If you've been using Android for long enough, you might remember the days when the only swiping keyboard in existence was Swype, and you had to sign up for a weird private beta program to use it. Well, it's been in the Play Store for a few years now, and it's getting a big v2.0 update today. It's going where no man has gone before.
Star Trek fans who want to play video games based on their favorite franchise are constantly frustrated. Trek games are few and far between, and they seem to range from terrible (like the recent Faux Trek game for consoles from back in 2013), to promising but ultimately destroyed (like Star Trek Online), to blatant, lazy cash-grabs (like Star Trek Trexels). Is it really possible that there's a decent Star Trek game on the horizon? Signs point to "maybe."
Disruptor Beam, the developer behind the Game of Thrones Ascent mobile game, is switching from fantasy to sci-fi. The upcoming Star Trek: Timelines is a game that mixes all of the original Trek franchises in a big continuity-warping time bubble.
In the latest version, Dropbox adds a much-needed favor for collaborative teams and users who rely on effective communication across updated files. But who gives a crap about that, because the app has also added GIF support.
Version 3.0.1 lets you view animated GIFs right in Dropbox without popping out to an external app. That should be useful for... OK, it's not particularly useful for anything, except that one time that you need to instantly distinguish between the original and reverse of that one dog image when you attend a GIF party via your tablet. But now you can totally do that!
Ever since the Motorola StarTAC, the loose association between cell phones and the original Star Trek TV series has been painfully obvious. If you want to show your love for America's most iconic piece of science fiction (back off, Star Wars nerds, don't make me bring up midichlorians), you'll soon be able to buy a screen-accurate and officially licensed version of the cell phone's spiritual progenitor. The Star Trek Communicator Bluetooth handset, Starfleet standard issue, will go on sale on January first.
There have been plenty of fan-made Bluetooth versions of the Communicator, mostly based off of toys or one-of-a-kind creations for cosplay.
Space: the final frontier. Wait, no, that's not right - there's no such thing as a "final" frontier, because there's nothing else, so it can't be a frontier to nothing. Let me start again.
Space: it's really really big, and also pretty empty, and bored humans like to tell stories about all the weird things that might fill it up. So it is that Star Trek, among other things, was born. But the first official Star Trek game released for Android isn't all that interested in seeking out new life or new civilizations - it's harkening back to an 8-bit past that does not in fact exist for the storied franchise, and trying to suck as much gold-pressed latinum out of you as possible while it does so.
Captain's log, stardate 45638.2. A scan of a long-lost pleasure cruise that exited Earth in the late twenty-first century has yielded some fascinating archaeological findings. In addition to a pair of primitive foot coverings that Commander Data identified as "Converse All-Stars," a complete and mint-condition collection of the classic mythological saga known as Animorphs, and a small, vibrating "Furby" that Mister Worf immediately eviscerated, we have discovered a piece of anachronistic human technology.
The device is called an El Gee Geewatch, and in itself is not notable - it's one of many artifacts that runs the Android operating system, an early precursor to Soong-type positronic matrices.
Star Command is one of my most-anticipated games for Android. Or at least it was, two years ago when it was scheduled to be released, and then again when it was released for iOS five months ago. An unreasonably long development cycle and some dodgy developer antics have made waiting for this game an exercise in frustration, and it's impossible to give it a full review without at least some bitterness hanging on in the back of my mind.
All that being said, Star Command is a solid tribute to both the Star Trek and the Sim-style, pixelated micromanagement games typified by Kairosoft's Game Dev Story and many, many others.
Remember that one Star Trek space battle scene? You know, the one where the captain is wiggling around in his chair while the camera shakes, and all the bridge officers are shouting things at him? "Hull breaches on decks five through eight!" "Reversing the shield polarity, sir!" "We're running low on self-sealing stem bolts!" You know.... every Star Trek space battle scene? Now there's an Android game that captures the feel of a space battle from the perspective of the shouting bridge crew. It's multiplayer. There are switches. And lots of shouting.
The idea behind Spaceteam is sort of a more casual version of ARTEMIS.
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 hotly anticipated hardcore sci-fi spaceship simulator, an interesting take on the growing RPG-puzzle genre, a retro platform/puzzle game with a twist, and Namco's latest attempt at striking mobile gaming gold.
Google I/O is coming and it's time to get excited! It's like Christmas in June! It will be here in just a few short agonizing weeks - and we need to prepare. There is background information you need to know, rumors you should have in mind, and past announcements and acquisitions that need to be remembered. Google always leaves little news breadcrumbs for those that pay attention, and I pay attention. Fanatically.
This post will be part news recap, part rumor roundup, and part speculation. The last time I did this went pretty well, and now it's time for another look at what the little elves at Google HQ are working on.