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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

Hello fellow Androidians,

Yesterday we had a cute little green monster, today, we’ll discuss something entirely different… zombies! And… Pumpkins…!! Not sure what should scare you the most, but hey, keep on reading…if you dare!!

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?

Allright, so we all know Plants vs Zombies, right? Evil Zombies trying to invade your garden, you fend them off with plants, yada yada yada. Awesome game! Well, many PvZ clones have appeared over time, and this is one of them. Most of the clones actually, well, suck nuts. This one doesn’t… as much.

The system is the same, use the materials (in this case, 2 kinds of pumpkins, orange & green) to dispose of the invading zombies asap. Sounds easy, right? It is. Really. Not too much of a challenge here.

Anyone noticed how i said zombies instead of monsters? Well, it’s basically a mix of both worlds. They appear like Frankenstein-ish monsters, but they act like zombies. So call it whatever you like (and let me know your term for it in the comment section below!)

It’s not just all about those evil, lighting up, deadly, mutated (dare I say zombified?) pumpkins though. There are certain tools to aid you in case you’d get overrun. For example, you can purchase additional dynamite to just blow up some of them creeps! Although a 3-Zombie combo with a line of pumpkins is still far more enjoyable to watch . Reminds me of a strike in bowling….

As stated, the game itself isn’t too hard but in the early levels you already may find yourself being overrun. I’d personally advise to save your earned ‘currency” and upgrade the “firepower” of your pumpkins first, so they can deal more damage to incoming foes. But that’s just my two cents, do as you like of course!!

In this game, you’ll find 90 playable levels, or you also have the “free play” mode, which runs as long as you can squash those zombiefaces with your mighty impressive pumpkins (or dynamite, or whatever). Endless hours of fun guaranteed!

Haven’t played it much lately myself (too busy blogging for my crowd – thanks guys & gals!) , but it’s fun to play it every 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 through the Android Market. Download from Android Market

Part 3 : Conclusion ?

Is it fun to play and even replay the levels?

Yes it is. Flicking around pumpkins to kill zombies. It doesn’t really need more added to it. Oh wait, except for the occasional BANG from the dynamite perhaps….

Is it better than Plants vs Zombies? 

Unfortunately i have never had a chance to play Plants vs Zombies on my smartphone (yet), so I can’t really compare. But it’s basically the same idea, just slightly different, so I’m pretty sure fans of Plants vs Zombies will like Pumpkins vs Monsters aswell.

Personal rating : 7.5/10

Hello fellow Androidians,

It’s time to shift into a different mode. This’ll be the first streaming internet channel app for Android that i’ll review, but there will be more reviews coming in the next few weeks. Stay tuned!

The lucky Android app today is Veetle Lite.

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?

Veetle is a flash stream on the internet. People broadcast content of their choice on the Veetle platform. It works like Ustream,Justin.tv, and others. Veetle streams usually do not require a super fast connection to work, and they support HD video broadcasting. In the screenshots you’ll see some of the available channels to watch on your smartphone or tablet.

The application Veetle Lite basically lets you watch internet streams. For people commuting every day, people who are waiting somewhere, or just if you’re at work but there isn’t much going on, this app is for you. Watch The Simpsons, Friends, Two and a Half Men, Movies, etc on your device when you want! (And when the channel(s) is/are broadcasting)

Veetle Lite for the Android platform does not require a fast connection. I’ve tested it on my HTC Desire on 3G, HSDPA & Edge, and all three network speeds work quite well.Wifi is also a possiblity of course, depending on your location. The app also allows to change the aspect ratio of the channel so you can watch full screen, in 4:3 format, 16:9 format, etc. Most broadcasts will be in English, sometimes even with subtitles.

As promised, here are some screenshots :

Part 2 : What does it cost?

This is the best part about this Android application, it’s completely free of charge.

Give it a try and see if it works for you. It saved me quite a few boring hours during commutes, while waiting for someone, or when i was just slightly bored.

Veetle Lite for Android can be found here : Download from the Android Market
Part 3 : Conclusion ?

Is it REQUIRED to use this?

There is no real required situation to use this, but it can often save you time you’ld spend bored otherwise. I find it amusing & relaxing to watch The Simpsons while on the bus, or whenever i have the chance to..

Will you benefit from it? 

