BlueStacks and AMD have teamed up to create an Android app player for Windows; it’s in alpha and could use some UI tune-ups but it delivers what it promises: Android apps running smoothly on Windows 7.

There’s a free and a pro version. The free version will be limited to only allow you to install 26 apps, while the pro version lets you install as many as you like. BlueStacks is first of its kind and I can only imagine what prospects it will have on touch screen Windows Devices like the upcoming Windows 8 tablets – and even the already present Windows Tablets, like the Acer Iconia W500. (more…)

With the success of Minecraft – having sold nearly 4 million copies, and having 15 million users – it’s picked up quite an amount of fans, many of whom wanted an Android version! Notch, the lead developer, obliged to this on 16th August, though to begin with the game was only available for the Xperia Play. Now it’s available on a wide range of Android phones (you can find the system requirements here).

But how well does the mouse-and-keyboard game to which many hours have been lost transfer to a small screen, touch controls, and a few minutes of play at the bus stop? (more…)

One of the greatest things about having a handheld device that’s connected to the Internet is having limitless information at your finger tips. We can look up who that guy from the movie we just saw is, or exactly when the song “Never Gonna Give You Up” came out. We can also get the latest news from the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, the NY Times, and more.

One thing that was lacking was the ability to get local news. Well, search no more: News Selection gives us access to local newspapers from all around the world. If the newspaper has a website it’s likely listed here. (more…)

Mook The Comic (in 3D) is a quirky comic strip featuring an oddball alien named Mook, and his friends CLiK and Blog. The most noticeable boast from this app is that it features the ability to view the stories in either 2D or 3D, (the latter by the use of 3D glasses). The idea behind the app is that the developer/writer will produce three new strips every three weeks, each available via updates. But is Mook any good? And are Android devices the best platforms for reading comics? Read on to find out more… (more…)

My three favorite things in life are Android, football, and a steak cooked rare on a grill. Unfortunately, my phone hasn’t learned how to properly cook a steak. However, football and Android seem to have come together to give us Madden NFL 12, an app that will keep any football lover busy in between Sundays.

I am pulling out my Patriots jersey and trying out the game. Maybe this app will get me through all those commercial breaks throughout the season. (more…)

Halloween is fast approaching, bringing with it the many frivolities like trick or treating. However, being a seasonal event, there’s also a ton of great Android apps that go along with it, from the spooky to the fun. Today’s roundup is all about ghosts, zombies, vampires, and, er, pumpkins: virtual ouija boards, augmented reality ghost hunters, creepy ringtones – it’s all here! (more…)

All the buzz about Siri has got me thinking about Google Voice Actions. Remember those? Hold Search for a couple of seconds, and a dialog box will appear; you can then say something like “send text to Joe Bloggs: running late, meet you outside”, or “listen to: the Beatles”, or “note to self: pick up milk”. Here’s an article and video explaining how to Voice Actions, from August 2010.

Sam Cater talked about Iris – a proof-of-concept Android clone of Siri knocked together in a few hours – in this morning’s Opinion post. Iris is more proof (if proof were needed) that voice control is not a holy grail of technology, or even particularly hard to achieve these days. ViaVoice and Dragon NaturallySpeaking, two pieces of desktop software that allow speech transcription and voice-activated computer interaction, were first released in 1997.

It seems that this is a recurring fad; every now and then, pundits get super-excited about the potential future of this type of interface… and then all excitement fades away for another year or so. But is this because voice control is an idea that sounds better in theory than it is in practice, or have developers just not managed to do it right yet? (In which case, perhaps Siri will be the first to meet that potential.) Vote in the poll, and let us know in the comments why you do or don’t use Google Voice Actions. (Personally, I find it simpler to tap, swipe and type. Well, also, the phone has difficulties understanding my British accent.)

Earlier this month, Apple unveiled Siri for the iPhone 4S. While the technology behind it isn’t particularly revolutionary, from what I understand it works well and is fun to use.

Not soon after it was announced, a copycat attempt of Siri for Android was created: Iris (“Siri” backwards). Though it is nice to see developers attempt to bring some of iOS’s finer points to Android, there is definitely some way to go yet.

Read on for my opinions on both Iris, and application cloning between smartphone platforms.
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A few months ago, I wrote a round-up article detailing several utilities to help you make the most out of Dropbox on your Android. At the time the article was written, the only synchronization application I mentioned was Titanium Media Sync, which allowed continuous sync from the device to Dropbox folders, but unfortunately was limited to one-shot sync in the opposite direction. All similar utilities were limited by the same pitfall.

Today, things are different. Enter Dropsync, a client that finally brings a decent solution to this problem. (more…)

You can’t talk about automating your Android without mentioning Tasker, which basically allows you to fully automate your Android device based on your every whim.

Once Tasker is mentioned in conversation, there is usually discussion about how utterly powerful and flexible it is. Shortly after this, there is further discussion about how all this power resides in an app that is not all that user-friendly. There is some truth to this.

Tasker is insanely useful and configurable, but it can get overwhelming. However, I believe that anyone can understand and use Tasker without getting a second degree. We’ve previously covered the basic concepts and features of Tasker, so this post will go into detail on how to make Tasker work for you. (more…)

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