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3 years ago

Google Play changes coming Nov 21, will focus on tablet apps

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Apps designed for tablets will be more visible from your tablet come November 21

Google has announced that some changes are coming to Google Play on November 21, and that the tablet app section will take front and center.

With all new tablet sales being 50 percent Android, Google wants to expand and showcase the "Designed for Tablets" section of Google Play, where applications that have been written to take better advantage of the extra real estate that a 7-inch or 10-inch tablet can offer are highlighted.

Come late November, users browsing the Google Play app on their tablet will now have the "Designed for Tablets" view as the default when looking through the top lists (Top Paid, Top Free, Top Grossing, Top New Paid, Top New Free, and Trending). We'll still be able to switch to see all apps if we like, but this should make sure we notice the apps that will look and run best on out tablets.

If you're an app developer, you'll want to get in on this action. The Android Developers Blog is a great place to start, and getting your app primed for the big tablet push is their goal. Hit the source link and get started. And don't forget to holler at us when you're done — we're always looking for the best apps to feature on the blog.

Source: Android Developers Blog

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3 years ago

Instagram update coming to Android, brings photo straightening and new video controls

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Straighten things out with the latest Instagram update for Android

If you've been wanting to straighten all those slightly crooked pictures your posting to Instagram from your Android, you'll be able to soon. An update is rolling out for Android that brings the straighten control and new sound and data usage controls to videos to the popular photo-sharing app. Users on iOS have had access to this for a while, and now the apps are on equal footing from a feature standpoint. 

You can check the Google Play link above to see if the update is available for you. If not, it should be soon as the folks at Instagram say it's coming today.

Source: @Instrgram

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3 years ago

Bell launches Samsung Knox service in Canada

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After what looks like a rocky start, Samsung's Knox enterprise security service is going live in Canada by way of Bell Mobility. Right now Knox is limited to the Galaxy Note 3, but will be coming to the Galaxy S4 after a software update next month.

For those unfamiliar, Knox lets users bring in their own personal device to work, but also give IT administrators control and security over business data going through the device. Knox includes full support for file sharing e-mail, contacts, collaboration tools, and other CPN and mobile device management solutions.

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3 years ago

Twitter launches tablet-optimized interface, but only for the latest Galaxy Note 10.1

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Other non-Samsung tablets to receive the updated UI 'by the end of the year'

Twitter has finally announced that it has developed a tablet-optimized version of its Android app, but there's a big caveat if you're wanting to get your hands on it now. Taking to its official blog, Twitter explained all of the great benefits of its new design that takes advantage of larger tablet screens ... but here's the catch, it is exclusive to the Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition.

The new interface, which is "magazine-like" in design, takes advantage of the extra screen real estate to show your Timeline on one side of the screen and expanded tweets on the right with one tap. Another tap on media in tweets will take you full screen to read articles, view pictures or watch videos right inside the app.

Beyond these overall interface changes, Twitter's partnership with Samsung for the exclusive launch of the tablet-optimized app includes a few new features tailored to the Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition. If you have the latest Samsung tablet you can resize Twitter with the "Multi window" feature to multitask, draw notes, illustrations or annotate photos with the S Pen and tweet them out right in the app.

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3 years ago

Stitcher Radio adds offline playback, new navigation drawer

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Automatic downloads of your favorite playlists to have available at any time

Building off of its redesign earlier in this year, Stitcher Radio has added a big piece of functionality — offline listening of your playlists. You can now set any of your playlists to be updated in the background and downloaded automatically for offline listening, meaning you can always have your content available without hitting your data cap. Just as you would hope, downloads by default are only done over Wifi but can be allowed over mobile data if you need that podcast in a pinch.

With the update to version 3.1 Stitcher has also introduced a new slide-in navigation drawer, making it simple to access the Front Page, browse for new shows or access your stations at any time. Stitcher is still a fantastically smooth and well-designed app, and we're happy to see more simple touches of functionality being added in. You can grab an update or download of the latest version from the Play Store link above

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3 years ago

Gameloft optimizes two titles and preloads them on the Archos Gamepad2

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Asphalt 8: Airborne and Modern Combat 4: Zero Hour optimized to work with the dedicated gaming controls

App publisher Gameloft has sent out a memo to let us all know that they have two special titles for folks buying the Archos Gamepad 2Asphalt 8: Airborne and Modern Combat 4: Zero Hour have both been optimized for the Gamepad 2 controls, and will be bundled on the tablet as part of the original firmware.

The applications have been tweaked to work with the new tablet's dedicated gaming buttons, and as we've seen on devices like the Nvidia Shield, this can make for a world of difference and deliver games that are more fun to play. 

Users will still have the option of installing the original versions from Google Play, but we can't imagine why anyone would want to replace the versions built specifically for the hardware with more generic options. We'll have the answers at the end of the month when the tablet slash gaming console goes up for sale. Hit the break for the deliciously short and succinct press release.

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3 years ago

Google Maps update includes quick access to flight, hotel, and restaurant reservations

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Book something on the web, get it in Maps

A Google Maps update has recently been rolled out which provides quick access to flight, hotel, and restaurant reservations you've made that are linked to your Google account. These should show up in your search history on mobile, but for now the feature is only available in the U.S. and in English. There have also been a few UI tweaks to get you to navigation and traffic overviews more quickly. 

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3 years ago

Outlook app updated with better syncing and a new set of colors

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Microsoft's Outlook app for Android has some new tools to go with a new set of colors

Microsoft has updated the Outlook app for Android, and with the new version they have brought some changes that they think will make for a better mail experience. The bullet points here are server-side search, improved offline mail storage, new app colors, vacation replies and account aliases. It's a healthy update to an app that serves millions of users.

