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2 years ago

Android App Review Update: Wave Launcher

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If you're a long-time reader of Android Central, you might remember when Phil reviewed Wave Launcher back in March.  Recently, the developer updated the application to version 1.8 which added a lot of new functionality, enough that we wanted to revisit the application as well as introduce it to potentially new users.

Wave Launcher is an application that works in addition to your existing launcher (be that stock, ADW, LauncherPro, or something else).  You activate it by performing a gesture near the edge of your screen, and a "wave" pops up, which gives you access to a customizable application list. You can put apps, shortcuts, or folders on this list and they all became just a swipe away.  While the launcher is limited to 12 icons, you can put up to 10 apps or shortcuts into each folder, potentially allowing up to 120 total shortcuts.  Last week, the developers pushed out 1.8, which gave users the ability to add widgets to their wave, turning Wave Launcher into a potentially powerful productivity tool, especially when it comes to music.

Using a music widget before this didn't make sense to me because I had to back out of whatever I was doing just to skip/pause a track on Spotify.  Now, I just swipe on the side of my screen, select the Spotify widget, and hit pause.  After I'm done with the widget, there is an "X" icon in the upper window you hit, and you can go back to whatever you were working on without ever leaving that application.  It might only save me a second or two, but I think it's a more natural, logical way to handle music playback. 

1.8 also feels a lot faster running on my Droid Incredible than previous versions did.  The new widget options combined with the faster interface make Wave Launcher a great addition to my phone, and something you should check out if you're into optimizing your homescreen.  After the break you'll find the 1.8 video put out by the developer, a few more screenshots of the app in action, and a market link.  Wave Launcher is currently $1.99 in the Android market. 

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2 years ago

Verizon to sell Intuit GoPayment credit card reader for phones, tablets

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If taking credit card payments on the go is something you need in your life, then Intuit and Verizon are looking to help you fill that void. They've now announced a new partnership that will brong Intuit GoPayment credit card reader to Verizon Wireless’ 2,300 retail stores and business-to-business sales channels.

GoPayment makes it easier and more affordable for small businesses to process credit cards and for anyone who sells products or services to accept credit card payments wirelessly. The card reader simply plugs into the audio jack of a supported smartphone or tablet. Credit and debit cards can be swiped through the card reader or entered into the app manually. The transaction is processed immediately and funds are automatically deposited into a user’s bank account within a few business days. GoPayment supports devices on Android™, BlackBerry® and iOS platforms for most popular 3G and 4G LTE smartphones and tablets.

Verizon Wireless customers can get the GoPayment credit card reader free with activation of a GoPayment account and a mail-in rebate for the $29.97 purchase price, with 2.7 percent discount rate for swiped transactions. If you're looking to get cheaper rates on swiped transactions, you can pick up the $12.95-a-month package and have swiped transactions processed for 1.7 percent. Full PR is beyond the break, if you need some more info.

Source: Verizon

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2 years ago

Cloud.tv introduces HD Widgets - fully customizable widgets designed specifically for Honeycomb tablets

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We dig Honeycomb apps around these parts, and when they're done well we can't wait to tell you guys about them.  HD Widgets looks like it certainly fits that bill, offering up a set of great widgets for your Honeycomb tablet that take advantage of all that real estate and are pretty customizable as well.  There's a dozen different widget types, offering clocks, weather, settings switches, and a nice tablet header design that fills the wide screen on your tablet with all the information you're looking for. 

On the customization front, you can swipe through clocks, backgrounds, layouts, and other options during initial setup as well as on the fly.  Combined with all the different styles of widget available, you're sure to find a combo you like.  HD Widgets is now available for 99 cents in the Android Market, for devices running 3.0 or higher.  The fellows at cloud.tv say they will be releasing a version for phones in a few weeks, as well as new themes, new options, and "much more."  We've got the download link and a handful of screenshots after the break.

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2 years ago

Android game review: Sprinkle for Tegra II devices

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Youtube link for mobile viewing

Another iPhone favorite has made its way to Android. Sprinkle, from ironically named developer Mediocre, is a cute little physics-based game.

You're among the .. people ... of Titan, one of Saturn's moons, who have been minding their own business until the people of Earth decide to crash the party. And crashing through Saturn's rings have had ill effect on the moon, causing flaming asteroids to come crashing down. Only one way to put them out -- a massive water cannon.

That's where you come in. You control the water cannon. And at first it's easy -- aim and squirt. But Sprinkle quickly takes a turn for the strategic, giving you puzzles to solve, all while trying to extinguish the fire using as little water as possible.

The game is surprisingly addictive, in no small part to the beautiful physics work done with the water, and to a lesser extent the water. The former has to be carefully aimed and worked around terrain and switches, while the later just won't seem to die. The cute character don't hurt, either. And in future-proofing news: It'll be getting an upgrade to NVIDIA's quad-core Kal-el platform later on.

Sprinkle is available now in the Android Market or from NVIDIA's new Tegra Zone website for $1.99.

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2 years ago

NVIDIA opens TegraZone.com, updates Android app, and has 5 Acer Iconias to give away

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NVIDIA has launched the TegraZone.com website, complete with it's own online community for Android fans with Tegra-powered devices.  In addition, the Tegra Zone companion application for Android has received an update with features designed to compliment the new site, as well as offer more for users by way of support for Japan, the UK, and India and a "Get Demo" button to try a free or light version of the game.

