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4 years ago

Android Game Review: Noogra Nuts

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YouTube link for mobile viewing

If I had to pick my favorite cuddly nature animal, squirrel would probably win. They have big, bushy tails, look really soft, and one time I saw one run up to a guy and take the remainder of his sandwich out of his hand. (No lie.) When I found a game about a squirrel busting open nuts on his head and eating them, I figured it was worth a look. That game is Noogra Nuts.

Noogra Nuts is an entirely tilt-based game where your aim is to bounce falling nuts on this squirrel's head until the shells crack, then eat the delicious innards as they come tumbling down to your mouth. This sounds like a pretty fun game until you realize it's completely tilt-based and there's no options to change it to some sort of touch screen control.

There's a lot of good about Noogra Nuts, though, like the graphics. Continuing the theme of nature and squirrels and nuts and stuff, Noogra Nuts has nice green grass fields you jump on, cartoonish nuts that fall, and a terrifyingly absurd looking squirrel that's the star of the game. Yeah, he makes cutesy noises when he jumps and when nuts bonk him on the head, but those eyes freak me out.

The sound is good too, with this loop of weird, upbeat techno on the title screen and nature sounds during gameplay. Nuts bouncing off of the squirrel's head have a satisfying if not muted knocking sound to them, but it's not ill-placed.

Back to the controls, they're just not precise enough for my taste. Doing a completely motion-based game is cool, but it feels like you're either not tilting hard enough or you tilt too hard and overcompensate to move. The result is your squirrel inching along or bouncing from side-to-side on the screen, missing most of the stuff he's supposed to be bouncing up. If the developer added in something as simple like a thumb press on each side of the screen, I think it'd make Noogra Nuts much more intuitive and enjoyable.

At the very least, Noogra Nuts is OpenFeint supported and doesn't cost anything to play. There is an ugly ad on the front of the title screen that you have to pay (via an in-app purchase) to remove, but it never shows up in gameplay, so it's not too terrible of a deal.

To get your nutcracking skills on, there's download links after the break.

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4 years ago

Xperia Play 2.3.4 update reportedly enables 720p recording

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Here's some good news for Sony Ericsson Xperia Play owners looking to get more out of their device's camera. According to multiple XDA forum members, the upcoming Android 2.3.4 update for the Play will enable video recording at 720p resolution with continuous auto-focus. The software update in question isn't widely available yet, but the reports have been confirmed by multiple users who are already rocking 2.3.4 on their devices.

Since it launched back in April, the phone's 5-megapixel rear camera has been limited to recording video at 480p or lower, so kudos to SE for going the extra mile to add extra functionality in its software updates. Join us after the jump for a 720p sample video, courtesy of XDA poster Nhialor.

Source: XDA
Thanks to everyone who sent this in!

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4 years ago

Android 101: How to mark spam in gmail

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4 years ago

Android Game Review: R-Type

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YouTube link for mobile viewing

When news got out that R-Type had been officially released on Android, I got pretty excited. Yes, R-Type is technically a year older than me. I still played it at the laundromat down the street growing up, and old games in general still occupy a soft spot in my heart.

Simply put, this is an awesome, authentic port. There's eight levels, two modes of difficulty, and enough powerups to make you keep continuing in hopes you'll beat the darn game. It's also OpenFeint supported, which is the only newfangled, non-authentic addition to R-Type.

If there's one thing that sticks out, it's how brutal R-Type is. That's not a bad thing, but it's a nice reminder and how much games coddle people these days. Take one hit? Boom, your ship is gone. All of your lives run out? Sayonara, friend. You'll be starting back over at the beginning.

That's probably the most entertaining part of R-Type (aside from a well-placed charge shot). It's difficult just like you remember it, and if it's your first time playing, put on your big boy (or girl) pants and strap yourself in, cause the gameplay is as unforgiving as it gets. And that's awesome.

