Android isn't hurting for endless runners, but at this point, most of them don't bring anything new to the table. That can't be said of Alto's Adventure, a new iOS port from prolific publisher Noodlecake and developer Snowman. What it lacks in revolutionary design it makes up for in pure, dripping style: everything from the pastel coloring to the shifting weather to the smooth 2D animations oozes with careful design. If you're tired of a never-ending parade of "retro" 8-bit games on mobile, Alto's Adventure might just be the cure.
The gameplay itself isn't all that interesting. Your player character snowboards down a gently-sloping mountain, chasing llamas, grabbing coins, jumping over rocks, and grinding on improbably load-bearing bunting.
When you come across a QR code, the experience isn't exactly seamless. You tap your barcode scanner, aim at the funny looking blocks, then watch a link open up in your browser. Then you're either looking at a website or downloading an app.
Qualcomm did not have a great 2015 with the issues surrounding the 810, but it's looking to turn that around in 2016. The Snapdragon 820 might help, but the fancy high-end chips aren't everything. Qualcomm has announced several new mid-range ARM chips, as well as a new modem and a wearable-specific SoC.
Out of all the watch maker applications on Android, Pujie Black is my favorite. I find the interface easier than WatchMaker, plus it's accessible on Android instead of requiring a web browser like Facer. I also love that I paid once for the app and I can get all of the community's creations for freeand edit them to fit my personal needs. There's a learning curve to figuring out what everything does inside the app, but once you've got the hang of it, there are hundreds of things you can change to specifically tailor it to your preference. I personally like seeing my steps, the date, and PST timing (Artem's timezone) as the 3 Pujie indicators, and I love having a tap action to play/pause Pocket Casts specifically.
Depending on which apps you install, your notification shade can feel like a warzone. Check this email. Read this text. Water your crops in this game. Your tank is full, so switch to another game and race.
Motorola's Android build is very close to Google's stock version of the platform, but there are a couple of important additions that have made Moto devices stand out. For example, the voice command feature known as Moto Voice. Like Motorola's other custom components, it's updated via the Play Store, and some changes are being pushed down today in the form of numerous fixes and improvements.
The Facebook Messenger team is on an A/B server-side testing spree. It's only a couple of weeks ago that we reported how some users had spotted the app with a new Material Design makeover, but it seems that this wasn't the end of the Material improvements. And that's not even the only modification that's being tested for some users. There's the return or SMS integration and multiple account support too. Here's the breakdown.
Microsoft is slowly reinventing itself, acquiring interesting companies like SwiftKey and Sunrise Calendar, changing the way people perceive it and its services, and improving its apps across multiple platforms. We've sure seen the effects here on Android Police — there's hardly any week that passes by without us mentioning the company at least once, and that's Android which isn't even its main platform.
With its new and improved services and apps, Microsoft has been trying to find a permanent home on your devices, and what better way to do that than come preinstalled on your phone or tablet? That means it'd be the de-facto office viewer for many users when they come across a Word, Excel, or PowerPoint document.
Google Drive has been giving us notifications about new shared files and requests to access our files for several months, but the notification setting was only accessible from Drive on the web. If you were wondering how to turn it off after you saw it on your phone, you were probably stumped. That's why the Drive team is rolling out an update that adds a Notification pane in the app's settings, which allows you to toggle them on or off.
The settings also let you pick a sound, enable vibration, and choose whether you get notified only for new shared items, or for requests for access, or both.