Phandroid » Featured Android Phone News, Rumors, Reviews, Apps, Forums & More! Mon, 01 Sep 2014 17:00:31 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Best new Android games from August 2014 Mon, 01 Sep 2014 15:00:35 +0000 august

Games, games, games. So many games came out this last month. Some simple, others complex. We even had a game from the now infamous developer of Flappy Bird. What more could you ask for? In case you were too busy enjoying the summer weather, we have compiled a list of the best games from August. These are the ones you should check out and download. Enjoy!



ALONE is a handcrafted, intense survival journey through space. Navigate caves, rip through rocky debris, dodge rocks and comets and test your endurance as you pursue ever higher scores in this ultra fast, procedural runner. This game has hours of action filled gameplay across three unlockable difficulty levels and two awesome bonus modes. It’s available for $1.99.

Amazing Brick

amazing brick

Do you like Flappy Bird? Let me rephrase that. Do you know about Flappy Bird? Of course you do. Amazing Brick is a similar style of game, but it doesn’t make you want to rip your hair out. All you do is tap to go up through obstacles. It’s very minimally designed, but a lot of fun. It’s available for free from the Play Store.

Back to Bed

back to bed

Back to Bed is a 3D puzzle game set in a unique and artistic dream world, wherein you guide the sleepwalker Bob to the safety of his bed. To achieve this, you must take control of Bob’s subconscious guardian named Subob. The pair travels through a surreal and painting-like dream world, filled with objects used to guide Bob towards the Bed, but also dangers that must be avoided. Grab this game for $4.00.



Bik is a retro-style adventure game that takes inspiration from classic point-and-click adventure games. The game follows a young boy who is abducted by aliens while on a camping trip. After joining forces with two friendly alien mercenaries, Bik escapes from his abductors and tries to find his way home. Tons of fun happens to Bik and his friends along the way. Download Bik for $1.99.



Innovative collectible card gaming combined with number puzzles and turn-based tactical combat.  Earth has been destroyed by the evil Hate Bit and you are the Last Star Nerd. Clever use of numbers lets you deploy starships, soldiers, tanks, aliens, and devastating tactics. You’ll have to be several kinds of brilliant to save what’s left of space. Calulords is very unique and fun. It can be yours for $2.99.

Crazy Taxi City Rush

crazu taxi rush

Drive crazy in SEGA’s all-new Crazy Taxi. Race through the city to deliver your passengers on-time; the crazier you drive the higher your rewards. That’s right, the crazier you drive the more rewards you get. It is called Crazy Taxi after all. This new Crazi Taxi games also allows you to fully customize your cab. Are you craaaazy enough to download this game for free?

Dragon Quest IV

dragon 4

Dragon Quest IV, the first installment in the Zenithian Trilogy, is now out for Android. This epic adventure, unfolding over five unique chapters, each focusing on a different cast of characters, can now be enjoyed on your phone. Enter a fantasy world of sword, magic, and monsters with over 40 hours of gameplay. Buy it for $14.99 and never be asked for money again.

Five Nights at Freddy’s

five freddy

Welcome to your new summer job at Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza, where kids and parents alike come for entertainment and food as far as the eye can see! The main attraction is Freddy Fazbear, of course; and his two friends. They are animatronic robots, programmed to please the crowds. As simple as this game is it’s very frightening. Download it for $2.99 if you dare.

King of Dragon Pass

dragon pass

Create your own epic saga of conflict, mythology and community! Rule your own clan, take important strategic decisions, win battles and expand the territory of your people. This game is a unique mix of RPG and strategy. Everything in King of Dragon Pass is about choice and control. Choose your counsel carefully, sign diplomatic agreements or declare war on nearby clans. All of this can be yours for $9.99.

Madden NFL Mobile

madden nfl mobile controls

Many football gamers have likely already drain hours of their time into Madden NFL 15 for consoles as it launched this past Tuesday. But what if  you’re away from home and need that football fix? EA Sports has a pretty decent gift for you: Madden NFL Mobile. We’ve had a few days to sink our teeth into it and determine whether this is the pigskin simulator that your phone or tablet deserves. Check out our review and then download it for free.



Have you ever thought about what it would be like if you were a mountain? No? Well, in MOUNTAIN that  is exactly what you do. You are a mountain. That’s pretty much all there is to it. Nothing you do really matters. Sound like fun? For $1 it’s all yours.

Skulls of the Shogun


Crush your enemies and eat their skulls! Skulls of the Shogun is a fast-paced turn-based strategy game, supercharged with fighting-game flair and double-stuffed with a serious sense of humor. Enter the Samurai Afterlife and join forces with undead warriors, magical monks, and mighty mustachioed samurai generals! This awesome game can be yours for just $1.99.

Surgeon Simulator

surgeon simulator android

Ever wanted to be a deadly surgeon that didn’t know an artery from a bone? Fancy cutting into some poor schmuck who thinks he’s about to get a quality operation only to die on the operating table? Me neither, but we can at least experience that harrowing, twisted situation in digital form. Surgeon Similar puts the buzz saw and scalpel into your hands. If you’re up to the task it will cost you $5.99.

Swing Copter

swing copters watermark

Swing Copters can be seen as a spiritual successor to Flappy Bird. Instead of trying to make your way through pipes and obstacles on a horizontal axis, you’re now trying to do much of the same going vertical in a helicopter. It’s still very difficult, though the latest update made it much easier. Swing Copters is free if you dare to get addicted.

Time Tangle

time tangle

Time Tangle is another great game based on the cartoon Adventure Time. In thi sgame you punch stuff, do infinite quests, rescue your friends, beat beastly bad guys, and enjoy awesome cutscenes with your favorite characters. Run, punch, rinse, repeat. If you’re in for an adventure you can grab this game for $2.99.

WWE SuperCard

wwe supercard

WWE SuperCard puts the power of WWE Superstars, Legends, and Divas in your hands by bringing the hard-hitting, larger-than-life action of WWE to mobile in a brand new card battle game! Collect your favorite WWE Superstars, Divas, Legends and Managers. Take your five-man team online against other players to test your skills. Play for free if you’re ready!

