I've been handling a fair bit of the gaming coverage here on Android Police for the last nine months, to say nothing of our regular game roundups. And while I'm still ecstatic that there's such a plethora of variety on the platform, there's definitely a few game elements that are far, far beyond their sell-by date. I'd hate to discourage developers from making games, but consider this: if your mobile game features any of the following bullet points, and (perhaps more importantly) a lack of innovation, you're doing something wrong.
Since the introduction of expandable notifications in Jelly Bean, the shade has increasingly become the home for widgets and easy-access controls. StatusAgenda brings this concept to your calendar, creating a persistent list of upcoming events accessible from anywhere in the operating system.
At the moment, the app is pretty barebones, but it doesn't need too much fluff. You can choose from either a larger or more compact layout, and the list of events can be collapsed with the regular gestures you use to open and close expandable notifications.
It wouldn't be another month without our usual short-lists. We've already discussed our six favorite apps from March 2013, so it's time to take a look at the six best games we saw last month. As usual, the Play Store had plenty of new games to offer, from fast-paced shooters to classic remakes to chaotic puzzlers. If you like playing games on Android, chances are there was something for you last month.
A few months ago, Microsoft announced the SmartGlass app for Xbox, a companion application that allows you to navigate and control your console from your phone or, up until recently, 7" tablets. Now, version 1.5 has rolled out that adds support for larger slates. Including 10" devices like the Nexus 10, which is kind of great.
On a larger tablet, the UI actually doesn't look much different from the interface on the TV itself, so it's extremely intuitive.
Some of you who've played The Simpsons: Tapped Out, Electronic Arts' Springfield-themed Sim City clone, may have noticed a lack in features when compared with the slightly older iOS version. Namely, it lacked the ability to sync saved games (towns) over Origin, EA's much-derided social gaming platform and store. The latest update to the Android version adds Origin syncing... while leaving at least some players without a town to sync.
If you're like us, you have an obsession with new apps. When you try every new app you come across though, you're bound for disappointment. After all, not every app can be a paragon of functionality, style, and convenience. With that in mind, we go through the long list of new apps submitted to the Play Store every couple of weeks and bring you the best. Even that, though, can be a little too much to digest for some users.
If you don't keep an obsessive eye on video game development, you might not be aware of Unity. It's a 3D game engine that makes it easy to develop games for multiple platforms and multiple rendering engines, including Direct3D, OpenGL, and (on Android and iOS) OpenGL ES. It's not the most powerful or flexible thing around, but a lot of developers rely on the tool. Now they've got an easy way to estimate game performance on different Android hardware, via the Basemark X benchmark from Rightware.
Kindle Fire owners and Amazon Appstore users, you've got two heavyweights added to your gaming catalog. Warner Bros Games has published Scribblenauts Remix and Batman: Arkham City Lockdown to the Appstore, both previously available only on iOS. Of the two, Scribblenauts is probably worth more attention, as the series has garnered critical acclaim on portable consoles, PC, and mobile.
Scribblenauts got its start on the Nintendo DS, where its mix of creative gameplay and quirky puzzles were a good match for the touchscreen-based controls.
Well guys, after lots of wishing/hoping/praying, fullscreen is finally available on Chrome for Android. The phone-specific feature made its way into Chrome 27 – which currently just hit the beta channel – alongside a few other useful features:
The Chrome Team is happy to announce the promotion of Chrome 27 to the Beta channel for Android. Chrome 27.0.1453.49 contains a number of great new updates including:
- Fullscreen on phones - Scroll down the page and the toolbar will disappear.
I know what you're thinking: "Oh, no... not another social image sharing app!" And if this were anything like that, I'd share you sentiments. But it's not – it's actually quite refreshing, because this app focuses solely on sharing and not at all on social.
Here's the gist: you take a pic – called a Rando in this case – and send it anonymously to someone in a completely random place elsewhere in the world.