4 years ago

World of Goo coming to Android as GooDroid!


If you've never heard of the World of Goo, we have a feeling that will be changing soon. The folks behind the World of Goo, 2D Boy -- have announced they will be bringing their physics-based puzzle game to the Android platform.

Similar to Angry Birds gameplay, the obeject is to move goo around from pipe-to-pipe in an effort to get it where it needs to go. You'll be facing plenty of structures in your way though such as hills, spikes, and cliffs and you have to maintain as much goo as possible.

No pricing or launch date was announced for the game but 2D Boy states they are currently working on some of the machinery for GooDroid, as it will be called when released so with that in mind -- we're guessing launch cannot be that far off.

Source: 2D Boy

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4 years ago

Android 101: How to share apps via the Android Market


When you find a great app in the Android Market, it's only natural to want to go ahead and share it with others. Luckily, the Android Market makes that a fairly easy process when combined with Androids built-in sharing options. The process:

  • Find the app you want to share in the Android Market
  • Tap on the share button, as denoted by the blue arrow in the image
  • Select to where and how you wish to share which, can be pretty much anything

There you have it, that's it. An easy and simple process for sharing apps with others directly from the Android Market. Keep in mind, sharing apps doesn't mean if you buy it and share it will be free for people you share with -- it's more suggesting and app to another user.

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4 years ago

The Amazon Kindle Fire won't have the Android Market - that bother you?


KMLProxy in our forums brings up a good point, if you're looking at purchasing an Amazon Kindle Fire. You won't be able to easily transfer apps that you purchase in the Android Market to the Kindle Fire. That is, you won't be able to redownload them directly, because the Kindle Fire won't have the Android Market.

That's not an insurmountable problem -- we've talked about how to pull the apps off your phone before, and you should be able to sideload them back onto the Kindle Fire. But you do see what we're getting at here, right?

Will the absence of the Android Market sway your decision to purchase a Kindle Fire? Let's hear it.

More: Preorder the Amazon Kindle Fire; Amazon Kindle Fire forums

Does the lack of the Android Market make the Kindle Fire worry you?

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4 years ago

Android Theme Review: JAMT - White Gradient


Continuing our journey into the world of CyanogenMod themes, I present to you JAMT - White Gradient. A lighter colored theme, this is for the folks who want something brighter and more eye-catching on their phones.

The most striking feature of JAMT - White Gradient is the notification status bar. It's completely rebranded the same bright silver color that is seen throughout the entire theme, and makes all the text and icons grey. It's the first thing that really caught my eye, and if you're used to seeing typical Android phone homescreens, it really sticks out.

The icons are also different on the notification bar, namely wifi and the Gmail icon. Sliders (volume, timers for Drocap, anything) are also a nice silverish grey color. Toast notifications have a completely black background with sharp corners instead of rounded edges.

The developers says there are a whole slew of icons that're themed, but the only one that shows up on my phone is Drocap. I'm not sure if that's a limitation of the theme or if it's because my phone is running an alpha of CM7, but be aware.

The dialer is also nice and bright, in stark contrast to the typically dark dialer seen on most AOSP devices. It's actually pretty cool looking, and if I end up going the silver/white route, that'll probably be a reason I settle on this theme.

There's both a free version and a donate version ($1.00) in the Market, so you can definitely try before you buy. If JAMT - White Gradient looks like something up your alley, we've got more pictures and download links after the break.

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4 years ago

Adobe releases AIR 3 for Android, grab it in the Market


Abode Flash Player wasn't the only thing to get an update tonight -- Adobe AIR has also been updated to version 3, and it's again full of performance enhancements and improvements.  ActionScript developers will appreciate support for native extensions, and users will love front facing camera support (we want a Zombie Booth AIR version please!).  There's also support for speaker control and more color depth, as well as better file compression support and more secure streaming to keep Hollywood and the record labels happy.  AIR is deeply integrated into Stage 3D, and the games should be incredible once the new features are finished rolling out.  Get your update from the Market, or hit the install link after the break.

More: Adobe

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4 years ago

'Is my son gay?' app is gone from the Android Market, was apparently commissioned by author of an upcoming book


We got dragged into this one, so we might as well wrap it up, eh?

