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3 years ago

New Orbit review - gritty outer space living minus the oxygen shortage

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New Orbit: Episode 1 landed precariously on Google Play late last month. The screenshots of minimalistic outer-space fare and gravity-based gameplay weren’t much to look at, but after playing for only a short while, it was easy to get pulled into a gritty story about surviving on the edge of civilization where even air is a precious commodity.

New Orbit follows the unlucky journey of a stranded engineer trying simply to find his way back home after his ship was blown up. With little more than an escape shuttle to get around, he has to deal with some of the nastier characters that inhabit the fringes of an intergalactic empire to get back home.

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3 years ago

Now might be a good time to check out the NASA app for Android

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Mars. Pictures of Mars. Video from Mars. You know, that planet next door.

Now, we don't wanna get all up in your business here, but if you've yet to download the NASA Android application, perhaps this is the time to do so.

See, there's this red planet out there. It's called Mars. And there's this little robot guy who touched down on the surface last night. We'll call him "Curiosity." And he's currently snapping some pictures and basically casing the joint. And 14 minutes after the shutter snaps, NASA's looking over the pictures -- and uploading them for the rest of us to see. (And that's a damn sight faster than NBC can manage to get news out of London. Just saying.)

The app's more than just that, of course, with video and mission profiles, among other trivial parts of blasting into space on top of a giant rocket ship. 

So, yeah. If you've yet to check out the NASA app for Android, perhaps now's the time to do so.

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3 years ago

Apple removes Youtube app in iOS 6, but it's not a shot at Google

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If you're connected to the Internet, you've probably heard that Apple has dropped support for their Youtube app in the upcoming version of iOS. You might have even heard that it's part of the vast thermonuclear nonsense that the late Steve Jobs started against Android, and other eye-grabbing headlines.

It's not.

Youtube has been one the the most popular applications for iOS since the beginning, and was even featured in the first round of iPhone commercials. Everyone loves Youtube, even Apple. We poke a lot of fun at Apple, but they would never remove a feature and user favorite from iDevices. This isn't part of the feud between Apple and Google, it's a way to provide a better experience with less work.

Previously, Apple wrote its own Youtube app and bundled it into iOS. And when compared to the Android version, it sucks. There was no monetization (ads), which means plenty of content was missing -- music videos from Vevo, for instance. As Rene mentions over at iMore, many users preferred to use Google's web player over the bundled app. If users (hey, that's you and me!) would rather use mobile Safari than your app, it's time for some changes. If those changes mean less work for the iOS development team, that's a win all around.

There is a bit of weirdness surrounding today's news though, and that's the part where Apple says they had to stop because their license expired. We aren't privy to what goes on between Apple and Google, and there surely is some sort of agreement between them concerning Youtube, but you don't need a license to make a Youtube app. A quick peek at Google Play will show you that anyone can build one using the public APIs, and plenty of folks with less resources than Apple have done just that. Apple is pretty hush-mouthed over this sort of thing, so we're not going to read too much into it, but they could make a Youtube app if they wanted to, with no strings attached.

Thankfully, they aren't. They're leaving it up to Google to make one and put it in the Appstore, where it can be downloaded by anyone who wants it -- which we're guessing will be everyone. A quick look at the Google+ app for iOS tells us Google can make an app that showcases HD content and looks beautiful, just like the latest Android app, and we're glad to see it happening. In the meantime, iOS 6 beta users can use Safari, and be glad that Apple did the right thing this time.

More: iMore

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3 years ago

Megatroid review - close enough to Metroid

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Megatroid came to Android recently, offering what will likely be the closest thing to a Metroid game we’ll ever see on mobile. There are a few things that make Megatroid much more than that though, including procedurally-created levels which ensure a fresh play-through every time, and a wide variety of high-tech weaponry than can be acquired through the course of gameplay or through in-app purchases.

