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3 years ago

Apps of the Week: ASUS AiCloud, Wag.com, A Ride into the Mountains and more!

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Another week, more great app picks from the AC writers

It's been a big week here at Android Central with a hotly anticipated device review to focus on, but we're not going to skip a beat on our Apps of the Week column for anything. We've still built up a post containing an app picked from each of the Android Central writers to put on display and give a few words about why it has found a place on their device.

Today you'll find a handful of tools a couple of really fun games to keep you efficient and entertained through the weekend and into the work week. Stick around after the break and see how they stack up.

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3 years ago

Google Now update hitting devices, bringing new and improved cards

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Sports and travel cards get the focus in this update

That latest Google Now update that the official Android Google+ account teased us with a couple of days ago is now rolling out to devices, and it even brings a few more features than expected. If you need a quick refresher, the update is bringing brand new cards for car rentals, concert tickets, sharing your commute and for NCAA football scores.

The update is also improving a few other cards. Public transit cards show dramatically more information, you can now set reminders based on your searches and more information will be displayed based on what you're watching on TV. Not announced in the original post but revealed in the actual update are two other quick features — related websites for your location, and improvements to sports cards to show real-time data instead of on a 15 minute refresh interval.

This is a big update, with lots of useful improvements. Head to the Play Store at the link above to grab your update.

Thanks, mooniefresh13!

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3 years ago

Introducing Version 1.4 of the Android Central App!

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Earlier this week we released Version 1.4 of the official Android Central App. OK, technically we're already at v1.4.1 thanks to a quick bugfix. But point is, we're continuing down our roadmap. 

We've added some new features — and most notable is a slightly revamped design — and kept our focus on speed and improving stability. And we're not done yet, of course.

New in v1.4.1 are:

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3 years ago

Pandora update adds sleep timer, Nissan car integration

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Streaming service also announces it will remove 40 hour mobile listening cap Sept. 1

Find yourself drifting off to sleep listening to your classical music station on Pandora every night? Well the latest version of the Pandora app has you covered. A new, and apparently highly-requested, feature of a proper sleep timer has arrived in the latest version of the app. The timer can be accessed by sliding in the settings panel from the right edge and can easily be set to 15, 30 or 60 minutes before the music stops playing. It would be nice to set your own time, but we're not going to look this gift horse in the mouth.

On a related note Pandora has also announced, in its quarterly financial results of all places, that it will stop restricting mobile users to 40 hours of streaming per month starting September 1st. The limit was put in place back in March, and Pandora says that it only affected 4 percent of its monthly active users. Under those circumstances it makes more sense for Pandora to be able to advertise unlimited mobile listening than it does to shut down the highest users it has.

Along with the sleep timer, this update brings support for NissanConnect touch screen and steering wheel controls in select Nissan cars, which is important for listening to your music while driving. You can grab the latest version of the Pandora app at the Play Store link above

Source: Pandora; Via: SlashGear

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3 years ago

Chrome Beta adds universal image search, new gestures for tabs and zooming

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New navigation paradigms are more natural, cut down on accidental actions

Chrome Beta has just received a notable update that changes many of the usage and gesture paradigms in the browser. Most notable are the new ways to switch tabs — a swipe down on the toolbar expands the tab switcher (previously only revealed with a tap of the tab button), and swipe left or right along the toolbar to switch between open tabs. This is a far more intuitive way to manage your tabs, and completely prevents accidental tab switching when scrolling pages.

For navigating the Chrome Beta menu, you can now tap the overflow menu button and keep your finger pressed, sliding down the menu options and releasing your finger on the one you'd like to select. Google has also implemented a new one-finger zooming paradigm that is most memorable from Google Maps — double tap the screen and hold the second tap to either slide up or down to zoom in or out on the page.

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3 years ago

BBM for Android user guide appears online

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The "late summer" launch window for BlackBerry Messenger on Android is fast approaching, if not already here. And with beta builds already creeping out into the wild, it should come as no surprise to see support documentation also showing up online ahead of the anticipated release.

Designed to instruct new Android users on the ways of BBM, the docs cover the basics of getting your account set up, viewing friends' profiles and trolling CrackBerry Kevin. (OK, maybe not that last part.)

