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5 years ago

Android Game Review: Attack from Outer Space!


It's easy to make a side-scrolling game. It's a little harder to make a good one, and harder still to make a side-scroller that will keep you coming back. Attack From Outer Space falls into the latter category.

It's a simple game with simple controls -- you've got a slider for moving Sergeant America (yes, that's his name) back and forth, and a joystick for aiming your arsenal toward the aliens. You've got to take out as many as you can (and you get combo bonuses for being quick about it) while dodging their bombs. You'll pick up new weapons along the way, and acquire nukes for those times when only a nuke will do.

Each level has three stages, with a "World boss" at the end of each. Make your way across the U.S. in the "Adventure" mode, and you'll unlock Area 51.

All in all, it's a lot of fun, and a hell of a lot of gameplay for just 99 cents. We've got some hands-on video, screenshots and download links after the break. Check it out!

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5 years ago

OnStar API kicks off with ridesharing app


At CES 2012, GM was showing off their remote control and monitoring Android app, but I would say their more interesting announcement from the show was a new OnStar API, which will enable outside developers to start plugging into their connected electric car. To showcase the new capabilities, GM partnered up with the guys at RelayRides, which is basically Airbnb for cars. Using the mobile app, you will be able to post your vehicle as available for rent within certain dates, and if it's with a Chevrolet Volt, the car will only begin functioning in the specified timeframe. Once a rental time kicks in, customers can use the app to find the Volt via GPS, and remotely unlock the car to grab the keys inside. Even if you don't have a smartphone, you'll be able to unlock the car via text message. From the renter's side, you can search based on vehicle type, proximity, timeframe, price, and all of the other usual criteria. Rental rates can go as low as $5 to $6, which includes a million-dollar insurance policy. 

This is pretty big news because so far, the only other car manufacturer seriously wooing app developers has been Ford, and they've been doing it for some time now with AppLink. They haven't been able to crank out a ton of apps since AppLink has come out, but RelayRides was apparently wrapped up in under a month. Of course, they made their app specifically for the OnStar API, so they might have been able to get it up a bit quicker than others will be able to, but it's a promising start.

The OnStar API will be available for Android and iOS starting in the first half of this year, but if you're interested in getting involved sooner than later, you can pitch your app idea to

Source: OnStar

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5 years ago

Textie for Android brings unlimited cross-platform messaging to your phone


Our pals at Borange today unleashed Textie for Android, bringing cross-platform text and picture messaging from the land of iOS (they've had something in the neighborhood of 1.6 million downloads from iTunes) to our beloved mobile platform. The port is pretty obvious -- you'll see a lot of iOS-type buttons. Try to get over that, because what you've got is a simple and pretty powerful texting appliation that offers unlimited use. Features include:

  • Sends unlimited free messages to any Textie user, email address and most U.S. mobile phones
  • Sends high quality photos to other Textie users or to any email
  • Installs free on Android, iPhone, iPad and iPod touch
  • Can be installed on multiple devices simultaneously
  • Naturally integrates with your existing address book contacts
  • Provides access to server-archived messages
  • Uses secure SSL for all connections
  • Uses battery-efficient Google C2DM Android push notifications

Textie's also done a great job of explaining in the Market listing all of the permissions it uses, so be sure to read that if you're worried about that sort of thing. We've got download links to the free Textie app after the break.

More: Textie blog

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5 years ago

iBone for Android: For those awkward times when you leave your trombone at home


Ever have that moment of panic when you realize you've left the house without your trombone? Yeah. We've all been there. Fortunately there's iBone.

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5 years ago

Android Central Editors' app picks for Jan 14, 2012


Guess who's back?! Sorry about last week folks, we know you want your apps and all but we were busy getting ourselves ramped up for CES 2012. Either way we are back in action this week so let's hit the break together and check some out!

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5 years ago

Android App Review: Cell Limit 0



Hey folks. In keeping with New Year’s resolutions suggested by the staff at Android Central I thought it fitting to write a review of an app I have been using for about a month, ever since the Holiday rush started and roads were littered with shoppers talking and texting. Holiday traffic and cell phone use are two topics that are bound to clash and they have. I am a father of two great kids and husband to a great wife and I don’t want their lives compromised by me texting or emailing in the car.