SBS TV in Australia just let us know that the "Is my son gay?" app apparently has been removed from the Android Market. If you'll recall, that's the app that asks such not-so-poignant questions as "Is his best friend a girl?", "Has he ever been in a fight" and "Does he like team sports?" It's also the app that sparked a Twitter campaign calling for Google -- and Android Central -- to remove the application from the Android Market. On Sept. 27, AllOut.org (@allout) tweeted the following:

Demand that @Google & @AndroidCentral dump homophobic "Is My Son #Gay?" app NOW, no excuses! #LGBT

Suffice it to say, that was retweeted. A lot. We lost track of how many times over the past week, though it finally trickled off, as these things tend to do. (Though not before we ended up having a short back-and-forth with none other than @BoyGeorge. That's something we never thought we'd see.)

While we certainly appreciate (and believe it or not are quite humbled by) our standing as the biggest and best Android community on the web, we're not Google. We do not have the power to remove (or approve, for that matter) applications for the Android Market. That's Google. We're not Google. We're not Android. We're the leading source for news, reviews, and opinions about Android. And as such, we suggeted more effective ways for letting Google you found the app was offensive, such as flagging it as inappropriate in the Market. We're willing to bet more than a few of you did so.

Anyhoo, back to the "Is my son Gay?" app. Turns out there was a little more to the story than we knew. According to a story by the SBS reporter who contacted us, the app actually was commissioned by a Frenchman who, in addition to being gay himself, is releasing a book by the same name, and that the app was "developed 'with a fun approach.' "

We're not French. And, speaking in the pluralis maiestatis here, we're not gay. So maybe we all missed something in the translation. And we certainly welcome the debate over what kind of apps should be excluded from the Android Market -- or if any should be excluted. It's a great debate, and one that needs to be rekindled from time to time. (And one that we at Android Central don't all agree on.) But, ultimately it's up to Google to approve or remove apps from the Android Market. Not us.

So the app's been removed. It's gone, and in the great scheme of things, we're pretty safe in wrapping up this saga thusly:

It won't be missed.

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4 years ago

Official Hotmail app now available in the Android Market


Microsoft has released its official Hotmail app for Android, available now (finally!) in the Android Market. For the Hotmail faithful, the native Android experience has been far from perfect, so an optimized app is welcome and overdue news. You'll get push email, synced contacts and calendar, folder support, and even the ability to sync multiple Hotmail accounts. Grab the app for free after the break.

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4 years ago

Chromium web browser gets files that support a build for Android


Chromium, the open-source version of Google's Chrome web browser, got an interesting bit of code checked in a few days ago -- files and scripts that support a build for Android.  While normally we wouldn't get too excited seeing an upstream check-in about Android in an open-source project, this time the submission is from a Google employee.  Google took extra time to let everyone at Google I/O 2011 know that Android and Chrome were two separate entities, and everyone got the impression that the two would never meet.  We sure did, and discussed it ourselves over a beer or two.

Of course, things change -- maybe Google has decided that a merger of the Android browser code and the Chrome browser code would benefit everyone, and the open-source version would be the best place to do it.  Or maybe these are just files for the DIY'ers out there to build their own version of Chromium for Android.  Either way, the full Chrome browser on my Galaxy Tab is something I've been wanting.  Maybe, just maybe, this is the first step.

Source: Chromium via Conceivably Tech

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4 years ago

Google Apps have a new download location -- GetJar?


They say seeing is believing, but I'm still not sure what to make of this one.  Google's closed applications -- the ones they keep a tight rein on and not allow just anybody to use -- apparently are available through the third-party market GetJar.  Not just Gmail that you see pictured above, but Google TV remote, Maps, Search, Books -- they're all there.  We're assuming that this is legitimate and not a mistake (GetJar is a reputable site), but we're baffled at how this came to be -- especially since Google's apps also need additions to the Android system framework to actually run.  I can tell you that they work (I tested with Google Music and YouTube -- can't afford to wipe out my Gmail app just yet), but I can't tell you why.  Hit the link and give it a try yourself.

