When OpenFeint announced it was going cross platform last month, everyone figured it would have an effect on the state of gaming in the Android Market. But I don't think anyone could have guess just how much. Within 72 hours of launch, both the number one and number two spot for the most downloaded paid games were using OpenFeint. Of course we're talking about Fruit Ninja and Mini Squadron, both of which are made better (and more engaging) with the addition of multiplayer through OpenFeint.
It doesn't stop there. Out of the eight games incorporating OpenFeint, four of them are top 15 sellers, and the addition of Android games to the OpenFeint system brings the number of total users to over 40 million, making it the largest mobile social gaming network in the world. I've bought (and wasted countless hours playing) a few Open Feint enabled games, and can understand the attraction. And to follow up all this success, OpenFeint has announced a new batch of 12 titles they're bringing to Android, including titles from Glu, PikPok and ChickenBrick Studios. While my credit card and battery may not be very happy, I can't wait. Read the full press release after the break.
Once upon a time there as a little rumor that Skype was going to shed its exclusivity with Verizon and once again be available to everyone else. Friends, that day has come. Chat and call all you want. It's cool. Free Skype to Skype calls. Call internationally for cheap. IM your friends. One caveat here is that calls have to be made over Wifi in the United States, but that's not the worst thing in the world.
So let's raise a glass to the death of another exclusive agreement that shut out more users than it included, and get your download on after the break. Thanks to everyone who sent this in!
Music is a big part of my life, as is my Android device since it keeps me in contact with everyone no matter where I am. While on the go I like to listen to music between destinations or while waiting for the next event to take placee, and sometimes it is hard to find just the right music for the mood. Solutions like Pandora and Slacker are great, but sometimes just listening to the FM radio is enough variety and has just the right selections. Whether your prefer local or standard FM channels, TuneIn Radio is a great free application that allows you to browse and listen to a huge variety of music while on the go. The application is supported by a small ad on the bottom, which is a small trade for the $0.00 pricetag associated with it and the vast variety of music that will now be in your hands at all times. Download links after the jump, give it a shot today!
Tired of boring puzzle games that are easy to beat and have limited functionality? So were the folks at Al Factory Limited so they used this as inspiration to take puzzle games to the next level. Move It is an extremely interactive puzzle that allows users to move in any direction needed to get the blocks to a new position to help meet the goal of getting the big red block to its home square. They have given users the option of a free version, which offers 72 different puzzles, and the paid version, which is only £1.99, has 672 puzzles and 6 different levels of difficulty. If you have a few minutes, or few hours to spare, and are looking for something challenging, yet fun, this is a great solution to end your boredom! Download links after the break.
Don't worry, you weren't sent back to the year 1999. It's still 2010. The original peer-to-peer music sharing service as hit the Android Market. Only now, it's legall. The app is free, but to access the music, you must be a Napster subscriber -- $10 a month.
Here is the description:
Listen to your choice of over 11 million full-length songs -- anytime, anywhere, all for just $10 a month. Also enjoy Napster on any connected computer, compatible TV, Blu-ray player, or other home audio products. Sign in today, or sign up for a FREE TRIAL and save 20% with the annual plan. Enjoy Napster everywhere.
Google continues to put their applications in the Market, which allows for easier updates to be pushed out to users. Car Home is the newest to join the bunch and is now available to download in the Market; with the update comes some much improved features.
Users are now allowed to re-arrange the icons and also have the ability to add other shortcuts to the pages. The four options that are presented to users when they click add shortcut are:
Directions and Navigation
There are now four screens that allow users to fill up Car Mode with everything they'll be needing, so they won't feel tempted to close the app while driving. Other customizable options include the colors of the icons, the wallpaper on the back of the app and a new feature that will automatically start the Bluetooth radio when Car Home is launched.
It's great that Google is putting these apps in the Market so that we don't have to wait for an OS update to see additional features. Please see more pictures and a link to download the app after the break. Note on installation: When you install it, just open the regular Car Home app if it is already installed on the phone; it acts as simply an update. [Google Mobile Blog via cnet]
The Android market is a fun place, full of plenty of different applications and many other things. Finding something that is fitting for yourself can be a difficult task, as it contains so many applications, but this is where we come to save the day (as always) and bring you some of our favorite choices from our very own devices.
After hearing reports awhile back that Indian users were seeing paid apps, Google has finally announced that it is launching a huge expansion in the number of nations that can buy and sell paid applications on the Android Market. Developers in 20 new nations will now be able to sell paid apps, brining the total up to 29. In addition, Google plans to enable the purchasing of paid apps in 18 additional countries over the next few weeks, brining that total to 32. The majority of additions come from Europe and South America, but there are a number of other nations included as well. Click past the read link to get the full list and to see if your country has been included. [Google]
Everyone's favorite stalking application just received an update. The new Foursquare 2.0 update allows users to access foursquare's "Tips and To-Dos" much easier within the app than previously before. "Tips and To-Dos are now out in the open, making it easy to share and plan your outings." Having these features out and more present to the user, should allow more and more people to add content to the service. The more people contribute to these lists, the more foursquare will become a useful tool in getting around the neighborhood -- and not just some app you use to stalk your co-workers. [Foursquare Blog]
Everyone should take their personal data seriously, and the people behind TaintDroid are about to help us all with that. It's a joint project between Intel, Penn State University, and Duke University that monitors the private data that third party applications request from your Android phone, using a scientific technique called "dynamic taint analysis". In a nutshell, TaintDroid will monitor applications and alert you when one tries to send personal identifiable data from your device. It won't tell you that this is good or bad, just what is being sent and where it's being sent to. You can then use the information and make that determination for yourself -- it's all nice and neutral in a very clinical way.
