Dec 13, 2011

Star Wars Android Phone Covers

Fun little craft project for the combo Android and Star Wars fans in your house! $5 at the craft store and you have enough felt, googly eyes and fur to make a dozen of these for all your friends. Technically they could be an iPhone case too, but they are all little too cool for the iPhone... right?

What are you putting under the tree for your Android lover?

Dec 12, 2011

Farm Frenzy Android App Review

My children love Farm Frenzy and we play it as a family. You start out with a Goose, a farm and a well and need to keep them fed and watered, while making money. You can purchase more animals that are useful as you move through the levels. Not sure what the cat does, but a dog will help keep the bears away. But then, those bears sell for good money! You can also build and upgrade workshops to make things from the materials you have gathered from the animals.

There is a little education in the game as the kids learn that the easiest thing to make isn't what sells for the most money and what it is worth to upgrade. A little time and patience and you can make a better product to sell. But mostly it is a cute and addictive game for the whole family, ages 5 and up. One of our favorite paid Android Apps so far.

Price: $1.99
Tested on: Xoom Tablet

Dec 9, 2011

10 apps for 10 days for .10

Google is celebrating 10 billion app downloads in it's Android Market this week. The deal is you get 10 of the most popular apps for only .10 for the full version. Our family is enjoying Farm Frenzy and Jelly Defense so far, but are looking forward to the new offers each day. This is a great way to get a few highly quality apps for super cheap! Do you have a favorite .10 app yet?

Here is Google's visualization of the Android Market, very interesting!

Dec 7, 2011

My Fitness Pal

Tracking your food intake is an essential part of most diets and one of the keys to losing weight successfully. There are dozens of apps to track your weight and food intake on the market, and so this one really comes down to personal preference.  My Fitness Pal is an excellent web interface AND a great full functioning Android App.

Android_diaryYou can also interact with others users on My Fitness Pal, sharing your meals, weight loss and exercise. While the Android App is a little hard to find with the name Calorie Counter My Fitness Pal, it is official app for My Fitness Pal. The food and exercise database are already loaded with over a million items that you can use, or add your own. You can even use a barcode scanner function to add a new food. Add items together for frequently eaten meals like "Typical Breakfast" that includes 2 fried eggs, bacon, coffee and cream. You can use the recipe function to add all the ingredients together and name it "Amber's Zucchini Lasagna" and it will calculate the nutritional value of each serving.

Calories seems to be of upmost importance on MFP, but if your diet, like mine, concentrates on other factors you can customize your details for that. For example, I follow Jorge Cruise's Belly Fat Cure where sugar and carbohydrates are tracked. From the web version you simply go to Goals, Change Goals and Customize. Most of these setting have to be done from the web interface and not App.

To follow my weight loss blog, please go to Me & Jorge.

Qrcode Price: Free

Dec 4, 2011

World of Goo

The long awaited Work of Goo is now available on Android! This award winning game has long been a Wii, Windows and iPhone favorite and now Android has a chance to play with some Goo. Adults and kids with curious minds will love this game as they help the little balls of Goo travel their mysterious world. Help them reach the the pipe at the end most efficiently to win the level. Different colored Goo balls have properties that help you reach you goal. It is considered a Puzzle game, but not like puzzle you've done before I bet. It's a fun way to test your engineering skills!

World of Goo is a beautifully built game and should be a top seller for Android. If Tim Burton were making App, this would be his.

This is the full blown version of World of Goo and should work on all Android 2.2 and higher devices. World of Goo is currently $2.99 in the Android Market. On Dec. 5th the price goes up, so get it now!

Price: 2.99 Full, or Free Demo version
Tested On: Xoom, Nexus One

Jul 18, 2011

App Review: Doodle Jump

Doodle Jump for Android is an extremely simple, yet addictive game. The goal is to jump your little up the green blocks. Different colored blocks react differently. For example the blue blocks move and the brown blocks will break when you land on them. You can fall, but just not below the screen level. Springs, trampolines and jet packs help you get even higher, and tapping the screen lets you fire on the space monsters in your way. Thankfully you dont have to be too accurate with the firing! Avoid the blackholes, and get as high as you can.

