Wednesday, August 17, 2011

android - the fun Apps

Banish boredom with some of the best games, entertainment and shopping applications known to  man

 Official PlayStation

 Keeping you updated with all things PlayStation, this is a must for fans of Sony's excellent gaming consoles 

 Free Well designed console complement.  

Sony's PlayStation and Android are going to become very good friends in the near future. Sony announced in January 2011 that its upcoming PlayStation Suite wi.l begin offering PSone games to Android users, which should give Android a massive boost when it comes to gaming and make its handsets a proper rival to the iPhone and its infuriatingly decent gaming back catalogue.

When it comes to Sony having an official presence on the Android Market, though, what we have is the Official PlayStation app.

Despite its name, this is less a portal for games and more an access point on your Android handset to things like the Sony PlayStation blog, your friends of the PSN (PlayStation Network) and a constantly updated service that gives you breaking PS related news.

The Official PlayStation app is a joy to use. At 3.1MB it takes up some storage space, but it's worth it if you already own a PS3 or PSP. All you need to sign into the app is your PSN log-in. Once this las been entered the application will remember who you are.

The app's main job is to keep you up to date with what is happening with everything PlayStation. Animated icons guide you through the menu options. You car look up
news on your favourite PlayStation console - PS3, PSP, even PS2 - and you can also see what your friends are doing on the PSN.

Usable, useful app that will prove popular with Sony console gamers, but the spec could be improved.  

There are titbits of information on every game you can buy for your PlayStation, which is a great idea. This is also where the app gets interesting, as each game has a synopsis and even a video trailer.

You can also get information on the non-gaming aspects of the PS3,  such as 4oD and the like. We would have liked to have been able to see live updates of what shows were available from the on-demand services on offer. Although this isn't part of the app at the moment, we are hoping that this function is integrated into it at some point.

The PlayStation app is a joy to use; at 3.1MB it takes up some storage space, but it's worth it if you already own a PS3 or PSP

The PlayStation Official app is a must for those who bow to the sword of Sony but it does feel a little unnecessary. Once there is more integration into the PSN, this will be a winner - especially if it becomes a place for game walkthroughs and the management of your trophies.


Mixzing has Genius in its sights, greatly expanding Android's music and video playback options. 

Free Clever, quick music and video app
Android's basic music player can't hold a candle to iTunes: it plays, it shuffles, and that's it. Mixzing is one of the many pretenders to the throne of iTunes for Android and takes special aim at Genius, which creates playlists automatically from one 3ong,if you don't mind waiting a few minutes while it thinks.

Mixzing claims that's it's not just faster than Genius, it's smarter, too.

On top of this Mood Player function, it's a video player, it recommends new music, it can download artist information and missing album art (but it won't duplicate existing art), and you can edit ID3 music tags. It will also share your music tastes via Facebook.

The interface is superficially simple, enabling you to rate tracks
while it automatically builds a playlist around your selection, but it is frequently more difficult to get the recommendation process up and running than is ideal.

You can build your own playlists and shuffle your collection, like any other media player.

The ad-supported free version of Mixzing has all the functions except a lock-screen widget and tag editor.

The premium features are locked after three days unless you pay. It's not a hefty price tag (£3.09/84.99) by Android music player standards, and more features are planned, like desktop syncing, music streaming, song lyrics, auto song ID and automatic tag correction.

Few developers promise such a roadmap and this potential helps it to score a respectable four.

 MVideo Player

 Quick and user friendly video app with handy IMDB access, but no additional video formats. 

 Free Efficient video player with IMDB access

Android video players are two-a-penny, but MVideo Player has become one of the most popular, thanks to its built-in video browser, subtitle support and IMDB scraper. This lightweight app wi.l download quickly and enables you to browse your video files as thumbnails, with a very readable display of titles useful when video files are often a lot longer if they've also been downloaded rather than just ripped.The browser also lets you edit video titles or delete them from your device.

If foreign language films are your bag or you can't use headphones, there's support for standard subtitle files as well as a browser to help you find subtitle files in the right language.

You can also answer those tricky movie trivia questions by accessing Internet Movie Database info

Talking Tom Cat 

 Utterly pointless voice playback app that may briefly distract children or the very easily pleased. 

Free/£0.66/$l Feline voice fun

If you're the sort of person who likes to hear an animated cat repeat your own words, or you've got to keep a small child amused, then you'll love Talking Tom Cat. You talk into the mic.the little fella cups his ear in your direction and then repeats what you've said, either 30 seconds in the free version or up to a minute in the paid edition.

What's more, you can record his squeaky utterances as a video clip to play back later, upload to YouTube and Facebook, email or MMS.

But Tom is also a pet you can play with, not as demanding as a Tamagotchi, and a lot cuter. Rub his belly to get him purring,or tap
him on the head to knock him over. A glass of milk at his feet can be filled with a tap, and ie delights in lapping it up. He'll jump around more if you poke his head, belly or feet, and if you forget about him, he'll yawn or sneeze to grab his attention but don't grab his tail!

The paid version gives him cymbals, a bird to catch, cake to eat, and a noisy fart and gets rid of the annoying ads.

 Pocket BLU

 User friendly but ultimately slightly disappointing device for accessing Blu-ray extras. 

Free Enjoy Blu-ray extras on your phone.

Blu-ray discs were never meant to be just high-definition replacements of  DVDs, but entertainment portals that gave you access to extra content from the web. adding to the movie watching experience. So far, though,these enhancements have been limited and mainly ignored by consumers. Pocket BLU, however, enables you to access Blu-ray content on your mobile phone, so you can watch extra features from your movies on the go.
Essentially, it is a companion app to the Blu-ray experience, enabling your Android device to communicate directly with your Blu-ray player.

Setup is fairly simple and the app is a passable 3.3MB. The app works by speaking to your Blu-ray player over a Wi-Fi network. Once this is done you have the option of streaming the extra content or downloading it.

Unfortunately the only disc we had at hand to try out the app was Robin Hood. We found the content from this disc was piecemeal - it gave us a virtual remote (we kind of like our real one) and other bits of interactive content.

It wasn't the mind-blowing experience we'd hoped for, but the app was very slick to use. Content is king with apps like this, however, and that's why Pocket BLU walks away with the 'must try harder' badge.

 YouTube 2.1 

 Free Ace update for the web video app

Watching videos on your mobile phone used to be rubbish, as a small screen and pixelated footage combine to ruin the experience. Now phone displays are bigger and resolution has improved dramatically.

Google has decided that its YouTube app needed a decent update. Enter YouTube 2.1: an application remade from the ground up and a revelation to use.

Those who have used the desktop version of YouTube - who hasn't? -wi.l be right at home with this application; its design complements its bigger brother but has a user interface that's intuitive to use even on a small device.

YouTube 2.1 has been designed to mask the limits of a small screen. When you load the app up you are presented with tabbed categories: 'Most Vie wed','Top Rated'and 'Most Discussed'. If you hold your handset in portrait, then not all the tabs fit. All you need to do to get to the hidden tabs, though, is flick the screen to the right. Each video has an image thumbnail and limited information about the clip -including its name, who created it and how many views it has had. Click into the video and you get more
description, alongside a list of related videos and the dreaded comments (word of warning: never click here, unless you want to bleach your eyes afterwards).

Its design complements its bigger brother, but has a UI that's intuitive to use even on a small device

 The video will start playing as soon as you click it. To watch it in its proper screen ratio, just rotate the handset to landscape then touch the video to pause and play.

You can drill further into the app and tweak what videos you want to view through the categories section of the app. There's also a button to upload your own video quickly and efficiently to the site.

 Easy to use and perfectly designed for handset use, this latest version of YouTube is a winner. 

  YouTube 2.1 only works on Android 2.2 at the moment, but it is constantly being updated. One of the latest additions is the fact you can tell if a clip is a music video, as it will have musical notes on the preview screen. It's a simple but great addition to an app that works absolutely brilliantly.

 Free Remote TV recording made simple 

 For the absent-minded television watcher, the Sky+ app is one of the most important applications ever to grace the app store.The reason: it gives you a second chance to record the shows you want, remotely.

It makes sense that Sky would make the application as easy as possible to use. given that eyes on its programmes means money in its pockets, and it has not disappointed with this app's ease of use.

Near-invaluable - if not quite perfect - app that makes organising your TV schedules a breeze.

 The layout is simple but functional. Start the application up - it weighs in at a moderate 2.1 MB - and you will be confronted with large button icons, witch represent the channel choice available. While you can dig through these straight away to find a show you want to watch online, you will have to fiddle into the menu options to set up your Sky account and start recording.

Now this is where we came slightly unstuck. To tap into your account details, you have to go to Info, Your Profile and this will sync your Sky+ box with your handset. But we had some problems due to the fact we were down as a secondary user on the account, so it wouldn't accept our details. Once this was fixed and we became the primary user, then it synced properly. While this isn't a problem with the
app itself, it is something to take on board if the app isn't working properly. Once done, you can remotely record programmes with the touch of a button.

Now there are a couple of caveats to using the application. You have to give yourself at least 30 minutes before the show starts for the app to remotely record it for you. If you try and record things with less than 30

The Sky+ app fills a gap you never actually knew needed filling

minutes spare, then the recording won't take place.

The app is also best for recording the odd show here and there that you forget about, than controlling your entire Sky-i- output. This is because you can't do things like Series Link. If anyone has tried out the iPhone version of the Sky-i- app, the/ may be a little disappointed. Getting around the app, though, is a cinch. This is due to a 'genre' layout that includes HD programmes.

The Sky+ app is a lesson in creating software for your phone that fills a gap you never actually knew needed filling. Once you have it, you'll wonder how you ever managed without the app.

JetVD Lite
Free Neat, no-fee way to enjoy web video
An easy, efficient and surprisingly memory-light way to enjoy free web video on your phone. 

With smartphone screens getting increasingly larger and the use of OLED becoming more and more prevalent, it is now a joy and not an annoyance to watch video content on a small screen. Google knows this and this is why it is going to the effort of putting a YouTube app onto pretty much every single Android phone that's available. But, unless you are using Wi-Fi, streaming video content eats up your 3G data bundle faster than you can say 'Lightsaber Kid'. It's lucky, then, that JetVD Lite makes it easy to download YouTube videcs to your Android device, so that you can watch them at a later date.

The app (which takes jp surprisingly little space on your handset) enables you to search YouTube through its search bar. Searching is a quick process and once you have found the video you want, you have four quality options to choose from.

These range from 3GP and FLV files,to MP4 and HD at 720p quality.

Once you choose your poison, you can download the clip. Well you can, as long as you download the full version of JetVD, which at the time of going to press was free.

JetVD Lite works like a charm. We just hope that Google turns a blind eye to the app, as similar applications have disappeared from the Market before.

An Exciting Year

   £2.51/$4.06 Baffling task-based app 
There's a clever sci-fi short story where warring, but secretive, artificial intelligences use humans as their pawns by sending them tasks by text and email. The reward -sometimes the tasks are to your benefit, or another another follower is doing something to help you.

  This app is the follow up  to 'An Interesting Year', and gives you a different task to perform eaci day, but we don't think there's any grand plan to: 'Use a whole bottle of shower gel today' or 'Yell at a total stranger'. But what do we know?

It's supposed to lighten up your drab existence, but if you're lucky you might just use it to get av/ay with a bizarre crime, find out how t feels to get punched by a stranger or set yourself free from the tyranny of shower gel.Cautioned, bruised and very, very smelly.

If you're still keen, you'll have to track this down online because its not on the Android Marketplace, then download and install it as a third party app via USB. The keys to existence may await. Or a really comfy new jacket with straps that fasten very tight, and a new bedroom with padded walls.


 Interesting and flexible, although ultimately rather basic music player/multimedia tool. 

Free Versatile music player

The self-confessed 'Cure for iPhone Envy' is a bid to give Android phones the same desktop-to-phone ecosystem you get in the world of Apple. Far from being just a music sync and management tool, it wants to takeover all your media needs on your phone and PC.

If you're already using iTunes or Windows Media Player, the desktop software will import your playlists, and update them as they change if you can on using other software.

You can also create and edit your own playlists in DoubleTwist. Plug in your phone and sync tunes, music and video back and forth - by USB, Wi-Fi or even a remote 3G connection. There's also an increasing music and video capture aspect to DoubleTwist. It won't
monitor iTunes' podcast folder or import the RSS feeds because there's a built-in podcast manager, though it's not as good at searching out podcasts as it should be.

DoubleTwist Desktop also hosts an Amazon music store, and lets you stream music files to friends, using links you can email, and it can download videos from YouTube in the FL V format, that should play on your phone. It will also convert other videos to phone-friendly formats.

As a desktop music player, it's actually pretty basic, with no shuffle or automatic playlist generator, and that's reflected in the app, which lags far behind some other, comparable players out there.

Overall, both are just a little too unstable for our liking, as well, but it's a good effort.

 Laputa Reader


  £1.85/52.99 Beautifully designed e-reader
It is only recently that big name ebook stores have found their way on to the Android Market. Before the likes of Amazon and its Kindle app, the variety of ebook stores on offer were fly by night affairs that were walking a very thin legal line.

While most of these have made their way up to the big digital hub in the sky, Laputa has clung on, offering a mountain of out-of-copyright content and some premium books free of charge.

Some dubious legalities aside, this Is a very slick-looking app
that makes reading books on your Android device a joy. Laputa takes seconds to download but an age to put down.

Open up the app and you are shewn a blank bookshelf, click on the library link and you are whisked off to the Laputa library which offers hundreds of books in ebook format for free and there's the ability to save them to your phone's SD card.

Of the ebooks we tried (Paradise Lost from the Classics section and The Dark Tower) text was big enough to read and the colour of the background made everything easy on the eye.

Be warned though, your Android phone doesn't use e-ink so prolonged reading on the shiny device may strain the eyes, but for those that want to read a book in bite-seized chunks, Laputa is the perfect pocket-sized answer.'"J
Puts a massive virtual library at your fingertips, but the absence of e-Ink is a minus for bookworms.

 BBC iPlayer
  Free Top player hobbled by poor mobility
The BBC's excellent iPlayer has revolutionised the way many of us consume TV, so its (UK only) arrival as a, free app on Android ought to be a time for joyous celebration. Even if the use of Android 2.2 doesn't 'make the unmissable missable' on your device, it's quickly apparent that this app doesn't work over a data connection, only Wi-Fi, which severely limits its use to houses and offices - both places where you'll likely to either have a PC, laptop or set-box that can access a near-identical service. Nor can programmes be downloaded to watch on the go, unl ke the PC or Mac user interfaces.

It's this problem that makes the iPlayer a bit of a lame duck, which is a shame because in terms of its design and function, it's a winner.

The menus retain the same features as the website, adding swipe screens and making searching a cinch. Content is divided up between 'Featured', Most popular' and 'For you', the latter of which changes according to what you watch. We viewed Come Fly with Me, Panorama and Hustle, and it was soon recommending to use similar fare such as BBC documentaries, Live at the Apollo and News night.
Able to play as a preview in a window or full screen (something that really shows-off a big screen device), scanning back and forwards through the programme is slick, as is the interface in general.

There's a bit more of a pause when watching live TV, which can't be   rewound as there's no progress bar along the bottom.  

This app doesn't work over a data connection, only Wi-Fi, which severely limits its use

Best of all are the sharing features. Perform a long press on any content on any page, and up pops a choice - add to Favourites, or share (via email or social media). Mark as a favourite and that programme is starred; we starred the third episode of Outcasts, and the apo put the previous two shows into our folder. It also tells you how long you've got until each expires.

When listening to radio the screen must be on, which is annoying, but not as much as the inability to download content.
A potentially brilliant app that is unfortunately handicapped by a general lack of mobility.


Free Must-have music streaming app  

Spotify landed on the Android Market back in 2010 and promptly filled an iTunes-shaped hole for Android users.

Before Spotify, Android was hobbled with the lack of atruly revolutionary music player. But the arrival of the music-streaming app has given Google-based handsets a real lease of life music-wise.

To run the Spotify app on your Android phone you'll need to subscribe to Spotify Premium.This is the dcwnside to the app, as it will only work if you fork out £9.99 ($16.19) a month.

To be honest, any self-respecting muso should have a Spoti-V account already as it offers around 4 million tracks every month, without any adverts or other such limitations and it means you can also stream content to other devices, like Sonos and the Logitech Squeezebox.

We had no problems downloading the app and synching it to our account. Being that it is only 1.7MB in size, it is not likely to bother your phone's storage, either.

Layout-wise, it is very similar to the desktop version of the service. There are nice additions like the What's New tab. This is essentially the home screen, listing 15 of the latest releases for you to listen to. Searching works brilliantly and any changes you make to playlists will
be carried over to the desktop variant of the service.

There are a few problems: the artist pop uptakes up most of the screen when you access it and you can only view the app in portrait  mode, but there really isn't much more to complain about.

You'll need to make sure your contract allows a lot of web use as you will be streaming a lot of music

If your Android handset has a 3.5mm jack,then Spotify will work like a charm for you, while the inclusion of off line playlists means that you can store music on your phone when streaming isn't going to be possible.

You will need to make sure your phone contract allows a lot of web use as you will be streaming a lot of music to the handset.This is ckay if you are using Wi-Fi, but on the go it will be using up 3G bandwidth and this could get pricey.

Spotify on the Android is simply a must-have. The only reason it lacks a five-star rating is that it costs a bit to subscribe - we would happily listen to adverts if It meant we got the music for free.


The once-excellent player is now hampered by glitchy playback and some compatibility issues.
Free Disappointing media streamer
There area number of app son the Android Market that will enable you to stream TV and radio content. There is a bit of problem due to the fact the legalities of doing this are a little unclear. So much so that syndication problems have lead to the removal of iPlayer on what was was of our favourite streaming apps, myPlayer. While this hampers what wa3 a very good app, there are still a number of channels you can get through myPlayer, which means TV watching on your Android handset.

