If I was a betting man and you had an Android phone, I would say that you have updated your keyboard from the stock version that came pre loaded. There are a few really great options for alternate keyboards in the Android Market to choose from. From simple replacements like SwiftKey X, That aim to reduce keystrokes via prediction, to more exotic ones like 8Pen , that rely on unorthodox sliding movements. Which do you choose? I am sure by now you are asking yourself why not just use Swype? Well my friend, Swype doesn’t have the ability to predict the words you are slip sliding around. A fairly new app, TouchPal, just released out of Beta, ties both advantages together, making one extremely useful keyboard. With predictive sliding, this fresh idea comes with many features not found on other keyboards. Hit the break for the full list and to check out some more screen shots and a video of the app in action. Read more
If you’re anything like me, and you have a 4G phone or you’re constantly on your phone, you know battery life can suck these days. One common way to preserve battery life is to keep your screen brightness at a lower level. I realize that the auto brightness feature found on most Android phones is an answer to many, I find that sometimes the screen can still be unnecessarily bright. XDA member, Marinelli.Tv, has come up with a solution that I love and frequently recommend to those who complain about excessive battery drain. It may even impress your friends!
Brightness Motion Pro allows you to adjust your screen brightness with percentage increments by a simple flick of the wrist. Moving in a right hand motion will take you up a notch, moving to the left will take you down. To add to its effectiveness, the app even displays an icon in your notification panel informing you that it’s active, and includes your current percentage. The paid version, Brightness Motion Pro, is only $.99 for a limited time, and allows for more advanced features like, start up on boot, initiate auto brightness, brightness slider control, and more. There is also an ad-supported free version without all the bells and whistles for those who want to try it in its simplest form. Hit the link or QR code below to give this great idea a try, and be sure to let us know if you think it improves your battery life. Read more
Occassionally we run across an elegantly simple app, that just makes sense and makes things easier. Wizz Bar is one of those apps. Essentially it’s a mini app drawer for your tablet that remains quickly accessible from within any other app. It’s perfect for those apps you need on hand like calculators, note-taking apps, or settings, and it’s a cinch to use!
Open the Wizz Bar application
Add an item
Touch on the middle of Android Honeycomb’s navigation bar
To clarify, it doesn’t have to be just apps either. It can be any activity, like activating a playlist or launching a bookmark.
The Droid Bionic Arena scavenger hunt game for Android is live today and I made sure to try it out first thing this morning. After some concerned looks explaining to someone what I was about to go and do, I updated the app to the newest version and put on my shoes to head outside. After starting the first game, I noticed the app was really wonky when trying to point my phone in the prize’s direction. Performing a quick calibration on the compass fixed this issue (go to settings -> Location & security -> Calibrate Compass). Once this was fixed, I setup my e-mail, Facebook, and Twitter account in the app and started looking. Hit the break for how this all went down.
When HTC released the Flyer tablet, I’ll admit, I was a bit jealous of its Scribe technology and writing capability; enough so, that I went out and purchased a capacitive stylus to use with my own Xoom tablet. Surely the Xoom’s larger screen would be better for writing anyway, but to my dismay, there weren’t many apps for me to write with. Those that did exist weren’t exactly as useful or smooth looking as what the Flyer was touting.
Weeks later, however, XDA forum member Transceiver, has made my pen purchase a worthy investment. Transceiver is the creator of an app still in beta called WritePad, though that name will likely change to some degree because an app with that name already exists in the Android Market.
Although originally designed for the Asus Eee Pad Transformer running 3.2, I’ve found the app have a silky smooth writing experience on my Xoom as well.
Currently the app features
No lag and no jitter between the stylus movement and the screen response.
Smart palm detection – only records the writing from your stylus (right handed only for now).
Export page and notebook – share the page as a PNG file, or export the whole thing as a ZIP file to your Dropbox or Gmail account.
Paper types – comes with four familiar paper types including White, Legal, Composition, & Engineer (Graph Paper)
Stylus calibration – instead of drawing where the stylus touches the screen, it will draw where you ‘think’ the stylus tip is which is good for thicker tip styluses.
If you’re a tablet owner, I highly encourage checking this app out. Transceiver is interested in having different types of tablets beta test the app, so go grab it from the application forum and leave him your feedback.
