With Halloween rapidly approaching it is time to get in the spirit and spice up your device with a little Halloween flavor. One of the many fun features of Android is the ability to run live wallpapers, and what better way to show a little bit of Halloween fun than to have some skulls flying across the screen, and some cobwebs? This live wallpaper, like most others that offer options to customize the speed, direction, and size of the objects will set you back only 99 cents, but that's a small price to pay to get in the spirit. Hit the break for download links.
Another week, another tower defense game. This one is in space, you say? And has an HD texture pack upgrade? And a giant, robo mech that protects your base? Alright, I'm sold. Let's have a look.
When you first open up Sentinel 3: Homeworld, you'll be prompted to download additional files (19MB worth, to be exact). I get it, it's a big game so not everything comes bundled in from the Market. There's also an optional 40MB "HD pack" add-on that's totally not mandatory, but recommended if you've got space to spare and you're playing on a tablet.
There's three game modes: Campaign, Endless, and Classic. In Campaign, you play through the (cliche and weak) story. You get to control where your mech's skill points are spent, buy more weapon slots for your ground and sentinel weapons, and buy the weapons themself.
Endless mode is just what is sounds like. Endless (natch) waves of bad guys come at you and you try to stave them off until you lose. The Classic mode is similar to the Campaign, except each level has you outfitted with specific towers and such to fend off your enemies.
Gameplay is typical from a tower defense game. You put up towers, they kill bad guys, you get money, and the whole cycle repeats itself. Sentinel 3 tries to differentiate itself from the pack with two ideas: the commander and the sentinel itself.
The commander is the mech I've mentioned a few times. He's controlled by the computer, parks himself in front of your barrier (your first physical structure in blocking your base), and generally owns anything that comes at him. He's got a wide range shot, can melee attack, and boosts the attack speed and damage of units within his 'morale' radius. (Morale is one of his stats you can boost up, too.)
The sentinel is your spaceship, presumeably floating in near-Homeworld orbit. As you continue to move through the levels, you'll be able to purchase new and exciting abilites for the sentinel. I think the first one you can buy are homing missiles that rain destruction upon your enemies. All the sentinel abilities require energy to use, and there's an energy pillar thing that keeps sending charges up as long as it doesn't get destroyed.
Sentinel 3 is also long. The first level on Classic took me 35 minutes, and that was with the fast forward option turned on. While this definitely promises a lot of gametime for your money, at some point you've got enough towers out to know you're not going to lose, and at that point, it feels like it wouldn't hurt to set your device down and go for a walk.
Still, there is a lot to do in Sentinel 3, between the three games modes, and then two styles within Classic. Oh, and did I mention there's four levels of difficulty? And OpenFeint support? Cause there is, and there's achievements to go along with everything, including things as simple as beating a level.
At $3.06, Sentinel 3 is one of the pricier games out there (but still cheap in the grand scheme of things), and for a fan of any tower defense game, feels like a must-have. The gameplay has just enough variation to keep things feeling fresh. There's interesting towers, lots of different enemies, and a sweet soundtrack, to boot. (What is it? Techno? Dubstep?)
If you're willing to take the plunge and bring the fight to the homeworld, download links are after the break.
If you're not much of a fan of the stock Android browser, you've probably tried Dolphin Browser in the past and realized it offers quite a few extra features when compared to the other multitude of options out there. The latest release being v7.0 has now landed as a GetJar exclusive and is available for download and iintroduces a new feature called Dolphin Connect:
Dolphin 7.0 is moving your mobile experience to the cloud by introducing Dolphin Connect. With Dolphin Connect your bookmarked sites and your browsing preferences will be kept in sync across all of your devices. No longer forget web addresses—Dolphin Connect remembers them for you. With Dolphin Connect, Dolphin will once again reshape the mobile browsing experience.
Dolphin retains all the great features from previous releases as well such as gestures, webzine and add-ons. If you've not taken Dolphin for a test drive in the past, now is a good time to give it a go. Full press release is past the break, you can hit the source link for the download.
