Google has an odd definition of "soon." For example, five of the countries that just received access to Google Play gift cards were first told that they were coming "soon" almost five months ago, and the last one has been waiting a further six weeks. Oh well, I suppose it's best not to look a gift card in the mouth. Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Norway, and Sweden have been added to Google's gift card system, and merchants should have gift cards in stock well before Christmas.
Beamdog has already made admirable Android ports of the original Baldur's Gate RPG and its side-sequel Icewind Dale. Now you can get Baldur's Gate II, the continuation of the original that was first published way back in 2000 by none other than Bioware. Like the previous D&D RPGs, Baldur's Gate II costs ten dollars on the Play Store, which gets you the original game and all its expansion scenarios. The game is not restricted to tablets, though it will certainly be better played on one.
The core of BGII is Shadow Amn, which directly follows the story events of the original game.
Carriers are slowly creeping toward the day when they will no longer need old-fashioned 3G voice calls. AT&T is doing its part by updating another device with VoLTE functionality. The Galaxy S4 Mini should be getting an update right now with VoLTE baked in.
Update: The wide rollout appears to be a go. Hearthstone is live for us here in the US, and we're hearing from readers in other countries that it's now available as well.
Blizzard's notoriously addictive and enjoyable ETCG Hearthstone is now available for Android tablets - if you live in the right region. Blizzard has started a geo-restricted rollout of the immensely popular title in Australia, Canada, and New Zealand.
V-MODA's Crossfade M-80 headphones are discounted all the way to $79.99, a whopping $150 savings from their retail price. These are top-of-the-line headphones that are arguably worth shelling out for when they are $230, making this deal hard to pass up if you are in the market for some great cans. It is a one-day Amazon Gold Box deal, though, so you'll have to snatch them up quickly before Amazon runs out of stock.
Google pushed a new version of its Text-to-Speech app a few days ago, and it actually removed a feature. Updates usually add new things, so what's the deal? You can no longer download the high-quality voice models on your device. However, Google has updated the changelog to explain that you don't need them anymore. The regular voice is even better now.
Sony hasn't always been the best at updating its phones, but the company does have a commitment to AOSP unlike most others. It contributes a lot of code to Android, and developers are encouraged to tinker with unlocked devices. In fact, Sony has just announced support for AOSP on the Xperia E3 and Xperia T3, meaning all Qualcomm-based phones from 2014 can run pure Android with very little hassle.
Google has pushed out a number of tweaks to its suite of mobile office apps: Docs, Sheets, and Slides. Even Drive, the place where edited documents are stored, hasn't gone untouched. Some of these features are nice to see, so let's dive in.
Update: Docs, Sheets, and Slides all have full hamburger menu icons now.
In Docs, an option to select line spacing has appeared in the "Paragraph" section of the app.
The Moto 360 was supposed to be the one. The watch that would rule all other watches with their pitiful square screens and plastic housings. I was excited for the Moto 360, but I couldn't help thinking the hype was out of control. We were expecting too much, and indeed, when I reviewed the Moto 360, the verdict was okay, but not amazing. At the time it was the best Android Wear watch, but that was due largely to the aesthetics.