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BlueStacks demonstrating its Android emulator for Windows PCs

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BlueStacks-demonstrating-its-Android-emulator-for-Windows-PCsPrompted by his daughter’s nagging to play the same games she is used to on his Android phone at the family computer, one of BlueStacks founders decided to get to work on an Android emulator for the PC, way back in 2009.

For now the company is in the initial rounds of funding stage, it managed to raise $7.6 million already, and is trying to get as broad of a distribution agreement with PC makers, as possible. With BlueStacks you can run Windows programs and Android apps simultaneously, and switch seamlessly between them. Oh, the joys of open source!

Adding the Android emulator to a Windows machine is said to cost a bit more than $10 per license, and BlueStacks plans to offer its virtualization software as a separate download for current Windows users as well. The ViewSonic ViewPad 10 dual-boot tablet is a good example of a device shipping with the BlueStacks software preinstalled.

The company is starting with Android 2.2 Froyo (the project was conceived in 2009, after all), but future updates should also be available. This slightly reminds us of HP placing webOS on every Windows machine it ships, but we are also just laughing hysterically at the thought of someone trying to emulate the proprietary WP7, or, heaven forbid, iOS platforms. Have a look at the company demo below.

source: BlueStacks via AllThingsD

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Netflix app made to work with most Android smartphones; rooting not necessary

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Netflix-app-made-to-work-with-most-Android-smartphones-rooting-not-necessaryIt may have taken longer than anyone would have anticipated, but the official Netflix app has finally arrived to the Android Market. Unfortunately, the fact that it was allowed to run on only a few smartphones was disappointing to many members of the Android community. Sure enough, the hoard of Android enthusiasts at XDA-Developers couldn’t leave things as they were, and it didn’t take long before workarounds to the restriction were already a fact.

We already reported that the Netflix app got ported over to the Motorola DROID X, DROID 2 and the first-gen DROID, but getting it to run required rooting the device first. However, a quick and easy way of running the application on other smartphones has been already found, and from what we hear, it seems to be working smoothly. You don’t even need to bother rooting your handset. All you need to do is to allow applications from unknown sources to be installed (go to Settings -> Applications), and get the modified Netflix apk files.

If you want to see whether your device is supported as well, just read through the forum thread, a link to which we have provided for you below, and if you get Netflix to work on your smartphone too, feel free to brag about it by leaving a comment.

You can download the needed apk files from here, or check if your device is supported here.

source: XDA-Developers via Boy Genius Report

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HTC might do away with its locked boot loader policy

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HTC-might-do-away-with-its-locked-boot-loader-policyOne of the great things about the Android platform is that it grants every developer with the privilege to use, customize, and redistribute its code freely, as long as no license restrictions are being violated. Unfortunately, many smartphone manufacturers lock down the boot loaders on their devices because carriers require them to. That automatically makes “rooting” these handsets, and loading custom ROMs onto them, pretty much impossible.

HTC has been one of the exceptions, and until recently, its smartphones did not have such restrictions – something that Android developers and software modders were grateful for. However, after the company started locking down the boot loaders on its devices as well, the developer community sprung into action, and tons of complaints started filling up HTC’s inbox. That is probably why the company is now reconsidering its newly-applied policy of locking down boot loaders, and chances are that a decision that satisfies both developers, and the manufacturer, is going to be arrived at soon.

Even though HTC may not start shipping its smartphones with unlocked boot loaders straight away, we wouldn’t be surprised if the company decides to provide a software unlocking tool to any interested developer – something that Sony Ericsson recently did. Motorola might be the next to rethink its software locking policies as well, after thousands of users expressed their discontent with the restrictions. Could this be the start of a trend? It is too early to say, but unlocked boot loaders can only mean that more great custom ROMs like CyanogenMod might follow, and installing one of them is surely a fun way to void your warranty.

source: Facebook via Electronista

Posted in Software

Google Maps updated for mobile browser use

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Google-Maps-updated-for-mobile-browser-useAfter doing some research, Google has discovered that 40% of those using Google Maps would access the service from a mobile device. Previously, those using a mobile browser would be re-directed to a link to the Google Maps mobile app so that you could download the software on your handset and use it that way.

But how would you like to have all of the features of the desktop version of Google Maps on your mobile browser? Now, if you go to maps.google.com from your mobile browser, you will be able to see your current location and search for places nearby you with suggestions. Clickable icons of popular businesses and transit stations will appear on your screen and you can get directions to a location depending on the mode of transportation you are taking (car, walking, bicycling, etc.). You can also view Place pages with ratings, photos and more. Your starred locations can be accessed along with ‘My Maps’. All you have to do is opt-in to share your location. Google Maps for your mobile browser is also ” platform independent” so you always get the same experience and most up-to- date features no matter which phone you are using.

The dedicated mobile app for Google Maps is still available and will probably still be used by the majority of cell phone users. But if you want to have the desktop version on your phone instead, you now have the choice to use it.

source: Google via AndroidCentral

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Pixel density hack changes your Honeycomb tablet interface to Gingerbread

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Pixel-density-hack-changes-your-Honeycomb-tablet-interface-to-GingerbreadHa! Honeycomb might be designed by Google specifically for tablets, but it seems that Google has the Android Gingerbread interface hidden underneath as this hack easily turns your Honeycomb tablet into one running the Gingerbread UI. All that’s required is root access and an app allowing you to change the LCD Density setting (such as the recommended LCDDensity for Root), which seems to be the trigger feature for the interfaces.

