Thursday, December 30, 2010

Lull in Activity

Hello Everyone,

I must apologize for the inconsistency in posts this week.  The holidays have me traveling quite a bit which eats away at my free time.  That being said, I plan on hitting the app reviews hard as soon as I get back home on Sunday.

Happy New Year to each and every one of you and thanks again for the great comments and support.

All the beset,


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Animated Widget Contact Launch [App Review]

As great as an Android-equipped device may be, there are a few stock features that are far from perfect.  One of my least favorite is contact accessibility.  It just feels clunky and not as efficient as many of the other amazing functions of my phone.  The Animated Widget Contact Launch by Mobility Publishing offers a solution to improve accessibility to your contacts.  This app creates icons for your contacts, each with pop-up options for text, voice, and email. 

Pros: Animated icons that provide an interesting alternative to the current stock features.

Cons:  Any app with animated features serves as a resource hog.  I doubt this is any different. 

You can download this app here.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

TuneIn Radio [Essential App Series]

Continuing our weekly series highlighting the must-have apps for every Android user is TuneIn Radio. This multimedia app can access nearly any live radio stream in the world and play it real time through your Android device. As long as it streams online, TuneIn Radio can find it. Browse the continuously updating list of stations or use your GPS location to find what’s local. This app can also access thousands of podcasts, categorized by genre. Expose yourself to a world of news, opinion, sports and entertainment. From Aljazeera to Country Top 40, there’s definitely something for everybody.

You can download TuneIn Radio here.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Shake Them All [Live Wallpaper Review]

Turn your phone into an Android snow globe with this nifty live wallpaper. The size-adjustable androids react to phone direction and gravity, touching, and shaking of your phone. Stay mesmerized for hours.

Pros: The motion for each of the individual androids is remarkably fluid

Cons: As with most live wallpapers, this extension hogs memory resources and quickly drains your battery.

App Score: 4/5

You can download this live wallpaper here.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Bit [App Review]

Who needs the cryptic answers of a Magic 8 Ball when a simple yes or no will suffice? This app pays homage to the original 2-function “Bit” character in 1982’s Tron. Never be left in the dark again. Simply open the app, speak your question and press the screen for your answer. It’s MAGIC!!!!!!11!1one

Pros: Simplistic perfection in intended functionality.

Cons: Keeps telling me no whenever I ask about finding true love.

App Score: 4/5

You can download Bit here.


Thursday, December 23, 2010

Geo Diary [App Review]

Think of Geo Diary as a way to locate your pants after a wild night in Vegas. This app allows you to document the events of the evening by including journal entries, memos, incriminating photos and geo tags. Just open the app, click the map function and see all the interesting locations, drinks, and hookers you encountered during your blackout. Geo Diary also offers social media connectivity. Now your mom can really regret getting on Facebook as she follows your night of debauchery.

Pros: Geo Diary has great potential as is it panders to our need to share every aspect of our mundane lives.

Cons: Sometimes the app freezes when taking photos. Also has a tendency to default to a map of Korea (unsure if North or South).

App Score: 2.5/5

Geo Diary can be downloaded here.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Tetris [App Review]

I saw this app on the Android Market and just couldn't resist downloading.  Many hours of my childhood were spent playing this classic game on my original GameBoy.  Now you can relive those memories with one simple click.  As simplistic as Tetris may be, I still found myself glued to the screen with that classic midi soundtrack playing in the background (the very same Russian-esque tune found on the original game).

Pros:  Nostalgia

Cons: Not a single flaw can be found.

App Score: 5/5

Tetris can be downloaded here.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Stay Connected

Android App Reviews can now be found on Facebook, Twitter, and Stumbleupon.  Stay up to date on the latest Android apps by clicking on the respective links.

Elixir [App Review]

Elixir is the latest in a long list of available device monitoring apps availble through the Android Market.  While there are many such apps to choose from, many provide such detailed data as Elixir.  On a single screen you can view the status of your battery, internal and external storage, CPU processes, memory usage, display, camera, and camcorder settings, along with network status, wi-fi signals, current GPS status and much more.  Never be left in the dark when it comes to your phone's performance.

Pros:  Status updates concerning every single features of your phone, along with customizable widgets for your home screen.

Cons:  The information provided is read only.  Users can't adjust the settings of your phone from this app.

App Review: 3.5/5

Interested in Elixir?  Download it here.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Crazy Snowboard [App Review]

While there are plenty of high-quality games available through the Android market, the majority of these are not free.  For that reason alone, Crazy Snowboard stands out in the crowd.  This app has been available to iPhone users for quite sometime and is now one of the newest and hottest apps on the market. Sporting amazing 3D graphics, 30 missions, several interesting obstacles (snowmen, elves and zombies), this game has proven difficult for me to put down.  The developer has even provided a great tutorial to help new users become comfortable with the controls.  

Pros: High-end graphics and intuitive controls without taxing the processor on my phone.

Cons:  This game has dramatically affected my productivity.

Give this app a try by downloading it here.

