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Lockdown Pro allows selectively locking almost any app

Posted by wicked October - 25 - 2014 - Saturday Comments Off

We are trust our smartphones with private data more and more, and it is becoming so difficult to keep that data away from people who just want to compromise your privacy. Enter Lockdown Pro, a pretty awesome app that allows you to lock your apps whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned user – and it looks great to boot. Best of all, it’s completely free – with in-app purchases, of course.

Lockdown Pro features multiple PIN pattern options, geo-fencing, and even a stealth mode that hides the app’s very presence. Newbies don’t have to worry about a steep learning curve – the app has a tutorial to introduce you to some of its key features. Users start by picking a type of password, and once you’ve set that up, there’s a backup plan in form of a security question in case you forget.

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The app is well thought of. Instead of just cramming it with options, developers have chosen to go for a more streamlined approach by showing you a list of your apps organized in two sections: Basic Apps that people are most likely want to protect with a password, followed by the Normal Apps list that includes everything else that installed on your device. Each app will have an easy toggle next to it, where you can choose to protect or unprotect it.

From the looks of it, Lockdown Pro looks to be one of the best app protection solutions we’ve seen in a while, and the fact that it’s available free only makes it all the better. You can grab the app from the source link via the Google Play Store.

SOURCE: Google Play Store

Monster Strike arrives for North American Android users

Posted by wicked October - 24 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off

Monster Strike, one of those monster collecting game franchises that have become so popular in Japan (*cough* Pokemon, Digimon *cough*), has arrived for North American Android users as well after being one of the top games in Japan for so long now. It is being pushed by social networking outfit mixi and is now being made available for Android (and iOS) users.

Created by Yoshiki Okamoto, creator of classics such as Street Fighter 2 and Final Fight, Monster Strike combines the familiar monster/card collecting gameplay with tight action elements and a great fight system. Then you add in your RPG levelling element and you have a hit game.

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Users can utilize a very simple tap, pull back and release mechanism for flinging your monsters around the play area. Slam into enemies for damage, slam into friends to trigger nice “Bump Combos” and special moves. Plus, the play area is usually littered with obstacles, forcing users to strategically aim their releases to take down those tough bosses.

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But wait, there’s more! The game also has a social element where a quest can support 3 more of your friends (4 members in total). Play locally – that is, if you’re sitting just meters from each other – or play online via Facebook connections. We’re seriously thinking of trying this game out now. It’s available as a free download with IAP at the Google Play Store. Check out the source link.

SOURCE: Google Play Store

Etsy releases Credit Card Reader for budding entrepreneurs

Posted by wicked October - 24 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off

If you’re one of those budding entrepreneurs that can’t quit their day job yet but love to participate in weekend bazaars and arts and crafts fairs, chances are, you’ve encountered potential buyers that ask you if you can take plastic. But unless you have a “real” business, you most likely can’t, even with online transactions (except if you have Square or Paypal). Etsy believes that it’s growing community has need of this service and so they are now offering a “Sell on Etsy Reader” and an accompanying app to help you out.

Etsy has become a huge e-commerce site and community for people who are looking for hand-made items rather than what you can normally buy in a mall or even on Amazon. And since there are a lot of sellers who are not really big business owners out there, it does make sense for Etsy to offer this kind of product and service. As soon as you get your card reader (which keeping in the spirit of the site, looks hand-made and crafts-y), you can attach it to your smartphone and pair it using the updated app.

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All the funds from the cards you swipe on the gadget will go straight to your Etsy account. You can either use the Etsy shop inventory or the Quick Sale feature (you just need to enter a price). Even if you don’t have the device, you can also do manual card entry on the app in case you don’t feel like using a card swiper for your transactions.

The card reader itself is free and they just charge you 2.75% per transaction. If you use the Manual card entry option, you’ll be charged 3% plus $0.25 per sale. The Quick Sale doesn’t have additional fee and there are no charges as well for sales made in person. The card reader is just available in the US for now, but there will be plans to expand it to other territories soon.

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VIA: SlashGear

Deep Loot lets you discover the depths of the ocean

Posted by wicked October - 24 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off

You may not have the chance to go to the beach or explore the ocean because of the cold weather right now but you can still discover things under water with Deep Loot. It’s a new game for Android that is all about swimming, digging, and fighting your way to explore the ocean and find some hidden treasures.

