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Android? Why?

Posted by on Sep 15, 2014

One reason I roll with Android OS.

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Games

Once Upon a Runner Review

Posted by on Sep 16, 2014

Fun running game that gets straight to the action

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Productivity

Abs Trainer Review

Posted by on Sep 10, 2014

Get ready to work out those abs.

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App Rundown

Once Upon a Runner Review

Posted by on Sep 16, 2014

Fun running game that gets straight to the action

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Recent Posts

SEGA Updates Dragons Coins and Kingdom Conquest II

SEGA Updates Dragons Coins and Kingdom Conquest II

Sep 2, 2014

SEGA is getting update-happy with updates to two of its apps on the Play Store.

First up is Dragon Coins; per the informational, the new update includes:

- PVP gameplay for the first-time ever!
- Summon unique and rare monsters in the new Battle Chest
- Excess experience on base monsters now carries over to evolved form
- Earn Battle Coins for both offensive/defensive victories

Not to be left out, Kingdom Conquest II is also getting good developer care:

- New monster called the Full Moon Bunny (although it doesn’t howl, its familiar with the full moon)
- New Registrants: 7050 CP worth of utility and boost items. Also plentiful tickets to be given away that can be redeemed for monster packs
- Login Bonus Event: In addition to regular login bonus, you’ll also get extra bonuses related to utility and boost items
- New Full Pack Available for Purchase: new registrants willl receive one free draw from the Full Moon Pack (Full Moon Pack will contain the limited time Full Moon Bunny)

Both games are available for free (with optional in-app purchasing) on the Play Store.

Crash and Burn Review

Crash and Burn Review

Sep 2, 2014

Crash and Burn is Lunagames’ newest attempt to take your money with a video game in the endless runner genre. Gamers do not need to pay any money to play the game, but, as one might have guessed, it sure as hell makes things easier.

In Crash and Burn, players are racing with a awesome street race car (or, if one succeeds in the game, other type of cars too), while collecting coins, bumping other drivers on the road and using power-ups. The goal of the game is to get as far as humanly possible and the endless road ahead of you. Meanwhile, the game makes it harder for players to navigate that road, because it constantly will put more cars on the road for players to evade. It really gets challenging.

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To make life a little bit easier, Lunagames implemented some neat little power-ups, Mario Kart style. Players can collect different kinds of power-ups, like a bomb (that explodes anything near the player), a rocket (dat seeks out the cars in front of the player) and even a boost (that will make the player’s car so fast, it can bump other drivers of the road). It really mixes up the gameplay in a way that it is actually fun the play Crash and Burn. But then, there is the downside.

The downside of the game are the coins. Yes, one can collect them by simply playing the game and collecting them on the road, but the really make progress in Crash and Burn, players will need lots of them. So, as it is usual with most of these kind of games, it is possible to invest real money in the game to progress quicker. It is always a choice of course, but the progress in the game is going quick at all, making players think that they will have to buy coins to get the cooler cars.

It is a shame, really. Because production-wise, it is an awesome game. It looks really nice on my Nexus 5, plays very well without any kind of lag and even has some cool dubstep to listen too – and most importantly, that compliments the game. Let’s not forget the controls. They are marvelous. So it is really to bad the focus is on getting peoples money within a free game. Next time, maybe it is better to just put the game in the store for a couple of bucks and be done with that.

Transport Empire Review

Transport Empire Review

Sep 1, 2014

Transport Empire starts the player off with a single train route and not much else. From there the player must build a huge, sprawling, well, transport empire!

Screenshot_2014-08-28-05-07-44Despite the name, Transport Empire only features trains, with some apparent Zeppelin action late in the game. Much like a certain other transport based game that was recently released on Android the player builds stations next to natural resources, such as wood or coal and ferries them back and forth by fulfilling contacts, which are just a fancy way of saying a single trip with resources.

Each trip in Transport Empire earns the player a small chunk of resources or money and has a freemium timer of at least a few minutes. Delivering resources allows those resources to be used for other things. For example to upgrade a wood production structure stone may be needed.

Transport Empire is very on-rails, so to speak. Tracks and stations can only be built where the game says and there is less of a feeling of building an empire and more of simply going through the motions.

Screenshot_2014-08-28-05-06-46Transport Empire just isn’t fun. The game lacks much spice and feels very dry. Most freemium game have something for the player to do while timers tick down, such as fighting battles or repeating old stages or the like. Transport Empire however is only about ordering trains around and once all trains have destinations there is nothing for the player to do expect twiddle their thumbs and wait for something to finish or spend resources so they can begin another un-skippable train journey.

