The mobile version of 3DMark uses a demo known as 'Ice Storm' to stretch your GPU's legs to their respective limits, and is definitely rather impressive to watch. Testing on an Optimus G Pro with a Snapdragon 600 chipset, it's apparent that even the top-tier Adreno 320 GPU begins to struggle under the intense demands of Ice Storm, and not merely during wide-pan shots: intricate models, effects, and textures are used in the demo.
Like all red-blooded American males, I spend my days sitting around thinking, "Man, I sure wish I could play a button-masher fighting game on my phone staring the one and only Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson." Today my prayers were answered in a totally extreme way. WWE has released Rockpocalypse, with The Rock himself punching and kicking his way through 18 levels of pain. Did I mention it's extreme? EXTREME!
This isn't a wrestling game, despite being published by WWE.
Whether due to neglect or a topsy-turvy set of priorities, Android developers sometimes leave out basic features like lock screen or notification (I'm looking at you, Spotify) controls. Well, Pandora is fixing at least some of its problems with an update that brings the ability to pause or skip tracks from the lock screen. Unfortunately, notification controls still aren't available but, hey. One step at a time.
Here's the full change log:
What's in this version:
- Lock screen controls for devices running Ice Cream Sandwich and later
- Added elapsed and remaining timestamps to the track progress indicator
- Reduced startup time
- Bug fixes and enhancements
Aside from the lock screen controls, it's not a huge update, but it's always encouraging to see a prominent developer truly take advantage of what Android can do.
Earlier this morning, we added SwiftKey Tilt to our 2013 April Fool's day post. At first blush, it just looks like another funny idea made specifically for April Fool's Day – little did we know that Tilt is actually a real feature. According to a comment left on the official SwiftKey Blog, you can enable Tilt by long-pressing on the word "tilt" in the suggested words area above the keyboard in the newest version of the app.
It's time for us to come clean. We've been collectively living a lie, Android fans. Hiding our deepest desires and hoping they go away. Praying that maybe, Duarte willing, that we'll get something that's close enough that we'll be satisfied. But no more! Today, we shed the façade and embrace the truth: all we really want is a clean, simple UI that's not cluttered by drawers, widgets, or icons in shapes other than rounded squares.
If you've ever wanted to learn a language but don't want to be tethered to a PC or stuck in some classroom, this might be your lucky day. Rosetta Course has just launched on Android, and you can try it out for free. You are welcome to choose from more than a dozen languages to explore, but only the first few lessons are available without paying up.
Rosetta Course uses a combination of text, images, and speech to help you learn the ins and outs of a new language.
This edition focuses only on new games. The app roundup is coming up soon.
Looking for the previous roundup editions?
Back during the Humble Bundle for Android #5 (not to be confused with the current Android-focused Humble Mobile Bundle), NightSky HD made its first appearance on the platform. Now, the Steam-native game is available on its own in the Play Store for $5.
The title brings its distinct visual style to the genre of physics puzzlers. In this game you control a dark orb as you attempt to navigate a silhouette world of platforms and pits.
Update: The update is now live in the Store – find it by hitting the widget at the end of the post.
Last month, Google announced they'd be killing off Google Reader this July. Yes, in just a couple of short months, one of the most beloved RSS resources in existence would be kaput. Google says it decided to pull the plug because of dwindling use numbers. While there were plenty of discussions about Google's real motivation (everything from well-reasoned examinations of the situation to cries of "EVIL!"), there was something more important happening behind the outcry – there were people stepping up to fill the gap in as seamless and timely a fashion as possible.
When Jawbone's UP wristband was released in late 2011, I was excited. Then I was disappointed. The motion-tracking band seemed like a perfect step into wearable tech at the time, but its companion app wasn't available for Android. Whether and why Jawbone didn't see fit to invest resources in developing for Android was a mystery, but now – thankfully – it's immaterial. Just over a week ago, Jawbone released an official UP app to the Google Play Store, and I wanted to be first in line to try it out with Jawbone's updated 2012 wristband.