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2 years ago

Light Grid live wallpaper adds some Halloween fun to your Android device

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We have seen Light Grid live wallpaper for Android before, and personally it is one of my favorite wallpapers to use. Keeping up with their holiday spirit they have added a nice set of Halloween icons to be used so you can spruce up your device with some ghosts and skulls. What better time than now to get your device all Halloween'd up? Download links are after the break.

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2 years ago

Android App Review: Tuner - DaTuner Pro

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For anyone who has ever been involved in playing a musical instrument, you know the importance of tuning, which is why DaTuner is for you.

DaTuner is a highly accurate strobe tuner that not only automatically locks onto the pitch you're playing, but also tells you the register you're playing in along with how many cents sharp or flat you are. It's a welcome change from the needle-reading we're all accustomed to, and it's as intuitive as it is functional.

DaTuner also boasts a highly functional settings menu that lets you change everything from the sensitivity to the responsiveness, the color for notes that are sharp or flat, and even the temperament, for those who subscribe to the notion of just intonation.

A pitch pipe is also included in DaTuner, for those who prefer to tune to a relative pitch, although it has a tendency to be a little buggier than just tuning using the phone's microphone. Still, it works often enough, and in the event it doesn't, there's still an incredibly powerful tuner at your disposal.

For the Android-loving musician, I think DaTuner Pro is easily the best tuner you can have on your device. I used to give that title to gStrings, but DaTuner has proven to be so powerful, easy to use, and accurate, it'd be foolish to not use it.

DaTuner comes in three varities: free, donate (with a few more features), and experimental (for those who want to be on the cutting edge of tuning technology). The donate version is $2.34, but when dedicated tuners cost upwards of $40 or more, this is an absolute steal.

More pictures and download links are after the break.

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2 years ago

Google Docs updated for Android tablets

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Google Docs just got itself a nice little update. The big one for us is that it's now optimized for tablets -- and that makes a big difference for how much time we're willing to spend looking at a spreadsheet on a smaller screen. Here's the full changelog:

  • Optimized experience for tablet users, Honeycomb (Android 3.0+)
  • New 3-panel interface for improved browsing
  • Details panel showing a thumbnail and sharing information
  • Improved sharing experience with autocomplete system
  • Landscape or portrait mode
  • Improved video playback

Snag it in the market, or with the links after the break.

Source: Google Docs blog; Thanks, @RickBosch, for the tip!

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2 years ago

Flick Golf! for Android released

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Full Fat Games has announced that Flick Golf! is now available in the Android Market.  The unique style of gameplay is sure to be a hit.  Like the name implies all you do is flick.  It sounds easy, but mastering the technique is fun and challenging.

Unlike some other golf games you don't see or use any clubs.  You flick your finger to do everything, inlcuding teeing off, applying top spin, backspin, etc.  Points are awarded based on how close to the pin you get.  Graphics are top notch and look great.  The game has a lot of polish to it, and I haven't experienced any issues while playing it.  If you like it give a shout in the forums and let everyone know what you think.

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2 years ago

Android Game Review: Shadowgun

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The day has finally come. It has arrived. It's here. (Well, for us -- the rest of you get it soon). Shadowgun, Madfinger Games's excellent looking, console-quality action/shooter is coming to Tegra-powered Android devices. From the moment Shadowgun was announced, I was itching to get my greasy little fingers all over it and shoot whatever it is they're shooting in those trailers.

You play as Bruce Willis John Slade, mercenary extraordinaire, sent on a mission to capture (but not kill) the nefarious Dr. Simon from wherever he's hiding. You're accompanied by your robot lady-companion, S.A.R.A. So you hop in your mercenary spaceship and hightail it to the nearest evil genius hiding spot.

Standing in your way are hordes of bad guys (no, I don't know what they really are), obstacles, and gigantor bosses (like the Cyberlobster). So what do you do? Take your trusty machine gun and blow enough holes in all of them to keep on trucking through the muck, obviously.

The whole shindig is voice acted (and captioned!), which is done really well. Sure, sometimes the text doesn't match up with Slade's voice (like when ALL CAPS suggest he's yelling but he's mumbling to himself), but the fact they managed to voice act an entire game this long is insane.

Graphically, I feel like I'm playing Gears of War on my Electrify (or Thrive). That might sound like a cop out, but it's true. You control a big, burly man who carries a big gun and shoots things with graphics that look like they're worthy of blockbuster hits we're seeing on consoles. It's stunning and I think it's AWESOME. After Emissary of War, I was beside myself at how nice that game looked. Shadowgun takes those effects up to 11, if you will, and really spoils the player.

Fortunately, the graphics scale well from a phone to a tablet, but the controls are definitely tighter on the phone. It makes sense. Smaller screen, it's easier to hold, you don't have to move your thumb as much, I get it. Still, be aware that when you're gaming on a tablet, there's definitely a chance you'll accidentally stretch your thumb way too far out right when you're in a critical part of your fight against Cyberlobster, and well, at least you get to restart at your checkpoint.

