Stock Android has had built-in tethering since version 2.2 way back in 2010, but most carrier-branded devices in the US have the option disabled. Sure, there are root apps and various workarounds, but they can be a mess. If you don't need web access, but want your devices on a local network, you're often out of luck. A new app from well-known developer Chainfire gives you back some control (on some devices), and it doesn't require root.
The app is designed to be simple – just pick a network name and a password, then activate. WPA2 AES + TKIP is always enabled in the interest of security and ease of use.
If there is a parallel universe in which World War 2 didn't occur, I'd bet there are far fewer games there. Well, like it or not Hills of Glory 3D is a WWII-themed title that's part strategy and part "castle defense." On the upside, it's pretty enjoyable.
This is a follow up to the original Hills of Glory, but this time with a whole extra dimension. The graphics are clean and cartoon-y – it actually looks surprisingly good for only being a 49MB download. You're basically tasked with taking out enemy troops using a variety of weapons and abilities, but they are determined to destroy your bunker and go on to conquer Europe.
The founders of Do@ (often spelled DoAT) believe your smartphone is boring and stale, and they want to make it "dynamic" with Everything.me Launcher. I always love new and innovative launchers, or, just about anything that could dramatically change how I interact with my smartphone. When I saw the video, which promises your smartphone will adapt to whatever you are interested in, I was more than a little intrigued. The idea is for people to declare what they want to see at the moment, and then immerse them with imagery and apps.
Everything.me is a typical home screen replacement in most ways, and even appears to be based on the stock Jellybean launcher.
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. StatusAgenda is free on the Play Store, and still listed as a beta for the moment.
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. Since most readers don't have enough time to check out every worthy competitor in the store, we'll take a peek at the six games we think stood out most 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. Also, this update brings an always-on state, so your device won't shut off while you're using the companion app. SmartGlass is free on the Play Store and the update is available immediately.
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.
While plenty of players were ecstatic at the ability to play Tapped Out across multiple devices and operating systems, at least a few let out a cry of "glavin" at the inexplicable loss, as evidenced by recent reviews in the Play Store and our own tips box.
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. For that reason, we've got monthly roundups featuring just a handful of the very very best apps and games from the previous month.
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.
Basemark X is also pretty impressive as a demonstration of the graphical power of Unity 4.