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Evernote Gets Update That Adds Messaging Functionality

Posted by on Oct 31, 2014

Evernote gets update.

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Games

Trigger Happy Review

Posted by on Oct 31, 2014

Lunagames launched a Halloween themed shooter for Android, but is it worth you time? Well, that depends: do you like murdering zombies?

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Productivity

e-CAL Calendar Review

Posted by on Oct 22, 2014

A look at Android calendar replacement application.

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App Rundown

Trigger Happy Review

Posted by on Oct 31, 2014

Lunagames launched a Halloween themed shooter for Android, but is it worth you time? Well, that depends: do you like murdering zombies?

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Recent Posts

G5 Hosts “Spooky” Halloween Sale

G5 Hosts “Spooky” Halloween Sale

Oct 27, 2014

G5 is getting spooky with a Halloween Sale.

It looks to be a cross-platform affair, and the Android specific titles included are listed below:

- Abyss: the Wraiths of Eden – 99¢ on Google Play and Amazon Appstore
- Dark Arcana: The Carnival – 99¢ on Google Play and Amazon Appstore
- Letters from Nowhere 2 – 99¢ on Google Play and Amazon Appstore
- Lost Souls: Enchanted Paintings – 99¢ on Google Play and Amazon Appstore
- Tales from the Dragon Mountain: the Strix – 99¢ on Amazon Appstore
- Brightstone Mysteries: Paranormal Hotel – 99¢ on Google Play and Amazon Appstore
- Twin Moons – 99¢ on Google Play and Amazon Appstore
- Red Crow Mysteries: Legion – 99¢ on Google Play and Amazon Appstore

The sale runs from today, October 27th 2014 through November 2nd 2014. As noted, the games are available on the Play Store and/or Amazon Appstore.

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MIRAGE 2.0: unrecorded essence of offline communication

MIRAGE 2.0: unrecorded essence of offline communication

Oct 27, 2014

mobli Media has announced MIRAGE2.0, an updated version of its ephemeral instant messaging app. We got the chance to speak with CEO Moshe Hogeg. “Ephemeral messaging imitates the feeling of a natural, real-life, unrecorded conversation.”

MIRAGE was launched by mobli in July 2014. The stand-alone app is an instant messaging platform that enables users to send and receive messages that disappear after a few seconds. The app’s interface is based on a one-tap principle. As soon as the user opens the app, all of their contacts are immediately available. Even if a contact does not have the app installed, they can receive the message from a link via SMS.

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MIRAGE is focused around ephemeral messages: messages that disappear just seconds after the receiver opens them. CEO of mobli Media, Moshe Hogeg, thinks that these kinds of messages are important, because of the way that people communicate in real life. When we say something, the message will disappear as soon as the receiver heard it and there is no non-technical way to retrieve them.

This form of communication is very different when compared to digital communication, where the reader or viewer can always look back at what he or someone else said. “The first generation of communication apps focused mainly on providing us with ways to communicate that were not possible without technology. However, we are now seeing a break away from these forms of now ‘traditional’ communication technologies”, says Hogeg.

“Ephemeral messaging imitates the feeling of a natural, real-life, unrecorded conversation. People are seeking out messaging apps that enable a sense of light, easy and free conversation. We don’t need to examine every word, or make sure that every picture is exactly right. It frees us to have a normal conversation, digitally.” Also, Hogeg would like to point out that nothing is recorded or stored. “It’s making our digital communications real.”

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MIRAGE is an app where people can send text, voice, photo and video messages within one application. However, Hogeg doesn’t think that there are ‘too many’ options, compared to apps specifically designed to do one thing. “The user interface is incredibly simple and easy to navigate. Everything can be done with one simple tap.”

“In fact, I think that because we have created an app where users can very simply switch between voice recordings, photo messages, video messages and text messages, whether sending these to an individual or a group, we are making the experience for our users much easier because they can come to MIRAGE, and do all of these things within the one app simply by tapping and swiping the screen. It’s that simple.”

