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2 years ago

Jumpgate Live Wallpaper [Live Wallpaper Review]

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I sure love me some quality live wallpapers. I know, I know, they can sometimes slow down sliding between screens and if they're poorly done, they're a huge drain on the battery. That's why I'm keen to use wallpapers by Kittehface Software. They've brought us great wallpapers like the Thunderstorm Live Wallpaper, Galactic Core Live Wallpaper, and even an excellent Canabalt HD port.

Today I bring you another in a line of great live wallpapers, the Jumpgate Live Wallpaper. What could be better than watching our favorite android, Andy Bugdroid, careen through space with a jetpack strapped to his back? It's hilarious!

Still, as hilarious as it might be, it's also really well done. There's nary a screen stutter when I swipe from left to right, and if you purchase the full version of the wallpaper, you unlock the full settings menu, which really lets you customize your experience.

From the settings menu, you can mess around with everything from the camera speed to the flight speed, to even the amount of asteroids barreling down on our fair, green friend. You can also customize the "energy style" (which is the swirly lane of color Bugdroid is flying through) between three choices: monochrome, Google colors, and pixilated. Monochrome and pixilated are dangerously close to being similar, but if you check them back-to-back, you'll quickly notice how much smoother the non-pixilated option is.

If you eschew the Google colors option, you can also change the color of the energy lane using the energy color​ option. (Go figure!) It uses three sliders, which is certainly appreciated (and a welcome improvement over that circular color picker Android had going on for a while).

Rounding out the settings menu are options for star brightness and turning the helix on and off. Other than that, you're done. Well, except for the character option. Did I mention you can get rid of Bugdroid and have a spaceship flying on screen instead? Cause you totally can.

Honestly, Jumpgate Live Wallpaper is probably one of the coolest live wallpapers I've seen in a while. Obviously you've got to be an Android diehard to even consider using it, but if you're reading this article, you probably are.

Jumpgate Live Wallpaper can be had for a cool 99 cents. We've got video and a boatload of screenshots after the break.

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2 years ago

Comcast releases Xfinity TV Player for Android

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We've been waiting on this one for a while now, but thankfully Comcast has finally decided to release an Xfinity streaming app for the most popular mobile OS on the planet. With Xfinity TV Player for Android you can stream thousands of on-demand movies and television shows from Comcast, right to your Android phone or tablet. The only catch (you knew there would be one) is you have to be a Comcast customer and have to be paying the monthly subscription for the premium channels you want to stream content from.

The biggest plus here is the tablet availability. Other on-demand streaming apps (hello HBOGo) are a little late with the tablet support, but Xfinity says it's compatible with any Android device running 2.3 or higher, and we've verified it works on the Transformer Prime and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1. The app itself is free and available in the Google Play store, and will stream with any data connection. If you've been waiting, go grab it!

Download Xfinity TV Player from Google Play

Thanks everyone who sent this in!

 

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2 years ago

Android Central Editors' App Picks for May 26, 2012

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Looking for some new applications to fill your long weekend? With so many applications in the Android market it becomes overwhelming to find something new or exactly what you are looking for, but we do our best to share with you some of our favorites. You have a favorite that you don't see on this list? Be sure to drop a note in the comments or head into the forums to let us know about your favorites, and why they are the best!

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2 years ago

Hands-on with the Chameleon skin for Android tablets

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Canadian design firm Teknision recently announced Chameleon, which promises to be an interesting twist on Android tablet home screens. Besides having streamlined, resizeable widgets that span a bunch of third-party apps like Netflix, Twitter. Spotify, Flickr, and others, Chameleon's signature trait is its ability to automatically change modes based on its surroundings -- hence the name. By setting up certain rules, you can set up Chameleon to shift to a different home screen layout depending on the time of day, GPS location, or which Wi-Fi network you're connected to. In short, it's a smarter version of "scenes" that you might find in various manufacturer UIs.

The build that I played with here in Ottawa was still very much in development, and all of the apps being shown were canned, but the animations and transitions were definitely slick. Teknision is hoping to get outside developers interested in making their own Chameleon widgets with HTML5, but the current sampling that they cooked up with publicly available APIs is pretty sweet. It sounded like it will be a ways off before we'll see these widgets coexisting peacefully with other home screen widgets, so be prepared for an all-or-nothing affair. 

Teknision previously worked on the BlackBerry PlayBook operating system which, say what you will about the app ecosystem, was very nicely designed. Most of the time, these guys work behind the scenes with partners, so it's really interesting to see them step into the limelight a bit and pump out something that's entirely their own. Here's hoping it pays off and they consider doing more slick custom work on Android. 

Chameleon is due out this August, and Teknision is using Kickstarter predominantly to handle preorders and speed up the release. Right now, they're at $31k out of a $50k goal, which is due in 20 days. You can pitch in $5 to get Chameleon before it goes public, and if you're really jazzed about the project, you can help out by providing Android tablet diagnostic information to ensure compatibility. Check out our hands-on video, a few screenshots, and their pitch below that. Any takers?

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2 years ago

BBM will not be heading to Android, still need to buy a BlackBerry for it

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For a long old time now, we've heard various tales of the jewel in the BlackBerry crown, BlackBerry Messenger, breaking free and heading over to Android. We've seen "screenshots", just as we've seen the rumors get dismissed. It seems now though that we can finally lay the whole thing to bed. BBM will not be coming to Android. 

The final installment reads a little like this. A new report from the WSJ claims that RIM was indeed testing BBM on other platforms, cunningly disguised as "SMS 2.0." Then enters new CEO Thorsten Heins, who apparently has taken the option completely off the table. Sources familiar with the matter told the WSJ "it was not up for discussion." 

