4 years ago

Android Quick App: GRave Defense HD


Maybe I should be productive in some way on my Android tablet.  I could take notes about upcoming phones, or use the browser to pay the bills, but I don't.  Games are way too fun on these things for all that jive.  And since I'm a sucker for all things undead, GRave Defense HD is right up my alley!  It's a tower defense game, but a damn good one.  The graphics are amazing, and instead of fighting off endless strings of enemy vehicles or balloons, you must protect yourself from the hordes of zombies and assorted nasties using weapons ranging from machine guns, to lasers.

There's also a storyline if you're in to a more immersive experience -- you work your way through the ranks of the "Brotherhood of Steel" and you can follow and share your progress through Scoreloop.  Killing zombies is fun, and apparently is social, too.

The most stunning part are the visuals.  The levels are diverse, with things like a rainforest scene, the Bermuda triangle, even outer space -- you're not stuck in the same graveyard for the 20 levels of gameplay.  Of course, all this comes at a cost.  You will need a fairly high-end device to display this content.  The developers recommend a device with over 384 MB of free RAM, and a minimum display of 800x480.  Most phones sold this year will be just fine, but some of the more mid-range offerings just won't handle this one.  All things said, GRave Defense HD rocks on any Honeycomb tablet

You can find GRave Defense HD, currently on sale for €0.70 (about $1.00), in the Android Market.  It's for phones and tablets running Android 2.1 and higher.  We've got more pics, a video, and the download link after the break.

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4 years ago

Google mobile payment service rumored to debut May 26


If the muttering we're hearing through the Bloomberg grapevine is true, Google is planning to finally unveil their NFC mobile payment service on May 26. Google's system is going to be available on phones from Sprint, like the already-launched Nexus S 4G. (Not so coincidentally, the Nexus S is still the only Android phone in the U.S. with NFC.)

The NFC service will let consumers both pay and use mobile coupons with a swipe of their phone. However, Google and Sprint's offering will eventually see competition from ISIS, a joint effort between AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile.

Google does have a press event scheduled for May 26, but as of now, no one's talking. Guess we'll all have to keep our ears tuned to the latest and greatest coming out of New York that day.

Source: Bloomberg

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4 years ago

Microsoft's Bing Vision UI -- Google Goggles needs to step up its game


One of the coolest looking things in the new Windows Phone 7 "Mango" release (see all the coverage you can handle at WPCentral) is Microsoft's Bing Vision.  It's essentially a Google Goggles clone (great artists copy/borrow/steal and all that), but the UI is really cool.  Your search categories are visible while the camera is running, looking fancy and nice as a semi-transparent overlay while you're capturing the content you want to scan.  Of course, WP7's Metro UI and its typographic look is in full force here as well.

As for functionality, Bing Vision doesn't look like it does anything out of the ordinary.  No solving Sudoku puzzles, no translation built in, and the jury is still out about how it handles business cards.  But that's not what people will think when they see it.  I'm one of those "function trumps form" kind of guys, but the mobile market is growing like wildfire, and maybe it's time for Google to step up and revamp the UI and visual style of some of their apps so they look as good as they perform. 

I use Google Goggles a lot, mostly because I'm a geek who loves to play with cutting edge tech, and I've went "all-in" with Googles apps and services.  It works great, but visual appeal is lacking compared to the competition.  See for yourself -- there's a video after the break.

Source: WPCentral

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4 years ago

News360 now available for Honeycomb tablets


News360, the popular cross-platform news aggregator, is now available for Android tablets running Honeycomb.  News360 takes a bit of a different approach, combining 1,500 global sources (yes, Android Central is in there, so no worries) and a beautiful visual style.  If you're not familiar, the "360" view is a special treat, with article images floating in a spherical feeling cloud, hence the 360.  The application makes great use of the new API's with the action bar and fragments, both in the search view as well as the article view.  The developers have taken the time to really make a great example of a quality Android app, and we appreciate (and enjoy) that. 

Besides the normal use of searching for tags, users can customize their own "feeds," and the developers say that future versions will analyze a your Facebook, Twitter, TripIt, and Evernote accounts to offer automatic personalization.  That sounds like quite the feat, and I for one am very interested to see the result.  In its current state, the application connects with your social accounts (Facebook, Twitter, ReadItLater, Instapaper, and TripIt) to share articles, and can filter results based on your location.  Things are well on the way to a personal news channel.