The biggest change for power-users is the server-side searching. Previously, if you wanted to find something in your mailbox you had to make sure it was downloaded. With today's update, both your local mailbox and Microsoft's storage can be searched. The addition of a new color scheme, and things like account aliases should also be welcome.

We still say Gmail is the best way to get your mail on your Android, but if you're tied to Outlook, things just got a little bit better. You can grab the app or the update via the Google Play link above.

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3 years ago

Headed to the Big Android BBQ? Be sure to grab the official app!

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A newly redesigned app to keep you up-to-date with all things BABBQ

There are a whole lot of things you need to have done before you head out to the Big Android BBQ this year, but be sure to remember to install the official BABBQ app. Whether its to keep up with news, the schedule, learn more about the speakers or just to collect some pins while you're down in Dallas, the Big Android BBQ app is a must-have.

With a completely new redesign for the 2013 get-together, the new app is easy on the eyes as well. Be sure to install the app and link it to your Google+ profile for the best experience before you head out on your way to the BBQ.

I'll be attending the BABBQ this year, so if you are making the trip and happen to see me walking around, don't hesitate to come say hello! We always like meeting and talking to the folks who follow AC.

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3 years ago

SketchBook for Galaxy puts the S Pen on the Note 3 to work

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Whether you're an artist or a doodler, you'll love SketchBook on your new Galaxy Note

The biggest feature of the Samsung Galaxy Note series to me is the S Pen. It's an awesome input device, making things like filling out forms or signing documents easy, but it's also great when you want to get creative. Once you get used to things, it really is just like holding a real pen or pencil.

When you pair this with just the right app, things get pretty special. The great news is that just the right app is included on your new Note — whether you picked up the Note 3 or the Note 10.1 - 2014 edition. I'm talking about the SketchBook Pro application, which comes in a special Galaxy edition as part of your factory firmware. It's a lot like the retail version of the product (which you can try via the Google Play link above for $4.99), but it's specialized with a pen mode that can work with the pressure-sensitive S Pen perfectly.

It's a complete, dare I say professional-level, drawing and sketching application. It's come a long way since its launch on Google Pay back in 2011. You can add layers with varying degrees of transparency, choose from hundreds of different brushes and styles, and pick any color in the spectrum to use in your art. It's a lot like Photoshop for your phone or tablet, but better designed for the smaller screen, in my opinion.

If you picked up a new Note, you'll find the stub in your app drawer. Be sure to open it and give the full app a try. I think if you like to create any sort of doodle or picture, you're going to love it. Hit the break to see a selection of screenshots.

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3 years ago

Jackpot Bingo: an Android exclusive casino game from GREE

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Ready for some Bingo on the go?

Japanese mobile gaming giant GREE International has just released Jackpot Bingo – developed by their in-house Casino Studio - exclusively for Android devices. Jackpot Bingo is a sequel of sorts to Jackpot Slots, which came out earlier this year. A host of game types and social features make Jackpot Bingo one of the better online Bingo titles around.

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3 years ago

Skype updated with a brand new tablet layout

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Fresh interface, improved video quality and several under-the-hood improvements

Skype is rolling out an update today that is drastically improving the interface on larger tablet screens. Back in February Skype gave a tablet-optimized layout a try and quickly reversed its actions, and we're happy to say that this time around it seems to have done it the right way. Building on the completely remade Skype 4.0 update that was released for phones in June, the new interface focuses on conversations and people in a much-improved layout that is clearly designed for larger screens.

Version 4.4 brings all of the upgrades in terms of performance that came to phones in version 4.0, and all devices that move to 4.4 will see improved video quality. Skype says that the maximum resolution in the latest version can be up to four times as high as before. A whole grouping of bugfixes are also included in the latest update, including big issues with incoming calls and reboots.

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3 years ago

Yahoo Mail receives unified redesign, now offers 1TB of storage

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New themes, easier navigation and unified controls across platforms

Yahoo Mail is 16 years old today, and to celebrate the service is receiving a large redesign to unify its look across the platform. You'll now notice a cleaner look in the Android app along with changes in the iOS and Windows Phone apps as well as on the web. Functionally, the app now shows email threads in a "conversation" view if you prefer and several basic functions like starring, deleting and searching are easier to perform with one tap.

Several features that were reserved for premium "Mail Plus" subscribers before are now free, including disposable email addresses, enhanced filters and automatic message forwarding. The amount of storage you receive as a free user has dramatically increased as well — everyone gets 1TB (yes, one terabyte) of storage for their email.

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3 years ago

Star Command brings spaceships, aliens, and hilarity to Google Play

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Build a ship, get a crew, explore the galaxy, and find something to blow up

A particularly great space sim game made its way to Android today called Star Command. Players guide a vaguely Star Trekky crew through a wild and weird universe of adventure, upgrade their ship, and fend off attacks against boarding parties and heavily-armed alien spacecraft. 

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3 years ago

CyanogenMod AirPlay mirroring demoed

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CyanogenMod developer Koushik Dutta has shown off a few neat video Chromecast-related tricks before, but his latest video takes things a step further. Today he's demonstrated an AirPlay mirroring server running on Android, allowing a phone running Angry Birds to beam images to a nearby tablet. It's unclear whether this feature will ever make it into CM proper. (Indeed, licensing issues could prevent AirPlay from ever landing on an official CM retail build.) But it makes for an impressive technical showcase nonetheless — check it out above.

Source: +Koushik Dutta

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