Earlier today, a tip about a new augmented reality game called HoopsAR hit our inbox. Since augmented reality is a relatively new and kind of cool subject, I decided to take a deeper look and go hands-on. Before I could play the game, I needed to print out a basketball "ticket" which serves as the game board. The phone's camera then scans it and overlays the court on top of it in 3D.
Last week, due to Google I/O, I did not have proper time to put into making the roundup, so this week contains apps from the last 2 weeks. This is the first part of the roundup with games and live wallpapers.
When Amazon Cloud Player hit the scene, my exact words were "Google Music who?" and now that Google Music Beta invites are starting to rollout to the masses, I can aptly answer that question.
I've used Amazon Cloud Player as the primary music player on my Android phone since its inception at the end of March, so I've become quite familiar with how it works. The service has its pros and cons (like any service, I suppose), but overall I am a big fan.
PayPal for Android has, at long last, been updated with a killer-feature iUsers have enjoyed since last October: camera-based check scanning and depositing. As a frequent PayPal user, myself, I have to say: this is awesome. Checks are the very bane of my (financial) existence; I mean, who uses checks? Every time I get one of those evil little slips, I scurry down to my local Wells Fargo, wasting precious gasoline and time - assuming it doesn't just sit on my desk for a month, taunting me with its hand-scrawled promise of currency (if you haven't noticed, I'm kind of lazy.)
Yes, I'm poor
While I could wait for Wells Fargo to implement such a feature, I might be waiting a while: their Android app is still just a URL bar-less mobile web page.
It's not exactly news that mobile devices are quickly becoming one of the most popular ways to consume data. From Twitter feeds to RSS, it's becoming increasingly common to see people reading on their devices, whether it be a tablet, e-reader or phone.
The Search for Simplicity
However, a problem I ran into was that not all web sites are optimized for reading on a mobile device. While some sites have the decency to have a mobile theme, others load in full view and have trouble wrapping text to a zoomed-in screen.
Last week we told you that the private beta for Dolphin Browser HD 5 had leaked, and I guess the Dolphin Team decided that since the cat was already out of the bag, they should go ahead and give the users what they want and officially make the beta public.
This version includes all of the same features as the private beta, plus some speed and stability optimizations. If you want to give this updated beta a shot, head over to the Dolphin Blog for download.
Anyone who has ever ventured into the world of alternative launchers has surely heard of LauncherPro, the favorite homescreen replacement of many. The developer of LP has released an update today that brings the version number up to 0.8.6 and a number of other features with it. Take a peep at the changelog:
Listening to tunes on your Android device is serious business - no doubt about it.
It's so serious that many of us are pretty well set in our ways for what we consider the "choice" Android music-listening application, and we aren't willing to budge on it.
PowerAMP users, for example, swear by the application's seemingly endless list of customizations and options. On the other hand, Subsonic devotees like myself are advocates of what is probably the most configurable music streaming experience in existence.
Cerulean Studios, creator of the popular cross-platform IM client Trillian, recently announced that all versions of the aforementioned product would transition to a free-with-ads model, as opposed to a paid download. Even though this change took place about a week ago, it looks like the Market listing has finally been updated to reflect accordingly.
Users are still able to subscribe to a paid service that is ad-free and adds new features, like the ability to view chat histories online.
Users of Synology branded NAS (network attached storage) boxes have been pleading with the company for a long time to add Android support for direct file management to the existing suite of apps - DS Audio, DS Photo+, and DS Cam. While having apps dedicated to remotely playing music, looking at pictures, and monitoring cameras is great, the primary functionality one would naturally want from a pile of hard drives attached to the network is, well, file management.