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Best new Android apps from August 2014 Sat, 30 Aug 2014 19:00:31 +0000 August

Womp womp. The last “summer month” is coming to an end. The beaches are getting less crowded. RV’s are being put back in storage. Back-to-school sales can be found in every store. It’s a sad time of year. The good news is we had a bunch of great new Android apps launch in August. Everything from image editors to homescreen replacements to Android Wear apps. If you were busy enjoying the warm weather you may have missed some of these apps. Enjoy!



There is no shortage of image editing apps for Android. If you’re into that sort of thing you will be interested in a new one called Afterlight. This app uses a simple design, paired with powerful tools, to give you the look you want in no time. It offers 15 tools, 59 filters, 77 frames, and 66 textures. Afterlight is available in Google Play for $.99.

Amazon Seller

amazon seller

Use the Amazon Seller app for Android to help grow and manage your selling business on Amazon. The app makes it easier than ever for you to quickly identify new selling opportunities on Amazon, list your items for sale, respond to customer questions, manage inventory, search for new things to sell, and estimate profitability. Amazon seller is available for free.

Blur Launcher

blur screen grab

One of the cool features about the Google Now Launcher is the ability to open Google Now by swiping to the left on the homescreen. Wouldn’t it be awesome if you could launch other apps like this? Blur Launcher aims to be that app.  Any developer can create a “page” to be accessed from the homepage. Right now just a few apps work, but more are on the way. Download Blur for free.

Football Schedule ’14


We’re less than a week away from the first official regular season NFL game. You’re going to want to keep up with your favorite team, see who is playing who, and get reminder for games. Our very own Football Schedule app is a quick and easy way to check the weekly NFL schedule. Download it now from free from Google Play.



As we mentioned above, image editing apps are a dime a dozen on Android. However, Fragment is a completely new way to edit images on your phone. This app gives you the power to transform any image into totally unique, one-of-a-kind prismatic art you’ll want to share with everyone. The only limit is your imagination. Fragment is available for free.

Google News & Weather


Remember that random News & Weather app that was always included on Nexus devices? It still exists. Yeah, we were surprised too. This month it finally got an update, and now it’s a really nice looking app. We’re not sure how it fits into Google’s current line-up of news reading apps, but at least it looks modern. Protip: the weather widget is awesome.


HTC One Zoe 1

HTC released Zoe for non-HTC devices this month. Zoe is a simple way to create, share and remix professional quality highlight videos—and it’s even better when your friends pitch in. Choose the photos and videos you’d like to share, add a filter to give your highlight video a unique look, and choose the perfect soundtrack. If that sounds cool you can grab it for free.

LAS: Last App Switcher

LAS Last App Switcher screenshots

Multitasking on Android is pretty great, but it’s not perfect. Sometimes switching between apps can be bumpy. The back button behaves differently in all apps, and sometimes the multitasking button is laggy. Last App Switcher utilizes the swipe gesture on the home button to allow quick flipping between your last used app. It’s super fast and fluid. Download LAS for free from the Play Store.



The Metromile app helps make car ownership easier, less expensive, and more enjoyable. Review your driving stats, get insights into your car’s running condition, and even find your car if it’s missing. After you sign up for an account the folks at Metromile will send you their “Metronome” device which plugs into your car’s OBD-II port (if you live in California, Oregon, Washington and Illinois.)



What’s this? Another image editing app from August? Apparently the summer is a hot time for editing images. Over is an editor that focuses on adding text to images. They offer a bunch of exclusive fonts and artwork along with some simple image manipulation tools. It’s nice to see an app that just does one thing, but does it really well. Over is available for $1.99.



Launching you camera quickly is an important task for every smartphone. Many manufacturers allow the camera to be launched directly from the lockscreen, but sometimes that’s not fast enough either. Snapshot is a new app that launches the camera when you unlock your device in landscape mode. I love this app because it’s also a good reminder to use landscape mode when taking videos. Download Snapshot for free from the Play Store.

SpinMe Alarm Clock


Suck at waking up? Are you the type of person to set multiple alarms a few minutes apart from each other just to make sure you wake up on time? If so, say hello to SpinMe. This alarm clock is a super clever app designed to get you out of bed on time. The only way to turn off the alarm is by getting out of bed and physically spinning yourself around until the alarm stops! There is no escape!


TapPath for Android screenshots

TapPath allows you to customize how clicking a web link in a 3rd party app behaves. A single click on a link will load it in your favorite browser, but multiple clicks is where things get interesting. You could set up double-click to open Pocket, or a triple click could load Pushbullet. TapPath can save you a lot of time when trying to share links across commonly used apps. It’s available for $0.99.



Unclouded is a tool to help you analyze and clean your cloud storage (Dropbox and Google Drive). You can see which files or folders are using up storage, see which types of files are using the most space, search files, and more. Unclouded can also be used as a very attractive file manager and cloud file explorer. BOX and OneDrive support are coming soon. You can download it right now for free.



Sharing big files across the internet can be tough. There are many services out there to help, but most cost money, or at minimum require you to sign up. WeTransfer is different. Simply select your photos or videos (or use the share button), add your friends email address, and upload up to 10GB! Enjoy inspiring backgrounds during the transfer. Your friends will receive an email with a download link. Easy peasy, and all for free.


I’m Here


Are you one of those people who constantly “checks-in” everywhere on Facebook? It’s okay, I am too. I’m Here is a simple Android Wear app that allows you to check-in to  Facebook directly from your watch. Checking-in to places can be one of those tasks that distracts you from the moment, which makes this app handy. You can also dictate status updates. I’m Here is available for $0.99.



A common complaint among Android Wear device owners is mistaken touches while showering. Since the displays are always on they can mistake water drops as finger touches. This is annoying. If you really must wear your smartwatch into the shower you need Showear, an Android Wear pattern lockscreen. Now your shower will have a much harder time pressing buttons and messing things up.

