You Are Viewing Entertainment

The Most Popular Social Games for Android

Posted By Guest Contributor on August 9th, 2012

Mobile platforms are the new frontier for gaming, and the result is that many gaming companies are still working out the kinks.

Some games are simple and overly repetitive to keep file sizes small while others are so large that they use up all of your memory or crash constantly.

Some games are free (but ad supported) while others seem to cost more than they’re worth. And then there are freemium games that you can download for free with the addendum that they nickel and dime you with in app purchases.

The long and short of it is that this platform for gaming is still in relative infancy, so you’re bound to hit a few snags. However, one major advance that most gamers can truly appreciate is the advent of social games. Here are just a few notable titles that you may want to download to your favorite Android device.

Draw Something

Arguably the most popular and addictive social game, Draw Something provides free fun for anyone with an Android phone or tablet. The premise is a play on the classic board game Pictionary, wherein users are prompted to draw one of several options listed and then send the depiction to friends so that they can guess the word.
Whether you’re drawing or guessing, this is one social game that offers nearly unlimited opportunities for fun in the mobile space. And while simple, it does have 900 words, color packs to enhance your pictures, and the option to issue challenges and track leaderboards as you compete with friends.

Words with Friends

Okay, so this is basically just a re-skinned version of Scrabble that allows you to formulate words from a limited selection of letter tiles. But you can chat with friends as you play, participate in up to 20 games at a time, and even challenge players that you don’t know. It may not sound terribly impressive, but you’ll quickly find out why Alec Baldwin got kicked off a plane for refusing to turn off the game; it’s ridiculously addictive.

Raging Thunder 2

This multiplayer racing game is pretty standard fare (compete against other drivers on courses that have been plopped down in the middle of spectacular settings like beaches and abandoned temples). But considering that it can be played across multiple platforms (you can race with friends who have an iPhone, for example) and it features great graphics and streaming mechanics that run without a hiccup, this free social game provides one fun ride.

Top Eleven

There are surprisingly few social games that center on sports (most of them want you to build cities, plant crops, or attack enemies), but this soccer management games is one that sports enthusiasts can quickly get on board with.

You’ll basically build your own club from the ground up in order to challenge other teams. You’ll manage a budget, create a roster, train your team, and basically perform all of the tasks that a real general manager would tackle. To say that this social game is immersive is an understatement.

Earth and Legend

Some of the earliest video games were in the adventure genre. But we’ve come a long way from PC text command games like Adventure. Earth and Legend is one social game that offers more than just your basic hack-and-slash experience, with real-time lighting (the gaming world follows a 24-hour light cycle), changing weather patterns, and of course, the ability to go on adventures with your online friends.

Evan Fischer is a contributing writer for Download Free Games, where you can find games like Feeding Frenzy, Feeding Frenzy 2 and countless others.

Songify — An Auto-tune app for Android

Posted By Steve McFarlane on May 29th, 2012

Even though the novelty of using this app may quickly wear off, one can’t deny that Songify is a pretty neat app.

Technology, we all know, makes a lot of things possible, but who would have thought that it could make singers out of even crows.

Auto-tune was originally intended to disguise off-key inaccuracies, allowing vocal tracks to be perfectly tuned despite being off-key.
From mindless ramblings, to more serious music creation, Songify auto-tunes your voice to create surprising good songs.

How this Android Auto-tune App Works

This is an auto-tune app for Android devices that alters the pitch of your voice to match that soundtrack you selected. Initially you are given just a few sample soundtracks to work with, but you can acquire others if you like.

Amazingly you can even read your shopping list to the app and it will adjust your voice to harmonize with the music you selected — you don’t even need to try and sing.

The app slightly blends pitches to the nearest true semitone thus harmonizing your voice with the music. Because the pitch of the voice is raised and lowered, the effect is perceived by the listener as a sort of voice leap from note to note, much like what a synthesizer does.

Songify if pretty easy to use and works well, considering the fact that it even makes music from absolute nonsense. This auto-tune app was used in quite a number of popular Youtube videos. Here is one version of the popular “Bed Intruder Song.”

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Auto-Tune

DaTuner – A Superb Android Instrument Tuner

Posted By Steve McFarlane on May 28th, 2012

No amount of skill can create great music or sound from an instrument that is not tuned properly.
If you have a good ear for music, and you know your notes, it may be possible to tune your guitar, piano, violin and others from ear, but using a digital tuner makes it possible for even a novice to adjust an instrument for better sound; DaTuner is one such instrument tuner and it’s available in free and Pro versions.
DaTuner is a precise and responsive chromatic tuner app for Android that has a pretty simple interface.

DaTuner Works by…

Converting the fundamental frequency to the nearest note and error in cents for quick and easy tuning of your guitar, piano, ukelele, harp, violin, bass, cello, mandolin, saxophone, Ducati timing belt, harmonica, kazoo, among others, and it works in noisy environments as well.

