It's been more than half a year since ComiXology hit beta status. And now, just in time for the San Diego Comic-Con, ComiXology is out of beta and bringing countless comics to your Android device. The app itself is free in the Android Market; comic issues run from 99 cents to $2.99. There are more than 3,000 issues available from the DC Comics and Vertigo libraries.
Box is offering prizes ranging from $25,000 to free HP TouchPads for the developers who can build the best 10 mobile apps. Between now and Sept. 9, Android, webOS, and iOS developers can submit their applications to the folks at box.net, who are looking for "the next generation of enterprise-grade mobile applications that will enable workers to be as productive in the field as they are in the office."
First prize is $25,000 US, second place walks away with $10,000 US, and the top ten all receive a free HP TouchPad. In addition, the top two winners each get $5,000 in the InMobi ad network, and a chance to pitch their ideas to venture capital firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson, which is quite a nice prize as well. If you're an application developer, and feel up to it, be sure to check it out -- and be sure let us know what you're working on when it's ready for us to have a peek.
Blue Drone is a Bluetooth controlled R/C car that can be controlled by any Android device running Android 2.0 and higher. It's currently in its initial phase at Kickstarter, where the developer is looking for initial interest in order to justify the production costs. If you're not familiar with Kickstarter, you can opt-in and support a new project, and if the funding goals are met you'll be charged and receive what you've paid for. If the goal isn't met, you aren't charged and the project is left to seek funding elsewhere, or just fizzle away.
This one is way too cool to let that happen. For a buy-in of $59, you'll get a scale model R/C car, and the app to control it from your Android phone or tablet via a Bluetooth connection. The car is controlled via the touchscreen or uses the accelerometer for steering. You'll get three hours use from a trio of AAA batteries, and the whole set-up has a 30 foot range. Check the video above, this looks like loads of fun. Hit the source link for more information.
Current Dolphin Browser users awoke to a nice surprise this morning -- the release of Dolphin Browser v6.0. The latest version of Dolphin brings some updated features and improves upon some of the already existing features such as gestures and add-ons. One new feature that sticks out is Webzine:
Dolphin brings out the beauty of the web and with Dolphin Webzine users can experience the web like never before. Web pages are cleanly displayed as a series of thumbnail images and users can scroll through web pages instantly using an intuitive touch interface, tapping on any thumbnail image to open the desired page.
Having now gained more than 8 million users worldwide on mobile devices in less then 15 months, the Dolphin team has a strong grasp of their goals being that they want to bring the best mobile browsing experience to the world.
To help with their vision, they've secured $10 Million in funding led by Sequoia Capital. The folks behind Dolphin, MoboTap -- will use the funding for rapid development of Dolphin helping make it better with each new version released. If you jump on past the break, you'll find their full press release as well as the download link to the new Dolphin browser.
Disney Publishing has released its first Android application, "Winnie the Pooh: What's a Bear to Do?". It's an interactive children's book, starring one of the most loved characters of our childhood, that's sure to be a hit with any pint-sized Android lovers you have scurrying underfoot around the house. It's more than just an eBook, though. Features of the app include:
Read in any of 5 languages: English, French, German, Spanish, or Japanese!
Professional narration, sound effects, and Winnie the Pooh background music
Readers can record their voice or their child’s reading the story
Three reading modes to suit any reader’s mood: Read to Me, Use My Recording, and Auto Turn pages
Four interactive jigsaw puzzles
Tap ‘n’ Play surprises throughout the story – several new animated sequences added for Android
Pooh’s Cupboard matching game ties in to the story and reinforces color recognition
Visual Index allows readers to jump to their favorite page or puzzle
Disney's published a video (after the break) and I have to say, this looks very nicely done. It's a name your child is sure to know and love, and time spent with a book (even of the application variety) certainly beats time spent in front of the television. You can grab it from the Android Market (devices running 2.0 and higher) for $2.99. The link as well as that video, is after the break.
Social media has taken over the better portion of our life -- if not Twitter or Facebook, it's Foursquare telling our friends where we are. Or the new Google+. But if you're more the stay-at-home kind, GetGlue is perfect for you. GetGlue, a social networking site that allows users to share what they are thinking about, listening to, or watching, is a service that has taken off in the past few months, and it can kind of be addictive.
For folks like myself, who spend most of their days working from home, a lot of my day consists of listening to music, or having the TV playing various TV shows, so networks like Foursquare and Facebook places don't help me, since I am not leaving the house, but GetGlue allows me to share things with my friends, and get cool stickers in reward for sharing.