TickTick Wear


TickTick for Android Wear lets you access to-dos on wrist without taking phone out of your pocket. This is especially handy when doing things like grocery shopping. You don’t want to be constantly pulling out your phone while walking down the isles. Just quickly check your watch and go find the milk. TickTick Wear works best with TickTick for Android.

Wear Quick SMS

quick sms

Currently you can only reply to SMS on Android Wear if you use the Hangouts app. Wear Quick SMS is a way you can send quick SMS messages to select contacts. First go into the phone app and choose contacts and create custom messages. You will be able to choose a contact and shot message to send right from your wrist. This is the type of thing we want to see for Android Wear. Download Wear Quick SMS for free.

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Android Wallpaper: Graffiti Sat, 30 Aug 2014 14:00:59 +0000 android graffiti

See past editions of Android Wallpaper

Happy three-day weekend (for some of you)! We’re back once again with more wallpaper for your Android device. This week we’re taking a look at graffiti art. Graffiti is defined as “writing or drawings that have been scribbled, scratched, or sprayed illicitly on a wall or other surface, often in a public place.” But nowadays it can be found almost anywhere, even digitally.

For your viewing pleasure we have six HD graffiti wallpapers that will look great on your homescreen. To get one of these wallpapers on your phone, tablet, or even PC, simply tap or click on the image to see it at full resolution. The long press or right click to save the image. Let us know which one is your favorite, and be sure to share a screenshot if you use one of these wallpapers! Enjoy, and have a great weekend!

Push new Android Wallpaper to your Android device with this IFTTT recipe.

graffiti 1

graffiti 2

graffiti 3

graffiti 4

graffiti 6

graffiti 5

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Moto 360 vs Samsung Gear S vs LG G Watch R: which looks best? [POLL] Thu, 28 Aug 2014 14:32:35 +0000 One look at the most recently announced smartwatches from LG, Samsung, and Motorola tells you the chunky, geeky smartwatches we’ve come to know and hate seem to be a thing of the past. Each company got a bit antsy by announcing their latest smart watch products well ahead of IFA Berlin. Consumers will soon have a stylish selection of smartwatches the likes of which we’ve never seen before, but which one takes the cake?

LG G Watch R

On LG’s side, they officially confirmed the circular LG G Watch R (find a hearty LG G Watch R image gallery here) that seems to be a direct answer to Motorola’s attention-grabbing Moto 360.


The LG G Watch R is upping the ante just a tad in terms of sheer performance with its 1.2GHz Snapdragon 400 chipset. Other key specs include:

  • 1.3-inch P-OLED Display (320 x 320)
  • 4GB Storage
  • 512MB RAM
  • 410mAh Battery
  • IP67 Certification

For more, check out the full LG G Watch R Specs.

Samsung Gear S

Samsung decided to go with a more traditional form factor with the Samsung Gear S, though it stands out by having a curved display (don’t see that too often in a smart watch) and its own dedicated 3G radios.


Some important notes on the Gear S:

  • It runs Tizen OS, not Android
  • It also comes in White
  • 2-inch Super AMOLED display at 480 x 360

Could Samsung’s decision on the white band be in anticipation of Apple making a similar move?

Moto 360

This is the one that started the whole “Round Smartwatch” Android Wear craze, yet it’s the only of the three whose specs we still don’t know.

Moto 360 gif

When it was first unveiled, it seemed there wasn’t a single thing on the planet like it. Now, just days ahead of its launch, it’s got some sizeable competition.

Which one looks best?

With that, IFA just effectively became a big fatal 4-way brawl (if you’re counting the ASUS ZenWatch that was officially announced but has yet to be shown in full glory). Each of these devices has reasons for folks to be excited, but we’re curious to hear what you think about their design in particular. LG and Motorola’s options certainly are eye-popping, though the Gear S doesn’t look too bad either. Which of the 3 do you link looks best?

Moto 360 gif Samsung Gear S_Blue Black_3 lg-g-watch-r-6

Because smartwatches are also fashion accessories, a greater proportion of the purchase decision will be put on their design, but let’s not overlook their functionality. Jumping into the silicon, the devices all stack up fairly well against each other, though there are enough differences to note when you go to make your purchase decision this fall.

Don’t judge a watch by its face

The LG G Watch R is upping the ante just a tad in terms of sheer performance with its 1.2GHz Snapdragon 400 chipset. The Gear S’s bigger display and higher resolution could be a winning factor for some, though the G Watch R’s display should look just as crisp at its small size and round form factor. The Moto 360 boasts a slightly bigger display than the G Watch R at 1.5 inches, though the resolution is slightly lower at 320 x 290.

Which to choose, which to choose?

The design will undoubtedly play a huge role in your decision, but let’s be honest- there are more factors that come into play.

So that brings us to the ultimate question: which smart watch will end up getting your money? Let us know in the comments below! Don’t forget to circle back next week starting September 3rd as we’ll be getting up close and personal with many of these options ourselves.

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Official LG G Watch R pictures emerge Thu, 28 Aug 2014 02:33:52 +0000 LG G Watch R Specs officially announced!

We’ve just learned what’s inside LG’s latest smartwatch as the LG G Watch R Specs have been officially announced. Now we learn about the outside as LG has just issued a number of stunning pictures of the LG G Watch R:

lg-g-watch-r-7 lg-g-watch-r-1 lg-g-watch-r-6 lg-g-watch-r-4 lg-g-watch-r-2

There’s a whole lot we could say… but we’ll let you be the judge in the comments!

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HTC One Remix Review: when “mini” is a good thing Wed, 27 Aug 2014 15:58:24 +0000 one remix

The size of phones is getting a little out of control. Every new flagship Android phone these days has a screen around the 5-inch mark. It wasn’t long ago that we were freaking out about the “giant” 4.3-inch display on the original HTC EVO. This recent trend of extra-large Android phones has created opportunities in the “mini” phone category. HTC is one of several manufacturers to try to cash in on consumers who prefer a more pocketable device.

The HTC One Remix is Verizon’s version of the HTC One Mini 2. The funny thing about the Remix is it’s not actually all that “mini.” In fact, while it is significantly smaller than the HTC One M8, it’s almost the same exact size as the original HTC One. Do you have to sacrifice great features in order to get a device that’s slightly easier to put in your pocket? Let’s find out!

