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3 years ago

Official version of VLC for Android almost ready for launch?

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We've known that a version of VLC has been in active development for some time -- read a long time -- now. There are plenty of unofficial alpha builds out and about, but until now word on the official version is that it is "in development." A post today on the developers Twitter account however, might suggest that said development time is almost over. 

Posting in the small hours on the official VideoLAN twitter account, it simply reads "Android, here we come!" Nothing more, but it would suggest that an official build of the hugely popular, play anything, media player might finally be not be too far away. 

via Ausdroid

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3 years ago

CrackBerry Kevin World Tour: What's the best Twitter app?

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The Mobile Nations World Tour is in full force and my crash course month on Android continues. One thing I've quickly come to realize is that Android = Options. In some cases, too many options. There's just not enough time in the day to try *everything* out.

I have put a lot of time in to using every Android keyboard I can get a hold of to figure out which one is best for a traditional two-thumb BlackBerry typist like myself (more on that later), but when it comes to Twitter apps, I'm going to take the shortcut and ask for Android Central's advice. The other week I posed the question what accessories I should buy for my Android phone? and I got an awesome response from the community. I'm sure the same will be true in regards to apps for the twitter.

I've installed a couple of Android twitter clients so far -- I've noticed each has some pros and cons -- but there are a ton of options in the Google Play Store. So I want to know... what's your favorite twitter app? Post your thoughts in the comments, and be sure to say why it's your favorite. You'll be helping not only me here, but other Android users too. Sound off!

Oh, and if you want to see which twitter app I end up going with, be sure to follow me on twitter at @crackberrykevin. Hmm.. maybe for this month I should change my handle to @candroidkevin. That sort of has a nice ring to it.

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3 years ago

Samsung CEO plans to improve software, user experience and design

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Anyone who's used a Samsung smartphone over the past few years will be aware that the company's approach to software design can be a little scattershot at times. And it seems there's an awareness of this issue at the highest levels of the company, as new Samsung CEO Kwon Oh-hyun delivered his inaugural speech.

According to reports from The Wall Street Journal​, Kwon told Samsung employees --

"A particular focus must be given to serving new customer experience and value by strengthening soft capabilities in software, user experience, design, and solutions."

As we pointed out in our review of the company's latest flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S III, software design is one area in which Samsung lags behind competitors like HTC. Where HTC's Sense 4 has a clear and consistent design language, TouchWiz is more a disparate set of apps with few common design cues. 

With the manufacturer putting increasing emphasis on the importance of improving software, users will be hoping for prettier, more intuitive software in future Samsung smartphones. However, given that the latest version of TouchWiz, dubbed the "TouchWiz Nature UX", has just debuted on the Galaxy S III, smartphone buyers will likely have to wait for next year's Samsung flagship before they see any tangible changes.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

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3 years ago

Android Central Editors' App Picks for June 16, 2012

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Here we are, back again. With the wedding behind me last week things are back to normal (for the most part) and here we are with quite a list. Without any further delay let's hit the break and check out some of our favorite picks from this week -- there are a bunch here! -- and as always be sure to let us know about your favorites as well!

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3 years ago

EA Games launches weekend promotion for Father's Day

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EA Games is offering a 40% discount on a selection of games this weekend to celebrate Father's Day. Jolly decent of them, too. Need For Speed Hot Pursuit, Dead Space, FIFA 12 and Plants Vs. Zombies all have the discount applied, and are available right now.

If you haven't picked up these games yet, now is the perfect excuse to go and grab them. From a personal perspective I have played all but FIFA 12 (yes, I am British and hate football) and they're all top-notch titles with hours of fun to be had.

Head on over to Google Play and grab them while they're hot. You can find all the Play Store links for the featured titles after the break.

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3 years ago

CyanogenMod 7.2 stable builds start rolling out to various devices

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As we learned from the previously announced code freeze on CM9, the CyanogenMod team has been working hard on getting CyanogenMod 7.2 stable builds out the door for various devices. Though no ETA's were given in their previous announcements, If you head on over the CyanogenMod downloads page there is a bunch of devices that have new builds available for download that have been marked as stable.

