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3 years ago

Oh noes! Google Maps isn't working on Windows Phone

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Our Windows Phone-loving pals at WPCentral have found themselves in quite the pickle. First there's the whole to-do over YouTube and the fact that Google's not opening up its metadata to Windows Phone, so third-party apps can't search videos as well as we can on Android. (Or in the iOS YouTube app, for that matter.) Now they can't even use Google Maps. Not that there's been an official Windows Phone version of Google Maps -- nor do we really expect one anytime soon -- but for some reason pointing Internet Explorer to maps.google.com redirects back to the mobile verison of Google's home page.

Shenanigans? Or Gremlins? We're willing to bet it's just a hiccup and that Google's not shutting out Windows Phone from Google Maps, but it's an inconvenience, to say the least. And Gizmodo says this actually has been the case from the start. (Though that's apparently not true.) On the other hand, WPCentral's Daniel Rubino questions "why you would want to use Google’s less-than-awesome mapping service through a browser." With an attitude like that, pal, don't expect the boys and girls at Google to bend over backwards for you on a Friday.

More: WPCentral

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3 years ago

SwiftKey Flow beta updated with performance improvements, bug fixes

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Four weeks on from the original SwiftKey Flow beta launch, a new version of the app is available. The new version 4.0.0.61 of the trace-enabled keyboard features improved performance, as well as fixes for a number of bugs identified over the past month --

  • Flow-through-space autocommit: if you flow-through space but mess up your last word, all the prior words will be inserted (instead of losing all the words)
  • Flow in landscape on tablets (not on split layout with numpad)
  • Battery usage improved (when flowing and when not in use)
  • Performance of flowing and tapping improved
  • Longpress of bottom-right (smiley/enter) button now works
  • Fixed some force close issues
  • Fixed some memory leaks
  • Predictions not lost when changing keyboard layout (e.g to symbols)
  • Fixed DOuble CApitalization issue

The new version is available for tablets and phones over at the source link below. Remember that SwiftKey Flow is still  in beta, so the app won't be as stable as the current version of SwiftKey 3.1 on Google Play. (A list of known issues can also be found at the source link.)

Source: SwiftKey blog

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3 years ago

What I used in 2012: Andrew Martonik

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We cover a whole lot of news here on Android Central, from phones and tablets to apps, accessories and a whole lot more. We put these products and services through their paces harder than most, so when something stands out enough to be used by one of the writers daily, it's usually the cream of the crop. Stick around after the break and see what I used throughout 2012.

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3 years ago

Agenda for Android: The iOS calendar favorite makes the leap

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Looks like I just found my new calendar app. Agenda -- long a favorite on iOS -- has made its way to Android. (It's currently $1.99.) It ties into your Google calendars, of course, but it's the interface that's much improved over what Google's given us. The basic UI is much cleaner in black-and-white (the colors you see here are my custom label colors) and moreover you can swipe left and right to change from a year-at-a-glance view, to monthly, to daily and agenda, to single events.  There's a clear button for adding events, the bullseye takes you to the current day, and you can pick and choose which calendars to display.

It's still slightly rough around the edges -- the odd crash, and vertical scrolling could be a little smoother. But for form and function, Agenda's among the best we've seen, though we'd love to see some sort of agenda widget to go along with it, and developer SavvyApps says one is in the works.

We've got more screenies after the break. Hit the link above to give it a go for yourself.

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3 years ago

Facebook pages manager app for Android launches, sort of

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Looks like Facebook might finally be about to make available its "Facebook Pages Manager" application for Android, which, as the name implies, will let those with Facebook Pages manage said pages with the app. It's sitting there in Google Play, only we can't download it yet in the states. And neither can our pals in the UK.

The app's description reads:

Manage all the Pages you admin, wherever you are. Helps Facebook Page admins connect with their audience and keep up with activity on multiple Pages.

  • Post new updates and photos and respond to comments as your Pages
  • View and reply to private messages sent to your Page
  • Get notifications about new activity on your Pages right away
  • View your latest Pages Insights

A few people have managed to leave star ratings, and a couple of (not so helpful) reviews. For our part, the listing shows it's incompatible with every one of our devices, so this is pretty much a placeholder at the moment.

Figure an announcement is coming any time now.

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3 years ago

Facebook Messenger update adds quick voice message option

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Facebook's popular Messenger service, which has its own standalone app, is getting a voice message feature in its latest update. The service has relied on the combination of text and picture messages, as is the case with most instant messaging platforms, but is now aiming itself squarely at the likes of Voxer and other voice messaging apps out there with this latest addition.

You can send short messages back and forth quickly, and the UI is very simple. The feature is accessed from the "plus" button on the side of the text box, the same way you add pictures and smilies. Just press and hold the record button to start talking, then release it to let the message send. It wouldn't have been a bad idea to let you cancel a message if you happen to have misspoke, but you can see why Facebook made it auto-send to keep the "walkie talkie" type of feel.

The app is free at the Google Play link above if you're interested, and it's something fun to play around with even for a little while until the novelty wears off.

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3 years ago

Is 2013 the year of the smart appliance? LG thinks so, and is bringing them to CES

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LG is a big ass company. Like Samsung, another Korean electronics giant, they make a little of everything -- if you plug it in, chances are LG makes several different models of it. Of course they make appliances, and their new breed of "smart appliances" look to be pretty damn cool if you're an Android fan.

Get your fridge, or oven, or dryer (you get the picture) installed and turned on, then touch your LG Android smartphone to it and the magic of NFC sets it up so that your phone controls your appliance. You have a Smart Control app to use if you like, or you'll be able to use your voice -- "Home-bot, start cleaning" starts up the Roboking cleaning unit, or "Have you got a few minutes, washer?" will tell you the status of the load of laundry you've got washing. As long as you're on the same Wifi network, you're in control.

