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Swype Update Brings Premium MLS Themes and More

Posted by on Aug 21, 2014

Swype gets new themes based on Major League Soccer teams.

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Games

Unpossible Review

Posted by on Aug 21, 2014

There aren't too many ways to get delightfully enraged.

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Productivity

Notepad+ Review

Posted by on Aug 14, 2014

A note-taking app that shows apps can be simple AND functional.

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App Rundown

Unpossible Review

Posted by on Aug 21, 2014

There aren't too many ways to get delightfully enraged.

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Recent Posts

Chillingo Releases New Game Incredible Jack

Chillingo Releases New Game Incredible Jack

Aug 14, 2014

Prolific Android game publisher Chillingo is back with yet another new title; this one is called Incredible Jack.

In this platformer, Jack (a “timbergrote”) is our mythical protagonist, and looks to be reunited with his loved ones and defeat the enemy and seven bosses.

Per the press release:

Reunite Jack with his loved ones in this classic platformer. Follow a trail of shiny golden coins through treetops, leap across overflowing lavapits, and bounce on anything in your way. With all sorts of dangers and surprises waiting for him across 37 levels, Jack’s journey will see him live up to his incredible title.

The trailer (posted below) hints at a delightfully atypical platform game that incorporated different scenery and plt tools. The graphics look robust, and one gets the feeling that the obstacles are a bit “smarter” than average.

Incredible Jack is currently available on the Play Store for $0.99 (with additional option in-app purchases).

Creative Mobile roars to 200 million game installs

Creative Mobile roars to 200 million game installs

Aug 13, 2014

Well known developer Creative Mobile announced this week that it has broken 200 million game installs… a huge number. The company also celebrated its 4th birthday at the same time. They grow up so fast. Creative Mobile’s most popular game is Drag Racing with 120 million installs. Drag Racing comes in both bike and car related flavors and the player can race supercars or download Drag Racing 4×4 for some interesting SUV vs truck action. With a strong range of games it is certain that Creative Mobile will only continue to grow.

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Pho.to lab Updated With Text Editor

Pho.to lab Updated With Text Editor

Aug 13, 2014

Pho.to lab a in depth photo editor for Android has recently been updated with the ability to add text to your photos. Pho.to Lab already boasts a large variety of photo effects and fun ways to play with your happy snaps.

The latest update allows users to add text to their photos in a variety of fonts and styles. This makes the app great for creating greeting cards from your favorite photos and any Instagram style ironic photos.

Check it out today.

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Livesoccer Lauches Big Update!

Livesoccer Lauches Big Update!

Aug 13, 2014

Present technologies are the boffins behind the popular Android app Livesoccer. Previous covered on Android Rundown, Livesoccer enables soccer (Or football for our UK readers) fans to keep up with their favorite team effortlessly. Push notification about your favourite team’s escapades keep you up to date and the app has all the stats, coverage and news soccer aficionados could ask for.

Now PT has released a big update for the revered app, adding a brand new transfers area to the app which tracks where each player on the selected team is likely to play next season and keeps tabs on the hectic and cutthroat business of player transfers. Comment sections have also been added to every league and every team in the app, for easier gloating or griping.

An already amazing app for soccer fans, this update will be great news to followers of The Beautiful Game.

CODE Donut Bluetooth Speakers Hardware Review

CODE Donut Bluetooth Speakers Hardware Review

Aug 13, 2014

Someone should have told me not to have a sweet tooth while taking a formal look at the CODE Donut Bluetooth Speakers. Be warned: if you have a thing for sugar highs, this interestingly looking piece might have one over the edge. Blame TaoTronics for sending us one to appraise.

The review box was colorfully presented, and gave a good idea of what was within. Inside, there was the main unit, micro-USB cable and a small NFC tag along with the requisite paperwork. We received the white unit (out of four choices including black, tan and pink); it is barely bigger than the regular-sized doughnut its design comes from. It weighs less than half a pound and has a diameter of 4.92 inches. The unit is mostly crafted with hard plastic on the exterior, with cute designs and intricate cut-outs that destroy any chance of monotony. The white has some purposeful brown splotches which simultaneously maintain the confectionery motif and serve as as structural pieces of the unit. In one color point, there are daintily placed on/call and volume buttons; another flash of brown serves as a flap to cover the micro-USB opening and on the bottom, more brown plastic signifies the base. All in all, it looks whimsical without stumbling over the line to silly.

