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4 years ago

Slingshot Racing brings one-touch steampunk bobsledding to Android

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An absolutely fantastic racing game called Slingshot Racing hit Android today, and I couldn't wait until our next Apps of the Week to tell you guys about it. Players are thrust into steampunk-style world where, for some reason or another, bobsled racing is a big thing. Instead of manually steering as one usually does in racing games, players have to instead tap, hold, and release the screen to deploy grappling hooks to the nearest spinning pivot point and slingshot around the bend. Timing is critical, and with competitors muscling for rank, it can get pretty intense. The best part about the control scheme is that it enables four people to play locally on the same device, which is a ton of fun. 

All sorts of game modes are available, including the standard time trial, another where you have to collect cogs, and one where you have to flee for as long as possible from a nasty chomper. The graphics in Slingshot Racing are full of character, and there's no shortage of replayability. Pick this one up for a mere $0.99 - trust me. 

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4 years ago

Apps of the Week: Ski TrailMaps, The Simpsons Tapped Out, Nexus 4 Display Control and more!

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It's a short month so this is going to end up being our last Apps of the Week column for February, but we think we've got a good set of app picks for you to make up for it. Even though we have folks in the air on their way to Barcelona for MWC, we've still got a full set of picks for your enjoyment from the Android Central team.

Read on with us after the break and see how we did with this week's picks.

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4 years ago

Motorola publishes new software update support page

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Motorola has just put up a new page that helps users easily find the software update status of any phone or tablet it sells. The new page is extremely user friendly, and walks users through finding their device and more information about it. You start with selecting your carrier, then a model and at that point you'll be presented with the update information and support links. Most recent devices will get a "This device will be upgraded to Jelly Bean (Android 4.1)" notice, while the older devices are told they'll be kept on Gingerbread.

For those who are stuck on older versions, they'll often be notified that their devices qualify for Motorola's trade-in program, which gives a credit towards a new Motorola device. This is a great move by Motorola to help users understand -- in no uncertain terms -- which devices will get the updates going forward.

Source: Motorola Support

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4 years ago

Material (Beta): yet another social news reader

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Material is an interesting app that's hoping to take a slice of the pie in the social news reader space, and is doing so with a beta version of its app that initially impresses in both design and functionality. Where Material may fall a bit short is in the category of differentiation. The implementation and execution of its solid design goals doesn't necessarily set it far enough apart from other apps that are in the same category.

Hang with us after the break and see what makes Material compelling, even in its current beta state.

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4 years ago

Android 4.2.1 update for international Galaxy S3 leaks

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Frequent firmware leaker SamMobile has just released what it believes is a build of the Android 4.2.1 update for the international (i9300) Samsung Galaxy SIII (S3). What we're looking at here is someone testing the new firmware -- Android 4.2.1 JOP40D -- that has chosen to give a system dump for others to try. It looks like many of the new features such as lockscreen widgets and Daydream are included, but this is certainly not final firmware.

SamMobile has re-packaged this firmware into an ODIN Flashable file that other users with the device can try out if they wish. There are of course risks involved, above and beyond the binary counter being increased and the device reporting as "modified" when running the firmware. If you're interested, you can give it a look at the source link below.

Source: SamMobile

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4 years ago

Gmail for Android – A Complete Walkthrough

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According to our not-so-scientific poll taken this time last year, chances are good that if you’re reading this then you use Android’s Gmail app. The latest update to Gmail bumped it up to version 4.2.2, adding some useful new features like swipe to delete, as well as the long awaited pinch to zoom. You may or may not have already read about these and started to use them. What about all those features that came before the last update?

Perhaps you’re new to Android, and are still exploring a lot of what Gmail has to offer. Maybe you’ve been using Android for a long time, and want to make sure you’re getting the most out of your Gmail experience. Whatever your level of expertise, this comprehensive walkthrough of Gmail's controls and settings will help advance, or at least refresh, your Gmail skills.

