Originality comes in many forms. One of them is to create a game world or control scheme that catches all who play it by surprise. Another approach is to take a familiar genre and offer an engaging twist on it. Then there's taking an existing game (Frogger), mixing it with the art style from another one (Minecraft), while naming it similar to a big hit everyone can recall (Flappy Bird). That last one appears to be the formula behind Crossy Road, and—okay, maybe it's not so original after all.
Google's developers took a couple of weeks off for the holidays – or from my perspective, they gave me a couple of weeks to rest – but now they're back and it's time for the app updates to resume. Naturally, it's time to breathe life back into the teardowns, and we're back with a big one. Google Search v4.1 began rolling out to users yesterday, and we've already seen quite a few little adjustments and improvements.
HTC's bizarre little inhaler-shaped camera is learning a new trick. Tomorrow an update to the RE app will add YouTube live streaming support to the RE Camera. Just sign in and hit the button to stream.
If you haven't heard of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, usually shortened to EFF, it's sort of like the American Civil Liberties Union for the Internet and other digital issues. The non-profit organization's mission statement says that it "champions user privacy, free expression, and innovation through impact litigation, policy analysis, grassroots activism, and technology development." You'll rarely see a headline-grabbing story where tech intersects public policy that the EFF hasn't at least commented on, if not actively campaigned for or against.
The totally awesome Play Store review process strikes again. The developer of popular (and /r/AndroidCircleJerk approved) app Reddit Sync has gotten the dreaded automated support email indicating the app is on track to be pulled. The reason? Impersonating or leveraging another product or service. No, you're not having déjà vu—this has, in fact, happened before.
Do you know what RF pocket forming is? Neither do I! But if I told you it was potentially the way your future gadgets would be able to charge themselves over the air sans any wires or pads or other surfaces, would you be interested? I know I was, and that's what a relatively little-known company called Energous is hoping will get your attention.
Energous, despite not being particularly recognized outside its respective industry, is doing something with charging that seems legitimately revolutionary, and I had a chance to sit down and observe the technology in action.
There are only so many ways you can make a game that features side-scrolling and shooting, but developer Nitrome seems to have found another one. In Gunbrick, you play a duck (or a chicken, or possibly just a blonde guy with jaundice, it's never really made clear) who buys and operates a Gunbrick. It's a brick with a gun in it, in case that wasn't obvious.
There are just two controls in Gunbrick: swipe to rotate one Gunbrick-length left or right, or tap to fire the gun mounted on the bottom.
Towards the end of March, Fitbit announced the Charge HR and Surge, new additions to its activity-tracking family. The Charge HR is an enhanced version of the Charge, just with a heart rate monitor added on (clever). The Surge is the Cadillac version that comes with a giant, black and white touch screen. The former goes for $149.99, while the latter goes for a hundred bucks more. Both are now shipping in North America, which a global release soon to follow.
In recent years the Mobile High-Definition Link (MHL) standard hasn't been nearly as ubiquitous as it once was - some manufacturers have switched to other hardware solutions like MicroHDMI ports, some have abandoned hardware video output altogether, and plenty of users have moved on to wireless streaming of one sort or another. But the MHL consortium is hoping to reinvigorate the standard with new hardware and new capabilities. Meet SuperMHL: it's over 8000.