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Connecting the Bluetooth 3.0 unit to to another bluetooth source is easy enough, and involves toggling the unit on and then holding down the same button to put the Donut in pairing mode. After pairing is achieved, audio signals go through seamlessly. The NFC works well too.

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The sound is crisp; it isn’t the sharpest though, and I thought the bass was a bit muted, and the treble could use some zip too. For admirable sound that isn’t geared towards the most extreme audiophile, this does the job. I liked the output from leveled points, and the range in my testing fell a bit short of the advertised 30 feet. The 1000 mAh battery does give a decent amount of time (it claims 8 hours, and it was still going strong at 5 hours).

I like the call functionality; it actually pauses the music to deal with calls as a speakerphone. Audio on calls was a bit muddy, but to be fair, I could not tell if it was cell-induced. It works well with streamed music and even with my laptop via external bluetooth chip.

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For a simple, atypical option, the CODE Donut is a fine option, especially if one is able to resist taking a bite out of it.

The CODE Donut is available for $50.44 via Amazon.com

Google Search, Google+ and Youtube receive updates

Google Search, Google+ and Youtube receive updates

Aug 13, 2014

Google is in a giving mood, and at least three of its mobile apps for Android have updates available to Android users.

First up, Google Search is introducing flight card updates that provide alternatives when there are delays. Also, train and bus reminders can be generated from reservation emails received via Gmail. Of course, there are the requisite performance tweaks and bug fixes.

the card changes will be of special interest to people who are invested in Google Now, the voice-driven extension of Google Search.

Next up, the new build of YouTube introduces automatic correction of misspelled search entries, a video quality selector that allows mobile users adjust screen resolution, a fix for voice search and other unnamed fixes and improvements.

Rounding out the list is Google+, Google’s social networking and sharing app. It now allows users to cast media and links from their stream to compatible TVs. It’s also possible to edit Auto Awesome Movies on select devices; and then there are the enhancements and fixes.

If you haven’t seen the updates yet, no sweat; they have been rolling out this week, and should get to you soon.

[Source: Google Play]

TYLT Energi Battery Series Hardware Review

TYLT Energi Battery Series Hardware Review

Aug 12, 2014

TYLT is synonymous with accessorized style. From chargers to cases to cables and beyond, one can be assured that products from TYLT will be atypically attractive without sacrificing functionality. The Kickstarter-funding of some of its products adds to its allure.

We had an opportunity to look at it’s wireless charger a while back, and were mostly impressed with the design aesthetic and overall usability. We recently received an opportunity to look at its entire Energi External Battery Pack Series, and jumped in head first. With the increasing trend of sealed batteries in phones with brighter screens PLUS folks carrying several devices, the need for reliable third party battery packs is becoming more of a need than a want.

The review pieces all came individually cased in retail packaging; we got to check out the 2K, 3K, 5K and the momma of them all, the 10K. Each of the numerical designations correspond to the capacity of that unit.

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Of course, we couldn’t resist the urge to put the 10K through the paces. The 10K is pretty solid in hand, fairy thick but not too long at 4.7 x 3.1 x 0.9 inches, and weighing in at 11 ounces. This unit comes with a single microUSB cable that can be used to charge the unit, and also to transfer power to a device. The unit itself is mostly black with a subtle, grey logo band that runs round the middle of the unit. The bottom of the unit has four ports, each clearly labeled, with three being for charging (1A, 1A and a tablet-specific 2.1A) and the input port. On the lower end of the left side, there is an on/off button, and a series of LEDs that indicate the amount of charge available with green lights. The unit promises to charge a few devices simultaneously, or a regular device up to four times.

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The unit arrived with a partial charge. It is fairly intuitive to set up and even with a single light showing, it started juicing up the M8. I did expect reasonable charging rate, but it is surprisingly fast, getting the M8 from 40% to full in less than a half hour (using the 2.1A port).

Next, I filled it up and tried it with three devices (an LG G3, a Nook HD+ and the aforementioned M8). The Energi 10K handled itself admirably, getting them all up to par from half way down with charge left. It also has excellent standby functionality, allowing one to keep it unused with the charge retained over time.

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What really makes the Energi series compelling is the range; I do wish the 10K had embedded cable like some of its siblings, but the raw power is comforting. In related testing, the other units are just as effective within their advertised parameters.

The 10K isn’t exactly cheap, at about $99.99 (per Amazon), and it is a bit hefty, but there are different pieces that can suit different needs and price points.

