Pity poor Sonic the Hedgehog. The guy is basically the Dallas Cowboys of the video game world: after gaining almost universal appeal in the 90s, his victories over the last few years have been few and fleeting. But SEGA isn't giving up on its blue mascot, if only because he's probably the only marketable franchise that isn't a Kickstarter campaign or a hyper-sexualized murder machine. So here we are, with a new Sonic game that sees one of the most iconic platforming stars in the world...
Not many Android apps can say they've been installed a billion times. In fact, before today there were only ten - and out of those ten, only three of them were non-Google apps (and all owned by Facebook). Today Google's first party messaging client, Hangouts, joins this elite group of billion-device apps... notably behind its competitors, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp.
A billion installations doesn't mean a billion users, it means one billion different Android devices have downloaded the app once.
Baseball fans who recall more pixelated ages of gaming will remember R.B.I. Baseball as one of the more consistently good MLB franchises, and it's been revived for mobile platforms. Surprisingly, it's a true premium game - five bucks gets you the entire experience, complete with licensed teams, stadiums, and player likenesses, all without an in-app purchase in sight. It's an odd and happy thing to see come out of a pro sports license.
Facebook would really appreciate it if you would help them take over the world. You know, if you're not too busy or anything. To that end, they've decided to make Facebook Messenger (recently graduated from a simple social network feature to a quasi-platform) truly stand on its own. So now you can use Facebook Messenger even if you're not one of the billion or so people with a Facebook account - or even if you are, and you don't want to associate your account with your messages.
The LG G4 just launched recently, but already there's a killer deal on the unlocked device. The European G4 (H815) is on sale via eBay for a mere $500. That's about $100 cheaper than you'll find it elsewhere.
Activision's Geometry Wars series is one of the more popular casual shooters ever developed and really needs little introduction. Instead of writing something tiresome, I'll just let you watch the trailer for the newest entry in the franchise, Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions.
Warning: Viewing The Following Video Is Not Recommended For People With Epilepsy, An Aversion To Techno, Or Who Find The Mass Slaughter Of Innocent Shapes To Be Objectionable.
The big news here is that the franchise has finally released one of their games on mobile platforms.
Circa News launched on Android in late 2013, and right from the start it was a neat way to keep up on the day's events. However, CEO and co-founder Matt Galligan has announced via Medium that Circa is shutting down its news operation. The company is low on cash and has yet to figure out how to monetize, so that's the end.
Pioneer has been the only company thus far to ship Android Auto-equipped aftermarket head units, but now Kenwood has made good on its previous announcement. The DDX9902S and DDX9702S are shipping to retailers, but the pricing will be obscene. Kenwood's MSRP on the units is $900 (DDX9702S) and $950 (DDX9902S).
These head units both have a 6.95-inch resistive (!) touchscreen, HD radio, HDMI input, CD/DVD, and SiriusXM support. Kenwood says they're the only receivers on the market that can switch between Android Auto and CarPlay without modifying any system settings, which is... important? Make sure your car supports double-DIN head units before you get too excited, though.
The standalone Photos app was released to the public during last month's Google I/O conference, finally completing the separation with Google+ as rumors (and facts) had long suggested. While the new Photos app was widely accepted as an improvement in many ways, it also lacked many of the enhanced editing features that had made the old version so useful. Unfortunately, installing the standalone Photos app effectively hid access to the version built into Google+. That was probably a pretty good sign about what was to come. With the latest update to Google+, users who have stuck to the old version will be warned that it is not long for this world.