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3 years ago

Android Quick-App: N64 Emulator

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One of the great things about Android is the ability to install emulators and ROMS that allow you to play your favorite games from past consoles. The latest to hit the market is N64 Emulator, which plays such popular games as Goldeneye and Super Smash Brothers.

After playing the NES, SNES and N64 emulators, the N64 version is more playable thus far, though by a small margin. I think what makes the difference is the joystick, which is extremely functional and works a lot better than I expected it to.

If you’re not familiar with emulators, they create a virtual controller on your screen. An interesting part of N64 is that there is an important button, Z, on the bottom of the controller. Obviously there is nothing comparable on your mobile device, so they have positioned it in the top left corner of the screen. The joystick is on the bottom left, A + B are bottom right, the yellow C buttons are above A + B, and R is top right.

The layout is solid, but difficult for some games, like Goldeneye, that require the use of all of the controls. This is a difficult predicament to overcome and smooth gameplay will only come with practice or heavy configuration of the controls.

Some of the best games to play on this app are racing games, due to the fact that they require less buttons. I’ve played MarioKart 64 and Diddy Kong Racing and both have played very well. I assume this will mean games like F-Zero X and Wave Racer 64 will play just as well.

I have also spent some time with Madden, NHL, Mario Golf and Super Smash Brothers. The sports games worked fine while Smash Brothers was a bit more difficult due to the amount you depend on the C Buttons.

Keep in mind that I’m playing all of these games on a Samsung Galaxy Tab and that on a smaller screen where the buttons are closer together, you may get better results.

Overall I am very pleased with N64 Emulator. It’s amazing that we can get these games to work well on our mobile devices. To have Goldeneye and Perfect Dark available in my pocket at all times is unbelievable.

The app is $5.99 and is available from the Android Market. While the price seems high, it’s worth it in my opinion. Just to have the ability to play any N64 game you want at anytime is worth it to me. Check out a video, more pictures and download links after the break.

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3 years ago

Rovio Mobile teases Angry Birds Seasons St. Patrick's Day update

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Youtube link for mobile viewing

You can't actually download it just yet, but the St. Patrick's Day update to Angry Birds Seasons is being teased in video form. More levels, more pigs, and a whole lotta green. Check it out.

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3 years ago

HTC Evo Shift 4G now supported by ClockworkMod recovery and Rom Manager

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If you've rooted your HTC Evo Shift 4G, you now have the option of using ClockworkMod recovery, as well as it's simple front-end Rom Manager.  With the release of version 3.0.1.4, ClockworkMod recovery now fully supports all the Shift 4G's partitions, and even backs up your WiMax keys. 

Getting it all set up is pretty easy -- first you'll need to root your Shift 4G, then hit the Android Market and install Rom Manager.  When you open the Rom Manager app, you will be prompted to update/install the latest ClockworkMod recovery for your device.  That's it, you're now set up and ready to run a backup and flash custom ROMs and hacks to your Shift 4G, and have an easy restore path using the backup you've made.  All without tethering your phone to a computer.  [Android Central forums]

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3 years ago

Popular gay dating app Grindr now available in the Android Market

Straight app said to be in the works, too

Good news for our Android-loving gay male readers. Grindr, a popular location-based social networking application designed specifically for gay men, is now available in the Android Market.

Grindr is a unique app that utilizes GPS information to enable guys to interact with and meet other guys in the area. Users can view profiles and photos, share stats, chat using Grindr's built-in instant messaging feature, and if all goes well -- meet in person. Privacy controls allow users to share as much or as little information as they're comfortable with.

Grindr introduced its application to iOS users in March 2009. The Los Angeles-based company now has an impressive 1.5 million members, spanning 180 countries worldwide. On a daily basis, 300,000 members login and spend an average of 1.3 hours using the app. Grindr has also said they're adding new members at a rate of 3,000 members each day. By adding support for both Android and Blackberry (beta) users, Grindr hopes to accelerate this growth even further.

Grindr is free for download in the market. There's also a premium version that removes ads, increases the number of favorites a user can have, displays message notifications when the app is running in the background, expands the number of guys users can see in the area, and enables a feature that allows users to swipe back and forth to browse through profiles. The premium version runs $4.97 a month after a free 7-day introductory trial. 

Grindr is also said to be developing a version for straight men and women also.

Check out all the details at Grindr's blog, and grab the download links after the break. [Grindr]

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3 years ago

Amazon clarifies its App Store DRM -- it's not nearly as scary as you thought

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Remember that blog post from Amazon a couple days back detailing how DRM (digital rights management) would work? Basically, it said if you download an app from the upcoming Amazon App Store, it'd need to check in with the Amazon App Store app on your phone before declaring itself legally downloaded and allowing you to use it. But once it's done that, it's status quo, all systems go, business as usual.

It caused a bit of a ruckus, to be sure. 

