Twelve years ago, Sega released a game for its brand-spanking new Dreamcast system that was so stunningly original its influences can still be seen today. Jet Set Radio (Jet Grind Radio for US gamers) became an instant sleeper hit, and has earned its cult classic status. The impressive, stylish visuals, unique gameplay and awesome music are still remember fondly by my generation. Now that Android hardware has caught up to and in many ways surpassed the old beige box, Sega has re-released Jet Set Radio for the mobile world. You can pick it up on the Google Play Store for $4.99. Read More
Welcome to the Android Police Weekend Poll and News Roundup. We're introducing this as a combination of two previously separate features - the weekend poll and the week in review. Just think of it as the weekend poll with the added bonus of some stuff to read at the bottom. A Sunday super-post, if you will.
Since the launch of the Nexus 4 and its glass back, there's been even more hullabaloo in the Android world about the need for a smartphone case, bumper, or skin. I've found this is actually a question people have some pretty strong feelings about. Read More
Just like its collection of new apps, the Play Store made a strong showing in the game department last month. From Ingress to Clay Jam, there were plenty of great new games to choose from in November. With games, as with apps, there are often too many to download and try each one. To that end, we've rounded up the top seven games every Android gamer will want to take a look at from November 2012.
Ingress was and is a big deal. A cursory search for "Ingress" on Google+ will reveal huge demand for the game (since it's a closed beta), and some impressive enthusiasm, and it's this community's hype that makes the game great. Read More
Android 4.2 brought a nifty, albeit it somewhat useless, new feature called Daydreams. In a nutshell, Daydreams is just a screensaver, which might be useful in some situations - specifically on tablets. For the current time, though, there are only a few different stock options for Daydreams: clock, colors, Currents, Photo Frame, and Photo table. There are also a few apps out there that have incorporated the feature - like Beautiful Widgets, for example - further increasing Daydreams' usefulness.
Live Wallpaper Daydream, however, is a little different. It's simple in nature: it lets you use the currently-applied LWP as a daydream. Read More
The Google Play Store, as always, was abuzz with new apps last month. More than just new apps, though, the Play Store gained plenty of well-crafted, quality apps. The kind that have spurred the market's recent growth spurt, and which allow users to discover functionalities they never knew they needed. As always, we've sifted through all last month's new apps and selected our top five picks – a kind of short list for those looking to get the most out of their device with awesome apps.
Pixlr Express, despite its name, is an impressively powerful tool for on-the-go photo editing. Read More
If David convinced you last week with his testimony concerning his phablet conversion, you're looking to jump on the plus-sized bandwagon, and you're looking to get on Sprint, then today might be a good day to pull the metaphorical trigger. As of right now, Amazon Wireless is selling the Galaxy Note II for $149. Normally the carrier charges twice that much, though we've seen it for cheaper before.
Unfortunately, the phones are both backordered, so shipping will take 1-2 weeks. If you're looking for this as a holiday gift, it might be cutting it kind of close. Still, you're saving a hefty chunk of change with this deal. And since it's Sprint, you won't even have a disgusting, ugly carrier logo on your home button! Read More
I hope you like Google Now, because it looks like this product is here to stay for a long time. As we speak, Chrome developers are working on bringing Popular Science's Innovation of the Year to the desktop, instead of keeping it trapped just on your phone or tablet. As it turns out, a "skeleton" framework is already in place for the search product to move in.
Google's not being shy about the existence of this product, but also isn't in a hurry to announce it, either:
Google confirmed that it's working on the project, but stopped short of committing to it.
Get on the edge of your seats, everybody - it's patent time again. Today, the USPTO handed down what's called a preliminary invalidation finding on a rather infamous Apple software patent regarding touchscreen heuristics. This patent was known as the "Steve Jobs patent," as its first listed author is the late Apple cofounder (let's keep the Jobs insults to a minimum in the comments, please). This comes after the preliminary invalidation of Apple's also-infamous "rubber-banding" patent back in October.
This patent here is pretty basic, and I'm going to break down the three elements of the primary claim. First, here's the relevant claim language (excerpted and modified in spacing):
...a vertical screen scrolling heuristic for determining that the one or more finger contacts correspond to a one-dimensional vertical screen scrolling command rather than a two-dimensional screen translation command based on an angle of initial movement of a finger contact with respect to the touch screen display;
a two-dimensional screen translation heuristic for determining that the one or more finger contacts correspond to the two-dimensional screen translation command rather than the one-dimensional vertical screen scrolling command based on the angle of initial movement of the finger contact with respect to the touch screen display;
and a next item heuristic for determining that the one or more finger contacts correspond to a command to transition from displaying a respective item in a set of items to displaying a next item in the set of items.
Twenty years ago you had to pump quarters into an arcade machine to enjoy the punishing shooter known as Raiden. The game was so successful that multiple sequels followed. Now you can play four Raiden arcade games on your mobile device for a one-time fee. This is a retro gaming experience that tries to preserve the feel of the original game, and still make it work on a touch screen. So is Raiden still awesome? Let's see.
See that thing there? Shoot it. That other thing over there? Shoot that, too. That third whatsit over there? That one is a power up. Read More
There's a reason that the Nexus 4 has been sold out almost since it hit the Play Store: for custom ROM enthusiasts, buying anything else is a crapshoot. Assuming that the bootloader is unlocked (or can be,) you've just got to hope there's enough adoption among ROM developers to ensure a steady stream of builds. Owners of T-Mobile's former flagship, the HTC Amaze 4G, have had relatively good options in this area, and they just got a little better: the CyanogenMod team has released official nightly builds of CM10. Owners of the older Sensation 4G can also join the party.
Both devices are supported in an experimental capacity. Read More