5 years ago

Humble Bundle 2 brings 5 more games - pay what you want


Youtube link for mobile viewing

Dunno what's better — the fact that you can get five new games (well, new to Android) and pay whatever you want, that you can designate where you want your contribution to go to (developers, charity or to Humble Bundle), or the preview video you see above. The answer, of course, is all of the above.

New in Humble Bundle 2 are Zen Bound 2, Canabalt, Cogs and Avadon: The Black Fortress (for tablets only). Plus, if you pay more than the average amount (which currently stands at $5.89), you'll get Swords & Soldiers thrown in for good measure. 

The whole thing's going down at the link below.

More: HumbleBundle.com

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5 years ago

Fitbit finally gets a proper Android app


The folks at Fitbit over the weekend slipped an official Fitbit Android app into the Google Play Store. It doesn't take the place of the Fitbit tracker, but it does let you check your daily progress as well as set daily goals and record activities, all from your Android smartphone.

We've pulled back our Fitbit review to give this one a proper look, but for now we've got a slew of screenshots and download links after the break.

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5 years ago

Quell Reflect [Android Game Review]


YouTube link for mobile viewing

If there's one thing Android isn't hurting for, it's puzzle games. Knowing that, I wouldn't be putting another puzzle game in front of you if it wasn't good. Great, even. And if there's one thing Quell Reflect is, it's a great puzzle game.

First thing, let's talk about Quell Reflect's aesthetic. When you're not in a game, the environment has this very old school, rustic look to it. Levels come in groups of four, and when you're on the level select screen, you'll notice that each batch of puzzles is assigned a year in the past, long, long ago. You're in what looks like a dank, stone basement, and there's vintage propaganda posters on the walls.

I'm not sure what it is, but I love it. It's unique and it definitely gives even something as simple as selecting a level a much cooler vibe.

In Quell Reflect, you're trying to fling a bubble around a world filled with obstacles, and collect pearls along the way. You advance to the next level once you've collected all the pearls, but the caveat is that once you've flung the bubble, the bubble is in motion until an outside force acts upon it (or, in layman's terms, it runs into a wall).

Your goal is to collect all of the pearls in the least number of moves possible. The game gives you an idea of what that number is each level, in the top-left corner of the screen. If you manage to complete a level in that number of moves, you're awarded a hint token. Having never used a hint token, I can't be certain what they do, but if I had to guess, I'd say they give you a hint​ on where to fling your bubble.

I absolutely am in love with this game. The beginning levels are fairly straightforward, but new mechanics are quickly added in, like the side of the screen with no border. If there's no stones to stop the bubble, it flings off the edge of the screen and comes out on the opposite side, a la Pacman-in-the-tunnel. Soon after, spikes are introduced, and after that, stones that need to be pushed together in order to make them disappear.

From the moment you start playing, you'll be taken with how much detail has been put into this game. The soundtrack isn't a slouch, either. The music is both tranquil and ambient, almost in the vein of Osmos HD. It's beautiful, and if you've got the battery for it, I don't think anyone would ridicule you for leaving the game open just to have pretty music going in the background.

What else is there to say? This is a beautiful, polished, intriguing game. It'll have you scratching your head as you try to uncover the most efficient way to win a level and then quickly lull you back into serenity with it's pleasant interface and calming music. Truly, Quell Reflect is the real deal.

Quell Reflect is 99 cents in the Google Play Store. We've got download links after the break.

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5 years ago

Android quick app: Adele


Adele won numerous awards at the Grammys about a month ago and with her official Android app, you can enjoy up-to-date info on the singer right from your pocket.

The app offers a lot for the huge or even casual Adele fan. When you open the app, you'll see changing pictures of Adele making up the background of the app and her name up top. The main options will be listed in green and with a simple swipe gesture, you'll be able to access the rest.

