As the holidays close in (at least for many readers), Google is rolling out a stream of updates to various apps. In addition to the major Keyboard update earlier today, Play Books is making some changes, as well. The big change on this release is the adoption of the bottom navigation bar. Digging a bit deeper also reveals improvements to the way issues are displayed for comics and other series, and a couple of other visual tweaks.
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 have a gorgeous spaceship/runner game, a Kairosoft manga title, a new twist on minesweeper, a pixelated puzzler, and a fencing fighter. Without further ado:
Do you read comic books from the Play Store? If not, you might want to start. Google just announced a great new feature at San Diego Comic-Con 2016 that changes the experience of reading comic books. It's called Bubble Zoom and it quite literally makes speech bubbles leap off the page. Each blob of text is identified and sequentially pops up with the press of a volume button or a tap at the bottom-right of the screen. Check out Google's introduction video:
It has been a couple of months since Play Books has been in the news, but there's a new update rolling out and it brings a couple of new features. Version 3.9 gives search a little more help with more thorough suggestions and adds a badge to series when new content hits the store. Those two things along with some other general bug fixes and improvements are certainly nice, but there are also a couple of things to talk about in a teardown. Keep reading for details or skip straight to the bottom for a download link.
Unless you're a dedicated aficionado of rare and indie comic books, you might not have heard of The Adventures of Dog Mendonça & Pizzaboy. It's a much-loved little series that combines a sarcastic version of noir storytelling with urban fantasy - think Harry Dresden meets Monkey Island, and you're about there. Originally published in Portugal before getting an English release via Dark Horse, the series spans three volumes and a short story. Now fans can also dig into a standalone adventure game as well.
Reading books on a tiny smartphone screen can sometimes be quite a hassle. The issue is somewhat mitigated for digital books that scale text to adjust to the size of the display, but for things such as PDFs or comic books which have strict page dimensions, it's difficult to enlarge content in a way that doesn't also negatively impact the content layout or require a lot of zooming and panning around the page.
To tackle the problem, Google is announcing an update to the Play Books app specifically designed to allow for a better comic reading experience.
In the grand scheme of the Internet, alt texts don't really matter. FOR THE SAKE OF ARGUMENT, WHATCHA TALKIN' 'BOUT? I mean, they're only little blurbs of text that show up when you hover over an image on the web. YOUR MOM IS A BLURB. Usually, they're just the file name of the image or some insignificant gibberish tacked by WordPress or whatever online publishing tool the website you're visiting uses. THAT'S A BUNCH OF FJAFJKLDSKF7JKFDJ! I mean, in almost all cases, they don't add anything to what you're seeing.
There's a new Marvel movie coming out tomorrow in the US. You may have heard about it - it's kind of a big deal. So what better time for a developer to release a new game featuring as many Marvel (comics, not movies) characters as possible. You've got to have something to do while you ignore the repeating video ad for Dave's Discount Family Insurance that plays before the trailers start up, right?
Marvel Future Fight, a free-to-play beat-em-up featuring more comic book characters than a jaded movie blogger can remember, has actually been out for a little over a month in a limited-market soft launch.
LEGO Marvel Super Heroes: Universe in Peril, a game that found its way to consoles in 2013 and other mobile platforms in 2014, has now fought its way into the Play Store. This port has managed to come in before LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga, an older title that briefly appeared on the Amazon Appstore and never found its way onto Google Play.
Unlike that relatively faithful port, Universe in Peril is not a copy of the version that originally graced consoles. Instead, it's a more portable take that's better suited for short breaks throughout the day and even shorter attention spans.
In a post to the official blog a few days ago, Feedly announced a new beta – version 15 – which quickly found itself released to the Play Store. The service, which has greeted over three million new users since the announcement of Google Reader's impending doom, promises a painless transition to its own backend solution once Reader closes officially in July. While said backend may not have taken hold yet, the developers have been hard at work making the app itself better and better in response to its users.
Its most recent update takes focus mainly on bug fixes and UX issues, but adds at least one neat feature – better support for comics.