Adding to the awesome, Shadowgun is big. I haven't managed to play through the whole game yet, but the trailer up there promises six hours of gameplay, and six hours on a mobile device sounds pretty sweet to me, especially if I get to gawk at super sweet eye candy for all of it. To really maximize your time, you could always start off on easy mode so you get three play throughs on it (on all of its difficulty modes). There's also achievements to be had and bonus cards to be collected, so once you've fulfilled your merc contract, don't think you can just put Shadowgun down and walk away.

If you've got a Tegra device, you'll want to get this game. There's no reason not to. It's the finest looking game we've had to grace our Android-green shores, and with all the features it's packing, you'd be silly to pass it on by.

Now we just wait for release.

Demo video and screen shots are after the break.

Update: Just got word that Shadowgun's going to cost $4.99 when it hits the Market. No date's announced yet, just "soon."

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2 years ago

World of Goo coming to Android as GooDroid!

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If you've never heard of the World of Goo, we have a feeling that will be changing soon. The folks behind the World of Goo, 2D Boy -- have announced they will be bringing their physics-based puzzle game to the Android platform.

Similar to Angry Birds gameplay, the obeject is to move goo around from pipe-to-pipe in an effort to get it where it needs to go. You'll be facing plenty of structures in your way though such as hills, spikes, and cliffs and you have to maintain as much goo as possible.

No pricing or launch date was announced for the game but 2D Boy states they are currently working on some of the machinery for GooDroid, as it will be called when released so with that in mind -- we're guessing launch cannot be that far off.

Source: 2D Boy

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2 years ago

Android 101: How to share apps via the Android Market

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When you find a great app in the Android Market, it's only natural to want to go ahead and share it with others. Luckily, the Android Market makes that a fairly easy process when combined with Androids built-in sharing options. The process:

  • Find the app you want to share in the Android Market
  • Tap on the share button, as denoted by the blue arrow in the image
  • Select to where and how you wish to share which, can be pretty much anything

There you have it, that's it. An easy and simple process for sharing apps with others directly from the Android Market. Keep in mind, sharing apps doesn't mean if you buy it and share it will be free for people you share with -- it's more suggesting and app to another user.

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2 years ago

The Amazon Kindle Fire won't have the Android Market - that bother you?

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KMLProxy in our forums brings up a good point, if you're looking at purchasing an Amazon Kindle Fire. You won't be able to easily transfer apps that you purchase in the Android Market to the Kindle Fire. That is, you won't be able to redownload them directly, because the Kindle Fire won't have the Android Market.

That's not an insurmountable problem -- we've talked about how to pull the apps off your phone before, and you should be able to sideload them back onto the Kindle Fire. But you do see what we're getting at here, right?

Will the absence of the Android Market sway your decision to purchase a Kindle Fire? Let's hear it.

More: Preorder the Amazon Kindle Fire; Amazon Kindle Fire forums

Does the lack of the Android Market make the Kindle Fire worry you?

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2 years ago

Android Theme Review: JAMT - White Gradient

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Continuing our journey into the world of CyanogenMod themes, I present to you JAMT - White Gradient. A lighter colored theme, this is for the folks who want something brighter and more eye-catching on their phones.

The most striking feature of JAMT - White Gradient is the notification status bar. It's completely rebranded the same bright silver color that is seen throughout the entire theme, and makes all the text and icons grey. It's the first thing that really caught my eye, and if you're used to seeing typical Android phone homescreens, it really sticks out.

The icons are also different on the notification bar, namely wifi and the Gmail icon. Sliders (volume, timers for Drocap, anything) are also a nice silverish grey color. Toast notifications have a completely black background with sharp corners instead of rounded edges.

The developers says there are a whole slew of icons that're themed, but the only one that shows up on my phone is Drocap. I'm not sure if that's a limitation of the theme or if it's because my phone is running an alpha of CM7, but be aware.

The dialer is also nice and bright, in stark contrast to the typically dark dialer seen on most AOSP devices. It's actually pretty cool looking, and if I end up going the silver/white route, that'll probably be a reason I settle on this theme.

There's both a free version and a donate version ($1.00) in the Market, so you can definitely try before you buy. If JAMT - White Gradient looks like something up your alley, we've got more pictures and download links after the break.

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2 years ago

Adobe releases AIR 3 for Android, grab it in the Market

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Abode Flash Player wasn't the only thing to get an update tonight -- Adobe AIR has also been updated to version 3, and it's again full of performance enhancements and improvements.  ActionScript developers will appreciate support for native extensions, and users will love front facing camera support (we want a Zombie Booth AIR version please!).  There's also support for speaker control and more color depth, as well as better file compression support and more secure streaming to keep Hollywood and the record labels happy.  AIR is deeply integrated into Stage 3D, and the games should be incredible once the new features are finished rolling out.  Get your update from the Market, or hit the install link after the break.

More: Adobe

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2 years ago

'Is my son gay?' app is gone from the Android Market, was apparently commissioned by author of an upcoming book

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We got dragged into this one, so we might as well wrap it up, eh?

