The Play Store has been off to a great start in 2013 – January saw the introduction of some brilliant apps like Carbon Backup and Pushbullet, and February followed up with some great entries of its own. From widgets to root apps to content creation tools, February had something for just about everyone. As always, we'll take a quick look at five of the very best apps we saw in the past month.
It's no secret that Handy Apps puts out some useful and, well... handy, apps. Need a way to keep your passwords locked up tight? Look no further than PassWallet. Or maybe a powerful, yet functional to-do list is what you're after – check out Tasks N Todos. Maybe there's some pictures or videos you want to keep away from prying eyes. No worries – Photo Locker or Video Locker should do the trick.
Pixel Kingdom was a Kickstarter game project with a rather unambitious goal of $5000 in funding - a goal it met, with $800 to spare. The game was funded on February 11th, and now, a month later, has launched on Android.
Pixel Kingdom is deceptively simple, in the best way. I often lament the state of mobile games, but PK is a refreshing effort at not taking oneself too seriously, and instead just focusing on fun.
NASA is kind of awesome. In case you live under some red rocks, the organization sent this crazy robot to Mars that sends us back high-resolution photos. The future is amazing. Of course, there's nothing the space administration loves more than curiosity (which is why they named the Mars rover after it), and it's aiming to fuel yours with this 3D model explorer.
In a somewhat odd move, instead of simply providing the 3D models themselves, the app requires you to print out some markers.
Imagine combining Angry Birds, Final Fantasy Tactics, SpongeBob SquarePants, westerns, and so much more in a single game. I'm not sure if there is a better way to describe Squids Wild West by The Game Bakers, but it's pretty darn fun.
Squids Wild West picks up where the original SQUIDS left off. The sea is being corrupted by a black ooze that threatens to destroy the lives of our quirky underwater heroes.
I don't know about you, but it's my dream that one day I can completely ditch my cable company for an a la carte solution where I only get the channels I actually want. I feel like we're edging that way at a snail's pace, even though most streaming channels still require cable service before they'll offer up shows on mobile.
The latest to join this trend is FOX, with its FOX NOW app.
Vector Unit – the development team behind Riptide GP, Shine Runner, and Beach Buggy Blitz – has long been taking advantage of NVIDIA's Tegra processors. In fact, Riptide was one of the games used to show off the power of the Tegra 2 back in the day, and it was even updated to add enhanced graphics for the Tegra 3, once again highlighting the power of Tegra.
Now, NVIDIA has released a teaser video showing off Riptide GP 2, which will of course be optimized for the Tegra 4 and its 72 GPU cores.
Wild West stories are alright, but you can only rob so many stagecoaches before things become boring. Developer Kerosene Games is refreshing this classic trope by adding a little horror and steampunk to the mix in Bladeslinger. This game is finally available on Android, but most devices aren't supported yet.
Bladeslinger is the masterfully-told story of general-purpose badass William Glaston. After returning to his home town of Hammer's Peak, he finds the place overrun with demons and monsters.
I readily admit that I'm not exactly on board with the notion that every Android app should conform to 'holo' aesthetics, or Android's 'design guidelines.' I think that such a view is inherently limiting to the creativity of developers, and ignores the fact that while there are many objectively bad ways to do software UI/UX, there are nearly as many good ways, too. And lest we forget: even Google doesn't always get these things right.
In a post to its official blog today, the team behind Chameleon Launcher announced version 2.0, which simultaneously hit the Play Store. The update, which is – for now – only available to Kickstarter backers and pre-order customers, brings a handful of popularly requested features. Perhaps the biggest of these is optimization for the small screen. Yes, Chameleon is now specifically optimized to work on your smartphone as well as it does on your tablet.