Possibly, depending on the situation. People do tend to spend quite some time doing nothing , or partially nothing. This application could fill up those voids with entertainment.

NOTE : This is a battery drainer. Basically you lose about 1% of battery per minute and a half watched on Veetle (for non HD streams). If you use this, make sure your battery is at least 50% charged , or it will be depleted rapidly..

Personal rating : 8/10

Hello fellow Androidians,

Busy sunday isn’t it? Anyway; I figured it’s time to present to you : Cut The Rope. It’s a game. It’s fun. It’s challenging.
And the green guy is kind of adorable 🙂

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?

A background story about this game….well…. If you eat too much candy, you’ll turn into a little green monster!

No? Well then i don’t know really. The green monster (who really is adorable to be honest) is called Om Nom. No, i’m not making this stuff up, nor am i on some sort of hallucinant drugs (or so i tell myself every night before going to bed..) Did i mention you have to collect stars aswell? Boy you really must think i belong in a straight jacket now….

[Serious Mode ON]  You control a piece of candy, which you have to get into cute little Om Nom’s mouth by cutting the cords in a certain way or pattern. By collecting aformentioned stars, you get more points. As in most (Android) games, collecting stars is also part of the objective. Sounds quite easy so far you say? Well, you’re wrong. Or well, you’re partially wrong.

To make things harder, there are some roadblocks. Spiders trying to steal your candy, spikes crushing your candy, a bubble which’ll make your candy float into the air and possibly out of your screen if you’re too slow. (I’m still serious, it’s not all bubbles in the sky in life!) To get the level completed, a mix of insight, speed, and precisson is required. However, the game has a high replayability factor, so not beating all levels first time is not a big issue.

Currently, it features 175 levels. Quite big for such a cheap/free game. It was originally released on iOS for them Apple fanbois, but is now on the king of Operating Systems, our deeply beloved Android. But i must warn you, this game is more addicting then anything you have encountered before. Even World of Warcraft!

To illustrate, view the screenshots below :

Part 2 : What does it cost?

Currently, you can get this game for free using the Getjar software. (a GetJar review will follow later on this week). Cut The Rope can be found on the Getjar website here : Download from Getjar

After trying Cut The Rope for free, i would strongly suggest you purchase it from the Android Market aswell, to support the developer(s). It’s currently priced at 0.99 USD, so it’s a real bargain. Purchase from Android Market

Part 3 : Conclusion ?

Is it fun to play and even replay the levels?

Yes it is. First time i played it, i nearly spent 2 hours Cutting The Rope without even noticing how fast time went by.

Do you recommend purchasing it? 

To support the developers, yes. It also isn’t very expensive. But as i said, give the version from GetJar a try first to see if you like it.

Personal rating : 10/10

Hello fellow Androidians,

Podcasts. Everybody loves podcasts. If you don’t , then you’re not from this world. But you need a way to organize, download or stream your podcasts every day on my Android tablet. I found a great tool to do it. It’s called Doggcatcher. .

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?

As I said before, it organises podcasts. You can select to import them from various sources of the web, such as Google Reader, select the top downloaded podcasts from Twit.tv directly, etc. It has a very slick design, it’s very easy to use and it just does what I want it to : download & play podcasts!

The easiest way for me to keep a copy of the list of podcasts i listen to (direct video subscription feeds in my case) , is by using Google Reader. Now, Google Reader points you to the download or streaming link, but I’m not a big fan of that. I needed an app that would load these feeds, update them daily, do the downloading in the background, all that stuff.

So i downloaded the Doggcatcher Podcast trial, and it does wonders for me. I imported my Google Reader Feeds, it synced up immediately, it’s a one-click-download (running in the background) … It’s amazing! Previously, I tried Podkicker for Android, but it wasn’t really what I wanted. And it couldn’t handle all media files properly.

Doggcatcher Podcast Trial does this without any issues. Even the HD MP4 files from e.g. Tekzilla or Hak5 all play smoothly (depending on your hardware of course, it’s not a miracle worker converted into an Android app!).

As stated, I’m still using the Trial version. But I’m definitely going to upgrade to the full version in a few days. I love this Android podcast manager, and I can’t live without it.

To illustrate, view the screenshots below :

Part 2 : What does it cost?