Source: GetJar

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4 years ago

Adobe's Touch Apps sure look sweet


Adobe's cracking through its first-day Adobe Max keynote today. And while we were teased with the Photoshop Touch SDK in the spring, we're now getting down to brass tacks. The promo video above gives you an idea of what's going on. And while things are always ideally edited in promo videos, you get a sense of what's in store. We're talking full digital content creation on Android (and iOS) devices. And as we type this, we're watching a Photoshop Touch demo being done not on an iPad, but on Honeycomb. Android, folks.

Exciting times, indeed.

Source: Adobe; More Watch the keynote live

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4 years ago

Android App Review: Smartr Contacts Beta


Sometimes your contact list just gets large. It happened to me and I'm still not quite sure how. You get an email here, exchange some business cards, and boom, before you know it, your contact list is overflowing with people. If you're struggling to keep track of all your contacts and are interested in how you stay in touch with them, Xobni's new Smartr Contacts is the app for you.

Upon opening Smartr Contacts, you're asked to either log in or sign up. Once you've done that, you can move to the account linking process. Essentially, Smartr Contacts pulls contact and calendar information from your Google account, sorts everyone, adds a picture to their profile, and tries to make sense of why you've contacted them in the first place.

You can also log in to social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to see more detailed information about your contacts. Otherwise, you're limited to three of the four tabs available whenever you choose a contact.

The details tab will show you all of the different contact methods you have with a particular contact. If you only have their email, that's all you see. If you've got their email and a few phone numbersthat's what you'll see. Details is basically the standard contact information.

History is perhaps the most interesting of the four, showing you how many times you contacted this person, when your initial contact was, and what the subject was. Additionally, a list of emails, calls, and text messages details your timeline with this person, starting with most recent.

The common tab shows you what people you've got in common. If you email a colleague often and this colleague works with other people you know, they'll show up here. Otherwise, it'll either be empty or have you (if you keep yourself in your address book).

If you slide the screen once to the right you'll see your Google Calendar events. Smartr Contacts will put a profile picture (of your contact) on any event you're going to that another one of your contacts is going to. It's kind of cool, if you don't mind going into this app to see your calendar.

Smartr Contacts can also show you who your top contacts are, in case you didn't already have some idea. You can see top 10, 40, 100, or 200+ and email, call, or text anyone straight from this menu.

Smartr Contacts Beta is free in the Android Market, so if you're itching to know more about your contacts than you ever wish you had, we've got download links and more pictures after the break.

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4 years ago

Android App Review: BIG Launcher


We have seen tons of replacement launchers surface, many of them bringing plenty of cool features, and added customization, but BIG Launcher is unlike any we have seen. BIG Launcher is geared toward users who may have a bit of trouble seeing the screen, finding the icon they are looking for, or accurately tapping the right places.

The launcher offers you a home screen which contains six large icons in addition to the time and date. From the home screen you can easily access the phone, messages, camera, gallery, SOS, or the app drawer.

The application drawer is in list form with large text, and decent sized icons, making it easy to find what you are looking for. Every aspect of the launcher is created to cater to those who have difficulty seeing, and you can tell this by the large font and the colorful icons making it easy to tell exactly what it is.

No longer do you have to struggle searching for things, and squinting your eyes to try to read what you are doing, instead simply download this launcher and make things easier for yourself! For only $1.35 in the market you can take your new confusing Android device, and simplify the experience for yourself. Hit the break for more images and download links.

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4 years ago

BBQ texting contest sees unofficial new record using Swiftkey X


Speed texting has a new champion, and it all went down at the Big Android BBQ in Austin, TX this past weekend. 

The keyboard app used in the contest was Swiftkey X and with it the winner, Rachael Loncar, smashed the current world record of 35.54 second with her time of 10.7 seconds! 

The contestants were chosen by typing the phrase "The little green Android jumped over the lazy Apple" on day one.

The fastest 10 went on to attempt the official Guinness World Record phrase of; “The razor-toothed piranhas of the genera Serrasalmus and Pygocentrus are the most ferocious freshwater fish in the world. In reality they seldom attack a human.”

The previous record was set using Swype, but the Swiftkey X prediction feature proved to be king, and with it won Rachael her very own Galaxy Tab 10.1.

