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2 years ago

Late-night poll: What do you think of the 'Google Play' portal name?

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We've had a couple of days to settle in (and debate) the new Google Play branding that covers the old Android Market, Google Book, Google Music, and Google Movies content stores. We've also been enjoying the sales in effect on apps and digital media (get Flick Golf Extreme from Google Play for a quarter before it's too late!) and filling our devices with content. But the name is a bit of a change.

We get it -- Google wanted to provide a unified name and look across all their digital content stores for Android, and a big re-branding sure got everyone's attention. But like all things when they change, there are plenty of skeptics. I'll admit saying download from Google Play seems a bit odd, but I'll get used to it soon enough. Of course what's done is done, but we're still allowed to say what we think of it, and that's what we're about to do. Sound off in the poll and comments and tell us what you think of the new Google Play moniker.

 

Is "Google Play" a good look for Google?

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2 years ago

Angry Birds Seasons gets 'Cherry Blossom' update

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Rovio has revamped Angry Birds Seasons with an early sprint update, featuring a cherry blossom theme. You'll now have 15 new levels to play through, and three new bonus levels. We're used to seasonal updates from Rovio, and as usual, this one is already been well received by the missus, and she says "it's great, go update it"!  Who am I to argue? Market, erm, Google Play download links are after the break, or you can get the latest from the Amazon Appstore.

Thanks everyone who sent this in!

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2 years ago

Hands-on redux with the HTC One X

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We take a second look at HTC's flagship smartphone for 2012

We're live at Three UK's 2012 showcase event in London, where the network is showing off some of its hottest upcoming handsets. Among the first Android phones we tracked down was the HTC One X, HTC's upcoming flagship device, which was unveiled at Mobile World Congress last week. With a 4.7-inch, 720p display, a quad-core Tegra 3 CPU and some crazy new camera technologies, HTC has left no holds barred with its latest high-end smartphone.

We got our first look at the One X in Barcelona not too long ago, but today we've managed to spend a little more time with the phone, and take a look at some of the new software features in Sense 4.0. Join us after the break for our second preview of one of the biggest Android releases of 2012.

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2 years ago

Chrome for Android updated with bugfixes

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Get thee to thy nearest Android Market Android apps section in Google Play, as there's an update to the Chrome for Android browser. What's new, you ask? Bugfixes, says Google, including a bigun' that was keeping Chrome from starting up on some versions of Ice Cream Sandwich. (That's kind of a big deal because Chrome for Android only works on Ice Cream Sandwich.

Anyhoo. Download links are after the break if you need 'em.

More: Google Chrome Releases blog

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2 years ago

Galaxy Note will spoil you, Watered down Galaxy Nexus [From the Forums]

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We've been dishing out plenty of Android news today for you all and even managed to cover some issues folks were having with new Play Store. If you happened to miss out on anything get yourself caught up here on the blogs. Once done, jump into the Android Central forums for a bit:

If you're not already a member of the Android Central forums, you can register your account today.

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2 years ago

The Chicken Bandit [Android game review]

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With hundreds of thousands of apps in the Android Market Google Play, it can be hard to find the ones you need to try. That's where we come in, and I just found one that screams to be installed. It's called The Chicken Bandit, and the premise is simple -- you're a cowboy, who rides a giant chicken, and robs trains protected by robots. (Go on, pinch yourself, you're awake). 

Gameplay is easy enough. You tilt your phone or tablet to move forwards and backwards, swipe across the screen to lasso bags of money and safes, and tap to shoot out windows, doors, and robotic deputies. All while riding a giant chicken. It's smooth, the graphics are fluid and drawn in a cool retro-cowboy style, and the action is fast-paced enough to keep you interested. There's also mini-games like a quick draw against a robot, a general store to buy upgrades and new gear, and a level boss or two. Chickens, cowboys, and robots have never been so much fun.

I've found myself playing games on my Android phones and tablets a lot more than I ever imagined myself doing. Fun, and silly, games like The Chicken Bandit are a big part of the reason why. This one's perfect for wasting a bit of time while at the DMV or during your lunch break, and it saves progress so you can just pick up and continue at your leisure. There's a lot to be said for deep, console-style games, but games that you can just tap and play a few minutes at a time will always have a place. The Chicken Bandit is that game for me.

The game is built to work with Android 2.1 or higher, so it's going to run on most every device out there. There's a free demo version (we've got links after the break) as well as the full version for $2.99. Both have giant chickens. Hit the jump to see a quick demo through the tutorial.

More: ChickenBandit

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2 years ago

Motorola Droid 3 soak test e-mails now being sent out

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If you're looking at the Droid 3 in your hands and thinking it's really time for an update, that will soon be a reality. Motorola has sent out emails advising folks there is a new soak test being prepared for eventual rollout to the masses:

Thanks for joining the Motorola Feedback Network. We are inviting owners of the Motorola Droid 3 on Verizon to participate in an early preview of a new software release, and provide feedback. If you are not currently using a Droid 3, please excuse and ignore this email.

Click this link to take a short enrollment survey if you wish to take part. Note that you must be a member in good standing of the Motorola Owners' Forums to be included. The registration window is can close without notice so please respond as quickly as possible.

Thanks -- please understand that start times are always fluid. We ask for your patience if you register but don't hear from us right away.

If you're hoping for Ice Cream Sandwich, sadly -- you'll need to drop that thought from your brain considering Verizon left the Droid 3 off their ICS update list. However, bug fixes are a good thing to have.

Thanks to everyone who sent this in!

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2 years ago

Readability for Android hits Monday - we've got your preview today!

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Welcome to Readability for Android. So-called "read-it-later" apps have become a godsend for when you're short on time and even shorter on bandwidth. A couple clicks and webpages are sent from your desktop browser to an app your phone, stripping off the fat and leaving pure lean meat on the bone.

Readability is the latest in this line of applications. Having just been released for iOS, it'll be release for Android on Monday, March 12. We got to take Readability for a quick spin today. And if this sort of app service is indispensable for you, we're glad to report that Readability performs wonderfully.

If you're new to this space, the idea's simple. You sign up with Readability (I did it right from my phone -- just took a few seconds) and then install a plugin in your browser. (They've got plug-ins for all the major browsers.) When you get to a webpage you want to send to your phone, you click the Readability. You then have the option to "read now," "read later" or "send to Kindle."

Once a webpage hits the Readability on your phone or tablet -- it looks just fine on a 10-incher like the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 -- everything's stripped out except for the text, images and links. No muss, no fuss, no messy load times. It's got a web view built in, too, so if you want to see something in its original format, it's just a click away.

We've got a full review on the way. For now, check out some preview screenies after the break.

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2 years ago

Using the Android SDK tools with Windows 8 Consumer Preview

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Unlike the Windows Phone SDK, the Android SDK works fairly well with the Windows 8 consumer preview. We know a lot of you folks want to be on the bleeding edge, and for Windows users that means installing the Win8 preview on your computer at home. I decided to dive in and see what was working, and what wasn't, and installed it on my laptop to test things out.

The verdict -- most everything works just as it did before. It's just harder to get to it with Windows' silly new interface. Hit the jump, and we'll have a look.

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2 years ago

The new iPad versus the Transformer Infinity (and others)

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Our cousins at iMore.com have been killing the iPad (3/HD/new) coverage today. The long and short of it is you've got more powerful iPad with a killer resolution, and a bunch of other cool stuff thrown in. You can't deny that it's still the tablet to beat, even though we're certainly bigger fans of the Android OS.

Anyhoo. The iMore kids worked up a comparison chart so you can get your specs on. Check it out.

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