You’re totally a water explorer in Deep Loot. You can discover lost ruins, plunder treasures, and earn a lot of money in this game. Once you have more money, you can upgrade your equipment and buy bigger boats. Unlock new diving suits as well so you can easily find unique artifacts to brag about. More challenges await so make sure you are ready to finish them all. To become the best Deep Loot diver, beat the records of other divers who went to the ocean before you.

Deep Loot features five depths filled with surprises and secrets. You’ve got to play the game to find out and collect more than 200 loots. Once you’ve proven you’re good enough, you can unlock different ships and suits to enhance your diving experience into the depths of the ocean.

The game’s musical score with 8 original tracks will also complete your diving experience. You’ll be taken into a different dimension if you can get past the pixelized images. I’ll forgive the graphics this time because the characters are too cute.

Download Deep Loot from the Google Play Store

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SwiftKey releases virtual keyboard’s Material Design themes

Posted by wicked October - 24 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off

Even if we’re still a few weeks (for some, maybe months!) away from the official release of Android Lollipop, a lot of apps have been releasing their own take on Google’s Material Design, giving users a preview of what it will be like when the major update is finally released. Virtual keyboard SwiftKey is the latest app to do so, releasing two new themes in their store that were designed “in the spirit of the upcoming Android L keyboard” but with what they say, is their own unique touch.

The two new themes are called, of course, Material Dark and Material Light, with obviously the two shades of the normal gray-ish look of the keyboard. It has the same features that have made SwiftKey popular among mobile users, primarily the secondary characters found above each key (like ’0-9′ for QWERTY, symbols above the ASDF buttons) which you can choose by just long pressing the letter. They are easily seen but subtle enough not to be distracting. Another popular feature is the number pad that makes it easier for people to enter phone numbers, addresses and IP addresses.

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The Minimal theme is popular among SwiftKey users and so they basically pattered the simple look of the new Material themes after it. But even though it is very minimalist in look, they also wanted to add the secondary characters and number pad features to it for ease of use.

The SwiftKey virtual keyboard is free to download from the Google Play Store if you don’t have it yet. But to be able to use the Material Dark or Material Light themes, you need to purchase it from the in-app SwiftKey Store. Each theme costs $0.99 each.

SOURCE: SwiftKey

Chainfire unleashes Sideload Launcher for Android TV

Posted by wicked October - 23 - 2014 - Thursday Comments Off

The Android TV platform is yet to have a formal launch but already we’re seeing surging interest and activity around it, which is always good for a nascent platform. First there is that unofficial port that will let you install Android TV on an OUYA. Now even SuperSU creator Chainfire is jumping in with Sideload Launcher for Android TV, a handy little utility that will unhide regular Android apps that you might have indirectly installed on Google’s fancy new entertainment platform.

Android TV is technically a full Android system but its use case dictates a different form of user interface. The launcher for Android TV itself, nicknamed “Lean Back”, has been revamped to accommodate that, but it has also imposed a somewhat superficial requirement on apps. While you can definitely sideload and run regular Android apps on Android TV, they will not appear on the Lean Back interface unless the apps have been updated and advertise themselves as compatible.

Chainfire’s utility solves that with a very simple fix. Sideload Launcher practically exposes those sideloaded apps’ icons on Android TV, which means you will be able to launch them normally. Of course, just because you can, doesn’t mean you should as apps that aren’t designed or optimized yet for Android TV might not look or even work well on a large screen. Users who insist on doing so should be aware that problems arising from it should not immediately be blamed on the Android TV platform itself.

Sideload Launcher is available on Google Play Store but unless you have the ADT-1 dev kit, a Nexus Player, or perhaps an OUYA, you won’t be able to install it, much less use it. Chainfire claims he doesn’t foresee this app to be popular, but we’ll have to confirm that once Android TV finally lands. Sometimes, it is the little, seemingly inconsequential tools like these that make a platform worth using.

SOURCE: +Chainfire

Google Earth major update: 3D rendering, access to KML files

Posted by wicked October - 23 - 2014 - Thursday Comments Off

When was the last time you opened Google Earth on your Android device? Last week, two months ago, maybe never? Google is now giving you several reasons to open and use this often-neglected app as they are introducing 3D rendering technology and giving map-making users easier access to their KML files. While Google Maps is constantly updated with new features, it’s been 10 years since there has been a major overhaul for their less-loved but supposedly more awesome-looking sibling.

