Archipelago – Amazon Free App of the Day 7/17/2011

Name: Archipelago

Description:
Looking for a highly-addictive real-time strategy game that is easy to learn and hours of fun? Look no further than Archipelago! The goal of the game is quite simple: just capture all of the enemy islands on the map.

Gameplay
Archipelago’s gameplay is astonishingly straightforward: Tap an island controlled by your forces to select it, and then tap an enemy A.I. island to send your troops there. Half of an island’s available troops participate in the attack; the other half say behind to defend the island. To take over an enemy island you must overwhelm the island with more troops than they have currently defending. It may take several attack waves to capture the island!

The best strategy may include capturing a neutral (grey) island. Large islands can station more troops, and your forces will grow faster. You can send an attack wave from multiple islands. Drag your finger across the screen to select the islands you wish to have participate in the attack.

Game Modes
Archipelago can be played with more than on A.I. player and includes Campaign and Single Game modes. In Campaign Mode, you will always control the blue player, and you have no allies. In Single Game mode, you can configure teams as you desire using seven colors and up to four teams. A useful tutorial is also available to walk you through the game functions.

Download Link: http://goo.gl/YjZje

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Google+ Opens Up Their Invites (Invites Available)

Taking a cue from the easy invites on Spotify, it looks like Google has opened up it’s invite system for Google+.  Upon logging into my account today I discovered a link to directly invite people.  (As opposed to the old way where you had to create a circle and share something with people – the way that only worked 15% of the time…)

So if anyone out there wants an invite leave a comment and I will see how many it will let me send out!

   

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Spotify – Easy 5 Minute Invite

So Spotify has been released in the US. 
(as you may have seen their little welcome message from their site)

But the downside is that you have to sign up for an invite…  And you might notice the wording: “…as soon as we can.”

Well I signed up for an invite on day 1 and still hadn’t hear back from them.  Then I stumbled across a link from Coca-Cola that saved the day.  All you have to do is enter your email and they send you a free invite.  The whole process takes 2 or 3 minutes.  Then once you have signed up you just have to download the Android app.  
To get that invite click here.

Name: Spotify
Description:
Spotify brings millions of tracks to Android. Your music is always with you. NOTE: Requires a Spotify Premium subscription – you may be eligible for a free trial! Spotify opens up your Android to a world of music. Take your existing Spotify playlists with you on the go – listen to them during your commute, in the gym or on a flight. With ‘Offline mode’ you can listen even when no connection is available. Wirelessly sync your local files to your phone to merge your catalogue with ours, no cables required! Download and get started directly from your mobile.
Download Link: http://goo.gl/oJON6

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Sinister Planet – Free Amazon Appstore App of the Day 7/16/11

Name: Sinister Planet
Description:
You have worlds to conquer
Blast your way through wave after wave of relentless alien hordes and destroy increasingly challenging planets in this action-filled app for Android. Beautifully rendered meteors and retro-style graphics transport you back to the heyday of arcade classics in Sinister Planet.

Mission Objective
Your objective is to attack and destroy a series of alien worlds, progressing toward the ultimate challenge: Planet Sinister. To destroy each world you have to attack the surface and take out the power grid protecting the planet’s core. To aid you in your quest, you have the opportunity to upgrade your ship’s weapon systems by collecting power-ups (in Arcade mode) or amassing gold (in Battle mode).

As you progress through the waves, you will find yourself needing those upgrades as more deadly enemies are introduced. Upgrades available include extra laser pods to double or triple your firepower, ECM attacks (aka Smart Bombs), turrets for 360-degree shooting, and more.

Make little ones out of big ones
Collect the Gems
To make it through each wave, collect the gems produced as you blast the asteroids out of the sky. Don’t worry, the asteroids won’t hurt you, but you will face a different challenge–your enemy just loves to grab those gems too. Make sure you reach them first, and shoot them quickly, or they will be transformed into much more dangerous foes.

As a welcome respite from the hard-core destruction, you get the chance to gain bonus points by completing the challenge waves. Aliens will fly in formation around your ship while you attempt to execute a complete wipe-out. It’s not easy, but getting the right upgrades will greatly aid your mission. During the challenges your ship gains temporary indestructibility.

