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.
If you're a gamer, you probably know XCOM as the recently revived turn-based alien killin' strategy game. It's also been given an official board game, a natural fit for the turn-based combat so heavily featured in the digital version. Until today you needed an iOS device for the mandatory companion app, which handles such fiddly things as player turns and hit percentages - the things your DM used to do on pen and paper. Now it's been given a belated release on Android... not unlike the mobile version of the PC game.
XCOM The Board Game has one to four human players working cooperatively to fight through a scenario and protect the Earth from extraterrestrial invaders.
If you've been following the gaming news at all, you know that the biggest release of the week is the latest iteration of Ubisoft's sandbox shooter Far Cry. The fourth game moves the action to the Himalayan country of "I Can't Believe It's Not Tibet," and tasks you with leading a ragtag army of rebels against an oppressive and tyrannical dictator. (Seriously, still not Tibet.) Ubisoft can't make a big-budget game without releasing a mobile counterpart, so say hello to Far Cry 4 Arena Master.
Arena Master is... well, it's basically Pokemon, with the adorable critters replaced with armed freedom fighters and actual bloodthirsty animals.
Assassin's Creed Unity is the first entry in the series that won't be available for last-gen consoles, having been developed to take advantage of the extra power introduced by the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One. This time the franchise heads to Paris and takes place during the French Revolution. While the core gameplay should look familiar to fans, the latest release introduces cooperative multiplayer that should extend the longevity of the experience.
But first, you're going to want to grab the Android companion app. It's not much use without the full game, but the included 3D map of Paris can make navigating the city an easier task.