Last December, Google Play Books saw an update that allowed users to upload PDF and EPUB files to their libraries from their mobile device (by way of Gmail attachments or downloads). A subsequent update to version 3.1.23, however, removed the ability to add PDFs. At the time, Google confirmed to us that the functionality was removed because it was "experimental," but we were told it would return at some point in the future.
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 Tin Man game book, a Disney endless runner, a modern take on Space Harrier, and a zombie game that might actually be worth a look.
On Tuesday night, surprisingly ahead of the usual update-all-the-things-Wednesday, Google released a major revision of the Play Books app for Android, updating it from v2 (2.9.21) to v3 (3.0.15). The changelog, which was shockingly present from the get-go (thank you!), confused me a bit but after digging around, I finally figured out what it means. Oh, and I found another fix that wasn't mentioned.
The official changelog is as follows:
- Added the ability to search the text of original-pages books.
Today at Computex 2013, ASUS' Chairman Jonney Shih gave birth to no less than 11 products in a span of less than an hour, a surprising rate of fire we're not used to even at flagship events like MWC or CES, let alone Computex. Not bad at all, ASUS.
Undoubtedly, the most interesting and important announcement was the Transformer Book Trio, "the world’s first three-in-one mobile device." The Trio actually consists of two pieces:
- An 11.6" tablet with a 1920x1080 IPS display and 64GB of internal storage onboard, powered by a mobile-friendly 2GHz dual-core Intel Atom Z2580 chip (32nm Clover Trail+).
In the interest of time, I'll spare you, dear readers, my usual spiel and say simply this: I like official accessories. In theory, anyway. I like the idea of accessories specifically made for specific devices by the device's original manufacturer. I've been delighted by the Nexus 7 pogo dock, and love the Nexus 10 pogo charger (though it isn't actually official yet).
Then there's the official book cover for the Nexus 10.
Autodesk has a fantastic record of powerful, well-built apps. Continuing the pattern, the Pixlr Express makers today released SketchBook Ink, a (you guessed it) sketching and line work app specifically built for tablets 7" and above.
While SketchBook Ink is perhaps not up to handling a professional illustrator's full time workflow, it's a versatile tool with functionality that's suprisingly sophisticated for a mobile app. Ink's got a full screen workspace built on a "new resolution independent engine," with seven preset ink styles, a wonderful color picker (with RGB sliders, a color wheel, and a block for shade selection), layering options, and plenty of options to explore.
Partnered with Steve Jackson, Tin Man Games has brought another Fighting Fantasy title to the digital age with House of Hell. For the uninitiated, Fighting Fantasy is a series of interactive "gamebooks" by Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone which began publication in the early 80's. The books each contain their own fantasy adventure, the outcome of which is completely dependent on the reader's choices.
Staying true to the 1980's aesthetic of the original printed works, Tin Man's adaptation of House of Hell has the option to turn off its various visual enhancements to "make the gamebook look like it came off the printing press in the 80s." Many players will want to keep them on though – the visual overlays and colored illustrations add a new dimension to the experience, and are wonderfully executed.
After the successful launches of Play Music in Europe, Magazines in Canada, and Movies in a handful of countries, Google has made another step in its international Play crusade, today bringing Movies and Books to Brazil.
Android users in South America's largest country will now have access to thousands of Brazilian titles from Google's collection, along with movies and TV shows. Interestingly, Google's own international availability page hasn't been updated at the time of writing to reflect the expansion to Brazil, but just the same, users can access the store and look for their favorite titles.
Orbitz.com, one of the top online travel/booking resources around, has just released a new app – Hotels by Orbitz, meant to help users find, book, and enjoy hotels in thousands of destinations world-wide, whether you need a room tonight, or want to book a future stay.
The app, which has a somewhat slick – though not strictly holo – interface, not only lets users search for and book hotels, but also provides access to Orbitz Mobile Steals – "exclusive mobile-only discounts of up to 50%." The app also allows you to find hotels based on your current location, and sort search results, like with Orbitz's online interface, by best value, lowest price, or by distance.