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 Android Central

Here we are back again to bring you, our favorite reader, another edition of some of our favorite applications. Hit the break with us as we take a look at some of them, and be sure to hop into the forums for even more great application discussion!

Jerry Hildenbrand - BlackList

BlackList

If you've ever accidentally left your phone number in a screenshot on Android Central's front page, or have a crazy ex-wife, or had to switch your cell number, chances are you get your fair share of unwanted blacklistcalls. Nothing can drive a sane man crazy like a phone ringing all night, and there are times when I don't want to just shut the ringer off so the kids or family can't reach me if they need to. In short, I need a call blocker app. I've tried a bunch of them, even went around with some of the other editors and writers here to try to find the best one -- I think I've found it. BlackList does everything I need it to do, from blocking numbers with no information (pesky telemarketers be gone!), using a blacklist/whitelist, and even filtering SMS messages. You've got a choice of what to do with unwanted callers, a handy widget, and even a scheduler built in to the pro version. There are a lot of these types of apps out there, and finding one that works well can be a bit of a hassle -- try the trial version of BlackList and see how it works for you. It's free (there's a pro version with more features for $2.79) and works with any phone running Android 2.0 or higher [Market Link

Chris Parsons - J Player

J Player

J PlayerWhile we all know Justin.tv is supposed to just be for people to broadcast themselves, often times you can view streams from around the World, be it music events, sporting events and more. Problem is, getting that access on a mobile device isn't always the easiest. For that, I use J Player which, allows me to stream any of the content on Justin.tv for free. In my case, most Arizona State University college football games are blocked out in Canada; however -- there is always someone streaming the game via Justin.tv and I can tune in on my phone or tablet and watch. J Player takes the typical Justin.tv embed code and renders it on your device, so you will need to have a phone or tablet capable of running Flash in order to use it. J Player is in the Android Market right now, for free. [Market Link

Jared DiPane - Word Farm

Android Central

word farmAddictive games are my best friend and worst enemy, all at the same time. When I found Word Farm in the Android Market I was instantly intrigued by the concept, so I had to download it. The idea behind it is simple, touch the tiles to spell as many words as quickly as you can, scoring you points. Sure, it may seem quite basic but it gets addictive, real quick. Playing one round turns into five, and soon you realize you have played hundreds of games and spent hours spelling words and racing the time. The game is free, there are 55 challenges, 11 power ups and tons of fun to be had, so hop into the Android Market and download a copy for yourself today! [Market Link]

 
There are 17 comments

crxssi says:

There is something strange with Word Farm. First, when I searched for it on my Xoom in the market, it never found it. So I used your Market link and opened with Market. That took me to it, but when I clicked on "Download", I get an error that says "Purchase Canceled! The item you were attempting to purchase could not be fo..." it cut off the rest and clicking on the message brought up no detail. Why am I "purchasing" a "free" app?

Tried it on my Evo3D using your barcode and that installed just fine.

So I went back and tried to use the web market, and that says "Word Farm" is not compatible with the Xoom? Are you kidding me??

Finally, I notice that on Word Farm, it requires access to "Read Contact Data". For a free game? Why? And when I tried to play it on the Evo3D, it demanded I select an "account". At that point, I uninstalled it.

Jared DiPane says:

As for the tablet compatibility, I do believe that will be coming shortly so stay tuned for that! As for the read contact, not sure but if you email the developer I am sure they would be more than happy to supply you with valid reasoning behind it.

crxssi says:

Thanks. It is really odd to find any [recent] program that is not "tablet compatible" nowadays, so it was surprising. Stranger yet the way Market was handling it (something is broken somewhere).

The reviews of the game are quite positive, I am surprised nobody mentioned the need for contact information.

Thanks for the feedback crxssi, i would like to address some of your concerns.

1. The reason we Read Contact Data, is for the add a friend feature, there is nothing to be scared of with this permission. This is done to enrich the gaming experience and create a way to compete with your friends in the game. In the game description we clearly state what we use each permission for as well as promise this info will NEVER be shared with anyone. Pretty much any app that has social integration asks for contact permission that is the only way social features can work.

For example Facebook asks for the following permissions:
- Read contact data
- Write contact data
- Find (GPS) location
- Send SMS messages
- Receive SMS
- Read SMS or MMS
- Edit SMS or MMS
- Full Internet access

2. Picking an pick an account so we can sync your saved data with the server. Example syncing how many tokens you have, which challenges and bonuses you have unlocked. This also provides us a way to restore your progress in the instance you purchased or received a new phone. This is no different than the google marketplace itself, requiring you to link your gmail account with their servers in order to make purchases or redownload apps you have already purchased.

Hopefully you understand and give this game another shot.

DocFreud says:

I would really like to try Word Farm. What I don't like is that I am forced to select an account without being given the option to opt-out. I may give your game another chance if you build in the ability to opt-out. Thank you.

crxssi says:

That was my problem also. If I don't want to do any social stuff, I don't want to be asked such questions or enable such options (or permissions).

virtualhuman says:

I have never before posted to remark on permissions. However, not only does Word Farm read contacts as noted above, but it also wants to discover known accounts and access Market billing. Disallowing these three permissions (I'm on a CM based ROM) causes a forced close.

Feels just a little sketchy to me!

icebike says:

I wonder if this shouldn't be reported to Google, or at least posted as a review for that appears.

They do attempt to explain away these things in the market page, but I remain unconvinced.

Dissident says:

I agree it may be a fun game, but it is def not something I am willing to install.

kurioskurion says:

Blacklist is a horrible app for clueless users who don't know how to change settings... >.<

crxssi says:

What settings would one change that would allow similar functionality to the Blacklist application?

icebike says:

Contacts, select, menu, options, send to Voicemail.

crxssi says:

Although useful, that is only a small fraction of what these apps do. Your named option does nothing for calls that are not in your contact list. It does nothing for SMS messages. It does nothing to prevent you from getting notifications.

TucsonChuck says:

Why not just login you carriers site and block the number? At least I can on verizon...

mputtr says:

blacklist kept spam texts from my phone inbox for the past year. All i had to do was set a good filter and i never have to see it ever again. I check it once and week for a year adn it has yet to fail.

sounds like you don't know how to use blacklist.

tdizzel says:

I can't download word farm from my Bionic :( Looks like a cool game though

Appmaster#AC says:

Nice apps. But I prefer to read more information and reviews about new business apps. There are too many similar games already available on the market.