Headlines

2 years ago

BlueStacks now available, brings Android apps to your PC in style

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It seems forever ago that BlueStacks was announced as coming soon but no -- it's finally here. In case you don't remember, BlueStacks is for now, a Windows application that allows you to run Android apps directly on your computer and easily switch between say Windows and Android.

The BlueStacks Android Player was released in Alpha form last night and to go along with that came of course, the Android app syncer as well. The App Syncer application allows you to sync any Android app on your device with the BlueStacks cloud service. When synced, the apps will then become available for use on your PC.

After having given it a go, I have to say it is pretty impressive. Most of the apps I synced worked quite well. Some apps did lag, and some apps for whatever reason refused to sync but that's to be expected as it is still Alpha testing. If you give it a go, make sure you send the BlueStacks team some feedback as that will help their offersings progress. You can hit the source link for more info plus, a demo video can be found after the break.

Note: You do need a Facebook account in order to have access. Other methods are on their way but for now, Facebook it is.

Source: BlueStacks

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2 years ago

Android App Review: Theme Chooser Themes

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I'm a bit of a themaholic. It's not the same as a flashaholic (although I am one of those, too), but it's in the same vein. Up until now, I had to really search for good CM7 themes, but with the discovery of this app, I'm sure my problem is only going to get much, much worse.

Theme Chooser Themes is a CM7 theme collector/list that displays not only themes that are in the Market, but also themes that are on XDA. They're color coordinated by price, with green being free, blue meaning there's free and paid versions, and red being paid.

You can also filter the themes by free, free/paid, paid, by a developer, and screen size support. You can also search for themes using the theme's name, a description of the theme, or the developer's name.

If I had any complaints, it'd be screenshot previews of the theme before you get redirected to the Android Market or XDA, but I'm not sure how time consuming and/or data intensive that would be. Still, it's something I'd like to see in the future.

Theme Chooser Themes comes is ad-supported normally, but if you opt to buy the donate version (99 cents), you can kiss those ads goodbye. 

We've got download links and more screenshots after the break.

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2 years ago

T-Mobile brings its Bobsled service to Android

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T-Mobile announced today that its Bobsled VoIP service is now available on Android smartphones and tablets. Bobsled, developed by Vivox and previously available for desktop broswers only, allows you to call your Facebook contacts for free from your device. Instead of dialing a number, simply select your Facebook friend and Bobsled will call or send a voice message for you. T-Mobile has also updated the browser version with free calling to any mobile or landline device within the U.S. and Canada. Despite its name, Bobsled is available on all carriers, and can be downloaded from the Android Market after the break.

Source: T-Mobile

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2 years ago

Marvel Comics Android app available now

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Here she be, folks -- the official Marvel Comics Android app! You can now get all of your favorite superheroes and villans -- more than 1,400 issues in all, in the safety and comfort of your Android smartphone or tablet.

Your downloads are backed up on Marvel's website, so switching devices won't make you lose what you've purchased. There are free previews available as well. We've got your download links after the break.

Source: Marvel; Thanks, Deathtron5000!

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2 years ago

Rocket Launcher receives a huge face-lift; is it enough to make it a default on your device?

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We took a look at a new launcher to the Market, Rocket Launcher, and while it was quite a unique launcher there was definitely a long way to come. The developers took to our feedback, they read the comments, and they jumped right into making big improvements on the launcher. They are back in action now with correct time and date, ability to add widgets, a new home screen look, and much more. So, whether you were a fan of it originally or not, this is definitely something you will want to check out and see how it works for you. Download links after the break.

