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4 years ago

Google Play Books updated for Froyo and Gingerbread with new UI and 3D page-turn animations

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Seems like today is a good day for updates. Google has now rolled out the latest version of Google Play Books to the Google Play Store and as noted in the change log, this will be a good release for anyone still using Froyo or Gingerbread as it adds a new UI and 3D page animation. Other changes in this update include In-book search when off-line, ability to add a home screen shortcut for a single book and now the screen will stay lit when using text-to-speech. The update is live now; you can jump past the break for the download.

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4 years ago

Gmail app update brings ICS features to Honeycomb

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Google has updated the official Gmail app for Android today, with assorted changes for Android phones and tablets running Froyo, Gingerbread and Honeycomb. The most significant changes are for Android 3.2 tablets -- Honeycomb now gets access to a few handy features which until now have been reserved for ICS. These include swiping between messages, and a shortcut in the top left corner for selecting recent labels. Honeycombers also the ability to customize the way Gmail notifies you about mail with different labels.

Google hasn't forgotten that the majority of Android phones are still on Gingerbread or Froyo, however, and for them, this update will deliver performance improvements and a new labels API for  third-party app developers.

Hit that Google Play Store link and head to "My Apps" to grab your update.

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4 years ago

SwiftKey 3 beta starts to make the spacebar obsolete

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SwiftKey -- the Android Central 2011 keyboard of the year -- has declared war on the spacebar. Never mind that its April Fool's joke actually was to introduce the world's longest spacebar. The latest update to SwiftKey -- dubbed SwiftKey 3 -- introduces, among other features, Smart Space.  

Traditionally, Android keyboards use the spacebar as a means to select a suggested word. Or, perhaps, to put a space in a sentence. Or to insert a period at the end of a sentence. Smart Space takes advantage of SwiftKey's Fluency prediction engine and goes a step further than any other keyboard we've used. You no longer have to put spaces between words when typing. (It does still do the traditional space and punctuation thing, though.) 

OK, so that's nottosayyouwantotypelikethisforanextendedperiodoftime. But for small groups of words, SwiftKey 3 can take something like "jerryistheneckbeardking" and turn it into "Jerry is the neckbeard king," all without you having to do anything but type the letters. We've been using SwiftKey 3 for several weeks now, and the results really are remarkable. 

Other additions in SwiftKey 3 are two new themes. There's "Cobalt," which matches SwiftKey's redesign, and "Holo," which was voted on by its VIP community. And we're only half-joking about getting rid of the spacebar. It's actually been made a little bigger in this release. Punctuation has been moved around, too, with the comma, period, question mark and exclamation point all sharing a key. (Some of us aren't too thrilled with that move.) Seven more languages have been added -- Korean, Estonia, Farsi, Icelandic, Latvian, Lithuanian and Serbian -- for a total of 42.

You've really got to try this one out to believe it. One slight catch here -- SwiftKey 3's still in beta, and you can only get it through their VIP community. So hit the link below and give it a shot. It's available for tablets and smartphones. Demo video's after the break.

Download: SwiftKey VIP community

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4 years ago

Late-night poll: How do you use a stylus?

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Call it a stylus, call it an S-Pen, call it what you will -- styli are making a comeback. They used to be standard issue with a smartphone, until a fellow in a black turtleneck who had a huge influence on technology said we didn't like them anymore. But that was then, this is now. Styli are coming back because they're useful in a lot of cases. Whether it's annotating notes, just cruising through the UI, or playing Draw Something, you'll see more and more people using one with their smartphone.

So what about you guys? We figure you all have your finger on the pulse of all things Android, so we want to know what, when, and how you use a stylus. Hit the poll up, let us know!

How do you use a stylus with your Android?

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4 years ago

Instagram app has smartphone users divided, show your support for #TeamAndroid

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So it seems that iOS users on Twitter are in a bit of an uproar, and this time it's because Instagram has made it's way to Android. Yes, it's as silly as it sounds, and no, we're not making this up. There's a clear divide, with iOS users showing support for #TeamiPhone, and Android users pledging allegiance to #TeamAndroid. It's a bit comical seeing how upset some users are, all over an app that makes bad pictures and shares them with your friends. We're not knocking the app, as it pretty much works as intended (some folks want to share bad pictures -- go figure), it's just the way the Internetz-at-large is acting that's a bit silly.

We're not going to fight -- we know #TeamAndroid is the shiz. We know that you know #TeamAndroid is the shiz. But if you want to join in the fun and debate a little, here's a picture that should get folks riled up show your support. Use it well, use it often. #TeamAndroid FTW!

