Liam Spradlin
Liam loves Android, design, user experience, and travel. He doesn't love ill-proportioned letter forms, advertisements made entirely of stock photography, and writing biographical snippets.

20
Dec
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In a pair of new thirty-second ad spots, Google is showing off what it does best – search. The spots both feature Google's Search app for Android, using the same cozy, refined aesthetic as Google's other ads in recent memory, even showing off Search's new "search with camera" functionality.

The first spot follows the story of a nervous job candidate, gaining some insight into his prospective employer's interests with a last-minute Google search, while the second spot shows us a "smart Dad" who uses Google Search as a cheat sheet to answer his inquisitive son's astronomical questions.

20
Dec
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As Google continues the work of expanding its Play Store services across the globe, it only makes sense that the giant is also working to provide a cohesive, pleasant experience for users in the 130+ countries that now support paid apps. To that end, Google has announced in a post to the Android Developers blog that developers can now include localized promotional graphics and video in their Play Store listings.

Basically, what this means is that developers can upload separate assets to ensure that users in, for example, the United States will see English-language graphics and video, while others around the world see materials in their own language.

20
Dec
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Playmobil, famous for miniature people and toy sets covering themes from knights to doll house life to Native Americans, has partnered with Gameloft to bring their Playmobil Pirates game to the Play Store. While Pirates is significantly different from its Nintendo DS namesake, the game features the same animated Playmobil pirates and environments you'd expect, plenty of missions, and social integration.

Starting out, players will need to build a "pirate camp," or home base for a team of pirates you'll assemble to help in your ultimate quest to defeat Blackbeard.

17
Dec
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Since its launch, we've had bittersweet feelings about the Amazon Mobile app for Tablets. The app shows promise as a tablet-friendly shopping solution, but until now has suffered an extremely limited compatibility, only working with tablets running 4.1 and up and carrying a 1280x800 resolution.

An update to the app today, however, has changed all that. Along with a few bug fixes, the update (to version 5.50.1010 for those keeping count at home) brings support for devices in 7" or 10" form factors, with a variety of resolutions, and loosened OS requirements.

17
Dec
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Making its second entry to the Play Store (after Dark Nebula), Free Lunch Design brought Icy Tower 2 to Android today. Today's debut marks the first appearance of the Icy Tower title in the Play Store, meaning Android users can finally enjoy the extremely popular jumper on their mobile devices.

Some readers may question the noteworthiness of a jumping game – after all, the genre is a crowded one. What sets Icy Tower apart, though, is the fact that its gameplay manages to remain significantly more dynamic, action packed, and generally more fun than most other jumpers.

17
Dec
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ÜberConference, simply put, is a service that makes conference calls better. It adds not only a visual element to the call, but an extra dimension of functionality, allowing users to record, mute, have private conversations with, and even research call participants, all while keeping track of various in-call statistics. After taking a look at the service, it isn't hard to see why it won TechCrunch Disrupt NYC in 2012.

Until now, the service was limited to desktop users.

14
Dec
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If you're still toting the US Cellular-connected Galaxy SII, good news – it seems the device's update to Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0.4 is ready to go and can be installed using USC's "Simple Upgrade Tool" any time now.

The update, which carries software build number FK19, brings with it all the Ice Cream Sandwich goodness some other carrier variants already enjoy including Face Unlock, TouchWiz improvements, and more.

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Image: US Cellular's Ice Cream Sandwich Promo Document

While US Cellular's Galaxy SII may be a bit late to the Ice Cream Sandwich party, it's nice to see continued support for the device, 10 months after it first debuted on the carrier.

13
Dec
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Samsung, continuing its habit of timely code releases, today let fly open source kernel files for a handful of devices including Verizon's newly announced Galaxy Camera (EK-GC120), AT&T's Galaxy SIII Jelly Bean update (SGH-I747), and last but not least, AT&T's Galaxy Tab 8.9 Ice Cream Sandwich release (SGH-I957).

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If you've been waiting to get your hands on a fresh batch of kernel source for these devices to tweak, develop, or ogle, now's your chance.

13
Dec
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Listen up, Pantech Breakout owners – Verizon has just announced an update to build S8995VWCA55F.BB that brings with it a laundry list of tweaks and enhancements. While it's not a bump to the next version of Android, the update is still refreshing, given the Breakout's debut on Verizon is now more than a year behind us.

The update, which should be rolling out to Breakout owners any time now, comes with improved SMS delivery, memory management fixes, enhancements for data connectivity, and improvements made "to reduce SD Card issues" among other things.

12
Dec
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Vocre, a voice and text translator that won audience choice in TechCrunch's Disrupt, came to Android today, bringing with it a promising challenger to Google's own Translate app and a "tabletop UI" meant specifically for extended conversations with those on either side of the language barrier.

As shown in the video above, Vocre's interface is exceedingly simple. Users need only select languages and genders, then record their message, check for accuracy, and let the app do the rest.

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