There are five options per page and I'll describe what each does:

  • News: Brings up an aggregated news feed, where you can see clips from her official website or her official Twitter feed
  • Music: Displays all of her music and allows you to preview each song
  • Videos: Allows you to view recent videos released by the singer. These consist of both music videos and live performances. For example, her recent show at Live at the Royal Albert Hall in London is included
  • Community: Allows you to interact with the Adele Fan Community, where people post comments and pictures
  • Live Shows: Displays information about future and past events. You can buy tickets to future performances or view photos and comments about past shows
  • About: Shows a short biography of the singer
  • Albums: Lists her albums to date, where you can view tracks and fan comments for specific albums
  • Photos: Displays several photos of the singer, which you can save and share if you wish
  • Favorites: Allows you to save data from the rest of the app in a simple list so it can easily be accessed
  • My Profile: If you're a huge Adele fan, you probably want to comment on albums or shows or post pictures. This is where you sign in, either with Twitter or Facebook, which allows you to leave posts
  • Top Users: Relating to the My Profile category, if you're posting a lot, you may find yourself rewarded by making the top users list. There are top users listed for all time, monthly, weekly and daily
  • Store: Brings you to her web store via the browser
  • Links: Displays links to Adele's official site, Facebook page and Twitter page
  • Mailing List: If you wish to receive mailings from Adele on future dates and music, you can sign up right from the app
  • Copyright: Self explanatory, just displays the copyright information

Overall, I'd say the official Adele app is really well done. I enjoy her music, but wouldn't call myself a big fan and I had a great experience exploring the app. The UI is something that definitely improves the experience. If you're a big Adele fan or just want to find out more information about the singer, check out the free app. Please find links and more screenshots after the break.

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5 years ago

Motorola Korea steps up customer service by offering remote LogMeIn Rescue assistance


Motorola has amped up their customer service offerings in Korea.  Staring with the Motorola RAZR, customers seeking support will now be able to download LogMeIn ‘Rescue + Mobile for Motorola’ where Motorola representatives will be able to login and remotely control the devices of those needing assistance.

“These smart services will help us provide even better and more personal support to our customers in Korea,” said Chul-Jong Jung, president of Motorola Korea. “We are committed to customer satisfaction, and making sure that people can get support when they need it and where they need it is an important part of that.”

Rather trying to explain how to fix things, logging in remotely allows not only to address the issue faster but the actions are also visible to customer so that if it arise again, they'll know what to do in order to fix it themselves. Want to know more? The full press release is past the break.

Source: Motorola

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5 years ago

Android Central weekly photo contest winners: Photo filters and effects


The winner of this week's photo contest is Cody Griffith, who captured the full hipster spirit with his entry. Taken with the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, and using the Pixlr-o-matic app, he successfully made an image captured with amazing 21st-century technology look like something taken in 1974. Nice work Cody. Keep an eye on your inbox for information about your prize.

We had some other great entries this week, as we usually do. Android users love to take good pictures (we have thousands and thousands of pieces of evidence). Hit the break to see the 10 runners-up to get an idea of just how good some of the submissions are. We'll start a new contest tomorrow and do it all again next week. 

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5 years ago

CyanogenMod 7.2 release candidate now live with support for 69 Android devices


The first major CyanogenMod release of the year is upon us, as the leading custom Android firmware launches the first release candidate (RC) build for version 7.2. CM release candidates are generally considered stable enough for regular use, and are intended to flush out the last remaining bugs before the final release. 

In addition to the large jump in the number of supported devices, currently at 69 for the new release candidate, CM 7.2 adds bug fixes and new features. These include a few which have back-ported from Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. Others, such as the T9 predictive phone dialer, are found in manufacturer ROMs but not stock Android.

CyanogenMod 7.2 is still based on Gingerbread, so the list of supported devices focuses on phones and tablets running Android 2.3.7 or older. CyanogenMod 9, the next major version, is based on Android 4.0. Early nightly builds of CM9 are available for a few devices, including the Galaxy S II, Galaxy Nexus and Nexus S.

Hit the source link for the gigantic list of CM 7.2-supported phones. We've got the full changelog after the break.

Source: CyanogenMod

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5 years ago

Twitter working on next-gen TweetDeck app with power users in mind


Remember back before Christmas when Twitter redesigned their interface with new "discovery" oriented pages? Remember how it made finding DM's and mentions harder by burying them a level deeper? Well if you're one of the many that hated the changes (Twitter refers to us as "power users") you'll like this news. TweetDeck, which was purchased by Twitter proper in May 2011, is in the process of being redesigned with you in mind. Details are sparse, but they all seem centered around a job listing by Twitter, Inc. which reads, in part:

About This Job
The TweetDeck team, working from London, is looking for new team members to work on our cutting edge Android app. We’re building the next generation of a suite of clients that millions of people love and use everyday. You’ll work on our small team, own the projects that you work on, and have a great time shipping products which change the way people communicate.

After the recent updates to the native Android app, and the lack of recent updates to TweetDeck, we're ready for a "cutting edge" app from the folks at Twitter. Don't forget the tablet interface, please.

