Selasa, 09 Oktober 2012

Bring out the artist in you with these free Android drawing apps

If you enjoy drawing or sketching and own an Android phone or tablet, this article is for you. There are a good number of apps currently in Google Play that will help you tap into your creative side. I was pleasantly impressed with these apps and what you can do on an electronic canvas.

Infinite Design (Free Version) Free

The app starts off with a nice selection of video tutorials on how to use the app and its features. It also provides an explanation of each menu item and some helpful tips. The app layout is done in such a way to maximize the drawing area. The top of the screen is your menu, while the buttons on the bottom set colors and brush styles. There are over 10 different brush styles and five different types of symmetry you can use. You can create layers, have unlimited undo/redos and can save/export your file. There is a pro version to remove the ads and the developers also offer the Infinite Painter app.

Picasso - Draw, Paint, Doodle! Free

Picasso - Draw, Paint, Doodle is one of three drawing/painting apps from DPs World. This ad-supported app is very simple to use. There is no help section and it has only five menu items: paint the whole canvas, color selector, brush selector, eraser and undo. Within the brush selector, you can choose the size and up to four different styles. The app allows you to load stored photos from you device and paint on them The app does have a share feature so you can email your masterpiece to others.

Download the Appolicious Android app

Pocket Sketchbook Lite Free

Pocket Sketchbook has a nicely done help section to get you started with the features and even indicates which are only available in the pro version. To start, you set up your canvas or loaded photo. Once that is done, the menu is then displayed. As with the previous app, it has a very simple menu. The first button is the pen setting and within there you can choose color, style, shapes, text and so on. Many of these items are only available in the pro version, though. One of the other buttons on the menu is a zoom in/out button. This works very well when you need to work on small details. You can use the app in either portrait or landscape mode.

SketchBook Mobile Express Free

Sketchbook Mobile is one of the more popular drawing apps out there. When you first open the app, you see nothing but a small circle of dots. Tap those dots and the menu options open up. This app definitely was designed to give you the maximum drawing space. To start a new drawing or get to the very detailed help section, hit the phones menu button. The app has a huge number of options you can customize. You can add text, use different style brushes, add layers, create symmetric drawings, and import/export drawings. The free version offers a lot, but with the pro version, you get 40 extra brushes, a brush editor, up to six layers and can create larger sized canvas.

Paint Commander (Free Drawing) Free

Paint Commander is another easy to pick up and use drawing app. It is very straightforward and has no help section. Select your canvas, your brush style and color, and go. The app does have some nice options to it. There are 12 different brush styles and with each style you choose, you can select/edit a number of options. The app also has an image adjustment section where you can change saturation, contrast, brightness, hue and more. A pro version is available with no ads.

Come on down and enjoy some fun Android game shows apps

I watched a lot of game shows as a kid. They were very popular in the 70s and 80s while I was growing up. I even got to be part of the studio audience for the show $10,000 Pyramid. Well, Android is taking me down memory lane with the release of a number of classic game show apps. Do you remember any of these?

Family Feud Lite (Unofficial) (Free)

This is an unofficial version of the popular game show Family Feud. The free version has ads and 100 questions, while the pro version comes with 500 questions. The game has three sections you can play. There is Theme by Theme, Billionaire Quiz, and Grandmaster Test. In the theme test you need to answer the questions, if you miss, you lose a life. You have three lives. After you answer the question, you will get the correct answer and the statistics. In the billionaire test, simply keep answering the questions correctly to double your money. One wrong answer and you lose. The grandmaster is similar to the theme test but there is a timer and the themes are mixed up. There are seven speed levels also.

Overall this is not a bad game. The style of questions and answers is very much like the old show that Richard Dawson hosted. There is no sound to the game which I think takes away from it some. Countdown sounds or that buzzer sound when you get a wrong answer would be cool. The billionaire test is tough and I could never earn much money. In the game you play against yourself but its a good game for those who like trivia.

Who Becomes Rich (Trivia Quiz) (Free)

This game is the unofficial version of the newer game show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? This game is still in beta but is actively being developed. The game has a complaint button where you can send comments to the developer. Also, there is a form where you can submit your own questions and answers. For a new game is there is quite a bit to it. You can set the music and sound, orientation of the screen, language, and the answer wait time (in ms).

As with the game show you are presented with a set of questions. There are four answers. You need to choose the correct answer to get the money and move on. If you get stuck you have three options. The first is 50/50 where you get a question with two possible answers. There is a lifeline option where a friend appears and provides you with an answer. Finally there is the pass option. The game maintains your high score so you can see how much money you won.

The Price Is Right Decades ($0.99)

This is the official game of the game show The Price is Right. You have the lights, the music, the sound bites awesome! The premise of the game is you need to look at these old tapes from different years, and help them identify them. Well the next thing you know is that you are the next contestant on The Price is Right for that year. Like the show you need to get the correct bid, without going over, to move onto the next stage. If you do not guess correctly you will have a few more chances. Once on the stage you can play Plinko, the Big Wheel, just to name a few, and then finally the Showcase. If you win, you can continue to another year, and play some more. Once you finish a year, it is put in the archives, so you can play it again.

The game has a multiplayer option where you can choose up to three other avatars for friends to play against/with you on the same device. The game has a few nice options such as choosing your avatar and resetting your game data. The music and sounds can be turned off if you like, but they are what really make the game fun. The game does a nice job explaining the rules and you can quickly skip any part you want. So do you know the price of a 1997 Ford Explorer?

Jeopardy! ($1.99)

This is the official game for Jeopardy!, so you get all of the sounds and music from the real game show. When you first start you will need to sign your name card, just like the real show, pick the game type and difficulty, then it is off to the stage. You will be competing against two others and have to provide the answer to questions in six different categories. In this game, when you decide to respond you will have a number of answers to choose from.

During the question and answer portion of the game, there is no sound or music, but the signature beep is there when time runs out. Each game has three rounds and the object is to answer the questions correctly and earn the most money. The game has four difficulty settings and you can also chose to play against your friends on the same device. The game use OpenFeint for online leader boards and achievements. You can look up your career statistics and reset them if you wish. Finally you can customize the look of your avatar. The game has cool little feature that will help you find the local broadcast of Jeopardy! based on your zip code.

Wheel of Fortune ($4.99)

This is the official game for Wheel of Fortune. It was developed by the same company that produced the Jeopardy! game, so the set up is very much the same. In the options area, you can customize your avatar and check out the leader board and/or career stats. You can share you info and find the local broadcast of the show. You can play against the computer or with friend(s) on the same device.

In this game you compete against two other players to guess the word first. You spin the wheel, to see how much money you will earn for the correct letter guessed. There are 1,800 puzzles in the game. Just like the real game show, there are several rounds to each game, and you need to figure out the puzzle to keep moving on. The graphics are well done in the game and is enjoyable. I liked the show when Chuck Woolerywas the host.