The channel list is broken down by country: you can select content from the likes of the UK, Argentina, Denmark and even India. Once you have chosen yojr feed, then this gets broken down again into individual channels.

We found that streaming the channels was something of a challenge since the new update that took away iPlayer.

The app didn't work on an Android 2.2 device at all, and when we did get streamed content it was littered with glitches.

We're hoping that the folks behind myPlayer are working on a solution, as the application is currently a pale imitation of its former self - which is a real shame, as the app was up there with the likes of SlingPlayer for offering TV content on your phone.


 Bare bones (but still remarkably feature-filled) version of the popular music identification app. 

Free Name that tune
In ten years, Shazam has turned from a gimmick into an extremely successful business.The fundamentals of the service still remain - it will tell you what song is playing in a matter of seconds - but There is now a lot more features that spin from this.

Much to the annoyance of pub quiz masters everywhere, Shazam is now available for free on Android and sports far more functions than

ever before. Not only can you use the app to find music - this is done by loading the app up, holding it near the song in question and playing :he waiting game - but you can also buy the track or find out more straight from the app. Once you've bought the song, you can store it on your handset to listen to later.

The app (which is 1.1 MB in size) also now lets you link up to any music videos on YouTube as well and it can be used with every single Android handset, which is a bonus - considering the amount of versions of Android there are on the market now.

So if you use it to cheat at your local pub quiz, to discover new music or to find out what the tune is in an advert, this app is essential. If you want a little bit more then there is always the paid-for version, Shazam Encore, for £2.99/$4.85.


Free Simple, addictive colour game

Sounding like something painful your doctor should probably look at, Coloroids is what happens when you've run your battery down playing this annoyingly addictive game. The object is to touch squares, changing their colour until the whole screen is one hue.

The early levels are easy, but as you progress the squares get smaller and rapidly increase in number, so it's tough to get the combinations, but you're compelled to go on. Rotating blocks make the higher levels tru.y fiendish and more challenges are expected in future upgrades. If you've lost time to Tetris or Bejeweled, then this will be a must-download to fill up those idle minutes.

Amazon MP3

Free User-friendly tunes library
Song downloads are a massively lucrative market, but one that is dominated by Apple's iTunes.

The Android Market has nothing music-wise on this scale, but a number of retailers offer similar, cheaper services.

Amazon MP3 is one of the most well known and features an easy to use interface. We would recommend downloading through a Wi-Fi connection, but the download process is speedy enough. The only problem is that you will need a lot of memory to store your songs. The app, however, weighs in at just 648KB.

As an app on its own, Amazon MP3 is one of the easiest to use out there.


Free Find your perfect wallpaper
Personalisation is the key to making your phone your own.

The Android Market is full of apps with myriad background designs, but not many are free.

Backgrounds is well laid out with all your options at the top of the screen. These include images which are popular, the most recent on offer and a whole load of categories to delve into. If you don't fancy any cf these, you can just flick through the pictures using the arrow keys until you find a decent one. You can also use the pictures as icons for your contacts and set a load as favourites so you don't have to do crazy searches every time you load the app up.

Mabilo Ringtones


Free Fantastic free ringtone service Annoy an entire train carriage with the latest R&B tunes for absolutely nothing with Mabilo Ringtones. Install the app and you're ready to download a fresh ringtone, from a database of thousands. Ringtones are split into categories, which can be sorted by number of views or overall rating, and you can search for a specific song or comedy clip. All tones can be previewed, so you know exactly what you're getting.

The current selection is impressive and the database is constantly expanding as users upload their own ringtones. This is an excellent, free service for ringtone fiends.


£3/$3 Formerly free music player  

Music fans looking for apps on the Android platform don't have a massive choice - there's no iTunos, but is one of the more popular options. At least it was until 15 February, when became a subscription service for Android devices. This will be hard to swallow for some, especially as Windows 7 mobile users don't incur the charge.

The company has tried to soften the blow to -ans by comparing its monthly fee (£3 in the UK and $3 in the US) to 'the cost of a fancy coffee' and stressing you get to listen to radio 'across all platforms, on all your devices, and withcut commercial interruptions'. Fair enough, but because of its sometimes flaky operation you may not feel it's worth the bother.

On the positive side, it's not hard to get started. Just enter your Last, fm account login details, input the name of an artist or a tag and Last, fm will start streaming recommended music to you.


The concept is still sound, but having to pay for what can be a glitchy app will hardly increase its appeal.

This is where we ran into some difficulties. Streaming tracks via 3G often resulted in interminable loading times, meaning it hardly matches the plug-and-play experience of a dedicated MP3
player. We also had to reload the app somet mes due to crashes. Access over Wi-Fi was far superior, however.

We'd also only recommend using if you have an unlimited data package. It's great that the app can run in the background, enabling you

Recommendations turn up some great tracks that you'd have never thought of listening to

to listen to music while using your phone for something else. If you get charged for data you're better off sticking with your MP3 player.

Nor are you likely to end up skipping tracks quite as frequently. Last.frn's recommendations do turn up great tracks you'd have never thought of listening to, but it can result n some strange choices. does have some neat features (direct purchase from Amazon's MP3 store and 'scrobbling' of music based on the tracks you play from your phone's media library), but its buggy operation, overwhelming interface and monthly fee make it hard to rate highly.


Sim pie to use, but the inability to buy tunes through your phone is a frustrating omission.

Free Limited music player

 This is the mobile end of the company's digital rights management-free music download service and requires no subscription, but sells albums from £3.99-£7.99 ($5-$6.99). In the UK and US,7digital has deals with EMI, Sony, Universal and Warner to sell tracks, as well as running the Indiestore, which allows independent record labels to set up their own online music stores. Although it doesn't have the scope of iTunes, it's cheaper and growing.
The application enables you to access a digital locker from which you can download pre-purchased tracks at up to 320kbps, alongside a music player so that you can listen to them. If you don't have an account you can quickly sign up, but you will still. need to have a PC or Mac to be able to buy tracks.

The simple interface lets you browse, download and play tunes easily, selecting either by artist, album or song, although there's no playlisting. Pleasingly, a Spotify-style streaming option is planned for the future for Android devices that are low on storage.

That will be welcome, but until you can also buy tracks through your phone, and the music player gets some more exciting features, this is only half the app it should be.

  Music Ringtone

    Poor quality and not terribly well thought-through search facility for free ringtone tunes.

Free Disappointing MP3 search app

This app is an MP3 search engine for Android.The premise is that you can find freely available songs that you can then use as Ringtones and even assign them to individual contacts. There's no clever magic happening here, however; Music Ringtone simply searches free music on public domain websites.

Of course, nothing is ever truly free and as well as - fairly unobtrusive - adverts in the app itself, you get a pop-up message asking you to download additional application produced by the same vendor when you first start out.

While it's not the best user interface in the world, Android's flexibility makes it fairly usable and once you've searched for an app (which is pretty slow) you can preview it or download it right. However, while we didn't have any
problems previewing, we certainly encountered more downloading problems than we'd expect. Often MP3 tracks simply refused to download. The download itself would be marked 'pending', then replaced by an error message stating 'maximum retries reached'.

This was quite frustrating as it took U3 a while to find something that actually worked. Not exactly a great user experience, then, although such free to use MP3 sites are notoriously volatile when it comes to download reliability.

The quality of MP3s is also somewhat questionable and there's certainly nothing by artists you'll knew well. Providing you can get past its problems, we guess Music Ringtone will enable you to assign that special ringtone you want. But if you've no desire to fiddle around, it's probably best avoided.

Daily Horoscope

Free Efficient mumbo-jumbo app 

This self-styled 'most popular horoscope app on Android' is basic but effective. The loading screen enables you to select your star sign, while you can also access other features via a side panel, notably your Chinese horoscope for 2011 and Druid signs, too.

For the Chinese signs, there's a calculator so you can see which animal your birth date falls under. There's a daily prediction as well as a paragraph about your sign's main traits. Another feature enables you to select two star signs and check for compatibility. You can even post your horoscope to Facebook or send it in an email or text for others to peruse.

Funny Ringtones

Free 'Funny' might be pushing it
This app provides ringtones that vary from the mildly amusing to the ridiculous. These include farts, a military horn and a baby crying, plus Mario-style gaming sounds and cartoon noises including (possibly fake versions of) Woody Woodpecker and Tweety Pie.

There's plenty of choice and you con press each one once to preview it, or hold it down with a long press to bring up a dialogue box.

The main drawback with the app is that, for something that's relatively one-dimensional, it has a 3.8MB footprint. The version we tried also crashed out on us a couple of times when trying to set ringtones.


 Reasonably useful irrage manipulation, but not flexible enough to perform any serious photo editing. 

Free Slightly limited photo tweaking tool  

his 905k application can apply effects to your digital photos. It's hardly a photo editing tool as described on the application's Android Market page, but then it also describes it as a 'fun filled experience'.

While that's also overstating it a little, there are some good little effects you can apply. Most of them are art-related, including 'art painting' and a Mona Lisa effect. You can also make your photo into a fake billboard as well as a newspaper page and US dollar.

The app can accept a new photo (you can take it within the app) or just choose it from your gallery, zoom in on it as well as email it or post to a social network that you have an app for. It's all very easy to use, if simplistic and it is one of the better photo effects apps for Android (not least because it's free and many others aren't). It could, no doubt, be improved, though, and a simple cropping tool would be a good way to go about it. Photo correction is probably going a bit too far, but being able tc refine your photos a bit would enhance its appeal.

Voodoo Control

Free Clever audio tweaking

 Voodoo Control is for the Samsung Galaxy S only. And it isn't a game about raising armies of the dead to overthrow the island of Haiti before embarking on campaign to overrun Cuba, the Bahamas and ultimately the United States (imagine The Walking Dead meets Risk), although that would be good too - DM us if you're interested, Mr Developer! No, this an audio improvement tool for your smartphone. The technology within Voodoo
Control is pretty nifty: by tweaking the handset's audio at processor level with some sprightly new code, you'll be able to unleash the true volume capabilities of your phone's headphone amplifier. Proceed with caution as this lifts ail preset volume limits, and could melt ear wax if abused. Our advice is set the analogue output volume at a moderate level, and don't get carried away. There are other sonic benefits from the installation. Vocal clarity seems to improve a tad and you can boost the bass response from the integrated FM radio.

The app itself is tiny - just 254k - and the control screens are as simple to use as any standard part of the Galaxy S menu. If you want to make your mobile really loud and clear, this is worth downloading. 

Aldiko Book Reader

Excellent reader that every Android user with even a passing interest h books should own.


£1.86/$2.99 Excellent ebook reader app 

Book reader apps aren't uncommon, so for one to merit special attention it has to be a winner. Aldiko may be pitted against one of the biggest names in the business (Amazon's formidable Kindle), Out - dare we say it - this is considerably better. It's available as a free download or the Premium paid for version here.

Aldiko doesn't insist you register or sign in to anything before you can use the thing.
Ebooks are download able through the Aldiko store. This includes the user submit:ed tat found in similar free ebook readers, as well as a great number of classics including our commuter recommendations, Frankenstein and Dracula.

Of course, at a price (ranging from £1/$1.61 to more than £20/$32 for some) bestsellers and more ebooks become available for download. Books are accessed easily with just a single click from the bookshelf homepage, which also happens to look rather nice.

Another killer feature of this app is the ability to import your own documents and PDF files to organise, tag and view in the reader. It's difficult to find fault with this nifty, good-looking download. If only it ran a bit faster, it'd be close to perfect. If you read (of course you do) you should be using this,

Urban Dictionary

 Amusing satirical guide to the the way the young people talk today; not for the easily offended. 

Free  Modern yoof speak, innit
Urban Dictionary is a brilliant piece of satire on the web.
The site acts as if it is a real dictionary, but instead of official words it gives you definitions of usually vacuous, modern slang.

Urban Dictionary clearly states on its Android Market section that if you get easily offended, then you probably shouldn't download the app. And it's right -:he dictionary and its definitions are at times pretty filthy and certainly for grown-up eyes only. But if you are an adult, then the measly 212k size of the app will do nothing to your storage. Layout-wise,
you can view the app through a widget on your home screen,you can share the definitions that you find most entertaining.

You can also have a word randomly generated and then sent to you every day - which is worth a snigger or two.

While the content of Urban Dictionary will bring tears to your eyes, the app is occasionally buggy. The widget sometimes disappeared from out phone altogether and the ability od its search engine is less than impressive.

Saying that, if you have an desire to know what Love (it's nature's way into tricking us to reproduce) or Xmax (an extreme version of Christmas) is, then this is the app for you. Just don't expect to find the Queens English inside.   

How to Tie a Tie

Free Tie yourself up in knots
How to Tie a Tie shows you how to do just that through simple step-by-step instructions and illustrated colour diagrams. It provides instructions for 13 different knots, which is more than generous.

We love the clarity of the instructional diagrams, which are made delightfully simple to follow thanks to close up, artful illustrations. Each tutorial is easily accessed through a single menu, toe.

Why else do we love How to Tie a Tie? It's just 1.6MB and is quick to download and to run. This is an app that does its job very simply and efficiently, but isn't one you'll use everyday. Then again, as a free, small app it's well worth a download.    

Music Mate

Free Useful music streamer

MP3 streamers are always useful, not to mention common. Music Mate is a very simply navigated one of dubious morality. It searches for whatever you want across the net and enables you to both listen via a stream and download to keep.

The app claims to find songs in the public domain, but search results are a little more comprehensive than that. Its reach is global and the quality of the streams is good, which means no long buffering waits for a good connection. It's frustrating that it doesn't allow for music browsing while a track is being streamed but we doubt this will put people off.   

 Lego   Instructions  

Free Blocks away  
We used to while away many happy hours as kids building fortresses out of our Lego, tracking down the elusive six-long block and trying to find the Lego man's hand - but that was because the instructions were thrown out with the wrapping paper on Boxing Day. Lego Instructions gives us a chance to construct something that isn't just a box and boasts a slew of projects that include Hen & Chicken, Blue Bus and Sub-sea camera, whatever they are.

 The instructions are straightforward
and well done - although the drawings are not going to win any awards - but the chief problem is that you actually need to have specific pieces of Lego to put together some of the more complex building projects.

Still, there's something immensely childishly satisfying about constructing a Star Destroyer from scratch and then making 'pew pew' sounds as you fly it over your head.

It should also be pointed out that this is not an official Lego product which could feasibly lead to problems for the developers further down the (yellow brick) road.

 Immensely entertaining constriction app that will appeal to kids and grown-ups alike. 

But, with a price tag of nothing you can't really grumble too hard as you allow your inner child to steal the bricks from your real child's hards and build a Thunder Blazer.

Marvel Superheroes

 Comprehensive but dull and largely pointless database only likely to appeal to diehard fans. 

£0.92/$1.50 Not much to marvel at here
Ever been desperate to find out which comic Spiderman first appeared in when you have no phone signal, or find out what a secret identity is? Us neither - but this is what the strange Marvel Superheroes app offers.

Essentially just a bloated list of comic book jargon, Marvel characters and k t with no evidence of a sense of humor or definable purpose, it is difficult to make any kind of recommendation for the majority of people.

Each major character and piece of kit has a biography, but don't expect well written (or even read through) prose, and considering how simple the app is, the fact that several characters appear to be entirely missing is fairly unforgivable.

If you are a conic fan who just absolutely has to have a load of simple information to hand then
perhaps this has more appeal, but you'd probably be better off waiting until you have a modicum of phone signal and checking out Wikipedia or the Marvel website. 

Free Comprehensive comic reader 

This comic reader app enables quick access to a host of free and paid-for comics from some of the biggest names in the business.These include the mighty Marvel - home to the likes of Spiderrnan, Ironman and the X-Men - Archie and IDW.

The breadth of content obviously makes this a fine app for those who love their comics and there's a host of free stuff to get your teeth into. There are niggles (small text, for example) But, if you are in the market for a nicely made, well-thought cut comic reader then should certainly be on your Android -especially considering the sheer v/eight of material available.


Scott Pilgrim

£3.49/$5.60 Pilgrim's progress 

With Edgar Wright's fantastic hit movie still fresh in our minds, the Scott Pilgrim comic enables us to see the genius source material of a refreshing and critically acclaimed comic book series. With a guitar riff playing over the opening panel following an 'extreme loading action' message, it is clear that this digital version is cut from the same cloth as the original comic, which is fun and warm (and black and white).

If you haven't read Scott Pilgrim's adventures this is well worth a look, especially if you enjoyed the movie. However, we co have some serious reservations about the high price.  


The Adventures of Simon Pegg

 Amusing, ever so slightly nerdy app that will doubtless delight Pegg's growing army of devotees. 

£1.79/$2 Geeky fun from the Spaced man  

Simon Pegg, the man behind seminal UK TV show Spaced, zomromcom Shaun of the Dead and, er, Paul, is a confirmed geek, so It comes as little surprise that he has turned his astute hand to a digital comic. Funny, nerdy and clever in equal measure, The Adventures of Simon Pegg deals with the eponymous hero and his robotic manservant Canterbury -fuelled by a huge supply of fizzy drink and (occasionally wince-worthy) jokes.

Like most of Pegg's stuff, some of the more puerile humour is a bit wide of the mark, but for British comic fans in particular there is great pleasure to be had in his assured grasp of the pop-culture zeitgeist and his love of everything from Star Wars to Superman.  

 There are times when the jokes appear to have been liberated straight out of Austin Powers, and this is an adult offering so there's plenty of swearing and tie odd bit of PG sex.

