For a big, bald genie like Shazam, keeping up with the latest trends can be a struggle. But—crap, this is embarrassing.
Ahem. For a music identification and discovery app like Shazam, it's important to keep up with whatever's currently trending. So the latest version has received a brand new redesign that focuses on just that. The new homescreen places an emphasis on what's popular, what people are listening to in your city, and what your friends consider dope (through Facebook support).
Sometimes crowd funding campaigns get a little carried away making promises in an effort to attract contributors. As problematic as these projects are, they aren't usually complete nonsense. The Dragonfly Futurefön, on the other hand, looks impossible. For $400 you get a phone that docks to a computer running Windows for a dual-screen mobile computing experience. Sound crazy? Well it already has over half a million dollars on Indiegogo. Yeah, I'm worried for humanity too.
A pair of hop-along boots and a pistol that shoots might be good for Barney and Ben, but they're small comfort if you've been trying to get your hands on the OnePlus One for half a year. Well, now's your chance: just like they did for Black Friday, OnePlus is selling an uncertain number of One phones directly today, no invite, pre-order, or inadvisably dangerous or sexist actions necessary. Just go to the website and buy one.
Republic Wireless announced a few weeks ago that it would be selling the new Moto X for a reasonably discounted price of $399. Today that deal is getting a little sweeter with an extra $50 off. This deal is only good for 24 hours, and it starts right now.
Google just announced its biggest update to the Hangouts Android app in some time, introducing a bevvy of features not seen before on the platform. In terms of utility, the biggest addition is probably confirmed phone numbers: like competing SMS-style message services, this will allow people who know you to search for your Google+/Hangouts profile with your cell phone number. It's an addition to the app that will be particularly useful to international users, who are used to this kind of contact lookup.
For years, Google Maps has been a compelling reason to own an Android device, but it's not the only mobile navigation service out there worth your time. Nokia's HERE service has built a name for itself, attracting users thanks to its presence on competing platforms and a number of strengths, such as the ability to store maps for offline viewing/navigation and the presence of data in countries Google essentially considers the middle of nowhere.
There's been much talk about how Android 5.0 will finally do some good for mediocre Android cameras. The new camera APIs allow apps to get RAW images off the sensor and process them into JPEGs, but where are all the apps to take advantage of it? There's L Camera, which is still in testing on GitHub, but Camera FV-5 has become the first app in the Play Store to support the new Lollipop camera features.
I recall with fondness many weeks spent in front of my spinning, clicking Dreamcast, working away at the only game I had for Sega's console at the time: Hydro Thunder. While the graphics were amazing (for 2000, anyway), the big jumps and odd physics were what kept me coming back to the boat racing game. Pixel Boat Rush doesn't look or play anything like the minor Dreamcast classic, but I think it's managed to capture a glint of Hydro Thunder's spirit.
Gift cards are a little impersonal, aren't they? Digital gift cards even more so. Amazon's new Surprise! app can at least make them somewhat thoughtful with some nifty digital cards and customizations. This is not a substitute for love, though.
Sometimes you just want to kick back and play a nice dual-stick shooter. Oh, there are plenty of them out there, but Inferno from Radiangames has been one of the finest examples available. Now the predictably named sequel, Inferno 2 has arrived on Android. Get your thumbs ready.