Download the Appolicious Android app

New Android apps worth downloading: Quicken Money Management, AOL On, Showtime Anytime

Here are three great Android apps to enjoy. Quicken Money Management is a great companion app for users of the Quicken 2013 desktop software so you can manage your finances from anywhere. AOL On is a handy video portal showcasing lots of great content from a variety of different sources. Finally, theres Showtime Anytime which enables subscribers to watch Showtimes original content from their devices, but unfortunately with a couple of big caveats.

Quicken Money Management (Free)

Whats it about? If youre a Quicken 2013 user, this handy app lets you keep track of all your finances on your Android smartphone or tablet while out and about.

Whats cool? The app lets you sync data between the PC and mobile versions seamlessly, but it also offers many of the features of its more powerful desktop companion. View balances and transactions, keep track of your finances and manually add expenses using the app. Quicken Money Management even lets you create and customize your home screen widget to display only what you want it to.

Who is it for? Clearly, the app only works in conjunction with the full Quicken desktop suite, but its more than just a stripped-down version, so is great for power users. The ability to get alerts sent to your device so you can stay on top of account changes is a handy feature for security and peace of mind.

Whats it like? Other great apps for managing your finances include, but this doesnt necessarily require independent software, but interacts with the companys main website instead, which also happens to be Intuit.

AOL On (Free)

Whats it about? Heres another great video portal for Android users as AOL continues to revamp and enhance its web and media offerings.

Whats cool? AOL On is a nicely designed app and easy to navigate. Its easy to discover all manner of video content from the latest news headlines to popular entertainment videos. Whether its breaking or trending, theres something here to enjoy. There are 14 channels to plow through including autos, business, style, health, travel, video games and more, as well as original content from AOL itself.

Who is it for? Sure, its no YouTube, but AOLs curated content from a variety of strong sources is still a fun app to browse through when you have a spare moment. For free, its certainly not a bad app to have around.

Whats it like? Naturally, YouTube is the big daddy of video content, but it isnt categorized or focused like AOL On. Other video apps worth checking out include Crackle Movies & TV and (for full shows), VEVO (for music video) and VideoSurf.

Showtime Anytime (Free)

Whats it about? So, in keeping with the TV theme, how about an app from the Showtime channel which allows you to watch their programming directly from your Android device?

Whats cool? The app offers unlimited access to Showtimes original series, uncut movies, sports, documentaries and more. Popular shows include award-winning dramas and comedies like Homeland, Dexter, Weeds, Nurse Jackie, Californication and Shameless. Its easy to organize your favorite shows and the app offers play-shifting so you can start watching on one device and finish viewing on another.

Who is it for? Now this might all sound hunky-dory for Showtime subscribers until you see the major snag: only those with AT&T Uverse or Verizon FiOS as their cable providers can see the shows, which is a real bummer. Hopefully more providers will be added soon. Still, Showtimes original TV content is pretty great.

Whats it like? HBO GO and MAX GO both offers a similar service, and while those apps also offer streaming through participating television providers, HBOs reach is clearly a little greater than Showtimes right now.

Download the Appolicious Android app

Senin, 08 Oktober 2012

Developing Minds Want to Know: Q&A with Dr. Oren Boiman of Magisto

Oren BoimanMagisto - Magical Video Editor, one of ourdaily app picks a few weeks ago, also made it into our Android Apps of the Week, we liked it so much. It offers a simple and easy way to edit the videos on your Android phone or tablet automatically. Its a clever app which analyzes the footage youve shot and splices it together to create a good-looking movie which is then easy to share with friends and family.

In todays Developing Minds Want to Know, we talk to Dr, Oren Boiman of SightEra Technologies, the parent company of Magisto. He discusses what inspired him to become an app creator, how he harness innovation and where he sees the future of the mobile industry heading over the coming years.

Key Company Facts:

Name and Title: Dr. Oren Boiman

Company: SightEra Technologies LTD, parent company of Magisto

Location: HQ in Israel + presence in San Francisco

Size (Revenue and/or Employees): 20

Primary Apps/Platforms: Magisto for Android and iOS, web

APPOLICIOUS: What inspired you to become an app creator?

OREN BOIMAN: I founded Magisto because of the personal frustration of trying to edit my first born daughters videos. It was difficult enough on a destkop, and almost impossible to do right on a smartphone. Obviously, it takes time to develop that level of artificial intelligence that enables a computer to think like a human video editor. Once we got that working, we built an iOS app and then an Android client to provide video editing in a click to everyone carrying a smartphone.

We also just recently announced that consumers can edit videos stored on Google Drive, automatically. Right now our Drive integration is available via our web and YouTube applications and the new Chrome extension, but we are working on providing consumers with the ability to use it within our mobile Magisto apps in the near future as well. In the meantime, Android users can install the Magisto Chrome app from the Chrome Web app store to create Magisto movies using Drive integration on mobile.How long have you been developing apps, and what is the most significant difference between now and when you began?

We launched a web app and an app integrated inside in September, 2011. But, we quickly understood that mobile apps can provide a way better user experience. So, we launched the iOS client at CES 2012 -and won first prize! Since then, Android has established itself as the largest platform for App developers, but all in all, Apps are more important right now than any other software platform (desktop, laptops).

Heres a video of the Android app Magisto - Magical Video Editor in action:

APPO: What apps (outside of those that you develop) inspire you the most and why?

OB: Evernote, Dropbox to mention a few, because they understand that it is not just the mobile app, but existence over all platforms and eco-systems that sets your product apart. Their monetization strategy works equally well on all platforms.

APPO: Where do you see the most innovation in the app sector?

OB: I think that the photography sector is the most innovative (especially video), as it completely revolutionizes the basic concepts of photography. I believe that in a few years from now, capturing video/photo without an app to process and share them will be inconceivable. Photography photos and ideos has been essentially reinvented.

APPO: How do you harness that innovation in your own titles?

OB: We combine unprecedented sophistication of Artificial Intelligence (AI) capabilities in the cloud, with the 24h connectivity of the video camera on the smartphone to give every user the impression that Magisto brings a whole professional casting crew director, editor, producer ready to help you tell your story, in real-time, 24-7. The blown-away responses, positivereviews, and very high ratings (higher than any video creation app in iOS, e.g. iMovie) tells it all.

APPO: In such a crowded space, explain how you generate awareness and drive downloads to your applications.

AB: At the end of the day, you need a killer app to make people talk about you and spread the word. All other channels are available to everyone and dont provide differentiation. But its not just direct to consumers we have a lot of interest from tier 1 device manufacturers and operators that are interested to help distribute the app in their eco-system.

APPO: What are the biggest technical constraints that exist today in the app sector?

