Friday, May 13, 2011

AAQR: Sparking Particle 3D (LWP, free)

This Japanese app changes to "Particles 3D LWP Concept" once you install it. It's a bit like fireflies, in that small discs spin (flicker) in the night in this green haze. It looks okay, but it eats up CPU like crazy.

Rating: Try it?
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Thursday, May 12, 2011

AAQR: Beautiful Forest Free (LWP, free)

In this beautiful forest with a rainbow, clouds, and some cute animals... well, nothing much happens.

Good looking, but looks so... static! And as some people say: so... girl-y.

Rating: skip it  (esp. if you're a guy)
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AAQR: Ultimate RSS Feeds Searcher (free)

The logo used by Apple to represent PodcastingImage via WikipediaBasically a search interface for RSS feeds, this program doesn't tell you where the feeds are coming from, nor ability to sort the results. You also cannot feed it to other apps, such as Google Reader, Google Listen, and other podcatchers.

Ultimately, it's not that interesting or useful.

Rating: Skip it
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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

AAQR: Beautiful Moving Abstract (Free, Live Wallpaper)

Beautiful Moving Abstract has a relaxing pastel blue background with some aurora like shifting patterns, with some random spark pattern generators based on touch. It's okay, though nothing too special.

Rating: try it

AAQR: Morphing Galaxy Free Trial (Live wallpaper)

Actually have nothing to do with galaxy at all. It's actually a bunch of dots marching in formation and form intriguing patterns. Looks rather interesting.

Rating: Try it

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

AAQR: Interdimensional Waves Trial (free, LWP)

Very simple animation of "waves" with color cycling, pretty fast, but no big deal. However, it keeps saying something about 48 hour trial, so I don't like it already. There are others that are similar but better.

Rating: Skip it

AAQR: Glow Kaleidoscope LWP (free)

Glow Kaleidoscope is basically a kaleidoscope with a bit more "glow-y" lines, so it looks a bit more high-tech than toy-ish. It actually doesn't look that bad.

Rating: Try it!

Monday, May 9, 2011

AAQR: Wave Launcher (utility)

Wave Launcher is a utility in the style of Swipe Pad. Basically, WaveLauncher has a "hidden" shortcut to 5 apps.  You swipe up from the bottom (or pick some other edge), and you get a "wave" of 5 shortcuts. Let go when the right shortcut is highlighted, and voila, you launched the program.

This was one of Amazon Appstore's Giveaways, and it's cute, but SwipePad offers a dozen shortcuts and this has only 5 shrotcuts. If you got this for free, then sure, give it a try. However, asking me to pay $1.00 for this may be a bit hard to justify.

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AAQR: FooCat LWP (free)

Another "virtual pet" LWP, this one has a cat on a white background and if you double tap the cat you can give him some activities to do, like eat, blow bubbles, and so on.

Rating: Try it (kinda boring to me)

Live Wallpaper Roundup Has Been Updated again

Another 6 added, and there are a lot more entries here in this blog that have not been added to the main roundup yet.

The new LWPs are getting better, but there are plenty of lousy ones as well.

From now on Watchdog Task Manager will be used to "monitor" the LWP and see if it's hogging the CPU.

Video Loop Wallpapers will not be included from now on.

AAQR: Dog Play LWP (free)

This LWP just crashes (force close) when I try to view it. It is supposed to be a virtual pet.

Rating: Try it (see if it works better on your phone)

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Ask AAQR: How do you tell if the app is hogging the CPU?

Someone asked how would I know if the app is hogging the CPU?

There are two ways:

1) Use SeePU, an app that displays a small bar graph showing how busy your CPU is (also your memory, but that's optional)

2) Use Watchdog Task Manager Lite, which watches your CPU and raises an alert if one app is hogging the CPU

I use Watchdog right now. If an app repeated triggers the CPU alert (on default setting) I call it a CPU hog.

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AAQR: Carnation Live Wallpaper (free)

LWP created just in time to take advantage of the Mother's Day occasion... It's same as the "Falling Sakura" LWP with slightly different sprites.

Rating: Try it for mother's day, else skip it
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AAQR: Blue Sky LWP (free)

Blue Sky LWP is made with OwnSkin and it's pieced together from multiple bitmaps. It refused to load on my Moto Droid running CM7.

Rating: Skip it

NOTE: OwnSkin is a LWP editor where you can animate your own sprites to make LWP, and distribute them. You can download and play with it yourself.
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AAQR: KruKru Clock LWP by ARTware

ARTware keep on making variations of the clock live wallpaper, and this one is a bit more traditional yet interesting, though a bit small for phone use. This is best on a tablet, and it's a bit plain.

Rating: Try it

AAQR: Airplanes Live Wallpaper (free)

Airplanes LWP has an airplane flying over some random landscape in some random sky. However, the scale is all wrong, and the plane looks too... plain. it also eats up CPU and battery. Beware, beware!

Rating: try it

AAQR: Quadrant, the Android Benchmark (utility, free)

Quadrant runs a series of benchmarks that theoretically should tell you what is your phone's relative performance to other Android phones. The problem is just how relative is it. In my experience, the CPU clockspeed was given too much weight. Well, at least it's free. There's a paid version, but you don't really need it.

For example, a stock Moto Droid (550 Mhz CPU) rated like 500 or so. When overclocked to 1.2 GHz, the Quadrant rating went up to... 1150. Dualcore CPUs, on the other hand, got almost double. The graphics performance is not weighted that high.

It is okay for some relative performance measures, but don't take it too seriously.

Rating: Try it
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