Optical character recognition, also known as OCR, is really an amazing technology. If you aren't familiar, it takes images and reads the text on them. For PDFs, it can make the words it finds searchable, selectable, and whatever else you may want to do with them. The better implementations of OCR work well enough that they pretty much make CAPTCHAs pointless. And while Google Drive has offered this function in English for over a year now, it is now rolling it out to over 200 different languages.
Magically uploading every photo you take on your phone isn't a new feature these days. The major cloud storage providers all prompt you to fill their servers with shots of your lunches, vacations, and nudes. Now you can add Flickr to the list with the release of version 4.0.
Let's be honest here: you really don't give a crap about Arbor Day. But if you forget to record the season finale of The Flash, you're going to be out three bucks for a Google Play episode purchase. To help alleviate this first-world problem, Microsoft subsidiary Sunrise Calendar has added hundreds of TV shows across dozens of networks to its "Interesting Calendars" feature, allowing for quick and easy TV scheduling on top of its usual handy interface.
There's a nifty feature lurking in the latest Chrome Beta (and dev, for that matter) version on Android. If you download a file and there happens to be a file of the same name already in your downloads directory, Chrome asks if you want to replace it. That's a kindness even desktop Chrome doesn't provide.
Teardowns can bring both good and bad news. At times, I've been afraid to write about things buried in the dark corners of an apk because they would be misunderstood or make people angry. Then there are times that I see something and I can't wait to tell everybody about it. This is one of the good times. I know people want this, so here it is: Inbox is finally going to offer email signatures.
Taneli Armanto is a name that probably not many of you are familiar with. However, his most notable accomplishment is something that has wasted dozens of hours of my life and probably the lives of most of the people who read this blog. Taneli Armanto is the man responsible for putting Snake, one of the most widely played and recognized games of all time, on a mobile device.
Back in the days when Nokia ruled the wireless world, some 400 million Nokia devices were sold with Snake on board.
Besides a dogfood version of Play Games, update Wednesday brought us a new version of Play Books - 3.4.5. The changes in this update aren't major (or even immediately apparent), but they are worth taking a quick look at.
First up, there's a brand new translation interface. Rather than a toolbar and sheet overlay, the new translate interface lives on a card, just like the existing notes and dictionary interfaces. Here's a quick before and after.
Left: Play Books 3.3 Right: Play Books 3.4
Next up, new changes to notes. The ability to take notes in a book was present in 3.3, but users could not do that in a free sample of a book.
Listen people, shit just goat serious. Your life was great, you rampaged through the city, flew a jetpack, shot humans with baseballs, went to outer space,..., basically you've had some goat old fun. But something has gone awry and your billy is now a threatened zombie goat that needs to eat in order to survive. Such is the tragic story follow-up to the original Goat Simulator, GoatZ.
Taking a few too many jabs at DayZ in its title, artwork, and description ("Completely realistic survival mode where you have to eat every damn five minutes to survive because Dean Hall & Garry Newman said so"), GoatZ is a survival horror game where your goat is facing chainsaw-yielding masked men, flipping in the air and kicking attackers, driving a car worse than in an Asphalt 8: Airborne scene, flinging green goo all over its enemies, and crafting items out of thin air.
In the worlds of side-scrolling brawlers, there's no problem you can't solve with your fists. So when the criminal Milkman and his thugs kidnap the Miss Fist Puncher contestants, you know what you must do. That's right, beat up just about everyone that dares to walk the streets of San Cruces. Now you can, in Fist Puncher, the crowdfunded 2D brawler that has found its way into the Play Store.
Why does such a simple, pixelated game cost $10? That's because Fist Puncher's developers have managed to fit a fistful of content deep into the app. There are nearly 20 characters, over 100 items, and over 50 levels.