No self-respecting boy (and probably a few girls, too) has never thought about driving a tank. Closest most of us can get to doing it, though, is in a video game. And that brings us to Tank Hero. It's a cool little shooter -- you've got a tank, you need to destroy the other tanks. The maps (at least in the initial levels -- remind me a lot of the old Gauntlet game. (Speaking of which -- need that on Android, ASAP!) Anyhoo. You can unlock more maps as you progress through the campaigns. There's also survival and timed modes.
Gameplay is simple. There's a D-pad on the left with which you'll direct your tank. (You can also try a janky swiping control if you want.) Tap the enemy tanks to fire at them (and note how you can do bank shots off one wall). But that's where the trouble begins. If the tank's on the left side of the screen, it's an awkward reach with right hand. Or you have to let off the D-pad with your left hand. That's no good.
Otherwise, Tank Hero's a little slice of fun. And, even better -- it's free. Give it a whirl. Download links are after the break.
For sports fans, the long wait is finally at an end. The Sky Sports News app has landed on Android. It's been a long old wait, but with the English Premier League season about to begin, the timing is perfect.
It looks a lot like the iPhone equivalent, but that's not such a bad thing. Nothing complicated, simple well laid out menus with dedicated sections for individual sports. It also touts as providing exclusive video content, a latest news ticker, a customizable home screen, and the brand new Sky Sports News Radio service.
The downside; Radio only works on Android versions 1.6 - 2.2. No indication as to why, and since I run 2.3.4, this portion of the app is unavailable to me to test. Shame.
Now here's a sweet little app you fans of live music can enjoy. Qello is a rental service for live concert videos. Think of it as a sort of Youtube rental service for live music.
The listings are quite extensive. Alanis Morisette to All That Remains to Alice Cooper to Bob Dylan to Cypress Hill to Def Leppard to George Clinton. We could go on, and on, and on.
Let's talk rentals. This is where things differ slightly from the tablet and smartphone versions. On tablets, you pay $4.99 per concert and have access to it for 30 days. Smartphones have two options: $2.99 for seven days, or $4.99 for 30 days. We'd prefer to have the seven-day option on the tablet, too.
Audio quality is excellent. Video quality is watchable. Not as "HD" as the app might lead you to believe, but we can live with it.
Other items of note: You can preview a concert before you buy it. And purchasing is done through Android's in-app billing system, so you don't have to enter your credit card info again just to use Qello.
Here's a fun little time-waster that's floating around the Honeycomb apps list in the Android Market. Racing Moto is a very simple racing game. You've got a motorcycle and a need to go fast. Put a finger on the screen and enable the boost feature, which makes you go really fast (relatively speaking) and ups the score multiplier. Avoid cars, avoid the walls.
So Racing Moto's not going to be one of those games you play hour after hour, day after day. But if you've got a few minutes and don't might the occasional sight of someone skidding across pavement, you could do worse, we suppose.
Racing Moto's free, with in-app advertising. Download links are after the break.
The last Youtube update seem to bork things up a little bit? No worries. A new update has been pushed to update the old update. So as long as you've updated your update with this latest update, you should be good. Follow?
Here's the official changelog: "Bug fixes for some devices."
Some sad news tonight for your fans of the Google App Inventor project. With the demise of Google Labs, so, too, do we learn of the demise of App Inventor. This was a slick little tool that let anyone (theoretically) create an Android app, without having to actually now how to code anything. That's not to say it was easy -- yours truly made his way through the tutorials and did a sweet version of Wack a Mole with his daughter's likeness (it's a long story). But you still need a certain mind-set to really make use of it.
Anyhoo, according to a post last week on the Google Laps group (you'll note how this was killed off and nobody noticed for a few days), App Inventor's being phased out along with the rest of Google Labs, but it will live on as an open-source project.
The current App Inventor site will live on for the next three months. RIP, App Inventor. You were a good idea, but probably a little before your time. For a retrospective of Google App Inventor, check out the video after the break while we pour out 40 lines of code for our homies.
Adobe has updated the Flash player for Android to version 10.3.186.3, which fixes security issues and provides feature enhancements for certain phones and websites. It's always recommended to update your Flash player, and this update is no different. Besides the security enhancements we see every month or so, the specifics for this update are:
Enabled NEON optimizations for OMAP4 (Cortex A-9) based devices.
Corrected an issue on the Samsung Galaxy S where H.264 video at resolutions of 720p and below was not displayed.
Fixed an issue where app packaging would fail for Android Apps using Flash Player in WebView that set android:hardwareAcceleration to True in their AndroidManifest.xml.
Fixed a crash on the HTC EVO that some users encountered with specific video.
Fixed an issue that caused video frames to stop rendering on long streaming videos (> 1 hour) on some Motorola devices.
Fixed an issue where touch events were getting delayed with Kongregate.com games.
Fixed an issue where games on Kongregate.com freeze when users exit from Full-Screen mode.
The security specific fixes are outlined by Adobe here, and you'll find the link to download or update after the break.
If you like Cut the Rope, it's time to give Greedy Spiders a try. It's a little more cerebral (and a little more creepy), trading Om Nom for spiders and flies.
The idea is this: There's a spider. There are flies. You need to cut the flies out of the web. But every time you cut a strand, the spider moves closer. So, you'll need to cut as few strands as possible, and do it in a way that keeps the spider from reaching the fly. Sound simple enough? It is ... at first.
Greedy Spiders has some nice graphics, and there's an ad-supported lite version in addition to a paid version. We've got free download links after the break.
While the cool kids are off doing their group huddles on Google+, Facebook keeps plugging away, and a new dedicated group messing app apparently is in the works. Hardly a surprise, given that Facebook bought Beluga earlier this year. And judging from Facbeook's placeholder page for the mobile messenger, it's pretty much the same thing. Simple, easy to use group messaging.
So let's see. One app for IM. One app for Facebook. Another for Google+ huddles. Text messages. E-mail. That about cover it?