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4 years ago

Beam Player: simple, clean folder-based music player

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There are countless music players out there offering buckets of features and flair, but sometimes you just want a basic app to play music from a folder structure. Beam Player fits the bill for this use perfectly, and doesn't go over the top on design or unnecessary features either. Best of all it's holo, tablet responsive, and has great widgets and notification controls.

Hang with us after the break to see more of what Beam Player has to offer as a simple music player.

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4 years ago

Press plans to continue development post Google Reader shutdown

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One of our favorite Google Reader clients, Press, released an update to its app today explaining that it plans to continue development after Reader shuts down on July 1, 2013. First and foremost, Press is not shutting down when Google Reader goes away. The team is already looking into another backend syncing solution, which will ideally be cross-platform one. Noting that they, too, just found out yesterday about the shutdown, they state:

"We have used RSS for many years and believe it's a powerful and efficient way to follow your favorite websites. We're absolutely committed to keep working on Press. We've poured a lot of time and energy into it, and we love our app."

Press isn't alone in their search for a new platform to provide cross-platform RSS news syncing. There are dozens of popular news readers and podcast managers that rely on Google Reader as a syncing platform that will all be either shutting down or looking for a new means to keep going.

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4 years ago

Sony SmartWatch update brings seven new watch faces, notification previews

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The Sony SmartWatch controller app is receiving an update that brings several new flashy watch faces and increased functionality to the accessory. The new watch faces cover all the bases -- analog, digital, abstract -- and come in different colors as well. The update also brings improved battery level information, notification previews from your device and improvements to search when looking for new apps for the SmartWatch.

The app should also now be easier to get installed on non-Sony devices, which is a plus. If you happen to be using a Sony SmartWatch, you can grab a download or update to the app at the top of this post.

Via: Keith Myers (Google+)

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4 years ago

Ingress update lets users submit portal locations and information fixes

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Ingress has just been updated today to give users the ability to submit and update portal location information. For existing portals, players at those portals can now submit new photos that they feel better show the location. You can also now submit suggestions for improvements to the portal name, description or location information. For areas that users think would be good portal locations but aren't yet, they can submit a photo and information for consideration to open a portal there.

The update also claims to improve GPS location accuracy and stability, along with a host of nondescript "bugfixes and performance improvements". If you're a hardcore Ingress player, this will be an update to get. You can grab an update or download of the latest version from the Play Store link above.

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4 years ago

S-Translator on the Samsung Galaxy S4 knows 9 different languages

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Samsung's Unpacked event in New York City continues, and the latest new software feature on the new Galaxy S4 is S-Translator. Translator apps are nothing new, but Samsung's is pretty interesting on a few different fronts. 

First up, S-Translator knows 9 different languages. Really knows. Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish, and English are all understood in both a text-to-speech capacity as well as a speech-to-text capacity. The demonstration on stage pegged a tourist using S-Translator to help them out whilst they're on vacation. Looks pretty slick and is the sort of functionality that a lot of people could find real use for. 

Additionally, the optical reader built in can also translate printed text too. Pretty sweet. 

Samsung Unpacked continues, so be sure to stick around for yet more Galaxy S4 goodness.

Android Central's Samsung Galaxy S4 Liveblog

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4 years ago

'The Croods' game from Rovio and DreamWorks now available

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Right on schedule, Rovio has just released its latest game "The Croods" into the Play Store to coincide with the upcoming release of the DreamWorks movie. In the game you get to play as the characters of the movie, getting through your prehistoric world, hunting and gathering to survive. The gameplay will remind you a lot of recent casual RPG games, with "chores" (quests) to go on and an expanding world that you can manipulate. It'll be good fun for those who want to kill some time and play as the characters from the movie.

The game is free -- as is the case with recent Rovio titles -- and there are some in-app purchases to generate revenue, but that's usually the tradeoff when you have a free game with no ads. The Croods is available from the Play Store at the link at the top of this post if you're interested in giving it a try.

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4 years ago

Reviewing Humble Bundle 5: the overview

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Over the past week, we've been taking a look at each of the games available in the fifth iteration of the Humble Bundle. There are a lot of good new titles this time around -- and three old favorites that were just added in as a bonus -- so we wanted to give a wrap-up of the entire bundle. Facilitating all of these game downloads, installs and updates is a pivotal app that is worth mentioning as well -- the Humble Bundle for Android app.

Hang with us after the break for our final conclusions on the Humble Bundle 5.

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4 years ago

Mint Personal Finance updated with speed improvements, auto refresh

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The Mint.com app has received a solid update today with lots of background improvements and a couple of forward-facing fixes. One of the biggest improvements in this update is the ability to update in the background every 4 hours. While we'd prefer a customizable update schedule, background syncing is a big step in the right direction. The other improvements are all about speed -- Mint is claiming faster transaction downloads and overall load times, along with a quicker way to categorize transactions on the phone interface.

And the update wouldn't be complete without the nondescript "bugfixes" as well. You can grab a download of -- or update to -- the Mint Personal Finance app at the Play Store link above. 

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4 years ago

Conduit HD for Tegra devices review

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NVIDIA has been teaming up with game developers to make Tegra-optimized titles available for some time now, and today it is announcing another new release -- Conduit HD. If the name sounds familiar, it may be because it was first seen on the Wii console. But now it has come over to Android in its full glory, and is TegraZone exclusive at launch.

Hang with us after the break and see what Conduit HD is all about.

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4 years ago

Hands on with Chameleon Launcher for phones

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Whatever your own personal opinions on the birth of the Chameleon Launcher project, one thing remains the same. People are talking about it. As people talk, interest grows, and Chameleon certainly brought a whole new take to the custom launcher scene. Very much a widget-orientated UI, there's no denying that it could completely change the look and feel of your Android tablet. 

