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3 years ago

Android 102: Wireless file transfer

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I use Linux for my PC operating system. That means I don't get any fancy Android File Transfer programs to use to copy files on and off of my devices, and setting up MTP support is a hassle -- not to mention the closed nature of the whole mess. I can use the command line and adb to copy files back and forth, and sometimes I do, but the easy way is to use an app that acts as a remote server and "browse" my files with Chromium or Firefox. They also work with Windows or Mac OS for those times when you don't want to look for a cable.

There are plenty of apps available that will work. Airdroid is a pretty popular one that also offers the ability to send and receive SMS message through your PC. It's also free, and free is always good. I like things a bit more lightweight and simple, so I use Wifi File Explorer Pro. It's not free ($0.99) and doesn't let you text from your PC. It's just the first one that was made available and I hate change. My point is, there's plenty of apps that will work, and they all work basically the same.

  1. Grab the app from Google Play, install it, and run it.
  2. The app will tell you a URL to put in your browser. You may need a code or need to scan a barcode to log in.
  3. When the page loads, you see everything that's on your phone storage, and can transfer files both ways, or play music or video. 

The apps are actually running a tiny web server on your phone, so the result acts like a website. You will need to have both machines on the same Wifi, and in theory a cable is faster, but wireless file transfer is pretty darn easy.

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3 years ago

Mexico gets Google Maps Navigation

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Many countries have been enjoying Google Maps' free turn-by-turn navigation feature for a couple of years, but so far Mexico's been left out of the fun. That changes today with the launch of Google Maps Navigation (in beta, natch) in the country.

Just like the English-language version, Navigation for Mexican users features turn-by-turn directions, complete with voice playback, and real-time traffic updates. There's also Spanish-language voice search, and the ability to search for businesses or other places along your route.

Mexican Android users running OS version 2.2 Froyo or greater can take advantage of the new feature by jumping into the latest version of the Google Maps app.

Source: @Google México; Thanks, Spook81!

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3 years ago

Android 101: The Android File Transfer app for Mac

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Want to move files between your Android device and a Mac? There's an app for that (natch)

It's OK to use a Mac if you're also an Android fan. You don't have to apologize. In fact, I'd prefer it if you don't. Use what you want. Use what works for you. Don't worry what anyone else thinks. (Chances are that's what led you to Android in the first place.)

But if you are using a computer from Cupertino, you will need an extra piece of software if you want to transfer files over USB and your device is running Android 3.0 or higher. It's not a huge deal, and it takes just a few seconds to set up. Here's the scoop:

  1. Download the Android File Transfer app
  2. Install the application. (Go to wherever it was you saved the app, and double-click it. Drag the installer file into your Applications folder. Yes. We just gave you instructions for that.)
  3. Plug in your phone. The Android File Transfer App should automatically launch if it's not already running. You'll now see the folders and files, like in the image above.

It's that easy. The only real caveat with this tool is that there's a 4-gigabyte file size limit on transfers. If you want to copy over anything larger than that -- say, a movie -- you'll need to do it via another method, such as adb.

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3 years ago

Samsung teams up with Peel to expand second screen TV app internationally

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Peel, a so-called "second screen" app used as a TV guide (and in some cases to control your TV), has been available for download for some time now. The company has even struck a deal with Samsung previously to include it on devices like the Galaxy Tab 7 Plus. Now the two companies are teaming up to expand the usage of Peel internationally and on more devices.

This update will bring localized TV information to 20 new countries in 13 languages, focusing mainly on Europe and Southeast Asia. Samsung is aiming to add complete IR functionality to additional tablet devices in the future so users can control their TVs with the app as well.

Current devices with IR, like some Galaxy Tab and Galaxy Note 10.1 models, already have the functionality and can unlock the new features with a free update in the Play Store at the link above.

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3 years ago

Princess Leia arrives in Angry Birds Star Wars update

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We got a teaser video yesterday showing off new content for the recently released Angry Birds Star Wars game, and now it has gone live in the Play Store. The update brings new levels on the planet Hoth for your enjoyment and pigtrooper-smashing, so get ready to see AT-AT Walkers and a whole lot of snow. The Rebel birds now have a recognizable character helping them out as well, Princess Leia.

