Nostalgia has the peculiar tendency to improve things with age. Despite the fact that a new luxury sedan might be objectively better in every way than, say, a '69 Chevelle, a collector might expend hundreds of hours and twice as much money restoring the original Chevy. Nowhere is this phenomenon more apparent than in the gaming world, where players seem to venerate the games, systems, and companies that they grew up with.
Google has officially made it possible to run Android apps on Chrome OS devices, though the current implementation of this feature is a little underwhelming. First of all, it's limited to only a handful of apps, and second of all, it requires a Chrome OS laptop or desktop, and can't be run in more widely-used operating systems. Now an ambitious developer has managed to overcome both of those limitations, enabling (in theory) any Android app to run anywhere that Chrome does.
Update 9/19/14: The bill reminders feature of Google Now seems to have been in a pretty limited rollout since May when this article was originally published - nobody on the Android Police team has seen one personally. But starting earlier this month, many of us have started seeing them all of a sudden, which seems to indicate a much wider availability. Perhaps Google took the time to iron out all the kinks before expanding bill reminders to everyone.
BombSquad's premise revolves around sticking a large number of friends together in one match and having them blow one another up across numerous battlefields and various mini-games. The title contains a multitude of weapons such as your standard Bomberman-variety circular bomb, sticky ones that adhere themselves to opponents, ice bombs, land mines, TNT, and... boxing gloves. Okay, everything can't explode, but in the end, BombSquad sounds like a blast (pause for groans).
Visually, BombSquad is a treat, but that and the intriguing concept aren't the primary reasons to check out the game.
There still isn't an official API for custom Android Wear watch faces, but there are plenty of them in the Play Store anyway. If none of those strike your fancy, perhaps because they don't account for the taller peek cards, Facer could be just what you want. This app lets you build and edit watch faces and sync them over to the watch in a snap. There's also a fast-growing community of users posting some reallyawesomedesigns.
Instapaper was one of the earliest article saving services geared toward mobile devices. However, it took quite a while to come to Android. While Pocket is arguably the king on Android, Instapaper might be a more attractive option now that it's a free app. There's still a subscription that adds features, though.
The Nightmare Cooperative is the latest turn-based, roguelike game that really doesn't care about your feelings. When you die in this adventure, one that prides itself on being fiendishly difficult, your characters will stay dead. So before you commit to diving in, you might want to invest in a case for your phone.
The Pebble team is continuing to pump life into their monochromatic smartwatch, and it's now rolling out an update that toggles on a few new features. Version 2.5 of the Pebble firmware brings support for emoji, enables compass functionality, and introduces iOS 8 compatibility (one of the items on this change log impacts us less than the others). Just like the previous updates, you get the goods by firing up the Android app and making sure it's paired with your watch.
There is no shortage of calendar apps for Android, each of which is looking for a way to set itself apart from the crowd. Lately I've settled in with Sunrise Calendar as my go-to, as it's just easy to use and provides all the features I want in a calendar. And it just got a little bit better.
As of version 1.3, it now syncs immediately with Google Calendar. When changes are made in any of the apps, on the web, or in the Chrome app, then it happens across all devices in real-time.
Developers are understandably upset about the new requirement that they provide a publicly visible address for paid apps in Google Play, but another interesting (and much more positive) tidbit has surfaced in relation to that change. The developer of the GoneMAD Music Player contacted Google to ask about the new policy. In addition to confirming address requirement, Google support says the Play Store will also start listing in-app purchase price ranges.