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 casual flight simulator, a hellish puzzle game, an ambitious space fighter, a sneaky Scrabble variant, a motorcycle trick game, and a virtual hacking title.
We're slap bang in the middle of CES at the moment, but if you're full up on wearables and Android-powered ovens, take a break and check out the best apps of 2013's final month. Below in no particular order you'll find our favorite new apps that debuted during the holiday season. There were a ton of significant app updates, of course, but these are the best new entries from December, along with a few honorable mentions.
If you're a regular user of almost any social network, you probably know how powerful crowdsourcing questions and answers can be. That's the basis behind a new search engine dubbed Jelly, created by Ben Finkel and Biz Stone, one of the co-founders of Twitter. Jelly is a social network for question-and-answer style interactions with friends you've already made connections with on Twitter and Facebook. Instead of going to traditional search engines, users are encouraged to snap a picture and post a question, which can then be answered or forwarded to others who might be able to help.
The Play Store is brimming with alternative home screens, but Aviate was far and away one of the most impressive we saw last year. This beautifully designed launcher takes a completely different approach to organizing your apps and data. Apparently Yahoo was just as impressed as we were because the company just announced at CES that it has acquired Aviate.
In case you missed it, Aviate tracks your usage patterns and groups apps into categories that are presented to you based on the time of day and your location.
Feedly has become the new darling of the RSS world after Google threw itself out of the market last year, but there are still plenty of users (including yours truly) who aren't crazy about the Feedly app itself. Hopefully the changes shown off in the newest beta release will change that. You can check out the beta via the usual Google+ community method: join this community on Google+, then head to this page in the Play Store.
If you're a cloud storage junkie and you haven't checked out Copy, shame on you. It's your typical Dropbox/Google Drive/Skydrive/Box.net competitor with a twist: shared files and folders can be assigned to a single user so that they don't count against the data storage limit for other users. The previous version of the app wasn't exactly up on the latest visual design trends, but now Copy has a much cleaner look.
One of the worst things about managing music playlists is adding new songs when we hear them. Sure, once we've identified them, we can always track the song down by name, but that can turn into a lot of manual labor. If we've learned anything from the popularity of music subscription services, it's that we want things to be quick, simple, and convenient. Rdio and Shazam agree, and they are doing something about it.
Just about a year ago we reported that the popular multi-platform retro gaming emulator RetroArch had been published to the Play Store. Apparently Google took exception to this, as they've done with a seemingly random assortment of game emulators - some have been viciously torn out of the Play Store, some have been left alone, and Google isn't talking about why it picks one over the other. In any case, RetroArch is back, at least for the moment.
After explaining why the GPU in the just announced Tegra K1 was awesome from an architectural standpoint, Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang went on to reveal that Epic Games would be bringing Unreal Engine 4 to mobile devices via the Tegra K1. Nvidia is keen on getting game developers to include improved graphics for Tegra devices, but Unreal Engine 4 support could take Tegra gaming to a whole new level.