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3 years ago

Android kids app: Lego Creationary

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Youtube link for mobile viewing

Here's one for all you Lego geeks out there (which includes us, of course). The popular Creationary game has come to Android. Like the traditional board game, the premise is simple: Roll a die and get a category. Then start building, and your opponents have to guess what you're building.

This actually is a little harder than it sounds. The game gives you four objects from which to guess. But as the Lego form takes shape, you'll find that it's really a rough design compared to the example picture. The quicker you identify what's being built, the more points you get. Choosing poorly ends the game.

The game's surprisingly fun, and, best of all, it's free. We've got download links after the break.

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3 years ago

Google Maps 5.8 Navigation doesn't care that you have contacts

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Whoopsie. As great as Google Maps Version 5.8 may be with its fancy photo uploads, better search results and new Places features, a pretty big bug managed to sneak its way through. Open up Navigation and try to navigate to one of your contacts, and suddenly you're not nearly as cool as you once were -- it doesn't recognize that you actually have any contacts.

Uninstalling the Google Maps update seems to fix things, but let's hope Google rolls out a fix of its own soonest.

Thanks, David, and everyone else who sent this in!

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3 years ago

Android Central Editors' app picks for July 30, 2011

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So you want some more apps installed on your favorite Android device, but don't know exactly what to download? Fear not, we bring you another edition of our favorite applications, in hopes that they will soon become some of your favorites as well. Take a jump past the break, and check out our favorites for this past week!

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3 years ago

Android kids app: Kids Maps for Honeycomb tablets

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Youtube link for mobile viewing

Android tablets are great educational (and babysitting) tools. And it's with that in mind that we take a look at Kids Maps, as reviewed by a soon-to-be 5-year-old.

Kids Maps is really nicely done, blurring the line between puzzle and teaching tool. You've got 50 states, and you have to put them in the right place. When a new state appears, you get a quick fact about it. For instance: Polar bears live in Alaska. Betcha didn't know that.

Gameplay's really simple -- you just drag the state to the empty map. Dragging is smooth, but it's pretty easy to just drag the state around until it finds the right spot, as you'll see my little cheater do in the video. If you do manage to drop the state in the wrong place more than a couple times, it'll outline the correct spot.

There aren't many options to this one -- you can choose either to place states randomly, or receive them alphabetically, which can be helpful if someone's having to learn the states in alphabetical order.

The game itself is really nice done, with nice music and clear speech and instructions. Our only real complaints are that 50 states are a lot to do in one sitting -- perhaps breaking it down by regions might make things a little more fun. Also, more facts will make playing it a second and third time a little more fun. But if you've got a budding geography expert who also loves puzzles, you could spend $2.99 worse ways.

We've got download links after the breaks if you want to give Kids Maps a go.

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3 years ago

Star Legends: The Blackstar Chronicles Video Preview

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YouTube link for mobile viewing

Because I like you guys and because I know some of you are pining away for a beta key, I thought I'd show everyone the first level of Star Legends: The Blackstar Chronicles.

Yes, the first level is short, but it's nothing short of superb. The makers of Pocket Legends really know how to craft a quality, seems-pretty-epic mobile MMO. Hopefully we'll have some more beta keys to giveaway soon, but until then, this will have to tie you over.

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3 years ago

Netflix works just fine on the Motorola Photon 4G

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Read Part 1 of our Motorola Photon 4G review

When Netflix updated its Android app a couple weeks ago, the number of officially supported devices climbed to two dozen. The number of devices that the app actually works on is even bigger. And another one of those devices is the Sprint Motorola Photon 4G.

The Photon wasn't -- and as of this writing still isn't -- on the list of supported devices. But Netflix is visible in the Android Market on the Photon, downloads and installs just fine, and we were watching Toy Story 3 in no time at all.

Not sure if this is an oversight, or if we're just lucky, but either way, it's a good thing.

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3 years ago

Android Open Mini Maker Faire wants modders and hackers for the Android Open conference

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O'Reilly's Android Open conference, being held Oct. 9-11 in San Francisco, is looking for modders, hackers, and DIY-ers to participate in the Mini Maker Faire on the final day of the event.  They are looking for any project that involves Android hardware or an embedded board running Android, but are specifically looking for projects that feature:

  • Kinect/Computer Vision
  • Arduino/Lilypad/ADK
  • Processing for Android
  • Beagle Board/Panda Board
  • NFC/RFID
  • Gadgeteer
  • Wearables
  • Makerbot/Reprap created accessories
  • ROBOTS!!!!

