Google IO 2016 Coverage

Relive the classic game of Pong with Soccer Pong


I know some of our younger readers may not have heard of Pong. It was introduced in 1972, and it was the Pac-Man of that era. It was the simplest of simple in terms of game play and graphics, but we couldn’t get enough of it.

For those of you that are old enough to remember, it’s time to relive those memories with a new game called Soccer Pong. If you don’t remember, that’s okay, because you can relive your parent’s memories and wonder how we made it through life without Call of Duty.

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[App Review] Take control of your mobile data with the redesigned My Data Manager 4.0


Not too long ago, we went over some of the best apps available for monitoring how much data you use per month on your smartphone. On that list, we featured My Data Manager, which was a fully featured and well designed data monitoring tool. Just a few weeks ago, My Data Manager was updated to version 4.0, bringing a brand new interface and several new features that give you more control over how you keep up with your monthly usage. Since it was a pretty big update, we decided now would be the perfect time to give My Data Manager an in-depth review.

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[App Review] UpTo, the expansive calendar app, is ambitiously returning to the Play Store


There are so many calendar applications available in the Play Store. In fact, we looked at some of them as 2013 came to a close. Many calendar apps fail to be presentable when swamped with a ton of content. Because of this, managing what is really important becomes way too difficult. And by now, the experience is confusing and almost unusable. So what if there was an application that had a personal calendar on the forefront and everything else pushed to the back, ready when called upon.

Putting it all together in a meaningful way is where UpTo comes in. This is not UpTo’s first time in the Play Store. It was actually available for Android devices previously, but was silently removed to be relaunched. Today, UpTo returns to the Play Store with a brand new design. Read more

Featured Android Game Review: Neon Commander [Arcade]


Do you like retro style arcade games? Well then you need to check out HeroCraft’s latest effort, Neon Commander. This game is kind of like Space Invaders meets Breakout.

In this game, you will need to stop alien spaceships from taking down your city. In order to do that you will draw on the screen to bounce their shots back and hopefully hitting those enemies. This is called PlasmaShield technology. At the beginning of the game, you will draw simple lines that bounce the laserballs in the direction of the angle drawn. As you progress, you will find other shapes, like circles that force the laserballs to go in different directions.

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Featured Android Game Review: Farm Fest [Arcade & Action]


If you’re looking for a simple and fun game, HeroCraft’s Farm Fest might be a good choice. It’s very reminiscent of Farm Frenzy, but I think this one has a little better graphics. In this game, you will build up your farm by raising animals and processing the produce (eggs,hams, etc.). You will also have to avoid roving boars to maximize your sales. You earn money by delivering the processed goods in the nearby city.

If you like puzzle/management games, you will find this one easy to play. HeroCraft explains in detail what you need to do (collecting product, processing, and delivering) at each level. It quickly becomes more difficult as wild boars try to take out your animals, but thankfully you can hire a dog to fend them off.

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Featured Android App Review: Share Where Location Sharing [Travel & Local]


With Latitude going away, I know a lot of you are looking for alternatives. You might want to try Share Where Location Sharing from Ola Bjuremo. It’s probably the quickest way to share your location with friends and family. Texting or emailing your location isn’t anything new, but Share Where has a lot of extra features that make it a must have tool for your location sharing needs.

If you want to share your location with someone, you can quickly do it from within the app. Just select someone from your contacts or manually type a phone number (for SMS) or an email address. You can send your location to multiple people at the same time as well. You can even add text such as “I am here”, “Meet me here”, or “I need help.” Then simply tap the “Send” button and your chosen contacts will receive a message via SMS or email with your message (if you included one) and a Google Maps link showing your current location.

As I mentioned there are a few apps that do similar things in the Play Store, but Share Where takes things a step further. Lets say you are traveling and you want to give regular updates on your location. You can simply choose a repeated time interval (ie 5 minutes, 10 minutes, etc) and your contacts will get a message at each specified interval. Furthermore, if you have Android Jelly Bean 4.1 or higher, you can see the status and amount of time left until the next message is sent in your notification area. You can even cancel any future sharing through the expanded notification.

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Featured Android Game Review: Kids Mosaic [Brain & Puzzle]


If you’re looking for something really cool for the child in the house, then give Kids Mosaic a try. From Top Float, it’s a brain and puzzle game, but it will also inspire creativity. Just in case you aren’t familiar with what a mosaic is, it’s a picture that is created by many small colored pieces such as the images above. Kids Mosaic features two modes: Game and Free Play. The Game mode is the more puzzle-like of the two. Your child can choose from up to thirty different stock images. They will be presented with the template but the colors will be of a slightly different shade. Your child will need to move the appropriate colored pieces to the appropriate spots to complete the image. As they get more proficient, they can turn off the template to make things a little harder.

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Featured Android App Review: Volume Butler [Tools]


Every now and then you find an app that is not only functional, but also well designed. Volume Butler, from TUOGOL, is definitely one of those apps. If you like customization, than Volume Butler is your app. Based on the name of the app, you can probably tell that it deals with the volume of your device. You would be correct, but this isn’t just another app for setting volume levels, this a full blown automation app.

For starters, Volume Butler lets you create Profiles for certain situations. Each profile has controls for the Ringer, Notifications, Media, Alarm, In-Calls, and Speakerphone. You can title the profile whatever you want and even choose from a variety of icons to represent it. Most newer phones have merged profiles for both notifications and ringtones, but with Volume Butler you can still adjust them independently. If you want to change your phone to any of these predefined profiles, you simply tap on any of the profiles.

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Featured Android App Review: Snap Camera HDR [Photography]


If you’re looking for the stock Android camera experience, you might want to check out Snap Camera HDR. It’s based on the stock Android 4.2 camera with some added features and it was created by XDA forum member dzo. The goal of Snap Camera was to bring the 4.2 interface to Android 2.3+ devices. If you’re not familiar with the stock Android 4.2 camera, it’s a very simple interface, but Snap Camera is slightly different. The main screen has only three buttons, one for pictures, one for videos, and the other for settings.

The UI works much like the stock Android interface in that you can touch to focus, pinch to zoom, swipe to review, and long press to adjust photo settings. Speaking of settings, you will find more settings than the stock version and it’s set up a little differently. You will still find all the options in the circular fashion, but with more selections. You will now have eight choices: HDR, flash mode, white balance, exposure, contrast, saturation, camera settings, and a submenu for items such as changing to burst mode, fast mode, front/back camera toggle, silent shutter, stable shot, panorama, self timer, and toggling the grids. Fast mode allows you to take pictures very “fast” but only at the resolution of your display. The camera settings have a slew of options for you to choose from for both the camera and videos. It should be noted that dzo added an option in the settings to use what was thought to be an updated UI for Android 4.3. As it turns out, that newer interface wasn’t part of Android 4.3, but is on the Google Edition Galaxy S 4 and HTC One devices that were just released.

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Featured Android App Review: 3CX Mobile Device Manager [Business & Tools]


We have covered a number of apps for device tracking and security, but I wanted to throw another one into the ring. It’s appropriately named 3CX Mobile Device Manager, and it will not only track mobile phones and tablets, but it will also track notebook computers. It’s catered to businesses for managing a fleet of devices, but it’s simple enough for personal use as well. Normally products such as these carry a cost per device, but 3CX has made it free for the first 5 devices, which makes it perfect for families. Read more