OB: Getting your app to provide a consistently good UX on all platforms as they evolve (more screen sizes, hardware capabilities, operating system versions etc.)

APPO: How do you (or will you) make money from your application?

OB: On top of the basic level of features available for any Magisto user, on iOS we have a premium subscription service. This will be shortly available on Android.

APPO: What advice do you have to those working on their first applications?

OB: Work iteratively launch something small, learn, improve and iterate. Its very difficult to get it right on the first shot. Thats a good recipe for not wasting your time and improving your chances to develop something users really want.

APPO: Where do you see the app sector one year from now? Five years from now?

OB: In general, we will see more and more apps, but this means that app discoverability is going to be more important than ever. Utilizing multiple discoverability platforms will become one of the most important parts of marketing your app. Moreover, due to the multiple screen usage that increases, apps that are relevant on all platforms and eco-systems will have a significant advantage. This means that funded companies or startups will have better chance to develop these apps as this takes time and money. So, although there will be more and more apps, the apps that will be actually used will cause some consolidation in the app market (quite similar to what happened on the PC market after the first happy days of shareware software).

Download the Appolicious Android app

Impressive turn-based strategy games for Android tablets

I have enjoyed turn-based strategy games ever since I played a game called Panzer General for the PC years ago. Playing the role of a commander and trying to figure out the best strategy to win is a lot of fun. In addition to your current move, you need to look ahead and figure out potential future moves or consequences to your actions. Many times you need to lose and learn from your mistakes to be successful.

Now that I have a Tegra 2 Android tablet, I have been looking for some cool turn-based strategy games to play. The games listed below are all fit the bill, but each takes a slightly different approach to gameplay. These games play fine on Android phones but the bigger screen really makes them better. From what I have read there are some neat looking games coming out later this year, so keep you eyes open.

Everlands HD ($1.99)

In Everlands HD your job is help the nice animals stop the evil animals from taking over the forest. Why are some animals going bad? Follow the story mode and see. Everlands HD provides a slightly different spin on turn-based strategy games and its a refreshing change. The story mode provides 20 levels of play. There is also a duel mode where you can challenge your friends (on the same device). The game does have a very helpful tutorial and will give you hints as you play if needed. A free feature-limited version of the game is available.

The game is played by placing your animals (one per turn) on the game board and then attacking your opponent. There are about 20 different animals, each with different levels of health and attack strengths and directions. The key to doing well is figuring out the best animal to play and where to place it. As you attack an enemy, you lower its health, when you are successful, that animal will change sides. Doing a little bit of math will help in planning. Now this happens both ways, so you need to take care. When the board is filled, the majority present wins.

The graphics in the game are great and gameplay is very smooth. In each level, you only have so many animals to work with, thus adding to the challenge. Knowing the different animals is paramount. I have to admit I have used their hint feature more than once! Each level does not take a huge amount of time but you do have the option to pause the game and return later. Overall it is a very fun game. I did find the game will only work in portrait mode.

Age of Conquest: Europe ($2.99)

The goal of Age of Conquest: Europe (and all of the titles in the series) is very straight forward: conquer all of your opponents. There are numerous titles in the series; all play the same, just with different maps. There is a Iite version so you can try before you buy. You start off with your kingdom occupying one territory and some resources. On each turn you need to create more troops and then move them to conquer new territories. The more territories you have, the more money you earn, thus more troops you can create.

Although the game does not have the fanciest of graphics, it really is a lot of fun. I found myself playing turn after turn and getting frustrated at the AI and wanting payback! The game does have a number of options which really can spice up the game such as fog of war, random placement, diplomacy and empire management. In most games you will have to deal with multiple fronts, so you will need to take the time to review the whole map. Overall, I like the simplicity of the game, the variety of game options, and replay potential it has. This game also will only work in portrait mode.

Highborn: Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3 ($0.99 each - Amazon Appstore only)

Highborn is an easy to pick up and learn casual turn-based strategy game. The game follows the story of Archie and his fellow heroes and their battle against Decay. This game is broken up into three chapters. Each is independent of the other, so they can be played in any order but they do follow a general story arc. The games are only available on the Amazon Appstore currently. Each chapter is made up of eight levels plus a tutorial, but each level will take some time to complete, thus it is not a fast game.

One of fun aspects of Highborn is its sense of humor. The dialog, jokes and references are really well done. I was smiling the whole time I was playing. The maps in the game are quite extensive and have a wide variety of terrains, which effect units movement and effectiveness. The developers put a lot of effort in character development, so make sure you read up on the different ones you encounter. You really will get wrapped up into the story when you play which makes the game lots of fun.

Each turn is broken into movement and action segments. After moving your unit and an attack occurs, a small animated cut scene will come up to allow you to watch the action. In addition to the story, you can play in multiplayer mode via OpenFeint. The game allows you to save your progress at checkpoints. To win a level, your hero must survive, if they dont you get to start all over. The game will only work in landscape mode.

Great Little War Game ($2.99)

This is just a great little game! Great Little War Game (GLWG) plays on both small and large screen, has pinch-to-zoom, and gives the player a ton of options within the game. This has become one of my favorites. The game is broken up into three modes: Skirmish (play against the computer), Pass and Play (multiplayer locally) and Campaign (progress through a series of battles with the Generalissimo assisting you along the way). The game has at least 19 maps and each varies in size, starting locations, resources and terrain.

The developers really did a great job in providing the player ability to change so many of the game options. The list is really too long to put here but take my word, this feature really adds to the games replay value. You can save up to three games and it comes with OpenFeint achievements. Just recently, another version of the game came out GLWG:All Out War ($1.99) which is a stripped down version of the original game, designed just to allow play of two extra campaigns.

The 3-D graphics of the game and the battle animations really makes GLWG stand out from the usual top-down view offered by most turn-based strategy games. The campaign mode is fun but I favor the skirmish mode myself. As with the other games, your mission is to knock out the enemy and take over their bases. The game provides a nice variety of units you can create. To take over your enemy base, you will need engineers. In general, GLWG is not a fast game, but you can save your progress. The game will only work in landscape mode.

UniWar HD ($4.99)

The game Uniwar has been out for some time for both iOS and Android devices. It has won numerous awards and has been highly rated by its users. Recently it has undergone a major update, it is now Uniwar HD and is better optimized for Android tablets and provides a built in map editor. With these recently changes, the game is definitely worth the price.

If you enjoy games like StarCraft then I recommend you try Uniwar HD. In the game you can choose between three races to play and within each race there about eight different units. As with any of these games, each unit has its own strengths and weaknesses, so you need to do some research. To win, you need to eliminate your enemy and take over his bases. The game has three main modes: Campaign (play a series of missions against the computer to learn the game), Solo (play a single game against the AI), and Online (play others over the Internet). The online game feature is the main thrust of this game. This is no major storyline, just play against others and see how well you rank. A note: when you first start, you will need to create an online account to access all the features of the game such as map editor.

