Aaron Gingrich
Aaron is a geek who has always had a passion for technology. When not working or writing, he can be found spending time with his family, playing a game, or watching a movie.

02
Mar
dunvil

If you've ever taken a look at the top Android games (or if you just follow Android news closely), you've almost certainly heard of Kairosoft before. They're the developer behind major hits like Game Dev Story and Grand Prix story. Now the company is back with a new title: Dungeon Village.

The game looks quite similar to the other titles, but they seem to think it has a bit of an RPG flair to it (though we can't figure out how):

Build a heroic hamlet that warriors and merchants can call home!

02
Mar

In early January, ARCHOS let everyone know that the update to Android 4.0 would be coming "in the near future" to all G9 tablets, and a week later we saw them demoing a said update at CES. The rep at CES said the update was scheduled to roll out in the first week of February - a target which the company obviously missed. Now they've taken to their Facebook page once again to apologize for the delay and announce that "they fully anticipate deploying the upgrade within the next two weeks."

2012-03-02 09h15_17

While the "anticipate" in that sentence leaves the company some wiggle room, it's nice to see the PR-challenged little company who has a spotty past on Android devices at least try to address both shortcomings.

01
Mar
cloudaround_new1

We first discussed the impressively-featured, but somewhat ugly, CloudAround Music Player when it was released about two months ago. The developers promised a "slick new interface" was coming soon, and boy have they delivered - as well as brought some new, even more impressive features.

Let's start with the features first:

  • Full settings section including:
    • Caching limits
    • Cache Clearing
    • Ability to toggle hiding duplicates
    • Force album/artist art scan
    • Prevent artist metadata scanning
    • Wifi only settings
    • Artist art download quality
  • Completely new beautiful UI based on user feedback
    • We've had easily a hundred emails of requests
    • default background images that are easy on the eye
    • default art covers
  • New mini player on the songs listing page, with control as well as progress
  • Enhanced for tablet sized interfaces
  • Landscape and portrait mode for player pages
  • Artist Image Backgrounds
  • Fixed foundation layer to provide for a more reliable player under OS stress
  • Improved stream times
  • Ability to hide/unhide artists/albums/songs from user view
  • Performance boosts, which were critical for massive cloud accounts

When they say brand new interface, they really mean it.

01
Mar
sony_mwc2012

Sony brought some sleek new devices to MWC, but we were surprised to see nothing truly groundbreaking - specifically, a lack of quad-core CPUs. CNET Asia got a few minutes with Stephen Sneeden, product marketing manager for Sony Mobile, and he clarified the companies stance, saying that we likely won't see quad-core phones from the company until early 2013.

"We're going to join quad-core when we feel that the performance matches the battery efficiency," he said.

01
Mar
htc_one_sense4

Back in the early days of Android, HTC's Sense UI really stood out as a much-needed step up in the UI department, compared both to stock Android and to competitors custom UIs. Like a hard-partying rock star, though, it just didn't age well; it went from sleek, helpful, and attractive, to bloated and borderline obtrusive. Sense 4.0 - which we spotted slapped atop of Ice Cream Sandwich - was definitely a step against that direction in some ways, but still offended some people - Cameron included.

29
Feb
half

Popular game, book, and textbook site Half.com (owned and operated by eBay) now has an official app, and as with just about every other shopping app, it allows you to browse the virtual store shelves, search for specific items, and place orders. It also includes a nifty barcode scanner to help make sure you snag the right item (and don't get ripped off... *ahem* college bookstores).

With the Half.com Android application you can buy media titles in books, textbooks, movies, music, games and game systems - anytime, anywhere.

26
Feb
Google-Music-Logo

Earlier this week, unofficial word came out that Google wasn't happy with Music's performance to date. I attribute part of the problem to the mediocre music app, though that's something that could be remedied by the unofficial Google Music API in the near future. Despite its shortcomings, some people - myself included - use the app. Others use the app that comes stock bundled with manufacturer UIs (for example, Sense, TouchWiz, and Blur all include their own custom music players).

26
Feb
gmusic

A few days ago, we heard unofficial reports that Google was disappointed with the performance of Music thus far. While it's barely been out for a full quarter to date, there have been a few major factors holding the service back. In my opinion, one of the biggest factors holding it back thus far is the lack of an API - or, in English: third-party app support for the service. Luckily, a developer by the name of Simon Weber read the post about Google Music and got in touch a few days ago to let me know that he had a solution to the problem: an unofficial API he's been working on.

25
Feb
2012-02-25 09h01_58

A few months ago, Liam spent some time with 17 mobile security apps, one of which was an app called Cerberus. He came away quite impressed - so impressed, in fact, that he crowned it the winner (and, as a license is just $4, it was also crowned the best for the budget-minded).

The app is always free to download and comes with a 1 week free trial, but a lifetime license is normally $4.

24
Feb
db_cameraupload

Just three short weeks ago, we shared news of a major update to Dropbox for Android that, among other things, brought automatic photo/video syncing to the service. At the time, it was still in beta and only available for download directly from Dropbox, but now a final version of the update has hit the Market. The changelog:

  1. Allows you to automatically uploads photos and videos in the background using Wi-Fi or data plan
  2. Up to 3 GB of free space for uploading photos automatically (in 500 MB increments)
  3. Upload files of any size
  4. Various performance improvements & bug fixes
  5. Heads up, Dropbox can no longer be installed on your SD Card due to more secure credential storage.

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