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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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3 years ago

PSA: Nexus 7 $25 Google Play credit promo ends Sept. 30

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A quick reminder in case you weren't aware -- Google's $25 Play Store credit offer for new Nexus 7 purchases will expire in just under a couple of weeks on Sunday, Sept. 30. Previously buried in the small print, the expiry date for the Google Play promotion has been confirmed by a recent tweet from the @GoogleNexus Twitter account.

Nexus 7 owners are reminded that all they need to do to claim their $25 credit (£15 in the UK) is sign into their new tablet with a valid Google account and fire up the Google Play Store. For anyone yet to splash their cash on a Nexus 7, Google will be hoping the ticking clock will prove an added incentive.

Source: @GoogleNexus

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3 years ago

Bloomberg Radio+ finally comes to Android

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Finance nerds rejoice! Bloomberg has finally released its Radio+ into the Android ecosystem. Having been on iOS nearly a year (actually 364 days, but who's counting) people have been waiting on the inevitable Android release.

Featuring 24/7 access to the smartest names in finance, the app allows you to listen live to interviews and expert analysis on everything from the world of Finance, Business, Economics and Investments. Besides listening live, some of their most popular shows are even available on demand, allowing you to listen in when it's convenient for you.

Using the app is fairly straight forward. Listening live starts by default and as the apps main functionality, that makes sense. Tapping the gear in the lower left brings up the settings menu, on which the only option is to personalize the scrolling ticker. Tapping menu onscreen brings up what you see on the right-most screenshot. That's how you can access Bloomberg's On Demand shows, you can view their schedule, your saved shows, etc etc.

Initial reviews on the Google Play store are positive and it's free, so if you're a finance buff and Android enthusiast, the Bloomberg Radio+ app may be just the thing for you.

Thanks gekko!

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3 years ago

Twitter for Android v3.4 now available - New profile pages, photo streams and more included

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For those of you out there who prefer to use the official Twitter for Android app, you'll want to head on into the Google Play Store and grab v3.4 which, Twitter has now made available for download. This release comes with plenty of changes and additions. Whether or not those tweaks will be welcome remains to be seen but here's the list:

  • New profiles with header photos
  • Photo streams on profiles and events
  • Pinch-to-zoom on photos
  • Search suggestions for people, topics and hashtags
  • Improved protected account management including the ability to accept or deny follower requests
  • Other improvements, polish, and fixes

Overall, the list looks great but you'll have to put the new features to the test yourselves to see if it they will make you give up any of the many third-party clients out there. If you decide to give the latest update a go, let us know how it's working out for ya. One thing I noticed, it seems third-party image hosting is out. it now forces you to use Twitter image hosting.

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3 years ago

HTC teases new device to be announced tomorrow

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HTC has released a cryptic teaser on their Facebook page for a device to be announced tomorrow. It really doesn't say much, and it's anybody's guess what 10:08 means; presumably that's the time we'll have to tune in to HTC's various channels to see what's up. 

We've heard of at least two potential devices that HTC could be introducing. There's the One X 5, which is looking more real than ever at this point, and there's the considerably murkier Droid Incredible X, with what could be a 1080p-resolution display (that that would fit in pretty nicely with the 10:08 on the clock, wouldn't it?). Of course, there's also the very real possibility that there's nothing Android going on here at all, and that HTC will in fact be announcing a Windows Phone instead.

That clock font sure looks Windows Phoney to me, but what do you guys think? What kind of Android devices is HTC going to announce tomorrow? Do you think they'd lump in a Windows Phone on the side? 

Source: Facebook

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3 years ago

Amazon Cloud Player launches in the UK ahead of the Kindle Fire's arrival

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The Amazon ecosystem may well be pretty established in the United States, but in the rest of the world it still remains distinctly lacking. One such service is the Amazon Cloud Player, that today has launched in the UK ahead of the impending arrival of the Kindle Fire

The Amazon MP3 application is the portal to the Cloud Player, and has received an update in the Play Store to enable the feature which is available to download now. Available in two different tiers, free and premium, every Amazon user at least gets the opportunity to try it out without laying down the green. As with the U.S. version, all music bought from Amazon's music store will automatically become available in your Cloud Player account, free of charge and don't count towards your limits. 

