Headlines

3 years ago

Facebook for Android updated to v1.6.1

47

If you are a Facebook lover who has yet to desert to magic of Google+, you will be happy to know that they are hard at work behind the scenes to continue to bring additional features to the mobile world. The application has been updated to version 1.6.1 which brings better pages support, tag pages in updates by using an "@" prior to the name, as well as viewing all pages that you like, and pages that you are an admin of. Be sure to check the market and ensure that you are on the latest update, as they also have implemented various bug fixes in this build as well as the other changes. Download links available after the break.

Read more and comment

 
3 years ago

Android Quick App: Kona's Crate

8


YouTube link for mobile viewing

Every so often a game comes around that makes you stop, take pause, and admire it's design. As the hardware we're using continues to improve, I think we'll be seeing more of that, but until we do, there is Kona's Crate.

Kona's Crate is a game about delivering stuff. What stuff, you ask? A crate, undoubtedly! It's not just any crate, however. It's filled with stars (you know, for points) and you give it to Chief Kona, the guy with the terrifying mask that you'd otherwise avoid. But hey, he's the one dishing out stars, so you have to do it. Just remember, if anyone ever offers you stars to get in their van and give you a ride home, the answer is no.

Anyway, because Kona is a jerk chief, he's opted for a less-than-conventional method of getting his cargo shipped to him. Instead of the standard fare, you've got to move a jet-controlled delivery platform to wherever he is on any given level. If it sounds simple, it's not.

Yes, the controls are simple. A left tap on the screen powers your left thruster, and a right tap powers the right. You've got the option to invert the controls, but regardless, a tap on the screen gets your engine purring. From there, this game turns into a split-second hating, reflex-challenging, make-you-want-to-throw-your-phone-in-agony kind of experience, but you won't be able to stop.

Gameplay starts off in a tutorial. As you advance through the laughably simple tutorial stages, you'll notice difficulty starts to ramp up. At first, where you needed only to nudge the crate over to the left, now you've got to navigate curvy freefalls and float over tricky walls. This is only the beginning of the challenge, as the farther you progress, the more intense gameplay gets. Falling blocks, TNT and physics are there to derail your next-day delivery shipment, and you've got to use your catlike reflexes to overcome it all.

A speedier delivery nets you more stars (maximum of three) at the completion of a level. If you can't hit your goal, the game tells you what time you need to have delivered in to reach the next tier up. Unique to Kona's Crate are the vines that wrap around your stars. Vines are your reward for not running into any obstacles like walls or ceilings, or in later levels, debris. I think this is more for the completionists in all of us, so be aware that it's there.

Kona's Crate contains more than 60 levels in three campaigns, with superb graphics and OpenFeint support. With OpenFeint, you can see how you stack up on the leaderboards for time, stars and vines earned, and even publicly post your bests on Facebook and Twitter (but not Google+!). There's also achievements to be had, like New High Score and Safe Landing, plus a plethora more I've not yet been skilled enough to unlock.

Overall, Kona's Crate is a solid game on Android. It's combination of beautiful graphics, challenging, unique gameplay, and high replayability factor are all reasons to invest in it. There's a free version as well as a paid version, but for a scant 99 cents, you can buy yourself the whole package as well as support a developer who is wholeheartedly deserving of it.

Download links are after the break.

Read more and comment

 
3 years ago

Spotify now live in the United States

26

Take just about every feature from every streaming music service available, and you you get Spotify. But until today, those of us in the United States were left on the sidelines. No more. Spotify's now live. Create playlists, share music, search from millions of songs, play offline. And, most important, play on your Android phone.

Free invites are going out fast and furious this morning, and there are deals that can get you bumped up to the premium levels pretty quickly. Or if you don't mind paying monthly, $4.99 a month gets you the basic service, sans advertising. For $9.99 a month "premium" (and this is the one most of you will be shooting for), you gain full Spotify access on your Android smartphone, offline mode, and better streaming quality.

We're right in the middle of deep-diving this thing, but so far, Spotify's living up to its expectations.

