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2 years ago

Barnes & Noble stores to be first Angry Birds 'magic place,' exclusive to the Nook Color

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If you happen to have a Nook Color and love Angry Birds, you're in for a treat.  Rovio and Barnes & Noble have teamed up and made B&N stores the very first "magic location" for the Angry Birds game.  All you have to do is play Angry Birds (the official Nook Color edition -- hackers with the Android Market version can't join the fun) while inside one of the 700 plus B&N stores and you'll unlock the Mighty Eagle character for free.  If you don't have a Nook Color, or aren't using the Nook Angry Birds app, you can still check it out and the Nook Color display at any B&N location.

It's part of Rovio's magic places based gameplay, which uses NFC, GPS, and Wifi location to unlock in-game content.  They have more planned, including an NFC phone fist-bump ritual that will unlock new levels.  To help understand it all a little better, check out the interview with Ramine Darabiha, product manager for Angry Birds Magic and the full press release after the break.

Source: BusinessWire; More: GigaOm

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2 years ago

Real Estate Pro ID pack launches on Sprint ID devices

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Real Estate is big business and having the right tools to get things done is not a luxury, it's a necessity. Sprint is looking to help out real estate professions with their latest Sprint ID pack -- Real Estate Pro. Specifically designed for real estate agents the Real Estate Pro ID pack includes everything you need to keep on track.

“The launch of the Real Estate Pro ID pack marks an important step in the evolution of Sprint ID for business,” said Paget Alves, President of the Business Markets Group (BMG) for Sprint. “As companies increasingly move to support a broader range of mobile devices and operating systems, Sprint ID will serve as a quick and easy way for our business customers to push updates and new applications to employee handsets running the Android OS.”

The pack includes many great applications designed for sales, enhanced communications and expense control and reduction services. For the full list, you can jump on past the break for the press release or check out the Sprint site via the link below.

Source: Sprint

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2 years ago

Shazam for Android update now offers music previews

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Shazam is now rolling out their latest update for Android users who are looking to get more social with their music. Shazam has labeled this one as a major update for Android users as it now includes the ability to preview songs of music you and your friends have tagged in the past as well as songs listed on Shazam’s tag chart and recommendations board.

In addition to the previews being added, Shazam has also updated the UI on the search results page. You'll now get bigger cover art and new location feature so that you'll know where exactly you tagged music. Full press release as well as the download link can be found after the break.

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2 years ago

Google goes social with Google+

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Android app gives full access, but it's currently in private beta

Google's just taken the wraps off Google+ -- its answer to Facebook, more or less. More, actually, we believe, though for all the details and video's Google's just dropped, we don't get much in the way of actual hands-on usage.

In an oversimplified nutshell, Google+ is a series of groups, called Circles; trending topics, called Sparks; group chat (including video), dubbed Hangouts; and mobile, which includes location-based services, instant upload of photos, and Huddle (more group chat).

So Google's gone social, and not a moment too soon, though it's currently in a closed beta.

As far as the Android app is concerned: You've got a "Stream" feature, which basically is like Facebook's wall. Photos is well, photos. Huddle is group messaging. Will it finally be group messaging done right?

So that's that. Check out Google's full explanation of Google+ at the source link below, and check out video of the mobile app after the break. Other than that, not a whole lot else to do until more of us get invited.

Source: Google Blog; More: Google+

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2 years ago

Android Quick App: X Construction

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X Construction is a titular, physics-based game focused around building a safe enough bridge for a train to pass over it without plunging to its doom. It's entertaining, challenging, and definitely tongue-in-cheek, which makes it definitely worth your time.

The object is straightforward: build construct a bridge stable enough to ferry your train across the chasm beneath it without your passengers falling to their demise. You'd think that's unnecessarily simple until you remember there's physics in the game, so if your bridge isn't structurally sound, it'll creak, lean, turn red, and break.

You're limited by how many girders you have, which requires a bit of forward-thinking on your part, but you're always appropriated a couple of pieces more than you need, so if you find yourself running out, you're doing it wrong. Fortunately, the little wrench button lets you erase ill-placed girders and return them to your count, so you've got as many tries as you need.

Constructing bridges is easy enough. Make sure you've got the girder icon selected, tap a point to place your girder, and drag to either make it longer or change it's angle. You'll want to keep them touching one another (indicated by a green circle where two points touch) as well as make sure you've got endpoints anchored to the white dots that speckle the levels. With that in mind, you now know how to play.

The folks who made this game obviously have a bit of a dark side, you'll notice, as whenever your train doesn't make it from Point A to Point B, the passengers all scream as they plummet to their doom, with not-so-realistic metallic, crunching noises accompanying them. It's kind of funny the first time, but totally caught me off guard. To add insult to injury, you get a nice big "Fail" message when you've done just that, to really drive the point home.

Completing a level isn't nearly as dramatic, but you do get points for how many pieces of girder you didn't use as well as how much stress your bridge was under over the course of the train ride. Plus, you unlock the next level, so that's always good.