To have a chance to win in the game, you really need to know the units and how they interact with the terrain. Terrain plays a big part of the game. The campaign mode will definitely help newbies out but practice makes perfect. You can play quite a bit solo but its the online gaming component where Uniwar HD excels. There is a very active and helpful community already in place, and tons of player-made maps available online giving Uniwar HD an almost endless number of games. The graphics are great and fit well with the game. You can zoom in/out in the game and play in landscape or portrait modes. I wish I had Wi-Fi in my office so I could play more.

So, are there any particular turn based strategy games that you like to play? The games listed here represent a nice variety of game styles. If you enjoy story-based games with online multiplayer modes and 3-D graphics, then these Android games should have you covered.

New Android apps worth downloading: PostTV, Plague Inc., Air Navy Fighters

Here are three great Android apps to start the week. PostTV is a new app for GoogleTV users which brings some unique news content from The Washington Post directly into your home. Plague Inc. is a strategy game in which you get to infect the world while Air Navy Fighters sees you manning one of three combat planes and raising hell.

PostTV (Free)

Whats it about? This free Google TV app from The Washington Post lets you watch some great newscasts from the comfort of your easy chair.

Whats cool? Their main flagship show, The Fold, brings you the days big news and breaks down complex issues in half the time of a traditional newscast. Theres also News in 59 Seconds, a mid-morning primer on whats going on in Washington D.C. or across the nation, and Trail Mix, an ongoing political series covering the 2012 election campaign trail.

Who is it for? This is a Google TV app rather than a regular Android app, but its release in Google Play was noteworthy enough to deserve a place in our daily app list. Political news junkies and fans of WaPos quality journalism should definitely download it.

Whats it like? The Washington Post has its own, dedicated Android app and it also offers the Washington Post Social Reader app for sharing your favorites, as well as Trove, a news aggregator that helps you find exactly what you want to read.

Plague Inc. (Free)

Whats it about? Plague Inc. is a game from Miniclip which merges both strategy and realistic horror simulation of infecting the world.

Whats cool? Your pathogen infects 'Patient Zero' so now you must bring about the end of human history by creating and spreading a deadly, global plague whilst adapting against everything humanity does to defend itself. Hows that for a premise? Plague Inc. puts a new twist on the strategy genre with its sharp graphics and highly-polished interface.

Who is it for? Clearly, strategy lovers will find this game infectious (sorry), but its high-quality production values and attention to detail will appeal to many. Theres a comprehensive in-game tutorial so things arent too intimidating for new players, and an in-app purchase unlocks fast-forward mode.

Whats it like? Another game in Google Play called Epidemic offers a similar premise, but lacks the polish of Plague Inc.

Air Navy Fighters ($0.99)

Whats it about? Air Navy Fighters is an advanced flight sim where you get to fly some of the worlds best combat planes.

Whats cool? Pilot a highly detailed F/A-18 Super Hornet, F-14 Tomcat or C-2A Greyhound and take part in ground attacks, navy landing operations or search and rescue missions. Youll need to avoid SAMs and radars while choosing your favorite weapons to destroy warships and helicopters. The unique scenario-builder means youll never run out of new missions on which to embark.

Who is it for? Fans of flight sims will appreciate Air Navy Fighters its certainly a little more hardcore than many of the casual air combat games out there. There are advanced weather conditions with which to contend, comprehensive tutorials and new missions always being added. The scenario builder is great for creative types, while pushing the longevity of the title further.

Whats it like? A lite version is available to try out first, just in case youre not sure if Air Navy Fighters is your cup of tea. Other great flight sims exist in Google Play like C.H.A.O.S (with choppers) and X-Plane 9 (without the combat) or F-Sim Space Shuttle (if you want to pilot Orbiter).

Download the Appolicious Android app

Minggu, 07 Oktober 2012

Pocket Planes tops Android Games of the Week

We've got a pretty solid line-up this week, with some long-awaited Android ports. Also, every single game is free for once, so consider this "free week." Topping off our list is Pocket Planes, the follow up to everyone's favorite skyscraper management game. We've also got the latest from Kairosoft, who have done something a bit different, plus a brutally violent endless runner, a very child-friendly beat'em up, and a cool aerial combat game from Namco. Here are this week's top Android games.

Pocket Planes (Free)

After an iOS release back in June of this year, we finally get the follow up to Tiny Tower that we've been waiting for on Google Play. Pocket Planes takes that same NimbleBit charm and pixel art style and applies it to a worldwide flight management sim. Decide which planes go where with what cargo, trying to earn a profit so that you can expand your horizons (quite literally) with more airports and planes. If you're truly bored, you can even collect floating money mid flight! This game is every bit as good as Tiny Tower, and still quite original. NimbleBit is the only developer that makes social management sims that I find original and worth playing these days.

Jaws Revenge (Free)

Well this is a fun one. I thought Blood Run was the most violent and bloody endless runner around, but I had forgotten about this year old iOS title. Only related in name to the abominable fourth Jaws movie, this game is not only a violent tie-in to an intellectually property, but it's also dang fun. I mean, it's a Jaws game in which gruesomely devour everything in sight! What's not to love? It plays similarly to Sea Stars, though this game came first, so that statement should probably be reversed. It's this primal kind of reckless, destructive fun that we all enjoy from time to time, and definitely worth a look.

Beastie Bay (Free)

What is with this latest frenzy of Pokemon cloning we've been seeing in mobile gaming? Is it just the latest craze? From Montopia to Monster Warlord, there's always some monster capturing/battling game around. Even Kairosoft has given in to the madness, though at least you know with Kairosoft you'll be getting a quality product. That gorgeous, vibrant pixel art is ever present in this island civilization/monster hunting sim. You're still building a town and expanding it, researching better gear and technology, but you're also venturing out into the wild unknown to explore and to capture and trade the various animals. It's also a Kairosoft game that's free without a 'lite' at the end of the title, so that's odd.

Super Action Hero (Free)

Super Action Hero is the latest from Com2Us, and it is surprisingly creative. It's a very kid friendly beat-em up, with highly cartoony action. What makes it unique is just how customizable everything is. Using stars that you unlock or purchase in-app, you can make your own combo chains while attacking. There is a lot of gear to unlock, in terms of masks and weapons, but you can also just draw your very own mast and weapon, and even upload it or download someone else's work. The visuals are colorful, though familiar, and while gameplay is nothing too special, this game is surprisingly nifty.

