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App of the Week – Kindle for Android

We’re not shy to say that one of the best things about today’s smart phones are their ability to effectively kill time and cure boredom. With the plethora of games, entertainment and media options available in the app stores, you can easily get lost in the digital multimedia world. But if the world of animation and video exceeds your entertainment attention span, you can always turn to the most classic form of personal entertainment… good ‘ol reading.

Kindle App for Android Phones

However, taking part in the “old school” entertainment format doesn’t mean you have to kick your digital device to the curb, and it also means you don’t necessarily have to invest in a the latest e-reader gizmo either. Thanks to the Kindle App available for Android, you can download hundreds of thousands of titles from Amazon (approximately 725,000 actually!) directly to your Android smart phone. The best part? The app is completely free, so no need to shell out $140 for a Kindle to read as many books as your brain can absorb. You’re welcome.

Features:

  • Add, edit or delete notes and highlights
  • Search inside the book for words or phrases
  • Choose to lock the screen orientation in either landscape or portrait
  • Look up words on Wikipedia and Dictionary.com
  • Automatically synchronizes your last page read and annotations between devices with Whispersync
  • Adjust the text size, add bookmarks, and view the annotations you created on your Kindle, computer, or other Kindle-compatible device
  • Turn pages with the flick of your finger or a tap of the screen

Download it for yourself and let us know what you think!

iPod-Out Coming to a Car Stereo Near You!

In the latest IOS software for iPod and iPhones, Apple granted the little iDevice some new and exciting functionality called “iPod Out”, and Dice Electronics is the first mobile electronics manufacturer to take advantage of this technology and integrate it into the car with the soon-to-launch $89.00 DCR-200 G2 cradle.

iPod Out turns just about any screen into an iPod screen, pushing a mirror image of your iDevice screen out to an aftermarket or OEM screen, and also allows full control of your device directly from the radio as well. The menu structure, icons, everything, will now be displayed directly on your radio. The cradle can also be used with the supplied wireless remote control to send the iPod Out signal to a rear entertainment system as well. BMW announced the iPod Out compatibility with future OEM radios back in July.

This is an incredible development for in-car electronics and opens up a whole new “world of fun” for iPod and iPhone integration.  As with all Dice Electronics  products, this little guy is “Works with iPhone” and “Made for iPod” certified, which is key to future compatibility in the ever-changing world of Apple’s IOS software. We’re not sure if all apps on your iPhone or iPod will be compatible just yet, but as soon as we can get our hands on one of these, we’ll give you a full write up… Stay tuned!

App of the Week – StreamFurious

Android, Streaming Audio, Shoutcast, Icecast, Music, Radio
In today’s connected world, things that were previously impossible are quickly becoming the norm. Video chatting was something we saw on the Jetsons and Star Trek, keeping in touch with your entire circle of friends is possible with a quick touch of a button, and now even your music selection can span beyond your actual library.

And thanks to streaming apps like Pandora and Slacker, we have access to an unlimited amount of our favorite music and an endless supply of new music. These music apps give you have a decent level of control over your music, but your “stations” are based on a particular artist, not a style of music. So what if you want a little more variety, want to experience something new, or like to hear a DJ on occasion? Or how about catching up on the latest world or local news? Well, thanks to the StreamFurious app for Android devices, you can add a new world of digital content into your life!

StreamFurious grants you access to over 20,000 Shoutcast/Icecast MP3 streams, providing fresh content at your fingertips from just about any genre or subgenre of music. You can also get stations like NPR, BBC, or ESPN, and many stations even broadcast in HD-quality. The app also plays in the background so you can multitask while enjoying your favorite tunes! Features:

  • Over 20,000 ShoutCast/Icecast radio stations
  • Available HD streams for maximum digital sound quality
  • Light weight app does not bog down resources
  • Auto-updating customizable list of stations
  • Content like ESPN, BBC, and NPR and other Public radio stations available
  • Free, with no ads!

Download it for yourself and let us know what you think!  Don’t have a compatible Smart phone (or a smart phone at all)? Head over to CarToys.com or stop into your local Car Toys and find one that suits your needs!

