Welcome back to another week of the Android Police Podcast. To catch us live on Hangouts On Air every Thursday at 5:30PM PST (subject to change as per the calendar widget below), just head over to androidpolice.com/podcast. For the unedited video show, click here. As always, we'll take your questions at 530-HELLO-AP and also at our email address: podcast at androidpolice dot com.
On this week's show: We go back and talk about Jelly Bean (in all its various iterations) as part of our ongoing Android history feature, discuss the upcoming Moto X Style, Play, and G phones, as well as the OnePlus 2.
The basic gameplay of Worms hasn't changed since its debut in the 90s. Well, except for that brief flirtation with 3D in the early 2000s, but let's pretend that didn't happen. There's a new Worms title coming soon, and it's crafted especially for mobile devices with quick gameplay and a big single-player campaign.
Until now, the Play Store beta testing system was tied to Google+ communities or Google Groups, but that's changing now. Google is rolling out two new options for developers to run beta tests that don't rely on Google+.
It's been a good week for real-time strategy fans on Android. Yesterday a new game from the Anomaly developers was released, SPACECOM, and today gamers without access to NVIDIA-branded hardware can play Z: Steel Soldiers. If you don't recall, this Android port came out back in August of last year - about thirteen years after the original was released on the PC. It's a conventional real-time strategy game about robots killin' robots.
Z: Steel Soldiers can now be installed on any Android device running 2.3.3 or higher (or at least any of them that I've owned), so long as you've got $7 to put in the developers' jar.
Here's an idea. Let's take that video chatting thing that people do all the time using Skype, Hangouts, or FaceTime, and remove the sound. Huh, Yahoo is already doing that?
Yup, and the service is called Livetext. Yahoo has been testing it in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Ireland. Now the tech company is bringing its intriguing communications platform to five additional countries. There's Canada and the US in North America. France, Germany, and the rest of the UK have joined Ireland in Europe.
In Yahoo's video of Livetext in action, you can see how each sentence you type appears at the bottom of a video feed of whomever you're chatting with.
Music creation apps on Android have lagged far behind iOS, but things are slowly catching up with improved latency in newer versions of Android. A music creation app just hit the Play Store that music aficionados might want to check out. It's called Stagelight (no, not Stagefright—bad timing) and you can try it for free.
People are hyper-aware of Android vulnerabilities after the announcement of the Stagefright exploit recently, so Trend Micro is taking the opportunity to detail a bug it found in Android recently. It's a bug in the mediaserver service that can be used to crash the phone, rendering it unusable until a reboot.
In A Day in the Woods, you help to protect Little Red Riding Hood, who apparently lacks the sense to avoid woods infested with wolves and bears while she wanders haphazardly from cottage to cottage. Well, Red doesn't actually move at all - she stays stationary on her hexagonal puzzle tile, and you move her and the adjacent tiles to get her to the house on each level. You're given a limited amount of moves per stage to hit par, and you'll also have to grab the flowers that grow before clearing the stage.
It's more complicated than it looks. Certain tiles like rocks and trees can't be moved, and you'll have to keep Red at least two tiles away from a bear or wolf to avoid mauling - there are no handy lumberjacks to take them out.
Real-time strategy seems to be all about hundreds of actions per minute these days, if you can even find a strategy game that's not a clone of Clash of Clans or League of Legends or Army of Alliteration. SPACECOM takes a different approach: it's a minimal sci-fi game where your captured star systems are just solar diagrams, your ships and fleets are a series of triangles, and there's a definite lack of guns or explosions.
If you've ever played Wing Commander: Armada, SPACECOM plays out like a real-time version of the strategy portions of that game (minus the full 3D space battles, of course).