And Transport Empire has a heck of a lot of timers. Even early updates to buildings take a good half hour and when the payout is simply more dull gameplay, it just isn’t worth waiting for.

What really makes Transport Empire unplayable however is its appalling interface. On a good phone like my S4 the game’s text and interface are completely unreadable. Text is so tiny it looks like simple black lines and teeny icons and buttons a fraction of an inch wide are a nightmare to use. There is just no excuse for slap dash Android games like this that don’t take screen size into account when scaling text anymore.

Transport Empire is a already-mediocre freemium game that is ruined by its interface. Players who enjoy their trains really only have one in-depth choice and that choice is Transport Tycoon. Freshly released on Android and reviewed at this very site, TT will scratch that locomotive itch better than Transport Empire ever could and it doesn’t ask for money.


Rush Rally Gets Major Update.

Rush Rally Gets Major Update.

Sep 1, 2014

Brownmonster, the boffins behind the enjoyable rally racer Rush Rally have cracked out a huge update for their already fun game.

The update contains three new cars to throw around the game’s dusty locales and in depth tuning options to get the most out of cars. Now you can stiffen suspension or sacrifice down-force for speed all you like.

These additions should give Rush Rally a nice chunk of added depth and anyone looking for fun should pick up this little racer.

Yahoo Email App gets Filter Functionality

Yahoo Email App gets Filter Functionality

Aug 31, 2014

Yahoo Email for Android now gives users the ability to manipulate filters directly from within the application. Now, one may create, update and edit filters on the fly via the app.

This enviable feature removes another barrier to completely mobilizing ones email habits; one does not have to get on the desktop to tweak filter settings.

Altogether, per the app page, the recent update adds:

- Enhanced links: Links are enhanced to be nice cards when you share a link while composing an email
- Updated settings: We’ve simplified settings to make it easier to customize your mailbox
- Filters: Create, update and delete email filters to help organize your mailbox
- Certified Yahoo badge: Email from Yahoo get a special icon so you know it’s from us

Yahoo Email is available for free on the Play Store.

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[Source: via Engadget]

Netflix Gets Update, Adds Improved Chromecast Compatibility

Netflix Gets Update, Adds Improved Chromecast Compatibility

Aug 31, 2014

Netflix had just updated the Android version of its streaming application; version 3.7.2 brings improved compatibility with Chromecast, allowing to app to be used better across connected devices.

Netflix continues to be one of the most popular sources of on-demand content, and its drive to acquire and/or produce original content has been a well-received. For those looking to mobilize content consumption, or to source entertainment via mobile devices, it is a great option.

The app — with the current update — is available for free (with subscription) on the Play Store. It is also available on the Amazon AppStore.

Pocket Gets Update

Pocket Gets Update

Aug 30, 2014

Pocket, the insanely popular web article curating app that allows users to clip interesting content for perusal later, has just received a big update.

Version 5.6.6 brings the ability for users to predetermine how much space Pocket uses to store data. This sounds like a great feature for folks that might have device storage concerns.

Additionally, a couple of fixes are listed. First, previously downloaded content is not properly discarded when archived or deleted. After this upgrade, Pocket will reclaim freed storage.

The second fix has to do with a crash that occurs when one tried to listen to some articles.

Lastly, there are some improvements, specifically the replacement of confirmation prompts during deletion with an undo toggle and an improved Evernote sharing process that includes images and rich text.

Pocket is available for free (with optional in-app purchases) on the Play Store.

Google Maps Gets Update, Adds Hindi Support, Android Wear Improvements and More

Google Maps Gets Update, Adds Hindi Support, Android Wear Improvements and More

Aug 29, 2014

Google Maps has just received an update today; per the update notes, the new update brings Hindi support to the app UI and actual voice navigation.

The update notes also underscore improved navigation notifications on Android Wear devices, which is definitely welcome with regards to the new batch of Android-based wearables that are coming on the scene.

Lastly, the update also brings the ubiquitous bug fixes.

Hindi support is definitely welcome; it allows Google Maps to be a useful tool to a whole lot more people in one of the fastest growing tech sectors in the world.

Google Maps and navigation continues to be one of the crown jewels of Google’s mobile arsenal. It boasts maps in 220 countries and territories, transit directions, live traffic, Street View, voice-guided GPS Navigation for walking, biking and driving, and more. The best feature, though, is that Google seems to understand that the mobile mapping space is very competitive (with HERE coming to select Android devices), and isn’t resting on its laurels.

