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.
When you're creating a game, there are a few key things you need to include: a good atmosphere (be it an intriguing story or just some wildly immersive effects), good gameplay mechanics, and a good hook. What's going to grab the users' attention? Well, for Gears and Guts, all three of those requirements can be summed up with "driving cars into zombies." Oh, and did I mention there's a sweet soundtrack to go along with it?
If you're a frequent traveler, you have no doubt heard about SeatGuru. This is a wonderful service that helps you figure out which seat will be the best on your next flight. At long last SeatGuru has released an Android app so you can get this invaluable information on the go.
SeatGuru allows you to pull up a seat map for any plane by entering the flight number or browsing based on your itinerary.
Sudo Make Me An App has just released Sudo QuickLaunch to the Play Store, an app that handily replaces Google Search's swipe-up gesture in Jelly Bean with a list of your favorite apps.
If you're like me, you hit the search bar in Jelly Bean more often than you swipe up to get to Google Search, so Sudo QuickLaunch is a welcome addition that not only makes that gesture useful, but can keep your home screen clutter-free.