TAG Heuer has now officially announced the most expensive smartwatch running Android Wear, which means (by the infallible logic of luxury watch enthusiasts) that it's also the best. To be fair, in terms of materials and technical hardware, the TAG Heuer Connected probably is the best Wear device at the moment: it uses a new-to-Wear 1.6GHz Intel Atom processor and 1GB of RAM, along with 4GB of storage and a 410mAh battery. That means it should be faster than most current Wear devices, and with double the memory, it might have significantly better performance. It had better: TAG's suggested price and the going rate on the online store is a whopping $1500.
Many of Google's most important products reply upon making computers behave more like people. Whether you're talking about speech recognition or the new Smart Reply feature of Inbox, you need a machine to understand abstract concepts. Google makes this happen with a machine learning system called TensorFlow, and today the company has decided to open source this platform so anyone around the world can use it for research and product development.
You wear a disguise, to look like human guys, but you're not a man, you're a Chicken Boo. The classic Animaniacs sketch, wherein a six-foot chicken passes himself off as human in various Chaplin-style short farces, might very well be one of the inspirations for indie gaming hit Octodad: Dadliest Catch. In this casual physics game you play an eight-legged cephalopod trying to live the American dream, passing himself off as an average Joe as he gets married, enters the workforce, and raises a family.
As an Android user, you are forgiven for not knowing who or what Fly Labs is. The company's video editing suite of applications is only available on iOS so your exposure to its products may have been non-existent. But you're about to hear more about Fly Labs or at least its products' features since it has just been acquired by Google.
The company announced the acquisition on its site and Google Photos' product lead David Lieb reiterated the news, dubbing Fly Labs as the "creators of the world's best video editing apps." I don't know about the world's best, but Fly Labs has some very interesting products under its name. Clips puts fragments of videos together, reorders them, and tags music or voice recordings on top of them. Tempo edits slow-motion, fast-forwarded clips, and time-lapse videos. Fly uses gestures to edit videos, apply cuts and transitions, integrate picture-in-picture, or split the screen.
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 (warning: this video is uncut). 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 episode: our reviews of the Nexus 6P, Nexus 5X, and the HTC One A9. We also discuss the upcoming DROID MAXX 2, Turbo 2, and the OnePlus X.
Crossy Road is often presented as a prime example of what's wrong with casual games, because it's a free-to-play game that's based on a classic (Frogger) and lacks any kind of sophistication. But Crossy Road does a lot of things right, too: it has an interesting if not unique visual style, it's accessible to any kind of gamer, and best of all, its free-to-play model is entirely reasonable, asking for only one dollar at a time and never forcing players to buy currency or tokens for random rewards. It's a good little game, is what I'm saying here.
Two of the three-man team from Crossy Road have released a new game in the same casual vein, Shooty Skies.
Google began rolling out v8.3 of the Play services framework a few weeks ago, and it looks like it's in a wide release. While this version didn't present with any direct user-facing features and only a few cryptic hints for a teardown, it did bring some definite improvements to the Play services SDK. There are some changes to streamline the sign-in experience for app developers and users alike, along with some additional enhancements that should make it easier for developers to set up new user accounts. New APIs have also been added to make data delivery more efficient between a phone and an Android Wear watch.
There's an app on your phone with maps of what's going on at ground level, but what about in the air? If you're going to fly a drone around, as people are increasingly doing, it might be nice to know how close you are to obstacles and where you're not supposed to fly. That's what Hivemapper does, and it's available on Android now.
The Android Auto companion app is generally one of those things you're probably only going to work with a couple of times before you're done setting things up, then it'll stay tucked away, never to be seen again. But that doesn't mean it shouldn't look good and be as useful as possible. An update to the Android Auto app began rolling out today and it's a near total refresh of the user interface. Granted, there's not a lot to change, but it now looks much more like the companion app for Android Wear.
Pong and Space Invaders went to a rave one night and got totally wasted on Pixie Stix and Starbursts. Nine months later, Starific - Endless Reactor, was born. The premise of the new psychedelic mobile game, by developer Beveled Edge, is simple. Keep your star(s) from escaping an octagonal grid while wiping away ever appearing waves of tiles and power-ups. Not grasping it? Watch the promo video and I'll catch up with you after.
Ok, now that you have seen a bit of game footage, we are hopefully on the same page. This game is a frenetic, eye-popping, ear-pounding, thumb-frustrating good time.