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4 years ago

Instagram updated, addresses incompatibility with some cameras

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Hours after today's launch on Android, the Instagram developers have released a quick patch to address compatibility issues with certain cameras. Instagram for Android version 1.0.1 is now available on the Google Play Store, though if you were experiencing problems taking photos before, this update won't necessarily set everything straight. Our HTC One X is still unable to partake in any hipster-filtered fun, though at least the new version displays a friendly error message rather than crashing out, as it did before.

We're going to assume that there are fixes for at least some devices in this updated version, though. So if you were having problems with Instagram for Android earlier today, be sure to try the new version and let us know how you get on.

We've got the usual handy Google Play linkage after the break. And if you want to follow the AC team on Instagram, the easiest way is to find and follow us on Twitter and use the built-in contact search feature.

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4 years ago

RIM launches BlackBerry Mobile Fusion, Android client now available

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Research In Motion has had a rough go the past little while but they're looking to get things moving in the right direction once again and one of the tools they're deploying to help get them there is something called BlackBerry Mobile Fusion.

With BlackBerry Mobile Fusion being a mobile device management suite, those making use of BlackBerry Enterprise Servers will be able to control all devices connected to their network including those running Android and iOS with some of the following features available:

  • Support for multiple devices per user
  • Application and software management
  • Connectivity management (Wi-Fi®, VPN, certificates)
  • Centralized, easy to use, unified web-based console
  • Security and policy definition and management
  • Asset management
  • Configuration management
  • Security and protection for lost or stolen devices (remote lock, wipe)
  • User- and group-based administration
  • High scalability

In order to make use of the services, IT Admins will need to deploy the Android client that is currently available in the Google Play Store for download. If you're interested in learning more about RIM's offering for Android, you can jump past the break for the full press release as well as a link to the mobile client needed.

Source: CrackBerry

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4 years ago

Instagram for Android now live in the Google Play Store

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We've known for quite some time it was coming but the folks from Instagram never said when, exactly. Now, without any pre-warning Instagram for Android has turned up in the Google Play Store and is available for download, though -- we'd remiss if we didn't mention it does have a few things missing.

Features
:


  • 100% free custom designed filters and borders
  • Lux works its magic by making your photos more vibrant and brings out details in your photos you couldn't see before
  • Instant sharing to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Foursquare (Flickr coming very soon)
  • Interact with friends through giving & receiving likes and comments
  • Works with Android versions 2.2 and above that support OpenGL ES 2
  • Full front & back camera support

We'll get up close and personal with it here in a bit but in the meantime, you can jump past the break for the download link. Regarding the missing items, it looks as though  tilt shift and circle blur are unavailable.

More: Why you want Instagram on Android

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4 years ago

Path update to v2.1.1 brings promised security enhancements to keep personal data secure

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The latest update to Path for Android update has now hit the Google Play Store, and this release will be of interest to those who previously had concerns over Path not properly securing personal data. As noted on the Path blog:

We take privacy and security seriously, and we believe your data deserves to be well-protected. That’s why, with the release of Path 2.1.1, we are enhancing our security by hashing user contact data so that it is anonymized. This means last names, phone numbers, email addresses, Twitter handles and Facebook IDs. We collect this data to connect you with those who are closest to you.

We hope our actions set a new standard in this field as we strive to serve you, our users, first. Thank you for your trust, and thank you for using Path.

With the privacy matters in the app now cleared up, the change log does also not various other bg fixes as well. That said; there was no mention of the multiple notification issue being fixed that some folks have been experiencing for the past little while now. Give it a go, the download link is beyond the break for you all and if you've had the notification bug before -- let us know in the comments if it is now fixed for ya.

Source: Path

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4 years ago

Google acquires TxVia to accelerate innovation of Google Wallet

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George Costanza may have moved all-in to Google Wallet, but for many the service isn't quite ready yet. Google aims to change that, and today they announced that they've acquired TxVia, a global payments technology company. TxVia isn't likely a name you know, but chances are you've either seen or used their services. They support over 100 million accounts, and partner with many pre-paid card companies, rewards card vendors, and ATM network systems. The next time you see that big rack of various cards at the convenience store or grocery store, know that a good many of them use TxVia's PaaS (Platform as a Service) technology to process the funds on them.

This is a pretty big score for Google, and shows us that they are serious about progressing Google Wallet services. The possibilities are huge, and include the oft-wished for Google Play Store gift cards. Google or TxVia have announced no future plans as of yet, but we imagine they are coming. We'll be on the lookout for more news, and let you know first thing when it breaks.

Source: Google Commerce; TxVia

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4 years ago

HTC One X shows us why developers need to lose the menu button

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By now you've read and watched our HTC One X review, and know all about HTC's decision to use capacitive buttons instead of on-screen buttons. As a fan of "real" buttons, I'm glad to see it, though many aren't. That's neither here nor there. The decision was made, and HTC has delivered what may be its best smartphone to date with three capacitive buttons.

And some applications are a mess on it.

The Android development team has already chimed in and said that developers need to abandon the legacy menu button in favor of new controls on the action bar. Some have done so, but as you can see in the image above, some have not. The three-dot menu symbol just hanging there all by its lonesome just looks bad, but is needed because the Facebook app hasn't been updated to use buttons and controls in the action bar. When the Galaxy Nexus came out and used on-screen buttons, this wasn't that big of a deal. Other than the three dots being in a different place on different apps (as mentioned, some have been updated and use the action bar), it didn't disrupt the way apps looked on the screen too awful much. HTC's use of capacitive buttons changes that, and not in a good way. On the other hand, developers aren't giving HTC much of a choice.

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4 years ago

Motorola brings a huge update to the MotoACTV and releasing an application for handsets

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If you own a Motorola MotoACTV and have been wishing that you could pair it to your phone to receive notifications and more, your time has come. Motorola is releasing a large update for the MotoACTV in addition to releasing an application for devices running 2.1 and above. The update and application are due to hit at some point today, and will bring tons of features including 

  • Plan workouts on your phone, launch them from your MOTOACTV and see your workout data back on your phone
  • Track progress of your personal fitness goals on your phone
  • Use your Android smartphone to set up Wi-Fi networks for your MOTOACTV

And you still get the same great Bluetooth® enabled functionality between your MOTOACTV and Android smartphone such as:

  • Receive notifications of incoming calls and answer calls
  • Redial calls from the MOTOACTV notifications list
  • Receive text messages
  • Receive reminders about events from your Android smartphone calendar
  • Sync fitness data from your MOTOACTV to MOTOACTV.com

Be sure to check out the update, and hit the break for download links for the MotoACTV application.

Source: Motorola; Thanks, Chris!

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4 years ago

Sense 4 screenshot gallery

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A ridiculously large number of screen shots from Sense 4. Be sure to read our complete Sense 4 walkthrough.

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4 years ago

HTC Sense 4: The definitive guide

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$jump = Jump to a sectionBack to the topSetting up Sense 4Sense 4 Privacy PolicyPhone SecurityWifi and Mobile SettingsPersonalize Sense 4Home ScreensNotification BarThe New App DrawerAdding Apps and Widgets in Sense 4Home Screen FoldersSense 4 Menus and ButtonsThe Sense 4 Lock ScreenE-mailWeb Browser and Adobe FlashMusic and Beats AudioSense 4 Car DockSense 4 Phone and ContactsContacts (aka People)Sense 4 WeatherOther Sense 4 apps of noteDeveloper optionsConnecting to a Computer EOT; ?>

Looking for some HTC Sense 4 help? You've come to the right place​

Welcome to HTC Sense 4, the latest version of HTC's custom user interface. Sense started back in the day as a way to make Windows Mobile actually usable, and from there it made the leap to Android on the venerable HTC Hero. Sense is mainly known as a pretty heavy reworking of the way Android looks, but then it's always been more than just a reskinning of the launcher. Large, colorful, well-designed widgets are the norm — the flip clock is Sense's signature piece — menus are made more attractive, and various apps and services are baked into HTC's software from the ground up.

Sense has never been just about making Android look​ better. Sense has always been about making the entire mobile experience better.

And that brings us to Sense 4, announced in February 2012 at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. This latest version of Sense actually is a step backward (or forward, depending on who you ask) in that HTC has ditched the completely custom launcher, instead going with a more traditional (and customizable) scheme, more akin to what's in stock Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. Some features native to ICS have been allowed to shine through, and others have been enhanced. And many of the customizations we've come to know and love in previous versions remain.

Welcome to our Sense 4 walkthrough, your definitive source for what to expect from the current generation of HTC phones. Hit the links below to jump to a specific section, or read straight through. We've got you covered.

Setting up Sense 4 | Privacy Policy | Phone Security | Wifi and Mobile Settings |
Personalize | Home ScreensNotification Bar | The New App Drawer |
Adding Apps and WidgetsHome Screen Folders | Menus and Buttons | Search |
The Lock Screen | E-mailWeb Browser and Adobe Flash | Music and Beats Audio |
Camera | GalleryCar Dock | Phone | Contacts | MultitaskingCalendarWeather |
Other Apps of NoteDeveloper optionsConnecting to a Computer

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4 years ago

Android Central Forums app now available from the Amazon Appstore

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Just a quick heads up that the Android Central Forums app is now available in the Amazon Appstore, for those of you who roll like that. It's all the same incredible forums content you get right here on the site, packaged in a handy free application. If you're rocking a Kindle Fire, it works just fine on that bad boy, too. 

Thousands have already downloaded the Android Central Forums app. What are you waiting for?

Download from: Amazon | Google Play

 

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