It should come as no surprise that Microsoft wants to have a larger footprint in the mobile market. So the company is taking one of its flagship products and having it shipped preloaded on a significantly larger number of phones and tablets. No, silly, not Windows. I'm talking about Office.
Microsoft has announced that it is partnering with a good number of OEMs to have Office shipped out of the box on a plethora of hardware over the next year.
A few days ago, we noticed a new sight in Inbox by Gmail - another FAB. The new floating action button is blue, and exists only to create reminders. Since then, we've received numerous reports of the FAB popping up for more users. Personally, only one of my two accounts has the new FAB, suggesting that this might be a slow rollout or even an A/B test for the new feature.
Keep your eyes peeled for major changes to the Photos app and experience this week. A little birdie tells us that Google is preparing to shake things up, and all could be revealed in a few days. The changes will reportedly involve Photos and the associated auto-backup features currently built into Google+. What could it be?
The dream of the 1990s was a paperless office, a digital wonderland where no one would ever have to change a toner cartridge again. That, um, didn't work out - for the love of Pete, some of you still have fax machines. For all those annoying times when the old dead tree world intersects with your online life, Adobe has created Fill & Sign, an app that lets you easily digitize and automatically fill in paperwork. Yes, you can even put your signature in there.
This sort of thing has been done before: point your phone's camera at a form, snap a photo, and the app will automatically crop, re-orient, and clean up the page for digital formatting.
The popular endless runner Fotonica has finally made its way to Android, popping up on the Play Store today after gaining popularity on desktop computers and debuting on iOS in late 2014. More than just another entry in a crowded space of similar games, Fotonica will surprise you with its details and polish. The simple, Tron-like interface of vector graphics is a refreshing departure from the typical cartoon look of competitors such as Temple Run. And rather than a maze of twists and turns, Fotonica has you move straight ahead at all times, with vertical movements providing the challenge.
On the far right above, you can see the split-screen multiplayer mode.
This weekend's poll is about your money - and how you spend it. Specifically, on the Play Store. Now, when I ask if you've bought an app or game on the Play Store, I mean an app or game, not music, movies, books, or TV shows - nor any kind of subscription. For the purpose of this poll, purchases of "unlock" IAPs (in-app purchases) that unlock a full, ad-free, or "pro" version of an app or game will count. This is because these kinds of IAPs are simply substitutes for a paid license, and we don't want to exclude demo or trial-ware, since the end result of a purchase is the same thing (a fully-featured / unlocked app or game).
Welcome to the latest entry in our Bonus Round series, wherein we tell you all about the new Android games of the day that we couldn't get to during our regular news rounds. Consider this a quick update for the dedicated gamers who can't wait for our bi-weekly roundups, and don't want to wade through a whole day's worth of news just to get their pixelated fix. Today we've got a new take on Shakespeare, an updated "pirate math" game, an interestingly diverse endless runner, and long-overdue MOBA. Without further ado:
To Be Or Not To Be
This isn't your typical Tin Man text-based adventure.
Before Android 5.0, the Android power menu (reached by pressing and holding the physical power button) included options for an airplane mode and setting the ringer to on, vibrate, or silent. And that was just the AOSP implementation: some manufacturer skins, custom ROMs, and root tools added extras like a screenshot button, a reboot menu, and other goodies. But with Android 5.0, we get... this.
Cricket. Cricket. That's the one like baseball, but with the flat bats and a circular field and a ton of players and black tea afterwards, right? I apologize - as an American it's hard for me to concentrate on sports that don't involve constant concussions and commercial breaks every two minutes. But I am reliably informed that Cricket is enjoyed in Britain and all the places that used to be Britain (except this one). For all of those people, the International Cricket Council has teamed up with the UK arm of Indian publisher Reliance Big Entertainment to offer an official World Cup fantasy app.
Tactical military strategy and RPGs make a natural fit for mobile platforms, especially tablets, thanks to a top-down battlefield and gameplay that's helped along by precision movement. Android already has a small but impressive collection of tactical strategy options, including notable PC/console games like XCOM and more niche options like Ambition of the Slimes. Now Android strategy fans can play Frozen Synapse Prime, a well-received remake of the original Frozen Synapse, for $5.
PS Vita version shown above - developer Double Eleven didn't bother to create an Android trailer.
Frozen Synapse Prime was first released on the PlayStation Vita last November, then ported to the PS3 and PC.