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3 years ago

Android Quick App: Talking Transformers

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So my Nexus S got stolen. I caught the thieves, giggling on the couch, poking at the glass and saying ridiculous things into the microphone. That's right, it was my children, and they had discovered Talking Transformers, the app I had downloaded earlier in the day. I can't blame them for their crime, it's an awesome app that will keep you rolling.  

You can transform this red car into his robot form, complete with realistic Transformer sound effects. Poke him and he moves, fire his weapon at the push of a button, and watch what happens when he punches your screen. You can even see the lighter side of his personality by pushing the "D" button to watch him put on a dance on stage. The best part of Talking Transformers though, is of course the talking part! Speak into the microphone and hear your words repeated back. Just be careful, and keep a watchful eye on your phone, or it may fall prey to thieves, just like mine did.

More screenshots and download links after the break.

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3 years ago

Facebook gets a noticeable update, starts to suck less

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To say that Facebook's Android app has been ... less than exciting ... would be the understatement of the past year or so. Hopefully tonight's update is a sign of greater things to come, as Version 1.7 brings some UI tweaks and features that frankly should have been added by now. Here's the rundown:

  • Made it easier to share with who you want
  • Improved the sharing tool to add privacy controls on posts and match your settings on the web site
  • Added the ability to tag friends and places in photos posts
  • Added new design for Profile and Group Walls
  • Improved photo browsing with swiping
  • Added the ability to tag your friends in photos
  • Improved Messages and Notifications
  • Fixed a number of crashes and performance issues

Not mentioned in the bullet points -- these are the official changes mentioned in the Android Market -- is that you can also now pull to refresh. It's about time. And while the app's now installable on Android 3.x devices, let's see about maybe getting a proper tablet layout, shall we?

Snag the updated version in the Android Market now. We've got download links after the break.

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3 years ago

DirecTV brings NFL Sunday Ticket app to your Honeycomb Tablet

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No doubt about it, Football is back in full swing. Last week the NFL released its official app for tablets and now DirecTV has gone ahead and launched its NFL Sunday Ticket app for Honeycomb tablets. With it, you can stream any NFL Sunday Ticket game in HD plus, you also have access to the Red Zone channel.

The app doesn't come without a few caveats though. You do have to have a NFL Sunday Ticket subscription through DirecTV in order to have access, and it's only Sunday games that are available. Sunday night, Monday, Thursday and Saturday NFL games are not part of Sunday Ticket and therefore not eligible for streaming. If you're a DirecTV subscriber and can make use of this app, you'll find the download link past the break.

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3 years ago

Android App Review: WP7Lock Pro

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I've recently stumbled across Seven+ Android, which is an initiative to create apps that can replace default Android UI's and stuff to give your phone a more WP7 feel. The whole thing is pretty intriguing and ambitious, so I decided to give their lockscreen replacement a shot.

WP7Lock Pro is a full blown lockscreen replacement that, as its name implies, gives your phone a nice Windows Phone 7 aesthetic. It's still technically in beta, but from what I've seen, it's more than usable.

You slide the screen up to unlock the phone (you'll see your homescreen's icons and stuff underneath), and if you don't slide the lockscreen high enough, it'll slowly float back down and satisfyingly bounce a few times before it settles into place again. There's also the requisite time, day, and date text in large letters, rocking the Windows Phone font.

Underneath that are three icons: one for SMS, one for email, and one for the phone. It took me about five seconds to figure out you can't just touch them to launch your app; you need to long press them. The good news is that once you've long pressed, the apps open up no problem.

The Pro version also comes with a pretty full settings menu that lets you alter things like the background image, no notification bar on the lockscreen, time, date, and icons, to name a few. It's also obvious where there's plans for improvement, like on the "time app" menu. Eventually (I assume), you'll be able to pick from a list of apps on your phone to open when you press the time on your screen. For now, though, the only option is "no application."

You can also set a password lock for your screen from here as well as set the text color, background color, and counter text color. By the looks of it, WP7Lock Pro will also eventually support different icon themes, but for now, there's only one choice.

