Microsoft has already dabbled around with expanding the Xbox Live experience to mobile devices, but if a recent report from The Verge is to be believed, the company may be about to ramp up its efforts significantly. Our good friend Sources, who is familiar with Microsoft's plans, claims that Microsoft is building a platform that would extend Xbox Live functionality to Android and iOS. Instead of using Google Play Games or Apple's Game Center to track achievements, find other players, and compete with one another, you would be able to use Xbox Live instead.
OpenTable has taken much of the stress out of making reservations. Just head online, click-click, and boom - you're done. Now the company wants to bring the same convenience to paying your bill. Screw waiting on the waiter to bring you the check. Just whip out your phone, tap to pay, and be on your way.
Google has really been on a roll this week with exciting news for developers, such as a pair of new game-related libraries and enhancements to Google+ Sign-in. This time around, Chromecast is getting its turn with a brand new User Experience Guide. Coming just 2 days after some new apps were added to the whitelist, this 4000-word document details the recommended design patterns developers should follow while implementing their own Android, iOS, and web applications.
Do you find that Instagram, Hipstamatic, and all the other me-too photography apps out there just aren't doing it for you? Then why not try VSCO Cam, the most anticipated iOS camera app port among Pabst Blue Ribbon drinkers and fedora enthusiasts! Here, let's check out this promotional video so we can get a quick look at all the impressive features offered in this exciting new app.
Okay, so that wasn't helpful at all.
Update: Vic Gundotra, Google's SVP of Engineering, had this to say after posting on Google+ about the new Voice update:
Guys, don't worry. We have massive investment in Android. I promise you will be happy soon. Don't get upset because we show some love to Google users who use iOS. There are a lot of them. And they are good people :-)
So chill out: it looks like VOIP for Voice is coming to Android sooner or later.
Do you like Minecraft, but feel that its pixelated style isn't retro enough? Then publisher Noodlecake is happy to oblige by turning the open-world, construction-oriented first-person action game into an open-world, construction-oriented platforming game. The Blockheads just landed in the Google Play Store after earning more than a few fans on iOS over the last ten months.
There's really no getting around it: Blockheads is a pretty shameless copy of Minecraft, with adjustments to perspective and gameplay to make it easier on mobile players.
Mobile gaming has evolved a lot over the years. Early phones were weak, so manufacturers stuffed more powerful CPUs inside them. Screens were small, so they've been stretched out to 5-inches or more. Number keys were functional, but touchscreens allow for a greater degree of interaction. Yet despite all of this innovation, trying to play a first-person shooter on a mobile device still sucks. The Drowning is one game that promises to fix this problem.
Android gamers have been waiting a long time for world-class publishers and developers to start creating mobile games with the same dedication that consoles and PC get. It looks like we'll have to wait just a little bit longer. Yesterday Square Enix and Eidos Interactive announced Deus Ex: The Fall, a full entry in the much-loved Deus Ex series, set in the same time period as 2011's Human Revolution. The initial media blitz has a lot to say about the iOS version of the game, due "soon," and almost nothing to say about Android.
Every now and then I stumble across a product that I'm instantly frustrated with. I was living my life perfectly contentedly, but now that I've seen this thing, I must have it. For the next ten minutes, that thing is the Keyprop phone stand that just secured funding on Kickstarter at the last moment. This is a tiny stand that works with all smartphones and is always there when you need it.