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2 years ago

Shall we play a game? WarGames: WOPR may be the best 99 cents you spend all week

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Any self-respecting nerd out there has seen WarGames at least 30 times. If not, hit up Netflix and come back when you're appropriately familiar with Joshua and the WOPR and Global Thermonuclear War. (And that applies to those of you too young to have ever seen the 1983 Matthew Broderick/Ally Sheedy flick.)

WarGames: WOPR brings the characters and rough storyline of the movie to your Android (and iOS) phones and tablets. The game itself is a basic puzzle game -- you make strings of three or more objects to remove them from the board. But you also have to defeat an opponent. You're the WOPR, playing against characters from the film. Launch missiles to beat them, collect cash, and basically try to destroy the planet in simulation. There are power-ups to be purchased along the way, and you'll have to snag them wisely to beat the latter levels. (And, of course, there's in-app purchasing to get more in-game cash so you can get the upgrades quicker.)

I've been surprisingly entertained by WarGames: WOPR. Maybe it's the fun of seeing the characters again. Maybe it's the sound effects, which have been pulled straight from the film. Maybe it's just the nerd in me remembering how cool it was to pretend we could use our modems to dial in (kids -- have your parents explain) to some strange company and learn its secrets. Or change our grades. 

Either way, this might well by the best buck you spend this week. And unlike the message of the movie, where the only winning move was not to play, you're going to have a hard time putting this one down.

We've got a slew of in-game screen shots for you after the break.

Download: WarGames: WOPR

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2 years ago

Samsung brings iTunes and iOS data to Galaxy devices with Easy Phone Sync

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Samsung has announced that it's partnered with developer Mushroom Media to bring the company's Easy Phone Sync application to owners of Galaxy smartphones and tablets. As the name suggests, Easy Phone Sync is allows phones to transfer content from their PCs over a USB connection, with the particular focus being on importing music and other media from iTunes, and contacts and messages from iOS. The app, which will presumably be available for a fee at some point in the future, can be downloaded for free on Google Play if you've got a Galaxy device.

The app release and partnership with Mushroom Media is likely part of Samsung's plans to give iOS users an easy path from Apple's ecosystem to its own. Samsung has made no secret of its efforts to establish itself as a equal competitor to Apple, and the Korean manufacturer will be hoping to lure upgrading iPhone users to its Galaxy S III with apps like this. While Easy Phone Sync isn't anywhere near as polished as an Apple app, it's fast and functional enough to be of use to iOS converts making the switch to a Galaxy phone.

We've given Easy Phone Sync a quick test on the Galaxy S III, and it seems to work well enough. Inexplicably though, the phone app seems to run persistently in the background, leaving an unsightly notification in place at all times.  The phone all only serves to install a license key though, and after that it can be uninstalled. Regardless, persistent notifications are annoying, and make for a sub-par user experience -- on an officially-sanctioned app like this, there's no excuse.

You'll find today's presser from Samsung after the break, and download links below.

Download: Easy Phone Sync (Android), Easy Phone Sync (Mac, PC)

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2 years ago

Google Reader updated with tablet usability fixes

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If you use Google Reader and an Android tablet, chances are you'll want to pick up the latest update for Google's RSS app, which contains some tablet-specific usability fixes. And that's it -- we haven't noticed any other changes in this version, and even on Honeycomb tablets the app seems pretty much the same.

In any case it's good to stay up to date, and the new version 1.1.5 of Google Reader is available to download now from Google Play. Existing users can fire up the Store app and head to "My Apps" to grab the update, or if you're new, we've included a download link below.

Download: Google Play Store

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2 years ago

Flipboard for Android now available to the masses!

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After running a short beta and having Samsung Galaxy S III exclusivity, the developers of Flipboard have gone ahead and opened the doors to the masses. The beta testing phase allowed for testing on numerous devices so you'll now be able to download Flipboard for Android not only from the Google Play Store but the Amazon App Store, Nook Store and right from within Samsung Apps.

We've given the "Magazine-style" reader a run through already but the official release does bring some new additions such as 14 localized editions—for Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Korea, Netherlands, Spain, Taiwan, U.S. and U.K. Plus, it also now includes the freshly announced Google+ integration as well as YouTube integration allowing you to view any of your subscribed videos right within the app.

If you're looking for the download, the Google Play Store is the best bet right now as some of the options are still populating.

Download: Flipboard for Android

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2 years ago

Nike+ Android app finally released!

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Hey, all you runners out there who have been tirelessly hoofing it, waiting for the Android version of the Nike+ app. It's here. Finally.

Nike tonight announced the Nike+ Running App for Android, which, as you'd expect, connects you to nikeplus.com, making exercise social. But chances are you already knew that. Get your download on at the link below, and get back out there. Because there is no finish line.

Download: Nike+ for Android

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2 years ago

LevelUp Studio introduces Peti, a free puzzle game for Android

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Most folks will know the name of LevelUp Studio from their Plume and Beautiful Widgets apps but they've gone ahead and ventured into a new area with their latest release. Yup, gaming is now on the developers list and as such they've now unveiled a pretty fun and free puzzle game called Peti.

Peti (People for Ethical Treatment of Invaders) will place you in a new world wherein you must save aliens that fall to Earth and send them back to their mother, all in an effort to keep her happy so that she doesn't destroy all of humanity.