Google Maps (along with the current update) is available for free on the Play Store.

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G5 Preps One-day App Giveaway and More

G5 Preps One-day App Giveaway and More

Aug 29, 2014

G5 is almost always in a giving mood, and next week is no different.

On September 1st, it will be making Abyss: the Wraiths of Eden for that day only on the Play Store and Amazon AppStore.

Also, from September 1st through 7th, Vampires: Todd and Jessica’s Story will go on sale for $0.99 on the Play Store and Amazon AppStore.

Game information and trailers from the games are below:

About the games:

Abyss: the Wraiths of Eden follows the story of a famed underwater explorer Robert Marceau who has disappeared under mysterious circumstances. His fiancé descends to the gloomy depths of the ocean to find him. Following the clues Robert left for her, our heroine discovers the lost underwater city of Eden. You’ll have to venture into the unknown and unsettling waters to investigate the sunken city, now controlled by demons.
Game trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5VwuMZO-xdI.

Ever wanted to project yourself into someone else’s dream? Now you can! Plunge into Dream Catchers: The Beginning and catch dreams as they flow by.

An unknown disease struck your sister Mia, the students and other staff at school where she works – they fell asleep one by one and haven’t woken up. Now you have to investigate of this alarming situation. Search the premises for useful clues and hidden objects and resolve unbelievable tasks in both the real world and the dream world. Most importantly, wake Mia up and reveal the shocking truth about the Dream Catchers Order!
Game trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LqZPTOSm0P0.

In Vampires: Todd & Jessica’s Story, you take on a role of a vampire who longs to be human again. Todd is in the middle of proposing to Jessica, his one true love, when he’s kidnapped. Worse, Todd discovers that his close friend Zack, a charismatic and dangerous vampire, has sinister plans for Jessica. Now this desperate young lover must find his fragile fiancée and protect her from a terrible fate. Explore eerie locations, meet mysterious yet friendly characters, collect useful objects and solve brain-teasing puzzles as you experience an immortal love story with bite!
Game trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eZ7SXGdFHWE.

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Huawei Ascend Mate2 Now Available at Fry’s Online and In-store

Huawei Ascend Mate2 Now Available at Fry’s Online and In-store

Aug 29, 2014

Huawei has announced increased availability of its Ascend Mate2 4G LTE smartphone; now, it can be procured from Fry’s Electronics via the online portal and in physical stores.

This means that the device can be purchased at each of the 34 Fry’s stores in the US.

From the press release:

Consumers can now purchase the Huawei Ascend Mate2 4G LTE at all 34 Fry’s Electronics stores as well as on Frys.com in the United States. The device will be offered in both black and white colors, and will retail for $299 USD.

Since its launch, the Ascend Mate2 has received critical acclaim for its powerful quad-core 1.6 GHz processor and a long-lasting 3900mAh lithium polymer battery that lets you enjoy a half-day of web surfing on a single charge. Featuring unique power-saving technology that improves performance by more than 30 percent versus other smartphones in its class, a single charge can let you: stream three movies in a row, surf the web for 12 hours, talk for 25 hours, or listen to 100 hours of music.

With a large 6.1-inch, Corning® Gorilla® Glass 3 IPS screen, and lightning-fast LTE Cat4 connectivity, the Mate2 is perfect for non-stop entertainment. The 13-megapixel BSI rear-facing camera, features a 2.0 aperture, making it easy to take crystal clear, professional-quality photos. Turn the phone around and its 5-megapixel front-facing camera, offers both panoramic mode and Auto Face Enhancement, so you get a wider view to help you create amazingly selfies and groufies.

To learn more about the Ascend Mate2, visit GetHuawei.com.

We had an opportunity to review the Mate2 recently, and mostly liked it. As noted, the device will retail for $299.

Samsung Galaxy Phones getting Nokia’s HERE Maps

Samsung Galaxy Phones getting Nokia’s HERE Maps

Aug 29, 2014

In the world of mobile mapping, Nokia’s HERE is probably the most well-regarded outside Google Maps; it is a well-designed application that brings value o devices it resides on. Now, select Android users can enjoy a new beta version.

More specifically, Samsung is taking advantage of a licensing deal and bringing HERE to Galaxy device users. HERE will offer offline functionality, walking, driving and public transportation options, Glympse compatibility in addition to standard turn-by-turn directions in supported locales.

Additionally, the app will pair with the upcoming Samsung Gear S Smartwatch.