Source: Twitter; via TechCrunch

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5 years ago

Android Central Editors' app picks for March 17, 2012


If applications are the best part of your mobile device, you probably love when we bring you some of our favorites. We are back this week with a few more, so let's hit the break and check them out!

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5 years ago

SPC Music Sketchpad 2 [Android App Review]


YouTube link for mobile viewing

Music is something really close to my heart. It's what I'm majoring in (Go Bobcats!), something I've been involved in for years, and my other great passion besides writing about Android. When I'm lucky enough to find an app that combines music and Android, I'm in hog heaven. While SPC Music Sketchpad 2 (whew, that's a mouthful!) isn't as abstract as say, Plasma Sound, it's still really fun to use and powerful enough to create some really cool beats.

Once you open SPC 2, you're greeted with a grid of prepackaged sounds. Tap a sound and it starts to play, over and over. Each sound has a different pattern (and usually plays at a different time), so out of the box you've got some solid variety.

When you hit the pencil button you go into sound editing mode. When you touch a sound, instead of it turning on, you're taken to another grid where you can change when your sound activates, add more sounds, or turn it off completely. Then, you can save your edited sound so you don't have to remember how you changed it and redo the whole thing later.

There's also a cool effects panel where you can mess with things like distortion and reverb. Some of the effects are passive (just turn up their amount and they'll do their thing), but others you need to manually hit an effect button to have them work. (Distortion works this way.)

Finally, when you realize you've hit musical gold, you can record your sick beat onto your SD card, preserving it forever (or until your SD card fails). Assuming you get it onto a computer or other media device in a timely fashion, know that many dance parties will be had as the result of your musical ingenuity and tech-savvy nerdiness.

SPC Music Sketchpad 2 is $4.99 in the Google Play store for a limited time. We've got download links after the break.

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5 years ago

UK property search site Rightmove launches new Android app on March 19.


Rightmove is one of the biggest websites in the UK. Its property listings cover the length and breadth of the country and over 20000 estate agents and property developers. It's also how I found the house I currently own. Until now all that was missing was an Android app. As of March 19, Rightmove's first Android app will be live in the Google Play Store to cater to all your house-hunting needs. 

There was an iOS app released from Rightmove way back in 2009, followed by a Samsung SmartTV app last year. Quite why it has taken so long to come to Android is a mystery, but they got here which is the important thing. 

On the face of it, we're getting a full experience too. By hooking into your Rightmove account, you can share listings with other people, and look at your favourites on the go. It also takes full advantage of Google Maps by offering street view options. Seeing the street is almost as important as seeing the house, after all. 

Full-screen floor plans and photos are also promised, as is the ability to contact agents from within the app. On release Rightmove will be free in the Google Play Store. You'll find a quick walkthrough video after the break.

Source: Pocket-lint

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5 years ago

CyanogenMod 9 makes root access an option, not the default


Since the earliest days of unofficial Android ROMs, root access and custom firmwares like CyanogenMod have gone hand in hand. However, future versions of CyanogenMod will take a step back from always-on root, disabling root access by default but allowing users to easily enable it through a menu.

In a statement on their official site, the CM team says that having root access enabled by default represents a "major security risk," one which can be remedied by introducing four user-configurable root options. Root access will be disabled by default, while three additional options will let CM users enable it for ADB only, apps only, or both. So there's nothing to panic about -- your root access will still be there if and when you need it, but your device will be more secure by default as a result.

A good analogy is Android's "unknown sources" option, which allows applications to be loaded directly from an APK file rather than the Google Play Store. It's there for those that want it, but disabled by default for security reasons. As CM matures and its audience grows more mainstream, it makes sense that there's a renewed focus on security.

There's more technical info about exactly how this configurable root access works over at the source link.

Source: CyanogenMod

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5 years ago

OverSkreen [Android App Review]


YouTube link for mobile viewing

It seems Android folk are always looking for ways to make their tablet experience more desktop-like. Services like OnLive Desktop aim to carve out a large niche for themselves, and desktop streaming services are almost as old as Android itself. OverSkreen might not simulate the entire Windows experience, but it does give you something more akin to a true desktop browsing experience, and that's something I've not seen before.

Simply put, when you open up OverSkreen, you're given a floating browser window on top of whatever you were previously looking at. Much unlike the browser (or any other Android app), OverSkreen exists in tandem with everything else; it doesn't bother to fill up the entire screen. The window is completely resizable, and you can even have multiple windows open at once, all at different sizes.

