Android users love games. Especially physics-based games (if Angry Birds is any indication). But what are you to play after you've gotten three stars on every map in every season that's out thus far? You find a new game, like the Marbians.
The idea is simple enough: some aliens (see: Marbians) went and got themselves all crashed in Roswell, New Mexico circa 1947. Fortunately for everyone, they crash land in a box in someone's attic and want nothing more than to get home. That's where you come in.
The Marbians are trapped (live inside?) marbles, which makes it convenient enough for you to physics-bounce them around a level, collecting blue moon rocks and eventually bouncing them to their spaceship. You get one shot, and if you don't hit their UFO, you lose. The bottom-right corner of the screen has a restart button for times like this, so don't fret.
Like any physics-based game, you've got to play angles to your advantage, but despite the plethora of physics-based games out there, the Marbians still feels surprisingly fresh. Maybe it's the retro graphics or the old-timey feel, but the gameplay doesn't feel repetitive nor does it feel like a rehash of someone else's ideas.
Aside from just collecting moon rocks and flying away in UFOs, there's also trophies to collect (like the one I manage to snag in the video) and you can partner your game with your Facebook account, just to show your friends how much of a nerd you are good you are at this game. There's also more levels to play, but you need to unlock them by collecting more moon rocks. Such is life.
The first six levels of the Marbians are free to play, and you can unlock the other 70 or so with an in-app purchase. I think that's a stellar move by the developers to give you a chance to see if you fancy the game without sweating bullets about the 15-minute refund window. You've got nothing to lose (except maybe some time on the trickier levels), but for those who're hooked, download links are after the break.
I think there's zero shame in admitting I'm actually pretty excited for this Android kids app. Chances are if you've had kids in the past 20 years or so, you've read them a book from Sandra Boynton. Blue Hat, Green Hat; Moo Baa La La La; Hippos Go Berserk; But Not The Hippopotamus.
And, of course, the Going to Bed Book, which is now available on Android. The app is exquisitely done by Loud Crow Interactive, going so far as to keep the feel of the original indestructible book, which you'll notice when you turn the page.
You can choose to have the book read to you -- narrated by Billy J. Kramer (the Cow Planet guy!) -- or you can read it yourself. Tapping on an individual word repeats it, which is great for teaching the young ones to recognize words. The characters on each page are interactive, with a couple of surprise (one of which we show you in the video above). There's also music that can be controlled via a slider on the first screen.
Will this replace reading actual physical books to your kids? Nah. There's the slobber factor, and I don't want anyone chewing on a $600 tablet. But it's still pretty darn cool, and well worth a quick $2. Download links are after the break.
Whether constantly on the go in new areas that you are not familiar with, or just looking for a new place to dine or how expensive the gas around you is, many of us want access to all this information with one simple click. Dex Mobile is a rather new application that is available in the Android Market free of charge that allows users to collect all this information, and more with just one simple click.
It's posts like these that make me realize how old I am -- for better or worse. I remember reading Berenstain Bears books as a child and now times have changed so much that the books can now be downloaded and listened to, and followed along with on numerous devices. That said; you can expect more Berenstain Bears titles to start showing up in the Android Market as OceanHouse Media and Harpers Collins have a new agreement in place to bring the Berenstain Bears books to the digital front:
“The Berenstain Bears omBooks continue to be one of our most beloved app series,” said Michel Kripalani, President of Oceanhouse Media. “It’s exciting to have the opportunity to expand the number of these treasured books in our omBook collection thanks to our wonderful partnership with HarperCollins Children’s Books.”
You can find the full press release after the break, or you can just head on over to the Android Market right now and grab some of the currently available titles.
Eagle-eyed Android Central reader @baynard17 pinged us on Twitter this morning to alert us to an update to Rdio's Android app. It's good to see the bugfixes and TELUS integration (Canadian carriers need love, too), plus support for gift cards.
But the really interesting bullet point is "Android 'Ice Cream Sandwich' support. We know Ice Cream Sandwich is coming in the fourth quarter this year -- Google announced it at its developer conference in May -- and that it'll bring the Android tablet and smartphone tracks back together. We've yet to see public release of the SDK, and likely won't for an other couple months. But it'd be of little surprise to us to learn that some developers already have it under an NDA, and Rdio's a good choice for that.
