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Android

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American Red Cross Releases Second App Following First Aid, This Time Dedicated To Hurricanes

Just under two months ago, the American Red Cross released a genuinely impressive app called First Aid. As you'd guess from the name, it's an app dedicated to helping you through medical emergencies; what you wouldn't guess from the name is just how good of an app it is.

Ditto for the organization's eponymous new app, Hurricane. Dedicated to helping you monitor and prepare for hurricanes coming through your area, the app looks every bit as well done as First Aid, and comes with a long list of features:

- Step-by-step instructions let you know what to do even if the cell towers are down and the power is out.

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34 Best (And 2 WTF) New Android Apps From The Last 2 Weeks (7/21/12 - 8/4/12)

Welcome to the weekly roundup of the best new Android applications, games, and live wallpapers that went live in the Market or were spotted by us in the previous 2 weeks or so.

This is the app roundup. The game roundup from this week can be found here.

Please wait for this page to load in full in order to see the AppBrain widgets, which include ratings and pricing info.

Looking for the previous roundup editions? Find them here.

Featured App

Video Locker Pro

Today's roundup is sponsored by Handy Apps' newest addition to its privacy and security stable, Video Locker and Video Locker Pro.

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[Update: Officially Dead And Gone] Google Listen Quietly Pulled From The Play Store, Previous Users Can Still Find It

Listen, the relatively popular, if neglected, podcast app from Google has been surreptitiously pulled from the Play Store recently. It's unclear just how long ago Google pulled it (though it appears to be within the last week or so), and users are looking everywhere for it. There is also no indication on what Google has planned for it from here on out. We've reached out to Google for comment but have not heard back as of publication. For users who have previously installed the app, you can still find the Play Store listing here. Everyone else, however, will see the familiar 404 landing page:

Update: Google just issued a statement on the official Google Blog:

We launched Google Listen through Google Labs in August 2009, to give people a way to discover and listen to podcasts.

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Gameloft Releases Monster Life: Raise Cute Paper Monsters, Build A Kingdom, Defeat Evil

Gamefactory Gameloft is back with another new game, and this time it's a papercraft game in which you nurture, build, and develop a kingdom of adorable little monsters. It's a game that falls solidly within the genre of casual, and with variations of the word "cute" twice in the first two sentences of the description, it's probably not a game for everyone.

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Despite the light-hearted nature of the game, it certainly looks like it offers a surprising amount of depth and impressive amount of fun. The premise is simple: you collect and nurture monsters, train them to boost their powers and abilities, and then pit them against some baddies.

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Back To School Buyer's Guide 2012: The Best Smartphones For Students (Or Anyone Else)

Last week, we took at a look at the best tablets for students and parents alike. Today, we've picked through the hundreds of offerings out there to pick the best overall and best on-a-budget smartphones on all the major carriers. As a bonus, we took a look at the latest offerings on some of the more popular pay-as-you-go carries, which can oftentimes be the best choice for a student.

With that, let's get started.

Best Overall

For the first time in the history of forever, there is one clear winner for "best Android phone" on all major carriers:

The Samsung Galaxy S III

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As I started working on this roundup, I realized after completing two carrier breakdowns that nothing would trump the GSIII on any of the Big Four (or U.S.

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Glu Mobile Purchases Gamespy, Looks To Beef Up Multiplayer And Social Support

Just about everyone who has played a PC game in the past dozen years has probably heard of (and possibly used) GameSpy. The service, formerly owned by IGN, has been a major player in the social/multiplayer gaming space, offering matchmaking, stats, profiles, leaderboards, and cloud syncing. And now, freemium game maker Glu Mobile has acquired the service for an unnamed price.

Glu hopes that the acquisition can beef up their multiplayer support:

“Our acquisition of GameSpy brings Glu industry-recognized leadership in online, cross-platform technology infrastructure,” said Niccolo de Masi, Chief Executive Officer of Glu. “GameSpy’s battle-tested team will enable Glu’s product roadmap to include robust and highly scalable multiplayer and social functionality."

The company is also quick to point out that one of their games launched in Q1 2012 has GameSpy support baked in, which allows for co-op and head-to-head multiplayer gameplay.

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34 Best New Android Games From The Last 2 Weeks (7/19/12 - 8/2/12)

Welcome to the weekly roundup of the best new Android applications, games, and live wallpapers that went live in the Market or were spotted by us in the previous 2 weeks or so.

This edition focuses only on new games. The app roundup is coming up soon.

Please wait for this page to load in full in order to see the AppBrain widgets, which include ratings and pricing info.

Looking for the previous roundup editions? Find them here.

Featured App

Video Locker Pro

Today's roundup is sponsored by Handy Apps' newest addition to its privacy and security stable, Video Locker and Video Locker Pro.

Read More
...

Samsung Starts Production Of New High-Speed Embedded Flash Storage

One complaint many people have had (particularly with Asus tablets) is that the performance of the embedded storage is just plain bad. So I ran some storage benchmarks (2 apps, 13 metrics) on 11 different devices and compiled the results. In sum: while adequate, most devices aren't exactly speedy in the storage speed department.

That's likely all set to change soon, as Samsung (who, let's not forget, is one of the world's biggest suppliers of everything electronic) has begun production of a new generation of embedded storage. The company claims read speeds of up to 140 MB/s and write speeds of up to 50 MB/s (for comparison, the fastest microSD card on the market checks in at 17 MB/s and 19 MB/s, respectively).

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[Editorial] Just How Bad Is App Piracy On Android Anyway? Hint: We're Asking The Wrong Question

When crowd-favorite zombie shooter Dead Trigger decided to drop its price from $0.99 to free, citing concerns over piracy, the tech world renewed its interest in an age-old debate: how bad is piracy for developers? Of course, any lost sale is money out of a developer's pocket (though it's important to distinguish between downloads and lost sales). However, the question should and needs to be answered: just how bad is the piracy problem on Android?

Zombies Vs. Knights

deadtrigger

Dead Trigger provides an interesting starting point. The developer, Madfinger, notes that its previous game Shadowgun experienced a rather high level of piracy when priced at $8.

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Going Indie: The Story Of Independent Android Game Development From Concept To Completion

One of the great things about Android's ecosystem is the number of indie developers who are able to enter the market successfully, providing a great product and inspiring would-be developers to join in. For many though, Android development in general is a mysterious topic. How an app or game goes from an idea to an entry in the Play Store is unknown, but (thankfully) not unknowable.

Of course, considering how major development studios bring apps to life doesn't require too much thought – major companies like EA, Disney, or Rockstar have no problem hiring designers and developers to crank out and maintain polished apps.

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