It’s amazing how quickly the variety and quality of games have increased and improved in the Play Store over the past couple of years. There are now tons of titles available for Android devices in every genre, with graphics and gameplay that rival those seen on games for best-selling portable consoles. Don’t believe me? What if I told you the new kid on the block is a 2D side-scrolling pixel art endless running arcade fighter?

Besides being a mouthful, that’s really the best way to describe Punch Quest, the latest release from Noodlecake Studios, publishers of such casual entertainers as Ready Steady Bang, Zombie Road Trip and Huebrix (which we loved to bits and reviewed here). You play a dashing hero clearing his way out of a dungeon filled with ghouls and creepies, and you’re not afraid to let your fists do the talking. Let’s see if all these genres come together to create a knockout title, shall we?

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Unstoppaball DX probably isn’t the best of games to play on the move. Evoking the abstract physics-based platform rolling of 1984 Atari hit Marble Madness — and to a lesser extent the more recent Super Monkey Ball series — it asks you to steer a ball through hazardous environments by tilting your device.

While it doesn’t have the depth of those forebears, it’s a fun, challenging, well-designed exercise in steady handedness and virtual rolling.
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If you own an Android device and you’re reading this site, chances are that you’re a tech-oriented person and your life involves other gadgets and operating systems, whether it’s a computer running Windows or Mac OS, or an iOS device — iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. While each of these platforms seems to include more proprietary services and apps with every new release, there still is — thankfully — a middle ground where it’s possible to make different devices talk to each other.

It’s this middle ground, and the tricks and apps that make use of it, that we have explored and dug deep into over the past couple of months. Over the course of two different series, we explained how you can use your Android device with a Windows or a Mac computer, as well as how you can keep it in sync with different iOS devices. Here are all the articles grouped together for easy referencing and bookmarking:

Use your Android device with a Windows or a Mac

Use your Android device alongside an iPhone, iPad or iPod

 

I have used Android since late 2010, when it started becoming a more mature operating system and a respected player on the market. Although I switched to Google’s platform about 2 years after its initial release, the system has kept on evolving, and came to be my favorite mobile operating system. Android has been a trendsetter over the years and has introduced several handy innovations, such as a central notification hub, remote installation of applications and more. Even today, Android has features neither iOS nor Windows Phone or Blackberry have and remains a source of inspiration thanks to its unified sharing system and widgets.

Nonetheless, not all Android devices are consistent and easy to use at first, and many find iOS to be simpler to get accustomed to. While I don’t fully agree with this, I have compared the ease of use of my iPad with my Galaxy Note II, and it is clear that there are instances where Android could learn a bit from the simplicity of iOS.

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I’m relatively new to the joy of podcast listening. Although I’ve been invited to speak on some podcasts before, I never bothered to subscribe or listen to any as I’ve always preferred getting my news through reading. But preferences change and about three months ago, I noticed that I do at least ten hours of driving per week and that time is getting lost on radio shows with countless ads or on music I’m bored of hearing. Those ten hours had to be invested more efficiently and so I found myself tempted by podcasts.

Fast forward three months and I’m addicted to my podcast subscriptions. I’ve gotten used to the voice, the character and the style of every person I listen to, and I now prefer getting most of my news this way. It’s more personal than reading, more raw, and more engaging and interesting.

All of my podcast needs are catered by Pocket Casts — which we reviewed a while ago, before it got its major redesign — and I’ll show you in this post how I make the most of its features to stay on top of my 28 podcast subscriptions.

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Every year there’s one Monday morning in June where the company Google loves to hate takes the very same stage that previously hosted Android announcements to present updates to iOS, amongst other things. This year was no difference but with a rumoured significant design change, the 2013 instalment is perhaps one of the most anticipated.

iOS 7 has delivered a new design with a skeuomorphic-less, flatter design somewhat resemblant of the design principles of Google’s Holo and Microsoft’s Metro. In this article, we’re going to take a look at iOS 7 and see how it stacks up to the incumbent versions of Android.

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Spend any time using your phone or tablet and it’s hard to avoid using the keyboard. Whether knocking out a quick email or typing URLs into your browser, there’s a limit to what you can get done without having to type. And chances are that the keyboard baked into your copy of Android is nothing to write home about — there are few stock keyboards that really cut the mustard.

Sitting at my desktop or using my laptop, I’m a fairly accomplished typist — I’m probably not the fastest in the world, but I’m certainly faster than average. The same cannot really be said when I’m using my Android devices — touchscreens offer a completely different way of interacting with a device and it proves, on the most part, to be a slower form of typing. This is why I find myself on a constant mission to track down the perfect keyboard. If you’re on a similar quest, and whatever your preferred style of typing — one-handed, two-handed, gesture input, just a forefinger — this roundup of the pick of the crop should help you find a keyboard that suits you.

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It’s been a relatively slow week for Android news, with the industry instead being dominated by news out of Apple’s WWDC and the various shows at E3 in LA. However, the Android camp did make announcements, albeit ones that stayed away from phones and tablets, instead coming in the form of Samsung’s camera-centric Galaxy device.

Let’s jump in and take a look at what’s been going on in the world of Android this mid-June week!

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In the second of a new series on Android.Appstorm, I look in turn at each of the Android manufacturers and the changes they make to Android’s start up, interface and basic functionality. In each case, does the end result justify the huge investment in programming time and the resulting delays for end users in seeing each new version and update for the Android OS?

HTC’s Sense interface has received much criticism over the years, principally because it presented a face to Android that was just a little too different to stock. This was rarely an issue for new users, many of whom grew up with Sense, but switching from a Samsung or Motorola (or Nexus) device would typically involve a lot of head scratching and set-up time. Sense 5.0, here on the HTC One, is actually something of a rewrite — so forget everything you ever knew about Sense, this is more streamlined and refined. And, indeed, arguably close enough to stock Android that few may want to spend time hacking it around.

Up front and central is the new BlinkFeed homescreen, of which more later. Integrating social feeds into Sense has always been something HTC has been keen on, and the company has knocked it out of the park here.

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Google may well be best known for its search engine, but the company has plenty of strings to its bow including Gmail - the free email service that has exploded in popularity over the past few years. As with many other online services, there is a mobile version of the Gmail website that you can use to access your inbox from your phone or tablet, so why would you want to use an app?

The recent update to Gmail — both its Android app and the website  — means that this seems like a good time to take a closer look at Google’s email service. This is something I use daily, and have done for years. There are aspects I love, aspects I hate, but I think it’s continuing to make moves in the right direction.

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