Google continues to make improvements to the Google Play Store, slowly turning it into a one stop shop for software and entertainment selections for Android devices. To help move users into their “store” and away from competitors means implementing features that users expect to be available. One such feature is the ability to create a “wishlist” within the store.
Yesterday we reported on an update to the Google Play Store app bringing it up to version 3.9.16. Along with the malware scanning code that was discovered in the update, it was also determined that code was present for a wishlist function. As users have started to receive the update, they have discovered that not only is the framework for the wishlist function included, it is actually working.
When viewing the details of an item, they will discover a new icon in the menu bar at the top of the Google Play app. Clicking on it will add the item to their wishlist. The dropdown menu includes a new entry for “My Wishlist” which will take a user to the list to view all of the items they have added. The items are not limited to apps – any item available through Google Play can be added to the wishlist. Different types of items are assigned different colors for their prices to help users distinguish the type when viewing the list.
Users don’t need to do anything to enable wishlists. Just wait for the Google Play Store app to update on your device and you will have it.
source: Android Police
I was wondering when Google would eventually implement this. Recently, Google has enabled credit purchases for their Google Play Store within the Google Play web in itself. If you’re in the web version of the Play Store, go ahead and jot down to the bottom and you’ll see a tab option that reads “Buy Google Play Credit.” The purchase of credits are an an increment of $5, $10, $15, $25 and $50.
Sadly, there’s no way to “gift” credits and you can only purchase for yourself, although I would imagine that option will be available in due time. Also, it looks like this is only for US customers and the option won’t seen in other countries.
source: Google Play Store
With Halloween just around the corner, many people are looking to get into the mood with a little help from their Android devices. Whether recalling memories from their childhood or sharing them with a new generation, one of the classics associated with the season is the animated TV classic It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. Thanks to Loud Crow Interactive, Inc., this Halloween standard is now available via the Google Play Store for $4.99 in the form of an interactive book.
The app is narrated by Peter Robbins, the original voice of Charlie Brown and includes illustrations brought to life with sound clips, music and dialog from the original TV show. In addition to the narrated book, users can enjoy activities like “dressing up” in costumes to go trick-or-treating with the Peanuts gang, carving a pumpkin, playing Schroeder’s piano and bobbing for apples with Snoopy.
If you are not interested in paying for the full app, Loud Crow Interactive has The Great Pumpkin Festival app available for free with a limited collection of some activities from the full app. Check out the video below and hit the download links to grab a copy of one or both apps.
It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
Google Play Download Link
The Great Pumpkin Festival
Google Play Download Link
So-called free text and voice alternatives have long dominated the Play Store, each with their own unique set of limitations and caveats. Pinger, however, is a new application, and while it’s mostly more of the same, it also manages to squeeze in a few additional features that direct competitors have been missing.
Similarly to Google Voice, Pinger will provide you with a personal phone number which can be given to friends and family. The same number can be used regardless if the person on the other end is using Pinger or not, meaning mobile to mobile, mobile to landline and vice-versa are all supported. You’ll also get a personal voicemail inbox, so contacts can leave voice messages in the event that you are unreachable. Incoming calls are free, though you’ll need to pony up some extra cash to buy minutes for outgoing calls (new users receive 20 minutes free). Currently the full service is limited solely to the United States and Canada, though free text messages can be sent in an additional 35 countries.
As with these types of applications, there are several limitations. For starters, Pinger SMS works only between two Pinger users, meaning you won’t be able to exchange photos or videos friends who aren’t using the service. Also, because Pinger is a VoIP application, you’ll need an established data connection to utilize any of the service’s functionality. And, with data fees becoming increasingly more expensive, the idea doesn’t seem too tempting. Catch the official PR after the break.
Pinger Launches New Free Texting and Calling Service For Android Devices
Maker of Textfree, the #1 Free Texting App, Adds Free Voice Communication for Android
San Jose, California — October 16, 2012 — Pinger, the company disrupting the global communications space by making texting and calling free, today announced its new Android application, called “Pinger.” Pinger users can text and call for free to any phone in the U.S. and Canada, including smartphones, landlines and basic mobile phones. Pinger is free and available in the Google Play Store.
Pinger users receive a free, local phone number they can then use to text or place calls to any phone number, giving them a second, fully-functional phone line. Pinger supports inbound and outbound calls, as well as free texting to 35 countries. All incoming calls are free, and users can earn free outbound minutes by watching videos and downloading apps. Users can also purchase minutes at an inexpensive rate from the Google Play Store.
“What makes Pinger truly unique is its ability to make texting and calling free to any phone number, not just other smartphones,” said Greg Woock, co-founder and CEO of Pinger. “We started out by making texting free, and now, by making calling free for Android users in the U.S. and Canada, we’re another step closer to achieving our goal of making global communications free.”
