You can't talk about mobile gaming without mentioning the elephant in the room: the free-to-play model. The bane of many a purist gamer and unwitting parent, an over-reliance on free downloads and hooks for in-app purchases has made mobile gaming a minefield of games based on upsell and addiction. Italy's had enough, and its antitrust authority is investigating app store owners Google, Apple, and Amazon, and game publisher Gameloft, for unfair commercial practices.
We wouldn't let you ride off into the sunset after a long week without some new apps and games. This is important stuff. Not only do you get to save some money, but you get to help some hardworking developers do their thing. Everyone wins.
In some ways, the food truck is the closest thing we have to hunting wild game in an urban setting. It's food, but it moves. How are you supposed to find food that moves? With the NomNom Finder app, which has just arrived on Android.
Good news, sports fans: ESPN is almost definitely adding Chromecast support some time in the near future, as strongly suggested by the Google I/O 2014 Sandbox page. Here it is, GIFified.
ESPN is one of the most-watched cable channels in America, so this is doubtless exciting for a great many folks out there, and the description does suggest that live streaming will be available. Chromecast is certainly stacking up to be one of the most competitive video streaming experiences out there, and while competitors like Apple TV and Roku already support ESPN through the WatchESPN service, the fact that the Disney-owned channel is headed to Google's hardware is encouraging nonetheless.
Update: It looks like services are being restored now, as of 2:55PM PST.
If you're not able to load up some tunes in Play Music or your Hangouts messages won't go through, don't worry: the NSA hasn't revoked your Google privileges. Google services appear to be experiencing outages for some users at the moment, and the number of services affected appears pretty wide, though primarily it's affecting Android versions of those services, as opposed to web apps.
Archos is known around these parts for their budget tablets, a few cheap smartphones, and, most recently, an Android-powered netbook. Well in case you've forgotten, the company has an upcoming activity tracker, scale, and blood pressure monitor that it would love for you to pick up as well, all of which it unveiled back at CES. These "Connected Self" products will require a companion app to get much use out of, which the company has just dropped into the Play Store.
Update: Both Google and Word Lens declined to comment on the details of the future of the app or acquisition, other than to confirm an acquisition had occurred.
Makers of the exceptionally popular AR translation app Word Lens, Quest Visual, have been acquired by Google, according to the company's website. Quest's tech will be merged into Google's Translate products.
The statement from the company is as follows:
With Word Lens, we've seen the beginnings of what's possible when we harness the power of mobile devices to "see the world in your language."
By joining Google, we can incorporate Quest Visual's technology into Google Translate's broad language coverage and translation capabilities in the future.
One of the most popular ways to make use of Google Voice on Android has long been GrooveIP. This app was able to route voice calls on a device through Google's free IP call service. Google finally ended third-party access to Google Voice yesterday, but GrooveIP was ready with an alternative.
You get in, you check your email, and you get out. That's the plan anyway, and Yahoo doesn't like it. That time spent using other apps is valuable time that could be spent using its own. To tackle this issue head-on, the company has updated its Yahoo Mail app with the goodies (read: distractions) from the Yahoo homepage that people know and love. Now instead of just the mail, users will have access to the latest current events, weather reports, sports scores, popular videos, and other non-mail related attractions. The UI has changed around enough that Yahoo is referring to this as a whole new app.
Godzilla is a giant, city-destroying monster that challenges us to ponder the fragility of life and the horrors of mass destruction. A 2014 adaptation is hitting theaters now, which means a movie tie-in game is destined to hit the Play Store. What do we have this time? A brawler? A first-person shooter? A side-scroller crammed with in-app purchases? No, silly. It's a match 3 puzzle game.