Price wise, this ducks in at a very reasonable £1.79, and the digital extras alone make this an essential purchase for the comic fan - with some nice animations keeping things feeling dynamic.


 Droid Comic Viewer

Free Unfortunately flawed reader

Droid Comic Viewer is technically brilliant. 
 It can view CBZ/ZIP, ACV, CBR/RAR (beta), JPEG, PNG and BMP formats, so if a comic has been ported this way, then you can see it on your phone.

Now, if you do manage to find comics using these file formats - a sneaky Google search should show you the way then you v/ill find that they look great on a 4in (or thereabouts) screen. The problem is that if you load this up on to a tablet then you will still see a 4in screen of the comic.

We're really hoping that this will be changed in upcoming updates -but at the moment,this is a major problem with the app.


Hates Zombies

Free The redeemer versus the undead  

Forget Shaun of the Dead, if you want to take out zombies, Jesus is your man. At least, that's the thinking of this series of horror comics where, instead of turning the other cheek, the son of God comes back down to earth to give the undead a good thrashing.

Made up of 87 screens, these humorous stories ore illustrated by a variety of different artists and, the quality of them varies wildly and the story telling can be a bit choppy from time to time. Having said that, it's difficult to be too critical of an app that costs nothing, while the idea of the main man coming down to give zombies a slap is hugely amusing.

Calvin and Hobbes

Free Delightful daily cartoon strip 
Calvin And Hobbes is loved by both adults and children alike.

The premise is pitch perfect: little boy (Calvin) explores the real world through fantasy with his real/ toy tiger (Hobbes).The adventures the pair get up to are always Intriguing, and at times laugh out loud.

It's just 180k in size, but what you get out of this is a daily comic strip to view. Strips rarely exceed four panels, so it's a joy to read them on an Android smartphone. If the comics look a little small for you, then you can zoom into them to view them that little bit better.

It is rather slow to load, and ads are too easy to press, but, it is a great way to liven up a dull journey.



Free Substantial comic store
Comics boasts the largest digital comic store on the Android Market. If we are being honest about proceedings, it is also one of the only legitimate comic readers on the market, but it won't gobble up much of your memory, weighing in at 1.9MB.

DC Comics, Image and Archie have all signed up to offer content and the use of Smart View technology means that each comic is a joy to read through the app. There are around 300 comics that are free to view, but for the hardcore you will have to pay a couple of quid to view the new
Superman story.
Because the app is free, this Is no bad thing.


  The Cat in the Hat

  Guaranteed to delight parents and enchant kids, this timeless strip is well worth the asking price.

£1.84/$2.99 Ace Dr Seuss strip  

Dr Seuss's classic story of a hat-fancying feline is one of those timeless tales that work in just about any medium (except as a Mike Myers live action movie) so it's great to see this digital book land on the Android Market with a host of interactive goodies.  If you have a toddler or two knocking about the place then this app can't come ™ more highly recommended.

Based around high-quality original illustrations, which zoom out to reveal the page, you can either I read the words yourself or have them read to you by the narrator. There's also some great background audio (for instance, doors opening and rain) and a satisfying page turn and accompanying sound when you flick to the next part of the story.

You can also touch the characters or items on the screen and the app will tell you what they are. It's a really cool interactive tool.

Oceanhouse Media is also serving up a host of other classic Dr. Seuss tales like The Grinch Who Stole Christmas and One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish. They're all great if you're on a journey with the young 'uns and you're all out of books, and probably just as much fun for you as they will be for:he kids.

The app is a pretty sizable download, which can be moved to the SD card post download.


Vintage Comics Droid

 Free Great yesteryear comic reader  

Vintage Comics Droid offers a library of more than 3,000, publicly available graphic novels, downloadable to your handset. There's nothing from DC and Marvel, though, so don't expect any Spider-Man or Batman comics to come your way gratis.

The comics are all beautifully reproduced in their native form, which means you have to scan around the page or zoom in and out to follow the action. The app itself just 2MB, comic files average about 20-25MB, so make sure you use Wi-Fi to download or you're on an unlimited plan before splurging. All in all this is a fantastic free app for both novices and serious comic fans alike. 


Disney Wallpapers

Free Cute HD House of Mouse pics
 There are so many Disney wallpaper apps you could decorate your v/hole house, let alone your phone. Appzilla's brings Walt's all-stars to your handset's background with a massive array of wallpapers from Aladdin to Winnie the Pooh with a fair few Mickey and Donalds in between.

In most cases the resolutions of the photos are good, but some can be a bit grainy. The unofficial, ad-driven app's best feature, however, is an automatic wallpaper changer that gives you a new display every minute. It's a neat little app that is probably a little too girly for some, but nice enough for Android princesses out there.   

 Kids  Shape Puzzle

£1.84/$2.99 Pretty shape teaser

Here's an app for your preschool kiddies to help them learn about shapes through fun puzzles. The idea here is to fit the coloured blocks into the correct slots to form the full picture. Once you get them right, the picture reveals itself and the pre-school ankle biter gets a little congratulatory cheer and an explanation as to what the item is.

The graphics, in the main, are great though and this a decent, simple learning tool that they should find challenging enough to keep them interested; the catch is that you have to be relatively precise. It isn't cheap, so you might want to try the lite version, which has 20 free puzzles.

Kids Connect the Dots

£1.84/$2.99 Simple dotty fun   

Join the dots: best game ever! Well if you're six that is. You all know the premise; complete a shape by drawing straight lines from one dot to another, from the lower numbers to the higher.The games are obviously very simple and you can't go wrong (literally, you can't go wrong, it'll only join correct dots) when putting the puzzle together. Helpfully, the app counts along the numbers as you hit them, so there's plenty of interaction.

Like Kids Shape Puzzle, from the same stable, there are 20 graphically-gorgeous puzzles to solve in the lite version before you have to splash out on the full version.Try it and see what the kids think before upgrading.


Portal Soundboard

Free Noises to delight retro game fans

Portal Soundboard is for diehard fans of the classic PC game. The app is a little hefty at 4.1 MB, but what you get for this is the option of different sounds from different characters, a music and cake recipe (seriously) and the ability to save any sound or music as a ringtone.

The best thing about this soundboard is that the sounds are very clear. Sometimes you get sounds that sound like they have been recorded on a transistor radio in the Seventies - but this isn't the case with the Portal Soundboard.
This app isn't going to win awards for innovation but Portal lovers will, well, love it.


Tripping Fest

£1.23/$2.00 Pseudo-druggy doodling  

This app is part-finger-paint-part-Spirograph. Your touchscreen presses produce some neat geometric mirrors based on how broad your strokes are. According to the developers, specialities include: 'optical Illusions, 3D drawings, symmetry-based drawing, flexible colouring, general purpose drawing and craziness'.

You can tailor colours and the thickness of your brush to your own ends and there are limitless options here, such as the kind of mirror you use. What you usually end up with is a semi-attractive random pattern.

It's a fun app that has a little bit more to offer than, say, Kids Paint Free or Magic Marker. 

Audiogalaxy Music
     Free Superb music streamer

 Audiogalaxy is one of those few brilliant apps where you think, 'how on earth can this be free? Surely there must be some kind of catch?' Apparently not.

This app enables you to stream your entire desktop digital music collection to your Android phone without taking up any of that sacred SD card space.

First of all you need to register for a free account at, 9 which will then detect all of your music files on your I hard drive. Once you've downloaded . the app and logged

in using your account, all of your music will then appear for seamless streaming on your phone over either 3G or Wi-Fi.

 Excellent value app that defies expectation by providing an absolutely super service for free. 

After this breathtakingly easy set-up, the user experience is just as good. All of your artists will be listed, cover art and all, for you to instantly start playing. It'll even know what you've recently played on iTunes.

If you so desire you can even share your song choices with ethers on Facebook and Twitter.

If you keep your computer switched on, and stay logged into your Audiogalaxy account it gives you access to your music wherever you roam, but beware if you're on a limited data plan because it could kill you. If you're on an unlimited 3G data plan this is a serious contender for best music application on Android. Truly excellent.


Free   Exemplary guitar tab portal
The internet used to be awash with free guitar tablature for budding guitarists to try to play their favourite songs.This was upended recently, with new rulings that meant the recreation of tabs was table to copyright.

We're not sure how legit this app is, but the content is brilliant, offering many a tab for some of the best songs cut there.The app is a mere 125k but you have to remember that this is a portal to web content. The content, though, is superb and each page is formatted perfectly for your smartphone, Bass tabs are an added bonus.

Tabular does exactly what you want it to and brilliantly. 

Ultimate Guitar Tabs

 £1.84/52.99 Exhaustive axe app
This is one of the more polished apps on the Android Market, and a definite boon to those who play the guitar. The amount of content is worth the price alone: there are around 300,000 tabs for you to try and each can be found by tapping its name into the simple search engine.

If you like one of the tabs on offer, then you can add this to your favourites on the app. You can also view chords and the app sorts licks into easy, medium or advanced.

A top 100 tabs section of the app also enables you to look at guitar tablature, bass, chords and drums.

If you are a budding musician, the Ultimate Guitar Tabs could well become your best friend. 

SlingPlayer Mobile

 Undeniably expensive, but surprisingly easy to set up and use and the content streaming is excellent. 

£18.71/$30 Pricey, but clever streaming 

TV streaming came of age when Sling Media and Sling Player software were launched in 2006. At the time, the idea that you could stream your media to any device was something of a pipe dream. Sure you could stream it to a laptop or computer screen, but streaming and then wanting to watch something on a mobile phone was pretty much out of the question.  

Skip five years and SlingPlayer pinging content over to your phone to watch is something most would do if the/ had the tools. Lucky, then the only tool you need for this, other than a SlingBox, is this app.

Costing a shade under £20 ($30), the application has been eagerly awaited for a longtime by Android users. Windows Mobile, Blackberry, Symbian and Palm users (and even those slaves to Apple and its iPhone)
have been able to use SlingPlayer for a while now, watching their TV content on their mobile device without any problems, but Android users have had to wait.

So, has it been worth the wait and what do you get for your money? Simplicity is the key. Setup is a cinch, although the app is a hefty 6.5MB - it took us a mere minute to be greeted by a TV display and SlingPlayer's feature buttons.They include a DVR function, D-Pad, keypad and a'Misc' feature.These are all situated on the top bar.

You do have to synch the app up with your set-top box's IR but there is a walkthrough to help you do this. Once this is done you can also remotely record content as well as view whatever is on your PVR.

With data charges being what they are, we would recommend when possible to use to Wi-Fi but you can also pipe your content through 3G. When we tried it over Wi-Fi there was only a wait of around five seconds before the footage started.

The app is compatible with Solo, Pro-HD, or Pro boxes and ran smoothly in our tests. We did get some jitter but the touchscreen options are impressive and intuitive.

It may be pricey, but this is one app which is worth every penny and the long, long wait. That Is if you already have a Slingbox, er, box.   

Free Unlimited Jokes

Free Mirth-free gag machine

Free Unlimited Jokes doesn't need much of an explanation or many brain cells, for that matter.

The jokes are separated by categories like Work, Blondes, Political and Yo Mama - as in 'yo' mama so dirty she has to creep up on bath water".

Once you're inside your chosen category, the japes are pretty much unlimited. You can scroll right the way down to 'Yo mama jokes #189'. If you like a particular one of these poorly spelled, poorly structured hoaxes you can add it to your favourites or share it on Facebook or Twitter, but we can't see why you would. Stick to consulting the flap of your Penguin v/rap per: it's much funnier and you get a biscuit, too.

Word Search Unlimited

Free Reliably diverting puzzle 
Find the words hidden among the jumbled up letters by touching the first and last letter of the word on the screen. There's an unlimited number of puzzles to take on and you can play on a number of different surfaces like Notepad and Parchment, but Blackboard is by far the clearest.

There free app is powered by very unobtrusive banner adds, but ether than that there's no difference to the paid-for version so we see no reason to put your Google Checkout account into action here. Word searches have been a handy, time killer since time immemorial and little has changed as they enter the new digital era.

Instant Heart Rate

Straightforward health app with a few operational issues that compromise its overall usefulness. 

Free Health app with reliability issues
his is one of those apps that does exactly what its name suggests. Upon loading, you are asked to place your fingertip over the camera lens on your phone and hold it as still as possible. Additional photo instructions ensure you can't go wrong.

After ten to twenty seconds, the tiny heart logo should beat in time with your heart. You're then presented with a heart rate measured in beats per minute (bpm). This is fine for measuring your resting heart rate, although the starting delay and required steadiness mean this app isn't practical useful during or immediately after training.

Instant Heart Rate apparently works by measuring slight changes in skin colour. However, if your Android phone does not have a flash, you have to use this app in a well lit

Calorie Tracker

 Free Food-to-guilt conversion tool

Calorie Tracker is the best diet-based app on the Android Market.The 1.7MB app is split into two sections: Quick Pick and My Counter. Quick Pick prov des a small selection of information that you will probably want to use daily.

A food list shows how many calories are in certain dishes. A cup of chilli con carne has around 274 calories, 10g of fat and 6g of sugar.

The calorie count from big name restaurants is also included - Burger King's Angus Burger is clocked at a suitably beefy 650 calories. Couple this with a food diary that will keep all your calories in check and this is one free diet app that's plump with facts.


Free No-nonsense timing device

With brown retro LCD digits, it's like having a stopwatch built into your phone... and that's it. The Start button begins the counter, then is replaced by two buttons - Lap and Pause. Next to them is a Stop button. If you're running on a track just hit Lap each time you cross the line and it'll log how long it took, sc you can gauge your progress. Once you've hit Stop you can copy the info to a Clipboard, save it to an SD card, or send it to friends via email, text, Bluetooth, Facebook. IM or Twitter.

Sharing results aside, there's no extras, but look no further if it's a simple, free stopwatch you're after.

Cardio Trainer

A handy means of keeping track of your exercise schedule, with the added bonus of a music player. 

Free Monitor your exercise

If you like to stay active, there are a number of well designed apps in the Android market that can track your progress and feed back all kinds of stats to make you feel smug. Cardio Trainer may have a let of competition, but it's free to download and packed with features. Before you set out on a walk, jog or other form of exercise, simply hit 'start workout'. Your current location will then be tracked via GPS until you finish, with the ability to pause at any point.

 A cheesy voice regularly updates you on time spent and total distance covered, eliminating the need to constantly check the screen.

When you've had enough, Cardio Trainer presents you with distance and speed tallies, as well as overall calories burned. If you're the kind that loves to brag, you can then share all your stats with fellow exercise junkies via Facebook or Twitter at the push of a button.

A full history of workout sessions is kept, and there are tons of extra features including progress medals and special modes, such as the ability to race against yourself. Cardio Trainer can also play your music on shuffle, although slower Android phones may stutter a little during playback.

 Diet & Food Tracker

Excellent value application that will doubtless appeal to fastidious exercise and health freaks. 

Free Effective weight monitoring tool 

Surprisingly comprehensive for a free app, this is a complete guide to losing weight, from the food you eat lo how much exercise you do. But like sticking with a fitness regime, it takes some serious dedication to fully maintain. Set-up takes a couple of minutes, with you entering info like your weight and height, and choosing how much weight you'd like to lose and how soon (from some predetermined options), then it tailors a program to you. It tells you
how many calories each meal contains, how many you can eat that day as well as how many you need to burn to reach your goal. Entering each meal takes some time, especially if you have a varied diet and don't stick to the app's predetermined options, but there is a lot of information to hand, including a handy guide of how many glasses of water you need to keep you hydrated, aid the option of tracking your weight day to day. Providing, of course, you weigh yourself everyday.

But the app is great value, providing you're willing to make the rather sizable commitment of keeping it up to date. The only other drawback is the hefty download size - 1.1MB, which could do with shedding some weight.

 Body Fitness

Free Extensive set of workout options  

 This app covers more than 320 exercises by equipment, by muscle type or body part As well as individual exercises you can choose programs focusing on one aspect (weight loss, core strength, conditioning etc). There's a Yoga section that assumes a fair bit of knowledge, and the Cardio section is useless apart from telling you how many calories you burn doing an activity like running or cycling. Scrolling is also awkward, as sometimes it doesn't respond to your touch. Beginners will find enough for a basic workout, but there is probably not enough to hold the attention of more seasoned gym fans.



£3.15/55.10 Time to get pumped up 

EFIT Pro looks like a great way for experienced weightlifters to monitor their regime. Like all good fitness apps, you can sync your progress with your PC and share your achievements with other muscle men online. Sounds like a one way ticket to becoming the next Arnie, right?

There is a daunting encyclopedia of options on offer and the idea of customising workouts and choosing reps for beginners shouldn't be left to an app, so we'd advise visiting a personal trainer to get acquainted first. For seasoned bodybuilders, this app represents a great way to keep track and set yourself goals. Sadly, you're going to have to sort out your own creatine androids.

Angry Birds

Outrageously more-ish game that takes up a lot of space, but makes up for it by being free.

Free Ludicrously addictive avian fun 

if ever there was a game that sums I up the age of the phone app, it would be Angry Birds. What started off as a side project by one. probably bored, Rovio employee has turned into a multi-million pound franchise with many a spin-off, including Christmas and Hallowe'en versions of the game, cuddly toys and there's even talk of a movie.

It's a massive surprise then that when the original Angry Birds that started it all came to Android, it was - and still is - free.

This is because Rovio has ported Angry Birds onto the Android platform with the addition of advertising, which is both a blessing and a curse.

Angry Birds weighs In as a hefty 16MB download, but what you get for this is a lot of game play.The premise for Angry Bird3 is simple: you catapult a variety of suicidal birds into the path of some pigs because they have stolen some of your eggs.

