Welcome to the latest entry in our Bonus Round series, wherein we tell you all about the new Android games of the day that we couldn't get to during our regular news rounds. Consider this a quick update for the dedicated gamers who can't wait for our bi-weekly roundups, and don't want to wade through a whole day's worth of news just to get their pixelated fix. Today we've got an interesting point-and-click adventure, a dual-stick MOBA game, a couple of puzzlers, and a free version of a AAA racer.
After two years on the market, Google Wallet has failed to gain any kind of meaningful foothold in the mobile payment world. That's the gist of a new report from Bloomberg Businessweek, slamming Google's mobile and NFC payment service as a "money pit" and unlikely to succeed against existing and upcoming competitors. Among the publication's chief complaints are $300 million in investments and acquisitions, and hundreds of developers on staff, all for less than 10 million downloads in the Google Play Store.
If you crane your neck skyward, you may see the contrail of a jet or two. Should you want a more up close and personal look, Plane Finder 3D has just taxied up to the Google Play gate. This app tracks flights in real time over a number of cities.
The feature set is a bit light right now, but there is some real potential here. There are over two-dozen cities tracked in Plane Finder 3D, each with satellite imagery ground maps.
It's been quite a while since the Android version of HalfBrick's food murder simulator Fruit Ninja got a content update, but the dry spell ends today. The latest additions to the free app (and only the free app) include better support for Android tablets and a basket full of extra goodies. The most important bit is certainly the introduction of a local, single-device multiplayer mode, though you'll need a 7" or larger tablet to take advantage of it.
Go Launcher EX is one of the most popular alternative launchers in Google Play, and it's completely free. Everyone has been wondering how the Go Team was planning to make some cash on their rousing success, and now we know. The new GO Launcher Prime app adds additional features to the existing Go Launcher for $5.99.
If you're in the market for a Cricket Wireless phone, the carrier is offering some downright fantastic deals at the moment. They're offering massive mail-in rebates of $200 off the Galaxy S4, Galaxy S III, and HTC One SV (in addition to their regular web discounts), delivered in the form of a Visa prepaid card. Thanks to a surprisingly low starting price, Samsung's Galaxy S4 is just $329.99 with the rebate - and that's not a contract price.
So here's something we're not used to hearing: Dell's got some pretty good deals going for phones right now. Verizon's Galaxy S4 is only $129 for new customers ($160 for upgrades), Sprint's version is $119 for new customers, and both come with a $50 Dell eGift card.
The deals don't end there, either – all versions of the GS4 come with a $50 eGift card, even if they haven't knocked a bundle off the price.
When Samsung started expanding its "trademark" navigation control design (elongated physical home button + two capacitive buttons) beyond its smartphone range, I bet you never thought it would get this far. TechTastic has grabbed some photos of the alleged Galaxy S4 Zoom, a camera-phone hybrid based on the ubiquitous Galaxy S4. These photos roughly match the leaked press image that SamMobile showed off yesterday. This thing is real, or at least real enough that some hardware has been produced.
Peer-to-peer fund transfers using an online service are nothing new – Paypal's been successfully doing it for years, and that's how AP writers have been getting paid since the site was launched. Needless to say, when Google announced payments through Gmail (which uses Wallet), it seemed like a no-brainer – we all have Google accounts, so this would be an ideal way to get paid.
Wrong. Getting paid through Wallet has been the absolute worst experience I've ever had with a money transfer, and I'm not alone here – this has been an incredibly frustrating experience for at least half of our team.
If your love for Android (or at least its little green mascot) is so profound that you feel the need to collect every possible piece of memorabilia, then we've got a great deal for you. ThinkGeek has been making official Android plushies for a while now, but they've been consistently sold out on the website. An Amazon retailer is selling them for the low, low price of one buck. If you can spare another $5.99 for shipping, this little guy is all yours.