Overall, the game will feel familiar you to you as it takes on a retro style much like Tetris or Dr. Mario but given that it adds plenty of new twists, achievements and special powers to make it more than a "drop and place" puzzle game, it's certainly one to check out.

The graphics and characters are fun, the game itself is challenging plus, it's free. For a first run at gaming, I'd say LevelUp Studio did quite well. Grab the download, check out the game trailer below and let us know what you all think of Peti in the comments.

Download Peti

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2 years ago

Sonic The Hedgehog is having a birthday: Game sale time!

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In honor of Sonic The Hedgehog's birthday the nice people at Sega are applying some hefty discounts to the Sonic games available in the Google Play store.

  • Sonic CD is down from $4.99 to $2.99 (£2.99 - £1.99)
  • Sonic The Hedgehog: Episode 1 is down from $3.99 to $0.99 (£2.49 - £0.69)
  • Sonic The Hedgehog episode 2 is down from $6.99 to $4.99 (£4.99 - £2.99)

BARGAINS!

The offer finishes on June 22, so go grab them soon. I'm not seeing the discounts here in the UK on the web so excuse the lack of links you can click. Just head on over to the Google Play store on your phone and take advantage of Sonic's birthday bash.

Download: Sonic the Hedgehog

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2 years ago

RIM outlines how Android developers can monetize on PlayBook OS 2.1 with in-app purchases

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We're definitely in the middle of developer season right now across the Mobile Nations. While Google I/O might not kick off for another week, Android's competitors in the mobile space have all now shown off their latest wares and developer tools. One which Android developers may have so far overlooked, is the improved Android Runtime coming to BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.1, of which the developer beta was recently released

Having learned all about the Android functionality back at Devcon Europe in Amsterdam, the potential extra revenue stream for Android developers was pretty impressive. After all, when is extra revenue not going to be impressive? But, that said, functionality in the current Android Runtime offering is quite limited. There is no access to the camera for example, and no ability to offer an in-app purchase model. Both of those are addressed in PlayBook OS 2.1, and RIM has taken to their developer blog to offer up the lowdown on how to make your in-app purchase models work with BlackBerry App World. 

Especially with BlackBerry 10 on the horizon, the door for Android developers over there appears to be opening ever further. RIM boasts great things about how much moolah their registered developers can make. There are some amazing Android developers out there who deserve every opportunity to be financially rewarded for their work. RIM just gave them another. 

If you're an Android Developer and this sounds like an opportunity for you, head on over to the source link below for the full rundown. There's a whole week to kill until I/O after all.

Source: Inside BlackBerry; More: Crackberry

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2 years ago

Google gives app developers a way to respond to reviews in Google Play Store

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Google Play review trolls beware! Developers no longer have to remain silent when faced with flaming on their app listings.

Google today announced (along with a major redesign to its developer site) the ability for devs to respond to customer reviews on their apps in Google Play. This has been a long-requested feature, for the obvious reason. App reviews and star ratings mean life and death for an app. And while many customer reviews are helpful, you'll also see a number of reviews that don't make sense, or ding an app for something the developer has no control over. 

Ever seen the Stupid Market Comments account on Google+? This is what we're talking about.

"One star. Annoyed. Can't pass Level 17. Can anyone help me?"

Now, the developer can respond. 

OK, so flamers and trolls are the negative side of this. On a more positive note, developers will be able to actively address issues and answer questions. (Until now, that's been next to impossible.) And that's a definite bonus, said developer Saleh Esmaeili, who's bringing the popular Carbon Twitter client to Android.

"Many users leave feedback meant for app developers as app reviews, and some even report bugs while reviewing apps," Esmaeili told Android Central. "It will be a great opportunity to overcome the limitation and answer back right where it is asked."

And that's exactly what he'll be able to do. Developer responses will be posted publicly, on the app listings, right alongside the existing reviews. And if you leave a review on an app and the developer responds, you'll get an e-mail letting you know your comment was answered. You'll then be able to contact the developer directly if you have further questions. 

One catch: Google's initially rolling out the feature to developers who have a "Top Developer Badge," but that should cover a good many of the most popular apps out there.

All in all, it's an excellent addition to the selection and purchasing experience on Google Play.

More: Google Mobile Blog

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2 years ago

Dolphin Engine beta released, touted as highest performing HTML5 mobile browser

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Dolphin Browser HD has long been a favorite on Android with its speed and huge feature list, and it's about to get even better. With the release in beta of the new Dolphin Engine comes the claims that it is the highest performing HTML5 mobile browser out there. Indeed, Dolphin Engine scores higher than both Chrome Beta, and the stock ICS browser as well as Firefox. Impressive. 

So where does all this performance come from? Dolphin Engine is an improved webkit version with extensive canvas enhancement and some pretty serious behind the scenes nuts and bolts that gives it that added boost.  We could nerd out on technology all we want, but for most of us, numbers will tell enough of the story. 

Dolphin Engine's HTML5 rendering is 5 - 10x faster than the stock Android browser, and at times 100% faster than Chrome Beta. Double impressive. With HTML5 the future of the web, Dolphin is certainly shaping up to be a formidable foe in the mobile browser stakes.

For the full rundown on the new Dolphin Engine beta, and to download for yourselves hit the source link below. The usual caveats apply though, it is still in beta, so expect some bugs along the way. 

Source: Dolphin Browser

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