Saturday, April 30, 2011

Amazon's Free App of the Day - Hex Defense

written by: Nick Kosmides

Put your guard up for Hex Defense free on the Amazon Appstore today.

Hex Defense, in case you're not one of the over 2,000 reviewers of this app on the Android Marketplace, is a tower defense game borrowing its look from classic yet modern vector graphics games. Some people may know what tower defense is, some may not.  Basically mount your defenses against an onslaught of AI controlled attackers.  Defeat all the attackers before they destroy your base and you move on to the next more difficult level.  Level up your defenses by earning some sort of currency and spending it wisely, and therein lies the strategy.

Weapons include the usual pea shooters, lasers, rocket launchers and a level decimating shock wave.  There are options to dummy down the graphics in case you are using an LG phone or something also less powerful.  Or leave it on "Intense Graphics" and prepare to be dazzled!

Hex Defense - $1.49 FREE

Friday, April 29, 2011

Tips and Tricks: How to back up your photos using Picasa

written by: Nick Kosmides

You have a ton of photos on your Android phone, none of which you can live without.  Its getting so bad that you've run out of room on your internal memory AND the massive memory card that you're phone either came with or you upgraded to.  What do you do?  Delete some pics, or...

You back them up to Picasa, Google's photo cloud storage solution.  Think of it as iPhoto but "to the cloud" instead of on your computer.  Having photos saved to the cloud means you can access them from any internet enabled phone or computer anytime.  Also, Picasa gives you enough space for photos to last a long time.  And if you take photos to the extreme and manage to fill the space they give you,  for a fee you may upgrade by a lot for very little.

First off, set up your Picasa account by using your Gmail account. They are one in the same, but setup is required to start with Picasa.  Once this is complete you need to enable "Sync Picasa Web Albums" on your Android phone.
   1. Go to Settings
   2. Select 'Accounts & sync'
   3. Select your Google account under 'Manage accounts'
   4. Select the 'Sync Picasa Web Albums' radio box

Now your phone is in sync with Picasa and therefor ready for uploading.
   1. Open your Gallery app
   2. Select all the photos you'd like to upload
   3. Select 'Share'
   4. Select 'Picasa'
   5. Fill in all the fields
   6. Select 'Upload'

Your done.  All your backed up pics will still be viewable in Gallery, without taking up space.  Once you verify this go ahead and clear them off your phone.  Use the website to make albums, control permissions and share with family and friends.  Permissions are very important to set, because all your photos will be viewable by the world unless made private.


UPDATE: Samsung Fascinate tip #1: Froyo Screen Capture

written by: Nick Kosmides

So, you've had your Fascinate for as long as I have and have muscled through the hell that was Android 2.1.  You've made it this far and didn't give in to your lame friends promoting their iPhones as better than your phone because it can take a screen capture of itself.  Well now that you have Froyo that is not the case anymore.

Not sure if this is something that Verizon or Samsung threw in there, because I haven't been able to pull anything up online other than using the SDK.  But the Samsung Fascinate is now equipped with the ability to capture an image of the screen.  To take a pic ,simply hold the Back button and simultaneously press the Power button.  If enabled you'll hear a sound effect and a text notification will pop at the bottom of the screen informing you that the screen capture was taken.  That's it!

The system saves it in a new folder found on the root called "ScreenCapture".  The images are saved as PNG files, or Portable Network Graphics, and the file name structure should appear as "SC[year][month][day]-[time]"

You can easy see all your screen shots by going into the Gallery.  Above is a screen shot of my home screen.  Some apps may make it difficult to capture an image depending on the Back button functionality.  Basic rule of thumb is -- if the Back button can be held without affecting the app, then you can take a pic.


UPDATE: Upon sniffing around the innards of the device, I found the "" application that most likely allows us to capture our favorite on screen moments.

UPDATE #2: If you are visiting this page from a Google search or whatever, please use the comments below to let me know if this was helpful or is missing some information you may have been searching for.

