Sunday, 25 December 2011

Android Community

Android Community

Happy Holidays: Top apps for your new Android Tablet

Posted: 25 Dec 2011 11:00 AM PST

So today is Christmas for many of us (or something similar) and for all of you that were lucky enough to tear open the wrapping paper on a brand new ASUS Transformer Prime or Galaxy Tab and are wondering what apps or games to try for that new Android tablet — we have you covered. Below you’ll find a few awesome choices for that 7 or 10 inches of screen real estate.

Unlike our list of top smartphone apps today we’ll just feature 5 awesome Android tablet apps — or six. Below are a few of the personal favorites from Android Community that we’ve featured in the past because they are just that great. We’ll start with my all time favorite for showing off graphics.

Riptide GP
If you’d like to show off the amazing graphics or games available for that new tablet be sure and get Riptide GP. This is the premiere racing game for Android — only its all on water. This jet-ski style high paced racing game will keep you on the edge of your seat, and the edge of your tablet screen. Controlling jet ski’s by cranking that tablet left and right like a steering wheel sounds fun right? With some of the best graphics on a mobile device this will keep you entertained with hours of gameplay. The water effects in particular are highly impressive.

Market Link

Dolphin Browser for Pad
While still currently at a beta level Dolphin Browser is the best 3rd party browser for Android hands-down (if you ask me). The stock tablet browser is quite excellent but Dolphin’s access to gestures, ad-ons and more give the user even more power with their tablet.

Market Link

Now this is another game that might cost a few bucks but hopefully you received an extra gift card or two for the holidays. Shadowgun brings Gears of War to Android tablets and is quite impressive. For anyone that loves shooter games this third person shooter has over 8 hours of gameplay and is more of a full featured game than most. With a regular version, THD for Tegra 2 tablets, and now even support for the NVIDIA Tegra 3 this game by far has some of the most impressive graphics I’ve seen on a mobile device to date.

Market Link, TegraZone

SwiftKey X Tablet
With Android we have the option for 3rd party keyboard alternatives and they give you the option to customize your entire experience. If the stock keyboard doesn’t sit right with you I’d recommend SwiftKey X Tablet. They offer a complete package with themes, customization, and even an option to learn from the users Facebook, Gmail, or Twitter habits to learn your style. Then their tier-one prediction engine will even save you precious time and keystrokes. SwiftKey X for Tablets also has a split key “thumb” view to use just the edges for easy typing on the large 10″ displays.

Market Link

Another great alternative is Thumb Keyboard and you can see our hands-on here.

HD Widgets
Widgets are single handed one of my favorite aspects of Android. Having the power to add anything and everything to your homescreen really makes your device unique to you — unlike all those iThings. If you’ve seen awesome weather and time icons taking up screen real estate most likely it was Beautiful Widgets or even weatherbug for tablets. My favorite has always been Beautiful Widgets but the new kid on the block is HD Widgets and it currently is what graces my homescreens. Being HD and having that extra polish with color choices, curved and rounded edges and tons of transparency options it really is the best around. While its not a full suite of widgets they have more than enough for any phone or tablet size.

Market Link

I know I said five but don’t forget to check out Google Currents — as we are a featured partner over at our sister site SlashGear. Currents is Google’s new RRS style news reader for tablets and is amazing.

We’ll keep this short and sweet so you can all enjoy your new tablet and gadgets (and don’t forget your family). Alternatively you can head to the Android Web Market and check out the specific tablet apps Google themselves recommend.

Have fun and have a Merry Christmas!


Happy Holidays: Top apps for your new Android Smartphone

Posted: 25 Dec 2011 11:00 AM PST

It’s the holiday season and everyone should be full of good food and surrounded with friends or family. You might be having hot cocoa this Christmas morning, or maybe even some Mimosa — either way we hope you enjoy it. Here at Android Community we decided to round up a small list of our must have top apps for that new smartphone anyone may have received for Christmas. Below are just a few of many we thought were worth mentioning. Hit that little white and green icon shaped like a shopping bag titled “Market” and get started.

Now we know not everyone uses their smartphone for the same thing. Some people love games like Angry Birds or Fruit Ninja — and others just want to take notes, get help with shopping lists, track their fantasy football team and more. The list below are a few that may appeal to a wide array of users although you can hit our hands-on portal to see many more we’ve featured in the past.

This post is all about smartphones as I’m sure many got a shiny new Galaxy Nexus or HTC Amaze 4G this holiday season and were looking for a few good apps.

First off we must mention Beautiful Widgets. Not only is it on sale currently but it’s also the most popular widget and most purchased Android application and is a sure favorite for any Android phone or tablet.

