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Tag: Android

Nintendo’s ‘Mario Kart Tour’ is out now for iPhone, iPad and Android

September 25, 2019 No Comments

Mario Kart Tour, Nintendo’s latest mobile game, is now available on iOS for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, as well as on Android devices. The game, like Nintendo’s other mobile releases, is free-to-play with in-app purchases (in-game currency called ‘rubies’) that you use for upgrades and unlocks.

Players immediately unlock one rider and get a tutorial to start, which introduces you to the Mario Kart Tour driving mechanics, which are slightly different than the ones you’re probably used to if you’ve played Mario Kart games for Nintendo’s various consoles. Specifically, your kart will always be moving forward, so there’s no acceleration to press, and instead you slide your finger side-to-side on the screen to steer left and right, with a tap firing off any items or weapons you might pick up.

High scores earn you points that can be redeemed for in-game unlocks, and the game also features other new mechanics like ‘frenzy mode,’ which gives you a timed period of unlimited item use whenever you pick up three of the same. Special challenges are also new in this mobile iteration, which introduce new ways to win instead of just placing first in a race with other kart drivers. Mario Kart Tour also features online ranking with other mobile players worldwide.

The ‘Tour’ component of the game is also a new twist: Nintendo is mixing courses inspired by real-world cities in with levels that are taken from classic Mario Kart games, and these will be cycling every two weeks for a fresh global tour on a regular basis. In-game characters will also get costume variants that are inspired by these globe-trotting destinations.

Based on Nintendo’s past track record, Mario Kart Tour should be perfectly playable without any in-game purchases, but players may feel that they hit a progression wall pretty quickly without picking up some currency. It’ll be interesting to see how this one fares, given that Apple has just introduced its own Arcade subscription service focused on games that eschew in-app purchase mechanics – including cart racer Sonic Racing, which looks very much like it was once intended to offer similar in-app mechanics before Arcade came along.

Mobile – TechCrunch


Google starts pulling unvetted Android apps that access call logs and SMS messages

January 19, 2019 No Comments

Google is removing apps from Google Play that request permission to access call logs and SMS text message data but haven’t been manually vetted by Google staff.

The search and mobile giant said it is part of a move to cut down on apps that have access to sensitive calling and texting data.

Google said in October that Android apps will no longer be allowed to use the legacy permissions as part of a wider push for developers to use newer, more secure and privacy minded APIs. Many apps request access to call logs and texting data to verify two-factor authentication codes, for social sharing, or to replace the phone dialer. But Google acknowledged that this level of access can and has been abused by developers who misuse the permissions to gather sensitive data — or mishandle it altogether.

“Our new policy is designed to ensure that apps asking for these permissions need full and ongoing access to the sensitive data in order to accomplish the app’s primary use case, and that users will understand why this data would be required for the app to function,” wrote Paul Bankhead, Google’s director of product management for Google Play.

Any developer wanting to retain the ability to ask a user’s permission for calling and texting data has to fill out a permissions declaration.

Google will review the app and why it needs to retain access, and will weigh in several considerations, including why the developer is requesting access, the user benefit of the feature that’s requesting access and the risks associated with having access to call and texting data.

Bankhead conceded that under the new policy, some use cases will “no longer be allowed,” rendering some apps obsolete.

So far, tens of thousands of developers have already submitted new versions of their apps either removing the need to access call and texting permissions, Google said, or have submitted a permissions declaration.

Developers with a submitted declaration have until March 9 to receive approval or remove the permissions. In the meantime, Google has a full list of permitted use cases for the call log and text message permissions, as well as alternatives.

The last two years alone has seen several high-profile cases of Android apps or other services leaking or exposing call and text data. In late 2017, popular Android keyboard ai.type exposed a massive database of 31 million users, including 374 million phone numbers.

Mobile – TechCrunch


4 Best Smartphones of 2018: Guide to Android, Samsung Galaxy, iPhone

April 9, 2018 No Comments

If you’re on the prowl for a new Android, Galaxy, or iPhone, read our full guide to the best smartphones of 2018.
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Facebook’s child-friendly texting app Messenger Kids arrives on Android

February 14, 2018 No Comments

 Facebook’s controversial app Messenger Kids, which lets parents control who kids can talk to, is today rolling out to Android devices in the U.S. with its launch on Google Play. The app will also now include a variety of new features for Valentine’s Day, like themed makes, stickers and frames, so kids can send special Valentine messages to their friends and family. Android is the… Read More
Social – TechCrunch


HQ Trivia arrives on Android in Canada in beta

December 27, 2017 No Comments

 App-based trivia sensation HQ Trivia is on its way to Android, as the company previously revealed, but a special group of users can access it right now — Canadians. The app is now live in the Canadian Google Play Store, though it’s an “Unreleased” beta version of the live trivia game (via MobileSyrup). HQ Trivia debuted on iOS earlier this year, featuring a twice… Read More

Mobile – TechCrunch


Instagram launches an alpha testing program on iOS and Android

December 20, 2017 No Comments

 Are you an early adopter? Okay, but are you a really early adopter who likes to test new, experimental things even if it means you’ll experience crashes and bugs? Then you may be interested to know that Instagram has launched Alpha testing programs on iOS and Android aimed at those who want to test pre-release versions of its popular photo-sharing app. Instagram has been running an… Read More
Social – TechCrunch


Google releases the final Android O developer preview

July 24, 2017 No Comments

 Google today launched the fourth and final developer preview of Android O, the latest version of its mobile operating system. As expected, there are no major changes in this release and, according to Google, the launch of Android O remains on track for later this summer. Given that Android Nougat was on a very similar schedule, I expect we’ll see a final release in August. Read More

Mobile – TechCrunch


LinkedIn Lite launches as an Android app in India, coming to 60+ countries soon

July 24, 2017 No Comments

 LinkedIn, the social network for the working world with more than 500 million members, is taking its next step in its bid to court more users in emerging markets. The company has released an Android app for LinkedIn Lite, a pared-down version of its original LinkedIn mobile app that is developed for users in markets where data networks are slower and relatively more expensive for consumers. Read More
Social – TechCrunch


Ford to add Android Auto and CarPlay to 2016 Ford SYNC 3 cars via update

May 21, 2017 No Comments

 Ford is updating a large number of 2016 model year cars equipped with SYNC 3 infotainment software, adding Android Auto and CarPlay to the vehicles with a free, over-the-air update via Wi-Fi, or using either USB or going through their dealer. The upgrade will be available for around 800,000 vehicles in total, giving a huge number of Ford car owners the chance to get big infotainment… Read More

Mobile – TechCrunch


Instagram on Android gets offline mode

April 19, 2017 No Comments

 80% of Instagram’s users 600 million users are outside the US, so it needed a way to provide a better experience for users with limited network connectivity or no data plan.
Today at F8, Instagram announced it’s built support for using most of its features without Internet access. Much of this functionality is now available on Android, which is the preferred device type in the… Read More
Social – TechCrunch