The perennial favorite of Firefox and Chrome power users has arrived. Adblock Plus for Android was just released to the Google Play Store, compatible with all devices running 2.1 or higher. Just like its desktop counterparts, it'll block ads in your browser... but only in certain circumstances. Those who are rooted (regardless of Android version) will block all ads in the standard browser and Chrome. If you're not rooted, it'll block ads on WiFi for Android 3.1 or later.
Top-down shooters, also known as "bullet hell" games, are fairly common on mobile platforms. But rarely have we seen one with the complexity and artistry of this one. AstroWings3: Icarus is the latest in a series that started on iOS, and the first to make the warp jump to Android. Don't let that dissuade you, though - it's well worth your attention if you're a fan of the genre. Customizable weapons and screen-filling attacks are par for the course, and the loose connection to Greco-Roman mythology gives the game a nice presentation.
With the advent of the latest and greatest APIs, amazing new apps have been made possible. Unfortunately, these developments have also given rise to another, more insidious trend on Google Play: cruel and unusual advertising. For example, ad network SellARing allows developers to play a 10-second audio ad whenever users make a phone call.
Fortunately, Lookout recently released an app called "Ad Network Detector" to help with such obnoxious, intrusive ads; however, up until today, SellARing was not among the detected networks.
Remember Airpush, the ad network that was widely considered one of the most intrusive, irritating methods of advertising in existence (so much so that Lookout released a special app to fight it off)? Well, it looks like the folks at SellARing (pronounced "sell a ring") have come up with something even more insidious.
SellARing's ad network essentially allows associated apps to replace the familiar "ring ring" sound you hear after dialing a number with a selection of 10-second audio ads.
There comes a time in every action hero's life where he gets tired of the explosions and the fighting and race horses duct taped to SCUD missiles, and longs for a simple life. Camping and going on road trips with the family, getting a nice office job, sending your daughter off to get kidnapped in Paris. Verizon's Droid Does campaign has hit a similar milestone. After very successfully selling a metric ton of Android devices with harsh, scary looking robot arms and not to mention evil, horror-esque iPhone taunts, the ad campaign is going for a less threatening and more heart-warming approach.
Paid app models have always been fascinating to me - I've even had a TODO sitting around in my post ideas list to explore various methods of distributing software without inundating users too much. Pro features, time trials, disabling ads for money, in-app key unlocks, lite versions, paid-only ones without trials - these are all on the list and all have their pluses and minuses.
This new idea, however, is so radical, brilliant, and crazy compared to the rest that I think it might just work, and I'd like to run it by you to see if I'm not alone.
Here I was, innocently browsing the Yahoo homepage today (I use it as a random site to test my tethered connection), minding my own business. Imagine my surprise when the main navigation column suddenly started peeling off to reveal a so-dear-to-my-heart EVO 4G. Continuing to watch this technique, I observed a flat screen TV and a Blu-ray player before finally seeing the perpetrator on the right - Best Buy. While I'm not usually a fan of Flash ads, this one amused me and reminded me of the upcoming holidays with all the presents that still needed to be bought.
When you use free software, ads are usually part-and-parcel of the experience. However, typically developers are considerate enough to limit the advertising to within the app itself. Sadly, whoever programmed the popular document viewing application QuickOffice lacks such scruples and has decided to start pushing notifications to users, inviting them to upgrade to the paid version of their app. In many cases, QuickOffice is pre-installed with a phone's version of Android - even something carrier agnostic like the Nexus One - and is difficult to remove, leaving non-root users at the mercy of the app's creators.