It's impossible to launch a new flagship phone these days without some fancy (and expensive) companion devices. At least that seems to be the approach that Samsung and LG are taking, and the former has a very interesting 360-degree action camera on the way. The Gear 360 captures both still photos and video in (you guessed it) 360 degrees thanks to dual lenses and a ball-like design. The Gear 360 is launched in Samsung's home market of Korea, and though it's yet to get a western release, the companion app is already available.
Sometimes things don't go as planned. Sony released Driveclub for the PlayStation 4 in October of 2014. At the time, a companion came out for Android, but Sony quickly pulled the app after less than a day on the site. The servers struggled to handle the load of everyone trying to play, so Sony delayed the PlayStation Plus Edition and mobile companion app in order to reduce the strain.
Now it's March 2016, and version 1.0 of the Driveclub companion app has returned to Google Play.
I have fond memories of playing Star Wars Battlefront over a decade ago. I was never the biggest Star Wars fan, but futuristic shooters and strategy games appealed to me, and Battlefront was both. You weren't just gunning down waves of rebel scum, you were attacking the right bases and deploying the best vehicles to crush the enemy's capacity to fight.
Star Wars Battlefront II arrived in 2005, only one year after the original's debut. The third non-mobile entry has taken ten times as long to get here, but it's scheduled to hit consoles and PCs this month. To get players ready to again hop inside an AT-AT, EA has released a companion app onto Google Play.
The Android Auto companion app is generally one of those things you're probably only going to work with a couple of times before you're done setting things up, then it'll stay tucked away, never to be seen again. But that doesn't mean it shouldn't look good and be as useful as possible. An update to the Android Auto app began rolling out today and it's a near total refresh of the user interface. Granted, there's not a lot to change, but it now looks much more like the companion app for Android Wear.
Until Dawn, for the uninitiated, is not a game about seeing who can stay up the latest. It's a survival horror title set to hit the PlayStation 4 tomorrow, August 25th. Players will be in for a frightening experience that's meant to be played multiple times, with each adventure lasting around ten hours.
Just before the big day, Sony has released the official Until Dawn companion app into the Play Store. As long as the app is connected to the same Wi-Fi network as the console, you will be able to use your phone or tablet to unlock secrets and keep track of collectibles.
If you're using a "smart" wearable device because it's fashionable rather than practical (and the current crop of smartwatches have a pretty tenuous grasp on the idea of practicality anyway), then why not just wear an old-fashioned watch or bracelet and deal with the arguable inconvenience of reaching for your phone on occasion? These and other questions might be answered by the Android app for MICA, an Intel-branded wearable that puts fashion over form.
They might be. But probably not.
The MICA is a curved-screen smartband unabashedly marketed towards women. It includes the standard call, SMS, calendar, and email notifications, plus more specialized content like fashion and horoscope apps from Refinery29.
Sony hasn't officially announced a second iteration of its SmartBand activity tracker, but it doesn't have to. It's already done the next best thing. Today it has launched a new companion app into the Play Store that's simply titled SmartBand 2.
The images from the listing give us an idea of what to expect. There's a heart rate monitor on the underside of the band, and one of the screenshots reads: The SmartBand measures your pulse at an even rate through out the day. There's also a "smart wake up" feature to provide you with a smoother start to your morning.
Microsoft announced Skype Room Systems last month, and now it has released a companion app for Android. This software is aimed at business-running types looking to use Skype to create virtual meeting spaces.
The system is built around Windows 10, but the Android app does let you control and monitor some functions. These include seeing when you're waiting in the lobby, tweaking your volume settings, turning off your camera, and hanging up on a call. The provided screenshots appear to be from Windows Phone, but they give you an idea.
After downloading the app, which is still in beta, you will need to sign in using your work credentials.