While it's not quite the level of automation control we see from Hollywood movies, it sounds awful damn cool (and expensive). You bet your ass we're going to look at these next week at CES.

Source: LG (Korea)

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3 years ago

Dailymotion app updated with new UI and features

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Dailymotion Streaming Video, an app that is the second largest video provider on the internet, has just updated its app substantially in both design and functionality. This newest version -- 3.0.1, to be exact -- has a completely overhauled UI that fits nicely into Android 4.0 and above's holo design, taking advantage of the new tabbed interface, overflow settings button and UI fragments.

As if that wasn't enough, there's also a lot of new behind the scenes fixes to improve overall responsiveness of the app. The video player is quicker, there's a new offline mode and improved search suggestions. The latest small update brought many bug fixes to keep everything smooth as well. If you want to know a little more about Dailymotion you can take a look at the press release after the break, or just head straight to the app at the Play Store link above.

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3 years ago

What I used in 2012: Richard Devine

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And so, with 2012 now behind us, the traditional reflection on the year past begins. Being British, last year was pretty memorable -- the Diamond Jubilee celebrations and the Summer Olympics in London two standout moments. We've also seen the mobile world continue to grow at an incredible rate, as our smartphones and tablets become an increasingly integral part of every day life. 

AC's editor-in-chief, Phil Nickinson, couldn't have put it better -- "In this job, you can't help but be buried in plastic from time to time." It's true of each member of the team. We talk about devices and apps all day every day, but we don't really talk about what we're using in our own, every day lives. It's been a heck of a year in these parts, so click on past the break to find out what I've been using the most during 2012. 

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3 years ago

Nova Launcher updated to version 2.0 with tons of new features

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Popular homescreen replacement Nova Launcher has just hit version 2.0 with a whole bunch of notable feature adds and improvements. The free version gets most of the improvements including custom wallpaper cropping, increased maximum desktop grid size and an infinitely scrolling app drawer setting. There's also a fix to force wallpaper scrolling on U.S. Galaxy SII (S2) variants, as well as a setting to force the phone to keep the launcher locked in memory.

As for the paid "Prime" version, users can now set custom icon sizes and use their swipe actions on any homescreen, rather than just on the main one. You can give the new features a try by downloading Nova Launcher at the Google Play Store link above.

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3 years ago

CM nightlies start the year with a new widget - 'Chronus'

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If you're running CyanogenMod nightlies on your Android device, you'll notice a little something new in this evening's builds. Aptly named Chronus, it's a widget that's a conglomeration of the clock, weather. and calendar, and it's fully customizable. The idea of more information in one widget isn't anything new, but this one looks like it is very well done. Hopefully the clock typography is one of the custom settings.

It will sit happily on either your home screen or lock screen, and display differently based on the size. On your phone, the lock screen widget is like the standard Android clock widget, meaning that you'll need to swipe down to see it all, but on the home screen you can set the size as you would expect. Tablets display the full size lock screen as they do with the standard Android clock.

This is why open-source wins. Google releases a bare-bones version with all the necessary information for folks to take it and create something great from it. For now, you'll need to run a CM nightly to have this one, but we expect someone to pull it out and publish on Google Play for all devices if possible. Be sure to grab tonight's build for your device and check it out.

Source: +David van Tonder

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3 years ago

Falcon updated with YouTube API integration

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One of our favorite Twitter clients for Android, Falcon, updated just in time for 2013 with a bunch of new features. The biggie is that Falcon now uses the fancy YouTube APIs for Android that Google introduced before Christmas, but there are also a few subtle tweaks that have been added, including a spam reporting button, a slider for setting refresh rates, and a logout button. Here's the full changelog for Falcon Pro 1.4.

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3 years ago

What I used in 2012: Simon Sage

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It's time to get up close and personal with the Android Central editors. You get a taste of the apps we're trying on a week-by-week basis, but what about those that actually stay on our phones for the long haul? Given, all of the authors here have wide and varied preferences, but hopefully this series will give you guys an idea of which apps have serious staying power. 

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3 years ago

Notification Weather: an elegant way to check the forecast

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The release of Android 4.1 and 4.2 Jelly Bean brought several improvements to the handling and functionality of notifications. With expandable, actionable and prioritized notifications, developers can manage their apps and take control of what goes on when a notification is presented to the user. Notification Weather, as the name implies, takes advantage of the new notification options in Jelly Bean to elegantly present the weather to you when you drop down the pane.

It seems like everyone's got a favorite weather app loaded on their device already, so does Notification Weather have what it takes to become your new favorite? Read on past the break and see what this one has to offer.

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3 years ago

From the Editor's Desk: What we're using, 2012 edition

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As we close out the year, it's time to take a look back at things. I've never been all that keen on "year's best" lists for applications, though that doesn't mean they don't necessarily serve a purpose. There are so many good apps, so many updates. Instead, I think it's a little more fun to take a look at how each one of us uses our phones and tablets. 

Are they travel companions? I, for one, remember all too well navigating the backwoods (or what seemed like the backwoods) or Louisiana and Mississippi and Georgia and Florida during my school-age years, playing soccer. We did it with maps. On paper. That didn't move. Or update. That any of us made it back alive is a miracle.

What about bedside readers? Does your tablet even make it out of the boudoir? Does it spend as much time (or more) in the bathroom as you do?

I'm always fascinated to read about how folks use their technology, and inevitably I learn a trick or two that I'll want to try as well. So let's walk through what I used in 2012, and how I used it. In the coming days, you'll hear from the other names and faces behind Android Central and see just what it is we use on a daily basis. Want to get in on the fun yourself? Hit up this forum thread and share your stash with the world.

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