The few of you who use physical controllers to game with your Android devices might have noticed that haptic feedback is kind of terrible at the moment. At the moment, Android doesn't have proper rumble support for external controllers, meaning that games either have no rumble or very primitive rumble. According to some commits spotted recently, that's about to change.
Family Link is Google's solution for giving children under the age of 13 access to its services. Parents have to set up their kids' accounts and are responsible for what they do on the web and their phones. There are also control instruments that allow parents to impose restrictions like bedtime and daily app limit timers, and get an exact breakdown of what children are using their devices for. Needless to say, kids hate the service, and they're vocal about it: The Family Link app for kids has a staggering 1.4 rating average on the Play Store, as pointed out by our regular tipster Anthony (thanks!).
Google is an advertising business first and foremost, though over the last few years, the company has introduced many paid services: YouTube Premium, Google One, Fi, and Stadia Pro come to mind, among many others. There's never been a central hub where you could find Google's subscription offers, but that's now a thing of the past: You can see all of the company's paid services in one place on the Google Store.
Smart displays are good for lots of useful things, but what about when you just want to unwind and relax? Google brought touch-enabled games to smart displays earlier this year, and now the company is releasing an update that's focused on getting more people playing with a newly revamped gaming screen and a selection of new titles.
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Google's cloud gaming service, Stadia, began trialing on November 19 (2019), and even though you needed a $130 Founder's Edition kit to gain access, Google eventually opened the floodgates to everyone in August (2020). So far, many games have been announced for the service, and we expect more of them to pop up as we go along. Of course, it can be a difficult to keep track of things in this fast-moving industry, so we've got you covered with a handy list of all the titles that have been announced for Stadia.
If you're still debating the best way to play Cyberpunk 2077, maybe early access will help sway your decision. Stadia customers will be able to play today at 7PM ET (4PM PT) rather than midnight local time — that's hours before console players will have access to the game here in the US.
More than a year after it was teased, it appears Stadia is prepared to roll out one of its most important features — some would say vital to its survival. Players may be able to stream their sessions directly to their YouTube accounts without the need for third-party software like OBS Broadcaster starting as soon as today.
Stadia wasn't off to a great start and still has trouble positioning itself as a viable alternative to the just-launched PlayStation 5 and the new Xbox Series, but Google is finally starting to gain some traction with promotions and hype. And it really looks like the company and third-party developers are committed to the platform. Stadia's director of games Jack Buser told MobileSyrup that his team "built a roadmap of about 400 games in development right now from 200 developers."
Pokémon Go might not be as popular as it once was, but there are still plenty of trainers out there catching 'em all. Now the game has announced tweaks that should help make the leveling up process more fun than ever, as well as allow for players to reach up to level 50 — although that won't be easy to do.
Creating creatures and characters for games takes up hours upon hours for designers, which is particularly a problem when you need thousands of individual models. That's where Google's Research and Stadia teams come in. Together, they've created an ML-based tool that could one day help designers make monsters for their games — and you can use that tool right now on the web.