Roidmi 2s Bluetooth FM Modulator Hardware Review

Roidmi 2s Bluetooth FM Modulator Hardware Review

Jun 27, 2016

As it stands, everyone is looking to get in on the latest mobile thing, and that seems to rest in automobiles. Indeed, the number of hardware pieces made to connect cars to mobile devices grows by the day, even with the gradual maturing of Android Auto.

The only thing that seems better than an individual mobile accessory, is one that packs in more than a single ability. It makes sense on almost every level: making one’s mobile devices more effective in numerous ways with less accessories to carry around. As always, having something that increases the efficacy of our mobile devices is an enviable — and necessary — endeavor.

As such, items like Roidmi 2s Car Charger Adapter/Bluetooth FM Modulator make a whole lot of sense… in theory.

We’re happy to check it out.

Some background: the unit has a precursor, and the current iteration beat its expectation on crowdsourcing site Indiegogo.

The review package Roidmi sent us across seas was timely. The solution comes in two pieces: The Bluetooth Modulator/Adapter piece, and an optional adapter extension piece. The charger/modulator looks much like any regular car lighter adapter, in that it is small, and has two USB ports for charging. It has an integrated LED light, is a bit hefty in hand, and black in color (white is another option). It feels well constructed overall.

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The second piece comes in a white finish, and works as an extension and adapter for the modulator (more on this later).

So… first, the charger. It comes with the “smart” moniker, and for a reason: it packs in quite a charging whop, and looks to do so intelligently and safely. The two USB ports (2.4A for a single output and 3.8A for a dual) are capable of taking care of the charging needs of a whole host of electronic devices across platforms.

The modulator works intuitively: one downloads the companion Roidmi app, pairs to the bluetooth source, tunes in the FM radio to the predetermined station, and (using one’s default music player) pipes the music through one’s car’s system.

Smooth, and for a relatively old school solution, fairly elegant. The small profile makes it seem oh so natural, and it feels durable, and is easily used in different vehicles once set up.

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Drawbacks? Well, for one, it isn’t natively compatible with all cars. Since a lot of cars don’t have “real” cigarette lighters — and this accessory is specifically made to work with such — one will need an extra accessory in some autos. Roidmi does have the aforementioned receptacle adapter, but this does make an otherwise clean, self-contained solution somewhat clunky from a physical perspective.

The app feels a bit rushed too; it is usable.

Also, as anyone who works with FM modulators knows, this setup is somewhat dependent on quality of the FM reception. The documentation for the whole setup is a bit sparse, too.

All in all, it is very capable, especially for folks who despise wires.

NinjAwesome Review

NinjAwesome Review

Jun 27, 2016

Everybody loves — and probably fears — ninjas, and old school is in, so in several ways, bringing the two concepts together is a surefire way to grab peoples attention.

Here comes NinjaAwesome (from GameResort), and the Android gaming world is off on an interesting trip down visual memory lane.

Crazily enough, the graphics are probably not the coolest aspect of the game… and the graphics are pretty cool. One gets a real trip to the glorious days of old, with chunky looks and stuttering animations that that are well constructed. The different backgrounds are highlight the color usage, and different pastels show up to create a a roving set of backgrounds that are further buttressed by background art for the successive stages.

The gameplay is straightforward: layered platformer with action going in the “normal” left to right direction; the player gets to control an expectantly black-clad character across a 2D land with plenty of obstacles. The control set is important here, and boils down to a series of taps and gestures that allow active ninja to stay upright and running. Using the controls, he can jump, double jump, slide, attack and more in addition to the perpetual forward movement. Action combos (like jumping and throwing barbs) can be initiated, and finger dexterity is useful to have.

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The action is fairly familiar, as the intuitive idea is to avoid bad things, and to make it to the end of the level as unscathed as possible. The game incorporates several tasks, and success in such yields game currency payouts. There is a leveling aspect, so XPs are a valuable resource, and it also makes sense to take advantage of the ability to upgrade the ninjas attributes.

All in all, it isn’t too complex of an experience, and that isn’t a bad thing. The controls can be a bit vexing at first, but the overall output is charming and the micro-transactions are not too invasive.

