Googler Kirill Grouchnikov likes to clue everyone into the subtle design tweaks in upcoming versions of the Play Store as they roll out, and today he's posted not once, not twice, but three times about a slick new hamburger animation. Is that overkill? I don't know... it's a pretty cool animation.
Google is certainly no stranger to testing new features slowly. Most recently, it released an update to YouTube's UI that's been in testing for at least four months. And for Google, this is a good thing. Testing new features with limited samples of users helps get data not only on their usefulness, but also on how they augment user experience and engagement.
That brings us to the Play Store, an app where nothing is more important than engagement. Google appears to be testing a new feature called "Related Interests," which lists off various categories with round chips similar to the chips used for artists on Google Play Music's web interface.
Back in April, Square Enix released the original Tomb Raider game on Android for just $0.99. The title that began Lara Croft's long-lasting career as a polygonal heroine came to Android with all the levels (and dinosaurs) players remember, along with the "unfinished business" levels. The controls aren't ideal but the game brought controller support and an undeniable nostalgic vibe.
Today, the classic title has dropped to just $0.10 on the Play Store. Compared to the already low price of just under a dollar this might not seem like a huge drop, but honestly at a dime it's even harder not to grab Tomb Raider if you haven't already.
Deadlock: Online is a top-down multiplayer shooter with over two million downloads that has pitted iOS users against one another since 2011. Now Crescent Moon Games is bringing the 3D twin-stick shooter to Android.
The standard online shooting staples are covered. You have your regular deathmatch and team deathmatch game modes, along with one called Capture & Hold that tasks you with holding an area longer than the other side. There are over 30 military weapons available for you to aim at the seven other players each battle is capable of supporting. Much of the content has to be unlocked, which you can do the old-fashioned way or by opening your wallet.
When a port of the console game DuckTales: Remastered came to the Play Store earlier this year, it brought with it a pricetag that would make Scrooge McDuck scoff. That's not to say $10 was an unreasonable amount to pay for a game that cost at least as much on consoles, but like many other gamers, Scrooge tosses such logic out the window when buying stuff on his tablet. Besides, he likes to enjoy his gold in other ways.
Don't think I'll find where a show is available online? Just watch me. There's an app or two for that, and now that JustWatch has brought its search engine to Android and iOS, there's another one. And it's capable of searching through Amazon Instant Video, Crackle, HBO Now, Hulu, iTunes, Netflix, Play Movies, PlayStation, Showtime, Vudu, Xbox, and a couple other online streaming services.
JustWatch's grid layout looks like those of the services it interacts with, and it feels like a natural companion, like the modern-day equivalent of a TV guide. You can create a watchlist without having to create an account or provide any credentials.
Sling Media, not to be mistaken for Sling TV (which licenses the name to offer a separate service), produces a series of set-top boxes called Slingboxes capable of taking what's on your TV and streaming it to your mobile device. From there you can flip through channels using a virtual remote control regardless of whether you're on Wi-Fi or a cellular connection.
In addition to a Slingbox, you need the corresponding Android app to get everything to work. There's a separate version for phones and tablets, both of which cost $15. Except now Sling Media has produced a free version of each.
Swords, forests, and monsters are par for the course in turn-based RPGs, but tinyBuild's Fearless Fantasy manages to include all of these things while still feeling fresh and original. After first launching on Steam for PCs and making its way over to iOS and the Amazon Appstore, the game has now made an appearance in the Play Store.