App Score: 4.5/5

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Barcode Scanner [Essential App Series]

Whether you are a devoted follower of all things Android or just a novice, there are a handful of apps that I would deem "must-haves" for every Android device.  The Essential App Series will be a weekly post that highlights special apps that are necessary additions to your Android arsenal.

In this inaugural post, we'll be taking a look at the Barcode Scanner app by ZXing Team.

What it does: Barcode Scanner uses the camera of your Android device to scan barcodes, data matrix, and QR codes (such as the one pictured on our home page).

Why you need it: A simple code can contain endless amounts of information (e.g. urls, e-mail addresses, telephone numbers, vcards). Whether you need a price check on a grocery item or just don't have time to enter a url into your phone, this app makes information gathering and connectivity a breeze.

Barcode Scanner is a free app that can be downloaded here.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Thank You

When I started Android App Reviews just a short time ago, I had no idea what to expect.  There was just this very basic concept in my head with very few expectations.  With only just a handful of posts under my belt, I can't help but be impressed by how quickly the blog has taken off. 

So, to everyone who takes the time to read my posts, and especially to all of you amazing people who provide feedback, I would like to simply say THANK YOU.


3D Matrix [Live Wallpaper Review]

My phone knows Kung Fu.  If you ever wanted flaming Japanese characters to cascade right before your eyes then this is the app for you.  I don't remember them ever being on fire in any of the three films, but I guess that's beside the point.  Speed and color of the animation are completely customizable.  You can even turn the flames off, but why the hell would you want to do that???

Pros: Duh... flaming Japanese characters cascading on your android phone

Cons: Major memory hog, as are many live wallpapers.

App Score: 2.5/5

You can download the 3D Matrix live wallpaper here.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Backup Everything [App Review]

Backup Everything backs up and restores almost every file on your Android device. This app creates an archive on your phone's micro SD card. Items stored include: sms, mms, bookmarks, call logs, system settings, alarms, and apps.

Pros:  Fast and easy backup and restoration features

Cons: Lacks option to schedule backups.  Only manual operation is available.

App Score: 3/5

Backup Everything can be downloaded here.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Group My Apps [App Review]

Tired of sorting through the hundreds of apps on your phone to find just one?  Group My Apps allows you to create category-specific folders for every app on your Android phone, allowing for easy navigation between tasks.

Pros: Definitely a must have if you're a neat freak like me.  Easy organization of apps and customizable folder icons makes for a great user experience.

Cons: Initial setup requires assigning each app to designated folders.  This can take a while if your phone is jammed with every new app that comes out.

Download this app here.

App Score: 4.5/5

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Youtube Downloader [App Review]

I love when I don't have to guess at an app's function/purpose.  Youtube Downloader is simply that.  Access youtube just as you would any other mobile browser.  Once you find a video you like, click the play button.  Youtube Downloader will give you the option of playing the video or downloading it to your phone. The app converts the file to mpeg-4 video as it is downloaded.

Pros:  Mpeg-4 conversion is a win, especially if you need to pull a file into a video editing program such as Final Cut Pro or Avid.  Video quality doesn't suffer when compared to the original video upload.

Cons:  Video files will eat away at your phone's available storage.  The video conversion also affects the download speed, which makes me think that the conversion takes place on an external server (not certain of this, though).

Click here to download the app.

App Score: 4.5/5

Monday, December 13, 2010

Clarus Battery [App Review]

Hot today on the Android Market is the Clarus Battery app, by Konsentia.  Like many apps of its kind, Clarus  displays the current charge and temperature of your phone's battery.  Pros: The app takes up little real estate on your display and changes colors as the state of the battery changes.  Cons:  Color changing icons don't seem to be enough to distinguish this app from the myriad of battery widget available for download.  Clarus battery is available here.

App Score: 2/5

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Google Books [App Review]

Touting the largest libary of ebook titles in the world, Google's eBookstore launched to great fanfair earlier this week.  Not surprising, an eBook app soon followed.  Cloud syncing allows readers to pick up wherever they left off, whether on their phone or computer.  There seems to be more flash to this app when compared to Amazon's Kindle for Android.  The search features are fairly intuitive as well.  Can't wait to see how it functions on an Android tablet.  Take her for a spin here.

App Score: 4/5

Friday, December 10, 2010

Advanced Clock Widget [App Review]

Hot on AppBrain today is the Advanced Clock Widget app by Stephen Falken.  This digital clock app also displays information pertaining to battery life, networks, and alarm settings.  The developer says there are still some compatibility issues when installing the app on the Galaxy S, though some users say it functions with little trouble.  Download it now.

App Score: 3 / 5

Thursday, December 9, 2010

NinJump for Android [App Review]

You will need swift thumbs to master the wall-to-wall challenges in NinJump, the latest app by Backflip Studios.  Players must dodge, dive bombing birds, enemy ninjas and various other obstacles in the game. With the backing of great music and sound effects the game draws you into the action.  This is a free app available on all versions of Androids.  Download it now.

App Score: 3.5 / 5

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