There are 2 versions of this Android app : the free trial version, and the paid version.

The trial version lasts for 7 days, and afterwards it will give you the option to purchase. Currently the paid version costs 5 USD. That really is a bargain for something you will use every day, sometimes even multiple times a day!

Give it a try and see if it works for you. If it does, great! If it doesn’t, you only used the trial version and paid nothing so far.

Doggcatcher Podcast Trial can be found here : Download from the Android Market

Doggcatcher Podcast Play (Paid Version) can be purchased here : Download from the Android Market

Part 3 : Conclusion ?

Is it REQUIRED to use this?

For me personally, it is mandatory. If you are into podcasts on a daily or weekly basis, you’ll get much love from this great app.

Will you benefit from it? 

It’s like having your personal assistant in regards to podcasts. It updates, it downloads, it plays. What more do you want?

Personal rating : 9;5/10

Hello fellow Androidians,

My first reviewed Android game will be the simple, yet addicting & very fun Early Bird. Tweet about it! (pun intended) .

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?

As for the story, there really isn’t much to tell. You play the Early Bird, who has to capture the worm at the end of the level. As the saying goes, the early bird gets the worm! A game with a morale and a life lesson, you gotta love it!

Gameplay itself is quite easy. Those of you familiar with Angry Birds on Android (all 500 million downloaded versions so far! Amazing!!) will have an easy time getting on with the game. But there are some twists involved.

You have to get from the start to the end of the level using swipes (periods of flying). Because you are a little bird, you can’t fly very far on your own strength. There are several ways to help you increase the length of the flight, e.g. flowers who give you a jumping boost, flowers who send upward spirals of air to push you higher & further, etc.

The point is, get to the worm in as few swipes as possible. Per swipe you didn’t use to complete the level, you’ll get 10.000 points bonus (Angry Birds much?). The more points you earn, the more stars you receive to unlock new worlds. As of this writing, there are 4 available worlds, each carrying 24 levels, totalling 96 levels so far.

There is also a slight bonus in this Android game. Every time you start the game, and you’re on an internet connection (WiFi or 3G) , it will ask you to run the Feint service in the background. This service allows you to collect trophies in the game for reaching certain levels, and it also saves your progress. It’s a neat little addition in my opinion.

To illustrate, view the screenshots below :

Part 2 : What does it cost?

This is not a free Android game. At least in the regular way of free download that is. There are some pirated sites out there offering this as a free download. I myself have sinned, and downloaded it there. However, that was only for my smartphone. For my tablet, I did actually purchase it from the Android Market.

This lovely Android game is priced at 0.99 USD. Yes, that’s right, not even a dollar! If you break it down, it’s just over 1 cent per available level at this time, but more will be added!

Early Bird can be purchased here : Download from the Android Market

Part 3 : Conclusion ?

Is it fun to play and even replay the levels?

Absolutely. I find myself nearly very day playing this for a brief period of time to take my mind off of things

Do you recommend purchasing it? 

For everyone who wants a break from every day life & lose themselves in a fun, addicting Android game, definitely recommended!

Personal rating : 9.5/10

Hello fellow Androidians,

As far as my first Android application review goes, we'll talk about Avanced Task Killer .

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?

Basically, what this Android application does is, it kills any application that might be running in the background without you knowing it, or even noticing it. These applications put , albeit a smaller, drain on your battery, but more importantly, they slow down the device you are currently using. How so, you may ask?

Just like a computer, an Android device has a certain amount of memory (RAM). The more programs running in the fore- or background, the more memory is being used. Higher memory usage means less available RAM to cover all other tasks you want to perform at that given time. Consider it like a Windows Task Manager.

To illustrate, view the screenshots below :

 

 

Part 2 : What does it cost?

This is the best part about this Android application, it’s completely free of charge.

Give it a try and see if it works for you. If it does, great! If it doesn’t, nothing spent, nothing gained.

Advanced Task Killer can be found here : Download from the Android Market
 

Part 3 : Conclusion ?

Is it REQUIRED to use this?

Absolutely not.

Will you benefit from it? 

Possibly, depending on the situation

Will it interfere with other apps, e.g. a battery widget?

If you opt to kill the battery widget, information shown in the concerning widget might be incorrect or it might crash the widget.

Personal rating : 8.5/10

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