More: Spotify

Read more and comment

 
3 years ago

Swiftkey X comes out of beta for Android smartphones and tablets

43

Swiftkey X -- the latest generation in what has proven to be an excellent predictive-type keyboard for Android -- exits public beta status this morning and enters the Android Market as a full-fledged paid app.

Available for 48 hours at $1.99 (it'll increase to $3.99 thereafter), Swiftkey X is the phone version of TouchType's venerable keyboard app. It combines the two major facets of an on-screen keyboard -- predictive typing and the skinning of the keys themselves -- for what has quickly become (yet again) one of our favorite third-party Android keyboards.

Also available today is Swiftkey Tablet X, designed for Honeycomb tablets and their larger screens. It's available for 48 hours for $1.99 as well, and increases to $4.99 thereafter. With Swiftkey Tablet X, you have the option to type in a typical keyboard design, or you can switch to the thumb layout (seen above).

If you've previously purchased Swiftkey, you'll be upgraded to the full version of Swiftkey X for free.

We've been using Swiftkey X in its various beta builds for the past several months. The key to its success lies in its Fluency 2.0 engine, which learns the way you type and adapts to better predict your next word. You also have the option (it's opt-in) to connect Swiftkey X to your Facebook, Gmail and Twitter accounts, where it can better learn your typing habits. Are you particular in your hunting and pecking? Or do you just kind of go for it, and rely on autocorrect to get your message across? Swiftkey X can work with both.

Other features: Swiftkey X now supports 22 languages and can interpret as many as three simultaneous for you tri-lingual typers out there. Look and feel are also greatly improved, and the long-press timing is as good as we've seen. And Swiftkey X now has three themes from which to choose -- dark, light and neon.

Check out videos of Swiftkey in action after the break.

Download: Swiftkey X (phones); Swiftkey Tablet X

Read more and comment

 
3 years ago

New Android Market allows you to choose your Google account

45

Google just showed us the new updated Android Market client that brings a UI overhaul, as well as Google Books and Movies for folks in the states.  Not long after, we gave you a way to download the new Market for yourselves, and you guys got to work checking it out.  It has a lot of different features, including one that a lot of us have been wanting -- the ability to switch to any Google account on your phone for Market use.  You can even choose a Google Apps account.  This could be a pretty handy feature, but also opens up the possibility of abuse via shared account credentials.  We'll have to see how it all unfolds.

Source: Android Central forums

Read more and comment

 
3 years ago

PayPal unveils peer-to-peer NFC payment system

9

PayPal has shown their new peer-to-peer NFC payment system at MobileBeat 2011 today, using two Android powered Samsung Nexus S phones.  The premise is simple -- open the app on both phones, enter the payment amount on one, and bump them together.  After the buzz, enter account details, and the payment is processed.  Afterwards, the normal email receipts are generated and sent out, just like we did it in the old days.

There's no firm date when to expect this, but PayPal says "late this summer".  Another compelling reason for manufacturers to put NFC capabilities in their new models, or just a security concern?  Either way, we'll find out soon enough.  Hit the break to see a demo video.

Source: PayPal

Read more and comment

 
3 years ago

Grab the new Android Market app while it's hot

134

You might have heard that Google was rolling out a new Android Market, complete with book and movie rentals.  You also might have heard it would coming in the next few weeks.  Well thanks to an anonymous source (possibly with a time machine) you can grab it today.

Hit the download link, and install it from your SD card like any other app.  Fair warning -- we don't know if there will be any complications from doing this, but we haven't seen any so far.  Use your best judgement.  Discuss it in the forums!

Download: New Android Market

Read more and comment

 
3 years ago

Google updating Android Market for US phones to include books and movie rentals

45

Google has announced a huge Android Market update, bringing a slew of changes, including books and movie rentals to users in the US.  The update (for Android 2.2 and higher) will bring the ability to purchase books via your Android Market account, as well as rent movies through the Videos app (hey, we've seen that somewhere before) starting at $1.99.  Google says they plan to expand this outside the US in the future.

Also coming are changes like new top picks, a new visual style, and web features like Editor's Choice and Staff Picks.  The Market will start rolling out in the next few weeks, and as soon as you receive the update you'll be able to access the videos app to rent movies and buy books through the market with no changes on your end.  Hit the break for a video overview.