Tuning in a Noisy Environment

DaTuner has a screen and filter lock that allows you to select the note you would like to tune to. The filter will then ignore anything that is outside the range you are tuning for which makes it possible for you to tune an instrument in a noisy environment such as a band practice.
Even if the instrument is extremely out of tune, set the note you want to tune to and make adjustments until the correct note is reached; the app will display the change it is detecting and change the screen to green once the instrument is properly tuned.

No Dead Zones

There are no dead zones. Once the incoming note is within range of the note you are tuning for, DaTuner will detect and display the note that was heard, while it also shows the changes in pitch it detects as you make changes.
You can configure, to your liking, both the in-tune range and the colors that are used to display them if you like. Here is a video of the app in use:

Pro vs Lite Versions

Beyond the features we mentioned above the lite version of this Android instrument tuner has the following features:

  • Auto-Sensitivity means no configuration is required
  • Tuning is accurate and precise within these levels < 0.3 cents @ E3 (329.62Hz), <0.1 cents @ C5(1046.5Hz), < 1 cent @ A2 (110Hz)
  • Ad-free
  • Reference frequency adjustment for orchestra tuning
  • Choice of colors for sharp/flat

In addition to features in the Lite version, the Pro Version adds these features:

  • Sample rate range 8kHz – 48kHz
  • Transposition.
  • Temperaments. You can modify the ones that exist or add your own using a text editor. The temperaments are saved on your external memory under the /DaTuner directory
  • Notation (i.e, Solfége, English, English sharp, English flat, Northern European.)
  • Emulated strobe tuner display
  • Displays a digital readout of error in cents
  • Pitch pipe (triangle, sine, sawtooth, square)
  • Has a no-touch pitch pipe auto mode
  • Accelerated tuning algorithm

Install DaTuner Lite

Install DaTuner Pro

Review of Draw Something for Android

Posted By Guest Contributor on April 18th, 2012

Draw Something has been around for less than 2 months, but already it has topped Angry Birds in terms of popularity with over 50 million downloads.

Created by OMGPOP (which was bought out by Zynga, the same company that’s famous for Words with Friends), the app is a bit like the game Pictionary, allowing you to draw things that your friends guess.

When the app was first released, drawings per second averaged about 3.  The most recent stats from the developer suggest that there are over 3,000 drawings per second being created.  More than 6 billion doodles have been created since the app was released.  So what’s this app all about?

There are two versions of the app – one free, and one paid. The free version and paid version have almost the same features, though the free version features ads and the paid version eliminates them.  It only costs $0.99 for the app, and it is well worth the dollar to eliminate the annoying ads.

You can sign up using Facebook or Twitter, which allows you to see which of your friends are playing so that you can engage them in games as well.  If you’re not a Facebook user, or prefer not to use your Facebook or Twitter account you can still signup with an email address.

How Draw Something Works

The game allows you to pair up with a friend and take turns at drawing.  The object is to be the first to accurately guess what your opponent is drawing.  In each round, you get a list of words and you may choose one to draw.  The words are categorized according to varying difficulties.  You can choose the thickness of your pen and alter your color, in order to give you flexibility in what you’re drawing.

Once you’ve finished your drawing, the picture is sent to your opponent, who can watch you draw it and try to guess what you’ve created.  They are given a selection of letters to tap, so they don’t have to completely guess.  This is helpful when the drawing is particularly complicated.
After they’ve completed their guessing, you get to see how quickly they were able to figure it out, and you can exchange stats – checking out who is generally better at guessing and how quickly they are able to guess.

There’s also a random feature which pairs you up with a complete stranger.  This can be fun too, but keep in mind that unlike Pictionary, there is no one to keep track of “rules”.  You may find that people use words in their drawing (not allowed in Pictionary) if they’re unable to accurately draw the word they were given.  There’s also a “bomb” feature which allows you to “blow the word up” if you’re having difficulty with that particular word.

Pro & Cons

There have been a few complaints about minor issues: with a smaller screen size, for example, you will not be able to see and participate well, but it is a good Tablet game.  Other complaints center around the lack of notifications when it’s your turn, and the fact that it doesn’t override the display settings of a phone, allowing the screen to go dark in the middle of games.  Overall, the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive and downloads/uses continue to grow exponentially.

Jonathan Martin is a Seattle Magento developer and avid player of Draw Something.

A Brief Review of GTA 3 for Android Devices

Posted By Steve McFarlane on January 26th, 2012

Rockstar Games, as is known to all its fans, is singularly related to the blockbuster series of GTA (a.k.a Grand Theft Auto) – has celebrated the tenth birthday of one of its most influential games by repeating history. Late last year, the 10th anniversary of GTA 3 brought the action packed open world 3D sandbox styled game to mobile devices i.e. Android and iOS.