My only complaint with the app thus far is that you can't change the color of the icons on the screen, so they're essentially invisible on my white wallpaper. Knowing that'll eventually be remedied with a differently colored icon pack is great, but that's something I would have loved to been able to change now.

If you're a fan of Windows Phone's look but don't want to leave the platform, I'd definitely check out WP7Lock Pro. It's really smooth, looks great, and best of all, keeps you from having to leave Android. WP7Lock Pro is $2 in the Android Market.

More pictures and download links are after the break.

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3 years ago

Android App Review: Seven+ Calculator

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Continuing our line of Windows Phone-inspired apps, we find ourselves looking at Seven+ Calculator. A calculator is a funny thing, because it's one of those apps we never think to download, it comes preinstalled on our phones, and at one point or another, we're going to need it.

While the typical calculator apps are basic in function (and Seven+ Calculator doesn't deviate from this model), Seven+ at least has a bit more slickness and cleanness to it's look.

When you first open Seven+ Calculator, you're greeted by not only the calculator, but the settings menu, too. The settings menu doesn't have much (three options), but it's nice to have this all provided upfront, so you don't have to go digging later to change something you don't like that was enabled by default.

Other than that, the only truly notable and unique function is the history option. It looks like a little book when you press the menu button, and when you press it you're taken to a list of all the recent equations you've done. Is it necessary? Probably not, but it's still cool to see.

The last option you can mess with is the color of accented keys (like the equals sign). By default, orange is picked, but there's a semi-long list built into the app, so you'll be sure to find a shade of something you enjoy.

Overall, Seven+ Calculator is pretty neat. Sure, it's just a calculator replacement, but I still think it's much nicer looking than the default Android one. Maybe that sound blasphemous, but it's how I feel. A final tidbit I should leave you with is that the app only goes by "Calculator," so if you install it, you'll have two apps with the same name. I appreciate that, because now I can uninstall the default one and not have to go scrolling down to the "S" section to open this up. Bravo.

Seven+ Calculator is free, although there is a donate version in the Market for 99 cents.

Download links and more pictures are after the break.

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3 years ago

Retro gamers, rejoice! R-Type shoots its way onto Android

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Sometimes you really can't beat the golden oldies, and today sees 1987 classic shoot-em-up R-Type arrive on Android. Developers DotEmu SAS have ported the classic title and released it out to the world. 

For those of you out there that are a little young to remember it first time round, you pilot the R9-a Arrowhead, the last hope for the human race against it's alien foes. If you ever played the original, you'll already know that it's not the easiest game to complete. 

All features of the original have been retained including:

  • Items and power-ups to collect throughout the levels
  • Strong enemies and bosses at the end of each level - 8 in all
  • The famous "Charge Shot" for more power

It's little 21st century twist comes in the form of OpenFeint compatibility allowing you and your friends to share in all the eighties goodness. 

Besides the expected full touch interface, the good news for Xperia Play owners is that it's officially optimized for use with the hardware controls. 

Check out the trailer and some screenshots and download links (the game's about $4.12) after the jump.

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3 years ago

Android Central Asks - What type of games do you play?

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As we all know, games are a pretty big thing to many people, lots of people love to download new games and play them for countless hours, most of the time right until your battery dies. With tons of games in the market and so many different categories of games, finding and sharing fun games with others can be a bit difficult. When hearing about game releases, or looking for a new game in the Android market, what type of games do you look for? Are you more of a sports person, someone who enjoys the casino experience from their device, or someone who wants to challenge themselves with a nice puzzle style game? Be sure to let us know what you chose, and it will be interesting to see what the Android community views as their favorite game type!

Learn more about games in the forums!

 

What type of games do you play?

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3 years ago

Android Central Editors' app picks for Sept 10, 2011

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Here we are back again to bring you, our favorite reader, another edition of some of our favorite applications. Hit the break with us as we take a look at some of them, and be sure to hop into the forums for even more great application discussion!

