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Google Play Summer Sale warms up. Prepare your wallets!

Posted by wicked July - 24 - 2014 - Thursday Comments Off

The official Google summer catalog isn’t up yet, but publishers and developers are already putting up their discount signs in preparation for the seasonal buying binge. As always, you will see an assortment of apps, games, and live wallpapers up for grabs, with some as much as 85 percent off!

Unsurprisingly, it will be games that will take up most of the space in the summer market. Some games offer a price cut from the get go, but some, especially those already offered for free, go for in-app purchase discounts instead. Here’s a very incomplete list of what’s on sale this summer:

Blueprint 3D – $0.75 from $1.50
Dead Space – $2 from $8 (NA), (International)
Final Fantasy III and Final Fantasy IV – $8 from $16
Guns and Glory WW2 Premium – $1 from $6 (an 85% discount!)
Little Big Adventure – $2 from $5
Monopoly Millionaire – $0.50 from $1 (NA), (International)
NBA Jam – $1 from $5
Sprinkle Islands – $1 from $2
Temple Run Oz – $1 from $2
Terraria
– $2 from $5
Worms 3 – $2.5 from $5
Zombies, Run! – $2 from $4

Here are those that only offer in-app discounts:

Iron Force – 30% off some in-app purchases
Reaper – 50% off in-app upgrades
The Sims – 50% off some in-app purchases (NA), (International)
Tetris Blitz – 50% off some in-app purchases (NA), (International)
Theme Park – 40% off some in-app purchases (NA), (International)

Not everything has to be a game. Some rather serious apps are also getting in on the summer fun:

Beautiful Widgets – $1 from 2.75
Bright Weather – $1 from $2.79 (in-app purchase)
MeteoEarth – $1 from $4
Runtastic Sit Ups Pro – $1 from $2
Runtastic Push Ups Pro – $1 from $2
Runtastic Heart Rate Pro – $1 from $2
Runtastic Mountain Bike Pro – $2 from $5
Runtastic Pro – $3 from $5
Weather Pro HD – $1 from $4
Weather Pro – $1 from $2

Plus some live wallpapers to spruce up your screen under the sun:

Asteroids Pack LWP – $1 from $1.95
Galaxy Pack LWP – $1 from $1.95

This is just the tip of the iceberg and more are most likely to come when Google unveils the complete list of Summer Sale vendors. But there will always be some unseen treasure lurking in the corner and we’ll keep our eyes peeled for them, so watch this page and future news on this Android summer fiesta.

VIA: SlashGear, Android Police

Marvel offering 1st month promo to read over 15,000 comics

Posted by wicked July - 24 - 2014 - Thursday Comments Off

How much would you pay to have unlimited access to over 15,000 digital comics for a month? The folks over at Marvel, in preparation for the massive San Diego Comic Con happening next week, have decided that all it should cost you is just $0.99. Yes, that’s not a typo, that really is just a very special offer for the first month of new subscribers to Marvel Unlimited, their massive digital library.

For a whole month, you will be able to access all the comics available in their library. So that means over 15,000 comics, from classics like the Golden and Silver Age comics, to titles that were just released six months ago. Of course, just like the other digital subscription services, you’re not actually getting a digital copy of the comics, but you are paying to view them. But don’t worry, you get to have offline viewing as well, up to 12 comics at a time.

Although most of the comics in the library are just digital versions of the print edition, Marvel Unlimited is also now offering experimental content for the digital format. The Infinite Comics series for example, was designed to be read on bigger screens, not just your mobile devices. There are also behind-the-scenes content for several comics, including The Avengers. Captain America: Winter Soldier, which inspired the recent film, has adaptive audio for the six-issue series, which means as you swipe through the panels, you’ll hear sounds, just as you would in a video game. As you go through the comics, the background music and sound effects change as well.

A Marvel Unlimited subscription costs around $9.99 per month or $69 a year, so this $0.99 a month initial offer is something comic book fans shouldn’t miss. If you can, just hibernate for a month just to read as many comics as you can. Or this month can even convince you that the regular monthly fee is actually worth it.

