Google has been going strong with Google Wallet as of late in an effort to make NFC more widely used. Their latest announcement is a testament to their commitment of working with merchants in an effort to make things easy, drive sales and save consumers money. They've added more supported merchants to the list, as noted on the Google Mobile Blog:
Today, our partners American Eagle Outfitters, The Container Store, Foot Locker, Guess, Jamba Juice, Macy’s, OfficeMax and Toys“R”Us are rolling out an even better Google Wallet experience. For the first time ever in the U.S., at these select stores, you can not only pay but also redeem coupons and/or earn rewards points—all with a single tap of your phone. This is what we call the Google Wallet SingleTap experience.
So not only will you be able to use Google Wallet at those places, you'll also be able to save some money while doing so. The "Featured Offers" tab within Google Wallet has offers that are exclusive and won't be found elsewhere. Some new ones added today include, 15% off at American Eagle Outfitters, 10% off at The Container Store, 15% off at Macy’s and an all-fruit smoothie for $2 at Jamba Juice and Google is actively working with retailers to have customer rewards / loyalty cards integrated with their services as well.
While Google admits that Google Wallet is still new and they are actively exploring new uses for it, the adoption rate has thus far been great with even more retailers such as Chevron, D’Agostino, Faber News Now, Gristedes Supermarkets and Pinkberry working with Google to accept Google Wallet.
A few weeks back we took a look at BIG Launcher, an Android replacement launcher geared toward those who have some trouble seeing smaller icons, and they are pleased to announce a huge update. With this update the launcher is now 100% accessible, meaning it is now compatible with screen reader applications, such as Talkback, it is now fully controllable by physical buttons only if preffered, and they offer a dark skin as well so it is a bit easier on the eyes. If you have already purchased BIG Launcher be sure to grab the latest update, and if you haven't or know someone who could benefit from it be sure to hit the break for download links.
If you're looking for the antithesis of Frost, you'll find it in Lucid. Dark, dramatic, and definitely easy on the battery, Lucid has won me over in the dark themes category and Sonny Sekhon has definitely shown off that he's no slouch at making CM7 themes.
Take everything I've said about Frost and Tangerine, and just make it black. The notification pulldown bar is back to being black. The transparency is there and the bottom of the pulldown is black with a little white arrow. The widget icons are white (naturally, so you can see them), and the battery percent is still inside the battery.
The dialer is transparent black, just like the other themes made by this developer. The accent colors for the frames is actually the same silver as Frost. The only difference here is that Lucid opts for black instead of silver.
Icons and widgets are the same greyish silver from Frost, too. Give your app drawer a look, there's plenty to see. It matches the theme really well, and while it may initially seem like a bummer that the icons are the same as Frost, monochrome looks so good with black you won't even mind the next time you look.
The toast notifications, buttons, highlight color, and checks are also the same dark grey/silver color, but it looks awesome. I guess that means we could argue Lucid is just Frost with a black bar, but don't. The theme looks good and it's functional, so let it be.
If you're looking for a theme with a bit darker vibe, Lucid is it. It's clean, look great, and shouldn't be too hard on the battery. Like it's other friends from the same dev, it's all yours for only $1.
We've got download links and more pictures after the break.
You want em, we got em. No, no. Not Samsung Galaxy Nexus devices, but instead applications to make your Android device even more fun than it already is. Jump past the break as we take another look at some of our favorites from this week.
If you’re a fan of the show Dexter on Showtime, then you’ll want to check out the official Android app. Showtime is doing some cool things with complimentary apps for its shows, including the popular series Weeds and the aforementioned Dexter.
When you open the app, you’ll be presented with the home screen, which displays four tabs up top as well as six main features rotating on the main screen. These include guest stars for the upcoming season, behind the scenes looks, a glance at the widget and even an opportunity to watch the season premiere on your device. The four tabs that can be found up top are: Home, The Show, Videos and Photobooth.
