You have almost every conceivable widget size as an option with this app. From 1x1, to 1x4 horizontal, to 4x1 vertical, you can drop in a widget to perfectly compliment any home screen layout. When you choose your preferred widget size, you will get a really handy screen for designing your button layout. At the top, you get a preview of what your widget will look like. This is actually live, and you can tap on it to test it out. Below are all the drop-downs for all the buttons. You can add or remove buttons as you choose. The size of the widget controls how many toggles you can jam in there.
The number of options are really astounding. It has toggles for the conventional stuff like Airplane mode, syncing, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth. But you also get more esoteric options like a battery level indicator, multi-step brightness control, flashlight, haptic feedback, tethering (Stock Froyo only), and input method. It even ties in with the Quick Boot app we talked about last week. You can pick individual colors for each of the toggles as well.
Before placing the widget, just make sure you take note of the options at the bottom to change the opacity, remove the button dividers, and hide/show the on-widget edit button. We really like the robustness of this app, and it's definitely worth the price at $1.99.
There are a number of different tracks to race, and you can customize your cars as you progress through them. Placing well in your drift runs unlocks more tracks and cars. The game uses a combination of speed, angle, and drift duration to assign points. The turns have so-called "bonus zones" marked by white lines. Drifting through these as you take a turn will net you more points. The game tells you up front how many points you need to place and unlock more content.
We were a little concerned when we first played this game that the controls were feeling poor. We thought they were too sensitive, but further experimentation indicated they were actually not sensitive enough. This was leading us to over-steer. We turned the sensitivity up, used the gas more sparingly, and things got much better. But make no mistake, this game is hard. A little acceleration goes a long way, and it's easy to get out of control. The handbrake in the lower left corner can help pull you into a good drift if you over-steer, and the gas on the lower right will straighten you out at the end of one. In general, we found only using the gas in short bursts worked best.
The graphics are excellent overall. The animations are smooth and most of the textures are looking good. Some of the farther away landscape is a little fuzzy if you look closely though. Most of the car models are great, but there are some jaggies at the edges. Even with these flaws, Drift Mania Championship is one of the best looking driving games on Android. The game can be had for about $0.96 in the Market.
TV is really the centerpiece here. With this app, you can check out the local TV listings by hitting the link on the main page of the app. You will have to set your location and choose the right channel list. This can be a little tricky as it differentiates between digital and standard cable, and the one you choose affects the app's functionality. The channel list is well designed, with quick links to filters like movies, and HD up top. However, we don’t like that it has to reload the channels as you scroll. That said, it doesn't feel laggy. Unfortunately, there is also no landscape mode.
If you tap on any listing, you will get the info for it, along with the option to find other showtimes, add to your favorites, and (if you have a DVR) record the show. This last one is the killer feature for us. Any single or series recordings you set will sync to your home DVR to be recorded. The app suggests you leave yourself at least 30 minutes to set a recording before it is supposed to start, but we are seeing the sync happening in about 1 minute. In the main channel list, you have a DVR link at the bottom where you can see a list of your scheduled recordings to check syncing status.
Comcast email is also available from the main page. There's less to report here. It's a standard web mail experience, but shrunk down for your phone. The digital voice section will let you see your call history and listen to your voicemail. This is not a VoIP app, though. These two features are made better by the addition of a widget that can show you the most recent emails, voicemails, and playback voicemail from the home screen. The app also plugs into your address book so you can send email to all your contacts from your Comcast address.
The app might be missing a few features, but the DVR functionality is a must have if you are a Comcast subscriber. The app is free in the Market.
The timeline in this app looks great with each tweet in a grey bar. Replies are indicated by some vector-style stripes across the bar. Your own tweets are blue in color to make them stand out. If you tap on any tweet, you get an option bar that pops up below it with buttons for reply, links, retweet, favorite, and more (copy, share, mark as spam, etc.). We really like having these options so conveniently placed. Tapping on a tweet that is a reply will also bring up the related parts of the conversation below it.
You can access the timeline of replies or direct messages in two ways. There are buttons along the bottom to bring up those pages, or you can just swipe over to them. There are dot indicators at the top of the screen. Composing a new tweet is very slick. You just pull down the grey bar at the top of the screen, right below the Android status bar. This will reveal a text field and all the options you're used to seeing in a Twitter client. This drawer also has a neat springy effect when you open or close it.
One of the big new additions to Touiteur is in the widget department. The widgets are every bit as attractive as the main app, and they now allow flick scrolling with home screen replacements like ADW and LauncherPro. Even if you don't use these, the Touiteur widgets are excellent. There are 1x4, 2x4, 3x4, and 4x4 versions. All have a semi-transparent area where the tweets are displayed. The bottom has page up and down buttons, search, and refresh. Up top, you can switch between the main timeline, replies, and DMs. There is a composition button in the upper left corner as well.
Touiteur comes in a free ad supported version, and a premium version (with an unlocker app). The paid version runs you about $2.73 in the Android Market. If the stock Twitter client isn't cutting it for you, Touiteur is an excellent choice.
The app's UI is minimalist, which some might appreciate. When you load it, you get your recently scanned barcodes, and a Scan button at the bottom. Tap that to pull up the scanning interface. This is one of the best quality scanners we've used. It seems to acquire barcodes faster than the competition, and with a similarly low number of errors. Just line up the barcode in the box shown, and RedLaser will grab it immediately. According to RedLaser, it can even work with non-autofocus cameras. We cannot confirm this as we do not have a phone without auotfocus to test.
If you need to scan multiple items, just tap the Multi button in the scanner interface. Once you've scanned your items, tap done to have them processed. The results RedLaser gives look good to us. It has support for Google, Ebay, and Half.com for online searches. For local search it uses Milo and TheFind databases. It will even search libraries if you scan a book. All the results are in a scrollable list. The image of what you scanned is kept floating at the top of the results screen. It's nice to have so many results listed, but we wish they were collapsible as it can get a little long.
RedLaser is a perfectly capable barcode scanner that works quickly and offers solid results. This app is free in the Android Market.