Download Link: http://goo.gl/5fS2R

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Top 10 Home Replacements (Top 5) – Easy Android Facelift

As promised, here are the Top 5 of the Top 10 Android Home Replacements/Launchers that we will be reviewing. As with any sort of  "Top" list, don’t take it as the definitive list because new apps come out all the time, and I am probably missing some great launchers – I am an old robot after all…  So here is my list of the top 5:

Name: 5. Zeam
Description: Zeam is a minimalistic launcher alternative for phones running Android 2.2 and above. It has a lot of the cool functions available to the larger launchers, but it will run great on just about any hardware.
Download Link: http://goo.gl/IayVN
Name: 4. ADW Launcher
Description: ADW.Launcher, beyond tweaking your android desktop
Opensource home replacement app
-Customizable application drawer (old one or iphone/galaxy one)
-Customizable drag&drop action buttons
-Unveil the Dockbar flicking-up the app-drawer button and drop UNLIMITED shortcuts/folders!
-Themes
Download Link: http://goo.gl/V3Pnb

Name: 3. Launcher Pro
Description: – Super-smooth scrolling
– Animated screen previews (like Exposé or HTC Sense)
– Up to 7 home screens
– App drawer (2D and 3D!) with a fly-in effect and smooth scrolling
– Scrollable shortcut dock
Download Link: http://goo.gl/QmCit

Name: 2. Home++
Description: New home, new lifestyle
Branching from the stock home app, Home++ offers more
* 3rd party animated widgets & scrollable widgets support
* Drag&drop uninstall
* Bookmarks
* Workspace looping
* 3~7 screens and a screen switcher
* lazy load app drawer by default
Download Link: http://goo.gl/xH9KC

Name: 1. Go Launcher EX
Description: vLauncher has a clean look to it that reminds a lot of people of the iPhone interface. One of the main pros to this launcher is that all of your icons are on your home screen, you don’t have to open a tray to see them, plus without all the widgets and extras it runs very fast, even on an older device, like me…
Download Link: http://goo.gl/LBpRp

So if you like these and want to try them, follow the links and download them to you phone.  After they are installed the next time you press the home key it will ask you if you want to load the current launcher or the new one.   You can also set one as a default by checking the check box.

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Dashboard Assist PRO: In-Car Dashboard, Hands-Free Answering, and Journey Logger – Free Amazon Appstore App of the Day

Name: Dashboard Assist PRO: In-Car Dashboard, Hands-Free Answering, and Journey Logger
Description:
Share the details of your trip with the pre-prepared memo template
This app isn’t just a dashboard assist, it’s a comprehensive co-pilot, chock-full of savvy features and logging capabilities. Use it to record (and improve) your carbon footprint, to refine your driving technique, or just as a journal, to log the minutiae of long trips. This app tracks your speed, time, mileage, and direction. It provides a comprehensive dashboard, and can also run in the background of other apps. Access the active app by tapping the icon in the notification bar of the phone. Pause the app between legs of a journey to conserve battery and halt the tracked time.

Oodles of Features
Dashboard Assist Pro acts as a speedometer, compass, and odometer with a variety of customizable style options. Track your speed visually or have it spoken to you. This PRO app has live graphing features for tracking your speed in real time. Graph your speed by recent or whole journey timeframes. The Eco light tracks your carbon footprint by analyzing your average speed, acceleration, and cornering. Flick the main screen to the left to see these averages in action, as well as all three eco views. Flick once more to see the double dials of the current time and speed (always use your automobile’s speedometer as the true reading).

Taking Hands-Free to the Next Level
Tap the settings button to confirm the automatic setting options. This application can be set to only answer calls from contacts and to automatically answer calls by putting them on speakerphone (after announcing who is calling first). Opt for the auto-text feature, and after the sending party is identified, the contents of your text can be read to you for a totally hands-free driving experience.

Customize your auto answer options
Dashboard Assist Pro also hosts an in-app music player. Play music or recorded books while you drive. The music shuttle controls appear in a slide-out panel on the main dashboard, easily accessible without journeying out of the application. A sharing option makes this app convenient for recording and sending mileage details and driving statistics while on business trips, or for personal use. The fourth screen contains both of these sharing options and keeps a prepared memo of your travel data for both corporate and performance-based messages.

There is a free version of Dashboard Assist that is ad-supported. It does not support the auto-answer or auto-announce features, nor the speed graphs or chronometer.

Download Link: http://goo.gl/EJa8I

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iCookbook – Amazon Appstore Free App for 7-14-11

Not only is it the free app of the day today, this previously apple exclusive is launching on Android today, exclusively on the Amazon Appstore. 

