While everyone loves to gush over flagship phones, the truth of the matter is that for many customers, cheaper phones - be they last-gen's flagships or this-gen's budget devices - are the route of choice. Traditionally, the former route tended to work out better, especially for enthusiasts; after all, generation-old flagships tend to still outperform and out-feature current-gen budget devices. Plus, high-end devices generally have a ton of developer support and are usually better supported by the manufacturer.
Those of you who obsessively share photos to Pinterest, the rapidly-expanding and all-encompassing social network built for just that purpose, can finally do so from your favorite mobile platform. Pinterest has published the long-promised app to the Play Store for both smartphones and tablets, and unlike some other photo-centric sharing services we could mention, it actually looks pretty good. The interface mimics the bulletin board looks of the desktop web site, taking advantage of extra real estate on tablets to display more columns of popular photos or your stream.
The Men Who Wear Many Hats may have struck undead gold with their debut entry into Google's Play Store. Organ Trail is pretty much what it sounds like – a take on the classic nostalgia-fest that is the Oregon Trail, but with zombies, bandits, and an upgradeable station wagon. The game, which started on the web, hit Android recently, delivering the same epic experience players of the original would expect.
If you've got a hankering for a good top-down turn-based RPG, Shadowrun Online will have you covered... eventually. The developers have been promoting a Kickstarter to fund the development of their game, and it has passed its goal of $500,000. That means Shadowrun Online will be coming to Android, among other platforms, in May 2013. Yes, that's quite a wait, but now there is some sweet gameplay footage to tide you over.
I remember the first time I really heard about Flash for Android. Well, maybe not heard about it. The first time I got sort of excited about it. It was in San Francisco, at a trendy Spanish-restaurant-meets-brewery back in the summer of 2010. The taps were pouring freely (and by that, I mean free of charge), tasty little hors d'oeuvres came at us from from all directions, and everyone was having a good, if typically nerdy-awkward, time.
Everyone likes "free" money, and Sprint is looking to take advantage of our human nature with its latest deal: buy any smartphone and add a new line of service, get a $100 Amex giftcard. It's not exactly free money, per se, but it is a nice incentive, especially if you've been considering adding a second line anyway.
As the ad above states, this deal is available for any smartphone (as long as you order it online).
Earlier today, Google rolled out a brand new feature for its online patent research tool: prior art search. Now, while looking at a patent, you can click a single button to pull up a host of results from Google Patents, Google Scholar, Google Books, with a bit of Google's typical search results sprinkled on top. The goal, of course, is to aid in researching whether a patent that's been filed is "new and not obvious." Which is far more complex than it sounds.
RealPlayer, one of the most well-known media playing solutions available for desktops, has received its own Android app, which came out of beta and hit version 1.0 (officially 0.0.1.0) today. In a press release, Scott Uomoto (SVP Consumer and Helix Divisions, RealNetworks) boldly stated that "this is the media player that people want."
Despite any preconceived notions you may have about RealPlayer, the official Android app already has overwhelmingly high ratings and a somewhat decent feature list – first off, RealPlayer can be used to centralize not just your music, but videos and photos as well.
EA just announced at a GamesCon press conference that it will be bringing the popular Origin game store to Android (along with Facebook, Mac, and Smart TVs). For the unaware, Origin is basically EA's answer to Steam as a go-to place to purchase and download games.
At this point there are no other details, but it's worth noting the Mac version has a tentative release timeframe of February 2013. Perhaps we'll see the Android version around that time, too (but I wouldn't count on it).
If you've ever felt like puzzle games are just too easy, have I ever got the game for you. Quantro follows a familiar gaming trope pioneered by Tetris decades ago. Blocks fall from the top of the screen and you line them up into rows to clear them. Easy, right? Quantro makes it interesting by confronting you with two overlapping games simultaneously.
The two games are color-coded, with the red blocks in front and the blue ones behind.