Here's the gist: Google is experimenting with virtual reality displays at I/O 2014, including a new VR toolkit for developers to try out. They've also created an Android app that will let you simulate an Oculus Rift-style, dual-screen VR headset using only your phone, kind of like that Samsung rumor from last month. Here's the problem: you don't have a headset. Google I/O attendees are getting free headsets that they can build out of cardboard, which then holds their phone at optimal VR-viewing distance.
Google is taking the stage at I/O 2014 to announce a lot of really interesting stuff, but if you listen carefully, you may hear a shout out to Udacity. The official Android app has been released in conjunction with the show, allowing you to learn programming at your own pace from your Android device of choice.
Plants vs Zombies 2 launched last year with three worlds, and an update followed months later that added a fourth one with a sci-fi theme. Now Electronic Arts has rolled out another expansion of content that introduces more plants, zombies, and stages to occupy players' time. And this one is decidedly darker.
The biggest change, as the 'Dark Ages' name would suggest, is the addition of nocturnal stages. Sun power won't fall from the sky, and rather than sunflowers, players will need sun shrooms to harness light in the dark of night.
Well, it was fun while it lasted. In a conclusion to court cases that have been going around the country ever since the service started in 2012, the US Supreme Court ruled this morning that Aereo TV is in active violation of copyright law. The decision in favor of television and cable broadcasters and their corporate backers will effectively cripple the web and mobile streaming TV service, and may destroy the company altogether.
I don't think I've seen such a strange combination of traditional 2D fighting games and music-rhythm gameplay since the vastly underrated Slap-Happy Rhythm Busters. In The Rhythm of Fighters, you take SNK-Playmore's classic cast of King of Fighters characters (and a few others) and have them beat the crap out of each other. But instead of over-the-top button combinations and super moves, this game tasks you with tapping and sliding in time with the chiptune music, which will correspond with your fighter's moves.
Hey, Spotify users – how's it going? It's about to be going even better, because with the latest update to the music streaming app, you can finally add full albums to playlists (I kind of can't believe this wasn't possible before), and it will also confirm if you try to add the same song to a playlist twice. Both are welcome features, and should improve the playlist experience pretty drastically – it'll definitely make it a lot easier to make playlists from the collected works of a single artist.
It looks like the "OK, Google" search hotword has now become a standard feature for advanced Android launchers. Nova Launcher added the search function in its 3.0 update earlier this month, and now its biggest competitor, Apex, has followed suit. Users who are on Android 4.4 can enable the voice-activated search function in Apex Launcher 2.4. Earlier versions, sadly, cannot access the functionality - you'll have to search with your fingers like some kind of sad troglodyte.
The hunt is on. Or it will be right after the main Google I/O keynote is over. If you're a registered attendee of the conference and you have some free time between sessions, the yearly location-based I/O treasure hunt will provide you with enough trivia and challenges to keep you entertained.
This year, you will be looking for Alex, the Android dog, who left a trail of NFC tags all over Moscone Center, starting with a booth on Floor 3.