Riptide GP Updated To Support Non-Tegra 2 Handsets; Puss In The Boots Releasing Next Week

Riptide GP is one of the most popular games available for Tegra 2 powered Android handsets and tablets. The game has some amazing water physics, and is unarguably among the best looking games available for the Android platform.

Since the game was a Tegra 2 exclusive, it frustrated owners of many other Android handsets, which feature technically more powerful SoC than Tegra 2. Thankfully, Vector Unit, the developers of Riptide GP have finally updated the game to add support for non-Tegra 2 handsets, along with lowering its price tag.

The game now supports all the popular and high-end Android smartphones, like the Galaxy S2, Nexus S, Droid X, Xperia Play, HTC EVO 3D and many more. The developers have also added support for gamepads in the latest update of the game. The new version of Riptide GP can be downloaded from here.

In other gaming related news, Half Brick studios, developer of the popular Fruit Ninja game, will soon be releasing the latest version of their game – Fruit Ninja: Puss In The Boots…..on the Amazon AppStore! Yep, Amazon has managed to convince the developers at Half Brick that the Amazon AppStore is more important than the Android Market. The game will release on the same day as the movie hits the theatre!

Shadowgun Now Available For Non-Tegra 2 Devices; Sprinkle Now Available On the Market

Remember my post on Shadowgun? One of the most visually appealing games available for Android handsets with a Tegra 2 processor? Well, the developers of the game – Madfinger – have finally updated the game to add support for non-Tegra 2 devices including Adreno, Mali-400 and PowerVR GPU based Android devices. The new version of the game is also optimized for Xperia Play!

In other Android gaming related news, Sprinkle is now finally available on the Android Market for Android gamers to enjoy! For the unknown, Sprinkle is the same game which Nvidia has used to demonstrate the power of its Tegra 2 and the upcoming Tegra 3 SoC.  The game is available in both free and paid versions.  It’s nice to see that visually pleasing games are finally coming to Android!

In the Android Apps department, Swiftkey X, one of the most popular keyboard available for the open-sourced OS. The new update adds some much-needed features like multi-touch support, support for 35 localised  languages  including Arabic and Hebrew, UX enhancements, and an improved memory usage and prediction/correction system. The update is already live on the Android Market, can can be downloaded from here


New Swype Beta Brings Context Prediction, OTA Updates and More!

The swiping folks over at Swype have just released a new beta of their popular keyboard – Swype – for Android. This new version of Swype brings with it lots of new enhancements, and some much needed changes.

First and foremost, after installing this latest Swype Beta, users will no longer need to use the SwypeInstaller to update their Swype version. They can install the updates directly via the Swype settings menu. Users will also be automatically notified when a new Swype beta is available for download.

Support for 11 more languages including Frecnh, Italian, Japanese, German, Spanish and Swedish have also been added. The language packs have been divided into 4 regional downloads, so users need to download the  language  pack  separately.

The keyboard layout has also been tweaked, and the “Globe” key has been finally removed. The Numbers row have also been moved to the top row as in a traditional keyboard.

However, the most important change in this update is the context prediction system. Like Swiftkey, Swype will now also analyze the text you have already entered, and offer predictions based on that. Swype states that this will lead to a 40% increase in the  prediction  accuracy.

Users need to update to this latest version of Swype using the Swype Installer that can be downloaded from here.

Google Reader and Docs Get an Update; ICS Styled UI and Swipe Gesture On-Board

Google has just rolled out an updated version of Google Reader and the Google Docs app for Android.


Like in the recently updated Google+ app, the blue UI colors in the Reader app has been replaced by a grey color. The visual changes of the Google Reader app is hardly visible though. The app’s UI has been redesigned keeping in mind Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich’s magazine style UI, and now features a swipe gesture to navigate left or right. There are also new ICS Styled widgets. Surprisingly, Google has also removed some features from the app, which are now offered by the Google+ app.

The Google Docs app has also received a similar makeover. The main screen of the app now looks pretty similar to the Google+ app. Like the Reader app, the swipe to navigate gesture is present in this app as well. New ICS styled and prettier looking widgets are also on-board.

