Headlines

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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3 years ago

Nest updates its app to support 18 Nest Protects — for those with meager homes

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Nest today updated its Android application to allow you to add up to 18 Nest Protects — those are the $129 combination smoke and CO detectors — to a single home.

Again, that's up to $2,300 worth of smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in a single home. Just in case.

Also in the update: Bug fixes and enhancements.

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3 years ago

Cosmos Android app brings glorious, glorious science to your phone

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Science! (But the app's a wee bit lacking.)

The reboot of science series Cosmos kicked off over the weekend, and there's already an Android app ready to bring a wealth of related content to your phone. Nestled within are video clips, supplementary reading, high-resolution images, behind-the-scenes sneak peeks, and a neat calendar which condenses the entire lifetime of the universe into 365 days.

The show is hosted by astrophysicist superstar Neil deGrasse Tyson, and though it's built to entertain, there's a lot to be learned about the stars and our planet. For those unfamiliar, Cosmos was originally a PBS special hosted by scientific luminary Carl Sagan in the 80s. It not only managed to explain astrophysics in a digestible way, but it also made the science interesting and inspiring.

Unfortunately, the Cosmos app doesn't support full episode viewing. You'll have to get FOX Now for that. Also, no love for Nexus 7 users, as the app is "optimized for most medium resolution tablets (16:10) with 8-inch 10.1-inch screens."

Did anyone catch the show live over the weekend? How'd you like the reboot?

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3 years ago

What I'm playing this week: BADLAND

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Fantastic artistic styling and simple gameplay are hard to turn down — and it's free to play as well

I have to say that I'm not the biggest mobile gamer out there, but when I find a title that I like I tend to sit down and sink a few hours into it. This week that game is BADLAND, and its simplistic gameplay and great design have me hooked. BADLAND reminds me a lot of the game Contre Jour because it's extremely simple in terms of both control and design — you tap or tap and hold to move your character through maze-like levels while avoiding obstacles, all cast in jet black with a colorful background providing contrast.

There's very little strategy at play here, really. And against my usual tendency to like structured games I actually quite enjoy it here in BADLAND. As you move through the first handful of levels it does get difficult, but there isn't a set way to do things — you kind of just float around and do everything by feel and impulse.

The goal of each level is to make it from beginning to end quickly and without being destroyed by one of the many objects swirling or hacking to get you. As you grab power-ups, the pace of the levels increases and decreases accordingly — and I've found that it's just difficult enough in the early stages to give you a sense of immediacy without being ridiculously hard. That's a tough balance — especially for a casual-level game on a phone — but something they've nailed here.

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3 years ago

Pebble 2.0 gets a much-needed stability update

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A quick heads up, folks, that the official Pebble app got an update Saturday evening to address a couple of major bugs.

Here's the changelog:

  • Stability improvements throughout the app
  • Fix issue in which users were stuck at "Starting installation..." during setup

We wouldn't go so far to say that the app's now what we'd expect from Pebble — it's still way more sluggish and a little unwieldy than we'd like. But these are good fixes, and a step in the right direction.

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3 years ago

Apps of the Week: Shadow Blade, QuizUp, Karma and more!

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All of the best apps that have made their way onto our devices this week

After a brief hiccup because of MWC at the end of February we're now back to our normal pace with the second regularly-scheduled Apps of the Week column in March. That means we're also right back on schedule offering up a handful of apps each weekend that the Android Central writers are actually using day in and day out.

They may be games, tools, weird utilities or quick one-use apps, but if they're installed on our phones or tablets, then the apps are worth talking about. You'll find our list of apps after the break — you may just find a few that fit your own needs as well.

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3 years ago

Plague Inc. Mutation 8 update coming next month

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Update promises a plethora of new features and has something for everyone

Plague, Inc. has grown to over 25 million players, and a big reason why is the updates. By the time you have the current version mastered, the folks at Ndemic have a new update ready to go that not only enhances the gameplay, but brings along new content. Gamers just love new content. The "Mutation 8" update will be no different, and brings plenty to the table.

