Wallpapers – Live and Not Live.

So you may be wondering about all this talk about live wallpapers – what they are and how to install them. Well the install part is a piece of cake, but what do you do with them once they are installed. How do you open them? So you see a cool live wallpaper (like this cool Thunderstorm Live Wallpaper one), but once you install it the “Open” button is greyed out (disabled) and you are not sure where to go from here.

Let me start out by explaining what a live wallpaper is for all of you out there that are unsure. A live wallpaper is a wallpaper that contains an animation, which may or may not use the sensors and buttons on the device to interact with it. Check out the below youtube video for an example:

To set a live wallpaper as the wallpaper on your phone, you can’t just run it, although some newer live wallpapers are coming out that have an icon and take you to a direction page, telling you how to install them. What you have to do is go into the wallpaper setting on the phone. On most phones you just have to press the menu button, then choose wallpaper. If you have an HTC phone there is a paintbrush (or plus symbol) to the right side of the main menu, and you can press that too, It will give you a list of places to get an image file from:
-Gallery – Allows you to pick a picture taken from your camera and set it as a wallpaper (cropped or not).
-Wallpaper Gallery – Takes you to the list of preloaded (non-live/static) wallpapers.
-Live Wallpapers – Shows you a list of all the installed Live Wallpapers.

Once you select the Live Wallpapers menu you can change settings, and customize the wallpaper based on the predefined settings that the particular wallpaper offers. this just means that if the developer didn’t add a setting to change a certian color then the option is not going to be available. you can also preview the wallpaper, and if satisfied save it as your default.

A couple of things to remember with live wallpapers: They are always running, so they can negatively effect the performance of your phone and the battery life. Also depending on how advanced the live wallpaper is it can take up application storage memory, especially because live wallpapers have to be saved to the phone, and can’t run off the memory card.

Some “Best of the Best” accessories for your Android phone:

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!


 Some “Best of the Best” accessories for your Android phone:

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

Name: Sinister Planet
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

  Some “Best of the Best” accessories for your Android phone:       

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
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

Some “Best of the Best” accessories for your Android phone:

Installing Non-Market Apps

So you found a cool app you want to try out, but when you click on the download link it doesn’t take you to the familiar grounds of the Android Market.  A great example of this is the Amazon App Store application.  It makes sense that you wouldn’t find a link to this great application on the Android Market, because it is a direct competitor.  Another great example is the large number of apps that are available on http://code.google.com.

The first thing you are going to need to know is that out-of-the-box the Android system won’t let you install anything non-market.  BUT, there is an incredibly easy workaround to this problem. All you have to do is select the little “Settings” icon from your main menu, and choose the “Applications” menu.  Once you are there you will see a little icon that looks like the below image.  Along with a little checkbox labeled “Unknown Sources”.  This would be that quick fix. 
Just check the box and you are all set.  
Next, simply load up your browser to one of the above mentioned sites and click download.  You will notice that the file being downloaded ends in .APK.  This is the standard format for an android application.  If you find that it is a zip your best bet is to hook up to a computer and unzip the file.  You can also do this with a few different programs, right on your phone. Just fire up Android Market and search for unzip.  If you decide to go that route you will also want to look into a File Manager app, so you can view your memory card – especially the “Downloads” folder.
This is a great trick that doesn’t force you into hacking/rooting your phone at all, and a relatively safe trick too.  Post up a comment if you have any questions.