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3 years ago

GDC 2014: Dungeon Link mashes up RPG and puzzle games

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Another title we saw from Gamevil at GDC 2014 was Dungeon Link. It takes the tried and true puzzle mechanic of Flow, whereby you trace a line between two same-colored dots without overlapping with other lines, and tosses in a few role-playing mechanics. Instead of simply connecting the two points, players are trying to trace their paths through monsters peppered on the board. Every color represents a character you've chosen, each with their own attributes. gear, and abilities. If you manage to attack all enemies with all of your heroes in the same turn, you get a combo bonus on damage.

It's a neat, light twist on a familiar genre. It reminds me a little bit of Nimble Quest in that sense, but I think Dungeon Link is very much going to stand out on its own. This free-to-play title will be out around Q3 this year.

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3 years ago

GDC 2014: Zenonia Online updates classic mobile RPG as an MMO

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Gamevil was at GDC 2014 showing off a whole bunch of upcoming Android games, including the next iteration of their well-known RPG series, Zenonia. Zenonia Online, as you might expect, adds a whole layer of massively multiplayer mechanics to the core action gameplay. In addition to hacking and slashing your way through a rich fantasy world, players can now party up co-operatively to take on particularly challenging raid bosses, or turn on each other in player versus player content.

It's great to see Gamevil approaching the mobile MMO space, since right now it's almost exclusively occupied by Gameloft's Order & Chaos Online and Arcane Legends by Spacetime Studios. Zenonia Online is already out in Korea, but will release globally some time this year, and like all Gamevil titles, it's going to be free-to-play.

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3 years ago

BBC iPlayer ready to roll with Chromecast, no update required

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The BBC did indeed build the functionality into a recent update

We recently heard from some folks who'd been digging through the BBC iPlayer app that Chromecast support had been built in ahead of a launch in the UK. Turns out that was indeed correct, and as of today the app is 100% ready to cast. After opening it up you may find you need to wait a minute, or even relaunch the app – as I had to – in order to kickstart things.

But once things are set you'll see the standard Chromecast icon across the top of the apps main interface. Getting things from device to TV are simple, though you need to connect the app to the TV first. Tap on the Chromecast icon, select which room you want to pair to, and you're done.

From there, just go ahead and select what you want to watch and let everything else work its magic. I've been playing around with it for a little while now and am really happy with it. It's pretty quick to start playing, the video quality is good and you can even mute the video from the notification tray on your Android device. Pretty slick.

All you need is the current version of the BBC iPlayer app which you'll find at the Play Store link up top.

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3 years ago

Sony brings boarding passes to Smartwatch 2 with Vueling

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Sony has announced what it says is the "world's first wearable boarding pass" for its Smartwatch 2 device in partnership with Spanish airline Vueling. The app, due to launch on Google Play from the end of the month, allows users to display a boarding card barcode on the watch's display, as well as displaying details of upcoming flights. (Regular travelers will be aware that similar functionality is offered by many airlines' smartphone apps.)

The news comes less than 24 hours after Google's Android Wear announcements, a promotional video for which featured a traveller using an Android smartwatch to scan a virtual boarding pass at an airport. Sony was an early entrant into the smartwatch market, however it wasn't listed as an Android Wear partner in yesterday's announcement.

Source: Sony blog

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3 years ago

Dayframe makes Chromecast slideshow free for all users

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Prime upgrade $0.99 for a limited time

With version 2.3 of Dayframe, out now in the Google Play Store, we're treated to a couple of new features, but best of all everyone gets Chromecast support for free. Free version users will get no time limits or ads interfering with their pictures, but instead will get a small logo on the screen and a "pop-up reminder/nudge" about the Prime upgrade once in a while. The Prime upgrade itself is going down to $0.99 for a limited time as part of the update.

So, what else is new?

  • Can now add multiple Facebook friends at a time
  • Better support for wireless chargers (i.e. the Tylt)
  • Faster and easier to create playlists (as part of Prime)
  • Slideshow lighter makeover
  • Bug fixes

Grab the latest version for yourselves at the Google Play link up top.

