[Updated] Android TweetDeck Beta Test Begins This Week

[Updated] Android TweetDeck Beta Test Begins This Week

Aug 12, 2010

When it comes to Twitter apps, everyone has their go-to favorite. Something about the style, feel, or just even blind loyalty keeps many of us using different Twitter apps for different reasons. But for power users, those that keep their finger on the social pulse or many different beats at any given time, there’s usually only one solution for those users: TweetDeck.

This week, TweetDeck announced that they’re opening up their Beta Test for their Android app. Their announcement is pretty clear that this venture into Android isn’t simply a port, it’s not TweetDeck on Android, but rather Android TweetDeck, and it’s going to have some new features that will lead the development path for the future of their mobile product.

Galcon Coming to Android Market VERY Soon

Galcon Coming to Android Market VERY Soon

Aug 12, 2010

As a long time App Reviewer, I’ve had the chance to review many different apps since the launch of both the iPhone and Android App Stores. An early favorite of mine was Galcon, a real-time strategy game with a very simple appearance at first glance, but very strategic and captivating game play once you start digging into it.

So why am I reminiscing about days of old? Well, according to Phil Hassey, Galcon’s creator, the Android port of Galcon is in it’s final stages before release! While there’s no set release date yet, Phil seems confident that the app will be live “VERY Soon” and we’re just as excited as he is to dive head first into this fantastic game.

Caligo Chaser Review

Caligo Chaser Review

Aug 11, 2010

Caligo Chaser is a Korean hack and slash RPG by com2us. The game isn’t much of a departure from the other com2us games that I’ve played before, but the graphics, gameplay style, and content do make it enjoyable to play through.

Pac-Man Championship Edition Review

Pac-Man Championship Edition Review

Aug 9, 2010

Reviewing Pac-Man is kind of like reviewing Pong: If you haven’t played it yet or aren’t familiar with it, you probably aren’t even reading this right now, let alone have an Android phone. But Pac-Man Championship Edition does have enough interesting qualities to it that it merits a review and your consideration, regardless of whether or not you’re a hardcore Pac-Man fan.

The basics of Pac-Man still exists in this game. Your goal is to eat the PAC-Dots and the Bonus Items while avoiding the Ghosts until you eat a Power-Pellet, then they’re free game. Every 20,000 points earns you a bonus life and the more points you earn without dying, the faster Pac-Man travels. What’s different about this version is that there aren’t exactly levels like in the traditional game. There are three different game options: Championship Mode, Challenge Mode (1,2), and Extra Mode (1,2,3). To win each mode, you’ll have to survive for either 5 or 10 minutes and rack of as many points as you possibly can.

Motorola Droid Review

Motorola Droid Review

Aug 9, 2010

The Motorola Droid was my first venture into Android as my primary device. Since the launch of Android, I’ve always carried two phones, my iPhone (hate on it, it’s ok) and usually a G1 (hate even more), but I never really spent any time with just the G1 as my iPhone was my primary number. I should say that I’m glad I’ve waited until the platform matured a bit more before making it my device of choice, as there were major growing pains with the G! that may have actually turned me off from pursuing an Android device as a primary. We can thank AT&T for that jump.

Motorola Droid Users – Manual Upgrade to Froyo FRG01B Firmware

Motorola Droid Users – Manual Upgrade to Froyo FRG01B Firmware

Aug 5, 2010

Impatient to get Android 2.2 (Froyo) running on your Motorola Droid? Nexeo has a simple and straightforward guide on how to load firmware version FRG01B on to your device, regardless of its root status. This update, when the post was first made, was set to be the live version of Froyo that would be pushed over the air by Motorola and Verizon in the following weeks. As this is a legitimate update, there’s no concern with this version having any problems updating to any over the air patches or newer firmware down the line. As a word of warning, you update at your own risk, but having your device plugged in and the battery connected should be enough to sail smoothly forward into Froyo land.