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3 years ago

Android App Review: SlideIT Keyboard

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YouTube link for mobile viewing

SlideIT is currently in its fourth iteration, and with that comes the introduction of skins. Scoff as you might, customization and aesthetic appeal are important to lots of people out there, so I've got to tip my hat to the SlideIT developers for making that so easy to do.

How does SlideIT function as a line-tracing keyboard, though? On its own, alright. If there's one thing SlideIT has going for it, it's that it's fast. I'm not just talking a little quick here and there. It feels like as soon as you're even thinking about being done with a word, SlideIT is ready to toss it out there. It's kind of uncanny and hard to describe what makes it feel so instant, but it does.

As far as word prediction goes, this is where I think SlideIT has room to improve (at least when compared to Swype). Word that are a couple of letters long (three to five), no problem. SlideIT has no problems spelling "it" or "that" or "looks," but it felt like once I got past words of five letters, accuracy went out the window. No, I meant to spell "fantastic." Was my trace so far off that it really deserves "??" as a prediction?

Other than that, there's not much to say. SlideIT is a keyboard, and a keyboard's for typing things out. Long-pressing works fine, and auto-spacing is all customizable via the settings menu. There's also a whole slew of language packs that can be downloaded from the Market, which is a good alternative to having to pick between all languages supported or just English and Spanish.

Overall, it feels like SlideIT is on the right track. There's a lot of good ideas there (ones I wouldn't mind seeing Swype eventually adopt), but until the prediction is better, it's not something I'd use normally. There's also the price to consider. SlideIT has a 15-day free trial, but after that, you're laying down $6.40 for the whole package. Again, language packs and skins are free.

We've got download links after the break.

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3 years ago

Android App Review: HD Widgets

9

 

It seems us Android folk can't live without our widgets. Be it Beautiful, Android Pro, or any other that doesn't come to mind, they're one of the more aesthetically pleasing and practical parts to being on Google's team. For those who're always looking for the best clock and weather combo on a tablet (a title usually defaulted to Beautiful Widgets), say hello to the newest kid on the block, HD Widgets.

HD Widgets is a tablet-only app that looks to bring some of the visual beauty and slickness most people are accustomed to from Beautiful Widgets. Everything is optimized for the tablet's larger screen, and the results really speak for themselves.

HD Widgets comes with a large selection of sizes to choose from, ranging from full screen to header, half-page, and even weather by itself. Some options also have a "small" choice, as well, which usually means the clock isn't taller than the rest of the widget.

There's also a pretty good selection of clocks to choose from, although the extent is mostly what color and what kind of frame. There's a couple of options as far as font, but if you're not interested in either a traditional digital clock font of a Sense clock, you might be wise to look elsewhere. You can also opt for shortcuts instead of the weather, which includes airplane mode, wi-fi, Bluetooth, screen rotation, and brightness. To top it off, you also get to pick the background.

Once you've got your widget customized and placed, you needn't worry about anything else. It'll automatically determine your location (in my case, via wi-fi), and you're good to go. If you're curious about the weather, you can tap the weather icon, and similar to Beautiful Widgets, a full screen weather detail is brought up.

This is where HD Widgets really shines, as it can fully take advantage of the tablet's large screen. Large weather icons are bright and gorgeous, and you're shown really detailed information like sunrise and sunset as well as wind direction and pressure. Your weekly forecast is there, too, with icons and temperatures, just like you'd expect. It's good looking, plain and simple.

The only downside of HD Widgets as of now is that you can't download user-made clocks or weather icons, but honestly, with how slick the built-in icons are, I'm not sure you need to. And even then, that's my only complaint. Fortunately, the developers have their emails public and are taking feature requests and ideas, so I know what I'm going to say.

HD Widgets is only $1.99 for now (an introductory price of ~40% off), so if you're rocking a tablet and looking for some absolutely stunning widgets, I'd hope on this sooner rather than later. It's an excellent app that looks like it's only got room to grow, and two bucks isn't bad at all.

We've got download links and more pictures (like way more) after the break.

