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We Play: Blood Brothers 2

Posted by wicked May - 26 - 2015 - Tuesday Comments Off

Blood Brothers 2 is a strategy RPG released by DeNA. It’s the sequel to the acclaimed Blood Brothers game that amassed over ten million downloads during its run. It’s a strategy RPG with some monster collection elements and a bit of online multiplayer thrown in. It was a fairly solid game already but DeNA recently released a huge update to make it even better. Let’s take a look.
Get it on Google Play

blood brothers 2

Game Play

For those who have never played the game before, here’s how Blood Brothers 2 works. You play as a tactician and your role is to deploy your heroes and win battles. Each hero has a small contingent of soldiers that also make up their hit points and they also have special abilities. Once you deploy your heroes and their troops, they clash with the enemy heroes and troops and that process repeats until someone wins the battle.

The game operates on a trio of roles. Each hero will either control a group of archers, a group of ground troops, or a group of cavalry troops and at that point you’re playing rock, paper, scissors. Archers beat ground troops, ground troops beat cavalry, and cavalry beats archers and that dynamic is the foundation from which all decisions in battle are made.

Each mission in the campaign contains several battles and you’ll have to fight through all of them to finish the mission. Each mission generally has a boss battle at the end. After missions are completed, you’ll earn various resources, mostly gold, which can then be used to upgrade and train your troops. During battles, you can also capture enemy commanders and convince them to join your cause and grow your army that way.

Blood Brothers 2 has one of the better stories out there for a tap to play game. You kind of get thrown into the action to start with but you get a real sense for what’s going on fairly quickly and it grows from there. It’s a dark fantasy story that’s very gritty and dirty. You’re commanding monsters and fighting in the trenches and the game does a good job of relaying that feeling to the player.

Along with all of that, you can engage in PvP combat in the arena, engage with weekly events to get extra resources and gear, and there is a tree of research that you can assign your commanders to research that will give you extra abilities, benefits, upgrades, and more.

Blood Brothers 2 review

The new stuff

DeNA has added a lot of new stuff to the game in a recent update that changes things a whole bunch. By far the biggest change is the inclusion of guilds. Each guild can have up to 50 members and there is a dedicated guild chat. Everything is fairly straight forward and typical of mobile game guilds except for a few things. Let’s discuss some of the exceptions.

Guilds have a shared mastery tree similar to the ones each player has. Guild members can contribute and complete the guild mastery stuff and each member benefits from it, even the new ones. Also, if anyone buys any Blood Sigils through in-app purchases, everyone in the guild gets a gift which is kind of a nice idea.

One of the other new features is a new slew of daily events. This is to help keep the game fresh and give players something else to do a little more frequently. DeNA has said that there will be seven dungeons that will be rotated out daily and players will be able to use these to win more stuff like gear, gold, various souls, and other stuff.

There are other new features as well. One is daily pacts that help players buy specific commanders based on what day of the week it is. This is great for those who have been around for a while and have some Blood Sigils to spare. DeNA has also included a random loot box that will drop at random times after random battles.

Blood Brothers 2 review

The good

Here’s what we liked about Blood Brothers 2:

  • The game play is consistent, simple, but still fun. You’re not asked to do a whole lot but you do have to pay attention and think a little bit in order to win. This not only includes battles, but upgrading, skill research, and pretty much everything is easy to do, but you have to make sure you’re doing it right.
  • The guilds are fantastic. During my testing, I went to bed one evening and woke up with around 45 gifts thanks to the actions of my guild members. The chat is useful for strategy and discussion, and the guild skill trees are very helpful. It was a very positive addition to the game.
  • The story is actually pretty decent for a mobile game. It’s not super deep but the dark fantasy grittiness is refreshing. Usually in mobile games you have cute little monsters and you’re trying to do good. It always looks polished and friendly. In this game, you get the trench-warfare feel and the people you work with don’t look friendly. At all. It’s nice.
  • There is a lot of stuff to do. Between the campaign, the events, the daily missions, upgrading your troops, recruiting new ones, and getting the skill trees mastered, it’s going to take you a long time to beat this game. Don’t forget the new guild stuff, the achievements, and the PvP arena also. There is just a lot to do.
  • The developers get a lot done. You already had a lot of stuff to do and DeNA came back and gave players even more with the guilds, the daily missions, etc.
  • Blood Brothers 2 does include cloud saving. It’s not Google Play Games cloud saving, but it’s definitely good enough to get your stuff to your next device.

