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3 years ago

Verizon officially unveils Verizon Video - more than 250 TV shows for $10 a month

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Those of you with Verizon Android smartphones might have noticed a Verizon Video app pushed out over the past few days (yeah, we didn't ask for it either), and this morning Big Red has officially announced it.

Essentially, Verizon Video is exactly what it looks like -- on-demand streaming (powered by RealNetworks) of more than 250 television, and on-demand video from ABC, NBC, CBS, MTV, Comedy Central, Animal Planet, CNBC, Disney Channel, ESPN, PBS Kids and others. You'll also have access to NFL RedZone on Sundays, NBC's "Sunday Night Football" and the NFL Network.

Verizon Video is available "on select smartphones," (we've got it on a ThunderBolt here) and is currently in a free preview. After the preview ends, a monthly subscription is $10, or you can try it out for 24  hours for $3.

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3 years ago

Android Game Review: Spirit HD

5

 

YouTube link for mobile viewing

Holy moly. I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I downloaded this game. I've got this nice, shiny Thrive to check out tablet apps on, and this was featured, so I figured "Why not?" Lemme tell ya, as far as Android games go, one of the best decisions I could have made.

In Spirit (HD optional), you control this little ghost-looking guy, presumably a spirit via touch. He's a deceptively powerful little guy, creating black holes/vortexes/scary holes that swallow stuff whenever he makes two points of his movement trail touch. This is the key to your victory.

The reason he can make these portals is out of sheer defense, because there's shapes (yes, shapes) of various colors and abilities that are out to hurt you. One touch, boom, you're done. It feels very Geometry Wars in terms of aesthetic, but fortunately, the gameplay differs.

What I noticed in my time with Spirit is that the levels are seemingly random. One level, I faced these terrifying, red triangles that came at you like a booby trap from an Indiana Jones movie. That same level (the next time I played) had green laser shapes shooting, you guessed it, lasers at me. That was pretty refreshing, because it keeps working through the lower levels from getting stale.

There's also three modes of gameplay. There's Classic, Extreme, and Pulse. Classic is just what you'd expect: Good, ol' fashioned shape-destroying via scary portal. Extreme ups the ante, sending more deadly shapes your way. Move quick, or your Spirit goes bye-bye.

Pulse takes your normal system of gameplay and turns it on its head. Instead of being able to create portal by making circles, you need to fly into the circle pulse orbs that spawn. Hit one and you get a nice portal for a little bit. In the mean time, baddies of all color and variety are teleporting in, and it can get pretty hectic really quickly. It's incredibly challenging and definitely my favorite way to play.

Spirit is an awesome game, and I can tell why it did so well on iOS. What's really cool for us Android users is that if you buy Spirit, you get both the phone and tablet version with one purchase, so you can install on any device you have and you'll be able to play. Spirit is $1.30, and it's not priced unfairly.

Download links are after the break.

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3 years ago

Android Central Editors' app picks for August 20, 2011

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Got apps? We do, and we love to share them with you. The market continues to grow, but we all know that it can add a bit of confusion to finding apps. Hit the break with us while we take a look at some of our favorites again.

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3 years ago

Android Game Review: Herman the Hermit

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YouTube link for mobile viewing

Herman the Hermit is a strange guy. He lives up on a mountain, being all hermity, honing his mind and body for jumping from platform to platform. He's also totally insane. Plus, he can't ever actually die. This is the premise of Herman the Hermit.

The first time you open the game up, you're shown a tutorial on how to leap to-and-fro. You "slice" at an angle to plan your jump, and then Herman goes for it. You'll notice my slicing is pretty off the first time, but I definitely got better the more I played the game.

Your objective is to either jump over platforms to keep your time meter filled or pick up the clock power-ups to refill your time meter. The more time you have in your meter, the longer your game. You accumulate points for stringing together many leaps without falling as well as having your distance tracked. In all, you're shooting both a high score and a far distance.

Fortunately, if you fall or miss a platform, Herman simply uses his staff like a helicopter propeller and floats himself right back to the bottom of the screen, where you're free to slice your way back onto the platforms.

