Gingerbread Hits AOSP

Gingerbread is the latest version of Android (version 2.3).  It’s currently unknown whether or not the HTC Desire will be getting it.  However, the good news is that the source code for it has just been released on AOSP (Android Original Source Project), which means that it’s available for developers to download, tweak and compile for use on devices.  We can expect custom ROMs to start being released over this weekend for the Desire from talented developers such as AdamG and RichardTrip who you can find in the Desire Development section of XDA-Developers.

Kindle For Android Version 2 Released

This morning users with the Kindle application will have received a new update in the Android Market for this application.  The new update brings a series of new features, 2 of my favourites being scrolling through pages using the volume keys, and having the store accessible within the app instead of opening a new browser window.  The full list of changes is as follows:

  1. Newspapers and Magazine
  2. Zoom into images
  3. Integrated store
  4. Share progress via Social Networks
  5. Application now installable to SD Card
  6. Bug fixes
  7. I’ve noticed a Grid view, which I’m pretty certain wasn’t in the previous version

Need for Speed Shift Now in the Market

EA games has just released their Need for Speed Shift game into the Market.  The official description being:

THINK FAST! DRIVE FASTER! OPTIMIZED FOR ANDROID™! Drive 20 awesome cars including the BMW M3 GT2, Lamborghini Gallardo, and Pagani Zonda. Features 18 tracks in 3 stunning locations, Quick Race and Career Modes, 3 difficulty settings, and physics-based accelerated 3D graphics.

I guess they’re a little late as the latest console version is Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit (also available on iPhone), but any 3D game being added to the Android Market is welcome by me.

If you want it, here’s the QR code for you to download it from the Market:

PlayStation Application for Android Coming Soon

Unfortunately, it won’t let you play PlayStation games on it, but it’s still useful in the sense that you can access your PlayStation Network (PSN) account to see your friends statuses, learn about new games and share news via social networks.  Whilst that doesn’t sound like a lot, we’re promised lots of new features to come.  You read more about it on the Official PlayStation Blog

Changes to the Android Market

The past few weeks have introduced several new changes to the Android Market, most of which you’ve already noticed but here’s a summary in case you haven’t:

  1. Application descriptions can now be up to 4,000 characters long
  2. There’s a field for recent changes
  3. The refund time for applications is 15 minute instead of the previous 24 hours
  4. There’s a new tab for Similar applications
  5. The biggest update is a new UI for the Market, which I haven’t received myself but I’m told should be available shortly.  Here’s a preview of it on YouTube:
    <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EWdex2J43Jo">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EWdex2J43Jo</a>

Facebook Application Receives A New Update

As you can tell, this week’s mostly been about application updates. People on Facebook can enjoy a new update to the Facebook application which allows:

  • Chat
  • Push notifications.  This is a lot better for battery life because it means the app works in the same way as Talk or Gmail.  Instead of having to connect to the server every so often to check if there’s any new updates, Facebooks servers themselves send out an update to your phone as soon as the update becomes available.
  • Some bug fixes

Google App Inventor Beta Now Open to the Public

If you missed the previous announcement, App Inventor is a way for anyone to develop Android applications using a simple web browser based interface.

You learn more about it, and signup to start using it here

This morning Rovio announced the news that the full version their long awaited Android game is finally available; and on top of that they also announced that the game is completely free of charge (but contains adverts).

Anyone running a rooted phone with adblock enabled obviously won’t even get the ads, but if you want to support Rovio then you will be able to buy an ad-free version in the near future.
Rumour has it that the ad-free version will be released on the Android Market after they’ve pushed 10,000 free copies (I’d be surprised if that number isn’t already reached) but only time will tell.

Download

They’ve currently submitted the free version to the Android Market, so it will be available on there within 24 hours.  In the meantime, they’ve also published a copy of it on GetJar but unfortunately their servers are currently down due to the overwhelming demand of this game!

Just to make things easier for readers, I’ve uploaded the game and you can download it from here

UPDATE: It’s now in the Android Market, here’s the QR code (click it if you’re browsing on your phone):

JellyBalls

JellyBalls

Pop same colour balls. Eye-candy graphics, multiple game modes & global scores.