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3 years ago

GDC 2014: Swipe through a futuristic color-matching robo-arena with Smash Derby

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Besides Gates of Osiris, the guys at Fenix Fire also showed a free-to play action game called Smash Derby at GDC 2014. This light and fast title pits players in a gritty arena full of orange and blue robots. Tap your own bot to switch colors, so you can successfully bash into same-colored mechs with a quick swipe. It's a battle against the clock to wipe out the other bots while making sure you don't accidentally bump into those of opposing color. Between rounds, you have the opportunity to drop defensive structures around the stage and take on the next batch of would-be robo-champions.

From the bit we've seen, Smash Derby looks fun and fluid. It should be out some time next month on Google Play first (don't let the iPhone demo device fool you) and Ouya, with other platforms like iOS, Windows Phone and maybe even BlackBerry due afterwards thanks to easy exporting through Unity. More info and screenshots can be found at the Fenix Fire site.

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3 years ago

GDC 2014: Gates of Osiris to offer space bug blasting and gritty sci-fi survival

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Among our many game demos at GDC 2014 was Gates of Osiris from indie developer Fenix Fire. Players mount up in a rover to patrol their base and precious resources and blow away any alien life forms that may be threatening your continued existence on the post-Earth planet. Resources are used to expand your base, repair your vehicles, and otherwise make it another day without getting sucked into the vacuum of space.

The sci-fi survival game was inspired in no small part by the aliens from Starship Troopers, but manages to steer clear of any mid-90s-flavor hoakiness. The graphics are fantastic thanks to deep integration with Unity and Qualcomm, complete with varying visual filters, powerful baked-in shadows, and stellar lighting effects. The game is still a work in progress, with a release on Android due this summer. Expect to see this gritty survival title in the Play Store for around $4.99. In the meantime, hit up Fenix Fire for screenshots and status updates.

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3 years ago

Skype updated with 'aggressive battery savings,' disables group chat push notifications

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Battery life bug tied to camera access in KitKat also fixed

One of the big issues with Skype on mobile devices, battery life, is expected to be improved dramatically today with the latest update to the Android app. According to Skype, after installing version 4.7 of the app you should be able to keep the app running all day "without noticeably affecting battery life." The savings come from a complete reworking of how Skype runs on mobile devices, but also from turning off group chat notifications for now.

Realizing that group chat notifications are still a big deal for many, you'll have the option to turn the feature back on at the expense of some battery life right now. Skype says that in future updates it will have the kinks worked out on how to offer group notifications on by default while keeping the same great battery life included in this release.

Another big battery fix for KitKat users is also included in the update, fixing the issue where Skype was keeping the Camera app running in the background. The latest Skype update is already available in the Play Store at the link above — go update and see how your battery life improves.

Via: Skype

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3 years ago

New SwiftKey beta adds Google+ and Evernote personalization

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A new beta version of popular keyboard app SwiftKey has been released today, adding the ability to bring in personalization info from Google+ and Evernote. (That's in addition to the emoji support added to SwiftKey beta late last year.)

The new SwiftKey beta 4.5.0.43 also brings performance and UI improvements for emoji and a new themes selection menu, alongside the usual assortment of bug fixes. You'll find more info, and the download link, over on SwiftKey's official blog.

Source: SwiftKey

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3 years ago

Sonos announces new Controller app coming this Spring, opens up beta testing today

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Sonos Controller App

A fresh, easy-to-use design and universal search coming later this Spring

Sonos is completely refreshing its Controller app for Android with new features and design, and its giving Android users an early look as part of a beta test. The first notable change of this update is a complete design refresh — you'll navigate the app between three different modules to choose between currently playing music, what rooms the music is playing in and discovery for upcoming music. And the entire interface is a simple and modern design that's primarily black and white with small pops of color and uses of transparency.

Under the hood, the new Sonos Controller app integrates universal search for all of your music services in one place. Just plug in the details for every music service you're a part of, and the Controller will search each one so you don't have to hunt through each one to find what you'll listen to next.

If you're a Sonos user and want to get an early look at the app while it is in the final stages of development, you can apply to be in the beta testing group at the link below. Those who want to wait for a finished product (or plan to use it on iOS) will have to wait until later this Spring, but considering the leap this app is making it'll surely be worth the wait.

