic Citadel now available for Android

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Epic Citadel, Epic Games' Infinity Blade-themed tech demo app, is now available for Android. Epic sends word that 'Citadel has launched on Google Play and the Amazon Appstore, where it can be downloaded for free. The app serves as a technology showcase for Epic's Unreal Engine 3 on mobile.

Epic Citadel allows players to explore a medieval-themed village, complete with cobbled streets, rolling terrain and a towering citadel. Players can choose between high performance and high quality modes to attain the best balance between visuals and speed. There's also a resolution scaling option, which may be useful for high-res devices that lack the horsepower to push Epic Citadel at full resolution. Touch controls allow players to navigate around town, but there's also a guided tour mode if you just want to admire the scenery, and a benchmark mode if you want to test your device's mettle.

The title first launched on iOS back in 2010, ahead of the original Infinity Blade's release. And while there's no suggestion of that game coming to Android, it's great to see a big-name developer like Epic getting behind Android in a more official capacity. (Readers with long memories might remember seeing a version of Epic Citadel running on an Optimus 2X almost two years ago.)

Epic Citadel is available from Google Play at the link above, and supports a wide range of Android phones and tablets. We've got more screenshots after the break, along with today's press release.

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3 years ago

Open Garden - awesome idea, poor execution

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Open Garden is a new and innovative way to look at multiple device networking, allowing users to quite seamlessly connect phones, tablets and laptops for an internet connection. The app has been out for quite some time and has many downloads in the Play Store, but still lacks some fundamental features that keep it from completely fulfilling its promise. The idea is sound, and with a few improvements the app could be something fantastic.

Read on past the break and see what Open Garden has to offer, and how it could be changing the way we look at tethering apps going forward.

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3 years ago

Google Wallet updated with new UI, performance improvements

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Google Wallet is getting a facelift today with its latest update, bringing a smoother UI and some under the hood improvements as well. The interface now more closely follows the holo UI guidelines, with navigation tabs along the top of the interface and an overflow settings button to hold all extra functions. You're no longer greeted by a list of all available cards, as they are now all housed one more tap away under the "My Wallet" tab with only your default card displayed. There is a button to go directly to "My Offers" from the first page, and new offers can be found from the "Explore" tab on the main page.

The update also brings some nondescript "improvements to the user interface, application stability, and battery life." Although no specifics are listed, these are all good improvements that although aren't as noticeable at first as a new UI make a big difference in the quality of the app.

The Google Wallet app has undergone several visual changes since its launch, and this is probably the best of the bunch. Head to the Play Store and check out the latest update if you have a compatible device, or stick around after the break for a few screenshots of the new UI.

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3 years ago

Ouya developers create 166 game prototypes at 'game jam' event

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Ouya got its developer consoles out to eager Kickstarter backers on time, and now these devs are putting themselves to work creating game prototypes for the console. In a partnership with Kill Screen, the folks at Ouya hosted a "game jam" to get developers interested in making new games for the platform. The jam produced 166 different game prototypes in just 10 days -- quite a feat for any platform -- and the games will go on to be judged and awarded prizes. The Ouya team says that its software kit for developing games has already been downloaded 22,000 times by developers.

Those are some pretty impressive numbers, and the console hasn't even been released to the general public yet. We hope these early game prototypes are a sign of good things to come for Ouya once consoles are in the hands of regular consumers. You can see a full list of the games created during the game jam at the second source link below.

Source: Ouya (Kickstarter)Kill Screen Daily

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3 years ago

SwiftKey Flow gets a new beta with more predictions, easier corrections

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Swiftkey today unleashed a new version of its beta-only SwiftKey Flow keyboard. Corrections are easier, predictions are more prevalent -- and it's basically just more awesome. 

Hit up the VIP forums to get your download on. We've got the full changelog after the break.

