So on the coat tails of releasing Fruit Ninja today, the online, cross-platform, mobile gaming community, Open Feint, has gone and brought their whole system over to Android.

What does this mean for you?  Tons and TONS of new, GREAT games for the Android are here, and will be flooding into the system over the next few months.

Again, this is the same group that is responsible for launching Fruit Ninja today, so expect many more quality games like that to come your way soon.  And by soon we mean there’s already 4 or 5 in the market, up to 10 will be added by the end of the day, and at least 20 more by the end of the month.  To top it off, you can win REAL prizes from playing these games, and soon to be able to play against other platforms, so you can play your buddy on his iPhone, and kick his butt from your Droid!  Awesome!

Can we say THANK YOU!? Finally the Android platform is getting the recognition it deserves being the number one selling platform, and will continue to enjoy all these quality developers and publishers come to the greener grass of the mobile arena.

To make this simple for all of you, I suggest downloading the Feint Spotlight App.  It’s basically a mini-market for games as well as a community hub for OpenFeint.  From there you’ll be able to see any of the hottest games, added on a daily basis!

Full press release below:

Major Wireless Carriers and OpenFeint Partner To Unleash First Wave of Hit Games on Android

Cross Platform Social Gaming Network to Offer Access to Featured Promotion to Tens of Millions of Android Subscribers

Burlingame, CA – September 15, 2010 – OpenFeint, the leading cross platform social gaming network with 37 million mobile players, is launching 20 games for Android in the next month starting today with top 10 iOS hits including dot (ustwo), Fruit Ninja (Halfbrick Studios), MiniSquadron (Supermono), Super Slyder (Sandlot Games), The Moron Test (DistinctDev, Inc.), and Tic Tac Toe (Posimotion). These games will be offered to major wireless carriers as part of a partnership where OpenFeint will regularly bring high quality games to Android as candidates for featuring. The company also announced the release of its Feint Spotlight app, where Android gamers will be able to discover new games, connect to the community, and win prizes. With over 200,000 daily activations, the Android user base is growing rapidly and will eclipse tens of millions of additional users in 2010.

OpenFeint’s cross platform social gaming network has grown rapidly since being introduced just over 18 months ago, recently surpassing 37 million mobile players and 3,000 games. Game developers gain access to OpenFeint’s leading set of online gaming services and cross promotional tools by implementing the company’s free, open source SDK.

“Android users deserve great games but haven’t had access to enough of them. That changes today,” said Jason Citron, CEO of Aurora Feint, makers of OpenFeint. “Hundreds of thousands of people activate Android phones every day, and there is a clear need for high quality games in the marketplace. The major wireless carriers are partnering with us to select the best games from iOS – like Fruit Ninja – to bring to Android.”

All games utilize the newly cross platform OpenFeint mobile social gaming network and include features like leaderboards, achievements, and friending. iOS and Android gamers can now compete against each other in the games that they love to play. With a cross platform gaming network, gamers are no longer limited to playing games with friends who only use the same smartphone OS.

OpenFeint also announced that it will aggressively market these games in its newly introduced Feint Spotlight app for Android. With new titles being added to the OpenFeint network every day, gamers can use the app to discover the hottest new games and win prizes in future giveaways.

“Android is on track to become an incredible force as one of the largest mobile platforms in the world. Developers will need to unlock this gigantic market to maximize revenue potential for their mobile games. With the help of our wireless carrier partners, we’ve created multiple viral and editorial channels to help our developers drive revenue,” said Peter Relan, Chairman of Aurora Feint.

Developers interested in implementing OpenFeint in their games can learn more and download the free, open source SDK at OpenFeint.com/Developers. Players interested in learning about more OpenFeint enabled games can visit OpenFeint.com.

OpenFeint: Android Launch Month Games
Developer: Appy Entertainment
-Face Fighter Gold
Developer: Bravo Game Studios
-Touch Racing Nitro
Developer: ChewSoft
-Symbolism
Developer: ChickenBrick Studios
-Cestos 2: Party Time
Developer: DistinctDev
-The Moron Test
Developer: Glu Games Inc.
-Super KO Boxing 2
Developer: Get Set Games
-Mega Jump
Developer: Halfbrick Studios
-Fruit Ninja
Developer: Hudson
-Bomberman Dojo
Developer: Mediatonic
-Must.Eat.Birds
Developer: Mikengreg
-Solipskier
Developer: PikPok
-Flick Kick Field Goal
-Flick Kick Football
-Flick Kick Rugby
Developer: Posimotion
-Tic Tac Toe
Developer: Sandlot Games
-Super Slyder
Developer: Supermono
-MiniSquadron
Developer: TastyPlay.com
-Kamikaze Race
Developer: ustwo
-Dot
-Dot Dot

About Aurora Feint, Inc:
Aurora Feint Inc’s software development kit, OpenFeint, allows game publishers to implement services which enable mobile social gaming. With over 37 million registered users and a presence on over 3,000 games, OpenFeint is the largest mobile social gaming ecosystem for iOS devices and Android. Aurora Feint is backed by DeNA Inc and The9.

