Friday, April 1, 2011

AAQR: Pudding Camera (yes, that's the real name)

Pudding Camera is actually in Korean, and is meant for use with the Korean online service "Pudding". Other than the integration it doesn't seem to have anything special about it. In that sense, it's a lot like that other app, CyCamera, except this one is ****ing HUGE in size and doesn't offer anything special.

Rating: Skip it

http://www.appbrain.com/app/pudding-camera/com.kth.PuddingCamera
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AAQR: AIX Weather Widget

AIX Weather Widget is a bit weird, in that it tries to show you next 24 hours of weather using icons. It's a 4x1 widget, and for that amount of space I wish it does a little more.

Rating: Try it

http://www.appbrain.com/app/aix-weather-widget/net.veierland.aix

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Roundup of Various Todo Lists / GTD apps

Besides Astrid, probably the best known todo list, there are a TON of those apps out there, based on various services, such as ToodleDo, RememberTheMilk, Google Tasks, and so on. Here's a roundup. Please note that this is merely a list, NOT a full review. it's NOT even a complete list.

ToodleDroid   http://www.appbrain.com/app/toodledroid/com.hoghollow.TaskList

Due Today Lite   http://www.appbrain.com/app/due-today-lite/com.lakeridge.DueTodayLite

Ultimate Todo List   http://www.appbrain.com/app/ultimate-to-do-list/com.customsolutions.android.utl

DGT GTD and Todo   http://www.appbrain.com/app/dgt-gtd-todo-(alpha)/com.dg.gtd.android.lite

Shuffle (GTD)   http://www.appbrain.com/app/shuffle/org.dodgybits.android.shuffle

Got to do Lite   http://www.appbrain.com/app/got-to-do-lite/com.slamjibe.android.todo

TaskOS   http://www.appbrain.com/app/taskos-to-do-list-%7C-task-list/com.taskos

Gtasks   http://www.appbrain.com/app/gtasks/org.dayup.gtask

ActionMethod   http://www.appbrain.com/app/action-method/com.behance.actionmethod

ActionFocus  http://www.appbrain.com/app/actionfocus/megaup.ActionFocus  (short review below)

Routinely http://www.appbrain.com/app/routinely/com.braavos.apps.routinely  (short review below)


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Roundup of Various Photo Editing Apps

Here's a roundup of various (clearly not all) photo editing apps... I didn't have full review on these yet, so here's some early impressions:

Pho.to Lab   http://www.appbrain.com/app/pho-to-lab/vsin.t16_funny_photo

Beautiful Pictures   http://www.appbrain.com/app/%E7%BE%8E%E5%9B%BE%E7%A7%80%E7%A7%80/com.mt.mtxx.mtxx  (this title is in Chinese)

PicsIn Photo  http://www.appbrain.com/app/picsin-photo/com.photo.picsinphoto

Photo Wonder  http://www.appbrain.com/app/photowonder/cn.jingling.motu.photowonder

Little Photo  http://www.appbrain.com/app/little-photo/com.littlephoto

There are a few more, like PicPlz, Photoshop Express, and more. I'll add them as I find them.
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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

AAQR: Lock Menu, a replacement lock screen

Lock Menu is a lock replacement that gives up quite a few extra "sliders" that directly launches certain apps. In a normal Android lock screen, you only get 2 buttons. This gives you up to 6 more for a total of 8. In this version you get an ad on the lock screen and less than 8 total.

If you can't stand ads, don't get this. You can configure an app for each of the sliders, but it's not very compatible with the security features like pattern / PIN / etc.

It's worth a try, but if you already have Cyanogen (which gives you call / SMS sliders) this is superfluous.

Rating: Try it

http://www.appbrain.com/app/lockmenu/com.husmithinc.android.lockmenu

AAQR: Airport Mania the airport management game

Airport ManiaImage via WikipediaEvery play those spinning-plate games where you're trying to juggle several different activities at once? This is another variation on that. In a way, it's a repackage of the Diner Dash, albeit, this time, you're dealing with planes, and that's the essence of Airport Mania, a new game from Reflexive.

Airport Mania have you as an airport manager trying to get as many planes landed and serviced as fast as possible. The faster you can do it, the better your "bonus". Bonus can be spent on upgrading airport facilities to provide even better bonus.

The idea is simple: airlines, from little "puddle jumpers" to jumbo jets, need to land, disgorge passengers, get any repairs and refuel (if needed), get new passengers, and take off again. You only have limited amount of gates, limited amount of runways, limited amount of "wait space", and limited amount of refuel and repair bays. You also get bonus for scheduling streaks, which can come in various forms: several take offs in a row, several landings in a row, keep one airline's plane at the same gate (i.e.a "color streak") and so on. Streaks result in multipliers which adds to your score significantly.

There's a bar graph on top that reminds you there are 5 levels of success, from simple "goal" all the way to "master". And it is NOT easy to get "3 stars" on all mission as one mistake will doom that attempt. There are no do-overs in this game.

While the premise is simple, it's the upgrades that keeps the game interesting. You are limited to maximum of 3 gates, so you need to spend money upgrading the gates, the runways, improve the wait spaces, and so on, to keep providing better service. Upgrading the wrong item and you may have a problem later down the line.

Each airport has several missions (lasting a few minutes at most), and you do your upgrades in between. Interface is simple: tap the plane, then tap its "destination", be it a runway, a gate, a wait space, and so on. A plane can receive multiple commands in a queue and it will follow the best it can.

