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3 years ago

WhitePages for Android updated with more location awareness

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WhitePages for Android has been updated with a whole bunch of location-based features, including finding nearby people that have checked in on Foursquare, viewing nearby businesses, and looking for specific shops nearby. (Edit: Scratch that, the Nearby People feature is powered by WhiePages' own people database.) By plugging into Foursquare, you can also conduct searches for places near your friends where you can meet up. Some restaurants will even list their menu and have it accessible in the app.

As always, WhitePages also provides reverse phone lookup, reverse address lookup, and plain (but useful) people and business search functions. WhitePages also has their Social Caller ID app, though the use case for that is a fair bit more different (even if it's equally free).

It's an uphill battle in the world of mobile local search with Google around, bute WhitePages has been in the business for awhile, and I'm sure they still have at least a few tricks up their sleeve. The new Foursquare plug-in is great and all, but seems like it's largely dependent on if you actually use the social network. Also, isn't it a little creepy that the app can scrape public check-ins and provide a sort of heat map of where the popular places are? 

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3 years ago

BBC iPlayer app updated with Jelly Bean support

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The BBC has updated its official iPlayer app for Android with support for the latest version of the OS, 4.1 Jelly Bean. The new version comes weeks after the Beeb launched its self-branded BBC Media Player app, eliminating the requirement to use Adobe Flash Player to view BBC video content. Besides the addition of Jelly Bean support, the core of the app is largely unchanged.

The new iPlayer version 1.4.2.3, is available as a free download for Google Play users in the UK, and supports Android versions 2.2 and above. The BBC says the move to its own media player app also allows for improved video quality compared to older Flash-based content.

Brits can grab the BBC iPlayer app for Android from the Google Play link above.

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3 years ago

Evernote updated with simplified note editor, tablet improvements

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Popular cross-platform note service Evernote has put out a notable update in the Play Store today with a couple new free and premium features. On the free side, the toolbar in the note editor has been simplified and you can jump directly to notes created in Skitch. A new premium feature allows you to select multiple notebooks at once to download for offline access. The UI on tablets has also received a small tweak that lets the action bar change based on the context of the view.

Evernote can be found at the Google Play Store link above. You can also check out a post from the developer about the update at the source link below.

Source: Evernote

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3 years ago

Facebook app receives photo-focused update

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Facebook has been making several improvements to its app in regards to photo sharing and uploading, and this latest update continues that trend. The changelog is just three bullet points. First, photo tagging has been improved to be faster. Second, you can now choose an album when uploading photos -- no more mashing everything into a "mobile uploads" album. Lastly, there is a bug fix related to photos not uploading for users with certain languages (although they're not listed).

If you're not one of the billion people using Facebook regularly (over half primarily on phones) and have yet to install the app, maybe now is the time to at least take a look. You can grab it at the Google Play Store link above.

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3 years ago

Granny Smith updated to make latest levels easier

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One of the more popular games as of late, Granny Smith, has just received an interesting update to make its latest levels easier to complete. Following many user complaints that the new "space" levels were too difficult, game developer Mediocre released the update to ease the pain of the tough levels.

It's a tough line to walk if you're a game developer, not wanting your so-called "casual" game to be too difficult, but again you don't want to overdo it and make the levels too easy. Either way you're likely to have some users disappointed by the difficulty of the game. Mediocre saw the response and reacted to user input, which is something that needs to be noted regardless.

If you've yet to try out Granny Smith, it's certainly still worth a purchase and you can find it at the Google Play Store link above.

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3 years ago

Razor Salvation THD Review

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Razor Salvation THD found its way into Google Play recently, offering explosive shooting action full of futuristic mechs and menacing aliens. The game was made with NVIDIA Tegra compatibility first and foremost, so device compatibility is minimal for the time being.

Razor Salvation THD is effectively a wave defense game. Players land in war-torn hotspots through an orbital drop-pod, and have to stand their ground against alien attackers from all directions. The pod has a variety of weapons from the get-go, such as a missile launcher, minigun, auto-cannon, and mortar, but managing reload times and quick switching are essential to staying alive. There are only four levels to play through, though mission objectives change up every time you play. Those missions keep things relatively fresh, even if the core gameplay doesn’t change much other than offering more challenging enemies to blow up and different scenery.

