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Posts tagged ‘Android Apps’

28
Mar

Test your skills with Magnetic Balls Puzzle Game


Magnetic Balls Puzzle Game
App spotlight sponsored post

Magnetic Balls Puzzle Game is casual puzzle game where you must shoot colored balls up at a bunch of other colored balls to create combos of three or more to clear them from the level. It’s currently available on the Google Play Store free of charge right now and there are some optional in-app purchases you can use as well.

How does the game work?

The game works like this. Every level starts out with a smattering of balls. At the bottom, you can see the next color that you can shoot up into the shape above. You tap where you want the ball to go and it attempts to go that way. The catch is that all the balls are magnetized so your shot may get stuck on another ball or cause other chain reactions.

The point of the game is to score enough points to move on to the next round. The point totals are easier to get in the first few levels but get progressively more challenging as you keep going. There are a total of four “realms” the game takes place in that include different graphics, backgrounds, and even slightly different physics in each game type. On top of that, each realm has a bunch of levels that can be completed on easy, medium, hard, and nightmare modes. The result is a casual game that you’ll be playing for a long time.

Magnetic Balls Puzzle Game

On top of that, there are some other pieces to the game. There are Google Play Games services that let you view leaderboards against your friends. You can also change the mode of the game which switches the balls to different graphics if the ones you’re using aren’t to your liking. There are also sections where you can change the level and the realm, access the store, and a “more” section that advertises other Freemium titles for you to play.

Magnetic Balls Puzzle Game

Game mechanics

The center stage of Magnetic Balls Puzzle Game is the magnetized balls. Thanks to their unique physics, the game is capable of taking all sorts of ridiculous spins based on how you shoot. For instance, you may have a shot go awry when you aim for a spot but the magnetic balls pull it in to a different spot before it can reach its destination and yes, that frustrating bit is all part of the strategy of the game. Don’t shoot where the balls can’t get to.

You can also change the ball that you shoot. Every shot gives you four options. There is the normal, colored ball, a “white” ball that can change color to the first ball it makes contact with after you shoot it, an explosive ball that takes out every ball it touches, then an electric ball that takes out a few additional ones. Each special ball costs coins to use and you earn coins after every round you win. The color-changing ball costs two coins, the explosive one costs 10 coins, and the electric one costs 14 coins.

Of course, there is a plethora of positive aspects to the magnetization. For instance, if you have cleared a path up one side but the other side is starting to get close, you can clear balls in the center and the empty space will drag the left side up with it. This aspect of being able to pull different pieces of the puzzle together by clearing out certain balls is extremely important to the strategy as you can clear whole levels very quickly with just the right shots and, admittedly, it feels really good to see that puzzle practically disappear after almost losing.

The game does include some in-app purchases. They include:

  • $0.99 to remove ads.
  • $0.99 for 1,500 coins.
  • $1.99 for 5,000 coins.
  • $2.99 for 25,000 coins.

Comparatively speaking, it’s not a bad in-app strategy. Many “cash grab” style games can ask you to fork out up to $99.99 for in-game currency and you don’t usually get all that much. In this game, you’ll never spend more than $3 at a time and you’ll get a ton of coins that will last you a long time. Using special balls in-game don’t require that many so a 25,000 coin buy will last quite some time.

Magnetic Balls Puzzle Game

The pros

Okay here’s what we liked about Magnetic Balls Puzzle Game:

  • The game physics really are unique and they can ruin a good time or help you out a whole bunch. It all depends on your strategy.
  • There are four realms, four difficulties, and just shy of 400 total levels. Finishing the game is going to take you a long time.
  • Google Play Games leaderboards are a nice touch.
  • Despite the fact that there are in-app purchases, they are reasonably priced, there are only three of them (four if you count removing ads), and they never get as expensive as other casual game in-app purchases.
  • Extra content includes collecting kittens and helping penguins build a ski resort in the hidden “vacation” realm.
  • It’s free to play, challenging, and fun.

The cons

And here is what we didn’t like so much:

  • The main screen is a little cluttered.
  • There are some weird labels. For instance, “Stars” and “Coins” are actually leaderboards, not places where you can go to view your stars and coins.
  • Grinding for coins to get the higher difficulties may be a minor inconvenience for some players.

Magnetic Balls Puzzle Game

Overall

Overall, Magnetic Balls Puzzle Game is a fun, casual game that almost anyone can enjoy. Its inoffensive nature and copious numbers of kittens and penguins make it great for kids or adults while its progressive difficulty, multiple realms, and magnetic physics keep you coming back for more. What few issues it has are minor nitpicks at best and the game is a decent option overall. If this doesn’t convince you, the game has over a million downloads and currently holds a 4.1 out of 5 rating in the Google Play Store It’s also free so it won’t cost you anything to try it out! Click the button below to grab it.

