Headlines

2 years ago

Slacker Radio application receives update, now compatible with Ford SYNC

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Are you a Ford owner who just so happens to love Slacker Radio on your Android powered device? Well, good news for you as Slacker Radio has just released an update to their Android application which now allows for syncing with Ford vehicles such as the Fiesta, Mustang, Fusion and several others. Gone are the days of fumbling around trying to switch songs on your device while driving, now simply talk to skip songs, change stations and many other awesome features. If you are a Slacker Radio user be sure to hit the break for download links.

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2 years ago

Adobe Flash Player 11.1 coming to the Galaxy Nexus by end of year

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Adobe's been saying this for a week or so now, and today it made it officially official in an official blog post: Flash Player 11.1 will come to the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. Huzzah. Look for the update in December (makes since, because November's 24 hours from being in our rear-view mirrors).

Glad to see another one last update for Flash Player (and AIR as well, which we're already seeing in the Android Market) for the Galaxy Nexus. Now if only we could get the phone in North America.

Source: Adobe; Thanks to everyone who sent this in!

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2 years ago

Google Maps goes indoors in Version 6.0

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Tired of looking lost outdoors, staring at Google Maps on your smartphone like a total tourist? Now you can have that same experience indoors with Google Maps 6.0! Google's taking maps inside, offering up floor plans at some of the largest retailers and airports in the U.S. and Japan. Also, the UI's been reworked a little bit, with a quick-selection menu up top to bounce between Maps, Places, Navigattion, Check in, Latitude, Location History and My Places.

Check out the videos after the break for a closer look, and hit the links below to see the indoor locations Google currently has mapped, and how to add your business.

Source: Google Blog; More: Indoor Maps availability; how to add floorplans

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2 years ago

Video hands-on with Cluzee: Not quite a Siri competitor

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Youtube link for mobile viewing

There are a few things a voice-recognition app needs to do well to be successful -- and must do extremely well if it wants to call itself a competitor to Apple's Siri.

  1. It needs to be easilly accessible, and launch quickly. Very quickly.
  2. It needs to actually understand what you're saying.
  3. It needs to return results quickly.

As we continue to find out, this is easier said than done. The latest victim candidate is Cluzee, which bills itself as "Your Intelligent Personal Assisant" -- and which despite some initial glowing press doesn't really stand up to simple testing.

Let's start with Point 1: You need to be able to launch a voice app like this quickly. The iPhone 4S has a leg up by allowing you to long-press the home button to launch Siri at any time. Simple, quick. With Cluzee, you need a home screen shortcut, which means having to wake and unlock the phone first. If the app's not yet in memory, it takes several seconds to launch -- an eternity for this sort of thing. It really has to be faster. (And it is, so long as Cluzee remains loaded.)

On to Point 2: Cluzee understood our tests some of the time, but not all of the time. And even in our abbreviated use, it seemed to struggle more than it should. That ties into Point 3: Returning results for local pizza locations took so long we thought the app had hung on us (force closes are not uncommon at this point). And opening applications through Cluzee took too many steps. (Us: "Open Google Maps." Cluzee: "Which application do you want me to open?" Grrrrrr.)

That's not to say Cluzee doesn't have potential -- it most certainly does, and it does a decent job at personifying itself, using the pronouns you'd expect from something like this. But let's not go calling it a Siri competitor just yet. If you want to give it a shot, we've got download links after the break.

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2 years ago

3DMark benchmarking app coming to Android

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Finnish developer Futuremark has announced that its 3DMark benchmarking software will be headed to Android phones and tablets in 2012. 3DMark has long been an important benchmarking suite for PC gamers, and as Android devices become more powerful, it should come as no surprise to see benchmark-makers attempting to get a piece of the action.

With development just now starting to ramp up, Futuremark is inviting Android device manufacturers to join its "Benchmark Development Program" in order to ensure their products are fully supported when the app eventually hits next year.

The developer's planning to implement CPU, GPU and physics processing tests in 3DMark for Android, along with online rankings, just like its current Windows offerings. Interestingly, scores generated by the Android app are also said to be "comparable" with those from the next Windows version of 3DMark, presumably giving users a way to directly compare performance between devices across the two platforms.

Clearly it's still early days, but it should be interesting to see what Futuremark comes up with over the next year. If nothing else, 3DMark on Windows has always offered a generous helping of eye candy.

Today's press release can be found in full after the jump.

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2 years ago

Victoria's Secret Android app now available

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Attention women, husbands, boyfriends and anyone who just needs to feel pretty from time to time: The Victoria's Secret app has slinked into the Android Market. The app itself isn't all that well done -- it's more of a mobile portal than something that feels like a true native app, and it requires too many taps before you get to the merchandise -- but it does give you a way to shop from your phone. You also get video previews for such things as the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show (that's on TV tonight, by the way), a look at some of the VS supermodels, a store locater and barcode scanner.