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3 years ago

Facebook SDK for Android updated to 3.0 beta

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Following the update for iOS developers a few weeks ago, Facebook has completely revamped the Android SDK, it said.

The new changes, touted as the “biggest overhaul” yet, are aimed at making it easier and faster to develop Android apps which plug into Facebook.

The company is also trying to make third-party user interfaces more consistent. New native UI controls pack built-in caching in order to make the whole experience faster. Developers will get the ability to integrate friend tagging and calling up nearby places.

It looks like new login controls to manage authentication are meant to help apps call up your Facebook identities and hold onto them, without having you authenticate too often—or more than once, conceivably. (This could be the start of a number of embarrassing gaffes, so watch your logins, people.)

On the backend, Facebook API calls can be done in batches now, which helps make everything faster. And with the emphasis on smartphones coming onto Facebook, it makes sense that developers now get a way to measure clicks and installs for mobile ads. So it seems the SDK has come along way since the first version was released way back in 2010.

Interested developers can get all the details here, or download the SDK here.

Source: Facebook Developer Blog

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3 years ago

Three UK pushing out Jelly Bean update for Samsung Galaxy S3

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The Samsung Galaxy S3 Jelly Bean rollout continues, and this time we bring news of a British update pushing out. UK carrier Three is starting to push out Android 4.1.1 for their Galaxy S3 owners via an OTA update. The bigger story here perhaps is that Jelly Bean is rolling out to a carrier branded device, ahead of the unlocked versions. This pretty much never happens, so kudos to Three for making it happen. 

The update weighs in at a hefty 286MB, so you're going to want to be connected to WiFi before pulling the trigger. If you've yet to see an update notification, now would be the time to head into your settings and start tapping like mad on the "System Updates." Go on, we'll wait while you go check. 

If you've already seen the update drop, be sure to hit up the comments below with your thoughts. 

via Android Central Forums

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3 years ago

Google Play seller support coming to India

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Google Play seller support is coming to India, and that's a really big deal. Previously, app developers based in India could only make free apps, obviously limiting their potential. Starting today, Indian developers can submit paid apps, in-app purchases and subscriptions to the Google Play Store. For existing free apps that are already published, developers can simply add in-app purchases while they work on publishing a paid version

Additionally, users purchasing apps in India can now purchase in their home currency. Google is encouraging all app developers to set proper pricing information for Indian Rupees as soon as possible.

India is one of the fastest growing areas for Android, with a 400-percent jump in device activations over the last year. Google notes that in the last 6 months, more apps have been downloaded in India than the past 3 years combined. These new changes will influence developers around the world to start offering more great apps, which certainly benefits everyone.

Source: Android Developers Blog

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3 years ago

Swype Beta 1.3 released, brings dictionary backup, 'hotwords' and more

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The latest beta of the Swype keyboard is out, and available to download from the Swype Beta website.

The popular third-party keyboard from Nuance Communications packs a number of new updates.

  • Dictionary backup & sync: Users’ personal dictionaries and word additions can be synced across mobile devices.
  • Three new tablet keyboard layouts: The original, a small and moveable one, and a split keyboard.
  • New themes.
  • Enhancements to the Chinese keyboard, and a new flick keyboard for the Japanese language. Language prediction has been updated for foreign languages, too.

And the last one is my favorite.

According to the official press release, the new keyboard could even update you with all those crazy things the kids are saying these days. Swype users can opt-in to receive new words so they can be up to date with “the newest ‘hotwords’, like ‘Gangnam Style’.”

That’s right, the K-pop revolution is taking over, and your keyboard is next.

Update: According to the Swype forums, the beta is broken on the Galaxy Nexus, with 4.1.2. Several users are complaining that upon selecting the Swype keyboard, it automatically closes and is replaced with the stock Android keyboard. (Thanks Jon!)

