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2 years ago

IMDb Movies & TV app updated with Android 4.0 compatibility, improved tablet design

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When we hosted our 2011 Android Central Editors' Pick Awards we chose IMDb Movies & TV as the tablet app of the year. Now, IMDb is gunning for that title again in 2012 having just released a new Android 4.0 optimized version with a new home screen layout and more:

  • Improved design and experience for a variety of 7” tablets
  • We greatly reduced the size of the app by removing the “Scan DVD” feature (based on customer feedback)
  • The “Hardware Controls: Take Pictures & Video” permission is no longer required.
  • Improved showtimes

Having sat down with the app briefly before writing it up, it's certainly a worthwhile update. The new layout feels a little bit more intuitive and natural, making getting your around the app a whole lot easier. The update is available now in the Google Play Store, you'll find the link past the break.

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2 years ago

Amazon Prime Instant Video adds content from Discovery, TLC, Animal Planet and more

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For a while now, Amazon has slowly been adding content partners to their Amazon Prime Instant Video service and the most recent announcement makes way for plenty more. With agreements now in place with Discovery Communications, shows such as Discovery Channel’s Dirty Jobs, TLC’s Say Yes To The Dress and Animal Planet’s Whale Wars, will all be available for viewing on any device with access to the services, including the Kindle Fire.

“Discovery Communications has always been a leader in creating entertaining and enlightening programming for the entire family,” said Brad Beale, director of video content acquisition for Amazon. “With the addition of this great content from Discovery Communications, Prime customers now have more than 17,000 titles to choose from when watching Prime Instant Video—that’s in addition to the more than 120,000 titles that are offered to all customers for purchase or rent on Amazon Instant Video.”

With earlier content deals bringing ABC Disney, Viacom and 20th Century Fox to the mix, Amazon is really starting to add some additional value for the $79 a year you pay for Amazon Prime.

Source: Amazon

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2 years ago

Tank Riders [Android Game Review]

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YouTube link for mobile viewing

Tank Riders, you had such promise. You look beautiful, you run incredibly well, and you involve tanks. Tanks, I say! Made in the same vein as many a game before you, you offered an unprecedented level of eye candy and polish that truly made me proud to say you were on Android.

Then I tried to play you.

Man, on a tablet, those controls are rough. For starters, let's notice that the virtual joystick remains completely hidden until you decide to move it. Once you know it's there, there's no problem. The first time I tried to play, though, I was wildly moving my fingers across the screen, trying to get some sort of response. Finally, I landed on the joystick.

The virtual joystick is about as good (or bad) as any other one I've used. Move your finger, the tank moves. Because there's nothing physical, you run the risk of stretching your hand out too far, accidentally moving off of the joystick, and leaving yourself a sitting duck until you reorient your thumb. Pretty stock stuff.

The aiming, however, is atrocious. With your left hand permanently locked on the left side of the screen (you know, to control your tank), all your aiming has to be done with the right hand. If you only had to shoot to the right, that'd be fine. Sometimes you have to shoot to the left, though. That involves an awkward crossover (not unlike when you start beginning piano), covers up your screen with your arms, and generally ruins any fun you were previously having.

Maybe I'm inept. Perhaps I lack some sort of basic arm-crossing gene that renders me helpless in the wake of such a challenge, and that's why I was unsuccessful. Regardless, that one glaring issue was so large, it sullied the entire gameplay experience for me.

If you think you've got what I don't, Tank Riders is $1.99 in the Google Play Store. We've got download links after the break.

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2 years ago

Angry Birds take to the track in this weekends Australian Grand Prix

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Ever wondered just how far the power of the Angry Birds franchise would take it? Forget space, Angry Birds are now heading to the racetrack.

Finnish Formula 1 driver Heikki Kovalainen -- fellow countryman to developers Rovio -- has unveiled his new helmet design as part of the partnership with Rovio prior to this weekends Australian Grand Prix. The partnership between Kovalainen and Rovio also includes a range of co-branded merchandise and a forthcoming web game.

This one certainly stands out from the crowd. You can see Heikki's creation this weekend by tuning into the Australian Grand Prix when coverage starts from Friday. 

The question truly remains. Where else can Angry Birds go to?

Source: Heikki Kovalainen

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2 years ago

Google Offers expands to 4 new cities, with 11 new partners

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Google has expanded their Google Offers service with 4 new cities and 11 new partners, bringing the totals to 30 deal partners in 40 cities. Users in Austin, Houston, Philadelphia, and Miami will now be able to get more daily deals via the Android app or through their inbox, and the partner sites will get even more exposure now that they have aligned themselves with the big G.

