Developer Mocha17 noticed that if you count the wrist where you're actually wearing an Android Wear watch, you actually have to use two hands to access notifications. It's a fair point, and one that's solved with his custom Wear app, JorSay (Hindi for "aloud"). The idea is simple: when you feel a vibration for an incoming notification, shake your wrist twice, and your phone will speak the notification aloud using Android's built-in text-to-speech system. Read More
Ask any teacher or parent: it's awfully difficult to mix real, practical learning with conventional kid's entertainment. That's why those few properties that actually manage to pull it off, like Bill Nye the Science Guy, The Magic School Bus, and Schoolhouse Rock are held in such high regard, even decades after they've finished their respective runs. A new game called ChemCaper is trying to do just that, and after a successful Kickstarter campaign, the first episode is now available on Android. Read More
Welcome to the roundup of the best new Android applications, games, and live wallpapers that went live in the Play Store or were spotted by us in the previous 2 weeks or so.
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Looking for the previous roundup editions? Find them here.
Android Police coverage: Mediocre's Latest Game, DIRAC, Is A Scientific Take On Connect The Dots
Dirac is about molecular physics. Allegedly. Really it's a connect-the-dots game with a thin sciencey veneer. Read More
Ever looked at your smartwatch and wished there were real LEDs inside that lit up and turned off to tell you the time? Ever checked all those Android Wear watchfaces and wanted them to feel a little more vibrant and a little less dull? Well, here you go, you'll love Real LED Watchface.
The watchface's interface is based on 3D renders of LEDs and the developer says it achieves "photorealistic light, reflections, and shadows." I've been using it for half an hour and I tend to agree: it looks quite real and just as good as the screenshots. Aside from the lights, the face is very straightforward: the big LED is for the hours, the small one is for the minutes, and the super small LEDs in the center light up with the seconds. Read More
Well you can't say they didn't give it a good try. After years of attempting to break into the lucrative tablet market with its own semi-exclusive platform, US bookseller Barnes & Noble plans to halt digital sales on its app and video stores. Diginomica reports that the company will stop sales on March 15th (Tuesday), and that customers who've bought content from either location have until then to download their apps and videos one last time. Connecting Nook Video content to accounts for either Disney Movies Anywhere or CinemaNow will allow customers to retain streaming and download rights on other platforms. Read More
Samsung's marketing team has been hitting it out of the park recently with funny, memorable commercials highlighting the S7's many cool features. A couple of days ago, they posted three new commercials starring Lil Wayne and Wesley Snipes, and I think they are pretty stellar. I could describe them for you, but I wouldn't wan't to spoil the surprise. Watch them for yourself. Read More
Are you bilingual? And I mean bilingual in the real, fluent sense, not in the "one year of high school Spanish" sense. If so, you'll want to check out a new multi-lingual option in the Language & Input menu in Android N. This might seem counterintuitive, but consider the advantages of your phone knowing which languages you know: when taking advantage of new API settings, apps like Search can show you content in multiple languages that are relevant to you, or skip the "translate to English" message when it knows you don't need it. Read More
File storage on Android has been a complicated subject over the years. It started very simply with private folders for each app and a pair of permissions for read and write access to just about everything else. The seeds of change were planted with Honeycomb when Google quietly closed off write access to secondary storage like SD cards, but most people didn't take notice until Google insisted OEMs enforce the same rules in KitKat.
Each year since, new APIs have been introduced to give developers new ways to work with the filesystem or even abstract it out of view while also improving security and maintaining privacy. Read More
Spotlight Stories is one of the remnants of Motorola that Google kept after selling the company to Lenovo. It's a fun project that releases interesting movies every now and then that aren't like anything you've seen before. They're interactive, shot in 360-degree, and each time you watch them, you can unveil a different storyline and ending by simply moving and looking elsewhere.
Spotlight Stories used to be confined to their Android app, but Google brought them out to YouTube back in December as 360-degree videos that you can only watch on your phone in the YouTube app either on your screen or through Cardboard. Read More
If you're feeling fancy and you decided to flash the Android N developer preview, you'll notice that your optimization step didn't take very long at all. That's thanks to a new change in Android N that Ryan has already detailed. The Android Runtime, ART for short, is now using a JIT (just-in-time) compiler, which means that apps install update much faster so you can quickly get back to royally crushing whatever clash you're clanning against. Read More