Posts Tagged ‘android’

The Moron Test (Android)

Posted: September 16, 2010 in Android, Android Apps
Tags: ,

The Moron Test Start Screen

Pros & Cons:

Pros

  • Highly addictive, frustrating and fun all at the same time
  • Great time-waster game

Features:

The Moron Test is one of those highly addictive, frustrating yet fun brain and puzzle games that migrated from the iPhone platform first. Don’t take too much offense it the game labels you a “moron”, it’s all in good fun similar to “Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?” The game takes you through a series of though provoking questions and actions, the key to the game simply is to pay attention. Many times you’re given subtle clues, straight-forward questions, memory teasing questions, or even deceptive questions and techniques to keep the game interesting and challenging! Maybe you do or maybe you don’t want to share your moronic results, but it’s possible to share with friends on Facebook.

Fun Factor & Addictive:

The Moron Test is totally fun, challenging and addictive! A great time-waster, can even be a cool family night game to get the whole gang involved.

Graphics:

The game hosts shiny fun colorful graphics. For Android specifically, it’s cool the app allows saving to SD card as progressing in higher rounds… the space can add up.

Accelerometer, Vibration & Sound:

The game features background music and sound which can be toggled. (androidtapp)

You can download at : www.androidtapp.com/the-moron-test/

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Tom Clancy’s H.A.W.X.

Pros & Cons:

Pros

  • Awesome 3D graphics with integration of real locations for air combat
  • PSP game quality for Android
  • Local multi-player mode for up to 4 players
  • Gameloft offering free trial for high end Android devices
  • Large game saved to SD Card

Cons

  • Not available in the Android Market, you must purchase from Gameloft directly
  • No multi-touch

Features:

Tom Clancy’s H.A.W.X. on Android is the mobile version of Ubisoft’s full game console versionoffering first-person jet fighter 3D game which uses either on-screen virtual joystick or the phone’s accelerometer to control the aircraft. Your goal is to complete numerous missions albeit air combat, bombing ground enemies, or providing air-to-ground support for troops; this game exhibits great 3D gaming experience for Android devices.

On-Screen Controls

What I like about this game (or many other first-person combat Gameloft games license from major game makers) is the walk-through training sessions you can conquer before completing missions to get you acquainted with game play controls. I personally opted for the on-screen virtual joystick over accelerometer controls however one gripe there is the app is not multi-touch supported 😦 so I quickly went back to accelerometer controls. So if you’re playing with the virtual joystick you would have to let it go for a split second in order to use other things like firing, toggling camera, speed or maneuvering.

Controlling the modern planes are computer assisted so you merely only have to worry about pictch (up/down), roll (spin left/right), turns and weapons auto-lock and are fire guided to targets… so all you have to do is maneuver, lock and fire!

Describing the on-screen controls starting in the top left going clockwise you’ll find: pause button, fuel level, mission oblective notes, pictured targets to destroy, machine gun fire toggle, rocket fire toggle, pan left/right controls, (if applicable) vitrual joystick, and camera toggle.

Local Multi-player Mode

Local multi-player mode is cool when you can a few friends have the game and want to do some dogfighting amongst either other and show off your air combat skills. This feature would be even cooler if you could quick battle online like Skies of Glory.

Fun Factor & Addictive:

If you’re into Tom Clancy’s H.A.W.X. games, or air combat games, or first person shooter games… you’ll love this popular title on your phone. The action and game play gets intense with choice of fighter planes and 3D renderings of real locations you fly and fight over.

Graphics:

As mentioned the 3D graphics are awesome and brings a PSP level of gaming to Android. You can see attention to detail in scenery, visual effects such as winds and cloud streams, on to explosions.

Accelerometer, Vibration & Sound:

Tom Clancy’s H.A.W.X. utilizes the phone’s accelerometer, of course sound effects and even characters within the game instructing your mission plus vibration when taking hits and crashes.(androidtapp)

You can download at : www.androidtapp.com/tom-clancy’s-h-a-w-x/

Assassin’s Creed: Altair’s Chronicles should look somewhat familiar to you. It was released in 2008 on the Nintendo DS and in 2009 for iPhone. And now Gameloft has ported the adventure to Android.

If you were a fan of Ubisoft’s ambitious Xbox 360/PlayStation 3 production, you know the set-up. An assassin named Altair is scouring the Holy Land for the means to bring down the Templar knights, an organization with sinister designs on the world in this narrative. The iPhone game serves as a prequel to the console game. Altair is in search of a specific artifact called “The Chalice,” which possibly has the power to bring the ugly Crusades to an early, merciful end. But seeking this relic raises more questions than it answers, setting up the console game, which I consider to have one of the best fictions in videogames in quite some time despite its uneven game mechanics.

