You might know Activision Blizzard as the mega-publisher behind huge franchises like World of Warcraft and Call of Duty. And you might know King as the mobile publisher behind Candy Crush Saga, the Bejeweled clone that's inexplicably become one of the most popular casual games on the planet. In a few months the two companies will be one and the same: Activision Blizzard has announced its intention to acquire King for a staggering $5.9 billion.
For comparison, that's approximately six times what Facebook famously paid to acquire mobile photo sharing app Instagram. Activision currently has practically zero presence on the mobile game front with the notable exception of free-to-play collectible card game Hearthstone, while King's various games across Android, iOS, Windows, and web platforms have amassed hundreds of millions of downloads and billions of dollars in revenue from in-app purchases. Read More
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.
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Looking for the previous roundup editions? Find them here.
This week's roundup is brought to you by Calculator (formerly Daily Calculator) from TricolorCat. This alternative to Android's built-in calculator features more mathematical functions, more alternative layouts, more color schemes, an easy-to-use history function, and support for Android's clipboard and landscape view. Read More
The newest mobile Humble Bundle is available, and this time there's no developer tie-in or theme. It's just a collection of cool games from a variety of genres. There are six games in the bundle to start, but more will be added next week. Read More
Screw Google On Tap and UI tuner, the best new feature in Android 6.0 is clearly Doze, the new portion of the OS dedicated to extending a phone's battery life when you're not using it. That said, this is Android, so of course people are going to start tweaking it just as soon as they can. There are already two apps that do just that. The bad news: they both require root permissions, so you'll need to have modified your farm-fresh Android 6.0 build already to use them. The good news: both of them might be worth the hassle of rooting all on their own. Read More
Microsoft Office is available for Android. No, this isn't new news, but considering how unlikely that seemed not many years ago, it's nice to reflect every now and then. Anyways, an update has rolled out for the full suite of Office apps. Word and Excel now come in smaller packages, with Microsoft boasting a 50% reduction in size. Read More
Since its release in 2012, Pixlr has received several updates and tweaks, but no major changes to its interface. That left the app looking like a Gingerbread relic on my and many other users' modern smartphones with their material looks and spiffy animations. For an app that specializes in making things look prettier, Pixlr wasn't fulfilling its own end of the bargain. Take a look at what Pixlr was like before today: Read More
Due to a smaller installer base, the specialized version of the Play Store that comes on Android TV gets a lot less attention that the version on phones and tablets. Even so, we keep an eye on all the various flavors of Android - check the sign over the door - so we're happy to report that the Android TV version has received a notable update. The latest release (5.10.30-leanback) makes some big changes to the user interface, chopping off some of the less necessary corners to focus on the core experience. Read More
Nick Butcher (Developer Advocate at Google) recently published the source code for Plaid, an app meant to showcase material design on Android with playful animations, impeccable typography, and a simple, bold aesthetic. The code will provide useful examples for developers, but the app itself is worth keeping installed too - Plaid pulls stories from Designer News, Dribbble, and Product Hunt to serve up design news and inspiration, catered to your preferences.
Besides more standard material elements, the app has a few unique tricks. Specifically, the toolbar is behind the content rather than lying on top of it, making the scrolling action on the main grid a little more elegant. Read More
Google likes to tinker with the UI of the mobile version of Chrome's user interface in the Dev and Beta versions of the app. Not every change we spot in these versions makes it into the standard, stable version of Chrome, but the changes to the New Tab page that we saw back in August seem to have made their way to the front. We're getting tips and reports from dozens of Chrome users that the UI change, which swaps out six website thumbnails for eight site icons instead, is now live. Read More