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3 years ago

Roku Mobile app now streams content from Android devices

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Roku has just updated the remote control app for their TV set-top box so you can also play content from your Android device on the big screen. This includes pictures and videos, as well as the usual access to web-based streaming services like Netflix, YouTube, Crackle, and others. You can also launch into channels over voice with this new update, and name multiple Roku boxes whatever you like. A nice little perk of this update is that the app is now available in Canada, the U.K., and Ireland. 

Roku's mobile app first launched on Android in March, but at that point it was pretty much strictly about controlling your Roku over Wi-Fi with simple stuff like volume and playback control, but this update seems to add a fair bit more functionality. 

Any Roku owners in the house? Digging the experience compared to, say, Google TV? 

Source: Roku

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3 years ago

Facebook Messenger app updated with texting support*

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You read that correctly - starting today, Facebook Messenger 2.0 will support sending text messages. However, that asterisk in the title denotes that there's a catch. Initially, only the HTC EVO 3D, HTC One X, LG Optimus Black, LG Optimus Hub, Samsung Galaxy Ace, Samsung Galaxy Nexus, Samsung Galaxy S3, and Samsung Galaxy Y will support texting from the app. Facebook promises that more devices will be supported over the next few weeks.

Besides redesigning your messages inbox look like a SMS app, Facebook Messenger lets you swipe your finger to the left anywhere in the app to see who's available, and from there you can send a message. You can also put the friends you message most to the top through Favorites so they’re easily accessible.

Along with the updates coming to Facebook Messenger, the main Facebook app is getting an update today as well. It will receive the same SMS-style look for your messages and there will be an icon in the upper-right of your News Feed that shows who's available to chat. In addition, Facebook says that the new app has been made more secure and they've ironed out some bugs with push notifications and multi-photo uploads.

Source: Facebook

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3 years ago

SoundCloud for Android updated with fresh editing tools

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The SoundCloud app for Android now includes clipping, recording pause, and fade-in/fade-out editing options. Right now, the app is still more about flipping through the most recently-posted tunes, but these are certainly welcome tools for those looking to do some light editing before posting anything from the field. There are a few features that are coming to the iOS version that aren't included, like Private Listening, which allows users to use the phone earpiece instead of the loudspeaker. 

SoundCloud, as you might know, is a a social network for sharing all sorts of audio, including (but not limited to) music, podcasts, and sound effects. The timeline system uis really cool, in that it allows users to leave comments at specific points throughout a track. 

While smartphones aren't really widely-used for Serious Business when it comes to video production, it's much easier to imagine them finding a home among those recording audio. With the right microphone and apps like SoundCloud, it's pretty easy to get time-sensitive content out into the wild. 

Audiophiles, how do you use SoundCloud? Do you do a lot of editing on your Android devices? Which apps do you use?

Source: SoundCloud

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3 years ago

The Bard's Tale brings medieval debauchery to Android

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The Bard's Tale has found its way to Android today, and is available in Google Play and soon in the NVIDIA Tegra Zone for  $5.99. 

The action RPG provides 20 to 30 hours of gameplay, which drags a nameless rogue to unwillingly defend mankind against nefarious evils. He has a hard time getting there, but thanks to the occasional incentives of coin and cleavage, plus back-up from creatures summoned through song, he seems to get by. 

If you're sitting on the fence about this one, we're working on a review which will be up real soon. From what I've played so far, the dialog is hilarious and sells the game pretty much on its own. Anybody play the original game on PC or console? How about the old Interplay version from 1985 (which, by the way, is bundled with the game)? 

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3 years ago

Official Dick's Sporting Goods app comes to Android

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An official Dick's Sporting Goods app has hit the Google Play Store. Dick's Sporting Goods is the largest U.S. sporting retailer, so it's great to see an app finally released. I know that when I have sports clothes to buy, I seek out a Dick's Sporting Goods, so I'm happy to be able to shop right from my Android device.

The app is well designed and offers a lot of functionality. If you shop at Dick's quite a bit, by now you're familiar with the ScoreCard, which is their rewards program. With the app, you can manage your rewards and track the points that you've accumulated. You can also scan your area for the nearest store to you, shop right from the app and view the weekly ad. You can also scan items to see what others are saying about them.

