Juice Defender App Review

Juice Defender App Review

Mar 1, 2012

Juice Defender Ultimate is one of the more popular batter life saving apps on the Market today. My biggest problem with apps like these is that often times the statements are mere posturing when just a few simple preventive steps by the user would do the same job. Don’t get me wrong, Juice Defender Ultimate is an incredibly intelligent app that allows for an insane amount of customization over the smallest aspects of the phone. I just feel the largest ways Juice Defender saves battery life are just as simple as turning off the wireless functions when not in use. There really is no hidden secret here, only have the GPS active when it is needed, don’t enable WiFi when the phone is in a back pocket between classes, and keep the screen brightness at a reasonable level. This can all be done with a simple widget or notification widget like Widgetsoid 2.x, which allows for quick and easy toggling of various phone functions.

I am not usually craving phone battery, and my EVO 4G seems to do alright through the day, assuming I don’t spend my hour between classes looking at cat videos on YouTube over Ohio State’s WiFi. So the supposed 1.38x battery life bump I received was not as noticeable as the 4x claims made on Juice Defender Ultimate’s Market page. I can see where this is coming from, however, users who do not know to disable specific wireless connections are sure to see a massive bump in battery life when their GPS isn’t constantly activated. Juice Defender is nice for when these functions have been accidentally left on, and a good option is to automatically disable all wireless data connections when the screen is off. This does conserve some battery, but a problem occurs upon unlocking and immediately utilizing an app that requires an internet connection because there is about a 15 second delay as the phone connects to a data network. The same applies for the option to keep data off unless specific apps are opened. It is a great theory, but in practice, there, again, is a long delay between when the app is opened and when the data connection is finally established.

One final problem I had with Juice Defender is that a few days after installing it my home screen really started to bog down and become sluggish. Individual apps did not seem to be affected other then in the initial launch. I do not have any hard evidence that Juice Defender is the red-handed culprit but I do know that as soon as I disabled it everything resumed normal function and I didn’t experience any more problems.

Overall, Juice Defender Ultimate is best for those who have trouble regulating their connections by themselves or for those with older batteries and need every last percent. For most everyone else, however, Juice Defender Ultimate may just become a superfluous app that will benefit marginally with the chance of compromised performance.

Defender Review

Defender Review

Jan 23, 2012

I think we all have days when we feel besieged. Wave after wave of setbacks try to keep us down, and we soldier on. I may be going out of a limb here, but I think that’s why, subconsciously, defense games are so popular. A horde approaches to knock down your tower, and you are all that is standing between Good and Evil. It can be cathartic to take that feeling of overwhelming odds and turn it into a challenge to beat. And, specifically, to fire arrows at.

Defender is a game with a simple title, and a seemingly simple objective: stop monsters from destroying your tower. You are the tower’s archer, and you use your bow to hold back and destroy the creatures that appear in waves, bent only on breaking through your walls. The instructions are also simple and straight-forward: tap the screen to fire arrows, long-press for continuous fire, and drag-and-drop your spells onto enemies to trigger them. You earn gold killing enemies and crystals for successful level completion. Gold and crystals are them used to upgrade your weapons, defenses, and spells.

One of the things I like about Defender is that when you die you don’t actually lose anything. You start each round with full health and mana, and you also keep any gold you may have earned despite dying. You don’t earn crystals though, so it is still a challenge to increase your strengths without the mana boosts necessary. The game does offer you the option of purchasing extra gold or crystals. Ordinarily I hate the idea of paying extra for game-components, but considering the fact that the game is free…it’s actually completely fair for the developers to try.

I do wish though that they would tweak the attacks mechanics a bit. You have the option of single-firing arrows, but since every enemy needs at least two shots to take it down, you’ll find yourself exclusively using continuous fire immediately. And the problem there is that you end up essentially dragging your finger all over the screen, blocking your own view. As well, the game can’t fire arrows and cast spells at the same time. This is a problem because when you’ve been in continuous fire mode for too long and try to cast a spell the game needs a second to catch up. It doesn’t lag, it just delays your spell cast. This can give enemies the time they need to get past you and score some costly points.