Blood Brothers 2 review

The bad

And here’s what we didn’t like so much:

  • The menu system probably could’ve been laid out a little better. It’s not bad, but it’s a bit overwhelming at first and I feel like things could have been better labeled. Of course, once you pour a few hours into it, you’ll learn where everything is so this is a minor nitpick. Still, a few things are kind of hard to find at first.
  • The PvP arena dynamic is a bit weird. I assume that they’re going for an idea where players blindly choose their commanders not knowing what the other player will pick. The problem with this is the game relies heavily on choosing based on what you see on the field so a blind match takes away a lot of control. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it operates on different mechanics than the rest of the game and it feels off.

blood brothers 2

Wrap up

Overall, this is about as good of a time waster game as you can get. It pulls from a lot of genres, including card collecting, strategy, MMO, and RPG elements which really allows players to delve into the game and gives you a whole lot to do. The new addition of daily missions and guilds help keep the game fresh and gives it a bit more of a social aspect so you have someone to talk to while you play which we liked a lot.

There were a few things here and there that didn’t mesh well with the overall feel of the game, but at the end of the day these are minor nitpicks. The game is free with in-app purchases in the Google Play Store which means it costs nothing to at least check it out and you’ll be showing your support for Android Authority and the Android Apps Weekly show. Who knows, you may actually love it!
Get it on Google Play

TRANSFORMERS: Battle Tactics review

Posted by wicked May - 19 - 2015 - Tuesday Comments Off

TRANSFORMERS: Battle Tactics is a new game out of DeNA where you get to play as your favorite Autobots and Decepticons and duke it out against others in live PvP action. It features simple game play, plenty of Transformers characters, and the unique ability to play with both Autobots and Decepticons on the same team. It has a lot going for it, so lets take a closer look! If you want to skip the review and download the game for yourself, you can download it here.

Transformers Battle Tactics

Game Play

Transformers Battle Tactics is a PvP battle game where you assemble a group of Transformers and duke it out against other people live to see who built the better team. This title is unique because you can use both Autobots and Decepticons together in your team and the entire game takes place online in PvP battles.

Here’s how the game works. There are various parts of the menu that do various things. Using the menu you can manage abilities, your team, enter into the chatroom, obtain out-of-battle drops, the settings, and once you join one, you can check out your league there and you have a dedicated league chat should you want to use it. This is also how you engage in battles which we’ll get to in a second.

During battles, you earn resources that you can use to repair, upgrade, and recruit other characters that you gradually unlock as you level up. If you want to go a bit faster, you can use coins that you gradually earn or you can buy them. I know not a lot of people like this paradigm but take it from me, you can still enjoy the game without them.

Everything else is frosting on the cake. The global chat lets you talk to people and leagues allow you to join up with friends or strangers on the web to gain additional advantages. There is also a section where you can get free resources through drops. The game gives you two different ones that you can use at various time intervals or you can buy more with coins.

Transformers Battle Tactics


Okay folks, let’s get into the meat and potatoes of this game: the battles, the characters and the abilities. To engage in battle, you have to have use Energon which is this game’s energy counter. If you have no Energon, you can’t battle and you must wait for some to be replenished.

All battles are played against real life opponents with no exceptions. Truth be told, some battles you’ll absolutely dominate and others you’ll be totally dominated, but in the battles I took part in, the vast majority were decided on tactics with a little bit of luck thrown in.

Every round, a coin flips to decide who gets to go first. As far as I can tell, it is totally randomized and you can increase your chances with buffs, although the advantage really isn’t that big. There were rounds where I got first strike every round and there were rounds where I got none so at least it’s mostly fair.

From there, your team attacks the opposing team and vice versa and this continues however many rounds it takes before someone wins. Opponents can also back out, resulting in an instant victory for you. When you defeat bad guys individually you get resources and when you win, you get bonuses. If you lose, you still walk away with a little bit so it’s not totally worthless.

You can obtain various bonuses depending on a number of factors. Most playable characters have passive abilities give individual buffs. You can also assemble teams of certain playable characters and earn team bonuses that way. In battle, you can combine the powers of certain Transformers to create much more powerful attacks.

As you progress, you’ll level up your profile. As you level up your profile, you will have the ability to recruit new playable characters, unlock new abilities, and otherwise progress through the game.

The last thing I’ll talk about are the abilities. They range from re-rolling your damage to targeting a specific opponent and there are abilities that add buffs, damage opponents directly, and do all kinds of other stuff. You can equip four at once and every round in battle gives you three ability points that you can dump into these abilities to try to earn an advantage in battle.

