Items tagged with Apps

You have our utmost respect if you've ever run into the "Map 256 Glitch" in Pac-Man. The show stopping bug thwarted even the best Pac-Man players with an impossible to beat level, and it's also the theme of Bandai Namco's newest Pac-Man title -- yes, another Pac-Man game! -- Pac-Man 256 available for iOS, Android, and Amazon devices. Let's back up a moment. Also known as the split-screen level or kill screen, the Map 256 Glitch occurred when Pac-Man players made it to level 256. At issue is the level counter being stored as an 8-bit integer, so it could only store 256 values (0-255), with the highest... Read more...
One of the first things we all do when firing up a new smartphone for the first time is to see which unwanted apps we're allowed to uninstall. It's not just wireless carriers and smartphone manufactures that are guilty of pre-loading their software on our phones, but also Google, which doesn't let phone makers cherry pick its apps. The good news is, Google's trimming the selection of apps that are required.At this point you might be wondering, "Isn't Android open source and free?" True and true, and any manufacturer or individual can do pretty much anything they please with the platform. That's... Read more...
If you're wondering why all your Android device-toting buddies are no longer answering your messages, there's a reasonable explanation. They've all been abducted by aliens! Just kidding -- the real reason you can't get in touch with them is because they're playing Fallout Shelter...on their Android gadgets! Did we blow your mind? No, they haven't hacked their Android smartphones and tablets to run iOS, previously the only mobile platform you could play Fallout Shelter. Instead, Bethesda Softworks finally got around to porting the anticipated title to Android, just as promised, which is now available... Read more...
Whether you use Snapchat to send goofy faces to friends and family, or fling more sultry looking photos to a lover, you probably don't want those snapshots falling into the wrong hands. Unfortunately for users in the United Kingdom, new legislation could force messaging applications to be less secure so the government can peep encrypted communications.Apps like WhatsApp, iMessage, and Snapchat would all be banned as currently constructed if the new laws take effect. That's because the legislation being pushed would only allow apps to use encryption if there's a backdoor for government agents. The... Read more...
Bloatware, Bloatware, Bloatware! We all hate bloatware. And with the exception of a few companies like Apple, Motorola, and Google (with its Nexus devices) there aren’t many ways to avoid factory- or carrier-installed bloatware without rooting a device. One of the biggest offenders in years past has been Samsung, and the company is feeling the heat for its obnoxious behavior from the Shanghai Consumer Rights Protection Commission. The commission’s secretary general, Tao Ailian, fingered not only Samsung, but also Chinese OEM Oppo Electronics for egregious behavior when it comes to pre-installed... Read more...
Developing an application isn't a cake walk, although it can seem like one if all we're talking about is getting a program up and running. Perhaps the biggest chore with developing an app is securing it tight, analyzing the code until you arrive at Eye Strain City. Security is king. It's also time-consuming. MIT knows this reality all too well, so it's decided to do something to help ease the pain. The result is a system called CodePhage, one that takes advantage of other applications to help bolster the security in its own. I wouldn't blame you if you thought that such mechanics were impossible,... Read more...
At first glance, Google’s debut app for its newly-launched “free app of the week” promotion is a bit of a head-scratcher. Instead of offering a popular utility or game to pull customers from the Amazon App Store, Google’s Play Store is handing out an app for kids. This week, you can save your $2.99 and download Daniel Tiger Grr-ific Feelings by PBS Kids free for your Android device.  Amazon has been running free app promotions for quite a while, so it’s not surprising that Google is providing a little competition. Weirdly though, Google is burying its free app in a family fun section,... Read more...
Your digital voice assistant app is incompetent. Yes, Siri can give you a list of Italian restaurants in the area, Cortana will happily look up the weather, and Google Now will send a text message, if you ask it to. But compared to Hound, the newest voice search app on the block, all three of the aforementioned assistants might as well be bumbling idiots trying to outwit a fast talking rocket scientist. At its core, Hound is the same type of app -- you bark commands or ask questions about any number of topics and it responds intelligently. And quickly. What's different about Hound compared to Siri,... Read more...
The streaming set-top box market is a crowded one to compete in, and if you're looking for a reason to go with one over another, Amazon's pitch is that its Fire TV is exploding with apps. Or in Amazon's words, "Fire TV has the fastest growing selection of any streaming media device." Amazon bases that claim on having added over 600 channels, apps, and games to the Fire TV in just the past three months alone. Some of the new offerings include Popcornflix, Funny Or Die, Candy Crush Saga, and Fox News. One of the bigger additions, however, is that of the GameFly streaming service -- it's now available... Read more...
Anyone who has driven an Android smartphone any distance whatsoever has no doubt wondered whether any of the apps they use could be serving as information conduits. The relaxed vetting process that the Google Play Store has in place ('relaxed' versus the jailer-esque process in use by those minding Apple's app store) results in their stocking all but the most obviously malicious apps, after all, so a little suspicion in the mix just makes sense. So is this neat new Find Parking app that just asked for location privileges pushing data on my movements into some database somewhere? Will personal... Read more...
Google is all about teaming up with third-party partners to improve its core services. We saw it earlier this week when Google added over 70 new apps to Google Now, including Spotify and Feedly, and now Google's voice actions is learning to play with others as the first set of partners for custom commands arrive on Android. As explained the Android Developers' Google+ page, this new feature will allow users to say things like, "OK Google, listen to NPR" or "OK Google, show attractions near me on TripAdvisor." Rather than being directed to NPR's or TripAdvisor's respective websites, these commands... Read more...
Google's plan to disrupt the wireless world is one step closer to fruition with its Project Fi now available to download from Google Play. Project Fi, in case you missed our previous coverage, is a new wireless service offered by Google exclusive to Nexus 6 owners. Through Project Fi, Google turns itself into a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) piggybacking on T-Mobile and Sprint. Whichever partner has the strongest LTE signal in any given area is the one that Nexus 6 wielding Project Fi subscribers will connect to. In addition, Project Fi also taps into millions of Google-approved open Wi-Fi... Read more...
The Apple Watch and Pebble Smartwatch are on opposite ends of the wrist wearable spectrum in just about every way, but lest you think Apple isn't at least a little bit threatened by its lower cost competition, think again. That much was evident when Apple cited a technicality in its rules that allowed it to block apps that said they were compatible with Pebble.One of those apps was SeaNav, which allows you to explore, plan, and navigate your boating trips in real time using the latest Digital Vector Marine charts in high resolution. The developers updated the app in part to add some special features... Read more...
Amazon already gives away Android apps and games on a frequent basis, and starting soon, it will kick off a program that will dole out in-app purchases at no charge as well. According to a leaked internal presentation, the program is called Android Unlocked and it will offer a selection of paid apps for free, as well as remove the cost for in-app upgrades and purchases. You can think of it as a sort of Amazon Prime for Android apps. The leaked presentation, which was obtained by TechCrunch, features both games and apps, including Sega America's Sonic Dash, UsTwo's Monument Valley,... Read more...
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