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 dungeon-crawler, another Kairosoft management sim, a puzzle-RPG combo, an 8-bit endless runner, and a new Tin Man game-book. Read More
Alarm.com, despite its security-oriented URL, has become a thriving platform for home management hardware and software both defensive and benign. The latest update to the app, version 3.2, adds a handful of small but important features and adjustments that should make it much easier for users of compatible automated home hardware to get stuff done. The updated version appears to be rolling out in the Play Store with no delays, so no need to track down the APK.
Left: old light screen. Center and right: new light screen.
The biggest change tipped to us by an avid user is the new interface for managed lights. Read More
Here's a mildly interesting story discovered by one member of the CyanogenMod Reddit board. Apparently the state congress of Indiana uses a custom setup to allow its state senators and representatives to submit votes. A Nexus 7 running the CyanogenMod custom ROM is permanently attached to each congressperson's desk, connected to the building's intranet system using a custom Ethernet adaptor (to avoid problems from an overcrowded Wi-Fi connection - there are 150 senators who vote at once), and hooked into SmartVote software from Propylon. Read More
In response to a question posed on Twitter, HTC announced that the HTC One Mini 2 will not be updated to Android 5.0. The phone is barely a year old and is sold under the One brand that HTC reserves for its flagship devices. As you may recall, HTC made a promise to customers just last year that devices launched under the One brand would receive updates for a minimum of two years. The reason given for breaking this promise is rather unbelievable.
If devices like these recently announced LG mid-range handsets can run Lollipop just fine, then I see no reason why the One Mini 2 with similar specs (though a little older components) would be incapable of running the latest Android software. Read More
Update Wednesday came and went this week, leaving us with about a dozen new and updated apps. Project Fi and Google Connectivity Services were added to the Play Store in preparation for Google's first MVNO customers, and new versions were rolled out to bring Quick Reply to Messenger and prepare Google+ for the wide release of Collections. A small bump to Google Play Music also made the list, but there wasn't much in the way of visible changes. However, a look inside suggests there may soon be a new behavior when two or more devices try to use the same Chromecast at once.
: Teardowns are necessarily speculative and usually based on incomplete evidence.
Before we go any further: Google's local delivery service Shopping Express is still limited to portions of the San Francisco bay area, Los Angeles, northern California, Chicago, Boston, Washington DC, and New York City. If you live outside of those areas, go ahead and skip this story, because Google Shopping Express (and similar competing services) aren't expanding outside of the densest US urban zones anytime soon. But for those who do qualify for the service, version 3.0 includes a new user interface.
New above, old below.
The app has been redesigned from the ground up, more or less, conforming to Material Design guidelines. Read More
Most of the standard (non-game) Android apps we use today are created with Java. Alternatives are available, like Apache Cordova and Mono for Android, but there's no doubt that Java is the only true first-class citizen. However, a team at Google is now working on a new cross-platform alternative called Sky, and it's able to deliver 120 FPS out of the box.
Sony has recently been among the friendlier companies for custom ROM developers, but their devices still had a major hitch. They could not be booted from recovery, which meant third-party software had to modify the build system and if things went wrong, it was a lot more difficult to fix. To address this issue, Sony will begin releasing new bootloaders to allow booting from recovery.
This was first reported at FXP, home to developers who work exclusively with Sony devices to bring custom ROMs like CyanogenMod to end users. Official word should be coming soon, but the software is available to flash right now. Read More