HTC, Samsung release open source files for Google Play edition phones; KitKat OTAs should follow soon

Ten days ago, HTC announced it delivered the KitKat code for the HTC One Google Play edition, and that it was up to Google to push out the OTA release to users.

Now it appears that the OTA is on its way, as both HTC and Samsung have published the kernel source code and framework support files for the HTC One GPe and Galaxy S4 GPe, respectively. The files contain the open source component of the ROMs for the two devices, that HTC and Samsung have to release to the public, as per their GPL licensing....

Read the full story here... Source: Android Authority

Why the Moto X Google Play edition doesn’t make much sense right now

Motorola announced a few days ago the highly anticipated Moto X handset, and revealed that a Google Play edition of the device will be available in due time, directly from its Google Play Store. But is that really a good thing?

At first, one could think that it makes perfect sense for Google to have a Nexus-like Moto X in the Play Store, but that may not necessarily be the case...

Read the full story here... Source: Android Authority

Facebook Home hits Google Play today, available for select Android devices

Chat heads, a virtual carousel of full screen (Instagram) images and enough status updates to let you keep close stalkerly tabs on your nearest and dearest -- that's what Facebook's got in Home. And as of today, it's breaking free from AT&T's exclusive HTC First and heading to a choice few Android flagships in the US. Now owners of the Samsung Galaxy S III, Galaxy Note II as well as the HTC One X+ can rush on over to Google Play or Facebook's site to download the free screen-stealing app / launcher. And when HTC's One and Samsung's GS 4 make their eventual way to the US market, Facebook heads will also have the privilege of setting up Home on those two flagships, just as Zuck promised. Home: it's where privacy and your free time go to die.

[Source: Engadget]

Google Play Redesign Creeps Out Briefly on Google+

A redesign of the Google Play app appeared briefly on a Google+ account before the post was pulled.

YouTube’s Eileen Rivera posted a screenshot of a redesigned Google Play app to her Google+ page, but the link now comes back as broke, and perusing her main feed also yields nothing. It appears that perhaps this was not yet meant for public consumption.

As AndroidCentral points out, if you look in the top left hand corner of the screenshot you will see a dog bowl. This is likely a reference to this being a “dogfooding” – or internal company usage – version of the app. That could also mean that there will be some more tweaks before it is released.

Seeing as the image has been pulled, there is no real indication of when, if ever, this refresh could make its way to the public. With Google I/O right around the corner, though, it seems like that would be a likely timeframe for this to make its debut.

[Source: TechnoBuffalo]

Hive Hatches On iTunes and Google Play – Evolve Baby Aliens in Sliding Tile/Match-3 Hybrid

KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA - March 21, 2013 - Appxplore today launched Alien Hive, a sliding-tile puzzle game about evolving baby aliens that’s free to play for both iOS and Android. Pastel watercolor graphics and a cute alien protagonist make the game appropriate for all ages, yet challenging enough for puzzle veterans. This mellow title is the latest from Appxplore, known for their award-winning game Lightopus (published by Bulkypix) as well as their recent biological puzzler Sporos. Harvest resources to grow and evolve new species of aliens, deploy massive power-ups, zap the villainous Naughty Bots and collect dozens of Supreme Aliens – there truly is life on Mars! Download Alien Hive today, free for iOS and Android.

Watch the trailer on the official website: 

Alien Hive is all about evolving aliens, blending match-3 with sliding tile puzzles for a game that feels both familiar and fresh. Swipe tiles to make matches – combine eggs to hatch cute baby aliens, and then help them fully evolve into Supreme Aliens.

Match resource tiles for upgrades that let you take command of the board, with the goal of building the ultimate alien hive. Strategically avoid the Naughty Bots, who block your progress, by crafting power-ups to eliminate these baddies. As you advance, you will uncover the mystery of the hidden aliens… can you tame the Red Planet?!

Alien Hive Features:                                   

  • Evolving-aliens puzzle gameplay: hybrid of match-3 and sliding tile puzzles… it’s a whole new type of casual fun
  • Match tiles to harvest resources, grow new species of aliens and zap the villainous Naughty Bots
  • Chill out: pastel graphics and mellow soundtrack, with no time limit to harsh the vibe
  • Advance the alien society: collect and unleash dozens of Supreme Aliens
  • 70 Achievements to suit all styles of play
  • High Score and Achievements sharing via Facebook
  • Free-to-play universal app for iPad, iPhone and Android
  • iCloud & Game Center Support, with Scoreloop support on Android

Google Play Birthday Celebration Includes Game, Movie Sales

Today is Google Play’s first birthday. That might sound a bit confusing, because prior to calling it that the store was simply named the “Android Market.”

Google’s celebrating by highlighting a number of free games (some of which were always free, such as Zenonia 5), and offering discounts on movies, music and books. The pilot of Breaking Bad is free for example, and Kung Fu Panda is available for just $2.99.

