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4 years ago

Devil May Cry developer leaps into mobile with 80s-style beat-'em-up game


At E3 2013, we got some time with Ninja Theory, who's been working on their first mobile title called Fightback. These guys made the latest Devil May Cry game, which is part of a well-respected console action series, so it was pretty exciting to see what they'd be able to do on Android.

Fightback is straightforward (but gorgeous) beat-em-up where players have to tap and swipe their way through waves of 80s-era goons within a limited timeframe. If things get tight, you can always bust out the guns to clear a wave, but depending on your weapon and upgrades, you'll have to wait on your reload time to use them again. 

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4 years ago

Celebrating 50,000 downloads of the Android Central app with a T-shirt giveaway!

It's Friday and we're in a great mood this week, especially since the latest iteration of the Android Central App has surpassed 50,000 downloads in its first month of release, which is wildly exceeding our expectations!

As a way to say thanks, we're going to give away 20 Android Central T-shirts. Just leave a comment in this post, and we'll pick 20 winners at random. We'll leave comments open through 5 p.m. Sunday to make sure everybody gets a chance, and this one's open to everyone. (We'll post the winners here in this post after they've been chosen, and we'll contact them by e-mail as well.)

Thanks again, everybody! Check out the all-new Android Central app if you haven't already, and be sure to leave a review!

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4 years ago

Testing Google Play Music's new streaming quality settings


New Play Music settings could cut your streaming data usage in half

The launch of Google Play Music All Access last month reminded many of us just how much data the app uses for streaming and caching. There were a few things you could do to try and limit your usage, but in the end Google was likely going to stream as high quality of music it could, data caps be damned. Google listened to some of the complaints coming its way about the data usage, and has released an update that gives users better options to limit data usage by lowering the stream quality in Play Music.

Rather than allowing the app to offer as high of quality music as possible given the current connection, users now have three settings -- low, normal and high -- to cap the quality, and therefore data usage, of streaming. We've done a little semi-scientific testing on the new settings, and have found them to be quite effective.

So, let's put things to the test.

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4 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S4 Active up for pre-order on AT&T


$200 on a two-year plan or $595 up-front, shipping June​ 18

Right on schedule, Samsung's rugged, water-resistant Galaxy S4 Activet is now available to pre-order from U.S. carrier AT&T. The Active packs similar specs to the regular Galaxy S4 -- Snapdragon 600 CPU, 2GB of RAM, 1080p screen -- with the added bonus of being able to withstand the elements. It's rated IP67 for dust resistance and water resistance up to 1 meter for 30 minutes.

The Galaxy S4 Active will set you back $199.99 on a two-year plan, or $594.99 outright. It's available in "urban grey" and "dive blue" colors, and will start shipping to pre-order customers from June 18, ahead of the June 21 date for general availability.

Anyone placing a pre-order today? Shout out in the comments!

More: AT&T

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4 years ago

New ASUS-made Nexus tablet drops by the FCC


Snapdragon S4 Pro quad-core CPU, 5MP rear camera and 4G LTE

Rumors of a second-generation, ASUS-built Nexus 7 tablet have been circulating for some time, so it shouldn't come as too much of a surprise to see such a device passing by the FCC today.  The ASUS "K009" tablet is listed on the FCC's online repository, along with the "Nexus" name listed under "brand" in a certification document. The same document specifies a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro and 4,000mAh battery, a 5-megapixel rear camera and 4G LTE radios. (Additional FCC data points to T-Mobile and AT&T frequencies.)

The inclusion of LTE connectivity as well as a rear camera is interesting to see, considering the original Nexus 7 featured only a front-facing camera, and at launch was a Wifi-only product. We wouldn't speculate as to exactly when this new Nexus tablet might see a retail release, but FCC certification hopefully means it's not too far off.

Source: FCCEngadget

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4 years ago

Press updated with Feedbin and Feed Wrangler support, interface changes


Popular RSS reader Press rolled out an update on the Play Store today that added two new options for managing RSS feeds as well as new interface changes. Getting out in front of the planned Google Reader shutdown on July 1st, the latest update now supports both Feedbin and Feed Wrangler alongside the original Google Reader login option. Both of these options are paid ($2 per month for Feedbin, $19 per year for Feed Wrangler), but are a couple of the only viable options available as a Google Reader replacement at this point. Other leading options are Feedly, which Press indicates should be integrated before July 1st, and Fever, which is marked as "coming soon" to the app.

