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Thursday, February 18, 2016

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Google Play Games adds support for Gamer IDs and avatars

Posted: 18 Feb 2016 12:52 PM PST

Gaming continues to be a growing sector of the mobile industry, with the amount of mobile games available increasing each and every day. A couple of years ago, Google delved into the gaming sector with Google Play Games, the company's way to create an easy way for users to interact and compete with their friends in mobile games.

The company has continued to grow and improve Google Play Games as time has gone on. Today, Google Play Games is adding support for custom Gamer IDs and avatars, unlinking profiles from Google+, as was required in the past. This enables to create their own unique username and bio, rather than simply importing their (likely bland) profile info from Google+. Users can also choose from over 40 avatars to find one that best expresses them.

In addition to the updated profile experience, Google is improving the sign-in experience. Rather than being prompted to sign in for each game, users will now be prompted to sign in only once for each account, with automatic sign-in for most future games.

The update is rolling out now, so expect to see it within the next few days.


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Sprint targets Verizon with twice the data for the same price

Posted: 18 Feb 2016 12:52 PM PST

The carriers love to battle it out, with each operator aiming to offer more value to customers than the others. Sprint and T-Mobile have put on the biggest show, but today, Sprint is taking Verizon head-on and offering a nearly identical plan structure, with a key difference: Sprint is offering twice the data for the same price as Verizon.

Sprint's new Better Choice plans follow the same size-based setup as Verizon, with options ranging from small to extra-extra large. Each plan offers unlimited talk and text, with a shareable amount of data among the users. Here's how it breaks down with data and pricing:

  • Small: 3GB for $30
  • Medium: 6GB for $45
  • Large: 12GB for $60
  • XL: 24GB for $80
  • XXL: 40GB for $100

Once customers reach their data allotment, they don't face any overage charges, but will be slowed to 2G speeds, unless they choose to pay $15/GB for data after that point.

Additionally, Sprint is also still offering an unlimited data option, which ranges in price based on how many lines are connected. For a limited time, you can get the fourth line free, making it just $150/month for four lines with unlimited talk, text and data.

If you're a Verizon customer, you may want to take a look at this latest offering from Sprint, as it can offer you much greater bang for your buck. Check out the source link below for the official announcement from Sprint.


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PSA: You Can Now Redeem App Promo Codes On The Web Play Store Too

Posted: 18 Feb 2016 12:45 PM PST

code

Google finally added app promo codes to Android last month, but you have thus far only been able to redeem them via the on-device Play Store. It appears Google has updated the web store to handle these requests as well. Both promo links and pasting into the redeem box work on the web now.

As recently as a few days ago, attempting to use a promo code on the web would result in an error (redeeming gift cards was fine, of course).

Read More

PSA: You Can Now Redeem App Promo Codes On The Web Play Store Too was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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New Galaxy S7 photos confirm we won’t get USB-C

Posted: 18 Feb 2016 11:34 AM PST

Galaxy S7's micro-USB port. Photo: Steve HemmerstofferWe had our doubts over the Galaxy S7's support for USB-C, and now new images have confirmed Samsung won't be adopting the new standard just yet. Instead, the South Korean company's latest flagship will use micro-USB — but is that a bad thing? USB-C delivers some huge advantages over older standards, including faster charging and data

The post New Galaxy S7 photos confirm we won't get USB-C appeared first on Cult of Android.











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Google Is Rolling Out Custom Gamer IDs To Google Play Games

Posted: 18 Feb 2016 11:26 AM PST

GPlay_AvatarsLaunch_v01_r10

Right now, your Google Play Games ID is just your name. That's mega-boring, though. You will soon be able to choose a custom gamer ID that will be used in Play Games-enabled titles instead of your real one. You won't have to wait long; Google says this feature is rolling out over the coming days.

GPlay_AvatarsLaunch_v01_r12

Creating an ID will happen when new users sign into their first Play Games session. Existing users will get the prompt to create an ID the next time they sign into a game.

