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3 years ago

Official My Xbox Live app released on Android, reminds us it isn't Smartglass

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Been hankering after some mobile Xbox Live action like your iOS and Windows Phone buddies? Hanker no more, today the official My Xbox Live application has made its debut on Android. 

We heard rumors way back in January that Microsoft were potentially readying themselves to bring Android into the Xbox Live party, after a suspiciously suggestive job advertisement was spotted. Seems there was something behind it, and that Microsoft employed that someone with Android development experience to create what we see today.

There's more than just a whiff of the Metro UI about it, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. But, we're not all about looks around here, what about the nuts and bolts of it. 

My Xbox Live for Android promises a pretty respectible feature set: 

  • View, manage, and message friends
  • View and compare your achievement progress with friends
  • Read and Edit your full LIVE profile (name, bio, motto)
  • See your 3-D Avatar and customize it while on-the-go
  • Access your recent activity and manage your Beacons
  • Stay connected to the Xbox LIVE community via Spotlight

Coming out of E3 there's actually plenty of reasons to be excited about Microsoft bringing cool new stuff to Android, including, of course, the forthcoming Xbox Smartglass. Just in case you were confused though, there's a little paragraph that comes with this just to clarify things: 

No, this is not Xbox SmartGlass that we unveiled last week at E3. This is a milestone update to the My Xbox LIVE app on iOS and the first release of the app on Android.

Yes, we do intend to bring Xbox SmartGlass to several platforms over time, but have no details to share right now.

So, if you're one of the legions of Xbox Live gamers, head on over to the Google Play store now and pick yourself up a copy. 

Download: My Xbox Live

Source: Major Nelson

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3 years ago

Listen to the Greatest Android Podcast in the World on Stitcher

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Attention, people of the Internet! You already listed to the Greatest Android Podcast in the World. We know you do, because thousands and thousands of you download it every week. But we're also aware that more than a few of you are into Stitcher as your podcatcher. And that's awesome. Stitcher's an interesting podcatcher because it's compatible with the Chevy MyLink system. (Yes, that's the same one we demoed at GM's test facility last summer.)

And, in fact, so many of you are listening to the show on Stitcher that we're already No. 35 on the new Sticher List for all things technology. (That's right above "Transistors of Yesteryear" and right above "Arduino and Me," for those of you counting at home.) So if you're in the market for a new podcatcher, take a look at Stitcher and let's see how high we can get the show to go. Download links are below.

Download: Stitcher for Android; Android Central Podcast on Stitcher

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3 years ago

DC Comics [Android App Review]

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If you’re a comic fan and you use an Android device, you’re definitely going to want to check out the DC Comics app. Now of course if you’re a Marvel-only guy/girl, this probably won’t be the app for you. But if you’re a fan of Batman, Wonder Woman, Superman, Green Lantern, or any of the other characters from DC’s universe, I’d highly recommend this app.

The home screen displays three tabs up top that allow you to navigate through the app. The My Comics tab allows you to view all of the comics that you’ve purchased, see those that have been recently downloaded or viewed, and filtered by series and creator. The Featured tab is much like the featured apps in the Play Store; it displays a variety of titles, both free and paid, from different superheroes. In addition to the featured material, you can see the comics that were just added or narrow them down to free-only. The final tab, Store, allows you purchase any of the comics within the app. You can search for a particular title, browse by series, genre, creator, publisher, most popular or storyline and also browse the free section.

One thing that I like about the app is that when you are ready to purchase a comic, the transaction is handled through the Play Store, so you don’t have to give your credit card to the app. When you purchase a comic, it will download it straight to your device so that you can start reading. If you want to ensure that your space is sufficient, you can go into the settings, where there is an option to manage storage. That is the only place in the app where you can delete a comic from your device. I wish it was easier to delete content, maybe in a future update.

