It seems like the only thing anybody can talk about is Android M, but we should remember that we've got about 4 more months with Lollipop v5.1.1 as the current version until Mango Mojito (probably not) is officially released in October. This is no more apparent than when an update appears on AOSP and brings with it thousands of changes. In fact, this update is large enough it probably deserved more than a barely noticeable revision bump.
In its previous update, Pocket Casts added an Android Wear companion app that allowed you to browse your Up Next list of podcasts and pick an episode to play. It worked even when Pocket Casts wasn't launched on your phone and without requiring the notification first, which was awesome if you needed to start playback from your watch without having to dig your phone out of your pocket/purse. The whole idea though relied on you having already populated your playback queue because you couldn't browse your entire library from the watch.
The family-oriented section of the Play Store is now offering up another free app of the week. When Google first started the giveaways, Daniel Tiger Daniel Tiger Grr-ific Feelings was the debut app. Toca Hair Salon 2 came next. This week we're looking at Dr. Panda & Toto's Treehouse.
FLIR has announced its second generation thermal camera smartphone add-on will be coming to Android in July. The FLIR ONE plugs into the microUSB port on your phone to provide thermal imaging at four times the resolution of the first generation version. That kind of technology doesn't come cheap, though. It'll run $249.99 when it ships next month.
Monument Valley remains one of the finest puzzle experiences on a mobile device, but it's unfortunately somewhat short. There's a little more to love today with the release of Ida's Dream, a chapter that was originally created for a charity promotion on iOS. You can get it for free if you've already purchased Monument Valley—no extra IAP required.
Luxe is a service that allows you to summon a valet to park your car when time or energy is low, something that many people probably won't consider using due to either reluctance to paying for this sort of thing or because they don't live in an area where it just isn't very hard to park for yourself. The name itself screams, "This is a want, not a need" (also, luxury).
Amazon's latest app giveaway is worth more than $50 and will remain available for the next week. As you can see in the hero image, some of the headliners include The Bard's Tale and Weather Live, though there are several more that may interest you. And while the super-popular Monument Valley has disappeared from the promotional page, it's free too. This is bigger and better (and longer-lasting) than its typical free daily deal, though it isn't their best ever. Beyond those already mentioned, you might want to pay special attention to Quell Memento and Alarm Clock Pro.
Here is the full list of what's on offer, all of them free for now:
Square Enix, listen to me: stop making Android ports. Please. You're really bad at it. All of these games, most of which are decades old and extremely expensive by mobile standards, are embarrassingly lacking in polish and features.
Take the latest, Dragon Quest VI. By all accounts it's a classic JRPG, and one that many never got to play in the west since the original Super NES version was only released in Japan. On Android it's fifteen bucks. It comes with zero Google Play Games features (no cloud saves!), has no compatibility with Bluetooth controllers or Android TV, and it doesn't even work in landscape mode.
Pity poor Sonic the Hedgehog. The guy is basically the Dallas Cowboys of the video game world: after gaining almost universal appeal in the 90s, his victories over the last few years have been few and fleeting. But SEGA isn't giving up on its blue mascot, if only because he's probably the only marketable franchise that isn't a Kickstarter campaign or a hyper-sexualized murder machine. So here we are, with a new Sonic game that sees one of the most iconic platforming stars in the world... aping mobile endless runners.
To be fair, Sonic as an endless runner makes a lot of sense, and Sonic Runners (a bit on the nose, ain't it?) does a good job blending the genre's standard single-tap controls with classic Sonic elements.