Enjoy!

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So Assurion, our oh-so favorite insurance company for our beloved smartphones from Verizon (should you choose to purchase it through the carrier at least,) has developed an official mobile protection and recovery app for anyone currently subscribed to the insurance through their monthly plan.

Droid-life.com managed to snag up the link where you can download this app right now if you would like and start using it.  You really only need to have the insurance on your account.  With that, Kellex from Droid-life stated that he was able to successfully download and install (and use) this app without having insurance on his account, so there may not be any real check and balance right now if you don’t really have the insurance, and still may be able to use the app.

So what does it do?  Well basically it gives you all the standard features you’d expect from a mobile protection and recovery app.  Some of the features included are:

  • Sound an alarm from a misplaced phone, even if it’s set to silent
  • Locate a lost phone on a map, with turn-by-turn directions
  • Lock a lost or stolen phone to ensure your privacy
  • Remotely erase contacts from a lost or stolen phone
  • Available at no added cost with Verizon Wireless Total Equipment Coverage
  • So as you can see this will be a pretty handy app if you don’t already have a similar service.  I think this is going to cause me to ditch mine and solely use theirs.  There’s just something about using the product from your insurance company that makes you hope if something does happen they have the proof already to back up your claim.  Time will tell on that one though.

    If you’d like to download this app, head to the following URL from your phone.
    http://www.getmymr.com/download

    Then once it’s installed head over to https://www.mymobilerecovery.com/ to test it out!

    Enjoy!

    Source: Droid-life.com

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    Google Shows Off Voice Search

    Posted: September 15, 2010 in Android
    Tags:

    There’s been a lot of talk over Voice Actions for Android 2.2+ lately and all the things you can command your phone to do by talking to it.  This is Google however, and it’s not secret what they’re based around.  Search.   And with that they’ve put together a nice collection of videos showing the different ways to use their voice search feature on the phone.

    Some of them are actually pretty clever, but most of them really do give you a good idea of the capabilities you have with the search by simply stating a broad topic, or a specific model number.

    We’ve posted a couple below for you to see, the full list can be found on Google’s Mobile YouTube channel, here.

    Enjoy!

    Source: Droid-life.com
    Via: Google Mobile Blog

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    Fruit Ninja Has Arrived!

    Posted: September 15, 2010 in Apps
    Tags:

    We’re finally starting to see some of the popular quality games from the iPhone find their way to the now most popular selling platform, Android!  (Yes I know the screenshot pictures an iPhone, that’s all I could find right now until I take my own for our review)

    Fruit Ninja has over 2 million downloads already through other systems, and has just been released on the Android market!

    This game is highly fun and addicting.  If anyone has a Wii, and Wii Sports Resort, there’s a game on their that lets you slash fruit in a specified direction in a timed fashion.  Sounds very simple and juvenile but in reality it is very addicting and can be very challenging.  Fruit ninja applies the same philosophy, although you’re not swinging a Wiimote around to slash your fruit, you swipe the screen.

    So all in all, without making this a review, I will say that the game is fun and WELL worth the measly .99 cents they charge for it, so go grab up your copy of Fruit Ninja now!

    There’s many imitations of this game, so I suggest scanning the QR code below to make sure you get the right one.

    Enjoy!

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    Ok, So I’m Rooted. Now What?

    Posted: September 14, 2010 in Root
    Tags:

    So you decided that rooting was the path you wanted to take with your phone.  (If you’re still undecided about rooting check out part one of this mini-series, To Root or Not to Root.)  Excellent choice!  Now there’s a whole new world opened up to you with your phone, and so much more you can do to customize, safeguard, upgrade, and just have full control of your device!

    There’s really three main categories when it comes to the things you can do with a rooted phone, but trust me they are broad once you start digging into each one.

    Rooted Apps
    Custom Roms/Leaked Upgrades
    Custom Themes

    So let’s tackle these one at a time.  Please note I’m going to keep it somewhat simple just to get the idea behind each of these with a few examples, but I’m not going to go into any specifics on how to necessarily load or use anything mentioned in this post.  There will be numerous walk-through’s and how-to’s coming to explain those things in much more detail.

    Rooted Apps

    The first and easiest thing to start doing right after rooting your phone is to start using some apps that require root access.  A few that come to mind are:

    WiFi Tether for Root Users – Free internet tethering for any device that can connect through wifi, without having to pay the monthly fee through Verizon to you their 3g Mobile Hotspot app

    DroCap2 – Lets you take a screenshot of your phone’s screen and saves it as a picture file on your SDCard.

