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3 years ago

Android App Review: Kinetic Clock

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I’m a sucker for clock widgets. I have the time displayed clearly on my lock screen, in my notification bar, I even have a watch I wear semi-regularly, but none of them compare to a clock widget. A lot of our readers seem to agree, as most “post your home screen” threads are quickly dominated by a large half-screen widget that lets you know the time. Maybe scientists will diagnose this obsession some day and we’ll all go on to leave fulfilling, clock-widget free lives, but that day is not today. Today I get to tell you about Kinetic Clock.

The first thing you’ll notice is that Kinetic Clock isn’t a “minimalist style” widget, not that I’m knocking minimalism. I’ve installed my fair share of “Minimalistic text” widgets, but lately it seems like everyone is in a race to see who can make the most minimalist app without simply being a featureless black square and it’s nice to see someone try and buck that trend. The gears and wiring on the widget are so detailed that I spent a few minutes after I first installed it just waiting for something to move. The gears are actually just static images, but the developers did such an amazing job capturing the 3D "feel" of the gears that I had to email the developers just to make sure the widget functioned properly.

Kinetic Clock has a handful of customization options as well. There are two clock widgets to choose from, a 4x2 portrait widget as well as a 3x3 landscape option. Each widget will allow you to toggle how much information you want displayed (AM/PM, Date, etc) and provide space for two applications, such as my alarm clock and a shortcut to Google+.  There are sixteen different skins available for the clock, with the developers promising more are on their way, such as holiday-specific skins, or user-requested skins to match their favorite theme's.

Overall, I’m very impressed with kinetic clock. The gears might not move, but they look like they should, and that level of detail is still pretty rare in the market. Kinetic clock doesn’t have dozens of themes like Beautiful widgets, or the granular level of control afforded by “Minimal Text” type clocks, but it has a unique and detailed skin that’s sure to get noticed. The market link and additional screenshots can be found after the break. Kinetic Clock is $1 in the Android Market.

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3 years ago

Congratulations to our SpeedX 3D contest winners!

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Last week we gave you the chance to win a 3D phone of your choice, in conjunction with HyperBees and their excellent SpeedX 3D game. We challenged players to make the longest run possible in SpeedX 3D, and now, as promised, we're pleased to announce the winners... (drum roll)

  1. Grand Prize Winner: HomerSp, 146,953 points

Congratulations to our first-place winner, HomerSp, who chose the HTC EVO 3D, HTC's latest high-performance smartphone with a 3D display and 3D recording capabilities.

  1. filip8429, 132,356 points
  2. hamatro, 125,179 points
  3. Vec1nu, 89,924 points
  4. mbigby, 89,833 points

Our second through fifth place runners-up will receive Zeemote mobile gaming controllers. Also second and third place entrants filip8429 and hamatro will each receive an exclusive SpeedX t-shirt for their efforts. Congratulations!

In announcing the winners' names, HyperBees added --

With more than 10,000 participants, the contest mode was played over 180,000 times. These are spectacular results. A big thank you to all who took part! The players demonstrated great gaming spirit throughout, and the final hours were especially exciting.

Thanks to everyone that participated. Keep watching AC in the coming weeks for more awesome contests like this.

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3 years ago

Google Voice for Android updated with tablet support

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The Google Voice app just received another update this evening, bumping it to version 4.2.34 and bringing a very short (but welcome) change log -- tablet support.  We've seen just how easy it is to sideload the app onto your tablet, and plenty of folks noticed the way the action bar looks more tablet-like in the update a few days ago, but now it's more official with it sitting right in the Market, waiting for you to download it.

So get to it -- link is after the break.

Thanks, Daves!

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3 years ago

Droid Bionic ARena app live on Android Market, the game starts shortly

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Ready to try your hand at winning a Motorola Droid Bionic, and another "machine" to control with it?  To make it even better, how about using a fancy Augmented Reality app to assist in the nationwide scavenger hunt?  Yeah, now we have your attention. 

The Droid Bionic ARena scavenger hint kicks off Sep. 4, with a chance to win one of 16 Motorola Droid Bionic smartphones, coupled with an HDTV, an Intel laptop, A Motorola Xoom, or a video streaming enabled Quadcopter to pair it to.  Four folks will win each day, and the winners will be announced when the whole thing gets wrapped up on Sep. 8.  It's free to play (of course), and it looks pretty interesting -- install the Android app, collect a randomly dropped render of a prize, and each one you grab is an entry in the drawing for the prize.  See the Droid Does site for the full details.  We've got a pic of the UI in action as well as the download link after the break.

More: Droid Does

Share tips and strategy in the Droid Bionic forums!

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3 years ago

Marriott's Android app does all but turn down the covers

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For all you frequent travelers out there, Marriott reminds us that it's got a nice little Android app available. You can find and reserve a hotel room, view or cancel your existing reservations, check your rewards account, get city guides, find phone numbers to (gasp) call for reservations -- basically maneuver your way through the Marriott community right from your phone. It's free and available now in the Android Market. Download links are after the break.