If you haven't tried Swiftkey X yet, check out the download link below to the free trial version which gives you a month's free use.

via Swiftkey

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4 years ago

HTC collecting data in U.S. phones with HTC Sense, storing it in a very sloppy way


(And it doesn't mean the sky is falling)

Update (Oct. 4): HTC says a fix is on the way. Original follows.

Another week, another bit of scary news that nobody is taking the time to properly explain.  This time it's more HTC data logging, and the way HTC is handling the data it collects.  Exposed in technical detail by Android Police, you'll see this spread all over the Internet for the next few days, so let's try to break down what is happening in simple terms we all can understand.

What's going on

When you first log in and set up your HTC Sense phone (so far this is only showing up on newer U.S. phones with HTC Sense), you're asked if HTC can collect and send data back home about your usage.  If you say "yes," it collects data about apps you're using, where and how your using them, and for how long -- then sends it back to the HTC mothership.  HTC has some use for this -- we figure it's to help see how to improve the next versions of HTC Sense.  That's not a bad thing.  If you opt-out, none of the data is sent back to HTC -- but that doesn't mean it's not still collected. 

Here's where it gets sticky.  HTC is collecting and logging data that lots of other apps also can collect, and we like it when they collect it.  Apps like alogcat (useful when everyone is looking for that OTA update link) or Sensorly collect device and network data.  But when you install those apps, you're told up front they are collecting potentially sensitive data.  HTC doesn't need to declare permissions to do this, because it's your operating system that's doing it, and not "just an app."  This data is then stored on your phone in a manner that other apps can get to it instead of being properly sandboxed.  We're not going to say where it's stored, or how to collect it (we don't promote that type of thing here) but the information is out there, ready for anyone else to use, and it's easy enough to get at. You just need to know where to look.  Some disruptive individual could write an app that mines this data, and sends back information to another server.  And after todays news, someone probably will.

What's being collected, and why the sky isn't falling for everyone

The next question you'll ask is "What kind of data is HTC collecting?"  It's not collecting passwords.  It's not collecting the text of any SMS message or IM you're sending.  What it is collecting is data that is unique to your phone (IMEI and device ID), your account names, geo-location, and phone numbers from your call logs.  If you're technically inclined, run a logcat locally to get an idea of the type of data that's available -- this is the kind of information HTC is storing.  How sensitive you consider this type of data can to be is something for each of us to decide.  Nobody can steal your bank password here, but they can know where you were the last time you used your GPS, and identify the device that did it.

So how to fix it?  Well, you can't if you're not rooted.  This is all part of your phone's operating system, but it is part that can easily be removed if you have the right permissions to remove it.  Head into the forums and look for the threads that are already there about it, or start a new one if you don't see one.  The advisers and senior members will be happy to guide you along if you want to take matters into your own hands.  If you're not feeling the whole root thing, just be careful what apps you install until HTC fixes the issue.  We hope that's soon.

The short, short version

HTC is collecting usage and system logs locally, as in on your phone.  It's stored in a way so that other apps can possibly access it and no longer have to collect it from the system in the normal way, properly declaring that it's doing so in the process.

Is this the end of the world?  Probably not.  And we're willing to bet this isn't a malicious act on HTC's part. But it certainly does raise a few eyebrows.

And it's something HTC needs to fix, and soon.

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4 years ago

Android Theme Review: JAMT - Flat Black


I'm a big fan of themes, especially ones that use the CM7 Theme Chooser. In my search for some nice, monochromatic themes, I've stumbled upon one called JAMT - Flat Black.

JAMT Black is more of a notification bar and volume slider theme than anything else. None of the icons get themed, but sliders are now rendered a nice, monochromed grey.

In addition, the notification bar gets a few new notification icons (the most prominent of which is the Gmail icon). The wifi icon is also transformed into this strange, curvy-looking set of bars as opposed to the straight, vertical lines we're probably accustomed to, but outside of that, the biggest change would be the icons on the notification widget.

There's also a bit of theming on the toast notifications, changing their background to pure black and with sharp corners instead of rounded edges. It's another nifty piece of eye candy, especially if you like the hard edges of the Droid line.

Best of all, this theme is completely free in the Market with a donate version for $1.00. If you like what you see, we've got more pictures download links after the break.

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