As Altair, you must use your stealth abilities to seek the Chalice. The rooftops, awning, and beams that stretch across the grand cities of the medieval Holy Land are your playground. Careful movement above the sandy streets will keep you out of harm’s way for the most part, although occasionally you must descend to the avenues below and draw blood. Altair has a sword that can be upgraded, but there are other devices and items he uses in his quest, such as a grappling hook and bombs. Altair’s signature weapon, though, is his hidden dagger that is used to silently execute enemies and not raise the alarm of dozens of guards and Templar reinforcements.

As you explore the Holy Land, you will pick up hundreds of blue orbs that can be traded in for upgrades, such as expanding Altair’s health bar or the aforementioned sword. Personally, I tended to lean on sword upgrades because I wanted to make sure I could overpower enemies in any combat situation. I would accidentally blow a stealth situation by walking through a crowd too fast or stumble off a rooftop and land on the street below, just within striking distance of a Templar.

Naturally, this raises the issue of control. I think the control stick here is a little looser which does prevent absolute precision and will cause occasional mishaps, but for the most part, I really don’t have any major problems with how the game handles. The combat buttons work great, although the shield button placement over by the control stick is awkward. While there are some automated actions, like scrambling up a wall, I do wish that some small jumps were also self-propelled. The jump button works without a problem, but an auto-jump would help casual gamers by taking one less button out of the mix.

One feature in Assassin’s Creed I do not care for, though, are the minigames. I think they are pointless holdovers from the DS version. They felt tacked-on back then, like Gameloft was trying to integrate the DS touchscreen some way… any way. They don’t fare much better here. They function, but add nothing to the overall game. They feel gimmicky in a game that needs no gimmicks.

As mentioned earlier in the review, Assassin’s Creed looks fantastic. Everything — from the textures on Altair’s robes to the crackling fire effects — is brighter, crisper, and more detailed in this edition of the game versus the DS. However, Assassin’s Creed is not necessarily the smoothest play on a Droid. There is some framerate chugging here and there that mars the experience. However, some users have mentioned that Creed runs better on newer handsets. (ign)

Published by: Gameloft
Developed by: Gameloft
Genre: Action
Release Date: US: September 13, 2010
Also Available On: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC,Wireless, iPhone, Android
Also known as: Assassin’s Creed

Finger Race (Android)

Posted: September 13, 2010 in Android, Android Apps
Tags: ,

There isn’t much to say about this Android-based game (of sorts): select from 1-, 2-, and 5-meter lengths via options (actually centimeters once you get on the track), then proceed to “run” your fingers across the screen until the counter hits zero. The goal is fastest time, and longer swipes will get you to the goal faster. It’s about as barebones as you can get — at least the textured track scrolls as you make your dash — but we’re sure there’s enough people out there with a competitive streak that’ll love to challenge friends and family. Besides, it’s free, and if you’re the sort who downloads a ton of apps anyway, it’s good exercise for when you need to scroll through your library. You know what? We think the video explains it best — do check it out after the break. (engadget)

DROID X leaked Android 2.2 Froyo ROM

Still aching for that Android 2.2 update to roll out to your beloved DROID X?  Well, we still don’t have any word on when the official upgrade will hit (other than “late summer”), but there is a new leaked Froyo ROM for you to load onto your rooted DROID X!  In order to install the new ROM, you’ll have to be rooted and use Koush’s bootstrapper.  As with any new ROM, some users have experienced a few issues with installation, but others are reporting that this new build is running smoothly.  If you’re interested, you can find the necessary download links and instructions righthere.  Just remember that any time you hack with you phone, you run the risk of seriously messing it up.  Be careful!

Considering no one knows exactly when the official Android 2.2 update will finally roll out (we’ve heard early September in the past), it’s good to see the DX hacking community sharing new builds of the OS for impatient users.  Just remember that Motorola has said in the past that they won’t be providing an upgrade path to the official builds if you install any leaked ROM.  Also, if you do plan on loading this leaked build of Froyo, you should probably do it as soon as possible, as the last leaked ROM had to be pulled thanks to a cease and desist letter from Moto.  If you’ve already got the new build loaded up onto your DROID X, let us know about your experience! (phonedog)

Google just updated Maps for Android to version 4.5, and this one is a doozy. Three fairly substantial features have been added into the app to increase usability and provide a seamless experience no matter what method of travel you choose.
navigationiconwalking_croppedwalk12_cropped
The most major update is the inclusion of Walking Navigation (beta, of course), what Google deems the “marriage” of Navigation and walking directions. You will get the same trusty navigation you have come to love from Google Maps with some tweaks here and there. Obviously, walking navigation uses walking directions to provide the most efficient route for a pedestrian, and does so with satellite view as the default for easy identification of landmarks. The screen and map orient to the way you hold your phone and the direction you face, and upcoming turns have vibration notifications so you don’t get lost with your phone in your pocket.
The next update comes in the form of Street View smart navigation. With this update using street view now feels a lot more like its desktop counterpart. Simply drag and drop Pegman where you want to view and the app will zip you off like you’re in the real world.

