This week seems to be one of those incredibly slow news weeks for Android. I haven't seen anything that really caught my attention this week to be honest with you. Of course that's subjective and purely my opinion, what I don't think is news others might disagree with.
That said I was updating some apps on my phone and found some interesting things that needed updates.
Tales from the Borderlands Episode 2 is out! I think.
So I wrote about Tales from the Borderlands when it first came out and I found it surprisingly fun, mostly because it's a story/game that can be enjoyed entirely on its own with the players needing no familiarity with the material whatsoever to get the story and enjoy the game.
Well, just now I was updating apps and saw that the game had an update as well. Naturally, I was curious as to why since I didn't spot anything in the changelog. Which means I fired up the game and clicked around and in episodes I realized that the second one was out. I promptly bought the season pass, mostly because my insurance settlement check finally cleared this morning and I figured fuck it. A guy should treat himself to something on occasion and I've been mostly good lately.
(Side note: Anyone who's at all interested in playing the game would be well advised to just pay for the season pass. You save a few bucks in the long run, so it's well worth doing.)
Here's where things got weird though. So I paid for the season pass and the purchase went through fine and everything, but when I clicked on the episode it was asking me to pay for it again. Ditto when I clicked season pass just to confirm I had indeed bought it. (I did this on my phone, meanwhile I had Inbox open on my desktop and I was looking at the email saying I did in fact pay for it.)
I figured maybe I should leave the game and then go back in and try again. So I swiped it away from my recently used apps list and went back in. This time when I did so I could no longer see that the second episode was available for purchase and installation. Now it said "coming soon". Very peculiar.
So I updated the app and this time around everything was fine. The Season Pass shows as Purchased and the second episode shows as available for downloading. So I'll have to get on that here shortly, downloading the second episode that is. Naturally I'll do a write-up on it once I've played through, so expect that to go up Monday because even if I download it today I likely won't get around to playing it until Sunday night at the earliest.
All I know is that right now this is how I feel...
The next episode of Tale from the Borderlands is out people! YESSSSS!!!! After the fun I had playing the first one this has been something just there in the back of my mind since then. "When is the next episode gonna come out? I needs it. I needs my precious." And then out of the blue on today of all days there it is! After the shitty two weeks I just went through this was like the universe going, "Hey, bangishotyou, I know I've given you a lot of shit the last two weeks so let me throw you a bone." And I was like, "Okay, this in no way makes up for the last two weeks but I'll allow it."
Quite a few Google Apps were updated yesterday and today.
The big updates came to Maps (which lets users decide how they want turn-by-turn directions spoken to them, either through the device or a headset/Bluetooth device), Google Play Music (which now show YouTube music videos in the search and all albums in "My Library" without having to click on "more") and YouTube (which now gets support to search for 4k videos).
Click the various links to grab what you feel like updating.
Lenovo may have just outed the next Moto 360
This is definitely rumor mill territory, but I feel it is definitely worth sharing.
And here's a pic of both items together.
Let's get some of the obvious things out of the way.
1. Those watch bands now clearly attach to the device in a more traditional fashion. Note the lugs on the watch face itself. Previously, removing bands required either serious care on one's part or, as was recommended by Motorola, a trip to a jeweler's to have that done professionally.
2. The watch face/bezel itself is now smaller or bigger, likely per your own preference. It is also available in quite a few color options.
3. The watch bands themselves are similar. Smaller, bigger, and made of a variety of materials and in a variety of colors.
4. If you look very closely at the watches themselves, like the "complete" models you see in the pic, you'll note something near the bottom of the face. I'm gonna venture that's the display driver, which means that we'll likely, although don't hold me to that, be seeing the "flat tire" again. (Although anyone who has a problem with that is insane. You mostly forget about it once you get used to it. If it's really an issue there are other options for you, so don't harp on an old point. It's slightly annoying at this point in time. We get it! Flat tire. Move on already.)
Speaking of Android Wear, check out this watch face
That is the Boot Watch Face ($0.99), which basically takes the Lollipop boot animation and just runs with it on your watch.
The moment I saw that this morning I just knew I had to have it, so I'll be buying it here shortly.
