Holy crap - Google Wallet just dropped a bomb on everyone and announced that the service now supports Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover. We sort of suspected something like this would happen, and Google has managed to do it by making Wallet payments partially cloud-based, as opposed to a fully embedded system.
This means Wallet will work offline for the actual payment (it stores an encrypted card ID in the NFC chip), but does require an active internet connectionif you want switch payment options or add a new one.
When it comes to mobile benchmarks, there are a few names that almost instantly come to mind: Quadrant, AnTuTu, CFBench, etc. However, those primarily test the CPU; when it comes to testing the GPU, one name stands above the rest: GLBenchmark.
A new version of GLBenchmark recently landed in the Play Store, bringing with it some changes that drastically increase the benchmark's relevance on modern devices. For starters, the Egypt benchmark, now known as Egypt HD, has been completely overhauled with richer textures, a new environment, varied shading, and more dynamic lighting/camera angles.
When you're creating a game, there are a few key things you need to include: a good atmosphere (be it an intriguing story or just some wildly immersive effects), good gameplay mechanics, and a good hook. What's going to grab the users' attention? Well, for Gears and Guts, all three of those requirements can be summed up with "driving cars into zombies." Oh, and did I mention there's a sweet soundtrack to go along with it?
In an e-mail sent out to Play Store developers earlier, Google announced several updates to its developer program policy. The e-mail mentioned changes in policy including clarification to payment policy regarding subscription billing, the restriction of the "use of names or icons confusingly similar to existing system apps" (a statement that brings back memories of Facebook's "Messenger" gaffe), clarification regarding dangerous products, and practices that violate the Play Store's spam policy, all in addition to a stringent new Ad Policy.
If you're a frequent traveler, you have no doubt heard about SeatGuru. This is a wonderful service that helps you figure out which seat will be the best on your next flight. At long last SeatGuru has released an Android app so you can get this invaluable information on the go.
SeatGuru allows you to pull up a seat map for any plane by entering the flight number or browsing based on your itinerary.
Sudo Make Me An App has just released Sudo QuickLaunch to the Play Store, an app that handily replaces Google Search's swipe-up gesture in Jelly Bean with a list of your favorite apps.
If you're like me, you hit the search bar in Jelly Bean more often than you swipe up to get to Google Search, so Sudo QuickLaunch is a welcome addition that not only makes that gesture useful, but can keep your home screen clutter-free.
I make no bones of the fact that Amazon's MP3 service is my favored music playback option on Android, and the service just got a big update to compete with its primary rival - Google Music. The general changelog is here, but it's a little difficult to parse, so I'll give you the gist.
Imported file matching to Amazon MP3 library. This is big. Any time you import music into Amazon Cloud Player, before the file is uploaded, Amazon scans the entirety of the eligible Amazon MP3 library and if it finds a match, just adds that file to your Cloud Player library.
Ouya just can't stay out of the headlines, can it? After recently announcing that the TV-centric Android gaming system would come with built-in OnLive support, the company is back to say that it's partnering with Square Enix to bring Final Fantasy III to your TV. If you live in Japan, this might be old news, but it marks the first time anywhere else that the game will be available via a television-based console.
The Spotify Android app typically lags behind not only its counterpart on other platforms, but even its own desktop app. One of the nicest features that the streaming service offers on the desktop is its Radio services. Using your own selections as a starting point, Spotify will put together automated playlists based on your taste. You know, like Pandora. As of today's update, the Radio functions are not only available on mobile but are even accessible even if you don't have Spotify Premium.
When crowd-favorite zombie shooter Dead Trigger decided to drop its price from $0.99 to free, citing concerns over piracy, the tech world renewed its interest in an age-old debate: how bad is piracy for developers? Of course, any lost sale is money out of a developer's pocket (though it's important to distinguish between downloads and lost sales). However, the question should and needs to be answered: just how bad is the piracy problem on Android?