This reincarnation of Liberty City from the classic consoles to the high tech world of mobile computing has been a success. Considered as a port because of the fact that the original setup of the game remained intact, GTA 3 for mobile devices allows the massive and diverse world of crime along with its complete set of characters to be played on touch screen devices and is now available on Android Market sites such as the one over at AndroidPIT.

Gameplay

Unlike other iOS GTA clones the interface on this version is more like the real one. The game play as we said before follows the original, only the controls have been changed to fit mobile devices. The map, options and open world is the same as that in the older version as well. It functions smoothly especially on larger tablet screens but the old essence of the game is still preserved. Unfortunately, it may come as a disappointment to longtime Grand Theft Auto players who have played the later installments of the game to find that recent features such as jumping out of moving cars is none existent. But that in some sense it keeps the spirit of GTA 3 unspoiled. All GTA fans should be in their element on this one.

Controls

It is well known that controls can kill or make a game, even more so when you are playing on a touch screen as opposed to traditional consoles. GTA 3’s controls are designed to be intuitive and the buttons are all in their right place and sensitivity is just perfect. However, the auto camera works very well until you try and change it. This is when one has to bring his finger to the middle of the screen, which unfortunately disrupts game play. Otherwise everything about the input is snazzy.

Graphics

The gaming experience would be enhanced if the scenery was better.  It is not too ‘real estate’ but this Android game has just enough realism to make you feel in your element, though the pixel density and colors seem to have remained unchanged from the previous version. We just hoped that the real estate would have been better rendered to enhance the gaming experience, but then some have argued that more refined visuals would have made the game out of character with its theme.

Mods

It’s only recently that modders have found a way to work their magic on the Android GTA 3 too. Since all the files are there, only in different places, users can easily mod the game if they are so inclined.

Summary

GTA 3 has fit extraordinarily well onto the Android platform. Since the game has a sapping effect on the battery, producers have made it easier to save missions. Instead of heading to your safe-house gamers can exit the game and return exactly where they left off. Overall, GTA 3 is well worth its $5 price tag for all the nostalgia, excitement and experience.

About Author: Sarah Smith who is a professional Guest blogger. Writing for PC Keeper – useful software that also contains disk cleaner and registry cleaner.

Roundup of the Best Android Comic Readers

Posted By Steve McFarlane on September 28th, 2011

There are lots of comic book readers for Android phones and tablets; here are some of the most highly rated comic viewers.

Mango – Manga reader

Mango is a free, but ad-supported manga (Japanese comics) reader for Android devices. Choose from a huge library of over 8 thousand fan-translated manga, including: Bleach, One Piece, Naruto, Fairy Tail, Air Gear, Gantz, D.Gray-man, and thousands more.

The Mango Service strips down HTML data before sending it to the phone, which speeds up download times. This Android comic reader can load all 7,000 of MangaFox’s titles in just a few seconds, and all on one page. You can then save them to your SD card and read them later.

QR code

Fast Dilbert Reader

Gives access to more than 22 years of Dilbert strips. The comic strips are pre-downloaded before you reach them so that there is absolutely no loading delay when switching from one strip to another.

Of such you will not be left hanging if you lose data connection as often happens in subways and other low-reception areas. It is also possible to share strips with your friends, through Facebook, Twitter and MMS.

QR code

Comic Reader

This is an all-in-one free and ad-free comic strip reader for Android phones.  Use it to read 345 of the most famous comics including Garfield, Dilbert, Xkcd, Abstruse Goose, PhD Comics, Pickles, Geek and Poke, Calvin and Hobbes, Spiked Math and many more.
You need to have a SD card on the phone, as Comic Reader won’t run on a mobile without a SD card. QR code

Comic Strips

This comic reader has an easy to use interface and allows you to read over 300,000 comic strips from over 120 comics. Supported comics strips include: The Academia Waltz, Adam@Home, Agnes, Alley Oop, Andy Capp, Animal Crackers, The Argyle Sweater, Legend of Bill, Liberty Meadows, The Meaning of Lila, The Middletons, Minimum Security, Moderately Confused, Molly and the Bear, Momma, Monty.

QR code

 

Winamp for Android Review and Download Link

Posted By Steve McFarlane on September 26th, 2011

You could say that this is a complete music management solution for your Android. Winamp for Android not only manages music content that is on the phone but can sync with iTunes and content on your computers as well. In addition to having access to your own media library, the app can be used to access Internet radio stations, and thousands of them at that – using SHOUTcast.

At the bottom of the app is a clean and easy to use playback control panel that has the usual controls such as play, rewind, forward, playlist display as well as music source indicator. A standout feature is the lock screen widget that gives access to the music controls even if the screen is locked. Wimamp is free to download and use.

