It's a good time to be an Android gamer. Sega, perennial underdog of the console world, has decided to put some of its biggest titles on Android on a pretty big sale. Right now you can grab Dreamcast favorite Jet Set Radio for $2 (regular price $5), Sonic The Hedgehog 4 Episode I and Episode II, plus the Tegra-only Episode II THD, for a buck each. All of the Sonic titles are usually $3.99 to $6.99, making this sale a pretty good deal all around.
At this point, everyone probably knows that gReader is my RSS client of choice on Android. Of course, everyone should also know that I love pretty apps. I'm actually a sucker for a clean, minimalistic layout, and will often choose what looks better over what's actually functional. Maybe I'm just vain.
Whatever the reason, though, when I laid eyes on Press, it was an insta-buy for me – it's just so pretty I couldn't resist.
The Yelp app for Android has been updated to version 3.7, and brings some much-needed action bar love to everyone's favorite restaurant and other place-finding service... thing. Except they sort of botched it a little bit - with a big, fat ugly gray bar at the bottom of the map and result list UI that decreases the amount of visible content. Lovely.
On the upside, now you have a 3-dot menu button, and the standard action bar back button, too.
Warning: If you try to play a first-person shooter on a touchscreen against opponents who have mice and keyboards, you will die. Quickly, repeatedly, with trash talk and/or teabagging a high probability. That said, if you're keen to give it a try, popular Facebook FPS UberStrike is now available on the Google Play Store. The popular free-to-play game has amassed over a million likes on Facebook, which serves as the browser-based platform for PC gamers.
Would-be Netflix competitor Redbox – in conjunction with Verizon – has just released its official app into the Play Store. Dubbed Redbox Instant, the service allows unlimited movie and TV show streaming, along with four monthly rentals from Redbox kiosks for a mere $8 a month.
We've known that Redbox and Verizon have been beta testing the service for the last several weeks, but it looks like they're one step closer to a full, public release at this point.
Earlier today, while
distracted by a YouTube video doing some article research, I started watching Stephen Colbert's interview at Google with Eric Schmidt. It's pretty great, and you should definitely watch the whole hour - seeing Colbert out of character (and talking about that character) on video for so long is a rarity. He's a really smart guy, and hilarious, to boot.
But during that interview, early on, I caught something that really resonated with me.
Ask any mad scientist worth his fortress of evil: lasers are awesome, shark-mounted or otherwise. This has been the basis for many a shoot-em-up game (see our Hyperwave review for a good example) but they've been lamentably absent from the puzzle genre, until now. OverLight uses a series of lasers and prisms to mix up the conventions of falling block and match-3 puzzles, with no small amount of visual flair. It's available now on Google Play for one dollar.
The Google Play Books update received an update this afternoon to version 2.7.25, expanding support for several features, as well implementing new functionality for others. Here's the changelog:
What's in this version:
You can now listen to most flowing text books using the "Read aloud" feature.
You can now pinch-zoom or double-tap-zoom in all books.
All text editing features are available for notes.
Personalized recommendations are shown at the end of your library and at the end of the books.
The incoming call screen got a big overhaul in Android 4.0 last year, but it's still not perfect. An incoming call pulls you away from what you might be doing with your phone. Writing an email? Not anymore you're not. Reading a webpage? You can reload that after the phone call. Small Call notifies you of incoming calls in an unobtrusive way while still preserving functionality.
When your phone rings, Small Call will pop up a floating bar at the bottom of your screen.