Google has done it again: completely revamped the design of their Android Market. Back in the end of 2010 the Market app was given a green theme and some new graphical changes such as the featured carousel, and now Google have drastically altered the design again to make it more user friendly. The updated market is meant to be rolling out over the coming weeks, though there’s an updated APK floating around on the Internet for those who want it right now.
Does the redesign live up to its potential? Read on for a video preview and my impressions!
You know how some apps seem like The Greatest Invention In The World one day, and a waste of your storage space the next? These ones don’t. As the editor of this site, I’ve read every article we’ve published, and checked out a lot more apps that we haven’t covered yet; this roundup covers those rare apps that started awesome and stayed awesome.
My main phone is an HTC Desire, which I bought over a year ago, when it had just been released. I’m impressed by how well it runs even today; aside from a few processor-intensive games, I’ve not found any apps that I’d like to run, but that my phone just can’t handle.
Admittedly I am skimming over a few things here. First, the battery life gets used up pretty quickly, which perhaps isn’t the case on newer models (or newer batteries). Second, I’m not running the version of Android that came with the phone (HTC Sense); I rooted it and am now running CyanogenMod 7.
If I hadn’t rooted, I would have got frustrated with the Desire a long time ago, thanks to its tiny internal storage. As I covered in this article, many apps take up space in the Dalvik cache, which is on the internal storage, even if the apps themselves are stored on the SD card. Even with relatively few apps installed, I was always running out of space, meaning I couldn’t sync emails or install new apps. Fortunately, with CyanogenMod 7 I also installed DarkTremor SD, which lets a portion of the SD card act as an extension of the internal storage. I now have effectively 210MB of internal storage left unused — the Desire only has 148MB total out of the box!
So, I’m very happy with my Android, even though it’s old enough to have been superseded by the Desire HD and the Desire Z, and I see no need to upgrade it yet. What about you?
Gaming on Android has always seemed to lag behind that of the iOS but has recently begun to gain momentum with the launch of dual core devices and support from platforms, such as EA Games and OpenFeint, bringing more polished gaming to the platform. Although many of these games are limited to specific hardware (looking at you Tegra Zone) there have also been quite a few iOS gems ported to Android, one being Mika Mobile’s Battleheart. So, how does this medieval RPG fare on Android? Let’s find out.
We carry our phone literally everywhere and use it dozens of times throughout the day, so why not put it to some good use in the process? I’ve collated a set of apps that help you get one small thing done every day, adding a tiny little bit towards making your day better, more productive, or more fun.
The immensely popular physics-oriented puzzle game ‘Cut the Rope’ now has an Android version available! Rumours that this would be ported from iOS surfaced quite some time ago, however it’s only in the last couple of weeks that the discussion reappeared, followed quickly by the release of this version.
Cut the Rope is a game which requires you to think both ahead and on the spot. It is up to you to navigate the candy safely to your pet monster, Om Nom. The challenge is to do so without losing or destroying it!
Business simulation tycoon games have been around for a while. The idea of letting users manage the various aspects of a business in order to successfully achieve goals lends itself to some seriously immersive gaming. Unfortunately, the sheer complexity and learning curve keeps most games in this genre from gaining mass appeal. Very few tycoon games succeed in maintaining the balance between approachability and complexity. Game Dev Story by Kairosoft is one such gem.
In Game Dev Story, the game developers put you in their own shoes, tasking you with running a game development studio, building games and keeping your fans happy for decades. You would think a game development team would know what goes in building a successful gaming business. They do indeed, and execute the concept with great energy, a fine eye for detail and some very subtle but unmistakable humor to boot.
A couple of years ago, it seemed like a ridiculous idea to let other people know where you exactly are. Privacy and security were paramount concerns. Tune in today, and not only is everyone quite happy to broadcast their location but also to take a peek at where others are visiting. Thanks to this trend, we now have a bunch location based startups (LBS) with really crazy valuations.
Foursquare and Gowalla stand out in the crowd of LBS apps. And, even though it’s a distant second to Foursquare in the LBS game, Gowalla is a compelling alternative that has its own strong suits. After the break let us take a look at how helpful the app really is.
The great platform war has now shifted. Once it was a constant battle between Microsoft’s Windows and Apple’s OS X, but with the rise in smartphones, it’s become a three-way split between those two mammoths of technology, and the search engine giant Google.
However, it seems like a truce is being formed between Microsoft and Apple, purely for the purpose of sinking the good ship Android by filling them with lawsuits. The very unique selling point of Android – its open source nature – might end up being its downfall as hardware makers are forced to pay up. (more…)
I’m lucky: I’ve never had a phone stolen, lost, or broken irreparably. (Well, other than gradually wearing out due to age.) But Sam Cater’s post about phone theft (and the precautions you can take against it) got me wondering how common that is.
Of course, I’ve been invited to plenty of those Facebook events named “Lost my phone, numbers please!!”, but it still seems like a problem that’s only for other people. And besides, if you’re using Android, your numbers are all stored at google.com/contacts anyway, so there’s no need for any of us to create an event like that 😉
But maybe I’m just living in a safe little bubble, I don’t know. How about you? Have you ever had to get a new phone out of necessity alone?