How does PC game starring Jack Black and Elijah Wood translate to mobile?
Originally split into two acts on PC, but reunited on Android, Broken Age is far from your average point-and-click affair. This captivating piece of interactive fiction starts off as two separate adventures in unrelated settings, starring two teenage protagonists whom you can switch between at will, yet you immediately have a deep inkling that their stories must surely be linked in some way.
In the idyllic village of Sweet Bunting, Vella is about to have the honour of participating in the Maidens Feast; this, it turns out, involves being sacrificed to a giant monster called Mog Chothra, which must be fed to appease it. There’s plenty of witty dialogue and dark humour, including young maidens desperately trying to outdo each other to make themselves more alluring to the hungry Mog. However, the rebellious Vella manages to escape its slavering jaws and soon finds herself in a village in the clouds, led by an ‘enlightenment’ guru (voiced by Jack Black), which forms the basis for countless jokes.
Meanwhile, Shay (Elijah Wood) is bored to death with his solitary life aboard a spaceship, stifled by overprotective virtual parents. There are shades of The Truman Show in this fake, sanitised setting, as well as Groundhog Day as he’s forced to repeatedly complete phony, childish missions such as rescuing cute knitted ‘yarn pals’ from an ice-cream avalanche and a runaway train.
How the newly announced Android Nanodegree can help you make a career out of coding
Google wants to make it faster and easier for the next-generation of hackers to become Android developers. It has partnered with the online education centre Udacity to produce an program that promises to help you “learn to develop for Android and transform your career outlook” over the course of 6-12 months.
Called the Android Nanodegree, the program offers free video content, along with the option of personal help, tuition and feedback for $200 a month. It’s aimed at established or intermediate developers who want to jump to Android or improve their general skills. Tying together other Android learning programs into a structured whole, the new nanodegree is developed and taught by expert Google instructors, and covers everything from UX design to integration with Google Play services.
Google and Udacity are both keen to promote the new course and get students enrolled (you can sign up online at specific times throughout the year). In fact, Google is going to hand-pick 50 Android Nanodegree graduates to attend a hackathon in Mountain View in the near future. In Google’s words, it’s “an education credential that is designed for busy people to learn new skills and advance their careers in a short amount of time from anywhere at any time”.
Battle aliens with Implosion, the tactical post-apocalyptic game from Rayark International
From the moment you witness the ultra-polished intro sequence, you know you’re in for a console-quality title with Implosion – Never Lose Hope.
This is just as well considering the premium price tag. While the game is free to download and try out the first six stages, you’ll need to shell out a one-off fee of £8.21/$9.99 to unlock the whole thing. You get a lot of game for your money, though, as indicated by its hefty 1.1GB size.
Your battle-suit-wearing character (codename Avalon) is sent to investigate a post-apocalyptic Earth overrun by alien life forms. The hack-and-slash action is reminiscent of Devil May Cry as you tap rhythmically to rack up multi-hit combos on waves of mutants. It’s pretty basic to start off with, as you hammer the strike button while performing the occasional dodge or special move – both of which need time to recharge a limited-ammo gun.
Styluses at the ready, Google Handwriting Input offers an alternative to the default keyboard
Despite the wide range of customisable keyboards available to Android users, typing into your touchscreen using your thumbs is still an imperfect way to send a message. There is help at hand though, as Google has released an app that converts your handwriting into text and can be used for everything from texting to inputting web addresses.
It works with a stylus or your fi nger and can be handy for people who find typing out messages a little bit too fiddly. There have been a fair few apps that have tried this, but Google Handwriting Input stands apart from them due to its recognition of even the worst handwriting. Using the same technology as the recent Android Wear update, this app can also recognise hand-drawn emoji.
Read onto find out how to activate Google Handwriting Input, use it in your everyday life, and deactivate it if you want to switch back to traditional typing for a period of time.
Android users could soon pick and choose what permissions it grants to downloaded apps.
A report from Bloomberg has suggested that Android users might soon be able to deny apps permission to read certain information, such as their contacts list and location, if it is not strictly needed for the app to function.
Services such as Google Maps would obviously still need to be able to keep tabs on your location, but it could be possible for you to block it from seeing your messages as that isn’t required for the app to work.
This is one of the developments expected to be revealed at Google I/O, which will kick off in just under three weeks. Follow our live updates on our Facebook and Twitter pages.