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 an old (and awesome) twin-stick shooter, a new (and only slightly less awesome) twin-stick shooter, a zen puzzle game, and a 3D survival horror title.
Nova Launcher is one of the most popular home screen replacements out there, and the developers are hard at work ensuring that this doesn't change any time soon. The latest update introduces even more ways to customize every aspect of your launcher's appearance. Anyone who makes the jump to version 2.2 will gain the ability to add backgrounds to their docks, customize the look of their unread badges, and dabble with new scroll effects.
Floating Music Widget, despite the name, isn't really a widget. It's an app that launches a floating window granting quick access to your currently playing song. The app takes the music widget that usually resides on your lock screen and lets you use it anywhere. It isn't rich with features, but it's a convenient way of bouncing back and forward between tracks. Yet despite doing exactly what it promises, it probably won't replace other means of managing music for most people.
Little by little, Spotify is bringing all sorts of new and useful features to its mobile app. First it was Radio, and now the company is introducing a new feature called Browse that will allow users to find the perfect playlist for a specific event or mood.
Spotify's new discovery option brings specially curated playlists to mobile devices – both iOS and Android – that offer varying types of music according to mood or moment, as well as options for what's hot and new.
Guardian Cross is different from most most Square Enix mobile games. It's still a role-playing game, but it's centered around trading cards and is available for free. This is striking for a game company that charges some of the highest prices to be found in the Play Store. The game is already available for iOS and has accumulated over a million downloads, so expect both an addicting and relatively accessible experience.
Hey, NFL Mobile developers. We need to talk. I'm glad you decided to drop the yearly re-title from your app - that's one less thing you'll have to do every summer. But the number after three is four. Four. The one right before five. Now I know decimals can be tricky, but I honestly have no idea what caused you to jump from app version 3.7 to 8.0.26 - next time, show your work.
It was just six weeks ago that we featured Rockmelt, an Android app with a bit of an identity crisis. It didn't know whether it wanted to be an RSS reader or a browser (but it did know it wanted to look like Pinterest). Well, the eponymous company that makes Rockmelt is the latest in a series of acquisitions by Yahoo. And they've killed the Android app deader than a dove at an NRA convention.
Google just dropped a bomb on the official Android blog moments ago: Android Device Manager, a tool to help locate your lost phone. It's simple - you can track your phone from a web interface (or the official Android app!), and then ring or wipe it. Simple? Yes. Absolutely something we've all wanted since, I don't know, ever on Android as a standard feature? Duh.
Android device manager will be part of - you guessed it - Google Play [Services].
When it comes to mobile security, we readily recommend Avast's option. Not only does it offer fantastic malware protection, but the built-in Anti-Theft is one of the best tools you can have installed should your device ever get lost or stolen. Today, the company is taking advantage of Google+ Community beta testing with Mobile Security, Anti-Theft, and a new product called Backup.
The beta testing period will only last for a week, during which time the company is inviting advanced users to give this new trio a shot and provide feedback before they become available to everyone.