This is where this simple but great app comes into play.  Sponsored by one of the local health networks in the Lehigh Valley region of Pennsylvania, it is called Cell Limit 0. Why the name? Simply put, a text or email is not worth someone’s life.  The app is very simplistic in its use and powerful in its effectiveness. All it does is simply create an automated response to people who text you. In the upper right hand corner, you can see the toggle button is red as it is set to off.  When you activate this toggle, you can set it to whatever message you want to respond with as seen in second image by typing what you want (I use the default message shown) then hit “Set Message”.  Notice how the toggle is now green in the upper right of your screen? The auto responder is now set. Click it again to turn it off.

Even better, it has the website, which takes you to their website. Fill out the form and they will mail you a magnet of a Stop Sign to promote no texting and driving.  This is not a game changing app, but for me I find myself using the phone a lot less than before.  The app does have some FC issues that require you to exit and start it back up, but I find that running it on Ice Cream Sandwich is less problematic then running it on CyanogenMod or stock Gingerbread. Download link is after the break, check it out in the market as it’s FREE!

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5 years ago

Path for Android updates to fix ICS-Twitter authentication


I've been desperately trying to convert from Foursquare to Path for bothering most of my social networks at once, but a pretty critical bug was keeping that from happening. But Path's just released an update that fixes Twitter authentication in Ice Cream Sandwich, as well as keeping push notifications from being delivered if, in fact, that's the way you want it.

For the uninitiated, Path is sort of mix of Foursquare and a much smaller Facebook. The idea is to have a tight-knit group of friends with which you share. Of course, adding the ability to share via Twitter, Facebook and, yes, Foursquare, opens it up to much more. The app itself is stunning, though it could use a little refresh for 720p displays.

If you haven't checked it out yet, we've got download links after the break.

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5 years ago

Rovio previews forthcoming update to Angry Birds Seasons


Youtube link for mobile viewing

Thats right, folks, Rovio is still pumping out updates to the Angry Birds franchise, as its latest video shows us. This time around in Seasons, we're celebrating Chinese New Year by smashing those little green pigs. The update is due to hit on Jan. 20, so if you're an Angry Birds fanatic thats just a few more days to wait.

If you've still not tried out Angry Birds Seasons and want to see what all the fuss is about, you'll find a handy download link after the break.

Source: Rovio

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5 years ago

OnStar's RemoteLink App slings remote directions to your car, keeps tabs on fuel


When Chevy finally launched the Volt plug-in hybrid electric car, they also kicked out an app with in-car communications and monitoring subsidiary OnStar to integrate owners' mobile phones with the vehicle. Similar to the MyFord Mobile app that Ford put out to integrate with their own Focus Electric, OnStar RemoteLink being shown off at CES 2012 hooks into the OnStar system onboard the vehicle, allowing the owner to remotely monitor the fuel levels, and in the case of the Volt, also check in on how the battery is charging, plus set off-peak charging schedule. RemoteLink also can plan routing on the phone and send it remotely to the car, saving you time the time of generally tedious address inputting when in the car. OnStar RemoteLink is available for both iPhone and Android phones and is compatible with most 2010-and-newer GM vehicles with OnStar.

But the app isn't the only thing OnStar had to show off at CES. Also on display was a new media system in their Volt show car that linked two Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablets for backseat users with the car's Verizon LTE connection and the center stack up front. By integrating LTE with the power of the Android tablets, OnStar was able to build a system where the driver can pull up a movie from the home computer and stream it back to the tablets attached to the back of the front seats to placate a squad of rambunctious youngsters, start a Skype video call between the kids and grandma, or presumably just put up Angry Birds to keep them entranced in avian demolition for a few hours.

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5 years ago

The Sun newspaper hits Android, as long as you're on Gingerbread


British tabloid newspaper The Sun has decided to head down the digital route, with the arrival of its very own subscription-based Android application. 

