A new version of Google Maps hit the beta channel late Friday evening. At the same time, Google announced improvements to the step-by-step navigation features for moving through public transit. That announcement applies to v9.68 and above, but after poking around in 9.69, there are also a couple of new things to check out. You can now see your reviews on locations in your custom lists, and add comments to those places to add hints or recommendations. A teardown also provides some hints about upcoming features like a new option to share a location without having it track your movements.
A number of interesting upgrades for the Google Assistant were announced during the I/O developer conference last week, including the option to use the keyboard as the default input method instead of voice. Now that people have had a chance to play with the new setting it's become apparent that Assistant offers its own next-word suggestions, seemingly related to current events.
Normally an Android re-release of a decades-old RPG means we're talking about another Squaresoft or Enix port, but this one is digging deep into the annals of Japanese role-playing game history. The Ys series (pronounced... okay, I honestly have no idea how it's pronounced) is a collection of action-RPGs that stretches across four decades and dozens of platforms all the way back to 1987. Ys Chronicles 1, an updated port of the game that began the franchise, is now available on Android from DotEmu.
This is an updated and refined edition of Ys I: Ancient Ys Vanished - the Android version is probably based on the assets of the updated re-release for the PSP and DS made in 2009, as one half of Ys I & II Chronicles.
Excitement over products like the Ouya, nVidia's Shield line, and even numerous gamepads proves that gaming on Android has entered the mainstream. Developers have been jumping at the opportunity to build games that work across many of the different operating systems; and thanks to the Cross-Platform SDK, they're able to integrate most of the Play Games services into their products on Windows, Mac, and Linux. Until now, this SDK has lagged behind the SDKs for Android and iOS on one specific feature: real-time multiplayer support. As of today, Google is rectifying this oversight and making a number of other improvements with updates to the Play Games SDKs, along with some new features in the Google Play Developer Console.
If you use an anti-spyware/anti-malware client on your device, then there's little doubt that you've tried Lookout at one time or another. While it is definitely one of the most well-known and popular anti-malware clients for Android, it has always had one huge shortcoming, in my opinion: lack of SD card scanning and real-time application monitoring for side-loaded apps.
That changes today, however, as the Lookout team has finally added these two crucial features to the array of others that Lookout is capable of. File System Monitor keeps a watchful eye on incoming files to your SD card in real-time, so it can catch potential "infections" before they can cause any real damage.
Gamevil released another treat to the Android Market today, introducing Arel Wars – a game that promises "RPG action and defense strategy," and doesn't disappoint.
The game is kind of a cross between tower defense, real-time strategy, and RPG, packing the best of all three into a colorful, spritely world, taking players through 120 levels and across 8 unique maps. Before each match, players must choose their arsenal of powers and minions, which can be upgraded and reproduced throughout each round. To make things a bit more dynamic, each hero specie has its own tactical advantages and individual skills. Winning matches pushes players up the ladder, allowing for upgraded skills and units, which can form almost infinite tactical combinations.
If you have a Honeycomb tablet, you are probably aware that there is a very small subset of Android apps made specifically for the tablet OS. NBC Universal is here to fill this gap, starting with this excellent and beautiful finance app - CNBC Real-Time. It was built to utilize the large screen real estate of your tablet, with independent scrolling UI parts created using the ingenious Fragments API that was introduced with Honeycomb.
Here are the features of CNBC Real-Time, in the order of importance:
You guessed it - actual real-time quotes (pre-market, market, and after-market), all for free. This is just excellent - no 15 minute delays to deal with here.