Christmas is coming. You can sit around next to a paper calendar, crossing out the days, or you can put on a seasonal album and start moving.
Don't have any Christmas albums? I know, it's not exactly what comes to mind for many of us during the rest of the year (hey, not everyone has the urge to play Jingle Bells in July). Fortunately Google is looking out for you. You can currently download two merry albums for free on Google Play.
500px is the home of a great deal of lovely photography, and the app has been updated today to be a bit more lovely itself. At least this is the assertion made by 500px. The new v4.3.0 is live in the Play Store with a completely revamped UI and a few small feature additions. However, Chainfire's 500px wallpaper app 500 Firepaper got an update too, and it's a much sadder story.
If you saw our post about last month's update to Maps, you may remember a teardown showed hotels would soon gain listings for amenities. Google didn't keep us waiting for long; amenities can now be viewed on many hotel listings and in search results. As usual, we've got the download links below if you don't want to wait for the slow rollout to hit your device.
Writing an unbiased review is a lot easier said than done. Every reviewer, myself included, has their own preferences, opinions, and experiences that will in some way affect his or her attitudes and conclusions. So rather than pretend that I am an unbiased reviewer, I will begin by telling you a little about the phones I have owned for the last few years. My hope is that this information will lend you greater insight into my thoughts and feelings regarding the Sony Z5.
I like Sony phones. I've owned every generation of the Sony Z series that T-Mobile has sold in the US, including the Z, Z1, and Z3.
Ready to hit the slopes and fall down a lot? Then I have good news—Snowboard Party 2 from Ratrod Studios is now available on Android. The first Snowboard Party was hugely popular, and this one looks like an upgraded version that kept all the good parts of the original. Although, it also kept the in-app purchases.
Every year toward December, Google releases a list of the best apps it recommends from the Play Store. It's a great way for Android newcomers to discover interesting apps they might want to install on their devices and for platform veterans to find apps that might have flown under their radar. This year's list is out, divided in 8 categories of 5 apps each, with a few added at the top, but the choices are if anything, a little weird.
You'll likely see different lists according to where you live. Some apps seem to be globally recommended like Skype, Google Photos, Twitch, and djay, while others will differ based on where you're consulting the list from.
If you pay for cable, you probably pay for ESPN. Disney's sports empire is practically inescapable, especially if you watch college sports, and it's essentially impossible to pay for conventional television without getting ESPN thrown into the package, whether you want it or not. So if you're paying for it, you might as well get it on your phone too, right? ESPN's live streaming service WatchESPN is now available within the primary ESPN app itself. Previously WatchESPN was a separate Android app.
As a former student of archaeology, Machu Picchu is a place that has always fascinated me. As someone direly afraid of heights, Machu Picchu is a place I will almost certainly never go, barring the invention of personal air transport. As such, today I was quite pleased to learn that Google's globetrotting street view team has mapped the ancient city-temple-palace-agrarian-center with a backpack of many, many cameras.
Machu Picchu sits nearly 8000 feet above sea level, and its real purpose still largely eludes archaeologists and ancient historians to this day. While it's clear it housed royalty and peasants alike, was used for religious purposes, commerce, and extensive agriculture, exactly why it made sense to the Inca to build what essentially amounted to a mountaintop city remains unclear.
Aralon: Sword and Shadow HD, is one of the most ambitious 3D mobile RPGs in memory. It also had nary an in-app purchase, something that has become sadly uncommon in this day and age of freemium. After two-and-a-half years, Crescent Moon Games has released the sequel. Meet Aralon: Forge and Flame.
Visuals look very substantially improved from the original, which is probably to be expected given how far mobile graphics have come since early 2013. The game promises a "massive" world to explore, three races and four classes to choose from, real-time shadows, first and third-person views, and dynamic day and night cycles.