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3 years ago

Sailboat Championship all but gets wind in your hair and saltwater in your veins

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Sailing is one of those things that can be explained in a couple of minutes, but it really takes a lifetime to master. Sailboat Championship (from Infinite Dreams) marries the fundamentals of being on the water with excellent Android gameplay. You've got to pay attention to where the wind is coming from, first and foremost. That affects your course, of course. Depending on the difficulty level, you might only have to worry about steering -- and the wheel has a good bit of travel to it, adding to the realism of steering. Or, you might have to handle the lines, and that's where things get intricate. 

The graphics are pretty stunning and gameplay is fast and smooth -- and it's also pretty hard. Or maybe it's just that I've spent too many years as a landlubber and I'm rusty. There are enough races to keep you interested long past the time the sun drops below the mast. And for its special introductory price of $1.99, it's a game you're not going to want to pass up.

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3 years ago

Latest Google Drive app update brings native spreadsheet editing, home screen shortcuts and more

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If you're the sort of person who likes to edit spreadsheets on the go, then you'll be pleased to learn that the latest version of the Google Drive app for Android allows you to do just that. A new update to the Drive app released today introduces a half-dozen fairly significant features that should make mobile document editing a little easier.

Previously limited to a slightly janky web-based interface, spreadsheets have gotten their own native UI, complete with the ability to zoom, directly edit formulae and resize and re-style cells. The same applies to tables in the Google Docs editor, which can now be similarly manipulated.

There are also a few minor changes, like the ability to maintain formatting when copying and pasting within Docs, and the ability to add home screen shortcuts to specific files or folders.

To grab the new version of Google Drive, you can use the Google Play shortcut at the top of the page. We've got the full changelog after the break.

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3 years ago

Adobe Photoshop Touch updated and optimized for 7-inch devices

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Following the launch of Adobe Photoshop Touch a couple of weeks ago for the Amazon Kindle Fire, the app has been updated today in the Play Store with optimization for 7-inch devices. The one caveat is that the screen resolution must be at least 1024x600, but that puts the Google Nexus 7 right on deck. 

Besides this there's a smattering of other new features included, one of which is new ways to share your creations to Facebook and Twitter. Additionally to this there's some new effects, and enhancements to both performance and the visual side with an improved grid layout. The update is now live in the Google Play Store for current owners, and if you're picking it up for the first time it'll cost you $9.99/£6.99. 

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3 years ago

Angry Birds Star Wars to be updated starting Nov. 29 with new Hoth levels

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By now, you've most likely catapulted, slashed and shot your way through the first two worlds in Rovio's latest Angry Birds title, Angry Birds Star Wars. But, good news for those patiently awaiting the next set of levels, an update is due to drop starting tomorrow with more bird flinging fun. 

Following on from Tatooine and the Death Star, next up is the ice planet of Hoth. So, expect snow, snow, more snow and some AT-AT Walkers thrown in for good measure. Rovio has released a teaser trailer which we can see here, but we'll know more tomorrow. 

Source: Rovio Mobile (YouTube)

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3 years ago

Amazon Appstore now available in Japan

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It's been nearly two months since Amazon started accepting submissions for its Japanse appstore, and today it's gone live. The usual suspects are all there -- Amazon singles out Cut the Rope, Fruit Ninja and Yahoo! Headline, among others. You can get to the Japanese wing at amazon.co.jp/apps.

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3 years ago

QuickBooks Mobile now fully optimized for Android tablets

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Intuit has updated the QuickBooks Mobile app for Android, making the app fully optimized for use with Android tablets. With almost 400,000 companies and over 1 million people using QuickBooks Online, there is a real need for a comprehensive companion application that's built to take advantage of the screen real estate a tablet offers. Of course, the app still offers all the same features to help users manage their finances it always has.

Intuit also recognizes the market swing and how Android is quickly gaining share. The number of mobile users is expected to surpass the number of computer users by mid-2013, and a significant number of those will be running Android. Simply put, these folks will need to have access to the programs they want and need -- including productivity software. QuickBooks Mobile is free in Google Play, but requires access to QuickBooks online or other Intuit services which may be subscription based.