“Faster, smoother, crisper”. That’s the promise that Google is giving us when it comes to transitions and browsing through the Google Earth app. The new 3D rendering makes you feel like you are actually skydiving into the places you’re looking at, whether it’s the Eiffel Tower or the Swiss Alps or New York City downtown. They’ve also given a visual refresh for the roads and labels on the app so that it’s easier to look at the places you want to explore through Google Earth. The real-time basemap updates that Google Maps receives will also now be received by Earth.

For those who create their own maps on Google Earth, whether it’s for professional, academic or personal (if you enjoy doing that kind of thing for kicks), they’re making it easier for you to store and access your KML files as you can directly open them on the app from your Google Drive. You don’t need to open your desktop and laptop just to be able to view the maps.

If you don’t have it yet or you uninstalled the built-in app on your device, you can download Google Earth for free (of course) from the Google Play Store. Google promised more 3D updates in the next few months so we can expect a bunch of updates over the next few weeks.

SOURCE: Google

Sky+ app update tosses mobile pics onto the big screen

Posted by wicked October - 23 - 2014 - Thursday Comments Off

Sky+ users who have a Sky+HD box in their home may have used the Sky+ application before. The app originally allowed Android users to manage recordings when not at home and use mobile devices as remotes for the set top box if needed.

A new update for the Sky+ app has been pushed out and it adds a new feature that makes it easy to view images stored on your mobile device on a larger screen. The update brings with it the ability to sling images you have taken on your mobile to the big screen for viewing in a larger format.

To work, the smartphone or tablet running the app and the Sky+HD box have to be on the same wireless network. If they are on the same network, users only need to tap the camera icon on the apps nav bar and they can see the images stored on their device.

Those images can be viewed individually on the big screen or users can set up a slideshow to show off a bunch of images. The updated app looks like the Sky+ home page and has a new category called “New & Recommended.”

SOURCE: Engadget

Yahoo updates Mail app with travel, event notifications

Posted by wicked October - 23 - 2014 - Thursday Comments Off

Yahoo regularly updates the Yahoo Mail app. The company silently announced the update in a Tumblr post. The app now comes with event and travel notifications so you won’t have to miss your next event or flight scheduled on your calendar.

Once you input your flight information, you will be notified if flight is on time on the “Today” section. With a single tap on the screen, you can also visit the website of the airline, call the airline directly to rebook if you have to, or get directions to the airport so you won’t get lost going there.

When you’ve landed at your destination, the Yahoo Mail app will show suggestions of where to go in the area. Pictures from Yelp and review of top attractions and restaurants will also be shown on your phone. If you’re going to a special event listed on Ticketmaster, Eventbrite, of Evite, you can view details and directions going to the venue so you’ll always be on time.

With the updated app, you can now also share your event and travel information with friends and family via text or email. You can tell them where and when you’re going so they’ll have an idea how long you’d be gone.

The new features make going to events or a new destination easier now because the information you want are shown right on time, exactly when you really need it.

Download the updated Yahoo Mail app from the Google Play Store

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SOURCE: Yahoo

Nova Launcher adapts Lollipop design in latest update

Posted by wicked October - 23 - 2014 - Thursday Comments Off

Even before the official announcement of Android Lollipop (actually, even before we knew it was a lollipop), we expected to see most of the apps adapt its Material Design and several other features before its official launch in the next few weeks. One such app that has done this is Nova Launcher in its latest update. Some loyal users consider this the best launcher app yet, and they will be happy to know that the update brings with it several Lollipop-esque features they can already enjoy.

The developer was able to adapt some of the expected features from Lollipop like the circle folder animation, scroll indicators, and even the icon theme applied to the calculator, clock, contacts, downloads, email, dialer, settings and SMS. While it may not be exactly the same as the Lollipop, this is still a preview of what your smartphone will look like once the new Android update has rolled out. Kevin Barry from TeslaCoil, the developer of the app, says that he is also working on getting a Lollipop app drawer animation, but it will be part of the next phase.

What he was able to do though is to adapt all these features even to devices that are running Android 4.0, instead of the usual 4.3 and above that most apps who adapted the Material Design have been able to do. This is good news to those device owners who don’t want to let go of their legacy devices yet, but would like them to have a new look similar to Lollipop.

If you don’t have Nova Launcher yet on your smartphone, you can download it for free from the Google Play Store. So until Lollipop is officially rolled out, you can enjoy these icons and animations first from this app.

SOURCE: +Kevin Barry