Since the Device Frame Generator moved to Google's Android Developer site and received its new name (Device Art Generator), we've heard nary a peep about additional frames or other updates. That appears to have changed today, however – the Device Art Generator now features gorgeous new frames for both the Nexus 4 and Nexus 10, of course with the ability to toggle shadow, glare, and rotation. If you're a developer who needs a nice easy way to build promotional collateral, or just an average user who wants to create beautifully-framed screenshots, hit the link below.
If you're a resident of the US waiting for your chance at one of the new Nexus devices, you've no doubt been growing envious as countries around Europe (and Australia) got to place their own orders before (and after) the rumored 12am PST launch time for the US.
Well, I've got some (kind of) good news – the wait is almost over. Google has confirmed to us that both the Nexus 4 and Nexus 10 will be open for order to US Play Store customers beginning tomorrow, Tuesday November 13th, 2012 at 9:00am PST. The confirmation comes via a quick call to the Nexus support line (1-855-83-NEXUS).
We've seen a few leaks of Verizon's upcoming Stratosphere II over the past couple of months, and Big Red just made the handset official. As expected, it's a modest mid-ranger with a 4-inch display and powered by a 1.2GHz dual-core processor. Like its predecessor, the Stratosphere II will also sport a slide-out QWERTY keyboard.
This global-ready Android 4.0 handset will be available "in the coming weeks" for $129, but that's after a $50 mail-in-rebate and a two year agreement. Woo.
Of course with a new monthly short list of awesome new apps comes a list of the top new games from the preceding month. October saw a lot of game releases, but we've narrowed the field down to just six must-see entries, sure to satisfy the most discerning mobile gamers.
Back when we first covered Shadowgun: DeadZone's arrival to the Play Store, we already knew Madfinger's latest creation was a hit. Of course it's still in beta mode until the 15th, but it's available for all Android devices running 3.0 and up. Madfinger's multiplayer shooter still isn't perfect, but it already shows a ton of potential, and has already caught on with players.
Just in case you've missed all the apps we've rounded up over the last month, or don't have time to sift through all the worthy entries for the new apps that best suit you, we're back with another shortlist of the apps you absolutely need to try out, this time from October 2012.
As always, this short roundup is a hand-picked list of what we consider to be the very best apps from the previous month – apps that anyone looking for new, useful, well-made apps should keep on their radars. Typically, we try to keep these roundups to around five or six apps, but this month we just had to tack on a few extras.
Inspired by the popular Flash-based puzzler Coign of Vantage by Bobblebrook (which has also been available as an iOS game for some time), Noodlecake has released their latest creation to the Play Store – Pixel Twist.
The game's listing describes it as "a unique little 'zen exercise'," and it undoubtedly lives up to that billing. The goal of the game is simple – rotate a cloud of pixels until it matches a specified image. Each image is a pixelated version of some object like a tree, or an apple, or the moon. At the beginning of each stage, the player is greeted by an ethereal cluster of floating cubes which can then be rotated in any direction to match the image.
Rovio has been teasing us for about a month now with yet another new Angry Birds title – Angry Birds Star Wars. The game is an almost inevitable mash-up between the smash hit mobile game and one of the most famous science fiction films of all time, and features (as you'd expect) light-saber wielding, force manipulating, laser-shooting birds. They are, of course, angrier than ever and they'll be battling more thieving pigs in more Star Wars-inspired environments than we care to count. Of course all the classic birds have been re-costumed and outfitted with appropriate accessories to remind us of Star Wars characters from Han and Chewie to Darth Vader, Luke, Leia, and even C-3PO, among others.
This edition focuses only on new games. The app roundup is coming up soon.
The Tiny Bang Story
Android Police coverage: HeroCraft's 'The Tiny Bang Story' Sheds Xperia Exclusivity, Now Available For Other Devices
Today's roundup is sponsored by The Tiny Bang Story by Herocraft.
We knew that Android 4.2 would see the introduction of new security features both on your device and in the Play Store, but Computerworld got a chance to speak with Android's VP of Engineering, Hiroshi Lockheimer, about the platform's beefed up security measures, specifically Android's new real-time app scanning utility.
The scanner builds on the functionality of the Play Store's existing security features by bringing app-scanning security to the frontend, scanning incoming apps from third party sources (including apps like Amazon's App Store).
The service is of course "opt-in" – when you first install a third party app on your device, you'll see a friendly popup asking if you'd like Google to check on all your incoming apps for "harmful behavior." The decision to include this feature, according to Lockheimer, came down to the idea that "security [is] a universal thing.
UPDATE: We've updated the links below with an install package that lets you capture and view Photo Spheres right on your handset.
One of the most popular features introduced Monday with Android 4.2 was a revamped camera/gallery app (that we got a peek at early). The camera introduces a new focus/settings UI (popping up with an "options ring" only when you need it), a refreshed gallery interface, and of course – Photo Sphere.
Photo Sphere, for those who missed it, allows users to capture 360° images of their surroundings a la Google Maps, using XML data in concert with an enormous JPG file to help you save an immersive photo experience of where you've been.