Have you ever wondered just how private your data is? How protected your personal info is? For all you know, apps could be running off sharing your phone number, contact log, and device ID to third parties. Or even worse, they could be doing so over an unencrypted connection. I shudder at the very thought.
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Armchair generals, take note: tactical games are making a comeback. This top-down micromanaging genre was once dominated by the likes of Shining Force, Tactics Ogre, and Final Fantasy Tactics (and just recently by XCOM: Enemy Unknown) but it's surprisingly perfect for touchscreen devices; see the Great Little War Game series. The ARMA series is known for painstakingly realistic shooters, but it's stepping back for Arma Tactics THD to give the player a bird's eye view of the battlefield.
Things just got a little better for any game developer who uses the Unity3D Engine – the formerly $400-a-piece mobile add-on packs for Android iOS are now free for life. This is a massive bonus for game devs, as it allows them to easily brings their games to the mobile scene with very little effort.
Of course, there are limitations within these now-free add-ons that will require the Pro version of Unity ($1500) to circumvent, but this will at the very least give you a good idea of what's in store if you wish to port a game.
If you've watched television, browsed the Internet, seen any movies, used the highway or mass transit, or generally made any attempt to leave your house in the last two weeks, you know that the Fast & Furious film series has come 'round for another entry. Naturally that means a new line of toys, games, and licensed fuzzy dice, but only the Android version of the game has garnered our attention. Fast & Furious 6 is available as a free download for devices running Gingerbread or higher.
Opera has been talking up its new browser entry into the Android world for a few months now, with a beta version hitting the scene back in March. That beta has now graduated into a final release, which just landed in the Play Store this morning. The overall appearance and functionality seems to be largely unchanged from the beta, so users who have been testing out the browser should feel right at home with the first stable offering (which is a completely new listing in the Play Store, not an update to the beta).
Field Trip is a somewhat experimental project out of Google's Niantic Labs, an internal start-up that is also responsible for the game Ingress. Field Trip is a location-aware experience just like Ingress, but its purpose is to alert you to notable stuff in your general vicinity. Showing you mildly interesting landmarks is one thing, but Field Trip can now get you free admission to 13 museums in addition to telling you where they are.
It seems like Yahoo is really trying to make waves lately with new-ish CEO Marissa Mayer at the helm. Not a day after announcing its acquisition of Tumblr, the company's other vowel-deficient service is getting a makeover, and that includes a new Android app. Flickr, that photo-sharing site of yesteryear, has been updated in Google Play with a new interface. Don't let the old Google Play screenshots fool you – the app has been totally redesigned to match the new desktop site.
DISH Network may be hard at work trying to woo Sprint away from the clutches of SoftBank, but in the meantime, they've got a few million TV customers to satisfy. The DISH Anywhere app left a lot to be desired when it debuted, but version 2 adds much-needed features like access to the company's growing library of on-demand content. Of course, most of the on-demand content comes from HBO, Cinemax and the like, and if you're paying for them, you've already got access to the (usually better) dedicated streaming apps.
Back in the early 1990s, Shaquille O'Neal was one of the largest players in the NBA, and the country could not get enough of him. He released a few albums, starred in a few movies, and even appeared in his own fighting game for the Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo. That title, Shaq Fu, released to instantaneous infamy. When ShaqDown appeared in Google Play back in January, it ended the nearly two decade long wait for proof that Shaq could indeed star in a decent action game.
AT&T has long had a chip on its shoulder when it comes to video chat apps running on its network. It took a few years to enable Apple's solution, but Android users were stymied just last week when the new Hangouts app refused to connect to video calls over AT&T's 3G and 4G. The rationale the carrier is using to justify its decision is incredibly convoluted, to say the least. However, things are going to change in the second half of 2013.