After launching the application you will notice a very user friendly user interface, giving you options to check in to things like television shows, movies, music, what they are thinking about or even if they are drinking wine. At the start of a new show or movie simply launch the application, search for the title, and check in for your very own chance to gain a new sticker. While checking in you can add a comment, and after checking in you are able to rate whether you enjoy it or not.
Whether sitting around with some friends and drinking some wine, or chatting about a celebrity, GetGlue allows you to check in to all these topics, giving you even more chances to gain some stickers. One of the coolest things about GetGlue is the stickers, and after you have unlocked 20 or more of them you can request to have physical copies of the stickers mailed to you from GetGlue, which is something you can't do with any other social network. So whether an avid lover of television shows or movies, or just the occasional watcher, this free application is sure to add some additional fun. Download links and more shots available after the break.
Looking to win one of the hottest Android tablets out there? Of course you are -- and the folks from SmrtGuard are looking to give one away to one lucky Android Central reader. So how exactly can you win this Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1?
Register and Activate to be automatically enter into the contest.
Wait, what is SmrtGuard Mobile Security? You might be thinking you don’t need another app that scans your phone or backup your phone. SmrtGuard does a lot more that. Here goes, it Blocks Calls, SMS, Wireless backup/restore, remote ping, remote call forwarding, inform upon download of new app what risky permissions the downloaded app uses (aka SmrtAdvisor), SmrtGuard uninstall notification and lots more.
Already a user of SmrtGuard, well, you are then automatically entered into the contest.
Do it now, this is a limited time contest that ends on 07/22/11 midnight! Winner will be announced July 31st right here on AndroidCentral!
That's it.. easy right? We like easy contests. If you're looking for more info about SmrtGuard, you can hit up their website for further details. Good luck to all.
One of our favorite parts of Android is the wide variety of applications that are readily available to be installed on your device at any given time. One of the hard parts is finding a good selection of applications to add to your device, but fear not, that is where we come into play. Hit the break with us and let's check out some of our favorites from this past week!
While music players for Android smartphones are aplenty, when it comes to music players optimized for Honeycomb the selection is still rather slim. Enter, Hive Player -- a Honeycomb optimized music player that offers a few things the stock music player lacks.
Scrollable widget with music collection navigation (Albums, Artists, All Songs, Playlists, Genres), shuffle, pause/play next and previous.
Widget and Player sync with each other - view an album in the widget, then in the player the same album is loaded. Every navigation and song play is synced to each other - even when only the widget or player is running, load the other and it will sync on startup.
Play and navigate music library using just the widget - player doesn't even need to be loaded or running.
Navigate back through navigation steps using back button on player or widget - uses the standard Android back button on Honeycomb.
Albums, Artists, All Songs, Playlists, Genres are displayed on the left and player controls on the right.
Multi-Select playlist additions - build a playlist as it should be done, not one song at a time - add multiple albums, artists, genres, songs and even current playlists to a playlist.
Duplicates are filtered out when adding to playlists.
Search with playlist additions - search and keep searching as you build the ultimate playlist. Search appears over player.
Hive Player comes in two versions, giving users plenty of choice. The lite version is available for free with some restrictions on the widgets, playlists and display options while the paid version with the full features costs only $2. One thing to note though is that if most of your music is stored with Google Music, those files won't show up within the app. Google is not allowing or releasing details to developers to put Music Beta functionality into their music players.
We'll have a full review up soon but in the meantime, you'll find the download link past the break. Give it a shot, and leave some comments. The developer, Nicholas is looking for some feedback on how to improve the app.
If you're looking to create notification sounds and ringtones right on your Android device, there is nothing better than Ringdroid. Ringdroid was one of the first apps of it's kind when it came out, and because it was so awesome then, it's gained a loyal following, lasting up to now.
Ringdroid is one of those straightforward apps, nothing unnecessary about it. It's a graphical waveform editor, right on your phone, that lets you take audio and music on your microSD or sounds you record and select just the portions you want to use. It's simple, easy to navigate, and so simple, a caveman could do it.
Just drag around the grey tabs to select your start and end point, and everything in the brightly colored area is what will be used. You're also able to listen to your selection prior to committing it to a ringtone, by clicking the big, obvious "Play" button. If you're interested in getting a very fine-tune part, you can zoom in to try and isolate the exact snippets you're gunning for. When you're done editing your audio, a simple click of the save button (that looks like an old floppy disk, of all things) allows you to pick if it'll be a ringtone or a notification and give it a unique name.
If you opt to go the recording live audio route, all you need to do is click the "Record New" button from the main screen and it'll take you to Android's sound recorder. Click "Record" and have at it. When you're done, save it and you're on your merry way.
