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3 years ago

Google Maps Navigation will now automatically route you around traffic

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Google Maps Navigation

If you're not the sort of person who explicitly trusts GPS and mobile navigation, move on. For everyone else, Google's just flipped the switch on a cool little feature for Google Maps Navigation (which we're reminded yet again is still technically a beta product). Now, when you're driving and using a Google Maps Nav route and have traffic up ahead, the app will automatically route you around it. And you don't have to touch a thing. From the Google Mobile Blog:

You don’t have to do anything to be routed around traffic; just start Navigation like you normally would, either from the Navigation app or from within Google Maps. ... Starting today, our routing algorithms will also apply our knowledge of current and historical traffic to select the fastest route from those alternates. That means that Navigation will automatically guide you along the best route given the current traffic conditions.

Hey, whatever keeps us from having to ask for directions is a good thing. Full deets at the source link. [Google Mobile Blog]

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3 years ago

Gowalla 3 brings complete makeover to the social check-in Android app

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Gowalla 3.0

Sure, you might have been using Gowalla for some time now to check in an show your friends where you're at and what you're up to. But you haven't really been using Gowalla until now. Gowalla 3 dropped this morning, and it's a completely overhauled experience. The activity feed's been redone. Leaving photos and comments is easier. Highlights are front and center. Twitter, Foursquare, Tumblr and Facebook are closer than ever.

But the big change is the new passport view, which shows where you checked in last and can remind you to check in again if it's been a while. It's quite a spectacular change, actually. Check out all the details at Gowalla's blog, and we've got download links after the break. [Gowalla]

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3 years ago

Android Central Editors' app picks for March 5, 2011

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apps

Whether you're looking for a productivity application, or just a fun game to kill some extra time with your Android device, hunting down what you want in the Android Market can be a bit of a task. Since we like to spend as much time as we can searching, tinkering, and playing around with new applications, we figure we should share with you some of our favorites. Let's take a look at some of our favorite applications, and hopefully some of you will find them to be your favorite as well!

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3 years ago

Android apps purchased from Amazon will work on multiple devices, use Amazon DRM

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Amazon app store

Android applications purchased in Amazon's app store (which may finally go live to consumers any time now) will use Amazon's special sauce of digital locker/digital rights management to help combat piracy. Amazon spells it out in its developer blog:

Customers who purchase an app will retain an entitlement to their app even if they decide to replace their current Android device and/or purchase new devices, as long as the new devices meet the installation requirements of the app. This provides insurance to customers that their purchased apps will be available for use on all supported devices, even if the customer has uninstalled or otherwise removed those apps in the past.

The digital locker service combined with a robust Digital Rights Management (DRM) solution not only make managing apps easier for customers, they also address one of the biggest concerns developers have: unauthorized copying and distribution. An authorized user can now install your app on any of their supported devices; however, if you chose to apply DRM on your app at submission time, your app will not run on unauthorized devices.

Any app that has Amazon DRM applied to it will require users to have installed and signed-in to the Amazon Appstore client to access the app. When an app is accessed by the user, it will verify with the Amazon Appstore device service as to whether the user has an entitlement to the app. If the user does not sign in or does not have an entitlement to that app, then the app will not be usable. However, any user can gain an entitlement by purchasing the app through Amazon.

The tl;dr version: You can use apps purchased from Amazon on multiple devices just fine; you'll just need Amazon's app store app installed for them to work. It's not nearly as scary as some would have you believe, and it's an extra cushion for developers. [Amazon Developer Blog]

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3 years ago

Finding Google's apps in the Market

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Google search on Android Market

Google is a software giant, and many of us user their proprietary applications on our Android phone.  With good reason -- apps like Gmail, Androidify, and YouTube absolutely rock on an Android device.  But did you know that Google, Inc. has a veritable laundry list of apps available on the Android Market?  They're all free, too! 

