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.

02
Oct
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It looks like mobile device users in the UK can expect 4G services to begin rolling out a bit sooner than previously expected – six months sooner, to be specific.

The Wallstreet Journal reported Tuesday that the UK government has struck a deal with the UK's four largest mobile operators which will enable the auction of 4G mobile spectrum to begin at the end of 2012, with bidding beginning in early 2013.

02
Oct
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Encouraging players to "go for the big win," Hothead Games recently released Big Win Football to the Play Store. The makers of the artistic masterpiece that is Machinarium and the similarly sports-minded Big Win Soccer have added another entry to their catalogue of "Big Win" sports games, bringing the same customizable, competitive and unique gameplay dynamic to football fans, allowing them to create their own customized dream team, play against opponents online, and enhance player skills with game-changing boosts.

01
Oct
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Google has once again updated the Android platform distribution numbers. The numbers, released right on schedule today, show Gingerbread still leading the pack at 56% of devices (down from 57.5% last month), with Jelly Bean crawling up the ladder to 1.8%, up from 1.2% last time.

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The two most important stat changes from last month, Gingerbread and Jelly Bean, are somewhat disappointing – both shifting at a lower rate than last cycle, but promised updates and leaked devices we may or may not see in the near future will likely help those numbers along.

01
Oct
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Amtrak, aiming to give you a "new way to take the train," released an official app to the Play Store recently.

The (logically named) Amtrak app allows passengers to plan their entire train excursion, from buying tickets (which can be displayed right on your device) to navigating to a nearby station, changing/upgrading seat selections, checking train schedules, and using an Amtrak Guest Rewards account.

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"Optimized for Android," the app carries a holo-ish interface with swiping tabs, proper navigation and scrolling, and all the visual flair you may expect from an app in line with Android's design guidelines.

28
Sep
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Looking to give users the "fastest, smartest launcher for Android," Jesse Andersen brought Conjure to the Play Store recently. The app, which is actually more of a launcher companion, can perform an incredible range of actions, from finding and launching apps to calling contacts, adjusting device settings (like volume, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, etc.), and searching the web.

What's great about this app is not that it can do a lot, but that it actually adapts to your usage, storing a history of actions and listing content results by frequency of use.

28
Sep
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One of the most common questions users have regarding Google's various content offerings is "Why isn't it available in [insert any number of countries here]?" Google has been working to change that, offering more and more of the Play Store's non-app content abroad. In that spirit, today it announced that Google Play Movies is now available in Korea (where we saw Eric Schmidt having some Gangnam style fun earlier this week).

27
Sep
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Those of us with rooted devices and a penchant for flashing ROMs know just how valuable a great backup tool can be. Titanium backup is undoubtedly one of the most popular (and most useful) backup tools around, and it just got an update to version 5.6.0.

The update, which had been floating around as a "test version" prior to official release, brings a few UI enhancements and fixes, an updated set of translations, and improved "Market Doctor" and "Force Attach" functions to repair broken links between apps and the Play Store.

27
Sep
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Zeebox, a social TV companion app that's already found popularity in the UK has officially hit the US, aiming to make a splash thanks to monetary and promotional backing from both NBC and Comcast.

Essentially, Zeebox serves as an auxiliary guide to TV enjoyment as well as a social platform where users can see which shows are hot, who's watching them, and what they're saying in response. Users can see what their friends (and everyone else) are viewing or planning to view, chat with friends, start a viewing party, or tweet reactions.

27
Sep
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The LG Optimus Vu, which launched on Verizon as the LG Intuition with Verizon earlier this month, was undoubtedly a strange device. Taking a page from Samsung's – ahem – note book, LG created the Vu for the phablet market, but decided to go with a somewhat awkward 4:3 aspect ratio, adding to the device's laundry list of quirks.

Well, the Korean manufacturer has just officially announced the Vu's successor – the Optimus Vu II.

27
Sep
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Bad Piggies, Rovio's much-awaited spin-off from Angry Birds has just hit the Play Store. For those unaware, Rovio's latest game has been in the works for some time now. The game features the same dastardly pigs you spent hours upon hours crushing in Angry Birds, but this time they're the protagonists…sort of.

Payers are challenged to work against gravity and physics in Piggies to take these pigs through various wild environments in contraptions and flying machines of their own design.

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