Headlines

4 years ago

Welcome the official CrackBerry.com Android app to Google Play!

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The app you know and love, now with the best BlackBerry news

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls. At long last, at great expense to life and limb and with no small amount of fanfare, we're happy to announce that the second Mobile Nations community has a proper native application on Google Play.

In other words, CrackBerry has arrived.

If you're a fan of the Android Central app — and if you're not, you really should be — you'll feel right at home with the CB version. We've taken all the awesomeness of the AC app, all the blood, sweat and tears, and optimized it for CrackBerry. That means you get all blog posts. All the reviews. All the editorials. You can play podcasts in the dedicated podcast section. Videos play directly in the app. You've got full access to the CrackBerry forums, as well as Shop CrackBerry. (The CB Wallpaper Gallery will be added in a future update.)

And best of all, it's free.

Again, this is a native Android application. And while those on BB10 will be able to sideload it, you'll get a better native BlackBerry experience with the official BB10 app from BlackBerry World. Just something to keep in mind.

Hope you enjoy it! Hit the download link above.

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4 years ago

Motorola's Touchless Control app updated with new commands and speak your PIN to unlock

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Hands-free functions updated for devices running Kit Kat

Motorola has updated the Touchless Control app in Google Play, and this time around it's more than juts a bug-fix. The latest version of the application allows for more commands to work while your phone is locked, and the ability to speak your PIN number to unlock it. The change log:

  • More Google Now commands now work without having to unlock your phone first. Personal information such as emails, messages, and contacts are still protected by your PIN or password.
  • Say your pin to unlock your phone when using Touchless Control
  • New listening tone when you say "OK Google Now"
  • Compatible only with Android 4.4 KitKat
  • Bug fixes

This looks to be a great update for those times when you're not connected to a Trusted Bluetooth device, and it's nice to see Motorola realizes that not everything should be accessible while the phone is locked up.

The Kit Kat only bit is a little worrisome, because that means the Droids are out of this one until Verizon gets the update pushed out. Hopefully, that's soon and everybody with a X8 device can have a go. You can find the update at the Google Play link above.

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4 years ago

Skype updated with more tablet-only features

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Picture-in-picture display and fast zooming in your contact list come in Skype 4.5

Microsoft's Skype application has undergone another big change, and version 4.5 is headed to Google Play. Like the last major update, this focuses on tablet design. Included are the bug and crash fixes and support for devices you would expect, but there are also two new features for tablet users.

The first is a picture-in-picture window for video and voice calls. You can now move out of the Skype app but still interact with a floating window of the active call. This is a tablet-only feature, though you will need to allow permission for it on phone installs as well.

The second feature is pinch-zooming and tapping your contact list to quickly navigate based on the letter of the contacts name. This should allow faster searching through your list if you've a long one, and should help when calling someone who isn't in your favorites.

Microsoft says the update will be rolling out today, so keep an eye out for it.

Source: Skype

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4 years ago

Chrome beta removes once-neccessary artifical click delay

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Double-tap listening improved while pinch zooming remains in latest Chrome beta build

If you've ever used a mobile web browser (I think that applies to all of us) you have experienced a self-imposed 300 millisecond delay between the time you tap something and it is registered as a click. This is a big part of the reason that mobile web browsing seems more disjointed and sluggish that what we're used to from a desktop machine, and why native applications seem to work better than HTML 5 web-based versions.

Starting with Chrome 32, now in Beta for Android, all this changes. 

The delay was originally imposed because your browser has to listen for a double-tap. Based on the page width, some dynamic CSS, and your screen size double-tapping is a great way to zoom the content. But if a web-page is written well for mobile, there is no need for the double-tapping. When your phone doesn't have to listen for it, it can turn taps into clicks instantly — and still retain all the pinch-zooming you would ever want.

Google's own Jake Archibald has a nice little video showing the difference. We've dropped that in after the break, And the source link has all the technical details for web developers and interested parties.

Source: HTML5 Rocks

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4 years ago

TeliportMe panorama app adds 3D effects in latest update

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Fog, rain, lens flare and snow create a more immersive experience

TeliportMe Panorama 360, an interesting photography app that lets you create and share full 360 degree panoramas, is introducing 3D effects today. Among other subtle design tweaks that build on an already well-made app, you'll now have the option of adding four different weather effects to your panoramas: fog, rain, lens flare (sun) and snow, each of which are live animated overlays on your pictures. Lens flare is offered for free, while the others will set you back a $1 in-app purchase each, or $2 for the group.