If your microSD is loaded with music and you know the filename of the piece you're after, you can search for it, and the list will dwindle down to only the selections that meet your criteria. From there, I'm sure you can handle the rest.
Overall, Ringdroid is one of those apps that's almost necessary to have, even if just in case. It's useful, user friendly, and it gives you the freedom of having to edit things on your computer and then transfer them to your phone. Plus, it's free.
Download links as well as more pictures can be found after the break.
One of the first apps I downloaded on my tablet was the TegraZone, a special app browser developed by NVIDIA to showcase applications that were optimized for its Tegra II chipset. Sure, I have my tower defense games and angry birds, but I wanted to see what an "optimized" game would look like on my Tab's massive screen.
Pinball HD was published by NVIDIA to show off the graphics power of their Tegra 2 processor, and it shows. The colors are vibrant and there are a ton of little animations shown in that seem to exist just because they make the game nicer to look at. My favorite board is the Jungle, because if you can aim the ball just right, the Gorilla will pick it up and pound his chest before throwing it back on the board. Each board has a special animation to fit the theme, but I like "Big Kong" the best.
As far as actual gameplay goes, it performs how you would expect it to. You tap the right side of the screen to move the right toggle, and do the opposite for the left. Response time was fast, and the sounds seemed in sync with what was happening on the screen. One nice feature is that if you swipe with two fingers, the game will zoom out to show the entire board instead of following the ball with a camera. I found it a lot easier to play this way, though others might enjoy the added detail that the camera view provides.
Much like a regular pinball game, I found myself greeted with the game over screen a lot faster than I expected, but this was due to my lack of skill more than any problems with the controls. When a game ends, you're given the option to input your name so that your score can be listed on your devices high score board as well as a leader board for other players who have the game installed.
Pinball HD is a fun game with great graphics and pretty addictive game play. At $2.99, it's also one of the least expensive optimized games for Tegra 2 devices. If you're looking for a great time waster, or if you're training to be the next wizard, give Pinball HD a try. Additional screenshots and download link after the break.
Our latest gaming excursion from the fellow who brought us Magic Cuts is Sheep at Stake, a cutesy, colorful game that hides its insane difficulty under a facade of an adorable flock of sheep.
Sheep at Stake's whole purpose is to stretch your abilities of multitasking to the point of breakage, demanding you do more and more complex tasks simultaneously lest you let your sheep go astray. Lose three sheep in a level and it's game over. You can track your progress till a level ends by looking at the orange bar at the top of the screen. The more sheep that successfully reach their destination, the more the bar fills up. Once it's filled, you've won the level. You're awarded a star for every sheep not lost (to a maximum of three).
Gameplay takes place over four levels and three unique environments. There's also three levels of difficulty, ranging from easy, to normal, to difficult. That being said, I can't even fathom how hard difficult is, based on what I experienced on the easy mode.
Sheep at Stake has a great premise, but it's not without it's shortcomings. Frankly, the learning curve is a bit too steep too early on. With so many levels ahead of you and four environments each, I think there could have been a bit more gradual ramping up of the challenges, to ease the player into some of the harder puzzles.
That being said, the game also does a lot of things well. The music is nice as are the sound effects and the game runs smooth. It's colorful and nice, and the cartoonish sheep are always fun to look at. It's solidly built, even if it's too much too soon.
Overall, Sheep at Stake seems like the kind of game only a glut for punishment would enjoy. Fortunately for everyone else, it's free, so you're not out anything if you realize it's a bit more than you bargained for. If you're up to test your multitasking or just need to kill some time (even if, like me, you can't pass Level 3), Sheep at Stake is at least worth a gander.
A few more pictures and download links are after the break.
If you're not into the 3D features on your shiny new HTC EVO 3D, and it's because those darn pictures just hurt your eyes or give you a headache, this tip is for you. Android Central member Jerzyiroc has a great little tutorial in the EVO 3D forums showing you how to make adjustments to the 3D effect for stills using the tools built right in to the EVO 3D gallery. A lot of folks are saying that the 3D videos they shoot look great, but the pictures aren't aligned very well and cause some strain on the eyes. Looks like HTC has given us the tools to fix this, and now we can learn how to use them. Be sure to have a look, and thank him in the forums!
Just 48 hours since Google announced a major update to the Android Market, Susan Wojcicki, senior vice president of advertising, announced during today's second-quarter earnings call that the Android Market now has more than 250,000 applications, with more than 6 billion downloads.
By comparison, BlackBerry's App World just passed the 1 billion mark.
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