One of the more persistent problems with Stadia is that, due to a relatively low amount of players versus established platforms like Xbox, PlayStation, and PC, its multiplayer games can sometimes feel a little empty. Destiny 2 will fix that problem sometime this fall ... or right the hell now, because the developers accidentally turned on crossplay a little early.
The Official Pokémon YouTube channel has announced a new Pokémon game for Android, iOS, and the Nintendo Switch. It's called Pokémon Unite, and it's a MOBA. As you would expect, you'll be tasked with collecting Pokémon as part of the MOBA's team-based online-multiplayer battle arena gameplay. Unsurprisingly, Pokémon Unite is being developed in partnership with Tencent, so I fully expect the game to land as a blatant cash grab, just like Pokémon Café Mix. Clearly, The Pokemon Company is intent on running this franchise through the mud, just so long as it can make a quick buck with lazy clones on mobile.
Android's long-awaited Nearby Sharing may be just about ready. The feature, which allows you to share files between Android devices quickly, easily, and wirelessly, has been compared to Apple's AirDrop, and Google has confirmed to us that a beta test for Nearby Sharing is actively rolling out via the Play Services beta. We've also managed to snag a quick hands-on to show you how it works.
You can already find the first two titles in the Don't Starve survival series on the Google Play Store, and both of these ports were published by the original developer Klei Entertainment. Well, it would appear that Klei has granted Tencent access to the property to create a new mobile game built from the ground up for mobile. Currently, Tencent is offering a closed beta sign-up for the game, which will enter into testing this July. So if you'd like to take an early look at Don't Starve: Newhome, make sure to register for beta access on the official webpage.
Last year, Google introduced Smart Compose to Gmail, a feature that takes the words right out of your mouth and completes sentences for you. It seems that it's both popular and reliable, as the company wants to start a test of the service in Google Docs, helping you complete common phrases and sentences more easily.
If you're a developer working on an Actions on Google service or you're a maker of a smart home device or connected gadget and would like to try out your new Assistant action in different scenarios, you're a little limited for options. You likely will have to test it internally among your team, if you have one, but beyond that, you can't account for every situation and bug and will have to deploy at some point and hope things don't go wrong when many people start using it. But now you can test it out, as you would an Android app.
NVIDIA already does a lot of things right by its users from providing timely Android version updates to keeping the software as clean as possible and even staying at the forefront of streaming services and options. Now, it's taking one more step toward conquering your heart as one of the best Android OEMs by launching a new SHIELD Preview Program where you can test upcoming features of the SHIELD Experience Upgrade software before they roll out to the public.
The company already provides SHIELD Developer OS Images (where beta versions used to be available) and was running a SHIELD Experience Preview program that was closed last year, so it's not the first time it has done something like this.
HBO's online and app-based streaming options are surprisingly competent - they put the likes of DirecTV and Comcast, much larger organizations with ostensibly more resources, to shame. But that doesn't mean that there's no room for improvement. To that end, HBO is now publishing a beta version of, um, NOW, the cable-free standalone app for streaming cordcutters. It's available on the Play Store now via the standardized opt-in interface.
Honor 6X owners, pay attention. Huawei has announced on its Honor Twitter account that it has opened up Nougat/EMUI 5 beta testing for the phone. Signing up only requires you to email your IMEI number(s) to the address in the tweet.
Back in November, Samsung started beta testing the Nougat update for the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge. Since then, it has rolled out several updates to squash bugs and answer feedback, but it looks like the beta test is now over. The team posted a notice to those who were participating in the beta program saying that it will end on December 30 at 24:00 (so December 31 at 00:00).