Opera Mobile

If you love applications but have a hard time finding new applications to install, you won't want to miss this. We bring you yet again some more of our favorite applications for this past week, so let's hit the break and take a look at what we got.

Alex Dobie - Blue Skies Live Wallpaper (Free / $1)

Blue Skies

Many phones ship with high-quality, manufacturer-built live wallpapers. But when it comes to finding great live wallpapers on the Android Market, it's not always easy. Kittehface Software has made something of a name for itself by consistently turning out fantastic 3D live wallpapers, and offering users the chance to try before they buy with free, basic versions of most of their stuff. The Blue Skies live wallpaper is among the best that Kittehface has to offer. It looks great, performs well and features a ton of customization options. Blue SkiesFire up the basic version for the first time and you'll find yourself flying through the air above beautifully animated clouds rendered in full 3D using OpenGL ES 2.0.

This is no looping video like many other live wallpapers -- as everything's rendered in real time, every aspect can be customized if you splash out and pay 99 cents for the "donation" version. You can change the number of clouds, the background type and wind and camera speeds, but by far the coolest option is "time of day" mode. This dynamically changes the scene as the day goes on. During the day you'll get the usual bright, sunny scene, but as evening draws in the sun will set and the scene will gradually darken as the moon and stars become visible -- very cool indeed. Despite all the eye candy in this live wallpaper, you shouldn't notice any performance issues on mid-range or better hardware -- the 1GHz Snapdragon in our Xperia Arc breezed through Blue Skies without any slowdown. If you're looking to spice up your homescreens a bit, be sure to check out the Blue Skies live wallpaper -- the "donation" version is more than worth the $0.99 asking price. [Market Link]

Anndrew Vacca - Archipelago ($2.99)


I'm not a huge gamer. In fact, in the years since I purchased my first Android device (R.I.P. Droid ArchipelegoIncredible), I've never paid for a single game. I stumbled upon Archipelago last week when it was featured as the free app of the day in Amazon's Appstore, and I've been hooked ever since. Archipelago is a good ole' fashioned game of strategy: it is your task to station troops on every island, and ward off the opposition trying to infringe. You won't find any blood or guts here, as Archipelago plays more like a board game than an action one. And maybe that's why I am hooked: since I downloaded the app, I have played every single day. Don't expect crazy graphics or immense gameplay; remember, games can still be fun without the bells and whistles that Tegra and Snapdragon afford them. Trust me, you'll be addicted. [Market Link]

Sean Brunett - Zinio (free)


Zinio is the widely popular periodical reading app that has long been on iOS. The developers made a tablet Zinioversion a while back but recently released an iteration for non-Honeycomb devices running Android 2.2+. This enables users to read a number of magazine titles right from their phone. If you download the app, you’ll even get 12 titles for free including ESPN, Maxim, Outdoor Photographer, Surfer and Wine Enthusiast. It of course also has a shop where you can buy a single issue or subscribe. The magazines look great on the app and it has a wide selection to choose from. Recommend for anyone who loves magazines but hates to carry them around. [Market Link]

Jerry Hildenbrand - Opera Mobile (free)

Opera Mobile

For the most part, I'm fine with the stock Android web browser. It's fairly slim, works well, and included on all devices -- all things I like. That changed when I started using the stock Android Honeycomb Operabrowser. It's a bit more feature rich, and has a lot of new code, which means there are some bugs to work out. I won't rehash it all, but check out the tablet forums and you'll see what I mean.

I tried the various third-party browsers, and decided Opera Mobile fit me best. It gives you a desktop like experience (which is nice on a tablet) with plenty of options, is still fairly quick in the rendering and performance department, and keeps itself standards compliant. Web pages look exactly as they should, including Flash and javascript elements. Even when all the kinks of the stock Honeycomb browser get worked out, it's going to have to show me a lot to get me back. Opera Mobile works on all devices running Donut or higher, and like the PC version, it's free. [Market Link]

Kevin O'Quinn - Screenshot ER 2 (Free / $2.48)


Screenshot ER 2's claim to fame is that it'll work where other screenshot apps won't. I can't vouch for screenshooterevery device out there, but I tried three other apps, all of which either didn't work or weren't compatible, before I found this one. It has three different options for taking screenshots. It has the familiar "snap on shake", with the added bonus of making the shake sensitivity adjustable. I've used other screenshot apps on other devices that don't have this and ended up with a ton of screenshots of the incoming call screen. You can have a persistent button in the notification area, or you can take one from within the app itself. One other notable feature is that you can save your screenshots as PNG or JPEG files, which should make sharing in the forums that much easier. Screenshot ER2 is available in the market as a free demo that watermarks your screenshot, or for ~$2.48 without the watermarks. [Market Link]