For a free game, the graphics and action in Megatroid are excellent, rich with neon lighting and plenty of 3D models (despite the game’s side-scrolling nature).

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3 years ago

Pix’n Love review - a fresh take on retro platforming

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Pix’n Love Rush is currently being featured in the Google Play store, and it’s hard to ignore that delightfully retro pixellated devil in the app icon. The dead-simple platforming game has been available on Android for a long time now, bundling together a wide variety of mini-games in a distinct, slightly-warped pixellated package.

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3 years ago

Einstein Brain Trainer review - flex your frontal lobe

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Einstein Brain Trainer made the port to Google Play not too long ago in an attempt to get players to sharpen their wits with a series of brain teasers. The game keeps close tabs on your progress over time so you can see how much smarter (or stupider) you’re getting over time, and ranks you accordingly. 

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3 years ago

Apps of the Week - WeatherEye, Ski Safari, My Movies Pro and more!

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Let's all gather around the air conditioner, take few minutes and relax. Depending on your location the summer has been kicking some serious heat off this year, so let's spend a few minutes together and check out some of our favorite applications. Just past the break you will find apps like WeatherEye, My Movies Pro, Ski Safari, and a few others that we are greatly enjoying. Let's see what they are all about.

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3 years ago

Panasonic Flag Tags review - free and easy Olympic patriotism

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Panasonic Flag Tags is another one of the handful of official London 2012 Olympics apps available for Android. Simply put, it takes any portrait photos and transposes a national map on top, to make it look like the subject is wearing patriotic facepaint. It’s simple, but the timing is perfect for hardcore Olympics fans that want to show their pride in social networking profile pictures.

There are a bunch of Olympics apps out there - feel free to take a look at our roundup if you're looking for more, particularly for live video streams or catching up on the latest scores. 

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3 years ago

EA shows off Real Racing 3, we all gaze at its beauty

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Electronic Arts has gone and published the first trailer of forthcoming sequel, Real Racing 3. And boy oh boy does it look good. Trailers are supposed to show off their subject in its best light, but this so called "pre alpha footage" leaves us very excited to see the finished game. 

Real Racing 3 is also set to include a selection of real life tracks, such as the formidable Laguna Seca, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and the home of British Motorsport, Silverstone. 

What we don't actually know for sure though, is that the title will definitely be coming to Android. However, given that Real Racing 2 made its way into Google Play -- which is currently on sale by the way -- we're quietly confident that we'll be seeing this one. We need to see this one. It'll be out sometime later this year, and is most certainly one to watch out for.

Source: Electronic Arts (Facebook) 

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3 years ago

Celebrate Android 4.1 Jelly Bean with the Jelly Belly live wallpaper

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Personally, I'm not really a fan of live wallpapers but I am a fan of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and arguably more importantly, Jelly Belly jelly beans (except the Harry Potter ones, those are kinda blah!). Jelly Belly looking to have a little fun with the release of Jelly Bean and create some brand recognition has built a pretty awesome jelly bean live wallpaper that is available for free in the Google Play Store. Jelly Belly jelly bean jar, as it is called is one of the more interactive live wallpapers I've used and it offers a cool set of features to go along with it:

  • Tap the screen to drop more jelly beans into your jar
  • Touch and hold a jelly bean, then drag, spin or flick it
  • Shake the phone or tilt it upside down to clear
  • Invent your own games, like "Jelly Belly Volleybean" - don't let the bean hit the bottom!
  • Choose your favorite flavors to display, like Buttered Popcorn or Very Cherry
  • Change the level of gravity to affect the drop/tilt/flick features

One feature that I was glad to see Jelly Belly not overlook was the ability to go ahead change the background images. They include a nice Jelly Belly one with the package that has some different colors to choose from. If you dig live wallpapers, give it a go. This is one even I might keep around for a while.