The free service allows you to upload 250 tracks to your Cloud Player, rising to 250,000 for the premium tier. The premium service will cost an annual fee of £21.99, a pretty reasonable price considering how much music 250,000 songs is. Kindle Fire or no Kindle Fire, with Music missing from Google Play in the UK, Amazon has a real opportunity to succeed in bringing their content services here. Click on past the break to read the full press release, and if you're becoming more tempted by a new Kindle Fire, be sure to check out our first impressions of the 7 inch HD version.

More: Kindle Fire HD 7 hands on

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3 years ago

ASUS Transformer Pad Infinity TF700T receiving minor update

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Well, how convenient. We've posted earlier today that the ASUS Transformer Pad TF300T was getting a small bugfix update, and now the TF700T is getting its own. Similarly to the TF300T, this small update is bringing the model up to firmware version IML74K.US_epad-9.4.5.30-20120907, according to our forum members who have received it. The update is small, mostly updating the camera firmware and fixing some bugs here and there.

If you've got a Transformer Pad TF700T laying around, head to Settings > About tablet > Software updates and see if your device is ready to download the update. Once you get it, chime in in the forums and let us know how it's working.

Source: ASUS Transformer Pad Infinity 700 Forums

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3 years ago

Rovio's Bad Piggies gameplay revealed in new teaser trailer

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Rovio revealed Bad Piggies, its swine-centric follow-up to Angry Birds, a few weeks back, but exact gameplay details had been a mystery, until now. Today, the first trailer for Bad Piggies gives us our first taste of what we can expect from the pig-focused follow-up. Much like Rovio's Amazing Alex, the pigs are tasked with building all manner of wild contraptions in order to make their way through levels, stealing eggs as they go.

The piggies will be able to include wheels, umbrellas, propellers and even rockets in their creations, before guiding them through the 2D platformer-style levels. It's certainly a bit of a departure from flinging suicidal birds into the piggies' defenses, and hopefully an indication of a little more gameplay depth.

"As far as the gameplay goes, Bad Piggies and Angry Birds are complete opposites," Petri Järvilehto, EVP of Games at Rovio told Y! Games. "Angry Birds smash things up, Bad Piggies build stuff. The pigs are all about making plans and building things, even -- and especially -- when they don't work!"

Bad Piggies is due to appear for Android, iOS and other platforms next Thursday, September 27. You can find the full teaser trailer after the break.

Source: Yahoo Games

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3 years ago

Scope opening up VIP program, but you only have 24 hours to register

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Back in June, Socialscope became simply Scope, and progressed to the beta stage of development with a huge update to the application. All in all, we really like it, it does a fantastic job of managing your social feeds, and looks great into the bargain. 

Word has just reached us from the guys at Scope, that they are readying a new release of the app. And, along with it also begins their VIP program. The program is designed to give Scope for Android users the chance to get access to the latest builds of the application before release, and then provide feedback to the developers. Sounds great, and interested parties can sign up by hitting the link below. Be quick though, as to keep the program manageable, registrations will only be accepted for 24 hours. You do have to be an existing user though, this doesn't provide you with an invite code. 

Sign up to Scope for Android VIP program now!

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3 years ago

Xperia Link app now available - easy tethering between Sony phones and tablets

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In the event that you've just dropped some cash on a shiny new Sony tablet and matching Xperia smartphone, Sony's launched a new Android app to allow for easier tethering between the two. The Xperia Link application, now available on Google Play, lets you you pair your devices over Bluetooth, then share your phone's data plan with your tablet.

That sounds a lot like plain old tethering, but Xperia Link aims to simplify the process, allowing you to remotely enable, connect and disconnect tethering on your phone via a widget on the tablet. It's probably not going to revolutionize the way you use your tablet, but if you often find yourself tethering, you may want to check it out. Sony's Xperia Link app is available to download from Google Play for free, and works on all Sony tablets, as well as Sony phones running Android 2.3 or higher.

If you're already packing the prerequisite Sony hardware, you can check the Google Play link above to get started.