Press has also improved the interface, with better categorizing of feeds and some subtle changes to clean up the reading experience. The app is $2.99 in the Play Store and still stands as one of the best designed apps out there today. You can grab a download from the Play Store link above.

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4 years ago

Talk Mobile 2013 Launch Party in NYC - The Video!


We're a week removed from the Talk Mobile 2013 launch party in New York City. For those who were able to make it -- well, you know it was a bit of a rager, as the kids like to say. (And if they're not saying that, give it time. It'll catch on.) Just us and 600 of our closest smartphone nerd friends, men and women from all walks of life, coming together to hang out, have a couple beverages and swap a few smartphone stories.

Thank you for coming.

For those who weren't able to make it out, we present this highlights video, and we've got a proper gallery of pics if you keep on readin'. And be sure to check out our Week 1 recap on mobile gaming!

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4 years ago

Android the latest target of EU probe on anticompetitive behavior


Competitors take issue with Google's licensing terms for Android

Google and Android are once again the target of an antitrust investigation by the European Commission, this time because of allegations that Google used anticompetitive tactics to expand its mobile market share. While it is only an informal probe at this point, the EC is investigating claims from Google's competitors -- such as Microsoft and Nokia -- that it licenses Android to manufacturers below cost, giving it an unfair advantage. The allegations continue, stating that Google also makes demands of its licensees that they give specific placement to Google's other apps, such as Youtube, and not allow them to use other services, which again gives it unfair advantage.

Google makes Android open-source and licenses it to manufacturers for free, and while that may seem like a way to be absolved of any wrongdoing its competitors see it as a great example of Google's anticompetitive tactics.

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4 years ago

Samsung 'Galaxy NX' Android-based mirrorless camera pictured


Samsung's Android-based, professional-class camera gets leaked ahead of June 20 event

Just hours after Samsung co-CEO JK Shin confirmed that the company will release an Android-powered mirrorless camera, we're already seeing the first leaked promotional shots of the device. Vietnamese tech site Tinh te has published three images of a device bearing the name Galaxy NX -- a product that fuses Samsung's smart device and camera brands.

And it's a big honkin' camera. The Galaxy NX clearly a professional-class product, with interchangeable lenses, a viewfinder, a big grippy body and a large rear display -- a world away from last year's Galaxy Camera. According to Tinh te's post, the NX features a 20.3-megapixel APS-C sensor, 1080p video recording support, max ISO of 25,600 and a dual-core or quad-core Exynos CPU. The touchscreen back is a "high resolution" 4.3-incher, according to the post. No word on connectivity, but there's a signal strength meter on the display, suggesting it'll feature cellular radios of some sort.

If the Galaxy S4 Zoom was Samsung's answer to a consumer-level Android imaging device, then the Galaxy NX is squarely aimed at the professional market, and may attract attention from high-end users who were underwhelmed by the Galaxy Camera's performance. We can only speculate as to the eventual price (we imagine it won't come cheap), but whatever it costs, we're eager to get our hands on the Galaxy NX at Samsung's June 20 "Premiere" event.

More pics after the break, and at the source link below.

Source: Tinh te

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4 years ago

Google+ update rolling out with new notifications and other tweaks


Notification sync comes to Google+

An updated notification interface is now rolling out to Google+ on the web and through the official Android app. First up, notification sync is coming to Google's social network, and reading or dismissing a notification on one device or platform will register the change across all platforms. (Google recently announced something similar for Cloud Messaging in Android at Google I/O.)

And the notification UI has been given a fresh coat of paint, too. A new bell icon makes it easier to see if there are any new notifications waiting, and notifications are grouped based on whether they've been read or not.

Google's also used this opportunity to roll out some new features and tweaks elsewhere in Google+.  For instance, it's now possible to delete photos from directly in the "photos" view. Reshares are now shown alongside comments and +1's in the post view. And the left-hand menu has been redesigned to fit with the new look seen in other Google apps, such as Gmail.

The new version of Google+ is being rolled out gradually on the web and Android. Shout out in the comments and let us know if you're seeing the update yet.

Source: +Balaji Srinivasan

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4 years ago

Google Play Music update brings faster downloads, better data controls


We've found ourselves plenty impressed with Google Play Music of late, but one area of concern has been with mobile data usage. Looks like that's being addressed in the most recent update (version 5.0.1052J, for those of you keeping track), along with some other improvements. 

