The Beeb has ported its iOS sports app to Android smartphones and tablets, promising news, live text commentary, fixtures and tables, and a mixture of live and on-demand video and audio from a range of events. The BBC is promising more features to be added in the coming months, including team customising and homescreen widgets.
I can’t over-stress how obsessed I get with every new simulation game from Japanese developer KairoSoft, even though they all use a similar formula. Here, you’re managing a racehorse ranch, training up horses to win prizes, while breeding new colts. Looks like a real battery-chewer (the game, not the horses that wouldn’t be healthy).
Flipboard, News360, Zite... Android is spoilt for choice when it comes to news aggregation/discovery apps. Newscover is the latest, promising to learn your interests as you read news stories, then serve up more articles it thinks you’ll like. It’s available in Spanish and English versions, with the option to log in using Twitter and Facebook for further personalisation.
Snapdragon BatteryGuru (Free)
If your Android smartphone has one of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon processors inside, this new (beta) app aims to eke out more battery time and optimise the device simply by running in the background and adapting to usage. Very useful, although I wonder how many people who could benefit won’t, because they don’t know what chips are inside their phone.
Retro treat of the week comes from Team 17 with an Android remake of its top-down shooter Alien Breed, which came out in 1991 originally. The game offers a choice of classic and enhanced modes beefier graphics and sound in the latter, as well as touch-tweaked controls as well as four new levels, and social leaderboards.
There’s some very good buzz around Sidebar, an app to help Android users multi-task with a sidebar of their most frequently used apps. “Simply swipe in from the edge of the screen to gain instant access to the apps you use most,” as the Google Play listing puts it.
The Sandbox is one of a clutch of pixel-art creation-games to have appeared in recent months, inspired by Minecraft but with an emphasis on 2D worlds rather than 3D. The game offers 71 levels to work through, as you trigger chemical reactions, generate lifeforms and try to build the Pyramids. Wonderful stuff.
Moment.me is one of the apps trying to aggregate people’s social posts around specific events and locations. Which sounds like tech-pseudy rubbish, I know, but there’s something to it: the app gathers photos, tweets and videos from an event and sorts them into collections, with the ability to cluster friends for this purpose too.
Another famous game comes to Android: a 3D hardware-accelerated port of first-person title Hexen, released by developer Kokak. While it’s probably something for more technical users comfortable with downloading IWAD files, it’s still good to see.
Puzzle game Sporos wants to stretch your brain, as you light up cells in patterns using a “sporos” seed, dragging pieces around the screen to the strains of “soothing electronic music”. Hundreds of levels should provide a decent challenge.
Android isn’t just about retro games this week. Flashout 3D is new, albeit clearly influenced by Wipeout. It’s a futuristic racing game with lots of ships, tracks and upgrades to explore, and an intriguing-sounding “interactive equalizer” feature that matches the in-game music to the on-track visuals.
Manos: The Hands of Fate (1.60)
Okay, Android is quite a lot about retro games this week. Manos: The Hands of Fate is a new title that looks like an old one: “An homage to the great games you remember from your childhood... When the streets were filled with bats, ghosts and Frankenstein monsters”.
As the name makes clear, this is an app for rooted Android devices only (if you’re not aware of the phenomenon, Wikipedia is your friend, by the way). Greenify promises to keep your smartphone running smoothly, including booting “bad behaving apps into hibernation” if they’re sucking up battery life or hogging the memory.
Who needs physical cosmetic surgery, when digital face-tweaking is now A Thing? That’s the idea behind Perfect365, in a way: a way to “apply a natural touch-up or a sizzling makeover” to facial photos on an Android device, removing blemishes, whitening teeth and even enhancing noses and lifting cheeks. The results can be shared on social networks, for friends to stare quizzically at.
Bankers Ville: Tower Defense
“First they [bankers] took everything and now they want more,” explains the Google Play listing for this topical tower defence game.
Not just ordinary bankers, of course: zombie bankers. Developer La Factoria d’Imatges says it will donate a portion of its profits to charity, too.
— Guardian News & Media Ltd