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 an impressive space strategy game, a platformer that encourages you to die, and a ruthless roguelike.
Android 4.3 was officially unveiled and released today to the Android Open Source Project. In a surprisingly timely fashion, Google also released both the factory images and OTAs to the Nexus 4, 7, 10, and the Galaxy Nexus.
Here are the wallpapers from the new Nexus 7 that is now available for pre-order and was shown off in full detail yesterday. From what I can tell, there is only one really new wallpaper compared to what came with the previous Nexuses, and it's the one that the new Nexus 7 comes with selected by default. I ran it through TinEye and Google's Reverse Image Search, and it's the only one that returned no existing hits.
It's that time of year: a new version of Android is in the wild. Here's everything we could find that's new and notable in Android Jelly Bean 4.3. Most of it is for developers and gives the software a bit of spit and polish, and at least some of the new features require fancy new hardware. But if you want to get a quick overview of all the new stuff coming to a Nexus near you (and hopefully other devices) soon, this is it.
Turn-based strategy is a classic style of gameplay, but it's still pretty big these days with titles like Frozen Synapse hitting Android. But sometimes these games can be a little slow, or even tedious if a not designed well. The developers of TurtleStrike are trying to combine real-time with turn-based gaming in what they call "live turn-based" gameplay. This approach has the potential to make matches proceed quickly, but still allow careful tactical planning.
If you're looking for yet another place to get your new $35 Chromecast, give your local Best Buy a ring. At least one lucky fellow was able to successfully buy the device from a Best Buy in South Carolina. Calls placed to several stores would indicate that's not the only one. However, most stores are expecting stock to arrive in the next day or two.
Full-size Best Buy stores are getting 20-30 Chromecasts in the first batch – high-traffic stores may get an extra allotment.
Ready for your Chromecast but aren't down with the more-than-two-week wait to get it directly from the Play Store? No worries, Amazon will be your Huckleberry – it has the unit available now for $35, with no shipping costs, and you should have it in just a few days' time.
For those who may not have been around for the news, the Chromecast is an HDMI dongle that plugs into your TV and allows you to beam videos, movies, music, and more directly from your tablet, phone, laptop, or Chromebook Pixel.
Look, I know you like shooting monsters. Doing so has been the premise of roughly 80% of video games ever made. Master Chief's done it. Samus has done it. Have you ever heard of Space Invaders? I remember that pixelated little ship shooting quite a few monsters back before it was even cool. Gamelion Studios' Monster Shooter 2: Back to Earth may not have the brand recognition, but there should be no confusion about what this game is all about.
Netflix made several appearances at today's Google event, but the most notable is perhaps the announcement that content delivered to Android devices may soon look a whole lot better. Hugo Barra demoed the new Nexus 7, showing off the 1080p content the device will be able to stream from Netflix when it launches in the US on July 30th. Prior to now, Android devices streamed content in standard definition, regardless of their resolution.
Google laid out a few important announcements today, which included both Android 4.3 and a new streaming device called Chromecast among others. As a result, the Play Music app was updated with support for Chromecast streaming last night, and Play Movies & TV received a very similar update today.
- Send what you’re watching to your TV screen (when used with Chromecast).
- Support for virtual surround sound on the new (2013) Nexus 7, and on the Nexus 10 running Android 4.3.