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3 years ago

TeleNav GPS Navigator 7.1 launches on Android devices from Sprint

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TeleNav has been working hard on their latest update and they are now soon ready to release TeleNav GPS Navigator 7.1. First up, will be availability to Sprint customers, who can start taking advantage of the newly implemented features such as:

  • New Home Screen - TeleNav GPS Navigator 7.1 uses a new, unique home screen, called “My Dashboard ™,” for quick and easy access to what on-the-go people need every day. The redesigned interface includes a map of the user’s current location with real-time traffic overlay and customizable “Home” and “Work” buttons to show current drive times based on live traffic.
  • Improved Map Options - TeleNav GPS Navigator 7.1 also includes smoother and faster map rendering, enhancing features such as live traffic, red light cameras and satellite view map layers. The application includes Multi Routes™, which recommends up to three routes to the destination with distance and estimated drive times based on traffic conditions.
  • New Widgets - Customizable Android widgets have been added for quick access to the information that on-the-go people need and use every day. Three TeleNav widgets are available for download on the Android home screen, including a map of the user’s current location, a one-box search field, and navigation with Home and Work commute times.

TeleNav GPS Navigator 7.1 will be available later this month at no additional charge with Sprint’s Everything Data and Simply Everything plans, with optional premium features such as lane assist, speed trap, red light camera, speed limit notification and commute reports available for an additional $4.99 per month. Full press release is beyond the break.

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3 years ago

Android Game Review: Buddy Rush

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YouTube link for mobile viewing

I get to play a lot of games as I'm looking for the best stuff to show you guys and gals. Most of the time I find pretty good stuff. Occasionally though, I come across something that's kind of a dud. Buddy Rush is one of those games.

Buddy Rush is a cross-platform (Android, iOS, and Facebook) action/RPG where you pick a character and complete missions to get items. Instead of just playing with developer-created computer players, though, you can take computer controlled characters that your friends have made. That's where the social aspect is supposed to come into play, anyway.

You control you character by tapping the place you want to walk to and you attack enemies by tapping them. Likewise, you also tap on computer characters (like merchants) to open up a dialog screen where you can either accept items or quest invitations, or purchase items that will advance you on your journey.

There's three characters you can pick from the start (a melee class, a mage, and an archer), and all the other characters on the roster need to be bought. They've got pretty funny names (like the Worrier, who is a worrisome warrior, or Wizz the wizard), so I'll give the developers one for creativity there.

From a gameplay perspective, Buddy Rush is alright. The graphics are ok, the music is chipper, and everything runs generally without issue. Now, I did get a few force closes here and there, and the mission progress I was in the middle of in had reset, so that kind of sucked.

Buddy Rush is also peppered with weird grammatical errors. If you pay attention you'll notice phrasings that aren't quite right, like they came straight out of Google Translate. I don't mind if the game was originally localized somewhere else, but that just kind of bugged me as I was reading mission information.

Buddy Rush also uses a special (see: paid for) currency called Chips. Chips are used to buy special items in-game or buy the characters that are both cooler and off-limits to you when you're creating a character. If you don't want to spend cash for chips, there's a list of offers you can complete to get Chips for free. Some of them require you to sign up for Netflix while others are as simple as installing and running a free app.

I wanted to see the Chips system at work, so I downloaded one of the free apps and booted it up. Not surprisingly, my Chips weren't awarded to me. So I played that free app for a little bit, tried to see if there was some threshold I had missed, but still, no Chips. That bugged me quite a bit because it's either poor programming and partnership or a thinly veiled attempt to set up your expectations and then deny you (so then you'll buy Chips).

The social aspect is also completely ruined if none of your friends play (like in my case), so you end up losing a whole component there. I know the rewards for having friends play are trivial at best, but it'd at least be a little entertaining to see a friend's avatar instead of some weirdo wearing a pumpkin for a head.