This is a great app if you’re a comic fan and obviously if you are favorable to the DC universe. It allows you to purchase and view comics right from your Android device. With The Dark Knight Rises hitting theaters in about a month, this is a good time to get acquainted with the source materials that Christopher Nolan has drawn from.

DC Comics is a free app from the Google Play Store. We've got download links and screenshots after the break.

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3 years ago

Amazon Kindle app updated for better tablet support

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Android's Amazon Kindle app got a nice little update today, bringing a couple of welcome improvements to tablets. Here's the full changelog:

  • Tablet users: customize your reading experience with new margin and line spacing controls.
  • Tablet users: see two pages side-by-side in landscape mode.
  • Fixed a bug that required some users to re-register when returning to the app.
  • Several bug fixes.

It's been a little while since I've used the Amazon App on a tablet that's not the Kindle Fire. We really didn't have proper side-by-side pages, eh? Well, it's fixed now. get your download on.

Download: Amazon Kindle for Android

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3 years ago

Rebtel brings free, high-quality VoIP calling to Android tablets

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If you're looking for VoIP services, there is a few options out there and one of those options is Rebtel. Previously having built their Android app only for phones, Rebtel today announced they'll be rolling out v2.0 of their free calling app that will now support tablets in addition to smartphones and as such they've ensured to pack it full of features:

  • Optimized Tablet Experience - Inspired by Rebtel 2.0 for Android smartphones, the new Android tablet app features optimized high-resolution graphics and takes full advantage of the larger tablet screen real estate to give the user an immersive Rebtel experience.
  • Free Rebtel to Rebtel Calls - Rebtel 2.0 for Android tablets incorporates free calling between users running any one of Rebtel’s apps for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android smartphones, PC, or starting today, Android tablets. Calls are seamlessly connected using Wi-Fi or 3G (applicable to 3G-enabled Android tablets only).
  • Low-Cost Calls to Any Phone - Users of the Rebtel Android tablet app are not limited to our free Rebtel to Rebtel calls. Browse through your native tablet address book, select any contact with a number and get talking at rates up to 98 percent lower than an average carrier, and up to 60 percent lower than current Skype Out rates.
  • Native Address Book Integration - No more syncing issues that mess up your address book. Rebtel for Android tablets seamlessly integrates with the regular native Android address book, providing a clear view of which contacts are available to call for free, and which contacts can be reached at very affordable rates.
  • Low-Cost SMS - Prefer texting over talking? Send low-cost international text messages to friends in more than 196 countries with an average cost savings of up to 60 percent when compared to your regular carrier. If you want to ensure your friend can reply without being charged, tick the Collect Reply box and include a link in your message that lets your friend reply via a mobile web page while you pick up the tab.

I've not used Rebtel in the past but do use Skype a lot so I'm going to give this one a full go to see how it works out in comparison, if you're looking for a solution as well this may be it. If you're looking for more info, you'll find it below for your browsing pleasure along with a download link.

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3 years ago

Swiftkey gets the XKCD treatment

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Swiftkey -- the Android Central 2011 Editor's Choice for third-party keyboard -- today has received an honor most of us can only dream of, having been immortalized as an XKCD comic by the genius Randall Munroe. The comic actually centers on the Swiftkey 3 beta, the shining feature of which is the ability to type without worrying about hitting that pesky space bar. The prediction engine takes care of that for you, going as far as completing sentences that you never started in the first place. And, as you can see, hilarity ensues.

Swiftkey's also asking what your default sentence is. Just hit the middle of the three prediction keys and see what you get. You'll need to actually be using Swiftkey, of course. (And if you're just getting started, expect to see "I am a beautiful person." You can share your result here.

Source: XKCD; download the Swiftkey 3 beta

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3 years ago

Samsung TecTiles brings new rewritable NFC tags solution

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Looks like it's time for NFC tags to hit the big time. Samsung tonight announced TecTiles, its own rewritable NFC tag solution. 

