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Category Archives: Smartphone

Smartphone running Android OS.

Good morning loyal readers,

let me first start off by saying i’m not feeling well at all, so site updates might be very scarce the coming days…but since i have a clear moment as of this point, i’ld like to share some thoughts with you concerning Getjar.

If you haven’t heard already, GetJar is a site which offers premium (read : paid) apps and games for free. It kind of works like Amazon’s Appstore, but there are some major differences between the two services.

For one, Amazon’s Appstore is only available in very select countries, compared to GetJar, who are available worldwide to anyone downloading the application from their website . (NOTE : you can NOT download the GetJar application through the Android Market, you have to visit getjar.com in the browser window on your mobile device!)

On the other hand, Getjar offers far less paid games and apps compared to Amazon’s Appstore. This is also quite normal, because Amazon is a much bigger company and they can simply make more deals with developers. However, their freebies are only available for one day, whereas the freebies on Getjar remain available for quite some time (not sure if there is an end date for their featured software)

All in all, it’s very likely that you’ll find an Android app or Android game which is on GetJar, but not on Amazon Appstore, or vice versa. It’s always a bonus to have an alternative ready, and because it’s completely free of charge, you aren’t losing anything by just checking them out!

So all of you, visit  www.getjar.com, either on PC or your mobile device, and start exploring and downloading some of their goodies. Their team works hard to keep the content fresh and they are providing some quality downloads each and every week.

Hello fellow Androidians,

To keep the content update nicely, it’s time for a new Android game review. There were too many games to choose from, but i decided to review Sprinkle. Get your coffee in hand, sit back, and read on!

We’ll break it down into three parts :

1) Gameplay and story.

2) How much does it cost?

3) Conclusion?

Part 1 : Gameplay and story?

The inhabitants of Titan, a moon of Saturn, lived out their days peacefully in their straw hut homes – until space tourists from Earth crashed through Saturn’s rings, bringing a storm of flaming asteroids crashing down on the Titans. To combat the widespread fires threatening their homes, the Titans have built a massive water cannon. And they need you to man it!

Sprinkle is another puzzle and physics game, a bit like Cut The Rope and Move The Box. It’s goals are straight forward : use the water cannon mounted on a crane to douse the fire as soon as possible. Yup, in this game, you are a firefighter! Excited yet? I thought you would be.

Dousing the fires is your main, but not your only objective though. In nearly every level after the first five or so , there will be obstacles that need to be moved into a certain position, to make sure you can douse every fire in the level. Also keep in mind that every level has its own timer, so some fast thinking is required at times.

However, there is another twist. You only have a limited supply of water, so you have to approach each level carefully as to not waste any water you might need for another objective in the level. This might lead to having to replay a certain level a few times (as I had to do myself aswell) to figure out the right strategy. This all makes things very interesting though.

The more water you “save” to complete the level, the more water drops you’ll earn after completing it. Water drops add up to unlocking new levels further on in the game, a system we are all quite familiar with by now.

To illustrate, view the screenshots below :

Part 2 : What does it cost?

This game costs 1.99 USD and can be purchased from Android Market

Part 3 : Conclusion ?

Is it fun to play and even replay the levels?

If you like a fun, yet challenging game, this is the game for you. If you expect to blaze through it, you’ll remove this pretty fast. It’s an easy game once you get the hang of it, but I can imagine not everyone will like it.

Personal rating : 9/10

Hello fellow Androidians,

A while ago i did a review of the addictive game called Early Bird. Apparently, the developers of this game turned their back on everyone who purchased the game (it was ad-free), but the latest update ensured that it comes loaded with advertisements every 1-3 levels.

I purchased this 0.99 USD game a few weeks ago for my tablet, because i enjoyed it so much on my smartphone. Everything was fine in Early Bird-land , because the game was completely ad-free, which is what i would expect from a game i actually paid for.

Yesterday, my Android Market said there was an Early Bird update available and it downloaded it automatically (because i have it set up that way, as some of us do). I was expecting some new levels, because the holidays are nearing. To my surprise, the update contained something entirely different….

Every few levels, you’ll get a big advertisement in the game. Wait, advertisements? I paid for this game, why should there be any advertisements? So I went to the Early Bird Android Market page, and looked at the update notes. Apparently the game has become free of charge now (that’s good I suppose) , but now is filled with advertisements.

They do, however, state that, if you are a paid user and don’t want to be annoyed by advertisements in-game, you are better off not downloading the newer version of the game. That will be a bit hard if it’s set to automatically update to a newer version because more levels were promised, and we never expected to get advertisements in the first place.

