Action Launcher 3 is out with Quicktheme, app Covers, Shutters, and more

2014-12-11 15_37_53-Action Launcher 3 - Quicktheme, Shutters, Covers and more! - YouTube

Action Launcher has always been one of the better known launchers to hit the Play Store, and today, Android developer Chris Lacy has released an updated version of the app with a bunch of new features that takes everything that was already great about the app and brings it up to date for Android 5.0 Lollipop. But this update isn’t just an iterative Material Design update; it packs a bunch of great completely new features as well.

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Samsung launches ‘Milk Music’, a free and ad-free (for now) radio app for Galaxy users

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Samsung announced today that it’s launching a new free and ad-free music service called “Milk Music” that’s powered by Slacker and available to customers of select Galaxy devices. Samsung says the app, which is available now on available as a download on Google Play, is “fully customizable” and offers over 200 stations and a library of over 13 million songs.

“Milk Music introduces a fresh approach to music that reflects our innovation leadership and our focus on creating best-in-class consumer experiences,” said Gregory Lee, president and CEO of Samsung Telecommunications America and Samsung Electronics North America Headquarters. “We’re offering consumers amazing, rich music experiences built around what matters most to them and their lifestyle.”

The service is launching today in the US and available to those with a Galaxy S® 4, Galaxy S® III, Galaxy Note® 3, and Galaxy Note® II  as well as the upcoming Galaxy S 5.  Samsung added that it will soon offer “unique music programming from top selling and emerging artists available exclusively through Milk Music.”

While Samsung is promoting the service as completely free and free of ads, the Google Play page for the app says that the app will only be without ads and free for a for a limited time. It’s unclear if Samsung is referring to the ads or the service being free of charge, but it appears that it will either be implementing advertisements or a fee for the service in the future.

Here’s a list of features from Google Play: Read more

FreedomPop expands free wireless plan to all Sprint smartphones, launches $99 HTC Evo 4G

FreedomPop

FreedomPop, the wireless service provider offering free and cheap no-contract plans on Sprint’s network, today announced it’s now allowing customers to bring their old Sprint phones to activate on its $0/month wireless plans. We’ve confirmed with the company that will also soon include iPhones and Sprint’s full lineup of Android devices.

The company has been around since 2011 with various hotspot products and recently launched its first smartphone direct to customers alongside the world’s first completely free mobile service. A guaranteed 500 MBs of data, 500 text messages, and 200 anytime voice minutes for free each month would sound enticing to anyone, but previously customers would have to pay $99 for an almost two-year old HTC Evo Design to get it. Despite that, FreedomPop says it “immediately sold out” of stock when it launched last month.

That’s about to change today as FreedomPop will now let Sprint customers bring their own device to activate on its free and cheap plans. Although there is no mention of it in the carrier’s press release, we’ve confirmed that includes the iPhone 4 and 4S as well as 20 other Sprint devices initially. Stephen Stokols, FreedomPop’s CEO, tells us it will be another few weeks before the iPhone is compatible, and eventually all Sprint smartphones will be supported.  Read more

Kamcord brings free gameplay recording platform to Android as it hits 1M video uploads

Last time we checked in with Kamcord, the free SDK that allows developers to easily implement in-game recording functionality in their iOS games, it had just hit 1B videos recorded, announced a brand new user community, and picked up an additional $1M in funding. At the time the company told us it was planning Android support, and today Kamcord becomes the first major platform to make in-game recording available free to Android developers.

Kamcord is today starting to accept signups for its new Android beta through http://kamcord.com/android, and in the coming weeks will make the SDK available to download for anyone.

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Kamcord’s in-game UI for sharing recorded gameplay on iPad

We spoke with CEO Matt Zitzmann this week who told us all about the company’s plans to break into the Android world after having success on iOS. With next generation Xbox and PlayStation consoles bringing new in-game recording features to the mainstream, Kamcord has the opportunity to be the go-to solution for similar functionality in mobile games, and Android is a big piece of that puzzle. Zitzmann tells us that the company hopes the new Android SDK will help “to more easily drive adoption within Asia” where Android is thriving.

Kamcord’s biggest rival, Everyplay, is yet to introduce Android support for its similar platform, and today’s release of the Kamcord beta for Android could give the company a big jump on its competitor.

CEO of Djinnworks Robert Szeleney, a publisher with over 140 million app downloads across iOS and Android, is excited to bring the Kamcord platform to its Android titles: Read more

Amazon considers making its upcoming smartphone free (New statement: it won’t be)

Update Amazon has now said that the phone won’t be launched this year, and it won’t be free. “We have no plans to offer a phone this year, and if we were to launch a phone in the future, it would not be free,” Amazon said in a statement to AllThingsD.

