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2 years ago

Viber update adds Ice Cream Sandwich compatability

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Viber, the cross-platform VoIP app popular for its free voice calling and text messaging, has received its official upgrade for Ice Cream Sandwich-compatability, available now in the Android Market. Viber arrived on Android last summer and just recently announced that it has reached a 50 million registered users milestone. Viber uses your 3G/4G or WiFi connection to call or text other registered Android or iOS Viber users for free. 

In addition to support for Android 4.0, the most recent update also brings with it "significant enhancements" to the Viber voice engine, promising better voice quality, improved support for lower-end devices, and better handling of poor network quality. Other recent updates have brought location and photo sharing, as well as UI improvements, including the ability to see when another person is typing a text message. 

If you've got a Galaxy Nexus or a shiny new ICS ROM on one of your devices, you'll want to grab the update from the Android Market after the break.

Source: Viber

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2 years ago

Me In My Place Android 'app' doesn't do the women justice (or the photographer, either)

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Update (Dec. 5, 2012): The web app has been updated and now works very well on Android. See our post here.

Original: For far more than a year now, a semi-secretive series has graced the pixels of a Tumblr blog as well as the pages of Esquire magazine. Dubbed "Me in My Place," the series was shot by "a notable photographer, who has shot portraits of many notable people," said Esquire. The man behind the camera wasn't the point, after all. (He's since been unmasked, but we're going to make you work for it, too.) It was the subjects -- the various girls next door, Manhattan (and later L.A.) style -- who made the series at hit. The tag line: "Real girls in their own place. Not too crazy and just a pinch of naughty…"

Yes, the portraits are what they are -- probably not-safe-for-work photos of "real" women in their homes, comfortable in various stages of undress. The pics are sexy and a bit raw, and that's the appeal. Not too crazy and just a pinch of naughty. 

Esquire magazine got involved, the odd actress made appearance and things, erm, took off from there. An app was promised. And now, an app has arrived.

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2 years ago

Late-night poll: Social apps -- do you, or don't you?

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For some of us, social apps are a load of fun and we love having the big selection of them on our Androids. Every time we write a post about one, fans seem to come out of the woodwork. But there's also plenty who seem to not care for them, and even think they are a waste of time. We hear ya, and as a matter of fact, they are a waste of time -- that's why they're so engaging! But seriously, everybody is different and no two Android fan's phones will be set up the same. We wouldn't want it any other way.

Myself, I love to play with them. I try them all, even the more obscure ones like Schemer. I usually give up on them after a week or so, but a select few keep me coming back. Holler at me on Google+ if you want.  What about you guys?  Do you find yourself checking in, or updating statuses or tweetering when you're bored? Let us know in the poll.

 

Do you use social apps?

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2 years ago

WeedMaps for Android [AC after Dark #NSFW]

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Think about the times you've been away from home, and needed to find the closest place to get your medicine? For most of us, one thing all those times had in common is that there's an Android phone in our pocket or purse, ready and waiting to guide us on our way. WeedMaps for Android would have helped during those times. For everyone not familiar, WeedMaps is a website dedicated to getting those in need to a place where they can get what they need.

Yes, we're talking about pot. We're not going to rehash (heh) the subject of whether or not it should be legal, nor are we going to debate its medicinal value. People in suits were voted into office by people like you and me, and they get paid to do all that nonsense. It's in the Market, dammit, and so you can use Android to find some cheeba.

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2 years ago

Cloud Music Sniper brings your Google Music library to any music player

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There is absolutely no doubt that Google Music is a fantastic service to have, if slightly limiting at times. The music stored in your cloud locker is only ever available to the official Google Music app which is frustrating for some. Oh for a world where Poweramp or Winamp could access all that music. Well that world is now, and Cloud Music Sniper can bring your music to your chosen music app. 

The previous incarnation was known as Google Music Sniper, but was suspended due to its name. The new version requires no root, and works by 'sniping' your offline synced music content and storing it in a new directory. This directory is then available to your alternative music player. The music is actually available to be taken off your device and used on your desktop computer. To the user it is as simple as firing up the app and following some on screen instructions. 

Cloud Music Sniper is still in the early stages, and the developers are known for constantly updating their apps, so there should be plenty more to come. If this sounds like something for you, it'll run you for $1.99/£1.26 in the Android Market. Download links can be found after the break. 

via Rootzwiki

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2 years ago

Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue on Android

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Ah, the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue has arrived. It's the time of year when men head to the mailbox and back a little quicker, and young teens sneak peeks before sneaking entire magazines. (You know you've done it.) Only, it's 2012. And as we saw from Sports Illustrated as early as Google IO in May 2010 as part of Google's HTML5 and WebM push, the publisher's expanding far beyond the print product. We got our first taste of that on the mobile side at Google's Honeycomb event in early 2011.

Today, you've got several options for Sports Illustrated, and a little something extra for the Swimsuit issue. For those who subscribe to the print product, you can use the Android smartphone and tablet apps just like you normally would. Fire it up, log in, and download the week's take. SI's also offering the Swimsuit issue a la carte, for $6.99. 

But what we were interested in is the new (and free) SI Swimsuit Viewer app, which works in conjunction with the print product. A smattering of pages have a little video icon on them. Fire up the app (it doesn't work on Ice Cream Sandwich, by the way), and let it focus in on the page. (It might take a try or two, and as you can see it might make you feel a little funny, like when you climb the rope in gym glass.) Once it locks on, you get bonus video of whatever model you just ogled. It's gimmicky, to be sure, and it's overly sponsored by Direct TV. Though we're surprisingly willing to put up with that sort of in-your-face advertising, considering the bodies that those faces are attached to.