Transformers Battle Tactics


Okay here’s what we liked about the game.

  • It’s the good mixture of a serious game and a time waster. Battles are only about five minutes each so it doesn’t require a huge time commitment to play. On the flip side, the leveling up, unlockable content, and leagues offer surprisingly good depth that gives the game longevity.
  • You have access to literally all of your favorite Autobot and Decepticon characters. You can mix and match or form teams based on who you like and I thought it was nice that you don’t have to pick sides this time. Just assemble a team of your favorites and go nuts.
  • The game is very liberal with bonuses. You can get at least two free prize drops per day and you get Energon points for doing practically anything. Within my first hour I was able to recruit Optimus Prime twice and unlock four other additional characters along with three additional abilities. Yes, there are a few walls like running out of energy and there’s no getting around that fact, but it definitely handles these walls better than most.
  • The game play mechanics, menus, and general game actions are simple to understand. There isn’t much of a learning curve to do anything here and that makes the game very accessible for casual gamers, kids, and pretty much everyone else.
  • Transformers: Battle Tactics encourages people to play in leagues by throwing large league events. Unlike most games where only the top ten or so guilds actually win anything, this game gives rewards to the top 30,000 leagues which means practically everyone in a league gets something. Events in general are held weekly.
  • There aren’t any Google Play Games services, but you can still manage a cloud save. It’s not super flexible but if you’re upgrading your device or you want to play on your tablet also, there is a built-in way to do that which we appreciate.
  • Lastly, the game currently has over a million downloads, tens of thousands of leagues, and hundreds of thousands of active players. That means battles are generally easy to find and there is, for now at least, a healthy player base to enjoy.

Transformers Battle Tactics


And here are the things we didn’t like so much.

  • Yes, there could have been a short campaign mode. The tutorial was good enough to learn the basics, but it would’ve been nice to go on even a few missions to earn a bit of resources before being thrown to the wolves. It’s not that big of a deal because the matchmaking isn’t bad, but still more content is better.
  • The game does get a tad repetitive after a while. Being able to unlock all the various Autobots and Decepticons, along with the battle powers and combo attacks help mitigate this as you are free to explore various combos, but we recommend not playing too much too fast your may get burned out.

Transformers Battle Tactics

Final Thoughts

Overall, this is a solid game. The mixture of quick playing and deep level growth is a paradigm I wish more simple games would pursue and this one did it about as well as you can do it. There is a surprising amount of content for a game that touts only live PvP battles and fans of the Transformers will most likely have a positive experience. The near constant events help keep you engaged which is always nice and they even have a huge event going on right now.

There are a few issues here and there but these are minor details and most of them have already been fixed. The game is free with in app purchases and it’s less than 50MB so you won’t lose anything by trying it out. Click the button below if you want to try it out.
Get it on Google PlaySPONSORED CONTENT


Enjoy some classic art on your lock screen with Muse Art Lock Screen

Posted by wicked May - 13 - 2015 - Wednesday Comments Off

Muse Art Lock Screen
Art has always held a spot close to the hearts of human beings. We’ve been painting scenes to describe life since before we could write words and there have been some truly prolific artists over the years. Even if it’s not as popular a medium as it once was, almost anyone can appreciate art and with Muse Art Lock Screen, you can view it on your lock screen. Let’s take a closer look.

Muse Art Lock Screen


What Muse Art Lock Screen actually do? As the name implies, this is a lock screen replacement application that aims to replace your current lock screen with a random piece of artwork. It’s really very simple to use. You download the application, open it, and then it will replace your lock screen. You then go into the settings, disable the stock lock screen, and from that point forward, you’ll be greeted by a piece of art every time you turn on your device.

The app allows for light customization. You can browse art by the publication it was published in, the museum its held in, in art collections, or by the artists themselves. From there you can find the art that you like. Once you do, you can give it a favorite. Muse Art Lock Screen will use art that you’ve favorited to try to show more art that you would like based on the art you’ve viewed and favorited. All art that gets favorited also shows up in My Gallery so you can view them whenever you want.

On top of all of that, the app will also let you check out various art blogs and sites including the Huffington Post art section, The New York Times, and other prominent sites. It’s hidden a little bit inside of the app and you’ll have to browse to find that sort of stuff but it is there.

That’s really it. Muse Art is a very simple application with a lot of content. You just set it up then you can browse art or just wait for it to appear on your lock screen. There isn’t much else to it!

