4 years ago

The Words with Friends Lounge [From the Forums]


Words with Friends

With well over 50,000 downloads in just a few hours, Words with Friends for Android is already a huge success.  Yes, there's a few kinks to work out, but we totally expect Zynga to get everything sorted in short order.  They're Zynga -- games is what they do.  Like you guys, we've been waiting for this one to hit Android and now that it's here we've set aside a small fenced in area in the forums just for it.  In the Words with Friends Lounge you can forget all about the carrier discussion, debate about who makes the best Android phone, and even the endless hacking some of us like to discuss after we've broken things customized our phones.

Jump in and find someone to play against, discuss strategy, do a little friendly trash-talk, and anything else WWF related.  And if you have friends with an iOS phone/pod/pad/thingy, invite them over -- we love everyone in the lounge.  If you haven't already, you can grab Words with Friends for Android after the break. [Android Central forums]

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4 years ago

150,000 apps in Android Market, tripled in 9 months


Android Market

As Eric Schmidt mentioned in his keynote address at Mobile World Congress, the Android Market now has over 150,000 applications.  The number of apps has tripled over the past nine months, and grown by a full third since last fall.  They're getting better as well -- I think we all have noticed applications of a much higher quality appearing, as well as cross platform apps and games from the bigger developers.

It's a testament to Android's extremely fast growth, and we don't expect it to slow any time soon.

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4 years ago

Android Central Editors' app picks for Feb. 14, 2011 (Valentine's Day Edition)


 app picks

import human.lover.man
import human.lover.woman
import bottle.french.wine
import box.belgian.chocolates
import music.cd.barry_white

public class Dinner extends RomanceProvider

private class Candles extends boom-chica-wow-wow

For those of you who don't know what in the world was just said, have no fear you are not alone. Our very own Jerry Hildenbrand has decided to serenade us with a geeked out Valentines Day poem. Let's hit the break together and take a look at some great Valentines Day applications for your favorite Android device. Especially if you've forgotten it was Valentines Day and are now rushing to figure something out.

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4 years ago

Android quick-app: Big Camera Button


Big Camera Button

If you ever take a self-pic with your smartphone -- stick the camera in your hand, extend your arm, point it at your melon and hope for the best -- you know how it can be a bit of a crapshoot. And unless you have a physical camera button, the tiny shutter buttons on the screen don't help matters any.

Enter Big Camera Button. It does exactly what you see. Press the shutter button once, and your screen changes to a Big Camera Button. No more hoping you hit the right spot. It's stupidly simply, and makes self-pics a breeze.

There's a free "lite" version, and a 99-cent version. Download links and a slightly NSFW video of it in action are after the break.

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4 years ago

Sports Illustrated Android apps (phone and tablet) now available


Sports Illustrated Android app

Sports Illustrated has launched its official Android applications in the Android Market. Available for phones and tablets with Android 2.1 and above, the sports news magazine published by Time Inc. has a trio of pricing plans:

  • Print/Digital (Samsung Galaxy/Android Smartphone/Web): $48 annually or $4.99/month
  • Digital Only: $3.99/month
  • Current print subscribers have free access to the digital package throughout the remainder of their term 

We took a look recently at the tablet version of Sports Illustrated (Market link) on the Motorola Xoom, and it was pretty darn striking. (Check out the video after the break.) It's the same principal on the phone. You download the edition, and get all the content -- and then some -- right there on your phone. Download links are after the break. [Time Inc.]

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4 years ago

Twitter for Android turns 2.0 with slew of improvements


Twitter 2.0 for Android

Android's "official" Twitter client -- the aptly named "Twitter for Android" -- just hit Version 2.0 and brings with it a host of performance and user interface improvements. Changes include:

  • Easier navigation and layout
  • Scan contacts to find friends who are on Twitter
  • Universal search
  • Autocomplete usernames when composing tweets
  • Easier photo uploading
  • Faster tweet actions

We're going to give this a couple days' use before passing judgment, but so far it certainly looks better than the previous version. Download links are after the break. Thanks to everyone who sent this in!

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4 years ago

Redbox app lets you reserve a movie before you hit the kiosk


Redbox for AndroidRedbox for Android

Two thinks I hate to have happen when I'm at the convenience store -- One is they run out of Funyuns. The other is I get to the Redbox movie rental kiosk and find the manly action movie I wanted to watch sensitive chick flick the wife demanded has already been rented.

No more.

Redbox has released its official app that will let you find the nearest kiosk (maps are included, natch) and reserve a movie so it'll be there when you are. You can search by genere as well and get basic info about the movie. Pretty slick, actually. Market link's after the break.

Now if only it could do something about that Funyun supply. Thanks, Jese!

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4 years ago

Dropcam now available for Android -- we go hands-on!


Dropcam for Android

Let's not mince words here: If you're in the market for some basic -- and extremely easy to use -- webcam monitoring, you need to check out Dropcam. It's been available for some time now for the iPhone (and on a desktop web browser), and now it's come for Android.

The Dropcam folks sent us one of their Dropcam Echo cameras to test out. How did it fare? We'll discuss after the break.

