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3 years ago

Android Quick App: Domino Run

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YouTube link for mobile viewing

We were all kids once (right?), and a staple of kid-dom was stacking up dominoes only to knock them down. Easy, dumb simple, clean fun. Now we're old and haggard, but there's an app out there that will not only keep your mind sharp, but also help you relive your younger days. For the kid in all of us, there is Domino Run.

Domino Run is pretty straightforward. You have dominoes you need to shuffle around to knock down a special blue domino, known as "the Finisher." Don't knock down the blue one, you lose. Oh, and did I mention you need to knock all of the other dominoes down before the Finisher falls? If you don't do that, you lose again.

Gameplay starts off simple, but gets progressively more difficult, adding mechanics like you dropping dominoes off of ledges to knock down other dominoes, or the introduction of the red domino, which I believe is called the Stopper. The challenges don't end there, as there's an entire list of uniquely powered dominoes that come in the later levels (that I didn't get to see in my time with the game).

Scoring is done medal-style, with gold, silver, and bronze medals being awarded to you based on moves spent and the time it took you to complete a level. The easiest way to game the system get gold medals on everything that I've found is to take your time plotting out a successful move, then immediately replay the level and use your plan as fast as you can. Instant gold medal!

Overall, Domino Run is a fun, calming, throwback-to-an-older-day kind of game, and I dig it. There's both free and paid version in the Market, and the free version lets you play a full 20 levels, so it's not a bad deal. If you feel like taking the plunge into 70 levels of domino madness, the full version only sets you back a buck.

Download links to Domino Fun Run are after the break.

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3 years ago

Android Quick App: Talk2All

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3 years ago

Bouncy Mouse - Cut the rope meets Angry Birds

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Youtube link for mobile viewing

A new game has popped up in the Android Central forums and after having been playing it for past few days now, we think you should check it out. Available for both Android smartphones and tablets for free, if you're a fan of Angry Birds and Cut The Rope -- Bouncy Mouse is the best of both. You get to shoot, sling, and fly Bouncy Mouse through 30 levels in 3 different Worlds that are superbly designed. The developer, Eric -- is looking for feedback on the game so if you decide to give it a shot, make sure you let him know how you like it. The download link can be found past the break.

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3 years ago

Android kids app: Winnie the Pooh - What's a Bear to Do

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Youtube link for mobile viewing

Let's face it: If you want to properly review a kids' app, you've got to get a kid to do it. So we armed Daughter No. 1 with the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 and the "Winnie the Pooh - What's a Bear to Do?" game. It's a simple premise: Pooh loves honey, and it's your job to help him find it by way of a few hidden honey pots. There are a smattering of puzzles to do, too, and they proved no match for a genius soon-to-be kindergartener.

The honey pots, on the other hand, took a little more doing, and there were a few tears shed (by the kid!) when they weren't all found on the first go. But as you can see in the video above, finishing the game doesn't end the fun, and it remains a nice babysitter entertaining. In only adult games could hold our attention like that.

"Winnie the Pooh - What's a Bear to Do?" runs $2.99 in the Android Market. Download links are after the break.

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3 years ago

Google Music Manager now available for Linux

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Google has (finally) released the Music Manager PC client for Linux, meaning work-arounds like WINE are no longer necessary.  You can download pre-packaged binaries in either .rpm or .deb format, ready to install on many popular Linux systems.  This is a closed source project, so if you're not using a Linux distro that can parse a deb or rpm package, you'll have to convert it to your preferred package type with a program like Alien, or extract the archive and manually inspect the install script (I'll drop those ubergeek instructions after the break for those interested).

Along with official Linux support, Linux versions of Google Music Manager also support .ogg files, by transcoding them to 320kbps .mp3 files.  This is the same way it handles FLAC files, and while not perfect, we're not going to complain because any support is better than none.  Getting it installed is easy --  just fire up your web browser (on your Linux computer, of course) and head to music.google.com.  Once there, click the "add music" link, and download the client.  It seems pretty solid, and certainly better than using the (not an)emulated Windows version.

