Thursday, December 16, 2010

Rullaan - Great Retro Styled Tilt Game

My blog is 99% about Android, but as I have confessed in some of my past blog posts, I am also a Apple fanboy as well as an iOS app developer. (However, the problem is that I prefer to play with my kid during evenings, so I rarely find out enough time to really progress my own iPhone app projects - nor Android app projects, of course).

I would like to introduce to you my friend Jari Karvonen who has worked really hard for several months to complete and to release his very first iOS app to App Store. His first application was finally approved yesterday to App Store - kudos and congrats to Jari!

Jari has developed a cool retro styled tilt game called Rullaan. I am big fan of puzzle games and I really like this game. I have followed how Jari has been progressing with his game project, and I also had the possibility to do some beta testing before the game was submitted to App Store.

The game features minimalistic and retro styled 3D graphics which I think are simply awesome. I also like the sound effects which are minimalistic, but fit greatly to retro styled atmosphere of the game. Tilt based controls are very well implemented, and I have to say that Jari has managed to avoid to create frustrating gaming experience which are quite typical in similar tilt games where the task of the gamer is to guide a rolling ball to solve puzzles or to reach given goals. By the way, for those who do not speak Finnish, the name of the game, Rullaan, can be approximately translated to "I'm rolling".

Jari describes his game as follows:

"Explore the world of Rullaan!
Orbiting the distant planet of Rullaan there remains mysterious structures left behind an ancient civilization. You need steady hands to steer the spherical recon droid through all the levels."

Here is the App Store link for the game, and here you can find the supporting web pages for Jari's app.

And here is a short video trailer for the game:

Give a try for Rullaan, I hope the game will be very successful, so that Jari will be rewarded for his hard working, he would stay motivated to further develop the game, and he would buy me a couple of beers (in case I manage to contribute the success of Rullaan with this blog post ...).

Angry Birds has been holding the #1 position long enough ...

I guess Jari is really interested to receive any feedback and proposals for his game. You can contact him using the email address that can be found on his Rullaan web site.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Quick Nexus S Review

Here is a quick review of Nexus S running Android 2.3. The review video is provided by

Monday, December 6, 2010

Android 2.3 a.k.a. Gingerbread released

Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) was finally released today. Some of the feature highlights of the new platform version include:

  • Enhancements for game development: New concurrent garbage collector, optimized event handling, more extensive set of native APIs exposed for NDK developers, support for several new sensor types, including gyroscope.
  • Rich multimedia: New video formats VP8 and WebM. Audio effects such as reverb, equalization, and bass boost.
  • New forms of communication: Support for front-facing camera, SIP/VOIP, and Near Field Communications (NFC).
Also SDK tools have been updated to provide more efficient and powerful tools, such as new UI Builder (preview).

Watch the following official video as a quick introduction to highlights of the 2.3 platform release:

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Tagxedo, tag cloud with styles

A very interesting visual way to create a tag cloud: Tagxedo

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Sony's Android developer site

If you are interested to develop and publish Android apps for the Google TV platform, here is one new developer web site to get started: Android Developer Site by Sony. The official event for launching Sony's first Google TV product will be arranged in NYC, October 12.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Google expanded paid apps market to a number of new countries

This is something that many Scandinavian Android developers (including myself) have been waiting for almost too long time: Google has expanded the list of countries where paid apps are available in Android Market. This list includes now also Finland! More importantly, Google has also added new countries where developers are accepted to distribute and sell their applications via Android Market. The list of current locations supported for selling paid apps is published in here.

I am really happy that Finnish Android developers are finally given the possibility to sell their apps through the official Android Market. I am now more motivated to finalize my Android apps :)

Do Androids Dream of LEGO MINDSTORMS?

Lego has released an Android application that can be used to control Lego Mindstorms robots using Android 2.1+ devices. The MINDdroid app is a remote-control application that allows you to create a wireless Bluetooth connection directly with your NXT, and once a connection is established, you can tilt and turn your phone to make the robot move forward, turn to the sides, and by pressing an action button on the phone's screen, activate the Action motor. I

To download the MINDdroid application to your Android phone, you can scan this QR code with your scanning application, or visit the App Market through your Android phone. More information about the MINDroid application is available in here.