Features:

  • Listen to the newest releases with Full CD Listening Party
  • Wireless & wired sync with the desktop Winamp Media Player
  • Artist news, bios, photos & discographies
  • Browse by Artists, Albums, Songs or Genres
  • iTunes library & playlist import
  • Over 45k+ SHOUTcast Internet radio stations
  • Collapsible/expandable Now Playing screen
  • Album art gesturing for track change
  • Free Music downloads with Spinner’s MP3 of the day
  • Integrated Android Search & “Listen to” voice actions
  • Playlists and playlist shortcuts
  • Play queue management
  • Widget player (4×1 & 4×2)
  • Persistent player controls
  • Works even when the screen is locked
  • Last.fm Scrobbling
  • Available in multiple languages

Download Winamp for Android

Posted in Entertainment
Comments Off on Winamp for Android Review and Download Link

Android Podcast Apps – Top 3

Posted By Steve McFarlane on September 12th, 2011

Android podcasts apps are a great way to listen to your favorite audio and video non-streamed web casts. The following Android podcast apps are some of the best.

Pocket Casts

This a premium Android podcast manager, of such it offers much better performance and features than most other Android podcast applications. For one, podcasts are monitored for new content not by the app, but Pocket Casts’ servers. Other notable features include:

  • Servers monitors your feeds, so your phone doesn’t use bandwidth unnecessarily
  • Stream or download over 3G or WIFI without file size limits
  • Background downloading
  •  Podcast widgets
  • Provides notification when new episodes are available (optional)
  •  Landscape and large screen support
  • Quick skip feature, one tap of the screen and you can jump forward or backward through your podcasts
  •  Download to SD Card or phone
  •  Search or browse for podcasts by categories URL or popularity
  • OPML podcast import
  • Supports audio and video podcasts
  • Download resume support allows you to continue a download after the data connection was broken

QR Code

BeyondPod Podcast Manager

This is another powerful Android podcast client. For those who are concerned about bandwidth requirements of downloading podcasts and its effects on your mobile data bill you can schedule the app to use Wi-Fi only.

  • Complete control of how many podcasts are downloaded and how long old versions are kept
  • Downloads new content in the background while you enjoy other feeds
  • Provides full control over what is being downloaded
  • Podcast downloads can be scheduled to occur at a specific time, only when connected to WiFi, or only when the phone is charging.
  • Can automatically turn on WiFi, turn off it back off once feeds are done updating
  • Integrated podcast player tracks what podcasts you have listened to, and supports automatic podcast deleting at the end of playback to save space.
  • Has a configurable TiVo style commercial skip
  • Home screen widget that gives one-button access to your podcasts
  • Integration with Google Reader allows you to easily import your Reader subscriptions
  • Supports Atom, RSS 2.0, RDF and OPML feeds.

QR Code

DoggCatcher Podcast Player

This is another battery and data plan friendly Android podcast app. The app can make recommendations based on your feed subscriptions, and is in fact one of the most highly rated Android podcast clients. It has an integrated audio and video player to help you listen and view to your heart’s content.

Some feature highlights

  • Searching podcast and news directories
  • Importing for Google Reader/Listen
  • Easy to find new podcasts/feeds
  • Fully automated download and cleanup of media files
  • Offline playback of audio and video
  • Categories for feeds
  • Variable speed playback (this requires the purchase of a third party audio library named Presto)
  • Supports RSS 1.0, 2.0, and ATOM
  • Automatically updates feeds, download and delete media on a configurable interval

QR Code

Comments Off on Android Podcast Apps – Top 3

Android Apps for Australia

Posted By Steve McFarlane on September 4th, 2011

The Android platform has no doubt become one of the most popular mobile platforms, with solutions to meet the wants and desires of most consumers. In this roundup we highlight some of the top ranked Android apps among Australian users.

Australia TV Time

This is an ad-supported TV guide app for Australian FreeView TV channels. Use the app to list available channels in your region, programs that are now playing and detailed program information for the next 4 days.

Some of the channels that you can access include: ABC1-3, ABC News 24, SBS ONE, SBS HD, SBS TWO, Seven, 7TWO, 7mate, Nine, GEM, GO!, One, TEN, ELEVEN, TVS, Prime …, and others depending on your region.

Weather Australia

This is a free (no ads) Android app for Australia that provides weather information from Australia’s National weather agency (the Bureau of Meteorology).  The app features:

  • Weather observations and forecasts for hundreds of locations around Australia and Antarctica
  • You can automatically detect or manually select your location
  • Animated rain radars (range: 64km, 128km, 256km, 512km where available)
  • Animated wind radar (where available)
  • National animated rain radar
  • Past 24-hour or 72-hour weather observations
  • Extended range forecasts for regional locations
  • Rain probability forecasts
  • Current UV values for capital cities, Newcastle and Townsville
  • 4 widget themes to suit your home screens
  • 4 in-app background themes

AG Aussie News FREE

Access a mobile version of Australia’s major newspapers. The app is not pretty but you will have access to some of Australia’s best newspapers including: The Sydney Morning Herald, The Daily Telegraph, Brisbane Times, Brisbane Times, The Australian Business Review…(and many more). You can also add papers from more than 20 countries and customize the app with animations and backgrounds.

