Rumors about Chrome OS running on a tiny HDMI stick started leaking out a few months ago, but we were all wrong about what it was going to be. The Chromecast is not a shrunken down Chromebox – it's not even really a Chrome OS device in the strictest sense. The Chromecast is Google's latest attempt to be invited into your living room. It also might be the first one to succeed.
I really like the HTC One. I also really like the Galaxy S4. And the Optimus G Pro. And that's because there are a lot of great Android smartphones out there right now, and really, none of the very best ones are actually bad (nor are any of them perfect). And if I were to ask you, our readers, what would be the first thing you could change about any of them - if it could be just one thing - a few months ago the consensus likely would have emerged as "give them stock Android."
Well, we're two out of three - the HTC One and Galaxy S4 are both available in stock Android iterations, aka Google Play Editions, and are yours for the buying (if you're in the United States - admittedly a major caveat).
NVIDIA’s SHIELD is a gaming device that defies classification. The full-sized controls and Android software make it more than a portable gaming device, at least on paper, but it doesn't compete with (or complement) more conventional mobile form factors. SHIELD is something entirely new.
The only way to evaluate a gaming machine is on how it plays games, and in that respect, SHIELD is amazing... at least in a few specific circumstances.
Aviate Launcher, if you haven't heard of it, is a new home screen replacement that looks to offer you information right when you need it and which is, at the time of writing, in the middle of an invite-only alpha period.
After receiving my invitation recently, I was anxious to take the launcher for a spin. I have no doubt it will improve as it progresses toward a broad launch, and there are a few drawbacks, but it is already one of the best alpha products I've ever used.
It's not much of a secret that I'm basically obsessed with The Walking Dead. When new seasons air, Sundays are easily my favorite day of the week – every passing moment leading up to the start of each week gets me one step closer to finding out what's going to happen to Rick and the crew next. Season finales are always bittersweet – they usually provide at least some sort of closure to the intensity of the season, but I also know it will be months before new episodes are out.
Bounty Arms is a moving experience, but not because the game itself is any good. It hints at what the future holds for mobile gaming. This game looks every bit as good as a current generation console title, and on a high-end device, it runs quite well. But there is more to quality gaming than pretty looks, and Bounty Arms falls flat in just about every other area. At the very least, this five dollar game is free of both ads and IAPs.
Turn-based strategy is a classic style of gameplay, but it's still pretty big these days with titles like Frozen Synapse hitting Android. But sometimes these games can be a little slow, or even tedious if a not designed well. The developers of TurtleStrike are trying to combine real-time with turn-based gaming in what they call "live turn-based" gameplay. This approach has the potential to make matches proceed quickly, but still allow careful tactical planning.
I've never been a huge fan of racing games, but there's always been something about Hydro Thunder that captivated me. As a teen, it was one of my favorite games, and I've kept up with the franchise as much as possible over the last several years. Naturally, this means I've spent a more-than-ample amount of time playing Riptide GP, the mobile-equivalent to Hydro Thunder.
The first Riptide was one of my favorite games to emerge from the Tegra 2 era, and Vector Unit maintained fantastic support over the past two years, even updating it to support enhanced graphics on the Tegra 3 chip.
Sprinkle Islands will feel instantly familiar to fans of the original game, as the core concept is the same. Players still control a water cannon atop a wooden fire truck on an alien world, their goal remains putting out any and all signs of fire, and the degree of challenge is still pretty high. If you haven't already familiarized yourself with this series, you might want to take a second to do so.
There are heaps of Bluetooth speakers out there with more or less the same design. Sure, there’s a little tweak here and there – some of them might sound a bit better, and others have better battery life. The Bem Wireless Outlet Speaker takes a somewhat different approach. This unit has no battery because it plugs right into the wall like an AC adapter. In fact, it kind of is an AC adapter.