The MINDdroid Application has been developed by some dedicated AFOLs (Adult Fans of LEGO) and software specialists Günther Hölzl and Shawn Brown, in collaboration with the LEGO MINDSTORMS team.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Firefox for Android

Firefox for Android is part of Fennec project. The aim at Fennec is . Currently, a pre-alpha version of Firefox for Android is downloadable from here or by using the QR code below. I installed Fennec on my Nexus One running Froyo 2.2. A pre-alpha software is of course just a pre-alpha software missing some features and containing quite many bugs. Loading of web pages is bit slow as well as updating the UI at some points. In general, UI needs to be polished. Fennec do have some interesting UI ideas, but I will need to use Fennec for longer period to conclude whether I like them or not. However, a recommend you to give a try, at least when Fennec hits the actual alpha or beta status.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Elisa access point settings for Android

Just in case someone needs the access point settings for Elise Internet and MMS, I publish them here. I have tested the settings to work at least with HTC Hero, HTC Desire, Motorola Milestone, and Nexus One.


Name: Elisa Internet
APN: Internet
MCC: 244
MNC: 05
APN type: default


Name: Elisa MMS
APN: mms
MMS proxy:
MMS port:
MCC: 244
MNC: 05

Thursday, June 3, 2010

doubleTwist multimedia player released for Android

doubleTwist Corp has released a polished audio and music player app for Android called doubleTwist player. The player seamlessly integrates with the doubleTwist desktop client running both on OS X and Windows computers. As you may already know, doubleTwist desktop client can be used to import and sync your iTunes music and playlists into your Android handset. The latest version of the client integrates also with Android market. I have been using doubleTwist for a while now, and I have been quite happy with it.

Get the player app while it is still free from here. The player will be enhanced with new features and widgets in future.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Android News Digest - June 2, 2010

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Sending links from Chrome web browser to Android 2.2 phones

Google Chrome to Phone Extension is a project consisting of a Chrome Extension, Android App for Froyo 2.2, and supporting Google AppEngine server that enables users to send links from their Chrome desktop browser to their Android device using Android's Cloud to Device Messaging service. Note that your phone needs to have Froyo 2.2 upgrade installed. You lucky ones already having Froyo on your handsets can find the set up instructions from this wiki page. It is also possible to use other browsers than Chrome using the Javascripts provided on that wiki page.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Android News Digest - Week 22

I collected some interesting Android news and articles from the past week. Enjoy:

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Google: The Next 6 Months of Android Will "Blow Your Mind"

Gizmodo made a pretty interesting interview with Google's Andy Rubin. Read the entire interview from here.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Android on Your TV - Google TV

One of the biggest announcements in Google I/O event, beside Android FroYo 2.2, was of course Google TV. With Google TV, you can enjoy any Web content (including Flash content), search programs and content, listen to music, and also, since Google TV is based on Android 2.2, run Android apps right on you HDTV! Google TV compatible devices, such as HDTVs, TV companion boxes, BlueRay players, and accessories will be available already this year at least by Sony and Logitech. If you are a developer you can already start developing either Android or Web apps for Google TV.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Google Activates 100,000 Android Phones a Day!

Google revealed today at Google I/O that they are currently activating over 100,000 new Android phones every day. Which is quite respectable figure considering that just in last February Google reported that they activating (only) 60,000 phones every day. Furthermore, according to reports, Android was the second best-selling smartphone in USA during this quarter. Only RIM did better which means that Android phones sold more than the phones from the well known fruit company. Of course, statistics may change (temporarily) when iPhone 4G phone is out ...

Android 2.2 Froyo Officially Announced

So, Android 2.2 a.k.a. "Froyo" was officially announced today at Google I/O 2010 event. Froyo brings lot of new powerful and useful additions to Android platform, such as a just-in-time (JIT) compiler providing up to 5X performance boost. Other new highly interesting features include WiFi tethering (i.e. portable WLAN hotspots), a cloud-to-device messaging API, new device administration APIs, capability to install apps into a SD card (wow, finally), and a new backup app that can be used to transfer personal data and settings from one Android phone to another. Google also claims that the latest version of Android's web browser is benchmarked to be the world's fastest browser thanks to its new JavaScript Engine. The next major release 3.o a.k.a. "Gingerbread" is planned to come out Q4/2010, but meanwhile - I would not mind having some Froyo, please :)

Samsung Galaxy S

I have never had a Samsung phone, but Samsung's new Galaxy S Android phone is a beast that I would definitely consider to buy. Awesome Super AMOLED 4" display, 1 GHz Snapdragon, super fast 3D graphics packed into a thin and sleek device. I just hope that Samsung will provide Android updates more timely basis than HTC. HTC Android phones are just great, but because of the Sense UI they use, it usually takes too long for HTC to provide an updated firmware whenever a new Android OS version is released. Hopefully, Android version 2.2 entitled Froyo will change this with its more flexible update delivery and management system. So, I really hope that HTC will be quick this time in delivering Froyo to my great HTC Desire phone, or I have to consider changing it ...