Speaking of apps though, it's Amazon's birthday (for their app store)
And by gosh they certainly have a much better listing of free apps than the Play Store's recent shindig did.
Five Nights at Freddy's 2, World of Goo, Unpossible, and Deep Under the Sky are apps I want, have, or would play.
So grab any/all if you'd like. Keep in mind one thing though, apps download from the Amazon App Store are not tied to your Google account. That means that they may not be updated regularly and that also means as far as Google or the Play Store is concerned you've not acquired them through there and you're basically on your own (as far as they're concerned) for any issues with said apps or questions you may have. (That doesn't mean you can't contact the developers themselves though on your own.)
Of course it's worth noting that when Amazon gives apps away almost nothing goes to the developers of said apps. Something that even the developers behind Pocket Cast ($3.99), Shifty Jelly, have themselves commented on. Among others.
Have things changed since that happened? Honestly, I have no idea. It was literally only this week that Google themselves changed their app review guidelines, which at long last change some seriously big issues with the Play Store for developers. And that's long been something people have been discussing and saying should have been implemented since the get go.
On an unrelated note, Best Buy has the (Verizon) Nexus 6 for $99.99
You can see more information about the phone/deal at Best Buy's page for it.
Of course it bears stating that the price is for the device with a 2-year contract. (That might also apply for those with an eligible upgrade, but I can't tell for sure.)
Being the latest flagship Nexus phone this does mean that anyone interested in it will likely see relatively quick updates, although if history is anything to go by I wouldn't put it pass Verizon to take their time with updates. [waves sadly at the Verizon Samsung Galaxy Nexus] (The only Nexus device to be effectively written off by Google and the manufacturer, Samsung, due to carrier meddling and the only Nexus device to end up falling two or more updates behind it's siblings on other carriers.)
Also, and this is seriously "I'll believe it when I fucking see it with my own two eyes" territory here, I read this morning (although I don't remember where) that the Verizon Nexus 6 has no carrier bloatware on it. I feel like skeptical third world kid would have issues/questions with that.
Edit. Found a thread on the "no bloat on Verizon Nexus 6" thing. There is bloatware after all. Color me not surprised.
You mean to tell me that a device on one of the most notorious carriers around who is known for branding all their devices with their hideous logos everywhere on said devices and who is known for locking down bootloaders and overloading devices with bloatware somehow decided not to put bloatware on this one device? [he says as skeptically as possible]
To quote Captain O'Hagan from Super Troopers, "I'll believe ya when me shit turns purple and smells like rainbow sherbet."
On the note of devices in general, M7 will get no more updates going forward
Looks like the HTC M7 is stuck on Android Lollipop 5.0, with one exception.
Can't say HTC didn't stick with things they previously said, it did get two years of support. The M9 is being made available for purchase within the next few weeks if memory serves me correctly. (Think it's April 9th to be exact.)
Everyone and everything reaches the end of the line eventually. And just because I can't think of that expression without being remind me of "End of Line" from Tron: Legacy here's the song.
Continuing on though with HTC related news...
HTC and Valve's Vive may cost a pretty penny early on
I know I wrote about the device semi recently but I can't for the life of me find the post, for those who don't remember though, this is HTC and Valve's take on virtual reality.
Ars Technica has a great "hands on" write-up of the device and honestly it sounds even better than the Oculus Rift.
For now there is no price point. All HTC says on the matter, which you can see in the little blurb above, is "a slightly higher price point". That's not saying much, but going based on the Oculus Rift price point we can expect something at minimum of around $300 and I wouldn't be surprised to see it go for $350 and potentially even $400.
And I think that's all I got for today.
Because I've done nothing else today but write this post and read some stuff online.
There are few things as boring as being stuck at work and having nothing to do and I'm on my second week of this kind of thing. Yesterday I managed to mostly finish a book I was reading from the night before while here at work. (Something I'm perfectly fine with, because seriously who doesn't want to spend as much time as possible reading?)
On that note, I'm basically out of here. Time to go to lunch and then kill the four hours after however I can. I'm starting my weekend early, which means as soon as 5 PM rolls around I'm going into weekend mode until my alarm goes off on Monday.
You cats take care and if there's anything worth discussing then bring it on. Amuse me, puppets! Muahahaha! : P