If you're like us, you have an obsession with new apps. When you try every new app you come across though, you're bound for disappointment. After all, not every app can be a paragon of functionality, style, and convenience. With that in mind, we go through the long list of new apps submitted to the Play Store every couple of weeks and bring you the best. Even that, though, can be a little too much to digest for some users. For that reason, we've got monthly roundups featuring just a handful of the very very best apps and games from the previous month.
If you've ever been one to tinker, build, or indulge in DIY projects, you've probably visited Instructables at one point or another. It's a great resource for those looking for specific how-tos, or just wanting something to do on a rainy day. Illustrated instructions are provided by the site's users, and can be discussed, favorited, or even downloaded.
Today, Autodesk (purveyors of other excellent apps like Pixlr Express) brought the crowd-sourced do-it-yourself spirit of Instructables to Android in an official app. The app allows for just about all the functionality of the website, in a nice holo-inspired package (the #EEBA26 looks stellar, doesn't it?).
The hype surrounding the concept of Google's much-talked-about Project Glass may have hit its first peak during last year's Google I/O conference when stuntmen jumped out of a plane wearing the device, but the demonstration left many people wanting an explanation of what else Glass can do besides first-person photo/video recording.
Since then, we've seen a few admittedly awesome videos, including a DVF fashion show through glass, and more recently the brilliantly-executed "How It Feels" which went a bit further toward showing real-world use, but at SXSW today, attendees were given what might be the most informative (and exciting) demo we've seen yet.
Last summer, we saw the launch of Tweet Lanes – a beautiful, functional Twitter app that – due to Twitter's reformed API – ceased active development just a few months ago. Today, Chris Lacy has issued a "further update" on the status of development, writing in a post to Google+ "just because I am no longer actively developing Tweet Lanes doesn't mean that development of the app has to stop."
Yes, after "countless requests" to do so (and an offer to sell), Lacy has taken the project open source – opening up the TL client itself, its SocialNetLib library, and its associated AppEngine project.
After about 45 minutes of casual sexism and awkward pauses, NVIDIA's Jen-Hsun Huang dropped the bomb. Project Shield is a handheld gaming console running pure, unmodified Android (Jelly Bean). At its core is the newly-announced Tegra 4 ARM chip, but that's not all.
Update: Official video of Project Shield:
The device looks like a standard wireless controller with a flip-up screen. Around the back are I/O ports, and there's no proprietary nonsense here. HDMI, USB, microSD, and an audio jack. This isn't just a render, either – the device was shown off on stage. Jen-Hsun Huang used Project Shield to push a 4K video over HDMI to a 4K TV as well.
It's CES 2013, and NVIDIA has just kicked it off in a way that only NVIDIA can: by announcing the world's first quad-core A15 CPU – the Tegra 4. It uses the same 4-PLUS-1 setup as the Tegra 3, which has the fifth "battery saving" core, but supercharges it in basically every way imaginable. For starters, it features 72 GPU cores. That's a lot of cores.
Past that, it's the first Tegra processor to have an onboard 4G LTE modem (finally!).
Update by Artem: We had originally incorrectly specified that the Tegra 4 SoC has an LTE modem built-in.
Android Police is live at NVIDIA's 2013 CES press conference at the Palms Hotel, primed and ready for what we can only assume will include the announcement of the next generation of Tegra mobile processors. Check out the ScribbeLive widget below for our coverage as it happens, starting at 7:45PM PST (that's 10:45PM EST).
I know. You thought Flash was long gone. You mourned the relationship and moved on. Having made peace with the past and exploring a bright future, you were ready to start a new life with HTML5. Now, thanks to Mozilla, your ex has come calling, bringing back all those old memories. But enough with the metaphors. The organization behind Firefox announced Shumway, an open SWF runtime project, today. With this, the company hopes to bring compatibility for Flash content back to the web, particularly on mobile. A lofty goal, given that Adobe, creator of the Flash format, isn't keen on that last part.
Update: I've refined a few of my points in this article to focus less on the whole "how much it costs to make a video game" angle, because I'm not exactly an expert on project funding. I think the point I'm trying to illustrate about Kickstarter as a whole is now clearer, and articulated in a more generally-applicable manner.
Note: This piece is of tangential relation to Android (and it grew more tangential as I wrote it), but the game in question is a joint Kickstarter venture promising an Android game, M.U.L.E. Returns, as well as a multi-platform title, Alpha Colony: A Tribute To M.U.L.E.
Ready for a mind-blowing example of what Android is capable of? You'd better be - Sensorcon, hoping for funding from Kickstarter, has thrown together a demonstration of Sensordrone, an accessory for your Android device that will be small enough to fit on your keychain and yet powerful enough to pack 13 different sensors under its hood, paving the road for hundreds of potential new apps.
In a nutshell, Sensordrone is an entire suite of sensors, useful for projects ranging from gas oxidization to color intensity measurement. It will communicate the information it finds to your handset via Bluetooth, at which point a Sensordrone-enabled app will take over.