Of the greatest interest to us is the addition of "new settings for mobile network bandwidth usage." Taking a quick look at the updated app, you have now have a "Mobile networks stream quality" section in the settings with three options -- low, normal and high, and there's definitely a noticeable difference between the best and worst quality. 

As carriers keep pushing us away from unlimited data plans -- and they've been pushing a lot harder over the past year or so -- that's become a cause for concern when you're away from the relative comfort and safety of Wifi. Google says this new version also reduces overall data usage, which is a good thing.

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4 years ago

Amazon launching one-day HTC One sale tomorrow


$79.99 up-front for new customers, $99.99 for upgrades, on Sprint and AT&T

Amazon sends word that tomorrow (Friday, June 14) it'll be holding a one-day sale on the Sprint and AT&T HTC One. On either network you'll pay a reduced price of $79.99 if you're a new customer, or $99.99 if you're upgrading -- either being a significant saving over the standard up-front cost for HTC's latest.

If you're interested, keep an eye on the links below over the next day or so --

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4 years ago

Stock Talk: Google's purchase of Waze reminiscent of when it bought YouTube


The naysayers were wrong in 2006 — is this Google's latest genius move?

The rumors turned into official news earlier this week. Google has acquired Waze, a social mapping and navigation company. Most industry pundits are aware of speculation that Apple and Facebook also were interested buyers. Google emerged as the winning bidder. I think this solidifies their position as a forward thinking leader in mobile computing.

The computing industry is quickly shifting to mobile computing. Just look at Mary Meeker’s D11 presentation slides showing how the iPad has already overtaken volumes of notebook and desktop PCs (separately, not the combined number). Mobile is now so important that major new services are commonly launched as mobile-only. Waze, Vine and SnapChat are a few good examples.

Google has been a mapping leader ever since it first launched Google Maps. Remember MapQuest before that?  When Google Maps came out the interface was dramatically better! Directions were awesome. Satellite imagery was added. Google started mapping the world’s streets with super fancy cameras to create Street View.

When I was a kid we had none of this. We had paper maps and chicken-scratch directions that someone might give to you over the phone. No GPS, no mobile devices, no nothing. Here we are many years later and the paper map industry is all but dead.

I think we are at the very early stages of Google making money from its mapping assets. Yeah, you’ll see some sponsored ads, but I doubt this is a serious money-maker. It reminds me very much of YouTube, which Google also acquired in 2006 for $1.65 billion. At the time people thought Google was insane. They said YouTube could never make any money.

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4 years ago

Google Play Music All Access will be my first paid music subcription service


It isn't perfect, but All Access is a step closer than anything else I've found

Like many people this week, I received an email from Google Play as a gentle reminder that my free trial for Google Play Music All Access was about to end, and that the subscription I signed up for will be charged in a couple of days. "Wow, it's been a month since Google I/O?" was my first reaction. Indeed, it has been a month, and now I was faced with the task of evaluating whether or not I was receiving more than $7.99 worth of value out of my pending monthly payment to Google.

I don't listen to a whole ton of music, I'm not too particular about what I listen to and I rarely find myself buying music at all. Before Google released All Access I primarily relied on a mixture of Pandora (well, about 90-percent of the time) along with my own music collection uploaded to Google Play Music. The draw of a subscription service like Spotify or Rdio just wasn't there for me because at about $10 per month I didn't see the value in them -- I wasn't buying much music anyway, so how is this a good deal?

But, at least for now, Google's going to be getting $7.99 per month from me.

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4 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S4 Active available June 21 on AT&T for $199 on contract


Water-resistant, dust-proof phone comes in two colors; preorders start June 14

AT&T (as it was expected to do so) today announced that it'll carry the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active, in stores June 21 for $199 with a two-year contract. Preorders start June 14. The Active -- essentially a water-resistant version of the Galaxy S4 that AT&T already carries -- comes in Urban Gray or Dive Blue and sports a 5-inch TFT display with Gorilla Glass and runs Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. It's powered by a quad-core processor and has an 8-megapixel camera 'round back.

Along with a more rugged build, the buttons on the front are all physical, instead of a mix of capacitive and physical.

Also on board is Samsung's suite of apps and customizations, same as on the original Galaxy S4, such as Air View and Air Gesture, Smart Pause and a host camera tweaks, such as Erase Shot, Drama Shot and Story Album. It's also got the Multi Window and for true multitasking, and it has the Samsung SAFE Enterprise security suite. The Infrared controller is still there, as well, so you can control your rugged TV in your rugged home with this rugged device.

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