On one had, yeah. We're talking about bikini models here. We're not exactly propelling the species foward or anything. But on the other hand, it's nice to see a traditional print product embrace the digital and mobile space. Sports Illustrated has certainly done that, and done it well.

We've got some hands- and eyes-on video after the break.

Download: Sports Illustrated (smartphone, tablet);
Swimsuit Issue standalone appSI Swimsuit viewer

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2 years ago

Is Google developing a Voice Action remote for Google TV?

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Google may be developing a voice activated remote for Google TV devices, if we're to believe the rumors around the Internet today. Last year Google filed for a patent with the USPTO for a new remote and/or Android application that uses Google's cloud assisted voice recognition technology to navigate through the menus on your Google TV. Of course, everyone is comparing it to Siri, but Google has been working on this technology since they were first to market with Voice Actions in August of 2010.  

According to the filings, users will be able to speak into their Android smartphone or dedicated Google TV remote, transmit their speech to Google's servers to be analyzed, then the correct intent will be sent back through the network to the GTV unit.  There's also indications here to allow the process to work up to a quarter-mile away, so we can tell our television to be on and have Wheel of Fortune playing when we walk in the door. From the patent filing:

the provision of the query to the television may occur when the user is within a set distance of his home also (e.g., by determining with GPS functionality on the smartphone that he is within 1/4 mile of the home), and the television may be turned on automatically as he approaches the home, with the television tuned to a channel that is determined to be most relevant to the query

Add in additional uses like music controls and application commands, and you'll have a full featured voice remote.

Using your Android phone as a remote for Google TV is something we expect from the people in Mountain View. Tying the two together is natural, and we've already seen an Android app remote that uses voice input, and it works well. Having Google take this further can only mean good things for anyone who's interested in talking back to their television. Hopefully, we see something more about this in the near future -- I'm ready for it.

Source: Patently Apple

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2 years ago

Chrome boss suggests full-screen browsing and desktop view coming to Chrome on Android

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Google released the first beta version of Chrome for Android a couple of weeks ago, giving Android 4.0 phone and tablet owners the chance to try out the new mobile version of its web browser. Today Google's senior vice president of Chrome, Sundar Pichai, gave the first hints about which features to expect in upcoming releases, in an interview with CNET.

Answering a question on consumer reaction to Chrome for Android, Pichai said that two features in particular had been frequently requested -- full-screen browsing and a "request desktop page" option. Both features are present in the stock ICS browser, but neither is available in the current Chrome beta, but Pichai seems to indicate that may change in the future -- "both fully make sense", he says, but "we just want to do them correctly and well."

Of course, there've also been a few complaints about the lack of Flash support in Chrome for Android. On that subject, the king of Chrome says that the fate of Flash has already been decided by Adobe -- "following their road map, [Adobe] clearly said they'll not support Flash for mobile in the future."

Elsewhere in the interview, Pichai restates Google's commitments to Chrome OS and Chromebooks, despite continuing suggestions that Google's second OS should instead be rolled into a future Android release. He says, "we got a lot of positive feedback, and we are really looking forward to the next generation of Chromebooks."

Source: CNET

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2 years ago

Able Remote [GoogleTV app review]

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I'm turning into a Google TV junkie.  I freely admit it, have no shame in saying it, and am having a ton of fun while it happens. I thought things couldn't get better, until I stumbled across Able Remote in the Android Market. It's a simple concept, and one we've seen before direct from Google -- use your Android smartphone as a remote to control your Google TV. Where the official Google TV remote app begins, Able Remote grabs the reigns and pushes things further in a way that's intuitive, full featured, and a mix of geeky and fun. Yeah, I never thought I'd use the word fun to describe a remote control, either. But it fits.

All the basic features you would want and expect are there. You can search, control playback of video (and your DVR if you're so equipped), enter text and control the pointer and all the other functions you need and want to control your GTV, both as a television as well as an Android-powered funbox that happens to sit in your living room. Setup is a breeze, you simply install the Able Remote app on either your phone or your GTV and fire it up. If you installed it on your phone, firing it up will give you a button to click and install it directly to your GTV from the Market. If you installed it on your Google Television, you scan a giant QR code to install it on your phone. There is no guesswork, and nothing to screw up. Trust me, I tried. So far, everything looks good.  Fully functional, foolproof control of your GTV from your phone. Then it gets cool.

A quick trip into the settings and you'll see something that immediately catches your eye -- a setting to forward notifications from your phone to your Google TV. You have to enable Able Remote as an accessibility service (again, click and you're directed right to the correct place to do so), then restart the app and when a notification comes in while you're using it, it pushes right to your television. On paper, this sounds annoying. Especially if you get a lot of messages. But the first time you watch a movie while you're supposed to be working, and instead of having to pull your phone out of your pocket to see what's up, you get a small unobtrusive pop up near the bottom of the screen. From there, you can decide if you need to answer, of just ignore it until your show is over.  I recommend the latter -- life is short.

If that weren't good enough, the folks at Entertailion have built voice control into the app. Yes, voice control. Change channel by name or number if you're watching TV, start an application by saying "app Google Music" or "app Netflix", search by keyword and even run macros you've set up if you buy the $0.99 premium version. Add in the ability to forward photos and video from the gallery on your phone to your television, and push a website from phone to TV, and you have a real winner here. Able Remote is more than just an app -- it ties your Android phone and Google TV together to make an entertainment ecosystem. Grab it for free in the Market, you'll be glad you did.  Download links, a video, and screenshots are after the break. 

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2 years ago

Android Central Editors' app picks for Feb 18, 2012

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Looking for something new to try out on this long President's Day Weekend? Well, if you already grabbed some accessories at a discount the next thing to do would be to check out some new applications for your device, right? Let's hit the break and check out some of our favorites this week!

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