And that's the other thing of course. Initially Chameleon launched exclusively for Android tablets. Then, not all that long ago, we got a first glimpse at a phone version in early testing. Things have progressed well since then, and the finished product is here. Sort of. At the moment, Kickstarter backers and pre-order customers can snag a copy of the phone version of Chameleon, ahead of it going on general release soon. So, how well does it transition to the smaller screen? Let's find out. 

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4 years ago

Google is killing Google Reader on July 1, 2013

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As part of an annual "Spring Cleaning" post, Google casually has said that it is killing the Google Reader service effective July 1, 2013. Among the other Spring Cleaning casualties are some CalDAV API support cases, Google Building Maker, Google Cloud Connect and the Google Voice Blackberry app. The less-used services are pretty understandable cuts, but we're left a bit surprised by the quick cutoff of the Reader platform. Google's post had this much to say about it:

We launched Google Reader in 2005 in an effort to make it easy for people to discover and keep tabs on their favorite websites. While the product has a loyal following, over the years usage has declined. So, on July 1, 2013, we will retire Google Reader. Users and developers interested in RSS alternatives can export their data, including their subscriptions, with Google Takeout over the course of the next four months.

Google Reader has become a platform for RSS aggregation for numerous apps and end-users alike and is a great option for reading lots of news feeds or keeping up on shows and podcasts. It's a big cut, and it will be interesting to see what (if anything) takes its place as a Google-operated RSS service. Apps like Google Currents can handle some of the news reading aspects, but power users know the best way to get some things done is with good ol' RSS.

Source: Official Google Blog

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4 years ago

'Value Pack' update for Optimus G Pro to bring eye-tracking software and more

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LG is planning to bring a "Value Pack" update with extra features to the recently announced Optimus G Pro as well as other high-end LG devices. This update will bring two headline features -- Smart Video and Dual Camera -- to the Optimus G Pro in the Korean market. Smart Video is eye-tracking software that will pause video playback when the phone recognizes that the user is looking away from the screen, and then resume when they look back. Dual Camera is an extension of the Dual Recording feature LG recently debuted, and will let the user take simultaneous pictures from the front and rear cameras.

In addition to these new features, the Value Pack will bring improvements to the QRemote app for increased functionality in controlling TVs. The home button LED will also receive an update with new software to more granularly control its flashing, and a new video camera feature will let users stop/start video but save to one continuous file.

LG hasn't specified which other "premium smartphones" will receive the Value Pack update, but we know that at minimum the Korean Optimus G Pro will receive it first starting next month.

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4 years ago

Reviewing Humble Bundle 5: Super Hexagon

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Super Hexagon has been out for a little while in the Play Store, and it's just as insanely difficult now as part of the Humble Bundle 5 as it was when it was released. The retro arcade styling and accompanying soundtrack keep you sucked into this game for hours, and we're completely fine with that. For some reason we enjoy playing a game that feels impossible to get a high score on.

This is the same Super Hexagon many of us know and love, but if you haven't yet seen it stick around after the break and see what it's all about.

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4 years ago

Vivid Games' Real Boxing now available for Tegra 3 devices

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Real Boxing.

Get ready to rumble boxing fans, because Real Boxing is now available for Android devices running NVIDIA's Tegra 3 chip. A smash hit on iOS, Real Boxing has been updated for Android, and optimized for Tegra devices with enhanced textures, increased poly count and animations, per pixel specular effects and true depth of field.

And it really kicks ass. It's powered by the Unreal Engine which means very realistic looking graphics, fluid gameplay and animations, and a fully 3D immersive experience. You fight in four different arenas, and you can see the differences in the way they are laid out and how they look. Your opponents each have a unique fighting style, and their movement is ultra-lifelike because the movement was captured from professional boxers using real-life motion capture. Extras like career mode and character customization using different combinations of hair, skin, tattoos and clothing, and a gym where you can train your abilities really take things over the top and put you in the game. Simple on screen gestures are used for controls, with punches and defensive moves performed with just one finger or thumb. 

We've been playing with the press demo for a while on the Nexus 7 and the Transformer Prime, and I think our Moderator Team Leader and part-time game tester Kevin O'Quinn pretty much nailed it:

O. M. G.

It really is something special on Tegra 3 devices, and proof positive that wonderful things can be done with optimized software. It brings back that same "wow" factor we all had when we first saw a Tegra-optimized game. It's really that good looking, and playing. And it's going to get better. NVIDIA tells us that work is being done that will further optimize the game and assets to take advantage of the Tegra 4 and Project Shield. I know what I'm trying the minute I get my hands on a Tegra 4 powered device.

Real Boxing costs $4.99, and you can download it at the Google Play link above, and hit the break to see a handful of screenshots and the release trailer. We'll be taking a closer look at this one in the next few days.

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4 years ago

Humble Bundle 5 adds three more games to the list

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The Humble Bundle 5 has been out for a few days now, and after raising over $1 million in donations, the bundle is growing with three more games. The updated bundle adds the following three games, which were part of Humble Bundle 4:

  • Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP by Capybara Games
  • Splice by Cipher Prime Studios
  • Crayon Physics Deluxe by Klooingames

The titles are part of the "locked" portion of the bundle, which can be accessed by donating more than that average of previous donations. At the time of writing, the average sits at just $6.67. If you were to donate that amount or more, you'd receive nine DRM-free games in total. That's a heck of a deal and worth a look even if you just want a couple of them. If you haven't seen, we've been reviewing the games in Humble Bundle 5 and they've got quite the lineup here. You can learn more about the Humble Bundle 5 at the source link below.

Source: Humble Bundle

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