Amazon's Free App of the Day - Fast Food Calorie Counter

written by: Nick Kosmides

Fast Food Calorie Counter is free today on the Amazon Appstore for Android. But does it actually count calories and help you in any way stay away from Fast Food places.  The answer is no!

Its interesting to see what people will make out of nothing and ask for money.  This app has 75 restaurants, sounds like a lot but its missing a few important ones, no Red Robin.  Once you get past the nice looking title screen and the nice looking restaurant image gallery is shown.  Just tap on the logo of the restaurant you visit most or are about to eat at to view calorie information.  Because that's about as far as it goes.  After picking the restaurant is a simple list view copy of the calorie information you can find on the restaurants website.  If you tap an item is shows a bar graph view of Calories, Fat, Cars, Fiber and Protein.

There is no way to combine items, inventory an order or save content.  No way to create a list of favorites or suggestions for alternative meals.  Nothing you might THINK a calorie COUNTER would actually do.

The reviews are in and its not looking so hot, but if you want to get the calorie INFORMATION all in one app without visiting the restaurant website and probably getting more information, do it today while this hunk of junk is free.

Fast Food Calorie Counter - $1.99 FREE

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Amazon's Free App of the Day - Majesty: The Fantasy Kingdom Sim

written by: Nick Kosmides

I will never quite understand the lure to play a game that plays itself.  Not sure what Nintendo was thinking when they made the Wii either.  If there sales pitch was "It'll sell billions of units, get played for a couple months, then people will just buy 1st party games and let the system collect dust" then they succeeded.

Majesty: The Fantasy Kingdom Sim is the free app for today.  Developed by Herocraft, the makers of Farm Frenzy, previously the sixth free game given app for free on the Amazon Appstore.  This move brings another of their games to the masses and its already proven to be effective.  Rounding nearly 50 user reviews by just 8am this morning with about 30 being 5-star reviews will help sell the game when its no longer free again.

If you enjoy indirect control strategy games with monsters, spells and upgradeable buildings then head on over to the Amazon Appstore and grab yourself a free distraction from the beauty of nature that resides around you.

Majesty: The Fantasy Kingdom Sim - $1.99 FREE

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Amazon's Free App of the Day - Business Calendar

written by: Nick Kosmides

Back from vacation, I'm ready to bring you today's free app of the day from Amazon. I really thought I could do it from the mountains, but the severe lack of a decent connection disallowed this from happening. I barely eeked out that last post without draining my battery from a full charge.

Business Calendar is pro bono today!  And its really not bad at all.  I never really considered replacing Google Calendar because I'm not a heavy user and I have have a blind trust for anything with "Google" in its name.  I'm happy to inform you that Business Calendar is full of surprises.

Things I'm pleasantly surprised to find include extensive options allowing control over all your Google calendars in the view you prefer the most.  Adjust settings for just about anything you can imagine. Also, widgets, one of my favorite things about Android.

There are widgets for any size you want.  From 1x1 all the way to 4x4 with all sizes in between.  Take a look at the 4x4 widget in the image below.  When you choose a widget get ready to set more settings for the widget you chose.

Now, if this all sounds like too much for you and you aren't the type of person who is viewing your calendar at least twice a day, then stick with Google for your daily planning pleasures.  Though, if you have been looking for an upgrade, then grab this $5 app for free today from the Amazon Appstore for Amazon now before midnight!  And check your calendar before you wreck your calendar!  Ha, sorry.

Business Calendar - $4.99 FREE

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

On vacation!

written by : Nick Kosmides

If you are wondering where the Amazon FAAD posts have been, they are on a short vacation. I'm actually in the mountains where the only Internet is dial-up and the closest WiFi hotspot is 20 miles away.

