Archive for the Android Category

Game on! (your Android phone). Google opens phones up to Android TV game controller function

March 5, 2015 by Tom in Android, Android News with No Comments.

Most people have smartphones, so games such as Spaceteam that lets people install an app and play together instantly are the best application of ubiquitous devices. Sony's also made good use of it with Singstar, which can be used as a makeshift mics. Now Google's taken a step in the right direction by opening up Android phones to gamepad functionality with Android TV. An Android Developers Blog reported that it's added 'Nearby Connections' API to Play Services developers tools, which'll add the function, which'll then need to be picked up on by developers and worked into good games that make the most of it. Hopefully this'll give a reason to take Android games to the big screen. Via gizmodo

Microsoft releases number pad-equipped keyboard for Android

February 28, 2015 by Tom in Android, App News, Microsoft with No Comments.

Numpad is the new keyboard made by Microsoft for Android devices. It was built for Excel but with a nifty number pad it can be used for anything that needs a lot of numerical data entry. It's not the most exciting development in tablet technology but it could sure come in handy. Via engadget

Google Play Music has room for 50,000 of your songs in the cloud

February 27, 2015 by Tom in App News, Audio with No Comments.

And it'll keep them there for free. Google Play Music has upgraded its free service to allow users to upload 50,000 songs, all of which will then be accessible to stream or download on demand to phones, tablets, computers or Chromecast. The upload limit has more than doubled from the previous 20,000, and is now twice as many as Apple's iTunes Match service. While this is a free service, a subscription service is also available and offers access to 30 million songs streamed on demand. We're yet to commit to a cloud back-up for key music so will give this a whirl and report back on the mp4nation forum. Via ubergizmo

Top text app iA Writer hits Android after five years in development

February 27, 2015 by Tom in Android, App News with No Comments.

The excellent text editor app iA Writer has come out for Android. iA Writer has been a sturdy, dependable favourite on iOS and OS X since 2010 and following a long transfer process (detailed in this entertaining developer blog) it's made its way from beneath the shelter of Apple products. iA Writer costs $4.99 and is the same straight-forward but super-useful and intuitive app we've loved on iOS for years. Via pocket-lint

App news: YouTube, You’know, for kids!

February 24, 2015 by Tom in Android, App News with No Comments.

YouTube has launched a child-friendly Android and iOS app that sorts through content to display only age-appropriate videos, so no more worries about inappropriate items popping up during unattended browsing. The app offers tv shows and music for entertainment and education. There are adjustable parental controls, which include limiting sound levels and usage time, as well as the ability to block comments. The app is out now. Via engadget

Paid YouTube subscription available soon for ad-free and offline music via YouTube Music Key

February 20, 2015 by Tom in App News with No Comments.

YouTube will launch its paid monthly subscription music service within the next few months. YouTube Music Key will cost $8 a month and will allow subscribers to watch YouTube ad-free, watch videos offline and use it as a music player in the background while other apps run. But... Music on YouTube just doesn't usually sound that good. Official accounts have got better at uploading high quality videos and audio but the majority of the millions and millions of songs up there are low quality. Unless top-20 chart music is your thing, YouTube's just not a very good option for music. Discovering new music while idly flicking around can be fun, but from there it's time to seek out the artist on Spotify or iTunes, or to buy a CD or record. YouTube's done its job. Via pocket-lint

One to watch: Qualcomm’s 4K and 4G streaming stick

February 17, 2015 by Tom in Android, Qualcomm, Uncategorized with No Comments.

The next best round of Chromecast-style USB media streaming sticks will likely be Qualcomm powered. Qualcomm has produced reference models for which other companies can design around and rebrand, keeping the Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 guts and Android OS. The model streams 4K video and has the option of 4G frequencies, which could be handy for both roaming or transmission. It's expected this model will be priced at around $50 up. Via techradar

Google and Mattel bring View-Master into 21st Century with VR update

February 14, 2015 by Tom in Android, Uncategorized with No Comments.

The satisfying clunk-click of a View-Master is a nostalgic staple of yesteryear. View-Master fans can rejoice, however, as Google and Mattel have teamed up to bring back View-Master in the guise of a new Android VR headset. The modernised version debuted at the New York Toy Fair. It provides 360-degree panoramic views of "photospheres", which are displayed on the device that takes its image delivery system from the Google Cardboard idea. Android phones are inserted into the solid plastic View-Master shell and an app takes care of business. The old-fashioned picture reels are back too, but these instead pair with the headset and deliver augmented reality features, as well as classic View-Master galleries and 360-degree tours of the reel's destinations. A starter set is $30,

Pow! Scribd book streaming app adds comics from the likes of Marvel

February 12, 2015 by Tom in App News, PMP with No Comments.

Scribd, the streaming subscription service that acts as the Spotify of ebooks and audiobooks, has added thousands of comics to its instant access library. Titles from the likes of Marvel, Archie, Valiant and Dynamite are now available, furthering opening up the world of comics. For crammers, Scribd currently offers a month's free subscription and costs $9/month when the trial runs out. Via engadget

Onkyo Music hi-res audio store goes global

February 10, 2015 by Tom in App News, Audio with No Comments.

Audio firm Onkyo has branched out of Japan with its high resolution audio store which is now available in the UK, US and Germany. Onkyo has teamed up with 7Digital on the Onkyo Music download store, which offers hundreds of thousands of tracks in 24-bit 44.1kHz - 192kHz, as well as millions of tracks in CD quality 16-bit FLAC. The store can be found here and sells songs individually or as complete albums. Albums cost about as much as CDs (£11.99 or there abouts) and search results can be filtered by quality. Also in development is a dedicated app to be available for Android and iOS. Via pocket-lint

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