More iOS games on sale--and this time, it's charitable

Posted by Harshad

More iOS games on sale--and this time, it's charitable

More iOS games on sale--and this time, it's charitable

Posted: 21 Dec 2010 05:59 PM PST

Like games? Here's your chance to save a few bucks on six indie champs--and support a worthy cause in the process.

Like games? Here's your chance to save a few bucks on six indie champs--and support a worthy cause in the process.

(Credit: Screenshot by Rick Broida)

'Tis the season to score iPhone, iPod, and iPad games on the cheap. First, Electronic Arts cut some 70 games to 99 cents each, a promotion that's likely to run through the holidays.

Next, Gameloft and Namco got in on the 99-cent act, as CNET's Joe Aimonetti reported earlier today.

Now, even indie developers are extending some 99-cent love, as evidenced by the Indie iPhone Holiday Sale. But in this case, there's more to it than just a price drop: the six participating developers plan to donate a third of the proceeds to charity.

The games on sale include Canabalt, Drop7, Eliss, Osmos, Solipskier, and Spider: The Secret of Bryce Manor. Not exactly well-known titles, admittedly, but each one has a user rating of at least four stars in the App Store. (Osmos is an App Store Hall-of-Famer, and both Drop7 and Spider appeared on several "top-10" lists.)

Prior to the sale, which runs until Dec. 31, each game sold for $2-4 apiece.

The developers will donate a third of the net proceeds (i.e. what's left after Apple takes its share) to Child's Play, which collects toys, games, books, and cash for kids in children's hospitals around the world.

So in addition to scooping up some great games on the cheap, you can give a little extra cheer to sick kids.

While you're at it, why not check out the Windows Holiday Bundle, which also supports a very worthwhile cause (Charity:Water). It's not iPhone-related, but it does give you $220 worth of goodies for just 19 bucks.

Originally posted at iPhone Atlas

31 great Android apps to get you started

Posted: 21 Dec 2010 05:00 PM PST

For tech lovers, there are few greater things on this earth than getting one's hands on a shiny, new gadget. Plenty of tech toys are drool-worthy, but an Android device certainly earns a spot near the top of the list when it comes to mobile gear--especially according to some data.

Naturally, we understand the overwhelming joy at unpacking that feature-packed smartphone for the very first time. You pop in the battery, fire it up, and--whoa--this thing does a lot. Where is a gadget-happy Android newbie to begin? As it turns out, we've got some ideas for you. Namely: fill it up with some fun and useful apps.

To that end, we've churned out a fresh update to our Android Starter Kit to help you take advantage of all this OS can do. Even better, the vast majority of the 31 options are totally free, which means you can try them out without making a commitment in cold, hard cash.

Of course, this is by no means an exhaustive list, and everyone has different needs for their Android devices. We know that many of your favorite apps are going to be very particular to the functionality you're after. In that spirit, we invite you to share your own tried-and-true selections in the comment section below.

Sync and speed in latest Firefox 4 beta

Posted: 21 Dec 2010 03:20 PM PST

Improved desktop-to-mobile synchronization and hardware acceleration powered by WebGL are the hallmarks of Mozilla's latest Firefox 4 beta, which the company plans to release later today for desktops and mobile devices.

Firefox Sync, from an early version in June 2010.

(Credit: Screenshot by Seth Rosenblatt/CNET)

Firefox 4 beta 8, for Windows, Mac, and Linux, isn't expected to make any sweeping changes to the browser, instead focusing on improving already-included features. Meanwhile, not much is known at this time about what will be included in the simultaneous release of Firefox Mobile 4 beta 3 for Android and Maemo, although CNET has been able to confirm that the update will contain improvements to the mobile sync.

The biggest feature improvement in this round of updates is the streamlining of the setup process for Firefox Sync, which Mozilla hopes will make it easier to have the same bookmarks, history, preferences, tabs, and passwords across your computers and phones.

For the computer version of Firefox 4, users can also expect to see further tweaking of the WebGL 3D rendering tech, and further polish applied to the previously-revamped add-ons manager. The full list of changes to Firefox 4 beta 8 is available here, and further details bug-fixes such as changes made to HTML5 compatability and browser security.

Other changes to the mobile version have not yet been announced but will be updated here later today.

BlackBerry Starter Kit: Essential apps for newbies

Posted: 21 Dec 2010 01:05 PM PST

The holidays present a fun time for many of us, whether your form of enjoyment is snowy activities, hot boozy beverages, or new gadgets released specifically for the Q4 buying season. If you count yourself in that last category, you may have been lucky enough to acquire a shiny smartphone recently. It's a BlackBerry, you say? Well, you've come to the right place.

Once you get that sucker out of the box and power it up, the first thing to do is download BlackBerry App World. Now, you have a gallery of apps just waiting to fill up your phone. There's only one problem--figuring out which programs to download first.

That's where our BlackBerry Starter Kit comes in. We've assembled our top recommendations for productivity, communication, music, and business--if you intend use your BlackBerry for work as well as for play.

Of course, our list of essential BlackBerry apps is far from exhaustive. We steered clear of games, and of applications for hobbyists and specialized communities in an effort to make our app suggestions applicable to as many new BlackBerry owners as possible. If you've got must-have suggestions of your own, you know the drill--leave 'em in the comments.


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