You can also turn off the use of the accelerometer and tilt in the settings menu, and simply touch the side of the screen you want your Doodle to jump towards. This may be easier for younger players.

Local Challenge (multi-player) lets you play against a friend, and you pass the phone between you for each level. Doodle Jump on the Xoom tablet seemed to have an accelerated speed, which it worked, was not much fun.

Price: .99
Tested On: Nexus One, Nexus S, Xoom Tablet

Jul 16, 2011

App Review: Grow

Our family loves the Android App Grow! A cute concept, where your little fishy needs to eat other smaller fish to grow, at the same time dodge the bigger more aggressive fish. it is eat, or be eaten in this game, yet it is appropriate for all ages. The paid version has over  70 levels, with several "power-ups" and "enemy fish". Grow reminded us of an underwater Angry Birds. It was fun yet challenging. It was best suited to the 9 year old.

We loved how this game gave you lots of control over the settings. Namely that you can use tilt control (accelerometer), virtual joystick or touch movement. Older players will enjoy the challenge of tilt control, while younger ones will find touch movement easier to use.

Grow is available in both the Android and Amazon App stores, but the FREE version (with 22 levels) is only available in the Android Store. We picked up the full version a while back when it was the Amazon App Store Free App of the Day.

Price: Free/1.99
Developer: Epic Pixel, LLC
Tested On: Nexus One, Xoom Tablet

Jul 9, 2011

App Review: Aqua Pets

My kids would love to have an aquarium, but for now Aqua Pets will have to do! A cute little bubble animal assists you in catching your fish, the better your cast, the better the fish. But you have to be quick, or they will get away. You can keep your fish in your display tank, storage tank or even sell them for Coins.

You can buy additional bait, new fishing rods and fish tanks. The more exotic the bait and rod, the more more exotic and rare the fish you catch could be. Most of the fish have cute funny names, which keeps the kids interest too.

My kids compete to see who can get the rarest fish and they really enjoy maintaining their tanks. My 6 year old likes Aqua Pets a lot and uses his fish tank his live wallpaper. The most annoying thing is the collection Pearls. Pearls are used, along with Coins that you earn, to buy items. But they are very difficult to earn, even for adults. It seems the game maker really wants to you purchase Pearls for real money.

The game maker maintains a strong social presence and can be found on twitter (@aquapetsgame) and Facebook.

Price: Free
Developer: Bionic Panda Games, Inc

May 31, 2011

App Review: Plants vs Zombies for Android

My kids are so thrilled that Plants vs. Zombies is out for Android smartphones! This instant classic is all about protecting your home from the intreped horde of zombies. Peashoots, Sunflowers, Wall-nuts and Cherry bombs along with many other "Plants" help you keep them at bay. The lawnmower is your last hope!

It is the Amazon Android Market's Free App of the day, for today only. It is currently not available from the regular Android Market. To get the app you must first install Amazon AppStore, download Plants vs Zombies and then install the app. Does not work on original Droid, Samsung Transform and Intercept, HTC Aria and MyTouch 3G, Sony Ericsson X8, Sany0 Zio, Kyocera Echo and the LG Ally. It has not be optizmized for Android Tablets, but apparently works. I have not loaded the Amazon AppStore on my Xoom yet.

Phone Test On: Nexus One
Price: $2.99 (free today only)

May 11, 2011

Angry Birds for Chrome

Just when you thought it was all about mobile devices, Google goes and makes big announcements about Web devices and services. As excited as I am about the new ChromeBooks, it's all about Angry Birds for Chrome today! My kids are ALL OVER the Angry Birds Chrome Dimension. First challenge is to unlock the levels! And drats, they didn't make it easy, even for dedication Chrome users.