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Google Is Rolling Out Custom Gamer IDs To Google Play Games was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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Minecraft Pocket Edition 0.14.0 Enters The Play Store Dressed As A Witch With Cauldron-Powered Redstone Comparators And Other New Components

Posted: 18 Feb 2016 10:59 AM PST

Minecraft

Minecraft comes in many forms, but the Pocket Edition is the only one that fits inside your Android phone. The experience isn't all that dissimilar from what you see on desktops, but it does lag behind on some features. Fortunately for players, more have made the transition. Version 0.14.0 has gone stable, bringing additional Redstone components such as comparators, repeaters, dispensers, droppers, hoppers, and more.

Witches are here, though that usually isn't a good thing.

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Minecraft Pocket Edition 0.14.0 Enters The Play Store Dressed As A Witch With Cauldron-Powered Redstone Comparators And Other New Components was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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Embrace your inner gaming hero with Gamer ID

Posted: 18 Feb 2016 10:25 AM PST

If you're like me or many other gamers out there, you love the feeling of escape that comes with playing games. Immersed in a gaming world without any distractions, I can simply focus on one thing: winning. In this alternate world, I'm not Ben, product manager at Google. I'm Caldorf, destroyer of enemy bases; slayer of zombies.

Over the next few weeks we're rolling out Gamer IDs to Google Play Games. Gamer IDs give you the ability to create a gaming persona, so you too can embrace your inner gaming hero. You can customize a unique Gamer ID and select a Gamer Picture to create a whole new gaming identity.


For new users signing into your first Google Play Games integrated game, and for existing users signing into a new Play Games integrated game, you will create your Gamer ID and select one of 40+ avatars for your Gamer Picture. You can choose to make your game activity public or private, and decide if other gamers will be able to associate your Gamer ID with your email address or name. Gamer IDs are unique, and to claim yours right now you can go to the Google Play Games app.

In addition, we're making it easier and faster to start playing games. With auto sign-in, you'll be prompted to sign-in once per account, rather than once per game, and you'll automatically be signed in to most future games.

With your new gaming identity, you can battle monsters as the valiant gamer you truly are, and be duly recognized for your accomplishments across Play Games experiences such as leaderboards. And who knows, someday your Gamer ID could be as recognizable as Mystik, Mew2King, or PewDiePie.

To learn more about setting up your gamer ID please review the Play Games sign-in help center article here.

Posted by Benjamin Frenkel, Product Manager, Google Play Games
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Get the guide to family app success on Google Play and see how BabyFirst increased installs by 50%

Posted: 18 Feb 2016 10:25 AM PST

Posted by Lily Sheringham, The Google Play Apps & Games team

We recently released the second edition of The Secrets to App Success on Google Play with more best practices for finding success growing an app or game business on Google Play. Today we're sharing our first companion guide for developers, The Family Playbook, which includes information on developing high-quality apps and games for kids and families, along with advice from other developers.

The guide includes advice to help you optimize your user interface design for children, build interactive features that both educate and entertain, develop a business model, understand legal considerations, and plan age-appropriate marketing.

If you create family apps, opt-in to the Designed for Families developer program to designate your apps and games as family-friendly. Apps that meet the program requirements will be featured through Google Play's family-friendly search and browse experiences and help parents discover great, age-appropriate content and make more informed choices.

Once you've checked out the guide, we'd love to hear your feedback so we can continue to improve our developer resources, please let us know what you think.

Android Developer Story: BabyFirst increases installs by 50% with Google Play

BabyFirst was founded to create good educational content for babies, toddlers and their parents. Their apps now have over 30 million downloads, with 40% more downloads on Google Play than other platforms.

Watch this Android Developer Story to learn how opting-in to Designed for Families on Google Play, implementing Store Listing Experiments, and localizing the store listing into 10 languages helped them increase installs by 50% across their portfolio of apps.



Find out more about the Designed for Families program and download our new Family Playbook to help you find success on Google Play.



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Victorinox sets out to make the Swiss Army knife of wearables

Posted: 18 Feb 2016 10:15 AM PST

Victorinox is going smart for 2016. Photo: VictorinoxSwiss Army knife maker Victorinox is gearing up to launch its first smart wearable built with the help of Acer. The device will work alongside existing watches from the company's I.N.O.X. collection, and we'll get our first glimpse at it at Mobile World Congress. Both companies are keeping the details under wraps for now, so we don't

The post Victorinox sets out to make the Swiss Army knife of wearables appeared first on Cult of Android.