Muse Art Lock Screen

The Good

Here’s what we liked about Muse Art Lock Screen:

  • It’s very simple. No ridiculous set ups or anything. You download it, enable it, and it goes.
  • There is a lot of content. Currently over 100,000 pieces of art that you can browse through.
  • You can find additional information about each painting by swiping your finger to the left. This lets you see additional details about the artist and the artwork.
  • You can pseudo-customize the kind of art you get by browsing through the collections and finding your favorites. This helps the app choose art that is better suited to your tastes.
  • It’s free with no in-app purchases.
  • You can sign up for a Muse Art account if you want to or not. The app works either way.
  • The developers do a fairly good job of listening to customers. For instance, a recent update removed nudist art from the lock screen portion of the app after users complained about it.

Muse Art Lock Screen

The Bad

And here’s what wasn’t so great:

  • Organization could have been a little better. If you’re browsing artists, you can search but there’s no easy way to just browse artists whose names begin with M without scrolling all the way down to M yourself.
  • The app will occasionally show you the same piece of art multiple times. This only seems to happen if you only have a few pieces of art favorited and you don’t have an account logged in.
  • This is both a pro and a con. Muse Art itself does not have any security settings. However, it does allow for the stock Android lock screen to remain enabled in case you need it for security purposes. It’s a bit annoying going through two lock screens but if you use an actual lock on your lock screen, you’ll have to get used to using both this and the stock Android lock screen.

Muse Art Lock Screen

Wrap up

Overall, this is a fairly simple and easy lock screen. It has a lot of art and it shows right up on your lock screen. The app itself is a bit of an after thought but still a fun place to browse around and check out artists and build your collection of favorites. Obviously, for maximum enjoyment, you’ll probably want to disable the stock lock screen unless you use it for security. In our testing, both configurations worked very well and we have no complaints about the basic functionality of the app.

It’s free with no in-app purchases so there’s no real reason not to try it out. If you’re interested, check out the button below!
Get it on Google Play

NYTimes has revamped their app and here’s our review!

Posted by wicked May - 8 - 2015 - Friday Comments Off

One of the hallmark struggles of print journalism over the last several years has been converting their operations to the Internet with websites and applications. The New York Times is among the few that have managed to make the journey successfully. Now, they’re re-releasing a totally revamped Android app and we’re going to take a look at it.

NYTimes review

What’s new?

Perhaps the most prominent change in the NYTImes app is the user interface. They have abandoned their prior design almost entirely in favor of a much newer, far fresher interface that contains heaps of Android Holo with a pinch of Material Design thrown in for good measure. We can’t emphasize enough how quick and smooth the new interface is and it’s clear without resignation that a lot of work went into it.

Upon starting the app, you’ll see categories lined up across the top of the screen. You can swipe left and right between them to browse the various sections of the NYTimes. In the overflow (3-dot) menu in the top right, you can customize which categories you see across the top of the screen. In the hamburger menu on the top left, you’ll also see your 10 favorite categories along with a list of all categories and NYTimes properties that you can engage with.

This new swiping functionality is consistently present across practically all screens. You can easily swipe to the next article (or back to the old one) and some articles even have a comment section that you can swipe around as well. At any point you can open the left menu by swiping in from the left side of your screen. There are also dedicated phone and tablet interfaces so you can enjoy content no matter the size of the screen.

It is also worth mentioning that the articles themselves now follow a singular format with richer media than before and that makes them more enjoyable.

NYTimes review


The UI definitely takes center stage but the app does contain a number of other useful features. In the Settings menu, you can control things like notifications, categories, and your account settings if you decide to sign up for a NYTimes subscription. You can use the app for free although you are limited to 10 articles per month whereas subscribers generally get full access.

You can expect two kinds of notifications from this app. One is a breaking news notification that will pop up whenever big news is happening. During my testing, I received one when the NFL draft started and a few others. The second type of notification is called The Morning Brief that occurs every morning. This serves up the important news from overnight to get you caught up quickly.

There are two kinds of widgets you can use as well. The first is a fairly standard widget that shows you the latest headlines. You can scroll through the widget and tap on stories to launch the app and read them. The second is a brand new widget that shows interesting photographs from the day. Tapping on the photographs will launch the relevant article.

In addition, you also have a Twilight Mode to darken the screen for easier reading, the ability to switch between the U.S. and International editions of the NYTimes, and multiple links to send feedback about the app if you have comments, complaints, or suggestions.

