Game Review of PhoneFraze

9 06 2010

Application Review of PhoneFraze

Developed by The Mobile Worx

What is PhoneFraze?

PhoneFraze is a free application on the Android Market that also has two pay versions. They advertise the game as “The party game similar to CatchPhrase™ or Taboo™  (but with more features and modes!) *” and at this point I cannot disagree with that assessment at all. While there is a free version, there are also two more that you can upgrade to if you like what you are seeing when playing.  The three total versions are PhoneFraze – Free, PhoneFraze – University Edition, and PhoneFraze Pro.

What is the difference between the three versions, and how much will each version run my pockets?

PhoneFraze – Free
This version has most of the functionality, but a smaller word list with only one available category.

PhoneFraze – University Edition – $1.49
University Edition has a college word list theme, and allows the user to download and play many of the other FREE theme packs off of the market.  The game play buttons are twice as large as the free version.

PhoneFraze Pro – $3.99
The Pro version comes loaded with thousands of phrases with many categories and also allows the user to download some theme packs that the university edition can access. The game play buttons are twice as large as the free version.

How do you play? What are the rules?

  • Three or more players get in a circle
  • Each Person describes or gestures the phrase on the screen (no rhyming or spelling)
  • If the phrase is too hard, press “New Word”
  • After phrase is guessed correctly, pass the phone
  • The next person presses “Got It” and play continues
  • Round ends when the buzzer sounds!

There are 3 Game Modes:

Scoring:

  • Basic – the person left holding the phone loses!
  • Scramble – the team NOT holding the phone at buzzer gets a point
  • Heads Up – 1 Point per correct phrase to the “heads up” team

At the end of a round, the game will automatically score, however scores can be modified.

Advanced Scoring:

  • If the other team guesses the phrase that their opponents were trying to get after the buzzer sounds they earn 3 points!
  • If someone spells, rhymes, or says the phrase then they lose a point for their team
  • If someone skips a word during play, then they lose a point for their team

What are the Theme Packs? What do they do, and how much do they cost?

The Theme Packs are free add-ons to the two pay versions of PhoneFraze. If, for example, you purchased PhoneFraze Pro, you could then download and install the ProFootball Pack which adds Football phrases and other Football related words. If you have one of the pay versions, you might as well get a theme pack though, as they are completely free of charge. If you try to download the theme pack without having a pay version, it will prompt you back to the Android Market for you to make a purchase.

What does the Android Market tell me about these applications?

On the free version it lists that 10,000-50,000 people have downloaded it but only 51 ratings. There was just one comment that said “sucks” literally, and rated it one star, but the rest seemed to be real ratings for the most part. There was one user who was mad about something that happened on Facebook and took it out on the application rating.

On the University Edition for $1.49 it seems like people aren’t all that interested in it just yet.  It has less than fifty downloads and only two ratings, but both of them are five star ratings. This could also be because of the thought process that if you are going to pay $1.49 for this version, you might as well just go up to the $3.99 version.

The Pro version has 100-500 downloads and just seven ratings. Six of these were five stars and the only three star rating was saying the music sucks, which they have since created a way for us to upload our own music into the game.

On the Theme Pack Add-ons it seems that most people, if not all, rated them five stars. The few who did not clearly did not understand that these were add-ons to applications, and not stand-alone-applications.

What can you tell me about your personal experience using this application?

I had a blast testing this game and I hope that more games take notice of the polish involved. These developers definitely took the time to do this right, the first time. Something I also wish that most developers would follow with is that this game will pause and silence itself if you have a phone call interrupt your play, and then it will pick itself back up right where you left off as soon as the call is over. It doesn’t seem like a huge deal but the overall convenience of the application doing this on its own is nice. It was one of those “oh that is pretty cool” moments that ends because you remember that you are in the middle of the game and losing time! At the end of the day, it is so much more convenient to carry your phone to a friend’s house to play a game than it is an entire box. With the box you also have to worry about losing cards or pieces or a board. I honestly can’t think of a reason that having a game box with me would be more convenient than just using my phone other than not having to worry about batteries.

Are there any other drawbacks or reasons to make me think twice about purchasing?

To tell the truth, if you are purchasing this application knowing what game it intends to mimic and then expand upon, then there is absolutely no reason at all that you should need a refund or become disappointed. It has unlimited potential in terms or words and phrases as all they need to do is push out an update every time they add a chunk to either, whereas the board game has to release a new edition you would have to pay for to get new words and phrases. The game is basically without any bug or glitch that I could find during my testing with it and I am happy to announce that my family and I had a blast testing the game over twelve hours of actual play time.

Verdict!