SBS TV in Australia just let us know that the "Is my son gay?" app apparently has been removed from the Android Market. If you'll recall, that's the app that asks such not-so-poignant questions as "Is his best friend a girl?", "Has he ever been in a fight" and "Does he like team sports?" It's also the app that sparked a Twitter campaign calling for Google -- and Android Central -- to remove the application from the Android Market. On Sept. 27, AllOut.org (@allout) tweeted the following:

Demand that @Google & @AndroidCentral dump homophobic "Is My Son #Gay?" app NOW, no excuses! #LGBT

Suffice it to say, that was retweeted. A lot. We lost track of how many times over the past week, though it finally trickled off, as these things tend to do. (Though not before we ended up having a short back-and-forth with none other than @BoyGeorge. That's something we never thought we'd see.)

While we certainly appreciate (and believe it or not are quite humbled by) our standing as the biggest and best Android community on the web, we're not Google. We do not have the power to remove (or approve, for that matter) applications for the Android Market. That's Google. We're not Google. We're not Android. We're the leading source for news, reviews, and opinions about Android. And as such, we suggeted more effective ways for letting Google you found the app was offensive, such as flagging it as inappropriate in the Market. We're willing to bet more than a few of you did so.

Anyhoo, back to the "Is my son Gay?" app. Turns out there was a little more to the story than we knew. According to a story by the SBS reporter who contacted us, the app actually was commissioned by a Frenchman who, in addition to being gay himself, is releasing a book by the same name, and that the app was "developed 'with a fun approach.' "

We're not French. And, speaking in the pluralis maiestatis here, we're not gay. So maybe we all missed something in the translation. And we certainly welcome the debate over what kind of apps should be excluded from the Android Market -- or if any should be excluted. It's a great debate, and one that needs to be rekindled from time to time. (And one that we at Android Central don't all agree on.) But, ultimately it's up to Google to approve or remove apps from the Android Market. Not us.

So the app's been removed. It's gone, and in the great scheme of things, we're pretty safe in wrapping up this saga thusly:

It won't be missed.

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2 years ago

Official Hotmail app now available in the Android Market

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Microsoft has released its official Hotmail app for Android, available now (finally!) in the Android Market. For the Hotmail faithful, the native Android experience has been far from perfect, so an optimized app is welcome and overdue news. You'll get push email, synced contacts and calendar, folder support, and even the ability to sync multiple Hotmail accounts. Grab the app for free after the break.

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2 years ago

Chromium web browser gets files that support a build for Android

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Chromium, the open-source version of Google's Chrome web browser, got an interesting bit of code checked in a few days ago -- files and scripts that support a build for Android.  While normally we wouldn't get too excited seeing an upstream check-in about Android in an open-source project, this time the submission is from a Google employee.  Google took extra time to let everyone at Google I/O 2011 know that Android and Chrome were two separate entities, and everyone got the impression that the two would never meet.  We sure did, and discussed it ourselves over a beer or two.

Of course, things change -- maybe Google has decided that a merger of the Android browser code and the Chrome browser code would benefit everyone, and the open-source version would be the best place to do it.  Or maybe these are just files for the DIY'ers out there to build their own version of Chromium for Android.  Either way, the full Chrome browser on my Galaxy Tab is something I've been wanting.  Maybe, just maybe, this is the first step.

Source: Chromium via Conceivably Tech

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2 years ago

Google Apps have a new download location -- GetJar?

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They say seeing is believing, but I'm still not sure what to make of this one.  Google's closed applications -- the ones they keep a tight rein on and not allow just anybody to use -- apparently are available through the third-party market GetJar.  Not just Gmail that you see pictured above, but Google TV remote, Maps, Search, Books -- they're all there.  We're assuming that this is legitimate and not a mistake (GetJar is a reputable site), but we're baffled at how this came to be -- especially since Google's apps also need additions to the Android system framework to actually run.  I can tell you that they work (I tested with Google Music and YouTube -- can't afford to wipe out my Gmail app just yet), but I can't tell you why.  Hit the link and give it a try yourself.

Source: GetJar

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2 years ago

Hacks bring Google Wallet to all Nexus S phones

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NFC may or may not be the future of on-the-go banking, but for most Android fans it's pretty damn cool.  That's why there was a whole lot of disappointment when Google decided to go exclusive with Sprint and the Nexus S 4G on the Google Wallet app for Android, leaving the majority of Nexus S users out of the picture.  This likely has something to do with money (it always does), Isis mobile payment, and competition, but we don't really care about any of that -- we just want to play with our NFC chip.

Now we can, thanks to hacks.  Users have found that the files included in the Sprint version of the Nexus S 4G work just fine on other Nexus S phones -- both stock and with custom ROMs.  Installation is easy enough (though you do need to be rooted and/or running a custom recovery), just flash a package or move a few files.

There's a big caveat here, however. While it's cool that we're able to circumvent the restrictions of exactly who gets to use this, we're not so sure Google and MasterCard will be happy with the $10 credits people who aren't eligible are getting.  If you want to try it for yourself, though, check out the links below.

Source: XDA; (custom ROMs), (stock ROMs)

Thanks, John!

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