You'll need to register by Aug. 22, and space is limited.  Hit the source links for info, grab your soldering irons, and be sure to let us know if you're going!

Source: Android Open; via Make Magazine
Tip o' the hat to @lizasperling

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3 years ago

Amazon App Store updated to v1.15 - Improves stability, app compatibility checks and more

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A new Amazon App Store update is now rolling out to users. Once updated you'll be sitting pretty at v1.15 that brings with it some nice improvements and things that should satisfy both users and developers who place their apps in there. The change log:

  • Feature: Improved the initiation of search
  • Feature: Improved app compatibility check
  • Feature: Improved customer feedback
  • Fixed: Customer reviews bug
  • Fixed: Periodic install failure on Android 1.6
  • Fixed: Rotation issues on purchase
  • Fixed: Force-close on repeat taps on refine button
  • Fixed: Search box bug
  • Stability *improvements*

Amazon took some heat over their feedback process and app compatibility checking recently, so the changes in the list are welcome. If you're not seeing the update as of yet, open the app up and check for updates manually -- it should show up for you after that.

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3 years ago

Gmail update brings custom notifications, better sync for battery life, picture options, new actions

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Better syncing, better notification options lead the way

Gmail's just gotten itself a beautiful little update, and the changes are some we've been wanting for some time. In handy bullet form, the changes are:

  • You can choose which mail to sync to help save on battery life. Have a bunch of labels? You can choose which ones to keep synced, and which ones you want to update automatically.
  • For the labels you're keeping synced, you can set custom notifications. That includes whether to receive notifications, which ringtone you want to use for which label, whether to vibrate when a label gets an e-mail, and if you want it to only notify you on the first new e-mail.
  • Know how if there's an image embedded in an e-mail, you must tell it to display the image -- on each and every single e-mail? That "feature" has blessedly been changed so that you can tell it to always display images from a particular sender -- just like in desktop gmail.
  • There's "new options for message options." When you go to the settings area of gmail -- and notice it's been split into "general preferences" along with individual account preferences -- you'll see "Message actions." You can choose to always show them, or show only in portrait, or only in landscape. Nice.
  • Plus, "performance enhancements."

There you have it. Pretty big improvements, if you ask us. Update your app now and give it a whirl, or check out a few more screen shots after the break.

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3 years ago

Android Quick App: Roboto

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YouTube link for mobile viewing

I think most of you would agree gaming on Android has improved, but there's not quite as many heavy-hitters as we'd like. That's why I'm so excited to introduce you to a new game in the Market -- Roboto.

Simply put, Roboto is out-of-this-world awesome. You play a hoverboarding robot on a quest to find his lady love after she takes a spontaneous trip into the wild blue yonder right in front of your eyes. Is the story original? Not so much, but it doesn't matter. The gameplay is where it's at, and in this regard, Roboto delivers.

You're looking at a typical side-scroller, standard fare to any of us who grew up in the '90s. Where things get interesting is when you look at all the futuristic, robo-inspired tricks and abilities in the gameplay. For starters, you've got an energy gun. I'm not quite sure what to call it, but it shoots out little blue orbs, and when enough of them pew-pew your enemies, they explode.

There's also environmental things, like the reverse gravity portals, for lack of a better term. Whenever you pass one of these physics-defying purple spots, your whole world gets turned upside down. Roboto flips over and starts riding on the ceiling, and it's wild. There's usually a purpose for one being in your way, so take that into account and just go with the flow, and you'll be a happy camper hoverboarding robot.

There's also some cool wall climbing you can do, but only if you jump right next to a wall. It's a fun, not-often-seen ability, and it's a lifesaver (literally) if you find yourself overestimating your jump distance and near-plummeting to your demise. There's also a hover function for your hoverboard. Did I mention that?

On every level there are three big gears that are just asking to be collected. Successfully collect all three and you're on your way to some big point bonuses when you finish a level. Other factors that influence your score are things like enemies destroyed, energy left in your bar, time, and other gears picked up. It's a fun incentive to add some replayability to levels, especially for the completionists out there.

The touch controls are responsive and tight, just as they should (but often aren't) be on any game. In my time playing Roboto, I didn't experience any lag or stuttering between the joystick and my movement on-screen, and the jump and shoot buttons just work. It sounds like something small, but if you've played as many games with poor touch recognition as I have, you'll instantly recognize that this is something great.

