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Top 10 new Android games this week: Yes, Chef!, Doggins

By Steve Raycraft

Welcome back to Android Gaming Weekly, our weekly recap of new game releases. We still plan to cover upcoming releases and games we’re playing, but this column is dedicated to new games that you can start playing right now. Check out our top picks and let us know in the comments section if you have any suggestions for next week’s post.

Terra Battle

Description: Move units freely around a grid-based map to flank the enemy, striking from both sides in a pincer attack. A myriad of richly distinctive and diverse foes will confront you on a variety of battle maps. Prevail against them to gradually unravel the mysteries of this strange new world.

Doggins

Description: Doggins is a quiet little adventure game about a terrier, time travel and a villainous monocled squirrel. Explore the moon, sniff some things and unravel a plot to sabotage the history of human invention.

Atomic+

Description: Atomic+ is a simple, fast-paced action game where you avoid bullets and survive for the longest time while collecting squares to achieve the highest score. The game features four different control modes (auto, manual, full, full+) with two different difficulties (normal, hardcore).

Cricket Captain 2014

Description: Cricket Captain has been hailed as the best cricket management simulation ever created, and with one of the most exciting cricket seasons for a decade in prospect, it’s about time you took control.

Tower Dwellers

Description: Conquer through battle and reclaim the land you once called home! Craft Units from each tower to build a strategic army. Command your units in Real Time and assist them in battle with your magic spells

Sentinel 4: Dark Star

Description: Sentinel’s award-winning strategy gameplay expands explosively as the interstellar war moves to a mysterious alien world. Deploy devastating new towers and technology against an enemy that’s smarter and more deadly than ever before. Battle across vast landscapes and earn a wealth of upgrades as you explore the mystery of the Dark Star.

Star Wars: Commander

Description: Charge into battle on distant planets and lead your troops to victory in this action-packed combat strategy game! Build a base, recruit an unstoppable force and challenge players across the Star Wars universe in Star Wars™: Commander!

Yes Chef!

Description: Yes Chef follows the story of a young apprentice named Cherry, with dreams of becoming the greatest chef in the world. With your help, Cherry must travel the globe in search of mouth-watering recipes for her very own restaurant!

Enterchained

Description: Take down your foes with slashes, sword throws and chain trips to complete quests for gear and glory.

Cars: Fast as Lightning

Description: Race fast and free as Cars characters with nitro-charged arcade racing! Then go build your own 3D Radiator Springs, home of Lightning and his buddies. Watch it go from a humble town to a thriving city!

…read more

Source:: androidandme

    

Google Play Store 5.0 now rolling out with Material Design

By Nick Sarafolean

Google Play Store Material Design Screenshot

Google has begun rolling out version 5.0.31 of the Play Store that includes a visual overhaul with Material Design and some new layouts. The update

The Google Play Store now entirely follows Material Design with smooth animations, revised colors and larger, cleaner visuals. The icon has also been redone with a new design featuring shadows and the depth that we’ve come to know with Material Design. In terms of layout changes, the What’s New section has moved back up to the top of the description box and is highlighted in green. Aside from that, most things are the same aside from a refreshed design.

Use this mirror to download it for yourself.

…read more

Source:: androidandme

    

Google Play Store 5.0 now rolling out with Material Design

By Nick Sarafolean

Google Play Store Material Design Screenshot

Google has begun rolling out version 5.0.31 of the Play Store that includes a visual overhaul with Material Design and some new layouts. The update

The Google Play Store now entirely follows Material Design with smooth animations, revised colors and larger, cleaner visuals. The icon has also been redone with a new design featuring shadows and the depth that we’ve come to know with Material Design. In terms of layout changes, the What’s New section has moved back up to the top of the description box and is highlighted in green. Aside from that, most things are the same aside from a refreshed design.

Use this mirror to download it for yourself.

…read more

Source:: androidandme

    

Wall Street Journal: Yes, the Nexus 6 is coming this month

By Andrew Grush

black-nexus-6-render

There have been numerous reports suggesting that the so-far-unconfirmed Nexus 6 is on its way soon, including our own exclusive report suggesting the phone will likely be unveiled alongside the Nexus 9 on either October 15th or the 16th. If you’re still skeptical, however, yet another source has chimed in with claims the Nexus 6′ arrival draws near — this time the Wall Street Journal.

According to “three people familiar with the situation” speaking to the WSJ, the 5.9-inch Nexus 6 (aka Shamu) will in fact arrive this month, though they don’t clarify as to the when. Obviously our money is on the 15th or the 16th, only a week away, but we won’t deny that there is a chance this could prove to be the wrong date(s). If the phone really is coming next week, it seems pretty likely it will be through another low-key blog post as opposed to a major event, especially since no invites have gone out just yet.