    Titanium Backup – Lets you backup individual or all of your phones apps along with any related data, allowing you to full restore them to the same exact state if you even needed to recover it down the road.  This is very useful in-case anything would happen that you would need to reset your phone.  It keeps you from having to re-download and setup all of your applications.

    SetCPU – Lets you set the speed of the phones processor.  This is where you’ll hear the term overclocking and underclocking used.  Overclocking is setting your processor to faster than what it was shipped with.  Underclocking is for setting it slower than what it was shipped with.

    Those are just a few examples of the programs you can find and use once rooted.  To be fair you can find these even when you’re not rooted, and even install them, they just won’t function as they should (or at all really) if you’re not rooted.  It’s as simple as going to the market and downloading and installing any apps you find for rooted phones and you’ll be good to go with them.

    Custom Roms/Leaked Upgrades

    I combined these into one category because they are basically the same thing when it comes down to it.I’m sure if you have an Android of have been looking at them, at some point you’ve heard someone mention Froyo.  The newest official version of Android from Google.  With that you may have seen some sites saying you could download a leaked copy of Froyo, or the latest updates even before they were made official for your phone through your carrier (hence it’s a leaked copy.) These are (usually) the real deal, and you’ll come to learn a certain following of people you can trust to release these in a somewhat routine manner as they become available.  Most the time it comes as a .ZIP file download that you just copy to your phone and run with a few special button or key presses on your phone. It’s usually a very easy and painless process to install an official leaked update.

    Custom Roms on the other hand are far from “official” but at the same time are very valuable to have for any power-user (or regular user for that matter.)  A custom rom is when someone (or a team of people) take the most current official build, and then hack and modify to run smoother, faster, and more stable on your device.  With that, there’s a lot of development that needs to go into these, especially if they’re built from scratch, so there’s a few floating around with some bugs in them, but for the most part there’s a ton of quality roms out there each with their own specializations and tweaks.  Some of the major ones you’ll see are the Cyanogen and BuglessBeast roms.  These actually require less work than a leaked update to install because there is a program called Rom Manager that lets you search for and download custom roms specifically for your phone.  It does the whole process for you.

    So basically either of these options will put a new or tweaked out version of Android on your phone.  It would be like going from Windows XP to Windows 7 on your computer.  Or going from Windows XP to a completely streamlined version of Windows XP tailored to fit your needs.  There’s plenty to choose from that there’s bound to be one that is “right” for you. Again we’ll have more specific posts highlighting specific roms and exactly how to install them.

    Custom Themes –

    These can be a little bit more tricky, but they give you the most customization.  Just like a theme for a Windows PC, a theme for your phone will drastically change the look of your phone but won’t affect the system or how it runs.

    A theme can be as simply as changing the notification bar to black, or putting a custom border on any widget, or changing the default system font.  There are full themes however that do all of that in one and then some.  Some go as far as to make their own widgets to fit in with their theme better.  To top that off, a lot of custom roms will have themes specifically for that rom that can be loaded to make it look different while using the under the hood tune up from the custom rom.

    Luckily in all of that confusion, these as well can be found in Rom Manager.  I will point out however on some of the newer phones (Droid X, Droid 2, Samsung Galaxy S phones) you’ll find a pretty limited number of options in Rom Manager for roms or themes combined as they’re still new.  Over time you can expect a lot more content to be added for those devices.  You can however find exponentially more content out on the web at various forums between alldroid.org, mydroidworld.com, droidforums.net, droidxforums.com and the forums at droid-life.com.  These’s way too much to even try to list here or anywhere, but we’ll slowly bring you highlights of some of the best along the way.

    Lastly, one minor category that isn’t as popular yet is editing config files, specifically ones such as build.prop which controls A LOT of the little features and settings on your phone. Please PLEASE do not touch this file if you don’t know what you’re doing, and more importantly make sure you have a backup of it.  You can’t just get a copy from another phone on this file as it has unique identifiers specific to your phone inside.  So again these files hold the key to all the details of controlling things on your system, like wi-fi time-out settings, the time it takes to put the screen to sleep when put up against your ear on a call, or come to life when pulled away, etc.  But again, this is getting into very risky territory and can cause a lot of late nights and headaches (Sound like I’m speaking from experience? Well I am.)

    So I hope that helps clarify the possibilities of what you can do after you would root your phone.  I know there were a lot of teasers in here if you’re ready to take the plunge, but stay tuned and we’ll be getting all the guides up this week with the how-to’s on rooting and where to find and how to install the latest custom roms, themes, and updates for your phones!

    Enjoy!