Fortunately, Buddy Rush is free, so there's no barrier to entry (just a barrier for Chips). If you're one of the folks who has already enjoyed it on the browser side of things, this is the best way to take it with you when you're on the go. And if you're someone who can convince your friends to give it a shot, it might not be a bad idea.

For me, it's lacking some of the polish I've become accustomed to in a great Android game, but that might just be me.

We've got download links after the break.

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3 years ago

Verizon Wireless launches Mobile Unified Communications Client

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Verizon is well aware of the growth in the mobile industry and as such, they're also aware that buinesses no longer rely on their workers to be in the office all the time. Fact is, we're becoming a mobile society and being in an office all day is quite a thing of the past. Knowing this, they've now announced the Mobile Unified Communications Client.

This allows business owners to have both a landline and mobile number attached to their employee's smartphones. Calls initiated from the mobile phone’s line are routed through the existing corporate IP PBX system and display the employee’s business number to callers.  This helps maintain the corporate identity while allowing employee's to be wherever they need to be outside of the office.

The Mobile UC Client is available for a $7 monthly fee per user, and most Motorola Android devices such as the Droid X, Droid X2, Droid 2 & Global and Droid Pro are supported. Full press release is past the break for you all.

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3 years ago

Android Game Review: Minecraft - Pocket Edition

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YouTube link for mobile viewing

When Minecraft: Pocket Edition was announced as an exclusive for the Xperia Play, block-builders the world round collectively wept. How long would it be before we could all run from Creepers, beat up sheep for their wool, or build giant structures to worship your favorite Android mascot?

It might have felt like forever, but Minecraft: Pocket Edition is finally available for all Android devices, and it's actually pretty cool (despite how feature-limited it is).

If you've ever played Minecraft on a PC (or even if you haven't), Minecraft: Pocket Edition will look pretty familiar. Everything is nice a blocky and retro-inspired, and it runs quite well. In lieu of actual physical controls, there's an onscreen directional pad with a jump button in the middle of it.

To place blocks, tap somewhere close to you. In the same vein, holding a block close to you will bring up a circle, and when the circle is filled, the block will be destroyed. Currently, there's no tools to destroy things, so everything is destroyed with your bare hands (Chuck Norris-style).

There's also no harvesting of items that you've destroyed. Instead, you have an inifinite amount of supplies, but only the supplies that the game gives you. Tapping the three circles on your item bar brings up the list of blocks (and other assorted goodies), and then you can pick three from there. I'm a bit disappointed TNT isn't included by default, and once crafting is (re)introduced, that'll be the first thing I make.

The controls are fairly tight, although the lack of precision on placing blocks when trying to balance a tablet can become a little frustrating. The camera is no different than the non-pocket edition, and the blocky, first-person interface is still top-notch.

Also missing from this early alpha are day/night cycles, and with that, bad guys. I really wanted to run and blow myself up next to a Creeper (cause hey, that never gets old), but there's none of them to be found. Zombies are suspiciously absent as well, along with all of the farm animals you beat up for their delicious meats, eggs, and wool.

You can still play with friends as long as you're all on the same wireless network, but otherwise, you're flying solo. Minecraft: Pocket Edition also sidesteps the normal Minecraft servers entirely, so you can have any name you want (for now).

Overall, Minecraft: Pocket Edition is a bit underwhelming, especially when there's so much on the desktop version that's missing from the mobile experience. I know it's an early alpha, but for $6.99, I was personally expecting more. That being said, it's still kind of a technical marvel, having such an open sandbox running on mobile devices.

If you just can't live without your Minecraft when you're not at home, we've got download links after the break.

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3 years ago

Sleepy Jack arrives exclusively on Xperia Play for a limited time

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Another day, another Xperia Play exclusive. This time it's the popular iOS game Sleepy Jack that's coming to Sony Ericsson's PlayStation-certified device before any other Androids. Sleepy Jack is a 3D flying game where players must guide Jack through a series of dream worlds, collecting Zs as they go. We had a chance to try out a pre-release version of the game on Xperia Play last month and were really impressed with the level of polish and overall smoothness of the game.