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Darth Vader power bank is a travel essential that’s out of this world [Deal]

Posted: 18 Feb 2016 09:50 AM PST

f22cffa06ea45a302fa3db7f7b4ed107fa97064b_main_hero_imageThis Darth Vader Portable Power Bank juices up your devices quickly and easily, without requiring a wall outlet. Power your iOS or Android device Jedi-style with the included micro USB cable and Lightning adapter. Plus the matte black finish displays Darth himself, so you'll look evil, but be charging for good. You can also get

The post Darth Vader power bank is a travel essential that's out of this world [Deal] appeared first on Cult of Android.











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Sony bringing Android 6.0 to Xperia Z5 series next month

Posted: 18 Feb 2016 09:24 AM PST

Marshmallow is coming soon to your Xperia Z5. Photo: SonySony has confirmed that it will bring Android 6.0 Marshmallow to its latest Xperia Z5 series handsets next month. Its rollout will begin on March 7, and customers in the U.K. will be the first to see it. The Xperia Z4 Tablet and Xperia Z3+ are also on the company's update list for March. Sony

The post Sony bringing Android 6.0 to Xperia Z5 series next month appeared first on Cult of Android.











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Fandango, The Site That Sells You Movie Tickets, Acquires Flixster and Rotten Tomatoes

Posted: 18 Feb 2016 09:17 AM PST

Fandango

Consolidation is in the air. Fandango, the company behind that app or site you load up to order movie tickets online, has decided to purchase both Flixster and Rotten Tomatoes. This will give Fandango greater influence over which movies you discover, develop interest in, and ultimately watch.

Rotten Tomatoes is a well-known way to gauge how critics and general viewers alike fill about any given film. Flixster is a service for coming across movies and seeing what catches your interest.

Read More

Fandango, The Site That Sells You Movie Tickets, Acquires Flixster and Rotten Tomatoes was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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[Update: Official Details] PayPal Gets A Massive Update To v6.0 With A Complete UI Overhaul [APK Download]

Posted: 18 Feb 2016 09:17 AM PST

pp

PayPal's Android app has been sorely in need of an update for some time, and now it's getting one. The new v6.0 update is officially out tomorrow,  but the update appears to have started appearing already. We've got it on APK Mirror if you want to check it out, and it's a big departure.

Here's the changelog for the new app, provided by PayPal support.

Read More

[Update: Official Details] PayPal Gets A Massive Update To v6.0 With A Complete UI Overhaul [APK Download] was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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Top 10 new Android games this week: Circlify, Fran Bow

Posted: 18 Feb 2016 08:46 AM PST

Welcome back to Android Gaming Weekly, our weekly recap of new game releases. We still plan to cover upcoming releases and games we're playing, but this column is dedicated to new games that you can start playing right now. Check out our top picks and let us know in the comments section if you have any suggestions for next week's post.

Fran Bow

DescriptionFran Bow is a creepy adventure game that tells the story of Fran, a young girl struggling with a mental disorder and an unfair destiny.

 

Wire Walk

Description:  The reinvention of the spring toy as mobile game! Are you skilled enough to guide your spring down the stairs and unlock new achievements, springs and backgrounds?

 

Lone Wolf

DescriptionGet immersed in a deep Neo-Noir story driven sniper adventure game. You step into the role of a mysterious assassin. His motives – a secret. You did what had to be done to enter the 'Assembly', a criminal organization.

 

GTA: Liberty City Stories

DescriptionGet ready to head back to the East Coast as Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories returns to mobile devices. With shorter, streamlined missions designed with mobile gameplay in mind, this definitive open-world adventure has been remastered for Android with extensive graphic enhancements, rebalanced touch controls and cross platform saves.

 

Dub Dash

DescriptionDub Dash is a fast-paced rhythm based action game. The tracks are decomposed into diverging game mode segments. The obstacles, tracks and visual effects are all adjusted to the music and in perfect harmony with each song.

 

A Short Tale

Description: Play as Jason as he explores his brother's room from a new perspective. After wishing to be small again, to feel closer to his younger brother, Jason finds himself in a strange new world filled with larger than life furniture, troublesome obstacles, and less-than-helpful occupants.

