We know some of you have been on pins and needles about the new Facebook update, and we can safely say it's officially live in the Market.
The update kicks the design up a few notches, but the basic works remain the same. It's certainly faster, and while the phone version has come a long way, but the tablet version is still atrocious. Everything is unbelieveably stretched out and looks pretty bad. (See above.)
You get some nice new features, like pull to refresh, but otherwise it's the same Facebook app you've come to know and love.
If you're a big fan of the Facebook app (or are just curious what the new design looks like), we've got a massive boatload of pictures and a download link after the break.
If you're interested in checking out ngcomo's new game DragonCraft, you're gonna love this. The good people at ngmoco hooked us up with a priority beta code so we all can get in on the beta as soon as it launches. Sweet! It's a fantasy game, where you are in charge of rebuilding your city and building a dragon army to conquer the 12 Baronies of Terra Vale. It promises fun. strategy, combat and rich interaction with NPC's and should be a hell of a game. To get in on the beta, point your browser at the DragonCraft website and use the code ANDROIDCENTRAL.
We'll be sure to check it out when it launches, in the meantime you can hit the jump for a bunch of game player assets and in-game screen shots. This looks like quite the fun one!
Music has always held a special place in my life. I did choir, play the tuba, and am majoring in music in college. Unfortunately, music doesn't usually make a compelling game, so when I was presented with Musaic Box, I was understandably skeptical. In short, HeroCraft proved me very, very wrong.
Musaic Box is built in the point-and-click genre of games, where you're searching for clues by tapping on seemingly random objects on screen. Musaic Box does a pretty good job of guiding you towards the appropriate places to touch with a fairly noticeable sparkle, so don't worry about getting stumped.
You're looking for old music manuscripts that are littered throughout the room. When you've assembled all four pieces of a piece of music, you're then tasked with reproducing the melody and harmony as they're played to you.
This is all done in a very fresh, puzzle-style interface. The melody (and accompanying parts) are played for you at the beginning, then you're presented a series of differently-shaped rocks with runes carved in them. The runes are different colors (like red is always the melody), and you can tap on any rock segment to hear that piece of music be played.
Once you've worked out where all the pieces go (and are correct), the game automatically rewards you for your success by playing the piece of music through once more and adding it to your record book. From there, you keep doing more of the same, until you've found all the music in a particular room.
The scroll in the top-right corner of the screen lets you know how many pieces are left to find before you can advance, so it's easy to track your progress as you go.
One of the coolest features to me (aside from the rough translations in some spots) is that Musaic Box uses real historical references for much of the music you come across. Parts of the environment that don't hold clues (but you can still interact with) often reveal little tidbits about a composer or an instrument, and while it doesn't further the game, it's educational, and it's music, so I like it.
I would probably drop the cursive font if I could go in and change anything, but if that's the biggest gripe I can come up with, I think we're doing just fine.
Musaic Box is $1.49 in the Android Market. We've got download links after the break.
The Bothers In Arms franchise has done rather well for itself on the gaming from and now, Gameloft has brought Brothers in Arms 2: Global Front to the Android Market. Inspired by real-life battlefields from WWII, Brother in Arms 2 brings plenty of action to your Android device;
Free to play: Play for free in either Story mode or Multiplayer where you can earn Dog Tags and XP or purchase medals to unlock tons of extra features and gear to help you customize your soldier.
Join your alliances online: Challenge up to five friends online or via Bluetooth to play multiplayer battles on five maps in three different modes including, Free For All, Team Deathmatch and Domination.
Fight across the Globe: Experience every front of the war with 50 missions to unlock across five locations: the Pacific, Normandy, North Africa, Germany and Sicily.
War machines: Take control of three different vehicles including the tank, off-road vehicle or glider to overrun your opponents or to make a daring escape.
An arsenal at your disposal: Chose from a wide variety of historically accurate weapons including machine guns, bazookas, sniper rifles and flamethrowers.
Gameloft has put Brothers in Arms in the Android Market as a free download but that does come with a few caveats as well. As noted in some of the reviews, there is paid upgrades built into the game so keep that in mind as you may end up spending some coin to keep the game going. Overall, it's a pretty slick game -- I'm just not sure paying for things here and there is the best choice. But, you all can be the judge of that should you grab the download from past the break. Keep in mind, it is a large game as well, approx. 250MB will need to be downloaded.
Yesterday we saw that the Facebook application for Android was about to receive an update, and today the update was made official. While the update hasn't hit the market yet it does indeed bring the redesigned interface, moving messages to the top, and your menu to the side. The redesigned Facebook application is supposed to improve on the speed of the application, as well as make it look much prettier. Keep your eyes on the market for the update, and be sure to let us know when you see it!
Aside from the other updates Google has been making available, they've also set everyone up with a new version of Google Goggles, bringing the app up to version 1.7. In this version, they've add some new features to make the experience better:
Continuous Mode allows you to use Goggles without pressing the shutter button
Goggles can recognize text in a document and return a link to its online version. Try it on your favorite newspaper!
You can help Goggles recognize more objects. Tap on 'Do you have a better suggestion' in the Goggles results page.
Google Goggles will now show user submitted results in the search results page.
The continuous mode should be a great addition for anyone who uses Google Goggles a lot and the text recognition is just awesome, try it out for yourself -- pretty impressive! You'll find the download link past the break.
Also, Google Maps got itself a little bugfix, too. Go get 'em!
SoundTracking, an iOS user favorite that impressed our friends over at TiPb, is now available on Android. SoundTracking is reminiscent of Foursquare for music: ID a song you're listening to or that is playing in the distance and SoundTracking will tag it and share it via Facebook, Twitter, and Foursquare. You can add your own photo and your current location to the tag, which will then be available for a 30-second preview to your friends. Your tags can even be played on Spotify and Rdio by anyone you share with. You can download SoundTracking for free from Android Market at the link below, or at the source link.
Let's face it, while app reviews in the Android Market might be helpful to developers and potential customers for finding out some of the best and worst features of the current release of an app, they haven't been altogether too informative, and could be skewed to show the app as being worst/better than it really is. Old reviews can still weigh heavily on the user's choice, especially if those reviews mention glaring bugs that had been fixed in recent updates or that were only present on older Android phones. Also frustrating is when developers see a review with good feedback that they would like to save/share later, only for it to get lost in the thousands of other reviews for that same app - going back in to find it later is like trying to find a specific needle in a pile of other similarly formatted needles.
The web version (not on your devices yet) of Android Market has solved those two concerns with a simple and effective update. Users can now see the type of device that the reviewer was using the app on (such as the LG Optimus 2X in Juan's review above) and the version number of the app that they were reviewing (version 2.9, again, in the screenshot above).
On top of that, developers (and anyone for that matter) can now grab the permalink to individual reviews for sharing or reading later. To the right of every reviewer's nametag and device info you will see the universal symbol for "link". Click that icon and the page will reload with that review on top and a fresh URL that you can send anywhere.
In the future it would be nice to sort reviews by specific devices or app versions being used, rather than asking us to browse through or link them all individually (it would also be great if they reproduced this in the mobile app soon), but for now this update is a welcome change.