There’s nothing too juicy to be had, but we wish Google Play a happy first birthday anyway.

[Source: TechnoBuffalo]

Temple Run 2 for Android now available in Google Play

Temple Run 2, the highly anticipated sequel to one of the biggest games ever, is now available in Google Play. It has all the twists and turns (and monkeys) of the original, but it's been completely redone with great new graphics, new environments, and even bigger monkeys! It's free to download (of course you can spend money via in-app purchases if that's your thing) and you can grab it at the link to the left.

I've not sat down and really played it yet, so holler if there's something we should take a look at. Of course, we'll spend some quality time sliding and jumping, then give this one a proper look. Hit the break for the official trailer.

[Source: AndroidCentral]

Play Magazines now offering 'free for print subscribers' option

According to a Google Play support document -- and confirmed when we browse to some magazines -- Google is now offering a "Free for print subscribers" option for certain magazines in the Play Store. When browsing many popular magazine subscriptions in the Play Store that have a print component, tapping on "subscribe" offers you three options. On top of the regular monthly or yearly subscriptions, you now have the option to get the digital version for free if you're already a print customer.

Google has likely signed some kind of content deals to make this happen, but however it happened it's a good thing. Many different publishers have offered this feature for their own websites and magazines, but its nice to see Google offering the same option with a digital subscription through the app as well.

[Source: AndroidCentral]

Google Play unveils 'surprise calendar countdown' promo for the holidays

Ah, the month of December, when thoughts turn to mistletoe, eggnog and excruciatingly painful trips to the mall. However, Android users could find solace in Google's recently launched "surprise calendar countdown" giveaway program that promises a daily store offer until January 1st, 2013. Of course, this sort of promo isn't unusual this time of year -- the Mountain View company offered a ten apps for ten cents sale last year and Apple's done the freebie thing over on the iOS side -- but Google appears to be upping the ante this time with extra deals. For example, if you download the free Hotel Tonight application today, you'll also get a $35 credit to be used toward a hotel stay if you use the "Google35" promo code. Sure, that won't exactly pay for a night on the town, but it might be enough for room service. We're not sure what other offers are in store, so we suggest checking Google Play every day from now until the new year for a bit of holiday cheer.

[Source: Engadget]

Security exploit opens Samsung Galaxy S III, Note II to attack, could let apps from Google Play write to Kernel

Amid the XDA community's ongoing quest to root every Android handset it comes across, one forum user appears to have found a serious exploit that affects certain Exynos devices. While fiddling with his Galaxy S III, XDA user Alephzain discovered a way to obtain root without flashing with Odin. The Samsung kernel apparently allows read / write access to all physical memory on the device, including the kernel itself. This makes for an easy root, Alephzain writes, but leaves devices open to attack -- allowing Kernel code injections and RAM dumps from malware-laden apps from the Google Play store.

It isn't the only avenue for attack on an Android handset, but it is an exceedingly easy attack. Luckily, a community fostered fix seems pretty simple too -- XDA user RyanZA has already created a patch to modify write permissions on affected devices -- though Galaxy S III users are reporting that the fix cripples the phone's camera app. So far, Alephzain has confirmed that the Galaxy S II, III, Note II and the Meizu MX are at risk, but notes that the exploit might work on any device running a Exynos 4210 or 4412 processor. Samsung has not yet made a comment about the vulnerability, but forum members say that the issue has been reported. As for the exploit's lasting implications? Head on over to the XDA forums to join the discussion.

[Source: Engadget]

Google Play Store update on Android brings post-install suggestions, translations

Google likes to stealthily roll out Google Play Store updates for Android users on a frequent basis, whether it's to add new sections or to encourage a little more impulse shopping. We'd put a brand new revision in that last camp. The 3.10.9 tweak no longer just leaves us lingering at an app's page during an installation: start the process and the store offers suggestions based on fellow adopters' habits as well as a shortcut back to the main portal. Language mismatches in the store could also be a thing of the past with an option to translate descriptions into the device owner's native tongue. Along with a quicker way to add Google+ friends and get better app recommendations, Google's refresh is clearly built to remove those last points of hesitation before trying something new; if the app drawer is looking a little bare, hit the source link (or wait for an automatic update) to fill up.

[Source: Engadget]

Google Play Music adds gapless playback, automatic Instant Mixes

Google is expanding its media umbrella to cover more countries, and it's marking the occasion with a new version of the Google Play Music app for Android and Google TV. While there's no explicit mention of the newly opened regional access, the update does add long-requested support for gapless audio playback: Jelly Bean users will hear smooth transitions between tracks, although it works best when all the music is offline. The tweak also turns listening into more of a hands-off process, as it now automatically generates Instant Mixes (instead of requiring input) and lets us cache free, purchased, recently added and thumbs-up songs. If you've refused to sully that DJ set or Pink Floyd album by playing it through Android's stock music player, it's time to give the app another chance.

[Source: Engadget]