I've been waiting for an Android game that gets touchscreen real-time strategy right for a long time. And I think I may have found it in Desert Stormfront, just posted to the Google Play Store by "Age of Conquest" developer Noble Master Games. It's an old-school, sprite-based strategy game in the vein of Command & Conquer or Age of Empires.
But instead of dumbing down the complexity for mobile users, the developers have adapted the mouse-and-keyboard controls for gaming on a touchscreen - though I have to admit it works much, much better on a tablet than on a smartphone.
We've heard developers gripe that paid apps are very rarely successful numerous times in the past, be it because of piracy or because Android owners simply aren't willing to pay. About a year ago, we asked how many apps readers had purchased in the last month; 71% had purchased 2 or less, and 45% hadn't purchased any at all.
When we last left our heroes, AIDE was just released on the world, to the excited cries of developers who liked the idea of writing and testing their apps on the same device, but still probably couldn't replace their desktop development rig with a tablet. However, the app has been steadily making improvements and, as of the newest version (1.0.1), it's out of beta and will be moving to a freemium model.
Rovio's newest game, you know the one that has neither birds nor pigs, Amazing Alex has finally landed in the Play Store. The game, which centers around a bright youngster named Alex and his fascination with using Rube Goldberg machines to accomplish tasks. The game, much like Angry Birds Space, is available in three variants on Android: a free, ad-supported version, a $0.99 paid version, and then a $2.99 "HD" version.
While Android users in Czech, Israel, Poland, and Mexico have been happily buying apps from Google Play for some time now, up till today, devs in these countries haven't been quite so lucky. In fact, they haven't been able to publish any apps, unless they were free.
Today, however, all that changes - Google has decided to expand its list of supported foreign merchants, and Polish, Israel, Mexican, and Czech developers are now included!
Your down time is Zynga's bread and butter. Between Words with, Hanging with, and Scramble with Friends, Zynga has a pretty big monopoly on your social gaming. Today, the casual gaming giant is building out new territory in your world with a paid version of Scramble with Friends. This version removes those pesky ads and also doubles your token-earning fun. These tokens, by the way, are not the worst thing in the world.
Well, seems like Google wasn't lying when they said they would continue to work on providing carrier billing as a payment option in the Android Market, announcing the addition of the feature to Sprint handsets, alongside T-Mobile and AT&T. With three out of four major US carriers down, will carrier billing be coming to Verizon any time soon?
The feature has long been the request of many customers across all carriers, particularly internationally.
Paid app models have always been fascinating to me - I've even had a TODO sitting around in my post ideas list to explore various methods of distributing software without inundating users too much. Pro features, time trials, disabling ads for money, in-app key unlocks, lite versions, paid-only ones without trials - these are all on the list and all have their pluses and minuses.
This new idea, however, is so radical, brilliant, and crazy compared to the rest that I think it might just work, and I'd like to run it by you to see if I'm not alone.
On March 22nd, the long awaited Amazon Appstore was released, bringing a whole new way to find, install, and share apps on Android. After its initial debut, we decided that this new Appstore was the real deal. In this post, we'll break down what Amazon's done right, and what it still needs to improve on.
1. Better descriptions and more in-depth comments
Most users will tell you that finding good Android apps is not an easy task.
Uhoh, he's at it again. No, I'm not going to make this a rant that is hugely controversial or upsetting. Seemingly contrary to what I write sometimes, I love Android. And anyone who loves Android can agree: the Android Market kinda-sorta sucks sometimes.
Whoa there, let me qualify that - some aspects of the Market are less than fantastic, and I think every Android user has come to realize this.