It has been a little over a month since Mistwalker Corporation's tile-based tactical role-playing game Terra Battle2 went up on the Play Store for pre-registration. Well, it would appear that it has finally been officially released as you can now download the game straight to your device. Sadly there's one caveat, the servers are not up and running yet. They are set to go live at 11:00 PM PST, which is still quite a few hours away. Read More
Minecraft could be considered this generation's Doom - it runs on everything. Beyond the original Java-based game, there are versions for the Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4, New 3DS, Nintendo Switch, Wii U, PS Vita, iOS, Android, Windows 10, Amazon Fire TV, and Apple TV. This is made even more confusing by some editions having different features. Minecraft's 'Better Together Update' is the first step in addressing the feature fragmentation and implementing cross-play support. Read More
Ever since the Essential phone and X were announced, do you find yourself staring longingly at your fully rectangular display (rounded corners don't count) and wish, just hope, that part of it would disappear and you'd get a black notch up top? Something to hide that ugly middle of the notification bar, something to make you feel as if only 3 or 4 icons on each side of it mattered, and anything else can go to hell? Read More
The procession of apps reaching 100 million downloads on the Play Store continues, and the latest to join the club is the famous Speedtest by Ookla. If you've never heard of it before, then you probably never had to test the speed of your data or WiFi connection to brag in front of friends or to complain to your ISP.
Speedtest does its job and does it well. I don't keep it installed on my devices, but I always rush to grab it when something feels iffy about my connection, whether it's uncharacteristically fast (yeah, that dream happened once or twice) or much much slower than usual. Read More
Xiaomi is following in the footsteps of many OEMs and releasing its apps onto the Play Store for faster updates, which avoids the long waits of firmware upgrades. However, Xiaomi is doing something differently: it's allowing users of other brands' devices to use its apps. After the capable Mi Calculator, now we have Mi FileExplorer on the Play Store. The app is still marked as "Unreleased" so it's still in beta, but from my tests it seems to work quite well.
Mi FileExplorer reminds me of the built-in file browser I've seen on my Samsung and LG devices: there's a regular directory browser, but also a per-type categorization that lets you view all your stored images or videos or APKs or documents (and other types) regardless of which folder they're in. Read More
The ever-impressive Google Earth saw a sizeable update earlier this year that included new features like guided tours, knowledge cards, and 3D views. Allowing us to see the world from the comfort of our own home is the goal of the Google Earth team, and to that end, it's added another viewpoint with beautiful images crowdsourced from users around the globe. Read More
Smartphones have become a critical component for many of the things we do in our lives. There are still plenty of bugs and weird little things that don't quite work right on our phones, but it's when they have to connect to other devices that many of the strangest behaviors start to crop up. For years, one particular issue has been plaguing users as they connect a phone to their car stereos, headphones, or other audio output devices. Moments after a connection is made, the phone will suddenly and unexpectedly begin playing music – and anecdotally, they're always quite loud. Google Play Music is often blamed for this behavior because it's the app most likely to respond, but there's now a toggle to prevent that from happening. Read More
This flew under our radar for a while, but Google Maps was updated a while back to add some extra support for Android's multi-window. Now when you've got Maps open together with another application, it will continue to work, updating your location and orientation even when it isn't the application in focus. Read More