Headlines

3 years ago

Bolt browser enters second beta round -- we've got your download codes!

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The venerable Bolt browser has reached its second beta. And just as before, they want your help in testing. A few noticeable changes this time around are adaptive video streaming, UI fixes for a smoother experience, and a social tab that currently points to Facebook.

Want to get in on the beta? We've got you covered.

  1. Just head to the Bolt beta signup.
  2. Enter your name, e-mail address and use the code andcentral. (Note it's not androidcentral. Just andcentral.)
  3. Check your e-mail, which will contain the apk link.

There you go. Happy beta testing!

More at boltbrowser.com/android

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3 years ago

Google launches new developer site, kicks it off with the Google+ API

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Google has launched a new developer portal where it can share news about events and updates, as well as offer examples and use cases for developers of all their products -- including Android.  To get things started, Google just released the Google+ API and has shared a couple methods to retrieve public data from Google+.  Initially, the API will only collect public data, which should alleviate any privacy concerns and give the folks in Mountain View some time to get a secure method worked out for data that isn't shared with the world.

You might be asking what all this API mumbo jumbo means for you and I.  Think of it as  code that developers can use in their programs, across various platforms like Windows, Mac OS, Android, even ChromeOS.  They can plug this code into their programs and collect data and display it however they like.  This means the third-party applications, like Twitter clients, will be able to hook into Google+ like they currently can with Twitter or Facebook.  As we've seen so far with Google+ itself, this will take some time to get a viable solution worked out; one that addresses users privacy, yet makes things easy for web and mobile developers to use.  We're looking forward to see how this all develops, and of course to see what enterprising developers can come up with.  For more information, visit the links below.

Google Developers; Google+ API. Via +Reto Meier

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3 years ago

Using PlayOn and PlayLater to take your recorded content on the go

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Youtube link for mobile viewing

A daily struggle that many of us face is finding the time to keep up with our favorite shows, not everyone has the time to sit down and catch up, and want to take it on the go with them. We caught up with the creators of PlayOn and PlayLater and they showed us how you can achieve just this, and how they hope to improve on it in the near future. Unfortunately the work around shown above will run you two separate $4.99 subscriptions, but once they launch their PlayLater application for Android you can knock off one of those, running you only $4.99 to be able to take your recordings on the go. Check out the video above for a preview, and be sure to stay tuned for future updates. Download links available after the break.

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3 years ago

Verizon and FuzeBox announce Fuze Meeting for the Business Solutions Alliance program

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Verizon has just announced that they have partnered with FuzeBox, and will be featuring Fuze Meeting as part of the BSA (Business Solutions Alliance) program.  If you're unfamiliar with Fuze Meeting, it's an online collaboration tool that provides virtual meetings via computers, tablets, and smartphones.  As Michael Toto, director, Enterprise and Government Partnerships at Verizon Wireless says:

As tablets and mobile devices continue to advance their capabilities and get adopted as de facto tools in the business environment, video collaboration is becoming mainstream for diagnostics, analysis, transactions and many other drivers that companies rely on. FuzeBox is delivering a perfect meeting place for the two technologies, offering high-quality, user-friendly solutions to a wide range of industries and customers, and the Verizon Wireless 4G LTE network ties them all together.

And he's right.  With new high-speed cellular data networks come great ways to be even more productive on connected devices.  With rising fuel and travel costs, many businesses have turned to online meetings instead of flying folks cross-country to work together.  Here at Android Central, we conduct most of our internal business this way, and it's high time that mobile gets in on the action.

Be aware though, this isn't a tool for the average consumer.  A quick look at the Fuze Meeting pricing page shows that this tech doesn't come cheaply.  But it's still far more cost effective than the alternative, and should be a heavy hitter for Verizon's BSA.  We have the full press release after the break, and you can learn more at the link below.

Fuze Meeting

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3 years ago

Robo Defense gets another update, continues to be awesome

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Pardon a little gushing folks, but as any long-time Android users know, Robo Defense is one of the real OG games for Android.  And the folks at Lupis Labs haven't forgotten it, as it just got another great update with a new level, a new tower, and new achievements.  There might be newer games on the Market that take advantage of things like Tegra instructions, or need a dual-core powerhouse to run well, but I wanted to take a second and remind everyone about an old favorite. 