VIA: Wired

Google Maps update lets you search less, Explore more

Posted by wicked July - 24 - 2014 - Thursday Comments Off

It’s easy enough these days to just ask Google Search what interesting places can be found nearby, but that’s still a few taps or spoken words away. What if you can get all of that information from a single button? Now you can! At least, once the latest Google Maps update hits your device and brings with it the fancy new Explore feature that will have you typing less and walking, or driving, around more.

In locations where such points of interest are available, Google Maps will display an Explore button at the bottom right of the map. This will bring up places, hot spots, activities, and other possibly interesting bits and bites that are going down in your area. Explore will also adjust its results to take into account not only the location but also the time of day, so you’ll have to check back to see if any new events have been added later during the day.

While Explore is smart enough to collate interesting information for you, it doesn’t dictate what “nearby” or “later” means. So you can decide whether you want to see places and events happening within a 5 minute walk or a 20 minute drive. You can even set it to the time of day you wish, so you can rest assured you won’t be missing out on important events in the evening, in case you decide to take that afternoon nap.

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But even if you decide to stay in your own little corner of the world, Google Maps will have something for you. Explore Nearby will let you browse in more detail the places and events happening around you, including reviews, schedules, and more. And you can, of course, save those that pique your fancy for later. All of these coming in the Google Maps update that will be rolling out to users, as always, in a staggered fashion.

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SOURCE: Google

Fleksy 3.0 brings more languages, customisation options

Posted by wicked July - 24 - 2014 - Thursday Comments Off

Because users look at their mobile devices’ keyboards an average of 180 times or a minimum of 1.5 hours per day, it would really help if you had a nice-looking one right? The makers of one of the most popular virtual keyboards believe so, and that is why they’re releasing Fleksy 3.0, a new-look and redesigned version with 17 additional languages and even more customisation options at the Fleksy Store.

Just two weeks ago, Fleksy released an update in the beta version, adding several new languages. But in this version 3.0, they have now stabilised the bugs and tweaks for a better and more comfortable user experience. They added 17 languages (including the ones from the beta update) to bring the total to over 40. The new ones include Albanian, Catalan, Croatian, Hebrew, Lithuanian, Norwegian and Tagalog, plus many more to come soon.

In terms of redesign, they said that their designers took it down “to the pixel level” and so now users have a new “Jet Black” Fleksy look. More than just a design change though, they have also added accuracy improvements so that the typing experience is faster and more correct than ever. For those who want their keyboards to be more colourful, the Fleksy Store is now selling six new color themes, including “Deep Blue” and “Liquid Sky” among others.

For the Fleksy Premium users, they can choose a premium theme and they will get it for free, in addition to the default “Jet Black” theme. So if you haven’t yet, you can download Fleksy 3.0 from the Google Play Store, or if you already have it, just update it so you can get all these new features.

SOURCE: Fleksy

HTC makes default keyboard app available on Google Play Store

Posted by wicked July - 23 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off

Just like other OEMs like Motorola and Sony, HTC has also now “consciously uncoupled” (thank you Gwyneth Paltrow for that phrase) one of its system apps and made it available on the Google Play Store. The default keyboard for most HTC devices, HTC Sense Input, is now available for download at the store, but of course, it is only for HTC devices,specifically for the HTC One M7, HTC One M8 and the newest phones for the Dream series.

Aside from your device needing to be HTC of course, it also requires Sense, so it won’t work on the Google Play Editions of the M7 and M8 as well. And if HTC users were expecting some major changes from the app in the Google Play Store, well, don’t expect too much. There are some new features for the virtual keyboard, like it now has support for Google Extract View in landscape mode and it now enables handwriting manual submit mode. There are also some minor tweaks like showing .ru/.ro/.nl when the keyboard is on Russian, Romanian or Dutch mode in your keyboard. But all in all, the changes are nothing to sing home about.

Previously, Sony has also made several native apps like Motion Shot and Privilege Movies available on the Google Play Store but only exclusive for several Xperia devices only. Motorola has also made available their proprietary Gallery app available, but again, only for the newer Motorola devices. So why put them on the Play Store if it’s not for all devices?