After taking your panorama, simply hit the different effects at the bottom of the edit screen to reflect the current weather situation of the picture you took. It adds an extra bit of immersion to pictures that already pull you in with full 360 degree views. The effects are non-destructive to your original picture, so you always have the plain, unedited panorama to refer back to later.

As an extra bit of holiday fun, there will also be a "Christmas" effect that adds some snow, fog and a little season-appropriate music to your picture. For a short time you'll find holiday specials that give you 50 percent off in-app purchases when you bundle them together as well. The latest version of TeliportMe's Panorama 360 app is available now in the Play Store.

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4 years ago

Cover lock screen replacement launches in the Play Store, still carries 'beta' tag

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Currently available for Android 4.1+ in U.S., Canada and Europe

Cover, a lock screen replacement that launched in private beta to much interest back in October, has available today in the Play Store. The app, which is currently available for free, hopes to offer a more feature-rich lock screen on your device that adapts to your habits and uses to offer you information and apps you want to see, when you want to see them. The goal is similar to that of Aviate, but for your lock screen rather than your home screen. As you can see in the launch video above, the idea is quite interesting.

From the private beta to going public, Cover says that many improvements to battery life, car detection and device compatibility have been made. New tutorials, customization options and the ability to share your Cover setup to social media have also been added.

The app is currently available for users running Android 4.1 and above in the U.S., Canada and Europe, with availability expanding down to Android 2.3 and numerous other countries soon. If you've had your eye on Cover and didn't have a chance to get in on the private beta, you can find it now at the Play Store link above.

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4 years ago

Motorola updates its camera app in Google Play

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When Motorola started updating device to Android 4.4 KitKat, it also slipped in an updated camera app that gave better control over focus and exposure with that little reticle that turns green when you're in focus. (Jerry wrote about it in detail here back in November.) Today, Motorola updated the app in Google Play to keep everything on the same track.

The official changelog reads thusly:

  • Manual control of focus and exposure
  • Locked exposure during Panorama capture
  • Enabled additional language support
  • Bug fixes 

So the focus stuff we already knew about — and that's really the main thing you'll notice if you've not already been on the newer camera app. Regardless, Motorola's doing the right thing here, offloading system apps and keeping them updated in Google Play.

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4 years ago

'Instagram Direct' private messaging is now official

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Direct messages from strangers require extra step before receiving

Following a general rumble of expectation for weeks, Instagram has just launched its own private messaging service. With the latest update to version 5 of the app, you can now send images and videos directly to individuals and groups rather than your entire follower base.

You'll be able to select where your image goes — to "Followers" or "Direct" — after you've taken and edited your picture or video, and if you select Direct you'll have a choice of sending to just one or several people you choose. Once sent, you'll see an indication underneath the picture of who has seen and liked the photo, along with a standard Instagram comment thread underneath. It's the same Instagram experience you know, but with a smaller audience.

You can go straight into the Direct portion of the app with a new inbox button in the top left of the home screen, where you'll see both read and unread messages, along with "Direct Requests" from people that you don't follow. The latest update is already live in the Play Store, so have at it.

Source: Instagram

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4 years ago

Google unveils its inaugural 'Players' Choice' app awards

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Lists are inescapable this time of year, and Google today announced the winners of its "Players' Choice: Top Google Play Apps and Games" poll.

The categories included "most addictive game," "best Google app" and "best franchise game," among others,  Some of the winners you likely know. Some might be your introduction to something new and special. Check out the list after the break, and be sure to swing by the collection on Google Play. And while you're at it, there's still time to nominate your favorite hardware and software in our year-end awards, too.

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4 years ago

Gmail will automatically show images in e-mails

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Google today announced that it is (for better or worse) finally going to get rid of that annoying "show images" button in Gmail

The gist is that embedded images will be routed through Google's severs and then transcoded, ensuring you won't get hit with any malware. If you're worried about bandwidth — or just don't want to fix something that's not broken for you in the first place — you'll be able to keep the status quo in the settings.

The web version of Gmail is up first, and the mobile apps will see this feature early next year.

Source: Gmail Blog

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4 years ago

SwiftKey 4.5 beta brings emoji support and number row option

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Keyboard adds over 500 emoji images, emoji prediction and optional number keys added in latest beta

Popular Android keyboard app SwiftKey has rolled out a new beta version today with two frequently requested features. First up is emoji support, recently enabled in Google's own keyboard in the latest Android 4.4 KitKat release. Emoji can be accessed from the smiley menu in the bottom right corner, and SwiftKey says there are over 500 to choose from. What's more, SwiftKey now supports emoji prediction — type the icon you want exactly and one of the options will be an emoji. For instance —

And regular SwiftKey users might notice another change in the shot above. In SwiftKey 4.5 there's the option to add a dedicated number row above the standard keyboard rows — this can be activated from within the Themes & Layouts menu.