Author: HyperBees Ltd.
Price: $0.99

Review

The folks at Hyperbees were kind enough to send me their new Android title, JellyBalls.  It’s a take on the popular colour-matching genre, with some added extras to make it stand out from the rest.  I’d guess you’re all familiar with this type of game so instead of going on about what you’re supposed to do, I’ll highlight how it differs from its competition:

  • Design – sometimes I’ve found Android games have excellent gameplay, but they look horrendous or sometimes the in-game grahpics are well done but the menu system is a mess.  JellyBeans has it just right, they’ve thought through all the design aspects and made a game where the design is consistent (though nothing spectacular I’ll admit) from start to finish.  The animations are great, and the balls actually bounce when on the screen like jelly beans.
  • Gameplay – there’s plenty of game modes to choose from.  I prefer the “Get them all” mode which has an element of puzzle/logic built in, it makes me think and often plan out the moves in advance to make sure I achieve the desired goal.  For normal mode I’ve never really understood if there is a trick to it, and instead tend to click at random and hope for a fluke.  The gameplay is smooth, the levels get gradually more difficult and I’ve found myself playing this game throughout the week during my commute even if it’s only for a 4 minute local train.
  • Social Features – it’s becoming the norm for games to include some form of socialising method within the game.  JellyBeans uses ScoreLoop to allow you to submit your scores to the leaderboards and view your score ranked against others (including global, country, friends and scores submitted in the last 24 hours)
  • Pricing – at 99cents (60-70p?) is a fair price for the game.  It seems to be a standard price for Android apps/games and this is the kind of game that’ll keep you occupied during those little moments of time that just aren’t long enough to get anything useful done in

The Bad

  • no save games – the main thing lacking from JellyBeans is the ability to continue a game after you quit.  Ideally I’d want to start a game, stop for whatever reason and then carry one where I left off.  From the level of updates to other games HyperBees have published I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s one released for this game enabling game saves in the near future.

The Verdict

4.5/5

It’s a top game and probably the only one of it’s genre that I’d even consider playing thanks to it’s puzzle game mode.  It’s professionally designed, developed and published at an affordable price.  It’s an addictive little gem which has already proven to be very useful for a bit of a time waste.

Market Description:
JellyBalls is an eye-pleasing casual game where you pop same colour balls.
Enjoy multiple game modes and hours of gameplay. Compete with friends through global leaderboard. Includes 5 arcade and logical modes.
The classic favourite takes on a whole new dimension.
Screenshots (click to enlarge)
Screenshot Screenshot
Download
JellyBalls

It’s not very often I post about individual apps or games, but this is a rare occurance on account of one of my favourite iOS games finally being released for Android.  It’s called Fruit Ninja it’s just massive a frenzy of fruit slicing action.  There’s no demo on the Market. but it’s worth trying at only $0.99 (60-70p?) – don’t hold it against me if you don’t like it!

Download (click the code if you’re reading on your phone)

Video

Screenshots


It’s time to submit your favourite games and application to determine the entries for this months poll!  It’s been a while since the polls were up and there’s been some great new additions to the Market – now’s the time you can share your discoveries with all the MyHTCDesire readers 🙂

Just get a list of your top 10 games and apps and send them to me using the form below.  Submissions will be accepted until the end of Sunday 18 July.

Voted has now ended and poll will be online shortly.

Broken Sword Screenshot

What We’re Going to Achieve


Sorry about blurriness, will have a try during the day to see if I can get it clearer.  Actual graphics are much better – see screenshot at the end of this article!

What Is ScummVM?

ScummVM is an application that let’s you play certain PC games on alternate hardware (such as an Android phone).  Examples of ScummVM compatible games include:

  • Monkey Island Series
  • Sam and Max Hit the Road
  • Full Throttle
  • Broken Sword 1 & 2
  • and plenty more which you can see here

For this tutorial I’m using Broken Sword because I have the full trilogy to hand.