Get it on Google Play

 

App Spotlight Sponsored Post



26
Mar

Things the Google Play Store could improve: Part 2 – In-App Purchases


in-app purchases google play store
Editor’s note: this is the second article in this series discussing some potential Google Play Store flaws and what Google could do to improve user experience. Feel free to join the discussion and suggest new topics. You can find a link to part one at the bottom of the page.

In-app purchases have been a sore spot for both Google and consumers for a long time. Despite the overwhelming success of in-app purchases, many consumers are unhappy about the unscrupulous methods that some app and game developers use to procure money from their users. Of course, Google has had minor nightmares of their own, culminating in the FTC decision to make Google pay $19 million to parents when their kids made in-app purchases. In-app purchases are a big deal for developers, but more could be done to make it a more pleasant experience for consumers.

Please note, this is commentary on how the Google Play Store handles in-app purchases and not how app developers actually use them. That’s a wholly different conversation that we’ll all have together eventually.

in-app purchases google play store

What is the problem?

In-app purchases have made a negative name for themselves in some circles. The “cash cow” philosophy has been a subject of intense ire from many consumers and it’s even been parodied on shows like South Park. Of course, the stats don’t agree with the criticisms, as in-app purchases account for over 95% of sales in the Google Play Store and has allowed developers to make more money than ever before. So what’s the problem?

In-app purchases account for over 95% of the revenue generated in the Google Play Store

The problem can be summed up in one word: transparency. Let’s do a little thought exercise. Go to any app or game (with in-app purchases) in the Google Play Store that you have never downloaded, used, or even heard of before. Now, using the information only available on the app description page, try to discern the following:

  • How many in-app purchases are there in total?
  • What kind of in-app purchases are there? Are they consumables (gems), expansions, the pro unlocker, or a subscription?
  • How much money is the developer going to ask you to spend?
  • What exactly are you getting yourself into?

The fact is that you cannot answer these questions with the information available on the app description right now unless the developers go through the trouble of explaining it themselves. When you combine that closed-doors approach with a few bad experiences with “cash cow” apps and games, you end up with a consumer base that not only distrusts the whole system, but actively dislikes it. Let’s discuss these issues a little more in depth, shall we?

in-app purchases google play store

Problem #1: What are we actually paying for?

The core problem is that we simply can’t educate ourselves about an app or a game without downloading it. This wouldn’t be too much of a problem if there were only a few apps and games. However, there are currently well over one million apps and games in the Google Play Store. That means the process of finding and downloading each app and game that might look interesting just to see how much it will cost us is counterproductive and even a bit tedious. Without proper information, it severely bottlenecks the experience consumers could (and dare we say: should) be having.

Downloading each app and game just to see how much it’ll cost is counterproductive.

The questions begin to arise. Why doesn’t Google just give us a labeled list of all of the in-app purchases? It’s a good question and even I don’t understand why Google hasn’t done something like this yet. iTunes actually does this very well. If you look at the Clash of Clans iTunes page, you’ll see a list of the popular in-app purchases. You can clearly see that each in-app purchase revolves around buying a certain denomination of gems and, using a bit of logic, you can deduce that Clash of Clans operates using consumable in-app purchases before you ever download it.

It would almost be better if the price range didn’t exist at all.

Currently, there is a less-than-useful “price range” feature that labels all in-app purchases as “items”. The price range shows the cheapest and most expensive in-app purchase an application has or, if the app only has one, it will show a single price. It would almost be better if the price range didn’t exist at all because it doesn’t provide any useful information. Yes, apps with in-app purchases do, in fact, contain items. Yes, those items cost anywhere from $0.99 to $99.99. These are all things we knew the moment we saw the “offers in-app purchases” label.

The long and short of it is simply this: Google does a bad job at showing what these applications have to offer and what few attempts they’ve made to help feel halfhearted and rushed.

google play music subscription

Problem #2: Subscriptions

Subscriptions are a huge problem in the Google Play Store for three reason:

  1. Subscription prices don’t appear in the “price range” portion of the Google Play Store. Don’t believe me? Look at Spotify’s app. It shows that there are in-app purchases, but no price is given. In fact, there’s isn’t so much as a dollar symbol anywhere on the page. There is something wrong with that.
  2. Apps and games that require a subscription do not have to use Google’s in-house system to process payments. Spotify, most VPN apps, and most antivirus apps have accounts that you can create and manage independently from Google. That makes them almost impossible to police on Google Play.

    Subscriptions live in a reality all on their own.

  3. A few apps, such as Google Play Music, have a subscription service but there’s no mention of it anywhere. Again, if you don’t believe me, look for yourself. There is no price, no dollar sign, no in-app purchase label, or anything to indicate a cost. Spotify does a little better because it at least gets labeled for having in-app purchases. Humorously enough, Norton Security has the label and the subscription price listed in the price range section of their Google Play page.

