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4 years ago

Apps of the Week: Pocket Trains, My Wendy's, DraStic DS Emulator and more!

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Take a look at what the Android Central writers are using on their devices this week

Another week, another great set of app picks from the folks here at Android Central. If you're new to this, we take time each Saturday afternoon to show off one app from each of the AC writing staff and see why they've been using it on their own devices. This isn't necessarily meant to be the top selling apps list for the week, but more of a discovery of the diamonds in the rough that the rest of us may have missed.

Hang with us after the break where we show off a few different games, a tool that will help you game and a few odds and ends.

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4 years ago

Google Maps update brings tips and tricks section, improved hotel search, faster navigation

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Maps update rolling out to more users this evening

Google Maps has been updated, and it seems like this evening the staged rollout is picking up steam. More folks are getting the update, which brings things like bug fixes and stability improvements — things we always love to see — but also some improvements to core features. The full change log:

  • Faster access to navigation, complete with route and traffic overview
  • Improved hotel search results with sponsored rates and booking links
  • Tips and Tricks available in the side menu
  • Bug fixes

We've been told that users are seeing faster and more accurate re-routing in navigation, which matches up well with the changes listed. You can check to see if it's your turn to update right from the Google Play app, or simply check the Google Play button above.

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4 years ago

Sony CyberShot QX camera support coming to Camera360

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Version 4.8 of the popular camera app to be released later this month

Sony and Camera360 have announced that support for the Sony CyberShot QX series lens cameras is coming to the popular Android camera app. Scheduled for a world wide release this month, the QX series lenses we're one of the things we saw at IFA 2013 that got us talking. If you're not familiar, the picture above explains it pretty well. The lenses (which also handle all the image processing and can work stand-alone) attach to your smartphone and use an application to control them wirelessly. This gives the benefit of a much larger sensor and lens than any camera phone can provide, while still providing an easy way to share your pictures through your smartphone. It's some great outside-the-box thinking, and we're curious how well consumers will adopt the idea.

Currently, only Sony's PlayMemories Mobile app works with the QX series, and it needs some work. They have released what looks to be a great SDK for developers, and we should see more apps like Camera360 add support for Sony wireless cameras in the future.

The 4.8 update for Camera360 is coming this month, and you can bet we'll take a look at it. If you want to check out the interface and current features (it's a great camera app), hit the Google Play link above.

Source: PRNewswire

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4 years ago

Listen up: Comparing Xbox Music and Google Play Music All Access

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No single service has everything, but some have more features than others

A full 11 months after Microsoft let us know that Xbox Music would come to Android "eventually," we finally have access to another one of the big music services on our Android devices. While Microsoft was busy working out the kinks of finally launching its app, Google has entered the space with All Access, a subscription version of Google Play Music that gives you customizable radio features and unlimited access to every song its library.

Both of these music services offer a unique feature set, and now that Xbox Music has finally come to Android we can take a look at them head-to-head. Read on with us after the break where we break down the features, shortcomings and overall experience of Xbox Music when compared to Google Play Music All Access.

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4 years ago

GetGlue receives interface refresh just in time for Fall TV watching

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New visual touches and more information on the shows you love

The second-screen app for TV watchers, GetGlue, has just refreshed its Android app in time for the hit shows starting up this Fall season with new designs all around. The changes can be noticed instantly with the new "Watch" menu, which makes it easier than ever to discover what's on TV as well as Netflix, Hulu and other video on-demand services.

The redesign carries over into the new "Search & Discover" area, where you can browse for new shows based on genre or categories like "Make Me Laugh" or "Surprise Me." When you are browsing and come to a show, redesigned show pages will be easier on the eyes with a new tabbed layout and more information on individual episodes.

If you're gearing up for some TV watching, now's the time to grab GetGlue with its all-new design. You can download it for free from the Play Store link at the top of this post.

More: GetGlue Blog

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4 years ago

Twitter releases beta update with drastically new interface

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Version 5.0 cleans up the interface, adds in-line media previews for some services

Those of you in Twitter's official beta testing group are seeing an update to version 5.0 of the app that is worthy of a full point release jump. Just two weeks after creating the group to help test new features, Twitter has pushed an update that completely revamps the entire interface with a cleaner and even more minimalist design, a new slide-in menu from the left bar to manage organization and a new settings view.