According to Jessica Lessin and Amir Efrati, Amazon is considering making its upcoming, long-rumored smartphone available to consumers free of charge. However, it is unclear what strings are attached to the deal:

There are many unanswered questions about the plan and what strings will be attached for customers. One of them is whether Amazon would require its  smartphone owners to pay for services such as Amazon Prime, the company’s loyalty program. But the people familiar with the matter said that Amazon wants the device to be free whether or not people sign up for a new wireless plan at the same time. (Wireless carriers typically discount the price of devices if customers sign up for a one- or two-year wireless contract.)

A launch date for the device is currently unclear. Like with the Kindle Fire tablets, past reports have suggested that the Amazon phone will run on a forked version of Google’s Android operating system.

Earlier this year, reports emerged with claims that Amazon is working on a bevy of products, including a phone with a 3D display, and various audio/media center devices. Amazon’s hardware development division for these products is (like Apple) situated in Cupertino.

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Google launches app for iOS to setup Chromecast, manage settings

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Google has released a new application for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch to make it easier for users to setup and manage the Chromecast TV device.

• Set up your Chromecast to work with your Wi-Fi network
• Manage your Chromecast settings (such as changing your device name, Wi-Fi password, etc.)

The application is free on the App Store. The Google Chromecast is a device that plugs into a TV set via an HDMI port. The Chromecast allows users to stream content, such as YouTube and Netflix, from devices like computers, tablets, and smartphones.

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Google partners with Starbucks to offer free unlimited music through Google Play All Access

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Google announced today on Google+ that a new partnership with Starbucks will provide free WiFi and the ability for customers at Starbucks locations to stream unlimited songs, radio and more from Google’s recently launched AllAccess music service. Apple has of course offered similar promotions and continues to offer free iTunes content and more through Starbucks locations. Back in 2007 it announced a partnership with Starbucks in the US to offer a free iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store, and it continues to offer its free app and song of the week picks through physical cards in store and through mobile apps.

Google’s new streaming music service is still limited to the US, so we’re assuming the new promotion is also limited to Starbucks locations within the country. Last we heard an iOS app for the service would be arriving sometime this month.   Read more

‘Burner – Disposable Phone Numbers’ app launches on Android with new referral program

Burner-Android-appWe’ve written about the Burner iOS app from Ad Hoc Labs in the past on our sister site 9to5Mac– an app that received a lot of attention for its ability to provide temporary numbers for receiving SMS and calls on the iPhone. Today the developers are announcing a major update to the app that introduces a number of new features such a referral program and custom voicemail messages alongside the launch of the Android version of Burner. While temporary burner numbers aren’t free, Ad Hoc Labs is also dropping the $1.99 price tag and making Burner available as a free download starting today.

Not only can you download the app now for free, Burner is also providing a “Sample Burner” to get you started: Read more

Google releases free Quickoffice Android & iPhone apps for Google Apps for Business customers

QO blog nexus7 image (4-2-13)After releasing a free version of the Quickoffice iPad app for its Google Apps for Business customers in December, Google today announced free iPhone and Android versions of the app exclusively for its Apps for Business customers.

Google Apps for Business can already edit Microsoft Office files using Quickoffice on an iPad, and starting today they can do the same on iPhone and Androiddevices. From Word to Excel to Powerpoint, you can make quick edits at the airport or from the back of a taxi and save and share everything in Google Drive… iPad and iPhone users can open and edit Office files directly from the Drive app. Just open Drive and select the file, make edits using Quickoffice and save it back to Drive.

Google noted the updated apps also bring new features including support for multiple Google Drive accounts, improved chart rendering, ZIP folders from multiple files, and the ability to sort Drive files by “Shared with me, Starred, and Recent”:
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Motorola offering $50 Google Play app credit with purchase of a new phone

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With so much mobile competition, companies are always trying to get you to buy their phone, today, Motorola has decided to join in on the fun. In an announcement made online, Motorola is offering a $50 dollar Google Play gift card to use on anything available in the app store. You’ll only get the gift card though if you purchase one of the eligible phones Motorola is promoting such as the Droid Razr Maxx or HD. The sale ends on March 4th, so if you want in on the deal you’ll have to act fast. The full list of phones is available below.

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Google reminds us that a free and open Internet needs some celebrating and support

Google supports the Declaration of Internet Freedom:

Celebrate freedom. Support a free and open Internet.
More than any time in history, more people in more places have the ability to make their voices heard.
Just as we celebrate freedom, we need to celebrate the tools that support freedom.
Add your voice in support of a free and open Internet.

Happy 4th. Read more