It appears as though subscriptions live in a reality all on their own. On top of being wildly inconsistent, they appear to be able to skirt the rules other apps have to play by.

in-app purchases google play store

How does it get fixed?

Thankfully, most of the problems could be easily fixed with a bit of effort. Here are a few ideas we had:

  • Show us all of the in-app purchases – It’s really as simple as that. Put all of them there and show us what they are. Google Play uses a modular UI and I don’t think anyone would be bummed out if they added a module that showed us the in-app purchases in their entirety, including cost and name. Bonus points if they tell us what kind of in-app purchase it is (consumables, pro versions, expansions, subscriptions, etc). If Google cannot grab this information using their APIs, give developers a box in the publisher dashboard where they can input the prices themselves.
  • Create a standard for subscription services to follow – There currently is no standard for subscription services. Some show prices, others do not. Some are labeled as offering in-app purchases, others are not. Google needs to figure out a standard and begin to hold everyone (including itself) to it. The box in the publisher dashboard idea would work well here as well, especially for developers who don’t use Google services to charge for subscriptions.
  • Create a bottom line requirement for labeling apps – There seems to be no real standard for what counts as “having in-app purchases” and there really needs to be. Amazon Shopping and Google Play Music both allow you to spend money in the app, but don’t carry the IAP label. Spotify does have the label but doesn’t show a price. Grand Theft Auto titles are labeled as having in-app purchases but they actually don’t have any at all. It’s maddeningly inconsistent.

    In-app purchase labels are maddeningly inconsistent.

  • Allow us to refine our searches for certain types of in-app purchases – This one is a bit complicated. A majority of people who feel disdain for IAPs really only dislike certain types of IAPs such as consumables. If consumers can search for apps and games without those specific kinds of in-app purchases (or no in-app purchases at all), they will be able to find more apps that are suited to their liking and that will ultimately improve their experience.
  • Give apps with in-app purchases their own top charts – This is the totally crazy, shot in the dark suggestion with a lot of potentially positive repercussions. With the apps and games with IAPs in their own category, it helps level the playing field for the standard free and free-paid paradigms without excluding IAPs entirely. This cleaner, more organized layout would result in people finding popular free apps and games and popular paid apps and games with no in-app purchases far more easily.

Google Play Store

Wrap up

Listen folks, in-app purchases are a good thing. Revenue to developers has increased by leaps and bounds since its inception and they really are making more money now than ever before. That has translated to more content and higher quality content. There is no arguing that fact. Back in 2010, we had 700,000 apps and the best of the best were Flickster, Angry Birds, and Skype didn’t even allow for video calls on mobile yet.

Today we have more than double what we had in 2010 and they include massive, gorgeous games and innovative, beautifully designed apps. In 2010, Google Play (formerly the Android Market) made just over $100 million in total revenue. In 2013, after the first full year of in-app purchases, Google Play made an estimated $1.3 billion. It has only gone up since then. Even if you’re against the practice ethically, no one can argue with the results. IAPs are why most developers make money on Android.

IAPs are why most developers make money on Android.

However, I’m not so stuck in my ways that I can’t admit that there are a few bad apples (proportionately speaking) that make the whole bunch look bad. With the suggested improvements, the transparency will allow consumers to make better, more informed decisions about what apps they want to download. There is even a small, outside chance that “cash grab” developers may use the pressure of full transparency to tone down their aggressive strategies and try to compete by simplifying their pay structure and building better games. Nothing gets the ball rolling like transparency.

By giving consumers more control and information with the transparency, improved charts, and refined searches, a lot of the negativity could potentially subside as frustrated users will enjoy a new-found proliferation of apps and games that they actually want instead of being forced to browse through stuff they do not.

Who knows, one day maybe being labeled as having in-app purchases won’t be such a bad thing but it’s definitely not something that is just going to happen organically. As always, we’d love to hear your thoughts on the matter in the comments!

Check out the other parts of the series:

Part 1 – The Top Charts

122
26
Mar

Things the Google Play Store could improve: Part 2 – In-App Purchases


in-app purchases google play store
Editor’s note: this is the second article in this series discussing some potential Google Play Store flaws and what Google could do to improve user experience. Feel free to join the discussion and suggest new topics. You can find a link to part one at the bottom of the page.

In-app purchases have been a sore spot for both Google and consumers for a long time. Despite the overwhelming success of in-app purchases, many consumers are unhappy about the unscrupulous methods that some app and game developers use to procure money from their users. Of course, Google has had minor nightmares of their own, culminating in the FTC decision to make Google pay $19 million to parents when their kids made in-app purchases. In-app purchases are a big deal for developers, but more could be done to make it a more pleasant experience for consumers.

Please note, this is commentary on how the Google Play Store handles in-app purchases and not how app developers actually use them. That’s a wholly different conversation that we’ll all have together eventually.

in-app purchases google play store

What is the problem?