Prerequisites

  1. Firstly, make sure the game you want to play is supported by ScummVM by checking this page
  2. A copy of the game you want to play on your Desire (as mentioned, I’m using Broken Sword).
  3. A MicroSD card with at least 1GB free space.  This depends on the game you want to use – Broken Sword takes 1.13GB and that’s 2 CDs
  4. At least 30MB free space on your phone

Downloads

  1. The latest ScummVM .apk file.  I used this version but there are alternatives on the ScummVM for Android progress page

Instructions (click any of the images to enlarge)

  1. Install the ScummVM.apk file to your Desire.  If you don’t know how to just use these simple instructions
  2. Connect your Desire to your computer in Disk Drive mode
  3. Insert the game CD into your computer’s DVD-drive
  4. On your SD card create a folder somewhere to store the game files.  I just made a folder in the root called Broken Sword
    Broken Sword Folder
  5. Go on the ScummVM datafiles page and find the section relating to the game you’re installing.  It’ll show you the files to copy.  For Broken Sword it has the following:
    • *.clu
    • swordres.rif
    • MUSIC folder (Except 2M29.WAV in CD2)
    • SMACKSHI folder
    • SPEECH folder
    • Rename speech.clu on CD1 to speech1.clu
    • Rename speech.clu on CD2 to speech2.clu
  6. Copy the files it mentions from your game CD to the SD card.  The CD contents are shown below:
    CD Contents
  7. The contents of the Broken Sword folder on my SD card now look like this:
    SD Card Contents
    I copied the video folder over too, just to check if it would work – and it did!
    Because it didn’t say “clusters folder” but did mention the *.clu files, I put the contents of the clusters folder in the main directory instead of a subfolder.  Same with swordres.rif
    I didn’t have a SMACKSHI folder so I ignored that
  8. Once copied Safely Eject your SD card from computer, Unmount it by changing it to Charge Only mode
  9. Open ScummVM from your apps menu, and you’ll see the following:
    ScummVM Main Menu
  10. Press Add Game and scroll down, double-click sdcard (using trackpad or touchscreen), then find the folder where your game is stored
    Add Game Menu
  11. Press Choose and a box showing details of your game will appear
    Game Settings Box
  12. The main things to check here are:
    • the name of your game is correct
    • Under paths change the Save path to somewhere on your sdcard.  I just saved in in my game folder.

    Save Path

  13. Press OK
  14. Press Start and if all’s gone well your game should load up!

Broken Sword Screenshot

Extra Info

The release I’ve used is 1.1.1-vorbis.  This isn’t the final version and has a few bugs.  Before attempting this tutorial check the downloads page if a newer version is available.
One of the main bugs in this version is that each time you start the app you have to add the game again (steps 10-13).  As long as you save your game you can still carry on where you left off.

FAQs

  1. The ScummVM menu screen keeps flickering in the background
    A.  Press the Home button to go to your homescreen.  Hold down the Home button and switch back to ScummVM.  The flickering should have stopped
  2. How Do I Change the Volume?
    A.  The volume keys don’t seem to respond within ScummVM.  Just press Home to go to homescreen.  Use the volume rocker (it should change the Media Volume) then switch back to ScummVM.  Additionally, there’s also some volume settings within ScummVM if you press the Menu button during the game and go on Options.
  3. I’ve noticed that there are some ScummVM game plugins in the Market for various games.  Do I need them?
    A.  As far as I’m aware, no.  I’ve tried running Broken Sword without the plugin and it still appears to work.  If your game doesn’t seem to be working properly then try download the plugin and see if it helps.

Introduction
Thanks to everyone who voted in the games poll last week. Here’s a summary of the results:

Results

#1 – Robo Defense

Price: FREE/$2.99
Size: 1.9MB
Market Link: free or full
AndroLib Link: free version / full version
Description:
Robo Defense is the ultimate portable tower defense experience. Featuring open maps, upgrades, achievements and nice graphics.
Screenshot and QR Code:

#2 – Asphalt 5

Price: £5.00
Size: 13.6MB
Market Link: Coming soon (Gameloft link)
AndroLib Link: Link
Description:
Asphalt is rocketing onto Android! Get behind the wheel of the best vehicles from prestigious manufacturers (Lamborghini, Kawasaki, Ford, etc) and make a name for yourself in amazing 3D surroundings.
Screenshot and QR Code:

#3 – Snesoid (SNES Emulator)

Price: FREE/$3.98
Size: 846kb
Market Link: Free version or Full version
AndroLib Link: Free / Full
Description:
SNesoid is the famous Super Nintendo emulator for Android.

  • On-screen translucent keypad with all controls! You can customize almost everything (size, transparency, layout)
  • Very fast
  • Run nearly all games (eg. Mario RPG, StarFox)
  • Save states
  • Cheats
  • Super scope
  • Flip screen to put d-pad at left hand

Screenshot and QR Code:

#4 – Let’s Golf

Price: £5.00
Size: –
Market Link: unavailable
Official Link: Link
Description:
Discover a fun atmosphere making golf accessible to anyone with 63 holes in 4 environments in 3D and 4 characters to customize.