Xperia Play owners can also get Sleepy Jack at a reduced price -- just £0.99 (~$1.55) -- for a "very limited" time. There's no word on how long it'll be before other Android devices are able to play Sleepy Jack, but in the meantime Xperia Play owners can find the Market link and QR code after the jump.

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3 years ago

Android Central Editors' app picks for Oct 8, 2011

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Looking to download something new today, but just not sure what it should be? Don't worry, we have you covered, hit the break with us and let's check out some of our favorites from this week and hopefully they can become some of your very own favorites!

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3 years ago

Android Theme Review: Frost

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I think once you've got the theming fever, the only prescription is more cowbell theming. Returning back to my initial obsession with monochrome and minimalism, I'd like to present another theme by Sonny Sekhon (the creator of Tangerine): Frost.

Frost takes your status bar icons and turns them black. How will black show up on your bar, you might ask? Well, your notification bar is transformed into a brilliant, frosty silver. Same as Tangerine, the battery percent is put inside the battery by default, so you'll always how much time you've got before you need to swap in a spare battery.

The pulldown notification bar is similarly themed, with a transparent background and silvery-white text and icons. The bottom of the bar is a sort of metallic rectangle with a slice cut out of it. Your notifications are also on metallic rectangles too.

The dialer is relatively unchanged, with just some transparency added. The phone icon is now silver, people's frames around their pictures is a slightly darker grey, but otherwise, it's the same app you've come to know and love.

Icons and widgets have been heavily themed, with many of the apps in my drawer sporting some new, silver threads. A number of widgets have been skinned, too, like the analog clock and the Google search widget.

As a matter of fact, everything in Frost is themed or skinned in some form or fashion. Check box buttons, the settings menu, field highlights, and toast notifications are all cold, frosty, and monochromatic. There isn't a part of your ROM that won't have been themed, and it all comes together in one very convincing package or total frosty immersion.

If you're on the hunt for a brightly colored theme (like me!), then look no further than Frost. It's bright, steely, and very eye-catching. And for only $1, it can be yours.

We've got download links and more pictures after the break.

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3 years ago

New Google Music and Google+ apps found in Ice Cream Sandwich build

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The fellows at Android Police have their hands on a couple new apps from the Ice Cream Sandwich build that's floating around out there (how 'bout a dump for the community, Mr. Anon?), and with it comes with new Google Music and Google+ apps.  The new music app has a bit of a UI makeover, with more sleek (and less screen real-estate wasting) controls, most noticeable in the "now playing" screen, and a search button has been included since ICS has no dedicated search key.  It appears that everything we know and love about Google Music is there, but in a more refined package.

The Google+ app at first look appears much like the current version in the Android Market, until you look at the Huddle Messenger portion.  Once again, it's been renamed, this time Google is calling it "Chords."  While that may be confusing at first, it's probably less confusing than having the same name as other applications (Facebook, iOS, etc.) that are using the word messenger.  Or it may be something that Google it kicking around, and not even final.  We'll only know for sure when ICS is available for everyone.  For more pictures, as well as a download link for the Google Music app, check out the source links.

Source: Android Police (Music) (Google+)

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3 years ago

Android 101: Clear your Android Market search history

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Tired of seeing the same apps you've already searched for show up over and over when you search the Android Market? You can easily clear your search history and get rid of the usual -- or incriminating -- list of apps.

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3 years ago

Android App Review: Musicnotes Sheet Music Viewer

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It was way back in January when we first reported Musicnotes would be bringing their sheet music viewer over to Android and I'm happy to say that it has finally arrived. Meeting at the intersection of music and tech, the Musicnotes Sheet Music Viewer doesn't promise much, but for what it advertises, it does really well.

When you first boot up the app, you're given the option to sign in with your Musicnotes account. If you don't have one, you can register from this screen, but if you do, sign in. The app will automatically start syncing music you've purchased onto your device for your viewing pleasure. In the event you don't have anything (like me), you'll probably be given something for free, like Toccata and Fugue by J.S. Bach.

