Remember Curiosity? It's alright if you don't - it wasn't a very good game, despite having an interesting social concept. Basically a bunch of people continually tapped at an enormous digital cube clearing billions of virtual tiles, and only one of them would "win" by reaching the center. The Tootsie Roll center of that Tootsie Pop turned out to be Godus, a crowdfunded game that allows players to play god and influence the lives of tiny polygonal villagers.
TWRP is a commonly employed tool when you need to flash some ZIP files or backup your whole device, and it's getting an update today with a number of fixes and small feature improvements. There's no new handset support, but devices that already have TWRP should work a little better in some cases.
HTC Zoe is a social network of sorts built around video highlights. According to the latest update's changelog, the app now works on devices running the latest version of Google's mobile operating system, including the Nexus 6 and the Nexus 9. Here it is on my updated HTC One M7.
That's not all this release has in store. The list of changes includes a new highlight engine that enables new themes, effects, and transitions.
The Flickr app got a substantial redesign not long ago, and it's not bad. The new version brings some additional features, including something mysterious and "sparkly." I'm not sure what that means, but there are some other, less cryptic features as well.
Let's be honest here - Amazon's Fire Phone was a complete flop. It makes a lot less sense than something like the Fire Tablets, which are at least somewhat useful outside of just being a front for Amazon's store (which is precisely what Fire Phone is). But the hardware is solid, and it's not a bad phone -- especially when you can get it for $199 off-contract and unlocked. Throw in a year of Amazon Prime, and you've basically got a really decent handset for a Benjamin.
Next Lock Screen is certainly one of the most usable projects to come out of Microsoft Garage. It's a contextual lock screen made with busy professionals in mind, that not only displays notifications, calendar events, and incoming calls and messages, but also tries to guess which apps you might need based on whether you're at work, home, or moving around. A music player with controls is included as well, along with weather updates, and a quick option to start a conference call.
After getting a sneak preview last week, it's time for Google to unleash another update to its Play Services package. There usually aren't very many highly visible changes in these updates, and this version is no exception. The APK Teardown already gave a pretty solid indication that this version will be responsible for scheduling firmware updates on Android One devices, and it contains an experimental Smart Unlock method based on Activity Recognition; but most of us probably won't see either of these for a while.
Exclusive titles like Half-Life 2 and Portal have served to make Nvidia's Shield devices more attractive to gamers, but that's usually about graphical optimization. The newly released OlliOlli is a bit different. This is a retro-themed skateboard stunt game that previously resided on Steam. Now it's on Android and exclusive to the Shield Portable. Yes, the Portable. Oh, and it's $12.99, just like the Steam version.
Circle is an app you can use to manage bitcoin, assuming, you know, that you're into Magic Internet Money. The latest update adds Android Wear support, which gives you the option of generating a QR code to use as an address for receiving byte-sized moolah or simply keeping an eye on bitcoin's going rate at the moment.
This update also adds NFC support, so you can use the app to transfer bitcoin by tapping your phone against something it plays along with, just in case paying using Google Wallet doesn't provide enough nerd cred.