Android users can download the new Google Reader app from here, and the Google Docs app from here.

Now that Google has updated three of its apps, its time to update the most important and most used app by the users – the GMail app.  The GMail app shown in the Galaxy Nexus announcement looked absolutely stunning, and I cannot wait to try it on my Galaxy S2.

PowerAMP 2.0 Now Available On The Android Market

Remember my post about PowerAMP 2.0 Beta build? Well, Max has finally fixed all the bugs with the app, and has released the final version of the app on the Android Market.

The new version of PowerAMP brings with it truckloads of changes including support for more audio formats like wma pro etc. Other changes include Stereo eXpansion, Mono Mixing and balance support. There is also Crossfade, Gapless playback, replay gain, and dynamic  queuing.

There is also a new slick cover-art animation,  which  occurs when the users skips to one album from another. The whole UI of the app has also been tweaked and  modified, and it looks downright gorgeous.

The audio engine of the app has also changed for good. There is now Direct volume control for all Android 2.3+ devices. This results in a much better sound quality, compared to the previous versions of PowerAMP. With the new version of PowerAMP, I can finally listen to music on my Samsung Galaxy S2, which is known for its disastrous sound quality.

Android users can download the latest version of PowerAMP from here. Keep in mind that this is a 15day trial version. The full version of the app can be purchased for $4.99 from here.


Shadowngun and Tintin Lands on the Android Market; 360 and Winamp Get Major Updates

Android gamers, here is some good news for you. One of the most anticipated games for the Android platform, Shadowgun finally landed in the Android Market a couple of days ago. The game comes from the developer of Samurai II – Madfinger Games – whose name is associated with quality games.

In Shadowgun, users play the role of John Slade, who is the Galaxy’s most infamous bounty hunter. The role of John’s (user’s) is to hunt down and kill Dr. Edgar Simon. The game has amazing graphics, probably among the best you will ever see in an Android phone.

The sad part is that the game only supports Tegra 2 devices for now. Non-Tegra 2 handset owners need to wait for a few more weeks, until Madfinger releases a version that is compatible with all other Android devices.  Here  is the market link of Shadowgun.

In other gaming related news, Gameloft has released Tintin HD on the Android Market as well. As the name suggest, the game is based on the recently released movie, based on Tintin. The game has a typical Gameloft feel to it, and like most other games from the company, the controls of the game are pretty tough. The graphics of the game is also like any other Gameloft game.

The game is not yet available in all regions of the world, so users need to wait until Gameloft releases the game worldwide. Alternatively, they can buy the game from Gameloft’s website as well.

In some Android app news, two popular apps – Winamp and 360 – also got some major updates. The new version of 360 brings a portrait mode, and a higher resolution panorama mode, along with a  high quality and normal quality mode. The upload speeds of Panorama have also been decreased, along with the usual stability improvements. 360 for Android can be downloaded from  here.

The new updated version of Winamp for Android brings quite a lot of new features including syncing with Winamp for Mac, and touch sensitive album art gesturing.

With this app, Winamp also gets an in-app Pro version worth $4.99. The pro version will give users access to a 10-band graphic EQ, customizable home screen, FLAC support, Reply gain, and much more. Winamp for Android can be downloaded from  here.


Meet Dexetra Software, the Indian Startup behind Iris

The biggest selling point of the new iPhone 4S is not its faster hardware or the improved camera. It’s an app Siri. Siri, the personal assistant with a personality, has wowed even the biggest iPhone critics. It is no wonder then that when an app called Iris was dubbed by TechCrunch as (Sort Of) Siri for Android, it raced past 50,000 downloads and made headlines in several popular tech-blogs.

Truth be told, Iris has a long way to go before it can hope to compete with Siri. However, that is hardly surprising given that the first alpha of Iris was coded in eight hours by an extremely tiny team, while Siri was in development for over a year.


Dexetra Software, the brain behind Iris, is a tiny Indian startup consisting of just nine members. Before Iris, they were best known for the self-discovery app Friday, and have developed dozens of other applications in several different platforms including Android and iOS.

