Friday, April 8, 2011

AAQR: Flight Control

Flight Control (video game)Image via WikipediaFlight Control was the ORIGINAL air traffic touch-screen control game from Firemint. It has finally appeared on the Android Market, and it came with a host of features.

It has 5 different levels on the full version, each with some unique challenges.

The fourth level introduced emergency flights that will just ignore your commands and have their own course. You have to go around them.

The fifth level is a real doozy... You have TWO sets of runways, and depending on wind direction, some runways may be closed! (fortunately, any planes you already directed to land there will still do so... you can't can send any MORE planes to land on that runway)

There is also a full set of achievements... anything from finishing to tutorial to land 3 planes at the same time, and so on. Some of those can be quite hard to arrange, like keeping a plane in the air for a LONG time.

Unfortunately, the planes still are not that responsive, compared to other entries, and this one does not seem to have a demo version. It's PAID only (though it was free for a day on Amazon App Store)

Rating: Try it
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Thursday, April 7, 2011

AAQR: TuneIn Radio

TuneIn Radio is a good online radio player that will also do Podcasts. It has both topical indices AND location indices. It will also pick up your location and give you "nearby" stations.

It seems to have some problem picking up some local channels when my DSL is a bit glitchy, but otherwise it's quite good. Interface is very usable if a bit plain. You can also "bookmark" the favorite stations.

If you want to listen to news or music stations without a radio, this is the app to get.

Rating: get it!
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AAQR: Got To Do Lite ( Update on GTD / Todo apps )

Here are additional reactions on the various GTD / Todo apps I've highlighted previously.

Got To Do (lite) -- this app keeps giving me "force close" dialog boxes even when it is NOT running. Somehow its service must be crashing somewhere in the background, even though I didn't run the app or configure it. As for the app itself, it seem to be a pretty good looking implementation of GTD, with adjustable templates and "front panel" which displays the various categories you want to display: starred, inbox, hotlist, due, overdue, etc. It also has ToodleDo integration and 2x2  widget for "desktop" that is white only. 

Due to the repeated "force close" dialog boxes I'll have to give this one a "skip it" for now, as there are many other apps available that do not exhibit this disturbing behavior.

Rating: Skip it
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Monday, April 4, 2011

Quick Duel: Google Listen vs. Stitcher Radio

Both Google Listen and Stitcher Radio are for listening to podcasts. However, that's the end of their similarities. Here's a quick impression of both, and I'll reveal what I use later.

Stitcher Radio

Stitcher Radio is an excellent podcast player... If you are on WiFi most of the time and have a phone with PLENTY of memory. The problem is, I have neither... I have the original Droid (with a meager 256MB) and previously I have to use only 3G as I don't have WiFi at home. Thus, my experiences have been getting worse and worse. The reason is half due to my phone: if a call comes in, Stitcher often go pushed out of memory, and thus when it resumes, all of the buffers are gone, and the app have to re-stream the content... over and over. Stitcher also have no "offline" mode where you can use SD card space to pre-load the podcats.

On the other hand, Stitcher lets you sort the providers and shows by topic, provider, search box, and so on. You can also thumbs up/down the podcast, subscribe to it, and so on.

Rating: Try it

Google Listen

Google Listen is an official app from Google Labs, and its "discovery/browse" interface is atrocious. You can't browse... Just search. is available, no topic browser at all. Eeek. However, Google Listen is one of the apps that saves your listen position, even if the app was pushed out of active memory then reloaded. It is VERY handy. There are a series of buttons in the player screen that lets you skip ahead and so on.

Furthermore, Google Listen has a few tricks, such as browse the "prior episodes" of any podcast, and you can choose to subscribe or not (i.e. check RSS feed), and or add those episodes to the playback queue.

But the best ability of Google Listen is its ability to download all the relevant information (you can even specify to pre-fetch only while on AC power, and/or only on WiFi). All the pre-fetch podcasts goes into the SD card, so playing them back needs NO bandwidth at all!

Rating: Get it                                                  

Sunday, April 3, 2011

AAQR: Hyperspace 3D Live Wallpaper (U)

Hyperspace 3D LWP is one of the best looking LWP on the market, period. You fly through a hyperspace "tunnel" with "whizzing stars" in the background. The effect is very smooth, even on my older phone without fancy video chipset and it doesn't take up huge amount of CPU. Definitely get it.

Rating: Get it!
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Air Traffic Controller Game Roundup has been updated

The Namco / Firemint game that started the genre is now available on Android. No demo yet.