NYTimes review

The good

Here’s what we liked about the new NYTimes app:

  • The new interface is simply stunning. We’ve seen few news apps embrace the Android design language and fewer still who have done it as well as the NYTimes has here. We especially enjoyed the consistent swipe controls on the main interface and articles as well as the grid layout on tablets.
  • It is one of the best performing Android news apps that we’ve ever used. Articles load quickly (Internet connection permitting). Swiping between categories and articles has a satisfying smoothness that just screams high class when combined with the simplistic elegance of the new interface.
  • The notifications are consistent enough to be useful but not so consistent that it becomes an annoyance. The Morning Brief is an excellent way to get caught up on what’s going on and we liked that both types of notifications can be configured in the Settings.
  • You have the ability to save articles and read them across multiple devices (subscription permitting). This means you can start reading a story on your phone and continue reading it on your tablet or computer later or vice versa.
  • The widgets included are simple but effective. They can be re-sized to an extent to fit your home screen needs.
  • We’d like to talk for a moment about the subscriptions. The NYTimes offers more than a half a dozen subscription options and three of them are for their online content. Subscriptions are generally an all-or-nothing proposition and we appreciate the ability to go with a cheaper or more specialized options. For instance, if you don’t own a tablet, you can get a smartphone-only subscription.

NYTimes review

The not so good

Here’s what wasn’t so great about the NYTimes app:

  • The app is a total refresh. That means many features from the old app are now gone. This has irked some folks but the developers have been attentive in fixing issues and taking suggestions to re-integrate popular old features. You can expect the app to change a great deal over the coming months.
  • When scrolling through the photo widget, we noticed that there were only about a half a dozen photos. We would’ve liked to have seen more photos. It does auto-update over the course of the day so this really is just a minor nitpick.

NYTimes review

Wrap up

The NYTimes app developers clearly wanted to go in a new direction and they succeeded in their endeavor entirely. The emphasis on quick loading and buttery smooth performance meshes well with the high standards of the publication’s content and the two combined create one of the greatest news reading experiences available on Android today. That said, the app is in its infancy and we expect more features to be rolled out over time to make up for all the features lost in the transition.

Overall, it’s a fantastic application. You can read articles and test the app for free before committing to a subscription so there’s no actual harm in trying it out for yourself. Just click the button below to get started. Don’t forget to check out the gallery below!
Get it on Google Play

Get a closer look at your network speed with nPerf Speed Test

Posted by wicked May - 4 - 2015 - Monday Comments Off

There are only a few big names when it comes to Internet speed tests., for instance, is a name many people know and trust. However, there is another speed test app that you should know about called nPerf Speed Test and we’re going to take a look at it right now.

nPerf Speed test review


nPerf Speed Test tests not one, but three different metrics. It’ll test your Internet speed including upload, download, and ping. It can also test your browsing performance by opening a slew of websites and seeing how long each one takes. It’ll conclude the test with a YouTube streaming test that streams video at 260p, 360p, and 720p to see how long it takes to load, how much data is used, and buffer time if there is any. This far more testing than your traditional speed test and it makes nPerf feel like a real all-in-one kind of test.

Once the app has completed its workout, you’ll see the total results of the test along with an aggregate score. Your score can be compared to other ISPs and shared with others if you wish. The app is able to discern what kind of connection you have (3G, 4G, WiFi). On the History page in the app, you can also see and keep track of where you did you speed tests on a map so you can compare speeds based on your location.

In the Settings, you can tweak your experience to a degree. You can set things like your network type, bitrate units, default test, language, background style, and whether or not to record your GPS location. There is also an option to set a warning to let you know you’re about to reach your data plan limits (if you have limits). The developers also claim to use less than half of the data for their tests that other test apps use.

nPerf Speed test review


nPerf’s UI is fairly straightforward. The interface is simple to understand with Holo-style hamburger menus so navigation is simple and reasonably predictable. It is very simple to use. You select your test type and hit the go button. Then you sit around and wait.