 

DEUL

DescriptionDEUL is a fast paced action packed shooting game that will test your reflexes, accuracy and timing. Try to out-draw opponents across the world as you duel your way through China, London, Russia and Brazil. Each victory will earn you points and increase your score, get a higher score to climb up our leaderboards.

 

Circlify

DescriptionExperience the exhilarating, hypnotic new puzzle game Circlify, available for free in the Play Store now! From the creative minds that brought you Swiperoo and 360 Degree comes this completely unique and somewhat perplexing game that challenges your speed, timing and focus!

 

Metal Slug Attack

Description"METAL SLUG ATTACK", the very latest entry in the legendary game series from SNK PLAYMORE, is a tower defense game with simple controls which can be enjoyed by everyone, and 2D dot-pixel characters who move and battle each other smoothly!

 

Circa Infinity

DescriptionCirca Infinity is a brain-melting circular platformer by Kenny Sun, with a pulse-pounding soundtrack by Jack + Jim Fay.

 


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Square Enix Hooks Up With NVIDIA To Bring Five Games To GeForce NOW, Starting With 2013's Tomb Raider

Posted: 18 Feb 2016 08:40 AM PST

tomb_raider_2013___wallpaper_bow_and_fire_arrow_2_by_atomicxmario-d6364yq

GeForce NOW has been available for a few months, long enough for your free trial to run out. If you dropped NOW after that, it might be time to give it another look. The service is getting an infusion of fresh games from publishing juggernaut Square Enix. There will be five games coming to NOW soon, starting today with Tomb Raider (the 2013 one).

Tomb Raider and subsequent Square releases will all be added to the free tier of games.

Read More

Square Enix Hooks Up With NVIDIA To Bring Five Games To GeForce NOW, Starting With 2013's Tomb Raider was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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Skype Now Supports Group Video Calling On Mobile Devices

Posted: 18 Feb 2016 08:40 AM PST

Selection_029

Before Skype was known for video, it was known for placing calls. These began as one-on-one exchanges, but eventually the service started letting multiple users converse in groups. Then the service introduced the ability to chat in groups over video, but only on desktop platforms. Now that's changing.

Skype announced a month ago that group video calling was on its way to mobile devices, and it rolled out a means for eager early adopters to test out the feature beforehand.

Read More

Skype Now Supports Group Video Calling On Mobile Devices was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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Android 6.0 brings new browser with fingerprint login and more to Samsung devices

Posted: 18 Feb 2016 07:52 AM PST

Samsung Internet 4.0 in Marshmallow. Photo: SamsungSamsung's new Marshmallow upgrade includes a number of new features that aren't immediately obvious after upgrading, so the company has highlighted them on its website. They include a new web browser with fingerprint web login and improvements for Gear VR, "Cross App" split-screen mode for selected apps, and more. Samsung began rolling out its Android

The post Android 6.0 brings new browser with fingerprint login and more to Samsung devices appeared first on Cult of Android.











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Enpass Password Manager Adds Browser And App AutoFill, With Full-Time Fingerprint Support In Version 5.0

Posted: 18 Feb 2016 06:18 AM PST

enpass-autofill-keyboard

It's no secret to many of you that I'm a fan of Enpass Password Manager, and last month some of you were able to grab the app for free thanks to a momentary deal and try it out to see if it worked well for you. But whenever I've mentioned Enpass on Android Police, one of the most asked questions and requested features was autofill support. The developer had promised it would come in version 5.0 and today is that day.

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Enpass Password Manager Adds Browser And App AutoFill, With Full-Time Fingerprint Support In Version 5.0 was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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Microsoft Translator 1.3 Adds Offline Language Pack Support, Further Bridging The Gap With Google Translate

Posted: 18 Feb 2016 03:50 AM PST

microsoft-translator-offline-languages

Many of us Android users (and Android Police readers) have been accustomed to using Google Translate to fill our language knowledge gaps, but we often forget the other challenger in the arena: Microsoft Translator. The app was first released last August and when I looked at it back then and compared it to Google's offering, I found it a worthy challenger, but one that lacked a couple of key features.

