If you're a fan of the super-popular top-down MOBA genre (think Dota, League of Legends, and Heroes of the Storm), you'll want to sit up and take notice of a little game called Vainglory. This mobile interpretation of the well-known formula has been built from the ground up for touchscreens, and the experience has been praised on iOS since its launch back in November. It's available for free today on the Play Store.
Vainglory doesn't make an attempt to hide its inspiration. If you're not familiar with the standard MOBA formula, it's basically a shorter and more action-packed version of a real-time strategy game where each player controls a single unit.
Facebook is free because it makes its money off ads, otherwise known as the attempts to sell you things based off all the personal information you and your friends pump into the social network. Well, those ads don't just pop up out of the nothingness of the web. Someone creates and pays for them. Now with Facebook's latest app, said someones can do that from their mobile devices.
The Facebook Ad Manager is aimed at small and medium business owners who want to reach out to the people in their areas. It provides the tools to see how many people an ad reaches and whether anyone clicked.
Welcome to the roundup of the best new Android applications, games, and live wallpapers that went live in the Play Store or were spotted by us in the previous 2 weeks or so.
Please wait for this page to load in full in order to see the widgets, which include ratings and pricing info.
Looking for the previous roundup editions? Find them here.
Photo Wall FX Live Wallpaper
Today's app roundup is sponsored by the Photo Wall FX live wallpaper by Handy Apps. The idea behind this wallpaper is simple: it uses the local photos on your phone or tablet to make a grid collage, dynamically selecting and cycling photos and sizing them so that there's no space left between them.
Play Music is as much an online service as it is a mobile app, but when it comes to the former, you have to wait your turn before you can get your hands on it (without jumping through hoops). Fortunately, Play Music has come to Argentina. Thanks to alphabetical order, it's now the first country listed on Google's support page.
People have been hopping on bikes and racing around France for over a century. Okay, they may have been doing it for even longer, but this year marks the 102nd time they will call it the Tour de France. If you live in the US and want to stream the action on your Android device, NBC has released an official app into the Play Store just for you.
NBC says its mobile app will provide live video coverage from every stage and full replays. There's a map you can use to track the action, or you can just use the app to track results if you don't have time.
Remember Bomberman? You know, that cute little maze-based puzzle game that got infinitely more fun when you played it with friends? Right, well imagine a Bomberman game... set in a schlocky slasher movie. That's basically BRAWL, the latest console pilgrim to come exclusively to NVIDIA'S SHIELD Tablet and SHIELD Android TV. It's also notably the first Android game we've seen on the Play Store with an "Adults only" 18+ ESRB rating, though that might be a mistake - the game's trailer (which looks like it's taken from the PS4 version) brands it with the slightly less salacious M rating.
In BRAWL, you take control of one of eight characters that seem to have popped out of a Halloween party sponsored by Hot Topic.
Volvos often get a bad rap. The running gag in the 80s and 90s was that the Swedish automaker known for some of the highest safety ratings on the road made boring cars for boring people. But these days Volvo offers a wide range of cars and SUVs, from mid-range to sport to luxury, with styling and features that meet or beat most competitors - all without sacrificing safety. That makes Volvo pretty cool in my book... but its Android apps still suck.
Old above, new below.
Maybe that's a bit harsh. The Volvo On Call app sucked as of this morning, at least according to reviews on the Play Store.
Back in Chrome v39, we got a look at a reader mode not unlike many other mobile browsers such as Firefox. However, it didn't even leave Chrome Beta before getting hidden in the flags menu. Features that were not originally in flags but later moved there tend not to come back. Well, the latest Chrome Dev, v45, features a revamped version of reader mode. Now, on pages the browser decides could benefit from it, it gives a prompt that says "make page mobile-friendly." Tapping on that brings the user to a slightly redesigned reader view, though it isn't described as such anywhere.
Most of the app updates this week were relatively quiet, with the notable exception of Play Music with its new ad-supported radio feature. That doesn't have to mean some of the updates don't have something new to offer. The Google app (formerly "Search") was bumped up to v4.8 yesterday, but it doesn't seem to have any noticeable changes right now. However, a look under the hood reveals some pretty interesting features on the horizon.
Disclaimer: Teardowns are necessarily speculative and usually based on incomplete evidence. It's possible that the guesses made here are totally and completely wrong. There is always a chance that details may change or plans may be cancelled prior to the launch of a new feature discovered in a teardown.
Google Drive is becoming quite a big product. With Google Photos now being a thing (and deeply integrated with Drive), the subjugation of Docs, Sheets, and Slides under the Drive banner, and continued and increasingly powerful integration with apps and services on Android, the once fairly simple cloud storage locker is now quite a flexible product.
So, we're curious: do you actually use it? For what, exactly? Do you like Drive? For the purpose of this poll, "using" Drive should be interpreted to mean actively, not simply that you use apps or services which happen to make use of Drive functionality.