You must find and hit the Chrome Logo Easter Eggs hidden throughout the original levels to get access to Chrome Dimension.  In app payment will be released shortly and you can drain your back account buying the Mighty Eagle!

Not using Google Chrome web browser yet? Why (no seriously, why)?! Get it here and you can thank me a million times over later. Stubborn? Okay. You can still play Angry Birds from other browsers but you don't the the Chrome Deminision levels. So far I have tried Mozilla Firefox, but I understand it works on others as well.
Price: Free
Tested On: Chrome Browser with Ubuntu

Apr 15, 2011

Android Market: New Look and Feel

Google likes things clean and simple, but the Android Market browser interface was just TOO simple. You couldn't search, buy or review apps, except from your phone. Recently the Android Market has been revamped and the result is great.

Once you find an app you want to install, just make sure you are already signed into your Google Account, press INSTALL and it will be added to your phone. This is the best part, you don't even have to attach your phone to your computer, it is done Over the Air (OTA).

You can search the entire database of apps, or browse through categories. In each category you can see Featured, Top Paid, Top Free and Top Tablet Apps. If you haven't checked out new Android Market from your computer, I think you will be pleased with the improvements.

Mar 28, 2011

App Review: Zebra Paint

This is a good basic Android App to have if you have young children. It is an app version of the old Windows Paint program. Currently it has 40 different templates your kid cane paint. They can use the standard colors or mix their own. My six year old son and his friends really like this app and constantly save these pictures for me to see later. But my older son wouldn't touch this app with "a ten foot pole" I was told. It is pretty basic, but still gets used quite a bit in my house.

Price: Free
Developer:  Zebra4me
Tested On: Nexus One, G1

Mar 24, 2011

Amazon Android App Store

The Amazon Android App Store is now open for business! I'm not really sure we need yet another way to purchase android apps, but Amazon saw a way to get a tiny bit of your business and went for it! I've known this was coming for awhile, but I wasn't interested until I saw they were offering a Free App of the Day. Today is Doodle Jump which we have been wanting. Angry Birds Rio is also available for free. So there, they got my business.

You can search and browse apps from your computer and enter your phone number or the email address attached to your phone to install the apps you want. You will be billed directly through Amazon.

My boys L-O-V-E the Angry Bird stuffed birds and pigs! So when you can use the money you save on the Free Angry Birds Rio on a plush toy!


Mar 21, 2011

App Review: Farm Tower

This is a fun little game that the whole family enjoys. All the farm animals have escaped to high towers to avoid being eaten by wolves, according to the games developers. Now that the wolves are gone, you need to help get them down. To do this you remove the block structure they are stuck on, one by one. My kids get a kick out of the noises the animals make and the way the bounce around. But it is harder than it sounds!

It reminds me a bit of Boom Bloks, which we love on Wii. I'm listing this one as eductional, since you have to really think and use some physics with this game. It took us awhile to figure out, but you can touch multiple blocks at once, which helps on the more complex levels. This one is a favorite of all the men in my house!

Price: Free/ Pro $2.02
Tested On: Nexus One
Developer:  Nicolas Gramlich

Mar 14, 2011

App Review: NinJump

It's no surprise my boys love NinJump! Currently it is the #1 Android App in our tiny testosterone filled house. This free arcade style game is has a simple pretext - get your ninja up the building safely. There are lots of obstacles to get passed, and a simple will jump will save his life. Jumping from building to building your ninja must avoid birds, some kind of ninja squirrels, building ledges and other ninja, sometimes armed. When you defeat three foes of the same type in a row, you get special skills. The height you reach on the building is your score.

The graphics are great, expect too see some twitter/angry birds. The little ninja is very vocal too, as he makes his way up the building. Feathers fly, and maybe a splash of red, as an opponent is defeated. I expect more from this developer, since they a very active in the iPhone App development market. So maybe we will see NinJump Deluxe on Android soon too? I hope so!

Price: Free
Tested On:  Nexus One, Xoom
Developer: BackFlip Studios, Inc.