Dexetra Software was established in the beautiful Indian city of Cochin in April 2010. All of its six founding members had more than two years of experience in various MNCs like Bosch and Wipro. Dexetra Software CEO Narayan Babu assembled a team consisting of two colleagues from Bosch and three college mates. After initially experimenting with multiple platforms and apps, by the end of 2010, Dexetra Software began to focus solely on Friday and expanded its team to nine. The first alpha release in February 2011 was extremely well received and the first stable release is scheduled to arrive in a few months.

Iris, which brought instant fame for Dextera Software, began as an experiment on a lazy Friday afternoon because a few hackers were feeling bored. In the words of Narayan Babu:

We have been working on NLP and Machine learning for over an year now, I had a crazy belief that I could pull this off. Somehow I managed to write a tiny engine that could answer your questions, digging the results from the web.

When we started seeing results, everyone got excited and started a high speed coding race. In no time, we added Voice input, Text-to-speech, also a lot of hueristic humor into Iris. Not until late evening we decided on the name “iris.”, which would be Siri in reverse. And we also reverse engineered a crazy expansion – Intelligent Rival Imitator of Siri.

I had a brief email conversation with M Vijith Menon, who developed a substantial portion of Iris. Here are the excerpts.

On himself:
My name is Vijith Menon. I started work with Dexetra this January. And since then it has been an upward journey to a great work culture’ from a Technical College Life. I’m 23yrs young, and learning; did my B.Tech in Computer Science and Engineering from GRIT, Kottayam, Kerala. I began coding quite recently, and never thought could make a living out of it. But quite recently did I realize that, I have been programming whole my life, so there you have it!

After College I was looking for a job when I came by an advertisement for a requirement at Dexetra. From a junior Application Developer to a Technical Fellow, the 6 months at Dexetra were quite fun filled! I learnt about organization, coding, Version Control, and Testing. The journey continues… I have done application Development in WP7 and Android!

On how Iris works:
Iris is an application that uses the Android voice Recognition, Text to Speech engines and a whole chunk of pre academic and snazzy/snappy jesting brilliance! It has good, powerful and precise true knowledge! It is too early to say how it works, because it is in constant development! The general source of all answers is the World Wide Web.

On whether they had expected Iris to garner so much attention:
Never. As we declared on our blog, as well as in the articles in TechCrunch, it was a lazy Friday Hackathon. The idea came to Narayan Babu (it was more of a Challenge Accepted!state of mind) and he put me up with the general idea of the layout to be drawn, which he updated with designs, later. I daresay, it was quite easy!

On the future of Iris:
We vow to continue developing it, updates are being pushed regularly! We have released the widely stable version 1.0, with a futuristic ICS4 UI. Added features are voice actions (call, text, web search), which were not available in the early release. We are overwhelmed by the response, and user feedback is pouring in! Comparisons and competition will be left for the users to decide! More awesome features would be added pretty soon! No hurries, only steely determination!

On other projects in Dexetra:
We are in constant development of Friday, the life search app for Android. It has been in the works from before the time I joined Dexetra, and is improving every day! The app has completed private alpha, and will be out pretty soon! Many calls have come up already to integrate the two, Iris and Friday, because Voice and Search are such attractive traits for an app.

On whether he got the chance to play with the Android Ice Cream Sandwich SDK:
Yes, a little. But it is early to propound the uses/features. At the API level, fresh ones are available, but haven’t had much of a chance to use them! We’re yet to get a phone though!

Halloween Apps, Wallpapers, Screensavers and Themes

Halloween is celebrated in many countries across the world. While many associate this holiday with ghosts, witches and goblins, a lot of us think it’s just a great time to get together and have fun. If you have a computer, tablet or smartphone, you might want to add something to it that helps you get into the fun Halloween mood. Below are some links to a few of our past Halloween articles and some new stuff as well.


If you enjoy using screensavers on your Mac or Windows computer, you’ll find a nice collection of Halloween screensavers at NewFreeScreenSavers. Here are some screenshots of these great free screensavers. You can download them on the Halloween page.

halloween-screensaver01.jpeg (586×157)

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Get Ready For Halloween with Halloween Android Apps  – also with wallpapers, themes, and ringtones.