Oh, and we still find the lack of Angry Birds Star Wars on the Droid DNA ... disturbing. That's still not working.

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3 years ago

Sega's Jet Set Radio is a half-gigabyte, $4.99, and available now

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I'm not normally one to worry about the size of Android applications these days. Twenty megabytes? Download without thinking. Fifty? Sure. Why not?

Sega's much-anticipated Jet Set Radio, however, clocks in at a whopping 587 megabytes. Not exactly a record or anything, but this sucker's big. Took about 8 minutes from download to first push. 

This game is worth the $4.99, though. If you're into the skate culture at all, you'll find something here. The premise, if you're new to the game, is that you're a "Rudie" in Tokyo-To, with magnetically-driven in-line skates. They're powered by some sort of "netrium" battery -- and you're powered by Jet Set Radio, "a pirate radio station manned by the DJ Professor K that plays nothing by non-stop hardcore music." And you skate around, tagging stuff and giving the finger to the man -- all that jazz.

Gameplay is pretty good. You get the feel of the on-screen joystick easily enough (and I've never been a big fan of those). The four-button layout is simple, and the tutorials get you going. The graffiti tagging gets a little more intricate as time goes on, so pay attention to that.

Hit the download link above to give it a go (again, remember, it's $5, so keep in mind that 15-minute refund window if this isn't your thing), and we've got promo video after the break.

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3 years ago

Chrome for Android updated

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Chrome for Android has been updated to fix some stability issues, says Google.

This news comes on the back of Google’s announcement last week on their Google+ page that it will bring mobile Chrome version numbers up to speed with desktop versions by early next year. With desktop Chrome at version 23 right now and mobile Chrome at 18, we can expect releases to be streamlined eventually.

For reference, the stable channel for the latest Android Chrome release for ARM devices is 18.0.1025469 and 18.0.1026322 for x86 devices.

Thanks to everyone who sent this in!

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3 years ago

Google apps package updated today, just in time for the new AOSP ROMs

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The folks who do this sort of thing have updated the Google Apps package today, handing you a shiny new flashable to go with that 4.2.1 AOSP ROM you're about to download.

Technically a grey area, Google doesn't release their closed source applications for redistribution. Instead, they get sucked out of a phone running the current version, and blood, sweat, and scripts are used to create a package that gives you all the Googley services you would expect from an Android phone.

Yesterday's 4.2.1 updates didn't bring about any new versions of the Gapps, so we imagine this update is more along the lines of streamlining and enhancing the installation process -- the biggest step in the whole process. Grab em from the source link below so you have them the next time you need them.

Download gapps-jb-20121128-signed.zip from Goo.im

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3 years ago

Sailboat Championship all but gets wind in your hair and saltwater in your veins

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Sailing is one of those things that can be explained in a couple of minutes, but it really takes a lifetime to master. Sailboat Championship (from Infinite Dreams) marries the fundamentals of being on the water with excellent Android gameplay. You've got to pay attention to where the wind is coming from, first and foremost. That affects your course, of course. Depending on the difficulty level, you might only have to worry about steering -- and the wheel has a good bit of travel to it, adding to the realism of steering. Or, you might have to handle the lines, and that's where things get intricate. 

The graphics are pretty stunning and gameplay is fast and smooth -- and it's also pretty hard. Or maybe it's just that I've spent too many years as a landlubber and I'm rusty. There are enough races to keep you interested long past the time the sun drops below the mast. And for its special introductory price of $1.99, it's a game you're not going to want to pass up.

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3 years ago

Latest Google Drive app update brings native spreadsheet editing, home screen shortcuts and more

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If you're the sort of person who likes to edit spreadsheets on the go, then you'll be pleased to learn that the latest version of the Google Drive app for Android allows you to do just that. A new update to the Drive app released today introduces a half-dozen fairly significant features that should make mobile document editing a little easier.