In-app purchases have made a negative name for themselves in some circles. The “cash cow” philosophy has been a subject of intense ire from many consumers and it’s even been parodied on shows like South Park. Of course, the stats don’t agree with the criticisms, as in-app purchases account for over 95% of sales in the Google Play Store and has allowed developers to make more money than ever before. So what’s the problem?

In-app purchases account for over 95% of the revenue generated in the Google Play Store

The problem can be summed up in one word: transparency. Let’s do a little thought exercise. Go to any app or game (with in-app purchases) in the Google Play Store that you have never downloaded, used, or even heard of before. Now, using the information only available on the app description page, try to discern the following:

  • How many in-app purchases are there in total?
  • What kind of in-app purchases are there? Are they consumables (gems), expansions, the pro unlocker, or a subscription?
  • How much money is the developer going to ask you to spend?
  • What exactly are you getting yourself into?

The fact is that you cannot answer these questions with the information available on the app description right now unless the developers go through the trouble of explaining it themselves. When you combine that closed-doors approach with a few bad experiences with “cash cow” apps and games, you end up with a consumer base that not only distrusts the whole system, but actively dislikes it. Let’s discuss these issues a little more in depth, shall we?

in-app purchases google play store

Problem #1: What are we actually paying for?

The core problem is that we simply can’t educate ourselves about an app or a game without downloading it. This wouldn’t be too much of a problem if there were only a few apps and games. However, there are currently well over one million apps and games in the Google Play Store. That means the process of finding and downloading each app and game that might look interesting just to see how much it will cost us is counterproductive and even a bit tedious. Without proper information, it severely bottlenecks the experience consumers could (and dare we say: should) be having.

Downloading each app and game just to see how much it’ll cost is counterproductive.

The questions begin to arise. Why doesn’t Google just give us a labeled list of all of the in-app purchases? It’s a good question and even I don’t understand why Google hasn’t done something like this yet. iTunes actually does this very well. If you look at the Clash of Clans iTunes page, you’ll see a list of the popular in-app purchases. You can clearly see that each in-app purchase revolves around buying a certain denomination of gems and, using a bit of logic, you can deduce that Clash of Clans operates using consumable in-app purchases before you ever download it.

It would almost be better if the price range didn’t exist at all.

Currently, there is a less-than-useful “price range” feature that labels all in-app purchases as “items”. The price range shows the cheapest and most expensive in-app purchase an application has or, if the app only has one, it will show a single price. It would almost be better if the price range didn’t exist at all because it doesn’t provide any useful information. Yes, apps with in-app purchases do, in fact, contain items. Yes, those items cost anywhere from $0.99 to $99.99. These are all things we knew the moment we saw the “offers in-app purchases” label.

The long and short of it is simply this: Google does a bad job at showing what these applications have to offer and what few attempts they’ve made to help feel halfhearted and rushed.

google play music subscription

Problem #2: Subscriptions

Subscriptions are a huge problem in the Google Play Store for three reason:

  1. Subscription prices don’t appear in the “price range” portion of the Google Play Store. Don’t believe me? Look at Spotify’s app. It shows that there are in-app purchases, but no price is given. In fact, there’s isn’t so much as a dollar symbol anywhere on the page. There is something wrong with that.
  2. Apps and games that require a subscription do not have to use Google’s in-house system to process payments. Spotify, most VPN apps, and most antivirus apps have accounts that you can create and manage independently from Google. That makes them almost impossible to police on Google Play.

    Subscriptions live in a reality all on their own.

  3. A few apps, such as Google Play Music, have a subscription service but there’s no mention of it anywhere. Again, if you don’t believe me, look for yourself. There is no price, no dollar sign, no in-app purchase label, or anything to indicate a cost. Spotify does a little better because it at least gets labeled for having in-app purchases. Humorously enough, Norton Security has the label and the subscription price listed in the price range section of their Google Play page.

It appears as though subscriptions live in a reality all on their own. On top of being wildly inconsistent, they appear to be able to skirt the rules other apps have to play by.

in-app purchases google play store

How does it get fixed?

Thankfully, most of the problems could be easily fixed with a bit of effort. Here are a few ideas we had:

  • Show us all of the in-app purchases – It’s really as simple as that. Put all of them there and show us what they are. Google Play uses a modular UI and I don’t think anyone would be bummed out if they added a module that showed us the in-app purchases in their entirety, including cost and name. Bonus points if they tell us what kind of in-app purchase it is (consumables, pro versions, expansions, subscriptions, etc). If Google cannot grab this information using their APIs, give developers a box in the publisher dashboard where they can input the prices themselves.
  • Create a standard for subscription services to follow – There currently is no standard for subscription services. Some show prices, others do not. Some are labeled as offering in-app purchases, others are not. Google needs to figure out a standard and begin to hold everyone (including itself) to it. The box in the publisher dashboard idea would work well here as well, especially for developers who don’t use Google services to charge for subscriptions.
  • Create a bottom line requirement for labeling apps – There seems to be no real standard for what counts as “having in-app purchases” and there really needs to be. Amazon Shopping and Google Play Music both allow you to spend money in the app, but don’t carry the IAP label. Spotify does have the label but doesn’t show a price. Grand Theft Auto titles are labeled as having in-app purchases but they actually don’t have any at all. It’s maddeningly inconsistent.