Hit the break for a review of the basics, as well as a deep dig into Gmail's features (and a couple lesser known tricks).

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4 years ago

MLB At Bat 2013 changes payment options, makes interface improvements

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The official MLB At Bat 2013 app has been updated in time for spring training with a new payment structure and several interface improvements. First up is the new payment methods, which in every case will save users money. The app is now free for download, with a $20 flat rate in-app purchase to get live gameday audio and premium features -- from Spring training all the way through the World Series. Previously, it was a paid download and then also a separate purchase for the premium features. If you're a MLB.tv premium subscriber, you can simply log in and receive all of the premium content and features as part of your package.

Having a basic log-in and one-time purchase method also means that you only pay once to get the content on all of your devices, which is a big plus to the model. On the interface side, the UI for phones is improved in several places, mainly in the individual team and news pages. There's a lot to get excited about with the MLB At Bat app this year, so if you're a baseball fan head to the Play Store link at the top of this post and grab a download.

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4 years ago

Chrome Beta update fixes crashes, adds tilt scrolling when switching tabs

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Google's Beta channel of Chrome on Android has just received another update, this time fixing nasty crashes and adding a few more features. First, issues with text selection handles being placed in the wrong location have been fixed. Next, several "frequently occurring crashes" have been fixed. You're now able to log in to the LinkedIn desktop site, which could be an important fix. On the feature side, the ability to tilt the phone to scroll now works in tab switching mode, so if you like to keep lots of tabs open it should be easier to navigate through them if you choose this option.

There are still many notable bugs -- it is Beta after all -- such as text entry problems with Swype, popup issues and text formatting abnormalities. For this reason, at this point Chrome Beta isn't available for download by searching in the Play Store, so you'll have to install it from the Play Store link at the top of this post. You can also check out the full changelog at the source link below.

Source: Chrome Releases

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4 years ago

DashClock Widget updated with calendar tweaks, new languages and more

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One of the best uses of Android 4.2's lock screen widget feature has been Roman Nurik's DashClock Widget -- a customizable, extensible widget giving you access to a wide array of information on your home screen or lock screen. Today it's been updated to version 1.3, bringing even more features alongside the usual bug fixes.

It's now possible to choose from which calendars events are displayed in the widget, and see the location of upcoming appointments. A shortcut now allows quick access to a list of DashClock extensions on Google Play. What's more, there are new translations for Czech, Hungarian, Italian, Korean, Polish, Slovak, Ukrainian, Simplified Chinese and Tradtional Chinese.

We've been following the development of DashClock in recent weeks, and if you're after a rundown of the best extensions around, you can check out our DashClock extensions feature. If you've yet to give it a try, you can pick it up for free at the Google Play link above -- remember, you'll need and Android 4.2 device, and currently that's limited to Nexus phones and tablets.

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4 years ago

4 Pics 1 Word: countless time spent playing this game

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Four pictures. One Word. Countless time spent playing this addictive game. There isn't a lot to it, but that's just fine by us. 4 Pics 1 Word is a smooth, fun and well designed game that's free to play and can offer hours upon hours of entertainment. With now millions of downloads in the Play Store, this game is certainly doing something right.

Check out our impressions and some more information about 4 Pics 1 Word after the break.

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4 years ago

Fixmo SafeWatch will keep your personal data safe, and you're invited to try out the free beta

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Fixmo is a name we usually associate with enterprise mobile risk management solutions or government agency IT (they also make some great BlackBerry apps), but that also have a pretty comprehensive Android application in the works. Their upcoming SmartWatch app is designed to help folks like you and me to protect our device, our personal data, and our privacy.

It's more than just an Android malware scanner. If that's all they had to offer, we would just lump them in with the rest and move on. The malware scanner is included, but when coupled with things like call and SMS filtering and remote lock, locate, and wipe, SafeWatch is certainly worth a look. Check out the features.

