There is no shortage of puzzle games on the Android platform. A new one comes out virtually every week, boasting of a never-before gaming experience, and pushing the limits of what the latest handsets have to offer in terms of raw processing power. It is heartening, then, to see a new game that focuses less on cutting-edge graphics and more on innovative gameplay mechanics and puzzles. It’s called SocialScape and it is being billed as a brain and puzzle game with a ‘social’ twist.
The term ‘social’ has become so synonymous with the web and virtually any new web service that comes out these days, my first reaction to a game named SocialScape was wondering how it will integrate with Facebook and the likes. Turns out it’s nothing of that sort. On the contrary, the game refers to the literal meaning of social – “related to a society or organization” – and weaves the gaming mechanics around the concept.
As a web developer/programmer/nerd, this is a statement I get a lot: “Hey Joe, you know what would be cool? An app that [insert something here].” Sometimes I’ll get a justification that it “shouldn’t be too hard to do” (they’d probably feel differently if they were programming it), or more commonly I’d get, “I think a lot of people would use this.” That’s how a lot of great ideas get started: someone has a want or need. On the other hand, sometimes a developer wants to take on a project, but doesn’t have an idea to run with. Need An App aims to bring these two groups of people together.
Need An App is a pretty simple app with one purpose: get app ideas from people. Once you use the app to submit an idea, “a team of Android developers will continuously evaluate the proposals … and your desired app may be realized!!” This seems pretty cool.
Apple has an interesting relationship with Samsung. They are Samsung’s biggest customer, buying up valuable components to power the successful iPhone and iPad lines. However, right now they’re suing Samsung’s mobile division for copying Apple’s intellectual property.
Samsung are, of course, the makers of the Galaxy line of smartphones and tablets, all running Android, while Apple produce the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad, all running iOS. The intellectual property specified in Apple’s case refers to both the hardware and software design aspects of iOS and the devices that run them.
Today, we’ll take a look at the claims of Apple and the community’s response. (more…)
When the iPad was released in April 2010, it completely changed the way we looked at tablet computing. Before the iPad, tablets were seen as a niche market, and rarely seen on the shelves of stores. Nowadays, tablets are everywhere with a whole range of different price levels and features and they are the hot gadget to get at the moment (remember the queues outside the Apple stores on the day of the iPad 2 launch).
Google is now wanting a slice of a market which is still predominantly dominated by Apple and it hopes that the latest version of its popular Android operating system, Android 3.0 (codenamed Honeycomb), will knock Apple off that top spot. Honeycomb is the first version of Android that was designed specifically for tablets, and you really do get whiffs of this whilst scouting round their brand new OS. Previous Android tablets ran Android 2.2 (Froyo), which, as noted by one of my colleagues in another article, looks pretty dire when stretched across a large screen.
Read on for a detailed review of Honeycomb, including a look at the new features, how it fares up to other versions of Android, and the crucial question: is it up to iOS standard?
There’s a number of times you might need send a polite hint that you’re busy. Say you’re watching a movie at a cinema and don’t want to break the unwritten rule against phone activity. Or you’re driving and don’t want to break the governed law of not texting whilst driving. However, it would still seem rude to completely ignore the sender’s attempts to get in touch with you.
Well, luckily you’re phone is smart. You can use a variety of applications to automatically respond to your messages noting your inability to respond. Bzzy is one of these applications that not only responds to text messages, but also counts how many you missed.
Did you catch Toby Seers’s roundup of live wallpapers earlier this week? There are some stunning background effects in there, whether you want to adorn your phone with galaxies, flowers, hamsters, or a fat little plumber in overalls.
The trouble with live wallpapers is: they use a lot of battery. Way more than regular wallpapers. So, while I think we can all agree that live wallpapers are impressive, I’d like to know whether you actually use them. Let us know by voting in the poll!
The IGDA (International Game Developers Association) has warned Android game developers about Amazon’s Appstore, telling them to read Amazon’s terms carefully. They have been told to “educate themselves on the pros and cons of submitting content to Amazon”.
In their “important advisory“, the IGDA’s main concern is over the payment terms with Amazon. Amazon pays developers “the greater of 70% of purchase price or 20% of list price”. For reference, Amazon does not allow developers to set list prices in the way they can on other marketplaces. Like other Amazon-sold products, from TVs to toasters, the list price is set by Amazon. (more…)
You’re Android handset comes with a built-in camera application that is fine for taking the odd shot. I’m not sure whether this is specific to my HTC Sense phone, but my stock camera app has options to change photo saturation, brightness, and other variables. There’s also the option to add some very basic filters like sepia and negative. This is a nice set of features that my iPad 2 (and, presumably, an iPhone) doesn’t have and, especially if your phone has a nice five or eight megapixel shooter on it, can be helpful in taking some valuable shots you can look back on.
Cisco’s recent decision to kill off the Flip video camera family also demonstrates that smartphone cameras are becoming the tool of choice for most people’s photo and video capture needs, so these options are becoming increasingly important.
The quote, “the best camera is the one that’s with you”, is tossed around a lot and, although I can’t seem to find its origin, I certainly know it’s true. Everyday moments can be captured with relative ease and with quality to compete with most point-and-shoot cameras. However, these cameras are smart and not like their dumb-phone counterparts. (more…)
Live wallpapers are one of Android’s most unique and wonderful features. Available for anyone on Android 2.1 or above, they are one of the best ways to customise your Android experience. Today we will be going through some of the best live wallpapers for your Android device, so sit back and enjoy the ride. Where possible I have linked to the free/lite version; as always, if you love it, we encourage you to support the developers and buy the full version.
Be cautious, many of these live wallpapers can drain your battery.
For each wallpaper that had one, I’ve included the developer’s official video below the screenshots.