There is no shortage of puzzle games in the Android Market, including a whole bunch of Bejeweled wannabes. The tried and tested gameplay of matching colored objects towards a variety of objectives can be pretty addictive if done well. Unfortunately, it’s a tired formula now, and finding good games that bring a fresh perspective to the sub-genre are rare to come by.

Wiz Kid Jr is a fairly new game that tries to do exatly that: take the tried and tested formula and add some interesting twists to it. I have no clue why they decided to call it that, but it doesn’t really matter I guess. The real question is, does it succeed at maintaining the balance between complexity and accessibility well enough? (more…)

Today, Google and Samsung revealed the new version of Android (4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich), and the new flagship Android phone (the Samsung Galaxy Nexus). In case you missed the live streaming announcement, read on to find out about the new features, the phone’s stats, the changes to Android’s interface, and the subtler effects this is all likely to have. (more…)

People have fairly strong opinions about Facebook Places and checking in on Facebook. As a college professor that teaches primarily freshmen, I’ve had discussions with my classes about how they feel about it, and it’s received a fairly negative reception from them. I personally feel it’s best used for special events: a baseball game, a concert, cool places you visit on vacation. While I’m not the type of guy who checks in everywhere, there are quite a few people who do, and who use the service frequently. If you’re one of those people, Smart Places might just be the app for you. (more…)

If there is one thing you are absolutely not supposed to be doing while driving, it’s playing with your phone. Not only is this a dangerous (and in many places illegal) practice, but also highly inefficient; if you’re trying to text while driving, for example, it’s pretty much impossible to do either very well.

Fortunately, there are a number of applications for Android that help you get things done while driving, and even maximize your driving experience. There are some that actually make driving fun. Here are a few that caught my eye.
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Do you love Android apps? Are you always on the lookout for the latest and greatest utilities, mobile tips, widgets, or ROMs? You sound like the type of Android expert that we’d love to have on our team!

We’re always on the look out for fantastic new writers across the AppStorm network, but we’re particularly wanting to find a few new contributors to Android.AppStorm over the next few days. All our writing positions are paid, and we’ll work with you to choose apps to review and suggest article ideas.

If you’re interested, we’d love to hear from you. Find more info and register your interest here, and we’ll be in touch!

Picture this situation: you are out with your friends on a Friday night. You have all been to several pubs and are starting to feel hungry, so need a good place to eat. You know you all want to see a film tonight too, but have no idea what is showing or when. Perhaps you want to keep the party moving, and try out some pubs you haven’t been to before. Poynt is a great application that can handle all this for you.
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Unless you live under a rock, or you don’t follow the Android community, you’ll know that Ice Cream Sandwich is at an imminent release! In fact, Samsung was supposed to announce the first smartphone that would run version 4.0. Unfortunately, due to the sad news of the death of Apple Co-Founder, Steve Jobs, Samsung and Google moved the event, to respect the visionary.

Ice Cream Sandwich will bring with it a new version of the Google+ app. Screenshots of this have already been leaked; here, we’ll take a look at what we can expect… (more…)

I doubt there’s a single news organisation in the world that doesn’t receive criticism. It’s part and parcel of the industry; especially today, when everyone can voice opinions online. The butt of many jokes, including their own, is FOX for apparently being biased and sensationalist.

Al Jazeera is flamed quite often as well; some of it just, some of it not. The criticism of Al Jazeera often descends beyond the reasonable and into a ‘dey took ar jobs’ uproar simply because ‘real’ reporting can touch nerves. It’s this realistic reporting that keeps them in my daily news feeds.

As an Android user, their app was one of my most used, but least favoured. It was essentially a skin for their mobile site – and a very old, decrepit skin that should never have seen the light of day in the first place. Their new app however – well, they’ve turned the game around altogether. (more…)

Perhaps you haven’t noticed (in which case I must assume that you are not on Twitter), but iOS 5 was released within the last 24 hours. Okay, so the new features not looking all that new to us Android users, but it is still a new OS, and that’s got me yearning for a new version of Android.

(Well, beyond CyanogenMod 7.1, which was also released this week.)

It seems that James Cull is thinking along the same lines, as evidenced in his recent post, 8 Things I Want in My Ice Cream Sandwich. He makes some great points (though I do disagree that Android is significantly worse looking than iOS) – check out the article if you haven’t read it already.

Personally, from his list, I’d most like to see:

  • Improved OTA updates – I remember having to wait a very long time to get Froyo, before I rooted my phone.
  • Better look – even though I quite like the way I’ve themed my phone, it’d do Android wonders to improve their default skin.
  • Easy screenshot ability – I use Screenshot ER 2 for this (just long-press the Search button to snap), but this requires rooting. If this functionality was built in, it’d make things much easier for the non-rooted writers on my team!

What about you? Vote in the poll (you can pick more than one item), and post your own ideas in the comments.

Flick Golf is an entertaining bonanza of golf that places more emphasis on fun and playability than it does on being an authentic simulation. This is certainly no comprehensively accurate Tiger Woods title, and you won’t be staring at your device trying to determine whether the rugged St Andrews par three requires a 4-iron or a sand wedge.

No, Flick Golf is all about hitting a hole-in-one, first time. In the Caribbean. From a yacht. If that sounds like your cup of tea… read on. (more…)

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