The graphics are buttery smooth, eye-catching, and overall gorgeous, to boot. There's an incredible layer of polish from top to bottom here, and having graphics this impressive on an Android phone is something I definitely hope to see more of.

I can easily say that Roboto is one of the finest games I've played on Android to date. From the graphics to the gameplay, the lack of load times and the responsive controls, I'd recommend this to anyone. Fenix Fire has obviously developed an incredible product worthy of your time, and if you're interested in getting your game on, Roboto is where I'd do it. Roboto runs $2.99 right now, but after August 8th is jumping up to $4.99, so for a premium price and a great game, it's definitely something I'd jump on sooner rather than later.

Tons of pictures, plus the download links are after the break.

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3 years ago

Gogo Inflight finishing up its Android app, gives us a tease

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If you're up in the air anywhere near as much as we are, you've likely used Gogo Inflight to get online at 30,000 feet. We've long been awaiting a proper Android app, and it looks like we're closing in on takeoff. (Plane pun No. 1.) Until now, if you wanted to use your Android device on Gogo's network, you'd have to wing it (pun No. 2) and sign in with the mobile browser. It works, but far from a smooth ride (pun No. 3). This app should make things much easier.

For now, we've just got this teaser pic on Facebook. But keep your eyes to the sky (pun No. 4) for the app to be released soon.

Source: Facebook

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3 years ago

Nyan Cat Android live wallpaper

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No need to thank us. Just doing our jobs here. Download links are after the break.

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3 years ago

Google Authenticator updated with countdown timer, improved translations

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If you use two-stage authentication to keep your Google account safe, then you'll want to grab the latest update to the accompanying Google Authenticator app, which was released today. Version 0.6.4 of the Authenticator rolls back some permission changes added in a previous version, and adds a countdown timer under the authentication code, so you know how long you've got before the code expires. In addition, there are some improvements to non-English translations for international users.

Hit the Market to grab your update, or use the QR code after the jump.

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3 years ago

Android Quick App: Groupon

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For all of the money and time saving tips and tricks that Android gives us, every service deserves it's 15 minutes of fame. Yes, there's LivingSocial and Yelp, and even things like our dear friend GasBuddy, right now, the moment belongs to Groupon.

And for good reason, too. Besides the services that Groupon offers to us, like sweet coupons for all sorts of stuff (food comes to mind), they've actually developed a pretty strong Android app to let us all carry a bit of Groupon around with us.

For starters, the interface is really, really green and pleasant to look at. Everything is pretty easily laid out, and it's not hard to get around. Open up the app and once you move past the giant logo, you're presented with your coupon of the day. Don't like what you're being shown? A simple tap on the "More Deals" tab will pull up a larger, longer, and more comprehensive list of all the deals that'll lighten your wallet (all while saving you some dough at the same time).

If your city is wrong, the top left corner pulls up a list of all of Groupon's cities, leaving you to find your city of choice.

Quite possibly the coolest feature I discovered (if this has been out for a while, cut me some slack) is ability to find deals that are within a certain time frame, but only today! You can find all of this by clicking the "Now!" tab, and after your phone gets a rough idea of your location, you can see all sorts of different deals, along with their price and time frame you're allowed to use them in.

You can also (obviously!) log into your Groupon account, and if you don't have one, sign in with Facebook, if that's your sort of thing. The settings menu is a bit bare, but it lets you turn on and off Groupon's notifications, which is really helpful, especially if you're not planning buying everyday.

It's completely free to download and install and it runs pretty well, so if you're a bargain hunter extraordinaire, you know what to do.

Pictures and download links are after the break.

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3 years ago

Google Maps updated to v5.8 - Adds photo uploads, my Places and more

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Another Google Maps update is now available in the Android Market bumping it up to v5.8. This update according to the change log covers some requested features surrounding the use of 'Places'

  • Upload photos for a Place
  •  My Places as a simple way to manage the Places you’ve starred and recently viewed
  • Descriptive terms for Places in search results
  • Add a new Place on-the-go when checking in

Having the ability to add photos to places is great, you can snap a pic and share with everyone what it looks like plus, the ability to add a place just makes a whole lot of sense considering not all places will be covered. In addition to those things, Google also added ‘Bigger text’ to Labs features and ‘Download map area’ has been renamed ‘Pre-cache map area.’ You can find the download past the break.

Source: Twitter; via: Google Mobile Blog

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