So my apologies to you for not being able to make your app collection larger. If it's any consolation I missed out in an app I have been waiting for, Fancy Widget Pro was free on the 24th. Yesterday's was a skiball game. Today's will be a mystery to me until I dial-up.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Amazon's Free App of the Day - Meteor

written by: Nick Kosmides

Ringing in this potentially exciting weekend is a doozy of a free app care of the great beyond that is Amazon.  Costing nothing more than you time and patience, Meteor can be had at no money down for an enthralling good time.  Though, leave the party hats and beer pong tournament quality table in the garage for another time.

Instead, fire up your favorite tunes, say Citabria, before booting up Meteor.  This game has no music in it what so ever.  If you play it a la carte, you will find yourself thinking up all the things you could be doing with your life instead of playing Meteor.  Not because its a bad game.  On the contrary.  Its fairly decent with regards to graphics and performance.  Only a few stutters during gameplay.  Its the lack of interesting animations or effects in the presentation and, well.  How do I reiterate this without sounds redundant?  I can't, THERE IS NO MUSIC!?@!  Seriously!?

I can only assume it was to keep the file size down or this individual could not figure out how to create a soundtrack to a mediocre clone of Breakout.  Given the mediocrity of this game and lack of any reason to play it, there is no value in its original price.  Grab it now while its free.  You'll feel less regret that way.

Meteor - $3.99 FREE

Amazon's Free App of the Day - TuneIn Radio Pro

written by: Nick Kosmides

This will be good.  Yesterday's free app of the day was TuneIn Radio Pro.  Essentially the same thing as the free version except without any chance of in-app advertisements and the ability to record any radio broadcast.

Now, as of this writing it is no longer free, unless you know how to manipulate time and space in the virtual retail space called Amazon. You could blame it on me, if in fact you rely solely on my tiny little blog to get your daily fix on everything free from Amazon.  For that, I humbly apologize.  My dog ate my homework, I was sick, my computer broke yet is now fixed. You understand I hope.

The app allows you to search for radio stations that broadcast over the internet all in one app.  As well as narrow your search by state you can also just simply search based on your GPS location.  Find a station you like, add it to you favorites and build an eclectic national collection of rotund radio stations.

Follow the link below to see what you may have missed.

TuneIn Radio Pro - $0.99 FREE

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Amazon's Free App of the Day - The Secret of Grisly Manor

written by: Nick Kosmides

I took my time today writing this review for a very good reason.  I actually wanted to play this game beforehand and write something a bit more in depth.  NO spoilers!

Amazon is so very kind to gift America a fairly entertaining game entitled The Secret of Grisly Manor. Not without fault which I will explain in a minute, the game is a graphical marvel with simplistic functionality to boot.  Don't expect a Myst-long puzzle adventure, though that would have been welcome.  Instead something you could chip away at while waiting in line at the DMV or knock half out while on the train headed to work.

It all starts off outside the mansion.  You'll notice that your HUD is equipped with a satchel allowing the brief storage of keys and tools your find throughout the game. You'll occasionally see a green back arrow for certain scenes and a Menu button.  That's it.  The Menu button takes you to the Options menu which is just sounds and stuff.  Once in the game, your mission is simple, tap the hell out of the screen in an effort to find stuff.

By the time you get going you'll feel like all you're doing is going from Point A to pick something up, to Point B to use it and pick something else up, then Point C to use that and pick something else up.  It gets a little predictable.  The ending will remain a surprise.  Hit the link below to swoop up this Myst-ish knock-off from the Amazon Appstore for Android.

The Secret of Grisly Manor - $0.99 FREE

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Amazon's Free App of the Day - The Moron Test

written by: Nick Kosmides

The Moron Test is free today.  The full version allows you to play through four sections containing loads of questions aimed at making you feel just a bit dumber than usual. Colorful enough for kids to play yet challenging enough for adults to want to complete.

Open Feint achievements may keep you coming back again. Though if you're not using Feint then simply pass off to a friend and watch the chaos ensue. Its not a hard game if you're good at either paying attention, fast reading and reacting, or memorizing through trial and error.

Other than the animated short actually being just a YouTube link, the game is a good game.  Some users on some phones are reporting force closes or the app just not launching.  I had no problems at all on my Samsung Fascinate.  Click on the link below to add The Moron Test to your collection for free today only.

