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3 years ago

Foursquare gets a UI update, all while adding some new features

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The latest Foursquare update is now rolling out if you haven't already grabbed it by now. The update brings some UI enhancements along with it, making the app overall easier to navigate and make your way through. Check-In and venue pages got a bit of a facelift and images are now shown in-line on your friends tab, as well -- you'll find now showing has moved to the Places tab. Nothing too drastic but the folks at Foursquare are making the app look better with every build they put out, download link past the break for you.

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3 years ago

Android Wallpaper Review: Galactic Core Live Wallpaper

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I remember when live wallpapers came out on Android. Everyone was freaking out about how cool they looked, and people were either elated their phone had the specs to run them or were crestfallen because their phone didn't. One of Google's built-in wallpapers was a galaxy. People thought it was awesome and it was used in a lot of demo videos.

Quite simply, this wallpaper puts Google's to shame. Galactic Core Live Wallpaper is easily the most stunning galaxy live wallpaper I've seen, if not the best and most gorgeous live wallpaper I've seen at all. It's bright, brilliant, and runs like a champ.

Using touch alone, you can move the galaxy up and down, giving you different angles to gaze. There's no multitouch for zooming, which is a little disappointing, if not expected. I'm not sure anyone incorporates that into their wallpapers, but it would have been a killer touch.

If you've opted for the paid version (and you should), there's an awesome settings menu waiting for you to tweak things. Galaxy zoom, rotation speed, and rotation direction are all there. You can also change the camera speed (for when you're changing the angle) and uncap the framerate, if you're using a device that'll churn higher than 60 fps.

The best part of the settings menu is the color section, that allows you to determine what the three colors in your galaxy will be. It's all slider-based, which isn't great for accuracy, but with enough toying, you'll get the shades you want. You can end up making some pretty bizarre (and beautiful) galaxies using less-traditional colors, so spend a few minutes with it. You'll be glad you did.

The Galactic Core Live Wallpaper has a free version, but if you want to access the plethora of settings available to you, I'd opt for the donate version, which is a cheap 99 cents. If you're not quite convinced, we've got download links and more screenshots after the break.

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3 years ago

Angry Birds Rio - Airfield Chase update now available

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The latest Angry Birds Rio update is now available in the Android Market and with the new airfield chase level episode, that means you get 15 new levels to jam away at. We're sure you'll have them beat in a matter of just a few hours. Still reading this? Why? Hit the break for the download.

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3 years ago

OnStar announces RemoteLink application enhancements - Send directions from your smartphone to vehicle

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If you're riding around in an OnStar equipped vehicle like the Chevy Malibu we checked out not too long ago, then you'll be happy to hear the latest news from OnStar. They've just announced some forthcoming enhancements to their RemoteLink application that will help you get to where you need to go more efficiently. (This is what we saw an early preview of way back at Google IO 2010.) On Aug. 30 -- when the application update goes live -- it will include the ability to search for destinations on your device and send them to your vehicle, providing audible turn-by-turn directions to your destination.

“Our customer focus is simple connectivity and a seamless user experience,” said Steve Schwinke, OnStar director Advanced System Design. “RemoteLink’s navigation enhancement offers our customers another choice in how they get directions, whether they’re in their car, on their computer, or using their compatible smartphone.”

Users can type in a destination, select an address from their contact list or speak the destination using voice search. Up to five destinations can be stored, and reused from your device so that you'll always have the most important ones available. If you have an OnStar-equipped vehicle, and don't already have the RemoteLink app -- you'll find it past the break.

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3 years ago

Android Game Review: Zombieville USA

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It's something we've all thought about -- the zombie apocalypse. Hordes of undead, clawing their way out of the ground, looking for some savory brains to snack on. There's been many a game about it, and Zombieville USA looks to continue that proud lineage of "don't let zombies eat you" games on Android.

The gameplay is simple enough: avoid zombies and use either melee attacks or firearms to remove them from your path. Each kill (but how can you kill that which is already dead?) earns you a couple of bucks to use on health, guns, or melee weapons once you've cleared a level.

There's also houses to loot (yes, loot) along the way. Simply tap on a door and your character will hop into a house and you'll be either rewarded with ammunition or cash. The houses serve a dual (and awesome) purpose, though. Not only are you rewarded by going into a house, you're also off the streets, meaning zombies just walk on by. It's a great strategic tool to help you plan an ambush or get out of the line of fire eating.