More: Sonos

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3 years ago

Google Play Services 4.3 now rolling out with new APIs, support for latest Play Games improvements

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Google Play Services

Four more APIs get rolled into Play Services for easier access by all developers across devices

Version 4.3 of Google Play Services is now rolling out to devices, bringing with it a new set of APIs, refreshes of other existing APIs and improvements related to the Google Play Games announcement from this morning. Entirely new to Play Services are Google Analytics, Tag Manager, Drive and Address APIs.

Google Analytics and Tag Manager are previously-standing independent APIs that are now being rolled into Play Services — this means developers can interact with these APIs much in the same way as they did, but they can be updated independent of the OS and easier accessed by developers. Both of these APIs let developers have better insight into how their apps are performing (Analytics) and have better control over assets in their apps (Tag Manager) so that changes can be tracked and made on the fly.

The newly-introduced Drive API is also being brought into Play Services, and the latest version includes the ability to pin files, let apps create folders and give apps notifications when files are changed. The Address API is also new, and allows developers to request to view addresses — for example when a user is filling out a delivery or online order form — without having to request the device's actual location.

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3 years ago

Flyne updated with new UI and new features

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Popular offline RSS and Twitter reader gets a major facelift

Flyne has seen a pretty major update today, bringing a new Tablet UI, changes to the standard interface, and a handful of new features. If you're not familiar with Flyne, it's an offline reader that can aggregate popular feeds, and with a 99-cent in-app purchase it can tie into your Feedly or Twitter accounts. Made by the developer of Falcon Pro, the app is polished and well designed.

Todays changes are looking good. The full list:

  • New list based navigation, with big or small article previews (toggle it in the display settings)
  • Polished looks for both day and night themes
  • Double tap to close article
  • Zoomable, downloadable images
  • Mark as read while you scroll
  • Feedly two way sync
  • New tablet layout
  • Faster preloading of articles
  • Smoother navigation
  • New transition animation
  • Many bug fixes

Current users should see an update notice from Google Play shortly, and those who want to give it a spin can hit the link above.

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3 years ago

Chrome update fixes audio bug that plagued the HTC One

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A quick heads up, folks, that the Chrome browser for Android has gotten an update today. The changelog is vague in the usual ways, noting "stability and security updates."

But for those who are using an HTC One, you'll need to download this new version right away, as it fixes a pretty annoying audio bug that would cause the phone to launch straight into speakerphone mode when placing a call — damned near deafening, thanks to that Boomsound thing blasting from the front-facing speakers. Not everyone saw this bug — but for those of us who did, this is a most welcome fix.

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3 years ago

WhatsApp promises it's not Facebook and that it doesn't even want your data

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Actions speak louder than words, of course, but WhatsApp today used a few hundred to promise us that it has "respect for your privacy" and that having been bought by Facebook for umpteen-billion-dollars (it was $16 billion) won't go to its head, leading it to steal all your personal data. "If partnering with Facebook meant that we had to change our values, we wouldn’t have done it," WhatsApp's Jan Koum wrote in a blog post.

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3 years ago

Rovio launching new RPG called Angry Birds Epic, doesn't give timeline for Android release

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iOS users in Australia, New Zealand and Canada have an early look before wider launch in late Spring

The Angry Birds franchise just keeps getting bigger, and the latest release is a full-blown RPG called Angry Birds Epic. Rovio claims this new free-to-play game will be a complete and extensive RPG title with an extensive campaign, turn-based gameplay, end game content, item crafting and more, all set on the fantasy world of "Piggy Island." Being free-to-play we can expect some in-app purchases to make an appearance, but details aren't known just yet.

Rovio is smartly doing a soft launch of sorts, making the game available to folks in Australia, New Zealand and Canada, as well as only making it available for iOS users at this point. No solid date on a wider launch is being given right now other than "later this Spring," and not a single mention of Android accompanies this announcement either. We have to expect that Android details will be shared as we get closer to a full launch, but in the meantime we at least have a look at a nice trailer for the game.

Source: Rovio

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