In any case, there're a lot of instructional bulleted lists and no screenshots to be found, so if you're after a peek at what BBM will look like on Android you'll have to make do with leaked screenshots for now.

Similar documents have also appeared for the upcoming iOS version of BBM. Hit the source link down below to grab both manuals, courtesy of our pals at CrackBerry.

Source: CrackBerry

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3 years ago

Asphalt 8: Airborne launches on Android

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Gravity-defying racer available today on Google Play

As promised, Gameloft's latest racing title Asphalt 8: Airborne is now available to download on Google Play, priced at $0.99. The game was one of a few titles shown off at Google's Android 4.3 event, where it was used to showcase the new graphical effects made possible by the new OS's OpenGL ES 3.0 support.

More importantly, it looks like a lot of fun. The developer promises 180 events, 47 vehicles, including licensed cars, and "gravity-defying" tricks and jumps. Reviewing the iOS version recently, iMore's Simon Sage said —

"If there’s one thing the Asphalt series had going for it, it was a ridiculous, over-the-top gameplay style, and it very much stays true to that spirit. Asphalt 8 is built for adrenaline junkies in a bunch of ways. For one, boosting now has a mini-game element built into it. When you tap once, you initiate your boost, and when you tap again, you go into a faster, second-phase boost. After the first tap, your nitro meter starts going down, and if you tap a second time when it reaches a small target zone, then your secondary boost will be even, uh, boostier."

If you're a racing fan — particularly a racing fan with a new Nexus 7 — you're going to want to check this one out. Hit the Google Play link above to get started.

More: Asphalt 8 review

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3 years ago

Contra: Evolution now available for Android

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Scroll sideways. Shoot aliens.

Retro run-and-gun platformer Contra: Evolution has landed on Android this morning, bringing Konami's classic shooter franchise to the platform for the first time. If you're not familiar with the series, which dates back to the 1987 arcade cabinet original, it's all about finding the biggest gun you can, and shooting aliens in the South American jungle.

The gameplay is both familiar and easy. It's a virtual joystick game, where the left stick controls your direction, and the right is the jump and inventory virtual buttons. Your toon never stops shooting, and whatever direction you turn is also the direction your weapon fires. Work your way through this side-scroller, where of course there are plenty of enemies shooting back, landscape items and scenery that will trip you up, and a boss fight at the end of each level. If you've played any of the Contra series on your old console, you know what to expect here. The Android version seems very true to form, and is just as fun to play as the originals.

Contra: Evolution is available from Google Play now for $0.99 in the U.S., or £0.63 in the UK. Grab it at the link above, or head past the break for our first-look video.

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3 years ago

Orbitz redesigns entire app, adds Google Now integration

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Speeding up the process of booking travel plans, and looking good doing it

Making a big leap in design and quality from the previous version, Orbitz has redesigned its entire app in the latest update to make searching and booking travel plans easier. Realizing the massive number of Android handsets being sold, Orbitz has undergone a complete redesign to be Android native, and the performance increases are notable. Navigation is extremely smooth and easy, with a simple interface that takes fewer taps to get where you need to be — whether it's finding a hotel, booking a flight or buying a rental car.

Under-the-hood changes also include the ability to stay signed in even when you exit the app for a long period of time, offline access for booked flights and changes to flight search listings. Orbitz is also now integrated with Google Now, so Gmail users that receive Orbitz notification emails will see their relevant travel information displayed as a card in Google Now the day of their travel.

You can grab a download or update of the latest Orbitz app at the Play Store link above.

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3 years ago

Google Now adds cards for car rentals, tickets, NCAA football scores and more

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New or improved cards for both work and play

An update to Google Now is in the process of rolling out to devices, and while most of us are still waiting the official Android Google+ account has detailed the update's new features. The update brings several new "card" types across a wide variety of topics, including car rentals, concert tickets, commute sharing and NCAA football scores. Each of these is pretty self-explanatory, but just shows how much Google is working towards getting all types of relevant information in your life into Google Now.