  • Anti-virus scanning
  • Unsecure Wifi network alerts
  • Backup/restore of your personal contacts and photos
  • SMS/Call filtering
  • Locate, lock or wipe a lost or stolen device
  • Flag certain contacts in your address book as "private", hiding the phone logs and SMS messages to and from them
  • Make a device "scream" through a simple web-based console
  • Trigger device camera to send back a photo of what it can see through a simple web-based console
  • "Anti-loss triggers" that can detect certain behaviors that may suggest your device is lost or stolen, and automatically lock your phone and send you an alert so you can react before something bad happens.

It sounds like something many of us could use, from a company that big business and the government has trusted for years. The app is coming to Google Play soon for a monthly subscription fee, but Fixmo is offering Android Central readers a chance to join an exclusive beta program and try the app themselves today. Folks who get in on the beta also get a year of free service. Hit the link below and sign up to try. They are only accepting 500 users into the beta, so get in quickly if you're interested.

Sign up for the Fixmo SafeWatch beta

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4 years ago

New York Times app updated, brings new night mode and customizable widget

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A quick heads up for users of the New York Times Android application, that an updated version has pushed out into Google Play. The two headline new features are a night mode -- otherwise known as white text on a black background -- and a pretty nice new customizable widget. Sadly, the widget is only available to users on Android 4.x, but that aside it does a pretty nice job. It's customizable, so will display whichever category you most desire to see updates from. 

The only drawback as far as we can see with it, is that the default size of the widget is 4x1. It's scrollable, but unless you're in a position to be able to resize your widgets, it's pretty small, and doesn't even display one full article. It also won't match the theme choice from within the app, it's permanently set to white-on-black. Grab yourselves a copy from the Google Play link above.

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4 years ago

Sony promises Android 'second screen' app for PlayStation 4

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Sony (sorta) unveiled the PlayStation 4 last night in New York, and along with hardware, software and development details, the electronics giant talked about how the new console would tie into mobile devices. For Android and iOS, Sony said it'd bring "second screen" experiences to these devices.

Like Microsoft's "SmartGlass," the PS4 smartphone apps will allow gamers to bring relevant information to their mobile device whether they're in front of their console or not. In-game, the apps will be able to offer extra content like maps in an adventure game, Sony says. And when you're away from home, the app will tie into the PlayStation Network, allowing you to purchase games or peek in on your friends' games in real time. There's no mention of any PS Vita-style "remote play" option for smartphones just yet -- if something like this is to be offered on phones, it's likely it might be tied into Sony's existing PlayStation Mobile certification program.

The PlayStation 4 is due to appear in time for the holidays, and though we got a quick peek at its smartphone and tablet apps on-stage last night, the box itself was conspicuously absent.

Source: Sony Computer Entertainment International (PDF)

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4 years ago

HBO Go and MAX Go updated with HDMI video out support

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The long-awaited feature of HDMI video out is finally making its way to both the HBO Go and MAX Go Android apps. Users that have a a cable subscription including HBO or Cinemax can now connect their phones to TV's and monitors for video playback from the apps on the larger screen, without any restriction. This is a big deal for such a large content provider to offer the functionality, which really shouldn't have been left out in the first place.

You can grab a download of the latest version of HBO Go a the Play Store link above, and you can find MAX Go right here as well.

Thanks, CarlD!

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4 years ago

Google Maps, Drive and Earth updated with bugfixes

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Google has just pushed out some bugfix updates in Google Play for both Maps and Earth, along with a couple of feature improvements for Drive. Those improvements for Drive are the ability to stream video files from the app on devices running Android 3.0 and above, as well as the ability to now use pinch-to-zoom in the presentation viewer. Maps and Earth aren't getting anything notable, but we're never going to turn down a good set of bugfixes that will improve the overall experience of using these apps.

You can grab the latest version of Google Drive for the new features at the Play Store link above. If you're interested in picking up the bugfixes for Maps and Earth, they can be found here and here.

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