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.
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.
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.
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:
May 12, 2011: Netflix goes live. Available for the Nexus S, Nexus One, Droid Incredible, EVO 4G and T-Mobile G2.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This is the stock Netflix app, pulled from one phone and installed on the tablet. No hackery was involved -- we've never been crazy about people cracking open someone else's app in the first place. But this is pretty much fair game, and we're going to spend the rest of the afternoon watching Phineas and Ferb, or whatever else our preschool-age daughter has polluted our Netflix recommendations with.
For whatever reason, Facebook still has not released a Honeycomb-optimized version of its Android app. And we're kind of to the point where we don't care anymore, as third-party apps are doing the job nicely. Here we have Friendcaster, which currently is in beta for Honeycomb tablets.
Friendcaster has your basic Honeycomb design, which splits things up into columns or panes. On the far left you've got all the basic Facebook features -- News Feed, Profile, Friends, Photos, Check-ins, Messages, Groups, Events and Pages. Tap one, and they expand in the next column over. So you'll see your news feed. Or pictures, or messages, etc. Top on an individual update or photo, and they open in the next column over. Nice, simple design.
You've also got all the usual functions -- you can update your status, filter your stream, take a picture, upload a picture, refresh, see your notifications, or get app settings.
Our only real complaint in this beta is that there's a fat banner app that keeps popping up. We'll be more than happy to pay to get rid of it.
We've got download links after the break if you want to give it a go.
Calling all Muggles -- JK Rowling's Harry Potter series will finally be hitting e-readers this fall, and it'll be available on Android. There's a bit of a catch, as you'll actually be buying the books from the new Pottermore site in October. When you purchase, you'll have the option to save the book to your Google Books library. And from there, you can read on any Android smartphone or tablet (or any non-Android or iOS device that has a browser).
Google also announced that Google Checkout is the preferred third-party checkout for Pottermore. So if you've got an Android phone and have ever purchased an app from the Android Market, you're already set. More details are set to unfold leading up to the launch this fall.
Delta Air Lines' Android app just got a little update that brings a couple of cool features. If you're logged in, you can now view and change your seat assignments (provided there are any seats left), as well as view the standby/upgrade lists. It's not going to help you get to first class any quicker (you peasant), but it's another nice addition to a very nice mobile travel app.
Lookout has announced the creation of the "Mobile Threat Network" -- designed to automate the process of detection and analysis of applications that pose a threat to the end user's security. Using a mobile security API, protection can be extended not only to the end user, but to the application market as well. Verizon Wireless has gotten on board, and their VCast app store will use the mobile security API to connect with the Mobile Threat Network, the first such company to become involved. We've seen how hard it can be to keep determined people from pushing malware laden applications to market, so we're glad to see any effort to fight against it.
The way it works, applications are scanned and analyzed, with suspicious apps identified. After determining that an application is malicious, Lookout will protect your phone, and the new Mobile Threat Network keeps it from showing up at any market that participates -- like the VCast app store. A fast and efficient way to scan applications and mark potential problem apps for a further investigation sounds like a great solution to a real problem.
It's a sad fact of life that an open market model will have malware. We hate it as much as you do, but it's important that we recognize that it exists. The vast majority of the applications available for the Android platform are perfectly safe to use, written by hard working developers, but one bad Apple can ruin the bunch. Maybe you have the time and know-how to keep yourself safe from malware, but if you want the convenience and security of an automated system from the professionals, it's great that one exists. For more details, read the press release after the break and hit the source link to read more.
So, the good: Netflix has quietly added support for a slew of Android phones, bringing the total to 24. That's two dozen devices on which to stream movies to your heart's content -- including the upcoming Motorola Droid Bionic.
And, now, the bad: Except for the Lenovo K1 IdeaPad -- which kinda sorta isn't really on sale yet -- tablets are still nowhere to be found. No Motorola Xoom. No Galaxy Tab 10.1. Heck, no Galaxy Tab 7, either. No ASUS Transformer. No Toshiba Thrive. Odd, to say the least.
But, we'll take what we can get, we suppose. We've got download links for Netflix, plus the full list of supported devices, after the break.
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