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Topics - ensbb3

Hobbies & Entertainment / Beta Games: A look at what's to come.
I've been playing a lot of alphas and betas over the last few months. I've enjoyed my time away from mainstream gaming more than I thought I would. Alphas are more aggravating so I'll leave them out of this and stick to mostly late betas.

Banished is a game I've lost quite a few hours to. It doesn't really offer anything new to city building sims aside from maybe its premise. 64bit is still extremely crashy but 32bit is quite stable even with most mods. Mods tend to stay with additional aspects that should or probably will end up in the game. (Things that should be canon or at least an available selection.) There are a few expansion type mods, that change game play significantly, but in all the game is a nice laid back experience without them. It's a bit of a one man show and I fear it will never reach its true potential, but still a lot of fun. 


Kerbal Space Program is another one on Steam I've enjoyed playing. Me and my son have ran joint missions to build space stations and explore. This one is a blast (pun intended) even if crashy.


Another I'm admittedly excited for is World of Warships.


Not much to offer on this except it looks awesome.
Browsers & Technology / Must Have Mobile Apps.

Well it's that time again, time for me to setup a new device. It's been awhile since I've sorted thru the market and as usual there are many new apps/devs I've never heard of to try or cull. Normally I'd take the time to download and try them all but with the increasing number of badly written, ad ridden, SDK apps out there I thought I'd try to solicit the community's help in determining good and bad. (Might save some testing and a restore or two.)

The more functions an app has the less apps you need and all the better for the Android OS's "multitasking" ability. So to that end I try and look for apps with a small footprint but a big kick. I've listed some tried and true apps with both paid (pro) and free (lite) versions to start off.

Market alternatives:

Best Apps on Android Market- Tested and approved apps from the market. First level sort anyway.
Getjar- A throw back from Symbian OS. Still a good source for apps.
AppsLib- A little off the reservation but a good source for more quality apps.
F-Droid- Open source apps.

Market apps (no root):

QuickPic- Small but powerful album substitute. Quick and plays mobile vids.
ES Explorer- All-in-one file manager. Been around forever. File/root explorer, unzip, cloud/network client and media player.
Mobo Video Player- Plays most any video format.
Ultra Keyboard- Best thing is; it's not Swype, lol. The toolbar and clipboard make this the best for me but development dipped for awhile. It seems to be doing good now tho. Copying multiple texts before composing is nice without having yet another clipboard manager and the toolbar adds word processing functions that I appreciate.
VidTrim- If you've ever wanted to send a video you just recorded but it was too large... bam.
Mp3 Media Converter- Multiple format converter.
Toddler Lock- Yeah, you know. Most powerful app around if you have a toddler.
Hide It Pro- Neatly hides whatever. I'm sure there are nefarious purposes I won't explore but it worked well to hide personal data I didn't want available on an unlocked phone.
Floating YouTube Popup Video- PIPed Youtube.
AnTuTu Benchmark
A better camera
Camera FV-5 Lite
Androidify- Make android avatars. Just for fun.
Calendar+- Here's a google calendar replacement I'm considering. Seems to include features I've looked to other apps outside my calendar for. Preliminary look is good.
Ultimate custom widget (UCCW)- Make fully custom widgets. Neat tho may take longer to perfect than it's worth. Made one I thoroughly enjoyed.
Ghost Commander- Duel windowed file manager.
or Open Explorer Beta- Very quick and neat
Type and Speak- This was just something I could have some fun with.
For my all-in-one Gapps substitute... GApps Sandboxed Browser is something I'm gonna try.
<a href="">Timeriffic[/url]- Take control of notifications

Nova Launcher- Very streamline and more functional than stock, and a good efficient launcher is the best way to improve performance without modding.
WindOS- Windows XP look-alike launcher. I looked for this for the 'just for fun launchers' earlier but just came up with it. Not so functional but fun.
Launcher3- Open source very basic.
Epoch launcher- I liked the looks of this overly simplistic launcher. Not very functional. Not great.
Atom Launcher- Again simplistic but with style. This one would be neat built into a ROM.

Frenzie's blog- Has several good apps worth a try.

Market apps (root):
Rom Toolbox Pro- Root terminal, UI and build property hacks, ROM manager, ad-blocker, app manager, script manager... the list goes on. All the basics for stock modding.
Busy Box Installer- I installed this. Usually comes with custom ROMs tho.
PDAnet- USB tether.
Screen Grabber- Screen capture.
Screen Shot it- If you don't have, between these two you're covered.
Orbot- Part of the Tor project.

3rd party:
**This is a BIG risk! Know the dangers before installing anything... That said, this is a must have from way back, better than any game. CBS sued and had it pulled from the market years back on copyright infringement. Saying, it was too much like the "device"/prop from, Star Trek: TNG. 0_o Anyway, I linked a forum that links a download and explains more. A must have for any science fiction fan.   
TriCorder from Moonblink- Tricorder app. Gravimetric, magnetic and radio bandwidth sensor among others.
Barnacle Wifi Tether- Ad-hoc Wifi. Was removed from the market because it circumvents hotspot blocks. (Root required)
Xposed framework - (XDA article) (Root required)