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2 years ago

Facebook for Android updated to v1.6.1

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If you are a Facebook lover who has yet to desert to magic of Google+, you will be happy to know that they are hard at work behind the scenes to continue to bring additional features to the mobile world. The application has been updated to version 1.6.1 which brings better pages support, tag pages in updates by using an "@" prior to the name, as well as viewing all pages that you like, and pages that you are an admin of. Be sure to check the market and ensure that you are on the latest update, as they also have implemented various bug fixes in this build as well as the other changes. Download links available after the break.

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2 years ago

Android Quick App: Kona's Crate

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YouTube link for mobile viewing

Every so often a game comes around that makes you stop, take pause, and admire it's design. As the hardware we're using continues to improve, I think we'll be seeing more of that, but until we do, there is Kona's Crate.

Kona's Crate is a game about delivering stuff. What stuff, you ask? A crate, undoubtedly! It's not just any crate, however. It's filled with stars (you know, for points) and you give it to Chief Kona, the guy with the terrifying mask that you'd otherwise avoid. But hey, he's the one dishing out stars, so you have to do it. Just remember, if anyone ever offers you stars to get in their van and give you a ride home, the answer is no.

Anyway, because Kona is a jerk chief, he's opted for a less-than-conventional method of getting his cargo shipped to him. Instead of the standard fare, you've got to move a jet-controlled delivery platform to wherever he is on any given level. If it sounds simple, it's not.

Yes, the controls are simple. A left tap on the screen powers your left thruster, and a right tap powers the right. You've got the option to invert the controls, but regardless, a tap on the screen gets your engine purring. From there, this game turns into a split-second hating, reflex-challenging, make-you-want-to-throw-your-phone-in-agony kind of experience, but you won't be able to stop.

Gameplay starts off in a tutorial. As you advance through the laughably simple tutorial stages, you'll notice difficulty starts to ramp up. At first, where you needed only to nudge the crate over to the left, now you've got to navigate curvy freefalls and float over tricky walls. This is only the beginning of the challenge, as the farther you progress, the more intense gameplay gets. Falling blocks, TNT and physics are there to derail your next-day delivery shipment, and you've got to use your catlike reflexes to overcome it all.

A speedier delivery nets you more stars (maximum of three) at the completion of a level. If you can't hit your goal, the game tells you what time you need to have delivered in to reach the next tier up. Unique to Kona's Crate are the vines that wrap around your stars. Vines are your reward for not running into any obstacles like walls or ceilings, or in later levels, debris. I think this is more for the completionists in all of us, so be aware that it's there.

Kona's Crate contains more than 60 levels in three campaigns, with superb graphics and OpenFeint support. With OpenFeint, you can see how you stack up on the leaderboards for time, stars and vines earned, and even publicly post your bests on Facebook and Twitter (but not Google+!). There's also achievements to be had, like New High Score and Safe Landing, plus a plethora more I've not yet been skilled enough to unlock.

Overall, Kona's Crate is a solid game on Android. It's combination of beautiful graphics, challenging, unique gameplay, and high replayability factor are all reasons to invest in it. There's a free version as well as a paid version, but for a scant 99 cents, you can buy yourself the whole package as well as support a developer who is wholeheartedly deserving of it.

Download links are after the break.

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2 years ago

Spotify now live in the United States

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Take just about every feature from every streaming music service available, and you you get Spotify. But until today, those of us in the United States were left on the sidelines. No more. Spotify's now live. Create playlists, share music, search from millions of songs, play offline. And, most important, play on your Android phone.

Free invites are going out fast and furious this morning, and there are deals that can get you bumped up to the premium levels pretty quickly. Or if you don't mind paying monthly, $4.99 a month gets you the basic service, sans advertising. For $9.99 a month "premium" (and this is the one most of you will be shooting for), you gain full Spotify access on your Android smartphone, offline mode, and better streaming quality.

We're right in the middle of deep-diving this thing, but so far, Spotify's living up to its expectations.

More: Spotify

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2 years ago

Swiftkey X comes out of beta for Android smartphones and tablets

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Swiftkey X -- the latest generation in what has proven to be an excellent predictive-type keyboard for Android -- exits public beta status this morning and enters the Android Market as a full-fledged paid app.

Available for 48 hours at $1.99 (it'll increase to $3.99 thereafter), Swiftkey X is the phone version of TouchType's venerable keyboard app. It combines the two major facets of an on-screen keyboard -- predictive typing and the skinning of the keys themselves -- for what has quickly become (yet again) one of our favorite third-party Android keyboards.

