In a pair of new thirty-second ad spots, Google is showing off what it does best – search. The spots both feature Google's Search app for Android, using the same cozy, refined aesthetic as Google's other ads in recent memory, even showing off Search's new "search with camera" functionality.
The first spot follows the story of a nervous job candidate, gaining some insight into his prospective employer's interests with a last-minute Google search, while the second spot shows us a "smart Dad" who uses Google Search as a cheat sheet to answer his inquisitive son's astronomical questions. Without further ado, here's the new set of ads.
As Google continues the work of expanding its Play Store services across the globe, it only makes sense that the giant is also working to provide a cohesive, pleasant experience for users in the 130+ countries that now support paid apps. To that end, Google has announced in a post to the Android Developers blog that developers can now include localized promotional graphics and video in their Play Store listings.
Basically, what this means is that developers can upload separate assets to ensure that users in, for example, the United States will see English-language graphics and video, while others around the world see materials in their own language.
Playmobil, famous for miniature people and toy sets covering themes from knights to doll house life to Native Americans, has partnered with Gameloft to bring their Playmobil Pirates game to the Play Store. While Pirates is significantly different from its Nintendo DS namesake, the game features the same animated Playmobil pirates and environments you'd expect, plenty of missions, and social integration.
Starting out, players will need to build a "pirate camp," or home base for a team of pirates you'll assemble to help in your ultimate quest to defeat Blackbeard. Before getting to the infamous pirate boss, however, players will need to complete one hundred levels of swashbuckling, firing cannons, and steering pirate ships, along with plenty of mini games, all while defending their pirate camp.
One of the bigger mobile games that still somehow manages to disappear under the marketing behemoth of Angry Birds is Cut the Rope. Now, the company behind that title has released a new adventure: Pudding Monsters. The basic gist is, there is red, gelatinous pudding in the fridge, and man is the guy who owns that fridge a jerk. He keeps eating all of these clearly-sentient and terrified desert creatures. Help them!
The game is played in stages, much like Cut The Rope, and requires some problem-solving skills to get the job done. You move, manipulate, and merge the wiggling piles of goo, all while avoiding dangerous baddies on the kitchen table until your googly-eyed friends escape to safety.
If you've never played Anomaly Warzone Earth, it's worth looking into - the game took the tower defense genre and turned it on its head, quite literally. Anomaly is a tower offense game, in which you send in and guide your forces through a defense-laden map and achieve various objects in the process. The sequel to that game is now out - Anomaly Korea.
The gameplay looks basically similar (though I'm certain there are some new features), so players of the previous game should have no problem jumping right in. The screenshots suggest visuals have been improved as well.
You know, if I'm honest, I feel a little sympathy for Archos. While they don't usually stand out as a manufacturer of the best tablets, they've gotten a decent reputation as being good for the low-end. Then the Nexus 7 came out and redefined what "budget tablet" means. Still, the company has to make money somehow, and putting its custom video player on the Play Store is as good a way as any, right?
The player is decent enough as a video player. Cover art and meta data is aggregated to create a pretty nifty-looking library with slick animations.
If you're looking for an LTE smartphone on a serious budget, look no further - MetroPCS may have just unveiled the cheapest LTE phone to date, in the form of the $150 ZTE Avid 4G. Yes, really, an LTE phone that costs $150. Color us shocked (well, as shocked as we can get about budget phones).
Of course, the Avid 4G is designed to also work with Metro's CDMA network, (thus that whole PCS business) so it won't do much good outside America's smallest national carrier.
The Avid 4G packs a dual-core 1.2GHz processor of some variety, a 4" 480x800 display, Android 4.0, and a 5MP rear camera.
Everyone's favorite mind-reading keyboard, SwiftKey, just received an update that brings a handful of new languages (Armenian, Azerbaijani, Georgian, Hindi, Hinglish, Irish, Macedonian, Latin American Spanish, and Tagalog), as well as improved language pack downloads, improved key layouts for some keyboards, general bug fixes, and a split keyboard layout for "normal-sized" devices. Horray for making things better!
As if that's not enough, though – the keyboard is also on sale for the holidays. For a limited time, you can grab SwiftKey for $1.99 for either the tablet and phone versions. It even includes a festive new "berry" theme! If you don't already own SK, this is definitely a good time to jump on it – it's my personal favorite keyboard hands-down.
Samsung devices and sharing go together like Australian car racing and fistfights - you rarely see one without the other, in quantity (whether you like it or not). It makes sense, then, that Samsung wants to share its passion for sharing with developers. And today, it's making that a little easier, with the initial release of the AllShare Framework SDK.
What does AllShare do? That's a pretty good question I can't give a complete answer to. The SDK seems to focus squarely on AllShare's inter-device operability and smart TV functionality, though, so it's a good bet the SDK will help you utilize AllShare file sharing between Samsung devices, or code a 3rd-party remote control for compatible Samsung TV's.
Earlier this month, Samsung started pushing Android 4.1.2 to its test bed in Poland. It seems that all must've gone well during the short, two-week trial, as it has now started pushing the update to a variety of different locales, including the UK, Germany, Switzerland, Russia, Colombia, Romania, and more.
Not only does the update bring 4.1.2 and all its goodies, but also Samsung's Premium Suite, which features a number of useful enhancements, like Multi-Window, page buddy, an improved Gallery app, customizable notification panel, smart rotation, the paper artist app, and more.
This one's showing up in phases, so if it's not available on your device – either via OTA or Kies – sit tight, it'll be there soon.