Once you've logged in, you'll notice there's five buttons at the bottom of the screen: My Sheet Music, Sync, Shop, Settings, and About. My Sheet Music is just what it sounds like; music you've already purchased and synced to your device.

The sync button allows you to decide what music you own to your device. This is done through flipping switches to on and off positions. Flip the switch to on and your music will be synced. And yes, the buttons and switches look like iPhone images.

The shop button is pretty cool, as it opens up the Musicnotes website in a browser within the app so you can browse and buy without ever having to get on a computer. From what searching I did, the website is both fast and functional, letting you search by instrument, song name, or keyword and letting you purchase as soon as you've found what you're after.

The settings menu houses information like what account is signed into the app as well as when your music should sync (or resync). The most important settings are at the very bottom, called Paper Type and Page Change. Paper type is purely aesthetic, letting you choose between white, old, crumpled, rough, and recycled "paper" to view your music on. (Why you would ever want to read music off of crumpled paper is beyond me, but, I digress.)

The page change is the best option, letting you pick between swiping or tapping the screen to advance a page. Personally, the tapping makes more sense because it takes less time, but if you want to truly simulate turning a page, knock yourself out.

It'd be really killer if Musicnotes could eventually integrate a player into the app so you can play along with a MIDI recording of your music in real-time, and better yet would be if the music could listen to you play and turn the page accordingly, but none of those features were promised, so I'm not too torn up about it. Like someone said earlier today, pipe dreams are dreams, too.

The Musicnotes Sheet Music Viewer is free in the Android Market and requires you have Adobe AIR installed on your device to run. It's optimized for tablets but works one phones, too.

More screenshots and download links are after the break.

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3 years ago

Nuance said to have purchased Swype for $100 million

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What do you get when you combine the best in voice command with one of the best touchscreen keyboards? We might be about to find out, as Uncrunched reports that Nuance -- that's the company and technology behind the excelent "Dragon" line of programs -- as well as the iPhone 4S' "Siri" new voice system -- has purchased Swype, the excellent on-screen keyboard that lets you swipe from letter to letter, or type normally. Nuance has the popular T9 keyboard, but Swype would certainly be a coup.

Nothing official has been announced yet, but the deal is said to be worth in the neighborhood of $100 million. Stay tuned. This could get interesting.

Source: Uncrunched

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3 years ago

Taptu Reader app debuts on Barnes & Noble’s NOOK Color

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While many have been making use of the Taptu application available in the Android Market, the folks from Barnes & Noble and Taptu have npw annaounced the availability of Taptu on the NOOK Color.

“Taptu on NOOK Color just makes sense. Our goal is to provide the best way to consume media on-the-go and Barnes & Noble provides an incredible canvas for people to access and read what matters most to them—a perfect match,” said Mitch Lazar, CEO of Taptu.

Taptu of course allows you to, as they say DJ the news -- mixing topic-based stories, publications, blogs, RSS feeds and social media posts and updates from Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn into customized streams.

Instapaper and “Read It Later” integration for saving articles and themes to choose from to avoid eye strain, Taptu's services are a unique way to consume media. The Taptu app is available now on the NOOK Color, you'll find the press release and the download link past the break.

Source: Barnes & Noble

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3 years ago

Amazon updates Appstore Developer Portal FAQ for Kindle Fire

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Amazon has added their developer FAQ with a section specific for the Kindle Fire, covering requirements and the submission process for those who are getting ready for Novembers big launch.  For the most part, it's a pretty standard read -- an overview of the process, the device specific requirements (they even tell developers how to set up the Android SDK emulator -- 600x1024 px display, 169 LCD density, API 10 and 512MB RAM), and content guidelines.  If you have any plans to develop and submit apps to Amazon for the Fire, you should hit the source link and have a read.