If you are someone that loves technology and loves to cook, than this app is for you.  This app gives you a full cookbook at your fingertips with all the benefits of an ebook like the ability to search and a cool feature called stir.  Stir takes the featured recipes and refreshes them with a fresh list, so if you are looking for something new to make it gives you some fresh ideas.

After today the cost of this app will jump up to it’s normal price of $4.99.  So try it out. It can’t hurt since it is free, but remember that it is only availabe today for free!

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Amazon App Store Free App 7/12/11 – Cozi Family Organizer Premium

Name: Cozi Family Organizer Premium
Description: Manage the family calendar, shopping lists, and to-do lists conveniently from your phone. Cozi Family Organizer helps busy families stay on top of everything they do. Track appointments and activities, remember shopping lists and chores, and keep everyone in the family on the same page. When schedules change, Cozi is there making sure all the moving pieces fit together at the end of the day.
Download Link: http://goo.gl/r59SZ

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Top 10 Home Replacements (Bottom 5) – Easy Android Facelift

So you are sick of the main menu of your phone, you want to change it up a little but fear the idea of rooting your phone.  There is a great option for Android phones that will allow you to change the menu system that loads when you press your home screen.  There are a countless Home Replacement options, so I will just give you a Top 10 list here – in the form of a countdown to make it dramatic.

Name: 10. Claystone Launcher
Description: What sets Claystone apart from the others is that it has a really cool icon stacking capability that has a neat 3D look. Aside from this the features look pretty standard, but I recomend it if you are looking for something a little different. Check out the video: http://www.youtube.com/embed/fNMW18_aPmE
Download Link: http://goo.gl/OsIeU
Name: 9. Slidescreen
Description: Slidescreen is a completely different home screen. It presents you with your information first. You will see your Facebook information, RSS feeds, Twitter, Etc on the home page. You have the ability to slide the center clock bar up and down to see more of one or the other. To access your apps you simply have to press the menu button. It also has a cool option for your top 8 apps at the top of the app list.
Download Link: http://goo.gl/IdF0q
Name: 8. Launcher 7
Description: Launcher 7 is an Android launcher that gives your Google powered phone the look and feel of a Microsoft Windows Phone 7 phone. It has the ability to scroll up and down through the main menu, and access your app list by swiping to the right. It’s very true to the original and even comparing the 2 side by side shows very few differences. The developer is really good about keeping it updated too.
Download Link: http://goo.gl/D7LHE

Name: 7. Regina 3D Launcher
Description: Regina 3D is a launcher that at a glance looks a lot like all the other launchers, until you go to switch between the different screens and you will find that it has a 3D cube effect, much like a desktop computer can have. Looks really cool to show off to your friends, but it does get a little old after a while.
Download Link: http://goo.gl/egA0Y
Name: 6. vLauncher
Description: vLauncher has a clean look to it that reminds a lot of people of the iPhone interface. One of the main pros to this launcher is that all of your icons are on your home screen, you don’t have to open a tray to see them, plus without all the widgets and extras it runs very fast, even on an older device, like me…
Download Link: http://goo.gl/yqMKO

So if you like these and want to try them, follow the links and download them to you phone.  After they are installed the next time you press the home key it will ask you if you want to load the current launcher or the new one.   You can also set one as a default by checking the check box.  So check them out and stay tuned for the top 5…

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Enhanced Apps2SD – “Why Root?” Part 2

So with Froyo (Android 2.2) and up you have the ability to move some of your apps to the memory card to save that precious storage memory on your phone. But what if you could move ALL of your apps to the memory card? With a rooted phone you have a couple more options with Apps2SD.

First you have the ability to “force” apps to go to the memory card.  Therefore, if the developer hasn’t set it’s permissions for it,you can movie it over to the card anyway.  This works great in most situations, unl;ess you are dealing with a widget, or a home replacement app (like ADW or Launcher Pro) because they typically stay in memory, and you could break the app by doing this.

The second option is to actually re-partition your SD card (which does erase your data) and create an android partition right on the SD card,so you could move ALL of your apps over to the card and leave the internal memory for your android installation.  This option can significantly speed up your phone because you will have a tone of free space for the system to run in.

For information on either of these options I recommend doing some research on some of the various message boards out there, especially  XDA Developers, because that’s where all the experts tend to hang out.

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