Remember yesterday when I said some games go beyond description? This is more what I was talking about. McPixel is a game in which things explode...or sometimes a volcano erupts? And you're a person (I think) that has to defuse bombs. Or put them places. Or make statues sneeze. It's really very confusing, in the best way. The objective is to stop things from exploding by doing things. Which may include stealing an old person's dentures, setting monks on fire, and kicking flashers.
Games from the NES era and earlier (and those styled after them) do very well on mobile platforms, if only because modern controls schemes just aren't easily compatible with touchscreens. Activision isn't the first to bring their wide collection of ancient titles to Android, but theirs might just be the most complete. The brand new Activision Anthology amasses the most popular Atari 2600 games published by the gaming giant and its subsidiaries, crammed into a single app with an impressively nostalgic presentation.
It looks like Google has added a new feature to the Play Store on devices that will recommend apps to users based on personalized criteria. In a new section, you can find apps that have been +1'd by your friends, apps that are popular in your area, and even apps that are "popular with similar users" based on some undisclosed criteria.
The feature mirrors a similar recommendation feature that's been live on the web version of the Play Store for at least a month now.
Games on Android continue to get bigger and more elaborate. One of the top developers leading the way in less-than-casual gaming on the mobile platform is Idea Factory (together with Hyperbox Studio). Previously, the company released Spectral Souls, a 1GB RPG for $15 that promised hundreds of hours of gameplay (as any decent RPG would). Today, the similarly priced, and even larger 1.2GB sequel lands on the Play Store: Blazing Souls Accelate.
It looks like Chinese manufacturer ZTE may have beaten Motorola to the Intel-powered phone announcement punch, today unveiling the ZTE Grand X IN. You may remember that Motorola is planning an announcement involving Intel for September 18th.
The Grand X IN looks to be a mid-range device, carrying a 4.3" qHD TFT display (that's 540x960 resolution), an 8MP rear camera with a VGA shooter around front, 1GB RAM, 16GB onboard storage (expandable via microSD), NFC, and of course an Intel Atom Z2460 processor with just one core clocked at 1.6GHz.
When Samsung announced the Galaxy Note II yesterday, they made no mention of regional or carrier availability. While we here in the States can speculate which carriers will get this next-gen phablet, it really is just a crapshoot right now.
For those who want to keep up with the latest on the Note II in the US, though, Samsung has opened up a sign up page. In theory, this will keep users privy to the Note's US availability and carrier launch information.
One of the highlights of Samsung's Galaxy Note II announcement at IFA yesterday was the increased functionality carried by the device's hallmark S Pen stylus. The Note II's version of the Pen, besides being "ergonomically designed for the perfect grip," allows users to quickly clip, crop, and edit screen content, adding further illustration and handwritten keyword recognition. The Pen now also features a unique "hover" functionality, whereby an app can recognize that the Pen is near the screen and react accordingly with contextual menus or other activities.
Lenovo took the wraps off its newest editions to the Ideatab tablet lineup this morning, announcing the S2110, A2107, and A2109. All three tablets cater to a different niche, with the S2110 sporting a Transformer-like keyboard dock, the A2109 coming in at a very affordable price point, and the A2107 hitting the 7" slate market.
The Ideatab S2110 is probably the most versatile of the bunch, thanks to its keyboard dock accessory.
Amazon, in a press release posted this morning, announced that its "#1 best-selling product," the Kindle Fire, is now sold out. The release boasts the Fire's millions of sales, noting that it managed to eat up an impressive 22% of tablet sales in the US, and added to the overall success of Amazon's digital product sales.
What makes this announcement interesting is that Amazon has a press conference scheduled for September 6th, meaning we're likely to see the latest member of the Kindle family unveiled very soon.
You may recognize this little guy from previous leaks of the so-called HTC Proto. The device looked very similar to the Desire V and, indeed, HTC's latest announcement is dubbed the Desire X. While it's no One X, the device does pack a dual-core Snapdragon S4. Unfortunately, it's not that one. This is the MSM8225 which still uses a 45nm architecture so it's not nearly as zippy as the S4 we all know and love from other, more high-end phones.