Okay, it doesn't sound that enticing, but this is one of the most addictive games you will ever play. So much that you will be spitting feathers until you get the hallowed three stars on all levels.

Rovio has been brilliant in updating the app with more and more levels since It launched It on the Android platform, which equates

to hours and hours of gameplay. You also get the added bonus of the game being a higher resolution on the Android platform, so that it looks considerably sharper and brighter than its predecessor.

The touchscreen controls of the app are great to use on an Android handset, but there are times when the adverts that

constantly appear on the top right of the screen get that little bit too intrusive. As Angry Birds is a game

where you will be using the restart button more times than any other button; if the advert does impede play then it only take seconds to start the level again.

The adverts, of course, are the reason the game is free, which is great, but we would prefer if we were given a choice of paying for the app sans ads.

Rovio has had a remarkable success with Angry Birds, which has already spawned seasonal sequels, but it certainly deserves all of the praise it is getting.

Yes it is at times infuriating but you will be so hooked that you will keep coming back for more.

ExZeus Arcade

 Requires a hefty chunk of memory, but the gameplay end graphics are among the finest on Android. 

£2.59/$4.18 3D-style arcade robot action

Using your Android phone's accelerometer, touchscreen and hi-res screen to the full, ExZeus makes a stab at being one of the must-have games on the platform. ExZeus revolves around a futuristic battle between a bunch of Earth invaders and you, a robot created by humans to fight the

aliens. The all-action pursuit is on and you're drifting between enemy fire and destroying everything in your path, with only your reaction speed to blame if you fail; th s is seriously intense, immersive shoot 'em up stuff.

It's annoying that having downloaded the initial 431 k file, you're instructed to download a further 57MB over Wi-Fi (only), which means using a separate SD card with at least 68MB free.

Get the hardware in place and ExZeus's graphics will impress. Backgrounds and incidental details are finely rendered and nuanced, which lends an essential 3D feel. Us ng the accelerometer controls can oe tricky, but getting the hang of quick and slow tilts, as well as the lock-and-shoot touchscreen controls, doesn't take long.

Cocktail Frenzy

Initially reasonably entertaining but ultimately largely pointless exercise in reflex-based mixology

£1.84/$2.97 Booze-based entertainment

Less a game and more phone-based training for a glittering career in the beverage business, Cocktail Frenzy is a test of reaction speed and priority juggling. You're a bartender, initially serving three flavours of juice. Every time one is ordered - via a pop-up message on the side of the bar - you choose a glass, select the drink, wait for it to pour, serve the customer, and collect the cash. Easy. Trouble is, more punters keep coming in. The longer you take to fulfil each order, the unhappier each customer becomes - and after only 30 seconds they give up and go.

The aim of the game is to earn as much money as you can - and over a certain threshold to move up a level

but you have to spend your earnings on another cocktail, which only complicates matters for yourself. Besides, bartending is about memory, not speed - maybe it should be set in a restaurant kitchen, not a bar. It's not as complicated as it should be, with speed all-imporant and tactics largely pointless.

There's another flaw; pausing the game means starting out all over again. And no one wants to be a rookie bartender all their life.

Fruit Ninja

 The simple hack and slash classic that will drive you totally (ahem) bananas 

 Rather heavy on the memory and not without flaws, but reasonably entertaining nonetheless. 

£0.74/$1.20 Daft, but playable fruity fun 

Fruit isn't something you normally associate with ninjas, bu: Halfbrick Studios changed all this recently with the launch of Fruit Ninja on the iPhone.Yes.the iPhone - the device that is Darth Vader to Android's Luke Skywalker.

Luckily for us, the studio didn't take that long to port this rather popular fruity cocktail of a game onto the Android platform.

Essentially a hack and slash affair, the object of the game is to slice your way through all manner of fruit. On the way you collect points for myriad fruit combinations and avoiding the dreaded bombs that appear on the screen.

The app is a tad memory hungry -it requires a massive 10MB - but it is worth it, as the gameplay is some of the best we have found on Android. As with :he iPhone version, you have three gaming options to chcose from. These are Classic, Zen and the new Arcade option.

Zen and Arcade are merely slightly different versions of the Classic game.Take Zen mode, for instance: here you are given 90 seconds to slice as many pieces of fruit as you can, without the problem of bombs. Arcade mode is a speedier version of Classic. Here you only have 60 seconds to slice through the fruit hail, but you have to dodge the bombs or take a 10 point forfeit.

Playing Fruit Ninja on an Android device is a great but sometimes infuriating experience. The game is only as good as your handset, and we found that there was sometimes lag between us swiping the touchscreen and the what was happening on the screen. It only happened a few times but it d d impinge upon the game somewhat.

One of the reasons for this is the cartoony visuals - it may only be pieces of fruit jumping up and down on the screen, but everything looks so slick. Couple this with great swooshing and squelching sound effects and what you have is a whole load of fun.

So much that each swipe of your ninja blade - you can upgrade your weapon by getting a high score - will get you more addicted to the game. You'll never look at an apple in the same way again.

Angry Birds Seasons

 Worthwhile, entertainingly zany addition to the Angry Birds franchise, though  beware the pesky adverts. 

Free They're back: this time it's seasonal 

Angry Birds Seasons is the closest thing, for the moment, you will get to a sequel to Angry Birds. As the name suggests all levels are based around a seasonal theme.

The first batch of levels was the Christmas based Season's Greedings, which was followed by the Hallowe'en special Trick or Treat and more recent y Hogs & Kisses for Valentine's Day. All of this currently adds up to 14MB of data, which isn't going to break your microSD card but is a touch hefty.

If you have never played Angry Birds before then it is best to start on the original game first, but those that are au fait with killing pigs will find that nothing has changed here.

The levels are a touch more barmy and we found it harder, sometimes it's impossible to get three stars, but perseverance saw us complete it in the end.

It's a decent addition to the Angry Birds franchise but because it has been bought to the Android platform for free, there are still those annoying adverts.

Oh and be warned, the Valentine's Day levels are so sickly sweet your eyes will rot while playing them.


This bonkers Japanese game is enjoyably deranged, if slightly lacking in long-term appeal. 

£0.59/50.95 Mad bird-guzzling mayhem

hough it's not as well known as its rival, Angry Birds,for sheer nuttiness,this game outshines Rovio's most popular app.

It has two similarities to Angry Birds: its name and its use of a catapult. This is where the similarities end, however, ard mad Japanese style visuals take over.

You control something called a Nomster - which is essentially a hungry monster. Using a catapult you project your Nomster into the path of other Nomsters and eat them, growing bigger as you go. The more you eat, the bigger you get and the bigger you get the easier it is to munch on the parachuting birds.

The controls of the game are pretty simple, utilising your handset'3 touchscreen. We did find that some of the game suffered from lag, but this was only when we got half-way through the 18 or so missions that are available. The app itself is 8.4MB in size, which is perfectly reasonable.

If Must.Eat.Birds sounds mental it's because it is. Using Japanese cartoon culture for its look and using enough Jinglish to make you chuckle, Must.Eat.Birds is a refreshingly loony game that may not have the staying power of Angry Birds but s worth a mental, eye-popping spin.

Words With Friends
 Any similarities with Scrabble are entirely coincidental, or so say the laywers .

 Satisfying Scrabble-esque game that adds asocial networking element and doesn't cost a penny. 

Free Enjoyable cross-platform word puzzle  

Words With Friends is one of those rare beasts on the Android Market. It isn't exclusive to Android handsets, so you can play it with friends that own iPods. And, let's face it, as big as Android has become Apple is still the domineering figure in the smartphone world. Its App Store was set up way before Android Market and it is only recently that Android users have begun to enjoy games that have been available for iOS devices for ages.

Words With Friends is one of those games that was initially created for use on an iPhone or iPod (and Facebook) but now it comes to Android - with the added bonus of being cross platform.

And you will want to hook up with other people as Words With Friends works best when you play it, well, with friends.

Those familiar with the simple idea behind Scrabble will be right at home with Words With Friends. The game is a homage of sorts (loosely translated as rip off), but it brings much more of a social networking flavour to the table - enabling you to message your opponent as you play and keep games going for as long you want. So you could either play a long running game at rate of a word a day or fly through single session in an hour or so.
You do have to sign up an email to get the game going, but once this is done you can challenge people through your contacts list or find them by username - you can even play someone random if you so wish.

The app enables you to play up to 20 games at once and push   notifications will tell you when it is your turn to come up with a word.

You will want to hook up with other people as Words With Friends works best when you play it, well, with friends

The app itself isn't too hefty. At 3.4MB it won't cause too much memory loss. It's worth noting that the game is only available to those with Android 1.6 and above. And as it offers push notifications and the choice of messaging people, it will eat into some of your data usage.

While there were a number of glitches with the app - it crashed more times than a ZX Spectrum -they never detracted from the game. It may not be as addictive as Farmville (another Zynga title) but you won't get funny looks playing this game and it will cost you a whole lot less in the long run.

Unblock Me Free

 Basic but engrossing logic game that should while away the hours on long boring journeys. 

Free Simple but diverting block puzzle 

The aim of Unblock Me Free is to move blocks out of the way to manoeuvre a coloured block out through a gap in the border of the screen. Not exactly World of Warcraft, granted, but this is aimed more at those looking for a simple distraction during a quick bus journey rather than an immersive gaming experience. Horizontal blocks only move

horizontally, and vertical ones vertically, so it'll take some skill to navigate a clear path.
  It's simple, but then so are most good ideas. Relaxing Mode is the basic game, just letting you find your way out, whereas Challenge Mode countb the number of moves you make on each level (the fewer the better), letting you compare with friends and rivals, meaning you have to think about each one a lot more.

The game is incredibly simple to pick up, the blocks react instantly to your swipes and the gameplay is frighteningly addictive. While it's not likely to have the broad appeal of  Tetris, it's a nice fun game that'll make your bus journey whiz by.

Perhaps the biggest puzzle where Unblock Me Free is concerned is how an app as simple as this can take over 1MB of space on your phone. It's not a deal breaker, but surprising nonetheless.

2Player Reactor

Free Passable one-one-one reaction contest
wo player games on ore phone are quite rare, for obvious reasons, so it's advised to have a large screen if you're going to give 2Player Reactor a whirl. It's a game to see who has the quickest reactions by tapping the screen first when prompted. The tasks start off easy, prompting you to both press when the screen goes white, with sarcastic messages flashing upon the loser's side ('That was rubbish'), but as you play it gets increasingly harder.

The next level involves a word flashing up in coloured writing, and you have to press if the colour of the letters match the colour spelled out. Then shapes appear, and you press when there are three matching, then a series of statements and you have to press if they are true, being penalised for pressing when they're actually false. These encompass

A fairly diverting, if ultimately limited, means of testing your reaction speeds against a friend.
everything from maths to geography. You can also pick a Custom Game, where you select the modes you want to play.

There are plenty to choose from, but they get repetitive pretty quickly. Still, its a neat game, if a little gimmicky. And if you opt for 4Player Reactor, just make sure you've a huge handset, or friends with very small fingers.

Battle for Mars

Slightly pricey, but deceptively grown-up and satisfyingly playable sci-fi strategy game

£3.12/$4.99 Martian strategy fun

You are in control of a squadron of earthlings who have just landed on Mars.

Your objective? To take over the planet. But for some reason the natives aren't toe happy letting you do that. Cue gunfights, battles for land, and many crunch decisions you'll have to make. Yes, it sounds like the basis of every crappy  B-movie ever made, but it makes for a pretty decent turn-based strategy game, involving constructing bui.dings, taking control of vehicles, and engaging the Martians in combat. This being turn-based, you're not going to see a hail of bullets, but it demands you ta<e a more thoughtful approach. Should you hang back and defend your base? Construct more buildings, meaning you have more to spend on an offensive? Or head out for an all out assault?

The graphics are cartoony rather than realistic, lending the game a healthy sense of fun, but don't be fooled into thinking it's child's play. The price also isn't pocket money, but if you like your strategy games with a sci-fi twist, make like Total Recall and get your arse to Mars.

Papaya Farm HD

Free This one's a grower

Fan of Farmville? Papaya Farm HD ploughs a similar furrow. You have to harvest crops from your patch of land, sell them in the shop, buy seeds to plant so new ones can grow, and plough new bits of land to expand your farm. You can use fertiliser to help them grow, and you have to rid your land of pests who threaten your crops.

There's a social networking aspect, too. If any of your friends are playing online they can water your crops, helping you out It's aimed at younger players, with bright and colourful graphics and is the kind of game you come back to over the course of a day rather than blast on the bus.

Reckless Racing

£3.12/$4.99 Highly enjoyable racer  

The developers have been far from reckless with the superb graphics. They are rich and detailed, with fences splintering as you smash into them and dirt churning up from under your wheels. Even the backgrounds are impressive, with water splashing up and trees blowing in the breeze. Controls appear on screen, with just left and right turn and brake offered up, making it a doddle to get to grips with.

There are six vehicles, 10 tracks, five venues, three difficulty settings and a multiplayer mode for playing against your mates. It takes an age to install and there's the odd judder, but overall this is a great little racer.

Bubble Blast 2

 Initially too easy, but later levels are rewarding and make for one of the best  Android games available. 

Free Once you pop, you can't stop 

There are hundreds of gaming apps available for Android users, but not all of them share the infuriatingly addictive nature of Bubble Blast 2. Available as a free download (but note it has a 4.1MB file size), it's the kind of simple-to-play time-passer that mobile devices are perfect for.

The game features a series of single-screen levels (more than 1,000 and growing).

The object of each level is to burst all the bubbles on the screen in as few touches as possible - usually no more than three. When you burst a bubble, smaller bubbles shoot out left, right, top and bottom. If these hit another bubble, that one will burst, too.

To clear the screen you have to work out how to create the right chain reaction, and it gets complicated because different coloured bubbles require more hits to burst. You'll need to be able to think one and two touches ahead.

If you get to a point where you are stuck, you can also play the less stressful Arcade mode, where you start with 10 touches and can top them up with successful bursts. Here you rack up points, which can then be compared against other
Bubbler Blasters around the world via the Scoreloop network.

Part of Bubble Blast 2's appeal is its cutesy visual appearance. Software developer Magma Mobile has endowed it with a bright colour palette, chunky fonts and adorable graphics, with even the bubbles you're about to pop sporting slow blinking eyes. The bubble-popping sound effects are quirky, too, but you'll want to turn them down if you're playing it on the train ride into work.

The original Bubble Blast proved to be one of the more popular puzzlers on the Android platform, and this sequel appears to be continuing the trend.

In U3e it's fast and responsive, it won't cost you a thing and Magma Mobile seems committed to providing regular updates and improvements - since its launch back in Autumn 2010, level packs have been added, the graphics have improved and the bugs eradicated.

Our only real criticism of Bubble Blast 2 is that the initial levels are far too easy, which may put some people off sticking with it. But despite that, it's definitely worth checking out - once you get bored of Angy Birds, of course.


 Cutesy and not fiendishly compelling, but an agreeable enough way to pass a few minutes. 

£0.99/51.60 Simple touch-based game 

The affordable game Buka is something of an acquired taste. On the surface it's a straightforward shoot-'em-up, and is easy to get to grips with, but thematically it's a bit odd, with players having to guide 'cosmic girl Buka - actually a round blue blob -through outer space to find The Happy Place. To do this you have to defend Buka from the baddies (asteroids) that float onto screen. Making it even odder is the fact that the game users the vocabulary of a two-year-old; the onscreen instruction guide is littered with phrases like 'Long hold make sparky big'.

Buka s a touch-sensitive game, so to destroy the asteroids (which come at you at different speeds) you have to tap the screen to create explosions and shockwaves. The longer you hold the screen the more powerful these are. Of course, the asteroids don't always explode completely: you'll have to watch out for fragments whizzing towards you. It's not long before you're tapping the screen as fast as possible as more and more enemies threaten your little blob's existence.

It sounds easy, but there is skill involved. You can move Buka away from danger by dragging her around the screen and use the shockwaves to push bonuses towards you. Your points tally rises based on accuracy, how many crashes you have and how many baddies you kill. You car also integrate the game with Facebook, enabling you to challenge friends and post scores to leaderboards.

The graphics are simple but pleasing on :he eye, and the sound effects aren't too intrusive. This version of the game is optimised for less advanced Android handsets. A different version, Buka HD, which costs slightly more, is designed for owners of phones like Samsung's Galaxy S, HTC's Desire and the Nexus One. Even so, the download size of this app is a quite hefty 3.4MB, which seems like a lot of space to allocate for a breezy shoot-'em-up such as this.

Overall, Buka is pleasant and intuitive and perfect for clipping in and out of, but lacks the addictiveness of rivals like Bubble Blast 2 - and it's cutesy nature may not appeal to everyone.

Word Wise Pro

£0.66/$l Crossword puzzling for two 

If you're looking for a synonym for Scrabble, Word Wise Pro is it. Drag the letters onto the tiles to make words, then it's your opponents'turn. Dragging can be a little fiddly at first, especially on a small screen, but double tapping to zoom in soon sorts that out. Access your Google Mail account to challenge friends to a match (providing they have it installed cf course). If you don't want to thrash your mates, you can challenge a random person from around the world, or just play on your own.

It doesn't quite have the same charm as Scrabble, but real word whizzes have the option of playing up to 100 matches all at the same time.

Star Hunt

£0.66/51 Fun, simple time-waster 

Billed as a cross between Pacman and Marble Madness, Star Hunt sees you playing as a ball that has to roll around the various levels collecting stars. It's another accelerometer-based game, so you have to tilt the handset this way and that to roll the ball around and direct it towards the stars.