It wouldn’t annoy me as such if it was just a small text ad on the bottom of the screen, like you see in Angry Birds and other games. However, the advertisements you et in Early Bird are full screen, with a close button in the top left corner. I’ve included some screenshots below to let you check for yourself how it looks.

As you may be able to tell, I’m not a big fan of this decision, but at least i can roll back to an earlier version through my Titanium Backup files. However, I assume that the paid users won’t get any more ad-free content, because the game has turned to a free game now. Some weird decision-making going on here folks…..

As stated, here are some screenshots of the “new” Early Bird….

If you have any thoughts on this, any comments at all, even if its positive criticism, please post it in the comment section below!

Hello fellow Androidians,

This will (hopefully) be one of the most useful reviews for any Android users out there. Everyone needs a way to back up their apps, games and data, right? Here’s the solution : Titanium Backup (PRO)

We’ll break it down into three parts :

1) What does it do?

2) How much does it cost?

3) Conclusion?

Part 1  : What does it do?

We have all experienced it before : you are cozy on the couch, everything seems to be working fine, suddenly your Android smartphone or tablet gives out and you need to perform a factory reset. No big deal, it’s easy to do, right? But what about all data and logins on your device? They are lost! Unless….

Unless you make a backup of all your data regularly, like you should be doing on your computers aswell. Most of you keep a backup on an external hard disk, or in the cloud. But what about the applications, (save)games and login information on your Android devices? Well, there is an easy way to back up these things aswell.

The solution to this is called Titanium Backup (PRO). You might have heard the name before, it’s quite a well-known application in the Android Market. Titanium Backup (PRO) gives you the ability to back up your apps, your user data, on the fly. You can also schedule your own backups,e.g. perform a new backup 2 times a week to keep all information up-to-date, etc.

There is a catch to using this program though. You will need to root your Android device. Rooting means you can superuser access to everything about your Android device, which includes the ability to make backups. A detailed how-to on rooting your Android device will be featured in a weekly column soon.

Once your Android device is rooted, Titanium Backup (PRO) installed and running, you can immediately back up all (or selected) data you’d like. As mentioned before, this includes application data, such as save games, logins for websites or apps, preferences and settings in said apps, etc.

In the PRO version of Titanium Backup, you are allowed to make unlimited backups, and also do batch backups. This means you can let the software take care of the backup in the background, instead of manually approving or denying this process for every piece of software you have installed. I’d recommend to buy the PRO version of Titanium Backup, it’s well worth your money to have a lifetime backup plan.

One of the “hidden” features of the backup process is that you can finally share APK files with friends. As soon as a backup of an application or game is made, you can then e-mail said APK to your friend(s). Since App Sharing never really worked for me, I’m a huge fan of this feature.But i’ll let you decide that for yourselves.

Here are some screenshots to illustrate some of Ghost Commander’s functions :


Part 2 : What does it cost?

There are two different versions of Titanium Backup, the free (limited) version and the PRO (unlimited) version

The free version can be downloaded from the Android Market.

The PRO version can be purchased from the Android Market.

Part 3 : Conclusion ?

Is it REQUIRED to use this?

If you value your data on your Android device, then i’d strongly recommend you use it. A backup will come in handy sooner or later, and you have to make sure you won’t regret not making a backup.

Will you benefit from it? 

Devices are meant to become unstable sooner or later, You’ll want to have a backup ready when that happens. Or, if you’re a more experienced use who flashes new custom ROM’s occasionally, you’ll also value this piece of software.

Personal rating : 10/10

Hello fellow Androidians,

My apologies for the lack of updates the past 2 days, I’m looking into moving the site to a different host , so I’ve been busy sorting out the design and such. But I haven’t forgotten about you all!

Today, I’d like to discuss this neat braincracking Android game : Move The Box.

We’ll break it down into three parts :

1) Gameplay and story.

2) How much does it cost?

3) Conclusion?

Part 1 : Gameplay and story?

When i stated braincracking, I wasn’t exactly exaggerating. The game itself is pretty straight forward. You get a selection of boxes from various colors and types, and try to match them to eachother in as few moves as possible. Sounds fun, right?

It is fun, challenging, yet somehow a bit complex aswell. You have a certain amount of moves you have to beat, e.g. finish the level in 1 or 2 moves. However, you get one additional move to clear the level. If you can’t clear the level in n+1 moves, you’re out of luck and have to rethink your strategy.

