Google's Niantic Labs is perhaps best known as the developer of the popular augmented reality game Ingress (it also makes the exploration app Field Trip). In the wake of the Alphabet announcement, Niantic is leaving Google behind, but not in the way you think. Google is spinning off the developer completely, turning it into an independent company.
You know what day it is. Yes, it's March 31st, and that means the April Fools onslaught has commenced... because what's better than one day when the internet becomes an annoying cacophony of fake news? Two of them, apparently. In fairness, Google's pranks are usually less annoying than they are fun little games. Case in point, Pac-Man is invading Maps and Ingress.
But, according to a report from The Information, Google isn't content to just have a cult hit of a game on its hands. Google has partnered with Sean Daniel Co. to make a television show based on the game, with producers "in talks with candidates to serve as its showrunner." This information comes from "two people who have been involved in the discussions."
Despite this somewhat surprising rumor, The Info is sure to note that this "doesn't appear to reflect a broader move into film or TV production by Google," and that Google "isn't particularly interested in cashing in on Ingress' worldwide audience, instead viewing the TV show as a deeper extension into the game's hybrid reality-fictional world and a way to provide a more intimate connection with its players."
Indeed, the hybrid nature of the game is one of the facets that propelled it to popularity as users choose sides and vie for portals at real-world physical locations, sometimes cooperating across factions to produce "faction art" like this dragon in Norwich.
If you've managed to stick with Ingress for a year or two now, then maybe you should show others just how committed you are. There's no need for anything extravagant. Those of you who happen to own an Android Wear device can just head over to the Play Store and give this free Ingress-integrated watchface a download. Then when people see it, they will be, well, just as confused as they were when they saw you hanging out by that old, abandoned record store last weekend.
This non-official app hits your watch with an Ingress theme that can display your level (if you're higher than level 8), cycle countdown, faction logo, and, of course, the time.
We always kind-of expect Glass to be Android based, but I was surprised to find just how Android based it was when I did a teardown of a Glass system dump. "Android based" is selling things a little short, Glass is Android, with just a few APKs piled on top. It reminds me a lot of Facebook home.
So, while I am still plugging away at my full review, I decided to take a bit of a break and see what happens when you try and run real Android apps on Glass.
If you're in the small portion of the Venn diagram where Google Ingress players and Google I/O attendees intersect, I'm about to make you very happy. It looks like the big G is paying quite a bit of attention to Niantic Labs' social geo-game, because every single registered attendee for Google I/O 2013 will be given an automatic invitation to Ingress, which is still in beta. Ingress will also be given at least some coverage in the initial I/O keynote on May 15th.
There are also going to be organized games on both Tuesday, May 14th and Wednesday the 15th in the Moscone Center, leading up to a "major Ingress-wide game event in San Francisco" on the 17th.
Just like its collection of new apps, the Play Store made a strong showing in the game department last month. From Ingress to Clay Jam, there were plenty of great new games to choose from in November. With games, as with apps, there are often too many to download and try each one. To that end, we've rounded up the top seven games every Android gamer will want to take a look at from November 2012.
Ingress was and is a big deal. A cursory search for "Ingress" on Google+ will reveal huge demand for the game (since it's a closed beta), and some impressive enthusiasm, and it's this community's hype that makes the game great.
If you've been paying attention to the news cycle lately, you've probably heard that Google—by way of the obscure "Niantic Labs"—released a game of some kind. You saw a trailer that depicted people discovering hidden energy fields within statues, landmarks, and artistic sculptures. You had no idea what was going on. You signed up for an invite anyway, because like any other weird Google product, you want in regardless of what it is. Well, I got my invite a couple days ago, and I'm happy to tell you, it's absolutely worth it.
To say that Ingress is amazing would be an understatement.
We've heard very little out of Google internal team Niantic Labs. Before today, their sole public presence was Field Trip, a mash up of Google Now and various hyperlocal points of interest. The team'' latest creation, Ingress, defies description: it's a virtual reality game in which players are tasked with going to real-world locations to harness a fictional energy source. Also there are two "teams" and every player in the world is one one or the other. Think Alliance versus Horde.
The premise seems pretty nebulous at the moment. A new source of energy has been discovered, and it's got the potential to control people's thoughts.