Making core apps available on the Google Play Store has made it easier for both OEMs and Google to update them easily, without updating the entire operating system. They can make minor tweaks and adjustments on the different apps, and just either automatically update them or send notifications that there are updates readily available. So if you’re an owner of the newer HTC smartphones, get ready as your Sense Input keyboard should be updated anytime today.

SOURCE: Droid Life

Microsoft Account app takes on Google Authenticator

Posted by wicked July - 23 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off

People are starting to become more conscious of how fragile their easy-to-remember passwords are, but that doesn’t mean they’re actively taking steps to protect their precious online accounts. To ease the process of securing accounts, logging into them and entering passwords, Microsoft released a new app on Android called Microsoft Account that, to be brutally honest, is simply a Microsoft-centric version of Google Authenticator.

Like Google’s app and security system, Microsoft Account is a form of two-step authentication, though it practically replaces it. In a usual two-step system, users will be required to wait for some security code that will be sent to their mobile or email when logging into some accounts. This ensures that only the real owner of the account, who presumably also owns or has the linked smartphone, can log into it. Of course, if someone has physical access to your phone in addition to your password, then all bets are off.

While Google Authenticator relies on a similar code-based system, Microsoft Account is kind of the lazy way out. All you need to do, when receiving a notification to authenticate, is to tap on the Approve button and nothing more. It also works even if you have enabled two-step authentication for the account, bypassing the need to enter a code. It works, according to Microsoft, even if the device is offline, because it can also generate security codes in that case. The single tap feature is definitely a huge convenience, but one wonders about the strength of its security.

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There is one other major difference between Google Authenticator and Microsoft Account. While the former can be used for both Google’s own services as well as third-party logins, like Evernote, Dropbox, and, quite amusingly, Microsoft accounts, Microsoft’s app only works for Microsoft accounts. But even then it doesn’t work for everything. Windows Azure users will have to use a separate app if they want to use the cloud platform’s Multi-Factor Authentication.

Download: Microsoft Account on Google Play Store

File Manager now tweaked for Android Wear platform

Posted by wicked July - 23 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off

Just how many files do you need to fit into your smartwatch? With an average of just around 4GB of internal storage (actually less because of various tools and apps), they really can’t handle that many to begin with. But apparently, there is now a version of the normal File Manager for Android that has been tweaked for the Android Wear platform, making sure that your Samsung Gear Live, LG G Watch and the future Moto 360 can have an organized way of handling multiple files.

The File Manager for Android Wear serves as a sort of “explorer” for storing and organizing files in your smartwatch. It also has the full feature phone version to make it easier for you to send and receive files back and forth between your smartwatch and your paired mobile devices. The app for Android Wear has the basic features of a file manager, including listing files and folders, organising them either by name, date or file size, batch delete file, an action button per file which will tell you to either delete, send file to device (and vice versa), share, order by date/name/file size or just refresh.

Some of its Phone only features include sending a file through email, Bluetooth or note, as well as changing the timer in the photo slider feature. Speaking of which, probably one feature that most users find useful for the file manager is that it has its own photo viewer as well as a Slide Show feature where you can just touch left to start it and then touch right to go to the next one. Although why you’d want to view photos on the small screen of your smartwatch is beyond us. Also, since you have to view it on your smartwatch, it is not that easy to manuever because everything is tiny, as it should be, since you’re dealing with a watch here.

The most important thing you have to know about File Manager for Android is that it’s absolutely not free. It costs $3.99 to download from the Google Play Store. So if you feel like you really need to have that many files stored in your smartwatch and that you need to organize them, then go ahead and spend for it.

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VIA: Android Police

Google Maps gets a localized version for India

Posted by wicked July - 23 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off

Whether you’re just traveling to the next city to visit a friend or taking a vacation in New Delhi, Google Maps has got your location needs covered. Today, Google has announced Google Maps in Hindi, the latest fruit of its efforts to break down the barriers that keep people apart, whether it be physical location or language differences.

As part of its mission to collect the world’s knowledge, Google has been working to make that knowledge more accessible to many people, even if they don’t speak English. While its translation technology is already at work in throwing text, whether written, spoken or even in images, back and forth between languages, not all of its products have been localized equally. Today, Google Maps joins the list of apps and services that can offer its information in a different tongue, in this case, the Hindi Language.