There is yet to be an official announcement from the CyanogenMod team but surely it's coming when they have a few more devices covered. Go ahead, have a look and see if you can among the first to give CyanogenMod 7.2 a go. Make sure you drop by the Android Central forums as well and let us know how things are working out for ya!

Source: CyanogenMod Downloads

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3 years ago

Get exclusive items in selected games during Collectibles Week on Google Play

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Google is kicking off a fun little promotion in the Google Play store today, and for the next week you'll be able to get exclusive content inside more than 20 games. The items and the games themselves are a pretty eclectic mix, some are Android themed like a t-shirt in Stardom or an Android monster in Monster Park, others are more mundane, like patio furniture in The Sims Freeplay.

This promo is available for everyone and not limited to the US only (Hooray!). If you're a fan of games with premium content, and want to grab some exclusives, hit the source links for more information.

Collectibles Week: US, outside the US; via: +Google Play

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3 years ago

Microsoft Kinectimals for Android: Cute little fellers hop platforms for $2.99

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Kinect for the Xbox 360 has been one of my best tech purchases in the past year. (Yeah, I was a little late to that party.) My kids, particularly, have loved Kinectimals, a game in which you roll around and play with cute and cuddly animals. And today, Microsoft's brought the game to Android for $2.99.

The Android version (there's one for Windows Phone as well) is a pretty faithful companion to the console version, though the app itself is a little lacking. (But by purchasing this Android version, you also unlock a few extra creatures for the Xbox side.)

If you're unfamiliar with Kinectimals and how the game works, you're going to pretty lost at first. (Hint: Find the "How to play" section ASAP.) Once you've found your way around, however, you've got the same sort of challenges and playtime that's on the Xbox version -- it's just smaller.

It's also pretty graphically intensive, so don't be surprised when your phone starts getting hot in your (or your kid's) hand, and your battery takes a hit. But that's also a pretty good sign of a fun app.

We've got more after the break.

Download: Kinectimals for Android

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3 years ago

Angry Birds drafted to the Philadelphia Eagles

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In a shock news conference breaking out of Philadelphia this week, it looks like their NFL team, the Eagles, has drafted five new players -- the Angry Birds, including the Mighty Philadelphia Eagle. Just writes itself doesn't it?

OK, so it's yet more Angry Birds, but just like the Heikki Kovalainen tie-in, it makes for an interesting prospect. According to the WSJ, this coming Monday. Rovio will officially announce the partnership that will see a new, Eagles themed title appear in the fall. The deal is said to include a massive marketing campaign, that will even see Angry Birds animations used on the stadium's video board. 

Andrew Stalbow, Rovio’s General Manager for North America, has said that the partnership with the Philadelphia Eagles is part of the company’s “aggressive road map.” Aggressive seems about right for this one; let's play some Football! Oh, and er, check out the 'news conference' while you're at it.

Source: WSJ

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3 years ago

Rdio for Android updated with bug fixes and stability improvements

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As much as I love using Rdio for my music, their Android app has become a small pain in my side. It seems as though everyday brings a new build and often times creates more bugs then it fixes. With that out of the way, I still think it's a great service and the latest update to the app does note bug fixes and stability improvements namely, the player freezing which was a huge issue on the last build. If you're using Rdio and have experienced issues with crashes or the player freezing, give the latest build a go as it is now available for download from the Google Play Store.

Download Rdio

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3 years ago

Pocket for Android update brings enhanced settings, true black background, and improved device support

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Although Instapaper for Android has arrived, the folks from Pocket aren't letting a competitor get the jump on them when it comes to Android support. Pocket has now rolled out a pretty stellar update that includes a number of fixes and improvements, as well as some new settings that have been requested from the user base. The list of changes, additions and fixes is as follows:

New Settings:

  • True black option in Dark theme
  • Page Flipping On/Off
  • Rotation Lock On/Off

Reading Improvements:

  • Single toolbar allows for easier access to options without having to scroll
  • New Delete option in menu
  • Copy Link option after long pressing a link

Fixed:

  • Resolved issues with the HTC Flyer and Evo View
  • Smaller tablets now have the proper layout
  • Improved Page Flipping detection
  • Several crashes and bugs related to syncing, UI and more

If you're like me, you're probably wondering what the heck the "true black" setting is. As it turns out, it's to help those who have OLED screens. Users can now enable the “True Black” option, which sets the Article View background to true black instead of the deep gray that was set before. Personally speaking, having Instapaper come to Android is a good thing but Pocket still wins on the feature set in my opinion. The update is available now or you can download it below.