Some of you more Android savvy types might already know of them all, but for the rest of us there's an easy way to have a look at them, using search while in the Market app on your phone or tablet.  Just open the search dialog using the search button on your phone or the search icon in the Market, and look for Pub:"Google Inc."  That's a search by publisher -- in this case, Google, Inc.

So can you guess all the Google apps? We've given you seven freebies, and we've got your list after the break. Thanks for the tip, cdubbs!

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3 years ago

Android Quick-App: Wave Launcher

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Wave Launcher for Android

It's been a little while since we've seen any webOS aping on Android. And now we have Wave Launcher, which brings the webOS wave launcher (thus the name) feature to Android. It's pretty slick. Touch the bottom of the screen (which would be the gesture area on a webOS phone), wait for the vibration and drag up, and the ribbon appears. You can attach any five apps of your choosing.

If you're using a third-party launcher, you could turn off the launcher dock and just use Wave Launcher. Or use them both. And it works while apps are open, too. Pretty handy, actually, and it's available in the Android Market for a mere 99 cents. We've got video of it and action, as well as download links, after the break. Thanks, Ray!

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3 years ago

WidgetLocker Lockscreen 2.0 brings many great new features

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widgetlocker

Widgets are one of my favorite parts of the Android OS, whether a widget that enhances your productivity, or just displays useful information for you at a quick glance, they are very practical. WidgetLocker Lockscreen is a great application for users who want to add some additional functionality to your lockscreen, so you don't have to unlock the device just to view the information. Yesterday TeslaCoil Software released an update which brought many new great features, some of which include:

  • Custom Themes
  • Resizable widgets and sliders
  • Custom sliders of any style
  • Unread count via ADW Notifier
  • And the whole thing is much faster.

So, if you want to maximize the potential of your lockscreen, and make it truly your own, be sure to check out the latest update of WidgetLocker Lockscreen which is $1.99 in the Android Market.

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3 years ago

Angry Birds hits 30 million downloads on Android

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 Angry Birds is printing money

Don't look now, but it would seem that people love them some Angry Birds. A shocker, we know. Rovio announced at the annual Game Developers Conference (GDC) that the free-with-ads Android version of the popular game had been downloaded an astounding 30 million times. What is even more impressive is that Rovio claimed five million downloads back in early December. They said they were pulling in $1 million in ad revenue back then, so some quick math would estimate that they might be raking in north of $6 million per month now. That's a lot of irate avians. [Joystiq]

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3 years ago

Google Body for Android tablets is available once again, for real this time

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Google Body

Just a heads up that Google Body is back in the Android Market, and it's now available for download on Honeycomb tablets. Again, you'll need a tablet running Android 3.0, not a phone running anything other than Android 3.0. But with it you'll be able to explore the human body from a muscular, skeletal, vascular and nervous point of view, and it's pretty darn cool. Download links and our hands-on video are after the break. Thanks, Richie!

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3 years ago

Humans vs Aliens updated to Version 1.1

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A few weeks ago we took our first look at Humans vs Aliens, an Android game similar to Plants vs Zombies, and since then the game has continued to improve. The folks over at Epic Applications have been hard at work on this game, and continuing to improve the overall game play, and they are excited to announce version 1.1. This update brings some great enhancements to the game play, such as:

  • New Game Mode! Unlimited mode puts you against an unlimited barrage of aliens to see how long you can last! 5 new achievements and a leaderboard!
  • Meteors now can fall from the sky to destroy aliens or take out humans.
  • Improved memory management: optimized and reduced FCs
  • Health meters for humans!
  • Fix for Last Chance and Musical Chairs achievements which prevented them from being unlocked
  • New crash animations for spaceships and Chopper!
  • Restarting campaign fix

If you already own the game, be sure to grab the update, and if not, be sure to pick up your very own copy from the Android Market.

