Welcome to the latest entry in our Bonus Round series, wherein we tell you all about the new Android games of the day that we couldn't get to during our regular news rounds. Consider this a quick update for the dedicated gamers who can't wait for our bi-weekly roundups, and don't want to wade through a whole day's worth of news just to get their pixelated fix. Today we've got not one but two action-RPGs and an adapted board game.
The impending release of the Google Now Launcher (GNL) presents a bit of a dilemma. The cool Google Now integration isn't possible with third-party launchers, but GNL doesn't have many customization options. If you're rooted, there is at least one way to get around that – the new Xposed GEL Settings, which as you can tell from the name, requires the Xposed Framework.
I've said it dozens of times, but I'll say it again: there aren't enough eight-inch Android tablets. When the iPad Mini was announced, I assumed more manufacturers would jump on the form factor, but nope – there still aren't that many. Needless to say, when HP announced the Slate8 Pro, I was intrigued. It's an 8-inch tablet with a 4:3 aspect ratio, which treads directly on the iPad Mini's territory. Of course, we have to be realistic here – it's an HP tablet, and so far there hasn't been anything really remarkable coming from them.
Klinker Apps is on a roll lately. In addition to debuting the excellent Talon for Twitter and EvolveSMS apps last month, they've been consistently updating their portfolio with new features like Pebble integration. Yesterday Talon was updated to version 1.4, and there's a new version of EvolveSMS in the pipeline for the next few days as well. But perhaps most interesting is the way that the small developer has issued a secondary support app, Klinker Apps Portal.
Let's forget about KitKat for a moment. A large number of Android devices out there still need an update to the latest version of Jelly Bean, and while many of them will never receive such an OTA, four of Sony's handsets are receiving one this week. The company is rolling out an update to the Xperia T, TX, SP, and V.
In addition to Android 4.3, the OTA brings updated Sony pre-installed apps, more integration between the company's media apps, and the launch of the new "Xperia Themes" custom interface.
Horn came out on Android back in 2012, and it was a pretty big deal at the time. Phosphor Games Studio had previously seen success with Dark Meadow, and it was clear the studio could do great things. Unlike Dark Meadow, Horn was published by Zynga instead of the developer. The title made a splash when it was released, but the 1-star reviews piled up as updates failed to materialize. Phosphor Games now has control of Horn back in Google Play, but what went wrong?
Compared to 7 or 8 inches, 10 may seem like a lot to work with. But you know what? Boom, here's 12. These extra 2 inches come to us courtesy of Samsung. The company unveiled the new Galaxy Pro series at this year's CES, and the devices have gradually percolated to consumers throughout the world since. Today Samsung has shared pricing and availability information for Canada. The Galaxy PRO devices will roll out to various retailers starting now until the end of March.
Kickstarter campaigns are sometimes guilty of overpromising, but if the just funded Dash in-ear headphones can get even close to what the creators claim, this is going to be amazing. These tiny earphones are completely wireless – just two individual buds that you plug into your head holes to listen to music, track your activity, and even take calls. It still has 47 days to go and is already past its $260,000 goal.
ARM technology powers the vast majority of mobile devices in the world, and the company has just announced some new designs to continue that tradition. The ARM Cortex-A17 is a new mid-range CPU core that offers improved speed and efficiency for budget devices. That's not all – there is also a new version of the Mali GPU for a complete price-conscious package.
The Cortex-A17 is not meant to replace the A15 – that's still the flagship CPU core design from ARM.
The Battery Guru app from Qualcomm promises to learn how you use your phone and make small tweaks to improve battery life. Glance, a new app from Qualcomm, uses that same usage data to build an intelligent lock screen. Battery Guru is required, so that means this is a Snapdragon-only experience.
Glance integrates a lot of supposedly intelligent features that tailor themselves to your usage. It lists upcoming appointments, apps you might want to use, frequent contacts, and the weather (because everything has to show the weather).