Saturday, January 29, 2011

AAQR: Detective X

LondonImage via WikipediaDetectiveX is Android version of the "Scotland Yard" game.

Basically the idea is 3 detectives must track down a criminal in limited number of turns. The criminal reveals his location every once in a while, but all have limited mobility. There are three ways to travel: walk, bus, or subway. Each can take ONE move per turn, so the idea is for the 3 detectives to corner the criminal, while the criminal need to remain free until the time limit expires.

The main problem with the game is the buttons are a bit too small. One needs ability to zoom into the map, as well as larger buttons to pick the routes to take.

Still, it is fun to pass a few minutes.
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AAQR: Widgetsoid 2

an incon to indicate that there is a widget. s...Image via WikipediaWidgetsoid 2, as the name suggests, is all about widgets, and it sure has a TON of them. It can do clock, gauges, as well as toggles, info, and much more. The latest version allow you to define a custom background for each widget, and/or change the colors. There are supposedly 40 different toggles to choose from, and you can make some pretty amazing widgets. You can even save you favorite configs.

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And a couple MORE LWP reviews before they are included in the main review...

Angry Birds Interactive LWP -- another OwnSkin production, this one has a huge DEMO scrolling across the screen, but the art is quite good. Still, is this thing licensed? Is it allowed for one guy to make money off another's IP?

Floating Red Hearts -- 11MB for... video loop. WTF?!  DO NOT DOWNLOAD THIS JUNK

Nightfall LWP -- ever seen those night long-exposure photos where the stars make streaks? This LWP recreates that effect. However, it takes 4MB in space.

Droid LWP -- watch Andy the android and his various cousins do some sports... Except it's just randomly animated sprites like hang-gliding, skate-boarding, etc. BORING!

Lovely Sakura LWP -- does NOT work, just FC on my Droid.

Circulate GL -- a couple particles in a circle "rotate". When you have 3 sets of these rotate it gets pretty fancy looking without taking up too much CPU

Love Echo LWP -- a bunch of different sized and colored circles form different shapes like heart, L, O, V, E, and so on. Nicely animated, doesn't seem to take up too much CPU

Line LWP -- BORING AS HECK, just that "bouncing line", only for those with nostalgia

Cafewall -- remember the visual illusion where it suggests perfectly parallel lines are not parallel by inducing some visual tricks? Imagine that turned into a live wallpaper with things move, further driving your eyes nuts.
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A Couple Chinese New Year Live Wallpapers (U)

Lion dance at Seattle's Chinatown-Internationa...Image via WikipediaA pair of Chinese New Year Live Wallpapers hit the scene just in time.

Both are OwnSkin creations, so the timing is a bit off, and the performance is a bit laggy, but it is tolerable.

The two are "CNY with Prosperity God" and "CNY Lion Dance".

If you want to get into the festive mood, these aren't that bad.
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Live Wallpaper Roundup Updated, now 210 LWPs reviewed

Another another 7 which makes 210!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

AAQR: Camera File

Camera File lets you invoke the camera from email's "attachment" screen. Pick it as the source, and it will launch the camera, let you take a pic, and send that.

The problem is it doesn't always work. You often get "file too large" or such.

You have to choose a lower res to make it work. In my experience, you can do a 3 MP picture. Any larger and the mail program will complain.

AAQR: Elixir (the system info and settings widget/app)

Elixir is not something that will help your Android device, at least not directly. Instead, if is a system info app, AND a collection of customizable widgets that can display up to 7 things in 4x1 space. And the things you can display are widely varied. You can choose vertical or horizontal, variety of sizes, variety of functions.

If all of the info display widgets on the market left you wanting, give Elixir a try.

AAQR: 7 Widgets Home Free

Android robot logo.Image via WikipediaNot sure what to think of this one... There are two full home replacements for Android already on the market, but this one is merely a widget... A LARGE widget.

The guy also has a couple other widgets with similar looks.

It's neither a home replacement (but acts like one), nor is it a true widget.

Give it a try.
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AAQR: Sky Panda Lite

Panda treeImage by kevsunblush via FlickrSky panda is an action game that feels like a bit Super Mario, a bit Abduction!, and with a dose of Angry Birds.

The idea is simple... These pandas don't touch the ground. Get the panda to the end of the level by using the various trampolines (i.e. launch platforms) that shoot him off (and land in the next one down).

For the ones you can't reach directly, you have to engage the "glide mode" as these sky pandas also carry parachutes. Pres and hold to pop the parachute, then tilt to control the glide.

Sound simple, but it isn't.

Worth a try. At least this is somewhat original.
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AAQR: A few more clock widgets

SVG digital clock example (23:59:59).Image via WikipediaTransparent Clock Widget (by sorapps) -- regular analog clock with purple text and hands, but at least it's completely transparent. There are several other "transparent clocks" in the market for free. So look around and see which one you like.

Advanced Clock Widget -- another "digital clock" with more stuff, this one allows up to 5 other lines of information, such as date, weather, location, carrier, battery, free mem, etc. that you can configure. You can configure it with different backgrounds, different colors and much more. It also seem to load no service! I don't see any service in ATK for this widget. The only complaints: some display issues in landscape mode, and occasionally the clock is a few minutes behind.

