If you've spent any time gaming on Android, you probably remember OpenFeint. Nearly every major game integrated it in some way, usually allowing players to log in with a single username, collect achievements, and post scores to a global leaderboard. It was handy for what it did, but if you didn't care about competing, it felt a lot like obnoxious spamware. Unsurprisingly, it closed down in December of last year. Today, however, it's being sort of reborn as OpenKit, a project headed by one of the co-founders of the original service.
Believe it or don't, Fourquare has grown beyond hipster urbanites who desperately want to be the Mayor of the 6th Street Starbucks. More than a few businesses - independent or otherwise - are seeing the value in the location-based service. To that end, Foursquare has released its free business app on the Play Store, allowing local managers to update their business status for single or multiple locations.
Within the Foursquare for Business app, you can keep tabs on recent check-ins, set specials for users, and look up in-depth statistics for your business's performance on Foursquare.
When it comes to value-added software on Android phones, I'm typically first in line to call "gimmick!" But today, Sony announced a new service for Xperia phones that actually sounds genuinely useful - my Xperia. It's pretty simple, really. You get a web UI that allows you to track your phone on a map, cause it to emit a sound (it even overrides silent mode), lock it and display a message, or remotely wipe it.
There isn't a lot to say about the newest update to the Yelp app for Android, but that doesn't matter - the one notable change is a biggie. Yelp has finally integrated Google Maps API v2 released back in the beginning of December, which rids Yelpers of the terrible WebView Maps API. The new maps API is hardware accelerated and vector-based, drastically increasing performance and level of detail. You get pan, zoom, tilt, and rotate, along with 3D buildings, indoor building maps, landmark labels, and terrain shading.
Blockbuster, the former golden child of movie rentals, is feeling left out lately. No one is paying attention to its online offerings, no doubt partially because it's been broken into a thousand pieces. However, today the company launched a new, central service for renting movies online with just one app for all devices: Blockbuster On Demand.
When we say "rent", we do mean that. There is no subscription option that we see yet, and every movie costs a few bucks to check out for a 24-hour period.
While Google's fledgling music service is pretty good, it's still far from perfect. Most GMusic users could probably jot down a laundry list of issues with both the app and service at a moment's notice; however, Google's slowly-but-surely doing its part to correct some of those problems. Let's take today's Play Music app update for example.
Earlier this month, we took a look at famed Android developer Koushik "Koush" Dutta's newest app: Carbon. Having absolutely nothing to do with the heavily belated Twitter app of the same name, this Carbon is a backup tool for apps and app data. So, how's it different than Titanium Backup? It doesn't require root. To put it mildly, this is something that Android users have longed for since, well, always.
OpenTable is a pretty fantastic app that can help you place reservations at restaurants nearby. While plenty of services let you find local eateries, few help you get in. Once you're seated and eating, though, what do you do? Enjoy your meal? Nah. That's for fancy pants. You should take pictures of your food! That's where Foodspotting comes in.
You see, Foodspotting takes the vanity of snapping shots of your dish and turns it into a service.
If you've got a decent gaming PC and you haven't tried Hawken, you really should give it a try. The free-to-play online shooter captures the atmosphere of a gigantic, hulking death machine in a way that doesn't have an equal, and the first-person perspective and customizable mechs make ita nice tribute to the old Mech Warrior series. And if you've already tried it and liked it, NVIDIA has a promotional live wallpaper that's right up your rusted, diesel-splattered alley.