Fuel Watch WESTERN AUSTRALIA

With this app you can do a quick search to find the cheapest fuel in your current location or an area you will be traveling through. The app contains gas prices for the entire metro area, the Northern, Southern and East suburbs as well as the Hills. Once you find a station with good prices long press it to have Google Maps navigate you there.

NRL Live Scores League Now

Get free and live NRL scores on you phone with this sport info app. With the app working as it should you will get instant score updates with score type and name of scorer, while the game is in progress. The app will also give you access to the:

  • The latest news, weather forecast, injuries, odds, expert tips, winning streak and tipping trends for every game.
  • The NRL ladder and win/loss history for teams.

The app provides information on the following NRL teams: Brisbane Broncos, Bulldogs, Canberra Raiders, North Queensland Cowboys, Cronulla Sharks, Rabbitohs, St George Illawarra Dragons, Sydney Roosters, Gold Coast Titans, Manly Sea Eagles, Melbourne Storm, Newcastle Knights, Pernith Panthers, New Zealand Warriers, Wests Tigers, Queensland Maroons and NSW Blues.

Melbourne Train Trapper

Has complete timetable guide for the Melbourne Metro Train Network. The app allows you to find the trains times for any Metro train service. For your convenience Train Trapper can detects your location and displays the arrival times for the nearest station. You can also save your favorite stations so you can quickly get information on the next arrival and scheduling information. Here is a full features list:

  • Shows upcoming trains for your nearest or selected station
  • Filter based on line and train direction
  • Add stations to your favorites for quicker station selection and also quick views of when the train will arrive
  • Heaps of customizing settings available including ‘Home Lines’, which will automatically filter the display to those lines when the app starts up
  • Search for trains at any time of day and between up to 2 train lines at a time
  • Perform a long press on any train from the main screen to set a reminder or inform other users of a train delay.

Top 3 Android Sudoku Apps

Posted By Steve McFarlane on August 16th, 2011

Whether you call it soduko, sudoku or sodako, the game is fun for passing time by yourself or even engaging others in a multi-player environment. This is a roundup of some of the best Sudoku apps for Android tablets and phones.

Sudoku is a logic-based number-placement puzzle. A new sudoku puzzle will present the player with a partially completed grid. The objective is to fill a 9×9 grid with digits so that each column, each row, and each of the sub-grids contain all of the digits from 1 to 9.

 

Enjoy Sudoku by Jason Linhart

Sudoku provides daily games at 16 separate difficulty levels. Novices and experienced players alike will enjoy the extensive feature-set, which includes tutorials and an advanced hint system.

The multi-stage hint system starts with a gentle reminder to get you back on track, and progresses to demonstrate the exact technique to use if you are still having trouble solving the puzzle. The hints feature seeks to ease those frustrating moments while teaching you how to be a better player. For unlimited puzzles, you will need to get the paid version of this app.

Features include:

  • Daily puzzles at 16 levels
  • Sudoku tutorials
  • Optimization for fewer touches
  • Supports phones and tablets
  • Undo/redo option
  • Advanced techniques, including sashimi fish, chains, etc
  • Save your games
  • Highlighting reveals patterns
  • Includes a game clock so you can compare your times with others
  • Choice of digit styles, including Kanji and Hanzi
  • Automatic or manual pencil marks
  • Supports touch screen, keyboard, and trackball input
  • Large, high contrast digits are easy to read

QR code

Sudoku Solver by jdamcd

There are times when you will come upon a particularly challenging puzzle that will prove difficult to solve. In those instance you may want to use a Sudoku solver to see what numbers should be placed in particular cells. Sudoku Solver allows you to enter the given numbers and with the tap of a button it will solve the entire puzzle for you. To help you enter the numbers correctly it highlights any inconsistency with the Sudoku rules while you make each input. QR Code

Sudoku Plus

This is another classic Sudoku game, but this one has over 4,000 free Sudoku games that range from easy to very hard. Features include:

  • Undo
  • Multiple playing options
  • Themes
  • Folder filter: select what puzzles to display (new/playing/solved)

QR Code

Posted in Games
Comments Off on Top 3 Android Sudoku Apps

Android TV Apps

Posted By Steve McFarlane on August 11th, 2011

While you can use Youtube to watch hours of video, it is not the same as being able to watch live or on-demand streams of your favorite television show. If you have decent bandwidth and an unlimited data usage plan, here are some of the best Android television apps you can find.