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

PayPal launches In-App Payment library for Android

Good news for Android developers who would like to make some money with their great apps: PayPal launches an in-app payment library for Android platform. Wow - just how cool is that? iPhone OS has provided an in-app purchase feature for over a year already, a feature that is sadly still missing from Android platform today. Some desperate developers have implemented even their own solution - which tends to be quite bad idea for several reasons, such as legal and security issues involved.

Fortunately, PayPal have been developing a payment solution for Android called Mobile Payments Library which they just announced. Android developers can utilise the library to integrate PayPal payments into their applications. With the help of library, the end users will be able to make purchase transactions without ever leaving the application. The main benefit for developers, is that PayPal takes care of those nasty legal and security issues.

Of course, PayPal's solution is still a third-party solution, and inherently not as good as a seamlessly integrated native platform solution like the iPhone's in-app payments system. I hope that Google will address this issue in very near future by providing a proper Android mobile payments service and related API(s). Meanwhile, I think that PayPal's technology provides a viable solution for those Android developers that are not able to deliver paid apps via Android Market (like us living in Scandinavia).

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Dolphin Browser HD for Android 2.0+ phones

I just installed the brand new Dolphin Browser HD for Android 2.0+ phones. My first impressions are really positive. The browser is fast, and I like new UI that is based on tabbed windows which can be swiped. This new version provides also a gesture based navigation which can be configured with your own gestures. Add-ons and themes are now available for extending the features and for customization. It is interesting to compare it with Opera Mini 5 browser and Android's native browser in my daily web browsing.

HTC Desire

HTC Hero is my first Android phone. I have been quite happy with it. However, I wanted to upgrade to a more powerful phone with a higher resolution display and running Android 2.1. After comparing the Android phones available here in Finland, I ended up having two alternatives:
Google Nexus One and HTC Desire. These two phones are almost identical - at least hardware wise. Both phones are manufactured by HTC. I decided to buy HTC Desire, basically for the following two main reasons: Desire is about 100 € cheaper than Nexus One here in Finland, and it features the Sense UI which I loved already in HTC Hero. I have been using HTC Desire now for couple of weeks, and I have to say that I really like it. HTC Desire is fast and responsive, features superb AMOLED display, and has a nice industrial design that feels comfortable on hand. Furthermore, the improvements in and extensions to Sense UI provide even better user experience than in HTC Hero. I am also impressed the quality of the software. I have not yet experienced any software crashes nor any other problems worth mentioning. So, really an awesome phone - I love it.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Dropbox for Android available!

The free (and official) Dropbox app for Android is now available from Android Market. Go and get it :)

Friday, April 30, 2010

The Droid Incredible commercial

I have to say that I really like the Droid commercials by Verizon Wireless - including this new one for Droid Incredible (HTC Incredible):

Dropbox app for Android

I am a Dropbox user, and use it on my OS X and Ubuntu machines, and even on my iPhone. I was glad to read from Dropbox blog that a Dropbox client app for Android has been under development for some time now, and it should be out within next couple of month. Read the related block entry with some screen shots. Happy, happy, joy, joy.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The New York Times: Google’s Andy Rubin on Everything Android

The New Your Times has published a quite interesting interview with Google's Andy Rubin about the near future of Android. Discussed topics include the next 2.2 version of Android code-named Froyo, Androids forthcoming full scale support for Flash, openness of Android platform, and competition with iPhone.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Android outpaces iPhone in US web traffic

According to a report released by AdMob and based on the company's mobile metrics for March 2010, Android has officially passed the iPhone up in the US when web traffic is concerned. A nice summary of the report can be read from this Intomobile's article.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Qt for Android :)

My day job involves developing software using Qt and Qt Quick. I really like Qt technologies, especially Qt Quick which I think has enormous potential for mobile application development. It would be really nice to be able to use QML (the scripting language of Qt Quick) on Android. I did some googling, and found this Google Code project: Android-Lighthouse.

As a short introduction to Qt Quick, watch this video:

Thursday, April 22, 2010

iPhone OS 4.0 Multitasking vs. Android Multitasking

When I followed Steve Jobs iPhone OS 4.0 keynote presentation about new multitasking architecture, I immediately realized that there were some similarities to Android's approach on implementing multitasking. Here is a good article analyzing and discussing similarities and differences: Mobile Multitasking.

