4 years ago

SwiftKey 4.3 exits beta, launches on Google Play as free update


50 percent off today in some countries

Following the completion of the beta program, SwiftKey 4.3 has reached stable status and has launched as a free update on the Google Play Store. The latest version of the popular keyboard app introduces three new layouts to make typing easier on phones of all sizes — particularly larger models like the Galaxy Note 3 and HTC One Max. Dubbed "Layouts for Living," the new full, compact and thumb keyboard layouts can be undocked and moved around the screen — particularly useful for larger phones and tablets.

The new version of SwiftKey also introduces a Canadian English option, bringing the number of supported languages up to 61. And to celebrate today's launch, SwiftKey is half-price in the UK, France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Australia, Russia and New Zealand.

Check out our hands-on video after the break, or hit the Google Play link above to grab the new version.

More: Hands-on with SwiftKey 4.3

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4 years ago

Motorola Droid update pushing to more than just soak testers


Update fixes a few bugs and enhances the stability — and improves the lackluster camera

We told you late last night that a soak test for the new Droids (that'd be the Droid Ultra, and the Droid Maxx) was going to push early this morning, and right on time it made its way to the testers. Apparently the test was short, or there was a change of heart, because we're getting reports of the updated software going out to users who are not members of the soak testing program.

It's the update everyone with a Moto X8 phone wants to have. It includes your 50GB Google Drive promotion, makes Moto Assist even better, and has a few more stability and bug fixes. But the big news is the camera update. The software has been improved with better sky detection, more accurate white balancing, improvements to HDR and the exposure has been corrected to be more consistent. Everyone who has the update will tell you it's quite a dramatic change — and one that addresses the biggest complaint about these phones.

If you're using a new Verizon Droid, have a look and see if an update is ready for you. 

Thanks everyone who sent this in!

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4 years ago

Printing in Android 4.4 KitKat (with some help from HP)


Printers, as we all know all too well, are fickle beasts on a good day. So you'll forgive us for not expecting too much when it comes to printing wirelessly from our phones. But there's a new printing framework built into Android 4.4 KitKat. On the back end, you'll be able to print over Wifi, or Google Cloud Print. Here's how Google puts it:

Android 4.4 introduces native platform support for printing, along with APIs for managing printing and adding new types of printer support. The platform provides a print manager that mediates between apps requesting printing and installed print services that handle print requests. The print manager provides shared services and a system UI for printing, giving users consistent control over printing from any app. The print manager also ensures the security of content as it's passed across processes, from an app to a print service.

Your mileage may vary, of course. But, we're happy to report, our first experience with the new printing framework — at least from an end-user standpoint and with some help from an HP plugin — worked flawlessly.

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4 years ago

Soak test updates hitting new Droids starting tomorrow


What specifically the update contains is still unknown at this point

We had more than a hunch it was coming, and now we have confirmation that those participating in the soak test for Verizon's latest Droids (Mini, Ultra and Maxx) are receiving an update starting tomorrow. Now what exactly you'll get if you're part of the program is unknown — our best guess is probably the same camera update that Moto X users received recently, but you never know with these sorts of black box updates.

Any update is probably welcomed though, and chances are it'll be something you'll actually want. If you didn't get in on the soak test this time around, rest assured that the updates usually push out to everyone quickly after the soak test, provided no extreme bugs are found.

More: Droid Maxx Forums | Droid Ultra Forums

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4 years ago

Escape from office drudgery with Android board game Mr. Ludo


Nobody looks forward to the end of the work day more than Mr. Ludo

If you played board games as a kid, chances are you played Ludo, which also goes by Sorry!, Parcheesi, and other names. Now UK developer called Yo Ambulante has created a new Android version called Mr. Ludo. This particular take still offers the time-honored and simple gameplay that many of us know and love, but dresses it up with a charming office-based theme and both local and online multiplayer for up to four players. Oh, and it's free to play.

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4 years ago

Tumblr app now shows GIFs in the dashboard, properly rotates to landscape


What good is Tumblr without proper GIF support? Now it's here

An update is hitting today for the Tumblr app that brings a couple of much-welcomed features, GIFs in the dashboard and full landscape support. What's Tumblr without GIFs? Now you can view posts with GIFs, and the images will automatically start playing and looping as you scroll to them in your dashboard.

You can also now experience those GIFs and all other kinds of content in landscape, which works on phones but Tumblr says looks especially good on tablets. Additionally, you can also create and share photosets in the apps, as well as double tap images to zoom in and out.

You can grab the latest version of the Tumblr app from the Play Store link above.

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4 years ago

Comcast's Xfinity TV player updated, brings new name and live TV channels


Comcast Xfinity TV Player is now called Xfinity TV Go, and gives new live TV channels

Comcast has pushed a major update to their Xfinity TV app, and in addition to the premium channel streaming, they now offer live TV from different news, sports, and educational channels. Users on both Android phones and tablets can now tune in to channels from Fox, CNN, NBC, BBC and more while they are on Wifi

If you're on Verizon, they have struck some deal where streaming is enabled on 3G and LTE as well. In any case, you'll need to be a Comcast subscriber to take advantage of any of this (or have a close friend who will share the login). 

If you're a current user, or a Comcast subscriber who wants to give it a try (initial tests deliver a very nice stream on the Nat Geo channel) hit the Google Play link above.

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4 years ago

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


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


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


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



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


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


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


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


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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