A lot of big important phones have come out recently. If you picked up a new device, you're going to want a few apps and games to put it through its paces. You're probably already tapped out from buying the phone, so we've got some sales for you. See? We're helping.
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.
He's the author of a sci-fi novel called The Crooked City, which is available on Amazon and Google Play. http://goo.gl/WQIXBM
The stock Google Calendar app gets the job done, sure, but don't you ever want something a little more powerful? Today Calendar is out of beta today, so maybe it's your next stop. This app is based on the AOSP calendar, but developer Jack Underwood made a lot of tweaks in the name of improving the look and features.
Until Android Wear comes to consumers, Pebble is going to continue to have the most robust app ecosystem of any wearable device. Music Boss is a particularly impressive app for the Pebble. It connects to your phone to control music playback with the Pebble's built-in buttons. The most recent update streamlines the process a bit by properly detecting what's going on with the phone.
On the off chance you were looking for another reason to be annoyed at the big US carriers, you may have found it. According to Fierce Wireless, AT&T isn't the only carrier that opted to remove Download Booster from the new Samsung Galaxy S5 – both Verizon and Sprint have yanked Samsung's LTE-WiFi merging feature. That would make T-Mobile the only US national carrier that supports it. Update: We've been tipped that the US Cellular Galaxy S5 will have Download Booster as well.
When I had the Republic Wireless Moto X for testing, the company said it planned to have support for reactivations ready in a few months. Well, it's finally happening – Republic Wireless can now handle reactivations for the Moto X and the older Motorola Defy XT.
Without reactivations, you can never put a Republic device on a different account than the one it was originally activated on. That's a problem if you want to jump ship to another carrier and sell the phone (or if you want to buy a used RW phone from one of those folks).
Google's previously announced enhancement to the Verify Apps framework is rolling out to users now, according to the official Android blog. Your device already has the standard Verify Apps system built-in that scans at the time of installation, but the new version will be watching all the time for suspicious activity.
Verify Apps compares each app you install with known malware signatures, but there's always a possibility you are downloading a form of malware that hasn't been identified yet.
Wind-up Knight 2 first appeared in the Play Store last month, but it was geo-restricted to Canada to get the kinks worked out. Now it's ready for everyone else to take a look at. Just like the previous title, Wind-up Knight 2 is an action-platformer with style to spare. It offers in-app purchases, but does so in a pretty reasonable way.
The response to the first Warhammer 40k game on Android wasn't stellar, but that's mainly because it didn't look much like the epic gameplay we'd expect from the franchise. Well, perhaps the newly announced Warhammer 40,000: Carnage will get closer to the mark.