We have all been in this situation before: you’re driving, you remember you need to call someone or you get a call, and you start fumbling around, first to find your phone and then to find the keys to press to get the call done. For some of us, it doesn’t happen often; for others it’s not urgent and can wait until you pull aside; yet, for many, it’s a frequent scenario that the era of touchscreen phones hasn’t made the least bit easier.
I fell into this routine a few months ago, when I bought my pharmacy’s shop 50 minutes away from my house, with 20 minutes of these on a sinuous mountain road. I knew I had to get a bluetooth headset or car kit, and after much online searching, I stopped at the Clip and Talk Bluetooth Car Kit V3+ thanks to its features and multipoint support. (more…)
I’m sure that you, like me, have seen all those TV commercials for those Windows phones at the moment. The major point Microsoft is focusing on is that a version of Office is available on Windows Mobile 7. Gates and his crew are pitching it to people who feel tied down to the office and promises that it allows you to work on the move, which is certainly something that is very appealing in today’s society. Even Apple have ported their iWork office suite onto the iPad and although it is quite a cut down version of the one you’d expect to see on any Macintosh computer, it’s still relatively functional, if little basic.
Android users are a little spoilt for choice with regards to office suites. Google even finally pulled their finger out and recently released the long-awaited Google Docs standalone application for Android, but it does have limited features (to say the least). Other than that, QuickOffice, DocumentsToGo, OfficeSuite and ThinkFree are all available for Android and all are priced around the $15 mark for the full editions (the free editions will often allow you to read Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents but not to edit them).
What’s in a name? Everything. Extended Controls is definitely the best settings widget app that I have come across and there are quite a few available at the moment. This app provides great functionality and does not require a rooted device.
A couple of years back, a Flash game called Canabalt became an unlikely smash hit, proving wrong a lot of theories about what made a good game. The concept was very simple – you control a man running over rooftops, jumping over hurdles and across buildings. You didn’t control how fast he ran or whether he stopped or did anything at all. The controls were a single key that made him jump. All you could do was to make him jump at the right time. The distance he traveled was your score. Tons of games have tried to rework the magic of Canabalt since, including vertical variants like Abduction.
Sandstorm Rush is a new mobile game for Android that takes the Canabalt idea and adds some twists of its own in am attempt to keep things interesting. Like its inspiration, there is not much in terms of a back story to the game. In Sandstorm Rush you control a prince running in the desert to avoid a tornado. Reach the palace before the tornado catches up with you and you have completed a level. Rinse and repeat.
One of the best things about Android is that you can replace any stock function on the device. Don’t like the dialer? Get a new one! Prefer a different text interface? No problem! Looking for more bang for your buck when it comes to contact management? Find a new one! It’s for this reason that we get cool apps like Komodo Contacts, which adds some extra functionality to our contact manager.
Back at the end of 2010, Rovio’s Peter Vesterbacka said:
…paid content just doesn’t work on Android.
He was speaking from his experience in the mobile games market. (Rovio, in case you can’t place the name, makes Angry Birds.) I wonder if he’s changed his mind now, with the paid versions of Angry Birds and Angry Birds Rio available exclusively on the Amazon Appstore.
Anyway, this post isn’t about his experiences, it’s about yours. Have you ever paid to play an Android game, either to get the game itself from the Market, or to buy something within the game? Let us know via the poll and the comments.
Ran out of milk and need to remind your husband to pick up some on the way home? Need to remind your friend about your big football game on Sunday? Got to ask your sister about tickets to an upcoming concert? Retire the calendar. Put away the post-it notes. Take a look at Bubble.
Bubble is a note-taking application that connects notes with your contacts so that, when they ring, you are easily reminded. Whenever your contact calls, your bubbles pop up to inform you of any of the notes you made for that contact. You’ll never forget to ask your friend about their job interview ever again. (more…)
The newest version of Google’s popular Android operating system, Honeycomb, was released to the general public last month with a radical new interface and new features designed specifically for larger tablet screens. For a full rundown of the new features and a critical look at Android 3.0, please feel free to read my in-depth review of the OS.
As I wrote in my Honeycomb review, there are currently only about 120 applications available on the Android Market that are optimized for Honeycomb (meaning that their interface has been redesigned or upgraded to suit a larger screen). Having said that, most of the applications available right now are practical and very functional in their performance, and certainly do Honeycomb justice rather than being white elephants and simply hogging space on your tablet.
Here’s my rundown on the top 10 apps to download onto your new Honeycomb tablet right now. All the apps listed below (apart from MoboPlayer) have been optimized for Honeycomb and were tested on my Motorola XOOM.
MobileGo is a fantastic application by Wondershare, designed to interact with many aspects of your Android phone. The big difference to other applications for Android is that it doesn’t run on your phone — it runs on your Windows computer and offers up several tools, all of them beneficial and enhancing. In this review I will be explaining and critiquing these features.