The Nexus 6’s arrival is drawing near, we could see it perhaps as early as next week

The WSJ report doesn’t say a whole lot else about the Nexus 6, other than a few quotes from folks like Ankit Jain, the CEO and founder of mobile start-up Quettra and a former executive at Google Play, who suggests that Google may want to move into the larger phone segment so it doesn’t make the same “mistake Apple made over the last few years by missing out on the demand for larger phones.” Honestly considering the Nexus line has never been about appealing to average consumers and more about providing a great tool for developers and hardcore ‘pure Android’ fans, we doubt that’s Google’s motivation.

So why make a bigger Nexus 6? Unless Google simply wants to see how far it can take the big screen form factor before they reach full tablet size, we imagine they have at least a few unique features in store that will showcase how ‘pure’ Android can provide a solid phablet experience, or at least that’s the hope. There have been whispers about the possibility of a multi-screen function coming to the final release of Android L, and while there haven’t been a whole lot of solid leaks to suggest this will happen — it’d be interesting if it did.

Excited for the Nexus 6 yet? Conversely, do you think Google should continue offering the current Nexus 5 alongside the monster Nexus for those interested in a smaller device?


Source: WSJ; …read more

Source:: android authority

    

Android customization – create a custom weather warning system with Zooper Widget

By Jonathan Feist

Zooper Widget Weather Blizzard

Over the last few weeks our Android customization series has provided some great ideas and tricks to manage and reduce power consumption. We would like to take a little break from battery life tools this week to focus on the weather.

With it being that time of year for us northerners, leaves are beginning to turn brown and the weather is beginning to cool down. Now may be a great time prepare for bad weather days by creating a little weather warning system right on your Android device Homescreen.

Chances are, if you’re still reading this, you are interested enough in your weather that you already have a weather widget on your device. And if you’ve been following our customization series, you may even already use Zooper Widget. If this describes you, then you already have the hard part complete and ready to roll today.

Before we get started

You will need Zooper Widget installed on your Android device. The free version will get you by, but if you’ve been testing out all of these Zooper Widget projects, you may have already invested your $2.49 for Zooper Widget Pro in the Google Play Store.

Before proceeding, I will leave it to you to create your own Zooper Widget with a weather indicator. We’ve walked through this before, but you’ll likely want at least the weather scalable icon set in your widget.

Create a mini weather warning system with Zooper Widget

We’re going to try to keep it simple, all I want to do is adjust a weather icon to reflect upcoming problematic weather. Specifically, what I want is for my weather icon/indicator to turn red and/or change size if unfavorable weather is headed my way.

Zooper Widget Weather Warning

This is a modified approach to the techniques we looked at to change the color of your battery indicator based on power level from a while back. That should make this pretty easy. Let’s do this in order, from the beginning:

Create your widget.

Add a weather icon or text element with the weather.

Head to the Advanced parameters section of your weather indicator.

Now, enter only one of the following code snippets, for now. You can come back to mix and match to create your own custom super tool later:

When today’s temperature is to be below 40F, change the indicator blue:
$#W0TEMPN#<40?[c]00F[/c]:[c]FFF[/c]$

Zooper Weather Temperature Code

When there is snow in the forecast, change the indicator red, and enlarge it:
$#W0COND#=snow?[c]F00[/c][s]60[/s]:[c]FFF[/c][s]30[/s]$
(This assumes that your weather indicator has a default size of 30, thus a size of 60 is a major increase. You will need to identify the default size of your indicator and adjust accordingly.)

Zooper Weather Snow Code

Too easy so far? Let’s step it up – When the weather condition is going to be severe today, like a thunderstorm or snow, we’ll do something drastic, like still just changing the indicator to red.
$#W0CODE#>=1&&#W0CODE#<3||#W0CODE#=8?[c]F00[/c]:[c]FFF[/c]$

Zooper Weather condition codes Code

What is going on here?

I best break that down a bit. #W0COND# breaks into W=weather, 0=today (alternatively, C=current, 1=tomorrow, etc) and CODE=is a weather condition code. All available condition codes can be found here but may act differently depending on your set default weather provider. I have chosen to work with Yahoo! as my provider, you may find that either Open Weather Map (which is the usual default) or Yr.no works better in your area. Change that up in your default Zooper Widget settings.

Back to that string of code, you’ll see I used “&&” and “||” which indicate AND and OR, respectively. So, what we really said up there was ‘if the weather code is greater than or equal to 1 AND below 3, OR it is exactly 8, change the color.’ You’ll have to run through that list of weather codes to decide what you want to check for.

Now that that is all over, be sure to hit the check mark in the top right corner of the screen to save and exit. Then hit the system Back button to save and exit right out of Zooper Widget.

Zooper Weather Sunny

What’s next?