For an in-depth review of HTC software and build-quality, which the Remix shares, check out our in-depth HTC One M8 review.


HTC One Remix 2

HTC’s build quality has been traditionally exceptional, and the Remix does not disappoint in that regard. If you’ve ever held the HTC One M8 you know exactly how the Remix feels. Everything about this device screams “premium.” The aluminum casing has a far superior feel to any other mid-range device we’ve held. It’s heavy enough to feel solid without weighing down your pocket. The only gripe we have with the overall design and build quality is how slippery it is. You will drop this device a few times. Luckily it’s also very durable.


HTC One sizes

Since this is a “mini” device we obviously have to talk about the size. As we mentioned above, the Remix isn’t exactly what most people would consider “mini.” That can be blamed on the excessive bezel that HTC seems to love. The dimension that makes the Remix feel like a mini device is its width. At nearly a quarter of an inch narrower than the One M8 it’s so much easier to hold and operate with one hand.


HTC One Remix 4

Not all of the extra bezel around the display is pointless. Most of it is for the dual front-facing BOOMSOUND speakers. As someone who hasn’t used a device with these speakers I was skeptical about the praise they have received. But let me tell you, once you have a device with BOOMSOUND speakers you will never want to go back. It’s like being able to really hear for the first time. YouTube videos, music, podcasts, and everything just sound amazing. The speakers are easily one of the best features on the HTC One Remix.


HTC One Remix 3

The Remix is a scaled down version of the One M8 in more ways than just size. The display has of course been slimmed down from 5-inches to 4.5-inches, but also the resolution from 1080p to 720p. The good news is HTC still put the same great display tech in the Remix. After looking at the display on the Remix for several days other devices seem to have a yellow tint. That’s because the LCD display on the Remix is much better at color reproduction.


HTC One Remix 6

HTC put a standard 13MP camera in the Remix as opposed to the 4 “ultrapixel” camera on the M8. My experience with the camera was a mixed bag. On the plus side it takes photos very quickly, but that made it hard for me to get clear focus in photos. When I did get it to focus correctly the photos looked very nice. I’m sure it’s one of those things that takes some time to get used to.

As with most smartphone cameras, the HTC One Remix works best outdoors in sunlight. Under those perfect conditions you can get clear detailed photos, especially if you utilize the “daylight” option in the white balance settings. Speaking of settings, the camera software is easy to use and has easy settings for even the photogenically impaired.


One camera feature that stood out was the “Selfie” mode. This mode utilizes the 5MP front-facing camera (same one that comes with the One M8). Photos taken with the front-facing camera on the Remix look awesome. You can get more people in a shot than you can with other devices because of the wider angle lens. For Selife aficionados this is a must-have feature.

All in all the experience and photo quality is good for something considered mid-range. Compared to other smartphone cameras in the same price range there is no contest. Take a look at some photo samples below. Note the slightly out of focus shots.

20140825_115514_Android 20140825_115132_Android 20140825_100223_Android 20140824_143020_Android 20140824_133542_Android 20140823_203548_Android


HTC One Remix 8

I won’t go too deep into the software on the HTC One Remix. It’s running the same version of Sense that we tested on the One M8. As far as Android skins go it’s easily one of the best. HTC doesn’t only use their great design sense for hardware. Sense is a very polished and refined Android skin. Small details and added functionality can be found throughout the OS. Even something as simple as a widget that turns from white to black at night.

Blinkfeed is one Sense feature that you might love or hate. If you use the default launcher you can access Blinkfeed by swiping to the left from the main screen. You can add social networks and websites to see a single stream of content. It’s a handy feature, but I found myself forgetting it was even there. To remove Blinkfeed just use your fingers to zoom out on the homescreen. Drag the Blinkfeed screen to the trash icon.

Most of the time I try to erase all evidence of an Android skin, but with HTC Sense I don’t feel the need. That says a lot.

Performance & Battery

remix battery chart

The Remix is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor. It has nearly half the horsepower of the One M8, but yet it feels just as smooth and fast. HTC does a great job of optimizing their software for the hardware. We had no trouble downloading apps quickly, playing games, multitasking, and doing all the things you demand from a phone. As a mid-range device the Remix easily has enough power.

The one area that really impressed us about the Remix was battery life. As I’m writing this review the phone has been on battery power for nearly 24 hours. This is compared to my Nexus 5 that needs to be charged every day before I go to bed. In fact, while testing the Remix and using it as my main device it was still lasting longer than my idle Nexus 5. Verizon has inexplicably disabled the Power Saver modes on the HTC One Remix. Battery life is already great, but with those battery saving modes it could be even better. Shame on you, Big Red.

The Bottom Line

HTC One Remix 5

“Remixing” usually means to create something completely different from an original source. Most “mini” phones on the market have been “remixed.” They may share a name with the original flagship, but so many features have been scarified it’s hardly the same device. The HTC One Remix is a “mini” phone that doesn’t require the user to give up on flagship features. You get the great HTC build quality and design, amazing BOOMSOUND speakers, excellent performance and battery life, a snappy Android skin, and a capable camera. The best thing we can say about the HTC One Remix is that it’s worth of the “HTC One” name.

The Good

  • Premium build quality
  • Amazing BOOMSOUND speakers
  • Excellent battery life
  • Sense 6 is a joy to use

The Bad

  • Photos are inconsistent
  • Hard to focus with fast shutter
  • Not all that “mini”

Score: 4 out of 5

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Bog Racer disappears from Google Play after dev claims Swing Copters blatantly copied their title Tue, 26 Aug 2014 22:11:26 +0000 Bog Racer banner

It’s a story you’ve heard before. A game is published into X mobile app store, becomes popular, and without fail — dozens of copy-cat games begin flooding said market. Sometimes they’re blatant rip-offs, other times they’re a bit more subtle, copying core gameplay elements but changing up the style with different visuals and/or improved graphics.