Games don't get much simpler to understand than this, but the simplicity makes it addictive, too. The more stars you unlock the more objects you can access too, adding another level to the gameplay. Graphics are average, but it's a decent time waster and s addictive enough to keep you hooked.


 A free, but ultimately rather dull shooting game with repetitive gameplay  and poor graphics. 

Free Formulaic assassination sim 

Ever since GoldenEye on the N64, sniping has held a kind of fascination for fans of shooting games. Silent Scope hit the arcades back in the late nineties, and like that, this is a dedicated hitman simulator, though without the huge gun controller.

Instead you use the accelerometer to aim 30 as you tilt your handset the crosshairs move around the screen. Just tap an enemy to enter sniping mode and you're off. The aim is to shoot as many bad guys before time runs out. The accelerometer isn't very responsive and at times it feels like you're waving a very long stick with your sights on the end, so it will take some getting used to.

The graphics also aren't great, with enemies dropping Like cardboard cutouts at a shooting range, so don't expect an ultra-realistic sniping sim.

Gameplay quickly becomes repetitive, with the only real incentive being to beat your previous best score in tie time.

Having said that, it is free, and tells you where you hit them, so if you set a target of so many head shots per level you can keep yourself entertained for a few hours.


An obscure, rather serious game that feels rather more like something you'd find in the classroom.  

Free Chemistry made... fun?
 Whether this chemistry game is simple or just plain pointless really depends on your point of view. You

start with four elements (fire, air, earth, water), and have to drag them onto each other and combine them to make others. So earth plus air equals dust, that kind of thing. And, well,that's it.

Of goes further than that, and as long as you're willing to persevere you'll be making all sorts of things, from a life, to beer,to vampires. You can drag what's on screen to the question mark at the
bottom to find out more information about it, such as its chemical formula and make-up, as well as what it can be combined with to form something else entirely.

And if you get stuck, which you almost certainly will,you can duplicate anything on screen by double tapping it, or go into an inventory and calling up anything you've already made.

It's certainly handy as an educational tool, or for those with an interest in chemistry without wanting to risk blowing up their garage. However, sluggish controls (you have to click each element a few times before it actually responds) and one hell of a niche style of gameplay means that it'll have limited appeal cutside of the classroom and, arguably, in it,too.

  Glow Hockey

 Free Realistic, enjoyable hockey  

Ah, air hockey. Cheaper than an arcade game, more frantic than pool and now it's on your phone. Glow Hockey certainly looks the part, all colourful neon, like a camper version of  Tron. The gameplay is pretty simple - you move your paddle on-screen with your finger, and the puck responds very realistically to how hard you hit it.

There's only the odd slight delay between you moving and the paddle responding, which is only an issue when things are tense, but the major downside is it's tricky to see the puck when it's behind you. Overall, It's well put together, great to look at and a doddle to get started.



£0.84/$1.33 Retro space shooter 

Newton is deceptively simple: just angle the spaceship's gun and press fire. The clever bit is that it uses Newton's laws of gravity to get progressively trickier.

How so? As you progress it introduces different coloured Items, each with a different effect.Green ones block your lasers, orange ones reflect your shots off them, spinning blue stars push them away, spinning red ones attract them with their gravitational pull, like planets.

It soon gets fiendishly difficult, but is addictive, a victory of gameplay over flashy graphics and the bleeps it makes will warm the hearts of nostalgic fans of arcade games.

Need for Speed: Shift

 Amazing amount of gameplay for an app of this size, though Galaxy Tab support would be a boon. 

£3.10/$4.99 High-octane racing thrills   

Electronic Arts is definitely leading the way when it comes to graphically rich gaming on Android and Apple devices. The company knows how to port great looking games to mobile and Need For Speed: Shift is no exception.The company has managed to offer a number of big-name games to Android including Tetris, but it is the Need For Speed franchise that seems to work best on a smartphone.This is because EA has decided to make controlling cars easy and let the speed of the races carry gamers along for the ride.

But, before we talk about usability, the amount of different options in Need For Speed: Shift is staggering.

The impressive numbers speak for themselves: 20 cars, 18 tracks, three difficulty levels and, er,one accelerometer. It is your smartphone's accelerometer that is used most to control the cars around the track. Because cf this, the game is pretty easy to master.

This is because you don't really control the speed at which you are going at, you merely use the phone's accelerometer to guide your car around the myriad tracks and to the finish line. It is how well you take corners, how little you use the
brake and how easy you find it not to crash into speeding cars that will determine how well you can play the game.

If you are like us, then Need For Speed: Shift will start out with a series of high-speed crashes, sprinkled with more than a touch of frustration.

But you'll soon get the hang of the track's numerous twists and turns, however, and marvel at just how many cars there are on offer.

What surprised us most, was the amount of gameplay squeezed into an app that's just 1.1 MB in size - not bad, considering how nice the game looks. And you'll be happy to hear that EA has expanded the franchise so there are multiple Need for Speed games on the Android Market - all of which are worth a look-in.

There is a caveat to Need For Speed: Shift, though, and that is for some reason the Galaxy Tab is one of the few devices that isn't supported yet. This is a great shame, considering the game is ripe for use on a tablet.

We're hoping that later versions of the franchise will come with tablet support. For now, however, Galaxy Tab users will, frustratingly, have to go without.

Air Controller

   Hard air traffic control sim that manages to create genuine stress rather than simple pleasure.

£1.82/$2.94 Tin-pushing anxiety

Guiding aeroplanes and helicopters in to land must be quite a stressful job. Not only that, it must also be bloody hard too, at least if this game is anything to go by.

Because while it doesn't realistically recreate the stress and conditions of being an air traffic controller, it sure doesn't make it easy, either. You see a top down view of the airport, complete with runway, bui.dings and helicopter landing pad and as aircraft approach an exclamation mark appears warning you which direction they're coming from. As they come on screen your job is to put them on the right path by touching them, guiding them down for a safe landing.

At least, in theory. In reality each press seems to turn the craft in random directions, with no rhyme nor reason. Before you know it planes and helicopters are coming from all directions and not only do you have make them land, you also have to make sure they don't crash into each other.

The cartoony graphics belie a fiendishly tricky game that'll have your blood pressure raised.


 Reliably addictive gameplay, but some of the old charm seems to have been lot in translation. 

£1.84/S2.99 So-so update of a true classic 

There's a reason why Tetris is the most popular game in the world. Its addictive block-breaking gameplay has made it into a household name and has also meant that the game has landed on pretty much every console and gaming platform imaginable.

Now the game is on Android courtesy of EA - who has optimised the i Phone version of Tetris for the Android platform.

Let's get the niggles out of the way first -today's Tetris isn't quite the same as Tetris of old. For a start the music comes straight out of a dodgy Euro night club and there are additional modes
you can play, including something called Magic Mode, which offers five power-ups - Wrecking Ball, Mir imizer, Bubble Wrap, Magic Crayon, and Smashdown!

Ves, the game has been tinkered with and we have to say not for the better. Lucky, then, that there is Marathon mode that is as close to the old traditional Tetris as you are likely to get.

Tetris is the almighty king of puzzle games and it's great to see it given a whole new lease of life on Android. Even if it is pretty much identical to the Phone app, but not quite as much fun .


 Generally entertaining fantasy yarn, although there are a few minor operational grumbles .


£3.08/$4.99 Zelda-ish quest

 Not only does this look almost exactly the same as Zelda ill on the Super NES, it also starts the same way, with your character getting out of bed at home. The similarities are uncanny, from the viewpoint down to the design of the fields and the twee dialogue that the characters spout.

But that's not necessarily a bad thing, as anyone who enjoyed hours of playing as Link will tell you.

You have to keep your character fed throughout to keep his strength up, and the missions are pretty bite-size, with the first
few acting as a game tutorial, so it's easy to get the hang of things. There's a definite charm to Zenonia, net quite on a par w th Zelda, but it's fun nonetheless and the gameplay has plenty of depth; upgrading your weapons and keeping your character fed wi.l keep you busy and that's before you even get down to any of the battles.

The only real issues are the onscreen D-pad, which is awkward and not that responsive, and the fact you have to constantly rifle through sub-menus to check your inventory and select items. But If you can overlook these niggles it's a good little romp with plenty of fun to be had.

 City Jump

 An enjoyable, if hardly endlessly replayable game that should be good for tne odd five-minute blast. 

Free Throwaway running fun 

 Looking like a shrunken version of  The incredibles, this is another simple but addictive arcade game, this time involving you running up the side of buildings. You tap the screen to jump, aid have to avoid obstacles and enemies firing things at you. And that's it.

You don't even have to tap your character to make him jump, anywhere on the screen will do, that's how simple it is. If you hit flying objects as you're jumping, you destroy them and earn more points. Otherwise, it's a case of every metre up the wall you make it, you get a point.

The characters are fun, and it has a cool superhero theme to it. The basic mode is as described above, Xmas Fantasy and Story Mode are a bit laughable (the former has all the enemies replaced by Christmas characters like reindeers and snowmen, the latter, well we couldn't see any difference n it).

It doesn't exactly have much replay value, but bar the odd bit of slowdown this is a fun if throwaway game to spend a few minutes with, more suited to five minute bus journeys than 10-hour transatlantic flights.

 Gem Miner : Dig Deeper    

A pleasingly old-fashioned, if somewhat limited, sort of game that certain types will find irresistible.

£1.35/$2.17 Basic subterranean challenge

This one of those games that reminds you of the heady days of the ZX Spectrum and the Commodore G4.This doesn't mean that it takes an episode of  Neighbours to load, but it is a simple platformer that draws you in from very the start.

While Android has never been known as the best platform to play games on, there are a few titles which prove that Google's operating system is starting to match the iPhone for gaming prowess, and Gem Miner is one of them.

Although it only takes 1 3MB of space, the game is pretty huge. At our last count there were oodles of levels to play on, where you had to dig for goodies with a limited amount of tools at your disposal.

Unsurprisingly, you play a miner who is looking for gems in a rather unstable mine.The object of the game is to gather as much precious metal as possible and get yourself to the top before the mine collapses.

There are three difficulty options: Easy, Medium and Hard and there's also a handy tutorial to guide you through the quirks of the game.

Controlling your

 miner is done by either touch or your handset's  trackpad and while it all looks simple at first, there are a number of factors throughout the game that are thrown in to complicate things.

Things you need consider when playing are: stamina, how mary supplies you have and how you're going to escape the collapsing mine.

Gem Miner is addictive but after a few goes it does lose some of its   shine.

Controlling your miner is done by either touch or your handset's trackpad and while it looks simple, it can get complicated    

One of the reasons for this Is that it isn't a game you can just pick up and play for short times. To truly get the most out of Gem Miner, you need to complete each level in one sitting - otherwise it's difficult to keep track of all the factors that will help you clean a mine of all its gems.

Play it sporadically, but with depth, and you will be well rewarded. And if you feel like you are not sure that this game is for you, then there is a Lite version of Gem Miner to get you in the mood.

This may be an, ahem, minor version of the game but it gives you a nice idea of what the paid-for version offers.

BoxFace Stacker

 This goes to show just how much fun can be had from e simple concept and it's free, to boot.

Free Hilariously playable packaging pile-up

 The object of this game is to stack boxes that have faces

on. It's not exactly the most imaginative name for a game, but then we guess at least you know what you're getting.

Tap the screen and a box falls from the sky (with a concerned look on its face), then you have to tap

above the line marked 'Dropzone' to make the next one fall, and try and make it land on top of the previous, and so on in a stack.
The Dropzone gets progressively higher with each go, and you can turn the phone and use the accelerometer to help your stack to balance. If all is going well the boxes smile; start to overbalance and their mouths open and they frown.

Free Ploy mode follows the same routine, continuing until your stack collapses, Height Play (as the name suggests) means that you're aiming to reach a certain height. And it's a fun challenge, the expressions they pull being a really nice touch when it starts to go wrong.

The only real downer is that the screen doesn't respond if part of your finger touches the Dropzone line, so you have to press higher, making it more difficult to gauge. But hey, when failing is this fun, who wants to succeed ?



 Straightforward and not particularly original, but has a certain mindlessly playable appeal. 

£1.83/$2.95 Ordinary ovular button-basher 

Egggz is not going to win any prizes for originality, but the button-basher has enough going for it to keep you coming back for more. The plot of the game is simple: chickens are laying eggs (or Egggz as the game's illiterate title suggests) and you have to collect every one to win points and progress to another farm. Straight away you can tell that this is one app which is using a lot of the power of the Android system. Although it's only a 3.8MB download, the graphics are gorgeous, with the menu screen and main gameplay footage both bright and overflowing with detail.

Despite its beautiful sheen, Egggz (still a rotten name) is essentially a simple 'tap' game, in that all you have to do is tap the Android screen to catch the eggs which are falling from the chickens.

You can also collect golden eggs for more credits, and with these you can make a badass farm which will stop animals from thieving your egg collection. While the full version will cost you just under £2 (or S3), there is a Lite version available which offers much of the same but limits the levels to 5C. 

Blow Up

Bizarre, but utterly riveting and very satisfying game that will have you hooked within minutes. 

 £1.87/$2.99 Dynamite stuff 

Now this is a little insane, like a more crazy version of Angry Birds. Instead of flinging animals at a structure, you have to plant dynamite around it.The aim is to bring the house down and make sure all the wooden posts fall below a dotted line.

The only catch is there's a toy panda sat on it, and you can't blow him up. If he falls into a star on the screen, though, you get more points. Like we said, it's  insane. You only have a limited number of sticks of dynamite, so you have to choose wisely where to position them, and you car set them to blow up a few seconds after one another if you like, which brings real strategy into the later levels. The physics are great, especially the panda falling ever/where like a rag doll, and the graphics cute, while not being too childish.

Like all the best games it's simple yet tough to put down, with the houses soon becoming fiendishly complex, and with over 80 levels (plus 14 on the free Lite version), it should keep you entertainec for hours. Just watch out for that panda: it's an endangered species.

Pocket Empires

Somewhat self-importart fantasy-type civilisation building yarn that proves very data hungry. 

Free Po-faced city builder 

From the off you can see this is the kind of game that takes itself very seriously, all ores and potions, which is fine if that's your kind of thing. Just don't expect any exploding cartoon animals.

The game lets you create your own civilisation, like Sid Meier's Grammy award-winning Civilization series for the PC. And once you've built it up you have to protect it and make it thrive.

You have to register your username and choose to be male or female, which side to fight for and a password to protect your game. Then you're off, with a few thousand gems to start creating your master race.

As with all these games, planning is of the essence, as you have limited means to begin with. Barracks will help protect your city, while cellars will help store foodstuffs, so think wisely about your priorities.

It's pretty decent, with attractive if unspectacular graphics and is very playable, though not ideal for a blast on the bus. A word of warning - your city continues to grow when you've closed the game, so you'll need to watch that it doesn't eat into your data package.

Doodle Jump 
 This exceedingly simple but furiously addictive game will keep you occupied for absolutely ages  

Superior and pleasingly affordable - if a tiny bit dated accelerometer based game.

£0.61/$0.99 Hours of alien-balancing fun

Doodle Jump is one of those games that manages to raise your heartbeat within seconds, mainly due to the fact that it has such a short learning curve. This is because the game cunningly makes great use of your phone's accelerometer, which means that if you decide to play Doodle Jump on a packed train, you will probably be arrested for threatening behavior, as the hand that wields your smartphone will be trying to make sure your doodled protagonist doesn't fall from the game's disappearing ledges.

The premise for Doodle Jump is simple: there's a crudely drawn alien who you can save from falling by tilting your phone.

To help you keep the alien on the endless amounts of platforms that appear at an increasing rate, you can use rockets and trampolines. Oh, and you've got to shoot a load of pesky monsters before they knock you off your perch into the black hole of oblivion below.

And that's about as complicated as it gets. But the myriad of themes available and the sheer addictive nature of the game means that there are hours of fun (and swearing at yourself) to be had. It's taken a full
year for Lima Sky, the makers of Doodle Jump, to port the game onto the Android system. But now it is here you are not going to be able to put down your phone again. It will be interesting to see just how popular the game will be

for Android. Doodle Jump managed to rack up 3 million (and counting] sales for the iPhone, pushing it to number one in the UK for paid apps for many a month.

The problem is the Android version of the game isn't as playable. While the frenetic gameplay is still there, this is sometimes marred by the screen freezing and other niggles.

The other problem is that as a smartphone game Doodle Jump already feels a touch outdated. It will struggle to compete with the likes of Cut The Rope and Angry Birds. To show how much the smartphone gaming arena changed in such a small space of time - Doodle Jump originally cost around £2.50 (just over $4). This has been reduced significantly to a much more palatable price.

While any game that's under a pound on the Android Market and keeps you playing is worth its money - Doodle Jump is a cut above the rest.


Shoot U!

 Brilliantly simple game with luscious graphics that you won't want to put down for hours on end.

£1.24/51.99 Cannon caper 

Another simple title, another brilliantly simple concept that's hard to put down. All you have to do is shoot your character from a cannon into the red star. How far across the screen you aim determines how powerful the shot is, and as you progress the levels have more and increasingly convoluted obstacles you have to find a way around/through.

The graphics are great, Looking hand drawn, and add to the simplicity of the game. And it's a lot of fun seeing the various characters (a different one each time you shoot) fly into the obstacles, while the rag doll physics make it seem all the more painful.

It's a doddle to get to grips with, then quite addictive once you've started. The graphics and the rag doll characters give it a real personality of its own, and
the learning curve is spot-on, not throwing you in at the deep end, but gradually increasing the difficult/, making sure it feels like fun rather than hard work. There's also the ability to create characters from your friends' images and, to be honest, we can't ever see ourselves getting tired of flinging pals into walls.  


GalaxIR Star

 Entertaining space-based game that really comes alive in the all-action multiplayer mode. 