Source: Google Mobile Blog

Read more and comment

 
3 years ago

IMDb app updated, now optimized for Honeycomb

2

Although the IMDb website works pretty good on a Honeycomb tablet, the dedicated app has now been Honeycomb optimized for users. The UI is pretty slick looking and features built-in such as movie ratings, watch lists and the ability to purchase movie tickets all from within the app make it a pretty awesome update. It's available now in the Android Market -- download link and one more screenshot can be found past the break.

Thanks, Andreas!

Read more and comment

 
3 years ago

Evernote for Honeycomb now official in the Android Market

2

The folks at Evernote have pushed out the Honeycomb version of their popular organization app to the Market, and it looks like it was well worth the wait.  The big changes are rich text and checkboxes within your notes, and an all new preview style widget for your tablet homescreen, but I'm impressed more with what I've seen of the UI.  The dashboard style homescreen gives you a great overview of everything, well organized and with a great visual style.  This continues through the rest of the new UI, leaving you with the impression that the app is truly finished and polished. 

We'll be taking a closer look at this one, in the meantime if you've been waiting (or using the beta), hit the break for the free download link so you can check out this one.

Source: Evernote

Read more and comment

 
3 years ago

Ustream gains Honeycomb support, lets you broadcast and view live video

2

Been looking to make use of that front-facing camera on your tablet by sharing your daily adventures with the World? If so, Ustream has now given you a Honeycomb optimized way of completing that mission. Ustream for Honeycomb has been released to the Android Market and is looking pretty spiffy. Users can not only now broadcast from their tablets but also tune into live shows from anywhere a connection is available. In other words, you now have a perfect way to tune into the Android Central podcast on Thursday nights.

Read more and comment

 
3 years ago

Android Quick App: Starfield 3D Live Wallpaper

12

 

This one's pretty simple, folks. If you like stars, space, spaceships, or Star Trek and/or Star Wars, I've got the live wallpaper for you. It goes by the name of Starfield 3D Live Wallpaper, and it's about as straightforward as they come.

Starfield 3D Live Wallpaper has a settings of menu of only give choices: Stars, Speed, Background, Battery, and Reverse. Stars and Speed are fairly obvious: adjust the slider to determine how many stars are on the screen at once and how fast you're blazing by in your ship (X-Wing? Starship Enterprise?).

Background is a simple check box, and enabling it adds a static image of about six galaxies that are far, far away. It kind of detracts from the overall slickness of a solid black background, but if realism is your thing, the option is there.

Battery is quite possibly my favorite choice, as it makes your default flying speed tied to your battery level. Have a charged battery, zoom right along. Have an almost dead battery, though, and expect to drag along in deep space, just waiting for a Klingon Star Destroyer ambush. Reverse is just that: the stars all go the opposite way, as thought your boosters were pushing you in reverse.

There's also the excellent double-tap reaction of going into warp speed, and I dig it. It reminds me of the Millennium Falcon scene in Star Wars when they're on the run. Nerdy, sure, but at least it's there!

Scrolling is smooth, with no performance problems on my end. Perhaps it's the newness of the EVO 3D, but with the popularity this wallpaper has already seen, I'm almost positive it runs on everything pretty well.

At the whopping price of free, there's nothing in your way to keep you from downloading this stellar wallpaper. Well, maybe trying to get a girlfriend, but if you're reading about Android, that ship has probably sailed. May the Force be with you/live long and prosper, friends.

Download links are after the break.

Read more and comment

 
3 years ago

EA's official Scrabble game is released

48

EA's official Scrabble game (the one we first told you about last week) has just been released. (If for some reason you've managed to get this far in life without ever playing Scrabble, you get seven letters from which to make words on a board. Letters have different point values, and there are bonus spaces on the board. You take a turn making a word, then your opponent takes a turn. Most points wins.)

Until now, we've had to make do with a couple of relative good non-Scrabble games -- Words with Friends and Word Feud. But this one's the officially branded real deal.

So how's it stack up? We've been playing Scrabble for Android for a few minutes now. You'll want to turn off the elevator music, and the game animations are slower than we'd like to see. And we could really do without the between-turn ads in addition to the banner at the bottom of the screen. We can't decide if it's better or worse that EA's pimping its other titles here -- it's almost better when we know we're being served ads we'll never in a million years want to click on.