    In-app purchase labels are maddeningly inconsistent.

  • Allow us to refine our searches for certain types of in-app purchases – This one is a bit complicated. A majority of people who feel disdain for IAPs really only dislike certain types of IAPs such as consumables. If consumers can search for apps and games without those specific kinds of in-app purchases (or no in-app purchases at all), they will be able to find more apps that are suited to their liking and that will ultimately improve their experience.
  • Give apps with in-app purchases their own top charts – This is the totally crazy, shot in the dark suggestion with a lot of potentially positive repercussions. With the apps and games with IAPs in their own category, it helps level the playing field for the standard free and free-paid paradigms without excluding IAPs entirely. This cleaner, more organized layout would result in people finding popular free apps and games and popular paid apps and games with no in-app purchases far more easily.

Google Play Store

Wrap up

Listen folks, in-app purchases are a good thing. Revenue to developers has increased by leaps and bounds since its inception and they really are making more money now than ever before. That has translated to more content and higher quality content. There is no arguing that fact. Back in 2010, we had 700,000 apps and the best of the best were Flickster, Angry Birds, and Skype didn’t even allow for video calls on mobile yet.

Today we have more than double what we had in 2010 and they include massive, gorgeous games and innovative, beautifully designed apps. In 2010, Google Play (formerly the Android Market) made just over $100 million in total revenue. In 2013, after the first full year of in-app purchases, Google Play made an estimated $1.3 billion. It has only gone up since then. Even if you’re against the practice ethically, no one can argue with the results. IAPs are why most developers make money on Android.

IAPs are why most developers make money on Android.

However, I’m not so stuck in my ways that I can’t admit that there are a few bad apples (proportionately speaking) that make the whole bunch look bad. With the suggested improvements, the transparency will allow consumers to make better, more informed decisions about what apps they want to download. There is even a small, outside chance that “cash grab” developers may use the pressure of full transparency to tone down their aggressive strategies and try to compete by simplifying their pay structure and building better games. Nothing gets the ball rolling like transparency.

By giving consumers more control and information with the transparency, improved charts, and refined searches, a lot of the negativity could potentially subside as frustrated users will enjoy a new-found proliferation of apps and games that they actually want instead of being forced to browse through stuff they do not.

Who knows, one day maybe being labeled as having in-app purchases won’t be such a bad thing but it’s definitely not something that is just going to happen organically. As always, we’d love to hear your thoughts on the matter in the comments!

Check out the other parts of the series:

Part 1 – The Top Charts

122
13
Mar

5 Android apps you shouldn’t miss this week! – Android Apps Weekly



Welcome back to another episode of Android Apps Weekly! Here are your headlines for this week:

For more headlines, updates, and news, don’t forget to check out this week’s newsletter by clicking here. We put out a new issue every Friday that we personally curate. If you’re interested in getting it straight to your email, click the subscribe button below!

Subscribe to our Android Apps Weekly newsletter!


android apps weeklyAndroid System Webview

[Price: Free]
Android System Webview is an app powered by Chrome that allows other apps to display web content. If you’re running Lollipop, this has already been installed on your device but now it’s officially in the Play Store so it can be updated. There’s really not much to do on your part. It’s already there and now it’s in the Play Store.
Get it on Google Play
Android apps weekly


android apps weeklyBlood & Glory: Immortals

[Price: Free with in app purchases]
Blood & Glory: Immortals is an action RPG out of GLU Mobile where you play as one of three heroes that take on the armies of Zeus, Hades, and Ares. It features decent graphics, plenty of game play, and you can create your own guilds. It’s free to play so it costs nothing to check out.
Get it on Google Play


android apps weeklyCorgi for Feedly

[Price: Free]
Corgi for Feedly is a free lock screen replacement app that brings you news stories from your Feedly feed straight to your lock screen. It has a colorful, fun design and it works fairly well. It is a newer app which means it has newer app problems, but it’s totally free so it’s worth a shot.
Get it on Google Play


android apps weeklyStreet Art watch face

[Price: Free]
Street Art watch face is a new Android Wear watch face and it’s the first that’s been released by Google. It features some colorful, fun visuals along with an analog, minimal, and digital option. There aren’t a lot of customization features but it’s a nice addition to the watch face collection. Especially if you like urban scenes.
Get it on Google Play
Android apps weekly


android apps weeklyFive Nights at Freddy’s 3

[Price: $2.99]
Five Nights at Freddy’s 1 and 2 were huge hits in 2014 and we imagine that the third iteration will be a big hit in 2015. The game play is a lot of the same kind of stuff with some new game play elements mixed in. There are even multiple endings that you can try to go for. It’s $2.99 with no in app purchases.
Get it on Google Play


Wrap up

If we missed any great news, let us know in the comments!