The design itself is colorful and enjoyable. The buttons are large and easy to see and nPerf manages to look good without overdoing it. Animations were fluid in our testing although we’re sure you’ll see some stutter on older devices.

nPerf Speed test review

The Good

Here’s what we liked about nPerf Speed Test:

  • Doesn’t just measure speed like most competitors. It also measures streaming performance and website loading performance as well. The app also measures averages along with maximums for more metrics than most competitors.
  • It’s very simple to use. You can run a full test as soon as you open the app or choose an individual test in the hamburger menu by tapping in the top left corner.
  • The ability to map where you do your speed tests, review testing history, and compare to other ISPs and phone services are pleasant extra features for those who are seriously into network testing.
  • The design is very clean.
  • Contributing your speed test data to nPerf also helps them compile information like this from France where they can put together graphs and charts about what carriers do the best.
  • According to nPerf developers, their official website will soon host coverage maps and network data performance.
  • nPerf uses dedicated and optimized servers for a more accurate speed test.

The Bad

Here’s what we didn’t like so much:

  • nPerf has a function to warn you when you’re about to reach your data plan limits. For instance, if you have a 1GB plan, you can have it warn you when you’ve used 800MB. Android has this functionality built right into the OS so we didn’t see a real need for this feature. It’s not bad, just redundant.
  • Like most benchmarks, you probably won’t be using an app like this every day.

nPerf Speed test review

Final Thoughts

Overall, this is a very solid Internet benchmark app. The various levels of testing give it more of a real-world feel and the design is simple enough for anyone to use. It has a few features that aren’t really needed or necessary, but they can be easily turned off if you don’t want them. If you’re interested in trying it out for yourself, click the button below!
Get it on Google Play

Opera Mini Browser updated – we take a quick look

Posted by wicked April - 22 - 2015 - Wednesday Comments Off

Opera Mini Browser received a huge update recently that seemed to change everything about the browser. The UI saw a significant revamp and more features were added such as gesture controls, new omnibar support, and even some data compression and data saving features were implemented. With all these changes, we figured it was worth taking a quick look!  It might as well be a whole new browser so we wanted to take a closer quick look.

Opera Mini review


Opera Mini’s new design is both clean and functional although it does take a moment to get used to. The omnibar is at the top along with a plus symbol for adding bookmarks. The bottom houses the menu button (which is just the Opera logo), tab controls, a button to take you to the Speed Dial feature, and back and forward buttons.

Inside the menu, you’ll see your data savings but more on that in a minute. Below that you’ll see four buttons for history, find-in-page functionality, a share button, and a button to close the tab. You can also access your downloads and the app settings below that.

In the settings you’ll be able to change the app layout depending on your preferences, determine new tab behaviors, change text size, access full screen features, and some advanced features like cookies, text wrap, protocol, and network test to see if you have a functioning connection. For power users, and others that like to have more control over their browsing experience, these features are a boon for control and functionality.

Overall, I found the experience to be quite nice and refreshing, as Opera puts a lot of controls in a relatively small amount of space and made them large and noticeable enough to find easily. That’s something that other browsers could definitely learn from.

Opera Mini review


Along with the app comes a data compression feature that attempts to minimize how much data you use when you browse the web. In many cases, it’s highly functional and we managed to use about 10% of the data we would have using other browsers. If you’re one to want to conserve data consumption on mobile, or for other reasons, this is something to definitely take note of.

Opera’s data compression system is very aggressive which should help those who live in areas with slower network connections. The compression will also almost certainly help those on capped data plans to save more data.

The Speed Dial feature has been present in Opera’s main browser for a while and Opera Mini is no different. The Speed Dial allows you to set up sites you go to frequently so you can get there very quickly. You can also find your bookmarks, sites you saved for offline reading, and even a somewhat customizable news feed to keep you caught up on whatever kind of news you enjoy.

During our testing, we visited 50 websites in total and all 50 of them loaded relatively quickly. A few had some graphical and text formatting errors that are likely a result of Opera’s data compression but at no point did the websites cease to function as they should. A few larger websites may load more slowly than expected but there were very few instances where it was so slow that it was annoying.

Also included in the latest update is private tabs similar to Google’s incognito mode. You can also swipe to close tabs, swipe to delete bookmarks, and swipe up to search.



  • The new UI revamp is clean and functional.
  • Dedicated tablet layout and two phone layouts that you can switch between.
  • Data compression saves you a lot of data.
  • Bookmarks can be synced across devices including computers.
  • Speed Dial is as useful as ever.
  • New private tab lets you browse without saving cookies or web history.


  • Occasional graphical glitches on websites, likely from data compression.
  • likely from data compression.
  • Some sites may load slowly.
  • There doesn’t appear to be a way to turn data compression off.