At the end of the day I firmly believe that this application is well worth the money. I was sent this .apk of the pay version, PhoneFraze Pro, to fully review with no bias with only one catch. I was asked if I found any bugs in the application, that I would notify them and allow them to knock it out before they get blasted for a bug or glitch publicly. I am proud to say that after spending seven days and about sixteen hours playing their game that I could not report back any sighting or bugs. I had no force closes or anything that would impede my ability to get enjoyment out of this game. Out of a possible 10 points, I am pleased to award PhoneFraze Pro a magnificent 9.25 out of 10 stars. It is basically without flaw. The harsh critic in me can only knock this game by saying I wish there were more phrases or words to use. During the entire time I played with my family I only came across the same phrase once, and the same word I think two times. It is very picky of me to knock it for that and it is an issue that is easily solved as they have unlimited potential for words and phrases and themes to be added into their game.

Thank you for your time and I hope you find this review useful in deciding to purchase or stay away from this application.

Also, if you have any feedback, feel free to post such here.

I will likely be posting one review of an app or game per week unless this starts to pick up a bit more, but I do this in my spare time, but I also work full time and am expecting to become a father in the next 2-4 weeks. Thank you for your time.





Application Review of DocumentsToGo + Full Version Key

29 05 2010

Application Review of DocumentsToGo + Full Version Key

Developed by DataViz, Inc

What is DocumentsToGo and what does the Full Version Key unlock?

DocumentsToGo is a free application on the Android Market that allows you to view Microsoft Word & Excel files & attachments such as doc, docx, xls, and xlsx. The full version is completely free and it is a nice start if all you want to do is view files sent to you that are the types mentioned above, but to get all the features you do indeed have to buy the key to unlock them.

The Full Version Key unlocks these features as per their “More Info” tab at the bottom of their application;

  • Adobe PDF Support ( high fidelity viewing )
  • Microsoft PowerPoint support ( view and edit )
  • Create new files on the device
  • Edit, recalculate and save changes
  • View and update charts
  • Zoom, format and send attachments
  • Open password-protected files
  • ‘Live Folder’ for recently used documents
  • And much more…

There are no strings attached or any lies or deceit in these words. Everything is as it says.

How much does it cost and is the price justified?

When this application is not on some sort of sale, the original price sits at $29.99. This is indeed a steep price for an application and for many people, it would not be justified. For somebody who needs to be able to view, edit, send and receive these as an email often, then yes I would say it is well worth the price. Myself, I am a part time student and this application allows me to not always have to lug around my laptop to take notes. I can simply choose to take notes in a word or spreadsheet file, save them, and email them to myself for later.

The good news though is that DataViz, Inc is a very smart company who likes money. Because of this love for money they often put their Full Version Key on sale in the Android Market for a few days at a time. Around Christmas time I believe it was down to around $14.99. I purchased the application when it was on their Cinco De Mayo Sale Special, at which point it only ran me a mere $5.55, and at that price it was just too good to pass up. During certain seasons when this application goes on sale, it is just too hard to pass up and for that I must say that yes, the price is justified.

What does the Android Market tell me about this application?

The Android Market tells me that over 250,000 users have downloaded this application. Of which, 9670 of them have decided to rate this application and it has been awarded four out of five stars. Right in the details portion of this application on the market where the company can write about its product, they state that over 750,000 users have downloaded the free version and that over 50,000 people have become paying customers. Of those 50,000 paying customers, 4524 of them have rated the payed for version. Most people who rated it have given rave reviews of it and it has earned itself four and a half out of five stars.

What can you tell me about your personal experience using this application?

From my experience, this application has earned every cent of that $5.55 I gave to them for this. The Word Documents are just like you would expect them to be on a computer. You can edit fonts, bold, italic, underline, increase indent, decrease indent, make a table of contents, comment, footnote, endnote, create new, open, close, save, save as, send as email, undo, redo, paste, cut, copy, edit paragraph style, set preferences and even check your word count in all Word Documents.

Sheet To Go is your basic stuff as well. You can insert sheets, cell comments, and autosum it. You can format things like the number, cell and sheet.

PDF To Go allows you to view PDF Files.

Slideshow To Go allows you to do most things that PowerPoint allows you to do.

Are there any other drawbacks or reasons to make me think twice about purchasing?

Despite many positive things to say about this application there are indeed some drawbacks, as with all applications. Besides viewing a PDF file, there really isn’t much else you can do with it. And while I know that may be reaching for something negative to say, I am spoiled on the computer with the ability to truly edit PDF files. On Slideshow To Go my only issue with the application is that I can do all the editing I want and add tons of content to my slides, but I can not, for the life of me, add a picture from my SD Card to one of my slides. Unless there has been an update recently that I haven’t seen, this is not an option.

Lastly, my biggest pet peeve with this application, and apparently on the market it is the one big knock for most customers, is that when you purchase the key to unlock the rest of the applications features, it leaves two icons in your App Drawer. This is the only application I have seen that offers up a key to unlock things or go premium but for some reason can’t just merge the two icons together. It isn’t as if this should be a deal breaker but it does look a bit silly when you scroll through your drawer and see them together. It doesn’t make sense because it is possible to hide one if the developer chooses to, and once you use the pay version there is no need to click the free version.

Verdict!

