One of the biggest questions about Minecraft: Pocket Edition since its release on the Android Market has been whether the game will be updated to include survival mode. For those not aware, Minecraft: Pocket Edition currently only supports build mode, a zen-like manner of play in which the user can freely build structures using a variety of materials and tools. Survival mode adds interest, surrounding you and your structures with monsters and animals.
|Liam Spradlin||Liam loves Android, design, user experience, and travel. He doesn't love ill-proportioned letter forms, advertisements made entirely of stock photography, and writing biographical snippets.|
Offering a simple, no-nonsense entry into the replacement dialer game, ShSh Software gives us TAKEphONE - a plain, unassuming alternative to Android's stock Phone app.
At A Glance
TAKEphONE is by all accounts a simple dialer replacement. When I say simple I mean it has three main screens, each with subtle variations in their settings menus. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, as it keeps the app lightweight and easy. I will say, however, that the app could use some polish.
Adobe, the company that has effectively become the authority on digital media creation, recently released their family of Touch Apps for Android. This release brought six amazing tools to the hands of design professionals everywhere, enabling incredibly breezy, fluid creation, editing, and concept workflow experiences for just $10.00 a pop. Perhaps more impressive than the apps themselves is Adobe's Creative Cloud. The Creative Cloud is essentially a cloud storage space, which allows users to upload and download content, to and from tablets or desktop machines.
For those who are anxious to get their hands on Ice Cream Sandwich, another bit of Android's newest iteration has slipped out. This time, we've got the ICS keyboard. While it doesn't include the live voice-to-text functionality we were impressed by at Google's announcement (though there are options related to the microphone button in the keyboard's settings), it does bring some nice improvements to the table over Gingerbread's keyboard.
ODIN is a handy, yet powerful tool for Android-powered Samsung devices that allows users to flash firmware updates and kernels using a relatively simple interface.
Looking to channel the power of the ODIN tool into something a bit more, well, mobile, developer Chainfire has released Mobile ODIN, a tool that allows rooted users to flash firmware straight from the app's interface.
What's more, Mobile ODIN Pro comes with a tool called EverRoot, which will ensure that no matter what you're flashing, you'll maintain root privileges, even if you're attempting to update your device with a leaked version of official firmware.
Things are getting a bit more interesting in the ongoing fight between Microsoft and Barnes & Noble. You'll remember that earlier this year, Microsoft began suing B&N for refusing to fork over Android-related fees from the Nook Color. Barnes & Noble has responded, alleging in its motion that Microsoft "is using its licensing practices to improperly broaden the scope of its patents in an attempt to dominate mobile operating systems such as Android that threaten Microsoft's monopoly in personal computer ("PC") operating systems." It may sound odd at first that Microsoft would be at Android's throat over PC operating systems, but indeed, it was recently discovered that Microsoft attempted to compel Google to provide its Android strategy, including information about Android's current abilities as a PC platform.
You might remember this video, which cropped up earlier this month, showing off an Android-powered contraption that mixed drinks automatically. Well, it would appear that the device, lovingly named iZac, (after a barbot from the popular show Futurama) has made its official debut, mixing real cocktails for patrons at the Creative Sandbox in Sydney.
Right now, iZac can handle dispensing up to six liquids, and the Android interface includes an "I'm Feeling Lucky" option, which ostensibly creates a totally random concoction for those feeling bold.
The creators of the popular Flick games (Flick Soccer and Flick Golf) have done it again, recently releasing NFL Flick Quarterback to the Android Market. The game combines the popular flick controls from Full Fat Productions' other games with NFL action, allowing players to "become the QB you’ve always dreamed of becoming."
Flick Quarterback offers much more than its controls and impressive graphics however. Players can choose from Playmaker and Trick Shot modes, which each offer their own unique gameplay twists.
Giving new life to a classic board game, EA Games has brought The Game of Life to the Android Market. The game has been given a three-dimensional treatment, taking users through "winding roads and lush environments." In order to maintain the multiplayer nature of the board game, EA has opted for a pass-to-play mechanic, accommodating up to four players on a single device.
Personally, I find the graphics less than "amazing," but the gameplay looks fun enough for a pass-and-play reimagining of the popular board game.
Tonight, TouchType Ltd. released a much-anticipated update to SwiftKey X, the text prediction authority among replacement keyboards. The update brings a ton of improvements, from UI tweaks to performance and language changes, and even prediction enhancements. Perhaps more important than all of that, however, is the fact that SwiftKey X 2.2 has full Ice Cream Sandwich support, and an enhanced multi-touch framework, keeping the keyboard replacement ahead of the curve.
Specifically, the update brings the following changes:
- Full language localization for major European languages (English, Spanish, French, German, Italian and Portugese)
- Intelligent typing support extended to 35 languages, including Arabic and Hebrew
- Enhanced multi-touch framework for faster typing
- Prediction and correction enhancements thanks to a more efficient Fluency engine
- Graphic enhancements, including a better settings menu, alternative character selection and sharing features
- Enhancements to the keyboard to change the height in both portrait and landscape modes
- New Dvorak and Colemak layouts for those who wish to depart from QWERTY
- Reduced memory use
- Full Support for Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich
If you aren't already a fan of SwiftKey X, these enhancement should go a long way in convincing you.