Most strategy games have you working as some kind of commander-god, floating over the battlefield and handing out orders to nameless minions while building up your stronghold. In the PC strategy game Mount & Blade, you move and command your party, capture bases, and expand your territory... but you're also a fully-controllable warrior, dishing out punishing blows against your opponents right next to your carefully raised army. Mount & Blade: Warband, the second game in the PC series, is now available for the NVIDIA SHIELD and other Tegra 4 devices.
For Pebble owners, getting good apps and watchfaces has been akin to settling down in the Wild West. There are a handful of websites that do a good job of organizing content and making it easy to install via QR codes, and there's no way we can overlook the immensely useful Pebble apps app available in the Play Store, but these made things no less exciting when, back at this year's CES, the Pebble folks announced that a centralized app store was finally on its way.
Nvidia wanted to wow us when it unveiled the Shield over a year ago at CES 2013, so naturally it pre-announced a bunch of games for the device. One of the titles mentioned at that event has only now arrived on Android. Rochard is a sci-fi platformer that was originally developed for the PlayStation Network and Steam, but now it's in the Play Store for $6.99.
AIDE is an integrated development environments that lets you develop Android apps... from an Android app. Now the piece of software has reached version 2.5 and is taking things a step further. Instead of merely letting you code, it's prepared to teach you how. The latest version provides interactive lessons with step-by-step instructions, so you can learn how to program in Java and develop for Android at your own pace.
Adobe's Photoshop Express app has rocked Android for longer than many of us have, so earlier this year it underwent a makeover for the big 2.0. The new app is zippy, attractive, and designed from the ground up for KitKat. Now Adobe is rolling out 2.1, and the most notable changes are two new in-app purchases. These two packs, already available in the iOS and Windows 8 versions of the app, are the Premium Looks pack for $3 and the Noise Reduction pack for $5.
It's been a busy month in the Android app world, particularly if you want useful tools or visual tweaks. There's one big app that we're not featuring in this roundup: the Google Now Launcher, AKA the Google Experience Launcher. We're omitting it from the main list because it's only compatible with Nexus and GPE devices - even the few standard Android devices that have been upgraded to KitKat can't play with it unmodified.
Love it or hate it, the Galaxy S5 will almost certainly be the best-selling Android phone in 2014. Whether or not the hardware actually warrants those kinds of incredible sales figures is largely irrelevant, thanks to Samsung's marketing machine and consumers' general willingness to buy things they're familiar with. And "familiar" is certainly an excellent way to describe the phone's hardware. While it isn't quite the ho-hum upgrade that came with the GS4, and there are some significant hardware features that add to its value, the GS5's overall design probably won't win it any new fans.
The smartwatch craze has gotten a little out of hand, if you'll pardon the pun. Various manufacturers and innumerable crowdfunding campaigns seem ready to leap into the shallow waters already populated by Pebble, Sony, Fitbit and the like. Just because Samsung's Galaxy Gear is the most mainstream of these wearable devices doesn't mean it's the best - on the contrary, in addition to general dissatisfaction with the somewhat rushed hardware, many reviewers found themselves questioning the need for a relatively powerful and feature-filled device on their wrist.
Samsung unveiled literally three smartwatches at MWC this year. If that tells you anything, it should be this: the company is desperate to make a wearable product stick in the marketplace. It will do anything to whittle down the form factor, price point, and functionality consumers are most responsive to. And thus, we now have 3 Gear devices to choose from - the Gear 2, the Gear 2 Neo, and the Gear Fit - Samsung is taking its shotgun approach to the smartphone market and inundating you with wearable choices, hopefully enough choices that you will actually choose to buy one
I reviewed the original Galaxy Gear.
Samsung has announced a slew of improvements to its KNOX enterprise security product at this year's Mobile World Congress. For starters, users can now manage two separate secure containers per device, ideal for consultants with multiple clients or people who just want to better separate work data from personal files.
The total list of changes goes much deeper.
- Two separate secure containers per device, for example, for consultants who work for several companies or doctors who work for several clinics.