The translated Google Maps will be available in the latest web browser version as well as in the updated Maps app on Android, but only for those running Android 4.3 and later. Unlike Google’s other translation services, however, users will only be able to switch to Hindi text by changing their preferred language settings. On web browsers, users can either change their Google Account’s language preference for a more Google-wide effect, or simply visit google.co.in, select Hindi in the available languages, and then browse maps.google.co.in. On Android, you will have to select Hindi under the Language and Input settings.

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This localized version of Google Maps for India will be of help to both locals, who will appreciate a service catering to their own culture, as well as to foreigners, who will find it easier to communicate with native speakers. That said, Google acknowledges that languages are dynamic and nuanced and that their translations might not always reflect local dialects or might sometimes even be wrong. To that end, Google is encouraging native speakers to submit bug reports should they see any mistake or know of better translations so that Google can make sure that it is providing a map service that is not only accurate but also fun and easy to use.

SOURCE: Google

LG announces game that can be played inside the QuickCircle Case’s window for the G3

Posted by wicked July - 23 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off

lg case

Well, this is new.

The LG G3′s QuickCircle case has a circular window which allows users to see important notification information and date/time data. But now, users will be able to use the window to actually play games while on the run.

Starting today, users will be able to download “Puppy Pop,” which will be able to be played within the QuickCircle window.

 The game is developed specifically by LG for the G3. Players gain points by drawing lines through three or more identical puppies in order to remove as many as possible from the screen before the clock hits zero. Scores can be shared via social media. 

This is a pretty interesting development by LG. Although the market for QuickCircle apps is nowhere near saturated (actually near non-existent), this represents a push for developers to begin making apps for the case.

Source: LG

Come comment on this article: LG announces game that can be played inside the QuickCircle Case’s window for the G3

Pyrus on Android Wear leaves no excuse to miss tasks

Posted by wicked July - 23 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off

Even in this digital age, where people almost have their faces glued to their smartphone or tablet screens, it is still possible, or even convenient, to miss a pending task notification or email. Smartwatches, however, can now make sure that you are always up to date and up to task with notifications, and collaborative task management Pyrus is the first app of its kind to jump into the Android Wear scene.

Todo apps, even collaborative ones, are aplenty on Android. Pyrus, however, prides itself in scalability, being able to handle a group of two up to, and this might sound almost too good to believe, 7,000 people all at once. Pyrus also specializes in workflows that involve approving documents, proposals, budgets, ideas, and whatnot, even including features such as browsing the revision history of a document to see what has changed and what needs to be approved or rejected. Unsurprisingly, Pyrus has a mobile presence on all major platforms, including Windows Phone, but now it is extending its reach from your hand to your wrist.

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Given the relative youth of the platform, Pyrus boldly claims to be the first productivity-focused app on Android Wear, at least if you exclude the platform’s integration with Google’s own Calendar, Tasks, and (Google Now) Reminders services, or even Wunderlist and Trello. We can concede that Pyrus is the first collaborative app on Android Wear that lets you respond, approve or reject, and complete tasks right on your watch. New tasks that arrive on your Pyrus inbox are sent over to your LG G Watch or Samsung Gear Live as the usual Android Wear notification. What you do with that notification depends on how you want to proceed with the task. If you want to delay it for later, simply swipe it away. You can view the full content of the task right from your watch or, if you have the time and space, open it up on your paired smartphone directly. If the task is something that needs approval, you can do so right then and there, presuming you already know what you’re approving or rejecting. And finally, if the task requires a response, you can send a reply. Given that Android Wear does not favor keyboards in any form, you will be required to dictate your reply, which may be awkward in certain situations.

The Pyrus app, both on Android and, as of today, on Android Wear, is available for free on Google Play Store. However, the service itself is offered in tiers. For a maximum of 12 users, you can get access to Pyrus’ features, including 100 GB of storage, for free. More than that, you will need cough up a monthly fee, starting at $50 for 15 users tops. Although Pyrus’ time in the spotlight will most likely be short-lived now that the cat is out of the bag, it will remain a shining example of the hopefully productive things you can accomplish when Android Wear’s got your back, or to be precise, your wrist.