And what it gives them in return is one single app that they can enter to have their online communications that comes with an “incredibly fun and empowering feeling of spontaneity and privacy that emulates their offline interactions”. The MIRAGE app, designed to take the dynamic, spontaneous and unrecorded essence of offline communications into the digital world, is now available in the Google Play Store.

From The Editor’s Desk: Android Health Trippin’

From The Editor’s Desk: Android Health Trippin’

Oct 27, 2014

Hey y’all!

So… it’s been a short while since I took over the reins here at Android Rundown. I’m still working to fill the big shoes left behind by CD; it has been an interesting process. My advice? Go give your boss a hug right now.

One thing that has been truly on my mind for personal reasons is connected health. Health living is all the rage now, and it becomes more achievable with the concept’s intersection with mobile technology. Health trackers, blood pressure and heart monitors, health apps, etc. They all have the potential to help folk meet their respective health goals.

With this in mind, we are taking a look at fitness tools with an Android component. In conjunction with ChurchMag, we’ll be reviewing a myriad of tools and apps as part of the Android Rundown Health Series. Plus we’ll see firsthand how they help a real life person reach goals. Best of all, we have an interesting guinea pig that has foolishly agreed to open themselves up while doing this project.

As far as tools go, the term “varied” comes to mind; companies like Withings, Adidas, Oregon Scientific, Under Armour, Misfit, Samsung, Arkon and Pear gave us some of their gear to try out. We will see how they work in the real world, especially when paired with their respective Android companion applications. We’ll look at unique apps that interface with several of these apps, like Runkeeper. And, we got some cool interviews from executives at Adidas and Withings.

For a taste of the AR Health Series, check out our opening review of the Withings Connected Weight Scale.

All in all, it is going to be a fun endeavor. I think. I hope. In the mean time, pray for me (yes, I’m the insane subject of this project.).

Something tells me I am going to need it.

Amazon Appstore Hosts “Spooktacular” Sale via Halloween Shop

Amazon Appstore Hosts “Spooktacular” Sale via Halloween Shop

Oct 24, 2014

Amazon is making it easier for folks to get into the Halloween spirit with its Halloween Shop, a bunch of discounts on premium titles an in-app content.

Per the press release:

This week, the Amazon Appstore ‘Halloween Shop’ is offering a flurry of premium and in-app purchase discounts. For a limited time, customers can find select Cartoon Network titles like Card Wars – Adventure Time for up to 75% off, Grand Theft Auto titles for up to 40% off and République for just $1.99. Customers can also enjoy in-app purchase discounts on select Walking Dead titles, along with Halloween-themed updates and even more in-app treats on titles like Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff, Farmville 2: Country Escape, Bingo Blitz and more. From poltergeists terrorizing Quahog residents to ghosts inhabiting haunted houses, the Appstore is the best place for apps and games this Halloween.

If you find ghouls, ghosts and things that bump in the night a little too scary, don’t worry, Appstore has something for you as well. Available today and exclusively on Fire phone, Fire tablets and Android devices, Appstore has new levels for Cut the Rope: Time Travel HD and numerous other discounts on top titles for kids including Dr. Panda’s Airport and Toca Hair Salon 2.

A list of the included content it here.

République Review

République Review

Oct 24, 2014

We’ve been wanting this one for a while.

And now that Republique is on Android, we can breathe a sigh of relief. We can stop giving Camouflaj and Darkwind Media the side eye. And we can taste of the goodness that this title unabashedly brings.

The gameplay comes in two modes: Story, which allows players to experience the story and explore environments, and Normal, which is the standard experience. Going the normal route allows one to pick an episode, and we’re off.

