Best Android Apps

15 10 2010

Ah, Android love.  It is time to review some of the best and brightest offered in the Android Market today.  Some are pretty mainstream, but hopefully we can turn you on to a couple you either haven’t found, or have just been too hesitant to try.  The Android Marketplace, available through the nifty little icon, is a veritable sea of technological wonders.  One of the nice things about Android, and also HTC, is the usability of widgets.  Some nifty little programs that will display and work from any one of your, usually, seven home screens.  So without further ado, let’s get started.

Scan any of the barcodes below with your android phone to be taken to the download for that app in the Android Marketplace.  If you don’t have a barcode scanner, Search for Shop Savvy in the Marketplace and install it.



Advanced Task Manager

One pesky thing about Android is that fact that a lot of applications like to run in the background.  Most phones off of the shelf, or android for that matter, doesn’t come with any type of Task Manager to help moderate these pesky battery hogs.  So that is where advanced task manager comes in.  You can use the whole app and browse running programs and erase the ones desired, or you can do as I install the single-icon widget and with the press of a button all running apps are eradicated.  At any given time usually about 9 are running at once, but it can get up to around 24, so you gotta stay on it.




HandCent Text Messenger

Handcent is an alternate text messaging application that will take over for the stock version in your phone.  In my opinion, this app supersedes my Hero’s capabilities, and adds a nice iPhone looking skin on the messages.  It offers push notifications that will show over your lock-screen (not good if you like to keep secrets, but you can disable it) which also let you respond from there.  There are roughly seven or so font-packs you can use to spice up your messages, as well as a ton of other tweaks.





EasyTether is a super-convenient app that allows you to connect your phone via USB cable to your PC and “tether” the internet.  Essentially, your computer borrows your phones 3g connection, for free.  There is a paid version as well, but EasyTether Lite gets the job done fine for basic quick computing and just surfing the net.





Where is an awesome app that is not only on Android, but should definitely get mentioned.  This nifty little package will show just about where anything is.  As well as offer the best gas prices in your area, peoples reviews on certain places, weather, etc.  Its really a useful app for someone who is on the move.



Photobucket Mobile

Most people know what Photobucket is, but if you don’t, it is a image hosting site on the internet.  Basically they store all of your pictures for free, unless you have A LOT of pictures.  The Photobucket app is super useful because if you have a phone with a decent camera, which lots of phones have nowadays, it’s a really convenient way to share these photos online.  Once you snap a picture, Photobucket will then upload that saved picture to your Photobucket account, allowing you to set up slideshows, post on websites and forums, or upload to Facebook, if your phone doesn’t do it already.



TuneIn Radio

This nifty little app lets you listen to damn near any radio station across the country.  Through which you can get down to the most local of stations, or browse the NPR options.  The quality is crystal clear, and the user interface is a breeze to navigate.  For free, this little app packs a punch.







No, its not an x-ray machine, this is a fully featured guitar tuner offered for free in the Android Market.  This app is better than most any entry to mid-level guitar tuner out there, and its free.  Really a great steal.  Not to mention the way your friends will look at you when you pull out your phone to tune your guitar.






Notable Mentions:

– 3 (Cubed): if you’re going to listen to music on your phone, why not make it a 3D interactive cube to browse and play it with.

– Google Voice

– Thinking Space:  Mind Mapping software.  Awesome for writers.

– Spectral Analyzer:  A spectrometer.  Good for finding ghosts, or where that mouse is behind the wall.

– Metal Detector:  Uses your phones built in antenna to detect metal.  I didn’t believe it at first either.


iPad Uses

26 04 2010

iPad Uses

Bad Company 2 Multiplayer Review

9 03 2010

Being the FPS freak that I am, only the best and the brightest cross my desk. I have pretty high standards since I have been playing my games religiously for almost 20 years now (Damn it has been a while). With that said, Battlefield: Bad Company 2 is %$#*!@$ awesome! I have to admit, my first round online took a bit getting used to, what with having been programmed on a strict regimen of Call of Duty. The controls almost felt sluggish, and the graphics seemed almost alien. But once I amped up my sensitivity, through on some headphones, and got down to the nitty-gritty, this game has got me hook, line and sinker.

You do have to keep in mind when playing BC 2 that the audio really brings this game to life. And once you get into the game, and see just how much it has to offer, its really nothing short of amazing the guys over at DICE really put a lot of work into cramming this game with all they could. Sure, the levels are completely destructible, no more pesky frames lingering around battle charred levels. Oh no, you can bring that sucker straight to the ground. And hopefully killing some enemies in the chaos. And there will be plenty of them. 24 players are allowed to traverse the very large levels laid out in front you.

The vehicles, the absolute creme de la creme of the whole situation, are fantastic. The level of detail, realism, and upgrades that have gone into the vehicles makes them a load of fun to drive, and shoot at. The controls are smooth, and its a heck of a lot better than running across the level to the objectives.

Speaking of, there are three different objectives you can pick from for your online experience. You have good old fashioned conquest, hold two of the three flags as long as you can till you win. Rush mode was brought back, where you work your way across a map, destroying two enemy comm boxes at a time. And the new addition, Squad Deathmatch. This option loads into a game of 4 squads, each squad containing 4 guys. All four squads duke it out on the level, first team with the most kills wins. It can turn pretty chaotic, and definitely has a unique feel to it.

In case you were wondering, yes, you do get to customize just about every aspect of your classes. As you work your way through the ranks, you slowly unlock different additions to your soldier, your weapons, behavioral perks, and new weapons. You can also level up your vehicle behaviors, separately from your soldier and weapons. One major difference between Battlefield and, say, Call of Duty is that you don’t rank up nearly as fast. I have had the game for two full days, and I am only at level 7. That’s after almost 15 hours of logged game time. So expect to be working on your soldier for a while!

All of your classes are case specific, meaning if you are playing as an engineer, you only upgrade your engineer class. It’s a lot of incentive to mix up what classes your using. You’ve got your Red Dot sight, the 4x Scope, aka the ACOG scope. There’s a 12x zoom to unlock for the sniper class, for those extra long shots. I don’t want to spoil too much for you, just know theres a lot of goodies to unlock, and plenty of time to do it in.

All in all, its just nice to see Battlefield back on the charts, with another quality game to waste more pointless hours of our lives. If you have the cash, I highly suggest picking this game up, and giving it a whirl. If nothing else, it is much more than a great break from Call of Duty, at least until they finally release a Map Pack. Next stop, Halo Reach Beta!