And the best part of it all -- News360 is free.  This makes it available for everyone with a Honeycomb tablet, and makes for a very easy way to download and evaluate the app for yourself.  We've got the full press release, a series of pictures, and the download link after the break.

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4 years ago

Android Quick App: File Manager HD


File Manager is one of the first Honeycomb-optimized file managers for Android.  It's one of those utilities you have to have on your Android 3.0 tablet, no questions asked.  With Android, you're not forced to use a separate program on your computer to add or move files around, so a file browser of some sort is awful handy.  You can use it to keep track of and sort all your pictures, videos, documents, and anything else you can think of that you're keeping around in your tablet's storage space. 

With File Manager HD, you really don't need to ever hook up the cable to your computer.  It has a built-in LAN browser, so any shared files or folders from your computer (Windows, Mac and Linux) are available right from the comfort of your easy chair.  It's full of other great features, too:

  • High definition (1280x800) support
  • 3 sets of commercial icons for 60+ different file types, toolbar and menu items
  • Cut, copy, paste and cancel progress dialogs
  • List and grid view for file browsing
  • Compress and decompress support
  • Search and share files
  • Multiple selection and sorting support
  • Thumbnail for photo, pictures and apk files
  • Built-in text editor and swf player

The developers have fully tested File Manager HD on the Motorola Xoom, and I've been using it on the Galaxy Tab 10.1 for over a week with zero issues.  The best part?  It's absolutely free.

You can find File Manager HD in the Android Market, for devices running Android 3.0 and higher.  We've got a couple pictures and the download link after the break.

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4 years ago

Changing your Launcher by clearing app defaults

4 years ago

Ghosttown music discovery app hits the Android Market


There's no shortage of music apps out there these days but a new one called Ghosttown has just hit the Android Market and is looking for a new audience. Having tested it out a bit before writing this up, it's looking pretty promising for the most part. Use of Ghosttown is free, with ad support but in case you don't fancy ads it's just $0.99 for the full version without ads.

The concept behind Ghosttown is a simple one. Fire it up and search for music you wish to hear. Be it by song, artist or album. It'll go out and scour the web for you to bring you the best results possible and present them to you. From the music it finds, you can create playlists as well mark songs as favorites so that they are always easily found and ready for your listening pleasure.

Not all is perfect in Ghosttown though, since it uses the interwebs to track down music, I did find that once or twice it simply just found samples of songs I was looking for rather then full versions. No big deal but worth noting for those of you who may be looking to give it a go. Jump on past the break for some more screenshots and the download link.

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4 years ago

Android Central Editors' app picks for May 21, 2011



Apps, apps and more apps! It's an appapalooza! And appstravaganza! It's appstronomical! OK. We'll quit while we're behind. But we're back with another week's worth of app picks, so slide on past the break and see what we've chosen this week.

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4 years ago

Android Market's new movie rental service blocked from rooted devices


We can't make this up people.  According to Google, who gets to make the rules since it's their service, rooted devices are not supported by the Android Markets new movie rental service "due to requirements related to copyright protection".  You'll even see a specific error message when you attempt to try -- "Failed to fetch license for [movie title] (error 49)". 

So now people who root their phones, whether to get rid of the crap "open" that's forced down their throats, or to have a current version of Android, are punished and lumped in with folks who steal movies.  Nice move, Google.  That makes me want to buy more of your products and use more of your services, so I can be treated like a criminal just because I'm smart enough to get rid of CityID, or want a safe version of Android on my phone.  And of course, I'd much rather steal movies streamed with a poor bitrate at a low resolution to my phone than use Google to search out any of the thousands of places where I could steal them using my computer. Facepalm.

Of course, the Android community will find a way around this.  I already have some ideas, and I'm sure others will, too.  But we shouldn't have to.  And once we do, I'll download one (and only one) movie from the Market for the satisfaction of defeating this stupid move by Google, then be sure to never use the service again.  Redbox doesn't care if I want to run a custom ROM on my phone, so they'll get my $4.00.

Source: Android Market supportThanks, Joshua!