The opening sequence is interestingly tricky, and ominously transports the player to the persona of a person receiving communicating with a mysterious person named Hope. The dialogue helps bring the player up to speed, and we also get a feel for the gesture controls while finding out the negative nature of Hope’s dwelling. Prizrak are to be avoided, and this is where the stealth maneuvering comes into play. The elements come together, with visual cues and collectible items. The hacking concept works, giving multiple views that can assist with advancement, and helpers are cloaked in pieces that work into the gameplay.

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As pointed out, stealth actions are key; as such, carelessness leads to failure, which manifests in being “caught” and returned to a secure room.

Simply put, the graphics are well done. From the opening sequence, one gets a sense that a lot of attentions was paid to the idea of the graphics helping to carry the storyline along. Fear and desperation almost literally are baked into the pixels, and the net effect of the animations as purveyed through the unique camera views is an experience best played to really be enjoyed. The darkness is palpable, but the little things are represented very well.

Where the game excels is the ability to drag one in. Before long, the quest to avoid “recalibration” almost becomes tangible; Hope’s saga becomes our own. What really resonates are the underlying themes of totalitarianism and surveillance, and these issues weigh heavily on the minds of people today.

It’s a well-crafted caper, with subtle salutes to Orwellian topics. The season pass opion is a plus, and I like idea of easter eggs and commentary from the directors show how much the developer looks to engage the audience.

Which is just dandy, by the way, because resistance is sweet, but sticking to the man is always so much fun.

Dementia: The Book of the Dead Review

Dementia: The Book of the Dead Review

Oct 23, 2014

At the first sight, this game looks like another simple survival horror, which are quite popular on the mobiles. Surprisingly, Dementia: The Book of the Dead is neither simple, nor a survival horror, in a true sense. It has great and scary atmosphere, but once you understand that the unholy abomination before you can be dealt with by the means of stuffing it with holy bullets, or smashing its abominable face with not-quite-holy lantern, the atmosphere dwindles somewhat. Not to say that it’s in any way a bad game, but the main character’s death is more likely to summon a groan instead of shivers. It’s still a horror, so the enemies always overpower the main character and running away is often a better decision than fighting. In other words, great fun.

Dementia: The Book of the Dead has a twisting story with a bunch of characters and quite a lot of dialogue, although I couldn’t get past the protagonist’s corniness to get too immersed in it. Basically, the game is set in the dark ages England, where the ghosts and witches are all too real. The main hero is one of the best special agents of the church that deal with witches. He is assigned on a mission to exterminate some witches in some distant, small town. Witches are spooky enough in my book, but pretty soon the amount of Dementia 4

The gameplay of Dementia: The Book of the Dead is similar to other first-person shooters on the mobiles. Move and aim with virtual joysticks, kill the enemies using a couple of different weapons and a lantern, and solve whatever simple puzzles arise on the way. It’s powered by Unity engine, and it certainly shows. The game graphics feature a great level of detail, while the atmosphere of medieval England is seeping through the screen. Although the enemies aren’t that well designed, the general level of graphics left me really satisfied. Not so much with my tablet that struggled to render the game, even on the lowest graphics, and the loading times were pretty enormous, at least for me. Still, it’s a great and atmospheric spooky action, especially for its low price.

République Arrives on Android

République Arrives on Android

Oct 23, 2014

Some games are worth waiting for.

Yeah, okay. We want République NOW!

The venerable, well regarded stealth action thriller is finally on Android courtesy of Camouflaj and Darkwind Media, and it brings all the goodness iOS users have enjoyed exclusively till now.

It tells the tale of futuristic totalitarianism, and in this, it feels scarily relevant today. Using a unique view mode, the user is compelled to help our heroine, Hope, to escape a secure facility. Influences from classics like 1984 are clearly seen in the storyline.

Developed over five years by industry veterans (Metal Gear Solid, Halo, F.E.A.R.), RÉPUBLIQUE is a thrilling and topical stealth-action game that explores the perils of government surveillance in the Internet Age.