Tajm -- another "text clock" in the style of battStatt, similar to Clockr but in a different style of text. Text is in the style like "TWENTY SIX minutes after TEN AM", 2x1 widgets. If you don't like Clockr or Minimalist give this one a try.

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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Wallpaper Utilities Updated with Wallaby

Wallaby fixes a well-know gripe about Android OS wallpaper pick from gallery... Why does it force you to pick only a portion of the picture? No longer. You can now set the ENTIRE picture as wallpaper with Wallaby!

See the Wallpaper Utility Roundup

AAQR: Hypergrid Lite

Hypergrid Lite is basically a variation on "Minesweeper".

In the grid there is ONE item you need to find. Pick a square, and you'll get some sort of a clue. It could be a general direction, a number (more than that number away), a number (less than that number away), in a green square or blue square, bonus time, and so on. The idea is to find the square in the minimum amount of turns possible.

It is okay for a few attempts, as the varied clues kept the game somewhat interesting. However, it seriously needs some graphical polish and better explanation of the hints, maybe an AI chat bot or something.

Rating: 6.5 out of 10

Download Hypergrid Lite from Appbrain

Home Replacement Launcher Reviews Updated to 36

Added review of *Spark (a Slidescreen lookalike) and AAO.Launcher (similar to LG Home in function)

Next in review queue... KS Launcher

Oops, Appbrain links to various reviews added

Just realized I forgot to include a download link for any of the reviews I did. I added them to the individual reviews. For the game "aggregate reviews" I'll have to do those later. In the meanwhile, you can find them on

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Ever want to convert video for your Android? Here's how

HandBrake icon.Image via WikipediaAndroid plays MP4 natively. So if you have other videos, you have two choices: find a player app that can play AVIs, or convert your other videos to MP4.

AVI players have been mentioned before, so here's the other side: how to convert your videos to MP4s using Handbrake, and how to get the files over into the phone.
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Android Browser Review Updated

Forgot to add Dolphin Mini which I've been using. Updated Miren review, Zirco review, and added Browser Plus review.

If you want to know about Android web browsers, you need to read this.

Live Wallpaper Quick Reviews Breaks 200, now at 203

Today marks a milestone in Android App Reviews... the "Live Wallpaper Quick Reviews" breaks 200 barrier, now at 203 different live wallpapers reviewed!

I try not to review "video loop" wallpapers, and I do personally tried each and every one of these live wallpapers.

So please take a look. You'll probably spot something you like.

Monday, January 24, 2011

AVI Player Roundup for Android updated

Image representing Android as depicted in Crun...Image via CrunchBaseEverybody uses FFMPEG to write players for Android...

VPlayer used to be my favorite, until it turned into a PAY APP (even though the author originally promised that "Vplayer will always be free")

RockPlayer (Universal) Lite is a ad-based.

I think my current favorite is QQPlayer.

See detailed review of all 7 AVI players here:
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Live Wallpaper Review now updated to 199 different LWP reviewed

Added another 13, so it's now up to 199. There are a few Valentine themes LWPs in there now.

Cortex, Hummingbird, Snapdragon, OMAP, Tegra, and more explained

Wistron Pursebook, 1GHz Snapdragon ARM CPUAn Ultraportable running Qualcomm Snapdragon
Image via Wikipedia
Ever wonder what is the difference between Snapdragon, Hummingbird, Cortex, A4, Tegra, OMAP, and so on?

Find out here:
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Sunday, January 23, 2011

Android Camera App Reviews Updated to Even Dozen Apps

Added ActionSnap, a camera app that rapidly takes 4 pictures in a row to get a sense of the action.

Learn more about FREE Android Camera apps here:

AAQR: SiMi Folders and CircleLauncher Lite, two "app folder" apps for Android

Android robot logo.Image via WikipediaThe word "launcher" has several meanings in Android. To me, "launcher" means a "home replacement" where you have "screens" full of shortcuts to the apps. However, some app makers make shortcuts to "folders" which pops up a list to launch more apps. In other words, it makes one shortcut do the job of multiple shortcuts.

I call these app folders. The first one on the market is "App organizer", but since there are a few variants. There are quite a few, so these are by no means a completely review.

SiMi Folders

Simi Folder is a customizable folder widget based on SiMi Clock's clean looks. You can choose vertical or horizontal, and multiple sizes. It is very customizable, with multiple looks and sizes to choose from.  The pop-up bar with the apps is horizontal.

Download SiMi Folder from Appbrain

CircleLauncher Lite

This one is a bit different. You can specify a bunch of apps into this "widget". Tap the widget and the list of apps (icons) will appear in a circle around this widget. This one is a bit more interesting than most. Most just pop up a window but looks just like the normal launcher.

Download CircleLauncher Lite from Appbrain

NOTE: There's a different Circle Launcher (with a space)

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Home Replacement Launcher Reviews Updated to 34

Go Launcher has been replaced with Go Launcher Ex, now with theme support

Metro UI (beta), a Windows Phone 7 clone launcher, has been added.

Read it at