By the way ... As if there wasn't enough going on today, our CrackBerry cousins are in the middle of their DevCon conference in San Francisco, where the topic of BBM on Android came up. RIM VP of developer relations Alec Saunders and Chris Smith, senior director of the BlackBerry Developer Program, pretty much shot it down -- for now -- with the former saying he "wasn't aware of it" and the latter saying "there are no plans for it."
Usually when a company says it "currently has no plans" or "we have nothing to announce at this time," it means full well they're working on it. But it's also worth mentioning that fake screenshots are fake, trollers gonna troll, our our boys on the ground at DevCon know their stuff. Keep calm and carry on.
And just like that, Daddy's toys are cool again. Duck Duck Moose has brought its popular (and excellent) "Wheels on the Bus" kids app to Android. The music's simple, the song is clear, and it's got all the same interactive features as the iOS version, sure to keep young kids occupied. (At least it has mine.)
Wheels on the Bus is $1.99. Check out our fingers-on and find download links after the break.
Google has been going strong with Google Wallet as of late in an effort to make NFC more widely used. Their latest announcement is a testament to their commitment of working with merchants in an effort to make things easy, drive sales and save consumers money. They've added more supported merchants to the list, as noted on the Google Mobile Blog:
Today, our partners American Eagle Outfitters, The Container Store, Foot Locker, Guess, Jamba Juice, Macy’s, OfficeMax and Toys“R”Us are rolling out an even better Google Wallet experience. For the first time ever in the U.S., at these select stores, you can not only pay but also redeem coupons and/or earn rewards points—all with a single tap of your phone. This is what we call the Google Wallet SingleTap experience.
So not only will you be able to use Google Wallet at those places, you'll also be able to save some money while doing so. The "Featured Offers" tab within Google Wallet has offers that are exclusive and won't be found elsewhere. Some new ones added today include, 15% off at American Eagle Outfitters, 10% off at The Container Store, 15% off at Macy’s and an all-fruit smoothie for $2 at Jamba Juice and Google is actively working with retailers to have customer rewards / loyalty cards integrated with their services as well.
While Google admits that Google Wallet is still new and they are actively exploring new uses for it, the adoption rate has thus far been great with even more retailers such as Chevron, D’Agostino, Faber News Now, Gristedes Supermarkets and Pinkberry working with Google to accept Google Wallet.
A few weeks back we took a look at BIG Launcher, an Android replacement launcher geared toward those who have some trouble seeing smaller icons, and they are pleased to announce a huge update. With this update the launcher is now 100% accessible, meaning it is now compatible with screen reader applications, such as Talkback, it is now fully controllable by physical buttons only if preffered, and they offer a dark skin as well so it is a bit easier on the eyes. If you have already purchased BIG Launcher be sure to grab the latest update, and if you haven't or know someone who could benefit from it be sure to hit the break for download links.
If you're looking for the antithesis of Frost, you'll find it in Lucid. Dark, dramatic, and definitely easy on the battery, Lucid has won me over in the dark themes category and Sonny Sekhon has definitely shown off that he's no slouch at making CM7 themes.
Take everything I've said about Frost and Tangerine, and just make it black. The notification pulldown bar is back to being black. The transparency is there and the bottom of the pulldown is black with a little white arrow. The widget icons are white (naturally, so you can see them), and the battery percent is still inside the battery.
The dialer is transparent black, just like the other themes made by this developer. The accent colors for the frames is actually the same silver as Frost. The only difference here is that Lucid opts for black instead of silver.
Icons and widgets are the same greyish silver from Frost, too. Give your app drawer a look, there's plenty to see. It matches the theme really well, and while it may initially seem like a bummer that the icons are the same as Frost, monochrome looks so good with black you won't even mind the next time you look.
The toast notifications, buttons, highlight color, and checks are also the same dark grey/silver color, but it looks awesome. I guess that means we could argue Lucid is just Frost with a black bar, but don't. The theme looks good and it's functional, so let it be.
If you're looking for a theme with a bit darker vibe, Lucid is it. It's clean, look great, and shouldn't be too hard on the battery. Like it's other friends from the same dev, it's all yours for only $1.
We've got download links and more pictures after the break.
You want em, we got em. No, no. Not Samsung Galaxy Nexus devices, but instead applications to make your Android device even more fun than it already is. Jump past the break as we take another look at some of our favorites from this week.