Source: GoogleThanks, Andrew!

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3 years ago

Microsoft releases API and tools to connect Messenger, SkyDrive, and Hotmail data to mobile apps

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Microsoft has released a set of tools and samples that now makes it a good bit easier to get users Windows Live data from Hotmail, SkyDrive, and Messenger for smartphone applications, including Android apps.  Developers will only need to enter the application name and language used, and then they will receive a client ID and secret token.  These are then used in your application to allow the user to sign in via the web, with no back-end needed for this from the developers.  Microsoft provides a working sample to view a user's SkyDrive photos, with more examples to follow.

Microsoft, as much as anyone, understands the open platform model.  It's been good to them over the years, and it's nice to see simple and effective methods to access user account data across mobile platforms. I hope some developers out there with the "next great idea" for a Windows Live app takes advantage of them.  Drop us a line if that sounds like you!

Source: Windows Live team blog

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3 years ago

Android Market now gives developers option for multiple APKs per app listing

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Here's an interesting little addition to the Android Market for developers: You can now upload multiple APK files for a single listing. That is, you can have one app name (and one package name), with multiple versions of the app file. Why do that? A dev could have one APK for tablets, and another for smartphones. Or one for one screen size, and one for another screen size. The Market keeps all of the same listing information -- screen shots, description, comments, etc. -- and aggregates stats and billing.

For most of you out there, you shouldn't notice a thing. But it's a nice addition for the folks working behind the scenes.

Source: Android Developers Blog

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3 years ago

Grab your overalls, Green Farm is now available in the Android Market

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If you're a fan of farming games, you'll be glad to hear that Green Farm by Gameloft is now available in the Android Market. That's right, you can raise crops, trees, and livestock, earn coins to buy seeds, animals, and buildings and even learn to make cheese or become a carpenter, all without getting your hands dirty. (Note to Green Farm online players: This farm doesn’t connect to your online farm, but you can build a new one on your mobile device.) You can grab Green Farm free in the Android Market, download links are after the break.

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3 years ago

Escape from Robot Factory is enough to make a robot's head spin

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Youtube link for mobile viewing

This one's at least a wee bit interesting. You're a robot, trying to get out of the robot factory (as all robots are inclined to do, we gather). It's a three-dimensional scroller, but you don't see things from the robot's point of view, which gets a little confusing at times. And the controls are rudimentary at best. But the good news is there's a free version if you wanna check things out. Links are after the break.

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3 years ago

Travelocity launches Android app

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Travel giant Travelocity has launched its Android app. You've got options to book flights and hotels, find deals, get flight info, explore destinations, find gas stations, view your trips (once you're logged in to your account, of course), contact Travelocity, or go to the full website.

The app itself is pretty simple -- what you see above amounts to the entirety of the menu, and there are no real settings to take advantage of. You can search for flights or hotels without being logged in, which is nice, and the "Contact us" button brings up Travelocity's toll-free number.

We've got download links after the break if you want to give it a go.

Source: Press release

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3 years ago

Editorial: Netflix's Android rollout an example of a good thing done badly

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One of the first rules of kindergarten is you don't talk about kindergarten. Wait. That's something else. Actually, one of the first rules of kindergarten involves bringing treats to school. If you don't have enough for everybody, don't bring anything.

The same should apply for some Android applications. In particular, we're talking about the Netflix application. Here's a look at how it's rolled out:

So we now have 24 devices that "officially" can run Netflix. And of those 24 devices, only one is a Honeycomb tablet -- and it's one that maybe all of a dozen people have purchased. That's the Lenovo IdeaPad Tablet K1, which only went on sale July 20. No Motorola Xoom. Not Galaxy Tab 10.1. No ASUS eee Pad Transformer. No Acer Iconia Tab A500.