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4 years ago

Riptide GP now available on Tegra 2 devices


Just a quick heads up that Riptide GP -- one of the coolest Tegra 2-optimized games we've had the pleasure of playing -- is now available in the Android Market. It's a sort of personal watercraft racing game, with stunning graphics and excellent gameplay. As we said in our review, it's almost too good.

Riptide GP is $6.99 in the Android Market. Download links are after the break.

Via Android Central Forums

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4 years ago

Changing LCD density turns Honeycomb into Gingerbread


Wanna see a neat, but mostly useless trick?  Of course you do!  Grab your rooted Honeycomb tablet and change the screen density past 170 and reboot.  You'll be faced with what appears to be the stock Gingerbread launcher.  Change it back below 160 and reboot again to revert all changes.

While it's kind of cool to see things like this, we're not too surprised.  Back in January when the Honeycomb SDK preview was released, we found that fiddling with the screen settings and resolution did just about the same thing (pictured above).  But I digress -- it's cool in a geeky sort of way and we love cool and geeky.  So hit the break to see a video of it in action on a rooted Dell Streak 7 running a Honeycomb emulator port.

Source: Graffix0214's YouTube channel via Pocketables

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4 years ago

Swiftkey releases new smartphone keyboard beta, opens up VIP access for the day


The folks at Swiftkey just released a new beta keyboard this morning, with the following improvements:

  • Redesigned installer process
  • Redesigned settings menu
  • SwiftKey shortcut launcher on keyboard
  • New typing styles: Precise (identical to Classic), Rapid (similar to Rapidfire)
  • (Note: you can reproduce "Manual" with "Space will always insert a space" in advanced)
  • Text handling improvements (fixed doubledouble bug, etc. + general stability improvements)
  • Improved dark theme

Not in on Swiftkey's VIP program, where you can get the latest releases before everybody else? Not to worry, as they've opened up access for everybody today. Just hit the link below and use promo code #swiftkeyFRIDAY. Again, that's for use today only, so get it done.

Source: Swiftkey; More: Swiftkey VIP access

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4 years ago

How to stream Hulu on a hacked Nook Color


Have 11 minutes? Wanna get Hulu streaming on your hacked Nook Color (or another Android device)? Android Central Forums member Huskermaina -- who also brought us the excellent Netflix on a Nook Color video -- is back for more.

The gist of it is that you'll be loading a modified Flash Player as well as Dolphin Browser HD. A couple other settings tweaks, and you're streaming away! As often is the case with Hulu, however, it wouldn't surprise us in the least if this method ceases to work at some point. But for now, get to streaming! Full instructions are in the forums (hit the link below), and we've got the instructional video after the break, too.

How-to: Stream Hulu on the Nook Color

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4 years ago

Paypal for Android now lets you deposit checks with a picture


PayPal's Android app has just given us one more reason to skip the line at the bank and play with our phones instead. You can now use your phone's camera to scan a check, and deposit it straight into your PayPal account. Not exactly a new technology, but cool to see it added to PayPal. The company says it's been "uploading a million dollars a month" (how cool does that sound?) with its iPhone app. And now you can do the same with Android. Leave it in your PayPal account, or transfer to your bank account. Your call.

Also new for the PayPal app: You can move it to the SD card, and use the "local" feature to find nearby business that accept PayPal as payment.

Download links are after the break.

Source: PayPal

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4 years ago

More Android Market security woes -- and a novel idea to fix them from Sophos


Malicious files once again have found their way into the Android Market, with a set of applications being hijacked, reverse engineered with malicious code injected, and published alongside the legitimate applications.

Two thing need mention up front -- Google has already removed the apps from the Market, and this time around they only affected users in China, where they also originate from.  If you're reading this story, you probably are safe and never were at risk.  But this is still a big concern.  A set of bad guys (that's my safe-for-work version) were able to de-compile apps from a legit developer, put in some code that sends SMS messages to a Chinese subscription service, and then took some really ingenious steps to keep everything hidden from the user.  That's going to happen, because everything that's electronic and popular enough is a target.  The part that is concerning is that these are making their way into the Android Market.

Allow me to have a few hundred words with you about it, after the break.

Source: AegisLabs via Sophos; Thanks, Tony Bag o' Donuts!

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