Also available today is Swiftkey Tablet X, designed for Honeycomb tablets and their larger screens. It's available for 48 hours for $1.99 as well, and increases to $4.99 thereafter. With Swiftkey Tablet X, you have the option to type in a typical keyboard design, or you can switch to the thumb layout (seen above).

If you've previously purchased Swiftkey, you'll be upgraded to the full version of Swiftkey X for free.

We've been using Swiftkey X in its various beta builds for the past several months. The key to its success lies in its Fluency 2.0 engine, which learns the way you type and adapts to better predict your next word. You also have the option (it's opt-in) to connect Swiftkey X to your Facebook, Gmail and Twitter accounts, where it can better learn your typing habits. Are you particular in your hunting and pecking? Or do you just kind of go for it, and rely on autocorrect to get your message across? Swiftkey X can work with both.

Other features: Swiftkey X now supports 22 languages and can interpret as many as three simultaneous for you tri-lingual typers out there. Look and feel are also greatly improved, and the long-press timing is as good as we've seen. And Swiftkey X now has three themes from which to choose -- dark, light and neon.

Check out videos of Swiftkey in action after the break.

Download: Swiftkey X (phones); Swiftkey Tablet X

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2 years ago

New Android Market allows you to choose your Google account

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Google just showed us the new updated Android Market client that brings a UI overhaul, as well as Google Books and Movies for folks in the states.  Not long after, we gave you a way to download the new Market for yourselves, and you guys got to work checking it out.  It has a lot of different features, including one that a lot of us have been wanting -- the ability to switch to any Google account on your phone for Market use.  You can even choose a Google Apps account.  This could be a pretty handy feature, but also opens up the possibility of abuse via shared account credentials.  We'll have to see how it all unfolds.

Source: Android Central forums

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2 years ago

PayPal unveils peer-to-peer NFC payment system

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PayPal has shown their new peer-to-peer NFC payment system at MobileBeat 2011 today, using two Android powered Samsung Nexus S phones.  The premise is simple -- open the app on both phones, enter the payment amount on one, and bump them together.  After the buzz, enter account details, and the payment is processed.  Afterwards, the normal email receipts are generated and sent out, just like we did it in the old days.

There's no firm date when to expect this, but PayPal says "late this summer".  Another compelling reason for manufacturers to put NFC capabilities in their new models, or just a security concern?  Either way, we'll find out soon enough.  Hit the break to see a demo video.

Source: PayPal

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2 years ago

Grab the new Android Market app while it's hot

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You might have heard that Google was rolling out a new Android Market, complete with book and movie rentals.  You also might have heard it would coming in the next few weeks.  Well thanks to an anonymous source (possibly with a time machine) you can grab it today.

Hit the download link, and install it from your SD card like any other app.  Fair warning -- we don't know if there will be any complications from doing this, but we haven't seen any so far.  Use your best judgement.  Discuss it in the forums!

Download: New Android Market

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2 years ago

Google updating Android Market for US phones to include books and movie rentals

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Google has announced a huge Android Market update, bringing a slew of changes, including books and movie rentals to users in the US.  The update (for Android 2.2 and higher) will bring the ability to purchase books via your Android Market account, as well as rent movies through the Videos app (hey, we've seen that somewhere before) starting at $1.99.  Google says they plan to expand this outside the US in the future.

Also coming are changes like new top picks, a new visual style, and web features like Editor's Choice and Staff Picks.  The Market will start rolling out in the next few weeks, and as soon as you receive the update you'll be able to access the videos app to rent movies and buy books through the market with no changes on your end.  Hit the break for a video overview.

Source: Google Mobile Blog

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2 years ago

IMDb app updated, now optimized for Honeycomb

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Although the IMDb website works pretty good on a Honeycomb tablet, the dedicated app has now been Honeycomb optimized for users. The UI is pretty slick looking and features built-in such as movie ratings, watch lists and the ability to purchase movie tickets all from within the app make it a pretty awesome update. It's available now in the Android Market -- download link and one more screenshot can be found past the break.

Thanks, Andreas!

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2 years ago

Evernote for Honeycomb now official in the Android Market

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The folks at Evernote have pushed out the Honeycomb version of their popular organization app to the Market, and it looks like it was well worth the wait.  The big changes are rich text and checkboxes within your notes, and an all new preview style widget for your tablet homescreen, but I'm impressed more with what I've seen of the UI.  The dashboard style homescreen gives you a great overview of everything, well organized and with a great visual style.  This continues through the rest of the new UI, leaving you with the impression that the app is truly finished and polished. 

We'll be taking a closer look at this one, in the meantime if you've been waiting (or using the beta), hit the break for the free download link so you can check out this one.

Source: Evernote

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