Not too long ago we took a look at the Uber50 theme for UberSocial for Android, and today the folks from UberMedia are back at it again with a new custom theme for us to enjoy. This theme is martial arts themed, and is called UberWarrior. The theme includes a custom wallpaper, martial arts styled sounds throughout and gives you the MMA UberChannel to keep you in the loop at all times. So if you are rocking UberSocial for Android and want to kick it up a notch, hit the break and download UberWarrior.
Can you believe it, back already for yet another round of some of our favorite Android applications. Finding them is the hard part, and using them is the fun part, so why not skip the hard, and jump into the fun as we take a look at some of our favorites for you this week.
If listening to a lot of podcasts and internet radio is your thing but you've yet to check out Stitcher, now is as good a time as any. The latest update brings quite a few changes to the table -- most importantly the UI as a whole has been revamped for a more fluid design. So what do you get from Stitcher? Check out the features below:
Seamless listening: Hear the latest episodes of your favorite shows without the hassle of downloading and syncing
Live radio: Listen to live streams from thousands of sources around the world
Custom Stations: “Stitch” together your favorite shows to create your own customized station.
Discovery: Discover new shows based on what other listeners of the same shows also like. Like Fresh Air on NPR? Discover what other listeners of the show also listen to.
Sharing: Share interesting content easily with friends via Facebook, Twitter or email
There is a lot of podcast and live radio apps available on the Android Market and while Stitcher has always been fairly highly ranked among them - this update looks great and fixes some of the bugs from previous builds. Coupled with the UI update, it's certainly worth a look plus, the Android Central podcast is available on there. That alone makes it worth checking out, download link is past the break for you all.
Seems like everyone's trying to get into the grassroots, local news movements as of late and Meporter is the latest to enter the fray. The idea behind it makes me think of something like CNN's iReport, but maybe even better because this is truly up-to-the-minute, whereas on something like iReport, you better have a really cute kitten stuck in a tree to make the front page.
Meporter Local News Desk turns your phone into a reporter's notebook by coupling our own inane obsession with instant news and instant gratification with the power of social media networks to disseminate information.
Make sure you've got an account, and whenever you see anything of interest, simply snap a picture or take a video and attach it to your story, throw in a title and some body text, and then choose if you want to post to Facebook and Twitter. Your news will also go to Meporter's website, where people can read it and share it in turn.
The app interface on the phone is clean and simple, consisting of only five buttons, the most used of which will probably be Post. You can also pull up a map of the surrounding area that'll show you where other Meporter's stories have been written as well as your local newswire, your friends list, and your own profile.
I think Meporter has potential, but only if its userbase continues to grow. If you're an aspiring newshound or just love to contribute on social media, Meporter is worth taking a look at. With how overwhelmingly relevant social media has become (and continues to be) in our day-to-day lives, it's only a matter of time before a platform like Meporter becomes a go-to brand for information.
Meporter Locan News Desk is free in the Android Market and we've got download links after the break.
I've said itbefore and I'll say it again: I like words. They keep my brain sharp and vocabulary growing. But what good is knowing a bunch of words if you don't know how to spell them? Sure, you could use spell check, but what if you were the spell checker?
That's where Spelling Bee comes into play. You can study and you'll be given a word and a definition, and can even have the app pronounce the word using text-to-speech. Swiping left and right moves you from study card to study card, and the only words you'll be given are the ones you'll eventually be tested on.
The actual spelling bee component is pretty cool and well done. You're only given the definition and a text box to enter the word. There's also the option to have the app say the word to you, which is probably the most powerful and revealing part about the test. Once you're confident, just enter your word in the text field and enter it. You'll be given immediate feedback as to your correctness, and if you misspelled the word, you're also shown the correct spelling.
At the end of the quiz, you're shown your overall percent correct. From there you can quit or go back to the main menu to study some more and drill yourself.
The settings menu allows you to change the length of the quiz (5, 10, or 20) as well as the difficulty of the words. Mine came set to "hard" out of the box, but there's also beginner, easy, and medium difficulty settings. The other two options are to show a timer and to enable vibration.
As a total package, Spelling Bee delivers on what you'd expect in a nice and neat little app. There's not a lot of unnecessary extras, but the core of learning words and spelling them is well done. Spelling Bee is also aesthetically pleasing, with a nice, yellow-colored beehive wallpaper and aesthetic throughout.
Thanks to the variable difficulty levels, Spelling Bee can work for people of all ages, from kids all the way up to well-read adults. If you're looking to improve your vocabulary, Spelling Bee is a scant 99 cents in the Android Market.
We've got lots of pictures and download links after the break.
One of the best parts about CyanogenMod 7 is the powerful theme engine. No flashing zip files or anything is such a relief, plus, the theming and skinning community has delivered a multitude of awesome themes to try out. One of those is MattedBlues, which is made by the same fellow who created the MellowYellow Theme for CM7.
MattedBlues was the original theme created by this person (group? The developer name is Team MattedBlues), but just because it's older doesn't mean it's still not great. A lot of the features we saw in the MellowYellow theme are present, just in a cool blue instead.
Per the usual with these kinds of themes, once you've selected MattedBlues from the Theme Engine, all your icons, check marks, highlights, and even the bounce color when a list hits the top or bottom turns blue. There's also a different 3G icon, but the other icons are par the course, just in this particular shade of blue.
