Following a fairly successful soft launch in Canada, Zynga’s FarmVille 2: Country Escape launches globally today on iOS and Android. The Facebook version has been out since 2012, though the new mobile version won’t require a social plug-in to bug your friends for resources. You can also play offline, which is a nice change of pace from these types of games. The usual freemium city-building tropes are here: gather resources, plant new crops, wait on timers, or speed them up through in-app purchases, and co-operate with friends.
Flickr for Android just got a complete overhaul, bumping the app to version 3.0 and bringing a host of new and welcome features. First thing you'll notice upon opening the new Flickr is the completely redesigned interface, bringing it up to modern Android standards. It also just looks plain better than the old version (and possibly better than the iOS version). The app has also gained a suite of editing tools that let you tweak and refine your photos.
Eyefi has introduced a new cloud service to complement their Wi-Fi-enabled SD memory cards for photographers. Eyefi Cloud provides a polished dedicated interface through new Android and iOS apps for users to view their photos at full resolution, add tags, organize into collections, and sync collections with other devices. The new service will run you $49 for a year of unlimited uploads, plus a free three months when you first download the app. Unfortunately the new app only plays nice with the Eyefi Mobi card for direct camera-to-phone downloads. Anyone with an older card will have to stick with Eyefi’s existing app.
There's an update for Google Calendar available now in the Google Play Store, and it's going to make adding locations to events a tad easier. The update is relatively minor, but it brings a recently-added feature from the web version of Google Calendar to the Android app: location autocomplete from Google Maps. All you have to do is start typing in the location field on an appointment and Google Maps' extensive address and point of interest database will be queried to provide you as-you-type autocomplete predictions. This can be especially handy when you want to ensure you have a correct address for someplace you'll be using your phone's navigation tools to reach.
The Google Calendar app update is propagating now through the Google Play Store for your updating pleasure.
The LG G2 Mini is set to arrive in the UK at the end of April and Clove have announced pricing of £249.99 (including VAT) for the 'small' Android smartphone. The UK retailer has the black variant listed and expect stock to arrive later this month.
If you own a Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014 Edition) W-Fi (see our review), you'll be pleased to learn that Samsung has finally begun rolling out the Android 4.4.2 KitKat update. Note that we're currently at the beginning of the process with only select markets receiving the upgrade for the time being, but it's well on the way.
UK supermarket Tesco has a sweet deal for anyone looking for a brand new Android tablet. The white LG G-Pad is now available for just £119, part of the supermarket's Easter Deals. That's a massive saving of £130 for an 8-inch tablet with a quad-core chip and 16GB internal storage. While it's the Wi-Fi model, we're still filing this under "awesome deals". Be quick though, it only runs until Tuesday.
Samsung and Amazon today announced a new custom Kindle experience for consumers who own Samsung Android hardware. This eBook service, Kindle for Samsung, is available to all Galaxy hardware running Android 4.0 or above. If you're using a smartphone from another vendor, fear not as the official Kindle app will remain available for download.
Sony is set to bring Android 4.4 (KitKat) to consumers this coming May, according to the Sony website. Those who own older Xperia Z products will be updated to the later version of the operating system. This covers the Xperia Z, ZL, ZR and the Xperia Tablet Z. We previously looked at the company's plans to bring Android 4.3 and 4.4 to its portfolio of Android hardware, which revealed a mid-Q2 launch for KitKat on older Xperia Z-series devices.
We love features - and the ability to turn them off
Samsung's My Magazine feature on the Galaxy S5 is similar to HTC's BlinkFeed feature. It can filter in news stories and social updates from various networks for easy access in just a swipe. However, if you don't like My Magazine you can easily disable it altogether. Here's how:
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