  • “Mega-Brutal” difficulty – for players who thought Brutal was Casual! Experience Plague Inc.’s toughest challenge yet and try to infect a world with random medical checks, genetic drift and research tech improvements. Adapt or die…
  • Mega new Cheat Modes – 3 new cheat modes are added – the Shuffle Plague, Turbo Plague and Lucky Dip Plague which will all give you very different Plague Inc. experiences.
  • Mega evolved Cheat functionality – the thing that everyone has been waiting for! You can now use cheats on any plague type (and even combine different cheat modes)
  • Mega new Scenarios – 4 new scenarios give players brand new challenges from infecting the world with a 30,000 year old virus through to surviving in a world with hyper advanced healthcare

Ndemic says we'll be seeing the update hit this April, which gives us just enough time to beat Brutal mode so we can prepare for Mega Brutal. Bring it!

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3 years ago

Pebble 2.0 finally available for Android

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New app is still a bit rough around the edges but includes the all-important Pebble appstore

Pebble today has finally updated its Android application to version 2.0.

Most important, perhaps, is that the updated app and firmware — which is v2.0.1., actually — means apps built with the Pebble SDK 2.0 will now work on your watch. And just slightly behind that is the Pebble appstore, which brings things under one roof — apps and watchfaces are all in one place now. 

Here's the full, official changelog:

  • Browse, find, and install watchapps and watchfaces for Pebble. 
  • Discover new and most popular watchapps by category: notifications, fitness, daily use, tools & utilities, remotes, and games. 
  • Watchapp locker: conveniently store your favorite Pebble watchapps when not in use. 
  • Receive notifications when software updates for Pebble are ready to install. 
  • Supports Pebble watchapps built with SDK 2.0, including the new JavaScript API. 
  • Troubleshoot issues and make suggestions right from the app.

In addition, Pebble today announced three new partner apps — eBay, Evernote and Time Warner Cable

And if you haven't visited yet, be sure to hit up our newly-launched sibling site SmartwatchFans.com, where they're covering the Pebble and Pebble Steel in full force.​

More: Pebble blog; Thanks, Harrison!

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3 years ago

Samsung releases Slacker-powered Milk Music free for high-end Galaxy phones

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A premium ad-free radio service that doesn't cost a dime

In case you can't find what you need from other free Internet Radio services, Samsung has released Milk Music for the Galaxy S3, Galaxy S4, Galaxy S5, Galaxy Note 2, Galaxy Note 3, Galaxy Mega and Galaxy S4 Mini.

Powered by Slacker, Milk Music features over 200 genre-based and curated stations, with 13 million songs. There is a strong ocus on discovery, including a "Spotlight" feature that offers a continus curated stream of hand-picked content by music influencers. Of course, you can also create your own station based on your favorite tracks and albums.

We'll dive in for a closer look with Milk Music, for now you can grab it from the Google Play link above if you have a compatible phone.

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3 years ago

Fitness tracker Endomondo gets a major update, adds Bluetooth LE, more features

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Endomondo today announced version 10.0 of its popular fitness application, adding a wealth of new features both on-screen and behind the scenes.

Let's break 'em down:

  • Bluetooth Low Energy — This is the big one, allowing for better connections to Bluetooth devices while conserving battery on your smartphone. Endomondo says some 200 beta testers helped get this one ready to go.
  • Better graphics for premium and pro users. (Note the ads on the free version you see here.)
  • A lock screen widget has been added, so you can peek at your stats without having to unlock your phone.
  • Proper Google+ sharing once your workout is over.
  • And all-new implementation of ANT+.
  • And a getting-started tutorial.

Definitely an update you'll want to get if you're a current Endomondo user. And if you're looking for a new fitness app, it's absolutely worth a try.

More: Endomondo blog

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