Sky Gamblers: Rise of Glory (Free)

And here we have a flight combat game from the house that built Pac-Man, Namco. Set in World War I, this is a surprisingly well done and versatile dog-fighting game, from the days when aerial dogfights were much more personal and way less precise. You can pilot several historically accurate planes through the campaign and custom game dogfight missions, or you can participate in eight man online multiplayer with several different game modes. The 3D graphics are a bit lacking, but still manage to convey a sense of awe through their huge landscapes. Check it out.

Download the Appolicious Android app

Sabtu, 06 Oktober 2012

Android App Video Review: Jetpack Joyride

Finally, after a year of waiting, Jetpack Joyride hits Google Play. Well, it was an Amazon exclusive for a while, but this is still a momentous occasion. Jetpack Joyride is an endless runner from Halfbrick Studios, creators of Fruit Ninja. Now, now I know what you're thinking. "Another endless runner? Aren't there a million of these things?" The answer is yes, but this one is way more worth your time. It's one of the most well balanced and varied endless runners around, with tons of polish, and a hilarious premise to boot. How many other games put you in a machine gun propelled jetpack as a dude named Barry Steakfries? That's what I thought.

Bored with his mundane life working in a lab, Barry Steakfries Esq. decides to hijack this very special jetpack and go nuts. Supposedly, this is something of an origin for the guy, as it seems to predate his time travelling, zombie-slaying ways in Age of Zombies. Just like the classic Helicopter and many runners in-between, you simply touch the screen to ascend, and let go to drop, all while avoiding hazards. It's the extra stuff that makes this game great though. There are several fun, creative vehicles that you can ride, from a teleporter to a big mech, to a red mechanical bird that craps money, to the gravity suit from Gravity Guy, to a big mechanical dragon named Mr. Cuddles. And yes, the money crapping bird is a dig at Angry Birds.

As you play, you'll also collect spin tokens to use in the slot machine, or you can just cash them in. There are dozens of things to save up for in the store, from amusing costumes to new jetpacks, to vehicle upgrades, to one-use power-ups like gold multipliers and distance boosts, etc. You can also buy and unlock gadgets, which are special items that you equip to slightly change gameplay, giving you a bit of a jump or making you bouncier when you die. The varied mission system always has you playing the game a bit differently, whether you need to high-five scientists or drag your head across the ceiling. The art is crazy colorful and good looking, and after a year of playing this game on iOS, I still am not sick of that one song in the soundtrack. This is one of the best games you can download on your Android device, and you can do so for free. Get to it already, before Barry Steakfries shows up at your house to make you.

Jumat, 05 Oktober 2012

New Android apps worth downloading: TomTom U.S. & Canada, Pictoreo, League of Evil

Here are three great Android apps to end the week on a high note. While Android users are blessed with the fantastic navigation features of Google Maps, its always nice to have an alternative, so welcome TomTom U.S. & Canada to Google Play providing its compatible with your device. Weve also got Pictoreo which helps you to create fun cinemagraph (animated photos) and share them with friends. Finally, weve got League of Evil, a fun and frantic quick-fire 8-bit style platformer which is well-regarded on iOS and which were glad to see ported over to Android.

TomTom U.S. & Canada ($49.99)

Whats it about? The trusted navigation service makes its transition from standalone GPS device and onto your smartphone.

Whats cool? Youll have constant access to the same maps, technology and world-class navigation as the companys GPS devices and you wont always need a mobile signal to use it. In addition, there are free maps for life, so despite the high initial cost of entry, it might work out good value. You can choose the quickest route and use the advanced lane guidance feature to avoid tricky intersections. There are millions of handy points of interest along the way, too.

Who is it for? For people looking for an alternative to Google Maps & Navigation, TomToms app is worth a look (providing you can spare the $50 and the 2.3GB of storage space). However, its worth noting that the app isnt compatible with many newer devices if TomTom expects their solution to take off, theyre really going to need to fix that.

Whats it like? Maps is pretty great, especially bundled with Android, but there are other alternatives like Waze, Navigon USA, CoPilot Live Premium USA and many others.

Pictoreo (Free)

Whats it about? Pictoreo is a great way to bring your photos to life with animation.

Whats cool? Get some inspiration from the featured feed, then try it out for yourself. Pictoreo creates images a bit like cinemagraphs (and if youre wondering how cool they can be, check outthese examples). You need to shoot a short, steady video clip then paint motion with your finger on the screen. Its easy to share your creation once youre done, or embed it on a website.

Who is it for? Pictoreo is perfect for people who like to get creative with their photos. Some of the examples within the app are great, and its hard to see exactly what you can do by just viewing the still shots within the apps description, so check it out for yourself it's free!

Whats it like? Fotodanz is another app which allows you to create animated photos. I guess theres some similarity to the numerous GIF creator apps out there like GifBoom, but cinemagraphs are definitely more subtle and require some creativity to get them to work effectively.

League of Evil ($0.99)

Whats it about? Noodlecake Studios have finally ported over this popular iOS 8-bit style old-school platformer, and it was worth the wait.

Whats cool? The game focuses on bite-size levels which sometimes take just a few seconds to complete. But with 160 of them coming at you thick and fast (and with ever-increasing difficulty) they present quite the challenge. You need to save the world from evil scientists, double-jumping and flipping your way to safety, and its all wrapped up in cool retro-style, pixelated graphics.

Who is it for? Youll need skill and precision to get through these levels, but fortunately the controls are sharp. Its certainly not a game for casual players because its very tough. However, hardcore gamers will certainly find getting through this game very satisfying.

Whats it like? A free version of the app is available to try first so you can get a feel for the action. Noodlecake have another fun retro platformer called Commander Pixman and fans of these types of games should also check out Super Bit Dash and Stardash, too.

Download the Appolicious Android app

Kamis, 04 Oktober 2012

Field Trip tops Android Apps of the Week

There was a good selection of app to choose from this week. Leading the charge is Field Trip from Googles Niantic Labs which can help you discover unusual and too-often-missed things close by. Weve also got the lowdown on PassWallet (an Android take on Apples Passbook), a smart update to the New York Times, the prettiest accounting app youll ever see (Xero) and the official offering from Amtrak. Keep on track with our Android Apps of the Week.

Field Trip (Free)

This new app is unique to Android and well worth a look. Field Trip runs in the background on your device and when you get close to something interesting, it pops up a card with details about the location. It could be a fun place to shop, an historical site or a new place to eat. The content comes from some great sources like Arcadia, Zagat, Cool Hunting, Flavorpill and Atlas Obscura and could be a great companion app if youre in a different part of town or traveling somewhere new.

PassWallet (Free)

How long PassWallet will be allowed to remain in Google Play is yet to be seen, as Apple may not like the fact that it can import files from Passbook in iOS 6 and store them on your Android. The app offers a way to store all your tickets and coupons in one place like boarding passes, theater tickets, coffee shop loyalty cards and more. Merchants include Walgreens, Fandango and TicketMaster. Appolicious Advisor, Kristen Nicole, took an extensive look at PassWallet this week and compared its services to Google Wallet.

