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4 years ago

Apps of the Week: GroupMe, Thor: The Dark World, Media Converter and more!

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A great grouping of free apps for you to check out this weekend

Hard to believe it's already November, but we're moving right along on our Apps of the Week column every Saturday. As we do every week, we round up a group of apps picked by each of the Android Central writers, and give you a quick explanation of why they're installed on our phones and tablets. They may not be chart-topping apps that will blow your mind every time, but they work for us and we think they can work for you as well.

This week we have a list of both utilities and games, with the theme that each one is completely free. Read along with us after the break and see how this week's list compares to the rest — you may just find an app or two you want to try out for yourself.

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4 years ago

The best soccer apps for Android

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MLS playoffs are coming up soon - is your phone loaded up with the top soccer apps for Android?

Major League Soccer playoffs are right around the corner, and if you’re into this kind of football, it’s bound to be an exciting time. There are plenty of Android apps out there to help you keep tabs on scores, get in the spirit, and otherwise enjoy the last few matches.

Most of these are widely applicable to football all around the world too - even if you're not into MLS specifically, these apps can help you keep tabs on everything regardless of league. Of course, it's not all just scores and stats - we've got a few games kicked in there too just to keep you occupied once you're caught up on news. 

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4 years ago

Motorola to bring KitKat to Moto X, new Droids and Dev Edition RAZR HD

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Small number of models confirmed for the update, others left waiting a while longer

Motorola has just updated its customer help pages to reflect which devices will receive updates to Android 4.4 KitKat. Just as you would expect, all variants of the Moto X will be getting the latest software, as will Verizon's latest lineup of Droid (Mini, Ultra, Maxx) devices. Left out are the last round of Droid phones from Verizon, the RAZR M, HD and MAXX HD.

The one exception here is the Developer Edition RAZR HD, which is confirmed to have Android 4.4 on the way. Motorola of course doesn't give any time frame on when the updates will hit, but is at least giving its word that they will come eventually. This is also just the list of phones that are confirmed to be receiving the update. Several devices are listed as having a "future plan coming soon" — but we wouldn't count on too many of those getting seeing 4.4.

Source: Motorola; +Punit Soni

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4 years ago

Hangouts v2 preinstalled on Nexus 5, updated in Play Store in coming weeks

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New information revealed about SMS integration, statuses and sharing options

Google announced at an event this week that new features would be coming in the latest version of Hangouts, and now we have a better idea of when and specifically what we'll be getting. First up is SMS and MMS integration — Google says you'll be able to receive text messages in Hangouts, and you can even import existing conversations when you make the move. SMS support also extends to group texts and emoji support between Android and iPhone.

You will also be able to send animated GIFs in Hangouts, including Auto Awesome animated photos made through Google+. Even further, you can now set status indicators showing what device you're currently using, whether or not you're in a call and what your mood is (if you're into that kinda thing). You'll also be able to share your granular location on a map (shown above).

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4 years ago

Motorola makes updating the Moto X camera easy, moves app to Google Play

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In a continuing trend of moving what traditionally would be system apps out of the operating system, Motorola has just plopped the camera application for the Moto X into the Google Play Store.

Listed as new in this release are:

  • Brightened camera viewfinder so it's easier to see
  • Enabled quick capture for more enterprise IT policies
  • Bug fixes

And, more important, it means you won't need a system update to improve the Moto X camera — which has been the most disappointing part of this phone for us.

This isn't the first time we've seen this happen, of course. The Touchless Control feature for the Moto X (and new Verizon Droids) is in Google Play, having just been updated with a new "Find my phone" feature. Motorola's Droid Zap feature also is in Google Play.

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4 years ago

Sprint Galaxy Nexus Android 4.3 update rolling out starting today

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Well, it's better late than never

It's been a good nine months since the Sprint Galaxy Nexus received its last OTA to Android 4.2.1, and now the jump to 4.3 is beginning its rollout. In a bit of awkward timing with the expected launch of Android 4.4 for other Nexus devices, Sprint has just posted on its community site that the update is rolling out now.

As is usually the case you'll have to wait somewhere in the range of two weeks to get the software update as the rollouts happen both gradually and at random. The latest software version is now "GJ04" if you want to make sure you're on the latest build — keep an eye on your phone for that update.

Source: SprintThanks, d14racer24!

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4 years ago

Get your gaming fix during Google Play's Spooky Savings sale

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Google is getting in the Halloween spirit, and they've got a page full of games with special Halloween promotions to celebrate. Titled "Spooky Savings", here's a list of what's available:

It may not be the candy bar you want right now, but these games should help pass the time. Give 'em a try!

Source: Google Play

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4 years ago

Pandora updates UI for proper Android tablet design

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Pandora today updated its Android application to finally bring about a proper design for tablets. 