Some people argue that the touch screen doesn't control the ship very well, but I didn't experience any of those issues, especially on a tablet. On the contrary, the only issue I had was stretching my thumb too far away and having to reset its position, but on a phone screen, you'll be hard pressed to do that. The response is really quite good, and your right thumb is completely free to shoot whatever powerup you might be saving or charge up your cannon to blast through a big group of aliens.

For those who grew up playing this game (or even those who are looking for a bit of a retro experience), R-Type is a must. This port is so well done and so faithful to the original, it might just take you back to your days of standing on a stool, pumping quarters into the arcade machine because you got blown up... again. It's just that good.

R-Type is a bit on the pricey side at $4.13, but for the hours (and hours and hours) of gameplay you'll get trying to beat it on normal (and don't forget about Hard Mode!), it's totally worth it. For old folks and newcomers alike, R-Type should be in your game library.

We've got download links after the break.

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4 years ago

Lowes giving away 7-inch Galaxy Tab with Samsung appliance purchase

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Youtube link for mobile

It's not every day that people go out shopping for appliances, but if you've been looking for a good reason to get a new stove, fridge or whatever for you home you might as well take advantage of the cool offer Samsung and Lowes has going on. For a limited time, Samsung and Lowes will give you a free Samsung Galaxy Tab 7-inch when you purchase a qualifying appliance plus, you can nominate your favorite school to win a $48K technology make over.

Not bad, you're going to be spending quite a bit of cash on appliances anyway but the real question is -- will it connect to the Samsung RSG309 refrigerator? And why does it look like Jimmie is using a third-party launcher on that tab? A good deal and a good cause as well seeing how they'll be equipping some lucky school with quite a bit of tehnological goods.

Source: Samsung

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4 years ago

Cricket goes national, new phones in Best Buy stores on Sept .25

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Cricket Communications is going national, with its Muve Music phones hitting 1,300 Best Buy stores. And they're kicking things off on Sept. 25 with the Samsung Vitality (that's it above) and the ZTE Score. The Vitality (be sure to check out our hands-on) runs $199, and the Score $129. The lineup will also expand to select Walmart and Dollar General stores, and from HSN.

The smartphones can take advantage of Cricket's all encompassing data plans, which also have access to the Muve Music catalog, bringing unlimited voice, data, text messging, music downloads and more for as low as $55 a month.

Full presser's after the break.

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4 years ago

Early CyanogenMod 7 build for LG Optimus Black now available for download

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What's thin, elegant, has an incredibe LCD screen and runs CyanogenMod 7?  The LG Optimus Black, that's what! Android developer Ricardo Cerqueira has built an early preview of CM 7.1 for the Black, and has made it available for download.  Because it's a test build, and not even close to official, expect a few bugs (our unit has some issues with Wifi) -- but that's what previews and beta builds are for.  Ricardo knows his LG Android phones, so I imagine things will be sorted soon enough.

With the Optimus Black rumored for Virgin Mobile USA, and coming to Sprint customers as the LG Marquee in just a few days, there's bound to be some interest in this on our side of the pond as well.  I'll be keeping a close eye on this one, as I'm sort of enamoured to the Black -- especially with a zippy AOSP-ish build like CM 7.1 on it.  If you're feeling adventurous, hit the source link for the details and download.

Source: RootzWiki; via +Ricardo Cerqueira

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4 years ago

Google TV reminds us it's still around; security update coming, Honeycomb later

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The Google TV Twitter account came alive tonight, giving warning of an impending "minor security update for tomorrow" for some devices. We'll go out on a limb and guess that's the Logitech Revue -- that only one that actually sold any units, especially after it hit $99.

Some Google TV devices will receive a minor security update tomorrow. Stay tuned, a bigger update is headed your way in the weeks ahead.

But security updates really aren't that exciting, especially since we're still waiting on Honeycomb to hit the boob box. And it's coming in the weeks ahead, says @googletv. We're making our popcorn now.