We've got screenshots (you're welcome) and download links after the break.

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2 years ago

Multiple app markets crossing streams, causing problems for some

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Now this is interesting. Seems that some of you who have purchased apps from the Amazon Appstore are starting to see conflicts with the Android Market. A couple scenarios appear to be playing out. In some instances, the Android Market sees an app that was purchased from the Amazon Appstore, knows an updated version is available, but then fails on updating because the app wasn't actually purchased from the Android Market.  While we're not exactly sure what's going on, it may be an issue where some developers use the same signing key for applications in both the Android Market and other app stores.  This could cause your phone or tablet to see the applications as identical.  That's just a hunch, and chances are Google has a better grasp of the situation than we do.

Reversing things, as TWiT's Jason Howell points out, the Amazon Appstore can see that you have an app installed and offer to unassociate it from that other market so that you can get updates and such through its services instead. How handy. But it also smells of someone standing next to your car in a parking lot, pointing out a dent you know wasn't there when you left your car, and then recommending a friend who can fix it on the cheap. There's just something offputting about it.

This could end up being an interesting push and pull, but we've got a feeling Google's got the upper hand here, being able to more easily and quickly tweak code to keep things in line. And as violent23 points out in our forums, Google's already aware of this and is on the case. Should be interesting to see how it all works out.

Source: Android Forums; More: +Jason Howell

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2 years ago

Chances are you won't be this cool with your Galaxy Nexus

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Youtube link for mobile viewing

Still. Google+ Hangouts with up to nine other people on a Galaxy Nexus are pretty damn sweet. But you still can't (yet) start a hangout from a phone, right?

Source: +Android

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2 years ago

Android Game Review: Great Little War Game

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YouTube link for mobile viewing

What happens if you take one part Advance Wars, one part any tactics game, give it a hilarious storyline with a rough-and-tumble stereotypical general, and release it for Android? Oh, well then you'd have Great Little War Game by Rubicon Development.

In Great Little War Game (or GLWG, as it's named in the app drawer), you're part of Force Blue (my name, not theirs), whose leader, Generalissimo, is hell-bent on eradicating the armies of Force Red. (Red vs. Blue, anyone?!)

Gameplay is classic turn-by-turn based combat, where you move your forces around, attack your enemies, and when you're done, they do the same to you. The map is broken up by circles, and every circle is one step a unit can move. A unit can only move a certain number of spaces per turn, so plan your offense accordingly.

In the very first missions of the campaign, you're limited to using the most basic of units (grunts and snipers), but as you move through the story, you'll see your forces grow to include other units like the engineer, bazooka man, and even vehicles like the tank and jeep.

Missions on each map vary, from simple objectives to wiping out all your enemies, to other, more complex objectives like taking over your enemy's base (something only the engineer can do). My latest mission had me lasting eight days (or turns) without the general being killed, and once the eighth day ended, I won.

Trophies are awarded if you complete a mission's objective in a quick amount of time, and you can keep track of what trophy you'll be awarded in the same area of the screen that tells you what day your mission is on and how much money you have. You can also buy more troops with the funds you receive at the start of each turn.

If single-player gaming isn't your style, GLWG also has a "Pass & Play" setting, where you can play against a friend, and you just pass the game to them when it's their turn. It definitely hearkens back to the days of Mario Bros. on the SNES, and I like it.

There's also OpenFeint achievements scattered over the game's 20 missions, for the true completionist, and a Skirmish practice mode, for those looking to hone their war-making skills.

Overall, Great Little War Game exemplifies some of the best traits a game could have: humor, challenging gameplay, and replayability. The fact you can save up to three games at once is a great feature, too, and ensures you'll never have to start over (unless you want to).

Great Little War Game is $2.99 in the Android Market. We've got download links after the break.

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2 years ago

Google Catalogs available for download now, just in time for Christmas

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The latest addition to the Google Android application circle has been launched today, as the Google Catalogs app becomes available for download for tablets.

Put simply, the app pulls together 400 digital catalog issues from such brands as Nike, Sephora and Nordstrom for you to browse at your leisure. Interactivity is the name of the game with images and videos sewn throughout the pages and pages of shopping treats. Another neat time saving touch is the unified search box, which allows you to search across all the catalogs for a specific item. Purchasing is as easy as one tap to find the product nearby or at a retailers website, kind of similar to the Google Shopper app. 

This is sadly for those of us in the rest of the world, another U.S.-only application for the time being. But if you're Stateside and fancy a helping hand with your Christmas shopping, check out the promo video after the break, and hit up the download link below. 

Source: Google

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