A few days ago we saw Dong Nguyen’s latest masterpiece, Swing Copters, hit the Google Play Store and sure enough, a flood of copy-cat games followed suit. So many, in fact, it didn’t take Google long to pull out the ban hammer, removing copy-cats as quickly as they went up. But what if, in some crazy alternate reality, it was actually Swing Copters that was the copycat all along?

We know what you’re thinking: “Easy there, Keanu.” But this is exactly what landed on our desk after an email from indie game studio Open Name. The email claimed that Swing Copters stole their idea from a title, Bog Racer. The evidence? Other than launching first (back in July) — not much. And without picking sides, we will admit there are some definite similarities between the 2 titles.


In Bog Racer, the player taps on the screen to change the direction of their race car as it auto advances down a track — eerily similar to Dong’s Swing Copters. But given that the gameplay is so simple to begin with, it also possible this could merely be a coincidence (and we’re sure there are other titles pre-dating Bog Racer that feature similar gameplay). Check out the Bog Racer trailer down below to for yourself what we’re talking about.

So, exactly what is Open Name looking to accomplish from all this? Well, more than just bragging rights, that’s for sure. They’re so positive that Swing Copters stole their game idea they’re looking to take Swing Copters down completely, having it removed from all app stores for infringing their original IP. Here’s the statement we received from Open Name:

“We will use all of our modest means to restore justice, and we intend to apply a request that Swing Copters be removed from the app stores. We are well aware that our chances are very slim, which is why we ask for the support of everyone who is partial to our cause.”

If that sounds harsh, we should note that in the light of Google removing Swing Copters copycats from the Play Store, Bog Racer is now nowhere to be found. While we wait for an official statement, it’s entirely possible Bog Racer was seen as just another Swing Copters copycat title and is ironically enough, what could have gotten them removed from Google Play. Ouch.

As for final judgement, we’ll leave that in your hands. What do you guys think? Given the swift removal of Swing Copters “clones” from app stores, should Swing Copters itself be removed for copying Bog Racer? You can vote in our poll down below.

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Best Android apps for writers Tue, 26 Aug 2014 13:44:37 +0000 Whether you’re writing your next college essay or the next Great American Novel, a work memo or a graduate thesis, you won’t have to look much farther than your Android smartphone or tablet for help. From inspiration to reference materials, apps for composing a draft and more, we’ve got you covered. You’ll never want to write again without these great Android apps at hand.

Apps to Inspire



Every writer starts as a reader, and every reader needs a few good books to keep them on their toes at all times. Goodreads makes it easy to find your next read, crowdsourcing a social network of fellow book lovers to offer recommendations, reviews, and more. Rate your favorite books and share your own sources of inspiration as you discover authors and stories for the first (or second) time.

Writing Prompts


Even the best writers can suffer from the occasional bout of writer’s block. Writing Prompts helps get things kickstarted by offering up a wide range of prompts providing interesting situations from which a story could be born. This straightforward application, which is geared toward fiction writers, can help get the juices flowing with fun writing exercises that could develop into much more.

Story Plot Generator


Where Writing Prompts provides a basic premise from which to start your next great work of art, Story Plot Generator takes things a step further. This app lets you choose the genre, situation, and other details pertaining to plot structure to provide a guiding hand while crafting a new story. Think of it as a writing prompt on steroids packaged in an easy-to-use application.

Apps to Capture Your Great Ideas



Evernote is the notepad for the everyman, providing all the tools a writer might need to quickly jot down an inspired line or paragraph, plot out story structure, save research notes and more. Sync features allow your notes and thoughts to be accessed from any connected device, meaning you can take your ideas to a desktop or tablet to turn mobile musing to finished product.



If you don’t need flashy features in your text editors JotterPad is probably for you. This plain text editor allows writers to draft and revise their work on the go, saving in the portable .txt document format, which can be opened in just about any word processing software. With a clean, approachable interface, built-in dictionary, and word and character count, this app cuts back on distractions and puts the focus on the written word itself.



Another plain text editor, but one that provides a slightly more robust feature set including homescreen widgets and more. You can quickly write, organize, and share all of your greatest bits of writing, but Draft is equally at home for gathering notes and research with its built-in search and folders. Dropbox integration puts your work in the cloud where it is easily accessible from anywhere or any device.

Apps to Proofread, Edit, and Revise



Not an Android app per se, this web resource might just be the most useful on our list. Using HTML5 and an interface geared toward mobile devices, Hemingway, which takes its name from the author renown for his simple yet masterful deployment of the English language, helps writers revise their work for readability. The app points out when a sentence is overly complicated and helps reduce reliance on adverbs and the passive voice.

Oxford Grammar & Punctuation


When it comes time to proofread, you need a handy resource on the rules of grammar and punctuation. Why not go with one of the oldest and most trusted names in the study of the English language? Oxford’s free Grammar & Punctuation app provides a searchable reference as well as learning tool for those looking to hone a rough draft into the finished product.

Webster’s Dictionary & Thesaurus 


When you can’t find the right word or if your language sounds a bit dry and repetitive, the instinct is to reach for a dictionary or thesaurus. Now you can toss out the heavy text and go straight to mobile with Webster’s Dictionary & Thesaurus. Another free reference material, it puts an essential database of words and definitions right in your pocket.

Just for Fun

7 Little Words


There’s no denying that writers love word games. When you need a break from the work, 7 Little Words provides a great escape. Use the clues to determine the seven words in this crossword/word find/anagram mashup. As a bonus, you might stumble upon a word or two that could come in handy in your writing down the road.

4 Pics 1 Word


Can you figure out the word based on the four pictures provided? That about sums up 4 Pics 1 Word, but don’t let the simple premise fool you. This one can be quite addicting as it tests your knowledge of words and their meanings.

These apps cover the basics for writers across all genres. For those writing as part of their studies, we also suggest you check out our best apps for college students. Professional writers working on the web will also want to scope our best apps for bloggers. Have a favorite app for writing that we neglected to mentions? Share it in the comments below.