Home: includes all of the options listed above
The Show: this tab contains 5 subtabs called About, Episodes, Airtimes, Cast, and Extras. About provides a premise for the show including the new season. Episodes allows you to sort through past shows, read recaps and watch video clips. Airtime lists all of the upcoming Dexter episodes available on various networks. Cast provides bios and pictures of the main cast members and Extras includes wallpapers and the official Twitter account for the show
Videos: The Videos tab includes a full episode available for free as well as behind the scenes clips for the fans that love extras
Photobooth: Photobooth allows you to to put a picture of yourself inside a theme based on Dexter. Themes include Dark Angel, Kill Wall, Kill Suit, Miami Badge and Suspect File
Dexter is a fantastic app for anyone who is a fan of the popular Showtime series. It is a perfect compliment to the TV show. It's a free app available from the Android Market, we've got links after the break.
Some great news for Google Voice users has arrived today. MMS support has now become a priority and is slowly rolling out to users accounts. As noted on the Google Voice Blog:
MMS has been one of the constant feature requests since we launched Google Voice and we’ve been hard at work trying to make this happen.
Today, we're happy to announce that we've made the first step in our efforts to bring this feature to our users. Google Voice users are now able to receive pictures and other multimedia messages from Sprint subscribers. The multimedia attachments will display on their mobile forwarding phone and in their email inbox when they enable text to email forwarding in their Google Voice settings. We are also planning on making them display in the Google Voice inbox.
We are working with other mobile operators to make this work across all mobile phones and will update our users as more and more operators offer support for this.
Posted by Ilya Frank, Senior Software Engineer
For now, only Sprint customers can make use of the MMS features but as noted -- Google is working with other carriers to have it implemented as soon as possible. Anyone been waiting on this?
Back when it was announced in August, Samsung had no official launch date for their ChatON messaging service so many were left to wonder what, exactly it would arrive. As it turns out, it's available now in the Android Market. For now, it's available for Android and Bada phones but iOS and BlackBerry support is coming, making it a complete cross-platform messaging service with plenty of features:
In order to use the service you'll need a device running Android 2.2 or higher, which shouldn't be a problem for most folks. You can find the download link past the break, however -- at the moment it seems as though a lot of people are jumping on to get activated and servers are a little bogged down.
When I first played Destroy Gunners F, I was pretty blown away. Big robots carryings large weapons and blowing up smaller, less impressive looking robots was just too cool to me. It took me back to playing Battletech: Solaris through AOL (keyword: Battletech, I think) when I was just a wee lad and I was only allowed a few hours on the internet a day.
Where Destroy Gunners SP differentiates itself from Destroy Gunners F is the fact that it's a full-blown game, with multiple missions, mechs, and weapons to choose from. No longer are you limited to a single survival or free play mode (although free play is still here).
Controls are done the same way as in the other Destroy Gunners games, with a virtual joystick on the left and all of the weapons you have controlled by touching the screen. You can move your focus from left to right using the left and right arrows on the right side of the screen or while you're firing your weapon by dragging your finger while your gun is going off.
What helps to really make Destroy Gunners F stand out compared to its two predecessors is the fact that there's a lot more content, not only in terms of gameplay, but also customization. For example, there's three mechs to choose from, but you only start off with the normal one initially. Through completing certain missions or defeating certain enemies (I assume), you can unlock the other two models of mech.
You can also customize what weapons and powerups your mech has equipped on them. You start off with nothing but missiles and a gun, but by the end of your first mission, you should have some sort of "fast power up" item that you can also tack on. The further you go into the game, the cooler the equipment becomes, like a giant shoulder cannon (that absolutely lays out enemies) or a laser gun.
Destroy Gunners SP doesn't come cheap, running $9.99 for the whole game. I know that sounds like a lot (and it is, in the grand scheme of Android games), but if you're looking for a game that plays well and has lots of content plus replayability, then it's a worthy investment. Add in that there's OpenFeint achievements and it'll be the best 10 dollars you ever spent.
Wow -- Talk about something to make you feel old. 10 years ago this month Rockstar Games released the original Grand Theft Auto III to the masses and now it is time to celebrate once again by taking it mobile. Soon, Grand Theft Auto III will be available on various Android Smartphones and tablets including:
Awesome! Time to brush up on your GTA skills because release is happening soon, it'll be interesting to see how well the game does as well -- 10-years later. Can't help but notice that one specific PlayStation certified device is missing from the line-up though.
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