The revamp smartly covers both portrait and landscape orientations, though the latter looks a little weird until you get two or three album covers onto the screen. No matter, though, it's absolutely an update you'll want to snag.

With the redesign you get easier access to your playlists, song lyrics and other sharing and purchasing options. Pretty self-explanatory, actually. 

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4 years ago

Collect and battle dragons and more in GREE's Dragon Realms

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Mobile gaming powerhouse GREE International has released a number of role-playing/town building games in recent years, including Modern War, Kingdom Age, and Crime City. Their latest role-playing game Dragon Realms was developed internally at GREE’s RPG+ Studio and acts as the spiritual successor to last year’s Kingdom Age.

Dragon Realms is a free to play Massively Multiplayer Online game that boasts hundreds of creatures to collect, cooperative and PVP play, and cross-platform multiplayer to boot. Read on for our detailed impressions.

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4 years ago

Facebook Messenger updated with a new look, improved phone number integration

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Facebook steps up its design game and adds chat features at the same time

Facebook is rolling out an update to its dedicated Messenger app today that brings a fresh new interface and an improved experience for chatting with friends who aren't on the service. The latest version, which Facebook claims is rolling out to a limited number of users to start, ditches the kind of bland old interface for a new slick white and blue one that feels appropriately modern for an app released in late 2013.

You'll now have a clear indication on your friends list who is using Facebook Messenger, Facebook on the web or not using either one of the chat programs. If your friends aren't using them, you can easily invite them to chat over SMS with just a phone number. The new setup process after installing will also prompt you for a phone number (it doesn't seem to work with Google Voice just yet), moving the process along easily.

If you have been selected as one of the early users to receive the update, you'll find it at the Play Store link above.

More: Facebook

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4 years ago

First look: New Google+ update with all new photos app

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Auto-awesome all the things with the new Google+ application

The new Google+ app is out in the wild (ask a friend with a soon-to-be-released phone for a copy) and along with comes an all new Google Photos app. It's the one we saw earlier in the Google+ mini event, and they new layout is pretty darn slick.

The Google+ part itself seems mostly unchanged, with everything as we're used to from the last version. You can choose the Google account you would like to use and manage a page right from the slide-out menu, check on your communities, perform a search and do everything else you would want to do on Google's social network. There is a new shortcut in the menu to Hangouts, which is handy.

The big news, and the most fun news, is in the new Google Photos app. Hit the break, let's have a look.

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4 years ago

Snapseed update now available, adds HDR feature

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Some of the rather major photo improvements announced at this morning's Google+ event are on the server side, but some are headed to our phones as well. And to that end, Google's Snapseed image editor has received its update, bringing following improvements:

  • HDR SCAPE: Give your normal photos a psuedo-HDR look.
  • Shadows slider added to the Tune Image option for brightening your image.
  • Bugfixes and other improvements.

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4 years ago

Twitter updated with inline photo and video previews

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Inline previews and new, easier ways to reply, retweet and favorite

The official Twitter app for Android has been updated with a feature that's long been popular in third-party clients, inline previews for photos and videos. The feature, enabled by default but toggleable in the settings menu, shows an expanded preview of photos and Vines (but not YouTube videos) directly in your feed. You can then tap the inline image to show a larger version.

In addition, todays update brings reply, retweet and favorite buttons directly underneath each tweet, meaning you no longer have to long press to access these. (You'll still need to long press to share individual tweets to other apps, however.)

The new version of Twitter for Android (ver. 4.1.9) is rolling out now on Google Play, so check the Play Store app to grab the update.

More: Twitter blog

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4 years ago

The best basketball apps for Android

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Alright basketball fans, it's time to crack open Google Play

Basketball season is starting off today, and fans will want to stay up-to-date with the latest scores and otherwise get into the spirit of things. We've dug through Google Play to see what's big, and though hardcore fans may already be familiar with what's available, there may be a few hidden gems here.

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4 years ago

BBM claims 20 million active users on Android and iOS

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Multiplatform BBM launch brings total active users to 80 million

BlackBerry has announced that the recent launch of its BBM messaging app on Android and iOS has added 20 million active users to the platform in its first week of availability. The news comes days after the company revealed the app had passed 10 million downloads in its first day. The new additions bring BBM's total active accounts to 80 million across BlackBerry, Android and iOS devices, according to today's press release.

That's a significant increase for BlackBerry's messaging network, but it's worth remembering that it's still early days for BBM on Android and iOS, and a short-term spike in users is to be expected. Nevertheless it'll be interesting to see how successful BBM is at holding onto these active accounts in the months ahead.

You'll find more coverage of today's numbers and other BlackBerry happenings over on CrackBerry.com.

Source: CrackBerry

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