The notification pulldown menu is the same as it is in MellowYellow (I assume MellowYellow actually borrowed it from MattedBlues), with the same, happy little Android head at the bottom, except he's blue. Pretty stock, except on this theme, it says "MattedBlues" inside of his head. I don't know why, but I feel like it could do without that.
The phone dialer is similarly transparent, with a better looking font replacing the stock font. If only the Theme Engine itself supported changing the fonts the entire phone over, I think this theme would truly kick it up a notch.
For those who aren't a fan of yellow but still want to theme their CM7'd phones, MattedBlues is another great entry by a great theme developer. I'm still pushing for an orange theme myself, but for those who find blue as their color of choice, MattedBlues is for you.
MattedBlues for CM7 is $2.99 in the Android Market.
We've got more screenshots and download links after the break.
If I had to pick my favorite cuddly nature animal, squirrel would probably win. They have big, bushy tails, look really soft, and one time I saw one run up to a guy and take the remainder of his sandwich out of his hand. (No lie.) When I found a game about a squirrel busting open nuts on his head and eating them, I figured it was worth a look. That game is Noogra Nuts.
Noogra Nuts is an entirely tilt-based game where your aim is to bounce falling nuts on this squirrel's head until the shells crack, then eat the delicious innards as they come tumbling down to your mouth. This sounds like a pretty fun game until you realize it's completely tilt-based and there's no options to change it to some sort of touch screen control.
There's a lot of good about Noogra Nuts, though, like the graphics. Continuing the theme of nature and squirrels and nuts and stuff, Noogra Nuts has nice green grass fields you jump on, cartoonish nuts that fall, and a terrifyingly absurd looking squirrel that's the star of the game. Yeah, he makes cutesy noises when he jumps and when nuts bonk him on the head, but those eyes freak me out.
The sound is good too, with this loop of weird, upbeat techno on the title screen and nature sounds during gameplay. Nuts bouncing off of the squirrel's head have a satisfying if not muted knocking sound to them, but it's not ill-placed.
Back to the controls, they're just not precise enough for my taste. Doing a completely motion-based game is cool, but it feels like you're either not tilting hard enough or you tilt too hard and overcompensate to move. The result is your squirrel inching along or bouncing from side-to-side on the screen, missing most of the stuff he's supposed to be bouncing up. If the developer added in something as simple like a thumb press on each side of the screen, I think it'd make Noogra Nuts much more intuitive and enjoyable.
At the very least, Noogra Nuts is OpenFeint supported and doesn't cost anything to play. There is an ugly ad on the front of the title screen that you have to pay (via an in-app purchase) to remove, but it never shows up in gameplay, so it's not too terrible of a deal.
To get your nutcracking skills on, there's download links after the break.
When news got out that R-Type had been officially released on Android, I got pretty excited. Yes, R-Type is technically a year older than me. I still played it at the laundromat down the street growing up, and old games in general still occupy a soft spot in my heart.
Simply put, this is an awesome, authentic port. There's eight levels, two modes of difficulty, and enough powerups to make you keep continuing in hopes you'll beat the darn game. It's also OpenFeint supported, which is the only newfangled, non-authentic addition to R-Type.
If there's one thing that sticks out, it's how brutal R-Type is. That's not a bad thing, but it's a nice reminder and how much games coddle people these days. Take one hit? Boom, your ship is gone. All of your lives run out? Sayonara, friend. You'll be starting back over at the beginning.
That's probably the most entertaining part of R-Type (aside from a well-placed charge shot). It's difficult just like you remember it, and if it's your first time playing, put on your big boy (or girl) pants and strap yourself in, cause the gameplay is as unforgiving as it gets. And that's awesome.
Some people argue that the touch screen doesn't control the ship very well, but I didn't experience any of those issues, especially on a tablet. On the contrary, the only issue I had was stretching my thumb too far away and having to reset its position, but on a phone screen, you'll be hard pressed to do that. The response is really quite good, and your right thumb is completely free to shoot whatever powerup you might be saving or charge up your cannon to blast through a big group of aliens.
For those who grew up playing this game (or even those who are looking for a bit of a retro experience), R-Type is a must. This port is so well done and so faithful to the original, it might just take you back to your days of standing on a stool, pumping quarters into the arcade machine because you got blown up... again. It's just that good.
R-Type is a bit on the pricey side at $4.13, but for the hours (and hours and hours) of gameplay you'll get trying to beat it on normal (and don't forget about Hard Mode!), it's totally worth it. For old folks and newcomers alike, R-Type should be in your game library.
Launchers are a dime a dozen now-a-days, there are tons and tons of options in the market, some free, some paid, many doing similar things in the end. When I first caught wind of Rocket Launcher I thought to myself "oh, another launcher to do the same thing" but as always I checked it out and wow was I shocked. First impressions, as we all know, mean quite a bit, and when I first installed Rocket Launcher I was quite intrigued so I gave it a look.
The video above shows off the features and different parts of Rocket Launcher in action, and while it won't appeal to everyone this launcher is not one to simply write off. With static icons, and only one home screen that offers limited customization it is great for maximizing productivity, and enhancing ease of use. The market offers a free version, as well as a paid version, so if you are on the fence about it try the free one, and if you enjoy be sure to upgrade to the paid. Is this the replacement launcher for you? Hit the break for download links, and be sure to hop in the forums and let us know what you think!