Read through the break for the press release from Intuit, and a few screenshots of the app in action. 

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3 years ago

Rdio rolls out 2.0 update with a new look and new features

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After having done its rounds in some beta testing, Rdio v2.0 has been deemed ready for the masses and is now available for download in the Google Play Store. We're used to seeing frequent updates to Rdio but this release is a whole lot more than simple bug fixes. Aside from a whole new user interface, Rdio has added a few other welcomed additions:

  • New side-bar navigation — A new navigation panel pops open on the left side of the app to bring you to Your Music, Settings, Playlists, and other features.
  • Remote control — The app will notify you if “Rdio is playing elsewhere.” Pause, skip, or play a station from wherever you are, or click “Play Here Instead” and your mobile device will pick up right where your laptop left off.
  • Infinite scroll — You’ll never run out of new music to explore. Rdio loads more content as you scroll through Heavy Rotation, Top Charts, and New Releases.

Overall, the additions and improvements are nice though in my time with it, I did find it a little bit laggy -- maybe it just needs some to settle in. If you're an Rdio user, go ahead and grab the update and let us know in the comments how it's working for you.

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3 years ago

Personal Capital Investing helps you keep your finances in order

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Coming into the holiday season, its important to keep your personal finances in order while the spending starts ramping up. The Personal Capital Investing app is hoping to stand out from the set of financial apps that have been available for some time on Android. You create an account and link to it your other accounts from banks, credit cards and financial institutions so that everything is available in one place (similar to Mint if you're familiar). You can keep track of spending, help budget monthly allowances and track your investments all with one interface.

Its pretty handy if you're feeling overwhelmed with the number of different accounts you have. You can give it a try for free at the Google Play Store link above.

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3 years ago

F-Droid is the FOSS application store for your Android phone

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One of the cool things about Android is the open market model. The folks at Google don't mind at all if you sideload apps, or use your phone to build apps of your own, or even if you install a whole separate application market. That's the real meaning of open when you hear the word being tossed around so freely. Because the platform is open, we get to see things like F-Droid.

F-Droid is a third party application "store" that hosts FOSS (Free and Open Source Software) in a repository for easy installation and updating. The repo is full of open-source software written under a variety of licenses, but all nice and FOSSy enough to please most any die-hard fan.

Having it laid out all nicely this way offers a few benefits as well. You can choose which version of an app to install, track which FOSS apps you have installed, and turn on update notifications right in the app settings. It's an excellent way to manage things, and closely mimics software repos from popular desktop Linux distributions. Even the F-Droid app itself is FOSS and licensed under the GPLv2+.

Of course we can't mention any third party application centers without thinking of security. F-Droid tackles this in a pretty novel way. Developers can upload a pre-built apk file, but the preferred way is to upload the source. F-Droid then builds an signs the code, creating an apk file they guarantee is 100% derived from the source code anyone can look through. Community oversight has long been a staple of the FOSS world, and when source is readily available you'll find that very few shenanigans are tried. The guys and gal who can read the code will let everyone know if they find something shady. Everyone.

There's quite a few interesting apps in F-Droid, and I'm going to give it a spin. If you're a fan of FOSS, I recommend you do the same.

Source: F-Droid, via +Josh Armour

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3 years ago

Microsoft launches new Outlook.com email app with old design

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Microsoft has just released a new version of its email app to coincide with its overall email rebranding to Outlook.com from Hotmail.com today. While the app brings a lot of features that Outlook users will like -- ActiveSync, Contacts and Calendar sync, multiple account support -- it is wrapped up in a very bland and outdated design that reminds us all of Android 2.3. We had high hopes that Microsoft would bring something more striking. Maybe wrapped up in a "holo" UI, or at very least something of the metro "modern UI" style that has won many people over on Windows Phone.

Nevertheless, if you're an Outlook user, you'll probably be getting one of the better experiences out there using this official app right from Microsoft. You can take a look via the Google Play Store link above.