SwiftKey can also use emoji as part of its prediction engine, for instance, if you frequently use a certain icon after a word or name, you might start seeing it showing up in predictions. Emoji are only supported on KitKat and Jelly Bean — on the former, colored icons are used, while the latter has black and white icons.

The new beta, which also includes an updated installer, can be downloaded from the SwiftKey beta site.

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4 years ago

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 now available on Google Play

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Remastered port includes widescreen graphics, Hidden Palace Zone and Boss Attack mode

As promised, SEGA has today released a remastered mobile version of classic Genesis/Mega Drive platformer Sonic the Hedgehog 2 for Android and iOS. Like the updated versions of Sonic 1 and Sonic CD, Sonic 2 features widescreen graphics, 60fps gameplay and a few surprises for fans of the 90's console original.

Players take control of Sonic, Tails, Sonic & Tails or Knuckles and speed through a dozen zones, including one never before seen in full. The remastered port of Sonic 2 also includes a finished version of Hidden Palace Zone, a level partly revealed in a leaked beta of the game, but unplayable in the retail version. There's also a Boss Attack mode to pit players against Eggman/Robotnik's various contraptions. That's in addition to all eleven zones and seven special stages from the 16-bit original.

Sonic 2 for Android is available now on Google Play, priced at $2.99 in the U.S. and £2.18 in the UK; grab it at the Play Store link above.

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4 years ago

Plants vs. Zombies 2 updated with 'loads of cool stuff'

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215MB update brings more Gargantuars, new maps and more

PopCap and Electronic Arts have updated the popular Plants vs. Zombies 2 Android game this evening, and it looks like quite a big set of changes. The sequel has proven as popular as the original, and chances are you've spent a bit of time clearing the gardens of space and time of some undead yourself on your phone or tablet.

The basic premise hasn't changed, you still use powerful plants and boosts to kill the zombies before the reach your door. Tonight's changes include:

  • There's loads of cool stuff in our latest update! We have a new map, fun new features and we introduce a new foe!
  • We've upgraded the map to make game progression quicker and easier.
  • It's simpler to know how much you've done, where you're going, and what loot you'll get along the way.
  • You can invite your friends and send ‘em gifts.
  • Use the Turbo button to speed up your planting – and speed up the zombies.
  • Be warned: when we were upgrading the map, somebody let in the Gargantuars.

New maps and levels, friend invites and Turbo speed sounds like a winner to us. You can grab the update or try it for the first time using the Google Play link above for the North America version, or search "Plants vs. Zombies 2" in Google Play for international versions.

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4 years ago

Sony Walkman app updated on latest Xperia devices with new playlists, Music Unlimited features

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Four new playlist types now included, including shared playlists from friends

A new version of the Sony Walkman app is rolling out to recent Xperia devices with changes to playlists and the Music Unlimited service. Along with a slight visual refresh, including a mini player at the bottom of the app, you now have access to new playlist types — Newly Added, Most Played, Shared Playlist and TrackID History playlists.

On the Music Unlimited service front, Sony has introduced 30 second track previews for everyone, along with free trial periods and offline playback support.

The update is rolling out globally to the Xperia Z1, Z Ultra, Z, ZL and Tablet Z. You won't find the app through the Play Store, but rather through the "software update" section of your device's settings.

Source: Sony

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4 years ago

Grab Dayframe Prime for 99-cents if you're one of the first 1,000 buyers

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Have complete control over your Dayframe images with Dayframe Prime

When Dayframe first launched in November, we hinted that a Prime version with more great features was on its way. It's landed today, and the developers have a special price for the first 1,000 installs at just 99-cents. Afterwards, the price will bump to $2.99 for a bit, then ramp to $4.99 when all the features are complete.

What features you ask? Well the current iteration includes:

  • Custom Playlists — Create and arrange playlists with as many photostreams you want
  • Advanced Screensaver Timer — Advanced screensaver timers let you decide when each playlist is shown. Create and save routine playlists for mornings, evenings, and days of the week while at home and work.
  • Brightness Timer — Use the Brightness timer to adjust your screen brightness for days and evenings.
  • App Timer — The App timer lets you routinely launch apps on schedule - handy for dedicated table top or regular bedside use. Rotate between Dayframe and an alarm clock, news feed, etc.
  • Local Weather

Future plans include syncing between devices, and Chromecast support.

It's a great way to show off pictures from juts about any location, and the Prime feature list is great. Jump on this while it's only a buck!

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