The Moron Test - $0.99 FREE

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Amazon's Free App of the Day - Mighty Grocery Shopping List

written by: Nick Kosmides

Grocery list apps are becoming more and more popular.  There are now about a dozen list apps in general to choose from just on the Android Market. Today's free app, Mighty Grocery Shopping List, is just another list app, or is it?

The feature list points out several key ingredients to a good list app, but throw in things like syncing to a cloud or other lists, barcode scanning, pricing with tax, and aisle management and you've got yourself a grocery list contender. The organization category is dear to me because I have done a lot of studying up on the other list apps.

Right now I have four installed, and those are just the ones I'm keeping. Evernote is a must have for its ability to keep full sized docs and creation tools that sync congruently betwixt mobile and computer. Colornote is one of the best plain and simple list apps to replace the stock app your phone comes with.  It has really cool sticky note widgets that act as short cuts to specific lists.  Taskos is also a basic list app but with excellent voice recognition usage to add items to lists through a widget, syncs to Google Tasks, and has a nice range of advanced list options.  Finally, the app my family uses most for groceries and recipe ingredients is called OurGroceries.  My wife and I use one account to sync between both our phones, allowing us to share the same grocery list.  When someone adds something to the list on one phone, it immediately appears on the other phone.

We will be giving this new app a run.  It has a steep chance at replacing OurGroceries and its ease of use, but the features are definitely ones that I've said should be in OurGroceries. Hit the link below to grab your copy and try it out for yourself.

Mighty Grocery Shopping List - $2.99 FREE

Monday, April 18, 2011

Amazon's Free App of the Day - Photo Vault

written by: Nick Kosmides

So, its Monday and it just so happens to be a big day for some developers.  I'm talking about Valve and Midway NetherRealm Studios in releasing two high profile games today.  Both Portal 2 and Mortal Kombat are expected to sell very well, especially given the excessive exclusive feature set of the PS3 version of Portal 2 and possibly Kratos in the new MK. I bring this up not only because I'm looking forward to picking up my copies at midnight tonight, but because it mirrors the impact that today's free app of the day will leave.

Photo Vault, free today only, holds the key to your private and public picture sorting future.  If you've ever wanted to tell the stock Android gallery to hide certain photos from view and been sorely disappointed in the omission of this feature, then look no further than the Amazon Appstore. Protect private photos from prying eyes by separating them and locking them out with a password firewall.

Though this may seem like a dollar store Android app at first, the dev promises to follow user feedback up with updates issuing feature requests.

My feature request is simple: allow a "hide from Gallery" option so I don't have to look at all .jpg found on the entire device including folders containing assets created by games. Tap Tap Revenge 4 is extremely guilty of this, and from what I'm told so it Bejeweled 2.

Photo Vault - $1.00 FREE

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Amazon's Free App of the Day - aniPet Marine Aquarium Live

written by: Nick Kosmides

With over 5,000 highly favorable reviews on the Android Market, aniPet Marine Aquarium Live Wallpaper is getting a much needed boost on the Amazon Appstore today by offering itself up to any John for free.

With Android 2.1 or higher needed to run live wallpapers,  you will be able to enjoy real fake fish swimming around the background of your phone's screen. If you are a memory hoarder, live wallpapers in general are not the best idea.  They tend to drain the battery as well as slow the home screen processes down a bit. A quick info check on aniPet Aquarium reveals the 3MB app only runs on 12KB of data.

Being a paid version for free, this live wallpaper comes packed with options. Choose up to 15 different fish from the 100 on board selection of fish in different species ranging from Clownfish to Porcupinefish with the Fishkeeping option. Control different speed settings for swimming or growing.  Even feed the fish with your app icons or watch them die when you don't feed them. I especially enjoyed the ability to set my own image as the backdrop for the fish to swim on top of.  The pic I chose was blown up considerably which made it that much more entertaining given the right photo.

