Welcome to the latest entry in our Bonus Round series, wherein we tell you all about the new Android games of the day that we couldn't get to during our regular news rounds. Consider this a quick update for the dedicated gamers who can't wait for our bi-weekly roundups, and don't want to wade through a whole day's worth of news just to get their pixelated fix. Today we've got a business-oriented casual game, a Fruit Ninja-style zombie killer, a stylish puzzler, a simplified RPG, and a kid-friendly kart racer.
Sprint hasn't said anything about John Legere's assertion that T-Mobile is now the larger of the two carriers, but it is rolling out a new plan apparently intended to slow Tmo's progress. The new plan is actually just a limited time offer in Sprint's existing Family Share Pack tiers. For $90 per month you can (sort of) get 12GB of data to share across 10 lines with unlimited SMS and voice. As with all mobile plans, there are plenty of caveats.
Android 5.1 is in the wild on Android One devices, but it's still not totally official yet. Google has yet to announce it and there's no changelog available. As more people get their hands on 5.1, though, we're bound to learn some things about it. Like, for example, the quick settings changes and these neat little animations in the 5.1 clock app.
Ah, February: the time when mobile hardware leaks spring out of the ground like daisies. It looks like Thai gadget site MXPhone has gotten its hands on portions of the Mobile World Congress phone lineup from Lenovo weeks ahead of the event, giving us a tantalizing look at the company's hardware plans for the next several months. Of course, it's possible that at least some of the Vibe phones on display below will never leave China, and the chance of any of them coming to the US market is basically zero.
One of my favorite innovations that has started to become more mainstream over the past several years is wireless charging. I'm bummed that every phone doesn't have it at this point (looking at you, Motorola - the Moto X should've been qi-compatible!), because it's easily one of the most convenient changes of all time. OK, maybe that's a little hyperbolic...but really, I do love it.
When it comes to wireless charging, my go-to charger has been the Tylt VU for as long as I can remember. The angle is great, it's super easy to use, and it's large enough to charge basically everything I own that has wireless charging.
The latest enhancement returns the attention back to simply finding recent and relevant links. Instead of having to search through lengthy pages, Google will bundle together articles and videos from a single site into a scrollable carousel, which can appear when you're looking for a site directly or just when you're browsing for a particular keyword.
See that email in the featured image of this post? It's junk. Several developers have received this and rightfully felt very nervous, but it is simply a scheme to get you to turn over your Google credentials to scammers. It isn't the cleverest phishing expedition we've ever seen, but it certainly is better than most. First of all, it is not filled with the kind of typographical and grammatical errors you often see. Also, the biggest giveaway of what is going on is obscured when viewing from Gmail.
Spotimote for Spotify. Does that sound like an app created by Spotify to you? Do you think it is Spotify? Well, Spotify's complaint thinks that you'll make that mistake. In reaction, the app's developer changed the name to just Spotimote. Also, look at this post's thumbnail; do you see that and feel like Spotify must have made that graphic? Again, that's what Spotify claims you'll think.
After months of silence between the developer of Spotimote and Spotify's legal team, Google suddenly removed the premium version from the app store. Nodria, the developer, had heard nothing from Spotify since altering the app name in response to their first legal threats.
An interesting design change has been spotted on the Android client side of the Google Play Store. Usually, when you're scrolling through a list of apps and games, whether it's a search result or the Store's own top lists, you see the app's icon, name, developer, star rating, price, and the quick options button. However, the star rating seems to be getting bounced back to second-class citizen state when more appealing features are available, like Achievements, Leaderboards, and Multiplayer.
Left: new. Right: old (screenshot courtesy of ryanspoon)
Only one option of the game is deemed worthy of the spotlight, with a hierarchy system determining which one that is.
There are a lot of weird convergence devices that have come and gone (and often gone nowhere) on fundraising platforms, but the Beam is probably unique. It's a combination Android-based computer and pico projector that fits in and is powered by a standard light bulb socket, allowing users to set up a small projector and/or media machine in some unconventional places. The campaign has reached and surpassed its $200,000 funding goal on Kickstarter with more than three weeks left before the end of the campaign, meaning it will (hopefully) go into production and be ready for backers in October of this year.