Pounding Perfection – Custom Chevy Silverado

Upgrading a pick-up truck with a nice subwoofer system is one of the bigger challenges in car audio installation; the limited space inside of a truck cab sometimes means sacrifices to storage or legroom to achieve the desired results.

An easy and great sounding solution for moderate bass was to add a flat subwoofer with a decent amount of power, which is where the owner of this Chevy Silverado started out after taking his truck to our Baybrook (Houston) store.

Car Toys added a Pioneer flat subwoofer and a mono-block amplifier. It was good, but not good enough. Within a 5 month span, the customer returned no fewer than four times until he finally felt his install reached audio nirvana.

JL Audio, W7, Custom Install, Chevy Silverado

First, the flat sub and sub amp evolved into two JL 10W0 subwoofers behind the seat in a custom box and a bigger subwoofer amp. A few weeks later the truck was back for another upgrade – this time a little more extreme. Car Toys install experts swapped the 10′s in the custom box for two JL 15W0 subs in a cut-through system (subs are loaded in the bed in a custom box with a big hole cut into the cab to port the bass up front). A pair of Focal 165A1 component speakers replaced the factory door speakers so the highs could keep up with the serious bass upgrades. The system was amazingly crisp and loud, but the customer still wanted more.

Installer Jimmy Mason fabricated a very cool center console system that housed not one, but TWO JL Audio 8W3 subwoofers powered by a JL Audio 500/1 amplifier. The 165A1 speakers were pulled and replaced with a pair of Focal 165VB component speakers. Jimmy built a set of kick panels for the Focal woofers and a dual tweeter set-up was fabricated into the A-pillars. Now we have some serious sound. But it still wasn’t enough.

The next and final version is what you see here. Jimmy added two 13W7 subs which force an insane amount of ground-pounding sound into the Chevy’s cab, each powered by a JL 1000/1 amp. Two Stinger batteries in the rear provide extra juice for the amplifiers, and a third Stinger battery under the hood with a high-output alternator keeps the system rocking. Quite a step up from the original install. Check out the Gallery below for more pics of this crazy install.

JL Audio, 8W3, Custom Install, Center Console
Chevy Silverado, Custom Center Console Install, Custom Leather Seats
JL Audio, 13W7, Custom Subwoofer Box, Plexiglass
Custom Truck Bed Install, Chevy Silverado, JL Audio

 

App of the Week- Assassin’s Creed: Altair’s Chronicles

We’re certainly experiencing the best of times in the world of mobile phones. In the history of cell phones, never before have users had the ability to take control of their phones and customize and maximize the functionality, usefulness, and of course, fun factor.

In order to help you make most of your Smart Phone, we’re going to post up a regular “App of the Week” feature to highlight apps that we feel are the cream of the crop. We’ll start off with one of the hottest games to recently hit the app market – “Assassin’s Creed: Altair’s Chronicles”, available for $1.99 in the app market.

You play an assassin in this action adventure game, striking opponents with acrobatic moves and powerful combos, slicing your enemies with a mix of sword skills and kicks. The game has crisp fast-moving rich 3D graphics that really showcase the awesome high-quality displays available on Android and Blackberry phones. Assassin’s Creed also took the coveted Game of the Year award in 2008. Overall we give this app an 8 out of 10 for its speed, remarkable graphics, ease of play, and fun-to-price ratio. You will not be disappointed. Features:

  • Incredible variety of acrobatic moves for a very rewarding game experience
  • Six weapons for both close combat and long-range attacks: swords, daggers, grappling hooks, and bombs
  • Skill-based mini-games: Perform pickpocket maneuvers and make informants talk
  • Unique dramatic tension, intensified by 3D cinematic cutscenes and character voices
  • Collect orbs to upgrade health and weapons
  • Highly polished 3D graphics providing full immersion into a true-to-life Medieval Middle East environment

Download it for yourself and let us know what you think! Don’t have a compatible Smart phone (or a smart phone at all)? Head over to CarToys.com or stop into your local Car Toys and find one that suits your needs!