The fish are very detailed and look fantastic even though they do swim in a straight line across the screen. But the backdrops are disappointingly low res. An HD version of the backdrops is left to be desired. Enjoy a free copy of this pretty attractive live wallpaper c/o Amazon.  Help pad their apps reviews.  That is the whole point to the Amazon Appstore's free app a day after all.

aniPet Aquarium Live Wallpaper - $1.99 FREE

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Amazon's Free App of the Day - Trillian

written by : Nick Kosmides

Trillian is free today in the Amazon Appstore. Regularly $4.99, this app allows a seamless integration of all your instant messaging programs into one.

I used Trillian back in the desktop era and didn't like it due to the fact that it was an app and had to be reinstalled on every computer it was to be used on. Since my job had me switching computers as often as daily, I looked for another solution. That's when I heard of Meebo.

Meebo did the same thing but was web-based. Therefore I did not have to reinstall or setup all my accounts repeayedly. All accounts and conversations were saved to the client cloud. Meebo is available in the Android Market. But Trillian is free today so we won't ignore even if there is a far more superior product out there.

Trillian - $4.99 FREE

Friday, April 15, 2011

Amazon's Free App of the Day - Wordsmith

written by: Nick Kosmides

Wordsmith, a word game for Android, is free today. Its the middle of April and your bored at work.  Nothing going on in the world of Facebook and not a soul wants to talk to you at the water cooler. You could blame this on the economy and our "jobless America" or you could go to the Amazon Appstore and download Wordsmith for free.

Join the thousands of people who are anonymously playing each other in up to 4-player online Scrabble-like games. This app couldn't have come to a better person than myself.  My wife and I play these word games on our Android everyday.  I myself play a move on average about once a day, whereas my wife plays her turns about 2-3 times per day. Wordsmith lets you play someone you know online or someone random.  This is also the only word game that lets you play 1v1 on the same device.  Every other feature can be found in the other options out there.

My experiences with Wordsmith aren't the greatest.  Over 3G turns take a long time to post to the server. Push notification doesn't always work and the visuals are not as appealing as Wordfeud or Words With Friends. Now about those other games, which is better?

Wordfeud is the hands down winner.  And wouldn't ya know, the dev just added the ad-free version of the game to the Amazon Appstore for purchase. And much cheaper than on the Android Market at $2.90.

Words With Friends is only available on the Android Market as of this writing.  It has been updated about 20 times since it was sloppily released a couple months ago. The only reason this thing is even still installed on my phone is for the fact that it allows cross platform gameplay between Android and iPhone users. The game is littered with slow responsiveness, long loads and game hindering bugs. None of which seem to get fixed for people even after so many updates. The last update wiped all the letters off my racks in a couple games before force closing.

If you'd like to form your own opinion as to which is best, hit the link to nab a free copy of the full version of Wordsmith.  Even if you don't like it, is free and will remain in your download list on the Amazon Appstore for Android.

Wordsmith - $2.49 FREE

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Amazon's Free App of the Day - ezPDF Reader

written by: Nick Kosmides

ezPDF Reader is free today.  If you have PDFs on your phone, now you can read them.  Other key features include having them read to you, text reflow, fit text to column, play embedded video and audio.  Copy paste functionality and bookmark as you go.

Grab it today for free from the Amazon Appstore.

ezPDF Reader - $0.99 FREE 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Amazon's Free App of the Day - Solitaire Mega Pack

written by: Nick Kosmides

Solitaire Mega Pack is free for today. Previously priced at $3, this pack includes over 100 different card games, stat tracking and interchangeable backgrounds and themes.

At under 4.5MB and with no permissions, this is quite the addition to any Android's entertainment choices.  For most that includes nothing but Angry Birds.

Follow the link below to queue up some pro bono solitaire and kick it old school.  Or just pretend like you're cool with no money on the line.