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3 years ago

Android App Review: Media Converter

9

 

Media Converter is a versatile application for converting videos, audio, images, documents, and e-books on the go. The app is easy to use. Simply select what category of media you are converting, choose the file and what format you want to convert it to, and click submit. With almost 50 different file types you can convert your files to in six different categories,  there is sure to be a solution for your needs. The speed of conversion was surprisingly fast, at least faster than I was expecting, and since everything is uploaded and converted in the cloud, your battery doesn't feel a strain.

Supported file types:

  • VIDEOS: Convert nearly any format to 3GP, 3G2, FLV, MKV, MP4, MPEG-2, OGG, WEBM, or WMV.
  • AUDIO: Convert nearly any audio format to MP3, OGG, WAV, WMA, AAC, FLAC, M4A, or MMF.
  • IMAGES: Convert nearly any format to JPG, PNG, BMP, EPS, GIF, HDR, EXR, SVG, TGA, TIFF, WBMP, or WEBP.
  • DOCUMENTS: Convert just about anything to PDF, DOC, TXT, ODT, FLASH, or HTML.
  • EBOOKS: Convert ebooks between many formats such as EPUB, MOBI, PDF, LRF, FB2, LIT, PDB, TCR.
  • ARCHIVES: Convert files to archives, or convert between archive formats! Supports ZIP, BZ2, 7Z, and GZ.

I didn't have a problem converting any of the files I threw at Media Converter, but there are some important things you'll want to take note of. First of all, you have to be connected to the internet to convert anything. Files get uploaded to the cloud, converted, then downloaded back onto your device. Also, files must be under 100mb, and DRM and password protected files can't be converted. Also, to select files from your device, Media Converter will prompt you to download and install a free app called OI File Manager, otherwise you can only select files from your picture, video, and music galleries. With all that said, if you are looking for a versatile file converter, Media Converter is worth a look and is available for $3.99 in the Android Market.

Download links and screenshots are after the break.

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3 years ago

Android App Review: Gentle Alarm

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So, I've got to be up pretty early every week day of the week. Some of you might find yourselves in the same predicament. Maybe you've got to commute to school. Maybe you need to get everyone's lunches made before you head off to work. Whatever the reason, feeling refreshed when I wake up is a huge deal to me, because I don't stumble around for the next half hour as I wait to finally, truly wake up.

Gentle Alarm tries to remedy that issue by starting to play an alarm 30 minutes before your normal alarm goes off. The idea is that if you're not in a deep REM cycle, the softer sounding "pre-alarm" will wake you up before your normally scheduled alarm and you'll feel much better because you're not being yanked and startled from the snuggly confines of REM sleep.

Gentle Alarm has a couple of presets, like nap, workday, or silent. Depending on which one you choose, the lead-in time for the softer alarm will be different. You can also enable "safe alarm" on any alarm, which plays a loud alarm at the actual time your alarm is supposed to go off, so you don't accidentally sleep through everything.

On the presets page you can change initial lead-in volumes as well as tweak other sound settings. You can change alarm sounds based off of music you have on your SD card or the app can download a small sound package for you that'll open up your options even more. You're also able to adjust things like screen brightness when the alarm starts going off.

Having used Gentle Alarm for a few nights, I can say it works. Maybe I'm a light sleeper normally or maybe it's really gently nudging me to a full state of being awake when I'm not REM sleeping. Maybe I just always have to use the bathroom around the time my alarm goes off. I can't ever be certain, but I can say that I'm awake as the soft alarm is going off.

If you're part of the early riser crowd like myself, it might behoove you to give Gentle Alarm a try. It goes for $2.83 in the Android Market, but there is also a free trial version available, too.

We've got more pictures and download links after the break.

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3 years ago

Google Maps updated, lets you see places you've rated 4 and 5 star and attach photos to your reviews

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Big G has updated Google Maps to version 5.10.0, and with the update comes two features that users might just love -- the ability to see places you've rated 4 or 5 stars right on your map view, and the ability to attach a photo to a place review.