Google Play Summer Sale Still On For Limited Time, Offers Up to 80% Off Select Titles

Google Play Summer Sale Still On For Limited Time, Offers Up to 80% Off Select Titles

Aug 12, 2014

Google Play is continuing its ongoing summer sale, albeit with the “last-chance” descriptor. Some of the discounts are related to in-app purchases versus one-time upfront purchase, and as such, there are free entries (like John Dever’s Lone Wolf) that might remain free after the sale concludes.

The apps on sale run the gamut — there are several camera apps, for instance — and some of them can be had for up to a whopping 80% off. There are several publishers with multiple games included, which will be great for people who like to try new stuff from development houses they are already familiar with.

There are some top shelf titles, notably:

  • Sims 3
  • Power Amp
  • Wall Street Journal
  • Deus Ex: The Fall
  • SoundHound
  • Paper Camera
  • Real Boxing
  • CSI: Hidden Crimes
  • … and a whole lot more.

    No solid word on when the sale will end, so it might be prudent to get in on it as soon as possible.

    [Source: Google Play Sales Page]

    Gemhero Review

    Gemhero Review

    Aug 12, 2014

    GemHero makes a terrible first impression since it forces the player to create a “Winnerconnect” account. Facebook login is also available but forcing the player into creating an account before they even get to see the game is a bit much. Then a very silly story appears featuring a knight being turned into a duck and the king assuming that killing the warlock that did it might free him. This is where the player comes in. After this an ad dialogue appears. This is before gameplay even starts.

    Screenshot_2014-08-11-11-10-35After a short tutorial, the player is given a deck that is mostly comprised of angry sheep and sheep riders, which is kind of a letdown.

    GenmHero’s gameplay is almost exactly like most other puzzle fighter type games. Like other, better games such as Puzzle Trooper the player matches groups of coloured tiles to get their monsters to attack. Unlike most games like this, though only matching swords causes direct attacks. Most shapes either do nothing or cause skill icons to appear. Tapping skill icons unleashes different elemental attacks, which are all the same. Items can be used during combat. The player starts off with a large stock of items that can heal and revive the party, and additional ones are quite expensive. These items are very important as the player takes damage quickly, especially if they get a bad run of tiles and reviving mid stage if the stage is lost costs a lot of coins.

    The only difference between Gemhero and others of its type is the map like part of the game between battles. Each stage is split into several pathways with monsters treasure and heal pads along the way. Taking different routes causes the player to encounter different things and this is a bit more interesting than the boring menu of battles common to other puzzle fighters.

    Screenshot_2014-08-11-03-27-12Besides the very basic choices provided by the map system there is nothing different about GemHero at all. Between battles players can upgrade their cards and spend in game currency or premium currency on additional cards to bolster their deck, just like every other puzzle fighting game ever. Monsters can be captured during battle as well, but there is only a very small chance of this happening. Still this is a nice touch.

    GemHero looks unimpressive. The monster design is mundane and just not nearly as interesting as other games like Brave Frontier or the aforementioned, much cooler looking Puzzle Trooper. Sprites are very small and barely animate. The only battle animations are clouds of swords flying between the two sides and a few sparkly elemental attack effects as combos are matched and enemies attack. It is hardly completing stuff.

    Gemhero isn’t really all that interesting and it plays very similarly to other puzzle fighters. Only the most diehard puzzle fans need apply.

    QubicGames To Release Air Race Speed for Android in September

    QubicGames To Release Air Race Speed for Android in September

    Aug 11, 2014

    QubicGames is set to release a port of its Nintendo 3DS title Air Race Speed for Android in September.

    The development house has a history making games for Nintendo systems. According to an earlier blog post on the developer’s site, the Android version will provide “a new gameplay experience with an immersive and very smooth gyroscopig steering, and with highly enhanced graphics. It will feature the levels of the AiRace Speed released on 3DS last September (2013) and completely new levels too.”

    No word on pricing just yet; a video trailer is below.

    Tales of Dragon Mountain: The Strix, Attractive Redhead Simulator On Sale for $0.99

    Tales of Dragon Mountain: The Strix, Attractive Redhead Simulator On Sale for $0.99

    Aug 11, 2014

    Tales of Dragon Mountain: The Strix a interesting puzzle/adventure game from G5 entertainment featuring an attractive redhead is currently on sale for 99 cents ($1.06au). This isn’t the first time G5′s epic has been on sale, but it is the first time it has dipped under a dollar.

    For tight-fisted adventurers, or simply fans of attractive redheads there has never been a better time to suit up and go on a new adventure on the cheap. The sale runs until August 18th so put that brain to work and download it now!

