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3 years ago

Latest Tweet Lanes update brings direct messages, notifications coming soon

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While much of the Android world still waits on Carbon making its long awaited appearance, its continued absence leaves  room for others to try and capitalise. One such Twitter client is Tweet Lanes, which unlike Carbon is conducting its beta testing in public. It still isn't finished yet, but developer Chris Lacy has been working his socks off and is producing a really nice application. 

We reviewed Tweet Lanes a few weeks ago when it first started making the headlines, but what a difference a few weeks can make. Our conclusions were that Tweet Lanes is a new twist on Twitter, but definitely still a work in progress. Since that review much has changed, with the most significant visual change being the addition of a much welcomed dark theme. Additionally the developer has been working on supporting the Nexus 7, and adding the features that were lacking when it first arrived. It's also much faster, and much less bug prone than those early builds, testament to the devs hard work over the last few weeks. 

The latest update to be pushed to the Play Store brings yet more additional features, notably the inclusion of direct messages. Along with notifications, DM access was the big thing missing from Tweet Lanes which possibly prevented its use as a main Twitter client. They're here now though, and according to the developer, notifications are next. Chris Lacy is one of those developers who really engages with the community, constantly posting updates and early access to new builds from his Twitter account. This latest build was released to users willing to test well in advance of pushing it to the Play Store, and the feedback prompted a number of bug fixes before the official update was pushed out. 

The latest build doesn't just bring DM access either. There's now a really nice pinch-to-zoom functionality in the image viewer, further layout optimizations, and a heap of bug fixes. Full details of the changelog can be found at the source link below. If you're using Tweet Lanes though and you like it, definitely give the developer a follow on Twitter and join in with the early testing. 

Source: Tweet Lanes, More: Chris Lacy (Twitter)

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3 years ago

Raved review - turning Facebook likes into business discovery

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Raved recently launched on Android in an attempt to translate your friends' Facebook likes into a tangible, unified business discovery app. It's a particularly handy, free way to see if there are any places in town that more than one friend personally endorse, even if they weren't explicitly suggesting anything to you. 

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3 years ago

Amber Alert GPS review - if you can't hide yo' kids, at least track 'em

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With back to school season around the corner, some parents may be getting antsy about having their young ‘uns out in the big wide world. Luckily, thanks to phones and stand-alone GPS units, mindful moms and dads can track the little buggers every moment of every day. Amber Alerts, the long-standing organization built with the express purpose of preventing child abduction, has launched their own companion Android apps. 

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3 years ago

Google brings Google Earth 3D maps to Seattle and Denver

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Back in June Google announced they would be improving Google Earth substantially by adding 3D mapping to the mix and we even managed to get a good look at it during Google I/O. Now, only a few short months later Google has managed to add Denver, Colorado and Seattle, Washington as destinations that you can view on Google Earth in 3D. All the work is done using advanced image processing and 45-degree aerial imagery as noted on the Google Lat Long blog. The data is live and viewable right now, if you want to take a fly-over Seattle or Denver. Just make sure you're on the latest version of Google Earth and you're all set to go.

Source: Google

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3 years ago

Gameloft teases Unreal-powered Wild Blood

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Gameloft has been having a bit of fun with video game fans using their next action adventure game as bait. As revealed, the game is called Wild Blood and makes use of the Unreal Engine. The freshly revealed trailer shows off some pretty interesting footage but Gameloft isn't ready to give up all the goods just yet. Hints given out tell us the IP based on a well-known character from history and that's about it. In order to unlock the next hint, you have to hit up their Facebook page. If you're not all into that and just want to check out the trailer, you'll find it embedded below.

More Info : Gameloft on Facebook

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3 years ago

UK Sony Tablet S receiving maintenance update

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The world may be forgetting about the Sony Tablet S, but Sony isn't. And that's a good thing. UK based Tablet S owners should be seeing an update pushing out to them right about now. 

The update doesn't bump the Android version any further than the current 4.0.3, and at only 9MB isn't bringing anything massive to the tablet. But, the fellas over at Coolsmartphone are reporting that they're seeing a considerable improvement in performance. Overall they're seeing a distinct change in navigating through the tablets UI and menus, although app performance hasn't changed. 

