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3 years ago

Amazon's Kindle daily book deals are a great way to build your library

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If you got a Kindle device this year for the holidays, don't forget about the Kindle Store Daily Deals. There are always plenty of books for just $1.99, and they change daily. It's a great way to build your library on the cheap.

You need a Kindle or Kindle Fire to buy them, but once purchased they are in your Amazon account and can be read on any device with a Kindle app. With WhisperSync taking care of your bookmarks, you'll be hard pressed to find a better reading solution anywhere. To find them, just open the Kindle store from your tablet and look for the Daily Deals link on the right. 

You'll always find deals and specials in the music and video store as well, but the Kindle deals are a solid perk for having one of Amazon's tablets. Take advantage of it if you like to read and have a Kindle device. I just picked up William Alexander's "The $64 Tomato" and plan on spending the evening enjoying the warm indoors with it.

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3 years ago

Apps of the Week: BBC iPlayer, Bloons TD 5, Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP and more!

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It's Saturday, and that means it's time for the Android Central app picks. We've got another smattering of random apps, games and utilities for your enjoyment here this week. This is our last roundup of app picks for 2012, but fear not, we're coming back stronger than ever in 2013 with more apps for you to check out. See how we did wrapping up 2012 after the break.

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3 years ago

New York's MTA subway data hits Android in beta form

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New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority this week released its "Subway Time" app for iOS, which gives real-time updates for trains in and and around New York City. Need to know how soon a certain train will be at a certain station? That's the app to have. 

Only, we use Android around these here parts. And MTA's not making an app for us. But what it is doing is making the data freely available to anyone -- and we've already seen our first "unofficial" app released in beta. Subway Time for Android, released by The Holodeck, taps into that MTA data and brings a fairly functional app to Android. There are bugs. There are layout issues. But those can be fixed. That we're seeing the app ported over in just a matter of days is proof positive that we're on the right side here, folks. So break out those MTA cards and let's give this guy a go.

More: MTA Developer Resources; Thanks for the tip, @EladKatz!

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3 years ago

Press: Google Reader done right? Or just different?

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Press, a brand new Google Reader news client, has been the focus of the Android app community since its release, being heralded for its great design choices and general ease of use. It certainly isn't the first -- nor will it be the last -- in this arena, but right now its one that has everyone watching, and early indications are that it's living up to the hype.

Do the design and features offer enough of a draw to pull you away from another reading app of your choice? Stick around after the break and see if Press is worth your consideration.

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3 years ago

Google Music scan and match only adding clean versions of songs

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It seems that users taking advantage of Google Music's new scan and match feature aren't always getting exactly what they expected added to their music libraries. The new feature, which launched in the U.S. just a week ago, lets users bypass uploading of new music by instead "matching" the music on the user's computer with the same file in Google Music automatically. That's all fine and dandy if it works, but users are reporting that songs with explicit lyrics are having the clean versions of songs added instead. This doesn't come as a complete surprise considering the same reports came out when iTunes started its own matching service, but this still shouldn't be happening.

Whether its because of a licensing shortcoming or technical issue with identifying music, we hope that Google can get this one figured out. Users with explicit music usually have it for a reason, and don't really want it replaced erroneously because a service isn't operating properly.

Source: Droid Life

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3 years ago

Bluestacks for Mac now in beta

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Here's a quick heads up for those of you who just have to run the occasional Android application siloed on your computer -- Bluestacks is now in beta for Macs. If you're new to Bluestacks, the idea is that it works as a sort of an emulator for Android apps -- some 750,000 of them, actually -- giving you full control with a keyboard and mouse. And while your experience may vary a little bit depending on hardware, it's actually a really good implementation, though it's not necessarily the quickest to load. 

There's also the argument that it's a little silly to use apps like Facebook and Instagram as an Android app on a desktop, but whatever. It's still pretty damn cool, especially for games.

So, go get the Mac beta if you want to give it a go, and remember that there's a Windows version available, too.

Download: Bluestacks

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3 years ago

Google lists its 'Best Apps of 2012' on Play

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Google has put its "Best Apps of 2012" list up on Google Play today, with many familiar names. There are "best of" lists in each of the different categories on the Play Store, but the app listings always draw a lot of attention. It's always interesting to see what apps Google employees themselves are using and calling the "best" on the platform. The list is headlined by many apps that you yourself may rattle off as the best apps, such as Pinterest, Zappos and Evernote.

All but one of these apps are free, so why don't you go check out a few of Google's top picks? You can get the full list of all 12 apps at the source link below. 

Source: Google Play

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3 years ago

Samsung updates its ChatON service to version 2.0

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Samsung has just updated its universal chat service, ChatON, with a whole host of new features. When first launching the app, users are now greeted with the ability to sign in with their Samsung account, which makes syncing smoother. This means that all of your devices -- up to 5 in total -- with ChatON will receive messages simultaneously, which is a feature you'd expect from this type of service. Version 2.0 has added the ability to send multiple images at once as well as changing the font in the chat room. Samsung has also made improvements to the profile page that lets users have multiple profile images.

The ChatON app is preloaded on all Samsung devices, is available from Samsung Apps and can be downloaded to any device from the Google Play Store at the link above.

