Google Music has become quite the app over Android's lifecycle, and there are plenty of very solid alternatives out there. But the vast majority of them offer a rather tired way of accessing your local music collection, splitting them into the same artist, album, genre and playlist sections we've been using for decades. n7player Music Player (yes, it's repetitive) has a uniquely visual way of displaying your tunes, worth checking out for any music lover who wants to shake things up.
Everyone's favorite third-party browser, Dolphin Browser HD, got a fairly major update today that not only brings some improved features, but also a name change (albeit a minor one). The browser formerly known as Dolphin Browser HD is now simply known as Dolphin Browser.
With this new name, comes some new features, including a cleaner, improved address bar that offers more search suggestions, a better interface for tablets, and "larger space for big thumbs and small keypads."
The update also brings the option to have a shortcut directly to Sonar on the homescreen, better bookmark management (easier deletion of bookmarks), and the always important "stability and performance" improvements.
Chameleon Launcher, a highly anticipated launcher replacement for Android tablets, has just released the initial beta version of the app into the Play Store. While everyone with a compatible device can download it, you will need to have an invitation, whether from your Kickstarter pre-order or pre-registration (say, if you're a member of the press or a private beta tester).
If you think you're part of the private beta, head over here (replace YOUR_EMAIL with your pre-reg email address and YOUR_NAME with your name) and associate your registration email with your Play Store account, then grab the app from the Play Store and fire it up.
As Android Police's unofficial person who knows things about laws (as always, none of this is legal advice), sometimes I see law stuff going on in the tech world that just makes me mad. This is one of those times. Appigo, an iOS and OS X developer, filed for a trademark on the word "Todo" (see it here) under the scope of a software application (basically).
Yesterday, we received an email from a developer of an app for Android called Star Trek ToDo Agenda.
A headstrong female space marine in powered armor, with a gun for a hand. Miles of twisting, turning passageways to explore. Double-jumps, power ups, and huge, terrifying bosses. Stop me if you've heard all this before. You'd be forgiven for thinking that MEGATROID is a Nintendo 3DS title that somehow made it onto the Google Play Store: the game wears its inspiration from the likes of Metroid and Castlevania on its sleeve.
Top-down shooters, also known as "bullet hell" games, are fairly common on mobile platforms. But rarely have we seen one with the complexity and artistry of this one. AstroWings3: Icarus is the latest in a series that started on iOS, and the first to make the warp jump to Android. Don't let that dissuade you, though - it's well worth your attention if you're a fan of the genre. Customizable weapons and screen-filling attacks are par for the course, and the loose connection to Greco-Roman mythology gives the game a nice presentation.
Google just pushed an update v4.1.2 to the Gmail app (up from 4.1.1 and 4.0.5) that brings a few enhancements to Android 4.0+ devices, including improved support for 7" tablets. The full changelog for this update reads as follows:
Android 4.0 (ICS) and up:
- Improved 7" support
- Bug fixes and performance improvements
At first blush there don't appear to be any visual alterations, so we'll just assume that most of these enhancements take place under the hood.
If there's one thing that's annoyed me about the Amazon app for Android, it has been the lack of a shop by department option. Sometimes you just have an urge to peruse the "Everything Else" section. Today's update to Amazon's official mobile app for Android finally allows you to do just that.
And this is the full Amazon shopping experience - you get all the sort and filter options you would on the website, which is awesome indeed.
Holy crap - Google Wallet just dropped a bomb on everyone and announced that the service now supports Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover. We sort of suspected something like this would happen, and Google has managed to do it by making Wallet payments partially cloud-based, as opposed to a fully embedded system.
This means Wallet will work offline for the actual payment (it stores an encrypted card ID in the NFC chip), but does require an active internet connection if you want switch payment options or add a new one.
When it comes to mobile benchmarks, there are a few names that almost instantly come to mind: Quadrant, AnTuTu, CFBench, etc. However, those primarily test the CPU; when it comes to testing the GPU, one name stands above the rest: GLBenchmark.
A new version of GLBenchmark recently landed in the Play Store, bringing with it some changes that drastically increase the benchmark's relevance on modern devices. For starters, the Egypt benchmark, now known as Egypt HD, has been completely overhauled with richer textures, a new environment, varied shading, and more dynamic lighting/camera angles.