Mar 8, 2011

Educational App Review: Math Workout Lite

Math Workout is a game even The Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mom would like. You know, if she were endorsing Android Apps! We use this game regularly for math drills with my kids. I used to write out my son's times tables several times a week for him to practice on, but this game is perfect. I love the timed games, where you are timed and ranked. From the main screen choose Menu and there are even more games to play. Times Table Practice is exactly what my son needs and I've even agreed to a prize once he has mastered it!

Math Blaster Challenge is an Asteroids type game where you have to enter the correct answer. It goes pretty fast, and gets even faster! But it keeps the game interesting for kids and adults alike.

Did you have a favorite Math App for Android? I would love to here about it!

Price: Free (lite)/ $1.98 (pro)
Tested On: Nexus One, Xoom
Developer: Workout Games

Feb 26, 2011

App Review: Blow Up

Blow Up is a great little lesson in physics that my family loves to play. You are given different types of bombs to attach to each structure. Your goal is to bring down the structure to a certain level. There is a floppy sock panda, whose purpose isn't completely clear. But if you can blow up the panda you, by hitting the star, you get bonus points. Each bomb has it's own timer that can be set separately for the more complicated structures. This was a feature I never noticed, but the kids figured it out and used it often. Great game for the Demolition Team in your home!

The Lite version is free and the ads are not intrusive. We worked through the free levels pretty quickly. Full version has 90 levels.

Price: Free (Lite)/$2.99
Tested On: Nexus One/G1
Developer:  Camel Games

Feb 22, 2011

App Review: Glow Puzzle

Glow Puzzle is a great educational game for your kids, and they will have fun with it too. The goal is to connect the dots without retracing a line more than once. The lines "glow" It requires forward thought and spacial reasoning, so sneaky. Pretty simple premise, but the puzzles vary in difficulty throwing in an easy one here and there too keep it from becoming too much of a challenge. With 320 levels and animated solutions (you know, in case the kids get stuck) its a great game.

Surprisingly, my 6 yr old loves this game but it is challenging enough for the the whole family. Its a great thinking game to add to your Android collection. It is also available for iPhone and the Windows 7.

Price: Free/.99 (ad free)
Tested On: Nexus One
Developer:  GloSculptor

Feb 6, 2011

App Review: Space Physics

Space Physics is a real puzzle game that makes you think outside the box... way outside the box. The object of the game is to get the ball to the star. Sounds oh so simple, right? You can create geometric objects to achieve this. The size of the object determines is weight. Set the ball in motion by making it interact with wheels (circles), cars (circles with a line connecting them) or dropping a rock (crude circle) next to it. You can make gears, levers and other devices. The first few levels have a tutorial that get you thinking it the right direction.

Space Physics comes from Camel Games, which makes a few of our other favorites including Blow Up (Lite) and Flight Director. You will need to install the Pack for Space Physics also to get all the levels, after the initial app install. This is an awesome educational game and will keep you and your kids busy for hours.

Price: Free (Lite with 6 full levels)/ $1.99 (80 levels)
Tested On: G1, Nexus One, Nexus S
Developer: Camel Games

Feb 3, 2011

App Review: X Construction

X Construction Lite is a physics building game that kids, especially train lovers will enjoy. The name is so generic, and future levels promise to include more construction scenerios. But for now the construction is all about Train Bridges. And that is just fine by my kids. Sadly my kids enjoy the failed bridges just as much, dare I say more, than a successful crossing. That can be completely blamed on the screams of terror that erupt from the poor train passengers as they crash to the depths below.... sometimes they build bad bridges on purpose....

The crossing get more complex and the load, with more train cars get heavier. You are allotted a maximum number of girders for each crossing. Girders turn red if they have too much stress on them and you can repair them for another run.

Currently there is no pay version of X Construction, it's all free.