For the rest of us, let's have a look at a couple highlights from the "infamous" Amazon developer agreement's Q&A about the Fire:

Amazon will be reviewing each app in the appstore for compatibility with the Kindle Fire.  This will be done automatically, and if any issues are found during the testing, developers will be contacted with more information.  They say app approval for new apps will "generally take a week", but some apps will take longer.

The have a list of no-nos, which your application can't require (as in, need for correct operation) to run.  This list includes a gyroscope, camera, WAN module, Bluetooth, microphone, GPS, or micro-SD.  In addition, if your app uses Google's mobile services, like cloud to device messaging, they need to be removed "gracefully".  Amazon gives us an example of graceful as "an error message such as "This feature is not currently available on this device".  There's also a notice that Google's in app billing won't be supported, but they're working on their own solution.

There's also two interesting notes about content in addition to their normal guidelines.  No themes or wallpaper apps will be allowed, or any app "that manipulates the user interface of the device", and that the "Kindle Fire does not support apps that require root access".  The former, while a little surprising, makes a lot of sense -- they want Amazon content to be front and center.  The latter is a bit less clear, as there are already apps on the Amazon appstore that require root access.  These may be blocked from the Fire, or it may just be confusing wording.  We'll have to wait and see.

Here's the part where I start bitching about open -- but not this time.  Amazon makes no bones about what they are, which is a for profit business.  They don't claim to be anything else (at least not at the retail level) so I'm good with these decisions.  They can, and should, curate their user's experience any way they see fit, and a lot of people will benefit from it.  Tight control will guarantee a level of consistency that a whole lot of people want.  They should be allowed to have it.

Source: Amazon

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3 years ago

Google Books finally lands in the UK

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Until now, only our friends across the pond have been able to purchase content from Google Books. That changes today as the service finally arrives in the UK.

The usual plethora of free public domain ebooks are available, as well as as content from some of the largest publishing houses in the UK. 

As with the U.S. version of the service, it's designed to be open with your content available to read on the web reader, Apple devices, e-readers from the likes of Sony and Kobo, and of course your Android devices. With the books stored remotely in the cloud, you can change device and pick up where you left off, much like Amazon's Whispersync. 

Google also claims to have been working with independent retailers, to allow the sale of Google Books through other bookstores in the UK. 

Check out the links below for more about Google Books in the UK, and to download the Google Books app. 

Source: Google

More: Google Books in the UK, Google Books Web Reader

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3 years ago

Android Theme Review: Tangerine

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My love affair with theming my CM7 install has taken a turn for the orange, or tangerine, in this case. MellowYellow served me well, but something about orange has just been piquing my interest as of late, so I sped off into the Android Market, looking for something that would suffice. After some unfocused digital sleuthing, I finally came across this excellent theme by Sonny Sekhon: Tangerine.

Tangerine takes all of the status bar icons and turns them orange. It also puts the battery percentage inside the battery icon by default, so if you're running the option where you have the percentage next to a vertical bar, you can go ahead and disable that.

The pulldown notification bar has also been themed, with unique icons taking the place of the standard widget button icons. The pulldown bar itself is transparent with an orange arrow at the bottom. To top it off, all your actual notifications are on a metallic silver background.

The dialer is pretty stock, with just a hint of transparency to it. There's also some nice icon theming that takes place, like most of the stock Google apps, for starters. Messaging has been rendered completely orange, for one, and Gmail's iconic "M" follows suit nicely.

Where Tangerine really pulls ahead in terms of theming is its detail in regards to things like buttons, check boxes, highlighting fields, and toast notifications. I know those all sound like really minor things and they kind of are (how many toast notifications do you get in a day, really?), but when you look at the sum of the parts, you'll come to realize just how much orange is peppered throughout this theme.

Overall, Tangerine is awesome. It only costs a dollar and has totally transformed my look from the yellow idea I had previously. It's fresh and very cool and definitely adds a bit of kick to your phone in a color most people wouldn't expect to see.

We've got download links and more pictures after the break.

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