Some of the levels do seem easy at first glance, yet prove to keep you busy for 5-20 minutes figuring it out. It also plays into the human consciousness. Humans are of a competitive nature. If you have to use that EXTRA move to clear the level, instead of the projected amount of moves, you’ll want to try again to make sure you clear the level properly.

This all adds up to the infinite replayability of the levels. You’ll also be clearing boxes in different regions of the world, e.g. Boston, Osaka, etc Keep in mind that it’s just the background which changes, besides that, there aren’t any real notable differences except you might see a new type of box.

It’s a fun game and strangely addictive, so be warned. As of this moment, there are 72 levels in total which you’ll need to clear, though more levels are added now & then.

To illustrate, view the screenshots below :

Part 2 : What does it cost?

This game is absolutely free of charge and can be downloaded from Android Market

Part 3 : Conclusion ?

Is it fun to play and even replay the levels?

Yes it is. Given my own natural competitive nature, I want to clear all levels in as few moves as possible. I’ve already redone several of the levels without getting fed up of it. It’s a challenge.

Personal rating : 9/10

Hello fellow Androidians,

First of all, this is not some sort of program to control ghosts near you. Ghost Commander is a file explorer application, which adds quite some nice features to the overall use of your files.

We’ll break it down into three parts :

1) What does it do?

2) How much does it cost?

3) Conclusion?

Part 1  : What does it do?

Most of you people are familiar with file explorers on your Android device. Most of them are based on the standard Windows Explorer, meaning yo only get to view your folders in a window, and if you need to move a file you either have to enter the new directory manually, or copy the file & paste it where you want it to be.

Ghost Commander changes this. It allows you to have TWO file explorer windows next to each other, and copy or move files with the tap of a button. People who ever used Total Commander on their computer will know how much easier this makes things.

Besides the dual explorer window, there are some other important features in this Android application. It also allows you to open a FTP window on one side, and download files from, or upload files to, said FTP server. All combined in one program, is this looking good so far or what?

Windows File Sharing is also supported in Ghost Commander.  This means you can simply share files on your Windows machine, and Ghost Commander can download those files to your internal memory, or your SD card, should you prefer. For me personally, this is of little use, since I usually watch web content on my tablet or smartphone, but some of you will most likely find it handy!
To use the Windows File Sharing option, you will need to download a seperate plugin, which can be found in the Android Mrket, free of charge.

Here are some screenshots to illustrate some of Ghost Commander’s functions :


Part 2 : What does it cost?

Like it’s Windows counterpart, Ghost Commander for Android is free of charge. Download from the Android Market.

Part 3 : Conclusion ?

Is it REQUIRED to use this?

This will mostly depend on how often you use the file explorer to sort files, move things around, copy things over, etc. The FTP feature is a very nice bonus though, which I myself use a few times a week.

Will you benefit from it? 

As stated above, it depends on your overall files behaviour. Some will benefit from it, others might not. But give it a try, it’s a very neat app.

Personal rating : 10/10

Hello fellow Androidians,

We have reached our first milestone : 10 news items on the front page! Yay! Bring on the pompons and the barbecue!

Ok, i got a little off-topic there. Overexcited and stuff… Let’s take a look at Jewels Deluxe today, shall we?

We’ll break it down into three parts :

1) Gameplay and story.

2) How much does it cost?

3) Conclusion?

Part 1 : Gameplay and story?

This will be short and brief i’m afraid. There is absolutely no background story to this Android game, as you just try to match the Jewels to clear them and make the rest fall down to create bigger combos and earn more points. The objective of the game is quite simple : earn as many points as you can before the timer on top of the screen runs out.

At the start of each level, you will get a hint about which Jewels score double or more points. At first, it might be a bit hard to see all the combinations, but you have the option to get a hint as to where to look first, resulting in diminishing returns on the timer. Usually, you won’t even need the hints, as the objectives are straight forward.

The timer on top of the screen is a fuse which slowly burns up. For me personally, it’s a funny addition to the game. It might be a wasted visualisation for most, since you’ll be focusing on the Jewels most of the time anyway. But if you’ld get a chance to glance up, i’m sure you’ll find it amusing aswell.

Jewels Deluxe is not a new game. It’s been around for a while now, dating back to 2001 when it was first developed for browsers. The game is also known as Bejeweled, which will probably ring a bell for most of you readers. Definitely give this a try to kill boring hours during the day 🙂

To illustrate, view the screenshots below :

 

Part 2 : What does it cost?