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3 years ago

Seesmic for Android gains full Facebook support

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Seesmic for Android

Seesmic has long been my Twitter client of choice -- and it's about to become my Facebook app of choice, too. Yep, Seesmic has added full Facebook support. Previously you could post directly to Facebook, and now you can read your friends' posts, too.

Also new in Version 1.6 is support for TwitLonger for you cheaters who can't stick with 140 characters, inline comments for Chatter and Google Buzz, support for the Goo.gl URL shortner, and a slew of new widgets for all the services.

Seesmic is free. You can update it now in the Android Market, and we've got download links after the break.

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3 years ago

Android Quick-App: Launcher7

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Launcher7 for Android

Apparently some crazy fool went and shared this picture on Twitter and, no, we haven't jumped ship to Windows Phone 7. But that doesn't mean we can't have a little fun with it.

What you see here is the Launcher7 homescreen/launcher replacement app. And it's pretty darn good. You basically have two panes. On the left are the hallmark tiles that serve as application icons. By default you have phone, messaging, internet, gmail, music, Market, contacts and HD Video (gallery).

Flip over to the right-hand pane, and you get a list of all your installed apps.

There are a few basic settings, including tile color, and whether you want them to "fly" in or fade in. Font support apparently is in the works, too.

It's a cool little launcher replacement, and it's no secret that we're impressed by what Microsoft's done with the Metro UI in WP7, and the free Launcher7 is an interesting recreation. Now if only it could get me some Zune Pass on Android. ... We've got a video demo and download links after the break. Check 'em out.

ps: Note that you have to have an HDPI (high-res, basically) screen for this app.

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3 years ago

The unofficial list of Honeycomb optimized applications [from the forums]

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honeycomb

After unboxing your Motorola Xoom last week, and playing around with all the Honeycomb goodness that it brought to your life, the time to find some fun apps has come, and we want to help you out. While we know the list is unofficial, forums member hypocaffeinemia has took the time to put together an excellent list of applications that excel in performance on the Honeycomb OS. So, if you own a Xoom, and are looking for some applications to use to get the most of it, be sure to check out the list of applications here. [Android Central Forums]

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3 years ago

Google Body briefly appears in Android Market, now pulled

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Google Body

Good news, bad news and a good news again: Google Body briefly made an appearance in the Android Market on the Motorola Xoom today. Bad news is that it's been pulled (though the market listing still lives here). Good news is that while you wait for it to show again, you can check out our hands-on video after the break. We'll be back when the app is. Thanks to everyone who sent this in.

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3 years ago

Another trojan found in pirated Android apps

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pirate arrr

Symantec has uncovered yet another trojan horse in a pirated Android app. This time around it's the "Android.Pjapps" trojan, and you can find it in modified versions of the Steamy Window app that have been cracked and placed on Android warez sites.  The official version of Steamy Window that's on the Android Market is not infected.  And it's a fun little time waster that you should probably have a look at

What's happening from the trojan in the pirated app is a bit scary.  Without your knowledge, it signs you up for premium text message services, sends off texts to them without your knowledge, and blocks incoming texts from the service so that you have no idea what is going on -- until your monthly bill from your service provider arrives.  It's sneaky, and someone needs a good old-fashioned ass kicking for doing it.  As we saw with other instances of malware hidden inside legitimate applications, this one originates in China, and is written by people probably a lot smarter than most of us.  You're not going to be able to outwit them.  Be smart -- only download apps from trustworthy sources, and read the permissions an app asks for when installing it.  Or you can go a step further and install an anti-virus application.

Now that the news portion is done, I want to say that anyone stealing Android applications will eventually get what they deserve.  These unofficial, unsanctioned, pirate websites hawking paid apps for free don't care about you.  They just want the traffic to view their ads, or your "$10 per year for all apps for FREE ZOMG."  If you visit them, and get a little more than you bargained for in the application you have stolen, make sure you only blame yourself.  There are legitimate sources to download applications if you're unable to access the Android Market, and they help developers get paid what they are owed.  Use them.

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