Headlines

3 years ago

Google pushes minor updates to a handful of apps

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Wednesday means Google update day

Google has pushed out a few updates today, most of them very minor. This usually happens every Wednesday, and everyone here at AC starts grabbing phones and tablets to see what is new and how it's different.

Nothing big happened so far today, have a look to see which app updates you should be on the lookout for.

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3 years ago

What is 'Dogfooding'?

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Google let a test build of YouTube app hit public release

Google is in the midst of updating the YouTube app, and somehow or another an internal test version made it's way to Google Play. We imagine it's already pulled, and things will be recitfied, but it's neat even if only temporary.

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3 years ago

Google Wallet introducing 'orders' section to track and receive updates on shipments

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Keep track of every order and receive push notifications for status updates

Google Wallet, while most associated with NFC payments, is actually most-used as an online payment option competing with the likes of Amazon and PayPal. With today's update to the Google Wallet app, purchases made with the service can now be tracked and managed right from the app. This was always possible (albeit in a basic way) from the Google Wallet website, but having it moved over to mobile has advantages.

After the udpate, you'll receive notifications about the status of your orders, you can track open and previous orders and see everything all in one place. It may not be enough to completely dethrone the other leading payment options, but with each update Google Wallet is becoming more compelling as a payment choice. The update isn't live just yet, but you'll find it from the Play Store link above as soon as it is.

Via: +GoogleWallet

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3 years ago

Puzzle game Threes! now available on Android for $1.99

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Threes!

Get your repetitive puzzle game fix and see what the craze is all about

Well it didn't take very long — the hit puzzle game Threes! is now available in all its glory on Android. Coming in at just $1.99 without any ads or nagging in-app purchases, Threes! has been applauded for its simplicity and great gameplay, and now even more people have the opportunity to play it. The game is infinitely replayable and simple to pick up — you're just dealing with a grid of numbers and combining them to get the highest score possible.

The unfortunate thing at this point is that the real game can be tough to find through a regular search with the number of knock-offs (although we do have to say "Fives" is pretty great) on the Play Store right now. But if you follow the Google Play link at the top of this post, you'll be taken to the correct one. The $1.99 price is listed as a discount of 33% right now, so if you want to save a bit, pick it up today.

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3 years ago

Fiverr, the marketplace for $5 services, expands to Android today

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Propelling the 'gig economy' to even more users

Update: The app is now live in the Play Store, and can be downloaded for free from the Play Store button at the top of this post.

Original story: After making its mobile debut on iOS just in December, Fiverr is making its way to Android today. If you haven't heard of Fiverr before, it's an interesting concept that helps link up buyers and sellers in the so-called "gig economy" to perform services starting at just $5 each. When browsing Fiverr, for example, you may see someone offering to do a portrait sketch of you, sing happy birthday in a funny way to a friend, or even test out your new Android app for just $5.

The Android app is a perfect companion to the desktop version of the service, letting you browse through available gigs in a more manageable layout made for Android phones. While the app isn't live in the Play Store just yet — submitting apps and having them propagate takes time, and all — you can keep an eye out for it to be available for free later today. We'll be sure to update the post with the proper Play Store link as it becomes available.

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3 years ago

Cosmos Android app updated, should now work with tablets

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A quick heads up, folks, that the Cosmos app — which gives a little bit of extra content but doesn't actually contain full episodes of the revamped series — has been updated and should now work with most high-end Android tablets.

That, of course, means the Nexus 7, among others. It's worth a reminder that Cosmos is meant for tablets with a 16:10 aspect ratio and sized between 8 and 10.1 inches. We'll call the Nexus 7 close enough.

Snag the update now at the link above.

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3 years ago

Humble Mobile Bundle 4 expands

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Now you can pick up 9 games in total if you donate over the average, currently still under $4

The Humble Mobile Bundle 4 has been available for a few days now, and that means it's time for an expansion of the number of games available. As it regularly does, Humble Bundle is adding three more games to the list, all of which will be available if you make an above-average donation for the group. Adding to the six games already available at launch, you'll now also receive:

  • OLO
  • Color Sheep
  • Gunslugs

That's nine games in total after this refresh, and the average donation price right now is just $3.71 at the time of writing. That's a crazy deal for this many games, and as always they're all still DRM-free and the proceeds go directly to charities and the game developers.

Source: Humble Bundle

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3 years ago

Flappy Bird developer tells Rolling Stone new games are in the works

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Flappy Bird

And the flying fish may return, with a warning

In one of the few good stories you'll read about Flappy Bird — well, aside from this one, perhaps — Rolling Stone tells the tale of Dong Nguyen and the rise and fall (see what we did there?) of one the hottest (and simplest) games to hit smartphones. 

You'll laugh. You'll cry. And you'll actually get an answer as to why Nguyen decided to burn it all down.

Give the full story a read at Rolling Stone.