Robo Defense runs on any device with Donut or higher, and if you have bought the game you'll have an update waiting for ya in the Android Market.  If you haven't tried it, the link to the free trial is after the break -- check it out and remember how we used to game on our phones.  You'll probably still enjoy the hell out of it.

Revisit and discuss some strategy in the forums!

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3 years ago

Google Goggles updated to v1.6, now analyzes your images to provide info

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I'll admit I never really use Google Goggles a lot but as Google continues to update the app and add new features, they're making some compelling arguments that give me reasons to use it. The latest update adds an opt-in photo recognition feature.

With it, you can snap a picture using your devices camera, Google will then scan the image for landmarks, paintings and other interesting objects. Once scanned, if anything is identified it will then offer up information and details about what you just took a picture of.

Pretty awesome! Although, now I just want to go around the city scanning everything and seeing what information is available. The update is available now in the Android Market and the download can be found past the break.

Source: Google Mobile Blog

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3 years ago

Tired of flinging birds around, why not try to Burn the City

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Looking for an alternative to flinging those birds around, wishing you could find something with a bit more life to it, and some added excitement? Look no further than Burn the City if you want to be scorching buildings with fire, and blowing things up with sticks of dynamite, as you try to destroy the city. With a free trial available in the market, there is also a premium version which is 99 cents and allows you access to all 45 levels as well as three additional fireball types. Download links available after the break.

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3 years ago

Android App Review: ESPN Bowl Bound

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We’re two weeks into the 2011 college football season now, which has given me ample time to use ESPN’s Bowl Bound app. My conclusion: If you’re a college football fan in the least bit, you need to get this app. It’s well done, easy to navigate and provides exactly the information you’re going to want to have available on-the-go about college football.

The app provides you with nine main tabs, which always remain on top. A good choice for simple navigation. Here are the tabs in order from left to right.

  • Home is first, which displays the top stories in college football, the most significant getting a front and center photo.
  • Scores show you past and current scores around the NCAA. By default, the scoreboard is set to the Top 25, but you can narrow it down by division or see the entire field if you want to. Video lets you have access to a variety of ESPN clips related to college football.
  • Video is divided into three categories: analysis, highlights and exclusive. The Analysis section gives you videos of college football experts opining about subjects such as who will win the BCS title.The Highlights section provides video highlights of the most recent games and is handy if you missed any of the action that week. The Exclusive section has videos that are exclusive to the Bowl Bound app, such as a behind the scenes on the GameDay bus with Erin Andrews.
  • Bowl Central, much like it sounds, gives you the current bowl projections as determined by ESPN. Obviously these will change quite a bit during the season, so it’s great to have easy access to them wherever you are.
  • Twitter aggregates all college football related ESPN tweets. It essentially gives you a Twitter list for ESPN college football.
  • News, much like Video, has three sub tabs: News, Columns and Blogs. News gives you the most up-to-date news headlines regarding college football. Columns lists all the latest writings by ESPN columnists (some of which require ESPN Insider). Blogs allows you to narrow the view down to conference. There is a blog for each conference, so you’ll have easy access to everything from this tab.
  • Teams provides everything you want to know about a specific college football program. Once you select a team, you’ll have access to it’s clubhouse (team-specific news), roster, schedule, videos and photos from recent games, Twitter and a discussion so that you can talk to others about how your favorite team is doing throughout the year.
  • Rankings, like Bowl Central, gives you the latest Top 25 and also allow you to comment on them as to whether you agree or disagree.
  • Settings gives you the opportunity to sign in or out of your ESPN account, change your preferred team and send feedback to the developers.

ESPN has released quite a few apps and they have been hit or miss. This one is definitely a hit and one of their best to date, especially if you’re a college football fan. If you're interested in this free app from the Android Market, please find links after the break as well as more screenshots.