NYTimes update (Free)

The New York Times Android app got freshened up this week, which will be very welcome to many subscribers who probably relied more on its mobile website version in the past. The app now complies to Androids Holo design standards but apart from the refreshed UI, theres also more intuitive navigation using the Action Bar, the ability to dictate comments via Androids voice-to-text services, passive customization of the blogs you visit most, and an updated widget which includes images.

Xero (Free)

Excitement over an accounting app? Its an easy target for jokes, but theres no denying: Xero is one of the smartest-looking, yet fully functional, finance and accounting apps weve ever seen. Its design is clean and slick but its still plenty powerful, letting you track your finances and easily manage your cashflow. You can check bank balances, invoice customers, upload receipts or submit expense claims and it integrates with multiple payroll, CRM and inventory management systems so its versatile, too. Oh, did we say it looks nice?

Amtrak (Free)

Amtrak now offers an official Android app. It allows you to easily plan and book a trip on Amtrak trains and buses, check the arrival/departure time of trains, display your e-tickets, modify your reservations or search for station amenities and hours of operation. If youre a regular customer, its easy to connect to your Amtrak Guest Rewards account, but even those who rarely ride Amtrak trains could find it useful when traveling across North America.

Download the Appolicious Android app

New Android apps worth downloading:, The Last Defender, Jaws Revenge

Here are three great Android apps to enjoy. is an app that lets you use and control your Android through the web browser on your PC or Mac. It even lets you use your device as a spycam. Weve also got two games today: The Last Defender is a first-person shooter full of big weapons and plenty of action across 45 campaigns. Jaws Revenge is a fun shark-based action game where you get to maul swimmers, sunbathers, seagulls, boats and more. Oh my. (Free)

Whats it about? This app allows you to use and control your Android device using a regular web browser.

Whats cool? has a number of handy features. You can use your browser to read and send SMS. If youve lost your device, might help you locate it on a map. The spycam feature is an intriguing one: leave your phone somewhere else and watch its camera output from elsewhere. Its also easier to share images, manage your contacts, and the app works over 3G, 4G or Wi-Fi.

Who is it for? could be handy for folks who work a lot on their phone but dont like that hit on battery life because of it. Its safety and security features are also a bonus for many users, but at the same time, could be an issue if someone else gets access to your account. Still, the app certainly has a lot of potential.

Whats it like? There are other apps in Google Play which perform similar functions. Airdroid is the first one that comes to mind, an app weve featured a few times here at Appolicious. Another alternative is LazyDroid Web Desktop.

The Last Defender (Free)

Whats it about? The Last Defender is a first-person shooter that puts you in the shoes of a modern-day mercenary.

Whats cool? Youre equipped with some powerful weapons and you must defend your companys secret. As far as storyline goes, thats all you get. Instead, how about 45 campaigns across three highly-detailed battle zones, 29 challenges, eight different kinds of enemies (including tanks, IFV, choppers and airships) and seven weapons used by real military forces.

Who is it for? The graphics arent the greatest and there are in-app purchases which enable enhanced ammo or other power-ups you cant get in the free version, but apart from that, its full of action-packed, explosive action.

Whats it like? There are plenty of other military-themed first-person and third-person shooter games in Google Play like Modern Combat 3: Fallen Nation or Frontline Commando.

Jaws Revenge (Free)

Whats it about? Jaws Revenge lets you be the most feared great white shark of all time and munch on all manner of puny humans.

Whats cool? Youre out for revenge on Amity Island and get to dish out payback to swimmers, sunbathers, seagulls (what did they do?), boats, windsurfers and more. There are four worlds featuring 40 levels and simple, one-touch action that makes the game a breeze to pick up and play.

Who is it for? Fans of the movie will enjoy this one, but even if youve never seen it, just getting to play as a shark and eat everything is kind of cathartic. Its a free game so you need to collect coins to upgrade your shark with bigger teeth and thicker skin. Heck, maybe youll even make it to MEGA SHARK status.

Whats it like? There was a previous JAWS game, but you get to kill the sharks and keep Amity Island safe instead boo! For proper, blood-filled shark feasting action, check out the fun (and numerous) Hungry Shark titles or Shark or Die.

Download the Appolicious Android app

Rabu, 03 Oktober 2012

Google Wallet vs PassWallet: Whos earned your trust?

Its claimed that smartphones will replace our wallets one day, centralizing our bank and credit card information so well always have them on hand. Making our financial information readily available through the cloud could even subsidize the negative impacts when we misplace our smartphones instead of our wallets, though security remains an issue in this new area. The result is a bubbling anxiety over mobile wallet standards, especially as the dominant platforms iOS and Android fight for patrons with two very different methods.

Android is bolstered by Google Wallet, a mobile payments service that ties your bank card to your smartphone. It can be used with NFC technology for making in-store purchases, as well as online shopping and Google Play digital purchases. Also integrated with your Google Wallet account are loyalty cards and local discounts, creating a faster way to pay for items and an easier way to save on those purchases.

Apple is taking a decidedly different route, creating its own platform with the recently-launched Passbook for managing purchases, and then some. With Passbook you can buyand retain discounts, movie ticket purchases and flight boarding passes to name a few. The method leaves little room to integrate third-party technology such as NFC, and forces brands to sign-up for the Apple-centric service. But one app is finding a way to extend Passbooks features to Android users.

Welcome to Android, PassWallet

PassWallet for Android grants access to your Passbook files (called PKPass files), which are synced from an iOS device and sent to your Android-powered smartphone. From here you can access and manage coffee shop loyalty cards, boarding passes, movie tickets and coupons from a single app.

What PassWallet has that Google Wallet doesnt is a retail-centric approach for interacting with brands like Walgreens, Fandango and TicketMaster. Associated with your Passbook account, the PassWallet app is also a secure way to access your tickets and coupons. Security remains an issue for Google Wallet, which relies on NFC technology and its proliferation throughout the retail industry. While Google Wallet has made improvements to the security offerings underlying its mobile payment platform, industry standards have a ways to go before they offer a true alternative to the wallet.

On the downside, PassWallet is a third party gateway to a proprietary Apple service, which means it could be shut down at any time. If Apple finds PassWallet is competing with its own Passbook, or decides it doesnt want PKPass files so readily accessible across platforms, then PassWallet and its Android user base will be up a creek without a paddle. Another snag is the base technology behind Passbook itself, which doesnt have the history and experience of Google Wallet. Early testing shows that Passbook hasnt worked out all the kinks, botching two of my movie ticket purchases that resulted in a confusing conversation with the theater manager, who was clueless as to how the service worked.

