It's time to get out your Cardboard viewers, there's an update to Google's demo app for the lil' VR platform that could. Version 1.8 came out yesterday with a brand new demo called Arctic Journey. It's a brief tour through some of the experiences we can have in VR, set in the frozen landscape of the very, very far north. As you might expect, words are inadequate to describe the scenery, so here's some idea of what you might encounter on a trip to the North Pole.
Last year, Google released an open-source web project called Topeka. The project demoed the power of Polymer and material design on the web, and aimed to give developers some direction on how to execute material design in their own projects.
Google Search is a really handy feature, but are you using its voice features to the fullest? Probably not, unless you're Jean-Louis Nguyen. This YouTube user posted a video last year showing off everything Google Voice Search was capable of, but that was early on. Google Search has evolved a lot in the past year, and Nguyen got in touch to let us know there's a new demo video. It's over 10 minutes of voice search queries, many of which you probably didn't know were possible.
The video starts by showing off the conversational search features Google talked about back at I/O.
Most Android keyboards have gotten pretty good at figuring out what word you're trying to type. Anyone that lives with SwiftKey day-to-day can certainly attest to that. But is the suggestion bar really putting that data to use? The folks behind Dynamic Keyboard have a different approach. This keyboard, set to launch on September 14th, alters the size of keys it believes you are more likely to tap.
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 an unfashionably late Batman game, a giddy throwback to beat-em-ups of yore, a 2D top-down shooter (minus the shooting), and a couple of free demos for Kairosoft's pixelated favorites. Without further ado:
Batman: Arkham City Lockdown
Well Batman fans, the mobile tie-in to Batman: Arkham City has finally arrived for the majority of Android devices...
The hype surrounding the concept of Google's much-talked-about Project Glass may have hit its first peak during last year's Google I/O conference when stuntmen jumped out of a plane wearing the device, but the demonstration left many people wanting an explanation of what else Glass can do besides first-person photo/video recording.
Since then, we've seen a few admittedly awesome videos, including a DVF fashion show through glass, and more recently the brilliantly-executed "How It Feels" which went a bit further toward showing real-world use, but at SXSW today, attendees were given what might be the most informative (and exciting) demo we've seen yet.
Yesterday, we got an eyeful of NVIDIA's new Tegra 4 and Tegra 4i, along with the Phoenix, NVIDIA's nifty reference device. The benchmarks were quite impressive compared to current-generation processors, but all we got to see in terms of gaming performance was a brief demo of Real Boxing.
In a video posted today to NVIDIA's YouTube channel, the chip maker shows off a "Tegra 4 enhanced Zombie Driver," side by side with the same game running on a "non-Tegra 4" device. The difference (as with many Tegra-enhanced games) is night and day. The video puts on full display Tegra's dynamic shadows and lighting, textural enhancements, and overall finesse.
I've been waiting for an Android game that gets touchscreen real-time strategy right for a long time. And I think I may have found it in Desert Stormfront, just posted to the Google Play Store by "Age of Conquest" developer Noble Master Games. It's an old-school, sprite-based strategy game in the vein of Command & Conquer or Age of Empires.
But instead of dumbing down the complexity for mobile users, the developers have adapted the mouse-and-keyboard controls for gaming on a touchscreen - though I have to admit it works much, much better on a tablet than on a smartphone. For example, the common unit groups used in PC RTS games (Control-1, et cetera) are adapted into on-screen buttons, and the screen-filling menus are now dynamic, appearing only when you need them.
We heard just recently that ViewSonic was launching a 22" tablet/display running Android. Today, we get a look at this display. We've also learned that it's running a dual-core TI-OMAP processor, 1GB of RAM and Android 4.0, and a 1920x1080 display underneath the gargantuan screen. The demo seems to be targeted at being used in a classroom setting, with plenty of child-friendly apps and videos, but that's just bundled software. The display, which starts at $479, could be used by any budget-conscious consumer that wants to try using Android instead of Windows as their primary OS for a shared family device.
How's this for amazing? You see a piece of sheet music, but you can't read it because you're a plebian, or perhaps you can read it but you want to hear it. SnapNPlay is an app that lets you take a picture of a line of sheet music and then plays back the notes on the page. This is amazing.
The app itself looks a little rough around the edges right now, but the concept is wonderful. The world of the future has already brought us some amazing things, but this app helps highlight something romantic about the nature of creative thought.