Brendan O'Neil

Editor of Officeal, Babson College student, tea drinker, Mash Up enthusiast and Android user

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Gaming on Android has always seemed to lag behind that of the iOS but has recently begun to gain momentum with the launch of dual core devices and support from platforms, such as EA Games and OpenFeint, bringing more polished gaming to the platform. Although many of these games are limited to specific hardware (looking at you Tegra Zone) there have also been quite a few iOS gems ported to Android, one being Mika Mobile’s Battleheart. So, how does this medieval RPG fare on Android? Let’s find out.


A few days ago Google introduced a slew of products that fall under its social umbrella, the Google+ project: a social networking hub, group video chat, group messaging and news discovery platform. The has since been a lot of Buzz (sorry, it was inevitable) concerning Google’s entrance into the social networking scene, what they mean for prime competitors such as Facebook, Twitter, and Skype, and how these efforts will evolve in the coming months… but how about what Google+ means for Android?


Google’s Chrome OS has been in public circulation for over six months in the form of Chromium, and is now available bundled with hardware as “Chromebooks” from Samsung and Acer have hit the market. The single function computing platform has caused quite a stir concerning its lackluster power and prowess when compared to the likes of machines running Windows, Apple’s OS X or even iOS and Android devices.

So, how is Google splitting their focus between two separate operating systems?


A few months ago, CNN, one of the largest news outlets, released their highly visual Android application. Paralleling the design of the iOS application and even the Android tablet version, CNN offers a highly visual news experience which includes video and audio options as well.


Self identified as an “external brain”, Evernote aims to capture and organize all types of data and make it searchable from multiple platforms. Use cases have ranged from taking notes for research for writing a book, planning events and even taking notes for class. Evernote is avaliable on every major smartphone platform, on PC and Mac, and even as a web client, making all of your data accessible and searchable from anywhere.

Evernote stores text, images, voice, entire web pages or nearly any other file type as a note, and organizes them in Notebooks the user creates. Each note can then have tags associated for deeper organization, and using Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software even text in images are searchable. It’s also a “Freemium” service, meaning there is a free version and a $5/month premium version. The free account allows up to 60 MB of data per month while the premium can upload up to 1 GB and has more bells and whistles.

Evernote recently released Version 3.0 of the Android client. Let’s take a look at what’s new.

PicPlz is currently the most popular image sharing application on the Android platform. Like Instagram on iOS, PizPlz applies filters to images and can share the picture through several social networking services. A redesigned user interface, plenty of filters, and a robust web-based experience has made PicPlz the photo sharing darling of Android.

What’s all the excitement about? Photo sharing is when users share photos via social networks like Twitter and Facebook from mobile devices with the addition of filters. The growth of social networks use on mobile phones has led to a fast adoption rate of these services.  Now applications like PicPlz have integrated with nearly every major social network, let’s take a look at what makes it such a big deal.

Audible has been the face of audiobooks for the past decade and has now made its way to the Android platform.  As a dedicated application, Audible brings a complete experience, which Android users have been missing, for mobile bookworms everywhere.

Audible was introduced last year, filling the void of a true audiobook manager within the stock Android music player. Compared to Android’s lifelong rival iOS, the little green robot had no answer for the iTunes integration with audiobooks. The dedicated Audible application is the robust solution mobile audio-bookworms have been waiting for.

Todays smartphones give users a wealth of functionality: as a portable internet browser, music player, camera and even sometimes to make phone calls!

One use that continues to be popular is using a smartphone to read and aggregate news. Now, although there has been a slew of the aptly coined term “Jumbo Phones” announced over the past few weeks, the smartphone screen can sometimes be too small to comfortably browse text based websites.

Applications such as Google Reader or Feedr look to remedy this by developing an RSS reader built for the phone, but scrolling through text headlines is not much more intuitive than the previous option. Enter: Pulse.


We are now three weeks into 2011 and there is one thing most of us have in common: the fading of our New Year’s resolutions. Many, including myself, pledged to either “be healthier” or “get in shape” this year. Luckily, RunKeeper knows we may need some help keeping our resolutions and is here to lend a hand.