The premise is quite promising if you're a regular Sun reader. All the "news", less of the paper. The first month's subscription will set you back just £0.69, which is low enough to tempt those more sceptical readers to give it a whirl. After this, though, the subscription rate will rise to £4.99 per month. And of course you don't need to head down to the local store every morning or tip the paperboy. The most obvious downfall, besides the fact that you're reading The Sun, is the lack of Honeycomb and ICS support. Newspapers would look pretty sweet on a shiny new Transformer Prime don't you think?

For those Android Central readers outside of the UK, The Sun is one of the biggest tabloid newspapers in the country and is owned by one Rupert "find me on Twitter" Murdoch. We're not saying that installing this app will mean that The Sun will be listening in on your voicemails, not at all. But just in case -- good morning, Mr Murdoch, we hope you're well.

Download links are after the break.

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5 years ago

Are you ready for some football? Get EA Sports' Madden NFL 12 for just a buck in the Android Market


Youtube link for mobile viewing

Get the latest of one of the most popular sports video game franchise ever, Madden NFL '12, for your Android device for just 99 cents from EA Sports.  The game was built for Android 2.1 or higher, and has optimized versions for both Tablets and the Xperia Play with it's built-in control pad.  You can choose to play as any of the 32 NFL teams, and different game-play modes allow for complete micro-management of every bit of action on the field.

It's Madden NFL 12, done right, for a buck.  Grab it using the handy link after the break.

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5 years ago

Android App Review: Nordstrom


The official Nordstrom app lets you browse the store's collections and purchase clothes right from your Android device. When the app opens, you'll see the main menu which can be filtered by Department or Brand. If you select the Department filter, you'll get a list of different shopping departments: Women, Men, Juniors, Designer Collections, Baby & Kids, Shoes, Handbags & Accessories, Jewelry & Watches, Beauty & Fragrance, At Home & Gifts, Sale and Weddings. Brands will bring up every different brand that is carried by Nordstrom, or too long to spew out here.

There is always a menu that you can access via the action bar or menu button. Options are Your Style, Shop, Wish List, Events and Bag. Your Style allows you to browse various styles handpicked by Nordtrom.  Shop brings you right back to the area of the app where you can shop, Wish List saves everything that you would like to place onto your wish list, Events displays upcoming things to do at your local store and Bag is simply your cart.

You can purchase items directly from the app and either have it shipped to you or schedule an in-store pick-up.

Overall, the official Nordstrom app is very nicely done. Fans of the department store will find it to be a good experience and I'm sure will find that they're shopping more because they can do it anywhere. If you like Nordstrom or just want to check out a good shopping app, please find links to the free app after the break.

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5 years ago

Ford shows off updated Sync vehicle Android integration


Ford has quite the presence at CES 2012. From the slick Evos concept car to the upcoming Focus Electric (with nice mobile app integration) and 2013 Ford Fusion, Ford has a strong showing (which is impressive, when you consider that the Detroit Auto Show is also this week). In addition to the mobile integration going with the Focus Electric, Ford's moving forward full stream with their in-car infotainment system Sync. Powered by Microsoft's Windows Embedded Automotive operating system, Sync has been leading the in-car media game for a few years now, and the latest version naturally kicks things up another notch. Sync integrates with BlackBerry, iPhone, and Android devices, allowing a driver to control apps on the device with a combination of voice commands, steering wheel controls, and the center stack and touchscreen.

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5 years ago

Google unveils new Android design standards website


Google has let loose a new section of their Android developer portal -- Android Design.  It's a site full of tools and suggestions to help application developers build apps that look and feel alike, following a sort of a style guide from the folks at Mountain View.  Things like menu button location, and drawing windows and fragments should be done so that they "behave in a consistent, predictable fashion".  We're not going to argue.

Besides all the helpful hints and guidelines, there's a special section for folks designing apps that are cross-platform.  Suggestions like "Don't mimic UI elements from other platforms" or "Don't use bottom tab bars" will help Android apps look like Android apps, instead of rehashed iOS apps. 

While these are all just suggestions, apps that follow them will look like they belong on an Android device.  Conversely, apps that don't follow them will stand out -- and that's not always a good thing.  Android should start to look awfully darn pretty from Ice Cream Sandwich forward -- I'd suggest everyone take a look at the links below and have a read.

Source:Android Design; via +Tim Bray

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