The app retains the same standard blue, white and gray color palette, but spruces things up a bit with use of a thinner font and more options for tabs — home, notifications, messages, activity, trending, find people and me — at the top of the app. In terms of features, it looks as though we're getting in-line image previews (no more tapping in to see media) for at least some services, along with the ability to customize the top tabs to your liking.

The widget has also changed as well, albeit more subtly than the app interface itself. Let's hope that this update makes its way out of beta and to the stable channel soon, as it seems to bring a fresh design and lots of great new features that users will want. If you just can't wait, you can find more information about how to join beta groups of all kinds, including Twitter's, at our app beta page.

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4 years ago

Pocket Casts version 4.3 adds bulk delete, subtle design changes

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New slide-in drawer and auto-downloading of individual podcasts also included

Pocket Casts has just pushed out an update in the Play Store to version 4.3 that brings a few subtle design tweaks and new features with it. On the design side, the developers say the entire app is smoother and faster, and you'll now see an updated slide-in drawer with the latest Google design guidelines applied. A new option to delete multiple podcasts at once can now be accessed with a long-press on any single podcast as well.

In terms of functionality, you can down mark individual podcasts for auto-download rather than just entire playlists, and the app has been restructured on the back-end to let other podcast apps index its podcast directory. Naturally there are other bugfixes included here as well.

And for those of you wondering about Chromecast support, Pocket Casts says it is ready to go as soon as Google allows it — just have to keep waiting on this one.

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4 years ago

HTC One Google Play edition receiving JWR66Y OTA update

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Small security fix hits two weeks after finding its way to Nexus devices

The Google Play edition version of the HTC One is pulling down an OTA update tonight that brings it back up to speed with Nexus devices on build JWR66Y. The update, which folks are indicating has been hitting at least some devices, is to the same one that hit Nexus phones and tablets about two weeks ago with a quick security fix.

Besides a small bump in build number to JWR66Y.H1 and a few numbers changed in the kernel version, you should notice no user-facing changes, just as was the case when the update hit Nexus devices. 

Seeing the update on your own HTC One GPe? Let us know how you're getting along in the forums.

More: HTC One Google Play edition forums

Thanks, bmolloy!

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4 years ago

eBay adds location-relevant search results, NFC item sharing

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Getting better results with easier to read item listings no matter how you search. 

The official eBay app for Android has just received an update with a few user-facing changes that should improve the overall experience. Version 2.4 improves search results by showing items relevant to your location, and gives a bit of foreshadowing indicating that in-store pickup is coming. Additionally, search results when scanning barcodes have been improved.

The item view layout once you do get those search results has improved to focus on the most relevant information first, and if you want to share a listing to a friend you can now do so with Android Beam over NFC assuming you've both installed the latest update. Under your profile settings, you now have the ability to edit or add a shipping address as well — something many of us don't want to wait to do on the desktop.

These handful of improvements are useful to pretty much anyone with the eBay app, so go grab a download of the latest version from the link above.

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4 years ago

AT&T Galaxy Note 2 receiving OTA update, stays on Android 4.1.2

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Sizeable update brings no more than updates to pre-installed apps

If you have a Galaxy Note 2 from AT&T, you can start checking your device for a 165MB OTA update starting today that primarily includes updates to pre-installed apps on the phone. Its a hefty update, and although it isn't quite big enough to be that jump up to Android 4.2 or 4.3, it does include some important improvements if the AT&T support document is to be believed.

The carrier claims that this update will bring many Google and AT&T pre-installed apps on the phone up to their latest versions, which is always important, but will have no user-facing changes other than that. After the update you'll be on Android 4.1.2 still with build number JZO54K.I317UCAMH3.

Keep an eye out for that update and let folks know in the forums if you happen to get it on your own device.

More: AT&T Galaxy Note 2 forums

Source: AT&T; Via: AndroidPolice

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4 years ago

Notification Weather Pro beta brings themes and an easy template for budding developers

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Google Now styled theme for Notification Weather Pro beta

Yesterday we unveiled a new feature here at AC, where we're going to have a look and test beta programs for some of the great apps Android developers are making. It's a curated list, which means only the best of the best will make the cut. The best part about having such a list is that developers will let us know when they have cool stuff going on so we can take a look. 