Halloween Theme for Nokia and Symbian Smartphones

Top 5 Halloween Apps For iPhone/iPad

Computer Wallpapers

Download High Quality Halloween Wallpapers – for the PC, Mac and Linux

High Quality Halloween Wallpapers For Your Desktop or Mac


25 Places to Get Creepy Halloween Wallpapers

Web Browsers

Halloween Personas for Firefox  (themes)

Phantom of the Opera: Special Edition Opera Browser for Halloween

Apps, Themes and Extensions for Google Chrome Browser

Even More …

We have even more stuff for you to look over. Just follow this link to a Halloween search of Techie-Buzz.





PowerAMP 2.0 Beta Released; The Best Music App For Android Just Got Better!

If you are an Android handset owner, chances are you must have heard or installed PowerAMP on your phone. PowerAMP is THE best music player available for Android phones out there, and features everything one can ask for. Right from an Equalizer to Sleep Timer to Lyrics support to FLAC playback.

The only department where PowerAMP lacks to other music players is its looks. The whole UI of the app while nice looks a bit un-polished to me. The developer of PowerAMP, Max, promised quite a few months ago that he is working on a completely new and major version of the app. However, something happened and there was no news about Max or his much-awaited PowerAMP 2.0 update.

New lock screen widget
4x4 homescreen widget
The track changes with a slick animation

Well, last week Max came back into action and has quietly released a beta build of PowerAMP 2.0. I installed the beta build today, and I must say I am downright impressed with it. Max has refreshed the UI of PowerAMP, and it looks downright sexy! The UI is mainly black now, which will be greatly appreciated by all the AMOLED/Super-AMOLED phone owners.

While Max has not posted an official change-log, there are tons of changes in the new version. Apart from the new UI, there is a new lock screen widget, and improved ID3 encoding much more. There is also an noticeable improvement in audio quality.

Interested Android users can head over to official PowerAMP forums to download the APK file. Please keep in mind that the app is in beta, and so there might be some bugs/issues with it.

Skitch for Android Gets New Features!

Earlier, it was announced that Evernote acquired Skitch and was making it freely available to everyone. Today, the Evernote Blog announced some great new features for Skitch. In case you are unfamiliar with the two, Evernote, is one of the best cross-platform note taking applications available. Skitch is a simple to use annotation application that was originally just for the Mac, but since its acquisition by Evernote, is available for Android phones as well.

One of the cool features of Skitch, is the ability to take a photo on your Android phone, annotate it, and then publish it to a note in Evernote. It already had some great features but it lacked one real handy feature, the ability to crop. Today’s update changes all of that. Let’s say you have a picture on your phone that you would like to attach to a note, but you would only like part of that picture to show. You can open that picture in Skitch and tap the “Crop” button which surround the picture with a dotted rectangle. See the picture below. The red arrow points to the new “Crop” button. The center image in the picture shows you what it looks like when you click the “Crop” button. Once you have your picture cropped the way you like it, you can click the elephant symbol in the upper right corner and it will be sent to Evernote.

Skitch Crop
Courtesy of Evernote Blog

You’ve always had the ability to draw freehand on top of a picture using Skitch, however, today’s blog post announced some improvements. They have made improvements to how the app tracks your finger movements which in turn is supposed to return smoother lines. I thought that I would give this a try. Below you can see two images of hearts that I drew on my phone. The first image is in the older version of Skitch.

Old Version of Skitch

The second image is in the new version of Skitch.

New Version of SkitchAs you can tell, neither is a Picasso, but that is my fault. You will notice, however, the lines on the second picture are smoother. I would say this is a definite improvement.

I look forward to seeing more come out of this partnership with Evernote and Skitch. This seems like a combination that can work very well. I envision a scenario where the boss has written a million things on a white board and you want to be able to remember it, so you pull out your phone, take a picture of it, and send it to Evernote. Then you open it in Skitch and annotate the picture with arrows and highlight the important stuff. Evernote makes it all searchable. Now you have a well documented meeting.

What about you? What cool ideas can you come up with for these two applications? Would you use it mostly for fun or would you use it for business? As always, your comments are welcome.