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4 years ago

Google previews next major version of Maps for Android

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New look, new features for Google's mobile mapping software

At the Google I/O keynote in San Francisco, Google showed a sneak peek at the "next major version" of Google Maps for Android. Visually, it looks a lot like the iPhone Google Maps app, with a big search bar front and center, and re-vamped, smoother graphics. There's also a new Zagat experience built-in, with a new five-point rating scheme. Google Offers are now built into the app too, allowing offers to be saved directly from the Maps app.

The tablet maps UI has been overhauled too, with a UI tweaked to take advantage of the additional screen realestate. And in big news for iOS, there's finally a dedicated iPad app for Google Maps.

The company also showed off a re-vamped version of Google Maps on the web, with WebGL-based vector graphics as standard, and a bigger focus on search, through a large search bar at the top of the screen. There's been a complete UI overhaul too, designed to make features like navigation and public transit directions easier to use. For the first time, Google Earth-like 3D imagery is included in Maps on the web, too.

The new Google Maps experience for Android is due to launch "this summer."

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4 years ago

Android Central App Version 1.1 brings landscape support, scrollable widget

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Updates are always good, and this one is filled with some of the things you've been asking for

Our awesome Android Central app just got .1 more awesomer, as we've pushed out an update that addresses some of the things you've been asking for. With version 1.1, you've got a sexy new scrollable widget (which is also resizable and will work with your lock screen if you're running Android 4.2.2) that puts the latest Android news right on your home screen, keeping you up to date. (It currently refreshes every half-hour -- we're looking at making that more frequent in a future update.)

Normally, that in and of itself would be enough to make a new release, but that's not how we roll here. In addition, you've got landscape support throughout the entire app, including the settings panel tucked on the left side. That same side menu now works on all screens, too. 

One last thing -- when we write a story that includes a link to Google Play, you'll now have a shiny Google Play Store icon in the Action Bar across the top of the app. Tap it, and you can open the link to the app directly in Google Play using Android's powerful intents system. 

We think you'll enjoy this latest version, and we're already hard at work on the next -- using your feedback as a guideline. Update your copy of the Android Central app through Google Play, or you can just tap the link above to check it out. You'll also find a handful of screenshots after the break.

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4 years ago

SwiftKey keyboard updated to version 4.1 with new themes, bug fixes

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Paid version also half-price for a limited time

Popular keyboard replacement SwiftKey has hit version 4.1, and the new version is now rolling out through the Google Play Store. SwiftKey 4.1 adds three new themes -- dusk, pitch and regal -- and fixes a variety of bugs and other issues. Glitches with Facebook personalization are reportedly fixed, as are bugs with the ".com" button in Google Chrome. The Opera browser also receives better support in SwiftKey 4.1. On top of that, there's a wide variety of crash fixes.

To celebrate the launch of version 4.1, the paid version of SwiftKey is now half-price for a limited time. That brings it down to an insanely cheap $1.99 / £1.49 / €1.99.

To grab the latest version of SwiftKey, hit the Google Play Store link up top. If you've already got an earlier version installed, just head to "My Apps" in the Play Store app. You can find the full SwiftKey 4.1 changelog down in the source link.

Source: SwiftKey 4.1 changelog

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4 years ago

HTC Backup now available for the AT&T HTC One

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A bit of good news tonight for those who have the AT&T HTC One. AT&T decided not to use HTC Backup -- which deftly does exactly what it says, backing up your phone via Dropbox -- in its version of the HTC One, which is a shame, because it works quite well. AT&T instead went a different route.

But tonight HTC has released the backup tool as a standalone app. You'll need to sign in with your HTC account, and it'll then back up and restore your phone through Dropbox instead of through Google, which previously was the only option. 

Repeat: If you don't have the AT&T HTC One, you don't need this.

And a quick note for those with the developer version (and quite possibly the developer version) of the HTC One: Having an AT&T SIM might let you install the app, but not let you run it, says ol' Jerry.