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Moto 360 to have circular competition: LG G Watch R coming next week Sun, 24 Aug 2014 20:28:14 +0000 It’s no secret that tech fans have been pining for the Moto 360 Android Wear Smartwatch. Despite the huge interest in Android Wear, many early adopters have been passing up the Samsung Gear Live and LG G Watch in anticipation of the Moto 360, and there’s one primary reason: the circular watch face.

Motorola was poised to solitarily steal the Android Wear show by launching the Moto 360 after their September 4th event in Chicago (along with some other devices), but LG has officially cramped Moto’s style by sliding in at the last second with a circular watch of their own. And this is no rumor, ladies and gentlemen, the promo video comes directly from the Official LG Mobile Global Youtube Channel.

LG is definitely playing a chess game with Motorola, allowing them to build hype and anticipation for months without saying a peep of their own competing Android Wear beauty. Product timelines for OEMs are typically 2 years, so this isn’t something LG slapped together at the last minute. It’s more likely they used the LG G Watch as their “pilot” test while preparing the circular LG G Watch R for perfection. That “R” standing for “Round” of course.

That being said, there are a fair share of folks who prefer rectangular watch faces over circular watch faces, and still others that like to mix it up with a variety of shapes and sizes in their repertoire.

So now the question begs: has your lust for the Moto 360 changed?

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Android Wallpaper: Resolutionary Sat, 23 Aug 2014 16:00:05 +0000 4K walls

See past editions of Android Wallpaper

My first smartphone had a whopping 3.2-inch display with a gorgeous 320 x 480 resolution. Five years later there is a smartphone on the market with a 5.5-inch display and 1440 x 2560 resolution. For reference, these are what those two resolutions look like next to each other. So what’s the point of this trip down memory lane? BIG WALLPAPERS!

It was only a matter of time before 1080p displays on smartphones were not good enough. The LG G3 was the first device to venture into the 1080p+ territory, and you can guarantee other phone makers will quickly follow suite. To prepare for the onslaught of pixels we have compiled six ultra HD wallpapers for your devices. We’ve provided a mix of 2K and 4K sizes for your viewing pleasure.

To get one of these wallpapers on your phone, tablet, or even PC, simply tap or click the download link underneath each image. Let us know which one is your favorite, and be sure to share a screenshot if you use one of these wallpapers!

Push new Android Wallpaper to your Android device with this IFTTT recipe.

Mountain Starscape

Mountain Stars

Download (2880 x 2560)



Download (2880 x 2560)

The Grid

The Grid

Download (5000 x 3000)

Blue Green Bath

Blue Green Bubbles

Download (5120 x 2880)

Teal Texture

Teal Texture

Download (3888 x 2592)

Filtered Grass


Download (2880 x 2560)

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The Bezeled Truth: are edge-to-edge screens practical for real-world use? [POLL] Fri, 22 Aug 2014 18:42:49 +0000 no bezels

Earlier this week we got our hands on the Sharp Aquos Crystal and its amazing “edge-to-edge” display. The specs of the phone are no more than a simple mid-range device, but the display alone has drawn a lot of attention. The “bezel-less” phone has been a dream for tech geeks for a long time. We’ve seen these devices on Star Trek and other sci-fi media, but they have eluded the real world.

The appeal of a device with no bezels is clear. As displays get bigger and bigger so do devices. If you could eliminate all the area around the display it would be much easier to hold. The Aquos Crystal is one of the closest devices we’ve seen to the bezel-less dream, despite having a big “chin” bezel. I’m still not sold on the idea. Are phones without bezels practical to use in the real world?


The big problem with a device that has no bezels is where your hand goes. If there is no bezel around the display you have to hold the device awkwardly in order to not accidentally trigger a touch. Some devices have deliberately been made with larger bezels in order to accommodate the way people will hold it. Those bezels are serving an important purpose. Imagine trying to play a game in landscape mode with nowhere to put your thumbs. This is a problem that some companies are already addressing.

Some phones with minimal bezel have a display that can detect when your hand is accidentally touching the display. When this happens it will ignore those touches so you can still interact with the device normally. This is great, but it doesn’t completely solve the problem. Your hand may not be triggering incorrect touches, but it’s still blocking something from your view. What good is a big bezel-less device if your hand and fingers are constantly blocking part of the screen?

I’m not ready to jump into the world of no bezels, but I know many of you are. Right now I think bezels serve a very important purpose. Some devices do come with a ridiculous amount of bezel (ahem, HTC One M8), but most devices do a good job of trimming it down. Do you have any of the same concerns that I do? Are you dying to buy a phone with no bezel? Let us know in the poll and comments below!

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Phan Favs: The best podcast app for Android [RESULTS] Thu, 21 Aug 2014 14:09:29 +0000 Phavs Pocketcasts

Phan Favs is a recurring feature that turns the tables and asks you, the readers, about the best apps and games. It’s your turn to drop some knowledge on us! Read more.

Don’t call it a comeback, but podcasts are popular again. Everyone from Joe Rogan to Rachel Maddow has their own podcast, and many popular media outlets do as well (including our very own Mobile Roar Podcast). There are plenty of places where audio-only entertainment comes in handy. You can listen while going for a run, taking a shower, or doing the dishes. We love podcasts, and we know you do too, so what app is the best for listening to them?

Last week we asked you to tell us what app you use for listening to podcasts. We got over 300 votes, but one app was the clear winner. Here are the top 5 podcast apps according to you. Enjoy!

1. Pocketcasts


With over half of the total votes, Pocketcasts was the clear winner. This beautifully designed app simply has it all. You can have certain podcasts auto-download for offline listening, sync subscription and playback progress across devices, send audio to Chromecast to hear it through the TV, set a sleep timer, control playback speed, and so much more. Pocketcasts costs $3.99, but many of you have already gladly paid for it. It’s worth every penny.

2. BeyondPod


BeyondPod has been around on Android for a long time, but it’s still alive and well. You can do most everything you would expect. Play content via streaming or offline, adjust playback speed, Chromecast support, and it integrates with Feedly so you can even read your RSS feeds. The design is pretty standard #HOLOYOLO, but it gets the job done without getting in the way. BeyondPod is available for phones and tablets.