Source: @googletv

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4 years ago

A lucky reader gets a Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 early from Best Buy

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We just got this from a reader who wishes to remain anonymous -- it's his very own Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 courtesy of Best Buy (see our hands-on here).  It seems that his Tab 10.1 had a manufacturing defect, and when he went to Best Buy to return it they inadvertantly grabbed an 8.9-incher from the stockroom and handed it over.  We know Best Buy is already taking pre-orders for the slightly smaller version, and it looks like at least one location has some on hand, waiting for the US launch day.  We're excited to get our hands on one of these, so maybe we should start shopping at Best Buy.

Thanks, Anon!

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4 years ago

Storage space on the Flyer, Epic Clipboard [From the Forums]

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We've finally reached the middle of the week here at Android Central and the news keeps on coming. Most notably from today, AT&T's announcement of the Samsung Galaxy S II's arrival has people excited. Looking to discuss some more? Head on into the Anroid Central forums:

If you're not already a member of the Android Central forums, you can register your account today.

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4 years ago

Sprint changing hotspot plans; 5GB data cap starts Oct. 2

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In the latest Sprint Playbook we're seeing another plan change, this time to the mobile hotspot feature.  Starting Oct. 2, current and future customers will have a 5GB limit when using the mobile hotspot add-on to their plan.  Data used on the phone itself isn't being limited (other than the 300MB "roaming" data cap, it's still all you can eat), but both 3G and 4G data used via the hotspot feature will now be subject to a $0.05 per MB charge once the 5GB cap is reached.  Before, 4G data was unlimited.

A similiar change is being made to mobile broadband devices like aircards, tablets, and portable hotspots that used to have unlimited 4G data.  It could be worse, but we're pretty sure that even though most don't subscribe to the hotspot add-on and use other methods, there will still be plenty of wailing and gnashing of teeth.  Can't stop changes folks.

Thanks, Anon!

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4 years ago

Kyocera Milano set for a price drop to $29 on Oct. 2

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The Kyocera Milano's been around less than two weeks. And in less than two weeks, the already affordable Android smartphone (it's a mere $49 on contract) is going to drop another $20 to just $29. That's damn near the lowest you can get without being free. And while you're not exactly going to get the biggest or best phone out of it, that price is going to be too good for many to pass up.

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4 years ago

Android 101: How to pair a Bluetooth headset

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4 years ago

Android Launcher Review: Rocket Launcher

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Launchers are a dime a dozen now-a-days, there are tons and tons of options in the market, some free, some paid, many doing similar things in the end. When I first caught wind of Rocket Launcher I thought to myself "oh, another launcher to do the same thing" but as always I checked it out and wow was I shocked. First impressions, as we all know, mean quite a bit, and when I first installed Rocket Launcher I was quite intrigued so I gave it a look.

The video above shows off the features and different parts of Rocket Launcher in action, and while it won't appeal to everyone this launcher is not one to simply write off. With static icons, and only one home screen that offers limited customization it is great for maximizing productivity, and enhancing ease of use. The market offers a free version, as well as a paid version, so if you are on the fence about it try the free one, and if you enjoy be sure to upgrade to the paid. Is this the replacement launcher for you? Hit the break for download links, and be sure to hop in the forums and let us know what you think!

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4 years ago

US Cellular releasing the Motorola Electrify at midnight online, in stores Sept. 26

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We let you all know not too long ago that US Cellular would be getting their own variation of the Motorola Photon (Full review) later this month dubbed the Motorola Electrify and now -- is later. Tonight at midnight, the Motorola Electrify will be available online through the US Cellular website and in some store locations tomorrow. A full launch of the device in store locations is expected on Sept 26 so if you're looking to pick one up tomorrow, make sure you call ahead to ensure they have stock.

The Electrify will be available for $199.99 after a $100 mail-in rebate along with purchase of a data plan. A new two-year agreement and activation fee may apply for new customers but customers on Belief Plans who are eligible for an upgrade can get the promotional price without signing a new contract.

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