Over the last few months, the team working on Google Maps has been making it easier for users to browse photos of different landmarks and businesses. Each location includes a space set aside for pictures, but a few types of businesses also sport dedicated albums. Some of the examples include pictures of the food and atmosphere inside restaurants. A new album just joined the list: photos representing the amenities available at hotels and other similar lodgings.
It's great when we see games that have been on consoles arrive on Android, especially ones as fun as Xenoraid. The side-scrolling shoot-em-up has been available on Steam, PlayStation 4, XBox One, and Playstation Vita for a while now, but has just made its way onto Google Play.
I have to confess, despite being fairly well-rounded in all aspects of geeky culture, I'm clueless when it comes to One Piece. There's a stretchy guy and another dude who likes to eat his sword and a woman who can never seem to find her shirt and some kind of tiny moose-bear, and everybody wants this weird fruit. Or maybe treasure. Oh, and there are pirates! Whatever's actually happening in the anime, you can now relive your favorite stretchy-sword-bikini-fruity-pirate-moose moments in Namco Bandai's latest Android game, Thousand Storm.
Cynical One Piece fans might be expecting yet another licensed card game, as that seems to be the favored format for these kinds of tie-in titles.
Announced at Google I/O last year and released a few months later, Allo is the company's latest attempt at a chat application. The excitement has long since worn off, but Google hasn't abandoned it (yet). Perhaps what Allo really needs is more chat bots, because Allo 5.0 introduces the 'Lucky' bot.
The original Myst games were, somewhat appropriately, lost in time. First released in 1993, Myst debuted just as the point-and-click adventure game genre was dying out in favor of full 3D RPGs and shooters now enabled by more advanced personal computers with CD-ROM drives. Myst tried to bridge the gap: it used the same focus on exploration, puzzle-solving, and narrative that games from Lucasarts and Sierra had relied upon, but added stunning prerendered graphics to make its island mystery more visually compelling. Sequels, spin-offs, and re-releases continued for about ten years, until the tastes of the market shifted once again.
The recent rollout of Google Play services v10.2 came with a cool new Instant Tethering feature that automatically enables a small set of devices to sip on a shared cellular signal when they're in need. Aside from a couple of minor tweaks, that appears to be the only major functional change we're supposed to access at this time. However, that doesn't mean there aren't a few other things waiting to be revealed. Fresh additions to the APK reveal new data types coming to the Google Fit API. There's also support baked in for the new FIDO Alliance U2F tokens for secure authentication.
Giphy released its official Android app in April of last year, but it had one caveat. You couldn't easily save the GIFs to your device (there were workarounds, but not ones regular users would know), you could only share them to other apps. This meant you had to know where exactly you wanted to use that GIF in order to benefit most from the app and you couldn't just browse, grab any GIFs you like, and keep them on the off-chance you'll need them later.
Back in June, Facebook released a new feature to the iOS app, Slideshow, which takes photos uploaded to the service and turns them into videos, much like in Google Photos. We've received a tip that says this is now being tested in the Facebook app on Android, although it's hard to say how widely.
None of the Android Police team have Slideshow in the Facebook app, so we've not actually been able to use it. However, what we can say is this: it appears in the 'Post to Facebook' Activity, above the 'Tag Friends' option. Tapping it brings up gallery pictures, of which you can choose images for the slideshow.
Google Translate's live camera translation feature is still one of the most impressive features I've seen in a mobile app, and one of the most convincing reasons that Google Glass should be resurrected. Google Translate's 5.7 update, in addition to fixing a sharing bug with Facebook Messenger, adds support for instant English to/from Japanese translation via the camera.