The company has an established community of over eight million active users on the Android and iOS platforms. The company’s existing Android phone app, Textfree, is one of the top free apps in the Google Play store. It is consistently ranked in the top 130 free applications out of the more than 400,000 apps that are currently available in the store. Textfree allows users to communicate for free via SMS and picture messaging. The new Pinger app combines free calling and an ingenious new interface with the free texting capabilities of Textfree. Both Textfree and Pinger are ad-supported.
Pinger simplifies the communications process, incorporating useful and intuitive features including:
· Text and call anyone on any phone or carrier—including smartphones, landlines and basic mobile phones in the U.S. and Canada
· Adds a free second line to their existing Android phone
· The unique photo-based interface means that there’s no need to swap between screens or apps to check missed calls, listen to a voicemail or send a message. The Pinger phone app organizes communication with each contact—text, voice and picture messages—into a single screen
· Group addressing—communicate with groups faster and easier
· Anyone using Pinger Android is on the global Pinger network. Communicate with friends and family anywhere in the world on Android, iOS or even the web. Users communicating with others on the Pinger network get longer texts, hi-res picture messages, higher-quality calls and instant open notifications
In the U.S. alone, Pinger’s eight million active users send more than two billion text messages and use 75 million voice minutes a month. Pinger is the seventh largest U.S. carrier by SMS volume. According to comScore, the company’s apps are installed in 21% of U.S. iOS devices, putting Pinger among the Top 5 most installed U.S. apps of all time on iOS.
Textfree users on Android can seamlessly transition to the new voice features by simply downloading the “Pinger” app from the Google Play Store, allowing them to maintain their current Textfree phone number with these added services.
Pinger can be downloaded here: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.pinger.ppa
Pinger, together with millions of users, is building the planet’s first free, global communications network. Our mission is to ensure everyone can freely text and talk with the people they care about most. Pinger simplifies network complexity with an intuitive, picture-based interface that brings together different types of communication in one place, from any device. At Pinger, we strive to make the costly completely free—and the complex surprisingly simple. Connect with us atwww.pinger.com.
Calling all soccer fans: Gameloft just released Real Soccer 2013 in the Google Play Store. This game is sure to compete with FIFA 12 and any other soccer game released for Android. Gameloft calls this the “most immersive soccer simulation” with improved graphics, moves and for the first time in a Real Soccer game, personal names and portraits of over 3,000 pro soccer players. Check out the Play Store link below to get the free download and run a soccer club the way you want.
Google appears to be in the process of rolling out an update to the Google Play Store app, taking it up to version 3.9.16. Several improvements have been included that should be apparent once users get their hands on the update and start using the Play Store. Improvements include:
- Remove apps you have previously downloaded from the All Apps list, which will help in weeding out the list, especially if you are fond of downloading an app to try out and end up deleting it;
- Multi-select apps for deletion by long-pressing on an app title that you want to remove, then pressing on the additional apps you want to delete, then hitting the delete button to be rid of them all in one fell swoop;
- Maintain position in the All Apps list and My Apps list when you click-through for details instead of returning to the top of the list and having to scroll down;
- A new expandable notification to be able to show details when multiple apps are installed or updated; and
- New app installs get and app specific icon in the notification bar instead of a generic “new” app icon.
The improvements go beyond what is readily apparent on the surface though. Some digging into the apk reveals the inclusion of malware scanner code. The code points to two parts of the scanner. The first is an App Check app that enables Google to inspect every app on a device that has already been installed. The second part is app blocker code that will ask users if they want to proceed with installation if suspicious code is detected in an app. It is unclear at this time whether the code will allow a user to proceed on their own in spite of the warning when suspicious code is detected.
Along with the malware code, a couple other interesting bits are included in the apk. It appears Google has started to include the framework for an app wishlist or “save for later” type feature. Support for multi-user account devices also seems to be in the works based on some code that checks for an app already installed by another user and preventing a second installation.
Has Google Play updated yet on your device? If so, let us know if you find any other improvements.
source: Android Police
While the update to Android 4.1.2 may have arrived for Nexus 7 owners last week, the new software is now making its way to specific Nexus handsets. The latest iteration in Jelly Bean is currently rolling out to select GSM Galaxy Nexus and Nexus S smartphones. Users are reporting that only “yakju” variants of the Galaxy Nexus are currently seeing the update, though it’s expected that the “takju” model (the one officially sold through the Google Play Store) will be getting in on the action over the next couple of days.
As expected, version 4.1.2 is a minor update for phones. Other than a slight performance increase, no incredibly significant changes are noticeable. Despite the Nexus 7′s update having unleashed landscape mode, Galaxy Nexus and Nexus S users will continue to be limited to portrait, sans any custom launcher.
