Anyone who played video games in the late 80s and early 90s probably lost at least one frustrating afternoon to the original Contra. This run-and-gun shooter was the archetype for innumerable games that were to follow. Now Contra has been spruced up and deployed in Google Play to taunt you all over again.
For anyone who hasn't experienced Contra, it's a (mostly) side-scrolling shooter with a ton of power ups and no mercy whatsoever.
There is a new Google Search update rolling out, and it's bringing a bunch of new functionality to Google Now. There are new cards for car rentals, concert tickets, commute sharing, NCAA football, updated transit, new TV info, and better reminders. It's like we're drowning in cards here.
Mozilla UI Engineer Lucas Rocha, in a post to his blog earlier today, announced Firefox's "biggest UI change … since [its] first native release back in June last year."
The UI update, Rocha explains, includes a completely redesigned and rewritten Awesomescreen, which combines the interactive and functional aspects of the start page and the old Awesomescreen into one page with super-smooth swipable tabs. For those who aren't familiar with Mozilla's mobile browser, the Awesomescreen allows users to quickly get a handle on their bookmarks and browsing history.
EA isn't letting its mega mobile racing franchise stagnate. The latest update to Real Racing 3 is version 1.3, adding iconic muscle cars from Dodge and Shelby. Four cars have been added to the roster: the 1969 Dodge Charger RT, 1971 Dodge Challenger RT, 1966 Shelby AC Cobra 427 (I think - going by a screenshot and some Wikipedia sleuthing), and the 1967 Mustang Cobra GT500.
According to the What's New text, there are also new events, new difficulty settings, tweaks to car physics and cameras, and "additional social networking options." Posters on the FireMonkeys developer forum say that means Google+ integration, as a G+ sign-in option has been added to the Settings page.
Motorola hasn't been shy with the apps as of late. They've published a handful of new ones in the last few weeks, most of which are exclusive to the multi-carrier Moto X and the new family of DROIDs for Verizon. The Skip app went live just a few hours ago, but the latest is possibly the phones' most visible feature, Touchless Control. It lets the new Motos react to voice while the phone screen is off with the command "OK Google Now."
Don't get excited: the app is absolutely and emphatically only for the Moto X, DROID Mini, DROID Ultra, and DROID MAXX.
Given the major Keep update to v2 today, I got excited when I saw that Hangouts was updated as well a short time after. Unfortunately, it seems like it's a very minor bump: from 126.96.36.1993199 to 188.8.131.528356.
A quick teardown revealed updated translations and some minor under-the-hood code changes that aren't anything to write home about. The changelog hasn't been updated either and still lists the added emoji support and other stuff from the previous v1.1 update.
Motorola Skip, the NFC clip that lets you bypass your pattern / PIN lockscreen, was announced last week as an accessory exclusive for the Moto X. At the time, the Skip setup page linked to an app on the Play Store that wasn't yet publicly available, but that just changed. The Motorola Skip Setup app is required to get your Skip up and running. To set it up, install the app, turn on NFC on your phone, tap the skip against the back of your Moto X and follow the app's instructions.
One of the problems of living in modern times is that it's easy for us to shut ourselves off from our communities, living in a place for years without ever meeting the Smiths down the road or the Patels across the street. If you've wished for a way to resolve this issue that doesn't require the awkwardness of knocking on your neighbor's door, you're in luck, because there's now an app for that.
The Field Trip app on Android is a fun little diversion. It pops up location-based cards that tell you about interesting things nearby. It could be a landmark, a historical event, or a place to grab a bite. But the app requires you to whip out your phone to see the notification. Field Trip has just been announced for Google Glass, and it looks like the perfect platform for it – this is what augmented reality is supposed to be.
Google announced a big update to Google Keep today, adding a much-needed feature to the nascent note app: time and location-based reminders, powered by Google Now. Nice! You can now select, at the bottom of a note while creating or editing it, to be reminded of that note at a certain time or place. I can already say this is going to get me using Keep a lot more. The reminders can be snoozed or adjusted in the notification bar when they appear, too, which is pretty awesome.