Does that mean ICS is imminent? Google said Q4, and we've got no reason to believe we'll see it sooner. (But it'd certainly be cool if we did.)
Based on information collected from more than 700,000 applications installed on more than 10 million devices, the folks at Lookout have released their first Mobile Threat Report. This data shows that the threat of coming across malware has increased by as much as 250 percent in the past six months. We want to make it clear that the huge majority of Android applications, both in the official Market as well as other sources, are completely legitimate and built by honest, hard working developers -- but malware, spyware, and various nasty bits of code are out there. We've seen them out there, both real issues and overblown ones.
Now it is certainly in a company involved in mobile security's advantage to report this kind of situation, but it's always best to know exactly what we are facing out there in the wild internet. That's where Lookout's Mobile Threat Report enters the picture, explaining the different types of security issues users are likely to come up against, and information about how to protect yourself against them. Armed with this information, and a smattering of old fashioned common sense, you'll be better able to make the right decisions. Hit the break to see Lookout's press release, and visit the source link to read the Mobile Threat Report in it's entirety.
ZOMG THERE'S MALWARE THAT CAN RECORD MY PHONE CALLS AND LOOSEN MY TEETH WHILE I SLEEP AT NIGHT!
Here we go again, folks. Look -- malware, by definition, is bad and absolutely should be taken seriously. So when Total Defense (née CA Community -- it's a rebranding thing) points out that it's possible for some rogue code to record your phone calls and even send them off to some far-away land (China, of course), well, it's something that we all need to pay attention to.
But things also need a little perspective. Total Defense tells us that it's received just four cases of this malware, from 13 unique sources, for 14 total incidents, and TD can't tell us with any specificity just how prevalent this piece of malware is. There are more than 550,000 Android devices being activated every day. Perspective, ya know.
Now, as far as your likelihood of being affected by this piece of malware, Total Defense tells us: "there are very high chances as anybody can customize this to lure their victims to fall into the trap." Scary, ain't it? Only, here's the thing, and it's an important one for most of you: Not a single instance of this malware was reported from coming from an app in the Android Market. That's not to say malicious apps haven't made it into the Market before -- it's happened, and it'll happen again, and we suspect Google will act as swiftly as it has in the past.
But unless you're wandering around app "stores" you probably shouldn't be wondering around in the first place, we wouldn't worry too much.
Samsung recently confirmed that its Touchwiz UX update would start rolling out to early adopters after a special launch event on Aug. 3 in New York City. For those of us who already purchased a tablet, this is the "optional" update that Samsung told us about when they launched the Tab 10.1 back in June. If you don't have a Tab yet but plan on purchasing one in the coming months, expect this to be the software your device ships with.
While the normal update isn't available yet, Calkulin over at XDA developers was able to compile a stable ROM using the Touchwiz leak that appeared long enough to be nabbed by t3rabyte before Samsung pulled it again. The ROM appears to be completely stock (all files, including "bundled software" appear to be present) so I thought it would be a good time to preview the changes you should expect, and why you just might want to accept the update when it comes. Join me after the break as I go over what you can expect.
Now, I didn't watch this entire "Naughty Cities" video, but after answering the initial questions for myself, I don't have to.
Looking for something to do tonight? Sure, but not too late.
Am I new to town? Yep.
Do I find myself going to the same clubs all the time? Yeah, but it's just so hard to find a good malted these days.
Is it time I find something really exciting to do tonight? Absolutely. Like staying up knitting.
I'm sold. Not even going to watch the rest of the video. Sure I'm not missing anything. Of course, I'm not sure what they mean by naughty -- probably just a place that's open past 8 p.m., or maybe one that has dancing.
Wanna run your own tattoo shop by have a fear of needles, navels and an aversion to tramp stamps? Maybe give Tattoo Tycoon a try. It looks to be a mix of The Sims and L.A. Ink, without the hassle having to deal with actual people. Build your shop, hire employees, then snag some ink and do some sweet tribal tattoos. Cause you can never see enough of them.
This free version of Tattoo Tycoon is free, supported by ads. Download links are after the break.
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