Whether I’m working or relaxing, tuning in or tuning out, music is a constant in my daily routine. As is typical of a library-based listener, my soundtrack is a mix of old favourites and newer additions, but usually, nothing absolutely fresh flows through my speakers or earphones. Once in a while, though, I break this mould.
There are several routes which new music takes on its way to my eardrums. I listen to local commercial radio, for example. Radio stations will always provide a wider scope of tracks than my iTunes library, but the variety of broadcast playlists can be a little too random — which is why I’ve also long used Last.fm. As a taste-based recommendation engine, it is as close to human as an automated platform can currently be. However, this intelligence can actually hinder the finding of newness. Presenting me with clones of the music I already like isn’t going to improve the breadth of my listening experience.
A new app named MPme Radio wants to find a happy medium between these polar opposites, marrying the unexpectedness of radio with the predictability of an intelligent recommendation engine. Given that this app relies on the content provided by third-party broadcasters, though, is a middle-ground nirvana really possible?
Plants vs Zombies was originally released in 2009 for OS X and Windows and quickly became a phenomenon only matched by the scale of titles like Angry Birds. Over the following years, Plants vs Zombies would become a mobile hit on iOS, Windows Phone, the PS Vita, the DS and, in 2011, Android.
With Plants vs Zombies 2, the post-apocalyptic threat is back but with some big twists. You still use a variety of plants to both attack and defend the zombies but now the game’s boundaries are no longer the fence of a virtual backyard. Plants vs Zombies 2 takes you through time and space to battlefields around the world, from Ancient Egypt to the Wild West.
With that in mind, I decided to give Mercury Browser a shot. Its focus on design and flexibility is refreshing for me, and I love some of the features it brings to the table. Within minutes of use, I made it my default Android browser on my Nexus 4. Read on to find out if Mercury Browser is right for you.
I know that many folks scoff at the idea of using a voice recorder because it seems about as sexy as a pocket protector — and our dwindling camp of personal recording fans aren’t helped any by Louis Litt’s shenanigans on TV’s Suits. Still, there’s a very strong case to be made for recording on the go: it helps you be more productive, ideate and act on your thoughts, and remember everything from to-dos to an acquaintance’s name when you don’t have time to write anything down.
Plus, you can carry a recorder around with you wherever you go: your smartphone! Digipom‘s excellent app Easy Voice Recorder Pro makes it dead-simple to record and play back your notes, ideas and ramblings on the go, features high-quality audio capture and is flexible enough to adapt into your workflow easily. Let’s take a look at how you can get into the habit of voice note-taking and get more done everyday.
Most Redditors who’ve been around the site for a while probably recall wondering, “why haven’t I been here since it launched?” Having been hooked on Reddit for a while now, I barely remember how I used to spend my spare time four months ago, before I became a regular at this something-for-everyone repository of links and discussions. Naturally, it quickly became important for me to find an Android app to browse this beautiful universe, on the couch, in the kitchen and eventually, at my desk while I write reviews. Yeah, I have something of a problem.
I tried a bunch of Reddit clients, but eventually settled on OneLouder’s BaconReader, because I prefer a more visual Reddit experience: the app’s slideshow mode allows users to swipe through posts with their accompanying content without having to manually launch links — making it perfect for bedtime reading. But just when I thought that my Reddit fix couldn’t get any sweeter, a friend introduced me to a new client doing the rounds that promised speed, a slick UI and no ads. I decided to take it for a spin, and boy, was I pleasantly surprised by Flow for Reddit.
One of my favourite things about writing app reviews is the amount of cool new things I’m exposed to daily. It goes well beyond software, and I often learn about really cool projects simply because I’ve been exposed to unique designers and their interesting projects.
One of those exact situations happened recently with Neven Mrgan, a designer who believes in the end product and not the means (and yes, that’s how you spell his name). I like his work. As it turns out, he has released a new game on both iOS and Android called Blackbar that’s… Well, it’s unlike any game I’ve ever played. Read on to find out more about it.
Breaking news is, perhaps, the foremost staple of connected computing, mobile or otherwise. If our interconnectedness isn’t for receiving the latest, then what is it for? Pretty much every smartphone owner has some method or other of staying up to date, whether by app, by browser, or by Twitter.
Given how much time we spend away from our desktops, however, it seems strange that news is produced in a format that is specifically designed for the large screen. At best, mobile users get a simplified design, but that doesn’t change the underlying content, which is often far too in-depth to provide an on-the-go summary of events.
The creators of Circa realized this. They realized it at least 12 months ago, in fact, and their app has been serving the folks on iOS with human-edited news, broken down into bite-sized chunks, ever since. Now, Circa’s flavour of précis-based reporting has arrived on Android – but can such simplified reporting really quench our thirst for news?
Type:Rider takes you on a wonderful interactive journey through the history of typography, seen through pages in a book and the adventures of two black dots. From the oldest forms of writing in Sumeria and Egypt through to the printing press, the typewriter, and the modern computer, plus everything in between, it’s a comprehensive overview of how the shape, size, and weight of our letters has evolved alongside technological and cultural developments.
As the baseball postseason kicks off, Thuuz presents a championship app for sports fans all over the world. With a new redesign, this game rating and statistics app is set to transform how we watch sports. By using algorithms and monitoring social media activity, Thuuz gauges the ‘excitement level’ of a game, in real time. Each game is rated from 1 to 100, allowing users to tune in when things heat up.
US sports such as baseball, ice hockey and football are covered. As are others such as soccer (both US and European), rugby, tennis and cricket. But is this enough to justify keeping an eye on your phone or tablet while watching your favourite team? Yes. Here’s why.
After the snafu that Blackberry went through when trying to release Blackberry Messenger (BBM) on Android and iOS a couple of weeks ago, the company corrected the mistake this week and re-released the apps with a little caveat: you have to stand in line and wait for an invite to be able to use the service. Putting aside this little hitch in the process, BBM is alive and doing relatively well on Android.
Whether you have never used the Blackberry platform before or you’ve just recently decided to leave it and move to Android, BBM is a valid communication method you can now use to interact securely with your friends, family and colleagues. Here’s everything you need to know about setting it up and using it on Android.