If you have questions or comments about the app, hit up our Forums and speak up!

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3 years ago

Android App Review: Hooked

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Gaming on Android has finally taken off, so it can be tough having to wade through all the subpar stuff out there hoping you'll finally find a gem. Hooked tries to be the middleman for you in that, suggesting games based off of your personality and how you've rated previous suggestions.

From the moment you open Hooked, the app starts working for you. You're asked four questions, and from there, your personality is profiled. Based on which group you get put in (I was a Trailblazer, supposedly), you'll get suggestions tailored to you.

There's a heavy Facebook component to Hooked, as you can see in the picture above. If you do decide to merge your Facebook account with Hooked, you'll be able to see what other friends of yours are playing, assuming they're using Hooked as well. It's a pretty novel idea, but because none of my friends use Hooked, it was rendered mostly moot.

You can also look at a live feed of who is playing what right now. These people don't even need to be your friends; you can still see what they're playing. You can separate by your personality type or everyone, and it just tells you who is playing what or if someone liked or disliked a game.

Frankly, I think that's the most powerful option of Hooked, because the live feed usually has a large variation of games on it. You can scan the list in a few seconds and see what is popular and enjoyable and what to avoid. This is better than the actual suggestion system (at least in the time I used it) because all three games suggested to me were duds.

Hooked is free in the Android Market, so if you're itching to try out some new games, give it a download. Maybe, as the user base grows, it'll become more accurate, powerful tool for game suggestion.

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

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3 years ago

Firefox for Android tablets nightlies now available for download

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Back a few weeks we told you about Mozilla's new Android tablet build of Firefox, and we're happy to report that nightly builds are now available for download.  Be warned -- when Mozilla says nightlies, they mean it.  These are going to be far from finished and lack a lot of polish, but it's the perfect way to share current builds, and Mozilla's open-development system allows us all to contribute to finishing things up.  My early tests are pretty positive.  Things are a little slow, but the latest build renders everything beautifully across the full set of SPE sites (and we use some serious code on our desktop versions).  I'll have no problem using this as my main browser while on my tablet, and will be running the nightlies to see how they progress.

If you're wanting to get in on the testing (and the more the merrier) hit the source link and install as you would any other Android app.  What Mozilla needs the most right now is feedback on the UI and operation, and if you fancy yourself a developer, they have a bug list ready for some attention. 

Source: lucasr.org; via AndroidGuys

Download the latest nightly build here

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3 years ago

Android App Review: Uber50 Deluxe

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In a surprising and unexpected turn of events, rapper 50 Cent has unleashed his rapper-inspired UberSocial theme on the Android platform, creatively naming it Uber50. (You know, UberSocial, 50 Cent. You get the idea.)

Called the "illest theme yet" by those who designed it, downloading the Uber50 theme gets you a nice, gritty, dark theme with red and white contrast. The Uber50 theme also has "custom icons and colors straight from 50's brain," but I haven't seen anything terribly mind-blowing. Yeah, there's black and red and white. Kinda reminds me of some old Jnco shorts I had in middle school.

For those who need to know everything G-unit, 50's got you covered. See that cursive G on the right side of the menu up top? That's your quick, super speedy access to everything G-unit. Well, your super speedy access to everyone on G-unit's Twitter. But if you were such big fans, you'd be following them anyway, right?

For those who invest in the deluxe edition (like yours truly), you'll also be rewarded by extra 50 Cent wallpapers and access to music videos. Those are the two icons to the left of the G. S'pretty cool to toss in, but then again, you're paying for them, so that only seems fair.

Lastly, I've got to talk about actually updating your status. In case you want everyone to know you're using Uber50, that's what'll actually show up as your client. The bigger thing to mention is the sound effect when you actually post.

It's a gunshot. You hear the cocking of the gun, then a boom. I don't know if it's supposed to be like, "Boom, my post is like a gunshot" or "I'm 50 Cent and got shot, so here's gunshot sounds." Either way, there's a nifty disclaimer on the app description about how you need to be responsible about it because you'll be held responsible for people's reactions.

