If you've never heard of the Xbox Media Center (XBMC), you can turn in one of your geek cards right now. The open-source streaming media platform is legendary among tinkerers and DIY types, with its long list of features and insane customizations being its major draws. After nearly ten years of active development, the creators are preparing a full Android version complete with video/audio streaming and all the other goodies. Not to be confused with the current remote app (or any of the third-party alternatives) the upcoming XBMC for Android will have almost the full set of functions found in its desktop and stand-alone counterparts.
While Android devices may not be designed to replace the common desktop/laptop, that doesn't mean they can't be used for productivity. And one of the best uses for a device like a tablet is to stay organized. As such, it's not uncommon for users to want to store important documents within their devices. The problem is: how do you get a document from paper to digital without having to go through the trouble of first using a computer?
If there's one thing that sets people off upon purchasing or downloading an app (games in particular), it's opening it up and finding it has in-app purchases.
And this is, generally, a good instinct for consumers to have - hundreds, if not thousands of mobile games blatantly take advantage of people's willingness to nickel-and-dime themselves out of money they would have never otherwise spent buying a game in the first place.
The turn, the river, and the flop. If those three things mean something to you (together, not individually), then you're probably at least a little bit of a Texas Hold 'Em fan. And if you're a Hold 'Em fan, then you may like to play. And if you may like to play, then you probably like to play for free. Good news! The World Series of Poker game is now available for Android courtesy of EA.
There's a lot of run tracking apps out there, and you could be forgiven for forgetting about Google's very own My Tracks, what with its complete lack of zombies. But the dedicated runner or cyclist might want to give My Tracks a second glance, since it just got a major overhaul and (more importantly) it's still free. The biggest addition to the open source app is a user interface that plays nice with Ice Cream Sandwich, and presumably, Jelly Bean.
Show of hands, Verizon users: who's excited to shell out another six bucks a month to Big Red? Verizon and its new partner Extent hope that you are. Today they've introduced the GameTanium Mobile subscription-based service exclusively for Verizon's customers, bringing "more than 100 of the best Android smartphone games and more than 50 tablet games" to subscribers. The fee will show up on customers' phone bill every month, but Verizon has generously offered a three day trial.
Most of you will know Adult Swim from the "no kids allowed" programming shown late night on Cartoon Network, but the quirky pseudo-station has been tossing its hat into the game development ring for some time. The latest entry in their Android stable is Major Mayhem, a 2D gallery shooter (with 3D graphics) that's a blend of gameplay mechanics from the likes of Metal Slug and Time Crisis. And all the sense and subtlety of a thrown brick - in a good way.
Another update to Facebook for Android has rolled around, and even though it doesn't bring the complete overhaul so many people desire, it does bring some helpful changes. In addition to the usual bug fixes, version 1.9.7 speeds up the login process as well as navigating through the app, and front-facing camera support has been added.
Unfortunately for some, the update requires your device to be on Android 2.2 or above, meaning that the < 6% of users on Android 2.1 and below are stuck on the current version.
When we first discovered Slice, the app that scans your email for packages that you're waiting to be delivered, has updated to version 2.0 and brought a host of new features with it. For starters, if you use Hotmail, AOL, or iCloud as your primary email, you can now join in the fun. You can track outgoing packages by scanning tracking barcodes as well or entering the number manually, and filtering options have been improved.
Earlier today, NBC released a pair of apps covering the 2012 Olympic games in London. But both of those are U.S. only. Fortunately, the BBC just released its own app so everyone across the pond can keep with the all the Olympic happenings while on the go.
The app features:
- Top stories
- Daily live text commentaries from BBC journalists
- Up to 24 live video streams
- Video highlights of the action, features and interviews with athletes
- Detailed schedule and results for every event
- Medals table
- A page for every Olympic sport
- A page for every competing country
- A page for every Olympic athlete taking part
- Read the homepage top stories offline
- Share stories, videos and results by email and on social networks
The app is completely free, but you must have flash installed if you want to watch live video and highlight clips.