While Android does tell you what sort of permissions an application will have access to, many users ignore those warnings or simply don't understand them. That's where a service like TaintDroid could be very, very handy. They have a very nice FAQ and video demo of TaintDroid in action at their project page, which you can find at the source link. Thank goodness Android is a platform open to this sort of application, rather than not approving it to protect developers, then preventing most to install it since it's not "endorsed" by someone in California. Be sure to check it out, and as soon as it's made available for the average Joe (hey that's us!) we'll let you know. [AppAnalysis]
You begged. You pleaded. You yelled at us. (More than usual.) And so we now present you with the Android Central Android Application -- or ACAA for short. (Hey, it's better than Sideload Wonder Machine.) It's developed by Notice Software and powered by the same people who bring you your daily dose (and then some) of Android news every day, free of charge. We'll walk you through it and provide download links after the break.
SwiftKey, the software keyboard that can read minds, has been updated to version 1.0.8 in the Android Market. Not a big change log, but what is there is nice to see. Makes us all feel like we aren't being forgotten after we've spent our money. The two big changes, at least in my opinion, are the new languages supported for dictation (English, Spanish, French, German and Italian) and contractions now include apostrophes in the auto correct area. Now I can't blame my typos on the keyboard any longer! The short version of the change log:
Fixed issue with contractions/apostrophization auto-correction issue
Fixed prediction/voice dictation bug in fields with drop-down suggestion text fields.
The Market entry has also been adjusted so the price is in U.S. dollars instead of British Sterling, as some banks have issue accepting charges in foreign currency through Google Checkout. One last thing to mention -- the sale price of 99 cents goes away on Sept. 30, and the price goes up to $3.99, so don't say we didn't warn you. Now go update, and put it through the paces. If you haven't tried SwiftKey yet, download links are after the break. [SwiftKey]
Beejive IM is finally out of beta, and is now available on the Android Market. Beejive is a very popular, cross platform multiple service IM client that's safe (128-bit encryption on all over-the-air data), easy to use, and uses Google's new push services (see our Chrome to Phone demo about them) to stay easy on the battery. It also integrates seamlessly with all of the popular chat clients, with group chat support for AIM, Yahoo, MSN, Gtalk, and Jabber. Possibly the best feature -- file transfers between users is supported, something many of us have been waiting for.
It's good that Beejive is so feature rich, because it's going to cost you $10. That's not really surprising, as Beejive is an expensive app on other platforms as well. What I found most dissapointing, is that while Beejive offers license transfer between BlackBerry devices, I see no method to transfer my license from BlackBerry to my Android device, nor any method to transfer license between Android phones. And it appears that each installation is tied to the device it was purchased from, using a unique device identifier, so Beejive will have to facilitate the transfer. Hopefully all this is an oversight or in the works -- I've reached out to Beejive for some more clarification.
But if you've been longing for Beejive, or just need a good (and it's very good, I've been participating in the beta as well) cross platform, multi-client chat application go for it -- you won't be disappointed in anything other than the price and/or licensing scheme. Download link and some more screen shots are after the break.
The Brookings Institute released an application recently that you should check out if you enjoy politics, international relations, or economics (or all of them!). The Brookings Institute is a think-tank in Washington, D.C., that has roots dating back to 1916. It provides in-depth articles and analysis on issues relating to economics and politics. Let's look at it further, after the break.
With summer coming to an end, the hunt for ways to keep the pounds off during the winter months begins. Sometimes just watching what we eat is not enough and it needs to be taken to the next level where calories are counted. Previously counting calories while on the go was a pain, people had to carry around books that contained the information on how many calories each piece of food they were eating had, as well as log it by meal. While this worked for some, it was a pain to many and luckily the folks at MyNetDiary agreed and have released Calorie Counter Pro into the Android market. For those who left an iOS device to come to Android or those who still carry an iOS device, this application may have been a favorite for you already, and for those new to the application, this is one you won't want to miss.
Calorie Counter Pro is an intuitive application that offers users an abundance of features, and covers nearly every aspect of a daily healthy life. From measuring your daily intake of vitamins to water consumption as well as calories taken in verse burned through excersize, this application is a great one stop for all your dietary needs. Entering meals is extremely easy as the application features a real time search, like Google, so as you type it is giving you options to select. With over 300,000 food items in the database that continues to grow, searching for your food choices should be a painless process.
If for some reason you happen to be without your device you can log into their website and enter your meals in the same way, and sync it to your device at a later time if needed. With MyNetDiary you are not alone, their amazing dieting community is always just a click away from you if you need some extra motivation or any assistance in figuring out exactly what is best for you. If you want to crack down on what you are eating, and transform your lifestyle to a healthier one you will definitely want to check this out in the Android market today for $2.99.
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