When Ubisoft’s massively successful franchise ‘Assassins Creed’ was released for consoles a few years ago, gamers just couldn’t get enough. The seemingly endless world made for a fantastic environment for a free-running assassin. After a few more iterations, things are slowing down on the console front, and heating up on smartphones.
The developer has just released the much-anticipated ‘Assassins Creed Pirates’ for Android and iOS prompting mixed reviews on the Play Store. Ubisoft say that players will “break the rules” to “challenge empires and build a fortune”; an ambitious claim for a game restricted to smartphones. Let’s see if the newest Assassins Creed will live up to its huge expectations.
Most Android users have installed, and uninstalled, dozens of launchers in an attempt to improve or personalize their devices. A lot of these users find that a cool launcher skin can cover up an outdated OS interface, but can slow down the device. This is a shame as Android lends itself so well to customisation and launcher modifications — as evidenced by our epic coverage of the different available options in our Customization Month.
With KitKat installations climbing every hour, a lot of space and processing power on Android devices will be freed up for a better, more robust launcher that truly ticks all the boxes. MyColorScreen’s Themer is trying to be that launcher.
The company has just announced the launch of the app’s public beta onto the Play Store. Before this, it had been in private beta and required an invite code and direct download from their website. Users running Android 4.1 and up should find their devices supported. Let’s take a look at the launcher and the amount of customisation it permits.
As part of my new fitness routine that involves starting a C25K program, I have also taken up sit-ups and squats. The reason I picked these two exercises is that I have improved the strength of my arms and legs a lot with running and swimming, but my core, back and quads are still in deplorable shape. I could easily try to do short series of sit-ups and squats, but I was in no way able to go beyond 30 or 40 without feeling like my muscles were being ripped apart.
So similarly to my running training, I turned to my phone and the Play Store to find apps that would help me gradually increase my strength and improve my endurance. I was instantly drawn to Runtastic Sit-Ups Pro and Runtastic Squats Pro, not only because of the big brand name behind them, but also because of the apps’ design and features. It was an excellent choice and I’ll explain below why Runtastic’s suite should be on your phone too if you are interested in fitness.
There was a time, in a previous life, when I was able to run an hour daily without breaking a sweat. Then I injured my foot, couldn’t exercise for a year, got lazy and gained weight, until I was eventually unable to walk for more than 10 minutes without complaining of fatigue. I’ve been trying however, for the past 10 months, to find the glory of old. I started with swimming regularly, then added walking, hiking and eventually decided to ease back into running.
I had heard of the Couch to 5K program — commonly referred to as C25K — and figured it would be the perfect way to go back to my runner routine. I looked on the Play Store for C25K apps, found many that seemed way too complicated or expensive for the purpose, then I landed on C25K Trainer. It is the most simplistic app you can find but it is essentially all you really need if you want to start running.
They don’t make games like Double Dragon anymore. While the parallels between coin-guzzling arcades in the 80s and today’s free-to-play mobile fare run more than skin deep, it remains a relic. Simple, straightforward, and brutal, it’s uncompromising from the get-go.
No special “mobile” difficulty can blunt its force — nor that of its sequels Double Dragon 2: The Revenge and Double Dragon 3: The Rosetta Stone. All three are reproduced here in their full glory, warts and all, with touch controls for the gamepad-lacking and the usual host of extra features that you’d expect from a re-packaging of a classic series.
Email is the arena for an almighty battle of innovation right now. Ever since Mailbox introduced its shiny new side-swipe sorting to iOS, there have been innumerable reinventions of the veteran communication platform, with new clients arriving, by the bucket-load, on pretty much every OS.
Android has been no exception to this rush — in fact, it has been at the forefront. Google, itself, has made the official Gmail app a market leader in terms of intuitive design, whilst apps such as SolMail and Dextr are well-made alternatives, each with a slightly different approach to inbox sifting and sorting. There are plenty more where those came from, as well.
Take new email client, CloudMagic, for example. With a sleek interface and all the usual tricks of the email 2.0 trade, it looks like a great, free download. But how does it measure up to the fierce competition?
If I were to pick my top app to receive Chromecast support as soon as possible, it would have been MX Player. Despite a seemingly simple UI that lacks a lot of bells and whistles, MX Player can handle multiple file formats and sizes thanks to hardware or software decoding and supports gesture controls during playback and pinch-to-zoom.
However, Google seems to have a different opinion, and the first media player that got welcomed on the Chromecast was the relatively obscure Avia. I decided to take it for a spin, as it’s the only option that is available worldwide — Real Player Cloud doesn’t work in my region — and sends local files directly from my devices to the Chromecast without having to host them on another device like Plex‘ requirement. Read on for my assessment of the app.
There’s no question that smartphones and tablets have become by far the biggest gaming platform in the world, surpassing dedicated gaming devices with the sheer size of their user base and gaming software on offer. However, it is worth considering that the Google Play store is an environment which creates only a few gaming mega-hits per year, with many hopeful, worthy titles quickly fading into obscurity.
For an independent game developer, these struggles for exposure are often insurmountable. Google’s openness and transparency regarding app download figures provides a sobering — and often depressing — insight into these difficulties, with many games boasting a shocking lack of players. Here, we have collated 7 very worthwhile gaming experiences on Android that have most definitely flown under your — and almost everyone else’s — radar, but are well worth playing.
As we approach the last week before the last week before Christmas, Google has dropped an early gift in the form a bunch of new and updated Google Play edition products ensuring this festive season is a robotic one. Let’s take a look at This Week in Android! (more…)
I’m usually a sloppy Christmas shopper. I wait until the last few days to get any presents, mostly because I never know what to gift anyone. This year however marked a huge improvement as I had my Christmas shopping done by the 5th of December.
If you’re not as lucky and you still have some gift shopping left for your friends, family members, partners, and you know them to be Android fans, I have compiled this list of great last-minute gift ideas. As a big Android fan, I guarantee I’d be happy with any item mentioned below.