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Google I/O week is a time in which we’re always promised a bunch of news from everyone’s favourite Mountain View-based company. While some rumoured announcements, especially in regards to hardware, failed to show, the week was still filled with a whole host of interesting Android news. Let’s jump in and take a look! (more…)

If you have been following Android.Appstorm over the past couple of months, you must have noticed that we feel very strongly about Android tablets, and specifically Android tablet apps. We cried out to Google asking them to get serious about tablet-optimized apps discoverability in the Play Store, several writers on our team have rounded up tablet apps in a multitude of categories, and I personally maintain numerous Playboard channels axed towards spotlighting the best tablet-optimized apps.

Suffice it to say that tablet app discovery has been a personal cause for us, for the simple reason that we know there are thousands of excellent options out there, but Google had failed to make them visible which in turn had everyone thinking there aren’t any. So you can imagine how elated we were to see Google at I/O introducing new features that focus on tablet apps discovery, from a developer and a user standpoint. While the announcements weren’t the most impressive out of the I/O keynote, and they should have come a year ago, they do mean a lot to us at Android.Appstorm that we can’t help but make a stop to explain to you why you need to get excited.

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The rise in popularity of mobile devices can be intrinsically linked to the real birth of a casual, mobile gaming market. While individual hardware manufactures and game developers have tried to unify certain games from a specific developer or specific platform with a companion social service, the proprietary nature has historically lead to low user engagment and adoption. That’s where Google comes in.

At Google I/O this week, the company announced Google Play game services, a developer and client-side system for powering and syncing games cross-platform, providing matchmaking, achievements, leaderboards, cloud saves and more for platforms such as Android, iOS and the web. In this article, we’re going to take a look at what Google Play game services is all about and evaluate whether it might have a shot at revolutionising how we play games on our phones and tablets.

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Another week, another set of Android news. In the run up to Google I/O we’ve had a week fairly bare of news yet full of speculation. There’s been some new apparent developments in Google’s Wallet product, including the departure of Osama Bedier, the company’s Wallet Vice President, in addition to the delay of the retail Ouya, a number of app updates and more. Let’s dive in and take a look at This Week In Android! (more…)

If there’s one rule that I’ve drummed into people over the last decade it’s that digital zoom in smartphone cameras is a no-no. You gain nothing and, if anything, actually degrade the image of what you’re trying to capture. And I bet that you’ve seen some horrendous examples of digital zoom in action in the past, with little more than VGA resolution images blockily upsampled to 5 megapixels because the user ‘wanted to get closer’.

Which is why I find myself, somewhat shockingly, pulling a slight about turn on the subject of digital zoom. Don’t get me wrong, it can still produce ugly results in the worst cases but, used wisely, it can help rather than hinder.

Here then is everything you ever wanted to know about when it’s OK to use the digital zoom built into every smartphone camera.

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If you were reading this yesterday, this introduction could be filled with May the 4th Be With You jokes. However, it’s a day late so we’re not going to bother with that. Instead, we’re going to shift our focus back to Android and the conclusion of a week filled with industry fan-bashing, new hardware announcements and Twitter for your Glass.

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Few articles incite as much comments and debates on our site as the OS comparisons. Whether it’s James’ “What I Miss About Android: Thoughts From an iOS User“, Hagop’s “10 Windows Phone 8 Features That Would Make Android Even Sweeter” or my “5 Impressive Blackberry 10 Features I Wish Android Had“, our team is essentially comprised of geeks who love Android but often succumb to their curiosity. So we try out everything we have access to in order to form a well-rounded opinion of the mobile landscape.

Sometimes, we’re simply forced to abandon Android as in James’ case, other times we dabble with a new OS for a bit but come back to Android as in Hagop’s case, and some of us are lucky enough to be able to use two platforms simultaneously in the long term, like me.

However, once in a while, we lose an Android fan to the lure of another platform. That’s the case with Brian Wangila who is a self-professed Android fan and a writer on our sister site Windows.Appstorm. Brian’s interest was piqued by Windows Phone 8 and the Lumia 920 and he documented his journey through a 3-part series entitled “Windows Phone 8 From an Android Fan’s Perspective.”

  • In part 1, Brian explains how to choose your Windows Phone 8 device based on the different price and feature ranges and what to expect on the performance, stability and apps fronts.
  • In part 2, Brian delves into the Windows Phone 8 features that he has come to enjoy, including the Live Tiles, People Hub, Office, Camera lenses and more.
  • In part 3, Brian reminisces over his Android fan days and lists the things he misses now that he’s moved to Windows Phone. He does conclude though that the flaws and missing features are outweighed by the positive aspects of Windows Phone 8.

If you’re curious about Windows Phone 8, head over to the different parts of the series, read Brian’s full chronicle and let us know where you stand. We’re not encouraging you to switch over, but we don’t want to win without giving the other platforms a fair chance at a fight. Besides, competition is what drives this mobile space forward so it’s good to see other challenging and innovative players in the OS race.

Earlier this year, Blackberry finally unveiled its new and re-written Operating System: Blackberry 10. After many years of being stuck behind the curve on touch-centric platforms and modern interfaces, Blackberry 10 promised a fresh look and, most importantly, several innovations that would carry it forward and help it keep the Blackberry-fanatics satisfied while also trying to bring some new converts over.

Along with the new platform, Blackberry announced two new devices: the touch-only Z10 that started shipping a while ago and the traditional keyboard Q10 that’s just starting to ship. I’ve had a Z10 in my hands for several weeks now, enough to get used to the platform and the device and to form my own opinion from extended use. As a Blackberry novice — I had never even tried a Blackberry device before — I’m impressed by what I’ve seen, enough to make me step away from my trusted Galaxy S3. Normally, when I get new devices, I try them for a while, feel excited for a bit, then move back to the S3, but that isn’t the case with the Z10. I’ve come to find several features that keep me going back to it. Read on to find out what they are.

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Earlier this week, we published a recap of our favorite Android Twitter clients. Some of our team members love the unique look of Falcon Pro, others the versatility of Plume, and others the simplicity of the official Twitter client.

These were the most popular choices, but there were a lot of other less obvious picks as well, ranging from the old and still excellent Twicca to the new and promising Robird. We realize the choice of a favorite Twitter app is unique for each of us, depending on our uses and needs, so that’s why we ask you: what Twitter client do you use?

If you happened to be a member of the World Intellectual Property Organisation and the year was 1977, you’d no doubt be celebrating the Budapest Treaty on the International Recognition of the Deposit of Microorganisms for the Purposes of Patent Procedure. Of course, this is 2013 and you’re reading Android.AppStorm where the date signifies the end to another week of Android news. Let’s take a look!

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