Oh Brazil, you magnificent country of beautiful landscapes, sexy women, excellent football players, and silly judges and judicial system. For the third time since 2015, a Brazilian state judge has ordered a complete shut down on WhatsApp by forcing operators to block the service nationwide for 72 hours, and thus killing the main means of communication of 91% of the country's mobile users.
The main question is why. Due to legal secrecy in the country, the details aren't released, but it appears that this isn't related to the first two bans in February of 2015 (issued by judge Luiz de Moura Correia from the state of Piauí) and December of 2015 (issued by a São Paulo judge).
The Nearby API is arguably one of the coolest features Google introduced in Play Services last year, but its potential remains largely untapped. Pocket Casts and Trello were one of the first apps to use it for sharing, but very few apps have since followed suit and even less have been built solely to utilize this new capability. Last week, we heard of Radon, an app that shares links to nearby devices, and today we have another new app that does the same for contact cards: Card Case.
Contact sharing is, if you ask me, one of the most logical ways to use Nearby.
Welcome to the roundup of the best new Android applications, games, and live wallpapers that went live in the Play Store or were spotted by us in the previous 2 weeks or so.
Please wait for this page to load in full in order to see the widgets, which include ratings and pricing info.
Looking for the previous roundup editions? Find them here.
Internet Radio - PlayTime
This week's roundup is brought to you by Playtime Internet Radio from HandyApps. This useful all-in-one radio manager allows users to search for specific songs or shows streaming on thousands of live channels all across the Internet, or use the more conventional recommendation engine for a more random experience.
Humble Bundle ended its bi-weekly mobile deals a while back, but there's still a new Android bundle every now and then. Like right now, for example. You can get up to eight Android games, with more on the way. You just have to jump on the deal before it expires in two weeks.
Dwayne Johnson, AKA The Rock, may be the most likeable man in the universe. And now he has an alarm clock app that, above all else, perpetuates this, because he's The Rock. You may say, "David, what makes this so much better than my amazing alarm clock app that I already have?" To which I would answer: this one contains nearly infinitely more Dwayne Johnson. And Dwayne Johnson does not do "snooze" buttons.
One of the alarm tones is just Johnson saying "beep, beep, beep." This may sound boring, but it is, in fact, objectively amazing. Another begins with a soft, typical-morning-wake-up harp ringtone, followed by The Rock smashing said harp, and then shouting "JABRONI!" You cannot make this up.
Keyboard apps aren't the most exciting things, but they're one of the apps you interact with most on your phone. Think about how much you type, and how much that experience has improved over the years. Google hasn't added anything important to the Google Keyboard lately, but apparently they've been saving it up. The new v5.0 update is rolling out, and it's huge. There are UI tweaks, new gestures, layout changes, and so much more.
Google added support for delta app updates ages ago to save you from re-downloading an entire app every time there's an update. That's all well and good, but the process hasn't been very transparent. Now, it looks like the Play Store has started showing the size of an update rather than the full app size.
WhatsApp has conquered the world of low-cost SMS alternatives, at least in the international market. The company's practically free system, which uses standard phone numbers and a text message-style interface, gained hundreds of millions of users before being acquired by Facebook for an amazing $19 billion. WhatsApp already offers a web interface for sending and receiving messages away from your phone, but it looks like something a bit more complex may be in the works.
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 have a new licensed pinball game from Zen, a stylish take on Minesweeper, two retro-inspired platformers, another Sparke "life" game, a simplified brawler, and a connect-the-dots puzzle game. Without further ado:
It's impossible to launch a new flagship phone these days without some fancy (and expensive) companion devices. At least that seems to be the approach that Samsung and LG are taking, and the former has a very interesting 360-degree action camera on the way. The Gear 360 captures both still photos and video in (you guessed it) 360 degrees thanks to dual lenses and a ball-like design. The Gear 360 is launched in Samsung's home market of Korea, and though it's yet to get a western release, the companion app is already available.