In any case, bug fixes and optimizations are as good a reason as any to update a device, so if you've got a Tablet S let us know in the comments below if you're seeing any changes. 

Source: Coolsmartphone

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3 years ago

FlightTrack offers free version with new design; paying customers have to wait

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Some news out of the Mobiata camp today. FlightTrack -- which long has been one of our go-to travel apps -- now has a free version, with a beautifully revamped design. If you've previously purchased FlightTrack, however, you'll not see the redesign just yet. Included in the free version of the app, though, are the redesigned UI, including flight details and a rough tracking map (other apps give a more detailed flight path), real-time departure and arrival info, gate numbers and baggage claim details. Plus, there's viewing on Google Maps, and the whole shebang covers more than 16,000 airports and 1,400 airports.

So is the free version of FlightTrack the way to go? Probably not if you're a road warrior. It's lacking the all-important Tripit integration, you can only track a single flight at a time, you're missing weather info, plus other features.

But if you travel only once in a blue moon, it's definitely worth checking out. Let's just hope those of us who have paid for the app see an update shortly.

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3 years ago

Google Translate v2.5 adds image translation and more

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Looks like there's a big update for the Google Translate Android app going out this morning. The big addition in the new version 2.5 is the ability to translate parts of images using your phone's rear-facing camera. This feature can be used by tapping the camera icon, tapping the screen to take a picture, then highlighting what you want to translate. It takes a little getting used to, but with a bit of practice it's pretty easy to tag certain sections for translation, which should be useful for signs and other short messages when traveling. Note, however, that you'll need at least Android 2.3 Gingerbread to use image translation.

Other changes include the ability to specify preferred dialects for speech input, instant, as-you-type translation similar to the Google Translate web interface, and improvements to the way Japanese characters are handled. Specifically, the app can now recognize multiple Japanese characters at once.

We'll definitely be taking this app with us to IFA in Berlin, Germany later this month. If you're traveling anytime soon, you'll probably want to do the same. Hit the Google Play link to grab the latest version of Google Translate.

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3 years ago

Stitcher Radio updated with Facebook timeline integration

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A little while back, Stitcher Radio updated their iOS app with some new features and now they've finally arrived on Android as well. Many folks use Facebook each day and often spend a lot of time sharing music, podcasts and more with their friends. Given that Stitcher Radio is a great resource for such things, they've now added Facebook timeline integration to their app that makes use of Facebook login.

Now, you'll be able to share your stuff directly as well view what others are listening to and sharing with you. In addition that all of that, Stitcher was mindful to add in privacy controls along with usage data. You can view your listening habits through a full social graph. Now, just be sure to tell everyone when you're tuned into the Android Central podcast!

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3 years ago

Gallery Lock review - where to hide pictures on your Android device

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Do you have pictures on your phone that you don’t want just anybody to see? Don’t answer that, just plead the fifth. Gallery Lock is a free, secure app to hide your personal pictures from prying eyes. Tucked away behind a the phone dialler is a secret gallery that isn’t viewable from other spots on an Android device.

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3 years ago

Five podcast apps for Android now that Google Listen is dead

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Google Listen is officially dead. It was fun while it lasted, but the app's demise hardly signals an end to podcast listening on Android. See, much like the Nexus line of phones and tablets, Google Listen appears to have existed as an example to developers of what to do and encourage them to build upon it. The community responded positively and now Android has a plethora of podcast apps. Some are good, some not so good, but the bottom line is that developers are being aggressive in the podcast space, and that’s a good thing.

Here we present five podcast apps that we like in case you’re wandering around after being a loyal Google Listen user. Admittedly, there are many more podcast apps on Android, many probably very good, but these are five that we like in particular. Let’s get started, shall we?

And don’t forget to check out the Android Central podcast, which can be found on all of these.

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3 years ago

Current Caller ID - would you like some Facebook status with that incoming call?

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After getting a short preview at Mobile World Congress, we’ve now got a chance to try out the latest Android app from WhitePages. It takes the usual caller ID utility, and ties LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter accounts to contacts so their latest status pops up with every call. You can also see their local weather and news when checking out their contact details.