 

SPB TV

This television app allows you to watch live TV from over 150 channels from more than 20 countries. Use SPB TV to watch live and video-on-demand TV channels on your device once you have a 3G or Wi-Fi connection. SPB TV features include:

  • A wide selection of public TV channels
  • Quick channel preview
  • Integrated TV guide
  • Fast channels launch and switching
  • Picture-in-picture mode
  • Video-on-demand
  • Onscreen controls

QR Code. See SPB TV in action below:

TV.Com

Use this app to access and watch videos, including full episodes from anywhere you can get a Wi-Fi or cellular data service. The app streams videos from CBS, The CW, CNET, ET, Showtime, CBS News, CBS Sports and much more. Best of all, the videos are free, and there is no subscription charged for the service. QR code

TED AIR

If you like TED talks then you will love TED Air. This app brings you presentations from thought changers such as Bill Gates and Bill Clinton and inspirational talks from the likes of Jamie Oliver and Brian Cox.  Each TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) video is approximately 18minutes long and is great for discovering brilliant ideas, entertaining insights and thought provoking perspectives. QR code

CNET TV

Get the latest news, reviews and tech related videos from CNET. The app features the full lineup of CNET tech shows, purchasing guides, product videos, and how-to videos. QR code

There are other Android TV apps from HBO and the SPEED channel, but like many other Android television apps they don’t seem to be well supported and in some cases lack the content need to pull the masses.

An Android Children Reading App for Kids 3 to 7

Posted By Steve McFarlane on August 2nd, 2011

Kids Learn to Read FREE was developed for kids ages 3-7. The app has the same functionality as the paid version (Kids Learn to Read) but is supported by ads. To ensure that kids don’t see ads, offers are handled differently than usual using the following strategies:

  • Ads only appear when the app is launched. The developer’s reason that it is the parent that normally open the app
  • Only banner ads are shown, because they aren’t click by accident as often
  • When you sign up for offers, you will not be taken outside the app.

Prerequisites:

Your children will need to have a knowledge of letter names and their sounds in order to used this app effectively. The app assumes that your kids already know the sounds that letters of the alphabet make. If the child does not know the letter names and sounds the app may not be fun and may indeed frustrate them. The developer recommends that you have your child use its Android children’s app called, ‘Kids ABC Phonics’, if your child needs to be brought up to speed.

What Will Your Child Learn?

’Kids Learn to Read’ is a delightful Android game for children that invites your child to practice blending sounds to form, read and spell words that are made up of only three letters, such as “dog”,”sun”, and “big”.

What activities are included in this game?

The game has four wonderful child-friendly sections.

  • Learn to Blend with Tommy Turtle – In this delightful learning activity, your child hand Tommy his walking stick, sneakers, and then a skateboard and watch him cross the letter bridge while they learn to blend letter sounds into words.
  • Learn to Read with Tommy’s Friends – In this section kids will have fun practicing elementary reading as they are asked to fit Tommy’s animal friends with skateboards and helmets.
  • Learn to Form Words with Letter Cubes – In this inviting activity, kids get to make words in a way that’s fun by turning real-looking blocks with letters on each side until the three-letter word is spelled out.

Download/QR code

Best Android Augmented Reality Apps

Posted By Steve McFarlane on August 2nd, 2011

Augmented reality apps can be used for a host of informative and fun things. From fun gaming adventures to marketing your business, there are tons of ways to use augmented reality apps. Unfortunately, if you do a search for Android augmented reality apps you will find some good ones, and an even larger list of crappy ones. This is a roundup of some of the best Android augmented reality apps we could find.

Wikitude World Browser

Find events, tweets, ATMs, restaurants, user reviews, related Wikipedia articles and a host of other interesting information with Wikitude.  The Wikitude app overlays interactive content and information onto your phone’s display by using the augmented reality browser platform to allow you to explore the world around you with your smart phone. However, if you don’t take the time to configure this app to your preference you can be overwhelmed by the shear amount of information that Wikitude presents to the user. QR code

See this app in action below:

Wikitude Drive US

This Augmented reality app can make it fun, or nauseating, or dangerous to stare at your phone’s screen to get driving directions. The app allows the user to see navigation information being display onto the device’s screen in real time. Because Wikitude overlays navigation directions onto the phone’s camera feed there is no need to view aerial maps. The app will also show you points of interest as you travel. For example, it will show you when you are about to pass a restaurant or pizzeria.