That's no way to run a railroad. It's not good for Netflix, and it's sure not good for Android. The list of smartphones that Netflix is now (finally) available on is pretty good, with most of the high-end devices available in the United States. But the form factor that screams for Netflix -- that'd be tablets -- is still severely lacking.

We know the Netflix app works well on tablets. Hell, it looks great on Honeycomb tablets. The latest version released this week works just fine, no hacking of the app needed.

And if you'll allow a short rant here, we've never been that comfortable with people hacking open the Netflix app to get it to work on other devices. Changing the build.prop file on your own phone to spoof a device ID is one thing; breaking open someone's app and rebuilding it to suit your needs (and then distributing it) is another. It's practices like this that cause the DRM punishment in the first place. And as we all know, it never really punishes the offenders, who just find another way around the DRM.

Netflix has to satisfy the movie studios' requirements to make sure there's not wholesale pirating of movies. We get that. It sucks, but we get it. But look where it's led us -- a half-assed rollout of what should be one of the most exciting applications to hit a Honeycomb tablet, and one that could have made Google's movie rental service all but irrelevant before it even launched.

Instead, we have a great app that finally works on some devices and a scant few tablets. It's nice that we've got it now, but it's pretty much been an exercise in how not to launch a popular app.

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3 years ago

Cut the Rope getting its own comic series ... on iTunes

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Better not let ol' Lloyd hear about this -- the loveable Om Nom from Cut the Rope is getting his ... erm, its ... own digital comic series. If you've yet to play Cut the Rope, the premise is you have to get dangling candies into Om Nom's mouth. And it can be surprisingly difficult to do so.

Now, the bad news: The digital comic will launch in the iTunes App Store in late August. Lame. Here's what we'd do: Hit up facebook.com/cuttherope or get 'em on Twitter at @Cut_The_Rope and let 'em know we want some Om Nom comic love on Android soonest.

Or we'd settle for getting Lloyd his own gig.

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3 years ago

Angry Birds Rio updated with 15 more levels

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There you go. Fifteen more levels on the Carnival level of Angry Birds Rio. Enjoy.

 

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3 years ago

Amazon MP3 app updated, playlists now include Latest Purchases and Uploads

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The Amazon MP3 app has been updated to version 2.0.10. A couple of the big features of this update are 1.) when you select Automatic Downloads only new content will download and 2.) in your playlist view, you can now see Latest Purchases and Uploads, which is just like the Cloud Player for web.

Here is the full changelog:

  • Automatic Downloads now won't download previous purchases, only new
  • Fixed bug causing skips in streamed music
  • Latest Purchases & Latest Uploads playlists updated to match Cloud Player for Web
  • Fixed instability with large download queues
  • Fixed lock-screen display on Honeycomb

If you want the latest version of Amazon's MP3 app, see the links after the break.

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3 years ago

Contest: Win 1 of 5 3-month Slacker Premium Radio subscriptions

 

Looking to try Slacker Premium Radio out? Although Slacker Radio has a basic free version available for all there is nothing like having on-demand access to Slacker’s whole music library in addition to ad-free customizable radio. Not forgetting the many other great features Slacker offers:

  • Search and listen to specific songs or albums
  • Cache radio stations, albums and playlists to your smartphone so you can listen without a connection (better battery life, no data usage and uninterrupted playback)
  • Create playlists by typing in songs or by adding them while you listen to Slacker Radio stations and even share them with others.
  • View and listen to real-time "top 50" charts for all Slacker genres based on listener and Slacker DJ interaction
  • Listen to an artist-specific station that will only play songs from a specific artist or band (i.e. Michael Jackson, Jimi Hendrix etc..)

Slacker, being the awesome folks they are -- want you to experience Slacker and as such have given us five free 3-month premium subscriptions. Rather then hoard them for ourselves, we figured you all are more deserving, so we're going to give them away.  Drop some comments in the Android Central forums post and we'll pick out some winners. If you can't wait -- you'll find the Slacker Radio download link past the break.

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