We’re hearing reports that this version is already undergoing a patch which is notated as FRG22 and weighs in at around 1.6mb. You may receive this update immediately after installing FRG01B but personally I’ve yet to receive it. Whether or not Verizon and Motorola will swap out FRG01B with a version already patched with FRG22 is still not clear, but I’ve yet to experience any major issues that would leave me hungry for that update.

SlideScreen Pro Review

SlideScreen Pro Review

Aug 5, 2010

One of the most prominent differences between the iOS platform and Android is the ability to truly customize your home screen. By default, the Android OS, depending on your firmware version offers you the flexibility to place your favorite apps, widgets, and even live wallpapers on your home screen to customize the look and feel to suit your needs. Unfortunately, this does take quite a bit of work and to get everything you want on your home screen, you could wind up having multiple screens configured to give you all of your information. That’s where SlideScreen Pro steps in.

Task Killer Apps: More Harm Than Good

With the open source characteristics of the Android OS, it’s not surprising that many users have the desire to control all aspects of their device. For this reason alone, one of the more popular utility types that you will find are Task Killers. These applications allow you to determine which of the currently running tasks you’d like to force close on your device. You can configure these Task Killers to ignore certain applications and even automatically kill all other apps after a certain period of time has passed. But do they really help?

After reading an interesting article the other day on Reddit, I decided to test for myself. My test was much shorter than the test in the post as I figured results from a quick test would be much more apparent. They were. Within two 3 hour tests, I noticed a clear increase in battery life when I wasn’t killing tasks after every use of my device. On my Motorola Droid I have several apps that I use frequently and in the background as well: Twitter, Facebook, OKCupid, FourSquare, and many other standard applications that run on the device. As the Motorola Droid doesn’t break down the battery usage any less than 10%, it was still impressive to see a minimum of 10% difference in the reading.

But the original poster was right, the device was even running faster! The truth is, Android OS was configured to have apps not close in the fashion many of us are use to. If you configure all of your applications correctly, this shouldn’t be a problem. It’s not that difficult to determine when your apps are active, if they show up on your status bar, and how they notify you of changes. Android is really what you make of it and task management is an important part of the whole process.

That’s not to say that Task Killers don’t have their place. If you install random apps constantly and don’t configure them to work how you would like, then having the ability to end all application processes is definitely a helpful thing. If you want better overall performance of your device, however, just tweak your settings to match what you’re looking for.

Welcome to Android Rundown

Welcome to Android Rundown

Aug 2, 2010

When the general public thinks of the word “Apps” they tend to associate it with the iPhone. Why wouldn’t they? Apple has done a fantastic job of marketing not only their iDevices, but the rebirth of the Mobile Application world. They weren’t the first and they absolutely won’t be the last, but up until recently, it was Apple’s world.

Two years ago, this October, the Android Market launched along side the Android G1, the first Android OS device. One device and one shamble of a market. Cut to the present day and we’re now dozens of phones deep, with Android sales overtaking iPhone sales, yet we’re still left with a shambling excuse for an App Store. As we get closer to the 100,000 app mark, the store is going to become even more difficult to navigate than it already is. The shortage of quality third party sources to help you navigate the Android Market makes it difficult to determine which applications are worth your time and especially your money.

The popularity of the Android devices and OS have definitely caught on for nearly all age groups. With so many different hardware options, it’s really a platform for everyone, which brings forth two problems that Android Rundown is here to solve: What apps should I be downloading and what device is best suited for you. For Android developers to match the quality and complexity of the apps available on the App Store, they need a user base that is as hungry to buy. We’re here to educate that user base.

On Android Rundown, you can expect to see fantastic app and hardware reviews by qualified, paid, Android enthusiast writers. Our writers range from the average user to the power user, to give you a taste of what they use their device for. Unlike the iPhone, not every device is made the same and not every device will appeal to every user. We’re here to give you a diversified enough taste of writers, backgrounds, and uses to cover almost every type of user.

Our goal is to improve the Android App Community, a community that we invite you to be a part of regardless of your affiliation with Android. We’re here to make the process of tailoring your device to you that much easier. We hope you enjoy your visit and check back often, as we’ll constantly be adding new reviews, features, and blog posts.

-Android Rundown Staff