The final addition is a new Google Maps search bar. The new bar is always available at the top of Maps to be accessed quickly to search, open Places, toggle Layers, or pinpoint your current location. Results can be filtered by distance or rating, pricing of local businesses are categorized, and cross streets are listed. (phandroid)

For cable and satellite television providers, mobile DVR programming capability is arguably the new HD. Well, no, 3D is actually the new HD… but regardless, being able to set up recording from afar is a must-have feature that’s being rolled out far and wide. Cablevision is the latest to get into the game this week now that its Optimum app is available both in the App Store for iOS devices and in the Android Market, giving access to channel lineups and listings along with the ability to set up new recordings (either for single episodes or series) and delete stuff you don’t want anymore. It might not be quite as trick as Dish Network’sSling integration… but then again, Cablevision doesn’t own Sling. So it goes! Follow the break for the full press release. (engadget)

nook_android-300x59NOOK is getting another update for Android, this time to version 2.2 of the software that has already seen several new APKs dished out over the past couple of months. The latest version of the app for accessing the Barnes & Noble eBookstore and its over one million titles adds in QuickActions to provide pop-up menus for certain items such as eBook selections in the library with common tasks such as “Details,” “LendMe,” “More By,” and “Buy Now.”

The reader has become more customizable and several options have been added to improve the overall experience, including more line spacing and margin options, the ability to turn text justification on and off, and an improved settings screen. The option is also present to hide the status bar during reading. Typical bug fixes and performance enhancements are also present. (phandroid)

Download the app by snapping the QR code below:

nookqr

Angry Birds (Android)

Posted: September 10, 2010 in Android, Android Apps
Tags: ,

Angry Birds Pros & Cons:

Pros

  • Very fun, challenging and addictive game which makes it so popular
  • Really smooth game graphics and game play

Cons

  • Although in “Beta” some HTC Evo & HTC Incredible owners are getting “Forced Closed” errors

Features:

Angry Birds is one of the most popular games for iPhone and has made  it’s way to Android with a “Beta” label. Your objective is to sling up to five angry birds at a loosely made structure with pigs inside and destroy it all giving the birds their vengeance. Get bonus points for destroying it all with birds left over, else if you don’t destroy it all and use all your birds you fail the round.

Fun Factor & Addictive:

What makes this game a hit is how easily it becomes addictive and can have you spending hours figuring out best possible ways to destroy the structures in the least possible slings.

Graphics:

Angry Birds on Android has the same super smooth graphics and game play as on iPhone. The stages can be panned around to get a better idea of where you need to strike, merge that with fluid parallax movement and vibrant vector graphics and you’ve got a lively winner!

Accelerometer, Vibration & Sound:

Angry Birds features background sound effect snickers, which sound familiar to Gizmo and Gremlin tauts from the classic Steven Spielberg movies, that can be toggled. (androidtapp)

You can download it at : www.androidtapp.com/angry-birds/

Android Tablet Buying Tips

Posted: September 10, 2010 in Android, Tablets
Tags: ,

Android Tablet Buying Tips

If you look at the market today, it would seem that an Android tablet is something yet to come. And while that is true for the most part, you can buy Android tablets as we speak from many sources. Sure, they may not be brand names, but the prices are attractive, and… they are available. But as with any cutting edge product that is making its way onto the market, there is one thing to remember – Caveat emptor, let the buyer beware.

After all, little is known as to what to expect from an Android tablet. And, being that it is a new product in a new market niche with more or less undefined user expectations, it would be easy to make a lot of assumptions that there is a certain level of functionality present. But a quick scan of what is available proves that this is not the case. And we should expect Android tablets, with their free operating system, to be available from a lot of sources. The floodgates are building.

So, what should a potential Android tablet buyer look for? Well, the most logical answer is simple – the one that will address your needs. If you need only the most basic functionality, then a lot of products will fit the bill. But you just might discover that you grow quickly beyond the most basic uses, and at that point looking for a capable device will have been beneficial. And what key features should you look for in a Android tablet? Let’s look at some that I feel should be present in any practical Android tablet.