Beautiful Widgets will tell you the weather and time and look good while doing it — it also has widgets for anything and everything from battery meters, WiFi easy toggle switches, and much much more. We’ve reviewed it a few times here already and it shouldn’t need much explaining. If someones Android phone had a neat weather/clock icon taking up part of their screen that you liked — most likely it was Beautiful Widgets.

Market Link

Next we have Dolphin Browser. The stock web browser is quite excellent and many love it but Dolphin just adds that extra level of polish and options many users need or want. With tabbed browsing, gestures, color themes, add-ons like FireFox or Chrome and more it is highly usable and very versatile.

Market Link

Everyone loves the simple games we listed above like Fruit Ninja or Angry birds so how about a few that are even more amazing that most might now know about. There is way too many to list so here are just a few:

EA Real Racing 2
Grand Theft Auto III (oh yea!)
Madden 2012
Words with Friends
and a couple of my favorites are Asphalt 6 or Cut the Rope

We could go on forever on games as there are a plenty but they aren’t for everyone so here are a few more must get apps.

Evernote — the easiest and most simple way to take and share notes. This is great for shopping, keeping track of your day, or basically any of the other thousand reasons we all take notes. You can snap a photo and make a note, write it down, or even record your voice.

Evernote turns your Android device into an extension of your brain!

Market Link

File Managers are a very popular Android application as they give users complete and absolute control and access of their devices. Basically making your Android phone display every file in a PC or computer style for easy access, navigation, copying and more. We’ll recommend three — one is our favorite but ad based, one is absolutely free with no ads and the other is a MUST have for root users.

Astro File Manager
ES File Explorer
and last but not least is Root Explorer for everyone that roots their phone — this is a must have app.

Next we’ll mention keyboards since not everyone likes the stock keyboard that comes with their smartphone. I’d highly recommend SwiftKey X as it is the most useful and amazing keyboard for a phone hands down. Next would have to go to Swype because it is just awesome and fun to use — not to mention the new updates they’ve recently released.

We’d also like to round off this list with a few random but excellent applications for Android other than the usual Google Maps type of comments — since most Google apps come standard out of the box. We’d recommend Pandora Radio, Dropbox, Google Reader, AirDroid (control phone from pc), and Shazam for music tagging.

This is a pretty random selection but after gathering the lists from everyone here at Android Community we just had way too many and figured we’d round em all up and list the most popular or useful ones of all. There are hundreds of thousands of apps in the Android Market so head on over and see for yourself. Feel free to see our Tablet Apps roundup post for anyone with a new Galaxy Tab or Transformer Prime.

We’ll end it right here as I’m sure you’re all dying to enjoy those new phones just received for Christmas so give a few of our suggestions a try, or feel free to recommend a couple favorites of your own in the comment section below. Don’t forget to stay right here at Android Community for all your Android related news. Get the AC App for the latest and greatest from the world of Android.


Merry Christmas from Android Community

Posted: 25 Dec 2011 09:41 AM PST

Howdy folks, it’s your friendly neighborhood Android blogger here, hoping today finds you in the company of family and friends. I’d like to wish you a Merry Christmas from everyone here at Android Community, as well as a Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, et all.  If you don’t celebrate any kind of winter holiday… um, good morning.

The writers and editors here are spending the day with our families, and since a holiday that falls on a weekend is one of the crueler tricks a calendar can play on you, we’re taking Monday off as well. But don’t worry: we’ve got a few features waiting in the wings especially for today, with an eye towards some of the goodies you may be unwrapping at the moment. Once you’ve finished off the figgy pudding and successfully circumnavigated the fruitcake, check back for some guides and app picks later this evening.

We’ve got a lot to look forward to in the next couple of months here at Android Community. Just week or so after New Year’s Day we’ll be packing up our various gizmos for the Consumer Electronics Show, and in February we’ll be hopping the Atlantic for Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Naturally, we’ll be keeping you in the loop for all the latest Android smartphones, tablets and other electronic bric-a-brac, so keep it right here for the latest news. And stay tuned for some very special rewards for being a loyal reader, headed down a chimney near you soon.


MOTOACTV rooted, full Android interface possible

Posted: 25 Dec 2011 12:26 AM PST

Let’s be honest: the Motorola MOTOACTV doesn’t have a whole lot of applications outside of the sports and fitness world. At least, it didn’t until now: one ambitious Android modder has managed to root the tiny touchscreen watch and install third-party apps, making full access to Android possible. The dream of a Dick Tracy watch is within our  grasp!

After reading through Linux junkie Chris Wade’s guided tour and teardown of Motorola’s wearable device, it’s kind of surprising that no one’s managed this before. The root process should be fairly ordinary to Android modders: start the watch in bootloader mode, flash a new boot image, then run the popular SuperOneClick root method. Apparently the MOTOACTV’s software is similar enough to other phones to be compatible.