PLEASE: If you decide to use this app, hand it over to a co-pilot while you focus on driving; do it for the rest of us. QR code

Car Finder AR

A car is a pretty big thing to loose, but sometimes those large parking lots can get the better of us. If you often forget where you park that car of yours, ‘Car Finder AR’ can help you find it. Car Finder AR will help you find your way back to your vehicle by giving walking or driving directions to where you left it. The app makes it easy to save where you parked the car by simply opening the app and shaking the phone. You can also set a timer to remind you that you had parked beside a parking meter. Other features of the app include:

  • The ability to manage up to 3 cars
  • Driving/walking directions to where you had parked the vehicle
  • A home screen widget for saving a location with just one click
  • Location history
  • Share a location (via email and SMS) with other phones to coordinate a meet-up
  • Augmented reality map or RADAR view to find your way back to a saved location
  • Saves location automatically on bluetooth disconnect
  • Store a log on Google Calendar

QR code

Locus – Addon AR

Locus is one of those highly rated map applications that can record the route you hiked or traveled, and display POI (points of interest) along the way. This app is an addon that allows you to actually visualize POI’s on map in an Augmented reality view. QR code

Layar

Layar is the premier Augmented reality browser. It can be used to discover information and facts about the world around you. The app uses augmented reality technology, called layers (of which there are many), to display information on the phone’s screen that is relative to the devices current location. For example, a real estate layer can be used to overlay information about apartments that are available for rent in your immediate vicinity by simply pointing the phone in the direction of buildings that you think may have vacancies. It also has a map view that can be used to see places and information of interest to you. QR code

See this app in action below:

TweepsAround

Here is a great app for stalkers. TweepsAround allows you to see who is tweeting near you and gives you and option to tweet back at them. I don’t know about you, but I would be pretty freaked out if someone responded to one of my tweets by accurately describing what I was wearing. Fortunately, TweepsAround does have a limited area restriction so in theory no one should be able to track you from across town, if they aren’t good at hacking that is. This app requires that the Layar app be pre-installed though, if it’s not, you will be shown a download link to get it. QR code

Star Chart

This astronomy app allows you to carry a virtual star chart in your pocket. Install the app and point your phone to the sky to have it reveal the constellations and stars that are in the visible universe. Using GPS technology, an accurate 3D universe, and all of the latest high tech functionality, Star Chart calculates, in real time, the current location of every star and planet that is visible from Earth and shows you precisely where they are; even in broad daylight, if you can see your phone’s screen that is. QR code

Google Sky Map

Google Sky Map turns your Android-powered mobile phone into a window into the night sky. This app works similar to Star Chart, in that it turns your Android into an astronomy app. Point your phone or tablet at the sky, and Google Sky Map will show the stars, planets, constellations, and more to help you identify the celestial objects that should be in view. QR code

Satellite AR

Except that you want to impress your friends with a cool app, or ensure that you don’t mistake a satellite for a star, I am not sure what good this app can be used for, but if you have ever wondered what satellites are flying above, this app will show them to you using augmented reality. Point your phone’s camera to the sky, and small icons will track the location of various satellites. Those in sunlight are colored yellow to help you look for them on a clear night. QR code

See this app in action below:

3D Compass (AR Compass)

Instead of the plain old digital compass you have on your phone use this cool app to superimpose a virtual compass over the phone’s live camera shot. Use the app to take screen shots of you current address, bearing and speed and send that to your friends. QR code

There are many other augmented reality apps for Android phones and Tablets as we pointed out earlier. While many are built on a good concept, there is a large percentage that isn’t well executed. The apps we presented in the article represent some of the best we could find. Be sure to check out our roundup of Android augmented reality games. The following apps did not make our list, but are worth a second look. Photos Around, Lookator, PhantomALERT and Dashboard Assist.

Posted in Games
Comments Off on Best Android Augmented Reality Apps

Start a Party with this Karaoke App

Posted By Steve McFarlane on August 1st, 2011

Shazam is one of those cool apps that you can use to impress you friends with your seemingly super power ability to recognize virtually any tune, or song. Use Shazam to recognize what song is playing by simply having the app listen to a part of the song and it will reveal to you the artist, the album and even the lyrics of the song.

Shazam adds LyricPlay

It seems only natural that Shazam be given a karaoke feature that will enable users to choose songs and sing along to the lyrics. The new feature is called “Shazam LyricPlay” and it is available on Shazam Encore. LyricPlay syncs the song you’re listening to and displays its lyrics as it plays. The feature is currently available on Shazam Encore and (Shazam) Red apps for the iPhone and iPod touch. It works with 25,000 plus songs and growing.

The Android crowd patiently awaits being served. Until then, we will have to stick with the likes of Android Karaoke.


Android Apps for Aspiring Professional Photographers

Posted By Steve McFarlane on July 27th, 2011

To become a professional photographer you will need to learn how to properly use your equipment. If you’ve never had the time or resources to attend photography school, or take an online course, you would be happy to know that there are great online resources that can help you develop the skills you need to take awesome photos. Some of them can be found in unassuming places, such as Android devices.

You can download any of these photo apps by scanning the QR Code with a barcode scanner app..

Photography Trainer

This is a must have app for amateur photographers and aspiring professionals alike. Whether you want to do night, sports, or architecture photography, this app guides you with step-by-step instructions on how to setup a DSLR to take the perfect shot. The application helps photographers to truly understand how to best setup a camera (shutter speed, aperture and ISO settings) to achieve the effects that they want.