There's also seven different characters for you to choose from, which gives you a little wiggle room depending on your play style. There's guys like the survivor, who is your run-of-the-mill zombie slaying guy. He planned ahead but doesn't have any special powers. There's also a SWAT team member, a ninja, and a doctor, to name a few. All of them have different strengths and weaknesses.

Zombieville USA is a pretty hilarious game with a kickin' soundtrack, to boot. It runs well, and despite the title screen being totally messed up on my EVO 3D, the game itself fills out the screen correctly once you've started playing. Zombieville USA is $1.99 in the Android Market if you're looking to put some zombies back in their place (which is in the ground, duh).

Download links and more screenshots are after the break.

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3 years ago

Android Game Review: Gravity Wins

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Youtube link for mobile viewing

Here's a great little twist on an old favorite. Gravity Wins takes your old Connect Four game and turns it on its head. And its side. And keeps doing so until somebody wins.

The idea is simple. Just like traditional Connect Four, you drop checkers down the slots, trying to get four of your pieces in a row, either horizontally, vertically or diagonally. Only in Gravity wins, the board rotates clockwise 90 degrees every five moves, dropping all the pieces to the bottom. (Thus the game's name.) It's a little frustrating at first, but soon enough you'll start thinking about where your pieces -- and your opponent's pieces -- will end up.

Gravity Wins has a single-player mode, or you can play against a friend on the same phone. There's a lite and paid version available. (With annoying video ads in the former.) Download links to the free version are after the break.

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3 years ago

EA officially rolls out free version of Tetris

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EA's had Tetris in the Android Market for some time now, and a free version recently soft-launched. Today, EA's officially announced the ad-supported version. And it's the same excellent gameplay you've come to know. Tap to rotate, slide to move, drag down to drop slowly, and flick to send pieces crashing downward. The in-game ads aren't terribly intrusive, though we could do without the interstitials, which should look familiar if you've ever played Words with Friends.

Full presser and download links are after the break.

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3 years ago

Android App Review: bytNotes

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If you're anything like me, you take notes. I takes notes on Post-Its, I take notes in my schoolwork, and I take notes on my phone. What I haven't been able to do up until now, though, is take notes and assign them to contacts. BytNotes looks to remedy that problem by letting everyone do just that.

BytNotes is pretty simple. You create a new note, then assign it to a contact. When they call, the note pops up and reminds you about whatever you wrote about. You can either close the note out or close it and dismiss it. Simply closing it will have it pop up again when they next call, where dismissing it keeps it from returning.

Setup is easy and the app works well. My only complaint is that you have to close the note before you're able to answer a call. Maybe I don't want to close it. Maybe I need to get STRAIGHT to the call. I should have this option.

Otherwise, if you're the note taking (or forgetful) type, I'd recommend bytNotes. It's $1.01 in the Android Market.

We've got download links and more screenshots after the break.

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3 years ago

Android Central Editors' app picks for August 27, 2011

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Apps! Apps! Come get your apps! Hit the break with us as we take a look at some of our favorite applications from this week while you continue to keep yourself safe and out of the way of the incoming hurricane!

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3 years ago

Android Game Review: Sheep Impact

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YouTube link for mobile viewing

This one's a simple one, but still worth your time. It's called Sheep Impact, and the whole premise of the game is that you fly around in a hot air balloon, rescuing sheep that are inexplicably strapped to dynamite.

Sheep Impact is one of those "ascend when you touch the screen" games, so essentially, you're trying to time to descent correctly so you can pick up the sheep (done by running into them) and then ascending before you crash into anything. It's exactly what you'd expect if you played any games in this genre, so you know what you're getting.

Graphically, Sheep Impact is simple but cutesy, if I'm allowed to say that. Colors are bright and sheep look, well, like sheep. Because of the simple graphics, the game hums along nicely on my EVO 3D, but I'd imagine you'd still get great performance on lower spec'd phones.

Scoring is done via a medal system, so nabbing all the sheep nets you a gold medal. Miss one (or some), you get a silver, so on and so forth. Grabbing the coveted gold becomes more difficult as you venture into the later levels, because more and more sheep keep getting tacked on to your list to rescue.

Sheep Impact is 99 cents in the Android Market. If you're looking for a fair bit of fun and this game is your style, we've got download links after the break.

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3 years ago

Android Game Review: X-Men

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YouTube link for mobile viewing

Whenever I think of X-Men, the first thing that comes to mind is the epic intro sequence for the animated series. (Seriously, go look it up if you've forgotten about it.) The second thing that comes to mind are the endless quarters I spent at the skating rink playing the X-Men arcade game with three of my less athletically-inclined friends. Having known an official X-Men port was in the Market, I finally took the plunge and tried it out.

