If you're an RPG fan and haven't given Square Enix's Chaos Rings titles a spin on Android yet, they're almost definitely now worth the price of admission: just about $4 each. With the release of Chaos Rings 2 for Android yesterday, Square Enix is celebrating by slashing the price of the two earlier titles.
Both games are content-rich and story-driven JRPG's in the traditional style, though don't let their decided conservativeness in the genre fool you - the Chaos Rings games are Rolls Royces in a category (mobile RPGs) dominated by Kias. And at this price, now is definitely the time to buy.
At first glance, 10000000 doesn't look like anything to get excited about. If anything, its title should immediately give you a headache - how many zeroes is that again? (It's 7, by the way.) Spoken 'ten million,' this puzzle-based RPG was released to a very warm critical reception on iOS last year (and later Windows / OS X), and has been a hit ever since.
So, what's with that title? Actually, ten million is the score you'll have to achieve on a single 'run' to escape the castle our unnamed hero. You don't have any direct control over the character, you simply match up 3 tiles of a single type in the puzzle below the dungeon to deal with situations your hero encounters as they arise.
We saw a pre-rendered trailer for Rovio's latest licensed game last month, though it wasn't much more than a trailer for the Dreamworks movie it's based on. Today you can download The Croods in Google Play for free, and it's a surprising departure from both Rovio's physics-based comfort zone and the source material. Based on the brief description and trailer, the game straddles the line between a Monster Rancher creature feature and the familiar Sim City/Farmville genre.
Gameplay consists of mixing agriculture with hunter-gatherer, as the father figure (Nicholas "not the bees!" Cage in the movie) traps and subdues various prehistoric creatures, while the rest of the cast builds and expands their one-family Bedrock.
As a cycle enthusiast, I've often used My Tracks to keep track of distance traveled, route, and time spent on each ride. And while we all thought it was a dead project for a long while (it was one of the first Android apps, after all), it received a much-needed facelift back in September of 2012, which brought a new record interface, better widget, and pause/resume functionality. Fast-forward to today, and another small-but-useful update has been pushed to the app.
Today's update is more about function than form, as it brings improved sync and sharing features:
What's in this version:
- sync with Google Drive - share via Google Drive - view tracks shared with me - import kml files - add lock screen widget - send Google feedback
The biggest addition here has to be Drive sync, as it keeps all tracks and other relevant info stored in one place.
If you've ever been one to tinker, build, or indulge in DIY projects, you've probably visited Instructables at one point or another. It's a great resource for those looking for specific how-tos, or just wanting something to do on a rainy day. Illustrated instructions are provided by the site's users, and can be discussed, favorited, or even downloaded.
Today, Autodesk (purveyors of other excellent apps like Pixlr Express) brought the crowd-sourced do-it-yourself spirit of Instructables to Android in an official app. The app allows for just about all the functionality of the website, in a nice holo-inspired package (the #EEBA26 looks stellar, doesn't it?).
"We're living in a new kind of computing environment," says Urs Hölzle, SVP Technical Infrastructure and Google Fellow in a new post to Google's official blog. The search giant has resolved to make a second sweep at spring cleaning that began two years ago. After this round of cleaning is complete, the total number of features and services Google will have closed will number 70.
In the post, Google announces the closure or deprecation of eight features and services, but buried four items deep is the one that will probably affect the most users: Google Reader.
Popular app AdAway was among those removed, and received notice that its app was in violation of section 4.4 of the Play Store Developer Distribution Agreement. Here is the cited section:
4.4 Prohibited Actions. You agree that you will not engage in any activity with the Market, including the development or distribution of Products, that interferes with, disrupts, damages, or accesses in an unauthorized manner the devices, servers, networks, or other properties or services of any third party including, but not limited to, Android users, Google or any mobile network operator.
Many moons ago – way back in December of 2012 – the GO Launcher team released a new thingy called Next Launcher. As its name suggests, it's a launcher. The next one, even. It was to take the place of Go Launcher, which was essentially defunct on Android 4.0+.
But Next came with a price. A $16 price, to be exact. And honestly, not many people want to shell out nearly $20 for any app – much less a launcher they can't try first. I guess after four months on the Store, the Go team finally realized this, as it has just released a 36-hour trial version of the app.
I've been a big fan of Battery Widget Reborn since we first covered it back in July of 2012. In fact, it's been installed on every device I've owned (or tested) since then. Why? Because it looks good, brings a lot of info to the table, and is constantly updated with new features.
One of my other favorite widgets is the more-recently announced DashClock Widget. There's a lot to love about it, too – like the fact that it supports extensions, making it infinitely customizable. Developers can easily add DashClock support into their app thanks to its handy API.
Some apps don't need much explanation. Sidewalk Buddy is one of those apps... but I'm going to explain it anyway. So, as everyone knows, attempting to chat or text on your phone as you walk on a busy city street is a great way to make people hate you. It's also a great way to bump into someone and drop your phone. But a lot of us still do it from time to time, because it seems like a good idea - and it's so efficient! I personally give up on either the walking or texting part after the first pedestrian-on-pedestrian collision, but Sidewalk Buddy may finally be the solution we've all been looking for.