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2 years ago

TeleNav GPS Navigator 7.1 launches on Android devices from Sprint

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TeleNav has been working hard on their latest update and they are now soon ready to release TeleNav GPS Navigator 7.1. First up, will be availability to Sprint customers, who can start taking advantage of the newly implemented features such as:

  • New Home Screen - TeleNav GPS Navigator 7.1 uses a new, unique home screen, called “My Dashboard ™,” for quick and easy access to what on-the-go people need every day. The redesigned interface includes a map of the user’s current location with real-time traffic overlay and customizable “Home” and “Work” buttons to show current drive times based on live traffic.
  • Improved Map Options - TeleNav GPS Navigator 7.1 also includes smoother and faster map rendering, enhancing features such as live traffic, red light cameras and satellite view map layers. The application includes Multi Routes™, which recommends up to three routes to the destination with distance and estimated drive times based on traffic conditions.
  • New Widgets - Customizable Android widgets have been added for quick access to the information that on-the-go people need and use every day. Three TeleNav widgets are available for download on the Android home screen, including a map of the user’s current location, a one-box search field, and navigation with Home and Work commute times.

TeleNav GPS Navigator 7.1 will be available later this month at no additional charge with Sprint’s Everything Data and Simply Everything plans, with optional premium features such as lane assist, speed trap, red light camera, speed limit notification and commute reports available for an additional $4.99 per month. Full press release is beyond the break.

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2 years ago

Android Game Review: Buddy Rush

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YouTube link for mobile viewing

I get to play a lot of games as I'm looking for the best stuff to show you guys and gals. Most of the time I find pretty good stuff. Occasionally though, I come across something that's kind of a dud. Buddy Rush is one of those games.

Buddy Rush is a cross-platform (Android, iOS, and Facebook) action/RPG where you pick a character and complete missions to get items. Instead of just playing with developer-created computer players, though, you can take computer controlled characters that your friends have made. That's where the social aspect is supposed to come into play, anyway.

You control you character by tapping the place you want to walk to and you attack enemies by tapping them. Likewise, you also tap on computer characters (like merchants) to open up a dialog screen where you can either accept items or quest invitations, or purchase items that will advance you on your journey.

There's three characters you can pick from the start (a melee class, a mage, and an archer), and all the other characters on the roster need to be bought. They've got pretty funny names (like the Worrier, who is a worrisome warrior, or Wizz the wizard), so I'll give the developers one for creativity there.

From a gameplay perspective, Buddy Rush is alright. The graphics are ok, the music is chipper, and everything runs generally without issue. Now, I did get a few force closes here and there, and the mission progress I was in the middle of in had reset, so that kind of sucked.

Buddy Rush is also peppered with weird grammatical errors. If you pay attention you'll notice phrasings that aren't quite right, like they came straight out of Google Translate. I don't mind if the game was originally localized somewhere else, but that just kind of bugged me as I was reading mission information.

Buddy Rush also uses a special (see: paid for) currency called Chips. Chips are used to buy special items in-game or buy the characters that are both cooler and off-limits to you when you're creating a character. If you don't want to spend cash for chips, there's a list of offers you can complete to get Chips for free. Some of them require you to sign up for Netflix while others are as simple as installing and running a free app.

I wanted to see the Chips system at work, so I downloaded one of the free apps and booted it up. Not surprisingly, my Chips weren't awarded to me. So I played that free app for a little bit, tried to see if there was some threshold I had missed, but still, no Chips. That bugged me quite a bit because it's either poor programming and partnership or a thinly veiled attempt to set up your expectations and then deny you (so then you'll buy Chips).

The social aspect is also completely ruined if none of your friends play (like in my case), so you end up losing a whole component there. I know the rewards for having friends play are trivial at best, but it'd at least be a little entertaining to see a friend's avatar instead of some weirdo wearing a pumpkin for a head.

Fortunately, Buddy Rush is free, so there's no barrier to entry (just a barrier for Chips). If you're one of the folks who has already enjoyed it on the browser side of things, this is the best way to take it with you when you're on the go. And if you're someone who can convince your friends to give it a shot, it might not be a bad idea.

For me, it's lacking some of the polish I've become accustomed to in a great Android game, but that might just be me.

We've got download links after the break.