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4 years ago

Google I/O 2013 app updated with DashClock support, session feedback form

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Making it even easier for attendees to find and interact with sessions

On the eve of Google I/O 2013 kicking off in San Francisco, Google has just updated the official I/O 2013 app with a few tweaks to make following the conference a little easier. There's now a session feedback form for attendees to let Google know how a session went after the fact, as well as improved Maps functionality to let you navigate the expanses of the Moscone Center and find those sessions. The update also upped the resolution of speaker photos, and added DashClock widget support -- presumably to let you keep tabs on upcoming events.

We'll be awake bright and early tomorrow morning to cover the three hour long marathon of a keynote starting at 9am PT, so be sure to set a reminder from that Google I/O app so you don't miss a minute. We'll see you there.

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4 years ago

BlackBerry 10 Android Runtime on track to support Android 4.2.2

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Update to Jelly Bean for the Android Runtime is still on track and scheduled to land in June

Back in February at BlackBerry Jam Europe we first heard talk of BlackBerry updating their Android Runtime environment from 2.3.3 Gingerbread, to 4.1 Jelly Bean. All has been quiet on that front since then, but today during the BlackBerry Jam keynote at BlackBerry Live, developers were presented with an updated roadmap that confirms the update is still planned, and is running on schedule. Only, it won't be Android 4.1 anymore that the Runtime will be based around, BlackBerry is going straight to 4.2.2. 

Until Google introduces a new version of Android -- quite possibly tomorrow during the Google I/O Keynote -- 4.2.2 is the latest build, and BlackBerry should be commended for that. With the update due to hit in June, there's a strong possibility that BlackBerry 10 devices will have access to 4.2.2 before a number of Android devices. OK, so it's not exactly the same, but impressive nevertheless. 

Android developers looking to move their apps to BlackBerry by way of re-packaging will benefit hugely from this. Apps designed around Gingerbread feel horribly outdated by current standards, and updating the Runtime to 4.2.2 will open the door to many more developers, with many more apps, and ultimately the BlackBerry 10 users should see a much improved experience. For more from BlackBerry Live, be sure to head over to CrackBerry for all the coverage you can handle. 

Source: BlackBerry via CrackBerry

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4 years ago

Adobe Connect Mobile adds support for Presenter, interactive tools

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View, present and interact with meetings all from your mobile device

Adobe is making a few useful updates to its Adobe Connect apps today that will improve the experience for those joining meetings from mobile devices. First up, users on phones and tablets can now both deploy and join webinars and meetings being conducted in the Adobe Presenter format, with additional features therein. Presentations can now be interactive for people viewing on a mobile device, letting them tap on questions and answers to give their input. Video conferencing has also been improved to let the users view both their own video feed as well as the person talking, on top of viewing paused feeds of everyone else in the meeting.

Small improvements to the experience such as presentation backgrounds and new graphics are also small but useful changes that make Adobe Connect users on mobile feel like they're getting a complete experience. While you may not be using Adobe Connect Mobile on a daily basis, those in the education and enterprise markets will want to give this a look.

More: Adobe

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4 years ago

Pinterest for Android updated with notifications, mentions and more

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Receive notifications, mention friends and search more easily in latest Pinterest update

Social sharing service Pinterest has updated its mobile app with a few new features this afternoon. The new Pinterest version 1.5 lets you send a pin to a friend, mention friends in comments (like many social networks) and receive push notifications when someone likes, comments on repins your items -- a feature added to the web-based Pinterest a few weeks back. In-app searching has also been improved with search term suggestion.

You can grab the latest version of Pinterest from the Google Play link above. Alternatively, hit the Play Store app to get updated if you've already installed an earlier version.

Pinterest has also been updated to version 2.4 on iOS devices.

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4 years ago

Boulder Dash-XL: Blast from the past gaming

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Staying true to the original along with a little modern gameplay and flair

Boulder Dash has been around since the early 80's, and a new and improved version has finally made the jump over to Android for everyone to enjoy all over again. Retro game reboots are awesome, and they're even better when done properly -- and Boulder Dash-XL is a great example. It has walked that line of sticking true to the original concept while also making things fresh by bringing good controls over to mobile and adding new graphics, soundtracks and game types.

Ready for a little blast from the past? Stick around with us after the break and see how Boulder Dash-XL pays homage to the original title from the 80's.

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4 years ago

BlackBerry Messenger announced for Android!

