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2 years ago

Google Books finally lands in the UK

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Until now, only our friends across the pond have been able to purchase content from Google Books. That changes today as the service finally arrives in the UK.

The usual plethora of free public domain ebooks are available, as well as as content from some of the largest publishing houses in the UK. 

As with the U.S. version of the service, it's designed to be open with your content available to read on the web reader, Apple devices, e-readers from the likes of Sony and Kobo, and of course your Android devices. With the books stored remotely in the cloud, you can change device and pick up where you left off, much like Amazon's Whispersync. 

Google also claims to have been working with independent retailers, to allow the sale of Google Books through other bookstores in the UK. 

Check out the links below for more about Google Books in the UK, and to download the Google Books app. 

Source: Google

More: Google Books in the UK, Google Books Web Reader

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2 years ago

Android Theme Review: Tangerine

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My love affair with theming my CM7 install has taken a turn for the orange, or tangerine, in this case. MellowYellow served me well, but something about orange has just been piquing my interest as of late, so I sped off into the Android Market, looking for something that would suffice. After some unfocused digital sleuthing, I finally came across this excellent theme by Sonny Sekhon: Tangerine.

Tangerine takes all of the status bar icons and turns them orange. It also puts the battery percentage inside the battery icon by default, so if you're running the option where you have the percentage next to a vertical bar, you can go ahead and disable that.

The pulldown notification bar has also been themed, with unique icons taking the place of the standard widget button icons. The pulldown bar itself is transparent with an orange arrow at the bottom. To top it off, all your actual notifications are on a metallic silver background.

The dialer is pretty stock, with just a hint of transparency to it. There's also some nice icon theming that takes place, like most of the stock Google apps, for starters. Messaging has been rendered completely orange, for one, and Gmail's iconic "M" follows suit nicely.

Where Tangerine really pulls ahead in terms of theming is its detail in regards to things like buttons, check boxes, highlighting fields, and toast notifications. I know those all sound like really minor things and they kind of are (how many toast notifications do you get in a day, really?), but when you look at the sum of the parts, you'll come to realize just how much orange is peppered throughout this theme.

Overall, Tangerine is awesome. It only costs a dollar and has totally transformed my look from the yellow idea I had previously. It's fresh and very cool and definitely adds a bit of kick to your phone in a color most people wouldn't expect to see.

We've got download links and more pictures after the break.

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2 years ago

Amazon working on in-app purchasing for the Kindle Fire

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Amazon's had quite the learning curve over the past 10 months, first with the Amazon Appstore (remember when AT&T phones couldn't use it?), and now it's taking another giant leap forward with the Kindle Fire tablet. We already know it won't have the Android Market on board. That makes sense. But what about in-app purchases? That's one of the more important features Google rolled out this year.

Never fear, as Amazon's working on it and indeed is planning on allowing in-app purchases. With the "Amazon Appstore for Android In-App Purchasing Beta Request Form," developers can sign up for the in-app purchasing beta SDK. It's invite-only, for now, and you have to answer a few questions, including:

  • Name and e-mail (natch), plus a company name.
  • Whether you're a current member of the Amazon Appstore Developer Program. And if so, how many apps you've submitted.
  • Whether you've used Google Checkout, PayPal, iOS or some other form of in-app billing.
  • The current number of apps you have that include in-app billing.
  • The kinds of in-app content you currently offer.
  • What kinds of apps you develop.
  • What kinds of devices you offer. (Interestingly, there are three choices -- handsets, tablets and Kindle Fire. That shows how Amazon's treating its product, no?)

Point is this: We're pretty sure Amazon has Google's attention now with the Kindle Fire. (Not that it didn't before, but still.) And it really presents an interesting conundrum. On one had, Amazon's doing exactly what Google wants to be done with Android -- using it as an embedded OS. On the other hand, it's quite the end run around the established Android ecosystem. And maybe that's just the -- ahem -- fire Google needs to have lit under it.

Source: Amazon; More: Kindle Fire Forums

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2 years ago

Google Books update brings 'better support' to 7-inch tablets

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An update for Google Books, Google's own e-reader Android app, is live and ready to download in the Android Market. You can now +1 a book while you're reading, as well as perform an in-book search. On your phone, you can now use Books in landscape mode "for flowing text," and on your 7-inch tablet, you'll notice better support for your screen size. Hit the link after the break to grab the free update.