3. DoggCatcher


Like most of the apps on this list, DoggCatcher can do a bevy of things you would expect. You can set certain podcasts to automatically download for offline listening, plus it automatically deletes old episodes to keep your device clean. DoggCatcher is highly configurable so it can behave exactly how you want. The built-in search feature allows you to find feeds from any podcast you can imagine. There is also support for Chromecast for when you want some louder speakers. Doggcatcher is free and $2.99.

4. Podcast Addict

podcast addict

Addicted to listening to podcasts? This is the app for you. The aptly named Podcast Addict app is for hardcore listeners of podcasts. Not only can you manage audio episodes, but also video podcasts, and even YouTube channels, and news feeds. Podcast Addict has a clean Jelly Bean-style design, Chromecast support, and you can even import subscriptions from iTunes. The best part is it’s free

5. Stitcher


Last, but not least, on our list is Stitcher Radio. This podcast service is different from the other ones on this list. Artists have to apply to get their shows on the Stitcher network. Almost any popular podcast that you can think of is available on Stitcher (including ours), but not all. You might ask “why should I even use this app then?” Stitcher has a great design, sync across the web and devices, custom stations, breaking news, and more. Plus it’s free.


Those are your picks! Thanks for sharing your favorite apps with us. Do you agree with your fellow readers? If you think your favorite app should have been on the list make your case for it in the comments. Check out the chart below to see how the voting was spread out among all the apps. We’ll be back again soon with another edition of Phan Favs!


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Moto X+1: Specs & expectations for Motorola’s next flagship Wed, 20 Aug 2014 16:19:13 +0000 Moto X+1

Join the conversation in our Moto X+1 forums!

The Moto X launched nearly a year ago to mild success. It was not a hit like the latest Samsung Galaxy device, but it was very popular among certain crowds. To this day it is still praised for having a very lightweight, nearly stock version of Android, fast updates, compact size, and great build quality. Now it is time for Motorola to try to follow the success of the Moto X with a new flagship device.

We first heard of the Motorola Moto X+1 back in May under the codename “Victara.” Since then there have been many leaks and rumors about this device. Motorola is getting very close to officially announcing this device, likely at their September 4th event alongside a new Moto G,the Moto 360, and some sort of headset. It’s the perfect time to take a look back at everything we know and what we expect to see when it comes to the Moto X+1. In a nutshell, here’s what to expect:

  • Bigger, crisper screen
  • Better battery life
  • Snappier processing
  • Better photos and videos
  • Upgrades all around

Sound like something you would like? Keep reading.

Moto X+1 Specs

Motorola Moto X charging battery DSC00734

The Moto X+1 is shaping up to be a device that we know almost everything about before it launches. There have been numerous leaks and rumors about the specs for this device. Simply put, this will be a big upgrade over the current Moto X.


It all starts with the display. The X+1 display will be 5.2-inches of 1080p glory, which is an improvement from the 4.7-inch 720p display on the original Moto X. This will improve the pixel density from 316 ppi to 424 ppi. More pixels per inch means sharper text and less blur.

Battery Life

Battery life should see an improvement as the battery gets beefed up to 2900 mAh from the previous 2200 mAh. We never heard many complaints about battery life in the original Moto X, which is pretty impressive considering the always listening touchless controls. With a bigger battery we can expect to get even longer life out of the Moto X+1.

Bigger, Faster, Stronger

Motorola has included similar upgrades in almost all areas of the device. The processor has been bumped up to a Snapdragon 801. The camera will get a few extra megapixels on the front and back. We should also see new water resistance features to make the X+1 more durable than the X. All in all this is a completely upgraded version of the Moto X. To recap, here is how the rumored specs of the X+1 compare to the Moto X.

Moto X 1 chart

What We Expect

Moto X gaming performance DSC00728

Now that we’ve talked about the rumors it’s time to share our own expectations. The Moto X was a great device for many reasons, but one of our favorites was the size. Despite having a generous 4.7-inch display it felt much smaller than that in the hand. With the Moto X+1 they are scaling the display up slightly to 5.2-inches, but leaked images show the actual device is not much bigger. We expect Motorola to use this as a selling point once again.

Moto 360 Bundle

Motorola has basically said they will be showing off the Moto 360 smartwatch alongside the new Moto X+1 at their Spetember 4th event. Since both of these devices will be sharing an event we expect to see some sort of connection between them. Our theory is that Motorola, or certain carriers, will offer a Moto 360 + Moto X+1 package deal. For example, if the 360 is $250 and the X+1 is $200 on contract, they could offer both of them for $400. AT&T did something similar with the LG G3 and G Watch.

More Touchless Interaction

One of the main points of interest in the original Moto X was the touchless control and active notifications. On most phones nowadays you can say “OK Google” from any screen and perform a voice command, but the Moto X is still the only device that allows you to do it when the screen is off. The active notifications allow you to see what’s happening without turning on the display. Both of these features are truly great, and we expect to see even more functionality in the Moto X+1.


Android L Developer Preview DSC06022

Android L

Like we mentioned above, we know almost everything about the Moto X+1. That doesn’t mean we won’t see any surprises. A leak from July showed the Moto X+1 running Android L. Obviously it’s very possible that this device was just running the developer preview, or that it was completely fake altogether. It’s still not out of the question that the Moto X+1 could be the first device with Android L.

Google doesn’t own Motorola anymore, but they still have a good relationship. Recent rumors have pointed to the next Nexus being made by Motorola, and the Moto 360 was a headlining device for the Android Wear announcement. And since Motorola devices run nearly a stock version of Android we could see Google giving them first dibs. Don’t count on this happening, but it could be an interesting surprise.

More Moto Maker Materials

Moto Maker will also be a big topic of discussion at the September 4th event. Motorola launched this awesome tool for customizing devices with the Moto X, and we should see more of it with the Moto X+1. This could also be the place where Motorola allows customers to choose what bands and case materials they want for the Moto 360. For the Moto X+1, however, we want to see some new materials. Currently you can get woven and wooden backs, but Motorola could surprise us all by adding Kevlar and metal backs to the mix.