Price: FREE
Tested On: Nexus One, Nexus S
Developers: Cross Construction

Jan 16, 2011

App Review: Rocket Bunnies

Rocket Bunnies is one of the funnest and most original games I have run across on the Android. I was pleased to find that the kids enjoyed it as much as I did. The goal is fill your bunny up with carrots as he travels through different galaxies. He must dodge asteroids, space spiders, electricity and other hazards to reach his goal.

It got difficult pretty quickly and the 6 yr old just resorted to watching up play. But it was perfect to the keep the 9 yr old engaged! This is an extremely fun game! Nice FAQ on the game HERE. The developers say it should also be available on Apple devices (is anyone still using the iPhone or iPad?) soon.

Price: FREE!
Device Tested On: Nexus One (Issues with pre 2.2 versions of Android, see FAQ)
Developer: Defiant Development

Jan 11, 2011

App Review: Alchemy

I have really been impressed with educational games on Android lately. Add Alchemy to the list and get the tiny Chemist in your house psyched up for it. This game has the whole family addicted! You begin with 4 elements: Water, Fire, Air and Earth. Combine them and see what you get. Then combine the newly created elements to get up to 360 new elements. Sound boring and more like a Middle School science class? Then wait until you add your newly created Snake to Electricity and create an Electric Eel. Or adding Air to a Worm for a Butterfly. The list goes on and on! Apparently, with enough creations I can create Man! So far we have 146 elements created...

As long as the child is of reading age, they should enjoy it. But seriously adults will love it too ( I made Vodka,  the Flu and a vampire!). If you are ready to learn and have fun, Alchemy is a great app. There is a Free Ad supported version. Seriously think about upgrading to ad free to support this innovative developer.

If you need a little help getting started, check out Android Tapp's video walkthrough:

Price: Free (Ad Supported)/ $4.95 (No Ads)
Tested On: Nexus One/Nexus S

Jan 9, 2011

Pocket God - Now with Double Rainbow!

The makers of Pocket God never disappoint, and sure Android is several months behind Apple on this app... but oh my gawd, what does it mean? Double Rainbow is now available on Pocket God for Android! It's almost a full on double rainbow, almost a triple rainbow, oh my, I think I'm going to cry....

Seriously, does Double Rainbow ever get old? Not to my kids, but I was really surprised by how many people heard the reference and never enjoyed the original. So here goes:

Updates to Pocket God, which are plentiful on Apple devices and should be forth coming on Android, aare free. It's the App that keeps on giving.

Price: .99
Developer: Ngmoco via Bolt
Tested on: Nexus One, Nexus S (did not work on G1)

Jan 4, 2011

App Review: RunKeeper and RunKeeper Pro for Android

First let me say that RunKeeper Pro is the best exercise app on the iPhone and I used it for over two years before I switched to Android. When I switched RunKeeper was not available on Android so I had to search for a great exercise app and decided the CardioTrainer is the best. Now a full featured RunKeeper Pro is finally available on Android and just in time for my Half Marathon training and is FREE (a $9.99 value) for the month of January!

RunKeeper Pro has lots of social options, allowing you to share your workouts on Twitter and Facebook. It also allows you to control how much you share. You can even turn on RunKeeper Live so friends can track your progress as you go. (Might be fun for a big race, but a little creepy otherwise) You can set prompts to announce your progress as go, based on minutes or miles. The voice on the prompts sound so much like Oprah too, I find that really motivating!

RunKeeper has taken it a step further and also offers Fitness Classes to help you train for a 5k, Half Marathon, Full Marathon and Fat Loss. The classes cost extra, from $4.99 to $19.99, and are similar to C25K coaching and take you through multiple weeks of runs. If you sign up for Run Keeper Elite ($19.99 a year) you can get additional reporting and tracking of your workouts. Kudos to the RunKeeper team for finding creative ways to bring in revenue.

RunKeeper Free has very few features and is pretty basic. If you want a free exercise tracking app, then I recommend Cardio Trainer. Remember RunKeeper Pro is FREE until the end of January!

Price:  Free/9.99