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 new game from Crescent Moon, a tie-in for Dreamworks' upcoming animated movie, a sequel to one of the Play Store's most popular casual games, some bowling and quiz titles, and one of those beguiling indie-retro affairs that keeps popping up.
Yesterday Google launched an early access preview of Android Studio, an integrated development environment (IDE) for Android based on IntelliJ IDEA. This one-stop shop for coding, compiling, and testing includes all the standard Android SDK tools, plus build support, quick fixes, tools to catch major coding flaws, and a preview window. The Android Developer Tools session at Google I/O went into massive detail on the new project. The 53-minute session is embedded below, in case you couldn't make it.
One of the cooler features of Android Studio is the multitalented preview window, which shows your code running on mock-ups of most of the standard Nexus devices in a real-time layout.
At GDC earlier this year, we learned that Sega ported the original Sonic the Hedgehog to Android, giving a new generation of gamers a chance to experience the game that kicked off one of the industry's largest franchises. The port, which finally showed up in the Play Store earlier today (several weeks late), comes with widescreen support and features exclusive to mobile versions, such as the ability to play as Tails and Knuckles. Both characters retain their abilities to fly, glide, and climb up walls.
Sonic the Hedgehog has been ported over a dozen times, with at least six of those ports being to other Sega consoles.
The white LG Nexus 4 has popped up a few times thus far, but now it has found its way into the hands of AndroidAndMe. The new image looks legit to us, so it appears this device is finally going to be a reality. What's potentially much more interesting is the assertion that Android 4.3 is going to be announced along with the new color option on June 10th.
The white N4 reportedly has the same vibe as past white Nexus devices with a white back and black screen surround on the front. Although only the back is visible in the pic on AndroidAndMe.
Ah, Google Glass. Though the venerable headset has a lot of potential, it has yet to become something people want to use all the time. If you're a social media addict, a news junkie, or a productivity pro, though, Google's heads-up computer just got a lot more compelling. Today at I/O, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, CNN, Elle, and Evernote pledged to support Glass by releasing official applications - "glassware," as Google calls them. Facebook's app is available now.
The social media apps do what you'd expect: post pictures and text. Facebook's app allows users to upload photos to their timelines and add descriptions with voice.
Archos has been cultivating a reputation for cheap, mostly reliable tablets since long before Android slates were mainstream. Their latest creation isn't all that remarkable: the 80 Xenon is squarely aimed at the iPad Mini, with an 8-inch, 1024x768 IPS screen, a Qualcom 1.2ghz quad-core (Snapdragon S4?) processor, 1GB of RAM, and a price tag of $199.99. Oh, and it comes with unlocked 3G wireless broadband. Wait, what?
Yes indeed, the 80 Xenon is specifically designed and marketed with mobile wireless in mind. According to the Archos PR, the tablet will work with "any operator",
which we assume means pentaband GSM.
Kingdom Rush has amassed quite the following since it first appeared as a flash game in 2011 and an iPad port half a year later. Critics called it one of the best and most engaging games of its genre. Today, Ironhide Game Studio launched an Android version into the Play Store that has already been met with praise from users.
Kingdom Rush is a tower defense game based in a fantasy setting soaked in bright colors and vivid sprites. The usual fantasy environments all make an appearance here, including green forests, snow-covered mountains, and barren wastelands. Players command troops, wield magic, and - wait for it - build towers in their quest to save the kingdom from orcs, trolls, evil wizards, and other standard forces for darkness.
We've covered MyScript Calculator several times here at AP, as its handwriting recognition / conversion is, simply put, pretty damn impressive. The developers behind this app have now taken the same technology and brought it to the note-taking table with its newest app, MyScript Notes. Check it out.
Pretty slick, no? This tablet-only app supports palm rejection, sync with popular apps like Dropbox, Facebook, Twitter, S-Note, and more; and has nine available languages: English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese Simplified, Korean, and Japanese.
Aside from that, it also recognizes handwriting in 30 different languages, including English, French, Greek, Polish, Turkish, and many more.
Oh, hi there, Samsung Galaxy Reverb. Haven't seen you around the water cooler in a while. Yeah, I'm doing good too. So what's up? You've got an Android 4.1 update? Shut the front door.
The Galaxy Reverb is a budget phone on a budget network, the kind that we generally expect to be released, promptly forgotten, and never, ever updated to a later version of Android. But lo and behold, several Virgin Mobile customers on both Reddit and Android Forums are reporting that their phones are receiving over-the-air updates to Jelly Bean 4.1.2. One poster stated that he'd spoken with a Virgin representative who said the the OTA was scheduled for May 22nd, but at least a few seem to have been updated early.
Field Trip is an oddity in Google's app lineup. It comes from Niantic Labs (the people who went on to create Ingress), looks fantastic, and it's made for a very specific kind of user. The app highlights attractions of historical, cultural, and entertainment value in your immediate area, using GPS and services like Thrillist, Zagat, and Cool Hunting to create a "hyperlocal" experience. Of course, any travel app is only good if it works where you are, which was a sticking point for international users. Version 1.09 expands to more than 80 countries with support for over 30 languages.