It's been a long time coming, but a Dick's Sporting Goods official app is finally available. The app is well designed too, so if you shop for sports gear often, definitely check out this app. 

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3 years ago

Ice Cream Sandwich update coming to some Xperia Ion users on AT&T

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Showing up quickly after the international Xperia Ion started to receive an Ice Cream Sandwich update, the AT&T model of the same phone has started to show up in SuS -- Sony's PC companion software -- for some users over in the XDA forums. The AT&T model, LT28AT, is being pushed up to software build 6.1.c.1.105 which brings all of the features and visual cues associated with ICS. We won't know for sure what other fixes or changes are included in this update until AT&T spills the beans officially.

We'll see if the update starts to roll out to more users in the next couple days, and hopefully it'll start to come out over OTA rather than relying on Sony's PC software. Check your own device and let us know in the comments if you're seeing the update.

Source: XDA Forums; Thanks Terry!

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3 years ago

Sony opening the PlayStation Mobile store on October 3.

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First unveiled back at E3, we now have more information on just when Sony's new PlayStation Mobile store will be coming to market. Sony has given a firm release date of October 3, and the store will be initially available in Japan, United States, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and Australia. More countries are set to follow at a later time. 

We're not just going to see re-hashed PSOne content in the PlayStation Mobile store either. Instead we're promised "PlayStation like content" with 30 all new titles available at launch, created by third-party developers and Sony alike. 

Additionally two further OEM's were added to the PlayStation Certfified list -- Fujitsu and Sharp. While neither of these two companies are particularly well known in the western world for their Android devices, both have good presence in Japan. Both join the likes of HTC, ASUS and Wikipad in the ranks of PlayStation Certified devices. 

For developers, the PlayStation Mobile SDK will become available across 11 different countries, starting in November. You can find the full press release after the break. 

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3 years ago

Opera Mini for Android updated with new Smart Page

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Opera Mini 7.5 has been released, which is the first significant update to the browser since it launched over the spring. Opera Mini now has something called a Smart Page, which provides a broad overview of what's going on online, and includes separate tabs for social, news, and suggested links. 

As always, Opera Mini compresses your web viewing so it zips along much more speedily than it would if being processed locally. That's the theory, anyway. Opera's been doing this kind of thing for a long time, and have become pretty good at it. There are some other fancier features, like Link, which syncs up history, bookmarks, and notes from your browsing with the desktop (though that means you've got to be using Opera on your computer too). 

Which mobile browser do you use? Is the stock Android browser good enough, or is there something in particular that third parties that you can't get elsewhere? Anyone interested in giving this one a shot?

Source: Opera

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3 years ago

Facebook testing automatic photo uploads via Android app

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Facebook appears to be jumping on the automatic uploading of pictures bandwagon, rolling out a feature to select users that lets all pictures they take get uploaded to a private photo album in their account. Similarly to the way the Dropbox and Google+ apps operate, photos will be uploaded in the background and then managed at the user's discretion later. Facebook officially points out that they're rolling the feature out to a very small set of users -- which is customary for new Facebook features -- but considering there is already a help page for the feature, we'll bet that it will be coming to more users soon.

The other services do this feature well, but for those of you who prefer Facebook it's good to see some feature parity coming even as Facebook moves towards making a native Android app.

Source: The Verge, Facebook Help

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3 years ago

Rhapsody app updated with ability to download tracks, albums

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Popular music service Rhapsody just released an update to its Android app in the Google Play Store, version 3.0.1, bringing the ability for subscribers to download individual tracks or complete albums. This is a welcome addition for the data conscious among us, letting users download some choice tracks before leaving the house and not relying on streaming 100% of the time. Especially if you find yourself re-listening to the same few albums, it really makes sense to download those locally. Additionally, the app lets you choose where you'd like to put those downloaded songs, whether on internal storage on an SDcard if you're short on space.

The Rhapsody app can be found at the link above in the Google Play Store.