Previously limited to a slightly janky web-based interface, spreadsheets have gotten their own native UI, complete with the ability to zoom, directly edit formulae and resize and re-style cells. The same applies to tables in the Google Docs editor, which can now be similarly manipulated.

There are also a few minor changes, like the ability to maintain formatting when copying and pasting within Docs, and the ability to add home screen shortcuts to specific files or folders.

To grab the new version of Google Drive, you can use the Google Play shortcut at the top of the page. We've got the full changelog after the break.

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3 years ago

Adobe Photoshop Touch updated and optimized for 7-inch devices

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Following the launch of Adobe Photoshop Touch a couple of weeks ago for the Amazon Kindle Fire, the app has been updated today in the Play Store with optimization for 7-inch devices. The one caveat is that the screen resolution must be at least 1024x600, but that puts the Google Nexus 7 right on deck. 

Besides this there's a smattering of other new features included, one of which is new ways to share your creations to Facebook and Twitter. Additionally to this there's some new effects, and enhancements to both performance and the visual side with an improved grid layout. The update is now live in the Google Play Store for current owners, and if you're picking it up for the first time it'll cost you $9.99/£6.99. 

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3 years ago

Angry Birds Star Wars to be updated starting Nov. 29 with new Hoth levels

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By now, you've most likely catapulted, slashed and shot your way through the first two worlds in Rovio's latest Angry Birds title, Angry Birds Star Wars. But, good news for those patiently awaiting the next set of levels, an update is due to drop starting tomorrow with more bird flinging fun. 

Following on from Tatooine and the Death Star, next up is the ice planet of Hoth. So, expect snow, snow, more snow and some AT-AT Walkers thrown in for good measure. Rovio has released a teaser trailer which we can see here, but we'll know more tomorrow. 

Source: Rovio Mobile (YouTube)

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3 years ago

Amazon Appstore now available in Japan

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It's been nearly two months since Amazon started accepting submissions for its Japanse appstore, and today it's gone live. The usual suspects are all there -- Amazon singles out Cut the Rope, Fruit Ninja and Yahoo! Headline, among others. You can get to the Japanese wing at amazon.co.jp/apps.

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3 years ago

QuickBooks Mobile now fully optimized for Android tablets

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Intuit has updated the QuickBooks Mobile app for Android, making the app fully optimized for use with Android tablets. With almost 400,000 companies and over 1 million people using QuickBooks Online, there is a real need for a comprehensive companion application that's built to take advantage of the screen real estate a tablet offers. Of course, the app still offers all the same features to help users manage their finances it always has.

Intuit also recognizes the market swing and how Android is quickly gaining share. The number of mobile users is expected to surpass the number of computer users by mid-2013, and a significant number of those will be running Android. Simply put, these folks will need to have access to the programs they want and need -- including productivity software. QuickBooks Mobile is free in Google Play, but requires access to QuickBooks online or other Intuit services which may be subscription based.

Read through the break for the press release from Intuit, and a few screenshots of the app in action. 

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3 years ago

Rdio rolls out 2.0 update with a new look and new features

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After having done its rounds in some beta testing, Rdio v2.0 has been deemed ready for the masses and is now available for download in the Google Play Store. We're used to seeing frequent updates to Rdio but this release is a whole lot more than simple bug fixes. Aside from a whole new user interface, Rdio has added a few other welcomed additions:

  • New side-bar navigation — A new navigation panel pops open on the left side of the app to bring you to Your Music, Settings, Playlists, and other features.
  • Remote control — The app will notify you if “Rdio is playing elsewhere.” Pause, skip, or play a station from wherever you are, or click “Play Here Instead” and your mobile device will pick up right where your laptop left off.
  • Infinite scroll — You’ll never run out of new music to explore. Rdio loads more content as you scroll through Heavy Rotation, Top Charts, and New Releases.

Overall, the additions and improvements are nice though in my time with it, I did find it a little bit laggy -- maybe it just needs some to settle in. If you're an Rdio user, go ahead and grab the update and let us know in the comments how it's working for you.

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