Doodles are becoming one of the rare manifestations of Google's funky side. With the company becoming more serious and losing its witty approach to things, Doodles still remind us, from time to time, that there is still a playful child hiding inside that grown-up adult. But many Android users don't notice the genius behind the daily Doodle because they just use the search widget on their homescreen. Google has found a workaround for that.
Pixel 2 and 2 XL owners are getting a small bonus for purchasing Google's latest smartphones. Google Spotlight Stories, a vestige of Google's Motorola days showcasing the power of virtual reality storytelling, is giving owners of the latest Pixel devices early access to "Son of Jaguar," an animated short film about a luchador from director Jorge Gutierrez.
You can't swing a dead cat on the Play Store without hitting half a dozen point-and-click adventure games. That's not a bad thing, of course: between the relative ease of porting old adventure games to the platform and the way touchscreen controls are eminently suited to the genre, it's hardly surprising that they're getting a renaissance in the mobile age. The latest original adventure game to make its way to Android from Steam is Randal's Monday, a crass sci-fi romp that's heavy on humor and even heavier on pop culture.
Fans of the burgeoning art of 360-degree short-form storytelling have probably been enamored by Google's Spotlight Stories, a series of videos designed to highlight the narrative potential of the VR format. The latest one is Pearl, a sort of extended animated music video about a man, his daughter, and the beat-up hatchback car that they share over about 20 years. The short is directed by Patrick Osbourne, and the original song "No Wrong Way Home" was written by Alexis Harte and JJ Weisler and performed by Nicki Bluhm and Kelley Stoltz.
We're not the first to observe this: plug an Android tablet into a charge (or even better, a wireless charger or dock) and it becomes a pretty splendid digital photo frame, like the one you gave your Grandma three Christmases ago that's still in the box. Cloud.TV, the developer behind the excellent HD Widgets, would like to offer you a more powerful alternative. Meet Dayframe, a connected and continuously-updating photo frame app.
The idea behind Dayframe is admirably simple: it gathers photos from some well-liked public streams on Flickr, Instagram, 500px, and others, plus your own social media and local photos, and displays them in a simple and pleasing slideshow.
The coveted update may take a while to reach you, considering it hasn't even started officially rolling yet. Luckily, we have the APK from the Nexus 5 factory image you can download and safely install manually.
You know what games don't have enough of these days? Censored cartoon nudity. Everyone knows it's true. Particularly in the running games category. Sure, we've got secret agents, gingers escaping death, and Pixar heroines, yet all of them are decidedly clothed. Streaker! attempts to remedy this problematic conundrum. In this adventure, you're the other man fleeing the scene from a sordid affair. Did we mention this probably isn't for kids? Because it's not.
While it's not quite as polished as games like Agent Dash, it's still very smooth and easy to play. Tilt controls are responsive and jumping, turning, and ducking are fluid.