Pokémon Masters landed on the Play Store in a rough spot last year (August 2019), thanks to an awful grind, horrible monetization, and a drought of content. Seriously, one of the producers even apologized publicly for releasing such a boring game. While the monetization in the title hasn't changed in the last year, it would seem the gameplay has received frequent improvements, and now that we are on the precipice of the game's first anniversary, DeNA has announced that Pokémon Masters will soon evolve into Pokémon Masters EX.
Google really, really likes changing its SMS app's name. First called 'Messenger,' it was renamed to 'Android Messages' in early 2017, likely to avoid confusion with Facebook's extremely popular Messenger. Now the name's been shortened to just 'Messages' on the Play Store listing. What a world we live in.
Napster is back, again. The original service peaked and plummeted decades ago, but the name has staying power. It's so recognizable that Rhapsody is changing its name to Napster in an attempt to gain more subscribers.
Reddit is a great resource for casual news browsing and/or wasting hours and hours of time, but the website is still hell to view on a small screen. That's probably why reddit clients are such a popular niche on Android, and one of the more popular entries in said niche is the third party app Reddit News. Today it's getting a new name and a bit of a facelift: say hello to Relay for reddit.
This app has gone through some relatively rapid changes, most recently in November when it received a Material Design UI refresh. In addition to the name change, today's update to 7.53 brings even more Material touches for Lollipop devices, a "night mode" theme specifically designed for OLED screens (which benefit from black backgrounds, see above), more image previews, and a redesigned Settings screen.
I've only spent a small amount of time taking business classes, and none of them were for marketing. But I have to imagine that somewhere in those big, expensive textbooks, when instruction young minds how to promote a product, is the lesson "don't associate with bloodthirsty terrorists." The electronic mobile payment consortium Isis, wishing to completely and totally distance itself from the ISIS currently holding large swaths of territory in Iraq and Syria, is changing its name to Softcard.
Work is pretty dull. Google wants people to use its products to get stuff done, and the company's previous name for its efforts in this area - Google Enterprise - fully communicated just how stuffy and non-exciting the experience would be. Now the search giant is changing the name of its business-related offerings to something that, while equally mundane in its approach, doesn't have to show up for work in oxford shoes and a tie. 'Google for Work' is a name that more accurately represents the type of people, businesses, and organizations that are turning to the company's cloud solutions to get the job done.
Writing about the XBMC media center software almost always takes a little explanation. The open-source XBMC was formerly known as the "Xbox Media Center," because its first release way back in 2003 was based on the "Xbox Media Player" and intended to run on modified Xbox game consoles. Because the software no longer officially runs on the Xbox, and has never run on newer consoles like the Xbox 360, and in fact runs on a heck of a lot of hardware that bears no X at all, the creators have renamed the software "Kodi."
In addition to general confusion around the name and nomenclature for the project, the XBMC Foundation had a hard time with trademark and quality control.
I have heard an absolute heap of unpleasantness about the rebranding of the Android Market today. Google Play is childish. It's unprofessional. It makes Google look less than serious about its content business. The logo is weird. The name is ambiguous - play what? It reminds people of Sony products. There are endless gripes and, let's face it, there always will be when a company rebrands a popular product.
Tomorrow, countless analysts and "experts" will weigh in on whether the move was a good one, hawking over Google's stock price like a cardiograph readout. Some will say it was terrible - what was Google thinking abandoning the Android branding of their content hub?