This is why it's great that Google unbundles core apps from the OS. While it might take a considerable amount of time before the newest version of Jelly Bean rolls out to your device, current Android 4.1 users can upgrade Google Search right now and get access to the latest improvements to Google Now. The list of fun new features includes additional cards (like Stocks, News, Concerts, and Packages), as well as voice actions, including the glorious ability to add events to your calendar with via speech.
We know a lot of our international readers have been eager to get their hands on the Play Store's content ecosystem. It turns out Google is just as eager for that as you are. In addition to movie rentals, users in Canada, the UK, France, Spain, and Australia will be able to purchase movies outright and watch them forever.
Said Google on the matter:
Now you're talking, Square Enix. After releasing Final Fantasy after Final Fantasy to Android, the RPG legend has gotten around to releasing everyone's favorite non-terminal adventure: Chrono Trigger! For the uninitiated, what's taking you so long? This game has been out since the Super NES and has been emulated to death! Heck, it's even available on the DS. You're out of excuses now, it's time to play.
Now Androis users can also experience the entire, time-spanning adventure.
Most of our readers consider themselves power users, and rightly so. Perhaps you don't have a spare 1.8 seconds to laboriously tap the Home button, then the app launcher, then that app you use every third Tuesday. Well, obsessive customizers, your new best friend on the Google Play Store is FlipLauncher, a free app that embeds up to five completely adjustable launcher ribbons over any and every part of Android.
Don't let its admittedly plain looks fool you: FlipLauncher is surprisingly versatile.
Cloud backups are a dime a dozen these days, and if you use Dropbox, you already have access to its Camera Upload feature to instantly transfer your images. Still, if you prefer ImageShack for all your photo hosting needs, then Skypath is an app for you.
Holy notifications, Batman.
Basically, it allows you to upload all of your pictures to ImageShack, effectively creating a backup of said imagines in the cloud.
If you're a fan of tower defense games, then you've probably played one of the first two Tower Raiders (or both). You probably also know what a saturated market the TD scene is. So, what's a title like TR to do to stand out in the crowd? Create a completely immersive environment - that's what.
I have to say it looks pretty amazing, and I'm not even a big fan of TD games.
There's a startling amount of crossover between people who use Android for their mobile needs and Windows and Xbox for their desktop and console gaming. The SmartGlass app has been a definite hit for Xbox 360 users who also have Windows Phone 7 devices... all eight of them. Now Android users can join the fun: Microsoft's released the official SmartGlass app for Android, available for free in the Play Store.
If you're not familiar with SmartGlass, it controls just about every aspect of the media-friendly Xbox 360 aside from actual game control.
We just heard that Rockstar is planning on bringing the excellent Grand Theft Auto: Vice City to Android later this year, but it looks like they've got even more good news. Today you can get Grand Theft Auto III, the original sandbox game, for just $.99. It's normally $4.99, but to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Vice City, you can pick it up for a special price for an unspecified time.
If you're not familiar with the 8-bit adventures developed by OrangePixel (see some of our past coverage here, and here), you should probably check them out. Their latest and greatest, Meganoid 2 - the sequel to their most popular title, Meganoid - just hit the Play Store.
Meganoid is inspired by the ultra-difficult (and ultra-fun) platformers on the 1980's and 90's. And yes, it's supposed to look like that.
If you've got fond memories of speeding through "don't call it Miami" Vice City to the sounds of a drugged-up Scottish hair band bickering in the back of your limousine, good news: you'll soon be able to take the experience with you. Grand Theft Auto developer Rockstar has announced that as part of the 10th anniversary celebration for GTA: Vice City, they'll be releasing mobile versions for both Android and iOS later this year.