  • 63 holes in 4 distinct locations remodelled in 3D: Fiji Beach, the American Mountains, the English Countryside, and Scottish Lochs.
  • 4 cool and animated characters customizable with your own style. Each player has unique strengths and weaknesses.
  • Controls adaptable to anyone: Advanced mode plays like a sports simulation game, and you can even add spin to the ball. Casual mode for easy fun and fewer bogies (but no, it won’t let you cheat).

Screenshot (via Gameloft) and QR Code:

#5 – Toss It

Price: FREE/£2.99
Size: 3.0MB/5.8MB
Market Link: Free or Full
AndroLib Link: Free version / Full version
Description:
Simple but surprisingly addictive time-waster. Toss a ball of crumpled paper into a waste bin.

Have got an old phone you no longer need? You can toss it too! But watch out for grumpy passersby.

Real physics engine is employed. Enjoy!
Screenshot and QR Code:

#6 – ShootU!

Price: FREE/$2.99
Size: 3.1MB
Market Link: Free or Full
AndroLib Link: Free version / Full version
Description:

Hand-drawing style physics game. All you need to do is shooting the little guy to hit the star, simple? We’ll see who is on the global ranking board.
New feature! Put your friends (or your enemies) face on a ragdoll by importing images from your SD card.
Screenshot and QR Code:

#7 – SpeedX 3D

Price: £0.99
Size: 3.0MB
Market Link: Click here
AndroLib Link: Link
Description:
Speedx delivers a stunning 3D accelerometer controlled tunnel experience. Test your reflex in an ultimate speed challenge with smooth 3D graphics. Compete with others through a global online highscore board, share your score on fb or twitter
Screenshot and QR Code:
Note: This game was too fast to get an in-game screenshot!

#8 – Homerun Battle 3D

Price: FREE/$4.99
Size: 18.4MB/17.6MB
Market Link: Free or Full
Description:
HOMERUN BATTLE 3D DOES! Play ONLINE match up & go head-to-head against the world’s best BASEBALL SLUGGERS.

Winner of Best Sports Game of 2009 from Best App Ever, IGN.com and Touch Arcade.
Screenshot and QR Code:

#9 – Replica Island

Price: FREE
Size: 4.9MB
Market Link: Click here
AndroLib Link: Link
Description:
Professor Kabochanomizu needs your help! He has created you–a small green robot with rockets for feet–to locate a mysterious artifact on a bizarre island. Fly, stomp, and roll your way through 40 challenging levels to 3 unique endings!
Screenshot and QR Code:

#10 – What the Doodle!?

Price: FREE/£2.99
Size: 887kb/4.6MB
Market Link: Free or Full
AndroLib Link: Free version / full version
Description:
Winner of Android Developer Challenge 2!

‘WTD!?’ is a real-time online multiplayer draw-guess game that features a variety of game modes, social features + more!
Screenshot and QR Code:

The Runners Up

  1. Speed Forge 3D – free / full
  2. Raging Thunder – link (2 versions available)
  3. Farm Frenzy – free/ full
  4. Gensoid (Genesis/Megadrive Emulator) – free / full
  5. Fish Food – free
  6. Caligo Chaser – free / full
  7. Totemo – free / full
  8. WordWrench – free / full
  9. PuzzleBlox – free / full
  10. ToonWarz – free / full

Credits

A special thank you to every single reader who voted, and who took the time out to email me their favourite games and applications

First of all, thanks to everyone who submitted their game lists to me.  I managed to work out which were the most popular games, and now it’s time for all you readers to vote for your favourites.  Voting ends next Friday evening (11 June 2010) and the results will be published over the weekend.

Just use the poll below, and remember you can choose upto 10 games:

Top Desire Games - June 2010

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Thanks for voting 🙂

Until now there haven’t been many 3D games for Android.  Most of us have stuck to our puzzle games, and the few 3D games out there such as SpeedForge3D and ToonWarz.  However, today Gameloft tweeted some exciting news for all you gamers out there:

We announced 10 HD games for Android smartphones: they’ll be live Friday through Gameloft’s wap & website

The games are as follows:

  1. Tom Clancy’s HAWX
  2. Asphalt 5
  3. Real Football 2010
  4. Hero of Sparta
  5. Gangstar – West Coast Hustle
  6. Modern Combat: Sandstorm
  7. NOVA: Near Orbit Vanguard Alliance
  8. Let’s Golf
  9. Assassin’s Creed
  10. Dungeon Hunter

View the video of the games here:

Looking at Gameloft’s pricing for iPhone games, you’re looking about £3-4 for a game but here’s hoping for introductory discounts!
I’m personally interested in Let’s Golf and Dungeon Hunter, but no doubt I’ll end up buying all of them before long.