£1.23/$1.97 Planet plunder 

Conquer the enemy planets, that's the aim of this game. You start with one blue planet, one red and a load of grey, and you have to turn them all blue by colonising them. How to go about that? Just press your blue planet and drag to a differently coloured one to send a few ships over.

Each planet has a number on - as you send out ships or get hit by the enemy, your number goes down, replenishing if you don't send any more out, and when ar enemy planet reaches zero, it's all yours. The best way to attack is to colonise all the grey planets as quickly possible, then you can double tap to select all your planets and drag to the few remaining red ones to launch an all-out assault.

It's tricky to follow what's happening at times, with all the ships flying everywhere, and it can feel like a game of speed rather than skill, but it's a lot of fun at the same time, and very easy to pick up and play. And in multiplayer it really kicks off, with the action so frenetic it's like a space-based riot.


Rather dull puzzle with a pointless plot that will probably only appeal to extreme gem fetishists.

£1.83/$2.95 Uninspiring gem puzzle
This is the worst kind of puzzler: one with a plot. You're in ancient Egypt and have to blast through a selection of jewels so that you can clear the pyramid and move onto the next.
Yes, we know it's nonsense, but basically what this amounts to is you have to match three or more of the same kind of jewel horizontally or vertically to make them disappear, bringing everything down a notch. Touch one of the exploding jewels and the whole row disappears, bringing the pieces of mosaic closer to falling off the bottom. Collect all the mosaic pieces at the bottom of the grid and you'll get moved on to the next level.

If you're struggling to see which move to make some handy arrows appear as a guide, though you can't depend on them as time will soon run out if you do. The controls are a little tricksy (it's probably better if
you have a small thumb), and the levels aren't all that varied, but it's a fun diversion, though certainly net a classic puzzler like Tetris. And we'd question if it's worth the price -you'll have to seriously be into puzzlers (or jewels) to get your money's worth .

Frozen Bubble

Free and perfectly enjoyable, if sometimes perhaps a little too easy bubble-bursting game. 

Free Simple but engaging bubble burster  

Bubble bursting games are 10-a-penny on Android, with deceptively simple puzzlers like Frozen Bubble dominating the platform's app chart. Lucky, then, that simplicity doesn't mean a lack of gameplay, as Frozen Bubble is as enjoyable as many of the paid-for games out there.

The plot for Frozen Bubble is simple: you have to propel multicoloured bubbles into a chasm of other bubbles, linking three or more to destroy them before the wall gets too big and freezes you.

The game is in the same vain as Bonsai Blast, though you are limited to just the one screen.

There are a few niggles with the application. The area on the screen where you can move your bubble gun (controlled by a little bird) is too small and the touchscreen accuracy is sometimes off.

We have found that it isn't actually all that difficult, either. The higher you progress through the various levels, however, the more challenging it becomes.

For those who want to add their own flourish to the game, there is also a level editor companion -something which is a nice touch.

Frozen Bubble may be free of charge, but it offers just as much gameplay as a premium app, which is more than welcomed.  

Touch Pool 2D


    An enjoyable recreation of everyone's favour to pub sport that survives a couple of minor flaws. 

£3.08/54.99 Solid pool sim 

You would think that a pool simulator wouldn't work on a small screen.Touch Pool 2D, though, proves that you can port the intricacies of billiards or to a smartphone and not any of the fun. Straight from the break Touch Pool 2D proves to be a competent pool game. For a start, there's a whole host of options to tweak the game to your needs, more than the apps 2MB size leads you to believe. You have the choice of 'cue
power' or 'flick power' to hit the balls with, as well as the ability to add spin to the balls and toggle the aiming methods.

You can even choose what table you want and what kind of pool game you want to play - there's up to 15 games on show.

And then there's the fact the game gets even more interesting when you hock your phone up to another and play one of your mates.

We did have some niggles with the way you hit a ball. Once you line your shct up, you have to press the 'play shct' button then flick the cue to play the shot. If this action was changed into a tap, then it would ma<e the game a much better experience to play.

But this no way hinders what is a pretty decent stab at a sports sim.

Replica Island

 Replica Island pulls off the notable feat of bring truly epic platform gameplay to your Android handset. 

Free Hugely impressive platform scroller 

You would never look to the Android Market for an epic game. This is mainly because most of the games that are available are one-dimensional affairs that rely on addiction and repetition to rope you in.

Replica Island is different - it's a game that's a decent platform scroller that's got real depth.

Real games are hard to find, mainly because developers have so
little memory to play with when they're creating them.

But, the makers of Replica Island have made something pretty special - a plat former with a plot that rivals many dedicated console games.

In the game you direct the Google Android character around 40 or so levels, ridding the island of enemies created by The Source (don't ask, we're just te.ling you the facts) and collecting pearls along the way.

You can jump, fly and whiz around the myriad levels, using your phone's touchscreen. While controlling the character could have been better -the sheer number of :asks to complete - like gathering up red jewels and controlling robots -means you are always kept busy.

Replica Island needs 5MB of memory to work - but it's worth it as it's one of the most expansive games seen on the Android platform.


 Strongly resembles another well- known block-based game,but is none the worse for that.

£1.68/$2.68 Tetris, anyone?    

It may look like another Tetris rip-off, but when the graphics are this great, who cares?

Though given the colourful appearance, maybe the Game Gear classic Columns is a closer relative. Colorix takes the age-old formula of blocks falling from the top of the screen - this time they're marbles - and gives it a lick of paint with some shiny gloss to boot. The result is nothing short of stunning.

You can jump straight in and start racking up combinations by changing the order of the three colours as they fall (you can get lines of the same colour going horizontally, vertically, diagonally, or even two lines meeting at 90°), or go for the more involving options available, offering a real depth to the gameplay.

Should someone phone while you're playing, you can pause and choose the Resume Game option to keep playing without missing a trick, which is a nice touch.

It's another paid-for offering, and while we're loath to shell out cash for a simple puzzle game, it is worth the money, with far more options and depth than the basic free version.

If you don't go for the lite version over the full fat one you must surely have lost a few of your own marbles.


Fiendishly compelling jewel-matching puzzle that makes the most of a very simple premise. 

  Free Madly addictive puzzle     

 It is said that imitation is the best form of flattery, but the makers of Bejeweled must be smarting knowing that Jewels for the Android Market is actually a better game. The 'match three objects' puzzler is a deceptive.y simple but brilliant time waster for the format.

The premise is simple: swap the jewels around until they match and the more you have in a row, the more points you get.

There's a number of variations of the game you can play. These include: Normal,Timed and Infinite.Timed works best when you don't actually have much time as you have to swap the jewels before the clock runs out or it's game over.

Infinite, as the name suggests, lets you play for as long as you want, but no high scores are kept. And normal is, well, normal.

As with most games which work on the same screen, things do occasionally get a bit samey, but this lack of graphical prowess does mean that Jewels is a mere 1.9MB in size. But you don't come to this game looking for cutting edge graphics or a gripping storyline - Jewels Is for those who like a game to get themselves addicted, something it does with aplomb.


Straight-up pinball sim, the initial appeal of which starts to flag slightly after several samey tables. 

Free For the supple-wristed   

 If you've ever spent time in any kind of arcade you'll know the basics of this game. It's a no-frills pinball sim, with a choice of seven themed tables: Bowling, Underwater, Soccer, Invaders,Android Land, Sixties and Christmas Tree. Flick the ball, hit as many o- the targets as possible and keep it in play before it inevitably falls between your paddles. Yes, this is pinball, plain and simple. There's little variation between the tables, apart from their look, but then there's not really much you can do with the limited mechanics of such a simple game.

The controls are touch-operated: press the middle of the screen to fire the ball into play (the longer you hold, the harder it's pushed), then press the right side of the screen to flip the right paddle, the left for the left. The controls do tend to lag a little, though it could've been our timing that was off and the sounds are authentic, though the graphics are a little basic.

Pinball doesn't do anything spectacular, but it's a decent enough game and it's free, so if you're a fan of the game you can't really go far wrong with this.

Bonsai Blast

 Deceptively tricky puzzler :hat works well on this format without requiring too much power. 

Free Simple, fun puzzle
At first glance, Bonsai Blast looks like it will be a game in a similar vein to Bejewelled, but its maker - the prolific Glu Mobile - has breathed new life into the usually rigid puzzle genre.The aim of the game couldn't be simpler - you have to stop the snaking line of coloured balls from hitting the Ying/Yang sign. This may sound simple but is actually trickier than you think.

This is because you have no control over the line. Instead, you are given a ball-shooting contraption, which you use to direct the right coloured balls to the line. Get three of the same coloured balls in a row and that will reduce the line.

Bansai Blast is the type of game that succeeds on Android as it's simple enough not to drain processing power (though it does take up 6.5MB) but addictive enough to keep you playing.

We did have a few problems with the small-ish screen - at times our thumbs were stopping us from seeing much of what was going on and the ball-gun controls are more fiddly than they need to be. This doesn't stop it being a great game, though.


BrainGoal! Pro

Reacquaint yourself with maths with this surprisingly entertaining head-scratcher. 

£3.10/$4.99 Time-pressure maths teaser

Whoever thought maths could be fun? Believe it or not, this game does succeed in making sums, well, if not exactly thri.ling then at least less tiresome than being sat at the back of a classroom.

There's not much :o it really. No fancy graphics or animated characters talking you through what to do or how to go about it (though that's probably a good thing), just a series of sums with either the numbers or signs missing, so you have to choose which number from a selection to put in, or whether to multiply, divide, add 0' subtract to reach a certain outcome. The answer to the sum has a bearing on the next as well, and with four sums on each puzzle, there's only one way to solve each stage. Oh, and you're against the clock as well, which ups the tension considerably. Four difficulty levels (Thinker, Smart, Genius and Custom) ramp up the difficulty so even Mensa members will find it a

challenge, and while it's not exactly what you'd call a varied game, it is quite addictive, especially in short bursts. Who wouldn't want the chance to prove their maths teacher wrong?


Free music and video system that generally impresses but falls just a little short of expectation. 

Free Nicely designed video and music app

By now you've all heard of  VEVO. Most of the times you watch an official music video on YouTube you'll see that logo flash up before you get down to boogie. This app presents the tunes that the YouTube app s you is not available on mobile.

Once this free app loads, and it does take a while, you're presented with a host of exclusive videos to choose from, otherwise there's 25,000 songs from 7,500  artists up for grabs. You can watch it on normal or HQ, share it with your friends through any number of means (although sharing through Facebook is pretty crap, it just posts a link with no info) or buy it from Amazon MP3.

The first time we loaded VEVO it crashed our entire OS, which isn't the best initial impression, and clicking on a pre-video ad will open the browser from which it's a mission to get back.

There's also playlists that other people have created but seemingly no opt on to create your own.

These glitches are a shame because the application has a really beautiful interface and navigating around it is fast, simple and pleasurable.

We'd love to give it maximum marks and perhaps with a few tweaks it can make it.

Barmily gripping ninja-based skill game that makes up for in fun what it lacks in variety.

Free Bouncing ninja chuckles 

Upon spotting this title in the Android Market, we thought 'this better be a game about jumping ninjas, or we're going packing up our toys and going home'. Thankfully, Backflip Studios wasn't about to disappoint us with it latest addictive hit.

You play a ninja whose job it is to ascend a skyscraper, in true ninja style by jumping from building to building with a single tap and avoiding the angry birds (yes that's what they're called), ninja stars and killer squirrels (that's a game in itself, surely?). It's addictive, simple mobile gaming at its very best.

Sounds easy right? Well unfortunately, just like in real life, if you get hit or hit something you come tumbling to the ground (save a shield that protects you from a single hit) Just one slip and you're on your way to becoming street pizza.

There's more to the game than that though, if you catch a ninja star just right you'll get a speed boost and if you hit three squirrels in a row, it'll propel you further up the seemingly never ending building.

Graphical.y, there isn't a whole lot going on, although what's there is presented beautifully. You can also share your achievements through social media and email. This game is pretty similar to City Jump, but we prefer this due to the higher ninja quotient. Not quite enough substance or variety to earn top marks, but a great, free time-killer.

Tank Hero


Exciting tank shooter that presses all the right buttons despite some intrusive ads.

Free The Battle of the Bulge in your pocket 

 You can tell from the opening music of Tank Hero that it's going to rule.The ominous tones of The Shining crossed with a callous WWE bad guy's entrance music really get you in the mood.

Your mission Is a bit like Robot Wars; just seek and destroy. Enter a grid and fire your weapons at enemies before they hit you, there's a lot of ducking and diving, firing off walls and counter punching and it ends up being a really fun and addictive sim.

Opponents are pretty intelligent and will react to your movements and, more often than not, there are multiple merciless adversaries for you to vanquish. The campaign mode that takes you through a series of levels of increasing difficulty is great, but the survival mode allows you to build credit, which you can invest in better weapons.

It's not perfect though, the (excellent) D-Pad, ads and life-force indicators often harm the visibility of your targets and when you have to touch the target on the screen to shoot, that's a bit of a problem. Graphically, it's as good as it needs to be, and it doesn't drink too much memory or battery life at only 6.2MB. Definitely worth a download. But will it be 'Awesome Victory' or Total Failure' that awaits you?


Live Hold 'Em Poker PRO 

Free Conceptually flawed card sim   

Mobile app stores are awash with poker sims looking to get you hooked into smoky late night sessions with your handset and the entire internet. Live Held 'em Pro is among the best in terms of pure gameplay; graphics are clear ard gameplay is smooth with no interruptions if you're in a reliable 3G or Wi-Fi area.

There are plenty of tables and tournaments to get you lying immediately and in that respect it really can't be
 faulted. The shootout mode is fur when you just fancy a quick blast otherwise you can play high rollers.

Upon opening this app you're forced to sign up for a full registration or connect with Facebook, something we're always slightly wary of doing (but it does allow you to use your profile picture). The advantage of Facebook connect is that you can play against buddies

The app might be free, it doesn't mean it's not going to cost you. If you want to buy more chips to buy into games you can do that with real cash or charge it to your mobile bill (no thanks) but there's no means of actual.y winning anything, so what's the po nt in that? If you're going to spend money on online poker, you might as well play one where you're in with a chance of a return.

Crazy Snowboard

Thoroughly entertaining, beautifully rendered snowboard sim that plays as well as it looks.

Free Radical board game is a blast 

The key to the success of many mobile games is simplicity. We need to be able to master the basics quickly, because we're sure as heck not going to dedicate hours to learning intricate skills like we would on our Xbox 360.

Simplicity is what makes Crazy Snowboard one of the best games available for Android today. There's no Tony Hawks-like constant wipeouts, tricks are easy enough to pull off and levels are just about  challenging enough to keep you coming back without intimidating you into quitting. It might be slightly elementary for the boarding-game aficionado, but everyone else is going to love it.

With the basics easy to master, you can really have some fun with it and worry about beating your best score, rather than landing too much. The gameplay might be simple, but it's still solid and logical. If you don't have enough momentum, you're rot going to hit your targets or make checkpoints in time.

Graphically, it's also up there with the best games on the platform and there's plenty of depth; 30 missions, 13 riders, 16 tricks and 13 boards to choose from.

The 21 MB download size might drain your battery a little, but in this case it's well worth it. A brilliant game.  

Game Dev Story

 Very more-ish and pleasingly humorous game that is worth paying for once you're hooked. 

£3/$4.88 Droll strategy 
 Some strategy games have a concept that you just get right away. Sim City brings out the megalomaniac in you, Theme Park the kid in you.

But Game Dev Story's concept is slightly more left field, putting you in the role of a games developer. This means that you are put in control of a game development company, get to choose the concept of games and possibly make a virtual mint in the process. Well, that's the idea but as the game shows, making a lot of money in the games world is a lot harder than it sounds

Putting aside our slight cynicism of the concept, Game Dev Story is a highly addictive
game that has the charm of the Sims and enough self-reflexive parody to make you smile. Essentially, every console that's ever been released gets lampooned in this game and you have the chance of turning a company like Acorn into a Sony and vice versa.

We would like the screen size to be a bit bigger and the graphics, although cutesy, aren't on a par with the latest batch of Android games - which is a shame, as the application is larger than most.

There is also a free version of available where you can pay two years within the game. Once you have this taster, you will want to shell out on the full game.

 Rocket Bunnies

  Free Brilliant free rabbity fun 
Rocket Bunnies is up there with the best looking and most playable games on Android and it doesn't cost a penny. Graphically, it's simply brilliant, which is perhaps why it's sadly only available to those handsets running Android 2.2.

You're in space, naturally, riding a spaceship and sling-slotting yourself around planets, while you collect carrots.

You tap a planet to move towards it and then rotate around it, until you've collected all the carrots and filled your little bunny tummy.

There are, of course, obstacles to negotiate, like mines and four legged spiders that will turn your floppy eared erse into space
junk should you make contact, so the timing of your planetary leaps must be impeccable.

The gameplay is extremely addictive and there are plenty of levels and galaxies to keep you going. Even then, there's plenty to keep you occupied as it adopts the Angry Birds methods of offering up to three stars for your speed of completion.

The game isn't without a niggly fault. When we left it to check emails, we returned to find all of the planets had turned green and the game had frozen. Leaving the game open also slows your phone to a crawl, which is a shame, because otherwise this would be in the running for best free game on Android.


Hungry Shark
 Unleash your inner apex predator with this amusingly bloodthirsty marine gobble fest. 

UK£1.82/$2.95 Snappy days


Angry Birds, Rocket Bunnies, Hungry Shark, these crazy animals always have some kind of adjective attached to thorn when they enter the world of Android gaming. But while we don't necessarily associate birds with anger and bunnies with rockets, being hungry is the raison d'etre of the dark killer of the deep. From the moment you're dumped into the water from a great height, you have to quench that insatiable thirst for blood.