What do you want?Motorola Moto X Boot animation DSC00738

We’ve talked about the rumors, shared some expectations, and even talked about a big surprise. Now it’s your turn. The original Moto X did okay, but it was nowhere near the hit of something like a Galaxy S, or even got the name recognition of a HTC One. Is Motorola even capable of reaching such heights? What would they have to do with the Moto X+1 to get your attention?

Motorola will not have an easy road to travel. Most Android users have already bought the new Galaxy or HTC One M8. Announcing a new flagship this late in the year makes it hard to push devices. Motorola does have one trick up its sleeve: the Moto 360. If bundled attractively with the Moto 360 the X+1 could be a popular device simply by association. Would you be more likely to buy the X+1 if it meant a good deal on the Moto 360? September 4th should be a very exciting day. Join the conversation in our Moto X+1 forums!

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Hands-on: Sharp Aquos Crystal for Sprint [VIDEO] Tue, 19 Aug 2014 22:48:30 +0000 sharp-aquos-crystal-10

We already learned pretty much everything there was to know about the Sharp Aquos Crystal, when the phone was officially announced for Sprint earlier today. But tonight, or own Kevin Krause is reporting live from a Sprint event where he was able to get up close and personal with the phone everyone is talking about.

sharp-aquos-crystal-12 sharp-aquos-crystal-7 sharp-aquos-crystal-11 sharp-aquos-crystal-4 sharp-aquos-crystal-5 sharp-aquos-crystal-10

Touted as having virtually no bezel (despite its unsightly large chin), the Sharp Aquos Crystal is a departure from the standard cookie-cutter smartphone design we’re all used to. Because the top portion of the phone is solid LCD display, there’s not even room for an earpiece. Instead, the entire display acts as an earpiece, allowing users to place their ear anywhere they like for crystal clear calls. Here’s a quick rundown of the specs before we get to our hands-on:

Sharp Aquos Crystal hardware specs

  • 5-inch edge-to-edge HD display
  • Android 4.4.2 KitKat
  • Sprint Spark LTE
  • 8MP rear-facing and 1.2MP front-facing cameras
  • HD Voice
  • Embedded 2,040mAh battery (3-day battery life)
  • 1.2GHz quad-core processor
  • 1.5GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage
  • Harman’s Clari-Fi audio technology

The Sharp Aquos Crystal will be available later this year in either black or white varieties from Sprint for $240 straight up, or $10 a month with Sprint Easy Pay. Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile will also get their versions of the phone, with the black model headed to Virgin and white to Boost — both for only $150+tax. Not bad.

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Android Deals: Save 50% on Samsung tablets, 92% off Android Hacker Bundle, and more! Tue, 19 Aug 2014 21:04:42 +0000 deals

We’re back with more awesome deals for your Android device! This week we have a bunch of accessories on sale, some huge discounts on app packs, and some hilarious movies on the cheap. There is no better feeling than saving money on things you love. We’ve compiled a bunch of great deals from across the web so you can enjoy that feeling all day long.

Hardware & Accessories


Save 36% on the Limefuel Lite USB Battery Pack
With a whopping 1500 mAh battery, this compact battery pack has the power to charge two devices at once. Normally priced at $55, you can get this sweet little gadget for $34.99 from

Save 46% on the WiQiQi Galaxy S5 Charger
Wireless charging is one of the most convenient features of the Samsung Galaxy S5, as long as you have a wireless charging pad to go with it. The WiQiQi pad for the Galaxy S5 usually costs $75, but you can get it for just $39.99 from

Save 13% on the ChargeKey, a key-sized charging cable
Sometimes your phone is dying and all you need is a cord. The ChargeKey is a simple charging cable that is small enough to go on any keychain. All you need is a USB outlet and you can charge your phone with ChargeKey. Get it now for just $24.99 from

Save big on Samsung MicroSD cards from Amazon
A great thing about Samsung devices is they usually include MicroSD card slots. This has become a rarity in modern smartphones. If you’re looking for more storage check out the huge sale Samsung is having on MicroSD cards from 16-64GB at

Save 39% on a factory unlocked LG Nexus 5 16G
The Nexus 5 is still one of the top Android devices available today. It has a great display, nice minimal design, powerful processor, and of course stock Android straight from Google. Normally the unlocked version of the Nexus 5 is $599, but for a limited time you can get it for just $364 from

Save 50% on the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3
If you’re looking for a great Android tablet you should look no further than the Samsung Galaxy Tab line. These device have great displays, and they work similarly to the Samsung Galaxy S phones. You will feel right at home with this tablet. For a limited time you can get the Tab 3 for $150 off the original price for $149.99 from

Save 33% on a Samsung  55-Inch 4K Ultra HD 3D Smart LED TV
Okay, enough with the small stuff. Let’s talk big. 4K is all the rage these days, but getting a 4K TV in your home can be expensive. Amazon has a massive 55-inch Samsung 4K TV on sale for $1000 off the original price. It will still cost you a pretty penny, but it’s considerably cheaper than many 4K TVs. Snag this TV for $1997 from

Apps & Games


Save a whopping 92% on the The Elite Android Hacker Bundle. If you’re looking to learn Android development from the ground up, this is the deal for you. This course contains 74 lectures with over 10 hours of content which cover all of the advanced skills necessary for developing applications for Android. You can get all of this for $39 from

Save 90% on The Amazing Android App Kit. Get your Android app idea off the ground without the expensive and time-consuming design and development phase. These templates are the perfect place to start. With a functional native Java code base, eye-catching artwork, and excellent UX, it’s everything you need to make your app shine in the Play Store. Get it now for $49 from



Music & Video


Sometimes the best thing to do with your Android device is to chill out and enjoy some music, a TV show, or movie. The Play Store and Amazon are constantly putting movies, TV shows, and music up for sale. We’ve compiled some of the best deals to pop up this week. Enjoy!



TV Shows

If you know of any awesome deals that popped up this week tell us about them! Did you take advantage of any of these deals? Let us know in the comments below! Happy saving!

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