Angry Birds

itifitifi ( free

What was originally the most addictive game for iPhone and iPad scored two million downloads in its first two days on Android. The premise is that you slingshot birds at a group of nasty pigs who've stolen their eggs and are hiding out.

It sounds simple, but under the surface is a physics engine that really keeps things interesting. At first you only have a plain red bird, but as the game goes on you get blue birds that divide into three, yellow birds with speed boosters, white birds that drop eggs like bombs, black birds that are ticking bombs themselves, and more. On each level you get a fixed queue of birds to achieve your aim. It gets pretty challenging pretty quickly.

Pigs also come in a few types: tiny ones, huge ones, ones wearing helmets so they're harder to squash, and so forth. As you progress through the levels (and there are over 150 to complete), the structures protecting them get more complex, and materials such as wood, ice and concrete require different birds, so strategy becomes as important as your aim.

The animation is smooth, even with the (amusing) sound on, and pinching to zoom in and out looks cool. The game did hang on us occasionally, but your progress is always saved, so it's not a big deal.

The free app is supported by ads, which can be intrusive; a paid option is planned to let users remove these.

DLNA

FREE

Play media

Copy media to server

Copy media to phone

Share media

This handy media-sharing app first came to our attention when we found it pre-installed on a Motorola Droid handset (the phone known in the UK as the Milestone). Digital Living Network Alliance is a clunky acronym that's worth keeping a lookout for when choosing consumer electronics to share media across your home network. Adherence to the standard promises interoperability between devices, so you can mix and match, say, Sony, Philips and Toshiba laptops, flat-screen TVs and media hubs, for example.

INS AND OUTS

The DLNA app for Android allows you to control how you share the kind of content you might want to enjoy on such devices. You can share photos, music and video (singly or all three) both to and from your Android handset, allowing you to stream albums to a set of wireless speakers, for example, or watch TV shows from a network media server on your Android tablet.

A helpful warning when you fire up the DLNA software checks whether you want to leave the Wi-Fi radio function switched on (and risk getting a flat battery in your phone as the constant Wi-Fi streaming leaches power) or turn it off for the moment.

The simplicity of setup is one of the strengths of the DLNA app. Four tiles allow you to copy media to and from the server and the phone and to toggle the sharing function on and off. Clicking on an option brings up a screen offering a choice of available media servers. If you've bought music on your Android device, you can stream this to a suitably connected speaker.

Clicking the Play button lets you either access media server content or play items stored on the Android device, using the DLNA app like a regular media player. However, our biggest gripe was that we found the software slow at accessing content, even when it was stored locally.

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