There is no arguing that the new Hangouts Android app, which replaces Google Talk and aims to unify several communication methods, has had a rough start. One of the main issues we've run into from the very beginning was wonky tablet support. In fact, most people couldn't install it at all because instead of the Update button, only a lone "Open" button would show up on tablets. Dan Morrill, one of our favorite Android engineers (HOLOYOLO!
It's been barely 48 hours since Google's brand new Play Games management system went online, and already dozens of high-profile games have been updated to include its features. But how do you tell which titles use Play Games and which don't when browsing the Play Store (without, you know, actually reading the descriptions)? The big G has you covered. Badges for the various features of Google Play Games are now automatically appearing in the relevant Play Store pages.
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 new game from Crescent Moon, a tie-in for Dreamworks' upcoming animated movie, a sequel to one of the Play Store's most popular casual games, some bowling and quiz titles, and one of those beguiling indie-retro affairs that keeps popping up.
At GDC earlier this year, we learned that Sega ported the original Sonic the Hedgehog to Android, giving a new generation of gamers a chance to experience the game that kicked off one of the industry's largest franchises. The port, which finally showed up in the Play Store earlier today (several weeks late), comes with widescreen support and features exclusive to mobile versions, such as the ability to play as Tails and Knuckles.
Ah, Google Glass. Though the venerable headset has a lot of potential, it has yet to become something people want to use all the time. If you're a social media addict, a news junkie, or a productivity pro, though, Google's heads-up computer just got a lot more compelling. Today at I/O, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, CNN, Elle, and Evernote pledged to support Glass by releasing official applications - "glassware," as Google calls them.
Kingdom Rush has amassed quite the following since it first appeared as a flash game in 2011 and an iPad port half a year later. Critics called it one of the best and most engaging games of its genre. Today, Ironhide Game Studio launched an Android version into the Play Store that has already been met with praise from users.
Kingdom Rush is a tower defense game based in a fantasy setting soaked in bright colors and vivid sprites.
We've covered MyScript Calculator several times here at AP, as its handwriting recognition / conversion is, simply put, pretty damn impressive. The developers behind this app have now taken the same technology and brought it to the note-taking table with its newest app, MyScript Notes. Check it out.
Pretty slick, no? This tablet-only app supports palm rejection, sync with popular apps like Dropbox, Facebook, Twitter, S-Note, and more; and has nine available languages: English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese Simplified, Korean, and Japanese.
Field Trip is an oddity in Google's app lineup. It comes from Niantic Labs (the people who went on to create Ingress), looks fantastic, and it's made for a very specific kind of user. The app highlights attractions of historical, cultural, and entertainment value in your immediate area, using GPS and services like Thrillist, Zagat, and Cool Hunting to create a "hyperlocal" experience. Of course, any travel app is only good if it works where you are, which was a sticking point for international users.
If you need a way to take your mind off how depressing it is to not be at Google I/O, then maybe a new app or game will help with that. There just so happens to be quite a few on sale today that may be able to help keep your busy brain at bay, lest you might drive yourself insane.
- G-Stomper Beat Studio – $2.99 (50% off)
- Pano – $1.97 (33% off)
- SwiftKey – $1.99 (50% off)
- SwiftKey Tablet – $1.99 (50%)
- World of Goo – $0.99 (80% off)
- Starlink – Free (100% off)
- Tigris & Euphrates – $0.99 (75% off)
- Majesty – $0.99 (50% off)
- FireJumpers – $0.99 (50% off)
Now, stop being so blue, panda bear.
Some games are old, and some games are really old. Karateka falls into the latter category. This side-scrolling karate action game was first developed in 1984 by the creator of Prince of Persia, and today a port enters the Play Store nearly 30 years later. Android gamers can now experience one of the grandfathers of the beat 'em up genre.
Karateka first appeared on the Apple II, and is the product of a time when the number of colors your monitor displayed could be counted on your hands and feet.