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3 years ago

Google Listen is officially dead

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A long, long time ago, in an Android ecosystem far away, Google Listen was our favorite podcatcher app. It was easy. It was simple. It synced with Google Reader, making adding new podcasts a snap. But it never seemed to be a very high priority, and today Google has put Listen out to pasture, as was first noticed by some of our own, as well as by folks on Twitter. The reason? There are other, better apps out there.

Says Google:

We launched Google Listen through Google Labs in August 2009, to give people a way to discover and listen to podcasts. However, with Google Play, people now have access to a wider variety of podcast apps, so we’ve discontinued Listen. People who have already installed the app can still use it, but after November 1, podcast search won’t function. You can access your podcast subscriptions in Google Reader in the “Listen Subscriptions” folder and download them from the Import/Export tab.

We're a little sad to see it go, but there really are a number of great podcatchers out there. Oh, and if you're needing to re-add the feed to the Greatest Android Podcast in the World, here's the audio feed.

Source: Google

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3 years ago

CTV Olympics 2012 review - why Canadians are cheering at their phones

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With the Olympics in full swing, Canadians will likely want to check out CTV’s app since they’ve got the lock-down on coverage. Luckily it's free, you'll just have to put up with a bunch of pre-roll ads. 

CTV Olympics London 2012 for Android has the full spread of coverage that you could want - medal counts, tons of video, articles, and lots of social options for sharing content. Of course, since this is CTV, only Canadians will be able to get in on the app, but that’s alright - Americans have an NBC Olympics app that looks like it should offer roughly the same coverage.

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3 years ago

Perfectly Clear review - fix your pics real quick

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Perfectly Clear was launched in Google Play this week with a bevy of quick photograph fixes. Simple sliders can change exposure, depth of field, sharpening, vibrancy, tint, darkness, and skin tone individually, or apply all of them at once with the one-tap Fix button. The app shows your picture with a very cool before and after comparison.

The core app is available for $0.99 as an introductory offer, which will soon be bumped up to $1.99. There are a few extra correction filters that are available through a single in-app purchase that includes skin smoothing, eye enhancement and tooth whitening, but the vast majority of fixes are available without having to buy anything extra.

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3 years ago

Call of Duty: Black Ops Zombies launches on Android, exclusive to Xperia Play and Xperia S for now

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There was once a time when the undead had no place in military shooters. That age was thankfully consigned to history with the launch of the Call of Duty: Black Ops Zombies add-ons for home consoles, and now it's time for Android owners to arm themselves with semi-authentic World War II weaponry and do battle with reanimated corpses.

That's right, today sees the launch of Call of Duty: Black Ops Zombies on the Google Play Store. The game is a zombie survival shooter, in the style of the zombie modes in Call of Duty console titles. Classic maps like Kino Der Toten, Ascension, and Call of the Dead: Director’s Cut make a return on mobile, and there's also "Dead-Ops Arcade," a 50-level wave-based survival game similar to Gears of War's Horde mode.

For the moment, CODBLOPS Zombies is exclusive to Sony's Xperia Play and Xperia S. That means if you're rocking different hardware, you'll need to wait to for the 30 day exclusivity period to expire before you can take on swarms of Nazi cadavers.

The game is free to download, with the option of purchasing CoD points through the app to use for revives and other in-game abilities. If you've got an Xperia S or Xperia Play, you can hit the Google Play link to download now. We've also got the full press release from Activision after the break.

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3 years ago

Slices for Android - put your Twitter timeline to the chopping block

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Slices broke onto the scene this week, offering a fresh take on the mobile Twitter experience. In essence, it takes the idea of lists, a core Twitter mechanism for organizing those you follow, and does... something with it. I’m still not quite sure what that’s supposed to be. 

All of the basic Twitter functions are in the Slices app: replies, DMs, lists, and saved searches (though no trending tweets). Geotagging, Facebook sharing, and photo/video shortcuts are available from the compose Tweet window. Beyond that, there are a few advanced features that make Slices a great Twitter client despite the convoluted feature they’re trying to introduce.

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