What the future holds

In time, were likely to see more features overlap between Google Wallet and Passbook (and subsequently PassWallet), but for now they remain fundamentally different services that leave the preference up to the consumer. But what this is really about is your financial data, its security and its management from mobile devices.

Google and Apple are fighting a bloody battle over consumer loyalty, so creating a service around mobile wallet technology is just another way into your heart, and your bank account. Consumer trust will determine the winner in the end, along with the perks of convenience. For now Google Wallet has the lead on account management capabilities, extending beyond brands that have chosen to participate in Apples Passbook to include purchases youve made with Google Wallet. You can view a history of your purchases, request refunds and even make notes on venues youve visited, demonstrating Googles hope to create a fully-functioning financial service from Google Wallet.

New Android apps worth downloading: BBC Good Food Recipes, Xero, Drift Mania Championship 2

Here are three great Android apps to enjoy. BBC Good Food - Recipes is already a beautifully presented app, but the short-term ability to get all their cookbooks for free containing hundreds of recipes, is the icing on the cake. Xero makes accounting fun... Well, kind of, but its a fully-functional money-management app with a clean, slick Holo design. Finally, weve got Drift Mania Championship 2, a follow-up to the original which offers plenty of smoke-filled track action in customized cars.

BBC Good Food - Recipes (Free)

Whats it about? Heres an app thats not only full of great recipes (with nutritional info), but also includes cooking tips, timer, a glossary and organizational features.

Whats cool? The reason why youll want to grab this app soon is because of the deal theyre offering. Usually, you just get 20 free recipes and have to purchase the other recipe books for 1.49 each. Right now, you can get all of the books for free, and each contains hundreds of recipes. The cookbooks include: Healthy, Quick, One-pot, Cake, Seasonal, Festive and Food for Friends.

Who is it for? Budding amateur chefs should jump on this opportunity. Youre getting hundreds of varied recipes for free with clear instructions, all wrapped up and presented beautifully, without the need to fork out $15 or so. You can even choose an ingredient and see which recipes feature it.

Whats it like? There are plenty of great recipe apps in Google Play, and admittedly, many offer thousands more than BBC Good Food. But there is a quality to the Beebs offering that makes it worth downloading, and it looks great on tablets. However, there are some complaints in Google Play of stability issues.

Xero (Free)

Whats it about? Xero is probably the best-looking accounting app youre ever likely to see!

Whats cool? Oh Holo. Even you can make accounting software look friendly, approachable and clean. Xero lets you track your finances and easily manage your cashflow. You can check bank balances, invoice customers, upload receipts or submit expense claims all while youre on the go.

Who is it for? Xero is great for small businesses or self-employed people. It integrates with plenty of payroll, CRM and inventory management systems and offers multi-currency reports for foreign transactions. The app is also a testament to great Android design guidelines.

Whats it like? There are a few other accounting apps in Google Play like QuickBooks Mobile, Invoice2go and Financial Accounting Pro but none of them look half as slick as Xero.

Drift Mania Championship 2 ($1.99)

Whats it about? Get the ultimate drifting experience with Drift Mania Championship 2 complete with optimized 3D graphics.

Whats cool? Begin your drift career and compete in a drift battle tournament alone, or play against a friend using the new online multiplayer mode. You can upgrade and fully customize your ride with performance upgrades and visual modifications, and there are over 60 achievements in the career mode to obtain.

Who is it for? The first Drift Mania was a huge success, boasting 10 million players worldwide. Its predecessor improves and builds on that success with better graphics optimized for improved mobile hardware, with 13 upgradeable vehicles, 13 tracks, and 48 different upgrades. Racing fans and multiplayer buffs should find something to enjoy here.

Whats it like? If you have an older device, the original Drift Mania Championship is still going strong. There are a few other drifting games like Need for Drift and Driftkhana Freestyle, but Im not certain if they match the quality of DMC 2.

Download the Appolicious Android app

Selasa, 02 Oktober 2012

What Android users should know about the Jelly Bean 4.1 update

Many Android smartphones and tablets including the Samsung Galaxy S III and Google Nexus 7 are offering the latest Android operating system update, version 4.1 Jelly Bean. Although Jelly Bean enhances many of the great features offered in Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, users should consider the new operating system more of an evolution than a revolution.

Smooth like butter

The first thing Google showed off when introducing Jelly Bean at the Google I/O event in June this year was something they codenamed Project Butter. In other words, Android users can expect Jelly Bean to be a whole lot smoother than previous versions. Transitions are silky smooth when scrolling between screens or pages, animations are slicker and the touch response is generally improved. Cleverly, Jelly Bean knows when youre touching the screen and speeds up your devices processor, then slows it down when youre not. Anyone who buys a Jelly Bean-powered device or updates older models that are eligible should discover their device is generally snappier and notice speed improvements throughout the Android system.

Nice new notifications

Android has always done a good job when it comes to notifications from various apps or services, requiring other software and hardware makers to constantly play catch-up. In Jelly Bean, notifications are even better, offering far more contextual information. The notifications are expandable and actionable. If youre notified about a meeting, you can dismiss it right from the notification or even email other guests. Just missed a call? Jelly Bean lets you call or text someone back right from the pull-down notification.

Google Now is the here and now

Based on your personal Google search history both on your device and when logged-in to Google services elsewhere, Google Now helps to inform you of events, activities and more. It is location-aware and can tell you the weather in the morning, how the traffic will be on your commute, or how your favorite sports team is doing. Cards appear during the day, popping up from the bottom of the screen, and you can choose which ones you want to surface. They can track everything from flight delays, upcoming appointments, public transit, local currency rates and even suggestions of places to visit nearby.

The basic Google search functionality has been improved to take into account the power of Googles Knowledge Graph, which shows web results in a smarter way. Voice search and voice recognition are also better.

Fun with widgets and photos

When you add widgets to your home screens in Jelly Bean, the other shortcuts automatically move and shift so its easy to find the best spot for the widget. In addition, many widgets will resize on their own to fit, or you can simply adjust them yourself.

The camera isnt necessarily different on Jelly Bean, but sharing images gets a whole lot easier. You can swipe from the camera to the filmstrip of photos to instantly view the images you just shot, or swipe away the ones you dont like. Accidently deleted an image? With Jelly Bean its simple to undo the delete with a simple tap. Using Android Beam, you can share photos with another device just by bringing it close.

In-built system and Google apps

Many of these improvements are subtle but indicate that Google is always tweaking its operating system under the surface to make things better. The People app, for example, helps you organize your contacts better and there is a new algorithm to avoid duplication. Its also possible to clear the frequently called list. When you miss a call, a new notification lets you return the call or reply by SMS with a single touch. The Calendar app is smoother, notifications are far more descriptive, and its easy to create your own default quick responses for emailing guests. There are subtle improvements to the in-built keyboard, too. These include more accurate dictionaries, better prediction and correction and an easy way to switch languages.