For those of you new to the game, NFC stands for "Near Field Communication" -- think of it as very short-range wireless data transfers where you literally tap your phone against something to initiate the transfer. NFC tags are little stickers that, when touched by an NFC-enabled device, can then cause an action to happen. 

We got the opportunity to give them a spin last week in New York City and, guess what -- they're rewritable NFC tags. But they're going to be pretty darn handy.

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3 years ago

Songkick [Android App Review]

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Apps that genuinely fit into your life are always the best. There are those that you genuinely cannot function without, and those which fill a void you never knew you had until it was filled. With the release of Songkick today, a void I never realised I had, has now been filled. Filled to the point I just found out that Lostprophets -- who I happen to adore -- are playing in my home town this November. A good end to the day for sure. 

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3 years ago

Spotify for Android officially updated, all new UI and Last.fm scrobbling on board

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The Spotify app for Android has always been a let down to what is otherwise a first rate music streaming service. We recently got a preview of their latest efforts in the form of a preview edition, and the difference was staggering. For some people -- myself included -- it rekindled a love affair with the service. Suddenly, Spotify for Android had become beautiful as well as functional, following the Android 4.0 design themes superbly. Today sees the end of the preview, and the general release of the update into the Google Play Store.

But, not content with what we've already seen and played around with, Spotify has gone and added yet more new features. One of which being Last.fm scrobbling, another being a new widget. 

So, what do we actually get? The answer, quite a lot: 

  • Totally new app with full support for Android 4.0
  • Top-to-bottom redesign
  • All-new slide-out navigation
  • Even more social - check out friends’ profile pages and playlists on the go
  • Artist imagery in high resolution
  • Related artist view - available for the first time on mobile
  • ‘Extreme’ sound quality setting for 320kbps listening
  • So much faster!
  • Play queue
  • Last.fm scrobbling
  • Crossfade/gapless playback settings
  • Widget – control Spotify from the home screen
  • Folder support

The update now seems to be live in the Play Store, so head on over and grab yourselves a copy. As always though, please remember it does require a Spotify Premium account to use on mobile. But, if you've ever thought about signing up, now is definitely as good a time as any. 

Download: Spotify

Source: Spotify

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3 years ago

Max Payne Mobile for Android finally landing June 14

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The wait is almost over boys and girls, as Max Payne Mobile will finally shoot its way onto Android this coming Thursday, June 14. Fully optimized for Android, promising HD graphics and the full and uncut classic Max Payne experience, it looks like it will be worth the wait when we finally get our hands on it. 

Pricing is set at $2.99 from the Google Play Store, but as with GTAIII there is a slight catch. Officially at least, there is a compatibility list at launch of the lucky phones and tablets that will be able to play. Notably missing -- the Samsung Galaxy S III. We're sure that won't be for long though. The full list reads as follows: 

Supported Android Phones: Motorola Razr,  Razr Maxx, Motorola Atrix, Motorola Photon, Motorola Droid Bionic, HTC Rezound, HTC One X,  HTC One S,  HTC Evo 3D, HTC Sensation, HTC Droid Incredible 2,  Samsung Galaxy Nexus, Samsung Nexus S, Samsung Galaxy Note, Samsung S2, Samsung Galaxy R, Sony Xperia Play, Sony Xperia S, Sony Walkman Z Series Media Player

Supported Android Tablets: Acer Iconia, Asus Eee Pad Transformer, Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime, Dell Streak 7, LG Optimus Pad, Medion Lifetab, Motorola Xoom, Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 / 10.1, Sony Tablet S, Sony Tablet P, Toshiba Thrive, HTC Flyer, HTC Jetstream

Source: Rockstar Games

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3 years ago

Euro 2012 Live Wallpaper lets you cheer on your team and play with balls!

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If you're a fan of The Beautiful Game (that's soccer for you Americans), you've no doubt been taking in some of the action already coming out of EURO 2012. Poland and Ukraine are hosting this year, and if the first few games are an indicator we're going to see a lot of awesome football games over the next few weeks.