Some of us just use maps for the awesome turn-by-turn navigation, or to find that little seafood place your brother-in-law told you about with the great clam chowder, but places and check-ins are another great feature we rarely mention.  With today's update, they get pushed a little closer to the front of the action, with places you like showing up right on your map so you don't forget about them.  Could be awful handy for the business traveler, deadhead, or anyone who often finds themselves jaunting across the country in a different bed each night.  And to help others know about those great places you visit, you can attach a photo to your review.

OK, so it's not the biggest update in the world, but it does offer a nice bump for the folks who use the places features, and is a good way to get more of us to use them.  It will be interesting just how Google works places and reviews from Maps into things now that they've bought out Zagat.  Grab the update from the Android Market, or we've got a handy link after the break.

Thanks, Jason! 

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3 years ago

Android Wallpaper Review: Digital Hive Live Wallpaper

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YouTube link for mobile viewing

I'm a huge fan of Honeycomb. I think Google developed something really cool with the TRON-like aesthetic, plus all of the bee-related imagery appeals to me. By default, I use the included hive wallpaper that's built into Honeycomb. Since I stumbled upon the Digital Hive Live Wallpaper, though, I'm not sure if I can ever go back.

Digital Hive Live Wallpaper looks just like the standard hive wallpaper, except now the hexagons hover in the air and sort of pulse up and down. If you touch one of the hexagons, it will respond to your touch and move accordingly. It's totally pointless, but a cool touch nonetheless.

On the wallpaper settings menu, you've got a number of settings to mess with and perfect your digital hive experience. The first setting is line quality, with two settings. If you're on a tablet or a high-end phone, you'll probably want to opt for the high quality. Otherwise, there's the standard quality.

Next are all of the color options. You're able to save three colors of your choosing, and then you can pick one of them to be the color source (the actual color of the shapes on the wallpaper). Choosing a color is easy as can be. All you do is pick the color spectrum you want to be in, then drag the little circle to your preferred shade.

There's also a "battery level" option for the color. If you pick this, your wallpaper will change colors depending on if your battery is full, at 50% (or less), or about to die. If you leave it alone, they'll be green, yellow, and red, respectively, but you can mess with those, too.

There's also options for motion (pulsing and whatnot), enabling touch response, and amplifying motion (which looks great on a tablet's full screen).

Performance-wise, I'd say there might be just the slightest bit of hang when moving from screen to screen, but that might just be my own paranoia about having a live wallpaper slow down my screen swiping. Overall, speed is mostly there, so I'm not sure if it's a combination of the floating shapes and the orientation moving along with each screen, but be aware.

Digital Hive Live Wallpaper goes for 99 cents in the Android Market. If you're as big a fan of the Honeycomb design as I am, it's something I'd definitely check out.

Download links and more pictures are after the break.

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3 years ago

Citrix GoToMeeting now available for more devices, comes preloaded on the Droid Bionic

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Back when the Motorola Droid 3 launched, one of the pre-loaded applications on the device was Citrix GoToMeeting along with Citrix Receiver. Now, Citrix has released the app to more Android devices in addition to their announcement of it also being pre-loaded on the upcoming Droid Bionic. (Just as it did on the Droid 3.)

These days, more people are leaving the confines of their offices and handling business on the go from their mobile devices. Citrix GoToMeeting allows you to attend those important meetings no matter where you are.

  • Quick session entry: Join meetings in seconds by clicking a link in an email or clicking the GoToMeeting icon and entering the meeting ID.
  • VoIP integrated audio: Quickly connect to audio through the Internet using the built-in mic and speakers.
  • Audio controls: Mute yourself to eliminate background noise while on the go.
  • Zoom in on meeting content: Zoom meeting content up to 200% by pinching the screen.
  • Portrait or landscape view: Flip your Android device to adjust your view of meeting content.
  • See who’s attending: View a list of meeting attendees.

The app is available now in the Android Market as a free download. You'll find the full press release and download link past the break should you need more info.

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