For now, the announcement notes the program will be available for Galaxy devices; no specific Galaxy devices are explicitly excluded just yet.

According to Three Sixty, the official HERE blog, HERE will be available when the Samsung Gear S formally hits stores.

As noted, it is a free offering; no word on whether the app will find its way to other Android devices in the future.

[Source: Three Sixty HERE Blog via TechChrunch]

Bik Review

Bik Review

Aug 29, 2014

Bik is a love letter to 1980’s adventure games. Taking control of a heroic boy and a couple of “heroic” aliens, the player works their way through an amusing plot and varied locations while grabbing random objects that come in handy for solving puzzles to work their way through a bunch of oddball situations.

Screenshot_2014-08-23-13-23-59Bik has great dialogue. Each character in the game, from the slightly bumbling Ammut to the resourceful Bik himself has a lot of personality and the strong, funny dialogue really encourages the player to play through to see what happens. There are countless funny dialogue options and indeed stalling characters is more than useful, it’s required.

Like any good adventure game featuring kleptomaniac heroes, Bik has lots of puzzles that involve the most unlikely items. Whether it’s fashioning a gliding boat from windmill sails and thorns, saving someone from a fire with a mop or using a rusty pipe to cave in a guard’s head, there is no shortage of creative and interesting uses for objects that make perfect sense when used the way they are in game.

Bik is just full of amusing moments too. From killer sock monsters, to finding a gun and accidentally blowing everyone up, as well as two spaceships and four planets Bik is always funny. The developers obviously know what adventure gamers are like and achievements are regularly handed out for doing something stupid, like killing Ammut by blowing a hole in an airlock wall or dropping a heavy crate on Bik’s own head.

Screenshot_2014-08-23-18-09-53Some hilarious puzzle solutions make the game a treat as well, like using the starship’s engines to cook a toasted sandwich and knocking out a guard with a badly made brownie. Bik has heaps of puzzles but they are always common sense and using your noodle to work them out is lots of fun. There are several gameplay styles in the game too; there are even a few action sequences and even a mini shoot em up, which is very pleasing.

Bik looks fantastic. A great pixel art style perfectly captures the feel of old adventure games. The game‘s art direction is also stellar. Many locations feature strong colours and stark landscapes that really make an impact. Bik has the kind of graphics that are just worth gawking at.

The sound is also extremely well done. The music is some of the best heard on mobile. It is full of feel and atmosphere, from the desolate theme as the player walks down a rainy, derelict street to the lofty notes of a farming village. Bik really nails its music and the player will stop just to listen.

Bik clocks in at about 10 hours and this is a very reasonable length. The game is very dense and packed with things to do and see. It is also very cheap considering the quality and amount of gameplay on offer.

Bik is a fantastic game that not only emulates classic adventure games, but improves on them and is a top notch game in its own right. Its excellent presentation and humour really are the icing on the cake. Play it today!

Topia World Builder Gets Big Update

Topia World Builder Gets Big Update

Aug 28, 2014

Topia, the benevolence game that allows folks to live vicariously through world building, has just received a big update. The game allows players to create and maintain intricate lands and manage livestock in a natural simulation environment.

Per the Google Play app page, Build 12 brings:

Herbivores can outnumber and kill a carnivore.
Poips now eat trees.
Shoals of fish.
Amphibious Broncodiles.
’3D’ gyro driven view motion where supported.
Day/Night cycle.
bugfixes:
Land creatures are less likely to wander into the sea.
Birds don’t get stuck and interact with the Landscape.
+many small fixes.

Altogether, it sounds as though the game engine has been refined with more logic. The day/night cycle will definitely help with realism.

We had an opportunity to review Topia a short while ago; it’s available on the Play Store for $1.99.

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WeTransfer Launches Android App

WeTransfer Launches Android App

Aug 28, 2014

After a successful trip on iOS, data transfer utility WeTransfer is now on Android.

The app looks to streamline the ability of mobile device easiers to share and move media within the device; from the press release:

WeTransfer’s free file-transfer app comes to Android today, enabling people to share multiple files from their Android devices with ease.

The app’s functionality takes a lead from WeTransfer’s iOS app launched earlier this year, but also debuts a number of Android-only functions. As well as letting people share up to 10GB of multiple images and videos from their device, the Android app allows users to send pretty much any file from within the operating system through the file transfer functionality.