Overall, this is a positive update for Opera Mini. It brings a lot of the features and looks from Opera’s full fledged browser and the performance is still very good. The data compression is fantastic and very helpful for those with limited data plans and connections. With the new features and looks, Opera Mini is now brought up to date with current browser options which is only a good thing. If you want to check it out, click the button!

SkEye, the perfect companion app for any stargazer

Posted by wicked December - 31 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off


Without a doubt, one of the most wonderful pieces of equipment a person can own is a telescope. For centuries, these optical devices have been used to bring objects afar close to both the eye and the soul. And, now that most of the gift-giving this holiday season has passed, you, like a few people I know, may have received one of these instruments.

I could spend pages talking about Newtonian reflectors or laser collimators, but this being Talk Android, I’d like to give you my review of an app I have used for a few years that has made stargazing incredibly fun and easy. The app is called SkEye and it brings a planetarium straight to your smartphone or tablet.

One of the most challenging things about astronomy is finding objects in the sky to look at. Assuming your equipment is set up the way it should be, how do you determine where your planets and other celestial bodies are located? This is the main problem SkEye sets out to resolve.

SkEye works by using your device’s sensors to determine where your phone’s back-side is pointed relative to the night sky. It uses a combination of three sensors: the gyroscope, accelerometer and the magnetometer. The app uses the sensors splendidly without much lag or jitteriness and, in my experience with the app across several versions of Android, custom ROMs, and different devices, SkEye has never had any issues with reliability in pinpointing where my smartphone has been aimed.

The most powerful feature of SkEye is its search-and-direct tool. Let’s say you really want to find Neptune in the night sky, but Neptune, unlike the closer planets, is fairly hard to distinguish from the millions of other twinkling stars in the night sky. Simply click the three vertical dots in the top right of the SkEye starmap and tap “Search” in the pop-up menu. From there, you can type in or find “Neptune”. You will then be re-directed to the starmap, with a bullseye reticle and arrow that will guide you to Neptune’s location in the sky. Hopefully it’s above the horizon!


If you’re just playing around without your telescope, you can also scroll around on the starmap to see where things are. This will disable the alignment to your phone so you can freely roam about. To get back to alignment mode, just click “Back” in the top left.

SkEye’s database on objects is immense. The free version contains all stars up to Mag 8 and approximately 200 NGCs, whereas the pro version contains all stars up to Mag 10 and all known NGCs and ICs. Both versions also include Messier objects. The app will even let you locate satellites and the International Space Station!

SkEye also offers the ability to change color themes to help your eyes better switch from your device’s screen back to your telescope. The night theme uses a red-light overlay, which is very easy on the eyes in the dark so readjustment is much quicker. A lot of objects you will look at through your telescope can be faint, so if you just got done looking at a bright smartphone screen, it can take quite a while for your eyes to readjust.


In closing, if you or someone you know got their hands on a telescope this holiday season, SkEye is definitely something you don’t want to pass up. There is a free version for the app or, if you want to support the developer and get some added goodies like the complete database, the pro version will run you $6.

Have fun out there and prepare to feel very tiny when you get your first look at Jupiter!

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Google Play Download Link [Free Version]
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Google Play Download Link [Pro Version]

Developer’s Website: SkEye

Come comment on this article: SkEye, the perfect companion app for any stargazer

Drunk Locker – Indie app of the day

Posted by wicked December - 26 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off

What is Drunk Locker?

Drunk Locker is an app that does what your friends are supposed to do when you get drunk. You set it before you go out drinking and the app prevents you from posting to social media until after you’ve woken up. It’s currently free in the Google Play Store with no in app purchases.

The premise is very simple. The app locks six different social media platforms including Snapchat, Facebook Messenger, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Tumblr. Basically the six most likely places you will make social mistakes when drunk. You set the app to lock it for a specific amount of time and you absolutely cannot access those things until the timer is up.

The fun part is that this can be useful in other ways aside from being your personal censor when you’re too drunk. It’s also good for blocking social media while you’re studying and working or at school so it could be a legitimate productivity tool as well. The interface is very simple and consists of check boxes for the social networks, a drop down menu to choose how long you want it to work, and then the block button.

drunk locker screenshot

I swear to officer, I’m not God, drunk!

  • Locks up to six social media sites to prevent you from going on them until the time limit is up.
  • Simple interface makes it almost impossible to not get right.
  • Free with no in app purchases.
  • Can be used for non-drunk reasons, such as blocking yourself from going to Facebook at work.
  • Powered by good intentions.
  • It’s a fairly new app which means there may be bugs to work out.
  • If your’e a particularly smart drunk person, you can just uninstall the app and get around it.
  • We wish it’d block more apps, like texting apps and messaging platforms (Hangouts, Whatsapp).