Tomorrow Google are going to be announcing Froyo, and we’ll find out if we can install applications to the SD card.  Then we just need HTC to release the software update for us Desire owners and all our phones can be filled new games without the worry of running out of free space.  Good times 😀

sancho1983 at HUKD has kindly compiled a huge list of popular games and applications that have been suggested by various members on HUKD.  Here’s the list:

Handcent SMS – Much better than the stock Messaging facility
Anycut – create your own shortcuts to particular functions (or create shortcuts to apps with “cleaner” names to look nicer)
Facebook
Twidtroid – Twitter App
eBuddy – Messenger
Foursquare – Gps social networking helps you discover new places in your city (www.foursquare.com)
Mobisle Notes – Notepad + to do list
Barcode scanner
Locale – allows you to set location based profiles, sound off at work with wifi turned on, different backrround out of work etc etc
Evernote – Note taking and clipping, uploads everything into the cloud, use on your pc aswell (http://www.evernote.com
Movies – Local showing times, film reviews etc
Pkt Auctions Ebay – ebay app
Shazam – music identifier
Telegraph.co.uk – news on the go
Fotmob – football live scores
Advanced task killer – stiop background apps
eoeappinstaller – allows you to install .apks from the net and install them (so you can get the pro versions for “free”
Key Ring – carry your reward cards(with barcodes) on your phone!
Photoshop mobile
Opera 5 mini – Browser (upgrade to Opera Mobile when released)
Torrent Fu – manage torrents on your PC from your phone, scan barcodes when you are out and start downloading at home
Wavesecure – security app
Tunes remote – itunes remote control
Swype – keyboard replacement, drag across the letters to input text, amazing!

Co-pilot
Facebook
Pocket Ebay
Paypal
Engadget
http://phandroid.com/2008/10/09/andr…control-sweet/
Alarming!
Barcode Scanner
SMS Backup/Restore
Midomi
PktAuctionseBay
Swype
Astro
yxFlash
Alarm Clock
Barcode Scanner
Battery Status
Beebplayer
Car Mode
Close Everything
Copilot Sat Nav (26.99)
EZCam (0.99p)
Google maps(updates maps on the phone with added speech support)
GPS Tracker
GTraffic
HotdealUK App
Imusic
ISpy
Newspapers
NotePad
Shazam
Sleep Timer
SMS Popup
Telegraph
TorchLight
Touch Timer
Voice Caller ID
Voice Recorder
WeatherBug
Widget bluetooth
Widget WIFI
Widget Screen brightness
http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?t=55346
Hullomail
Handcent
DG_TrainTimes (made by dgoulston)
Gesture search
Twidroid
Facebook
Robo Defense
Google Translate
PicSay
beebPlayer
3G Watchdog
Movies
BBC News
Quickpedia
Dolphin Browser
Soccer Live
Last.fm
Shazam
Goggles
Listen
Flashlight
Astro File manager
TasKiller
Compass
Gmote
Google Sky
Shopper
Steamy Windows
Tricorder (Feels like your using a star trek gadget)
Zombie, Run (Real world google map zombies. You literally run away from them)
Photoshop Mobile
Opera Mini 5 (still beta but I think this will become a good browser)
Mother TED (Watch TED videos)
Gesture Bar (for gesture search)
Cardio Trainer

Games:-

Australia Vs England, ashes cricket (£1.49)
Abduction
Bubble bubble
Coloroid
Droid mini golf
Draviturn
Dunk it
Grid droid
Jewls
Labyrinth lite
Orbs knock Off
Phit Droid
Pinball
Poke a mole
Trap
WordWrench
Toon Wars
ShootU
Asphalt
Wave Racer
SpeedX
Speed Racer
There’s on similar to WipeOut but in mines (I’ll change this to the name once I remember)
Replica Island (free)
Blow It Up!
Raging Thunder
Home Run Battle