Facebook launched Internet.org as a way to get important services and information to people in developing countries even if they lack a data plan on their mobile device. And if they should decide to check Facebook using this free access, all the better. Now, the Internet.org service is being rebranded as Free Basics by Facebook. Read More
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 super-fast platformer, a unique 2D exploration game, two tunnel runners, a minimal twitch game, yet another soccer manager, and (sigh) a game from a bunch of Let's Play "stars." Without further ado:
HoPiKo is a platformer that abandons such things as precision or exploration for pure speed. Read More
There are numerous ways to automatically back up files from your Android device, but they usually rely on the cloud. If you want to handle everything in-house, DAEMON Sync might be exactly what you need. This app syncs files from your phone to a computer on the same WiFi network. Nothing is sent over the internet at all.
Ten or twenty years ago, creating your own world and sending Disney characters on journeys consisted of opening up your toy chest and using your imagination. Now the company is ready to sell you a digital world and $15 hunks of plastic that will do three-quarters of the work for you. Read More
According to my Steam statistics, I've played approximately 162 hours of Just Cause 2, a significant portion of which was spent grappling members of the Panauan armed forces to lit fuel containers to make them zoom away like man-sized Roman candles. Avalanche Studios' open-world magnum opus seems to nail what larger franchises like Grand Theft Auto forgot years ago: the most fun you can get from a sandbox game is in blowing large parts of said sandbox to smithereens.
So it's no wonder that the sequel, Just Cause 3, is making waves months before its release. In addition to the standard shooting/driving setup and the unique parachute/grapple hook mechanic of the previous game, the third entry will give players infinite batches of C4 explosives and a wingsuit for even more ways to traverse the massive game world. Read More
You know how you can press the little music icon while you're doing a Google voice search, and it will identify a song playing in the background Shazam-style? It looks like that functionality is making its way to the Android version of Google Play Music as well. A few of our readers and one Android Police staff member have seen the "listen for music" prompt while using the built-in search function in Google's default music player. It looks like this:
The tool appears to be independent of specific versions of Google Play Music or the Google search app, so we're probably looking at another Google A-B testing session with server-side functionality enabled. Read More
You're a savvy consumer, right? So you'd never pay full price for an app or game when you could just wait until it goes on sale. I mean, you should probably still buy things you like to support developers, but sales are good too. We've got some of those down below, so take a look. Read More
Play Newsstand has been installed over 1 billion times. That's a pretty big number. Let's take a moment to let that sink in. Read More
Sometimes the smallest changes can make for the best improvements. The latest update to Chrome Dev for Android scored some points with us earlier for expanding theme color support for users that don't care for merging their tabs with apps, but that wasn't the only cool enhancement that came along. Users can now look forward to seeing a snackbar open up each time a download completes. The handy widget shows both the name of the downloaded file and a button to open it.
Left: The new snackbar in action. Right: Snackbar on Dev Preview 3 missing the open button.
In earlier versions of Chrome, all download operations appeared only as an animated notification. Read More
In version 39, Chrome for Android learned an awesome trick: using a simple HTML tag, any webpage could tell Chrome to theme its UI (and your device's status bar) with a specified color. The downside to this feature was that it only worked if tabs and apps were "merged," meaning your Chrome tabs would show up inline with your recent apps, rather than relying on Chrome's own in-app tab switcher.
Today, a Chrome for Android developer at Google let Reddit know that the theme-color attribute will soon make Chrome snazzy even if you don't have tabs and apps merged. Right now the flag (chrome://flags/#enable-theme-color-in-tabbed-mode) will only work in Chrome Dev 47.0.2516.0 (available from the Play Store or APK Mirror), and support isn't complete yet - the flag won't allow Chrome to theme your status bar and swiping across the toolbar to switch tabs is a little glitchy, for instance. Read More