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.

21
Dec
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Update: Right on time, it looks like US Cellular's 4.1.1 update for the Galaxy SIII is available to users, and their software page has been updated to reflect the SIII's new firmware (which, for those curious, carries base band version R53OUVXALK5).

Samsung Updates also has the SIII's latest firmware available for download here. For instructions on updating your SIII, just hit the US Cellular link at the bottom of this post.

21
Dec
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Bringing its already-popular (on iOS) reimagining of the Atari classic to Android, Activision released Pitfall! to the Play Store today. For those who haven't seen or played the newly conceptualized Pitfall, it shares very little with the original – you'll still be dodging snakes, swinging on ropes, and jump over impossible pitfalls, but this time you'll be playing an "endless-runner" a la Temple Run. Unlike Temple Run, however, Pitfall's protagonist (Pitfall Harry) uses a whip to defeat whatever wild foes happen to be in his way.

20
Dec
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Wild Blood, the game that challenges players to "live the unforgettable journey of Sir Lancelot" (in a universe where Lancelot incurs King Arthur's wrath by having an affair with Queen Guinevere, leading to the introduction of hellish demons to Earth), got our stamp of approval in October as a great game for "mindlessly slicing monsters to death," but it may have been a hard purchase to justify for some players at a cost of $6.99.

20
Dec
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In a somewhat disappointing turn of events, Adobe has just announced (following their disappearance from the Play Store) an end to development for all their touch apps on Android except Photoshop Touch (Ideas is still alive for iOS users), meaning Adobe has essentially killed their Kuler, Ideas, Debut, Proto, and Collage apps for Android.

In a post to the Creative Cloud Team Blog, Adobe explains that while some of their efforts in "exploring how the creative process can be augmented and enhanced on touch devices" have been successful, others "have been less so." It is for that reason the team is ceasing active development for the apps.

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.

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