Yahoo just released IntoNow, which is another TV and Movie social sharing service, but with a nice twist. When you are watching a show or movie, you can hold your phone up, and within a few seconds it will tell you the name of show with season and episode information so you can share exactly what you are watching on Facebook or Twitter. It even gives you the link to IMDB so you can get more information. This is reason enough to download the free app just to see it work its magic. I tested it on 4 different shows/movies in our hands on video and you can see how impressive it really is. It is as efficient as Shazam is with music.
Get Glue already is one of the leaders here so the question is if you should be switching? I think there is a lot of promise with this app, but I am not ready yet because there isn’t an option to actually type in the movie or show. The listening engine is the only way, so in a movie theater it might be annoying to people around you if you whip out your bright phone to check in after the movie starts. I would like the option to be able to type it in before the movie actually starts. Honestly, I doubt a lot of people are going to find this a hindrance since most viewing is on the TV at home. GetGlue fans that love the stickers will have a hard time moving to this as there is no reward system in place.
Correction: Apparently IntoNow is not meant to be used for new movies in the theater. It is only meant to be for anything that has run on TV in the last 5 years. I still think it should let you type in shows or movies because it is possible that it won’t recognize something even if you are actually watching it on TV.
On the plus side, it does have a notification feature that lets you know when your friends are watching the same episode and it lets you see what is popular right now with all users. I will be keeping an eye on IntoNow to see how it develops. Consider me intrigued.
Hit the source link to download or hit our apps database for the QR code.
Guitar hero has been one of the most popular franchises for game consoles, and now we can play it on Android, but does it make sense. Guitar Hero is about holding a guitar or playing the drums, and tapping a phone just doesn’t cut it.
Guitar Hero 5 is featured today on Amazon as the free app of the day. It is regularly $7.99m, and I am not sure how they could get that price because the UI is not very good. The game play itself it decent, but the menus are horrible. Check it out yourself in our hands on look.
I recently came across a video (embedded above) that opened up my eyes to something that I had never thought necessary. Dash-cams have been around for a long time, but never had I thought it important enough to get one for myself.
After watching this video, and realizing that a dash cam isn’t just protecting my innocence but that of others too, I began my search for the most cost-effective way to implement one of my own. I didn’t have to look far.
What I found was Dailyroads Voyager, a free app with a featureset of something much more expensive. Dailyroads simultaneously acts as an automatic DVR, a black box, and a dash cam, while running completely unattended in the background of your phone. In the short time that I have been using it, I’ve found it to be very stable and to be missing few features. Its premise is simple: the app records a set period of time, and if nothing interesting happens in that period, it deletes the files and keeps recording. Everything is completely automatic; as soon as I dock my phone the app starts to record, and once I undock it, it stops. Possibly one of the most impressive features is the “black box” functionality that saves a recording if I am not able to, by utilizing the built in accelerometer. This is just one of numerous features, such as timestamps and GPS coordinates, speed recording, timers, and more.
To make the most of this app you must leave your phone in landscape mode, but this is really a limitation of roads, not the app itself. One can imagine that the wear-and-tear on your SD card may be a bit higher than normal, but with the security that this app provides, and with how inexpensive SD cards are getting to be, there really is no reason not to set something like this up. If not for your own safety, for that of others. I’ll certainly be adding this to my top 5 essential apps.
Today’s Free Amazon app comes to us from ArtOfBytes, a relatively new developer to the market. In Grave Defense HD, one must fight the hordes of zombies, slimes, and demons using strategic placements of lasers, turrets, and missiles.
Yeah, it’s another tower defense game.
In its defense, I’ve been playing this game since it was in beta, and it’s a blast. Forget the fact that there are a million and one tower defense games on the market (many of them already free), Grave Defense HD is an example of what tower defense should be. Challenging and unforgiving, I’ve spent hours playing just a few levels, yet never felt “ripped off” when I would lose.
It’s also worth noting that the visuals are amazing, for a 2D app. Stylized animations, bright colors, and pretty explosions make for an engaging experience that always leaves you wanting to try “one more time”.
This reviewer deems Grave Defense HD a keeper, and easily one of the better tower defense games to hit the market.