The new deal partners look to expand things with deals for just about everyone.  8Moms, APDailyDeals, AT&T Interactive, Boston.com, DailyDeals.com, DoubleTakeDeals, Half Off Depot, Morgan’s Deals, Savored, Signpost and Urban Dealight are the latest additions, and should offer a varied mix to fit just about every taste.

I know many of us are deal-watchers. I spend more time and money than I should searching them out, and no day trip to downtown DC is complete without seeing what I can save while out and about. Now we all have even more partners to look forward to in our daily emails. And that dinner at The Cajun Experience looks artery-cloggingly delicious. 

Source: Google Commerce

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2 years ago

Beautiful Widgets: New update adds Web Skin Market and Multi-Forecast

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Widgets are a great feature built into Android and a ton of folks use them on a daily basis. One of the most popular widget apps in the Google Play Store known as Beautiful Widgets has now rolled out their latest release and it's looking to fill the demands of folks everywhere.

The update bumps the app into v4.0.1 and aside from the content already offered within the app, LevelUp Studio has added a new Web Skin Market where you can now download a ton of skins for your widgets to make use of, as well as mix them up using the Skin Mixer.

Another requested feature comes with this release as well and that's the addition of multi-forecasts within the weather application provided. Now, you can have multiple locations added, all of which can be viewed by simply swiping back and forth across your screen to see whatever locale you wish.

This update is available in the Google Play Store right now, it'll set you back a little under $2 but with the many improvements found in this release, it's an easy to swallow price. Hit the break, grab the download and start customizing your device how you want.

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2 years ago

Stealth Chopper 3D [Android Game Review]

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YouTube link for mobile viewing

Every good mobile operating system needs a solid flight simulation app, and Android has found that in Stealth Chopper 3D. What else sounds more fun than flying the famous SEAL Team Six around four different environments, looking like a fool while controlling the chopper with your accelerometer, and shooting enemies out of the air and off the ground? (Well, I can think of plenty of things...) Nothing, that's what.

While I will admit, the graphics remind me of old N64 games (which are still awesome, by the way), the menus are pretty bland and hideous, and the on-screen controls look like they were made in Microsoft Paint, the game itself runs really well. Your chopper chirps along at a steady 60FPS, realistically swinging to-and-fro in the air, matching your every tilt, twitch, and sneeze you throw at it.

Aiming the chopper's guns is a pretty huge pain, a direct result of the incredibly small aiming reticule and the fact that you have to steady your hands and arms to near death-level stillness to keep your chopper from rocking. Changing between Air-to-Ground versus Air-to-Air doesn't make the aiming any simpler, but hey, at least enemies anywhere will feel your firestorm of bullets (assuming you can hit any of them).

As a pure flight simulator, I think Stealth Chopper 3D really excels. The throttle control is responsive, and while there's the potential for wonkiness, adapting to tilt controls doesn't take too terribly long. (I picked this up much faster than I did arcade racing games.) It's also fairly unforgiving; come in too fast or at the wrong angle and your SEALs will find themselves in a world of hurt as your chopper explodes into many pieces. So at least it's got that going for it.

Stealth Chopper 3D is $3.99 in the Google Play Store. We've got download links after the break.

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2 years ago

Google Earth updated for better sharing, new gestures

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Google Earth just got a bump to Version 6.2, which brings a number of new improvements. Probably the biggest is the addition of the Earth Gallery, which highlights such things as new imagery updates, real-time earthquakes, real-time flights and other cool layers. There's also an updated touring mode that lets you launch from the gallery or inside balloons. Sharing is updated so you can push through Google+ (or other social networks), and there are new zoom and pinch gestures, along with bugfixes.

We've got download links after the break if you need 'em.

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2 years ago

Slacker Radio streaming NCAA Tournament games

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Just a quick heads up that if you can't watch the games in the NCAA Tournament (things get going in earnest tomorrow), Slacker Radio will be streaming audio through the championship game on April 2.

And be sure to check out our NCAA Tournament apps roundup.

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2 years ago

Runkeeper for Android [App Review]

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Getting into shape can be quite a struggle, and without being able to track your progress it makes it even more difficult. When I began running it was very hard for me to understand how far I ran, how long it took me, and more importantly how I was going to be able to track how I progressed daily. Runkeeper for Android is a great application that is available as a free download that not only allows you to track your runs, but nearly any other physical activity you can think of as well.

Getting set up with Runkeeper is an extremely easy process, an account will have to be created but it requires only basic information. After you enter your height, weight, gender and some other information your account is set up and ready to be used. The main screen that launches from here will allow you to select what type of activity you will be performing, whether it be running, cycling, walking or any other type of physical activity.

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