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3 years ago

Angry Birds Seasons: Moon Festival now ready

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Angry Birds Seasons: Moon Festival is now available for download in the the Android Market. In this update, Angry Birds is headed to Chine for the 3000-year-old harvest festival and they're bringing you along as well. 30 new levels have been added for your enjoyment. Download is past the break for you all.

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3 years ago

Another day, another chance to win an HTC Thunderbolt from Waze and Android Central!

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Happy Friday ladies and gents!  What better way to start the weekend than by winning a shiny HTC Thunderbolt in the big Waze contest?  We're all winding down the day, thinking about where we'll go and what we'll do when the whistle blows at five o'clock, and chances are you'll be going out somewhere with friends or family this evening.  Be sure to take Waze along for the ride -- not only for the chance to win fabulous prizes, but because it's a pretty darn useful tool for keeping up to date on traffic, speed traps, road closings, and all those other things designed to make your Friday evening a little less fun. 

Grab Waze from their website or download it from the link after the break, make sure you register so the folks at Waze know how to find you if you win, and snack on some Android munchies while you're out tooling around.  It's fun, easy, and can snag you one hell of a prize.  Check out the Waze blog for the full details.

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3 years ago

Android App Review: Real64

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YouTube link for mobile viewing

To be fair, I know this looks like a direct copy of strikingly similar to N64oid. However, N64oid isn't on the Android Market and Real64 is, so that's why I'm taking a look at it.

As far as emulators go, Real64 works fine. Most games seem to run, although the level of problems with any particular ROM seems to vary. In my experience (and as evidenced in the video), Pokemon Stadium starts with some totally distorted graphics, but plays fine. Pokemon Stadium 2 loads fine but freezes before you can get into a match. The Legend of Zelda and Super Smash Bros. ran fairly flawlessly, so it's hard to say.

There's a fairly full settings menu, with options to adjust the kind of digital control scheme you're using (d-pad or joystick) as well as map out custom settings. I didn't have any Wii controllers on hand to test out if that works via Bluetooth, but I'm led to believe it does.

If you're looking to play N64 games on your Android device, Real64 seems to get the job (mostly) done. It's far from perfect but the fact it runs N64 games is something. As for its seeming relation to N64oid, I can't speak to that. At any rate, Real64 runs $4.99 in the Android Market.

Update: And it looks like it didn't take long for Real64 to get pulled, either. If you're still looking for an N64 emulator, there'll be links for N64oid after the break.

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3 years ago

Android Game Review: The Moron Test

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If you're thick-skinned and in the mood for some fast-paced, attention-demanding challenges, the Moron Test is for you.

The Moron Test is broken up into a series of sections filled with puzzles and tasks, and after you've completed one, you can move onto the next in line. It'll take a bit of time, though, because the game is unforgiving, and a mistake either starts you completely over or returns you to a checkpoint.

It all starts of simple enough, having you press buttons of the correct color or touch a duck, and once you've done enough of these correctly, the game tells you that now it knows you "have a pulse." That vibe permeates the game; it is the moron test, after all, so from your first puzzle, the game assumes you're a moron. You can only change its mind by beating its silly tests.

Despite the Moron Test's seemingly rudimentary nature, it actually does well in forcing you to think outside of the box (sometimes). Cracking the eggs from largest to smallest is straightforward, but what happens when you're told to press the green button, but the button is orange? If you waited for the button to turn green and then pressed it, you'd advance.

Overall, The Moron Test is good to kill some time (how much is up to you), especially if you're aiming to beat all five of its sections. It runs 99 cents in the Android Market, but if you're looking to start small, the developers have some of the sections in the Market by themselves, and all for free.

Download links and more pictures are after the break.

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3 years ago

Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit, exclusive to Xperia Play ... for now

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The latest mobile version of the long running Need For Speed franchise is now upon us, and for the time being at least will be exclusive to the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play. 

Hot Pursuit is now available through the on board games store, and we were treated to some hands-on time this evening at a Sony Ericsson press event in London. First impressions are pretty good. Anyone familiar with the series will feel right at home, but for those new to it; you drive a selection of some of the worlds most exotic supercars (and some not so exotic) trying to speed away from the Police using all manner of underhanded tactics to shake them off such as oil slicks. 

Or if you're a more law abiding citizen, you can turn the tables and play as the Police and use your stinger strips and and roadblocks to stop the fugitive. 

Controls on the Play are really nice, very responsive and graphically it isn't a bad looking game when you see it up close. There's also plenty of variety with 20 cars and 24 events to choose from.

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3 years ago

Android Weather App Review: BeWeather

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Youtube link for mobile viewing

When it comes to weather apps on Android, HTC's pretty much had the market cornered in terms of design. But look out, there's a new kid in town. And in addition to being gorgeous as well as extremely useful, BeWeather has the added advantage of not being locked into one manufacturer's devices. Indeed, for $2.99 $3.59 an apparently fluctuating price, anyone can download this app, powered by the also excellent Weather Underground, and get weather info for just about any city, including four-day forecasts, sun/moon info, and so on. It's the whole 9 yards.

