07
Dec
Chromecast-Thumb

Google seems to be making a final push to get people buying Chromecasts before Christmas. If you buy one between today and December 21, you'll get a $20 Google Play credit to buy some new movies to stream on your TV. They don't make it too clear, but it appears you will need to buy from the Play Store to redeem this offer. Update: As commenter SEJ326 points out below, Chromecasts from both Amazon and Best Buy are also eligible for the offer.

07
Dec
nexus2cee_lollipop-1600_thumb1

When a new version of Android lands, there's often a sizeable lag period before it's running on a significant number of devices out in the wild. We generally know why that is, too: manufacturers take varying lengths to update their products, and while they do receive early access to new versions of Android, nothing can be fully completed until Google releases the relevant source code for the platform. Add in things like carrier certification for phones, OEM software modifications, chipset-level support, and other factors, and you have a big stew of contingencies that can add months to the wait for the newest version of Android.

07
Dec
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Last Updated: December 8th, 2014

Last year, we put out a gift guide with all of our recommendations for the holiday season, but we made one mistake: we released it on December 20th, just five days before Christmas. What were we thinking? I honestly have no idea. This year, we decided to try to be a bit more helpful and put something out at least a couple of weeks ahead of time. You're welcome.

Without further ado, here is the Android Police Holiday Gift Guide for two-thousand fourteen.

06
Dec
nexusae0_bonusicon_thumb
Last Updated: December 7th, 2014

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 a racing game with unique controls, a chess game for kids, and a gorgeous God of War ripoff.

06
Dec
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Last Updated: December 8th, 2014

Back when we first took a look at the design initiative that would become "material design," we noted that Google planned to update apps incrementally, with changes happening over an unspecified period of time, until they'd evolved to full compliance. A couple of months ago Hangouts began its journey, but to many the app still doesn't feel quite up to par. A messy, improperly-layered drawer, lack of some familiar actions from the app's previous iteration, and of course no revised launcher icon are a few complaints begging for resolution.

06
Dec
lollipop-statue-1
Last Updated: December 8th, 2014

Android 5.0.1 began rolling out to devices and AOSP just a few days ago, and now we've got a changelog from Al Sutton to give us some insight into what has changed. This is the first version bump since the Android 5.0 landed, putting an end to the initial stage of build releases, which are often used to fix hardware specific issues and catastrophic bugs. There are still some fixes for individual devices, but some of the bigger bugs have been squashed, as well.

06
Dec
segalogo

Play Store users can get 5 SEGA games at significant discounts for a limited time, each at $0.99. These are part of the larger set of apps, games, and media on sale in the Play Store's weekly deals collection.

SegaDeals

06
Dec
unnamed (2)

Fans of online PC action games will be aware of World of Tanks, a popular free-to-play tank simulator that's frequently updated with added content. iOS has had access to a simplified version for over a year, which would normally cause some ire among Android gamers. But I'm prepared to give developer Wargaming a pass on this one, since World of Tanks Blitz is launching with cross-platform play between Android and iOS, ensuring a healthy population of online players right from the start.

06
Dec
unnamed (1)

A few months ago Google purchased the developer of the impressive WordLens app, which translates text and signs from another language into your own simply by pointing your camera at it. The text appears in your language through the lens, as if you had super-powered Translate-O-Vision. As with Waze and Google Maps, it looks like Google's own Translate app will soon see the benefit of that acquisition. Check out the screenshots below, taken from an upcoming version of Google Translate.

06
Dec
unnamed

I'm so glad that grown-up strategy is coming to mobile platforms in a big way. Following in the footsteps of XCOM: Enemy Unknown and XCOM: Enemy Within, developer Hairebrained Schemes has published Shadowrun: Dragonfall on the Google Play Store. This is more of an expansion of Shadowrun Returns, which launched on Android back in September of last year, than it is a direct sequel. It's yours for $6.99, no previous purchases necessary.

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