Today, in a post on the Android Developers Blog, Google announced two new tools that might be of interest to quite a few of the game developers out there. Among the releases is a new open-source 2D physics library called LiquidFun and a Unity plugin for adding Google Play Games support. These releases coincide with the news of additional game categories coming to the Play Store in February, which we covered earlier today.
Santa Claus is one of the few people on this planet that can be tracked without stirring any moral outrage from anyone, and few are as equipped for the job as Google - after all, the company's been doing this for a while now. This year's version of Google's Santa Tracker has made its way into the Play Store, and you would be wise to grab it before the night of December 24th if you want to know when jolly old St.
Cabela's Big Game Hunter series has made the jump to Android, and while it may not come with a giant white and orange plastic rifle, it will still let you shoot down forest critters until your heart's content. For the uninitiated, Big Game Hunter is a casual hunting simulator. You won't be fending off hordes of blood-thirsty monsters here, though some of the animals you come across won't take kindly to your creeping around in their neck of the woods.
Spotify made news earlier today by lowering its barrier to entry, allowing users to stream music to their phone or tablets for free. Yet it isn't the only music-streaming service in town, and competitor Rdio has expanded access to 20 additional countries. This brings the total number of supported territories up to 51, which this handy map illustrates.
The most obvious new addition to Gmail 4.7 is the Vacation Responder. You can set start and end dates, enter a subject and some text, and check a toggle to only send the vacation response to your contacts.
Google rolled out the Android Device Manager a few months ago, but for whatever reason, there was no matching Android app. That changes today as Google has finally gotten around to releasing one. The app contains all the functionality from the website in a mobile-friendly package and it is, of course, free.
App Ops showed up in Android 4.3 and made it possible to revoke permissions on a per-app basis. It wasn't exposed in the main system settings, but it was easy to access. Then Android 4.4 made it quite a bit harder to get to, and now it appears to be completely missing in 4.4.2. What gives? Well, Android engineer Dianne Hackborn has indicated App Ops was never meant to be a user-facing feature in the first place.
Google's voice search function is undeniably cool, and it's only getting better since the company has expanded the capabilities of the Android Search/Google Now app. However, there's one tragic flaw in the execution of voice actions: they can't make popcorn. But if you add some of Android's most powerful root-enabled tools, namely Tasker, the Xposed Framework, and the previously-featured AutoVoice, the sky's the limit. With the right hardware and tinkering, you can start living your Starfleet dreams in jig time.
Six to Start's latest app is another pedometer for people who need more motivation to get off the couch. Similar to the team's previous game, Zombies, Run!, The Walk is an immersive experience that pits players in the midst of a suspenseful storyline - but rather than tap and swipe at the screen to make progress, you must get on your feet and move. It hopes to change your next walk around town into an adventure you will never forget.