Featured Android App Review: TypeSmart Keyboard [Productivity]

by Robert Nazarian on
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I have been a loyal user of SwiftKey for a while now, but another keyboard replacement app called TypeSmart from Comet Apps might change that. I have been playing with it over the last couple of days and I like what I see. From what I have found with most keyboard replacements is that they always seem to be too gimmicky with an interface that will only attract a few people. TypeSmart went in another direction by trying to improve upon what’s out there without trying to develop a brand new way to type.

TypeSmart’s claim to fame is that it not only does what all the other keyboards do, but there are six cool things that no other keyboard offers. The first is a slide-out number row. I tend to do a lot of my typing in portrait mode and I hate switching to a different keyboard for numbers. I know a lot of keyboards offer long pressing, but that is only good when you only need to type one digit. With TypeSmart, you simply swipe up and the dedicated number row appears. Don’t worry, there is still a separate dedicated number pad if you find that your phone’s display is too small. I would like to see this option added to the settings giving you the ability to always display it without needing the gesture, but a quick swipe up isn’t all that bad.

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Featured Android App Review: Buzz Launcher [Personalization]

by Robert Nazarian on
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I’m not big on launchers. It’s not that I don’t think they are cool, but I usually just don’t have time to screw around with them. Well I just came across a new launcher that is not only a game changer, but one that I am happy to say that I am using full time. Have you ever seen pictures of other user’s home screens and wished you could duplicate it? I see them all the time, but I always sigh because I just don’t have the time to set things up. Well Buzz launcher is changing all of this with a very unique take on launchers. It’s one thing to download a launcher, but imagine being able to completely change the look of your home screen on the fly. In no time you will have some of the coolest looking home screens with minimal effort thanks to its huge database from other users. Buzz Launcher allows you to download other user’s cool looking home screens so you don’t have to spend a ton of time setting things up. Before you go thinking that there will probably only be a handful of choices, does over 10,000 sound like enough to you? At the same time, if you do have time and create something cool and unique, you can share it to the world as well.

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Featured Android Game Review: Space Eon 3D [Arcade & Action]

by Robert Nazarian on
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Space Eon 3D is the first offering from Grim Genie Game Development. I will forewarn you that it’s not the most polished game as far as graphics go, but it’s one of the best games I have played that uses the accelerometer for controls. I have played a number of games in which the accelerometer controls your vehicle or spaceship and most of the time the sensitivity is always out of whack. Space Eon 3D’s controls are just right.

Space Eon 3D is a futuristic shooter game which has the typical storyline. You’re a pilot with no memory stuck in a warzone, and a General seems to know what’s going on and guides you. Lets face it, the storyline is secondary, so you will find yourself hitting skip. The premise is to fly through missions by shooting the bosses or other enemies. Within gameplay you can quickly boost your health or get a temporary shield by flying into the floating heart or shield. You will gain money with each mission that you can use for powerups as well. Powerups include longer lasting shields and stronger firepower. You can even hire helper ships. There are 9 achievements that will allow you to unlock 4 additional planes for your hangar.

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Featured Android App Review: Artflow – Sketch, Paint, Draw [Media & Video]

by Robert Nazarian on
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Artflow Studio just released Artflow – Sketch, Paint, Draw for Android tablets, which will bring out your creative side. Of course if you’re already a creative person, you will love it too. Artflow is easy enough for the novice, but offers features for the pro as well. It has all the standard stuff like 50 different brushes/tools and color selections, but it also offers layers and advanced controls like smudging and brush flow. It even supports pressure sensitive pens like Samsung’s S Pen on the Galaxy Note 10.1 or the Galaxy Note 8.0.

What I like most about Artflow is that the Holo-inspired layout and controls are very simple. Drawing and sketching apps can be a little intimidating for the casual user, but not with Artflow. Upon opening the app, you are given a completely white slate for your next sketch. You will find two menus, one at the right edge and the other at the left edge. Just tap on the “less than sign” at the middle right edge or the “greater than sign” at the middle left edge to open the respective menus.

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Featured Android App Review: Privacy Manager [Tools]

by Robert Nazarian on
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Privacy is a major buzzword these days and sometimes you want to be able to keep and/or do things on your phone that you don’t want others to know about. You will find plenty of apps that help you in this regard, but most of them only do one thing. What makes a great app is one that is not only simple to use, but also offers a lot of features, and Privacy Manager offers both. Privacy manager will do some of the simple stuff like keep certain pictures, apps, and contacts private, but it offers so much more.  Privacy manager will also block certain numbers from calling you, disguise calls or SMS messages when you don’t want others to know exactly who is calling you, Ring your phone with a fake call when you need to be “interrupted” in a meeting. It even offers a password manager and let’s not forget the ability to record from your phone’s handsfree microphone. Privacy Manager has pretty much everything you could ever want, and then some.