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2 years ago

Verizon Wireless launches Mobile Unified Communications Client

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Verizon is well aware of the growth in the mobile industry and as such, they're also aware that buinesses no longer rely on their workers to be in the office all the time. Fact is, we're becoming a mobile society and being in an office all day is quite a thing of the past. Knowing this, they've now announced the Mobile Unified Communications Client.

This allows business owners to have both a landline and mobile number attached to their employee's smartphones. Calls initiated from the mobile phone’s line are routed through the existing corporate IP PBX system and display the employee’s business number to callers.  This helps maintain the corporate identity while allowing employee's to be wherever they need to be outside of the office.

The Mobile UC Client is available for a $7 monthly fee per user, and most Motorola Android devices such as the Droid X, Droid X2, Droid 2 & Global and Droid Pro are supported. Full press release is past the break for you all.

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2 years ago

Android Game Review: Minecraft - Pocket Edition

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YouTube link for mobile viewing

When Minecraft: Pocket Edition was announced as an exclusive for the Xperia Play, block-builders the world round collectively wept. How long would it be before we could all run from Creepers, beat up sheep for their wool, or build giant structures to worship your favorite Android mascot?

It might have felt like forever, but Minecraft: Pocket Edition is finally available for all Android devices, and it's actually pretty cool (despite how feature-limited it is).

If you've ever played Minecraft on a PC (or even if you haven't), Minecraft: Pocket Edition will look pretty familiar. Everything is nice a blocky and retro-inspired, and it runs quite well. In lieu of actual physical controls, there's an onscreen directional pad with a jump button in the middle of it.

To place blocks, tap somewhere close to you. In the same vein, holding a block close to you will bring up a circle, and when the circle is filled, the block will be destroyed. Currently, there's no tools to destroy things, so everything is destroyed with your bare hands (Chuck Norris-style).

There's also no harvesting of items that you've destroyed. Instead, you have an inifinite amount of supplies, but only the supplies that the game gives you. Tapping the three circles on your item bar brings up the list of blocks (and other assorted goodies), and then you can pick three from there. I'm a bit disappointed TNT isn't included by default, and once crafting is (re)introduced, that'll be the first thing I make.

The controls are fairly tight, although the lack of precision on placing blocks when trying to balance a tablet can become a little frustrating. The camera is no different than the non-pocket edition, and the blocky, first-person interface is still top-notch.

Also missing from this early alpha are day/night cycles, and with that, bad guys. I really wanted to run and blow myself up next to a Creeper (cause hey, that never gets old), but there's none of them to be found. Zombies are suspiciously absent as well, along with all of the farm animals you beat up for their delicious meats, eggs, and wool.

You can still play with friends as long as you're all on the same wireless network, but otherwise, you're flying solo. Minecraft: Pocket Edition also sidesteps the normal Minecraft servers entirely, so you can have any name you want (for now).

Overall, Minecraft: Pocket Edition is a bit underwhelming, especially when there's so much on the desktop version that's missing from the mobile experience. I know it's an early alpha, but for $6.99, I was personally expecting more. That being said, it's still kind of a technical marvel, having such an open sandbox running on mobile devices.

If you just can't live without your Minecraft when you're not at home, we've got download links after the break.

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2 years ago

Sleepy Jack arrives exclusively on Xperia Play for a limited time

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Another day, another Xperia Play exclusive. This time it's the popular iOS game Sleepy Jack that's coming to Sony Ericsson's PlayStation-certified device before any other Androids. Sleepy Jack is a 3D flying game where players must guide Jack through a series of dream worlds, collecting Zs as they go. We had a chance to try out a pre-release version of the game on Xperia Play last month and were really impressed with the level of polish and overall smoothness of the game.

Xperia Play owners can also get Sleepy Jack at a reduced price -- just £0.99 (~$1.55) -- for a "very limited" time. There's no word on how long it'll be before other Android devices are able to play Sleepy Jack, but in the meantime Xperia Play owners can find the Market link and QR code after the jump.

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