Solitaire Mega Pack - $2.99 FREE

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Amazon's Free App of the Day - Pew Pew 2

written by: Nick Kosmides

This is a pleasant surprise, Pew Pew 2 is free today thanks to the kind folks at the Amazon Appstore for Android.

If you've never heard of Pew Pew from the Android Market, maybe you've heard of Geometry Wars. Vector based graphics, that means little lines with no textures, used to show of physics and particle effects. Usually the physics part is just the shooting and ship movement, but the particle effects is what makes all vector graphics based games different.  Pew Pew is right there with Geometry Wars, bringing some very eye pleasing particle effects to the explosions. If you wanted to show you're iPhone 4 toting friend what cool games there are for Android, this would be one of the first.

In this sequel, Pew Pew 2 brings a few improvements with it.  The developer touts a high framerate and new music that the levels now react to. Also online leaderboards and replays make their debut in Pew Pew 2. Who knew that Pew Pew 2 would do the Dew?  Sorry, had to do that, its late.

Hit the jump for your free copy and start off Tuesday with a pew?

Pew Pew 2 - $2.99 FREE

Monday, April 11, 2011

Amazon's Free App of the Day - Zenonia 2

written by: Nick Kosmides

Zenonia 2 is free today from the Amazon Appstore for Android.

Over 40 hours of gameplay with just one character, with four characters to choose from. Set out on an epic RPG adventure to save Zenonia from a new evil. Other features include deep character customizations, thousands of items, sub-quests, and a skill tree system for each playable character.

After you've conquered the single player campaign, or instead sometime in the middle, you can jump online for some PvP arena battle carnage.  At $4.99 this game is a value, at $free.99 its criminal not to just try it out.  Heck, its free!

Zenonia 2 - $4.99 FREE

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Amazon's Free App of the Day - SkyDroid Golf GPS

written by: Nick Kosmides

Do you golf?  I'm not talking about playing Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12 on PlayStation 3 using the PlayStation Move motion controller.  Have you played real golf on a real golf course and forgot your range finder at home?  Well fret not my fairway friend because Amazon has your back with SkyDroid Golf GPS for free today!

Using none other than Google Maps tech, SkyDroid allows immediate access to unlimited golf course maps.  Other features include the ability to record your shots and measure distances to the front, back or center of the green. Me thinks pin placement would be useful, but there seems to be no mention of it in the app description. Save for the next time I play Pebble Beach with Eminem and Flava Flav.

Are you playing a course that doesn't appear in the app?  Not a problem.  Just whip out your computer (err at home most likely) and use their Course Mapper program to add your course.  They say this takes only a few minutes, hmm.

The most interesting feature I've noticed about this app is actually one of the settings.  My Samsung Fascinate doesn't come equipped with such features as "Show GPS Signal Strength" though this app does.  That's cool!

SkyDroid Golf GPS - $1.99 FREE

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Amazon's Free App of the Day - X-Construction

written by: Nick Kosmides
X-Construction is free today. This app is a keeper. If you've never played the demo then here's your chance to skip that tradition and go get some free stuff!

The game has you constructing bridges from one side of a gap to the other. The fun comes from the number of possibilities many of the levels allow. Although the challenge lies where only one solution exists. You may find a solution that works, but you'll question you're design and it'll become difficult to resist using a mulligan. If you're the type to just blast through a game of Angry Birds with one or two stars, good luck achieving that with X-Construct.

It has recently been updated with Open Feint leaderboards and I'm personally crossing my fingers for achievements. Go get this game today for free, you will enjoy it. And if you don't than I'll have to... wait, what? I'll save that speech for the day Amazon gives us Guerrilla Bob for free.

X-Construction - $1.49 FREE

Friday, April 8, 2011

Amazon's Free App of the Day - Akinator

written by: Nick Kosmides

Akinator, a 'game' that combines 20 questions with a wiki search engine.

The object is to think of a person and play until akinator guesses who your person is.  It seems that depending on who you pick, whether or not akinator will guess right is based on the questions asked and the databases of answers.