Download: Swiftkey Flow

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3 years ago

Cameringo - another way to get filters onto your pictures

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Cameringo is yet another entry into the photo filter game, and has some features that can help set it apart from other photo apps. Since Instagram made its way to Android, there has been an increasing flood of apps that put filters on top of photos -- for better or worse, depending on who you ask. Cameringo makes the likely smart move to not go head-to-head with Instagram's styling and social networking aspects, and instead just offers a set of useful settings and photo filters that make it compelling in other ways.

Read on past the break to see what Cameringo has to offer.

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3 years ago

Samsung reportedly planning wider device availability for Music Hub

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Since Samsung first announced their Music Hub service, the global reach has been somewhat limited. Initially launching only in the UK, the U.S. soon followed, but one thing remained. Device exclusivity to Samsung devices, more specifically the Galaxy S3 and then the Galaxy Note 2. Now though, a new report suggests that Samsung is looking towards expanding the reach of its music service, and go toe-to-toe with the likes of Google Play and the Amazon MP3 Store. 

TJ Kang, SVP for Samsung Media Services, in speaking with The Next Web said that Samsung plans to expand the availability of Music Hub. Initially taking in the Samsung range of connected devices, to include tablets, smartphones, Smart TV's and even refrigerators, the expansion wouldn't end there. Beyond this, Kang also acknowledged that the service could be seen on Android devices from other OEMs, stating it would be easier for Samsung, since consumers often own devices covering a broad range of manufacturers.

Currently the Samsung Music Hub is available in six countries worldwide, but further global expansion is also reportedly on the cards for 2013. As you might expect this is subject to territory specific deals, but also Samsung's 2013 device release plans. No potential timeline was offered for making the service available beyond the walls of Samsung, but Kang did go on to say that such availability was the company's goal. 

So, perhaps the question we should be asking -- is there room for yet another music service fighting for our business? With Google Play and Amazon already established in selling music, and the likes of Spotify and Rdio offering compelling streaming offerings, is there room for another? Currently Music Hub could be seen as more of a convenience for those who can access it, but surely to break through Samsung would have to offer something compelling. What about you guys -- would you use a Samsung music service in place of whatever you currently use? Hit up the comments below and share your thoughts with us. 

Source: The Next Web

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3 years ago

First look: The Carbon for Android Twitter app

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After many months and a few false starts, the long-awaited client prepares for initial release

It's tough to talk about the Carbon for Android Twitter client without saying a few things up front:

  1. No, it's still not available. But that we've been given a pre-release version to share should tell you something.
  2. Yes, we're all very much aware that we've been talking about Carbon, off and on, for more than a year now. (A whopping six stories out of some 6,000 written over 13 months, if our math is right.) Announcements of imminent release have come and gone, followed by long periods of silence. You can either choose to get over that, read this preview and give this app a shot when it's released in the near future, or not. 
  3. There are now two Carbon apps for Android. This one, obviously, is the Twitter app, from the developer dots & lines, which first brought Carbon to webOS, where it garnered much praise. It later came to Windows Phone before being put out to pasture, much to the chagrin of this Microsoft faithful. The other Carbon app is a backup and sync client from Koushik Dutta. We're not sure which app will see first public release (our money's on the backup app), but having two apps with the same name is about as fun for us as it is for you, we reckon.
  4. Carbon (the Twitter app) may well be the best-designed Twitter app we've used yet -- and there are some good ones out there.

So with those things in mind, join us for our first look at the long-awaited Carbon Twitter app.

Updated on Feb. 3: Carbon has been published to Google Play, and we've added a few sentences on the Settings menu, which was not in our preview build.

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3 years ago

Five apps to take advantage of Daydream in Android 4.2

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Daydream was pretty quickly glanced over by most people when it was announced as part of the Android 4.2 release, but luckily some developers have started to make apps using the new feature. The latest revision of Jelly Bean just isn't available to that many people and the number and quality of daydream apps reflects that, but luckily there are some gems to be found if you go searching for them.

Read on past the break and see the top apps available right now to take advantage of the daydream functionality in Android 4.2.

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