After getting root access, finding and changing the pixel density to 170 or higher and rebooting afterwards would take you to the Gingerbread UI, more common on phones. Reverting back to Honeycomb is as easy as editing the pixels per inch to 160 or less and reboot the device. After all, it seems that Google might have not exactly taken a ground-up approach when building its tablet-optimized user interface, doesn’t it? Check out the video demonstration below for yourself and don’t hesitate let us know which one you prefer and why.

source: Android Community

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Place pizza orders from the comfort of your phone with the Pizza Hut app for Android

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Place-pizza-orders-from-the-comfort-of-your-phone-with-the-Pizza-Hut-app-for-AndroidPlace-pizza-orders-from-the-comfort-of-your-phone-with-the-Pizza-Hut-app-for-AndroidPizza Hut fanatics listen up, even more if you happen to carry round an Android powered smartphone, that’s because your life is only going to get easier thanks to the recent availability of an app.

Gladly now, you can download the official Pizza Hut app for Android, which allows you to place pizza orders from the comfort of your Android smartphone – so no phone calls needed anymore! Even if you decide to place an order for delivery or take out, it’s still pretty sweet having control in almost every aspect of your order. Of course, you’ll be able to make that perfect pizza pie to your liking – with all the toppings you want, while knowing how much it’ll cost. Moreover, it’s location aware and will automatically presents you the closest Pizza Hut locations near you.

If you don’t happen to have a Pizza Hut account, it would be a great idea to have one since it’ll come in handy if you frequently love to order something from their menu.

via Android Central

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Gameloft to change DRM policy, you can redownload purchased games to your new Android gear

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Gameloft-to-change-DRM-policy-you-can-redownload-purchased-games-to-your-new-Android-gearGameloft titles don’t appear on Android Market, so until now, if you bought a game from them, and then a new Android device, you either had to go through customer service, or backup the .apk file, in order to have the title on your new gear.

The game maker supposedly changed its DRM policy once again, as confirmed by one of its employees, and you should be able to log into your Gameloft account, and simply re-download titles you have already purchased to your next Android device.

As an unpleasant side effect, you might not be able to use the .apk game stash from your memory card now, since the DRM change. This is still to be confirmed officially by Gameloft, so let us know if it works.

source: DroidGamers

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PayPal’s Android app is finally gaining check depositing feature

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PayPals-Android-app-is-finally-gaining-check-depositing-featurePayPals-Android-app-is-finally-gaining-check-depositing-featureApple iPhone users have been engrossed by the checking depositing feature that’s available to them with the PayPal app – thus saving them time, and more importantly, the hassle of waiting on line to deposit their checks.

However, the feature might come off to be something foreign to Android users since this nifty and useful feature is not present with PayPal’s app for Android. Thankfully though, their fortunes are about to change because it’s being reported that the feature is finally coming around with the latest version of the PayPal app for Android. Meaning, users of the app will have the pleasure of being able to use their handset’s camera to take snapshots of their checks, which is then deposited to their account.

Score one of Android users all around, even more now than ever since it’ll only simplify the lives of some people out there by reducing the amount of time they’ll need to take out of their day to deposit checks.

via MobileCrunch

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Samsung’s very own Android developer forum goes live

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Samsungs-very-own-Android-developer-forum-goes-liveThanks to Samsung, amateur and professional Android developers have a new virtual playground where they can share ideas and polish their programming skills. The company has just launched its very own developer-oriented forum, and judging by the tools that it offers, it can be of help to novice and hardcore programmers alike.

The forum features a ton of helpful information, yet naturally, it relates exclusively to Samsung’s Android devices. Nevertheless, developers who do not mind creating software by using Samsung’s Android smartphones and tablets as a canvas will be pleased to find detailed product hardware specifications, both basic and advanced code examples, coding tutorials, software development kits, and even device emulators. There is even a way of uploading your app and getting it tested on a real Samsung device under the company’s supervision!

So, if you are into software development or you want to get involved but don’t know where to start, check Samsung’s forum out. Who knows, maybe you can become the next Bill Gates.

source: Samsung via Android Central

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Plants vs Zombies, PopCap games coming to Android

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Plants-vs-Zombies-PopCap-games-coming-to-Android

Chuzzle is the first PopCam game for Android

Chuzzle is the first PopCam game for Android

PopCap is the game studio that brought a notable chunk of the time-consuming quality gaming time on iOS with its Bejeweled, Peggle and Plants vs Zombies, but now, after a long wait, Android gamers will also get treated with the same zombie-bashing and generally addictive fun roster. First comes a Bejeweled-like furry color-matching game Chuzzle, available exclusively on the Amazon Appstore for the sweet price of zilch today. What’s Chuzzle?

Chuzzles: well, they’re adorable, cute, and cuddly. These googly-eyed little balls of fur giggle, squeak, and sneeze as you poke and push them across the grid. They’re also explosive when they get together in a group of three or more. And there’s only one way to make Chuzzels happy: pop ‘em. Just slide, prod, and nudge the Chuzzles with a touch of the finger to match three or more (up and down, across, or both), and send fur flying and eyeballs bouncing. Once you start popping Chuzzles you might not be able to stop.”

But it’s record-breaking Plants vs Zombies that you’re probably waiting for and PopCap won’t disappoint you as the title is coming up in a mere month, followed by puzzler Peggle in the near future. The games seem to be slated only for Amazon’s Appstore, which is currently limited to U.S. customers. Check out the link below for the first title and get your fingers ready for some serious tapping.

Download Chuzzle on the Amazon App Store

source: Neowin

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