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.
Anyone who reads this blog often knows my disdain for touch-controls on mobile games. There are a few titles out there that are intuitive enough, like NBA Jam, Dark Meadow, and Horn, but past that, most games are just awkward to play. Thus, if a game supports it, I usually use some sort of controller, be it Bluetooth or USB. While that's practical enough at home, large controllers are too cumbersome for gaming on-the-go.
A few of your friendly neighborhood Android Police writers collect the official Android vinyl figurines, but it's got to be said that they leave something to be desired in the interactive department. (By the way, if anyone has the Star Trek Android from Comic-Con 2012, I may actually trade you an arm and/or leg for it.) One Kickstarter project aims to change that, by making a 4-inch, animated, Bluetooth-controlled toy robot modeled after everyone's favorite green mascot.
Ever since the Pebble Smartwatch got millions in funding from Kickstarter, other companies have been coming out of the woodwork in hopes of getting a smartwatch on your wrist. The Martian smartwatch is a slightly different take on the concept, though. These devices would be based mostly on voice commands over Bluetooth.
The video is clearly using a lot of Siri commands, which Android devices won't support. Since this is essentially a fancy Bluetooth device, all the voice commands that work through a regular Bluetooth headset on your phone will be available with Martian.
If you've got a hankering for a good top-down turn-based RPG, Shadowrun Online will have you covered... eventually. The developers have been promoting a Kickstarter to fund the development of their game, and it has passed its goal of $500,000. That means Shadowrun Online will be coming to Android, among other platforms, in May 2013. Yes, that's quite a wait, but now there is some sweet gameplay footage to tide you over.
For the past month or so, you could hardly go to any tech-related corner of the internet without running into something on OUYA (pronounced "OOO-yah"), an impressive little Android-powered console. With respectable specs (Tegra 3 CPU, 1GB RAM, WiFi, Bluetooth, and 1080p), virtually unlimited hackability, and a price of just $99, it's no surprise that it flew through its $1,000,000 Kickstarter goal in the first 24 hours alone.
Since then, the console has continued to pick up even more steam.
Chameleon Launcher, a highly anticipated launcher replacement for Android tablets, has just released the initial beta version of the app into the Play Store. While everyone with a compatible device can download it, you will need to have an invitation, whether from your Kickstarter pre-order or pre-registration (say, if you're a member of the press or a private beta tester).
If you think you're part of the private beta, head over here (replace YOUR_EMAIL with your pre-reg email address and YOUR_NAME with your name) and associate your registration email with your Play Store account, then grab the app from the Play Store and fire it up.
When we first heard about Ouya, we were excited. We were also hesitant. While a dedicated console for $99 with its own controller, a Tegra 3 processor, and Android games optimized for the big screen (not to mention free versions or demos of all available games) sounded brilliant, there was the question of longevity. How could this thing continue to hold up once Tegra 3 processors weren't the norm? Well, here's one answer to that question: OnLive support is now going to be built in.
Ask any five Android fanatics you know the following question: "What's the most exciting tablet-based launcher project in the world right now?" And you're likely to get five identical responses. The Chameleon launcher has captured the imagination of Android tablet aficionados after a successful Kickstarter campaign and plenty of coverage from news outlets like this one. Today the developers posted two videos showing off Chameleon's impressive complexity and flexibility, and naturally they're showing it off on the hottest Android tablet going: the Nexus 7.
We've seen some pretty cool projects show up on Kickstarter: Capta, Pebble, Chameleon, Vavo... and plenty more. Last night, though, one of the coolest projects I've ever seen made its way to the crowd-funded site: OUYA. You may or may not already be familiar with that name, so a little explanation may be in order.