Definitely worth a look.

In Celebration of All That is Cheap

In Celebration of All That is Cheap

Jun 27, 2016

You get what you pay for.

It’s a maxim that more or less rings true. Better made products created from better sourced raw materials tend to command higher prices than competing merchandise made with less care, exacting standards or less exotic materials.

Other things come into play of course. Some brands command more of an asking price than others, be it based on reputation, or location, or an immeasurable metric held in esteem by the purchasing public — doesn’t really matter; positive mindshare is like gold. Nordstrom acolytes are used to hearing the fable of the returned automobile tire, and it’s the basis of Nordy’s legendary customer service. Just as well, because the stuff on its racks ain’t exactly cheap.

But it arguably has earned that privilege.

Still, I love getting a lot for a little. Ethically, though. It’s so enjoyable to find legitimate discounts and special sales… heck, even previously owned gadgets and make the most of saved cash. I feel an unquenchable joy that, for instance, I am typing up this article on a cheapie RCA tab with keyboard case, and will be doing the heavy lifting editing on an Unbranded (no, this is the true brand name) Windows Tablet. Both cost less than $100 together (albeit with Swagbucks and Bing-derived Amazon credits).

But that’s where Android really made headway. The open nature allowed (and continues to allow) OEMs to look to pack in a lot at bargain prices. The result is an OS with a true range of hardware across a competitive range of prices.

It’s a mixed bag, of course. There are some devices that are not worth pennies, and others that are wildly over-priced. Still, for folks who are willing to look hard to gain a lot, Android almost has to be the platform of choice.

Got to run. Slickdeals is humming…

‘Super Stickman Golf 3’ Gets Firm Launch Date and Full Trailer

‘Super Stickman Golf 3’ Gets Firm Launch Date and Full Trailer

Jun 27, 2016

Yay!

Super Stickman Golf 3 is nigh, and has a firm launch date too: July 7th!

Some features, per the website:

SPIN IT TO WIN IT!
Apply spin to the ball mid-flight for unprecedented control.

CARDS!
Collect cards to unlock Golfers, Hat, Trails, Game Modes and upgradeable powerups.

DAILY RACES
Compete against other golfers in a Daily Race for a Daily Reward.

NEW GOLFERS, HATS, POWERUPS & MORE!
Customize and Dominate!

We hear that the game will be free, with an in-app option to unlock more content and remove ads. The previously announced level editor won’t be included at launch, but will be added when it is ready.

By the way… a trailer is below:

Rodeo Stampede: Sky Zoo Safari Review

Rodeo Stampede: Sky Zoo Safari Review

Jun 27, 2016

Cool graphics define Rodeo Stampede, but when one considers games by Yodo1, it is to be expected.

It’s a blocky experience, with naturally sated coloring and playful animations, and they come together to help sew up the major pieces of the gameplay.

The first element is a to, well, subdue the animals by riding. Yep rodeo riding on very active animals, looking to lasso them for the zoo. The aspect is fairly easy to get into, and makes up the action portion of the game; it takes place in an endless canyon of sorts, which feels very The Lion King-ish. The basic idea is that the player’s character is cannoned down into said canyon, and onto one of the various animals stampeding through it. rs3

Once on an animal — say, for instance, a buffalo — the game tutorial gives one the main controls: tapping and holding to ride, release to jump, and tapping again at the appropriate time to land on a new animal. All come in handy, because riding an animal is a bumpy ride. One can also steer by dragging the held down finger across the screen, which is good for avoiding roc formations.

So, one thing to do is to ride a new animal to “friend” it, at which point it is corralled for use in the zoo. Another idea is to ride the animal to one finds another animal to leap on; this is performed by releasing the screen. Then, using a highlight system one finds the right time to tap-drop on a new animal, and so on. Timing is everything, because the animals become pretty wild after being ridden for a while.

Different animals have different attributes; elephants are burly, and ostriches speedy, and as such, some might be harder to ride than others. Jumping from one animal to another does require some skill, as not lining up animals can cause a run-ending face-plant, as does running into other animals with the wrong steed. There are fantastical creatures, and runs generally generate game coins.