You receive a call from Hope, a woman trapped inside a mysterious totalitarian state. By hacking into the nation’s elaborate surveillance network and taking control, you guide Hope through a web of danger and deception across five thrilling episodes.

Have we said we’re excited?

We will be publishing our review based on a full pre-release version shortly; we also had the great opportunity to talk to Camouflaj chief Ryan Payton and Darkwind Media head Matthew Mikuszewski. The interview was a blast, and we look to get that out soon too.

République is available on the Play Store for $2.99 (with additional in-app purchasing). It’s also available on the Amazon Appstore for $1.99.

Bandai Namco’s Outcast Odyssey is a card battler with dungeon crawler elements

Bandai Namco’s Outcast Odyssey is a card battler with dungeon crawler elements

Oct 23, 2014

As the title of this article suggests, Outcast Odyssey, which has just been released worldwide by Magic Pixel Games and Bandai Namco Games America, takes the best features of dungeon crawler games and mashes them together with the best features of the card battlers.

The interesting blend creates a fast-paced adventure title that’s set in a fantasy world full of monsters and magic.

As you may have already guessed, your aim in is to explore the colourful world around you, collecting treasures and defeating monsters in RPG-like battles with your collection of hand-drawn cards along the way.

There are hundreds of cards to collect in Outcast Odyssey and many of them can be enhanced and even evolved to make them stronger and more effective against the monsters that you face, as well as the other players that you can challenge.

That’s right: you don’t just have to fight monsters in Outcast Odyssey. The game features a PVP mode that allows you to compete against other players, and there are even weekly prizes up for grabs if you’re particularly lethal.

If you’re a fan of joining guilds with other players, you can do that too, and engage players from opposing guilds in the Outcast Odyssey arena for the chance to nab ‘great rewards.’

Outcast Odyssey is now available to download worldwide for free your Android-powered smartphone [download].

Five Nights At Freddy’s Review

Five Nights At Freddy’s Review

Oct 23, 2014

It is nice to see that some pc games are being ported to Android and that the idea behind the game stays intact. Same goes for Five Nights at Freddy’s.

If you have played Five Nights at Freddy’s on pc, than you know what you are up for in this Android version of the game. It is a port of the pc version and one that is very well made. Everything from the first version is the same, only now you use the touch screen as an input source, instead of the mouse. Input methods aside, these game is freaky. Very freaky. The first few times it gave me the creeps and my first reaction was to close the game. When that happens, I say: the objective of the developers must’ve been a success by then.

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But if you are not familiar with the concept, let me introduce you to it. You play as a security guard at night, keeping in eye on not only the property, but also the mechanical beasts inside. By day, those mechanical beasts are there to entertain children; by night, someone will put them on free mode, so they can walk freely. But when they see someone after midnight and before six o’clock in the morning, they assume that that is also a mechanic beast, but out of his costume. So they will take you away when they see, that’s all you need for a motivation.

But you’re need completely harmless — no, you can open and close two doors, the two doors that are right beside you. You can keep an eye on the mechanimals through some camera’s, in a lay-out of a map so you will know where they are. You won’t see them move, but when you switch camera’s, it is possible they left their original position and are getting closer to you. When you think they’re right next to you, you can close the doors, but that will cost electricity. And without, you cannot close them and you will instantly lose.

So the game is a constant struggle between the idea of being caught and being save by and from those mechanical animals. You need to plan a strategy at the very moment they’re coming to close for your taste, but have to always keep in mind that when you run out of electricity, the game – and your life – is over. That will put some pressure on ya. Overall, the sense of being hunted is very well produced by the developers and it’s good to see more people can enjoy this creepy horror game. If you like creepy horror games, that is.

Quadropus Rampage Gets Major Update

Quadropus Rampage Gets Major Update

Oct 22, 2014

Quadropus Rampage, the game about the raging cephalopod we all know and love, is getting a pretty hefty update.