7
Mar
image-468672.jpg

5 Android apps you shouldn’t miss this week! – Android Apps Weekly


Welcome back to Android Apps Weekly! Here are your headlines for this week:

If you want to see more headlines, app updates, and app releases, don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter! I curate it myself every week and include all of the best Android apps news, updates, and releases. Click the button below if you’re interested.
Subscribe to our Android Apps Weekly newsletter!


android apps BBMBBM

[Price: Free with in app purchases]
Blackberry Messenger got a huge update this last week. With it came myriad improvements to channels, photo sending, picture previews, in-chat playback of voice notes, and the ability to customize your PIN if you subscribe. Along with all of that comes Android Wear support which is surprisingly forward thinking for an app that almost became totally irrelevant years ago. The update is out now if you want it.
Get it on Google Play
bbm android apps


zombie highway 2 android apps weeklyZombie Highway 2

[Price: Free with in app purchases]
Zombie Highway was a huge success when it first came out a couple of years ago and we expect Zombie Highway 2 to continue that proud tradition. It uses many of the same mechanics as the first game, but includes improved graphics and sound effects, nitro, new cars, new weapons, new zombies, and more. The in app purchases are also surprisingly reasonable. The only downside are the release day bugs so you may need to wait a week or so for everything to get ironed out.
Get it on Google Play


alphadia genesis 2 android apps weeklyAlphadia Genesis 2

[Price: $9.99 ($4.99 on sale now) with in app purchases]
Alphadia Genesis 2 is the latest game out of Kemco Games who are known as one of the best jRPG studios on Android. This is a jRPG with a decently long story line, better than average graphics, and some unique battle mechanics. It uses a job system for character customization and the company promises that in app purchases are not required to finish the game. There are some release day bugs so do beware of that.
Get it on Google Play


autowear android apps weeklyAutoWear

[Price: Free with in app purchases]
AutoWear is a new Android Wear application that allows you to create tasks in Tasker and then use them on your Android Wear devices. Using this app, you can a bunch of fun things with your watch and control it in ways you previously couldn’t. Some of the things you can do is create customized notifications, create interactive screens, utilize improved voice commands, and more. There is a free trial so you can try it before you buy it.
Get it on Google Play


king of thieves android apps weeklyKing of Thieves

[Price: Free with in app purchases]
Last up this week is King of Thieves. This is a game out of Zeptolabs, known for their hit Cut the Rope franchise. In this platformer style game, you must dodge defenses and steal gold coins from other players, then build your own level to defend your gold against them. You can also join guilds, engage with leaderboards, and some extra stuff like costumes. It’s a different kind of platformer and worth a shot.
Get it on Google Play


Wrap up

If we missed any great Android apps or games news, let us know in the comments!

309
28
Feb
image-457012.jpg

PhotoMath comes to Android, uses camera to solve math equations


photomath_picture1

If you’re taking a mathematics course at the high school level or below (or you’re being presented with some equations you’ve long forgotten how to do…), at one time or another you’ve probably come across one of those “gotcha” math problem that you just cannot solve. It can also be especially frustrating when you can’t figure out how to type it into Wolfram|Alpha or Google search correctly.

Fret not, text recognition start-up, Microblink, maker of the popular PhotoMath app on Apple and Windows smartphones, has finally released the app onto the Play Store. This app will use your smartphone’s camera to analyze a math equation and give you the answer to it, but more importantly than that (or it should be), it’ll walk you through on how to solve the problem.

In an interface similar to what you can find with Google Goggles, PhotoMath scans the image fed to it from your camera and identifies math equations. The only caveat at the moment is that the equation must be typed, but Microblink has promised that support for handwritten equations will be coming in the future.

The app is free, so if you’re tired of digging through Google search results and begging people on Yahoo Answers, you might give PhotoMath a shot! See below for a gallery of screenshots plus a video, as well as a link to the app’s Play Store page.

 

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Click here to view the embedded video.

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Google Play Store Link

Come comment on this article: PhotoMath comes to Android, uses camera to solve math equations

27
Feb
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5 Android apps you shouldn’t miss this week! – Android Apps Weekly


Welcome back to Android Apps Weekly! Here are your headlines this week:

If you want even more headlines, app releases, and app updates, then check out our newsletter. It’s curated weekly by yours truly and there’s no spam. Just the latest and greatest in Android apps and games news straight to your inbox!

Subscribe to our Android Apps Weekly newsletter!