OverSkreen uses the 'always on top' rule by default, always floating above your desktop at large. Fortunately, aside from resizing the window, you can also minimize it (it'll go down to your notifications area) and come back to it later. Of course, if you're totally done, closing the window is as simple as tapping the red button in the top-right corner of the screen.

How practical OverSkreen can be is yet to be seen, but in my brief time using it, I definitely enjoyed it. Sure, you have to re-train yourself to use your tablet, but I dare say it's for the better. Granted, switching between applications isn't all that difficult in Honeycomb or Ice Cream Sandwich, but if you're looking for a browser that's a bit more customizable and closer to your desktop experience, aside from streaming, OverSkreen is it.

I guess the best way to frame it is like this: Novel but niche idea or the future of how we multitask on our devices? That's definitely yet to be seen, but if MBFG can continue to build on the already stellar app they've produced, I imagine we'll be seeing more of this in the future.

OverSkreen is $1.49 in the Google Play Store for a limited time. We've got download links after the break.

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5 years ago

Google Play Store updated, new tabbed My Apps UI and app review features


An update is beginning to push out to the Android Market Google Play Store bumping it to build number 3.5.15. With it comes a change in the UI to the "My Apps" area, and some handy new features built into application reviews that bring it more into line with the desktop version. For us outside North America we also seem to have been renamed from "Play Shop" to the much better sounding "Play Store." 

The change to the "My Apps" area is the most obvious change brought with this latest update. Gone is the single -- and incredibly long in some cases -- list of old, and in comes a new tabbed interface in the same vein as the main store.  The installed tab is now split into two parts, the updates still showing at the top but the remainder are now labelled as "up to date" below. 

Swipe left and we now get the "All" tab. Handily this contains all the applications you've ever installed. Gone are the days of scrolling all the way to the bottom of your installed apps list to find your not installed paid apps selection. This also contains all the free applications you installed before but don't have currently. Everything is here. This tab also has a handy dropdown box at the top listing all your Google accounts, providing a much smoother and easier way of switching without having to go into the menus. 

Heading out into the main store, further changes can be found in the app reviews. Now the device on which the app on the device which the reviewer was using. Reviews can also be filtered by "most helpful first" or by "newest first," and also for the latest version of the app and for your type of device only. This last one could be particularly handy for anyone running Ice Cream Sandwich, since we still seem to have compatibility issues with some applications. 

One final thing to note. When I first started trying to download apps after the update, everything kept flashing up with "Error 941." Force stopping the app, clearing cache and starting again seemed to do the trick. Not great, but seemed to fix the issue at least. 

For a few screenshots hit the break. If you find any other features worth noting, shout out in the comments below.

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5 years ago

World of Goo [Android Game Review]


YouTube link for mobile viewing

The fleeting feeling of nostalgia, a quick virtual swipe of the credit card, and everything is new again. Well, that's not quite true. World of Goo has still been out since November on Android (and even longer on desktops, iDevices, and the Wii), but that doesn't mean I can't have some fun with those delicious little goo balls and their crazy, physics-based antics.

If you've ever played X Construction (or any other physics-based building game), you'll immediately see the inspiration that was (probably) drawn from World of Goo. Instead of using steel beams, you're stretching out sentient goo-beings, trying to create a structurally sound contraption that the other goo-beings can move along to a suction tube. (Yeah, you read that right.)

World of Goo is pretty forgiving on the whole building front; lines appear when you're placing a new goo, showing you how it'll connect to the rest of the structure. Thicker lines mean the connection will be a strong one; thinner lines mean you're going on a date with destiny. Still, that's no reason to shy away from the tough moves. If you're fast enough, you can piece together something before the entire tower comes crashing down.

The whole point of all the building and the goo-beings and the suction tube? To get the goo-beings sucked up, of course. Each level has a minimum number of goos that need to be sucked up, so you can't be wasteful with your placement. As a reward for being stingy (or can we say efficient?), you're awarded bonus points for every goo that gets sucked up over the required minimum.

Combine genre-defining gameplay with gorgeous graphics, excellent controls, and the online leaderboard to build the biggest tower in the history of the Goo World, and you've got a recipe for success. But we already knew that, seeing as how World of Goo has been wildly successful on just about every platform it has been unveiled on. Point is, you should play it.

World of Goo is $4.99 in the Google Play Store. We've got download links after the break.

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