This incredibly versatile app includes a wide range of key features, including:

· Send any file: Android users will be able to use the “share” button anywhere in the OS to send the selected file(s);
· Transfer pause/resume: If a user wishes to pause a transfer they can do so at any time and resume it when convenient to provide greater control; and
· Contacts access: To send videos and photos, people will also have the ability to use their device’s address book for easy e-mail address selection.

Additional app features include:

· Instantly send multiple images by selecting the first image and double tapping on the last to select all the items in between
· Preview an image or video by tapping and holding it down
· Find images quickly by swiping with two fingers to jump between months
· Skip to the last image in the folder by swiping with three fingers
· Transfer up to 10GB at a time for free
· Have greater transfer control by receiving notifications highlighting a switch from Wi-Fi to 3G or 4G
· Log in to your Plus account by holding down the WeTransfer logo

In typical WeTransfer fashion, there is also no sign-up process to send files. Simplicity of use, and aesthetics of the user-experience, continues to be central to WeTransfer’s philosophy.

The app will also feature WeTransfer’s iconic background imagery designed specifically to fit smartphone screens, mirroring the online version.

Adriaan Trouwee, Head of Mobile at WeTransfer said: “We want to make it as easy as possible for people to send multiple photos or videos to each other from their phones or tablets.

“Say you go on holiday with friends, head to a festival or a great party, and you all take a whole load of photos. Now you can instantly share these moments whenever you want, without losing the quality of the images. Straight from your phone via WeTransfer, to the ones you shared these moments with.

“We’re making it as easy for people to send content they’ve created on their mobiles as it is via our website. And we’re making it a beautiful experience too. Already on iOS, and now on Android too.”

In addition to features available to everyone, ‘Plus’ account holders will also be able to store their transfers in their 50GB cloud storage, which they can later access via the web version of the service.

The app is available for free on the Play Store.

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Tap Tap Meteorite Makes it Way to Google Play Store

Tap Tap Meteorite Makes it Way to Google Play Store

Aug 28, 2014

Tap Tap Meteorite has just been released on Android, the fruit of three months of development. The Unity engine-based game is a tap-defense adventure that asks the player to defend his universe by destroying meteors.

From the press release:

In Tap Tap Meteorite the player protects the planets of our solar system, which are facing total destruction from crashing meteorites. It is the player’s job to destroy the never-ending waves of meteorites before they hit and demolish the planets.

With beautiful cartoon graphics, Tap Tap Meteorite features 10 different power ups, 4 unique planets (each with their own difficulty and secrets), global leaderboards, achievements and 2 different game modes. Protect Mercury, Earth and Mars from annihilation or relax playing Venus, the featured zen planet.

Tap Tap Meteorite creator Todd Hayes enjoyed making the game. “I had a blast developing the game, and so did the rest of the team,” he says. “There are tons of games out on the Play Store that have the user tap their screen to get a high score, so my game isn’t a new concept, but I do think it is unique.”

To make sure the game stands out, Hayes collaborated with an animator, a sound engineer and an artist to streamline production. Hayes also promises more levels (planets) depending on how the game does on the Play Store.

The game is truly free, with no in-app purchases at all. It is available for download here.

The game trailer is below.

Activision Releases Wipeout 2 on Android

Activision Releases Wipeout 2 on Android

Aug 28, 2014

… and like that, it’s time for the sequel!

Activision has just announced its new game Wipeout 2, is a sequel to the original Wipeout (which we recently reviewed), and is again based on the obstacle game show that shares its name.

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

Excerpts from the press release and the trailer are below:

It’s time for a new season of big red balls – Activision Publishing’s Wipeout 2 spills out on iOS, Android and Kindle Fire devices today, drenching gamers with massive content in a free mobile package.

Wipeout 2 is an action platforming game based on ABC’s comically entertaining obstacle course competition TV series, Wipeout. Players dodge and traverse environmental hazards and challenges to emerge triumphant at the end of each level as fast as possible; those who miss a jump or are knocked off fall hilariously to the murky waters below.

A sequel to 2012’s mobile hit – Wipeout – Wipeout 2 ups the prize pool with 150 ridiculously themed obstacles across 135 new levels to dash, jump, crash and dive through. Contestants can choose from 10 playable characters, including the Zombie, Pirate and Popstar, which can be customized and upgraded with mighty abilities, including speed boosts, rewinds and teleportation. Special daily courses unlock a variety of equally special daily rewards, including coins and powerups to spring your experience forward, while social media leaderboards let you track bragging rights against friends and rivals.

Wipeout 2 is now available to download for free on the iTunes App Store, Google Play Store, and Amazon App Store.

[Source: Activision Press Release]