Flynx Android apps weeklyFlynx

[Price: Free]
Flynx is a special kind of browser that opens up in floating bubbles instead of full screen like a normal browser. It was updated to version 1.0 which means it has finally left beta. The update also brought a number of new features. It’s totally free so why not check it out?
Get it on Google Play


almightree android apps weeklyAlmightree: The Last Dreamer

[Price: $1.99]
Almightree is a 3D puzzle platformer where you play as an adventurer to who must bring balance to a crumbling world. It brings with it decent graphics, a fun story, and surprisingly good game music. It’s $1.99 but there are also no in app purchases.
Get it on Google Play


soundhud best new android appsSoundHUD

[Price: Free with in app purchases]
SoundHUD is a new app that helps you control your volume and does so without root. Using this, you can put your Lollipop device into actual silent mode if you want and there are a range of other features such as the ability to only adjust media volume on tablets. It’s free to use with in app purchases.
Get it on Google Play
soundhud best new android apps


best new android apps heavenstrike rivalsHeavenstrike Rivals

[Price: Free with in app purchases]
Heavenstrike Rivals is a new tactical RPG out of Square Enix. It has some pretty decent graphics and similar battle mechanics to old classics like Final Fantasy Tactics. Not exactly the same, but similar. It’s free with in app purchases and it’s worth a shot if you’re a strategy RPG fan.
Get it on Google Play


youtube kids best android appsYouTube Kids

[Price: Free]
YouTube Kids was released this last by Google to generally positive reviews. It is a YouTube app that is geared specifically at kids and contains playlists with entertaining and educational content for kids. It’s an app that all parents should at least try out and it is totally free.
Get it on Google Play


Wrap up

If we missed any great Android apps and games news, let us know in the comments!

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IFTTT is now IF, and their new tool tackles tasks with a single tap


IFTTT now IF

The folks over at the ‘automate all the things’ site IFTTT have changed their name, and launched a new app. Formerly IFTTT, short for If This Then That, which is exactly how their service works, the new name is simply IF. If you were hoping their new app has a more elaborate name, sorry, it is called Do.

IFTTT, now IF, started as a web service. To use it, one simply followed the formula of their name, if something happens, then do something. Let me shamelessly self promote in an example – If Android Authority posts an article, catch in the RSS channel, then send yourself an email so you don’t miss it.

More recently, IFTTT launched as an Android app, introducing a few simply Android specific tools. So now, you can receive an Android notification when the Android Authority RSS has a new post. The update to the IFTTT Android app introduces the new name IF. It brings a few tweaks and bug fixes, nothing that will change your opinion of the service.

Do by IFTTT

The new app called Do, which costs the same as IF has always run you – nothing – looks to simplify your IF experience. In short, they have stripped the whole ‘If This’ triggering setup and turned it into a button. You now need not wait for something to happen before your task is performed, you tell it to go, and Do does it.

One of the prevalent examples of Do is the ability to change the temperature in your house, via your Nest smart thermostat. You have to initially configure the Do button, but then you can simply tap it again and again to set to 60F, or whatever temp you like.

Do by IFTTT apps

Do is free in the Google Play Store. Although Do and IF can operate independently, you may find more value out of having both installed, especially if you like automating things and are a fan of Android customization. As mentioned earlier, IF is free in the Google Play Store.

What do you think, is Do an appropriate addition to the IF(ttt) family of automation tools?

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Feb

3D Robotics announces Android flight control app



It’s amazing how just a few years ago Android was but a gleam in the eye of Google.  Today Android can be found in everything from our smartphones to automobiles.  There seems to be no end to the uses for Android.  A great example of this is 3D Robotics new Tower flight control app announced today.  The Tower flight control app is a free app, intended to help users control drones from Android tablets and smartphones.

The Tower flight control app is based on Android and is completely open source.  While 3D Robotics created the app and will be maintaining it, they are also encouraging others to adapt the app to their own needs.  This should be a boon to the hobbyist drone crowd.  While the flight control app sounds pretty full featured, especially for a free app, the fact that it is open source could make for some interesting additions.

If you are interested in the details I’ve included the press release below.  If you want to download the Tower flight control app, you can find it right here.

 

Drone Maker 3D Robotics Releases Open-Source, Customizable TowerSM Flight Control App

Free App for Smartphones and Tablets Has Everything Pilots Need to Plan, Fly and Track

Any 3DR-Powered Drone; Open-Source Code Allows Programmers to Build or Alter Features

 BERKELEY, CA – (February 10, 2015) – 3D Robotics (3DR), North America’s largest consumer drone manufacturer, today announced the availability of its open-source TowerSM flight control app for drone copters and planes. Downloadable at no cost from the 3DR website, the product not only gives users a simple, feature-rich flight experience but also, thanks to its open programming interface, offers the ability to build new features into the app or customize existing ones.

Tower is fully supported and maintained by 3D Robotics, creator of the app. While 3DR is the major contributor to the product, it encourages drone users to use their programming creativity in order to further the power, usability, and fun inherent in drones.

