If you've heard about the Turing phone, you're probably either extremely interested of extremely indifferent. (Is it possible to be indifferent to an extreme degree? Anyway.) The somewhat bombastic company has been showing off a device with a unique design and lofty claims of being "unhackable." It's more than vaporware, though - working prototypes have been shown at trade events, and now Turing is taking phone reservations via its website.
That's a very carefully chosen word, "reservations" - not pre-orders. This is because the Turing isn't actually asking for any money up front. No, entering your contact information after selecting colors (black and purple, "Beowulf," red and blue, "Pharoh," or white and red, "Cardinal") and storage capacity (16GB for $610, 64GB for $740, or 128GB for $870) is more or less a statement of interest than any commitment to buy the phone on your part.
Drupe would like you to think that contacts on Android, and on mobile in general, are broken. They're not - phone makers and developers have been doing this for a while, after all - but that doesn't mean that they can't be improved upon. Drupe is a "floating" app that puts contacts, and the means to do all sorts of interesting things with them, in a unique overlay accessible from any other app. Check it out in action in the video below.
To activate Drupe, just tap the translucent triple-dot activation point in any app. A list of your favorite contacts (or groups of contacts) will appear along the left side of your phone's screen, with a list of communication apps on the right.
Spoiler Alert begins on the last, and paradoxically easiest, level in the game, where you defeat the final boss and then rescue the princess in familiar but not quite copyright infringing fashion. At that point you play the game in reverse, going backwards through hundreds of levels that the tiny chili pepper hero has played, but you haven't. It's an odd approach to a platform game, and one that has to be played to be fully understood. In lieu of that, watch the video below.
While "playing backwards," you'll have to revive all the enemies that have been killed by "jumping" on them in reverse, replace all the coins that have been collected by running over them again, et cetera.
With its monochromatic palette and tinkly music, you might confuse Shapes & Sound for a "chill" game. Not so: it's inspired by the twitchy vector shooters of yore, like Asteroids and Tempest. But while those titles offered no more complexity than a rising difficulty curve, Shapes & Sound combines some simple yet appealing graphics with deep gameplay.
The core of the game is simple: tap around your shape to shoot at those flying towards you. But be selective, because corresponding shapes (of any size) don't hurt you. When you've absorbed enough projectiles, you can unleash a special attack that will usually clear the screen.
Chris Lacy, developer of the gorgeous, widely lauded Tweet Lanes, has finally brought his latest creation to the Play Store – Action Launcher.
As the name would suggest, Action Launcher is a custom launcher with an emphasis on its ever-present action bar. The action bar allows users to quickly open a side-panel app drawer which, in Lacy's words, "aims to allow you to load any app in one second from your home screen." The bar also features Search and Play Store shortcuts, along with an action overflow.
The action bar, as you can see in the video above, is not the only trick Action Launcher has up its sleeve.
It's amazing what a new look can do for a platform, isn't it? Back in January, we reported that CyanogenMod, the most popular third-party Android ROM, reached one million unique installs. Now, a little more than four months later, that number has doubled, according to CM's stat tracker. This is huge.
For those who are curious as to how the stat counter works, here's a more detailed explanation. The short version is that unique hardware is counted, so reflashes and reinstalls don't count towards the total. From CM's site:
"The data sent includes an non-reversible encrypted hash of your IMEI or MEID, allowing us to track unique devices without compromising privacy."
Cyanogenmod has been in development for years and only reached the million install mark, which included official and unofficial installs (KANGs), just a few months ago.
Giving us perhaps one of the most unique games I've ever played, 4gency released Node.Hack to the Play Store today. The game poses the player as "a digital warrior on the front lines, cracking the world's toughest computer systems for profit." Indeed, the object of the game is to hack through individual nodes to accrue thousands upon thousands of dollars and escape before being destroyed by enemy AI.
The first thing I noticed about Node.Hack was of course its visual style. The graphics in this game are obviously very simple, but that simplistic art style is extremely well-suited to the gameplay.