NVIDIA’s Tegra platform is no doubt a great one for showcasing Android gaming. We know there are plenty of Tegra-exclusive games out there, but there’s one game that’s standing out head and shoulders above the rest of the Tegra-based games. You may have heard about a certain Action-RPG called Soulcraft THD, which is pretty much a dark fantasy game on steroids. The beta has currently been in beta for a few months now and while the developer Mobilebits claims there are still some bugs to be worked out, the game runs incredibly fluid while the graphics are smooth like butter. » Read the rest
Let’s face it, we live in a world of internet-based communication. In fact, most of us tend to keep in contact with our friends and loved ones with messaging clients, especially if your friends and loved ones are spread out around the country or world. The most famed and successful international messaging client is no doubt the Blackberry Messenger by RIM, especially because it featured the popular group chat function. My friends and family aren’t particularly fond of the Android platform, so most of them are on either iPhones or Blackberries. That means unless we use some sort of cross platform IM client like AIM or Facebook messenger, we can’t communicate with each other in real time. Enter: GroupMe— one of the most important apps I use daily. This is not only the best group messaging client, it’s one of the best IM clients, period. » Read the rest
Ah yes, the variation of the Android platform. Some people love it while others hate it. Let’s face the cold, hard truth about Android: it’s an open-source platform in which any individual can take the basic source, tweak it a little and truly make it their own. Similarly manufacturers can take the basic open source and throw it onto all sorts of devices with all sorts of hardware configurations. What do both amateur developers and established manufacturers of Android devices have in common? Each want to develop and create an end result or product that is “unique” and more or less different from its competition, while also providing a need for its customers and consumers. Amateur developers have a different perspective from both the engineers/developers at Google and OEMS– that’s to take the Android platform which notoriously omits items such as built-in functions like the ability to take screenshots and make it available for all. OEMs and manufacturers conversely see the bare Android platform as too basic and will slap on enhanced features such as social communication widgets. Independent/amateur developers and OEMs/manufacturers have different visions, but again— they’re looking at the bigger goal of answering what they perceive to be Android customer’s need ands try to address them.
What Android users truly want or need can be subjective and there’s no real right or wrong answer. However, we all believe Android’s benefit to users involve the freedom of choice. There are a myriad of options prospective and interested consumers can look into when it comes to manufacturers. For those who want a simple phone which allows for web browsing, messaging (texting and Twitter) and basic phone calls, there are a ton of budget options such as the Pantech Burst smartphone. For others who are interested in watching videos, listening to music or gaming on the go, there are other devices which feature dual-core processors with built-in GPUs such as the HTC Rezound. Whatever it is a prospective user is interested in, they’ll find what they want. Now suppose I ask this question to you: considering Android is truly an open platform, is it fair that manufacturers generally market devices with various hardware profiles, but only one UI option? More importantly, what is the benefit of having an Android device with a custom UI and would manufacturers and ultimately consumers be better off having the option to choose between a device with a custom skin or no skin at all? I personally believe that not only is it unfair for OEMs to market most devices with custom skins, but also marketing devices with no skins may be a financial benefit as well as positive perception from the various levels of the Android community.
In this day and age, technology is designed to make our lives simpler. We no longer need to pull over to a rest area to use a payphone. Paper maps are quickly becoming a thing of the past. We can now carry thousands of books with us without requiring years of weight training. The devices we carry with us every day are rapidly becoming indispensable.
So this is why we freak out when we suddenly don’t have access to our smartphones, either through damage or loss. This single point of failure is why we have a growing market of protective phone cases, insurance, and remote wipe software. How can we guarantee we’ll never lose or break our phones? Only one way I see…remove the device from the equation.
If there was no physical device we had to keep track of, there would obviously be no fear of losing it. But the device is what gives us the power to do all those wonderful things. So what if we natively had the same abilities our smartphones have without having to carry anything around? Enter the Android Brain Implant™ (ABI).
Word Search is another one of those games you might stumble upon as you’re trying to kill time. By using clean and colorful grids, you’re given the task of trying to find a list of words. Sounds simple, but the words are hidden amongst jumbled and scrambled letters, so you have to pay close attention and look for patterns in order to find each word. While there’s no time limit, users are still timed and will aim to complete the list as quickly as possible. You’ll be able to find words and complete the puzzles quickly too thanks to some snappy and intuitive controls. All you do is swipe in the direction of the word you find and that’s it. My first go-round of the game had me complete the puzzle on my tablet in just under 17 minutes, but by the time I got used to the patterns and strategy, my average dropped a whopping 3 minutes. Users should expect a similar– if not better outcome. One noteworthy aspect is the game has numerous languages available. That means if your bilingual or multilingual like myself, you’ll be able to challenge yourself even further.
The game is available for any Android 1.6+ device. While it will work on any device, I found the layout and interface to be especially brilliant on tablets thanks to some special tablet-specific optimizations that developer Melimots included. If you’re ready to stimulate your brain in yet another way, give this simple, yet great game a try today by hitting up the Android Market or by scanning the QR code below.
Searching for a quick, fun and addictive way to kill time while stimulating your brain? Well you may want to give Math Cruncher a try. It’s a puzzle game that involves you guessed it— the subject of math. You are essentially given the task of solving math questions given to you but with a twist— each question comes in the form of a falling tile, so you only have a limited time to answer each question. Users will need to solve equations before they get to the bottom of the screen, while simultaneously avoiding mistakes. In addition, as the game moves forward, equations become faster and you’ll have to keep up with the pace, otherwise you lose.