All in all, Airport Mania is a fun little game with cartoonish presentation (all the planes have eyes and attitude and they will start to get angry if you left them "hanging") that hides a deeper "spinning dishes" management game than you first realize. Defnitely worth a try for fans of this genre.

Rating: Get it

http://www.appbrain.com/app/airport-mania-free/com.reflexive.airportmaniafree

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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

AAQR: Summer Player, an universal video player for Android BOGUS APP

Summer Player used to be VPlayer Advanced until it was yanked as it was too confusing with a different VPlayer (previously reviewed).

Summer Player is a VERY good video player as it can browse for video and other media files, scan your SD card for media and present a list, or just receive "intents" from other apps for playback. It plays FLV files very well, even files that other player apps have problems with. It also plays back a TON of other media formats, including the relatively obscure RMVB.

If you insist on only using free apps, Summer Player is the BEST AVI and video player available.

Rating: Get it!


EDIT: Summer Player turned out to be a suspicious app where it was renamed MANY TIMES to be similar to the name of other players.

http://www.appbrain.com/app/summer-player/summer.video.movie.music.player
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AAQR: AContacts -- Smart Contacts / Dialer Manager

AContacts is a replacement for your Contacts / Dialer, similar to Go Contacts reviewed earlier. There are a whole bunch of these dialer replacements, and I'll have to write a round up oneday, but for now, AContacts.

AContacts is a very good looking contacts app if you are into the older-style "black books" or those "mini-Rolodex" where you slide a tap up/down to "pop-up" right at the page you want. It's pretty neat. You can slide over and get call log and dialpad.

If you want more "style", try Dialer2, but this one has search function matching my long-term storage DialerOne.

Rating: Get it

http://www.appbrain.com/app/acontact-smart-contact/com.movester.quickcontact

Monday, March 28, 2011

AAQR: Genial Writing, the writing-based notepad

Genial Writing is an odd app, in that it wants you to write the individual letters and/or drawing strokes to take notes. It's just... weird, but if you are trying to take down some weird characters that doesn't fit keyboard easily this may be an interesting app to try.

Rating: try it

http://www.appbrain.com/app/genial-writing/com.zenpie.genialwriting

AVI Player for Android Roundup Updated, added Summer Player

AVI Player roundup has been updated again, this time with Summer Player (formerly [the other] Vplayer). This is one of the best players on the market, and I am NOT kidding.

http://hubpages.com/hub/Comparison-of-AVI-Video-Players-on-Motorola-Droid-and-other-Android-phones

AAQR: CyCamera (the camera app)

Image representing Cyworld as depicted in Crun...Image via CrunchBaseCyCamera seem to be a slightly modified version of the stock Android Camera, optimized to upload to a Korean online service called CyWorld.

It has a few effects like LOMO and such that are already in other camera apps. Other than the integration with Cyworld there's really no reason to bother trying this camera app.

Rating: Skip it (unless you're a CyWorld member)

http://www.appbrain.com/app/cycamera/com.nate.android.cycamera
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Current state of Verizon Android Upgrades

back of Droid Incredible (Verizon)Image via Wikipedia
HTC Droid Incredible
Verizon currently is pulling a few tricks for customer retention, but I personally don't think they are doing enough.

I have the ORIGINAL Motorola Droid, which is getting a little long in the tooth. So, what's a geek to do? I walked into a Verizon store and inquire about my contract status.

My contract expires NEXT MARCH (2012). So I am eligible for "every 2" this coming NOVEMBER (2011), which is $50 off.

However, the Verizon rep said that I can pull an even EARLIER upgrade... if I am willing to pay a $20 "early upgrade fee".

Unfortunately, browsing through the store shows that even not so good phones are EXPENSIVE. HTC Droid Incredible (quite old, but still pretty fast) is like $200. Same with Motorola Droid 2 Global. The HTC Thunderbolt? $325 and up. And that's NOT counting that $20 fee, or whatever sales tax and such. I'll also need to get accessories. Eeek.

There's gotta be a sale soon. Maybe in June when iPhone "5" comes out...
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Sunday, March 27, 2011

NOTE: Zynga Games NOT compatible with AdFree

If you root your phone you can load "AdFree" which basically use built-in IPTable to filter all the ads.

Unfortunately, this seem to break most Zynga Android games, such as Words with Friends. You just can't connect.

If you have Zynga game for Android and it doesn't work, disable AdFree (i.e. "revert") and see if that helps.

AAQR: (U) PhotoWall, the photo montage live wallpaper

PhotoWall from LarvaLabs (the folks who brought you SlideScreen, the everything home app) is a live wallpaper that's sort of gallery, sort of live wallpaper where pictures are assembled into montages in different styles. The closest I can think of is John's Background Switcher on Windows PCs. It's hard to describe, so give it a try.

Rating: Try it!

http://www.appbrain.com/app/photowall-live-wallpaper/com.larvalabs.photowall
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AAQR: Go Contacts, the new "dialer"

The GO team from China is working on a LOT of apps. Go SMS was first, then Go Launcher. Now you get Go Weather and Go Contacts.

Go Contacts is a replacement for your Contacts / Dialer (in fact, you see two icons in your app drawer: Go Contacts and Go Dialer). I've tried it for 2 weeks and I don't like it thus far, as it keeps interfering with my default dialer... DialerOne. The interface is a bit weird, the filter isn't as good, though its group support seem to be a bit better. Personally though, I'd use DialerOne or AContacts.

Rating: Try it

http://www.appbrain.com/app/go-contacts/com.jbapps.contact
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