Source: Outlook Blog

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3 years ago

Hamilton's Great Adventure now in Google Play [Tegra games]

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The PC and console game Hamilton's Great Adventure makes it's way to Android today, and is available from Google Play for Tegra devices. It's a two-part affair, and both the base game and the expansion will cost you $4.00, but I'm really feeling this one and won't mind buying my own copy. 

You play as an adventurer, and you need to work your way though mazes and levels, collecting coins and trinkets as you go along. You're followed by your parrot companion Sasha. Using virtual joysticks or a controller you walk along the level, until you reach something you can't walk past. If you reach that point because you weren't paying attention and the floor has dropped out behind you, you're done and need to restart the level. If you're stuck behind an obstacle, that's when Sasha comes into play. 

Tap a button and switch to your parrot, who can fly around and trip levers, grab keys and do all sorts of things to unblock your path. When you've accomplished that, a quick tap takes you back to playing as Hamilton and you can continue. It's easy and fun gameplay, but as the levels progress things get much more complicated and really present a challenge. 

The gameplay is plenty fun, and the visuals are a real treat thanks to Tegra 3 optimizations. Nvidia works with OEMs and developers to bring console quality gaming to Android, and Hamilton's Great Adventure is yet another winner from the TegraZone. Hit the links below to give it a try, and jump past the break for a few more screenshots and the game trailer.

More: TegraZone

Download from Google Play (1), (2)

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3 years ago

Blue Skies Live Wallpaper updated for Android 4.2 Daydreams

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There's not a lot to see here -- that's the Blue Skies live wallpaper I've been using for some time now. What's new is that it's been updated to serve as a sort of screen save as part of the Android 4.2 full-screen "Daydreams" feature. So when you plug in your phone, you can enjoy the same beautiful sky as when it's sitting in your hand.

Expect to see more live wallpapers do this, we reckon, and don't forget to check to see if your favorite widgets have been updated to work on the Android 4.2 lock screen.

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3 years ago

Nook app updated with support for UK store, several new languages

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Following hot on the heels of the latest Nook tablet hardware going on sale in the U.K. last week, Barnes & Noble has updated its Android app today to support users in that market as well. The latest version makes over 2.5 million U.K. books, magazines and newspapers available to users. Additionally -- and as you would expect -- the update brings added language support for British English, French, Italian, German and Spanish, although full dictionary support is only for British English at this time.

One quick thing to note for all users of the Nook app is that the app name will change after this update, and will now be labeled simply as "Nook" rather than "B&N Nook." You can grab a download of the Nook app at the Google Play Store link above.

Source: Barnes & Noble (BusinessWire)

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3 years ago

Google+ user reviews now a go for Google Play

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When the Play store apk last updated, the folks at Android Police noticed some reference pointing towards a Google+ tie in with user reviews, and now it's live. We figured it was coming when we saw all the reviews on the web go anonymous, and now whenever you go to leave a comment and review for an app you're first told it's going to happen, then you're switched to your Google+ account to do the deed.

It's surely something that's going to cause user-backlash, but it should also lead to more helpful reviews now that you're tied an account to the review. It's also a good way to pump numbers up, so prepare for those news stories as well.

It's easy to check out yourself, head to Google Play and leave a review!

Source: +#googleplusupdate

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3 years ago

Words With Friends adds SMS game invites and notification improvements

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One of the most popular cross-platform word games in the mobile world, Words With Friends, has received an update tonight with a few good parts to it. First off is an interesting (and we doubt very useful) feature that lets you invite friends to games via SMS messages. Zynga also lists improvements to the notification system -- something that has been pretty hit or miss for many users. Unfortunately the notification sticks with a pretty unsightly gray/white striped background, but that's just how things go. Lastly, the game now automatically adds a homescreen shortcut when it's installed -- a curious addition considering the Play Store lets you choose whether you want this or not as a global setting.

You can grab the game for free at the Google Play Store link above. You might just grow your vocabulary while you're at it.

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