Other than that, gameplay's pretty good. The board scales up nicely. You're told a word's point title as you place the letters. There are buttons to shuffle the tiles, bring up a dictionary (nice!), or a "teacher" button that basically cheats and shows you the word you should have played instead of that four-letter noun that only bagged 5 points.

You can play against a friend who also has the app, or an anonymous opponent.

Download links are after the break.

Read more and comment

 
3 years ago

Twitter seems to extend olive branch to its 750,000 devs amid reports of FTC probe

5

Twitter, which in the past has been accused to treating third-party developers as second-class citizens by basically borrowing their functionality before telling them they're not longer needed, has just announced that there are more than 1 million registered Twitter applications from 750,000 developers.

Also Monday, Twitter, which reportedly is under investigation by the Federal Trade Commission for the way it treats third-party developers, announced a new version of the Twitter Developer Site, which includes discussions, a developer blog, better documentation, improved apps management and an enhanced search engine.

Surely these things are unrelated.

Sources: Twitter Developers, Business Insider

Read more and comment

 
3 years ago

Android Quick App: Wiz Kid Jr.

5

The video up there says it all. Wiz Kid Jr. is a fast-paced, puzzle-based game that challenges not only your finger dexterity but also your forethought and ability to adapt on-the-fly.

The idea is classic: anything of the same color can be destroyed or removed if there's three or more of them together. In this case, they're totems, and they give you mana. The mana doesn't give you any cool powers (for that, there's magic bolts), but it does keep your game going. Mana is like your essence, your life-blood, and without it, the baddies win.

Getting rid of totems (or the undesirables) is easy. Draw a connecting line between them, and poof, they disappear. Unfortunately, diagonal lines are a no-no, but you can still string together some pretty impressive combos if you snake to-and-fro and make sure you start the line at the optimal location. If you can't, you can still totally just go for groups of three or four (I totally did) to get your mana up little by little.

The bad guys are evil spirits, but I still think they're evil faces, and for some reason, they like munching on your mana. There's six different kinds, but you don't face them all unless you're playing on the Unstoppable Wizard difficulty. For beginner wizard, you face the first three that are unlocked, and as you unlock the more difficult levels, a new evil spirit is unlocked as well.

You're able to have six levels of mana saved up, noted by the change in your mana bar's color and the amount of vials sitting above it. You can save up more mana after you've already filled six vials, but I'm not sure by how much, because at that point, evil spirits were munching my mana so quickly I couldn't fill it up fast enough. At any rate, just know you can save up a big war chest in case the waves start coming too quickly.

Something also worth saving up (especially for the later levels), are your magic bolts. Magic bolts fuel some special abilities you unlock that can greatly expedite the removal of evil faces. You start off with the hammer at the beginner level, and it does just that: hammers away a totem or spirit. There's a small cooldown between using magic bolt-infused abilities, so you can't just blow half your hammers back-to-back when the going gets rough. As you unlock more abilities (also in conjunction with more difficult levels and more spirits), you'll have more options at your disposal, but to keep them scaled with their increased power, their cost goes up. I know the bomb costs two bolts (compared to the hammer's one), and I can only assume the next two will cost three and four (or more!).

There's also a Super Free Play mode, which lets you pick the wave speed, spirit anger, and any three spirits to duke it out with. It's fun to have and definitely lets you work out strategies against some of the spirits that may be causing you trouble.

Overall, Wiz Kid Jr. is a stellar game. Graphically, it's nails. The scary, training wizard man up top looks great, as do all the stylized fonts and accents. It runs smooth as butter, and has a kickin' soundtrack, to boot. If you like puzzle games (or anything that'll surely challenge you), Wiz Kid Jr. is a safe bet. There's a free version that's limited to 10 waves and a paid version, that for a mere 99 cents, nets you the whole game. If you like what you see, find yourself four quarters and pony up the dough. There's ghosts evil spirits to be busted.

More pictures and download links are after the break.

Read more and comment

 
Show More Headlines

Pages