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-school platformer with a few new tricks, an interesting take on the 2048 standard, and a detective noir adventure game.
A lot of big important phones have come out recently. If you picked up a new device, you're going to want a few apps and games to put it through its paces. You're probably already tapped out from buying the phone, so we've got some sales for you. See? We're helping.
The Internet has been abuzz over the recently discovered Heartbleed bug. If you're not already familiar, Heartbleed is a vulnerability in the OpenSSL software library that allows an attacker to steal data directly from the memory space of an application and learn the private keys used to keep data securely encrypted as it travels over the Internet. The implications of this kind of leak are certainly severe, and it has everybody rushing to either install updates that fix the bug or implement workarounds to disable it.
United Remote is a phenomenal app that can turn your Android device into a remote for your PC, giving you control over your mouse, keyboard, and media apps (Hulu, iTunes, VLC, and the like). It's awesome. Seriously, here's Artem's reaction from when he first came across the app. It has the ability to change your life. Now Unified Remote is available for 75% off in celebration of its three-year anniversary, meaning it can be yours for just 99 cents.
One of the best things about many mobile games is the time-killing factor. The option to fire up a game, play through a level or two, and get back to "real life" in an instant is what made games like Angry Birds so popular in the first place. They're perfect for the wait at the doctor's office, waiting on a date to show up for dinner, or any scenario of the sort.
Would you look at that: the country's two biggest cellular carriers released an update to their respective Android customer apps on the same day. Between the two of them, Verizon's app definitely gets the more interesting additions: My Verizon now lets you pay your bill by scanning it via the camera. Well, the update text says it does - I can't actually find an option to scan my bill anywhere in the (frustratingly disorganized) app.
The stock Google Calendar app gets the job done, sure, but don't you ever want something a little more powerful? Today Calendar is out of beta today, so maybe it's your next stop. This app is based on the AOSP calendar, but developer Jack Underwood made a lot of tweaks in the name of improving the look and features.
Music discovery app Shazam has always been a bit stylish by Android standards, but today's update adds both some more modern visual polish and notable usability upgrades. In particular, the auto-scrolling lyric function has been improved in version 2.6: it now supports a more natural portrait layout and much more readable text, doing away with the funky word art. Auto-scroll isn't universal, but when it works it's pretty neat. That should be a boon to your impromptu karaoke sessions.
With a name like "Disco Zoo," you can probably tell that Tiny Tower developer NimbleBit isn't taking its latest game entirely seriously. And indeed, this really isn't a Zoo Tycoon-style game, and it isn't trying to be. In Disco Zoo, you "rescue" animals under questionable circumstances, then display them in marginally unsafe conditions to farm money out of gawking patrons. And then you throw a disco party.
Disco Zoo is a mix of Kairosoft-style pixelated property management (slightly modified to fit the free-to-play model), and, strangely, minesweeper.
Endomondo committed to adding new features for premium users when it moved to the subscription model, and it's making good on that promise with a cool new mobile feature. The app can now be used to visualize your workout stats in a series of handy bar graphs.