Giving away free apps is sort of Amazon's thing. Each day the company offers up a different piece of software in hopes of attracting Android users away from their default app store. Now Google seems to be dipping its toes in the water and trying out something similar. Instead of a free app of the day, we can download one for the week.
The offer isn't immediately apparent when you first open the Play Store. A banner advertising "New Family Fun" appears at the bottom of the screen. Clicking that will take you over to the family section, where you should see another banner advertising a free app of the week from PBS Kids.
Beast Busters may not be as well-known as some of SNK's other franchises (i.e. The King of Fighters and Metal Slug), but it's older than both. The series first appeared in 1989, and it has since been eclipsed by other entrants in the light gun shooter genre. Watching the trailer for Beast Busters featuring KOF Deluxe will probably have you thinking of The House of the Dead.
Beast Busters featuring KOF came to Android at the end of 2014 as a free-to-play title bogged down by an energy system and in-app purchases. What makes the new version deluxe? It costs $2.99 and, according to SNK, no longer requires any additional payments to complete.
Remember Rogue Squadron? Nintendo 64 and Gamecube owners, past or present, know what I'm talking about. This series of Star Wars games had players fully immersed in intergalactic battles that were stunning for the time. Alongside Star Fox, Nintendo consoles were the place to be for top-notch space shooters.
Edge of Oblivion: Alpha Squadron 2, the sequel to—you guessed it—Alpha Squadron, again unapologetically hearkens back to that era. Ship designs are similar enough to tempt a lawsuit, and the opening stage may have you feeling like you're speeding through the skies of Hoth (on one of its clearer days). The game contains two story-driven campaigns containing over 80 missions altogether, which involve blasting ships out of the sky and destroying key land-based targets.
Android TV has a serious app discovery problem, and it's the built-in "leanback" version of the Google Play Store. Before today, the Play Store on your TV only showed curated apps selected by the powers that be at Google, so between the video, audio, and game sections, there were less than two hundred apps on display for users. You might get the impression that these were the only Android TV apps available - the rest had to be manually searched for in the search function of the main leanback launcher.
With version 5.5.15, that finally changes. New sections of the Android TV Google Play Store are now visible beneath the curated portion, and based on a quick run-through, it looks like every compatible app for your ATV device is exposed.
Terminator Genisys: Revolution is coming to theaters July 1st, but what caught our attention about this movie was the ability to pre-register the accompanying Android game in the Play Store. If you did so, then you may have already received a notification informing you of what I'm about to say—Terminator Genisys: Revolution (the game) is now available for download.
This is a game by Glu Mobile, which could be enough to put you on edge. There will be in-app purchases. There will be in-game currency. At some point, the publisher hopes you will spend money on its free game.
But we've gotten used to the song and dance by this point.
The kids these days love watching videos of other kids playing video games. They're hooked. It doesn't matter if the title is Minecraft, Skyrim, or Five Nights at Freddy's—if someone out there is willing to record their gameplay, someone else is willing to watch.
Kamcord simplifies the process of doing this on mobile devices. If you want to record your game, you can do so without going back to edit the seconds you spent switching between Goatz and your screen recording app. Kamcord specifically targets gameplay footage.
The app can record all games on devices running Android 5.0 or higher.
When you connect your HTC phone to a MirrorLink-enabled infotainment system using a cord, you will be able to navigate the device using your car's dashboard buttons. The phone will use HTC's car-friendly interface, which organizes the apps you're likely to use while driving into a grid.
Besides new family-friendly and kid-friendly efforts on search and discovery in the Play Store, Google announced during its keynote today that Play Store search will be getting smarter overall.
Specifically, Google wants to more effectively surface apps when users search for vague or topical queries. The example given in the screenshot above shows the user searching for "shopping" apps. The Play Store then returns, of course, shopping apps. But those apps are then categorized intelligently into different sub-genres like Fashion and Coupons.
This may seem like a small tweak to most users, but - if Google is right - it will help introduce users to the right app when the user is not sure exactly what they're looking for, which is a good step in helping along discoverability in the Play Store as a whole.
When it comes to getting users to your app, your Play Store listing counts for a lot. What users see (and read) when they reach your app's listing can make or break their decision to download or buy, so carefully crafting a good listing is important.
To that end, Google has announced that it will open up what amounts to A/B testing for Play Store listings, meaning developers can play with their listings by testing different screenshots, graphics, etc. to see what performs better and end up with the best possible listing.
To facilitate this, Google will add "Listing Experiments" to the Play Store developer console.
There's a new version of the Play Store rolling out, and that means you're probably obsessively hunting for the APK. Well, we've got that. More importantly we've taken a look inside the APK to see if there's anything of note. There are some minor layout alterations, but also some interesting clues inside.
Left: older layout, Right: newer layout - ignore the Nexus S