The second major element has to do with managing a zoo with the captured animals, and the aforementioned game money can be used to upgrade animals, and make more money at the zoo.

There are tasks to complete, worlds to unlock and records to be broken. All in all, the two facets work well together.

While the game is easy to get into, and the elements complementary, it is a lot of the same; things can be expedited with real cash, though it hardly seems necessary.

All in all, a fun diversion worth checking out.

Anaphylaxis Emergency App ‘Rescufy’ Launches

Anaphylaxis Emergency App ‘Rescufy’ Launches

Jun 27, 2016

For folks who with life-threatening allergic reactions, Rescufy is an app with some serious value. The cool news is that the emergency app is now available on Android.

Excerpts from the Play Store description.

Subscribe to Rescufy and you will have the best app to streamline your anaphylaxis action plan and help you get help and manage medical information should you experience anaphylaxis. The Rescufy team has built this app specifically for caregivers and individuals who have to be prepared for anaphylaxis due to food allergies, insect sting allergies, drug allergies, other severe allergies, and asthma. If you are at risk for anaphylaxis, it is recommended that you always carry your epi and have an anaphylaxis action plan. Rescufy can help you be prepared with your best anaphylaxis action plan.

The app costs $4.99 on Google Play; it also has in-app purchases.

Rawr Messenger Set to Launch on Android Early Next Month

Rawr Messenger Set to Launch on Android Early Next Month

Jun 27, 2016

Avatar-powered messaging app Rawr Messenger has already found a place on iOS, and is now set for an Android release next month.

A bit more about the app (which has a bunch of august investors including Arielle Zuckerberg):

The free-to-use Rawr app, available on iOS (with an Android release scheduled for later in 2016), enables friends to design personalised avatars, through which they can chat to each other by text and, uniquely, interact through hundreds of entertaining animations, expressions, and dynamic emojis. The app’s ‘Globetrotter’ option (modeled as a modern-day equivalent to pen pals) allows random users from all over the world to be paired together and chat anonymously and safely.

Founder and product chief Oskari ‘Ozz’ Häkkinen talks about people looking to communicate. “The face of communication has changed dramatically over the past few years, with consumers increasingly looking for exciting and unconventional ways to talk to each other,” he says. “Rawr will be at the forefront of this shift; allowing people to build avatars which reflect their personalities (or how they aspire to be), and to perform hundreds of unique and entertaining interactions with their friends. As messaging overtakes social media in terms of ubiquity and popularity, we plan to be at the forefront of innovation in the space.”

As noted, the app should be up and going for Android users in early July.

Phrase Shift Review

Phrase Shift Review

Jun 27, 2016

Phrase Shift is a peaceful game that manages to tease the brain and calm it simultaneously. The gentle blue motif is inviting that way, and the simple implementation of extra colors can’t be faulted.

It comes in three difficulty levels, all aptly named: Easy, Medium and Difficult.

The concept is deceptively simple. Each level is a self-contained puzzle; the phrase is built on words made from individual letter boxes, and each word has its own line. The idea is to read and comprehend the puzzle phrase, figure out the single word solution, and then create said word vertically by sliding the consisting hind words till the word is created.

The trick, obviously, is in finding the right answer. One has to know what to look for, and the way the puzzles are set up generally precludes guessing except for the simplest phrase puzzles in the easiest mode. Knowing how to spell is definitely a plus as well, because completion of a level is the key to a subsequent one.

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When the right answer is selected, the word is highlighted in yellow, and one can move onto the next puzzle, and so on. For answers that are not immediately obvious, one can use a hint button to highlight one correct letter, and from there, one can hopefully glean the right answer.

The different difficulty levels are appropriately stocked, too.

The brilliance of the game lies in the quality of the puzzles and the way the words are laid out. The phrases themselves are easy to understand, and, depending on the level one is playing in, not easy to guess. Conversely, it takes a bit of doing to select the right bank of hint words, such that they contain letters that eventually can be borrowed from to build the right answer.

It is interesting fare, really; the puzzles are creative, and have a crossword feel to them. While the game is a lot of the same, the game seems especially suited to furtive batch play, and can serve as a brain soother.

Not bad for a self-contained, premium-priced game.