A scant $1.43 nets you the full version, which is ad-free, has a "free build" mode, and is guaranteed "more levels and materials in future updates," says CrossConstruct. Perhaps a better motivation is the fact that save states between the free version and the paid version aren't compatible, so once you rock through the free one, you'll have to start all over again once you pony up the dough.

At any rate, this game is very fun, especially if you're into mind-benders and physics-based games. It's pretty cheap, so there's no real reason to not go for it, in my opinion. Twenty-one levels await your completion, so hop to it. The train's a-waiting.

Pictures and download links are after the break.

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2 years ago

Google and Taiwanese government at odds over Android Market refund window

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Google has suspended paid applications for users in Taiwan, as a result of a NT$1 million (US$345,500) fine for failing to offer Taiwanese consumers a seven-day free-trial.  While Google sticks to their strict 15 minute return window, the laws of Taiwan state that all goods purchased over the Internet come with a free trial period of at least seven days because consumers cannot feel or touch the goods before purchase.  Until recently, appstores were not specifically included under this law, because application purchasing in Taiwan is a very recent trend.  On June 4, the Taiwanese government gave both Google and Apple 15 days to comply with this law.  Apple complied, Google didn't.

But in the end, this will only be a temporary set-back, as Google is sending company officials to Taipei on Thursday to continue talks over the matter -- a move that may likely cost Google even more penalties.  Governments and giant corporations have money to burn, but most consumers do not -- so let's hope a working solution can be found soon.

Source: Taipei Times via: Android Police

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2 years ago

Auto Trader UK arrives in the Android Market

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If you've spent any time looking into purchasing a car in the past, then you know how tough of a situation it can be at times. Auto Trader -- the UK's largest motoring website has launched their Android application which; brings the best of their online services directly to your mobile device.

You can search for new and used cars, get detailed information and even contact sellers all directly through the application -- all these things combined, can help make the car buying experience easier and better for all. If you live in the UK and are in the market for a new ride, you can jump on past the break for the download link.

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2 years ago

Android Quick App: QuickPic

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If there's always been one stock app I've heard people gripe about, it's the gallery. QuickPic aims to be your total gallery replacement, eschewing some of the eye candy Android's gallery offers and giving you heaping bundles of functionality in its stead.

Instead of the slick, floating stack of pictures the normally gallery gives you, you're granted a static list. No cool effects, no changing angles as you move your phone, nothing. What you do get, however, is speed. The list loads near instantly (at least with my meager amount of albums). I mean, hey, the app is called QuickPic.

Something you lose from the stock gallery app is the ability to long press an entire album, and from there, move it, share it, delete it, etc. Long pressing on a gallery from the main menu only gives you the option to see a slideshow, hide the gallery, exclude it, delete it, or rename it. You also can see the exact location of the gallery from the main menu. It's not necessary at all, but it is helpful, especially if a lot of your different apps all save in different locations. (For me, that's ShootMe in one folder and everything else in DCIM.)

Once you actually select a gallery to look at, the quick in QuickPic becomes readily apparent. Pictures scroll without hesitation from a left or right swipe, and a double-tap gives you not one, but two levels of zoom. A third double tap brings you back to the original size. There's also pinch-to-zoom. That's nothing revolutionary, but it's included and it works.

Before you can do anything with your pictures (like share or rotate them en masse), you're going to either want to press the checkbox in the top-right corner of the screen, or press Menu > Multiselect. From there, you'll notice the stock Android checkboxes appear on each and every picture, allowing you to select them for editing.

Once a picture (or pictures) are selected, you can share them, copy them, move their location on your SD card, delete them, or rotate them. There's also a double check button that let's you select everything in an album instantly, so if you were planning to copy or move, that'll save you a bit of time (especially on a larger album).

Other than that, there's not much to talk about. QuickPic doesn't try to be something it's not, but for what it aims to be, it excels. If your preferred gallery experience is a fast, straight-to-business approach, QuickPic is the app for you. At the whopping price of free, it won't break the bank, and with nary an ad in sight, there's nothing to sully the experience that QuickPic offers.

Download links and more pictures are after the break.

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2 years ago

Samurai II: Vengeance now available for non-Tegra devices as well

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Were you one of the many who got extremely excited when Samurai II: Vengeance THD was released, only to be immediately disappointed to find out it was only supported on Tegra devices? Today is your lucky day, as Samurai II: Vengeance has been released and will now support game play on all other devices, and is even optimized for the Sony Xperia Play. If you are looking for a game with high quality graphics, smooth game play, and hours of fun on your Android device, Samurai II: Vengeance may be the best $2.86 you can spend today. Download information and video after the break.

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2 years ago

Android Central Editors' app picks for June 25, 2011

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Apps are fun. They are what keep our devices in our hands far longer then they should be, and allow us to do lots of different things while on the go. Unfortunately finding the perfect app is not always easy, but that's where we step in and help you all out. So, let's hit the break and take a look at some of our favorites from this week.

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