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3 years ago

Instagram update focuses on cleaning up design, boosting performance

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Instagram

Interface refresh lets the app scale well on devices with a range of screen sizes

It's been a while since we've seen a major update to Instagram, but an update slated to be released today is going to give the photography app a fresh look and improved performance. The main focus is under-the-hood peformance — Instagram says that the profile screen will load twice as fast in the latest version, and the app itself is now half the size after optimizing.

"In taking time to polish our designs, we’ve worked to make sure that Instagram feels native and at home on any Android device."

On the design side, Instagram is working to make the app easier to use on devices of nearly any size with some smart interface choices. Often-used buttons will be easier to reach on devices with larger screens, but interface chrome won't take up too much room on lower-end devices with small screens. The app will remain familiar to anyone who has spent time in Instagram before, but with some appreciable improvements.

Instagram version 5.1 will be available today in Google Play, although at the time of posting it isn't live just yet. Keep an eye on the Play Store listing at the link above to get it as soon as possible.

Source: Instagram

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3 years ago

Play Alien Ride for Android, hear new Skrillex album, Recess

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First full-length album available as an easter egg inside the game

This one's slightly strange, but if you're a fan of dubstep artist, Skrillex, you'll want to listen up. He's got a new – well, first – album called Recess coming out on March 18, but if you download and play Alien Ride for Android and iOS you can listen to it in full as you progress through the game.

The Play Store listing makes no mention of Skrillex, but as you "realize your true potential ... unlocking new features and shooting your way to a high score," you'll open up more and more of the album to enjoy. Finish the whole thing and you'll see a pre-order link for the album, due out next week.

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3 years ago

Magazine Home review

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Samsung's built-in newsreader has grown up, but still has room for improvement

When the Galaxy Pro line of tablets was first introduced in January, all eyes were on Magazine Home, Samsung’s brand new UX that fans and critics alike were dubbing the TouchWiz killer. Likened to a Google-ized version of Windows 8, Magazine Home was said to be a major shift away from TouchWiz as we knew it.

That assumption proved false.

In reality, as we learned at last month’s unveiling of the Galaxy S5, Magazine Home is simply a new element of TouchWiz, baked into the UI but short of a total replacement. But despite it falling short of critics’ and fans’ expectations, for better or for worse, it does indeed mark a major shift for Samsung.

I spent the past several weeks getting to know Magazine Home on the Galaxy line of tablets. Here, we’ll take a look at what the new user interface is, what it isn’t, and why it’s an important step in Samsung’s evolution.

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3 years ago

Google faces class-action lawsuit over in-app purchases

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Mother suing over $69 of in-app purchases through Marvel game

Google is facing a class-action lawsuit over claims it "unfairly" profited from unauthorized in-app purchases by children. The suit was filed by New York mother Llana Imber-Gluck, who says her child spent $68.95 on virtual currency for the Marvel Run Jump Smash! game on Google Play. Law firm Berger & Montague, representing Imber-Gluck, alleges that Google "has unfairly profited by marketing free or low-cost games to children and by permitting them to easily rack up charges for worthless in-game currency, by failing to incorporate reasonable controls such as simply requiring the entry of a password."

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3 years ago

Jawbone UP24 now works with Android

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The Android wearables market isn't going to shrink anytime soon, and in fact today it got a great new addition with the Jawbone UP24. The $149 bracelet has been around for a few months but shunned the world's most popular operating system until today. 

So what's it do? Oh, just track your physical activity and sleep patterns, set alarms and reminders to get you to move, log your food and drink intake and get tips on how to improve your existence. And it does it all in one of the smaller, more comfortable form factors available.

If you've got a Jawbone UP24, you can snag the new Android app (never mind the date on the app listing) at the link above. For more on the Jawbone UP24, hit the link below.

Source: Jawbone press release (pdf); More: Jawbone

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3 years ago

BBM for Android getting update to address some issues

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Update to roll out today via Google Play

BlackBerry has taken to Twitter and announced that we'll be seeing an update for BBM sometime today. The update should address emoticons in status updates, problems with web links, and more.

We're not sure what the "more" is about just yet, and not sure exactly when to expect the update, but it's always good to fix issues and keep users happy. You can look for the update, or install BBM from the Google Play link above.

Source: @BBM

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3 years ago

Get a Google Play Music All Access 60-day trial if you have a Chromebook

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If you haven't used a previous trial, Google is giving 60 days of all-you-can-listen to Chromebook users

Google Play Music All Access is pretty sweet. You can add any album to your library, listen to ad-free Internet Radio based on genre or based on a particular song, artist or album, or even try the "I'm Feeling Lucky" feature and see what you get. We all use it here around the office, and if it's available in your country, it's something you ought to at least take a look at.

If you have a Chromebook, looking just got easier.

Google is now givng away a 60-day trial of All Access when you sign up via your Chromebook. This offer doesn't extend to people who have already tried the service via another offer, or existing customers.

Spend your 60 days listening to classics, old favorites, or exploring new music. When the trial is up, you can extend and enroll in the service for $9.99 per month, charged via Google Wallet like any other app subscription. If you decide not to use it, just cancel and all is good. You won't know until you try!

Source: +Google Play. Thanks, Chad!

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