Check out the results in action below:

Wade managed to flash CyanogenMod’s Google apps and a custom launcher via ADB, making the watch behave very much like a tiny Android smartphone. A 600Mhz processor and 256Mb of RAM is more than enough to run Gingerbread, if not especially fast. He used the look-alike Honeycomb launcher and a few other obligatory apps like Angry Birds to test out the system, apparently with some really cool results. The device’s 1.6inch screen, Bluetooth-only connectivity and $249.99 price tag still make it a little inconvenient as a secondary Android gadget, but there’s no denying that the results are cool. Check out our hands-on coverage for more info.

For a wearable Android device that’s open from the get-go, be sure to investigate the WIMM One developer watch.

Device Specifications and Information
Device Info
    Device Name : MOTOACTV
    Manufactuer : Motorola
    Carrier :
    Announced Date : October 18, 2011
    Release Date : TBA
    Also Known As :
  • Screen Size : 1.6 Inch
  • Resolution :
  • Screen Type : NA
Dimension & Weight
  • Height : 1.81 Inch
  • Width : 1.81 Inch
  • Depth : .378 Inch
  • Weight : 35 Grams
Battery & Power
    Battery Type:
  • Lithium Ion
  • Battery Capacity : mAh
  • Talk Time : NA
  • Stand By Time : NA
    Audio Playback:
  • AAC+
  • AMR
  • MP3
  • WAV
  • WMA
    CPU :
    CPU Clock Speed : 600 Mhz
    Core : 1
    Ram : MB
    Internal Storage : 16.00 GB
    Front Facing Camera :
    Camera Resolution : MP
  • Accelerometer
  • Ambient light
    QWERTY :
Cellular Network
Device Connectivity
  • 802.11b
  • 802.11g
  • 802.11n
  • Bluetooth 3.0
    Location Features:
  • Compass
  • GPS
    FM Radio :
    NFC :

[via Engadget]


Android Community Yearly Wrap-Up: 2011

Posted: 24 Dec 2011 06:36 PM PST

This past year we’ve seen the Android OS grow to unimaginable heights and it has helped reassure its adopters time after time they are in good hands. Through the countless devices we’ve handled and reviewed, the devices and merchandise given away, and events we’ve attended – 2011 been one of our best year’s! Though indiscrete after a while, one of our biggest changes was our AC logo. It proved to be a much welcome change to the entire community. Also, this is the first year of Device.AC – our Android Community device database. Its got the specific specs of the latest and greatest to earliest and iconic Android devices. The release of Google+ and Google Music were quite significant as well. They have brought us closer to acquaintances of all kinds – whether it be friends or co-workers.

It seems as though Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) arrived so long ago, but in reality the user features and official announcement was just in January. And contrarily, Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) seemed to sneak up on us almost instantly. Ice Cream Sandwich was officially announced at Google I/O, and don’t forget the 5,000 attendees that received a Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 with 3 months of Verizon 4G LTE service for free. Who knows what will be in store for us in 2012 within Jelly Bean.

The Samsung Galaxy S II was the most accomplished handset of 2011 – hands down. Reaching all major carriers over the globe, the Galaxy S II does nothing other than make Android look good, real good. Our man Chris Davies set a new standard to the term “Unboxing” with his extreme unboxing video of the GSII. On the other hand, I feel it necessary to say Sprint’s Kyocera Echo was the most pointless. Sure dual screens will possibly “work” one day, but by then they better be built to last and have the hardware to properly perform while maintaining sufficient battery life. For the tablets we’ve reviewed, it’s safe to hand off the first place trophy to the ASUS Transformer Prime. The NVIDIA “Kal-El” quad core super chip soon be seen in the future of tablets within 2012.

A recap of the giveaways of the year consist of the Motorola XOOM, Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, Android mini collectibles, Android Community official merchandise, and of course Tabletpalooza. The latter consisted of a month long tablet giveaway that made plenty of our fans happy. And here’s a hint: We’ve got another huge one coming for 2012 – so stay tuned.

Two of the most innovatively new devices seen for 2011 are the Samsung Galaxy Note, WIMM Labs 1.7 wearable Android platform, and the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. With the Note, Samsung finally offers a polished Android device to those yearning for a modestly sized handset. Though the 5″ screen hasn’t taken off yet, I assume it will eventually be a hit. On the other hand, literally, we have the WIMM Labs Android platform. This device can be worn as a watch, clipped to a bookbag or briefcase, or simply pocketed. Through “micro-apps” users will be able to interact with their other Android devices. Finally, the Galaxy Nexus sporting an extra large 4.65″ screen with no softkeys was released on Verizon here in the US. This device alone (and more importantly Android 4.0), will change the future of Android forever.


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