Google's default keyboard has gotten really good, to the point that it's hard to actually charge for a keyboard app even if it has a few tricks up its sleeve. Just like SwiftKey last year, Fleksy has now gone free in the Play Store (and Amazon Appstore). Instead of paying an upfront price, there are themes and extensions that you can purchase if you so choose.
OnePlus announced recently that the unveiling of the OnePlus 2 later this month would take place in VR. Why? Why not, I guess. To support this effort, OnePlus will be giving away free-ish Google Cardboard VR headsets. They are available now and all you have to pay for is shipping.
It'll cost you $5 to get a Cardboard unit from OnePlus, but it sounds like it's not available in all regions. Indian users in particular are having trouble placing orders. Assuming you can get one in your region, it should ship out on or around July 10th.
Google is continuing with this free app of the week promotion, but it's still just for family-friendly kids apps. The third selection is now live and it's a $5 app called Thomas’s Musical Day for Percy. Now it costs you nothing to subject your children to the horror of anthropomorphized trains that misuse apostrophes.
Ooops! Noah is gone... but fortunately you can still see what happens to the animals on the Ark. The 3D animated film All Creatures Big and Small is now debuting exclusively in the Play Store, and you can download the HD film in its entirety for free.
This light-hearted movie asks the question of what happened to the animals that didn't make it on board Noah's Ark. It follows Finny and Leah as they try to survive the flood and find safety on the tallest mountain. Meanwhile, their parents attempt to turn the Ark around and rescue their kids. The subject matter may be Biblical, but the tone is hardly preachy.
Look, I've got nothing against the pixelated graphical style, sometimes erroneously referred to as "8-bit." But for the last few years it's often been used as a crutch for developers who can't be bothered to make truly good 2D graphics. That doesn't apply to Sword of Xolan, the latest game from developer Alper Sarikaya of Manuganu fame. The environments, enemies, and main character have enough definition that you can actually see what's happening on screen, and the excellent animations make the world come to life in ways that developers could only dream of back in the old SNES days.
Aside from being a visual treat, Sword of Xolan is a joy to play.
The family-oriented section of the Play Store is now offering up another free app of the week. When Google first started the giveaways, Daniel Tiger Daniel Tiger Grr-ific Feelings was the debut app. Toca Hair Salon 2 came next. This week we're looking at Dr. Panda & Toto's Treehouse.
As we now know, Google hands out these free apps using coupon codes. So if you head directly to the app's Play Store page , you will still see its regular price listed. Yeah, we know it's awkward. To get the goods for zero dollars, you must click on the Free App of the Week banner or redeem the code TOTOTREEFREE.
Monument Valley remains one of the finest puzzle experiences on a mobile device, but it's unfortunately somewhat short. There's a little more to love today with the release of Ida's Dream, a chapter that was originally created for a charity promotion on iOS. You can get it for free if you've already purchased Monument Valley—no extra IAP required.
Google regularly hands out free music albums, and it tries to shake things up in the process. In the past we've seen options as varied as Disney's Frozen and Kaskade's I Remember. This week listeners are treated to Latin-flavored songs from Romeo Santos. If you head to Google Play, you can download Fórmula, Vol. 2 in its entirety without paying a cent.
Fórmula, Vol. 2 hit the charts in February of 2014. It comes with 20 tracks, and altogether, you're looking at over an hour of content. Santos' hit singles "Odio" and "Propuesta Indecente" both call this album home.
Whether you're a big fan or just want to check out a Latin album for curiosity's sake, it doesn't matter.
Google isn't taking the arrival of Apple Music lightly, it would seem. The company just announced a new free tier of Play Music in the US that provides access to ad-supported streaming radio. It looks to have all the same restrictions as other free streaming services, but you can't argue with the price.
You may remember Google posted a new kind of app promotion last week. It offered a PBS Kids app that was usually $3 for free, which is kind of a big deal for the Play Store. Developers cannot currently make a listing free then go back to paid. It looks like Google is going to continue doing this for a bit, as there's a new free app of the week—Toca Hair Salon 2. This would be great if only the redemption process wasn't so jacked up.