Although I've dropped a phone a total of about three times in my life, and although manufacturers are continually touting more and more durable glass, polycarbonate plastic, and even metal that's 3x stronger than stainless steel, there lingers in the back of my mind the question of what may happen if and when that fateful day comes – the day when I finally drop my phone onto an unforgiving concrete, asphalt, or otherwise hard surface.
This is the app roundup. The game roundup from this week can be found here.
Looking for the previous roundup editions?
There's little denying that Apple rules the smartphone world. The company sells just one phone model, yet that sole model constitutes 8.8% - or roughly 1 in 11 - of all worldwide smartphone sales and 73% of profits. iOS is the second most popular smartphone OS in the US after Android with 31.4% of the market (Android has 50.8%). Windows Phone 7, on the other hand, has just 4% of the US smartphone market, yet it's Microsoft that we have to worry about.
Since the invention of the smartphone, the number one concern on everyone's mind is "How can I use this to help prepare for the zombie apocalypse?" And if that's not your number one concern, it should be. Zombies, Run! is a game designed to augment your current running routine with a story and extra, *ahem*, motivation. Of the keeping-your-brains variety.
The game actually started as a Kickstarter project (but what doesn't these days?) and was released on iOS a few months ago.
Those of you who have been waiting for a stable Android 2.3.7 build for your device from CyanogenMod are in luck - the first stable CyanogenMod 7.2 builds have just been released for an absolute slew of devices. For those who don't feel like decoding all the code-names for themselves, here's a handy list of supported devices (at the time of writing – more devices are being added):
- NOOK Color (encore)
- Hero CDMA
- myTouch 4G (glacier)
- myTouch 3G Slide (espresso)
- Desire (bravo)
- Desire HD
- Tattoo (click)
- Wildfire (buzz)
- Incredible (inc)
- Incredible 2 (vivow)
- Droid Eris (desirec)
- myTouch T 4G (e739)
- Optimus Sol (e730)
- Optimus Hub (e510)
- Optimus Pro (c660)
- Droid 2 (Global)
- Galaxy S (galaxy smtd/sbmtd)
- Galaxy SII (AT&T and international)
- Nexus S/4G (Crespo/4G)
- Galaxy Ace
- Xperia Pro MK16 (iyokan)
- Xperia Neo (Hallon)
- Live w/ Walkman (coconut)
- Xperia Arc (Anzu)
- Xperia Ray (urushi)
- Xperia Play (zeus)
- Xperia Mini/Pro (smultron/mango)
Arcee notes in a post to the CyanogenMod blog that 7.2 brings a few backported ICS features and a few important bug fixes to a list of devices which includes 20 more than the list of 7.1 recipients.
Update: Previously, I mentioned that Babel Rising 3D contains in-app purchasing options. These have since been removed.
It is the conventional wisdom of our time that smartphone and tablet gaming are "the future." Like plastics. It's inevitable, it's going to happen - more and more people will move away from the PSPs, the PCs, and the Xboxes to their all-in-one portable devices. Now, that's not to say these other industries are going away any time soon - console and PC gaming will likely to continue to stand on their own for decades (maybe not so much portable consoles).
Popular deals service Groupon has had its Android app facelifted, resulting in a new look, as well as a couple new features and services. Take a look at the brand-new UI:
As you can see, the app now looks looks decidedly more Ice Cream Sandwich-y, has added a universal share button, and swipeable categories. You'll also notice new categories for Pets and Rewards (spend enough money at certain businesses and you get loyalty rewards).
With the introduction of Draw Something's "fresh new look!" update a couple of days ago came many design changes, not all of them entirely great. Just for fun, I decided to take a shot at making Draw Something's design slightly "fresher," or at least slightly more sensible. Just like my last design critique, I'll start by taking a look at what issues the current design has, and then make a few suggestions (with some quick mockups) as to what I think could be improved.
Happy Collectibles Week, everybody! What's that? You've never heard of Collectibles Week? That's okay. Neither have we. Apparently Google is highlighting a bunch of games that offer in-app collectible items because Google knows what anyone who's played a game ever doesn't: that in-app items are the key to a game's success. Special items for Collectibles Week include (and these are all real) an Android habitat in Zoo Tycoon-style game, a "Bunny headphone" in a virtual aquarium and, just for you dads out there: an exclusive Deer Hunter Ugly Tie, coinciding nicely with Father's Day this weekend.