Plus, there's a complete armada of widgets of nearly every size you could want, from 4x3 to 1x1, so it can take us much or as little of your home screen as you want.

Let's just put it this way: BeWeather is now our go-to weather app. Period. This one's definitely deserving of a look, folks. Download links are after the break.

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3 years ago

NAVIGON announces their next generation of navigation applications

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NAVIGON has announced its new offerings today at IFA in Berlin. While not available as of yet, come this fall NAVIGON will be rolling out the update for free to already existing users of their services. If you're not familiar with their family of navigation apps, when the new updates roll out you might want to take a look as they've been working hard to create the best experiences possible.

“Over the last two years, we’ve continuously added new features to our navigation apps, transforming them into the most feature-rich smartphone GPS apps available,” said Gerhard Mayr, NAVIGON vice-president of worldwide mobile phones and new markets. “For our new generation of apps, we went back to the drawing board to see how we could elevate smartphone navigation to the next level. Feedback from our users suggests that a better way to manage and update maps and a more intuitive user interface are top priorities.”

A whole new UI has been developed for better interfacing with the apps plus, they have a new feature added called FreshMaps. This allows new map data to be downloaded quarterly so that you are ensured to have the most up to date information available. In addition to that, NAVIGON has added some features not typically found in GPS apps. Things such as Zagat ratings and reviews as an in-app purchase and a cockpit function that displays real-time driving data. Full press release is beyond the break.

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3 years ago

Android Game Review: Office Jerk

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If you've ever worked in an office (even I have, once), you probably knew someone like this. Snarky, stuck up, and the consummate overachiever, the Office Jerk sits right in front of you and needs to be put in his place.

How to do it? By throwing things at him, of course. You can toss all sorts of things at him, ranging from harmless (a wadded up piece of paper) to downright deadly (a stick of TNT). How he manages to never succumb to any of this is beyond me, but I guess it's just that Employee of the Month kind of drive.

You get points for nailing the OJ in the head, and the calendar on your desk keeps track of your score. Different items get your different amounts of points (I think the cupcake and the egg are the highest) and your best streak is also totalled, as well.

There's an environmental factor to the game too, not unlike putt-putt golf. There's an arrow pointing either left or right and it's telling you the wind speed and direction. It's not from your desk fan (because you can throw that, too), so I assume it's from the air conditioning unit. At any rate, that's something you need to factor into your tosses, lest you break your streak.

While seemingly simple, Office Jerk feels like its got a lot to offer. It's quirky and there's a number of reactions you can elicit from your office building enemy. You can also aim for things far away from him just to see what happens (try the office door). At 99 cents, Office Jerk feels like a steal, especially for those days you come home from work and have to take out your frustrations on this digital coworker instead of your real ones.

Download links and more screenshots are after the break.

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3 years ago

Microsoft releases the Windows Azure Toolkit for Android

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Microsoft has released the Azure Toolkit for Android, providing an SDK and native libraries to support storage and authorization for its Windows Azure cloud-based development platform.  This will give Android developers a way to write applications that use the Windows Azure services, and will lead to more cross-platform apps that use the same data set.  Included with the toolkit is a sample application and unit tests, allowing developers to write and build everything using Eclipse with the standard Android SDK. 

Love it or hate it, Microsoft knows application development.  It also understands that an open platform model and cross-platform applications are not only good for business, but good for the consumer -- giving app developers a way to write an application for Android, iOS, and Windows Phone 7 using well written and supported tools.  Windows Azure offers features that developers may want to explore, and not locking those devs to WP7 only apps is a smart move and a recipe for success. 

Source: Microsoft; Wade Wenger

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3 years ago

Reminder: Last chance to win a 3D phone with SpeedX 3D and Android Central!

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Update: Here's a quick reminder that there's just a few more hours left for you to win an LG Optimus 3D or HTC EVO 3D in our super-awesome contest, brought to you by HyperBees and SpeedX 3D. The contest closes as 5pm EST this evening, and the winner will walk away with a 3D phone of his or her choice.

All you have to do is prove your worth in Hyperbees' SpeedX 3D, an addictive tunnel racer that includes plenty of levels, challenge modes and full stereoscopic 3D support in the paid version. Here's how it works --

  • Download either the free or paid version of SpeedX 3D from the Android Market. If you already have SpeedX 3D, make sure you're on at least version 2.5.5.
  • Select "Play" and then "Contest" from the main menu and see how long you can race before being eliminated. The longer your run, the higher your score.
  • Compete against other players (top scores are available here).
  • There is no limit to the number of times you can attempt to improve your score, so keep trying!
  • The contest is open to readers worldwide and runs until Wednesday, 31 August at 5 PM EST.
  • Winners will be announced here on AC on Thursday, 1 September.

Join us after the jump for the QR code and Market download link for the free version, as well as the full contest rules.

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