The new update brings new upgrade tracks, new game modes, “punchier” combat, better special effects, two masteries and much more.

We had an opportunity to review Quadropus Rampage last year, and came away with the impression that it’s well worth a look. It’s available for free (with optional in-app purchasing) on the Play Store.

TYLT Cases Go On Sale For Limited Time

TYLT Cases Go On Sale For Limited Time

Oct 22, 2014

TYLT is a company we have come to love; its designs generally straddle the thin line between creative and functional very comfortably.

Now, TYLT is offering up its cases for $10 for a limited time. Generally, these cases retail from $35 through $50.

The sale does not include power cases; it includes free shipping within the continental USA; it’s the prefect time to get a case for one’s Galaxy S5, Note 3, S4, iOS devices and more.

We’ve had the opportunity to review TYLT products in the past, and mostly liked the usability and design aesthetic.

The sale will continue through October 30th, so get it while you can.

e-CAL Calendar Review

e-CAL Calendar Review

Oct 22, 2014

When it comes to business, knowing where to be when trumps just about everything else; if mobility is the goal, even a greater emphasis need be put on functionality. On the go, and using a smartdevice as a calendaring hub, one must have a reliable utility.

And if the app looks good, even better, right? With that endgame in mind, checking out the former iOS exclusive e-CAL Calendar isn’t too hard of a proposition.

Off the bat, the first thing that jumps out is the freshness of the design. Google’s's newfangled material design is clearly on display, and is reflected in the terse layout and clean typography, as well as the splotches of green. It is a sharp look overall, and the presentation of the data works well. On the main page, the grid month apexes the individual calendar entries; the three lined menu rests to the top left, and gives us some ready insight into the app’s functionality.ecal1

The calendar is easy to work, with the material design add button at the bottom right. Tapping on that leads to the event entry form, which allows for specific reminders and such to be added. When a specific day is tapped on the calendar, events for that day are listed below. As expected, it syncs with the Google-based calendars installed on the host device.

The menu allows for one to navigate to tasks, and manage them. The app arranges them simply by “all,” “todo” and “done” categories. The tasks can be synced o Google Tasks, and it’s a plus that tasks due dates show up in the calendar. Adding tasks is easy, and as with calendar events, tasks for any given day are shown at the bottom when that day is tapped.

The in-app store has a lot of extras, a few available for free with signing up for an e-CAL account, and others that can be unlocked for cash. There are a lot of choices: religious calendars, weather, sports… even stock exchanges.

All in all, it’s a vibrant option. I think the user interface menu could use more visual options, but do like the built-in beta community, and the optional Event Planner companion app. For a glimpse of material design and a free, functional calendar option, one almost can’t go wrong with e-CAL.

Cars: Fast as Lightning Review

Cars: Fast as Lightning Review

Oct 22, 2014

When it comes to movie games, we’re all victims here. But sometimes, when a developer really takes time to produce something nice, it can work out for everyone. Enter Cars: Fast as Lightning.

The Cars movies have been loved and praised by many of us. I for one only saw the first entry in the film, and I liked what I saw. But this game is a kind-of direct sequel to the second movie within the franchise. And therefore, we see our buddy Lightning with his buddy Mater, whom I didn’t knew up until this point. But that’s okay: what really matters is your goal: trying to rebuild Radiator Springs. (Because apparently, there were some problems — the game assumes you know all this.)

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So here we have the first part of the two major gameplay pillars: rebuilding a whole town. And just like other town building games, there are simple controls and those nasty waiting bars. And yes, they go faster when you pay real life money. But, even though I had to wait quite some time now and then, I was glad to see that you are able to play the whole game, without spending any money. That way, I felt save when my little four year old nephew was playing the game on my Nexus 5. I was even able to turn the IAP off, completely.

