Welcome to the latest entry in our Bonus Round series, wherein we tell you all about the new Android games of the day that we couldn't get to during our regular news rounds. Consider this a quick update for the dedicated gamers who can't wait for our bi-weekly roundups, and don't want to wade through a whole day's worth of news just to get their pixelated fix. Today we've got a game version of a popular and hilarious music video, an interesting take on the vertical platformer, and a reversal of the old Donkey Kong standard.
When it comes time to pull the trigger on a new app, the reviews are typically what make or break the decision. If the app's instable, laden with malware, full of bugs, or is generally all-around janky, the reviews give us a heads up. The only problem is that it's difficult to sift through all the reviews to find the ones most relevant to our needs. This used to not be a problem, but the ability to filter reviews went the way of the dodo following the Play Store's relatively recent redesign.
The new Play Store is certainly snazzy, but a lot of the functionality of the older site has been missing ever since it got a fresh coat of digital paint. One of the most bemoaned omissions was contextual keyboard shortcuts, especially handy for touch typists whose fingers never leave the keys. (ThinkPad users, I'm looking at you.) Good news, everyone: as of late yesterday, they're back.
On any single app listing, press the left or right arrow keys to navigate between the posted screenshots.
So, there's this extremely minor Google Music update floating around in the "rollout" ether that will take you from 5.1.1107K to 5.1.1109K. I poked around in it and found a few boring changes related to Chromecasting, but the "new feature" that some people will really notice is the removal of the SD card hack we told you about last month.
That's right, update to 1109; lose a feature. They basically killed the little activities shortcut that allowed you to set the option, and removed the SD card preference from the settings storage.
Were you hoping to gather 'round the flatscreen and Chromecast with your local Android Users Group for the live stream of Google's next Nexus event? Too bad: at the moment, YouTube live stream videos just won't work with Chromecast, as demonstrated by our tipster Nathan. We tried it using the Lollapalooza 2013 live stream, and sure enough, it just won't display.
This lack of functionality is documented in Google's support page as well, though the reason isn't clear.
There's no denying the usefulness of a keyboard when doing a lot of text input on Android, and there's no shortage of Bluetooth options that fit the bill perfectly. Anyone who spends a lot of time in email or a text editor likely has one of these handy little accessories laying around, but if that user also owns a Nexus device with 4.3, then they're in for a bit of a surprise the next time it's paired up: many Bluetooth keyboards no longer work post-update.
Back in December of last year, Fuhu announced two new members of the nabi family: the jr. and XD. While the latter is designed for tweens and sports a larger form factor, the former is an itty-bitty device designed for the itty-bitty hands of a pre-schooler. At the time, two versions were announced: a 4GB variant for $99 and 16GB for $129. A lot has changed since that announcement, including the specifications of the unit with the larger storage capacity.
This morning we were alerted to a possible Blackberry Messenger sighting in the Play Store, but upon closer inspection, it was immediately obvious that this app is beyond fake. The problem is it already has 100,000+ installs, it's been sitting in the Play Store since Friday, and Google hasn't done anything to remove the listing yet.
Update 6/23/13 4:25pm PT: The fake app has been taken down.
I can see three big problems that are currently distracting unsuspecting users and making them ignore any other possible warning signs:
- The developer's name is RIM, which looks pretty damn official.
Google has quietly rolled out two new features in account settings that give you a quick overview of everything going on with your account security. The security dashboard shows all your important security settings, and the recent activity page tracks account sign-in history. These features could potentially help users track down suspicious behavior in a snap.
The security dashboard tells you how long ago you changed your password, what your account recovery options are, how you receive notifications, 2-step verification status, and lists your connected apps.
Google may've said during Wednesday's keynote that it planned to roll out Hangouts to Gmail users gradually, but if you just can't wait to integrate the new messaging service into your e-mail dashboard, there's a way to gain early access. Simply log into Gmail, ensure you've signed into Google Talk (if you're having trouble enabling Talk, try installing the browser plugin), click on the thumbnail associated with your account in the Talk sidebar, and select the "Try the new Hangouts" option.