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3 years ago

Google Maps updated with synchronized search history

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The latest version of Google Maps has just been pushed out in the Google Play Store, and offers a large bit of functionality to the app. Now when you are using Google Maps on your computer, all of your searches for maps and directions will be synced between that device and your phone or tablet -- provided you're signed into your Google Account and have your web history enabled, of course. For example, after you look up a restaurant listing on your computer, as soon as you launch Google Maps on your phone, your search results will be pre-populated with the result you chose on the computer previously. Also new is the ability to go back through your past searches and completed navigation directions through the "My Places" menu. Additionally, if you choose to enter pre-defined addresses for your home and work and tie them to your Google Account, simply typing "home" or "work" into the directions field of the Google Maps app will give you directions to each place.

It's the little bits of integration like this that make Google Maps the premier example of an integrated mapping experience. If you haven't yet, go grab the update in the Google Play Store at the link above.

Source: Google Maps Blog

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3 years ago

Ice Cream Sandwich update coming to some Xperia Ion users on AT&T

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Showing up quickly after the international Xperia Ion started to receive an Ice Cream Sandwich update, the AT&T model of the same phone has started to show up in SuS -- Sony's PC companion software -- for some users over in the XDA forums. The AT&T model, LT28AT, is being pushed up to software build 6.1.c.1.105 which brings all of the features and visual cues associated with ICS. If you'll remember back to IFA in Berlin, our own Alex Dobie went hands on with a pre-release build of ICS on the Ion, so that should give you a pretty good look at what to expect. We won't know for sure what other fixes or changes are included in this update until AT&T spills the beans officially.

We'll see if the update starts to roll out to more users in the next couple days, and hopefully it'll start to come out over OTA rather than relying on Sony's PC software. Check your own device and let us know in the comments if you're seeing the update.

Source: XDA Forums; Thanks Terry!

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3 years ago

The Beeb moves beyond Flash with BBC Media Player for Android

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With the discontinuation of Adobe Flash for Android, the BBC has had to look elsewhere for a video streaming solution on the platform. Its iPlayer media streaming service is heavily reliant on the desktop, and when Flash launched on Android in 2010, it was at the heart of the mobile iPlayer experience, too.

Today sees the corporation take its first steps into the post-Flash world, with the launch of its own stand-alone Media Player add-on for Android. The BBC Media Player can be downloaded from the Google Play Store, and it springs into life whenever BBC video content needs to be played, for example through the iPlayer mobile site. There's still some way left to go before the BBC's new home-grown app takes over all video-playing duties on Android. The iPlayer mobile app is still unsupported on Jelly Bean, and the BBC news and sports websites still default to Flash for playback (although the BBC says it's working to more closely integrate the new player with all its multimedia content). Nevertheless, being able to run iPlayer content on the web without sideloading Flash is an important first step.

If you're in the UK, you can grab the BBC Media Player app for free from the Google Play button above.

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3 years ago

T-Mobile MyTouch and MyTouch Q update offers Carrier IQ opt out

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The T-Mobile MyTouch and MyTouch Q (actually made by Huawei) are receiving an OTA update today -- to software version C85B839SP03. Although the phones will stay on Android 2.3.6 for now, there are a few good things in this one. First and foremost, the update allows users to opt out of the Carrier IQ tracking software that is preloaded on the devices. There's a lot of FUD out there about Carrier IQ, but regardless it's good to see that a carrier is letting people have the option to toggle that data collection off. Also in this update is a camera fix, allowing the phones cameras to now realize a full 5MP resolution for photos. Of course as we'd expect, there are a few other random bug fixes involved in the update as well.

You can find more information about the update in the T-Mobile Support articles at the source links below.

Source: T-Mobile Support (MyTouch, MyTouch Q)

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3 years ago

Pocket for Android can now read saved articles to you

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Pocket for Android was just updated with a great new feature that enables text-to-speech playback. This means if you'd like to catch up on those articles you had saved for later, but have to keep your eyes elsewhere (like, say, on the road), you can rely on audio.

Playback controls include a speed slider, and it uses Android's built-in TTS system, so Pocket can read in any language packs you have installed. As with any text-to-speech system, you'll have to deal with a slightly robotic tone and an inability to handle nonstandard words, but it's sure better than nothing. 

Any heavy-duty Pocket users out there? I've been loading Pocket up for a while now, but it's becoming clear that Pocket is where all of the good articles go to die alone and unread. Maybe this new TTS feature will change that around... 

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