Source: Samsung

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3 years ago

Galaxy Note 2 on AT&T receiving multi-window update tomorrow

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AT&T has confirmed to Engadget that starting tomorrow, Galaxy Note 2 users on its network will be receiving an update that will bring full multi-window functionality to their devices. AT&T is the last of the big carriers in the U.S. to roll out an update with the feature to Note 2 devices, something that many specifically want the device for. The multi-window feature, if you're not familiar, lets users run two apps side-by-side which can definitely offer increased productivity options if you're trying to get a lot done. With the extra screen real estate of the Note 2, it's something that can actually work for some people.

Luckily for us, AT&T is skipping the hassle of using Kies for the update (unlike the latest for the Galaxy S3) and letting this one go out OTA (Over The Air,) just like it should. We're not sure exactly when the update will begin rolling, but you can bet the folks here in our forums will know as soon as it does.

Source: Engadget; More: AT&T Galaxy Note 2 Forums

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3 years ago

TuneIn Radio Pro, Radiant HD and more now free on Amazon Appstore

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Amazon is running a promotion that has many popular apps for free through its Appstore today. It has always run a free app of the day promotion, but Amazon is feeling a bit more generous today by dropping several different apps -- from TuneIn Radio Pro to OfficeSuite Pro -- to the nice price of $0.00. Some of these are regularly upwards of $15, so this is a pretty nice post-Christmas deal. This will surely help Amazon grab the eyes of users that are getting their first Android phone or tablet over the holidays.

Use the Appstore and interested in picking up some good apps? Hit the source link below for a search listing of the apps on sale.

Source: Amazon

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3 years ago

From the mail bag: What the heck does deodexed mean?

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Clark writes,

What the heck does odex and deodex actually mean? I see the terms mentioned in almost every custom ROM thread and can't find an answer that I can understand. I'm hoping that Android Central can help out.

Awesome question, Clark. And one I think we can answer in terms that most folks will understand. As you've noted, you see the terms odex and deodexed in many forums posts about custom ROMs or assorted hacks for phones and tablets both. It takes a lot of work for developers to create deodexed ROMs from "stock" ROMs, like the ones offered from both OEMs and Google alike.

To begin, we need to know what an odex file is.  It's a part of an application (the .apk file) that has been prebuilt to make the Dalvik Virtual Machine load it faster using less resources. If you look in the /system/app/ folder on your Android phone or tablet, you'll see that just about every application has both an .apk file and an .odex file. These files work together through the Dalvik VM to make the apps run as they should on our devices. Let's break it all down after the break.

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3 years ago

Tapatalk HD hits the Google Play Store in beta

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One popular method of hitting up your favorite vBulletin forums -- including of course, the Android Central Forums -- from your Android device, is Tapatalk. While Tapatalk does a great job at hooking you into a pretty wide range of forums, the versions out there on public release don't include a dedicated Tablet app. There was a special version released through Samsung Apps for the Galaxy Tab 8.9 and 10.1, and we've known of a more general version in the works for a while now. 

It seems as though the finished product is almost ready for the big time, with the release of a beta version of Tapatalk HD into the Google Play Store for all to download and try out. And, with it being a beta product, it will cease to continue working once version 1.0 hits the Play Store, estimated to be sometime in late January. 

There are a few new features along for the ride, such a gallery view on larger forums -- ours included -- and push notifications. The biggest difference to anything we've seen before though, is the UI. As it's been specifically designed for use with tablets, we get a split pane view, adjustable fonts, and viewing posts fits the dimensions of a tablet display much better than Tapatalk 2.0. Grab yourselves a copy at the Play Store link above, and click on past the break for a selection of screenshots.

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3 years ago

How'd your holiday Photospheres turn out?

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Google a couple weeks ago made a rather nice commercial out of the Photosphere feature, in which you make a 360-degree (more or less) panoramic photo that all gets stitched together on your phone. The holiday spot has someone taking a Photosphere in a (very) large house, with a bunch of family members in the shot.

Now, we all know Rule No. 1 of taking Photospheres is to not have anything too close to you as you take the picture. Rule No. 2 is the fewer people, the better, as people tend to move.

So I waited until things had died down a little bit. My result? Not horrible, especially since I didn't tell anyone to hold still. Check out the full Photosphere pic here. And if you took any over the holidays, be sure to tag them with #photosphere on Google+ so we can all see!

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3 years ago

Round-up: Android games on holiday sale

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Happy holidays, everyone! Got some time off and looking to unwind or get away from the Christmas chaos? There a bunch of solid Android games that have steep price cuts, and we've rounded some of them up for you here. Go on, treat yourself to a few - you deserve it. Of course, if you spot anything else that's on sale, don't be shy about dropping a comment!

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3 years ago

Rom Manager updated, now you can download flashable zip backups to your computer

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If you use Rom Manager to manage your flashing habit and curate all your CWM backups, you're going to want to take a look at the latest update. Beside the theme fixes for older devices, there is a new feature that plenty of folks are going to find useful -- a backup server built right into the app.

It's not just any backup server though. There are plenty of options out there to browse the files on your phone or tablet via Wifi. What Rom Manager is doing provides an extra handy service -- it transforms the backup files into a flashable zip file that you can flash back to your device (or any device) from ClockWorkMod Recovery.

Granted, it's always been possible to pull and share CWM backups, but the new Rom Manager update takes the confusion away and makes it easy for everyone to pull a backup file that's ready to flash, without worrying about the right folder structure or location. As Koush says, this is the first version so there may be a few quirks in it. Be sure to report any of these you may run into back to him. I just tried it, and what I'm seeing works exceptionally well. Give it a go yourself with today's update. 

Via: +ClockWorkMod

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