Sometimes you've just got to sit back and marvel at the ingenuity of some Android developers. While Motorola was busy putting expensive infrared sensors all over the front of the new Moto X to enable a few gesture controls, developer OnTheGo Platforms was adding it in with something that just about every smartphone already has. Behold, BrainWave, an app that lets you play, pause, and navigate your music like a frickin' Jedi.
Gameloft's latest game, Cars: Fast As Lightning, is targeted towards kids, and it has all the makings of a good movie tie-in experience. The visuals are sharp and capture the feel of the films. The voice overs are convincing, the characters are well animated, and the dialogue might elicit a giggle or two.
Since Fast As Lightning is based on Cars, as you would expect, it's a racing title. And since this is game, there are controls, but they couldn't be more basic.
Verizon Wireless has rolled out the details for its next over-the-air update for the Galaxy S4. These devices aren't getting hit by a new version of Android, but owners will see various connectivity improvements that they may or may not notice. The default messaging app should be more reliable, Bluetooth connections should be stronger, and voicemail should arrive more consistently.
The update slips in the second version of Knox and replaces ISIS Wallet with its new name, Softcard.
Motorola has pushed an update to its camera app in the Play Store with a few performance improvements and remote shutter for Android Wear, just like the official Google camera. The new version also includes KitKat compatibility, according to the changelog. Strange considering KitKat has been out for a year, but okay.
Here's the full changelog just so we're clear.
- Remote shutter control for Android Wear watches
- Performance improvements and bug fixes
- Updated application will be compatible with Android KitKat
Motorola has taken a lot of heat for mediocre camera performance, but at least it can offer camera updates in the Play Store.
Lenovo's kickstand-packing Yoga tablets are already unconventional, but the new Tablet 2 Pro is downright odd. In addition to a relatively huge 13.3" screen and a built-in subwoofer, this beast of a device packs a pint-sized Pico projector into the curve of its kickstand hinge. Lenovo claims that the Tablet 2 Pro was developed with "product engineer" Ashton Kutcher, in case it wasn't already weird enough. The redesigned kickstand also includes a cutout that pulls double duty as a hole for the camera and a handy hanging point.
Active folks who fire up the latest version of the Fitbit app will see a new section tucked away in the sidebar: Challenges. Contained within is a way to take the fitness-minded company's Android experience and make it more social. Users now have the ability to challenge up to 10 people and compete with them in any of three contests.
Fitbit wearers can compete to see who can complete the most steps in a single day, over the weekend, or throughout an entire work week.
If you've got more than one or two devices sitting around, you may find that you start running short of plugs. You can attach them to a computer, but they won't charge very fast that way. The Photive 5-port desktop charger seems like a good way to fix that, and it's on sale for $12 if you use a coupon code at checkout.
When the Glympse app first came to Android, the idea of instantly sharing your exact location with someone was still novel. The function has lost much of its magic since, but it remains as useful as ever. Now the company is improving the service not by adding more features, but by gutting them out. The new Android-only Glympse Express app strips everything from the main app except for the essentials, the features you actually care about.
Square seems to have run out of Final Fantasy games for Android (and no, you can't have FFVII, so stop asking). The company has been going to its Enix side for mobile re-releases as of late, publishing Dragon Quest VIII, then Dragon Quest IV, then the original Dragon Quest to the Play Store. And since Square Enix is apparently ready to start counting in the right order, you can now play Dragon Quest II in non-emulated form for the not-so-low price of five bucks.
Let me tell you about my life a little over a decade ago. I bought a PC strategy game called Hegemonia (AKA Haegemonia) on a whim in 2002. I played the campaign mode of that game no fewer than four times. It was fantastic. Now it's on Android, and this may be the last you hear from me until early next year. That is, of course, assuming it's still fun to play on Android.