The comings and going of ants are rarely fodder for a good strategy game, but when you think about it, they're tailor made. Ants have lots of natural enemies, a hive-mind social structure for you to command, and ants don't take crap from anyone (ever step on an anthill?). In Ant Raid, you take command of a group of anthropomorphized ants under attack from all sides. Snails, wasps, and all manner of other small-stature troublemakers are out to destroy the colony, and you're the only one that can stop them.
Ant Raid has a very simple concept at its core: keep the colony alive.
Who knew that keyboards could be so competitive? After SwiftKey released its new Flow feature, and even included the ability to fly through space, Swype had a pressing need to escalate. Well, how's this for handy: now you no longer need to register in order to download the new Swype beta! In times past, Swype's distribution model has been a little cumbersome. Of course, this will only help people who want in on the beta, but it's still a great thing. Speaking of great things, here's a video of anthropomorphized finger ninjas talking about crowd-sourced dictionaries.
Now that we've said goodbye to December, it's once again time to take a look at the month's best new apps. Of course having reached January, we've also started a new year, and our full look at 2012's best new apps and games will be ready shortly. That being said, December 2012 had plenty to offer. In the interest of saving our readers some time, and possibly expense, we've rounded up five of the very best apps to hit the Play Store in the last month.
There are a lot of post-Ice Cream Sandwich launchers out there, but there aren't a lot of launchers that do something different.
NVIDIA's jaw-dropping Tegra 4 and Project Shield demos showed off a lot of impressive hardware, but any gamer will tell you: it's all about the games themselves. To that end, they've revealed a few of the games currently in development and set to take advantage of both the Tegra 4 and Shield's console-style controls. We've already seen Madfinger's Dead Trigger 2, but on the shiny new Shield website, there are brief glimpses of other titles.
Blood Sword: Sword of Ruin
First up is Blood Sword: Sword of Ruin. This is the first time we've seen the game, but based on the screenshot, it seems to be a Devil May Cry-type fantasy hack-and-slash action title. This one should make good use of the controller.
If you've been following PC gaming, you know that Valve has big plans for its Steam platform. NVIDIA wants to leverage the new "Big Picture" mode (a TV user interface, designed to make a gaming PC work more like a game console) with the brand-spanking new Project Thor Shield mobile gaming device. At the CES press conference, NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang showed off the Shield Hardware streaming live PC games from a local machine running a high-end GTX 680 graphics card.
The interface allows for launching both individual games and Steam itself, in a solution that doesn't look like it was built around Steam specifically.
Titanium Backup, perhaps the most popular and powerful root backup solution available, got an update to version 5.8 today, an update that brought with it fixes, added support, and new features.
Probably the most significant new feature is the addition of web server backup uploading and downloading (for Pro users). If that sounded like a sentence written in Greek, we'll try to expound – what this means is that your device can now start a web server right from the Titanium Backup interface. You can then download and upload backups on your PC by accessing the server (in a method similar to AirDroid).
Falcon Pro, the beautiful Twitter client born of Joaquim Verges' Falcon Widget, got an update today, bringing the app to version 1.5. Besides the usual bug fixes, this update brings several big enhancements, not the least of which being a completely new, completely appealing "light theme," which will switch your Twitter experience to a pleasing holo light look.
If you have a Sphero – the Bluetooth-controlled robot ball – then you know just how much fun they can be. If you happen to have more than one Sphero, you're in for a real treat, as you can now operate multiple Spheros from a single device, thanks to a new feature in the app called Multi-Ball.
It's worth noting that Multi-Ball is still in its experimental stages for the time being, so it may not work properly 100% of the time.
To use the feature, all you need to do is select each ball individually from the connection screen, hit done, and...
SwiftKey Flow Beta, which came out just a month ago, has received its first major update since release. Version 18.104.22.168 brings some significant changes, along with a massive changelog (well, it's a things-to-be-aware-of / known issues log, too). More important to you, though, is probably where and how to download it. Here's the smartphone version, and here's the tablet version. Now, for the log:
SwiftKey Flow Beta 22.214.171.124 changelog
Flow-through-space autocommit: if you flow-through space but mess up your last word, all the prior words will be inserted (instead of losing all the words)
Flow in landscape on tablets (not on split layout with numpad)
Battery usage improved (when flowing and when not in use)
Performance of flowing and tapping improved
Longpress of bottom-right (smiley/enter) button now works
Fixed some force close issues
Fixed some memory leaks
Predictions not lost when changing keyboard layout (e.g to symbols)
Fixed DOuble CApitalization issue
Things to be aware of:
Flowing currently only works in fields where you see the prediction bar: in fields that have their own prediction or completion there is no prediction bar and therefore no Flow (e.g.
If you've got fond memories of spending Saturday morning watching the antics of Peter Perfect, Penelope Pitstop, and Dick Dastardly (themselves based on The Great Racefrom 1965), then you should check out Steampunk Racing 3D. While it doesn't have the same abundance of personality as the Hanna Barbara classic, it's definitely got the cartoonish exaggeration down pat. In this full polygonal racer, you're tasked with navigating your steam-powered contraption through an Industrial Revolution setting while dealing with other racers, with varying degrees of prejudice.
The game takes the typical kart racer approach: various speed boosters and power-ups can be found throughout the tracks, which you can hold in three slots as you go.