There's also a number of interesting power-ups, like a lightning bolt, a jet pack, and a rocket. Any one of these nets you a nice combo, as it hits every platform in front of you for a while, stringing together a nice combo. All of them are pretty self-explanatory, too. Grab the bolt and turn into a lightning bolt. Put on the pack and fly around, Rocketeer-style. And the big rocket? Let's just say it reminds me of Dr. Strangelove.

The graphics are really stellar and gameplay is smooth. I wouldn't expect anything less from a studio like Capcom, but the polish really shines through. Gameplay can get repetitive and I'm not sure it's necessarily skill-based so much as just flicking your finger around, but it's still good for killing time. Herman the Hermit is 99 cents in the Market, if you're interested.

Download links are after the break.

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3 years ago

Android Wallpaper Review: My Stock Ticker Lite

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With the stock market being as volatile and uncertain as it is right now, I know some folks are going to want to be able to keep an eye on their investments without hassle. For those who are a fan of the real-time ticker style, there's My Stock Ticker Lite.

My Stock Ticker Lite is actually a live wallpaper, but functions more like a widget. From the wallpaper's settings menu, you can add up to five stocks as well as customizing refresh rates and scrolling speed.

You can also move the ticker anywhere on the screen (it's only in the middle of the screen by default) with just a tap, and then you can lock the position in from the settings menu, as well.  My Stock Ticker Lite does support tablets as well as custom launchers and didn't seem to have any issues in portrait or landscape mode, which is awesome.

Unfortunately, you can't get rid of the less-than-pleasing dollar bills wallpaper and the developer opted to not allow for upgrades in the Market version. There are some more fully-featured versions (unlimited stocks, near real-time pricing update) but they're only available from his website.

Overall, if you absolutely need to have your stocks scrolling on every screen of your phone, this app does that, and it does it fairly well. If you need updates faster than three minutes or check more than five stocks, you'll have to go outside of the Android Market to get it. The Lite version is free, however, so at least you're not out anything if you don't like it.

Download links and more pictures are after the break.

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3 years ago

Android App Review: Battle.net Mobile Authenticator

5

If any of you are like me (or Alex), you like some of them Blizzard games. Be it World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, or the upcoming Diablo III, there's a Battle.net account sitting somewhere with your whole game stash on it.

How can you protect your level 85 Night elf Mohawk from the thieving, grubby fingers of gold sellers and account hackers out there? Say hello to your new best friend, the Battle.net Mobile Authenticator.

The Battle.net Mobile Authenticator works just like their separate, keychain authenticator. You attach it to your account, plugging in both the special serial number and one of the time-sensitive codes the first time, then just the time-sensitive code every time after that.

If your code gets out of sync, you have the option to resync it to fix things up. New to this version is the ability to restore an account if say, you wipe your phone without removing the authenticator. I had this happen to me a number of times when flashing ROMs, and while the support people will do it, it requires pictures of your drivers license and other annoying procedures.

The best part of it all is that it's free and ad-free. If you're an avid Blizzard gamer and want an extra level of security on your account, I'd head straight to the Market for this one.

More pictures and download links are after the break.

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3 years ago

Pops for Android brings a whole new level of customization to your alerts

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Sure, you can have just about any custom sound you can think of for notifications on your device, but one thing you can't easily do is make the alerts themselves a bit more fun to receive. Pops, a new style of alerts for your Android device, does just this by allowing users to have different themes of notifications, they are cool animations that make it a bit more fun. They have a constantly expanding gallery of notifications that can be accessed, and users have the ability to create their own as well, making your phone even more personal. Be sure to hop in the market, and check this application out if you want to take your device to the next level. Download information available after the break.

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3 years ago

Android App Review: Pocket Casts

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I’m a big podcast listener. On a given week, I’ll probably listen to at least several hours of podcasts during commutes and downtime. Due to this, I require a high quality podcast app for Android that makes managing and listening to the content that I enjoy simple and easy. I’ve been a fan of Doggcatcher for a long time. While it is more costly than the average app ($6.99), the amount of use I get from it makes the purchase more than worth it for me. While I love the app, I’m always searching for alternatives that provide different experiences. Pocket Casts is the best alternative I have found thus far and for half the price ($2.99), it’s a really good deal. It doesn’t have all of the functionality that Doggcatcher offers but it does just what you need it to do and the UI is better in my opinion.

