Welcome to the roundup of the best new Android games from the previous 2 weeks or so.
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Looking for the previous roundup editions? Find them here.
This week's roundup is brought to you by Swish from developer Devionix. This free physics game stars a pair of space aliens with an inexplicable love of basketball. When a swarm of interstellar bees invades their ship, they use a little parabolic physics, super-advanced technology, and a humble b-ball to smash the bees and grab some coins. Read More
Titanium Backup is well-known among rooted users for its ability to back up just about every aspect of a phone. It actually has the same prestige among non-rooted users too, they just can't get in on the fun.
The latest version of the app adds Bluetooth pairings to the list of things Android users can rarely ever have to set up again. As long as you're running Android 4.2 or higher (including Lollipop, which the app supports following a recent update), Titanium Backup should let you back up and restore your current Bluetooth connections.
So if you've been using the same headset for the better part of a decade or you don't particularly want to have to go through the process of reconnecting your phone to your car another time around, just save those connections someplace where you can restore them at any time. Read More
Update: Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath has been released on the Play Store, and glory be, it looks like it's not exclusive to anything. You can download it now on any Android 4.0 or higher device, and the Play Store version has the same external controller support and $5.99 price tag. Thanks to commenters step_jac and Amarus Kh for letting us know.
Update again: It looks like Stranger's Wrath is compatible with Android TV as well. Nice.
The Oddworld series is one of the hidden gems of gaming: it's never been a blockbuster in terms of sales, but each game is utterly unique and brings innovative elements across setting, story, aesthetics, and gameplay. Read More
With the holiday season now fully underway, maybe you've decided to treat yourself to a new Android Wear watch. But what do you do with it once you get it on your wrist? You can only respond to so many text messages from your wrist. That's why we've got this roundup thing we do, that way you'll have stuff on your wrist that makes the smartwatch investment worthwhile. Well, maybe kind of worthwhile. I guess that all depends on how badly you want a smartwatch.
Break Timer: Type strain free
If you spend a lot of time typing, as does the AP staff, you know it can cause discomfort down the line. Read More
We've talked about how handy it is to have a portable charger numerous times here at AP (I even recommended one in this year's Holiday Gift Guide). I've personally tested several different chargers over the last few years, so I've seen them go from $125 for 6,000mAh down to entries like the one we're looking at today – the Unu Superpack – which offers 10,000mAh for just $40 (on Amazon). Given the price point of the Superpak, I didn't really have the highest of expectations for it. Turns out I was selling it short right out of the gate, as this is a fantastic little charger – not just for the money, but in general. Read More
Samsung's virtual reality-producing pair of Galaxy Note 4-powered goggles have gone on sale in the US on the manufacturer's website. Gear VR Innovator Edition, as the experimental product is actually called, is available for $199.99.
Gear VR works similarly to Google Cardboard, with a phone providing the processing power and display needed for the experience. But instead of cheaply assembled paper holding up the handset, Samsung and Oculus have worked together to create something that looks as though it should serve a function on its own. It doesn't. This $199 accessory requires a Galaxy Note 4 to be of any use, and only a Galaxy Note 4. Read More
Update: Want a slightly older model for an even better price? The Harmony Smart Control package is $79.99, fifty dollars off, and includes most of the same functionality. It's lacking the included buttons on the larger remote for home automation, which won't matter much if you don't have any compatible hardware and/or you intend to use your smartphone anyway. This deal also disappears after today.
You can control your Chromecast with your Android phone. You can control a Roku, Android TV, game console, or even your cable box with your phone. But unless you own one of the Samsung or HTC devices with a built-in infrared port, you probably can't control a TV set or a DVD or Blu-Ray player without reaching for some stone age hunk of plastic. Read More
Want to stuff a couple of stockings for the holidays? Here's a cool suggestion from Amazon: the Kindle Fire HDX 7" 4G LTE. This is last year's Kindle Fire generation but still the newest HDX 7" available — Amazon didn't update the HDX 7" line when it released the new HD 6, 7, and HDX 8.9" this past September. The 4G LTE models are being discounted 50% today only through Amazon Gold Box, while the regular Wi-Fi only models have kept their regular price.
Spec-wise, the HDX 7" line-up is known for its high-resolution 1920 x 1200 display and quad-core 2.2GHz processor. These two factors differentiate it from the regular HD 7 (1280 x 800 display and 1.5GHz quad-core processor). Normally, the HDX 7" is priced way higher than the HD 7, but thanks to this discount, they're in the same range. Read More
Update 12/7/14: The deal is back today.
Samsung is really the only game in town if you want an Android slate larger than 10-inches. The Galaxy Tab Pro 12.2 is a pricey device, though. The retail figure is $649.99, but it usually sells for $549.99. You can get it for more than $200 less on eBay right now, provided you don't mind a refurbished unit.
The Tab Pro 12.2 is rocking a 2560x1600 LCD, an Exynos 5 Octa processor, 3GB of RAM, and a 9500mAh battery. It still has those weird physical buttons, which make almost no sense on a huge tablet, but such is life. Read More
Google seems to be making a final push to get people buying Chromecasts before Christmas. If you buy one between today and December 21, you'll get a $20 Google Play credit to buy some new movies to stream on your TV. They don't make it too clear, but it appears you will need to buy from the Play Store to redeem this offer. Update: As commenter SEJ326 points out below, Chromecasts from both Amazon and Best Buy are also eligible for the offer.
This offer is in addition to existing offers for 2 free months of Hulu Plus for new accounts and 3 free months of Google Play Music All Access for first-time subscribers. Read More