Using the accelerometer and gyro in your Android phone, you control the shark by tilting the handset up to swim upwards, down to swim downwards or left and right to change direction. If you come into contact with something lower on the food chain (including brainless swimming humans) then you munch and its blood spills everywhere. Sort of like Echo the Dolphin meets Jaws. Although, once you get used to the control system you'll be turning the ocean into a crimson mass, but watch out for undersea bombs, jelly fish, and the smarter aquatic creatures that protect themselves with prickles. Hit too many of those and you'll be sleeping with the fishes.

This game is a huge amount of fun to play, it's really satisfying watching the humans paddle for safety as you stalk them, and while it doesn't reach the top of the tree graphics wise, it does look pretty good. It is a paid-for app, but we reckon the small investment is worthwhile, especially for the more bloodthirsty among you.


Restaurant Story

Fun, well made sim, but only real gastronauts will want to pursue it beyond the free stage

Free Can't stand the heat? 

Ever felt like running your own fast food joint?  No, neither have we, but it's still fun to play pretend sometimes, isn't it? It doesn't even have to be a fast food joint, it can be the classiest establishment on the planet.

You start by cooking up some omelettes and French toast in your two-table diner and as the place gets more popular you start making more elaborate dishes, expanding the floorspace and upgrading the decor. If the punters like it your progress will be fast.

It's a sizable download at 14MB and part of the game involves you leaving it running in the background while customers come in and out and frequent the place. It's cool to pick up the phone after leaving it for 10 minutes to see that you made some profit, or receive a notification to say your fruit salad is ready to be served. But this will destroy your batter/ in a very short space of time. Leave your food cooking too long though and your customers will leave annoyed. The game is free, but there's only
so far you can go with the free model. The developers want you to buy gems in order to turn your place into a Michelin starred joint. You can get 24 for £3.50 ($5.65), but 900 gems will cost you £10C ($161). Unless you're really obsessed with culinary perfection, you're not going to be splashing that kind of cash.

It's an excellent sim, however, that's fun for an afternoon or so, until you outgrow your premises. Just keep an eye on that stove.

Dante: The Inferno

Free Briefly diverting hell game

Take charge of a brokenhearted hero as he looks to rescue his dead bride from the depths of limbo, collecting soul orbs to open purtals into new levels, negotiating obstacles, solving puzzles and avoiding demons along the way.Sounds awesome, right?

Dante:The Inferno adopts the classic adventure game model, with the story unfolding as you go along thanks to textual chats with your in-game peers. There's a whopping 121 levels to make your way through with a total of six hours' worth of gaming on offer. It's relatively fun, without being mind-blowing.

The control system is what really lets the side down here though. The direction arrows that guide your character are slow and often unresponsive and you'll often come a cropper. Sometimes you'll get stuck too and have to completely restart the level.

It's a good looking app, and in places it's clever. The level design is occasionally excellent, but collecting orbs can be a little repetitive. Especially for 121 level3. It's only a 2.3MB download and it's free so we there's no harm in giving it a try. Just don't expect the novelty to last long.    


£2.51/$4.07 Riveting western 

You're going to need to ambush a whole bunch of gringos if you're going to progress in this brilliant Wild West defence game. The idea is to stop American white settlers passing through town and alerting the sheriff to your illicit activities by taking them out before they make it. To achieve that you're going to have to hire a crew of Mexican desperados with and even a few Native Americans warriors.

It looks awesome, with neat animations and cool explosions, and there's some humour thrown in too. If you're down with paying for your mobile gaming relief then there ain't much better on offer than this.  


Free Who needs friends?   

It'd be pretty hard for a developer to mess up Solitaire. The rules are all established, it doesn't serve up any design challenges you're not going to have to design an elaborate, memory sapping programme to make it work. AAA Solitaire presents the basic card game ably, with no glitches or crashes. What more can you ask?

The game times your progress, giving you a target to beat and records your win success (we recorded a pathetic 1/9). As well as the title game, it throws in in old favourites like Spider, Freecell and Forty Thieves.

This free version of Solitaire offers smug satisfaction and exasperation in equal doses.   

Ransom Notes

 Free Demands with menace 

This the name suggests, enables you to generate ransom notes. It is Is a reasonably fun app you can use to make demands on those who have still got your stuff.

What's better is that this isn't a painstaking job and you car quickly create fun notes that resemble one of those real life ransom demands with odd lettering cut from a newspaper.

You can also shake your phone to redo the words. Once you have the right image, you can opt to save it or send it to an unsuspecting victim.

It's a little on the sinister side, admittedly, but if you don't ask for money you ought to be just fine.

Enjoy Sudoku


Free Popular number brainteaser 

The number game has taken the English world by storm. This is an app that not only offers you a variety of puzzles to try, as well as some hints and tips on how to successfully finish one of the puzzles.

The interface is pleasing to the eye, with some colour brightening up the usual black and white grids.

And then there is the fact that there are 16 difficulty levels on offer and an unlimited amount of puzzles. We didn't really have the time (or skill) to check if th s was the case.

There is also a hint system on board, which will stop nails being bitten while you try to figure out where the number two fits into the puzzle.


Free Classic Oriental puzzler 

Mahjong is a great way to kill a wet weekend if you have the patience of a saint. The idea is to match up pairs of patterned tiles to remove them from the puzzle until there are no more tiles left.

Elementary right? Wrong. You're only allowed to hit ones on the edges that aren't going to disturb the others and there are layers after layer.

You can prod away for hours at this thing, but helpfully there are three hints that you can use when you get really stuck and you get three chances to shuffle the tiles.

There are 75 different boards and it's worth a download, but beware, it subscribes you to Magma Mobile News updates.

Atomic Bomber

£0,98/51,59 Bummer, more like 

Nuking troublesome Russians might sound like fun, but it isn't when gameplay is this primitive. The idea is to guide a plane carrying warheads and missiles to fire on the tanks,trucks and weapons launchers and storage facilities below. Missiles kill your target, nukes kill everything. Avoid some strange missiles attached to string and you move onto the next level, with bonuses for accuracy.

With a bit of effort regarding the graphics and control system this could have been a fun game. Controlling the plane itself is really quite annoying, though,and causing destruction is less than satisfying. 

Tower Raiders Gold

£2.46/$3.99 Top fantasy adventure 

 Defend your fortress with all of your military might. Tower Raiders tasks you with taking down the enemy forces before they can steal your crystals and get out of the battle zone in one piece.

Enemies display varying levels of resistance before they're vanquished, from infantry soldiers to armoured tanks. As you destroy waves of these relentless foes, you'll earn points to buy and upgrade guns and lasers. Graphically, it's a little like the oldest Command & Conquer games, but level design is fantastic.

There's hours of fun to be had here as levels take ages to complete and it'll cost you less than a pint of ale. 

Shredder Chess

£5.03/$8.15 Powerful chess sim
The Android Market is loaded with free chess sims that you can download, so why splash afiver on this one?Shredder is the 12 time World Computer Chess Programme Champion.There's an adjustable playing standard that learns from your performance to match you against a computer player of equal standing.

You can also learn a lot about the game, by solving computer puzzles to find the best move. Moving isn't always easy, and it's a good job there's a handy 'take back' option. Playing against the computer is fun, but for this sort of money there needs to be an option to play others online. 

World War 12 Honour Points

Free Nuclear bore-fare
Once again nuclear war has broken out and it's time to choose sides. This strategy game is nowhere near as exciting as it sounds. It's like a really bad version of Championship Manager:you don't really see any of the action, you're just told if you won or lost the battle.

You complete-impossible-to-fail missions to buy weapons and infantry and then take on others and try to loot their goods, earn cash and up levels. If you happen to be better equipped you win and vice-versa. We can't help but keep asking Where's the fun in that? After 10 minutes of winning or losing by chance, we deserted our country and left it to fight World War 12 by itself. 

Choice of Broadsides

Free Old-school swashbuckler

This is a throwback to those old-school adventure games that allow you to tell your own story based on the decisions you make at the bottom of each page. Every choice you make, affects your final destiny. Therefore, If you fail an exam you're busted down to the rank of sailor.

It'3 a lot of reading with pages of story that flow from the choices you make often a little laborious, but it's a different story every time, so make a few different choices along the way, or learn from your mistakes and a whole new narrative arc is created. Graphically basic, Choice of Broadsides is an decent way to kill sometime and what's more it's free .   

Free Running

Gives weight to the idea that the simplest ideas are the best: you'll want to play this again and again. 

Free Basic addictive brilliance  

It seems that when it comes to mobile gaming, the simple titles are often the most addictive. This is certainly the case with Free Running, the name of which applies both to the price and to the activity in question

Your goal is to lead your little stick man across a simple assault course as he runs at breakneck speed to a finish line, presumably somewhere in the afterlife (it took us about two minutes to die on 1,500 points, the leader board master has 2.5million). You'll need exquisite timing to either jump ever the blocks or roll under them to continue your progress aided by two buttons on the left and right hand edge of the touchscreen. Should you fall,the screen catches you up a little bit until eventually it overtakes you and you die.

Successive successful leaps or rolls will build a temporary shield or give you a Sonic-style speed burst, but there's no gaining on that screen, you get about four hits before you're wiped out, as a blazing trance soundtrack raises the pulse.

The animation is simple, but strangely endearing and at just 657k it's barely going to do and damage to the memory on your handset.

A brilliant little game that's we.l up there with the best free apps on Android and although it lacks any variety whatsoever, you'll keep going back to beat that score.

SF Cave

Free Limited snakey entertainment   

Navigate your way through a never-ending cave by avoiding the green blobs part-blocking your path. Your character is a long snakey-worm creature and you control it by pressing and releasing on the touchscreen to account for the undulating surfaces.

If you choose the dynamic level setting, the blobs become mobile, making it a little more difficult to navigate through the course.

There's a few minutes of fun to be had with this primitive, 80's-style adventure, but it soon turns to frustration. It runs smoothly and isn't much of a drain on memory, but there are better free games. 

 Raging Thunder 2

£3.08/$4.99 Memory-hungry racer 

Raging Thunder is a cross- platform 3D racer.That's right, if your friend is playing the iPhone version that you can still race against them on your Android device.

There is a small (actually rather large) caveat. This is that the game takes up a phenomenal chunk of your storage space. You will have to put a pretty enormous 20MB onto your phone's SD card before you even start playing - those gorgeous visuals seem to come at a price.

What you co get is a wide variety of scenery. Frenetic, great to look at and a decent game overall, this is a must for those who want to test out their Android handset to the max.    

Homerun Battle 3D

£3.08/$4.99 Homer odyssey
Homerun Battle 3D sees you step up to the plate once again to take on a host of online opponents and slug those curveballs out of the park. 

It's straightforward, but some seriously good 3D graphics give the game an extra edge.

Occasionally you'll be presented with the opportunity to double or triple up on scores or hi ta Goldball and, if you smack those for a homer, you can trade them in to customise your gear.

The game is fun for a while, but it can get pretty boring and frustrating. It takes up 23MB on your SD card and hoovers up your battery, but it is reasonably fun overall, though.   


£1.84/$2.99 Slick space missile fun 

 Galcon is all about conquering the galaxy. The point of the game is to fire clusters of missiles at other planets and gain the upper hand over your opponent.

Defending territory gained is tricky since the intended destination of your enemy's missiles is impossible to determine until it's too late. The nuances of risk and reward are not obvious at first, but as you progress from cabin boy to Grand Admiral one mistake can cost you the galaxy Simple audio and graphics create a great retro feel, and we love its portrait orientation, but it gets traumatic, suddenly jumping from too easy to unbearably difficult.

Break the Blocks


£1.23/51.99 Blockbusting classic      

Released first as Breakout in the 1970s and later as Arkanoid, the classic arcade game is back in souped-up guise.The first level gets you going gently, with a reasonably slow ball and a gradual reveal of the bonuses and events you'll encounter in each level. Success depends as much on the quality of the phone's touchscreen as your brain's reaction speed, since sliding can be tricky - and sticky. Stuffed with the first 10 levels, the free Lite version should serve you well, b it beware; the levels at the beginning are short and tempt you into buying the full version with their cunning simplicity. Addiction awaits. 

 Armored Strike Online


£2.46/53.99 Tanks for the memories   

This is basically a poor man's Worms with tanks. Its rudimentary 2D presentation looks dated, an impression reinforced by the low resolution graphics.

The rules are simple, albeit slightly upgraded in that the other three players can be online. In fact we'd encourage you to get online because the computer is too good, even in the early rounds. There's the usual choice of  weapons and consideration of wind direction, and though it's all laid out very well, it won't dominate your life for long. With lifeless sound effects, low-res graphics and repetitive gameplay, this game doesn't use the Android platform to the full.

Evac HD

£1.50/£2.43 A-maze-ing mayhem  

Forget Pac-Man. Now you're Pinky, and you're trying to find the exit from a maze while surviving the attentions of your mortal enemy Shadow Box's army of red squares. Escape them and eat all the light pellets, and the exit will appear. Easy! It does take a while to get to grips with the game's onscreen virtual directional pad, but it doesn't take long to master.

The graphics are simple and stunning;the structures glow and pulse in a variety of vivid pinks, purples and oranges, with a nuanced glow around everything.The music is also unique, and adds to the immersive feel. Best played on a large screen, such as the HTC Desire. 


The Impossible Game

£0.60/$l Infuriating musical fun

Completing The Impossible Game could be your life's work if you're into 1980s electro pop. The point of the game is that you are a ball on a conveyor belt, and all kinds of obstacles - blocks, bridges, etc - rush at you from the right-hand side of the screen at immense speed. Your job is to jump over the spikes and on top of the blocks by tapping the screen. If you get to the end of the level, great. If you burst, you re-spawn at the start of the level and have to repeat the entire thing again.

The best thing about this game is the music; every jump adds a synthesizer note to the thumping background Your reward for staying alive is some serious melody.

  Asphalt HD


£0.61/S0.99 Classic pursuit game 

his smartphone version of the classic pursuit game packs almost as big a punch as the original.The 13MB download offers a choice of more than 30 cars and 12 tracks, while the graphics are probably the highlight of this super-smooth game. There's also some nifty multiplayer options, including via Bluetooth and online.

Not as forgiving as some pursuit platforms, turbos need to be used wisely and all on-track power-ups and nitro canisters collected to keep your opponents within reach.The latest version (3.3.5) supports playback on Samsung's Galaxy Tab and while bigger is best, it is still superb or the smaller smart phones.

Winds of Steel

£2.51/54 Ace WW2 aerial shooter 

his superb, mission-style accelerometer game is based on the air battles of the Asia-Pacific region in World War II, It's packed with historically accurate detail and starts off with a Japanese biplane. You'll switch sides later on, but start a campaign and you'll soon be bombing Pearl Harbour; 12 rounds later, Tokyo is your target.

A touch repetitive and slow moving at times, the graphics are seriously lacking on th s otherwise compelling game. Not a game to play in the gaps between your daily chores, Winds of Steel demands some serious attention, no: least by the developers who are on the cusp of a truly great game. 

Jet Car Stunts

£1.24/$2.01 Track race thrills      


Here's a reason to invest in a smartphone with as big as screen as possible - and the latest Android OS. Despite its retro name, Jet Car Stunts' myriad tracks are rendered in ultra-modern style as they twist and turn their way through the planet's ozone layer.

Based on the now common - but still awesome - accelerometer idea for steering, the crazy tracks mean mid-air oblivion awaits you after your next mistake.

Reminiscent of Mario Kart,and not only because of the Rainbow Bridge-style tracks. Jet Car Stunts has graphics to die for. Like the  Nintendo blockbuster, the track is full of traps, gaps and impossible angles, though there's no one to battle - you're on your own.

Stuffed with 36 tracks that go from bonkers to brutal, the aim of the game in platforming mode is not to crash, though there's plenty more to think about; drifting, flying and, of course, pulling off the wildest stunts. There are tutorials to teach you, though a dose of gulp-and-go is the only thing that will get you round the tough time trials.

Based around the OpenFeint platform made popular on the iPhone, Jet Car Stunts' online dimension comprises leaderboards, achievements and the uploading of replays.There are few games this striking and difficult to master. Gentlemen, start your engines!


£3.08/$4.99 Stripped-down war strategy 

this bare bones strategy game uses the traditional hex layout that some will find an essential tryout. Unfortunately there's no tutorial, just a list of basic instructions, though it's not a difficult game to get to grips with.

As with other titles in the genre, the point of  UniWar is to destroy and capture hexagonal bases

one-by-one, in this case using a variety of
weapons and infantry that have predetermined skills and capabilities. You are the Sapiens, with both the Titans robot army and the Khralians aliens standing in your way. Both are seemingly much better armed than you.

With a top-down view throughout, this 1.9MB download - played-out over 20 levels is not an elegant game. The riles are very basic and the power of your phone isn't used at all; even the touchscreen nature of modern devices is virtually ignored.

There are options to indulge in a campaign, take on an opponent as a one-off, or play online with up to eight players.

UniWar is sufficiently complex and unpredictable enough to become addictive, but it's more suited to a Commodore 16 than an Android smartphone - this military strategy game is more Risk than risque.  


E1.67/S2.70 Arcade-style shooter 

 This sizzling side-scroller and sci-fi shoot'em up has the feel of a timeless arcade classic.

Overkill presents a choice of control by touch or tilt; you can either get to grips with your smartphone's accelerometer, or by onscreen virtual direction keypad.

Whatever you're most comfortable with you won't be relaxed for long since your mission brief immediately throws you into an asteroid field. There's a lot of quick decisions to be made; a small mistake can mean game over. Pictures and sound are excellent and suit any kind of Android phone. It's perhaps rota game to wind down with after work, though arcade addicts will love it.