Can you stump the genie who thinks he's a man?  Well if you do then you can add your person to his database and claim your three wishes.  Hit up the link below to take advantage of this deal in the Amazon Appstore for Android.

Akinator - $1.99 FREE

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Amazon Free App of the Day - Thursday 4/7/11

written by: Nick Kosmides

Today, Amazon was so very kind to make every Android owner's life a lot easier with Wolfram Alpha. With this free app you and yours can get the answers you need for just about anything.  From cracking puzzles wide open to mathematical equations, to finding out why your wife left you.  Well, maybe not every question, but you get the idea.

Initially when the Wolfram Alpha app was made available to iPhone/iPod Touch users in October of 2009 it sold for $50. Five months later its price was reduced to $1.99 with previous purchases receiving refunds for the difference.  Android Market sells the app at $1.99 as well.  But once again the Amazon Appstore wins with a free download.  Not a total win, in case you didn't already know, you can use the Wolfram Alpha website in the exact same way you'd use the mobile app, and that's also free.

So choose the red pill and hit up the link below to download your free digital grey matter, level up your smartphone to genius phone.

Wolfram|Alpha - $1.99 FREE

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Amazon Free App of the Day - Wednesday 4/6/11

written by: Nick Kosmides

PicSay Pro is free today.

An app you say?  For pictures?  Not a game?  After playing with the app for a while I was able to do several really cool things. I added a speech bubble with custom colors, text, shape and positioning.  I stamped a beard on my 1 month old son's face scaled perfected to look like it belongs.  I gave him a tie from the list of a dozen or so neck objects.  Finally, I grayed the photo out except for part of his tshirt and his head.  Very cool tools!

Jump on through the link and give this gem a try.  If you use your fancy Android to take any pictures and you're not already a serious photographer, then you will enjoy using PicSay Pro to add some flare.

PicSay Pro - $3.99 FREE

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

UPDATE - UNO "Currently unavailable" on the Amazon Appstore

written by: Nick Kosmides

Perusing through the Top 100 best selling apps for Android doesn't normally ping in ones mind when thinking about searching for the next big story in the Android space, but sometimes you just get lucky.

In this case, while window shopping the last page of the Top 100 Paid Apps I noticed UNO. I am not so surprised to see it so low on the list, though seeing great games like Pew Pew 2, Zenonia 2, and Guerrilla Bob on the same page does surprise me - and worries me. I was surprised to see it was unavailable for purchase.

When searching for the game's title using the Amazon search field and the category set to Appstore for Android you'll read the query results as:

Your search "uno" did not match any products in: Appstore for Android

Only finding the app at the 88th spot on the Top 100 Paid Apps list is possible.  With only five reviews posted for the app one could posit that it may have been pulled due to their comments.  Poor graphics, rushed game, not tablet friendly; all sound like neglect.  Or that may even point to the developers at Gameloft focusing their efforts on a better presence in Amazon's Appstore.

Reuters had previously reported that the company was planning to use Amazon's controlled ecosystem to leverage the 95% of their revenue from mobile games sales. The Gameloft site is host to a plethora of great game choices, with the price being having to purchase through Gameloft directly and deal with their DRM restraints.

Both Amazon and Gameloft have been contacted and there has been no official response to the issue with UNO or Gamelofts more immediate intentions in the Amazon Appstore. Check back for updates.

UPDATE: A customer care rep for Gameloft has responded to the omission of UNO from Amazon's Appstore and the general curiosity for when their games will come to Amazon.  Pretty vague as expected, though it almost suggests they aren't planning anything for release through Amazon.  Read for yourself:
Distributing our games through our own channel is the only way so far to make sure that we achieve this level of quality for all handsets. I am not saying that the result is always 100% perfect but we are doing our best. 
That is why we want to offer our games mostly through our sites – to make sure that our customers are fully satisfied with the result and will love their gaming experience!
Unfortunately I can not give you more specific information concerning Android and Amazon markets. Sometimes we need to remove some of our applications from the market due to the circumstances, that we can not influence.