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3 years ago

MasterCard launching PayPass developer kit

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MasterCard has just released an "User Interface Software Development Kit – or UI SDK" to help app developers on Android and BlackBerry simply integrate PayPass NFC (Near Field Communication) payments into apps. As if there was any doubt that MasterCard was putting their weight behind NFC payments, this pretty much secures it. The idea of the UI SDK is to take out some of the guesswork of integrating PayPass into payment applications, which both helps out developers by offering an integrated system and of course benefits MasterCard because it will be making money off of the transactions. This should be a good step towards making NFC payments more of a mainstream affair, as more and more apps can take advantage of this UI SDK and know that their app will work with current MasterCard terminals that are already available in a wide variety of stores.

A video about the UI SDK was posted by MasterCard, but seems to have been taken down. In the meantime, take a look at the full press release after the break.

Source: MasterCard Newsroom

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3 years ago

Telenav Scout offers another option for free GPS navigation

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Today Telenav launched Scout, their newest GPS navigation app. It has the usual plethora of live traffic conditions, points of interest, and estimated times of arrival for various routes. Voice-activated commands are also included, which is something of a necessity when you've got your hands on the wheel. The app itself is free, but there are a handful of features that are available through an in-app purchase, such as alerts to speed traps, improved lane assist, and connectivity with select Ford vehicles through AppLink. That extra stuff costs $4.99/month. 

Here's a video showing what Telenav is like. Are you happy with Google's Navigation app for Android, or do you find you need something more robust when going from point A to point B? Is there really anything particularly remarkable about Scout?

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3 years ago

Google acquires developer of Snapseed photography app

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Last January, Snapseed made its debut on Android, and though it never made its way into Play, we will likely see the photo editing suite bundled in very tightly into the core Android experience. The developer, Nik Software, has announced that they have been acquired by Google. 

Beyond the usual batch of artsy photograph filters, Snapseed includes selective adjustments, auto-correction tools, creative blurring add-ons, and lots of others. The UI is very finger-friendly, which has earned the app an excellent reputation. 

It's great to see Google picking up talented developers to keep Android fresh. Which app devs would you like to see Google acquire next? Now one can only imagine how long it will take before Snapseed disappears from the iOS App Store... 

Source: Nik Software

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3 years ago

Scosche's new Rhythm pulse monitor includes Android fitness app

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Scosche has launched this cool new pulse monitor called the Rhythm that relays workout information over Bluetooth to your phone so you can monitor intensity, set schedules, and check progress through an app. Though Scosche previously only supported iOS, their newest app is now on Android with all of the same good stuff. Scosche Rhythm also includes a lot of audio functions, including the ability to set a Power Song to help you get through the most grueling parts of your workout, control music tracks from the armband buttons, and recieve audio prompts to pace your progress. 

It's definitely a neat idea, and for those that are serious about fitness, I could see this app and the accessory getting plenty of usage. What are your favorite smartphone accessories to use during a workout? Any suggestions for stereo Bluetooth headphones?

If you're interested, the Scosche Rhythm armband is available over here for $99.99. You can check out a video of the new app below.

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3 years ago

Shazam updated for universal TV show tagging

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Shazam, the classic music ID app for Android, is expanding its presence in television. Now activating the app while your show's on can instantly pull up information about soundtrack, cast information, trivia, related celebrity gossip, and links to helpful IMDB, Wikipedia, and official sites. As always, Shazam can share tags out to Facebook or Twitter. The downside? It's U.S.-only for now. 

 

Shazam had previously tested these waters with a few select TV programs, but they've obviously expanded their database enough to handle any show on any network. Tablets are quickly finding their calling as a second screen during TV-watching, and being able to pull up relevant show info without having to type in a thing plays into that role perfectly. Of course, expanding geographic coverage of the service is the next step and making sure the ID database is deep enough to be reliable is going to be a perpetual challenge. Plus there's a bit of competition from existing TV companion apps, such as IntoNow, but I trust Shazam will be able to give them a run for their money. 

How often are you guys checking your phone or tablet while watching TV? Do apps like this enhance the experience, or is yet another distraction from what's going on on-screen?

Source: Shazam

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