Saturday, May 7, 2011

AAQR: Super Dynamite Fishing

Dynamite Fishing is a "redneck" sport, and this is the game version. The idea is simple: you have some dynamite and you have limited time to get a good haul of fish. You can also shoot a few birds. Later, you can buy access to other lakes, more weapons, and more.

The game looks to be a bit deeper than at first look. You start in the most basic boat (actually, it's a bathtub). Later you can upgrade to a... battleship? (What's what for? The Loch Ness Monster?) the idea is use the minimal amount of ammo in the minimal amount of time for the maximum results. You can tilt left/right o move, then tap to release the dynamite. Clearly, some stuff you should not hit, and others takes multiple hits.

As it was free for a day on Amazon Appstore, it's worth a try. Otherwise, try the demo.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

AAQR: Hapi Podcast (podcatcher, free)

Hapi Podcast is a podcatcher from China that has some abilities, but can't match the power of ACast. At least the interface is clean.

It has a "search" function but keep coming up with duplicates and no indication where the results came from. The search results are also tiny and cannot be complete. Looking for "car" yielded only about 2 dozen results, most of them dupes (CNET or Car and Driver).

The player is decent, but nothing special... just play, prev, next, and forward by 30 seconds. (where's reverse by 30?)

You can get Episode list of the feeds, and see download lists. You can also backup the channels. Youc an also auto-expire the downloaded stuff. It's not that bad. Not quite as good as ACast, but then the interface is cleaner.

Rating: Try it
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AAQR: Pesoguin Sakura Dance LWP (free, live wallpaper)

Pesoguin is a fictional creature based on a baby emperor penguin (the one with gray "fur") to be uber-cute. Previously there were some LWPs from Japan that have the pesoguins in a few places. This one turns the whole thing into more of a virtual pet. This pesoguin dances... (actually, just waves his arm around in a sorta ritualistic motion) and you are supposed to periodically reward it or scold it. It may even improve by a bit (seem to be completely random).

Somewhat cute, give it a try if you like cute stuff.

Rating: Try it

AAQR: Feedscribe (podcatcher, free)

The logo used by Apple to represent PodcastingImage via WikipediaFeedscribe is in beta, but IMHO it's more like alpha.

It claims to be a decent podcast player, a decent vidcast player, AND a decent news reader, with full offline support. However, it has NO search capability, no OPML support, and no index of any sort.

You can only add feeds to it two ways: either type in the RSS feed URL manually, or you can "share" an URL from a browser or other apps.

The problem here is that "share" ability only goes into the newsreader section of the app, not the podcast or vidcast sections. There is no "auto-detect" either, or ability to "reclassify" the URL once shared into the app. You pretty much have to copy and paste.

In fact, once you open the app, you are presented with a mere BLANK SCREEN. You have to tap menu / add to add an URL, whereby you discover the horror that this program is half-baked and unusable.

With ACast, Google Listen, and plenty of other clients available, there's no need to try this one at all.

Rating: Skip it
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AAQR: Euphoria LWP (free, live wallpaper)

Euphoria is another LWP adapted from "Really Slick" OpenGL screensavers for Windows. Unfortunately, this one didn't even bother to acknowledge the source.

Also, based on the actual package name, there is no "Go Wallpaper Dev", but rather a bunch of Chinese authors just decided to throw their names together.

I doubt there's anything bad about that, but it's still a bit shady.

Rating: Try it
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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

AAQR: Sysinfo app and widget (free, utility)

Sysinfo is both an app and a widget. The app gives pretty detailed info about the Android device, and the widget, which is 1x1, gives up to 4 different stats like memory, SD card, cache, and battery.

The app could be designed with a bit more eye candy. As is, it's really plain Jane. The widget isn't much better, pure text, not even bar graphs.

Still, it is free, and that must account for something.

Rating: Try it
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AAQR: 3D Fireflies LWP (free, live wallpaper)

3D Fireflies is another entry from Go Wallpaper Dev, which may or may not be related to Go Dev (makers of Go Launcher and Go SMS). Visually, it looks rather impressive, though it really doesn't have anything to do with fireflies, but just a bunch of "diamond shapes" fly around leaving very colorful trails.

As a LWP it is pretty colorful, though it eats up memory and CPU quite a bit. if you have a hefty phone, definitely give it a try.

Rating: Get it (unless your phone is too wimpy)
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AAQR: Autokiller Memory Optimizer (app, free, utility)

AutoKiller is a system tweaker that claims to "optimize" a few settings in your rooted Android device to improve performance, by managing system autokill settings.

You see, Android OS manage memory by only killing programs based on its "priority" (OOM if you want to speak Android-ese) when more memory is needed. However, no program is exempt from this killing.

Task Killers try to pre-empt this autokill process by kill apps and services ahead of auto-kill. The problem with this approach is... it often conflicts with autokill and the system internal caching. If the app or service is needed, then task killer only serve to waste CPU cycles as the app is unloaded, then immediately reloaded.

Theoretically it is better to adjust the auto-kill settings (which is what this app does), but it is hard to judge how successful this may be. I keep ATK around, but I don't run it all the time. Tweaking settings takes up no memory in background.

You will need to root the phone first to use this. Give it a try.

Rating: Try it

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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Other Announcements

Semi-related... a list of 7 most outrageous or weirdest cell phone accessories, compiled by yours truly.

AAQR: ACast (podcast player / downloader, free)

ACast is an impressive podcast player that has decent interface, indexed feeds, feed search support through several podcast search engines, offline playing (i.e. download then play), and Google Reader / OPML importing. That's a lot of features for a free app. You can also pay $3.99 to make the app ad-free.

The app has four main "tabs": feed, filter, playlist, and search.

Feed -- controls which RSS feed you are getting (i.e. which feed you subscribe to)

Filter -- filter the feed, like feeds in the last week or so, with 4 "memory positions" for custom criteria sets

Playlist -- i.e. playback queue, which item should be played first and so on

Search -- find new podcasts and other items you haven't seen / heard before through multiple search avenues, also supports favorites and similar. I don't see a browseable index.

Offline support is good though downloading seem to be a little slow. Definitely worth a try, as this is better on several levels than Google Listen. The only thing Google Listen have over this is clean interface.

Rating: Get it!
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Monday, May 2, 2011

AAQR: Cryptologic (game, free, puzzle)

Cryptologic is a puzzle game where you are simply given a code, with no clue whatsoever, and "solve it!"

The problem is the game can't trim spaces, which are automatically entered by many keyboards, and it does care about capitalization. Also, with no clue whatsoever, the game is more frustrating than interesting.

Frankly, I've seen better "codebreaker" games than this.

Rating: skip it
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Sunday, May 1, 2011

AAQR: Hex Defense (game, paid)

Picked up Hex Defense from Amazon Appstore Giveaway of the day.

I've tried Hex Defense before. It's basically a geometric version of Tower Defense, with the enemies emerging from one hex. The idea is to stop X of them from going through the exit hex. You got four types of turrets: gun, laser, missile, and field. Each can be upgraded multiple times.

The "level" is limited to about 20-30 waves, so there is an end, not infinite. There are like 20 different "levels" or fields to play on, and each have different type of challenges.

Definitely worth trying, if you like this genre.

Rating: Try it
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