The learning progress is further enhanced with the inclusion of dozens of sample photos along with tutorials and tips to help photographers setup the camera to achieve similar results as shown in the sample photos. It is not the same as going to digital photography school, but this app does an awesome job for $1.99. In our opinion, paying $1.99 for photography training is a good deal. (more…)

Top 5 Android Photo Apps

Posted By Steve McFarlane on July 27th, 2011

Here is a roundup of the best photography apps for Androids. This top 5 list includes a photography training tool, a photo editor and other tools to add special photo effects.

You can download any of these photo apps by scanning the QR Code with a barcode scanner app.

Photography Trainer

This is a must have app for photographers, whether you want to do night, sports, landscapes, portraits or architecture photography, this app guides you with step-by-step instructions on how to setup a DSLR to take great photos. The application helps photographers to truly understand shutter speed, aperture and ISO settings.Android photo app

The learning progress is further enhanced with the inclusion of dozens of sample photos along with tutorials and tips to help you setup the camera to achieve the same results as the sample photos. In our opinion $1.99 is a small price to pay for photography training. It is not the same as going to digital photography school, but the app does an awesome job for $1.99. (more…)

The Best Android Golf GPS App

Posted By Steve McFarlane on June 1st, 2011

Being able to measure the distance to various golf course obstacles and at the same time track and analyze your own statistics can be a real game changer. These golf apps will put a powerful tool in your pocket that can drastically improve your game or at least lift it above the standard of your buddy’s.

Golfshot

In addition to being able to track distances, Golfshot has over 35,000 professional mapped courses with aerial view and distance to any point on the course. With so many reasonable priced golf GPS apps it is difficult to recommend an application that charges $29.99, but that’s what Golfshot costs. Golfshot does have some graphing and stats features that help it justify it relatively high asking price though. (more…)

Enjoy a Game of Chess on Your Android with these Apps

Posted By Steve McFarlane on May 19th, 2011

While many of us play chess simply for the fun of it and don’t mind if a friend beats us now and then, others harbor ambitions of becoming Grand Masters. It is for that reason that we put together a list of the top three chess apps for Android devices for those who like to have the option to play when they want, and also have the resources necessary to improve their game. Here are some of the best-rated Android chess games. (more…)

Android Math Games for Kids and Adults Alike

Posted By Steve McFarlane on May 9th, 2011

Mathematics and fun aren’t usually a combination that kids will talk about in a general conversation. However, with the advent of some very engaging and entertaining math based apps, the conversation for kids may very well change to include the term ‘fun maths apps’.

The main thing with these math-based games is that they are educational yet fun. Who wouldn’t love to have their kids playing something that will help them with their time tables, fractions or with other mathematics related concepts that often seem dull and boring? The following Android math apps are highly rated and are great math apps for your kids to spend hours having fun and learning with. While this roundup only covers the paid versions of these math game apps, there are free versions of each app available. (more…)

Top Android Song and Tune Recognition App

Posted By Steve McFarlane on February 15th, 2011

SoundHound is an incredible app that can recognize a song, tune or even a hum after listening to a short sound clip of it. Once the app recognizes the song it will attempt to find the lyrics, and information about the album and artist as well as any related information it can find on Youtube and online stores (i.e. links to purchase the song). (more…)

Top 5 Android Apps for Music Lovers

Posted By Steve McFarlane on February 11th, 2011

Whether you prefer having someone select songs for you (i.e. radio), or you prefer to listen from your personal collection, there is an Android music app for you. This is a roundup of the top 5 Android music apps that are currently available; the apps were selected based on overall user ratings and popularity.

You can download any of these music applications by scanning the QR Code with a barcode scanner app.

(more…)

The Best Android Tablet Games

Posted By Steve McFarlane on January 25th, 2011

Despite the fact that most Android games were initially designed for phones, there are some great Android games that make good use of the larger screens that Tablets have. Here are some to the best Android Tablet games that are compatible with the Samsung Galaxy Tab or other popular models.

You can download any of these Android tablet games by scanning the QR Code with a barcode scanner app

(more…)

The Best Android Movie Apps

Posted By Steve McFarlane on January 25th, 2011

From finding the right movie, to finding the right theater to watch that movie in, there are many options to consider when planning the perfect movie night. Ensure that you choose the right option by using these Android movie apps to find reviews, preview trailers and find the right location the next time you decide to go and watch something. (more…)

Best Android Games – Card Game Apps

Posted By Steve McFarlane on January 23rd, 2011

Card games have long been used for entertainment, to pass time and to wager. Here are some to the best-rated Android card games on the market.

(more…)

Best Android Games – Augmented Reality Games

Posted By Steve McFarlane on January 23rd, 2011

Augmented reality games allow players to use their phones to interaction with a so-called parallel universe. From shooter to treasure hunt games, these apps allow Android users to have fun with their phones in ways that weren’t possible before. Here is a list of some of the best augmented-reality games for Android mobile devices. (more…)