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4 years ago

ZAGAT to go for Android gets a makeover and new features


If you love food as much as I do you'll know that finding great restaurants is often times a tough task. For that we have plenty of Android apps out there to help filter out the good from the bad. One of the most respected names in that area is Zagat and just in time for Valentines day they have made some changes to their Zagat to go app for Android. Aside from the complete UI overhaul, Zagat has added quite a few new features as well:

  • Restaurant reviews and our signature 30 point ratings for Food, Decor, Service and actual down-to-the-dollar estimates for dinner costs
  • GPS - Find nearby restaurants automatically
  • Advanced Search - Mix and Match by any criteria including ratings, cuisines and attributes like Child-Friendly, Business Dining, Romantic and dozens more!
  • Top Rated Lists - Zagat has picked the “Best of” in your city like Best Burgers, Best Italian, Most Romantic and more
  • Meal Suggestions – Get tips from the Foursquare community on what to order when you get there!
  • Write Reviews – Publish reviews to Zagat.com from your phone instantly, wherever you are. No drafting, no waiting!
  • Visual Menu – Browse thousands of photos of dishes from Foodspotting
  • Restaurant Widget – Feeling lucky? Get nearby restaurant recommendations automatically. Long press on your home screen and select Zagat to get started.

If you're looking to tap into your inner food connoisseur, Zagat will cost you $9.99 for a year subscription. The update release is available now in the Android Market. Download and press release can be found after the break.

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4 years ago

Angry Birds secret code revealed, decoded


Angry Birds code

The Angry Birds secret code from the Rio trailer ad during the Super Bowl has been found, tested, and decoded.  And none of it was done by me.  Credit goes out to @AndroidThrasher for the screencap, and scarbzscope on YouTube for the details.  Spoiler alert -- the code itself, and a video of the code broken and used is after the break.  Thanks fellas!

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4 years ago

Rovio explains why Angry Birds update needs SMS permission


Bad Piggy Bank

More than a few of us (and us) noticed that when you got the latest update to Angry Birds, the app stated that it needed permissions to your SMS messages. At the time, Rovio told us it likely was a mistake, and that they'd look at it on Monday. However, it turns out it has a purpose and is part of an in-app payment system, called Big Bad Piggy Bank, which can be used to purchase the Mighty Eagle and other content. From Rovio's blog:

Bad Piggy Bank purchases will be paid through operator billing. No credit card is required, you simply select the content you want to purchase in the game, and select the Bad Piggy Bank icon. You confirm your purchase, the payment is made via SMS, and you will be charged in your phone bill.

The Android version of Angry Birds asks for SMS permission because this mobile payment capability has been added in version 1.5.1.

Angry Birds does not use the SMS functionality of the device for any other purpose than Bad Piggy Bank payments.

If the Bad Piggy Bank is not available for your operator, no purchases can be made, and you cannot be charged for anything.

All that said, it's only available in Finland at the moment. And note that this is separate from the in-app billing that Google just announced with Honeycomb.

So the good news is that there's nothing malicious (not that we ever thought there was) in the update. The bad news is it gives the app a permission that so far a very large number of users can't actually use. [Rovio] Thanks, Justin!

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4 years ago

Android Central Editors' app picks for Feb. 5, 2011



Finally, market.android.com has gone live, and man is it pretty sweet. If you have been spending hours poking around and looking for something new, you may have found some great apps, but many of you may still be struggling to find something new. If that is you, and you are interested in finding some new applications for your device, be sure to hit the jump with us and see what some of our favorites from this week were.

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4 years ago

Angry Birds update brings 30 new levels


New Angry Birds levels

There are only a handful of things I like to be awakened by on a Saturday morning. One is the wife and kids. Another is a giant pile of pancakes. And a third is a massive update to Angry Birds, one that brings 30 new levels to the uber popular game. And such was the case this morning, as we now have "Ham 'Em High" to keep us occupied.

Go ahead and get your update on, or hit up the download link after the break if you've yet to play. And now, to go find those pancakes ...

Update: You might well have noticed that the app now says it needs/has permission to access your SMS messages. The developer, Rovio Mobile, tells us on Twitter that it "Must be a mistake in some permission file. Will get it sorted on Monday."

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4 years ago

NetQin brings Mobile Anti-Virus to Android


NetQin anti-virus

NetQin, China's market leader in mobile security, has brought their anti-virus application to Android.  NetQin anti-virus offers real-time monitoring, instant scanning, contacts backup and restoration, and phone theft and loss protection. NetQin anti-virus uses what they call Cloud Scan:

"cloud and client twin-engine scanning, which is faster and more accurate at identifying and resolving threats from viruses and malicious programs. Key benefits include fast response to the latest security threats and comprehensive protection from Trojans, malware, and virus-infected plug-ins."

As new threats are found, the cloud scan engine is updated to deal with them.  In real-world usage, the app seems to use little resources, and there is no noticeable slowdown with it running in the background. 

Maybe you'll never have need for an Android malware scanner, but threats do exists in the wild.  It's a by-product of being "open" to the installation of unapproved software.  Applications like NetQin anti-virus fill that need, and it looks like this one will do very nicely.  If you want to give it a try, it's free in the Market, and is available in a version for Android 1.5 and Android 1.6, as well as a version for Android 2.x.  The full press release is after the jump.

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4 years ago

Android Remote for µTorrent 3.0 Alpha now available


While there are quite a few torrent clients and torrent remote control apps in the Android Market, Bittorrent has never directly released an application to interface with your µTorrent installation. That is, until now. The official µTorrent remote app has just been released to the Android Market and is available for download. Keeping in mind, it's not a full blown client but rather a remote for your already existing installed client on your computer it does have some nice features built into it.

  • Check the status of a download directly from your Android smartphone
  • Add, pause or remove µTorrent downloads on your computer
  • µTorrent remote registers as a .torrent handler so you can browse and add torrents just as if you were on your PC at home.
  • Start, pause or remove µTorrent downloads in progress on your computer
  • Update and add torrents from RSS subscriptions
  • Transfer, save and play any completed file from your PC right to your device.

Bittorrent does have a full blown client in the works but for now they are asking users to report any feedback they may have regarding just the remote application. You can find the download link right after the break. [Bittorrent]

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