Virtual reality (or whatever term some picky people would like to apply to it) is the hot new thing. Conventional businesses are trying to incorporate it into their plans, and nothing shouts "conventional business" like a hardware store. To that end, US hardware chain Lowe's is working on some interesting ways to get customers involved in their renovation projects, even before they start putting down plastic sheets. At a few stores in Colorado and Ohio, Lowe's has created special VR stations that will let you recreate an entire room, then swap out 3D appliances, apply different paint colors, and do all kinds of home improvement things while seeing the results in real time with an Oculus Rift headset. Read More
Editor's note: the first three paragraphs of this story are a brief primer on fair use in US copyright law and the complications created by the DMCA. Skip down if you're already familiar with this stuff.
The United States copyright system has a series of protections for citizens who want to use video, audio, text quotes, and other copyrighted material in legitimate ways. These are generally called fair use exemptions: they're why Saturday Night Live can make a parody of Jeopardy or The Big Bang Theory without the fear of CBS suing them for copyright infringement, or why a movie reviewer can use clips of the movie in his video critique. Read More
Nuance announced it was bringing its business-oriented voice dictation service Dragon Anywhere to Android back in August, and now it's finally here. The app is live in the Play Store, but it's not free. Dragon Anywhere requires a $15 monthly subscription, but you can give it a shot free for 7 days.
Isn't it interesting that now that we have the kind of graphical horsepower that our parents could only dream about while they were playing Pong and Adventure, we seem to be developing a serious case of nostalgia addiction. While high-end console and PC games are starting to look photorealistic, simpler fare like Minecraft and Crossy Road are earning enough money to make Solomon blush. Take Horizon Chase: it's about as simple as racing games come, but its charming graphics and straightforward setup are taking the mobile gaming world by storm. Read More
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 a new entry in the interesting Lifeline series, strategy games starring both vikings and samurai, a pair of cartoony tower defense games, a multiplayer board game, and an American football manager. Read More
A fresh update of Google Play Services is headed out to our Android hardware around the world. This brings the framework package up to v8.4 and actually carries a couple of user-facing changes for us to check out. There's nothing too big, which is pretty normal for a Play services update, but there are some nice visual touch-ups for Smart Lock and a new option in the Android Auto developer options. But that's not all, a teardown shows that we're getting much closer to family organization (yes, for family sharing) and app invites will finally become useful as they can finally be sent to the people that need them most – the people right next to us. Read More
You've probably played a million tower defense games, and "orbital shooters" aren't too uncommon either, but what about playing them at the same time? Artificial Defense combines a few different game types with some nerdy computer vernacular to create a distinctive mobile game, and you can give it a shot for free. Read More
During the keynote address yesterday for this year's Chrome Dev Summit, VP of Chrome Darin Fisher shared some numbers about the mobile web browser's rate of adoption. tl;dr, people are flocking to Chrome, and fast. Over the past year, the number of 30 day active users has doubled from 400 million to 800 million. Read More
Welcome to the roundup of the best new Android applications, games, and live wallpapers that went live in the Play Store or were spotted by us in the previous 2 weeks or so.
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Looking for the previous roundup editions? Find them here.
Today's roundup is presented by DigiCal Calendar & Widgets from Digibites. DigiCal is a complete calendar solution that integrates with Google Calendar, matching it feature-for-feature and then some. A wide selection of calendar views (agenda, day, week, month, text month, list) and great tablet compatibility means that your calendar will look great and be easy to use no matter what device you're using. Read More
Oddworld is a series of games in a variety of genres, all united by the core element of... well, oddness. If you played Stranger's Wrath, the last Oddworld port to reach Android about a year ago, you know what I mean: that game was a third-person action title in which you shot tiny adorably creatures out of a double-barrel crossbow. Munch's Oddysee is an even older game, originally released on the Xbox (the one that isn't the One) back in 2001. It's a sequel to Abe's Oddysee and Abe's Exodus, it's the first in the series to offer true 3D gameplay, and now it's on Android. Read More