Smartphone tech has come a long way over the last ten years, but a few commonly requested features are still lacking. Battery life can't be measured in weeks yet, Android still doesn't have a decent iMessage competitor, and there aren't any first-party cross-platform notification mirroring services. Some of our desires might not be reasonable, but others are. And, at least in the case of notification synchronization, there are plenty of third-party services that can fill the gap. Do you use one?
Catan Universe is United Soft Media's newest version of Catan and not only is it finally a multiplayer focused release on Android, but it can also be played against your friends and family no matter the platform they want to play on. That's right, whether you have purchased the game on PC, macOS, iOS, or Android you can enjoy an online multiplayer round of Catan.
Since Google introduced material design in 2014, the questions of whether and how to use the design language on other platforms like iOS has lingered. But Google hasn't been a stranger to material on iOS. Inbox users for instance should feel right at home moving between iOS and Android, as many of the interface's core components are shared.
In an update to the material guidelines today, Google is taking a more explicit position on the matter with new guidance for bringing material design to iOS and web. The guidance definitely isn't comprehensive - it doesn't dive very deep into the more nuanced considerations for cross-platform design like platform-specific feature sets, esoteric navigation and action patterns, etc.
Microsoft is the owner of Mojang, developer of the ultra-popular Minecraft sandbox building game. And at the E3 video game conference, they want everyone to know it. In between the usual slew of console exclusives and hype about the future, the company dedicated a little time to Minecraft exclusively. At least some of the new additions for Minecraft were released immediately for the Android version, most notably access to Realms servers and cross-platform play with the Xbox 360 and Xbox One.
Microsoft makes a lot of apps for multiple platforms. It also makes a lot of tools that are used by other developers to build apps for multiple platforms. It only makes sense then that the company would be interested in buying Xamarin, one of the leading platform providers for mobile app development.
While you may not have heard of Xamarin, its solution counts as one of the invisible threads that play a role in running the Internet nowadays. The platform helps developers use a shared codebase in C# to build, test, and monitor native apps for iOS, Android, and Windows, all with the same IDE, language, and APIs.
When you stare into the infinite void of space, salted with stars so vast and distant that they defy the human mind to imagine them, you can't help but wonder at the scope and majesty of the universe. Then you start to wonder how to make some money out of it.
Cosmonautica is the latest in a long line of space trading sims, the stellar ancestors of the old "pirate math" games from the 80s. And yes, buying and selling goods across star systems serves as the core of the game, with profits enabling you to upgrade and arm your ship, hire new crew, and expand your business.
It might surprise you to learn that the Android Police staff does not work on a series of networked Chromebook Pixels connected to Google's sentient God-Cloud. Nope, most of us use Windows for daily posting and other general tech stuff. So it's awfully interesting that Microsoft is making a push to bring Android apps to its various Windows platforms starting with the upcoming Windows 10. At today's Build 2015 developer keynote, Microsoft said that devs will be able to "reuse nearly all the Java and C++ code from an Android phone app to create apps for phones running Windows 10.”
By now just about everyone knows about ostentatious headphone maker Beats - if you haven't seen them shilled by hip-hop stars and football players, you've seen them in custom-made corner displays at Best Buy. The company has also technically been a part of Apple since May of last year, presumably because a gold iPhone 6 just isn't complete without a matching pair of Champagne Studio Wireless headphones. But a more interesting question to ask is this: what will happen to Beats Music, the multi-platform streaming service that competes with the likes of Spotify?
It can't be easy to be a BlackBerry user these days. Despite the hardware and software maker's (arguably) best efforts, the company has fallen from its height as the undisputed king of the boardroom to shipping just one out every two hundred smartphones worldwide in the last quarter. The reasons for BlackBerry's decline are legion: a failure to innovate quickly as Android and iPhone adoption soared, an ineffective ecosystem and infrastructure, and hardware missteps like the Storm at critical junctures. But one thing tends to upset users more than any other: a lack of apps.
Fans of online PC action games will be aware of World of Tanks, a popular free-to-play tank simulator that's frequently updated with added content. iOS has had access to a simplified version for over a year, which would normally cause some ire among Android gamers. But I'm prepared to give developer Wargaming a pass on this one, since World of Tanks Blitz is launching with cross-platform play between Android and iOS, ensuring a healthy population of online players right from the start.
World of Tanks is a soft sim: while it does include authentic tank models and battlefields inspired by WWII locations, the third-person perspective and forgiving controls put the focus squarely on the combat.