Please do not be discouraged if things are not quite right the first time around. You will have to play with this to see what works best for you. Myself, I tweak and modify my code almost monthly, and at the very least, adapt to the season with more controls for snow and cold during the winter and granular checks for high temps in the summer.

This project started off sounding fairly simple, but revealed some very detailed and complicated techniques, leaving you with tons of options and lots to think about. When you get the hang of what you see here, try combining the weather attributes so that you can adjust your weather icon to account for temperatures, conditions and even humidity levels and wind speeds. You can then still change colors and sizes of elements, but you could also use a dedicated warning icon or text that moves into view when the time is right.

Lastly, and we won’t get into this, don’t forget that Zooper Widget plays nice with Tasker.

Next week

As we close out a topic about notifications of one sort in our Android customization series, I’d like to start looking at notifications in general on your Android device. We’ll begin a multi-part series on handling notifications, partially inspired by what is to come from <a target="_blank" title="Android L preview lacks a Clear Notifications button, so …read more

Source:: android authority

    

Android Wear devices can now be used as a remote shutter for Motorola phones

By Nick Sarafolean

Motorola is pushing out a new update to Motorola Camera that allows people to use their Android Wear devices as a remote shutter. One of the benefits of Android is that manufacturers can place pieces of their software in the Google Play Store so that updates can be rolled out quickly to certain features. Motorola is taking advantage of that with its Motorola Camera app and rolling out an update that allows Android Wear devices to communicate with the app and act as a remote shutter button.

Manufacturers have been looking for ways to incorporate Android Wear and Motorola seems to have found a very smart way in which to do that. Using your smartwatch as a remote shutter could help a lot with things such as long exposure shots on a tripod, where you don’t want your camera to shake at all. The update is pretty cool, to say the least.

Have you used an Android Wear device yet? What did you think?

…read more

Source:: androidandme

    

WSJ reports that Google will launch Nexus 6 this month

By Nick Sarafolean

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Google’s Nexus 6 will launch before the month is out. Word of an autumn launch has been flying round and now we can make that timetable even more precise. The leak seems valid as well, with WSJ saying that the date has been backed up by three sources. With an October launch, we could even see the Nexus 6 launching alongside the rumored HTC Nexus 9 tablet. To round things off, a major release of that sort would likely include the launch of Android L, making it a triple win for Android fans.

Long lines of rumors and leaks have pointed to the Nexus 6 being built by Motorola and including a 5.9-inch display, placing it in the realm of phablets. While the large size will likely be frustrating to those of us comfortable using smaller displays, Google is obviously hoping that most will enjoy the extra screen real estate that the phone offers. We’ll have to wait until the end of October to see whether or not that’s true.

What would you like to see in the Nexus 6?

…read more

Source:: androidandme

    

A closer look at the HTC RE camera

By Nick Gray

htc-re-camera (5)

Yesterday’s announcement of the HTC RE camera wasn’t unexpected. Rumors of the device started circulating in mid-September and HTC joined in on the fun when it launched recamera.com and uploaded a few teaser videos of its own to YouTube and its social media accounts. While the HTC RE is unlike anything in HTC’s current product portfolio, the device does compliment the company’s smartphones, and HTC is using it to kick off a new line of connected devices that should come to market over the next 6-12 months.

Before the HTC Double Exposure event on Wednesday, we had the opportunity to sit down with a few members of HTC’s product and software design teams to talk about the RE camera and the company’s plans. Put simply, the HTC RE is an action camera for everyday life. Most everyone is familiar with GoPro, but very few people actually own one. And those who do typically only use it when they are speeding down a dirt trail on their mountain bike, climbing a mountain or jumping off a cliff into the ocean. The 146 degree wide-angle lens, 1080p video capture, 80 frames per second slow motion video and 16-megapixel pictures on the HTC RE can do all that, but HTC thinks the unique design of the RE and its smartphone connectivity make it a compelling device to use in everyday situations.

The design of the HTC RE is different from other devices on the market, but it’s certainly not unique. It’s roughly the size of an asthma inhaler and can easily pass as a periscope when it’s standing on a flat surface. We’ve all seen the jokes on Twitter, but the design of the RE camera was intentional, allowing the device to fit comfortably in the hand. The RE has a large shutter button at the top of its neck and a slow motion toggle button below the neck. HTC decided to forgo a dedicated power button and instead give the RE camera touch-sensing capabilities that turn the device on as soon as you touch it. This allows you to quickly pick up the RE and snap a picture without having to go through an extra step of fiddling with a power switch. Capturing an image with the RE is as easy as pressing the shutter button. If you want to record video, hold the shutter button down for about a second and the RE will start rolling.

