The Google Play Store, as always, was abuzz with new apps last month. More than just new apps, though, the Play Store gained plenty of well-crafted, quality apps. The kind that have spurred the market's recent growth spurt, and which allow users to discover functionalities they never knew they needed. As always, we've sifted through all last month's new apps and selected our top five picks – a kind of short list for those looking to get the most out of their device with awesome apps.
There's no shortage of emulators for older gaming consoles on modern mobile platforms. The latest addition to the list is PPSSPP, a PSP emulator that self-admits to being a work in progress. Of course, there are a couple of things you should know up front: for starters, it's possible this won't last long on the Play Store, since emulators tend to have a pesky problem with legal and policy gray areas.
If you were a gamer in the 90s, there was a good chance you either owned or had played a Super Nintendo. While the debate still rages on about whether that machine or the Sega Genesis was superior, it can be safely stated that the SNES had some amazing role-playing titles.
Chief among these was Chrono Trigger, a game by a group of developers so storied that they were labeled a "Dream Team." The game was one of many titles (Final Fantasy VI, Earthbound, Super Mario RPG) that helped further the genre and leave a lasting impression on gaming as a whole.
Good news for old-school gamers on the go: the latest update from the iMpulse Bluetooth controller has added quite a bit of features, making it more attractive than ever. The creators of the Kickstarter project released a new design render, showing off a switch from a PlayStation Portable-style analog stick to a more conventional D-pad, which should work better for a wider variety of games. They've also added two "shoulder" buttons (actually on the back of the tiny device) for more flexibility, and the housing has been slimmed down, making the iMpulse look considerably less like a brick.
BlueStacks made quite a splash when they released their alpha x86 Android app player for Windows late last year. When AMD invested millions of dollars into the company, it was clear that they were planning on leveraging the ever-expanding Android platform to put a shot into the arm of their PC chip business. Nearly a year after the initial investment, they're ready to make good: head on over to www.amd.com/appzone to check out the shiny new AMD App Zone.
Arcade cabinet mods are certainly nothing new. Ever since the kids of the late 70s and early 80s grew up into the adults of the late 90s and early aughts, the internet has been filled with folks building wooden boxes around computers and joysticks. Today's example, though, uses an Android tablet and a Tatsunoko vs. Capcom fight stick for what might be one of the cheapest, easiest-to-replicate Arcade cabinets around.
This diminutive little guy is more than meets the eye. It weighs 21 grams, which is the same as the bag of the Cotton Candy it is codenamed after. The unassuming USB stick is actually an Android 2.3 Gingerbread powered device that packs a wallop. Here are its specs:
- Dual-core 1.2-GHz Samsung Exynos ARM CPU
- 802.11n Wi-Fi
- microSD card slot
The magic happens when you plug Cotton Candy into a Windows or OSX device.
With Ice Cream Sandwich on the horizon, we at AP thought it would be a good idea to give you a roundup of what Google's been cooking up in Building 44. We actually know a good deal about the future of Android; I'm talking real, solid facts. These are features Android engineers have demoed or talked about, and acquisitions Google has made related to Android technology. We even have pretty clear timelines for most of them.
Update 3: ZodTTD, developer of several well-known emulators, recently met a similar fate as yongzh - both his Market account and his apps were removed. Today, he decided to clarify a few things in a blog post, noting that the removal of the apps was not due to an open source violation but rather came as a result of a trademark infringement letter from Sony to Google concerning PSX4Droid's icon.
When the Nintendo 64 emulator first came out, many users were overcome with joy - it was the first and only emulator for Android, and nostalgia was overwhelming. However, a short time after, N64oid simply disappeared. Worried threads popped up around the Internet, and with today's disappearance of PSX4Droid, we couldn't help but wonder whether the two incidents are related.
You can breathe easy though - N64oid is safe, at least according to a few people who received responses from the developer regarding the disappearance.