Source: Nuance Communications

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3 years ago

Netflix now welcoming mobile viewers from Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland

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If you just so happen to live in Sweden, Denmark, Norway or Finland, Netflix would like you to know they've not forgotten about you. In fact, the latest update available in the Google Play Store opens up the Android app to those regions along with improved subtitle support for Android 4.0 and above.

Plus, while it's not noted, the app does seem to respond a little bit better over previous versions. By that we mean, it no longer takes 2 minutes to scroll through items causing you to forget what you were intending on watching in the first place. That's a good thing.

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3 years ago

NPR News updated with refreshed UI, improved browsing

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These holo app updates just keep coming. The NPR News app has received a very nice facelift and integrated new Android design guidelines to fit in with other popular apps on the platform. You get properly laid out search, refresh and menu buttons and an overall simple UI. The changelog also notes that its a bit easier to browse and play sound clips or whole shows right from the main screen. Above all, the app isn't over-designed, and you have to commend it on that.

As always, if you've yet to download the NPR News app, grab it at the Google Play Store link above.

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3 years ago

Official Google Calendar app launches on Google Play

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It's pretty easy to get your Google Calendar entries onto an Android device, as the services come baked right into the OS. However there are some instances where the Google Calendar may have been replaced by the OEM, for something they felt was a little more in tune with their design. (We're looking at you, S Planner.)

Today Google has released the Google Calendar app for everyone to download. It's the same app you would get if you running a Nexus (or vanilla Android) device, but packaged up and placed into the Google Play Store. If you're on OEM skinned device, this is a great option that has all the expected features included within as well as some added bonuses --

  •  Snooze events directly from a notification if you’re not quite ready and want to be reminded later.
  • Use predefined messages to send quick "I'll be late" updates to your event participants directly from the notifications or the event itself (of course, you can always write your own).
  • Pinch to zoom in and out of a day.
  • Set a home time zone to help you manage your time better when traveling.

There are some issues to be aware of, though. As noted in the Google Play Store, HTC devices appear to not play along all that nicely with it. If you're wanting to still give it a go, the link is live right now. You'll need a device running Android 4.0.3 or above.

Source: Google

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3 years ago

Isis mobile payment system officially launching October 22

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It looks like we were dead on for the Isis launch date, limited as the rollout may be. Austin, Texas and Salt Lake City, Utah will officially be the first areas to support the Isis starting on October 22. As is there are about 340 Isis-ready merchants in each city. 

Right now, the only device that we know for sure will support Isis is the Droid Incredible, though Motorola, LG, and Sony have all pledged to create compatible hardware. Supported credit cards are currently limited to American Express, Capital One, and Chase, though I'm sure more will come in due time. Just like Google Wallet, Isis will enable tap-to-pay schemes with NFC-enabled smartphones. It can be used for coupons and loyalty cards too, but paying for stuff is the main thing. The only real difference here is that Isis is a joint venture between Verizon, T-Mobile and AT&T. It's something of a strategic necessity if U.S. carriers want a solid foothold in the mobile payment game without having to play by Google's rules. 

Sure, Google Wallet might have a hefty head start, but with any luck, the competition will spur on speedier development and increase adoption overall. It's still hard to imagine a nearby future where paying for everything (or even anything) on a day-to-day basis with your phone is normal, but I'm sure many of us stand to be early adopters.

How often do you use Google Wallet? What would it take for you to switch over to another service? Do you think a carrier-run solution with the support of hardware manufacturers is more likely to gain broad acceptance, or will Google's natural habit of wriggling into ubiquity win out? Anyone in these early markets willing to give Isis a go?

Source: @PayWithIsis

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3 years ago

Action Launcher, from the developer of Tweet Lanes

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Android launchers -- comprising the basic makeup of homescreens and the app drawer -- hardly are scarce. And they tend to share features, emulating the stock Android launcher while tweaking things and adding features. 

Action Launcher is from developer Chris Lacy, the driving force behind the Tweet Lanes Twitter client, and it goes in a different direction, though still with some familiar features. 

We've gotten a good look at a preview version of the launcher. Hit the break for our take.

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