A few days ago, there was a huge commotion around the Android and iOS campfires: Microsoft is bringing its first-party games to mobile platforms other than Windows Phone! The news stemmed from this Reuters report that Age of Empires would be coming to Android and iOS, followed by other titles. The first part is correct (though not nearly as exciting as it sounds, see below) but the latter part seems to be a translation error - Phil Spencer, Microsoft's VP of the company's internal game studio, clarified the issue via his Twitter account.
If you head over to Facebook Engineering's latest note, you'll find a lot of words that generally don't in any way forgive the fact that Facebook's official Android app is nothing short of an abomination. You will, however, find instructions on how to join the beta testing program for that app buried in this manifesto, near the bottom. Here are those instructions.
- Join the Facebook for Android Beta Testers Google group
- Allow beta downloads by clicking Become a Tester in the Play Store (you need to join the Google Group before becoming a tester)
- Download Facebook from the Play Store to update your app
- Join the Facebook for Android Beta Testers group on Facebook to tell us what you think
Now, there might be a slight delay between steps one and two (the Play Store link may 404 for a few minutes before it recognizes you), so be patient. Read More
Today's update to Play Movies introduces a sleeker experience for Android devices. Unfortunately, the experience is too sleek for the Nexus Q to handle. For the few of you that have one of those endearing little spheres, your movies are now joining your music as content you can no longer stream to the device.
With both Play Music and Play Movies support gone, there is little reason to continue using the Nexus Q. That said, the YouTube app still works. The device isn't dead yet, but it's well on its way to becoming the most adorable brick you have ever owned. Read More
I have to admit, if you were to tell me one year ago today that devices like the Galaxy S4 and HTC One Google Play edition would exist as things, I'd call you a liar. And I'd probably secretly hope that they did exist, too. These handsets, or really, the idea behind them, have been the enduring dream of almost every Android enthusiast from the early days of MOTOBLUR and TouchWiz. Those skins, which were bywords for "UI lag" and "carrier bloat," became synonymous with everything that made Android worse than the stock experience Google provided on Nexus devices. There were real reasons to hope that something virtually identical to the Google Play edition hardware that went on sale yesterday would eventually grace Android lovers everywhere. Read More
If you're a fan of the new slide-out menu that has slowly been making its way into all of Google's official apps and also like to watch movies/TV shows, today's your lucky day! Play Movies just got a sizeable update that not only brings said menu, but also a sleeker look and a couple of new features:
New layout and visual design.
Watch Now provides quick access to what you’re likely to watch next.
Personal videos now available via overflow menu.
Aside from the updated interface, the newest iteration of the app also brings a new feature called Watch Now that aims to predict what you're going to watch next and provide quick access to those titles. Read More
Scarcely a day has passed since the Google Play Edition Galaxy S4 and HTC One went on sale, and their software bits are already floating around online. You can grab the files to get the new red SunBeam live wallpaper, boot animation, and updated camera app on your device. These are only confirmed working on AOSP-based devices, and 4.1.2 TouchWiz in the case of the camera. Do be careful!
The HTC One is a neat-looking device, all smooth lines and clean design. But it could do with a little more flair, right? Well, a new color for the HTC One, dubbed Glamour Red has been announced. However, it's only going to be available through Phones 4u in the UK.
The red HTC One has been spotted a few times in the past, and will be joining the silver and black variants in mid-July. It's not clear if any US carriers will pick up the device, or if HTC is serious about the "exclusive" part. Additional colors tend to show up more frequently later in a a phone's life cycle. Read More
If you're reading this on a later GSM-only Samsung device, pay attention. After clarifying their continuing support for Tegra 2 devices earlier this week, the CyanogenMod ROM team wants to let you know about their position vis-à-vis Samsung's Exynos 4 series of chipsets. In a nutshell: devices based on the Exynos 4 will be getting CyanogenMod 10.1 (Android 4.2) nightly builds, and not much else. These phones and tablets will not be getting stable releases of the latest CyanogenMod builds for the time being.
Here's a quick list of the affected devices, running the Exynos 4210 and 4412 chipsets:
- Galaxy S II (AT&T and International GSM)
- Galaxy S III (International GSM)
- Galaxy Note (International GSM)
- Galaxy Note II (AT&T, T-Mobile, International GSM and International LTE)
- Galaxy Note 10.1 (WiFi and International GSM)
The CyanogenMod team's reason for the lowered level of support includes "various issues surfacing from the binaries and sources we have to work with." According to this Google+ post, they've been having issues since Ice Cream Sandwich, and no longer feel they can meet their own high standards for stable builds. Read More
Four days. Four days, fellow Google Reader pilgrims: that's how long you've got until Google turns its back on the RSS service forever. Apps that used to rely on Google Reader as a backend have switched to alternatives, usually Feedly's new and almost identical backend API. Popular podcast manager/player BeyondPod is the latest to do so, but in order to try it out, you'll have to leave the comforting confines of the Google Play Store for the treacherous waters of a non-Market Beta.
You can download the latest BeyondPod beta (version 3.1.31) for smartphones here. The tablet version is a separate app, and the beta (with Feedly syncing) is downloadable here. Read More
Dexetra Software, the team behind apps like Iris and Friday, recently brought a new creation to the Play Store with dialapp, a dialer that provides a similar experience to Android's stock dialer, but has one (big) twist: dialapp attempts to guess who you want to call before you even open it.
Basically, by learning from your communication habits based on location, time, and calendar information, the app "magically" knows who you're likely to call, floating those contacts to the top of your call history screen.
Really, it's as simple as that. The app can connect up to Dexetra's Friday service through Google+ to learn more and "unify" contacts, but users are free to pass on signing in. Read More