That leads me to the new addition I'll be adding to our list — Notification Weather Pro. You may have seen the wee weather icon in the status bar of some of my pictures, and that's what this app does. It puts a persistent notification that tells you the weather (and a forecast if you expand it) in your notifications so you have quick access without having it on your home screen all the time. If you're fan of the minimal look, it's a great app that I highly recommend.

The new beta, which is for the "Pro" version only, adds theme support. Out of the box the app looks good, but this is Android — THEME ALL THE THINGS. It's pretty straight forward, with themes on Google Play you can install and make available to the app. But it also comes with another little perk that often gets overlooked — a ready-to-use theme template kit.

Very often the best artists aren't the best programmers, and having everything someone needs to build a theme that's ready to upload to Google Play is awesome. It's a sure-fire way to get the community involved, and it lets artists and tinkerers alike have a lot of fun.

The beta seems to be stable and does everything it's supposed to do, and I'm adding it to our list. I just wanted to give all you themers and would-be themers a heads-up.

More: Notification Weather Pro beta community; Theme resources at GitHub

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4 years ago

Google Play Music adds genre radio stations

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New download queue to better control download status also included

A new update is rolling out to the Google Play Music app today that brings new radio station options based on music genres and improvements to the download queue menu. The new radio stations can be selected based on dozens pre-defined genres, and play with just one tap from the Radio menu of the new app.

You still have the previous options of making stations based on artists and songs or choosing from recommended stations based on your listening history, but genres are a much-needed addition that is available on other music services already. This is just one more reason for people to take a look at Google Play Music All Access, although we tend to think there's plenty to love already.

The update to version 5.2.1204L also includes the option to pause, resume or cancel downloads that are ongoing, for those times when you don't need to spend the bandwidth or battery. You can grab a download of the latest version of the app from the Play Store link above.

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4 years ago

Android apps in beta

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Beta testing can be rewarding, and Android Central is here to help you get started

In 2013, Google opened up the Google Play Store to provide proper beta testing for applications. That is, a method for the developers of the apps to have two tracks in Google play at the same time — a stable and current track for most users, and a beta branch for folks who are willing to test features that may not yet be ready for prime-time. This helps developers, and as a bonus it makes it a pretty simple affair for you and me to sign up and get in on some hot beta action with our favorite apps.

Because everything can now be hosted right on Google Play, getting signed up and updated to the latest beta version is pretty simple for both developers and end-users like us. You'll open a web page on your computer or your Android, and sign up with the Google account you use at Google Play. The rest is automatic, and once you're done you'll soon see an update right in the Google Play app on your Android that gets you going.

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4 years ago

Roku app adds local video playback on your set-top box

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Only a handful of devices supported in initial release

Brining its Android offering up to parity with the iOS version, Roku has just updated its app to enable local video playback from your phone to your Roku box on select devices. After signing in and pairing the Roku app with a Roku box (running software version 5.1 or later), you'll now have a new option to select "Videos" from the "Play on Roku" menu in the app. Now all together you can display music, photos or videos directly from your device to the Roku with just a tap.

The functionality seems to work pretty well, but Roku recommends having at least an 802.11n Wifi router for the best performance. Right at this moment the video playback functionality is available on the Roku 3, Roku 2, Roku LT, Roku HD on the set-top box side, and the Galaxy S3, Galaxy S4, Nexus 4, HTC One, and Nexus 7 (2012) on the Android side.

Grab the latest version of the Roku app from the Play Store link above and give it a try for yourself.

Source: Roku

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4 years ago

Hexage's new title Reaper looks like a great new action RPG and is available on Google Play

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If you're an Android gamer, you have to take a look at Reaper from Hexage. Released today on Google Play, it's an action side-scroller with heavy RPG influence, and incredible graphics and smoothness. You play as the Black Swordsman, and move through quests and levels slaying monsters both easy and hard.

The controls are a little complicated on a touch screen, but the good news is that the game is optimized for other input methods. Designed for controllers like the NVIDIA Shield or MOGA controller, as well as asdf / space bar controls for dockable tablets like the ASUS Transformers or the HP SlateBook X2 pictured above.

The first 10 levels are completely free — meaning no in-app purchases required — but after that you'll need to upgrade to the premium edition. There are three packages available, with the basic full game starting at $2.99 and the full Dark Legend edition, with item sets and new gameplay modes checking in at $4.99.

This one looks like an excellent, immersive little game and I'm enjoying it quite a bit. Grab the free version at the link above, and check the video and screen shots after the break.

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