All in all I do believe this application is worth the money and the developers have done a great job getting everything pretty bug free. Out of a possible 10 points, I would award DocumentsToGo Full Version 8.5 out of 10 stars. It is a nearly perfect application but there are more features that could, and should be added, as well as the ability to hide the DocumentsToGo free version icon once you have paid for it. It could be worth it to purchase at its original price, but if you are patient enough to wait for a holiday, just wait and catch this bad boy on sale.

Thank you for your time and I hope you find this review useful in deciding to purchase or stay away from this application.

~Varking~

There is an update coming from DataViz with many exciting features which can be found here:

DataViz Selected to Showcase Documents To Go 3.0 for Android at Google I/O 2010

Upcoming features include support for Microsoft Office 2010, new desktop application with two-way file sync, enhanced file browser, pinch-to-zoom for Adobe PDF files and updated FREE version

Milford, CT, May 18, 2010 – DataViz®, Inc., a leading provider of mobile Microsoft® Office® compatibility solutions, was included in a select group of Android™ developers to participate at Google I/O™ Developer Conference in San Francisco this week.  At Google™’s largest developer event of the year, DataViz will be showcasing the upcoming Documents To Go® version 3.0. Documents To Go is currently the #1 selling mobile Office suite in Android Market and a Top 10 paid app overall. New features being demonstrated in the Developer Sandbox on May 19-20 include:

  • Support for Microsoft Office 2010 Files
    With the recent launch of Microsoft Office 2010, mobile professionals can rest assured that they will not be stuck with a file or attachment they cannot open. Documents To Go 3.0 supports Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint 2003, 2007 and now 2010 files including most password-protected formats.
  • Desktop Application with Two-way File Sync
    Version 3.0 will offer a desktop application that provides Windows customers with the ability to easily transfer files from their computer to their Android-based device over a USB cable.  With this application, users can select individual files or entire folders to synchronize and all updates made on either the location will be automatically synchronized and 100% of the original file formatting will be maintained via DataViz’s acclaimed InTact Technology™.
  • Enhanced Document File Browser & Manager
    As more solutions become available to access files on the go, Documents To Go 3.0 has been enhanced with the necessary tools to efficiently browse and manage these files on a mobile device. Mobile workers can now view, edit, create, delete, sort, filter, star, sync, backup and send files from one centralized application.
  • Improved Adobe® PDF Support with New Multi-Touch Pinch-to-Zoom
    PDF To Go, which is included in the full version of Documents To Go, has been improved with  multi-touch pinch-to-zoom, animated double-tap zoom, multi-page rendering, rotate page options, hyperlink support, and keypad shortcuts to make it a best-of-breed mobile PDF viewer.
  • Updated FREE Version Now with Microsoft PowerPoint® File Viewing and New Live Folders
    Any Android device owner can now download a beefed-up and FREE version of Documents To Go, which allows viewing of native Microsoft Word, Excel and now PowerPoint files and attachments. In addition, the free version will also include new Live Folders to help keep recently used and favorite files at their finger tips.

“It has been a very exciting year since we first launched our Android applications at Google I/O last year.” said Ilya Eliashevsky, Android Product Manager, DataViz, Inc. “We now have over 750,000 customers who have downloaded Documents To Go through Android Market and 7 new OEM partners pre-installing our solutions on their Android-based handsets. Moving forward, we feel confident that version 3.0 will take mobile Office productivity to the next level for businesses, professionals, students and casual users alike.”

Pricing & Availability
Documents To Go 3.0 will be showcased at Google I/O, May 19-20, in the Android Developer Sandbox Booth #12.  The updated FREE viewer edition will be available in Android Market and direct from DataViz within the next few weeks. The full version will sell for a limited-time price of $14.99 (regularly $29.99). Registered customers who have previously purchased the full version of the software will be entitled to latest application enhancements for FREE upon its release.  The new desktop application may be sold separately.

Documents To Go is localized in English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Brazilian Portuguese, Arabic, Japanese, traditional and simplified Chinese with support for any device running Android OS 1.5 or higher. For more information, visit: www.dataviz.com/Android

About DataViz
Founded in 1984, DataViz is an industry leader in developing and marketing Office compatibility and productivity solutions across a variety of platforms including Android™, BlackBerry, iPhone®, Java®, Linux, Maemo 5, Palm OS®, Symbian OS™, webOS®, Windows Mobile®, Windows® and Macintosh®. DataViz partners include Acer, Foxconn, Huawei, HP, Lenovo, Microsoft®, Motorola®, Nokia, Palm®, RIM, Samsung, Sony Ericsson®, ZTE and other industry leaders. For more information: http://www.dataviz.com/About

About Google I/O
Google I/O is a developer gathering focused on pushing the boundaries of web applications using Google and open web technologies.  I/O 2010 will provide attendees with two days full of in-depth breakout sessions on the latest technologies, and informal Q&A at fireside chats. To learn more please visit: code.google.com/events/io/

All product and company names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.
©2010 DataViz, Inc.

Google I/O, Google, Android, and Android Market are trademarks of Google Inc. Use of this trademark is subject to

Google Permissions.

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