Minecraft isn't the first game you think about when you hear the word "immersion." No, it's the first one you think of when you hear "surprisingly popular," or "construction-based," or "Notch made more money than Solomon's divorce lawyer." But even so, it's been tied to the new virtual reality trend more than once, most notably thanks to new owner Microsoft's HoloLens platform. That said, a little platform competition isn't going to keep them from making ungodly amounts of money, so check out Minecraft for Samsung's Gear VR headsets.
It's hard to predict which games among the hundreds of thousands in the Play Store will hit the sweet spot and become a sensation. Taichi Panda, Snail Games' Diablo-style dungeon crawler, is a good example. Since its release a little over a year ago it's gained over five million downloads and an impressive audience of frequent players both free and paid. After a successful soft launch period, the developer is returning to its anthropomorphic well with a sequel called Taichi Panda: Heroes.
What do you do when your phone is running low on battery and you must make a phone call because the wife expects you to do some grocery shopping before you get home or because your tummy has started rumbling and your only path to salvation is through the gooey cheese-stuffed crusts of a pepperoni pizza?
Well, you either whip out your speed rapping skills that you innately acquired that very moment to blast through an entire conversation in a few seconds, or you wish you were using an ASUS Zenfone Max with its 5000mAh battery to never, ever, have that problem in the first place.
With last month's release of the Android N Preview, the Tools team launched a preview release of Android Studio 2.1. Not only did the new version add support for the N Preview SDK, but it also brought a few important important and welcomed additions, including adoption and support for many of the language features in Java 8, a semi-official switch to the Jack compiler, an updated New Project wizard, and further improvements to the new and faster Android Emulator. As of today, Android Studio 2.1 has been promoted to Stable and is available to all developers.
The biggest advantage of updating and switching to the Jack compiler, aside from playing with new Android N APIs like Launcher Shortcuts, is probably the addition of Lambda Expressions.
Google already sells various Android Wear devices in the Google Store, but now it's getting into the accessory game with the MODE watchbands. These watchbands are on sale today in leather and silicone varieties and will work on any watch (Android Wear or other) that uses standard lugs. They're designed to be easily swapped with a new clip system, but they're not cheap. Google is asking $50 for the silicone ones and $60 for leather.
I’ve been a loyal Wearer (is that the right term?) since the launch of the 2014 Moto 360. I bought one as soon as I could, and I wore it every day. It didn’t exactly change the way I use my phone, but hey, I’m an early adopter. We get things before they’re great so we’re already there by the time they are. Well, I’m kind of still waiting.
Wear just hasn’t seen too many updates in terms of functionality and usability and it’s really starting to show. When you take a look at promo material for Wear, it’s painfully clear we’re still quite a bit off from having our wrists do most of the heavy lifting in our digital lives.
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 stylish action-platformer, another retro revival from DotEmu, an original music game, a puzzle sequel, a beautiful point-and-click adventure, a twitchy shooter, and a retro roguelike. Without further ado:
Like most journalists, I own a voice recorder for recording interviews. Mine is pretty basic. I think it cost me around $30 on Amazon. But for the most part, I've been satisfied with it. I've never felt the need to upgrade to something a bit more powerful. But this new Android-powered voice recorder from Philips is making me question that.