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    To Root, or Not to Root? (Updated)

    Posted: September 14, 2010 in Root
    Tags:

    One of the questions I get asked most often is “Should I root my phone” followed by “What can I do differently with it after I root?”  This post aims to answer the first question for all of you by focusing on simply rooting. (The second, and more sought after question will be answered in its own post shortly after this one)  What I mean by that is this post won’t be talking about custom roms, or editing config files or any of those things.  We’re here to clear up what rooting really is and does on your phone so you can be more informed in choosing whether or not it’s something you want to try with your device.

    If you’re already lost, fear not, this is a very simple concept to grasp.

    When someone says they have a rooted Android phone or they are going to root their phone, they’re simply saying they’re going to allow complete and unrestricted access to all the files on the phone.  Even the ones Google and the devices carrier don’t want you to touch.  When I say they’re going to allow this access, I don’t mean that anyone that writes a program or touches your phone will have complete access to everything on it (or more importantly know what to do with that access) but it places something on your phone that in turn does have complete and total access to every last file and folder on your phone.  That’s called the Superuser app (pictured above.)

    For anyone on a PC that has used Windows Vista, or Windows 7, you should be familiar with a dialog that pops up on your screen at times asking “Are you sure you want to allow this program to run?”  When you click yes at that point, you’re essentially allowing that program on your PC to open, look at, edit, and modify any files it sees fit to properly run.  Of course you don’t have to do anything more than simply click the “Yes” button and it grants access behind the scenes.

    Rooting a phone has a similar effect.  And I emphasize similar.  Unlike Windows Vista you won’t be prompted to allow access to something every single time you tap any button on your screen, but you will see the screen pictured above the first time you try to use a program that requires root access.  As you can see from the picture you have the option to click “Remember” so you won’t have to keep allowing it access again in the future, which makes this a very simple and easy feature to work with.

    The plus side to this, is since it does pop up initially and ask you if you want to allow access, you can still control what has full system access to your phone even after rooted.  So basically if the screen above popped up randomly without you initiating anything, then you more than likely would want to deny it access.

    So ultimately again, to recap so far, rooting simple opens the gates to all the possibilities on your phone, however I must stress that simply rooting your phone in itself does not make your phone magically start to do something, or automatically have the latest version of Android, or that cool custom rom or theme you saw someone post on a forum.  What it does do is give you the option of now being able to do any of those things.  They would all each then require their own set of instructions, files or whatever the case may be, but they would all be possible now.

    So again, one last time, rooting gives you full system access to your phone, which in turn gives you the option to use apps that require root, load custom roms and themes, or edit configuration files that would normally be locked out, but it does not change or do any of those things on its own simply by rooting the phone.

    So we’ll end this post here, and keep it focused just on rooting as promised.  I’ll be getting ready to put up a post digging deeper into all the things you can do if and when you would decide to root your phone, as well as getting revamped guides up for all the phones we’re currently tracking, as a lot of them either have once click apps or are a few simple steps at this point and you can be rooted.

    UPDATE: I forget to mention one of the most important parts dealing with rooting that is one of the biggest deciding factors in going through with it or not.  Rooting your phone WILL VOID YOUR WARRANTY, so make sure you’re comfortable with that before doing this.  With that said, if something did happen on you phone, you do have ways to restore it to how it was when you first took it out of the box, however this is not a fun process to go through.  So please make sure you’re very comfortable with all the steps and procedures involved in rooting and recovering your phone if you decide to root your device!

    Stay tuned for more!

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    We’re back!

    Posted: September 13, 2010 in Uncategorized

    Yes, it’s been a slow 7 or 8 days around DroidXstatic.  I just wanted to say all the personal questions and requests I’ve received aren’t being ignored. I’m working on getting up a good number of guides, walkthroughs, and just plain explanations of everything from rooting, to roms, to themes, to specific phone unlocks and features.  I hope to start pouring this all out tonight into the rest of the week, so make sure you check back!

    With that, to set more of a focus on this site, I’m going to start narrowing down the number of devices I track for updates and changes.  This basically means I’m going to only focus on information and releases for specific phones.  This list will be constantly changing with new phones being launched, but I will do my best never to remove a phone my scope.

    So check below for the list of devices we’ll be focusing on at DroidXstatic moving forward:

    Motorola Droid 1
    Motorola Droid X
    Motorola Droid 2

    HTC Droid Incredible
    HTC Nexus One
    HTC Evo 4g
    HTC G2

    Samsung Galaxy S line of phones (Fascinate, Captivate, Vibrant, Epic)

    Samsung Galaxy Tab
    Motorola Stingray Tab

    That’s gonna close out the list for now.  If any of my regular readers, co-workers, or friends that frequent this site have a different model not specified above let me know and I’ll be sure to add it to the list for you and continue covering anything I can find on the device.

    So stay tuned and make sure to check back over the next few days and throughout the rest of the week!

    Thanks!