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2 years ago

Facebook app gets some bugfixes

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Android's Facebook app just got an update for what the social network's calling "a whole slew of fixes." It's not saying what was fixed, but any bugfix update is a good one, we reckon. Download links are after the break.

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2 years ago

Challenge your friends to a battle of the words with Fightin' Words

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Sure, the long awaited Scrabble and Words with Friends games have long been available on Android, but that doesn't mean that other Scrabble clones don't exist, or offer functionality that they don't. Say you have a friend who is on a BlackBerry device, and you want to play with them, unfortunately you can't since there is no app on BB, but the folks at Interworks Inc decided that didn't work for them. Fightin' Words is a great Scrabble style game that allows you to play verse other friends on Android or BlackBerry devices, and even better is that it is a free download from the market. So, head into the market and grab your own copy today, or hit the break for download links.

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2 years ago

Google Shopper gets updated; +1 and save your favorite products

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Google has released yet another update to Google Shopper today that brings some of their newest features to the application, bringing added functionality for all. This update brings quite a few warmly welcomed features, such as:

  • +1 your favorite products
  • Save products to your shopping list and continue researching on Google Product Search
  • Discover nearby offers for spas and salons in the new "pamper" category
  • Receive notifications for Google Offers
  • Bug fixes

Head into the Android market and grab your update, or hit the break for download links.

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2 years ago

PrivacyStar Porsche wins 2011 GT Drivers’ Championship, now you can win some free PrivacyStar licenses

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The folks from PrivacyStar are celebrating a bit after their sponsored Porsche 911 GT3 driven by Patrick Long won the 2011 GT Drivers Championship in the Pirelli World Challenge at Road Atlanta in Braselton, Georgia.

If you're not familiar with PrivacyStar, they offer a complete solution for call blocking, text blocking, call lookup and even caller ID on Android devices. The app offers a free 7-day trial in the Android Market but not wanting to leave anyone out of their celebrations, they've offered up some free PrivacyStar licenses to Android Central readers.

If you're looking to win one of the four licenses available just drop a comment in the Android Central forums and we'll pick some winners for Monday, until then -- you can jump on past the break for the full press release as well as a link to the 7-day free trial of PrivacyStar.

Leave a comment in the Android Central Forums

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2 years ago

Light Grid live wallpaper adds some Halloween fun to your Android device

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We have seen Light Grid live wallpaper for Android before, and personally it is one of my favorite wallpapers to use. Keeping up with their holiday spirit they have added a nice set of Halloween icons to be used so you can spruce up your device with some ghosts and skulls. What better time than now to get your device all Halloween'd up? Download links are after the break.

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2 years ago

Android App Review: Tuner - DaTuner Pro

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For anyone who has ever been involved in playing a musical instrument, you know the importance of tuning, which is why DaTuner is for you.

DaTuner is a highly accurate strobe tuner that not only automatically locks onto the pitch you're playing, but also tells you the register you're playing in along with how many cents sharp or flat you are. It's a welcome change from the needle-reading we're all accustomed to, and it's as intuitive as it is functional.

DaTuner also boasts a highly functional settings menu that lets you change everything from the sensitivity to the responsiveness, the color for notes that are sharp or flat, and even the temperament, for those who subscribe to the notion of just intonation.

A pitch pipe is also included in DaTuner, for those who prefer to tune to a relative pitch, although it has a tendency to be a little buggier than just tuning using the phone's microphone. Still, it works often enough, and in the event it doesn't, there's still an incredibly powerful tuner at your disposal.

For the Android-loving musician, I think DaTuner Pro is easily the best tuner you can have on your device. I used to give that title to gStrings, but DaTuner has proven to be so powerful, easy to use, and accurate, it'd be foolish to not use it.

DaTuner comes in three varities: free, donate (with a few more features), and experimental (for those who want to be on the cutting edge of tuning technology). The donate version is $2.34, but when dedicated tuners cost upwards of $40 or more, this is an absolute steal.

More pictures and download links are after the break.

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