Along with the grouping of new cards, the update also improves public transit cards which will now show times for the last bus or train for you to get home so you'll never be stranded without a way back. The general search card has been updated to include a reminder function when you search for media content, such as setting a reminder to watch a TV show that you searched for. Also related is an updated TV card, which can now show you information about music playing or news being displayed in addition to current programming information.

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3 years ago

Hangouts app gets updated in Google Play

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The Hangouts app gets a speed boost on some phones

The Hangouts app has been updated, and though we don't have a change log as of yet, long-time reader Ben has the update and can tell us a little about what to expect.

On his Galaxy Nexus, he notices a big improvement in speed, and there are more emojis for the folks who like to add a little flair to their messages. Other than that, there seems to be no user-facing changes, but we'll wager a guess that there are bug fixes and stability improvements in there, too.

The new version is 1.1.2.778356, and is doing the usual gradual rollout thing. Keep an eye on your Google Play notifications to know when it's your turn. In the meantime, you can constantly spam-click the Google play link above like we are and see when Google gets around to updating the change log.

Thanks, Ben!

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3 years ago

Motorola puts Touchless Control app in Google Play, availability not expanding

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No new features being added in this initial Play Store release

One of the new headline features of Motorola's latest Droid line and the Moto X, Touchless Control, is hitting the Play Store today. Before you get too excited tough, the app is still restricted to just those four handsets — Droid Mini, Droid Ultra, Droid MAXX and Moto X — at least at this point.

The app is showing up as an update for users of these devices, but there doesn't seem to be any change in functionality or features at this point. Moving this Touchless Control over to the Play Store does enable swift updating when new features are available though, much like we've seen with Google moving apps like its keyboard into the Play Store.

If you have your hands on one of the new Droids, be sure to grab the update on your device.

Via: Droid-Life

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3 years ago

Reminders come to Google Keep, Android app update rolling out

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Reminders and a new UI coming to the Google Keep app, your update is rolling out slowly

Google has updated the Keep service with some new functionality, allowing us to now set reminders based on time or location right from the Android app, website, or Chrome extension. Once a reminder is set and saved in your Google account, you'll receive a notification when it is triggered on your Android.

Like Google Now reminders (we're pretty sure it's the same service, and first sign of the death of Google Tasks) you can tell the Keep app what time to remind you of something, or tell it to remind you when you get somewhere, like the grocery store or work. You can set things to happen at a specific time, like 3:30PM for instance, or something more general like Thursday morning. 

In addition to the new reminders feature, the Keep app is getting the same Google overhaul we've seen the other high-profile apps get. Hamburger menu, account switching and an updated new note interface round things out nicely.

If you're a Google Keep user, keep an eye out for the update that's slowly rolling out to all users. You can check using the Google Play link above. The Chrome extension update can be found here, and you can access Google Keep on the web via your Google Drive account here. Follow through the break for some screenshots.

Source: Google Drive Blog. Thanks, Jonathan!

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3 years ago

TripIt brings Seat Tracker service to Android app

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Don't get stuck in the middle seat for a long flight again

Popular travel service TripIt is adding one of its best "Pro" features, Seat Tracker, to its Android app today. The new feature leverages the fact that TripIt manages your flights for you and therefore can autonomously scan for open or better seats and offer them to you when they become available. Seat Tracker can help you get out of the middle seat, get into an exit row for more leg room or bring you closer to friends or family that you're flying with.

To take advantage of Seat Tracker you'll need the latest version of the Android app and be signed up for the TripIt Pro service, which costs $49 per year but includes several great features for the frequent flyer out there.

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3 years ago

'Dungeon Keeper' coming to Android this winter

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Classic PC franchise rebooted for 'strategy building and tower defense' title

EA and Mythic Studio have announced that they're bringing the classic strategy/god-game franchise Dungeon Keeper to Android and iOS devices later in the year, in the form of a mobile reboot. The PC original, which debuted back in 1997, saw players building an underground lair, attracting evil minions into their service and doing battle against the forces of good.

The mobile version is a "strategy building and tower defense" title, which may disappoint those hoping for a true portable re-make. Nevertheless, all the various components of Dungeon Keeper seem to be in place, including favorite minions like the bile demon, horned reaper and dark mistress, and various traps, rooms and spells.

From EA's press release —

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