So there we have it. Anyone disappointed? Maybe not. The world remains as it always was -- if you really want BBM, you sure as gosh darn it don't buy an Android phone. 

Source: WSJ via Crackberry

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2 years ago

BlueStacks beta-1 [Android App Review]

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BlueStacks has been around for a while. We first saw it in an early alpha, that while usable, wasn't ready for prime time. After lots of toiling and hard work (I assume), we finally saw BlueStacks enter beta, and boy, was this ever a different program.

So what exactly does BlueStacks let you do? It lets you run Android applications right on your PC, just as though you were using an Android phone or tablet. It manages to pull this off using some sort of black voodoo neckbeard magic​ "Layercake" technology the guys have developed, and man oh man, do I like it.

Getting BlueStacks going is simply a breeze. Once you've got it all installed, you simply open it up and there's a list of preinstalled apps. You have access to a couple of different app stores to download other apps you might want, and to top it all off, you can install apk's directly into BlueStacks, right off of your computer's hard drive.

(There's also an app syncing tool that lets you sync apps from your phone to your computer's client, which skirts the whole apk issue, but just know that it's there if you need it.)

When you've finally got an app loaded up in BlueStacks, there's always a bit of experimenting to see what button or mouse click controls what. For something like Angry Birds Space, it's all pretty straightforward; use your mouse like you'd use your finger.

For something more complex (and visually demanding) like Shadowgun, you've just got to mess around. For the most part, mouse clicks transfer pretty well, and more often than not, arrow keys will move your character. The few times I ran Shadowgun, it was either kind of stuttery or buttery smooth, so your mileage can definitely vary.

Overall, BlueStacks is pretty darn cool, especially if you've ever wanted to get the Android experience on your computer. Its uses might seem a bit novel right now, but as prices for games in the mobile space continue to come in lower than their desktop counterparts, BlueStacks looks like it could offer some market disruption.

You can download the BlueStacks Windows component from the BlueStacks website at no cost. We've got video after the break.

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2 years ago

Bump update easily moves photos from your phone to your computer

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Bump has been hard at work updating their application to bring a new functionality to users. Today, they've unveiled what exactly they've been up to and to put it plainly -- it's pretty awesome. The concept is simple really. You have photos on your device and the desire to transfer them to your computer. Now you can with just a bump. No wires, cables or fuss. How does it work?

Starting today, everyone who uses Bump can go to http://bu.mp on their computer web browser, select photos in the Bump app on their phone, and gently bump the spacebar on their computer. Voila! Photos instantly appear on the computer. From there, people have the option of saving to their hard drive or getting a short link to share with friends on Facebook, Twitter, email or IM. There’s no software to install or registration required – it’s how technology should work.

Sure, there is a few other apps out there that will transfer photos to your computer from your phone. Dropbox being one choice that works but if you're not already invested into those other solutions, Bump might be just exactly what you are looking for. I tested it out quite a few times on different devices and worked each and every time. Give it a go and let us know what you think.

Source: Bump

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2 years ago

Late-night poll: Are you liking the Google+ update?

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If you're a Google+ user and reading this site, you probably checked out the big update to the Android app earlier this afternoon. We'd been waiting a couple weeks since a similar update went to iOS users, and many were less than impressed with today's changes. It is a big of a mess, especially when everyone was posting screen shots of how messy it was, and the text can be pretty difficult to read depending on any picture attached. It's a big change.

It has it's pluses (see what I did there) as well, the fly out menu is a nice touch, and when it's not being messy it's a beautiful look for picture sharing. I think it's a really good start, but still needs some attention. What about you guys? Liking it? Hating it? Let us know in tonight's poll.

How do you feel about the new Google+ update?

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2 years ago

TripAdvisor expands City Guides, releases apps for 30 new cities

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Traveling to new areas can be both fun and exciting but it also has the potential to be rather frustrating at times. If you're not familiar with the area you are going to you may not know the best places to stay, the best places to eat and the attractions around that you will want to take in. For such cases, TripAdvisor has released quite a few city guides in the past to help those in need find all those things when traveling and now, they've gone ahead and added 30 new cities to the mix bringing the grand total of cities offered to 50. In addition to the new city offerings, they've added some new features to the apps as well:

  • Transit – Users can now view metro or subway stations on a map. Unique to City Guides, the “Nearby Station” feature helps travelers find the closest station to their current location, or to a particular restaurant, hotel, or attraction.
  • TripIdeas - TripIdeas are customized itinerary recommendations based on popular travel themes, such as traveling with family, foodie destinations, and places off the beaten path. Each itinerary includes beautiful large photos for inspiration. Users can keep track of their favorite TripIdeas in their “Saves” list.
  • Offline Map Update – Users can now fully customize their own maps. This feature displays saved destinations, metro stations, and any restaurants, hotels, and attractions of interest, to help travelers plan and have their perfect trip.

If you're looking to be planning a trip in the near future or have one already in the works, maybe TripAdvisor can help make that trip better. The full list of added cities can be found past the break and if you're looking for the full list of all TripAdvisor City Guides available, just hit the source link below to be taken to the Google Play Store listings.

Source: TripAdvisor, Google Play Store

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2 years ago

Rockstar Games puts Grand Theft Auto III on sale this weekend

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If you've been avoiding picking up Grand Theft Auto III due to the cost of the game, now might be a good time to head on over to the Google Play Store and pick it up. Rockstar has lowered the price of Grand Theft Auto III to only $.99 in celebration of the upcoming Memorial Day weekend. Come Monday though the sale will be done with and it will return to the regular pricing of $4.99. If you're looking for the link, you'll find it below. Just be sure you have some space available as the download of additional content can reach up to 1GB.

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