Diving right into the gameplay, it's just as good as I remember it, sans physical joystick and arcade buttons. The replacements for those are all virtual, as you'd expect, and are prominently displayed on the bottom-left and right corners of the screen. I've heard some people complain the buttons are too close together on the phone version, but I didn't experience that and I definitely didn't see that issue on a tablet.

Performance-wise, the game performs well. Period. It's an old 1992 game, so it should run well, and it does. The cheesy opening video goes quickly, there weren't any force closes, and not one framerate skip or stutter to speak of. Simply put, it's just as good as the arcade version, except this one fits in your pocket (or backpack).

My only complaint is that the virtual joystick isn't quite as responsive as I'd like it to be, which caused me to get straight pwned a couple of times. I only really saw the issue when needing to do a quick 180, but still, when Sentinels are coming down on you from all sides, you need cat-like reflexes to put them in their place.

X-Men does support four-player multiplayer, as long as all the players are on the same Wifi network, so yes, you can relive your glory days all over again.

X-Men is 99 cents in the Android Market. Download links are after the break.

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3 years ago

FEMA's Android app is full of emergency preparedness goodness

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Just in time for Hurricane Irene to work its way up the East Coast, the Federal Emergency Management Agency -- you know 'em as FEMA -- has released an android app full of useful tips, checklists, contact numbers and the latest news for before, during and after a disaster. We're not just talking hurricanes here. We're talking all disasters, like earthquakes and floods and Verizon not getting a Galaxy S II.

We've got a handful of screenshots and download links after the break.

Source: FEMA

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3 years ago

Gameloft launches Android HD+ game subscription service

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Gameloft has today launched a subscription based service for their UK customers which will allow the download of a game a week for just £0.99. As an added bonus, on first signup they're offering an extra game free of charge. 

To activate a subscription, visit their website from your Android device and click on the "Club buy 99p" link next to one of the games. 

As yet there is no word on future availability of the service outside of the UK, but for those of us lucky enough to be able to take advantage of the offer who play a lot of mobile games, it's a pretty sweet deal. Modern Combat 3 for £0.99 possibly? 

Source: Gameloft

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3 years ago

Gameloft reveals Modern Combat 3: Fallen Nation

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Gameloft has now taken the covers off the next iteration of the Modern Combat game series. Modern Combat 3: Fallen Nation makes use of the Unreal and Rage game engines to bring you the most realistic FPS game to date. 13 missions, multiplayer action with support for up to 12 players, 6 maps, and 6 different game modes this one is designed for mobile gamers. You can dig the trailer and press release after the break. Gameloft is expected to have this released by 'fall" - so in other words, soon.

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3 years ago

Android App Review Update: Wave Launcher

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If you're a long-time reader of Android Central, you might remember when Phil reviewed Wave Launcher back in March.  Recently, the developer updated the application to version 1.8 which added a lot of new functionality, enough that we wanted to revisit the application as well as introduce it to potentially new users.

Wave Launcher is an application that works in addition to your existing launcher (be that stock, ADW, LauncherPro, or something else).  You activate it by performing a gesture near the edge of your screen, and a "wave" pops up, which gives you access to a customizable application list. You can put apps, shortcuts, or folders on this list and they all became just a swipe away.  While the launcher is limited to 12 icons, you can put up to 10 apps or shortcuts into each folder, potentially allowing up to 120 total shortcuts.  Last week, the developers pushed out 1.8, which gave users the ability to add widgets to their wave, turning Wave Launcher into a potentially powerful productivity tool, especially when it comes to music.

Using a music widget before this didn't make sense to me because I had to back out of whatever I was doing just to skip/pause a track on Spotify.  Now, I just swipe on the side of my screen, select the Spotify widget, and hit pause.  After I'm done with the widget, there is an "X" icon in the upper window you hit, and you can go back to whatever you were working on without ever leaving that application.  It might only save me a second or two, but I think it's a more natural, logical way to handle music playback. 

1.8 also feels a lot faster running on my Droid Incredible than previous versions did.  The new widget options combined with the faster interface make Wave Launcher a great addition to my phone, and something you should check out if you're into optimizing your homescreen.  After the break you'll find the 1.8 video put out by the developer, a few more screenshots of the app in action, and a market link.  Wave Launcher is currently $1.99 in the Android market. 

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