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Featured Android App Review: PAUL the app [Entertainment]

by Robert Nazarian on
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Do you like to watch a lot of videos online? Do you get annoyed with having to use up your mobile data all the time or dealing with buffers? Well I have an app for you, it’s called PAUL the app, and it was developed by Inmobly. PAUL will curate videos and music for you from many popular sites and download them to your phone or tablet via WiFi so that you don’t have to use up mobile data or deal with any hiccups.

Before we get into the particulars, you are probably wondering where the name “PAUL” came from. Paul was an octopus in Germany that became famous for his predictions during the World Cup in 2010. He not only picked Spain as the World Cup champion, he also picked 85% of the matches correctly. What does that have to do with this app? Well PAUL The App’s algorithms are inspired by Paul the octopus with the goal being to successfully deliver videos and music that you want to watch or listen to. In fact, they created an acronym based on PAUL – Predictive Automated User-centric Loading.

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Featured Android Game Review: Bowling Paradise [Sports]

by Robert Nazarian on
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Update – As of 6/10/13 – Now utilizing Google Play Game Services and 3 special effects balls added to Free version.

There certainly is no shortage of bowling games in the Google Play Store. We recently reviewed Concrete Software’s PBA Bowling Challenge, which is a cool game, but if you are looking for something a little more mellow, you might want to check out Bowling Paradise from InnoLab. You won’t find any tournaments or power-ups in this one, it’s just pure bowling in a zen-like atmosphere.

Bowling Paradise gives you eight locations to choose from: Beach (peaceful and relaxing), Garden (fresh and relaxing), Slope (exciting – ball rolling down a wavy path), Camping (quiet camping night), Dome (classic, luxury), Space (high impact – ball can fly in the air), Mushroom (imaginary land), Lights (special light effects). As you can see, each area gives you not only a completely different look, but can also impact gameplay.

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Featured Android App Review: WeVideo – Video Editor [Media]

by Robert Nazarian on
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Do you find yourself with a bunch of videos and pictures with no organization in sight? Do you wish you had the time to edit them and make them more meaningful? Then look no further because I have an app for you. It’s called WeVideo and it’s a very simple video editor for your Android phone. As people are starting to use their phones more and more for both videos and pictures, an app like this is a must have.

WeVideo is actually an online editing tool, but now you get many of the same features on your Android phone at basically no cost. I know what you’re thinking. You are saying to yourself that this is just going to be another app that is complicated, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Trust me, within minutes you will have some really cool videos.

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Featured Android Game Review: Quiz of Seers [Brain & Puzzle]

by Robert Nazarian on
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If you like quiz games, you might want to check out Quiz of Seers from Blyts. We are very familiar with Blyts because we covered another cool game from them called Greedy Spiders. Quiz of Seers is a new app that’s already getting great user reviews. It offers three game modes: Single, Versus, and Live. Single is where you play on your own to get some practice. The Versus mode lets you play against your friends or random players, and the Live mode pits you in battles with multiple players worldwide in real time. Whichever mode you choose, you gain points that will ultimately earn you potions. Each potion gives you the ability to eliminate one of the multiple choice answers. Signing up is easy, you have your choice of creating an account via email or Facebook.

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Featured Android Game Review: Boulder Dash XL [Brain & Puzzle]

by Robert Nazarian on
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HeroCraft has done it again. Fans of the 80s classic Boulder Dash will want to take a look at this one because it not only has the original version, but a new updated version with better graphics and gameplay. Boulder Dash XL was co-developed with First Star Software and is the same exact game that’s available on both the Xbox 360 and PC. You can play either Rockford or Crystal as you dig through caves to collect diamonds within the time limit.

Boulder Dash XL gives you 100 caves to explore that delivers all kinds of obstacles and enemies such as falling boulders, trap doors, magic walls, Amoebas, Wild Walkers, Fuzzy Flies, Fuzzy Walkers, Radical Radiators, and so much more. You get a telescopic arm to move large boulders as well as dynamite for bigger jobs. Control options are a plenty. You can choose touch/swiping or an on screen D-pad. You can place the D-pad on the right or left side or you can split them.

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