Overall, this is a very simple app that could be very useful depending on who you are and what kind of stuff you do. It is intended for those who get black out drunk and want to do say bad things on social media but it could be used for other, less inebriated reasons. It’s free to use so check it out!

google play

Check out the previous indie app of the day: Snake Defender
Join us in the Apps and Games section of the Android Authority forums! Just don’t forget to read the rules first!

Snake Defender – Indie app of the day

Posted by wicked December - 25 - 2014 - Thursday Comments Off

What is Snake Defender?

Snake Defender is a spin off of the classic Snake game that we all used to play on the old Nokia phones. It features improved graphics along with some other extra features. It’s currenly free in the Google Play Store with in app purchases.

Pretty much everyone knows how Snake works but in case you don’t, Snake is a game where you must avoid walls, eat things, grow larger, and eventually the challenge is avoiding your longer body. Snake Defender takes this concept and turns it into an action game. You still “eat” things and grow larger, but now you’re firing various weapons at things while avoiding them. There is a campaign mode with ten missions, a classic mode, and an endless mode.

Along with the basic mechanics, you can also upgrade your snake to give it more powerful weapons and other special abilities. It comes complete with leaderboards and achievements which, while not essential, are nice to have. There are also three sets of controls so you can find the method that works best for you.

Snake Defender review

It’s like classic Snake but with a point.

  • Expands on the premise of Snake with better graphics, upgrades, and more control options.
  • Campaign mode, endless mode, and classic mode gives you choices on how to play.
  • Achievements and leaderboards are always welcome.
  • A few bugs reported here and there.
  • While it is based on the original Snake, the core mechanics have been changed too much to call this a successor to Snake.
  • As with most ‘time waster’ games, the repetitive nature of the game play will get boring eventually.

Snake Defender does have some bugs but most manage to push passed them. The upgrades, a campaign, achievements and leaderboards give the player plenty to do. However, at the end of the day, this is a time waster much like the game it is based on so make sure to curb your expectations accordingly.

google play

Check out the previous indie app of the day: Hidely
Join us in the Apps and Games section of the Android Authority forums! Just don’t forget to read the rules first!

Shadowrun Dragonfall Director’s Cut – Indie app of the day

Posted by wicked December - 23 - 2014 - Tuesday Comments Off

What is Shadowrun Dragonfall Director’s Cut

Shadowrun Dragonfall Director’s Cut is a game that is based on a tabletop RPG by the same name that was originally released in 1989 that had a number of video game that were released from 1993 to 2013. Shadowrun Dragonfall Director’s Cut combines fantasy, cyberpunk, and crime genres in a very unique way. It’s in the Google Play Store for $6.99.

The game is set up as a strategy RPG and thus retains many of the strategy RPG elements including game boards and mechanics. The game uses a mission structure where you must complete missions to advance the story. The game features a classless growth system based on skill points so you can grow your team as you choose and a full story with five additional missions and alternate endings.

The graphics and sound are surprisingly good for how old this game is. The developers have redesigned pretty much every aspect of the title from its earlier incarnations and pretty much all of the redesigns took the game in a positive direction. It is story driven and you play in a dystopian society where crime is rampant and companies go unregulated. You play as a team of shadowrunners who do jobs and earn a payday but put that on hold to deal with a deadly threat.

Shadowrun Dragonfall DC review

One hell of a game.

  • After 25 years, the premise of ‘tech meets magic’ is still just as enjoyable as ever.
  • Plenty of missions, content, alternate endings, and more to keep players engaged.
  • Unique strategy RPG mechanic where you upgrade your team using skill points instead of classes.
  • Above average graphics and sound.
  • It’s a game worthy of the name.
  • If you didn’t like strategy RPGs before, you probably won’t like them now.
  • No demo, so make sure you try it out inside of the refund time.
  • Some bugs and crashes have been reported.
  • There’s a learning curve.

Overall, this is definitely something a little bit different. The high fantasy elements of elves and goblins are present and the mechanics are the familiar strategy RPG that most people know. That all contrasts nicely with the cyberpunk elements and customized character development. $6.99 may seem a tad expensive but this is a complete game and there are no in app purchases.

google play

Check out the previous indie app of the day: Alongways
Join us in the Apps and Games section of the Android Authority forums! Just don’t forget to read the rules first!

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