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Today at BlackBerry Live 2013, the quintessential BlackBerry Messenger was announced as coming to Android this summer! It's going to be totally free, which is a welcome surprise. 

CEO Thorsten Heins announced his company's goal to make BBM the standard in cross-platform messaging and that they'll be bringing their long-standing device-exclusive service to iOS and Android. In the long run, they intend to include advanced features like groups, screen sharing, and the recently-announced Channels to the other platforms. Keep an eye out for this one in Google Play over the next couple of months, and expect it to displace a lot of the current messaging platforms out there. 

Any of you guys know folks that still use BBM? Any ex-BlackBerry-owners that miss BBM?

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4 years ago

BlackBerry announces new Android support in enterprise management suite

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The better part of the CrackBerry crew are at BlackBerry Live 2013 this week, and there was a bit of news for Android fans amid the general session. BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10.1 was announced, which includes support for Android devices. That means your IT guy can roll out apps and lock down BlackBerry devices throughout the company just as easily as it can with any Android devices. 

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4 years ago

TuneIn Radio now lets you buy music you hear from Google Play

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Direct links to the Play Store make music buying easier

TuneIn Radio has just released an update to its streaming radio service that lets users quickly find and purchase the music they're listening to in Google Play. The app has simply added a Google Play icon to the action bar between the share and search buttons, and tapping it brings you to a pre-populated search page in Google Play where you can purchase the track being played. Presumably the button doesn't show up when it can't find a match for the music (it doensn't show up on talk radio, for example), but in our few tests it always returned results.

The update is available for both free and paid versions of TuneIn, and is certainly one to update right away if you find yourself trying to remember and search for music to buy later. You can grab the free version from the Play Store link at the top of this post, and the $4.99 paid version right here as well.

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4 years ago

Airbnb adds new host tools, calendar management

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Approve, deny and request information on guests right from the app

In an attempt to bring its Android app up to parity with the features of the iOS version, Airbnb has added a few new features that should make the experience of setting up travel arrangements a bit easier. The main focus is on the hosting side of the service, where you're setting up a residence to have others come and stay at. The new update now lets hosts pre-approve, deny or request information about the guests without going to the web, which is a huge improvement. You can also now completely manage your calendar from the app, making it easier for guests to find availability dates for residences.

Airbnb also says it has made a "truck full of bug fixes", including a fix for push notifications. Along with the new features and a nice visual refresh, the app has really come together to feel like a more complete experience. If you're an Airbnb user this update will be a worthwhile one to get.

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4 years ago

Bringing it all together: Gmail, Drive and G+ Photos to share 15GB common storage

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New 15GB shared storage replaces old 10GB for Gmail and 5GB for photos on Google+ and 5GB for Drive

The Google goodies are already coming our way, before we even get to Google I/O. Announced today, no longer will your Gmail storage sit at 10GB for free, or 5GB on Google+ photos and Google Drive. Google has introduced a new, 15GB free allowance which covers all three products. 

This is great news in particular for anyone who uses little of their allowance on Gmail -- like myself -- but is much heavier on photos and Drive usage. As the storage is shared across all three services, you get to use as much of it as you like, wherever you like. 

In addition to changing how your storage works, Google is also changing how the Google Drive storage page helps you understand how you're using your storage allowance. Hovering over the pie chart will show you a breakdown of how much you're using across each of the three services. And, because of the changes, heavy Gmail users are no longer limited to a 25GB upgrade only. Any Google Drive storage you buy will become available there too. 

Source: Google Drive Blog

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4 years ago

SoundCloud updated with Google login and Google+ sharing

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Audio streaming app gets new Google account capabilities

The Android (and iOS) version of popular streaming and music discovery app SoundCloud has been updated with new Google account features. The new version lets you log in with any Google account credentials on your phone, in addition to the ever-present Facebook login. What's more, you can now share directly to Google+ through the app, allowing you to send your favorite tracks directly to people in your circles. It's a relatively minor update, but both could be important changes if your big on Google's ecosystem. Google account login in particular makes signing up extremely painless on Android devices, as you just need to tap once to confirm the account you want to use.

SoundCloud users can head to the Google Play Store app to update to the latest version. Alternatively, hit the Google Play link above to view the full listing.

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