If you simply can’t wait for the update to hit your device, you can always head to the source link below to flash the OTA manually.
YourCity 3D, from inHause Games, just hit the Google Play Store, and if you’re a fan of live wallpapers you’re going to want to check it out. YourCity 3D gives you an aerial tour of a beautiful computer generated city at night that includes bright lights and moving traffic. The cool thing about it, is that no two cities are the same since it will reset automatically every day. It contains no textures or geometry data as they are procedurally generated and completely random.
You can also add a little customization of your own like building names, scrolling displays, and billboard signs. The building names are LED style and reside at the top of the buildings and scrollable displays are shown across buildings. You can choose as many of these names as you want. As to billboards, you can point the app to whatever folder has the pictures you want included. These settings are available just before setting YourCity 3D as your wallpaper, and they are saved in case you want to change to another wallpaper and revert back to it.
YourCity 3D is very attractive and since it’s dark, it will have minimal battery drain. The only negative I did find was that billboards and building names are sometimes not all that viewable on phones, but it’s really not the focal point anyway. It’s the city itself and the aerial views, which will give your phone or tablet a really nice look. inHause did say they are going to make some changes that could improve this issue, but I still think it’s worthy of an install and it’s my go to live wallpaper right now. It’s $1.49 so give it a try. Check out the quick demo video below and hit one of the download links to get started. As always, let me know what you think.
Full list of features
- Contains no textures or geometry data.
- All textures and geometry are procedurally generated and completely random.
- No two cities are the same.
- City automatically resets daily, so you’ll have a different city every day.
- Simulated traffic and traffic lights.
- Decorate your city with animated billboards that are built from pictures and photos on your device.
- Set your scrolling text displays to show anything of your choosing.
- Name your buildings.
- Full 3D hardware acceleration. Supports OpenGL ES 2.0 / 1.1.
- Optimized for low memory usage and little to no impact on system performance.
- Supports all Android devices with Android 2.2 and up.
- Inspired by PixelCity by Shamus Young.
- Built on LibGDX by Badlogic Games.
Sweet Garden, from Toast, just hit the Google Play Store and it’s a “pet raising” type of game, that’s pretty innovative. With Sweet Garden you will be raising a Ppu, which is a pet-like plant. What’s innovative about Sweet Garden is it’s completely widget based. You will see how your Ppu is progressing from the widget as well as see all animations. If you need to attend to it, you will do it from the widget only. The only time you will open the app (from the icon) is when you first set it up by connecting to the server. This is so innovative that Toast applied for two patents related to widget-operated games. As a bonus, you can also set the widget to display the remaining life of your battery. You can plant multiple Ppu’s, but you can only display one of them in the widget. Hit the break to learn more about the gameplay.
Like most “pet raising” games, you will have to attend to your pet in order for him to grow and that means you will have to water it, cut the weeds, clean the area, and apply pesticides. You will need to monitor when the sun is out and you need to give it TLC by playing music or giving it health supplements that you can purchase with golden or silver seeds. You can earn these seeds by raising your Ppu correctly or by playing mini games, one of which is a whack-a-mole type of game. Ppu’s have 6 stages of development and they have different facial expressions like sickness, happiness, joy, and more. You can name your Ppu’s anything you want, and as you get more seeds, you can change the background and so much more.
I generally stay away from games like this because I don’t want to feel like I have to constantly check on “my pet”, but with Sweet Garden you can play at your own pace, and still have the satisfaction of watching your pet grow. It’s pretty cool, and I can’t be the only one that feels this way because it has only been in the Play Store for a couple of days and it has a rating of 4.7 (out of 5) from 360 users who took the time to rate it. If you like “pet raising’ games or are intrigued by them, this is the one to download. It’s completely free so check out the quick demo video below and hit one of the download links to get started. As always, let me know what you think.
Even though this information relies solely on rumors, ByteNow expects that the price will be around the $399 mark, well-priced for a device that is likely to support the speedy 1.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 processor, and the crystal clear SLCD display.
There could be one possible flaw that the Nexus might have with certain carriers. The upcoming superphone isn’t expected to carry LTE support, leaving Verizon Wireless in the dust. The recent FCC filing doesn’t mention LTE at all. This means the only U.S. carriers to support the device will be AT&T, T-Mobile, and the smaller MNVO’s. Though that may seem alright with many users, customers of Big Red will miss out on a spectacular device, just like with the predecessors of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. Lastly, the name of the device isn’t official, but now the latest rumor suggests it will be called the Optimus Nexus. A name we’ve heard before.
Remember these details are not official yet, and are subject to change anytime. Just make sure to keep checking back with TalkAndroid for the latest and greatest LG Nexus news.
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