Android 3.0

Of all of the things that I am convinced an Android tablet needs to have, this is the most important for sustained usability – it must run, or be able to run, Android 3.0. This not only sets you up for strong future app compatibility, but it also adds many features that will make your tablet experience nicer.

Such details include support of higher resolution graphics (prior Android was targeted towards the smaller phone displays) and better battery management. The interface has been standardized, with a revamped display and animated actions. By comparison the previous version of Android looks utilitarian. And you do want a pleasant tablet interface that will support the higher resolution, trust me.

On top of that, Android 3.0 is expected to bring a better app store and streaming music capability. Plus, the specs for Android 3.0 call for at least a 1GHz processor with 512MB of ram. A lot of the Android tablets in the wild today do not meet these specs, and app performance may suffer as a result.

Multi-Touch Support

If you are looking at a tablet today, you may think that having a multi-touch is standard. But a lot of the Android tablets on the market today are single touch only. This means that your control will be limited to only basic operations, such as icons, scrolling, etc. There is no pinch to zoom, and rotating a picture using two fingers is impossible.

As time goes on I believe the single touch tablet will be phased out completely, and then it could cost more to do a single touch tablet than the more popular version. But until then, I would suggest to research the tablet and make sure that it is multi-touch before purchase.

Decent Pixel Resolution

If you are buying an Android tablet, you may want to use it as a reader. And one of the great things about a tablet reader is the ability to see full page views of magazines and PDFs. But if the tablet does not have a decent screen resolution, that full page view can quickly degenerate into a “What does that say” guessing game. This is even more pronounced on some PDFs that cannot be easily navigated outside of a full page view.

Instead, try to limit your tablet choices to those that have a worthy display, pixel wise. I would suggest that any tablet under 1024 x 600 (rotation orientation notwithstanding) not be considered as a logical choice. In fact, having a crisp screen is so important on a tablet that I would suggest this resolution be the bare minimum starting point, with a nod towards a 1280 x 760 as being preferred.

Why 1280 x 760? Well, if you have been reading up to this point, you will realize that a decent screen pretty much requires Android 3.0. And what is the new resolution support in 3.0? You guessed it, 1280 x 760. Having this resolution would not only give you a better full page view, but it would validate that the tablet was built for Android 3.0, not an Android tablet put out at the last minute.

Of course, I would not kick a 1024 pixel unit to the curb any time soon. As proven by other tablets on the market, such a display can render a very readable full page view. But I would consider that to be a practical minimum.

Ample Internal Memory or Memory Card Slot

Hopefully you will only consider an Android 3.0 tablet, which means that you will have a minimum of 512MB for the tablet to operate on. But you still want storage space for all of your apps and media. For this you’ll want gigs. As to how many gigs will vary by person, but at least 16GB.

Of course, this does not all have to be internal to the tablet. Some Android tablets now ship with memory card slots that allow you to easily expand memory as required. This will be fine for most uses, but you should factor in the price of a memory card in the overall cost for the tablet. And if you have a few spare cards, then judge accordingly.

If the tablet in mind does not have memory card expansion AND it has less than 16GB, then my answer is simple – walk away. Despite many accesible online storage solutions, to be practical you need storage. Maybe at a later date, when mobile coverage is everywhere and carriers have dropped monthly traffic caps, then it will be a non-issue. But for now, get the storage room.

Fast Enough Processor

Again, if you are getting Android 3.0, the specs have you covered here. The minimum I would suggest (and as the specs call for) is a 1GHz processor. Anything less than this and you will find a tablet to be a very slow and unrewarding experience. And anything too fast could have a horrible battery life. So shoot for around 1.0 GHz and you will probably be okay for this generation or so.

Camera

Now this one is open to interpretation. Some of you may have a use in mind for a tablet that does not require a camera. And that makes perfect sense. But if you are thinking about a tablet as a communications device, then just imagine how much better they can be with  a camera ala Skype or similar. I would put this as optional, depending on your intended use. But it does bear mentioning, since it can avoid the dreaded face palm later if it is overlooked.

USB Port(s)

This is another optional feature that should at least be considered. If you need access to flash drives, then having a port to plug them in would be nice. In my opinion a lot of users with an Android tablet may not need these, as a tablet tends to be a casual use device. But if you even think you might need one, make it a requirement. Even Android tablets available today have them on board, so it might be harder to find one without, than with a USB port. Still, verify that the tablet is so equipped if this is a perceived need.

There are other things to look for in an Android tablet, but they can vary as far as intended uses and desired conveniences go. For example, many users may really want a common USB mini socket to make recharging and interfacing simple. Whatever your needs, verifying that the minimum features are in place will make sure that your Android tablet experience will be a good one. (androidtapp)