Source: Pocket; Download: Pocket for Android

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3 years ago

Besieged 2 now available for Android, notification bar spam included

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Besieged 2, the latest castle defense game from Leviathan Games, is now available in the Google Play store. It's fun as hell. Skeletons keep coming, you keep shooting arrows at them to stop their advance. Kill enough, and you'll get gold to upgrade your castle's defenses and archers arrows. You can buy the materials to upgrade as well, if that's how you roll. As a bonus, you can share your scores and achievements to Facebook to brag to your friends about how many pixels you killed today. It's also pretty nicely done. It's a bit cartoony, but the animation and gameplay is butter-smooth on every device I've tried it on. To top things off, it's free.

Sounds like a winner, right? Wrong.

You'll love playing it, but the problem comes when you stop playing. After a while, the game notices you haven't come back and gets a bit lonely. To lure you back, it drops a spammy notification in your drop-down. This is not a way to win my love. In fact, this was an instant uninstall, never to return. I hate notification bar spam. I hate it enough to not play a very fun and addicting little game that's perfect for waiting at the doctors office or to pass the time on the porcelain throne. 

Maybe you don't mind a bit 'o spam, and that's fine. Diff'rent strokes for diff'rent folks, and I realize I get worked up over the silliest things sometimes. But I can't recommend this one, no matter how fun or well done the app is. If notifications like this don't bring out your rage face, you can grab it from Google Play at the link below, and the press release is after the break.

Download Besieged from Google Play

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3 years ago

Angry Birds Seasons updated, brings new levels and new game physics

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There are some things in life that truly are dependable. Christmas Day is December 25, day turns into night, and Rovio will keep giving us new Angry Birds levels. In the case of the latter, today we get yet more new levels, 30 to be exact, to the Angry Birds Seasons extravaganza. However, this time, things are a little bit different.

Piglantis, as the new levels are known, brings underwater action to the Angry Birds for the first time. As with Angry Birds Space, there is a whole new set of game physics to go along with the new territory -- hint, pigs don't float. No longer is it OK just to fire and be happy, you now need to work out how the birds will 'fly' while under the water. Nice. It's actually quite challenging in places, and a welcome departure from the regular gameplay. 

The update is live in the Google Play Store now, so head on over, grab some goggles, and away you go. 

Download: Angry Birds Seasons

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3 years ago

Flipboard for Android beta updated with memory and battery improvements

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If you're using Flipboard on a Galaxy S III, where it's pre-loaded, or on another device through the beta program, you'll want to fire it up and grab the latest update for the popular digital magazine app. The new version 1.8.4 beta 3 weighs just a couple of megs, and includes some minor visual changes for dialog boxes, along with some behind-the-scenes improvements. According to the official change log, the new version of Flipboard has a reduced impact on battery life and a lower memory footprint, which will be good news to anyone using it on older devices with less RAM.

Flipboard isn't on the Google Play Store yet, so you'll need to start up the app itself to initiate the update. If you've been using the Flipboard beta over the past few weeks, be sure to drop by the comments section and let us know how you're getting on.

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3 years ago

Google Authenticator updated with internal clock sync

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If you're using two-step authentication for your Google account, you'll want to pick up the latest version of the Authenticator app, which brings a new time syncing feature to ensure correct codes are generated. Previously, if the app's internal clock went too out of sync with Google's, the Authenticator would generate incorrect codes. The new syncing feature remedies this by allowing users to sync the clocks through a new settings page.

With an app as crucial as the Google Authenticator, you'll want to make sure you're always up to date. This one's a manual update, so head to the "My apps" menu in the Google Play Store to grab the new version.

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