Action Launcher is something special. The home screen replacement made its debut a short three months ago in December, and found its way into our hearts as one of (if not the) best app of the month. What makes Action Launcher a great replacement is that it's unique – AL is totally different from any Launcher we've yet seen, and it earns that distinction with a couple of signature features: first, all your apps are a quick slide away.
We don't get to talk much about 3D printing here at Android Police because it's not a technology that's terribly mobile-focused (nor is it even that commonplace yet), but suffice to say, it's amazing. While this may not be about making prosthetic body parts, vehicles, or bikinis, MakerBot and OUYA are partnering to allow users to print their own enclosures for the hackable console. This may be the coolest way to customize a game system yet.
SEGA already made some waves in the Android world by announcing a port of the original Sonic the Hedgehog at GDC 2013 yesterday, but the company wasn't finished there. It just announced three more games coming to the platform later this year: Puzzle Pirates, House of the Dead: Overkill – The Lost Reels (!), and Godsrule. Excited? I know I am.
Let's start with Puzzle Pirates.
We've already seen two pretty major updates to Google apps today, with Translate's offline language packs and Movies getting info cards. Some smaller updates were also pushed out to a few other apps as well – namely Sound Search, Offers, and PrimeTime for Google TV. Since the latter's the most notable (in terms of what's in the update, that is), let's start there.
The PrimeTime app for Google TV brings a few new things by adding support for Amazon Prime content, as well as a subscription selector for Netflix, HBOGO, and Prime.
We've all played the "Wait, who is that guy again?" or "What song is that?" while watching a movie. Now, with the latest update to the Play Movies app, if you want to get the answer to that question, all you have to do is press pause. Info cards will then pop up with face recognition of actors on screen, what other movies they're in, and what music you're hearing.
The feature only works on "supported movies" and it's a little unclear which ones those are (there doesn't seem to be any icon or indicator that shows whether any given movie in your library can show cards).
Iron Man 3 is coming out soon. If you haven't seen the trailers, suffice to say it's going to be awesome. It's the first Marvel movie featuring the main set of heroes after the Avengers took over the world's economy. Until it comes out, though, Gameloft wants to sate your appetite with the official Iron Man 3 game, an endless runner-style title that has fewer giant monkeys and more things going KERPLOW.
If QWERTYs are your thing, the Samsung's Galaxy Stratosphere II on Big Red is one of the only choices left on the market. And while it may be nothing to write home about in general, it is getting a nice bump up to Jelly Bean right now. Announced officially on the Verizon Blog just a bit ago, the update has started making its way out in phases and brings all sorts of fun goodies like voice search, enhanced notifications, Google Now, and lots more.
Google Translate has always been one of the unsung heroes of the free service space. On the one hand, it doesn't provide a perfect translation, so people are still hesitant to call it a true breakthrough. On the other hand, we use it all the time to translate web pages enough to get the gist and, when combined with speech-to-text and text-to-speech, you can use the Android app as the closest thing to a universal translator in your pocket the world has ever seen.
Back in 2011, Google added the ability to keep up with live transit updates to Google Maps. After all, commuters in big cities that require cars to get around (like my own Atlanta), have traffic info for highways. Why not people who primarily use the subway to get around? One glaring omission from that service, though, was the New York City subway system. Today, that problem is rectified.
Starting today, seven lines of the MTA will show live arrival and departure times for stops along their routes.
This is the Android Police 3rd Anniversary Giveaway #3 - check back every day this week for another awesome contest!
A long time ago (about three years ago, actually), at a keyboard somewhere in or around San Francisco, Android Police's first post was written. In the three years since that article, a lot has happened.