Only, Amazon apparently left out a couple things. And Thing 1 is a pretty important one: The Amazon DRM only applies to applications that opted to use Amazon's DRM in the first place.

Oh. Indeed, that makes a difference.So if a developer chooses not to "Apply Amazon DRM to this binary" (that's the actual upload screen above), it's just like downloading an application from anywhere else, and it'll work just fine.

Thing 2 is this: Amazon DRM downloads a token that gives your phone access to use the downloaded application. It's an offline token, meaning you don't have some constant connection checking in with the Amazon mothership, draining your battery and worrying your precious sense of personal privacy. In other words, it's not nearly as scary as you probably first thought. [Amazon]

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3 years ago

Google Maps Navigation will now automatically route you around traffic

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If you're not the sort of person who explicitly trusts GPS and mobile navigation, move on. For everyone else, Google's just flipped the switch on a cool little feature for Google Maps Navigation (which we're reminded yet again is still technically a beta product). Now, when you're driving and using a Google Maps Nav route and have traffic up ahead, the app will automatically route you around it. And you don't have to touch a thing. From the Google Mobile Blog:

You don’t have to do anything to be routed around traffic; just start Navigation like you normally would, either from the Navigation app or from within Google Maps. ... Starting today, our routing algorithms will also apply our knowledge of current and historical traffic to select the fastest route from those alternates. That means that Navigation will automatically guide you along the best route given the current traffic conditions.

Hey, whatever keeps us from having to ask for directions is a good thing. Full deets at the source link. [Google Mobile Blog]

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3 years ago

Gowalla 3 brings complete makeover to the social check-in Android app

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Sure, you might have been using Gowalla for some time now to check in an show your friends where you're at and what you're up to. But you haven't really been using Gowalla until now. Gowalla 3 dropped this morning, and it's a completely overhauled experience. The activity feed's been redone. Leaving photos and comments is easier. Highlights are front and center. Twitter, Foursquare, Tumblr and Facebook are closer than ever.

But the big change is the new passport view, which shows where you checked in last and can remind you to check in again if it's been a while. It's quite a spectacular change, actually. Check out all the details at Gowalla's blog, and we've got download links after the break. [Gowalla]

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3 years ago

Android Central Editors' app picks for March 5, 2011

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Whether you're looking for a productivity application, or just a fun game to kill some extra time with your Android device, hunting down what you want in the Android Market can be a bit of a task. Since we like to spend as much time as we can searching, tinkering, and playing around with new applications, we figure we should share with you some of our favorites. Let's take a look at some of our favorite applications, and hopefully some of you will find them to be your favorite as well!

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3 years ago

Android apps purchased from Amazon will work on multiple devices, use Amazon DRM

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Android applications purchased in Amazon's app store (which may finally go live to consumers any time now) will use Amazon's special sauce of digital locker/digital rights management to help combat piracy. Amazon spells it out in its developer blog:

Customers who purchase an app will retain an entitlement to their app even if they decide to replace their current Android device and/or purchase new devices, as long as the new devices meet the installation requirements of the app. This provides insurance to customers that their purchased apps will be available for use on all supported devices, even if the customer has uninstalled or otherwise removed those apps in the past.

The digital locker service combined with a robust Digital Rights Management (DRM) solution not only make managing apps easier for customers, they also address one of the biggest concerns developers have: unauthorized copying and distribution. An authorized user can now install your app on any of their supported devices; however, if you chose to apply DRM on your app at submission time, your app will not run on unauthorized devices.

Any app that has Amazon DRM applied to it will require users to have installed and signed-in to the Amazon Appstore client to access the app. When an app is accessed by the user, it will verify with the Amazon Appstore device service as to whether the user has an entitlement to the app. If the user does not sign in or does not have an entitlement to that app, then the app will not be usable. However, any user can gain an entitlement by purchasing the app through Amazon.

The tl;dr version: You can use apps purchased from Amazon on multiple devices just fine; you'll just need Amazon's app store app installed for them to work. It's not nearly as scary as some would have you believe, and it's an extra cushion for developers. [Amazon Developer Blog]

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3 years ago

Finding Google's apps in the Market

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Google is a software giant, and many of us user their proprietary applications on our Android phone.  With good reason -- apps like Gmail, Androidify, and YouTube absolutely rock on an Android device.  But did you know that Google, Inc. has a veritable laundry list of apps available on the Android Market?  They're all free, too! 

Some of you more Android savvy types might already know of them all, but for the rest of us there's an easy way to have a look at them, using search while in the Market app on your phone or tablet.  Just open the search dialog using the search button on your phone or the search icon in the Market, and look for Pub:"Google Inc."  That's a search by publisher -- in this case, Google, Inc.

So can you guess all the Google apps? We've given you seven freebies, and we've got your list after the break. Thanks for the tip, cdubbs!

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