Android-Apps

Skyrim Unlocker concept is all the rage in the Thieves Guild

I you've been following the Android Reddit for the last few days, you've probably seen a few concept screens for a lockscreen inspired by Bethesda's RPG magnum opus, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Well, a developer going by "DaveRun" has finally gotten the ball rolling in earnest, developing a concept app that mimics the console and PC game's lock-picking interface almost perfectly. It doesn't actually unlock the phone yet since it's at the proof of concept stage, but Dave's getting a lot of support from like-minded users on his post. You can download the non-Market app and install it on any Android phone.

Winter is coming… so download the Westeros Map from A Game of Thrones

If you're a fantasy junkie and/or an HBO subscriber, odds are pretty good that you've been eagerly awaiting the return of the hit series A Game of Thrones. It's a serial adaptation of George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire novels, and HBO's second season of the show begins on Sunday night. If you haven't read the books (or even if you have) you're probably a little lost when it comes to the expansive geography of the novels. Never fear, viewers: the Westeros Map app from developer Sergey Rekuz is here to help.

Opera Mini updates to version 7 with hardware acceleration

There are a lot of browser options out there for Android, but one from the "old guard" of desktop browser publishers is Opera Mini. This one's been around a while (longer than Android itself, in fact) but recent updates may merit another look from those who have passed over it before. Version 7, released just today,  includes a bevvy of new features such as an improved compression engine, hardware acceleration on certain devices, and support for Ice Cream Sandwich's Android Beam. You can download the updated browser for free in the Google Play Store.

SoulCraft breaks out of the Tegra Zone, available for free on Google Play

We love us some NVIDIA Tegra 3 devices here at Android Community, even if they are a little thin on the ground at the moment. One of the best showpieces for the ASUS Transformer Prime has been SoulCraft, a free action RPG that's limited to the Tegra Zone, where it can show off its high-end graphics. Now developer MobileBits has released the game on the Google Play Store, so anyone with a decently powerful Android device can get in on the action.

BlueStacks App Player for Windows enters beta

One of the more exciting non-hardware innovations to pop on the Android scene last year was BlueStacks, a comprehensive piece of Windows software that allowed Android apps to be downloaded and installed on standard PCs. The program has graduated from alpha and entered its first beta - download it from their website now. (Sorry Mac users - they're working on it.) The update brings a host of new features, better performance and integration - if you were turned off by a low featureset before, you'll definetely want to check it out now.

Instagram opens Android pre-registration page – still doesn’t give a date

If there's on iOS app that's more anticipated by Android users than the long-delayed Temple Run (yes, yes, we know, put down your pitchforks) it's Instagram. The smash hit social photo sharing service is the choice of Twitterati, hipsters and housewives everywhere, but only for those whose devices have a shiny apple on the back. The publisher has been hinting that its Android app is close to release for months now, and has finally opened up a pre-registration page for excited Android users. Alas, there's still no word on when the app will actually become available.

Ad-supported apps drain batteries quickly says study

Want to drain your smartphone's battery really quickly? Run a lot of apps. Want to drain it so fast that you'll be sprinting for the nearest outlet? Run a lot of free, ad-supported apps. This is the conclusion reached by a team of researcher from Purdue University. They found that third-party ads running in free apps downloaded from the Android Market (now the Google Play Store) could account for a whopping 65-75% of the battery drain coming from an app. That isn't to say that ads themselves are draining three-quarters of a smartphone's battery, just that the vast majority of processing power, memory and data consumption for most free apps goes towards serving ads.

Activision plans Call of Duty: Elite tablet app

Call Of Duty's Elite app for Android has more than half a million downloads, but publisher Activision isn't going to rest on their haunches. They told T3 today that the augmented game service would be breaking out of its small-screen shackles and landing on tablets soon. Activision Product Director Noah Heller said that this was no mere upscaling; it'll be a native tablet app on both iOS and Android, presumably bringing the user interface elements from Honeycomb and Ice Cream Sandwich along with it.

The CW Android app means you’ll never miss The Vampire Diaries again

If you're between the ages of 13 and 25, female, American, and at least mildly interested in romance topped with fantasy and science fiction, odds are pretty good that you're a regular viewer of at least one show on The CW. While Hulu's rather antiquated views on mobile content mean you've got to pay to watch The Vampire Diaries or Gossip Girl on Hulu Plus, there's now an alternative: the official CW app. This brand-spankin' new video service brings all of the CW's original content to Android, and you won't even have to dip into your lunch money to watch it.

TED gets an official Android app

If you've watched the web-based social media circles over the last few years, even causally, odds are that you've come across the ubiquitous TED Talks at least once. The Technology, Entertainment and Design conferences host notable speakers from all walks of life to speak on topics they find important, and think others should too. While most of the content is available on YouTube or the TED website, the nonprofit organization has finally released an official Android app that allows users quick and easy access to a huge library of presentations.
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