Everyone knows that the best thing about Android is the fact that it's so darn customizable. As the adage goes, you can never have too much of a good thing -- provided you don't get overwhelmed by all the choice. Today we're going to take a look at custom launchers. Which one suits you the best? Have a read (after the break) and be sure to vote in the froum poll!
Google Voice just added another feature to its arsenal -- missed-call notifications in your inbox. That's less of a big deal for those of us using it on our Android phones -- you'll see the missed call on your handset -- but as more of us use Google Voice on the desktop, it makes sense. You have options to have missed calls noted in the Google Voice inbox, or you can have them e-mailed to you. [Google Voice]
For root users only! If you want to do some of the lower-level stuff with your Android phone, you're going to need ADB, which stands for Android Debug Bridge -- basically a way of connecting your phone to your computer. But what if you don't have your USB cable with you? What if you're phone is right next to your computer, but your nearest USB cable is in your bedroom, and you're too lazy to walk in there and grab it (or your son is asleep right next to it and you don't want to wake him up)?
The solution is ADB Wireless. With this app, if your phone and your computer are on the same network, it's a cinch to use ADB. All you have to do is open a command line on your computer and use "adb connect <IP Address>:5555 and you're connected to your phone via ADB just as if you were using your coveted USB cable.
Of course, you still need ADB on your computer, which usually means having the Android SDK installed. Hit the break for another screen shot, plus download links.
The Android market is one of my favorite places to spend time while on my Motorola Droid, but cruising the market is not nearly as fun as messing around with some of the great applications that are available. Trying to decide which of the hundreds of thousands of applications are a solid starting point can be a daunting task, but we love to help you out with that. Let's take a look at some great applications that our writers use on their devices.
We had a bad feeling that when the Skype Mobile app for Android was updated late last night and seemingly allowed calls over Wifi, things were a little too good to be true. And sure enough, they were. At left here is the original description for Version 184.108.40.206, which tells of "Simultaneous Wifi & 3G." That would have been a big deal because the app so far had only worked over Verizon 3G, forcing you to use its data connection, which of course you're paying for. And that, of course, is ridiculous, though you can see Verizon's intent -- it keeps you from buying an unactivated phone and using it as a Wifi VOIP phone when instead you could be burning through your monthly data allotment.
But lo and behold, we have a couple of unactivated Verizon phones here, and sure enough, they freak out when you try to use the updated Skype client. And just a few hours after the initial update, the app description has changed to read "Wifi runs while app is on 3G." So it's just as we feared -- your Wifi connection remains, but you can't actually use it. Shenanigans, indeed.
Update: Skype has published details on the update. In addition to being able to maintain a Wifi connection, you get incoming caller ID, copy-paste in IMs, emoticons, country names and flags when calling internationally, and the ability to set your location as your mood message.
Great news for those of you rocking Skype Mobile on Android -- the app has been updated, and you can now make calls over Wifi, in addition to 3G. That means faster speeds, of course, and no more being forced to use Verizon's data, which is slower, costs you money, and was a pretty specious move to begin with. The bad news is that the Skype app is still exclusive to Verizon (wasn't that supposed to change at some point?). But as long as we're ending the night on a positive note, let's hope that soon changes, too. Thanks, @JasonAGrier
Update: We hear you, we hear you. Things aren't quite as they seem. We've done a little testing, and it turns out the update description was a little ahead of itself. Details here.
Rumors around the web had been pointing to a release of Angry Birds for Android by the end of the summer. In checking our calendars, we've realized that it's now the September, so where is our Angry Birds!? The guys over at Talk Android contacted Rovio, the game's developer, to see what's going on. Rovio's response (truncated by us):
This week, we were planning to run a closed beta test of Angry Birds Lite for Android. Due to the massive response and demand from the Android community, we have decided to make Angry Birds Lite Beta available for everybody through the Android Market this Friday.
Please note that this will be the beta version of the application which is still undergoing final testing before official release. Angry Birds Lite Beta is presented on an “as is” basis, and we cannot guarantee its functionality on every Android device.
Angry Birds Lite Beta will run on second generation Android devices and upwards.
So there you have it people. Let's hope we can get our bird on starting Friday, so our webOS and iOS pals can quit lording it over us. [via Talk Android]
Prism 3D is a great game that uses your Android phone's accelerometer to track a beach ball as it bounces down a set of 3D tiles, and your goal is to keep it from falling by the wayside. It's way harder than it sounds, which to me is a big plus as it keeps the replay value high. The game has beautiful graphics, is incredibly smooth on my Nexus One (I can only imagine it on a Galaxy S or Droid X), and entertaining as all get-out. Add in an infinite mode for you guys who are good at this one, and a level editor for those of us who aren't, and I think you have a real winner here.
After the break there's a video of the game in action, and the download link, check this one out! [Hyperbees] Thanks Nicole!
Sometimes life has us on the go and we're not able to focus on the written word (even if only to get our Android news!), and that's where BuzzVoice steps in. The popular iOS app is now available for Android, and BuzzVoice has been gracious enough to give us ten copies to give away!
To enter, hit the forum post here and follow the easy instructions. Each copy is valued at $4.99 USD, and for those who just can't wait we have download links after the break, as well as a very informative video in case you're not familiar with BuzzVoice. Thanks BuzzVoice, and John!
Microsoft unveiled its Bing search app for Android today. But if you want to get in on the action, you're going to have to have a Verizon phone, as it's exclusive to the carrier's section of the Android Market. (Place your bets on how quickly it leaks out, though.)
The app features a daily featured image, just like Bing on the desktop. And you can swipe through seven days' worth of images. There's an endless scrolling search, and you can swipe through image previews straight to the host site. Microsoft's own voice search works with Android's speech-to-text function, and you can use Bing Maps to find your way around, too.
Is the app a threat to Google's native services on Android? We'll have to see, though it's doubtful, just because of the integration factor. and then there's the issue of it only being available on Verizon, for now, anyway. [Bing]
Zombies have killed your family, eaten your neighbors and destroyed your city. Blinded by rage and seeking revenge, you go to the one place you know you’ll be able to find the undead……the graveyard. Armed with only a pistol and several grenades, you quickly get yourself lost. Now you must fight your way out of the graveyard or risk meeting the same fate as everyone else.
Fit's pretty well I think. There's a free and a paid version, with the full version offering more levels, upgraded weapons, achievements and awards, endless mode and even more types of zombies. We have a link for trial version after the break, as well a a video where you can see just how cool this one is. Thanks for the heads up Dan!
Fennec Alpha, aka the Firefox Mobile browser, is now available for Android phones (and the Nokia N900). Just point your Android browser to http://firefox.com/m/alpha to give it a download. The browser has come a long way since our hands-on in April - adding pinch-to-zoom, Firefox Sync (which syncs your history, bookmarks, open tabs, and passwords), Add-ons, and the Awesome Bar.
It's still Alpha, though, so your mileage may vary - Mozilla points out that improvements to graphics performance are coming and there are still a few bugs to work out. Still, to our eyes it looks every bit as exciting as the video after the break suggests. [Mozilla]
Dedicated readers of Android Central, we apologize for the delay in bringing you our latest application selections! I hope we have not hindered you from taking a leap into the huge market to find something great to use for yourself! Well, without any further delays, let's take a look at some of this weeks selections.
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