Once you open Pocket Casts, you’ll see the the homescreen with five tabs along the bottom. The options are, from the left:

  • Library: Displays all of the podcasts you have chosen to subscribe to.
  • Now Playing: Shows you the artwork for the podcast that you are currently listening to
  • Refresh: Will refresh your podcasts and display an aggregated list of all your subscriptions and the most recent episodes
  • Search: Allows you to search or browse for podcasts that you enjoy. Options include ‘search by podcast name’ browse ‘popular podcasts’, ‘podcast networks’, ‘categories’ and ‘import’ if you know the url.
  • Settings: The final button is where you can find the settings if you want to tweak the app to our liking. Options include the ability to set the amount of time the player skips ahead or backwards, whether to store the podcasts on the SD card or phone, and whether to auto-delete after you’re finished listening, among many others.

There is one more option up in the right hand corner when you’re in the Now Playing tab. The Playlist option allows you to create customized playlists if you know that you'll be listening to a variety of podcasts at one time.

Pocket Casts is a good podcast app with a very good UI. If you’re looking for an app that will manage your podcasts but don’t want to fork over $6.99, check out Shifty Jelly's app. Pocket Casts is available from the Android Market for $2.99. Links and more pictures after the break.

And don't forget to check out the Greatest Android Podcast in the World!

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3 years ago

Evernote acquires Skitch, releases Skitch app for Android

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The Evernote Trunk Conference is happening today and during that event, Evernote CEO Phil Libin announced Evernote had acquired the Mac drawing and screen capture app, Skitch. With the announcement, also came the news that Skitch will now be offered for free for Mac users. But that wasn't all -- Skitch has now unveiled their Android app which is available in the Android Market for free. As described on the Evernote blog:

Calling Skitch for Android addictively fun is an understatement. It’s the perfect way to quickly add your mark to any image. Take a snapshot of something awesome, draw an arrow and add a caption, then post the image on Facebook. When you’re at a conference, snap a picture of the people you meet, annotate it with their names and save it into Evernote. 

If you're looking for something new to try on your images, give Skitch a look. -- we'll get a better look at it later on but for now, check it out on your own. Download link is past the break for you all.

Source: Evernote Blog

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3 years ago

GetGlue for Android receives a facelift, new interface with the same great features

5

 

GetGlue is a great social networking application for those of us who enjoy sitting at home watching movies, TV shows, and listening to various musical artists. The Android version of the application has been a bit behind in the looks category in comparison to the iOS version, but luckily they have not forgotten about us, just put it out a little bit later. Today GetGlue has released an updated that brings a great new interface to the same great application. Hit the break for some more photos and download links.

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3 years ago

Android Game Review: STAR BLITZ

3

I like checking out what the featured apps are in the Market, because I usually assume it's featured for good reason. STAR BLITZ isn't one of those apps.

If you've played GUN BROS, seen any videos, or read our review of it, you've experienced STAR BLITZ. Glu Mobile could have named this one "Space Siblings" and that'd probably be a better name for it. At least it'd tip you off to how much of a GUN BROS clone it is.

And what a clone it is. The user interface is identical, just about. Same digital joysticks, same menus, same store, all of it. Yeah, the story is different. Instead of bad guys on a planet, now they're bad guys in space. You don't carry around guns, you fly spaceships. Oh, and it's a lady and a guy this time, hence why it should be Space Siblings and not Space Sisters or something.

The gameplay isn't bad, it's just uninspired. We've been here, done that. This is last week's hit song, dressed up in new clothes and paraded around as something new, original, and unique. And I just don't dig that.

The worst part? It's not even one of those cheap, weird knockoffs you find in the Market that might or might not be malware. It's made by the same group who made GUN BROS. That's just lazy, in my opinion, and if you're going to get featured in the Market, your game should actually be something worth featuring. (Fun fact: if you look at its app ID, they actually named it "Space Bros." What does that tell you?)

At least it's still free.

Download links are after the break.

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3 years ago

Android Wallpaper Review: Celtic Garden HD

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Some of you might remember DualBoot Games from our Spring Zen HD wallpaper review, and I was so impressed with what they'd done with that wallpaper, I decided to look into another. Today I've stumbled upon Celtic Garden HD, but to mix things up, I tried it on a tablet.