“3D Robotics is a big believer in imaginative uses of drones for business and pleasure, as well as in ways that benefit society. By opening up our Tower programming interface to the public, we’re giving enthusiasts and entrepreneurs the ability to impact those uses in a very positive manner,” said Colin Guinn, 3D Robotics Chief Revenue Officer. “We’re excited to see how people use their talents to improve and innovate on Tower.”

Tower is suited to first-time pilots as well as experts. Available under the GNU Public License v3, the app provides transmitter-free operation of 3DR-powered copters and planes from any Android powered smartphone or tablet. Tower is accessible through the new 3DR Services—the app store for drones. 3DR Services can guide you to Tower and other 3DR apps, as well as third-party drone apps.

With Tower, users can create flights by drawing the paths on their tablet or by dropping waypoints. Over ten different types of waypoints, as well as other functions, make it possible to plan a flight for a specific purpose:

  • Fly in smooth curves with spline waypoints
  • Use Circle waypoints to orbit an object while keeping the camera pointed at it
  • Region of Interest (ROI) points allow flyers to keep the camera centered on a subject regardless of flight path
  • Survey will automatically generate the flight pattern needed to fully cover a region of the map
  • 3PV™ Follow Me keeps the camera centered on the user while the drone follows the user’s movement. Drone position can also be adjusted as it follows the user.
  • An Automated Building Mapper makes 3D scans of large structures
  • The Dronie function makes one-of-a-kind “selfies,” revealing surrounding scenery as the drone flies back and away from the subject

Several new features are also available for Tower including Mission Editor, for easier insertion or reordering of elements; and new integration with Droneshare via the user’s Google or Facebook account (available February 15, 2015), enabling users to track and share their flights online or compare pilot rankings with friends.

The Tower open-source community is located on GitHub at https://github.com/DroidPlanner/droidplanner. To download the free Tower drone control app, go to (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.droidplanner.services.android ).

About 3D Robotics

3DR is committed to helping people see their world from above. As North America’s largest personal drone company, 3DR is a pioneer in making advanced, easy-to-use drone technology accessible to consumers for a wide range of everyday exploration and business applications in data analysis, mapping, surveying, 3D modeling and more for agriculture, construction, infrastructure, search and rescue and ecological study. Founded in 2009 by Chris Anderson, former editor-in-chief of Wired Magazine and founder of DIYDrones.com, and Jordi Muñoz, an engineering prodigy from Ensenada, Mexico, 3DR is a VC-backed startup with over 200 employees in North America and more than 30,000 customers worldwide. 3DR is headquartered in Berkeley, CA with facilities and offices in San Diego CA, Austin TX and Tijuana, Mexico. For more information, visit www.3drobotics.com.

Source 3D Robotics



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The post 3D Robotics announces Android flight control app appeared first on AndroidGuys.

2
Feb
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Humble Cartoon Network Mobile Bundle is live, it’s a regular adventure


Humble Cartoon Network Bundle

The folks over at Humble Bundle are at it again, launching a new mobile bundle packed full of games. This time out, they have teamed with the Cartoon Network to bring you more than a dozen games for as little as $8. This is the Humble Cartoon Network Mobile Bundle.

The Humble Bundle sales model began fairly simply, it worked in two parts – first, you paid whatever you wanted to gain access to a selection of games, books, and more, but if you paid more than the average price, you would get access to even more media. As the project moved forward, and the bundles of media got better, the team introduced a third aspect to the pay model, setting a minimum price that grants access to even more media in the bundle.

The best part, of course, is that Humble Bundle offers a portion of what they receive to charity, having now given over $51 million to charity, based on the generosity of users.

The latest bundle, the Humble Cartoon Network Mobile Bundle, packs 11 games, with the promise of more games to come soon. The games are based around shows like Adventure Time, Regular Show and more. Let’s see just what’s on deck.

Pay what you will to receive:

  • Adventure Time: Treasure Fetch
  • Regular Show: Best Park in the Universe
  • Regular Show: Ghost Toasters
  • Regular Show: Ride ‘em Rigby

Pay more than the current average to receive:

  • Adventure Time: Jumping Finn Turbo
  • CN Superstar Soccer
  • Regular Show: The Great Prank War
  • Ski Safari: Adventure Time

If you pay more than $8, you will also receive:

  • Adventure Time: Time Tangle
  • Monsters ate my Birthday Cake
  • The Powerpuff Girls: Defenders of Townsville

Adventure Time Humble Mobile Bundle Cartoon Network

Finally, don’t forget that there will be, at the very least, one more game added to the bundle at a later date. Usually that happens about a week into the campaign.

Humble Cartoon Network Mobile Bundle is active now and runs for the next two weeks. Head on over to the Mobile tab of the Humble Bundle website for more details.

What do you say, are you up for a little Adventure time, or is this bundle a little too, well, childish, for your tastes?



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