Coming across a genuinely new launcher interface and paradigm on Android is rare. Most third-party clients try to emulate the default Android launcher and add some customizations and improvements here and there. Not to undermine the power of something like Nova Launcher, but there's only so many times you can swipe left and right between homescreens or tap to open and close an app drawer before you wonder what that new launcher you installed does differently. If you seek the novelty of a new welcoming interface each time you unlock your phone, choices are somewhat more limited especially if you want a reliable and simple app, not one that has been built for the sake of difference more than usability. Read More
Dash is one in a slowly growing number of Android options that lets you track where your car is, where you've traveled, and how much gas you've burned up. To make things simple, it combines everything into a basic scoring mechanism - though this is only part of the app's appeal. Those of you with older cars can see why your check engine light came on without having to go to a mechanic, and the enthusiasts among you can turn to the app as an extension of your dashboard that provides more information than your vehicle manufacturer deemed necessary.
Not too long ago I took a look at Automatic, a $99 onboard diagnostics tool that plugs into your car and, working with a similar app, can help you save gas and better keep up with maintenance. Unsurprisingly, this drew immediate comparisons to Dash, considering it beat Automatic to the punch with more features and a drastically lower price tag (free, assuming you have Bluetooth-enabled OBD2 dongle lying around) earlier this year. Read More
Why would you want to watch TV shows on a TV? That’s so 2005. The options for live streaming your favorite TV shows on various devices abound. But until now, the options for live streaming on Android were hard to come by. None of the popular apps (Hulu, Netflix, Crackle, etc.) have this feature. This is why Aereo is different. It has been available for a while on iOS, although curiously not through an app, but via the browser. Now it’s available for Android in the Google Play store. This is great news for cord cutters. You no longer need to walk around with your fingers in your ears to avoid those Glee spoilers, while awaiting its availability on Hulu. Read More
When we first covered Adobe's "new" Photoshop Touch for smartphones, we were skeptical - after all, the tablet version wasn't cheap, a and an extra five bucks for what was essentially the same app seemed like a bit of a rip-off. (Adobe isn't exactly known for their reasonable pricing in any case.) But after using it extensively, I can say that not only is it worth every penny, it's worth it even if you already own the tablet version.
I don't say that lightly - in a former life I was a graphic designer, and I've paid entirely too much money to this particular company over the years. Read More
My fondest memories of the original Star Wars films were the starfighter dogfights. The first time you see the assault run on the Death Star, or the ill-fated attack on the second before it was finished, it's really cool to watch a bunch of fighter craft flying around, blowing the heck out of each other. Every once in a while, you can get the same sense of scale and calamity in a game - usually of the real-time strategy variety.
Eufloria is a game that manages to capture this sense of chaos, allowing you to zoom out to see the entire asteroid belt you're capable of conquering, or to zoom in completely to see each individual ship firing lasers at targets. Read More
It's safe to say that while point-and-click adventure games have a very niche market, there's a select few mediums where they work well. Touch devices and PCs have always been prime candidates, as their interfaces lend themselves to a control scheme that isn't overly complicated: click to move, click to interact, click to do everything.
Especially with this year's The Walking Dead games garnering so much praise, the genre could be in for a little bit of a renaissance. With the recent release of Broken Sword II - The Smoking Mirror: Remastered, Android gamers will get an updated look at a game that many have touted as one of the best adventures in the genre. Read More
It's hard out there for a photo app these days. After the runaway success of Instagram, a lot of imitators popped up thinking that if they offered the same "snap, filter and share" features, users would flock to them, as well.
Sadly, this means that we have legions of piss-poor imitations without any clear alternatives; as the filter features became more ubiquitous, they almost provoke a roll of the eyes when announced. Unless an app fixes glaring problems with the market leader or offers some other kind of of advantage, users will find themselves wondering "What's the point?"
I was interested when it was announced that Google would be acquiring the Snapseed because it seemed almost in reaction to Facebook's purchase of Instagram. Read More
Despite Twitter making it difficult for developers to maintain third-party clients, they just keep popping up. This week, we take a look at Falcon Pro, which seems to marry the idea of beauty, functionality, and smooth animations into a solid contender for the best of its kind.
Hey look, we're in this screenshot!
Falcon Pro had roots as Falcon, a Twitter widget that was fully-functional and looked damned good, to boot. However, fans were restless for a full client release, so the development team released Falcon Pro, first as a beta and now as a complete package. Read More
I first played Cipher Prime's Splice when it was part of a recent fourth Humble Bundle, and it still enjoys a place in my Installed Games list on Steam. It's a puzzle game that involves taking different strains of bacteria and "splicing" them, moving around cells in order to fit an provided outline. Of course, you have a set amount of moves, and added "mutation" cells will change the game in different ways: for instance, one mutation will cause each cell attached to it to grow, or split identically. The trick is to plan ahead and think strategically in order to finish each level and move on. Read More
As gamers, we've all become familiar with the tie-in title. These are usually released in conjunction with a movie or TV show to widen its exposure, and historically they're usually pretty sub-par.
However, Disney's Wreck-It Ralph subverts this trope because it's in the unique position of being based off of video games. That's kind of hard to mess up.
Wreck-It Ralph is a series of three (soon to be four) arcade games that feature characters and environments from the movie. The first is a direct port of the Fix-It Felix Jr. arcade game that Ralph calls home, the second will remind players of Doodle Jump and other "bounce as high as you can" games, and the third is a very modest twin-joystick shooter. Read More