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3 years ago

How to score an Ingress invite


Android users everywhere are all talking about Ingress. It's a cool location based MMO sci-fi game where you secure portals to help alter the course of human history. The back story is all at the Niantic Project website, and it's quite the puzzle itself to get it all sorted. The short version -- it's fun, it gets you exploring, and it's addictive.

It's also invite-only for now, and that's always a bummer. There's a couple ways to get an invite. The first way is to sign up for one at the Ingress portal site. They're metering them out, but that's where most people that are playing today got theirs. 

The second way is to jump on Google+ and add these four folks from Niantic to your circles:

Read what they post, because they are the people who can override things and hand out invites -- and they often do. Try to catch their eye with cool artwork or stories with an Ingress theme, and mark your post with the #ingressinvite hashtag, and maybe even mention them so your post gets seen.

Finally, you can get an invite from a friend who has scored a handful from the game. Word is that you can get invites to pass out once you reach a certain level (between 2 and 3) but nobody is 100-percent sure. 

What I am 100-percent sure of is that I don't have any. Instead of pummeling my inbox for one, try the tactics above. It's fun enough to work for.

More in the Ingress forums

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3 years ago

Keep on top of EA's Daily Deals with a handy homescreen widget


Electronic Arts is currently offering up a series of deals every day, funnily enough known as the EA Daily Deals. The offers vary as one would expect, but to help us keep an eye on what's up for grabs each day, EA has released a handy homescreen widget. It basically cycles through the full list of current deals, and when you see one that catches your eye, tapping on it will take you right into the Play Store listing for that app. 

Upon installing and launching, you'll be asked if it's OK to provide EA with a bunch of information about your device and your location. Hopefully, this means the deals you see will actually be available on your device and in your region. Something not always the case with EA games in the past. It isn't compatible with the lockscreen on Android 4.2 though, so it's homescreen only for this one. 

North American's should hit the Google Play link above, and for our International friends, head to the download link below. 

via Droidgamers

Download: EA Daily Deals (International)

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3 years ago

Zombies, new gameplay, new languages coming to Plague Inc.


Plague Inc. easily is in the running for my 2012 Android Game of the Year, and it's about to get even better. Developer Ndemic today let loose a blog post detailing some upcoming features in Mutation 5. Try these on for size: Zombies, with "radically different gameplay." New achievements, events and games. New languages, including Spanish, Portuguese, Italian and French. And further down the road, expect support for Amazon's Kindle tablets.

Ndemic says we should see pics in the next few days, and Android and iOS should get updates together, or pretty close, anyway. If you've yet to play, hit the link above and have fun destroying the world.

Source: Ndemic Creations

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3 years ago

Computerworld digs into the saga of ADW.Launcher


ADW Launcher, once a staple in the Android community, mysteriously stopped being updated some time ago. While updates to Ice Cream Sandwich and Jelly Bean started to come out, ADW still looked like something of the Gingerbread generation. Then, all of a sudden, ADW received an update that made it into something more 2012-appropriate.

So what happened that led to such a big gap in development? Wonder no more. Our pal JR Raphael  at ComputerWorld talked with developer Ander Webbs about ADW, 2011 and the crazy ride that led to the eventual updating of the app. Its quite a story, and is worth a read at the source link below.

Source: ComputerWorld

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3 years ago

Ingress app gets an update; come join our Ingress forums!


Google's semi-secretive game Ingress is still in closed beta, but the numbers are growing every day. And overnight, the Android application got itself a little update. According to the one of the developers, "this fixes some bugs and improves performance."

What it doesn't do is hand out invite codes. While you're waiting, though -- or if you're already part of the Enlightened or the Resistance -- be sure to swing by our newly formed Ingress Forums and say hey. Chances are there are more folks playing in your neck of the woods than you might have thought.

Source: Google+

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3 years ago

Xbox Smartglass updated, now compatible with the Nexus 7


A quick heads up to all the Xbox users out there, that the Xbox Smartglass application has been updated. It's not a big update save for one feature. It now works on the Google Nexus 7 and other 7-inch tablets. This was one of the biggest criticisms of the app when it launched -- or any app that we can't use on the Nexus 7, really -- and while it may have taken a little while, Microsoft has finally rectified the problem.

Aside from that, there's a handful of bug and crash fixes included for anyone who experienced some issues in those areas before. Head on into the Google Play Store and grab yourselves a copy.

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3 years ago

SwiftKey adds Australian English dictionary


Good news, Australians -- no longer will your unique contributions to the English language go unnoticed. SwiftKey has announced that it's added full Aussie dictionary support in the latest version of its leading SwiftKey 3 keyboard app. SwiftKey says Assues are 30 percent more likely to use the word "barbecue" than dreary Brits, and twice as likely to bust out the old favorite "mate." So if you're planning a barbecue with your mates, you'll hopefully find it easier to say so with SwiftKey 3.

The new English (AU) language option can be found along with the many other flavors of the English language under Languages & layouts" in the main SwiftKey menu.

To celebrate the launch of its Australian dictionary, SwiftKey is also giving Aussies 50 percent off the standard price of SwiftKey 3, so there's an added incentive to give it a try if you're not already on-board.

Source: SwiftKey

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3 years ago

Android 102: Wireless file transfer


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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 from

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