    The King of Fighters 98 Review

    The King of Fighters 98 Review

    Aug 11, 2014

    The well-known King of Fighters 98 finally makes it way to Android. KOF98 Android also includes the additional content from the Slugfest version of the original game.

    Screenshot_2014-08-10-17-32-15King Of Fighters 98 is a premier fighting game well-loved back in the day. It features a ton of different fighters with vastly different styles and tiers and they each have special moves such as projectiles or just different strikes and super combos, devastating combos or attack that are charged during the fight. Using a team based system the player picks three character and the order they fight in against the AI’s teams.

    Bedsides KOF98’s normal single player mode Bluetooth multiplayer is included. This will be a great feature for hardcore fans, but two controllers will be required as beating someone using a controller with on-screen controls isn’t going to happen.

    King Of Fighters 98 caters to hardcore fighting fans. As an arcade perfect port, the difficulty is intact and the computer will show no mercy for players without a controller. A good quality controller like a Moga Power Pro is all but required to play properly. Thankfully, there is a training mode with a command key for each character and controllable opponents to hone skills. It’s not as good as the practice mode found in Dead or Alive however, which shows each move onscreen in turn and confirms when the player does it correctly. Intimidating to new players, those who don’t know what QCF is and what Desperation Combos are will feel a bit overwhelmed.

    Because this is an SNK game, the last boss in particular is very punishing and a cheap opponent. New players will have to resist throwing their phone across the room when fighting him.

    Screenshot_2014-08-10-17-50-10King Of Fighters 98 is perfect in its presentation. All the graphics are original, so Mai Shiranui is just as enticingly jiggly as she always was and the game is silky smooth with very sharp sprites and clear sound with no nasty artifacts or glitches. KOF98’s porting job is very well done.

    Additional new features including the Bluetooth multiplayer, a new easy to use SP button for instantly triggering super combos and additional control schemes. The game is short on the longevity side however and a more in depth single player mode or rewards to strive for would have been nice.online multiplayer could have been added as well.

    King Of Fighters 98 is a superb port of a beloved game and even passing fans of the King Of Fighters series would have to be insane not to pick it up. Just factor in the cost of a quality Bluetooth controller to the game’s price.


    Arkon Mobile Grip 2 Mount Hardware Review

    Arkon Mobile Grip 2 Mount Hardware Review

    Aug 11, 2014

    I “discovered” smartphone-based GPS a while back; the ability to have mobile, ad-hoc voice directions, albeit reliant on cellular signal, was invaluable, and since I was frequently on the road headed to new locations, it became one of the most important features on my device. I have never had to rely on a standalone unit, and even when not driving, mobile GPS has been a lifesaver more than once.

    Driving with one hand on the wheel and the other holding a phone isn’t especially safe or effective though, so — cue the “accessorize the ultimate accessory” music — we get to see potentially multidisciplinary tools like the Arkon Deluxe Mini Windshield/Dashboard Sticky Suction Mount (MG279) become prime players.

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    We received the review unit in simple, mostly clear packaging that shows of the components: Mobile Grip 2 Universal Smartphone Holder, an optional Sticky Mounting piece, the swivel adjustment ring, an adhesive disk along with diagrammed paperwork. The core piece is made of hard plastic, with a spring mechanism at the bottom. It feels well crafted, is fairly durable and the diagrams show how easy it is to assemble.

    In practice, the mount works well enough on smooth interiors and glass/windshields. The device holder portion provides a good grip, and the adjustable nature allows for a host of devices to be used with it; it can comfortably hold devices that are up to 3.6″ wide, which means it can even handle some of the more popular phablets. Shaking it vigorously did not dislodge the devices. The suction part works as most do, by pressing on the activating button to create a vacuum seal that works quite well. With some practice, I was able to manipulate the unit with one hand, which is a bonus.

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    The mounting plate allows for the suction cup to be used on other surfaces; I let it cure for 48 hours to be safe, though it only asks for 24. The bond created is quite strong, and it pairs with the suction cup seamlessly. the swivel adjustment ring is a smart piece that helps tighten the angles, and the rotation of the holder is quite useful and well-thought out. The holder can also be used with standard tripods.

    A longer (maybe adjustable?) neck could probably make it more effective, but to be fair, Arkon’s penchant for using common components across several solutions and the 2-yr warranty make this specific tool hard to pass up. I suspect a lot of folks would see the price ($19.99 via the Arkon website) and become even more enamored of this effective piece of kit that can be used on the road… and elsewhere.