 Sky Force Reloaded

£1.99/53.21 Basic chopper gunfest    

This is a simple shoot 'em up in a 2.6MB download. Complete with a 1980's soundtrack,this game sees you in a helicopter, and out to beat the baddies, saving a few humans on the way. The full version includes only eight levels (with big bad bosses at the end of most), which is a little tight and quickly turns from simple to absurdly difficult.

Controlling the chopper is all done via the touchscreen, though it's inconsistent. We also experienced some inaccuracies that appeared largely down to a plethora of detail. It's a nice retro arcade game, but the graphics need updating for it to have much of a future.



Reasonably entertaining but rather predictable and not as widely compatible as we might have hoped.

£1.23/$1.99 Passable dogfight drama 

 fun to play on the go and seen from a bird's eye view, this dogfight-in-the-skies game is played out as a series of tactical moves. Each time you make a decision (veering left, ploughing forward or turning 180° in pursuit of the enemy), you then see the live consequences (you get shot,you shoot down the enemy, you take a wrong turn, etc). You make moves by dragging your finger across the screen, with your intended trajectory visible. Positioning your aircraft to have the most impact is your priority; the gunner doesn't miss.That can make Steam birds a tad predictable - and far too easy in the first few levels - but it's also entertaining.

The back story isn't important as the game itself, but it is a little odd. Each level of Steambirds is derived from an historical event,the first being the discovery of fusion power and steam-powered aircraft. It creates an alternative history where air superiority decides the outcome of WW1 and where German bombers nuke Paris in 1939.

Unfortunately not compatible with the Dell Streak or HTC Wildfire phones, this 5.7MB download is good, but graphically far too simple to considered great. 

Pac-Man Championship

£3.08/$4.99 Pac to the eighties 
it's good to know that an icon of the 20th century can carry on regardless of format. The original Pac-Man game came out in 1980 and while the graphics for the game may not have changed that much, the ways to play it have. Pac-Man on the Android platform shows how dexterous the original game really was. Unfortunately, though, it is a paid game that doesn't actually seem to play that well on the Aneroid platform. We encountered a number of problems that made tie game almost unplayable.

Then there is the fact that there is a free version doing the rounds; having to pay to play is a real kick in the teeth.


Tank Recon 3D

£3.08/$5 Tanks for the good fun  

This first-person shooter puts you in the driving seat of your very own tank You're given free reign to trudge around various landscapes blasting your cannon at planes, bases, other tanks and anything else you fancy blowing up -all rendered in great-looking real-time 3D graphics.

The game is a lot of fun to play and quite addictive, with smooth scrolling and nicely positioned multi-touch onscreen controls. It does get a bit samey after you've blown up your fiftieth tank, and save points wouldn't go amiss, but on the whole it's an entertaining game that lets you live out any combat fantasies you may be harbouring.

Millionaire 2010

£1.84/52.99 Faithful TV spin-off 

Millionaire 2010 is just like the TVshow;the only thing missing is a chuckling host yanking the cheque away. It's fun to play too - the first few questions give you only a short amount of time to answer, which cranks up the tension early and there's an online high score database to give you something to shoot for.

Problems?The same questions kept popping up after playing for a while - the ability to download more would be welcome - and some of the lifelines were of limited usefulness, but this is an entertaining game that fans of the show will love. Just a shame they don't send you the winnings.


£1.84/52.99 Addictive card game 

While away the hours playing this classic, ludicrously addictive card game. The rules are simple - get down to one card by matching colours and numbers, with special action cards to up the ante.

You can play against computer opponents or friends on a single device, and there's a Tournament mode to boot. Simple, colorful graphics are the order of the day, injecting a sense of old-school family fun, and the title music is cite. However, playing the game itself can be a little slow, especially when flicking through cards to find the one you want and some animation is a bit jerky.

Google Shopper

Free Awesomely clever shopping aid

Google Shopper is an extremely useful app that enables shoppers to find better prices on a multitude of items. Your phone becomes a bar code scanner, so. when you see an item you're interested in,you can bring up its details and see if it's available cheaper elsewhere.There are plenty of other bar code scanning apps around, so Google Shopper goes a step further - it can recognise books, CDs, DVDs and video games from their cover art using your phone's camera. You can also search by voice or by text entry.

It's powered by Google Product Search so as well as prices, you can usually see specs and even reviews of the product you're interested in. Additional useful features include a history function that saves your
previous select ons, a Share feature that enables you to send item details to your friends via Gmail, Facebook, Twitter and other services plus a product location finder.

There are some niggles. While the photo recognition is done automatically it can take time to work. Meanwhile, the bar code scanner, which can pluck info on a much wider range of products, can also be slow, and occasionally inaccurate. Searching by voice is hardly foolproof, too.

The mixture of text and icons on show is just about right. It's quick to use, too, and is the kind of free app that you might not call upon too often but could prove extremely useful If the image recognition feature is expanded, it could develop into something even better.


Unlikely to convert many unbelievers, but a useful addition to the habitual auctioneer's toolbox.

Free The official app for the online auction

Bay is a buying and selling mecca and now it's available on the go with the Official eBay Android App.The folks behind the app have made it as simple as possible to get online and keep on top of your auctions There's a search bar at the top of the main screen where you can type in what you are looking for. If your search is too broad, then you can refine it - we typed in 'bag and go: 467,305 results! The items pop up in a simple scroll screen, with the amount you have to bid in red and the postage and packaging and the amount of bids underneath. You can view all of this content without actually signing in. Once you are in, though, you can view all the items you are watching, the ones you are selling and the ones you are about to buy. While this is all easy to use and is set out in a plain way, it does feel like an app that you
use on the train home simply to keep track bids in progress and keep an eye on items you're selling. It certainly sets out all the information well and is a must-download if you're a regular eBayer.

   Ol Shopping List


Free Virtual shopping list
There's nothing worse than going to the supermarket and taking a crumpled, unreadable shopping list out of your pocket.

Luckily, you can now use this app. courtesy of those clever people a: the Open Internet. The Ul is a little off-putting, but a quick fiddle with the settings should change this. Once you're past that, the app is a breeze to use. First, input your shopping list into the phone, then as you shop you can tweak things like prices and add tags, so the next time you're doing the weekly food shop, you can compare pricing. It's functional, it works and it means you'll never forget that vital item. Just don't forget your phone.

Hot Deals

Free Discounted goods galore

Hot Deals has a community so large even the smallest of discounts are detailed. No matter what sort of thing you are after, there should be a bargain for you. It is UK-specif c, so the treasure trove of discounted products won't be much use anywhere else.

It's nicely laid out, with deals colour coded. So. if you see a red deal, it's something that's available to buy, while a blue deal is a competition you can enter.Click on a deal and you'll get location-specific info about it as well as some blurb about what is on offer. It's all very easy to use and constantly updated, so should make UK bargain hunters very happy.

ShopSavvy Barcode Scanner

Free Google-powered scanning app 

The sheer number of barcode apps available proves that scanning is a popular pastime. 

Barcode Scanner is one of the simplest to use. Load it up and you're presented with a view from your phone's camera with a line going through it.

To scan, align the barcode with that line and wait for the app to work its magic. You can search in several different ways. You can see prices on the web as well as some information about the product. You can also search for prices on Google and see a map of local stores. It relies on Google, so you might want to browse for products on the web instead.

You've Got Shoppings+    

£0.61/50.99 Basic retail aid 

This is a shopping list app like any other, but with a twist. You can email the list to anyone with a Gmail account, so, if you are on the go and know that you need something but cant get it yourself, you can mail the list to whoever may be your personal shopper that day.

Its just 161 k in size, but does have some decent features, including the ability to have a number of lists on the go and multiple people you can send the lists to. Items can be categorised and you can even colour code items and add them to different people. It won't take the sting out of

shopping but at least you'll remember what it was you wanted to buy.

Amazon UK

Free So-so app for retail giant

Anyone familiar with the Amazon website will be right at home with its UK app. All it takes is a quick sign-in to get all the recommendations you're usually given by the site and access to your wishlist arid so forth.

Recommendations enable you to search the app for loads of goodies you might like and mean you don't have to use the rather awkward search bar. After that, it's a simple click-to-buy process and you will receive an email to confirm the purchase. It can read barcodes, but so can Google Goggles and Barcode Scanner, and these give you the option buy from a multitude of sellers.


Free Excellent orientation tool

Using your phone's digital compass, you can choose from a selection of different compass types. These include digital, antique and night, for those late evening jaunts. Providing both true direction and magnetic north, you can reset the magnetometer by waving your phone in a figure eight motion to ensure that you are calibrated.

The app is extremely responsive and accurate in recognising true direction, while the ability to leave notes at locations brings an extra dimension to visiting and re-visiting new places. It's great looking especially in backlit night mode, and does a great job of replacing the real thing.


Free Class leading media player  

Winamp was the king of the media players for Windows-based computers in 1997. A lot has changed since and Winamp's star has largely been eclipsed by the iTunes juggernaut.

It's still a great media player; in fact, it's one of the best media players around for the platform. Better still, it's free.

The app enables you to sync your music from your desktop to your phone. This can be done over USB or Wi-Fi and works like a charm.

You can also do all of the more usual stuff, of course like shuffle and playlist songs and there's a choice of v/id gets to access your music from the home screen.

Slice It!

Free Compelling digital fun

This addictive game tries to recreate the feeling of school with geometry puzzles and the use of your index figure. It's all about getting the pieces into roughly the right size. If the picture says you have to slice a triangle into three equal pieces, then you have to get as close as possible to this. While this sounds like quite a challenge, it really isn't it's great fun.The use of a steady finger and a smooth motion is needed to complete each level so this isn't a game for a bumpy train. The only negative about this game is that, as it's addictive, it can eat up a huge amount of time. It's also something that could well drive you mad, especially if your fingers lack in poise.

My Tracks
 Keep track of all your running and hiking with this brilliant app 

Flexible and efficient fitness app that will help you manage your individual exercise program ne.

Free Practical fitness programme aid

My Tracks is a fitness aid that syncs with your phone's GPS system to help you log and plan your exercise routine - be it running, hiking, cycling or whatever. Once booted up, you just press the record button and set off on your route (it can take a few minutes for your device to find its GPS location -Google recommends you use this time to do stretches and warm-up). When you've finished, stop recording and enter details of the track - a description, activity type, additional notes etc.

You can use Google Maps to see your track. Mapping accuracy is good. If you're proud of what you've done, you can also upload it to Google Maps by a simple touch of the screen. Then you can email the map as a weblink, embed it into a website, or share it with your Twitter friends via the Twidroid app. If you do make it public, Google Maps users can search user-created maps and see your track, helping other people in your area find new routes.

My Tracks offers more than this, though. Users can see graphs showing speed, distance, elevation
and more - either once the track is complete or in real-time (though it's not always easy to make out the text on your phone while running!). And, because all this info can be uploaded into a spreadsheet on Google Docs (again a simple task done directly from the app), you can build up a record of your exercise history and drill down into the data based on plenty of parameters.

The file size is 1 MB, and as usual with Google apps, the service s free. It's responsive in use, and we didn't come across any bugs during testing. Battery drain could become an issue if your exercise routine involves long runs, though.

There are plenty of running/ fitness apps on the Android platform, and some of the competitors (Sportstracker, Runner) offer even more features, like heart-rate measuring and calorie bum. However, none feature the clever integration with with other services that My Tracks does - it builds on the extensive functions of Google's Maps and Docs to deliver something that fitness fanatics will really appreciate.

Endomondo Sports Tracker

Excellent personal training aid that taps into a wealth of information to help you achieve peak fitness. 
Free Superb fitness tracker 

 Personal trainer apps are a dime a dozen on the Android Market these days, but few can many boast as many useful motivational tools as Endomondo Sports Tracker. The GPS supported app can monitor a range of activities which includes running but also covers activities as wide ranging as kite surfing.

Once you've signed up for a free account via email or Facebook, the clean-looking layout will let you select your activity and choose whether to do a basic workout, set a goal or try to beat your previous time.To stop you from wavering, the audio coach will update you on important information such as distance, speed relay text messages for support, while letting others follow your progress in real time.

Po3t run, walk or kayak, you can then access the Endomondo website where you can check out the live tracking and challenge your friends to a beat your time.

Performance-wise it's always key to check your GPS is running, or data such as speed and minutes per mile cannot be tracked. But the sheer wealth of web-based community tools that are available to help you stay motivated and an excellent audio coach puts Endomondo comfortably ahead of the rest of training pack.  

 Calorie Counter PRO


£1.84/$2.99 Eat smarter

 Calorie Counter PRO MyNetDiary is a diet-tracking app that closely monitors your eating habits. Keeping a record of your meals, everything can be added via the food database. You can also track exercise, water intake, vitamins and medication.There is also a series of MyNetDiary TdoIs to view your progress through a series of charts and data analysis.

If you are away from your phone, you can also input meals at the MyNetDiary website which can then be synced to the app later. The app is packed with a real variety of information and analysis that proves that there is more to diets than what you eat.


Zen Timer Meditation Timer


£1.23/$1.99 Inner peace in an app 

it's an all-too-common problem that every serious Buddhist have suffered from at some stage: you're staying in a hotel, desperate to start mediating and you suddenly realise that you've forgotten your bells. Zen Timer is apparently the number one Android meditation timer and quite simply provides you with a selection of nice bell samples to sit down and relax with.

Though we mock, this is a well put together app and the quality of the recording is crystal clear, while the final chime that tells you that meditation time is over is an ingenious idea and a brilliant way to bring your session to an end. Om shanti.

Runtastic Pro Sports Assistant


£4.29/$6.95 Great fitness manager

Runtastic Pro Sports Assistant could help you make the most out of a healthier new you.

Before you start breaking a sweat you'll need to sign up for an account which is free, recording details of your weight, desired weight and so on.

Using your phone's GPS to record workout data, head to settings to select your activity from a list which includes running, biking, mountain biking and even skiing. You can also choose whether you want voice feedback and a countdown and with a sleek-looking interface,: he option to attach a heart monitor, and heaps of data that can be uploaded to, this is an excellent fitness app.

Calculate byQxMD


Free Useful tool for health workers 

Calculate by QxMD provides point-of-care information to help aid professionals in the medical industry.You'll find clinical calculators for such areas of expertise as Cardiology, Radiology and Palliative Care. In each section you'll be required to answer a series of questions and input data relating to your case. More tabs will let you see recent calculators used and those added as favourites.

All Information used is garnered from acting and relative professionals in the industry, but it is unclear how regular the app is updated. This marries an intuitive app with a valuable information resource. 

OnTrack Diabetes

Free Worthwhile health monitor 

OnTrack helps you keep track of things like glucose levels, food, exercise and medication. You can input data into more than one category at the same time making updating a much speedier process.

As well as the option to create a logbook, there is a whole host of graphs and reports that can be generated letting you view your blood pressure and glucose daily.

Providing the depth of analysis commonly found on many diet-tracking apps, OnTrack Diabetes is extremely easy to use, which is a reason on its own why this app is such a valuable Market addition.

Sound Cloud

 Free Handy music sharing system  

This is basically a version of YouTube for audio. You can upload up to 120 minutes of content for free - if you need some more, then you start paying for it. This freemium model works well for the service on the web, as the majority of personal users can use it completely for free. It has some compelling features, including the ability to record and store recordings in-app so you can use the service without even touching the web.

In-app recording is restricted to five minutes so not great for recording a meeting, for example, and you can't share your stuff with social networks or geolocate recordings.

Audible For Android

Free Audio books for free 

If you're not a fan of ebooks, the Audible digital audiobook store will let you listen to literature instead.

While it is a subscription-based service, Audible provides a sample of seven audiobooks to help you decide if the app is for you.

File sizes are generally big, so your best option would be to download over Wi Fi. If you have to stop listening, you can leave a bookmark to continue at the same point when you next launch the book.

Audio is not the crispest, while having to purchase content in a separate web browser grates. However, the incentives are a novel idea and it's ideal if you prefer not to read at length on your smartphone.

White Noise

£1.22/$1.99 Get your snooze on

Sometimes courting sheep is not enough to help drift off.

White Noise delivers around 40 different ambient sounds to help you get some shut-eye. The clock icon in the top right corner gives access to the sound timer where you select how long the app Mil run for. Alternatively you can select the alarm mode to set when you'd Ike to be woken up by the sound of chimes.

The clarity and quality in many of the clips are not great and can often sound looped if listening for a long period of time. The alarm mode is very effective and the ability to slowly fade in volume had a positive effect in the mornings. Lightning Bug (below, left), a sleeping aid app, is better.

Lightning Bug -Sleep Clock

Free The best sleep aid around  

Lightning Bug could be your one way ticket to a great night's sleep. Combining evocative images with a range of ambient sounds and doubling as a sleep timer and an alarm clock, this app offers a selection of different sights and sounds that can be added to with a small catalogue of download packs that can be purchased separately.

Unlike White Noise, this delivers both in the image and sound department. Scenes look slicker, and the use of sound samples in random patterns ensures you are not unsettled by repetitive sound. Plugin mode means you can add further to it, but there is enough there already.



Free Addictive hoops action

The premise of this simple game is to get the basketball into the hoop as frequently as possible within the allotted time. As the ball is designated to different areas of the half court, using finger swipe gestures, you can guide the ball towards the backboard.

There's ninety seconds on the clock to score as many baskets, but if you hit a clean shot you will be rewarded additional time. Once the buzzer sounds, you can see how your score fares in the global iBasket leader board.You don't have to be a fan of basketball to enjoy this addictive title, and while it won t match Angry Birds for longevity, it should keep you busy on the way to work.


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