I couldn’t make my 10th review a paid Android game, now could I? You’ve all been loyal to me from the getgo, so i figured you all deserved a reward. This game is completely free of charge and can be downloaded from the Android Market

Part 3 : Conclusion ?

Is it fun to play and even replay the levels?

You can never get bored of Jewels Delxue. Honestly. it’s just so much fun and very, very addictive to play. Be warned!

Does it perform better on a smartphone or a tablet?

I only ran the game on my tablet, because of the larger screen in portrait mode. I’m pretty sure it works well on both devices, but the larger screen definitely makes it easier to use.

Personal rating : 9/10

Hello fellow Androidians,

The stream of streaming Android applications (See what i did there? You know you love it!) continues, as our featured app of the day is Netflix. Surely you’ve heard about it by now? If so, or if not, read on!

We’ll break it down into three parts :

1) What does it do?

2) How much does it cost?

3) Conclusion?

Part 1  : What does it do?

Where to start… Netflix is an online service, which allows you to stream their entire collection of movies , tv shows and documentaries over the internet, to the device of your choice. Supported devices include computers, laptops, certain TV models, gaming consoles, smartphones and tablets.

Netflix is constantly growing their available content, making deals left and right. Currently, they offer boatloads of  TV shows and movies. As is contractually agreed, newer moves will be added 28 days after the official DVD release in stores.

Sounds good so far, right? Well, it even gets better. Netflix is mostly known to people from the U.S. and Canada, and since a few days, also Latin America. It isn’t available in Europe yet (officially), but there are ways to bypass this small obstacle, by the use of a VPN service.

In brief, I’ll explain what a VPN service does. VPN services allow you to change your IP address to an external IP address, locate din a different country. This service allows you to appear to be from the U.S., U.K. or other countries, while actually being from your country of residence. This also allows you to use services such as Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and more.

The VPN service i’d recommend for Netflix, is called HideMyAss. They offer cheap, reliable and professional VPN services, which also ensure you’ll get the highest possible video quality on Netflix. We don’t want to watch a movie filled with blur and pixelation, now do we? Sign up for HideMyAss VPN services using this link.

As a piece of advice, i’d recommend to visit the Netflix website to tweak the video quality settings to your liking. I have it set to best quality, and it works smoothly with my VPN.

One of the most important features on the Android app version is that you can select alternate audio languages,. This is most useful for the anime collection Netflix has, so you can actually listen to the original audio track, and have it subtitled in English.

Subtitle support is available for most TV shows and movies i have encountered so far. Only English subtitles are available at the moment, no word on if this will be expanded with more languages as of this writing.

Here are some screenshots to illustrate the functionality of Netflix:

Part 2 : What does it cost?

The application itself is free of charge. However, the Netflix subscription is not. At this point, you can start a free 30-day trial, which can be cancelled anytime, if you follow this link . You will need a valid credit card to sign up. Recurring subscription costs 7.99 USD / month for unlimited streaming.

Download the Netflix application from the Android Market .

Part 3 : Conclusion ?

Netflix is a great initiative, available to customers worldwide. All you need is a working internet connection, and a VPN service. I am personally using the service for over 2 months now, and I’m still running into shows or movies I have never heard of, but which surely seem interesting to watch.

You get a free trial which can be cancelled any time, so make use of it and decide for yourself.

NOTE : This application, like Veetle Lite, can be a battery drainer if used for extended periods of time. Make sure your battery is always (fully) charged before using this.

Personal rating : 10/10

Hello fellow Androidians,

The time has come to review one of the most famous games to ever set foot on a device, be it PC, cellphone, smartphone, or tablet : Worms. They are back, with a vengeance, and coming to an Android device near you!

We’ll break it down into three parts :

1) Gameplay and story.

2) How much does it cost?

3) Conclusion?

Part 1 : Gameplay and story?

Don’t tell me you need an introduction to Worms…Unless you have been living under a rock for like the past 10 years, you must have heard of this awesome, addicting and sometimes quite sadistic game. Most of you who read my blog probably don’t see much daylight anyway, so I’ll give it a short background story.

The original Worms game dates back to 1995. Yes, that’s right, a decade and a half ago. The game itself is a turn based game, which will probably be quite familiar to most of you readers. You control a team of worms (didn’t see that one coming did you?) and you try to eliminate the opposing team of worms (once again, a shocking revelation by yours truly) before they dispose of you.