What’s ironic about this aspect of the gameplay is that the questions are painfully basic and simple— things we should have been able to master in elementary school. While some of the questions (3 – 1 = 2 for example) are simple, things can become tricky when you’re given the task of having to answer consecutive questions on the fly (42 x 15 = 630 followed by 28 x 19 = 532). This game definitely works your brain and challenges you to be sharp and quick in order to achieve the goal of getting as many points as possible. All of these can be executed in the most effective way thanks to some solid controls.
While the gameplay is addictive and top-notch, the graphics and sounds are not. The game claims to feature HD graphics when in reality looks more like standard 32-bit graphics. Also the game is best suited when the annoying music which is looped over and over is shut off completely. While the graphics and sounds could have been much improved— those are not the focus. Again, the focus is the addictive gameplay which will have you solving the various math equations in order to progress your game.
The game is available today for Android 1.6+ devices in both Free and Paid versions. The free version is probably what most will go for thanks to the unobtrusive ads which aren’t the least bit distracting. However the paid version is only 99¢. For some addictive gameplay that will never get old while seeing no ads at all, I think it’s mighty worth it.
The best thing about our Android devices is more likely than not— they help us to be as productive as we can be. This includes being able to store an infinite amount of emails, contact information, documents and for some of us— even our tweets. Now as much information we save onto our phones, we sometimes forget where that information is, when we created or viewed the information, who the information came from and so on. There’s an interesting app out there called CloudMagic which aims to make those small nuisances a thing of the past. » Read the rest
What does a tablet mean to you? To most, it’s something that lets you have productivity on the go— emails, social communication, reading articles and e-books, etc. Of course consumers realize it’s possible to do all that with a notebook computer or netbook. However, it’s no secret that notebooks are losing in popularity because people understand in this day and age, “less is truly more”. You could have a netbook as well, but then some individuals would be graced with keys far too small for big hands like yours truly, a small screen that’s sometimes just slightly bigger than that of a smartphone or the fact netbooks just aren’t powerful enough even to do the bare minimum like check emails, do some online chatting, etc. Manufacturers have realized consumers want something that can bring the best of both worlds and that’s why tablets have been developed now.
While Apple’s iPad is leading the revolution, it’s obvious there are many other successful tablets. There are many of you who own a tablet now and then there are many of you who will be looking to purchase a tablet in the near-future. The great thing about Android tablets is that they are a direct reflection of the Android platform in general. The Android platform allows for a variety of manufacturers to make unique and “customized” versions of the Android devices which are best suited for each user’s tastes. While there are popular options such as the ASUS Transformer Prime, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 and of course the record-selling Amazon Kindle Fire, there’s one tablet that has won my heart and will continue to win my heart for the next year or two (or three or four). That tablet is the Motorola Xoom Wifi tablet. Introduced at last year’s CES, the tablet is still literally the model for which other Android tablets are developed and shaped. I will share with you all my thoughts and experience of owning this tablet. Of course many of you will disagree and want to throw in your two cents, but I just want to give you all some insights as to what the device means to me and how it fits in my lifestyle. » Read the rest
We all have opinions to give or questions waiting to ask. Perhaps you’re afraid your opinion is bold and you’re afraid you may hurt a feeling or two. Or maybe you want to ask a specific question, but you’re afraid of folks thinking you’re stupid. Well the Thumb app aims to let users throw in their 2 cents or ask those million dollar questions, naturally in anonymous fashion of course. Created by developer Opinionaided, the app allows you to:
- Vote and comment on questions
- Responses come in just seconds after you post your question
- Choose your audience: post questions to everyone on Thumb, select a gender, or just send to your Friends
- Respond to questions in a specific category
- Connect with people who share similar interests
- Reward people by giving them Stars for helpful responses
While the app is cool, it does lose its charm and novelty after a while. Nevertheless it’s worth it for Android users to give it a shot– especially considering you will be able to finally channel your inner jerk or ask if you should get that 1985 Honda Accord… all without hassle. You can find the app out over in the Android Market or by scanning the QR code below.
There’s no doubt about the impact of gaming in our society today. Much of pop culture and our social lives are impacted by gaming to a certain extent. Angry Birds went from being a small app to a pop culture reference in the form of mentions from celebrities and clothes with Angry Bird characters being sold in designer stores now as noteworthy examples. We see celebrities and famous figures discuss how they play Modern Warfare or Grand Theft Auto and the impact it’s had on their lives’, which in turn affects our lives. Let’s face it, we play games on our Android devices. What once was an afterthought because of our Sony PSPs, Nintendo DS systems, Xboxes— is now very much status quo and the norm to even the average and simplistic Android user.
The continuous advancements from the development of games allows for users to have respectable Android gaming experience at the very least. One significant thing about the Android platform is the significance of the choice of apps that users want to use: paid apps or free apps. This is especially relevant with gaming on Android. The Android platform caters to two main categories of Android gamers: the recreational gamer and the hardcore gamer. The recreational gamer (and even Hardcore gamers to a certain extent) can enjoy popular gaming series such as Angry Birds, Words With Friends and Shoot The Apple, at no cost to them generally speaking. The hardcore gamer can enjoy such games as Modern Combat 3, Grand Theft Auto III, Madden ’12 and Need For Speed just to name a few, for a premium price that is more than reasonable especially with the vast amount of content included in the various games. There’s a consensus that both gamer types love seeing games that are free, especially when they are free games that look and play at a high level. Knowing that, there’s a troubling trend growing among developers of Android games found in the Market— the “Freemium” model. Read on to find out why this is not only a bad practice among developers, but why it turns me as a gamer off to certain games, even if they look and feel great.