If you haven't played Gangstar Rio, it's basically Gameloft's attempt to recreate a popular existing franchise. That describes about 95% of Gameloft's app library (I'll stop teasing them when they start having ideas of their own), but in this case, it's a riff on Grand Theft Auto, Saints Row, and the rest of the open-world crime genre. The sequel, Gangstar Vegas, was just published in the Play Store. Seven bucks gets you a bigger, better crime simulator, assuming your device is compatible and you've got a whopping 2.5GB of free space.
The old maxim "change or die" would seem to apply to apps and services left in the wake of Google Reader's upcoming shutdown. Popular RSS client GoodNews is exiting the Play Store, stage right, once Google Reader shuffles off the mortal coil on July 1st. The developer updated the Play Store description and the app's website with the news. Since Google Reader will not be functioning at all, this isn't your normal end-of-life app situation - development will cease, the GoodNews listing will disappear, the fat lady will sing.
Twitter is an awesome social discovery tool, but its implementation is fairly static. Even whiz-bang Twitter clients like the unfortunate Falcon Pro still present tweets in ye olde vertical column layout. Twheel (stylized "twheel") aims to bring a more innovative approach to Twitter. Tweets are presented in a wheel (natch) with 30 visible at any given time. Color-coordinated tags and bars let you see which ones are getting the most attention on Twitter, and sliding your finger around lets you highlight individual tweets to read them at the top of the screen.
NEC's first entry into the American Android market isn't exactly auspicious, but it does fill a much-neglected niche. AT&T is now offering the NEC Terrain for sale, right on time and online only. $99.99 on contract gets you the QWERY candybar phone with a miniscule 3.1" screen, or you can shell out $429.99 to own it outright. Considering its ruggedized, semi-waterproof build, that's not such a bad deal... but you will have to live with Ice Cream Sandwich, a year after Jelly Bean 4.1 was released.
If you haven't heard of Aio Wireless, here's the skinny: it's a new AT&T prepaid carrier (think of it as an MVNO), and it actually offers some pretty enticing features. Initially, we expected that Aio wouldn't offer LTE service since that would be reserved for a "premium" AT&T experience, but it looks like that plan has been changed – Aio just announced that it is activating LTE coverage for its current userbase (which is currently limited to a few areas in Texas and Florida).
It's a little late in the day, but there are still deals to be had. Yesterday was a killer day for app sales, but today has a nice assortment too. Let's see what we have.
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 another game book from Tin Man Games, a unique multiplayer puzzle game, an ingratiatingly cute platformer, a game that Pinky Floyd fans should love, and a Snake derivative with a soapbox and a message.
If you like to tinker with Sony Xperia devices, things just got a little more fun (funner, if you will). Thanks to Sony's newly-released Illumination API, developers can now tweak the illumination bar settings on compatible devices, including the Xperia SP, ZL, ZR, UL, A U, L, S, SL, P, sola, ion, acro HD, go, M, and M dual.
Sony is calling the Illumination API an experimental API (the first of its kind for the company), which essentially means it will be released with limited documentation and virtually no support; basically, you're on your own with this one.
I think we can officially say there's a market for smartwatches. The first major player in the game was Pebble, which received a massive $10 million in funding throughout the duration of its Kickstarter campaign; now, Agent joins the million dollar club, as it just hit $1m mark – a full ten times its $100k goal (which it actually blasted through in less than 12 hours).
For those who may not have heard of Agent, it's supposedly the smartest of all smartwatches.