Translator has since been bridging the gap with Google's Translate, by adding natural live conversations in version 1.2 and now enabling offline download of language packs.

Read More

Microsoft Translator 1.3 Adds Offline Language Pack Support, Further Bridging The Gap With Google Translate was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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Google Drive Gets Better Contextual Menus, Access To Trash, And Avatars For Shared Files

Posted: 18 Feb 2016 03:50 AM PST

drive-shared-with-me

Things are shaking a bit in the Google Drive app on Android. Last week, the app got an update to let you control notifications for shared files and now it's ready to add a couple of other new features.

In the next release, the information icon that shows up next to files and folders will be replaced by a much clearer contextual button. The menu that got triggered used to fill out the entire screen, but now it'll be a simple pop-up on the bottom of the screen with a list of actions you can take.

Read More

Google Drive Gets Better Contextual Menus, Access To Trash, And Avatars For Shared Files was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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Chromecast Support Finally Comes To The Vimeo App In Version 2.1

Posted: 18 Feb 2016 03:50 AM PST

vimeo-chromecast-update

When Vimeo got its much needed interface revamp update at the end of last year, plenty of things got better in the app. It was faster, smoother, less of an offense to good design, and generally really better. However, it was missing an important feature for any Android video streaming app: Chromecast support.

At the time, we were told that we'd have to wait until Q1 2016 for Chromecast support to be built into the app, and lo-and-behold, the team is honoring its original timeline.

Read More

Chromecast Support Finally Comes To The Vimeo App In Version 2.1 was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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Brief Video Of Samsung Galaxy S7 Appears Online

Posted: 18 Feb 2016 12:28 AM PST

galaxy-s7_1

We're only four days away from Samsung's upcoming Galaxy S7 event during MWC 2016 and the phone has been leaked yet again, except this time it's on video.

Android Authority has obtained a video and a couple of photos from an unknown source showing off the 5.1-inch Super AMOLED display on the front and the glass back portions of the phone. While the design was leaked previously, the major development here is the confirmation of a microSD card slot pictured above.

galaxy-s7_2

The source also went on to say that the phone would be coming with a 12MP rear camera with a 2800 mAh battery and IP67/68 water resistance. It's interested to hear a different battery capacity than the one we've been hearing since the beginning of the year (3000 mAh). As for the OS, it will obviously be running Android 6.0.1 with TouchWiz.

The phone is set to launch February 21st.

[Android Authority]

The post Brief Video Of Samsung Galaxy S7 Appears Online appeared first on Android in Canada Blog.


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Why you’re going to love a bendable iPhone or Android

Posted: 17 Feb 2016 07:08 PM PST

flexible-phone-2016-02-17-01I've never really understood the appeal of flexible smartphones before I saw this video. Now it's changed things forever to me. I want a Flexible iPhone! Or, better yet, an iPad! Because it's going to open up whole new ways to interact with a device. Queens University has unveiled the ReFlex, a prototype flexible smartphone

The post Why you're going to love a bendable iPhone or Android appeared first on Cult of Android.











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Twitter Adds GIF Search, Plus Videos In Direct Messages

Posted: 17 Feb 2016 06:16 PM PST

Taco_Party_1

Twitter has made some less than popular decisions in the past, but who can really argue with GIFs? GIFs are great, and now you can add them to your posts more easily. Or rather, you will be able to soon. In different moving picture news, videos are coming to direct messages.

The GIF search feature will be added to the official Twitter app over the coming weeks. It's powered by Giphy and the Riffsy GIF keyboard.

Read More

Twitter Adds GIF Search, Plus Videos In Direct Messages was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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Google CEO supports Tim Cook in battle against FBI snooping

Posted: 17 Feb 2016 05:59 PM PST

Google CEO Sundar Pinchai thinks Apple is doing the right thing on Encryption. Photo: GoogleGoogle and Apple don't always see eye-to-eye, but in the matter of encryption, they're total allies. Today, Google CEO Sundar Pichai today tweeted words of support to Apple in the aftermath of Tim Cook's open letter, explaining why Apple was defying a federal order to provide backdoor access to a terrorism suspect's iPhone 5c. "Forcing

The post Google CEO supports Tim Cook in battle against FBI snooping appeared first on Cult of Android.











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