Now, how to kill those worms, you may wonder? We all know they can be quite wriggly and cunning! Well, the game developers made sure you have plenty of ways to get the job done. A bucketload of weapons & props are available to you, ranging from a simple prod (or poke) to grenades, Uzi’s, rocket launchers, air strikes, Dragon ball Z moves (Kamehameha anyone?) and my personal favourite , the stone donkey statue.

Oh, i forgot to mention, they have exploding sheep aswell. Yep, exploding…sheep. Let that one sink in for a while before you read on…

Occasionally, you’ll also see a package drop from the sky. These can either be special weapons, health packages, etc. To stir things up, these usually drop right in the middle of enemy territory. Let the games begin, gentlemen and gentlewomen… Charge!

Something worth mentioning aswell, are the in-game sound effects. The weapons itself make accurate enough sounds, but its the voice overs of the worms which make the game even more fun and exciting. Ranging from British to Australian accents, silly talks, crazy sounds when doing a backflip, it all adds up nicely. If you never played Worms before, you’ve definitely missed out on something, but it’s not too late to convert!

To illustrate, I’ve added some screenshots from both the smartphone version  and also from the tablet version :

Part 2 : What does it cost?

Once again, not a free game i’m afraid. However, it comes ridiculously cheap at the price of 2.99 USD. A bargain really, for all the fun you’ll have playing this Android game. Purchase directly from the Android Market!.

Part 3 : Conclusion ?

Is it fun to play and even replay the levels?

Are you kidding me? This is Worms we’re talking about, infamous and nostalgic gameplay! Of course it’s fun, you’ll never get bored with this, trust me ! .

Is there anything new added compared to older versions? 

Haven’t seen much new really, but none of the awesome features got removed either, which is always a plus. Besides, now you can buy the portable versions of Worms to take with you anywhere in the world! .

NOTE : This game plays smoother on a tablet compared to a smartphone. The bigger screen makes it easier to play the game & get used to the controls. Just a personal opinion though.

Personal rating : 9/10

Hello fellow Androidians,

As i said yesterday, there would be more reviews coming concerning streaming media apps. Well, this app doesn’t necessarely stream in the meaning of streaming your own content, but it streams radio stations to your devices!

I present to you : [drumroll] TuneIn Radio Pro [/drumroll]

We’ll break it down into three parts :

1) What does it do?

2) How much does it cost?

3) Conclusion?

Part 1  : What does it do?

First of all, i would like to highlight the catchy name of the program. It’s about RADIO content (web radio in this particular case), which you can TUNE IN to,in a PROfessional way.Funny how that works, isn’t it? Oh well, love it or hate it.

On to the goodies! TuneIn Radio Pro for Android allows you to select any internet radio on the web you can possibly think about, and it will stream it to your device. You can enter the url of the webradio manually, you can search for it, or you just select a genre and flick through the available stations.

Personally, i found this very unique. Why, you may ask? Well, i listen to hardcore music (no, not the metal kind). Any other audio streaming Android app i have tried in the past, doesn’t seem to recognize this genre at all. I can enter any DJ/Artist/Producer from the scene and it would come up with 0 results.

TuneIn Radio Pro is different in that regard. There are two hardcore radio stations i tune in to on a daily basis, being Masters of Hardcore Radio & Coretime FM. Guess what? TuneIn Radio Pro recognizes both, and lets me add them to my favourites! So i have them available with 1 swipe and 1 click respectively.

The application also supports widgets, so you can put a nice widget on your homescreen(s) with information about the station you’re listening to, artist and track information, and so forth. Overall it’s the easiest (and for me personally, the only app with my taste’s recognition) music app i have seen so far.

If you have a better alternative available, leave it in the comment section below and i’ll give it a review!

Here are some screenshots to illustrate the functionality of TuneIn Radio Pro :


Part 2 : What does it cost?

Normally, this is a paid application. But the amazing crew at GetJar has provided everyone with a link to download this great application for free.

Or , if you like, you can directly purchase it from the Android Market

Part 3 : Conclusion ?

Is it REQUIRED to use this?

There are many audio.radio streaming apps out there. I Personally found this the best i have encountered so far, solely based on my somewhat out of the ordinary music taste. I’m sure there are other viable alternatives, but i’ld definitely give this beauty a try and see what it can do for your musical experience.

Will you benefit from it? 

Depending on your musical taste, you might or might not benefit from it in comparison to other alternatives.

NOTE : This application, like Veetle Lite, can be a battery drainer if used for extended periods of time. Make sure your battery is always (fully) charged before using this.

Personal rating : 10/10

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