    Flywheel, the Taxi Booking and Payment App, Adds Airport Ride Booking

    Flywheel, the Taxi Booking and Payment App, Adds Airport Ride Booking

    Aug 11, 2014

    Flywheel is a well known app that makes travel easy by allowing users to both book taxi rides and pay for them using their smartphone. It also provides real time data on your taxi’s location so you can gauge how long it will be until it arrives at your location and what your ride is doing. Now Flywheel makes traveling even easier by providing advance booking when hitching a ride to an airport.

    Airports included in the app are San Francisco International Airport (SFO), San Jose International Airport (SJC) and Oakland International Airport (OAK). By the time you read this Seattle will also be supported and support for the City of Angels will be introduced some time this month.

    Save yourself a headache and book your ride with Flywheel to avoid late taxis and payment charges!

    Topia Review

    Topia Review

    Aug 11, 2014

    There aren’t much god games out there – not on pc, consoles or phones. So Topia is very much welcome, promising all kinds of cool stuff. But does it deliver on the promise?

    Topia was a game I was very excited for. I love god games where I’m able to create land, water, life and flora. The ability to oversee life itself – and making it grow or die with just one tap on the screen – is an idea that really appealed to me as a gamer. I was thinking of ways to play the same game over and over again. This time without water, that time without threes and another time without land. Or with just docile animals, that really don’t do anything but eating leaves.

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    At first sight, Topia promised me this kind of gameplay, with many features to experiment with. But, as one might have guessed, it did not live up to my expectations. Expectations I got after reading the description of the game and after firing the game up for the first time. There are supposed to be a thousand creatures to play with, complete with a natural ecosystem and a food chain. Three straight up lies if I think about it. I did not find any of it in the game.

    Well, in some there is. There could be a thousand creatures. By choosing one of the six (!) animals and by tapping on screen, holding your finger on it and dragging it across the screen, there will be hundreds maybe thousands of creatures popping up. But those are all the same – the eat the same thing (sometimes each other), walk around aimlessly after eating everything they wanted to eat and then just drown themselves in the water or just die. Die in vain. And just disappear.

    The only ecosystem there is, is the one that when there isn’t any water, the threes and animals die. The only food chain there is, is the one where bigger / faster animals eat the smaller / slower ones. There isn’t any other variation on the formula and there isn’t anything to do after I molded the ground like I wanted and putting threes and animals where I wanted. There are no goals and the game is to narrow to create your own goals. Frankly, there isn’t anything to do over here.

    So after all that, I got excited over nothing. Really nothing at all. I wanted to have a god simulation game where I could mold flora and fauna the way I saw fit – instead, I got a narrow game experience which I cannot recommened to anyone.

    Master of Craft Review

    Master of Craft Review

    Aug 8, 2014

    Master of Craft looks to be an engaging game that merges key gaming genres in a tidy package.

    At its core, it’s all about simulating an economy of crafting. Off the bat, the busy animation of the game easily draws one in, with bright colors and vivid landscapes. If the developer’s goal is to please people that are iffy about the game at the start, it is mostly successful. The rustic vibe combines well with the whimsical representations, and the overall visual feel is that it is playful and serious at the same time.

    Our main protagonist is a youngster looking to master the art of creating delightful objects of destruction. As in most crafting games, raw materials are a huge portion of the game, and to excel, one has to guide this apprentice to an enviable career.

    The game elements are well-intertwined and mostly logical. It starts off small; out champion has limited resources that can be used to create relatively simplistic weapons that must be sold to pull in some money. As the game progresses, and a bigger war-chest is achieved, better objects can be produced and more money procured. In this, the trade system mimics real world economics. Patience and hard work are related. Further on, interacting with adventurers (characters that can accumulate advanced materials that are used to make more diverse weapons) becomes necessary.mc1

    One unique part of the trade scenarios is the ability to set prices. Again, the developer does a decent job of making it feel sensible by allowing players compare and set prices. his affects gameplay in a host of ways. Also, the progression of weapons and the indirect fighting to pick up ingredients is a nice diversion. these can be affected by specials. Ingredients can be mixed and matched, and equipping armies makes a cameo.

    If there were a game that induces in-app purchases, it’s this one; at some junctures, monotony makes the included ability of expediting via real cash mighty attractive. Still, for an engaging, logical simulation game, one really can’t go wrong with Master of Craft.