Falling in Love with HTC Desire ...

Enjoy :)

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Android Market in new doubleTwist for OSX

As a fan of both Android and OSX, I was delighted to find out that the latest version of doubleTwist for the OSX features now also access to Android Market for Android applications. DoubleTwist lets users to browse Android applications using a nice user interface quite similar to one provided by iTunes for App Store. In addition, it is possible to download the desired applications via scanning the QR codes presented in the Android Market browser (of course direct syncing with a device would be nicer, but I guess that will be possible in future). If you do not own a Mac (d'oh) or if you do not want to install the doubleTwist for some reason, it is also possible to try out the new service via plain web browser at

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Rokon - 2D Game Engine for Android

I made a quick search on existing 2D game engines for Android, and managed to find Rokon - 2D Game Engine for Android:

"The project began as a result of being unable to find anything like this for Android, the aim of this project was to create a framework which can be used for any kind of game, and provide as much functionality and flexibility as possible.

Using a variety of classes it is possible to create playable and attractive games much quicker than it would starting from the ground up. A system of drawable objects on layers is the starting point, extensible to almost any usage. Rokon is also aimed at those new to Android programming, it provides all the necessary functions to handle the more laborious tasks - such as handling the hardware, accelerometer, audio, vibrations and incoming notifications. Creating a game ready for the market using Rokon requires ver y little Android-specific knowledge. We make games because we love playing them, so it should be as easy (and fun) as possible."

After a very quick look on Rokon's (Java) APIs, I think I will give it a try, and report later on about my experiences on developing with it.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

TAT Home - Interesting Home Screen Alternative for Android

TAT (The Astonishing Tribe) has release a really interesting 3D home screen solution called TAT Home for Android:

"TAT Home is a gesture-powered 3D Home screen for Android that marries advanced UI technology with astonishing design. With simple gestures the user can perform everyday tasks - such as, Contacts, Messaging, Music and Weather without leaving the Home screen. In addition to standard Android Widgets, TAT Home supports unique widgets with 3D-graphics and innovative interaction methods."

I hope that TAT Home will be soon available via Android Market.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Linus Torvalds: Nexus One is a Winner

Read how the father of Linux, Linus Torvalds endorses Google's Nexus One in his blog:

"But I have to admit, the Nexus One is a winner. I wasn't enthusiastic about buying a phone on the internet sight unseen, but the day it was reported that it finally had the pinch-to-zoom thing enabled, I decided to take the plunge. I've wanted to have a GPS unit for my car anyway, and I thought that google navigation might finally make a phone useful.

And it does. What a difference! I no longer feel like I'm dragging a phone with me "just in case" I would need to get in touch with somebody - now I'm having a useful (and admittedly pretty good-looking) gadget instead. The fact that you can use it as a phone too is kind of secondary."

There you have it. Take that Steve - resistance is futile ...

Thursday, January 28, 2010

50 Android Games in One Video

Check out the following YouTube video demonstrating 50 Android games running in a Motorola Droid. Android is clearly evolving into a capable and viable gaming platform for game developers. I just hope that Google fixes the current problems with Android Market, and opens the market for paid applications also here in Scandinavia.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Nexus One Unboxing - Ninja Style

Here is one of the most awesome unboxing videos I have ever seen. Enjoy :)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Android 2.1 SDK Available

Google has just released Android SDK version 2.1. It is a small feature release that includes some new developer APIs and related documentation. However, this is the SDK version you need for developing amazing 2.1 apps for your awesome Nexus One.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Nexus One Online Tour

For those of you anxiously waiting to get your hands on Nexus One, enjoy this online tour as an appetizer. Check out also the Google's YouTube channel for Nexus One.

Nexus One Commercial

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Nexus One Technical Specifications

So, as you should already know by now, Nexus One, the Android 2.1 based phone from Google was finally released. The technical specifications for the phone can be found from this Google's page. Demonstrations of the Nexus One applications are available in here. Hopefully Nexus One will be soon available also here in Finland.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Nexus One Review

Today is the day when Google is supposed to publish their Nexus One Android phone. Engadget (those lucky b******s :)) had a change to have a hands-on session with the actual device. You can read and enjoy their detailed and lengthy review from here.

Logitech Working on an Android Product?

It seems that Logitech is going to develop Android-based products - at least according to this job posting. Any guesses, anyone? How about, an Android-based, configurable multi-room multimedia system, or an Android-based Harmony touch screen enabled remote control ...