There are many improvements to the Google+ app, including the ability to create and manage events directly from your device or see the live streams of all participants in a video Hangout. Gmail sees improved notifications, while YouTube gets a slicker and more intuitive interface. Google Chrome takes advantage of Jelly Beans advanced rendering to improve responsiveness, while Maps adds support for offline viewing, built-in Zagat ratings and even indoor walking directions. Fortunately, as these apps are available independently, even non-Jelly Bean users can take advantage of their latest updates and improvements.

So while Jelly Bean isnt the massive sea change Android users experienced when Ice Cream Sandwich was first released last year, it does improve on its predecessor significantly. It makes your device smoother, more responsive and generally patches up a few bugs and issues which emerged in previous operating systems.

Rumors are swirling that the next Android software release will be either 4.2 or 5.0 Key Lime Pie. Any sweetness will emerge from that tasty dessert is as yet unknown.

Download the Appolicious Android app

Share and filter videos with these Viddy alternatives for Android

Many consider Viddy to be the Instagram of video-sharing. With 16 million users already on tap (including Mark Zuckerbergs dog) and plenty of funding, perhaps it has a good shot. Already popular on iOS, were still awaiting its release on Android. But until Viddy comes around, here are a few alternatives for Android, ripe for video-sharing, discovery, and even one for video filters.

Vimeo (Free)

The official Vimeo Android app has the best of the video-sharing network, ready-made for mobile users. You can upload, manage and view clips from your handset and checkout recommended videos from Vimeos curated channels. You can set shared clips to private or public, download videos to your devices camera roll, pause and resume uploads and organize clips by Groups, Channels and Albums. Better yet, share clips across the social web including Facebook and Twitter.

FlipShare (Free)

Cisco may have canned the Flip mobile video camera, but sharing lives on through the FlipShare Android app. With FlipShare you can upload videos and post them to Facebook, YouTube or Twitter. Watch all your friends clips from the app, leaving comments along the way. Theres private and public sharing with groups and shareable links, plus search filters to locate and organize videos in the Flip network.

VidTrim Pro ($2.83)

When it comes to editing, VidTrim is a great choice for Android users. The app trims videos, grabs frames and compresses clips to make them ripe for sharing directly from your phone. Edited videos can be saved as new clips, renamed and uploaded to YouTube. With the pro version youll get additional features like the frame grabber, which gives you the ability to extract and save frames as images, and a transcoder for resizing and compressing clips. And of course, the pro version comes without ads.

Socialcam (Free)

Socialcam is all about sharing, with support for email, SMS, Facebook, Twitter, Posterous, Tumblr and even cloud storage service Dropbox. With this Android app you can record, upload and share clips directly from your handset. Add tags to make clips more searchable, and view clips your friends have uploaded. There are quite a few perks that come with Socialcam, including unlimited video length and storage, the ability to upload video while youre recording, offline recording for later uploads and tagging friends. Youll get a notification when someone tags you in a clip so youll never miss a beat with Socialcam.

DailyMotion Video Stream (Free)

All about video discovery, DailyMotion brings video search to your Android smartophone with millions of clips from the web. You can create your own channels by picking the users you want to follow, making for a personalized dashboard. You can also stream hours of video content with playlists and channels, and browse countless clips with related recommendations and keyword search. See a clip you like? Add it to your favorites and share it with your friends on Facebook and Twitter.

VideoCam illusion Pro ($2.99)

One thing Viddy is known for is its filters, but its not the only mobile app that lets you add effects to your video content. Videocam Illusion lets you record video with effects in real-time, including filters, for unique and creative clips. You can even change effects while youre recording and save combinations of your favorite video effects for later use. The pro version comes with 24 filters including sepia, black & white, Chicago-style and comic art. Theres also a dozen or so effects to blur, glow, twirl and pixelate your videos. With five recording speeds and another dozen masks, VideoCam also lets you upload videos to YouTube, Dropbox and more.

Discover great Android games here

New Android apps worth downloading: Amtrak, Sierra Trading Post, Project Downforce

Here are three great Android apps to enjoy. The official Amtrak Android app has arrived at the station and is waiting to depart. You can book tickets through the app or keep up on arrival times. Sierra Trading Post also emerged on Google Play as a great way to shop for brand name clothing at huge discounts. Last but not least, our game today is Project Downforce, a very retro grand prix racer right down to its sprite-based graphics and chip tune soundtrack.

Amtrak (Free)

Whats it about? The official app of the North American train service is now on Android and offers plenty of handy travel information for riders.

Whats cool? You can plan and book a trip on Amtraks trains and buses via the app, check the arrival/departure of trains, display your e-ticket, modify your reservations if necessary, search for station amenities and hours of operation, and connect to your Amtrak Guest Rewards account.

Who is it for? Amtrak is clearly aimed at regular travelers on the service, but with the ability to buy and sell tickets easily, it could be useful for anyone traveling across country or those without their own transport.

Whats it like? Amtrak also offers customers it Arrive Magazine which has coverage on travel, business, technology and health for riders on the Eastern seaboard.

Sierra Trading Post (Free)

Whats it about? Sierra Trading Post, which sells a large variety of seconded or overstock brand name apparel, now has their very own Android app.

Whats cool? The app is easy to navigate with a clean interface so its easy to find what youre looking for. There are app-exclusive deals and free shipping offers, plus the special coupons offering deep discounts which shoppers of Sierra Trading Post are used to. The search box is enabled for speech-to-text and you can access your shopping cart from any device.

Who is it for? People who shop at Sierra Trading Post, whether at their physical outlet stores or online, will no doubt welcome the opportunity to shop from anywhere via their Android device. Its all part of the companys mantra of providing optimal customer service.

Whats it like? There are plenty of other apparel retailers with Android apps like Zappos, Walmart, H&M and REI.

Project Downforce ($0.99)

Whats it about? Burn some rubber on exotic race tracks around the world in this 3D retro grand prix racing game.

Whats cool? You can take on seven opponents for the championship title, blast through a single race, or simply hit the track to rack up the best laps in the time trial mode. Its a straightforward pick-up-and-play racer with colorful sprite graphics reminding players of 80s arcade titles like Pole Position.

Who is it for? Fans of retro-style racers will get a kick out of Project Downforce. With three game modes, seven racetracks, an old-school soundtrack and Nintendo Mode 7 graphics, its a fun, first-time effort from a new developer. Also, once youve paid your buck, there are no ads and no in-app purchases.

Whats it like? Of course, there are plenty of other retro style racers in Google Play, so take your pick from the likes of Retro Racing, Pocket Racing, Final Freeway 2R and plenty of others.

Download the Appolicious Android app

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...