Not much more to say besides that. If you're a fan of 50 Cent and would love for him to feel like he's a part of your every tweet, Uber50 is the theme for you. As I mentioned earlier, there's a free version and a deluxe version that costs $1.99.

Download links and more pictures are after the break.

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3 years ago

Android App Review: StatusBar+

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Another entry in the Seven+ Android project is StatusBar+. StatusBar+ is, as it sounds, a complete status bar replacement, but what makes it so revolutionary is that it doesn't require root or any flashing .zips in recovery. You simply install the app, enable it, and it replaces your normal status bar.

StatusBar+ is technically still in its first alpha, but the only bugs I noticed were the notification icon color and background color options. Choosing either causes the app settings menu to force close, but the status bar itself actually never closes.

As for the status bar itself, it's very minimal and very clean. When you enable it, it slides down over your current status bar and will be completely black. Tap on the bar and your other icons (cell signal, data connection, battery) bounce down into place, similar to the lockscreen. After a couple of seconds, they'll disappear.

Fortunately, you can remove the option clicking to drop, so the icons will always be there. This required a restart on my part, but from there, everything worked fine. You can also choose to have StatusBar+ run on phone boot so you don't even need to think about turning it on.

Other than that, there's not much to say. It's a status bar. It's black (for now), very clean, and the icons are cool. It's definitely impressive that this has been pulled off without requiring root or flashing in recovery. For those looking to WP7 their phone out, this is a must have.

StatusBar+ is $1.29 in the Android Market.

More screenshots and download links are after the break.

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3 years ago

Android Quick App: Talking Transformers

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So my Nexus S got stolen. I caught the thieves, giggling on the couch, poking at the glass and saying ridiculous things into the microphone. That's right, it was my children, and they had discovered Talking Transformers, the app I had downloaded earlier in the day. I can't blame them for their crime, it's an awesome app that will keep you rolling.  

You can transform this red car into his robot form, complete with realistic Transformer sound effects. Poke him and he moves, fire his weapon at the push of a button, and watch what happens when he punches your screen. You can even see the lighter side of his personality by pushing the "D" button to watch him put on a dance on stage. The best part of Talking Transformers though, is of course the talking part! Speak into the microphone and hear your words repeated back. Just be careful, and keep a watchful eye on your phone, or it may fall prey to thieves, just like mine did.

More screenshots and download links after the break.

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3 years ago

Facebook gets a noticeable update, starts to suck less

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To say that Facebook's Android app has been ... less than exciting ... would be the understatement of the past year or so. Hopefully tonight's update is a sign of greater things to come, as Version 1.7 brings some UI tweaks and features that frankly should have been added by now. Here's the rundown:

  • Made it easier to share with who you want
  • Improved the sharing tool to add privacy controls on posts and match your settings on the web site
  • Added the ability to tag friends and places in photos posts
  • Added new design for Profile and Group Walls
  • Improved photo browsing with swiping
  • Added the ability to tag your friends in photos
  • Improved Messages and Notifications
  • Fixed a number of crashes and performance issues

Not mentioned in the bullet points -- these are the official changes mentioned in the Android Market -- is that you can also now pull to refresh. It's about time. And while the app's now installable on Android 3.x devices, let's see about maybe getting a proper tablet layout, shall we?

Snag the updated version in the Android Market now. We've got download links after the break.

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3 years ago

DirecTV brings NFL Sunday Ticket app to your Honeycomb Tablet

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No doubt about it, Football is back in full swing. Last week the NFL released its official app for tablets and now DirecTV has gone ahead and launched its NFL Sunday Ticket app for Honeycomb tablets. With it, you can stream any NFL Sunday Ticket game in HD plus, you also have access to the Red Zone channel.

The app doesn't come without a few caveats though. You do have to have a NFL Sunday Ticket subscription through DirecTV in order to have access, and it's only Sunday games that are available. Sunday night, Monday, Thursday and Saturday NFL games are not part of Sunday Ticket and therefore not eligible for streaming. If you're a DirecTV subscriber and can make use of this app, you'll find the download link past the break.

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