And thanks to the new Adidas Euro 2012 live wallpaper you can cheer on your favorite team right from your Android 2.2 or greater device by placing the national flag of one of the 16 qualifying countries onto the homescreen soccer field. You can also customize the halfway lines to reflect the host countries.

The best part of this live wallpaper? You get to have fun playing with balls! You can select to have from one to five "Tango 12" Match balls appear on the homescreen, which you can kick, tap and volley around. Check out the video above to see it in action. My words don't do it justice.

This Euro 2012 live wallpaper is free so jump on over to the Google Play store to grab it. And while you're waiting for it to download, be sure to leave us a comment and tell us who you're cheering for. I'm Polish/Ukrainian (50/50) by descent, but being engaged to an Italian (and seeing what happens when they lose) I'm cheering for Italy all the way!

Get your download on after the break.

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3 years ago

Apple ditches Google Maps for its own solution

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We knew it was going to happen, right? Apple has ditched Google Maps for iOS, rolling its own in-house cartographic solution, including turn-by-turn navigation, which has never been as good on the fruit phone as it has on Android.

What's that mean for us? Not a whole hell of a lot, and it's not like Google's been resting on its mapping laurels. It was just last week that El Goog announced some major 3D renovations, which will be coming to Android along with offline access. We'll be just fine, thank you very much.

Also: iMore's WWDC coverage

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3 years ago

Ford SYNC and AppLink for Android set to expand globally

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Back during CES 2012 we got a real good look at all the things Ford was doing with their Sync service including the deep integration with Android and AppLink. Having put it all to the test in the U.S. Ford has now announced they'll be expanding the offerings globally with the introduction of the services to Asia.

“We will continue to work closely with leading developers and companies in local markets and around the world to make existing apps compatible with SYNC AppLink and provide the best services for our customers,” Ed Pleet, Director, Connected Services, Ford Asia Pacific and Africa, and Europe.

To help expand the offerings, Ford will be working with developers locally to create localized content using the SYNC Developer SDK. On hand at Computex 2012, Ford will be hosting a hackathon with Ford engineers to help developers started on integration applications and more. The full press release from Ford is available below.

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3 years ago

Android Central Editors' App Picks for June 10, 2012

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We're a day late but worth the wait! Welcome to the latest iteration of our Android Apps of the Week, where we showcase apps that we find interesting. Have an app you think we should take a look at? Feel free to e-mail us and we'll give it a gander.

And now, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, onto the show!

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3 years ago

No extra free storage for AT&T and Verizon Galaxy S III owners! The horror!

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So if you get the AT&T or Verizon version of the Galaxy S III, you won't be getting a free extra 48 gigbytes of online storage on Dropbox. That sucks, considering that our European friends have it, and presumably Sprint and T-Mobile will as well. (And it's little toughter for AT&T fans to swallow since you can only get the AT&T GSIII in a 16-gigabyte flavor -- OK, throw a microSD card in there, but still.) But, hey, that's the carriers' right. They don't want to pick up the tab, Dropbox doesn't want to give it away for free (not that we necessarily blame them after what some folks did with the SGSIII promotion), and so we won't be getting the extra free space, a fact Dropbox has been happy to advertise in its help forums:

U.S. AT&T and Verizon customers

Select carriers have opted-out of the promotion on phones otherwise eligible. Unfortunately, AT&T and Verizon are among these carriers not currently participating.

It's not like you can't get a buttload of free Dropbox space already, though, with the usual 2GB of initial space, plus another 500MB for each referral, up to 18GB. (And if you have a friend with an HTC One phone, you probably can finagle a bit more, too.) If it's not worth it to AT&T and Verizon in this case, them's the breaks. End of the world? Not hardly. And if you really do need that 50 gigabytes, you can always pony up the $9.99 a month (or $99 a year) in that old-fashion, capitalistic manner.

Source: Dropbox; thanks to everyone who sent this in!

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