The highlights of the new website include:

  • Allows consumers considering the purchase of a Tegra-powered mobile device to learn about Tegra games and some of the best Android games
  • Expands Tegra-owner convenience and provides another way to view Tegra Zone content
  • Makes it easy for users to share links to Tegra games and news through Facebook and Twitter
  • Includes everything you’ll find in the original Tegra Zone app, plus community forums and sweepstakes
  • The site is launching in English (US), Portuguese (Brazil), and Japanese; other languages will follow soon

Not to be outdone, the new Android app has a nice set of features as well:

  • A “Get Demo” button – about 25 percent of NVIDIA games now have a free version of the game
  • Android notifications
  • Updated sharing (link to specific page on TegraZone.com)
  • Better Facebook integration
  • International app feedback
  • Support for Japan, UK, and India; in addition to already available U.S., Brazil, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Russia, and Spain

As part of the new Tegra Zone experience, NVIDIA has also started a new Developer Zone dubbed "Zone in" to encourage more developers to build Tegra optimized applications.  NVIDIA says all applications will be play tested and every developer will be responded to.  Those are pretty big shoes to fill, and kudoa to NVIDIA if they pull it off.

Last but not least, to commemorate the launch of TegraZone.com, NVIDIA’s giving away five Acer Iconia Tab A500 tablets during the first month, don't miss your chance to win one.  You can enter the drawing at the Tegra Zone website.

We've got a couple more pictures after the break, give them a look then check out the Tegra Zone website at the source link.  We've also got the download for the TegraZone app down there, too.

Source: TegraZone.com

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2 years ago

iSpeech brings the commanders in chief to your Android smartphone

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We figure it'll take about 15 seconds before some of you start abusing this one, and about 15 minutes before the Treasury Department finds a way to shut it down. But for now, there's iSpeech Obama and iSpeech Bush for Android. You speak, the the president (or former president) parrots it back to you. You can share what they say, or just have your own twisted one-way conversation.

See what we mean after the break.

Download: iSpeech Obama; iSpeech Bush

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2 years ago

Android Game Review: 7 Little Words

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I can make no bones about it: I like words. It's why I write, why I fail at attempt to do crossword puzzles, and why I've become a huge fan of a big game called 7 Little Words.

7 Little Words is a word puzzle game, but unlike a crossword puzzle, except you're supplied with combinations of letters you need to solve the puzzle. Each "level" has only seven words to solve on it, hence the game's name.

To spell out a word, simply tap the boxes containing the letters you need, in the order you'd spell the word. When something is suitably spelled out, press the Guess button to see if it's correct. If it is, the clue will be bolded and the correct word will appear alongside it. If incorrect, there's no penalty! The letters are simply returned to you.

Another point to mention is that combinations of letters can only be used for a specific word, so as you fill out more of your list, guessing the last words is easy, as there's usually only six or so boxes left.

7 Little Words is free to install and comes with one free puzzle zone. You can buy more puzzle zones for 99 cents. Each puzzle zone comes with at least 30 puzzles inside of it, so there's lots of gameplay to be had.

This is a fun game that isn't too difficult it's off-putting, but is still challenging enough to make your brain work a little bit. If you're up for a bit of word mania or just want to keep the ol' noggin greased up, I'd definitely check this out.

More pictures and download links are after the break.

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2 years ago

Boynton book 'Moo, Baa, La La La!' now available on Android

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Hey, parents! A second Sandra Boynton book is now available on Android. "Moo, Baa, La La La!" is another kids favorite. It's done in the same style as "The Going to Bed Book" and "PopOut! The Tale of Peter Rabbit," and once again you can choose to have the book read aloud, or you can read it yourself.

"Moo, Baa, La La La!" is $3 in the Android Market. Check out the promo video, and find download links, after the break.

See more Android kids apps

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2 years ago

AC on the Road: A couple days with GM, Chevy MyLink and a wealth of Android potential

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Image courtesy of General Motors and Wieck Media Services

General Motors wants you to use your phone in the car. No, really. And it's got a way for you to do so more easily. With the addition of MyLink system, using your Android smartphone in a vehicle has never been better -- and that means safer, as well.

A little background: We spent a couple quality days several weeks ago at GM's proving grounds in Milford, Mich. (Full disclosure: We were there on GM's dime.) On the agenda: A look at the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu and, more important, its new Chevy MyLink "infotainment" system, which integrates damn near perfectly with Android. Plus, more from OnStar, and some eye candy in GM's wind tunnel and a quick spin around a test track, plus a test drive of a Chevy Volt.

But it was the 2013 Malibu and MyLink -- and the apps -- that were the stars of the show. Yes, the apps. Apps in the car, and apps on your phone. We explain after the break.

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2 years ago

Android Market gets another update, brings PIN locking, +1ing

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Youtube link for mobile viewing

Another update to the Android Market is pushing out to your smartphone, and we're liking what we're seeing. There are a couple of new features you need to know about. The first is that you can now +1 apps from within the market on your phone. That's a good thing, and you should practice on this one. The other is that you can now set a PIN lock on market purchases. That means you'll have to enter a code any time you want to buy an app -- but it'll also keep someone else for charging things for you, too.

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