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3 years ago

IM+ Pro review: All your instant messaging in one place

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Shape Services' IM+ Pro client has been around on Android for a few years now. Essentially, the application is an all-in-one instant messaging client which integrates a whole range of services, and in addition to working on Android smartphones, it also has a tablet mode. In this day and age where many of us now rely on using data for communication rather than good old fashioned SMS, the number of instant messaging services out there has grown massively. So if you are going to be running instant messaging apps on your Android smartphone it makes sense to me to combine them into one neat and tidy application.

The services that are supported include Facebook, Skype, MSN/Live Messenger, Google Talk, Yahoo, AIM, ICQ, RenRen, Jabber, mig33, SINA Weibo, Fetion, Mambu.Ru, VKontakte, Yandex, Odnoklassniki.Ru and Mail.Ru Agent. That's a lot of messaging. IM+ also has their very own IM service called Beep, which is ideal if your friends also use IM+. If not then, I wouldn't worry about it too much.

We've got a complete breakdown of IM+ Pro for Android after the break.

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3 years ago

Online Backup tool is pretty awesome, as long as you have some time to spare

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The Internet's been talking about a new tool from Ameer1234567890 over at XDA that allows you to run a Nandroid backup without booting into recovery. It's a novel idea, and we've taken a closer look at it to compare it to the current method of just using recovery to generate a set of system images. That's what a Nandroid backup is -- images that can be used to restore your phone or tablet to a specific date and time. It certainly works as intended, but probably isn't for everyone. Read on.

There are a few pre-requisites for using Online Backup, but they are ones most people who want to use this tool will already have in place. You'll need to be rooted, have Busybox installed, ClockWorkMod recovery (or a CWM-based recovery) installed, and either a terminal client or one of the front ends available in Google Play. For our test purposes we used the Online Nandroid Backup client from Thomas Otero as well as testing from a terminal.

The application and the backup binary both were easy enough to use, with the nod going to the app, simply because tapping a button is always easier than typing. When you launch the app, it checks for the latest version of the Online Backup program and will install it if it's not present. This works exactly as advertised.

On the terminal side, one simply has to get root by typing in su, then run the program by entering onandroid. You have a few parameters like a custom folder name (careful to only use "legal" characters) and time settings, but you don't have to do either. Just type and go.

Then you wait. And wait. Sure enough, the program collects all the files and converts them into a handy Nandroid package, which you can use to restore from ClockWorkMod recovery. Like all dinosaur neckbeards, I have a bit of healthy skepticism about backing up a live file system (like the /data partition) but Ameer says it has been tested, and so far there haven't been any issues. The only ding is how long it takes. It took well over a half-hour, during which my Galaxy Nexus was pretty unresponsive. Thinking it may be the front end I was using from Google Play, gave it a go through the terminal. Same result -- at least a half hour of slow, laggy Android reminiscent of the G1. 

Now anyone who hacks their Galaxy Nexus knows that it takes forever and a half to run a Nandroid on it. So we wanted to compare it to the next easiest way, which is to install ROM Manager and just click the button to backup the current ROM. Nine minutes later, I was rebooted and playing games back to work. 

We're not knocking the development work Ameer has done here. In fact, I'll go on record saying it's totally freaking awesome and something that deserves a ton of respect and love. When something is new and novel, you have to appreciate it, ya know? To top it off, he has the full source of how he's pulling this off available for anyone to have a peek at (its simplicity is pure genius) and is constantly working on improving things. In the end, you're left with a full backup that restores as intended, it just takes longer than the current method. We tip our hat to you Ameer, and hope you keep up the good work!

Of course you'll want to have a look at this yourself. Hit the source link for instructions and downloads, and be sure to show some appreciation while you're there.

Source: XDA-Developers

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3 years ago

Google adds real time traffic data in maps to 130 new U.S. cities, expands global coverage, too

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Real time traffic information is a real day saver, and todays news from Google brings the service to a further 130 U.S. cities within Google Maps

These smaller cities such as Kalamazoo, Michigan and Portland, Maine, will now benefit from traffic information and estimated travel times around the arterial routes within the cities. Hit the source link below for more information on which cities have been added.

The United States isn't the only place to see expanded coverage either. Panama City, San Jose (Costa Rica) and Bogota all join in for the first time too. Additionally, the coverage is being expanded throughout parts of Brazil, Canada, China, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Russia, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. Good work, Google.

Source: Google Lat Long Blog

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