The bottom of the HTC RE houses a microUSB charging port, microSD card slot and 1/4-inch tripod mount hole. HTC will include an 8GB microSD card with the RE, but the device can support cards up to 128GB. The RE’s internal battery capacity is rated at 820mAh, enough to allow the RE to snap 1,200 16-megapixel pictures or 100 minutes of continuous 1080p video recording. If you buy the HTC RE’s optional charging stand, it can record until the microSD memory card is completely full. The HTC RE camera is also waterproof right out of the box with an IP57 rating.

htc-re-camera-accessories

The HTC RE’s 146-degree wide angle lens makes capturing pictures and video effortless. Simply point the RE in the general direction of what you want to record and press the shutter button. If you want to make sure you set your shot up just right, you can use it as a remote viewfinder. The RE connects to your smartphone over Bluetooth 4.0 and uses WiFi Direct to transfer images or a live view of what the camera sees.

Once your picture or video is captured, you can back it up to your smartphone or share it directly to social media through the RE camera app. The app is required if you want to set up a time-lapse video, but HTC’s intent is to make the RE as independent as possible.

htc-re-camera-app
We’re still not sure how we feel about the HTC RE. HTC wants the RE to be an alternate camera for our lives — one that frees up from our smartphone’s viewfinder and allows us to live our lives with those around us. The story HTC is trying to sell is pretty compelling. We’ve all been to concerts or family events where everyone is living the moment through what they see on their camera’s viewfinder. HTC wants to solve that issue, but we still need to be convinced that the RE is the product that will solve it. HTC is pricing the RE at $200, making it more expensive than GoPro’s entry-level camera.

That said, the HTC RE isn’t intended to be a hero product on its own. HTC is not banking on sales of the RE to have a massive impact on the company’s bottom line. Our conversation with HTC revealed that the firm is focused on expanding its product portfolio with devices like the RE, which complement and augment the smartphones that we already use. HTC did not disclose what’s coming next, but we came away with the distinct impression that we’ll be seeing more connected devices in the next 6-12 months.

Companies that have focus solely on smartphones are going through an extinction phase. Palm, Motorola, BlackBerry, Nokia and a few others have either gone out of business or been broken up and sold for parts. HTC’s position in the market isn’t as dire as Blackberry’s, but that’s because HTC is actively working to find other sources of revenue to ensure it doesn’t become another statistic.

…read more

Source:: androidandme

    

Droid Turbo battery reportedly spotted, packing a massive 3900 mAh

By Andrew Grush

droid-turbo

Yesterday the Motorola Droid Turbo’s user manual leaked to the web, confirming some of the things we already knew about the device, such as its QHD 5.2-inch display and its support for quick-charging tech. The manual also mentioned a long-lasting battery but didn’t seem to share any specifics. Thankfully a new leak out of China gives us a first look at what may be the Turbo’s battery, and it seems to pack a massive 3,900 mAh.

droid-turbo-battery

We can’t say for sure that this is really the Droid Turbo’s battery, but it is listed as model number EQ40, the same model number mentioned for the battery in its FCC listing. Even with a Snapdragon 805 processor and QHD display, the Droid Turbo likely packs a pretty impressive punch when it comes to battery life, though obviously we can’t say exactly how good it will be. It often comes down to a combination of specs and software optimization.

What do you think, excited to get your hands on the Droid Turbo? For those who picked up the new Moto X (especially on Verizon’s network), do you regret your decision or happy with your purchase nonetheless?


Via: Phone Arena;
Source: Twitter; …read more

Source:: android authority

    

A ‘leaked’ screenshot of Google Now shows off possible Material Design makeover

By Andrew Grush

google-now-md

Very early this morning a Tweet from a Googler by the name of Michael OHerlihy hit the web, in it contained a screenshot of what appears to be a totally revamped Google Now interface. Since then, the tweet has been deleted, but this is the Internet and so nothing is ever truly forgotten. We can’t say that the idea of revamped Google Now is surprising, after all the final release of Android L is just around the corner and that means that there are likely plenty more Google apps and services that will be getting Material Design tweaks in the days and weeks to come.

So what’s new here? First, there’s a hamburger menu on the left side, something that currently doesn’t exist in Google Now. It’s unclear what the purpose for it is, but given its presence in the search box we’d guess it allows you to select different types of searches like images, videos and so forth. Some of the other changes include the new placement of the overflow menu outside of the individual Now cards, and it’s possible that the green-hued cards are also part of the Material Design makeover.

We can’t confirm this is really what Google Now will look over when it gets a full Material Design makeover, as it could be a mock-up or even an early unfinished makeover. Still, we wouldn’t be surprised if it ended up looking something like this. What do you think of the new look (if legit), how do you feel it compares to the current look within Google Now?


Source: Reddit; …read more

Source:: android authority