But how do you unlock everything, without paying up? Well, by playing the race sections of the game and earning some shiny gems (which are buyable). The races are quite simple: you hold down the gas peddle and let it go in a skid, only to press it again when you’re out. It kind of resembles the old electric cars on a track idea (you know, the ones where you hold a controller with one button). Things you can unlock are several Radiator Springs landmarks, like the Luigi’s Tire shop, Cassa Della or Flo’s V8 Cafe.

Besides the fact the game offers two distinctive popular game mechanics under one roof and the feature to turn of IAP, Cars: Fast as Lightning looks amazing. It really sets up the bar for mobile games and gives that authentic Pixar movie feeling the movie gave me. So, yeah, it is save to say that this is one of the best Cars games out there and it’s awesome it is on Android.

Pixel People Lands On Android

Pixel People Lands On Android

Oct 21, 2014

Chillingo is no stranger to Android game publishing, and has just dropped a new on the Play Store called Pixel People.

From the press release:

Welcome to the world of Utopia where YOU create the city and the residents.

Greet new clones at the arrival center, then find them a place in your new world. Splice the genes of your residents and combine their skills to create new Pixel People to join your thriving city.

You’ll have your hands full as the mayor of Utopia with over 280 Pixel People waiting to be discovered and more than 100 buildings to fill your futuristic city with. Time to get splicing!

The game is available for free (with in-app purchasing) on the Play Store.

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Nokia’s HERE Comes To More Android Devices

Nokia’s HERE Comes To More Android Devices

Oct 21, 2014

We noted the arrival of Nokia’s HERE mapping application on Samsung Galaxy devices a short while ago; now, the program is being made available to even more devices.

Now, HERE Maps is available for all compatible device, Samsung Galaxy or not, via the beta download page.

When one downloads the beta apk and installs it on a compatible device, the app opens and presents one with the option of signing in “the old fashioned way” or using a Facebook account. The former asks for name, date of birth and password, and then welcomes one to the app.

The app is particularly vibrant, and showcases the features that made it a hit on Windows Phone, chief of which is arguably full offline functionality. Another interesting feature is the Glympse integration. With this, folks can share locations with friends without any extra apps needing to be installed. It also boasts traffic and public transportation info for select cities, and the web management component is definitely a plus.

It should be noted it is still in beta; as such, feedback is actively requested.

As noted, the app is available via the beta download page.

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[Source: HERE Blog via TNW]

Road Smash 2 Review

Road Smash 2 Review

Oct 21, 2014

If you thought Road Smash 2 was an arcade styled fast paced racing game, then guess again. This game is nothing like that. I even feels unfinished.

Road Smash 2 is a game about racing, fast cars and loud music. In a way, it has the perfect mix of what a racing game should have. But even with the right ingredients, you can make a bad meal and Road Smash 2 is the living proof of that theory. In racing game, controls are I think the most important part of the game, and when a developer fails to put some responsive controls in a racing game, the project has failed.

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So it doesn’t matter if a game offers different modes. In the case of Road Smash 2, you can choose four different kind of modes: the campaign, career (why these two a different category, I don’t know), free ride and the multiplayer beta. But they all suffer from the same thing: the lack of good controls. The game just doesn’t get it right. It feels unfinished to say the least. There are two types of controls: the one where you use the on screen steering wheel or the tilt controls. And both feature a delay in input and in response – it is practically unplayable.

Why a race game like this hits the Google Play Store, I don’t know. Maybe the developers wanted to cash in on the popularity of race games like Need for Speed, because it is save to say that Road Smash 2 borrows some elements and inspiration from that game. And maybe they hope that players will spend some money on the in-app purchases. But let me tell you now: don’t download this game, so you don’t have to think about all that.

Road Smash 2 even has some dull story moments where the non-playable characters never seem to care if the player is male of female. I played as a female, because it was the first choice presented to me and I didn’t care which gender I would play, because I didn’t think it would matter. But it did, in a bad way. It’s really sloppy. That’s kinda the feeling this game gave me: sloppy development, resulting in a unfinished product.