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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
If the rollout of an updated Play Store yesterday with some tweaked interface elements and an order history page was exciting, just wait until you see what else was hidden inside the latest version. I don't think there's any point in teasing, this might be the one we've all been waiting for. The Play Store is finally going to enable a method to offer discounted purchases. There are still a lot of unknowns, but it's real, and it's probably coming very soon.
As a "new" company that caters almost exclusively to technology enthusiasts, OnePlus has been under the microscope ever since it announced its One flagship phone... with no small amount of criticism coming from this very website. But a string of recent posts on the official OnePlus forums prompted a response from the company's social team. Basically, customers accused OnePlus of shipping refurbished One phones and claiming they were new, a practice that isn't unheard of from consumer goods manufacturers and retailers of all sizes.
Here's a handy feature in Chrome's implementation on Lollipop. You know how the browser now lets you optionally merge tabs with apps, so that when you tap the multitasking button to view your carousel of recent apps, each open Chrome tab appears as a standalone card instead of all tabs being lumped together under the Chrome card? Well, while this option is rather handy to jump directly back to, say, the Android Police article you were reading rather than your ex' photos on Facebook, it might create a bit of a logistical hell should you also have some incognito tabs open.