Celtic Garden HD gives us just that, a celtic garden. Surrounding it are various flora, and you can also choose to add fireflies or a butterfly, too. Similar to the other live wallpaper I reviewed, there is a "randomize" option, which will pick a random option from each category you can customize every time your screen loads.

You can really define your wallpaper down to a T, choosing everything from the basin type, flora type, garden life and leaf type, and even the pot type. You can also enable touch effects, so "special effects" happen when you touch the screen. In my experience, that was having the fireflies swarm around where I'd just touched.

In terms of performance, there wasn't the slightest bit of lag on the Toshiba Thrive I was running it on, so I'd assume everyone using a Tegra-2 device can expect similar results.

Per DualBoot's pricing scheme, there is also a free version available in the Market, but it restricts access to the well-thought out and comprehensive settings menu.

More pictures and download links are after the break.

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3 years ago

Android Game Review: GRave Defense HD

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YouTube link for mobile viewing

The best part about my job is that I get to find great apps to write about to show you guys, but in the process, y'all introduce me to some great apps too. Let's take Fieldrunners HD, for example. I swore up and down about that game's awesomeness, yet some people said, "Josh, you're an idiot misguided! Try GRave Defense HD!"

Well, I did. And I liked it. Comparing it to Fieldrunners HD, though, isn't quite fair.

As far as tower defense games go, GRave Defense HD is definitely one of the best. The graphics are pretty strong, performance is great, and there's lots to do. Between the gold and silver campaigns plus the survival mode, you'll be busting mutant zombie tail all day long.

Sure, the story might be cheesy (nuclear warfare that turns folks into mutant zombies?) and the menus might look a bit childish, but this game is still all solid. You've got a large range of guns that you'll learn to use over the course of the game, plus a big variety of zombies to gun down.

Guns can be upgraded a maximum of five times (with the cost increasing each time), at which point they become instruments of terrible, terrible power. The double-speed option is awesome for when you just need to burn through waves, too.

The big gameplay difference from games like Robo Defense or Fieldrunners HD is that all the zombies in GRave Defense are on a set path. In some levels, they might start from two different places, but the game always prompts you to what their path will be before they spawn. This makes it relatively easy to plan out where you'll build your towers/guns/cannons every single time. For the other games, they're free-roaming (field-running, even), and that's a different mechanic in and of itself.

Overall, I really enjoyed my time with GRave Defense HD and I can totally see why so many of you went to bat for it. It's a really well done game with a lot going for it. Sure, it's ~$3, but for something this polished, I'd gladly shell that out.

Download links are after the break.

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3 years ago

Doctor Who brings the Tardis over to Android

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It doesn't matter which side of the pond you're from, fans of The Doctor are everywhere. The BBC have now traveled through space and time to bring their iOS game, The Mazes Of Time to Android. 

The basic plot: The Doctor and his sidekick Amy are racing to save an innocent family attacked by a Dalek and flung into the depths of history. The graphics won't set the world on fire, and neither will the pricing structure. The initial install is free from the market, but via the in app purchasing system further downloadable content packs are available should you not feel satisfied after completing the initial levels. For the more competitive among us, the game also supports Openfeint.

If you're rocking 2.1 and above, and fancy being The Doctor for a while, head on over to the market and pick up your Sonic Screwdriver. Download links are after the break.

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3 years ago

DirecTV NFL Sunday Ticket now available for more Android devices

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If you're an Android wielding NFL fan, this season just got a bit more interesting, as DirecTV has released the NFL Sunday Ticket application to a slew of new Android devices, including the Motorola Xoom and Galaxy Tab 10.1.  In the press release, The Xoom, Tab and all Motorola's Android offerings are listed, but a quick peek at the Android Market website shows it as compatible with all my devices listed, including the oddballs like the Kyocera Echo and the Android player on the BlackBerry Playbook -- you'll have to check and see if your device is listed for yourself (link after the break). 

You will have to be a NFL Sunday Ticket subscriber, and there's the matter of the pesky $50 "to-go" charge for on device streaming to contend with.  More information about that can be found at DirecTV.  Considering the cost of a frosty beverage at FedEx Field, it's a price many NFL fans are willing to pay.  Hit the break for the full press release and download links. 

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