Mahjong FRVR Launches on Google Play

Mahjong FRVR Launches on Google Play

Jun 27, 2016

Mahjong FRVR is a new take on the classic game that just launched on Google Play.

Per Google Play:

Mahjong FRVR is the ultimate take on this timeless classic.
With unlimited free levels, vibrant high quality graphics, amazing music and sounds, large easy to distinguish tiles, classic solitaire play and much more Mahjong FRVR is a natural choice for both Mahjong masters and casual players. Even better, it’s free!

Seek, match and remove all pairs of Mahjong tiles to win the game.

As always there is no time limit! Making for a fun and relaxing deluxe Mahjong experience.

Mahjong FRVR features:
– Beautiful vibrant HD graphics.
– High DPI and Retina support.
– Smooth animations.
– Great sound effects and music.
– Unlimited undo.
– Easy matching game play.
– Large 3D Mahjong tiles designed to be easy to distinguish.
– Play unlimited free levels.
– Shanghai Solitaire game mode.
– Taipei Solitaire game mode.
– Level complexity from Easy to Tricky.

Mahjong FRVR is free (with in-app purchases) on Google Play.

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From the Editor’s Desk: Road Trippin’!

From the Editor’s Desk: Road Trippin’!

Jun 27, 2016

2016 has been a pretty good so far.

Great new products, plenty of great concepts, and on the device front, competition is very fierce. It’s a tech lover’s nirvana, and we are barely halfway through.

Stateside, it’s summer time… just about, mostly, kinda. The seasonal anthem is all Fresh Prince and Jazzy Jeff, with cookouts becoming the norm and suntan is in high demand.

Visibility is good, the sun comes up early and it’s the perfect time to travel, and the automobile is the tool of kings.

Now, when I was a kid, road trips were painful. Nothing to do but read, look outside sleep or bicker, and four kids in the back seat of a a micro sedan left a LOT to be desired.

Things have changed.

It makes sense that the malleable concept of technological mobility has to converge with a physical one. Android Auto, for instance, is an ever-growing initiative that looks to organically pair Android devices with one’s appropriately equipped vehicle. And then there is the wealth of car accessories that continue to be released, all with one objective in mind: improving users mobile experience.

Creating a hands-free experience? Device holders so the backseat drivers become backseat movie watchers? FM modulators that refine older school solutions? Off-road helpers? Wireless chargers? Navigation apps? Heck, even portable “smart” gadgets that shorten a trip? Bluetooth accessories?

Yep, yep and yep!

As usual, we at Android Rundown are quite happy to ride the wave. In the coming weeks, we’ll be taking a look at several products, from simple to fairly complex. You know… tools that make one’s life on the road more enjoyable.

We have gear from Magellan, Roidmi, TYLT and other innovative accessory makers on tap.

Fun times ahead… keep tuned to our hardware reviews. You’re sure to find something you like for the road.

Slickdeals Gets Update, Teases Upcoming Additions

Slickdeals Gets Update, Teases Upcoming Additions

Jun 26, 2016

Slickdeals got an update, and is letting folks know about upcoming changes:

WHAT’S NEW

V. 3.1.4 – Hot fix for small percentage of users experiencing issues while upgrading to Android 6.0. Thanks for reporting Slickdealers! New release coming in a few weeks with new search with ability to sort, filter & more.

Slickdeals remains free

Taichi Panda: Heroes Gets Crimson Ride Update

Taichi Panda: Heroes Gets Crimson Ride Update

Jun 24, 2016

Taichi Panda: Heroes is getting a host of new content via an update.

Enter Fast-Paced Action Adventure

The Crimson Ride Update includes a number of new game features, bug fixes and optimizations to game mechanics. These include:
– New balancing for King’s PvP and the weekly cross-server King’s League tournament
– New large-scale 25v25 battlefield: Blood War
– New Mount System with 6 visually stunning mounts to choose from
– Military Rank System – adding a progression system tied to Blood War
– Two new playable heroes: Pan Zel and Ryoko
– Player and individual hero level caps have been raised to 80
– Bug fixes and optimizations to current user interface

The game remains free (with in-app purchases) on Google Play.

Check out the trailer: