When Horn arrived on that other mobile platform a couple weeks ago, it was met with plenty of praise. Now Horn is available on Android, and it still stands out among all categories of games. Horn is built from the ground up with an awareness that it will be played on a touchscreen device, and it shows. From the impressive graphics to the unique story, Horn has a lot to show off. Let's dig in and see if it's a must-have.
You play as Horn, the blacksmith's apprentice who awakens one day to find everyone in the village has been transformed into mechanical monsters by a curse.
One of the worst phrases a human being can put together is "automatic video editor." The whole thing feels like it's set up for failure. Like "vasectomy in a box" or "snooki's pregnant." Add in "for Android" and, well, let's just say I've been burned before. So it came as an unbelievable shock when I tried out Magisto, which claims to be both of these things, and it was good. I mean, really good. It doesn't offer you any control at all, but it does the job for the regular Joe or Jane in fantastic form.
"Unique" is the name of the game with the Archos 101 XS. Just about every design decision goes against the status quo. Most tablets are made out of aluminum or plastic, but Archos went with stainless steel and a plastic rim. It's a tablet-laptop hybrid, but there's no hinge, everything is held together with a kickstand and some magnets. The included keyboard dock also doubles as a magnetic cover. At a time when some Android OEMs are accusedfound guilty of doing little more than firing up a photocopier, some out-of-the-box thinking is very much appreciated.
It's only $400 for the tablet and keyboard, so we're firmly in budget territory here.
Wireless headphones are a rapidly emerging market, thanks to the continually growing proportion of the population that own Bluetooth-enabled smartphones and tablets. On-ear wireless headphones, in particular, are picking up. We've reviewed several of these style of headphones, and found performance and price to vary wildly. You can spend $30 on a bargain-bin set of wireless headphones, or upwards of $400-500 for some of the name brand audiophile products out there. And at those extremes, it's a little easier to weed out the "real deal" from the junk. But in the middle of the road, around the $80-150 mark, things get a little less clear.
Bluetooth connectivity is an increasingly common feature request in our ever-more smartphone and tablet-centric world. It has grown from the simple communication medium of the god-awful earpieces everyone hates you for wearing into a widely-used wireless audio standard. Portable speakers, cars, and headphones are all latching onto it. But what about your 2.1 system? I know I've always wished I could easily push music to my own stereo setup without messy PC software or dongle attachments. I want it to just work. Luckily, such a thing does exist.
And if you're in the market for a stereo speaker system, one that's well-suited for a desktop or smaller bedroom television setup - and you demand Bluetooth connectivity - the Prisma BTs are one of your very few choices, though they are a pretty good one.
My significant other likes to pretend the next car we buy will have TVs integrated into the headrests to keep our kids occupied on long trips. I can assure you, it will not - after all, that's an option that costs thousands of dollars, and is usually only offered on luxury cars (which we can't afford) and minivans (just no) as it is. But, as it turns out, it's not all that hard to one-up integrated TVs: you can slap on a sleek, adjustable headrest mount.
The benefits of using a mount rather than buying integrated are obvious. The first is, of course, cost - most people can't afford to buy a high-end luxury car or topped-out minivan plus the few thousand dollars it costs for the option. Even those who can will likely find outdated systems, and one that's probably not touch-driven and definitely doesn't have the flexibility of Android.
I am sort of becoming the Bluetooth speaker guy here at Android Police, and the more such products I review, the more I find I'm not impressed with a lot of the current market leaders. Most of all, I'm unimpressed with their price-to-performance ratio. So often, Bluetooth speakers overpromise with buzzwords like "amazing clarity," "deep bass," and "rich sound" (how the hell is sound rich?). I get tired of it, especially since most of these promises are meaningless, recycled advertising drivel that belongs on a late-night infomercial. You have to separate reality from marketing-speak. Luckily, today, I haven't had to.
The Rocketeer taught me three important lessons when I was a kid: Jennifer Connelly is smoking hot, Nazis are all evil, and the only thing cooler than a test pilot in pre-war Hollywood is a test pilot with a rocket pack stolen from Howard Hughes. Along those lines, Halfbrick's Jetpack Joyride made quite a splash on iOS, and now it's available on Android as a free game supported by in-app purchases. For the moment it's available only on the Amazon Appstore, but Amazon will kindly give you a $1 credit to download the game. That alone should be enough to catch your attention, but there's a great game in there as well.
When it comes to speakers, cost can make a huge difference. Cheaper speakers tend to pack lower-grade materials, while more expensive ones tend to pack better. But every now and then, you'll find a true gem; a speaker that performs well above its price range. And luckily for me, the Satechi Swift is such a gem.
Portable Bluetooth speakers in particular are a dime a dozen, though the most well known is undoubtedly the Jawbone Jambox. It's a good speaker, but with a retail price of nearly $200, you're paying for panache as much as you are for sound. What makes the Swift so special?
As a tech writer, I have lots of gadgets. Smartphones, tablets, and all sorts of other fun stuff. Because of this, new accessories aren't something that I'm often super-impressed with. Every once in a while, though, a new product lands in my hands that really is more than I expected. Thus is the case with the FIXIE tablet stand from Incipio ($40).
I know what you're thinking: "wait, you were impressed with... a tablet stand? Really?" In short, yes. I'll be honest with you - when I got the FIXIE stand, I was really expecting just another tablet stand. Most stands work well - after all, they really only need to hold the device to perform the function for which they were created.