We’re coming up on the 6-month anniversary of the shutdown of Google Reader; and while some people might still be a little jaded about losing the beloved service, most have moved on to one of the many alternatives that popped up to replace it. Several great feed aggregators exist, many offering innovative improvements over Reader, but their mobile apps may not fit your needs. The developer of gReader, noinnion, intends to solve that with the release of News+, a feature-rich and very customizable news reader app with support for several services.
Development on News+ started over 6 months ago, around the same time gReader added support for Feedly. Users of gReader should feel right at home with the new app since many of its features can be found in both. News+ includes podcast support, text-to-speech, notifications, multiple viewing modes, offline reading, 2-way sync, and even a Tasker plugin.
The interface is both phone and tablet optimized, and it shares Night Mode and many of the same themes with its predecessor. Widgets aren’t currently available, but they will be coming with a future update.
News+ was designed to enable reading content from all of your news aggregators and Read Later services. The only service included out-of-the-box is Google News, but additional extensions can be installed from the Play Store or sideloaded to gain access to many other sources. There is also an API on Github for building extensions, so we’ll surely see more options in the future. Aside from the mysterious absence of Feedly, the list of extensions is already pretty good:
- Google News (included)
- InoReader (Play Store)
- BazQux Reader (Play Store)
- Tiny Tiny RSS (Play Store)
- FeedBin (Play Store)
- NewsBlur (Play Store)
- Pocket (Play Store)
- SubReader (sideload)
- Reedah (sideload)
- CommaFeed (sideload via Github)
- Google Reader API Clones (sideload via Github)
You can pick up News+ free on the Play Store, and it’s even open-source on Github, but an unlock key is required to remove the ads and enable all of the features. Without the premium key you’ll be limited to a single extension (in addition to Google News) and you won’t have podcast support or the Voice Reading mode. Of course, paying for the unlock key will also help to fund future development.
If you like gReader but want to try out one of the other services out there, you should definitely give News+ a try!
Download: News+ Premium
LEGO licenses out a new video game every other week these days, but let us not forget that this brand still consists of more than adorable animated characters acting out our favorite movie scenes. These are building blocks, and if you still want to spend hours meticulously crafting a plastic masterpiece at home, LEGO is just as eager as ever to make that happen. The company has now provided instructions for building the LEGO TECHNIC Hot Rod or Rally Racer in a convenient, and free, app format.
The app lets you pick which of the two cars you wish to build, pan around, zoom in as needed, and view animations to confirm if you’re doing things correctly. But – and this is a big ‘but’ – you will need a tablet to make use of this visual aid, and not just any tablet, you need an older one.
LEGO® Building Instructions is in continuous development to ensure its availability on a wide range of devices. Currently the app is optimized for the following devices:
● Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1
● Nexus 7 first generation
That’s right, LEGO says you need either an original Nexus 7 or a Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 tablet in order to use the app. Though, on the other hand, we’ve found that there may be some wiggle room here, as one of us has an aging Galaxy Tab 8.9 that’s also supported. Yay?
The Ratchet and Clank series has been around for over a decade now, spawning one hit platformer after another. Stars Ratchet and Clank have appeared in multiple racing games and thrown a few punches in the fighting game, PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale, but there’s one genre that they have yet to appear in, one that’s nearly a requisite these days – an infinite runner. Sony’s latest mobile release, Ratchet and Clank: Before the Nexus, addresses this issue head-on.
Before the Nexus features characters from the latest PlayStation 3 entry in the series, Into the Nexus, including enemies Vendra, Neftin Prog, and Thugs 4 Less. Ratchet will hop along grindrails, dodging threats and collecting bolts that can upgrade his weapons and armor. He will also collect Raritanium, which players can sync via a PSN account and use in the console title directly.
You can use real money to buy bolts if collecting them the old fashioned way proves too time-consuming, but aside from that, the game is free to play. Get it below.
ROM Manager has been a huge part of the Android ecosystem, helping rooted users flash new ROMs and restore backups for years. Unfortunately, it appears that its developer Koush, has run into troubles. Google, without warning, removed ROM Manager from Google Play, citing that the app violates a few agreements that developers sign in to, specifically ones that deal with third party payment options inside of apps downloaded from Google Play.
The issue was first addressed by Google, stating that Koush needed to fix a payment flow option for Helium – his data backup application. After Koush stated that he had other apps that used the same payment flow, Google skipped past the “you have six weeks to fix the issue,” and went straight to yanking down ROM Manager. As you may know, ROM Manager has hundreds of thousands of downloads, and people rely on it for their rooting needs. Whatever Koush did, it doesn’t appear that Google was very transparent about the decisions they were making with regards to removing it completely.
We have faith that Koush will be able to work this all out and ROM Manager will return to Google Play sooner or later. Although, Koush hasn’t promised anything quite yet.
Source: Droid Life
If you couldn’t get enough of Dirk and Daphne from the original Dragon’s Lair, they’re back in the arcade sequel. Dragon’s Lair 2 was originally released back in 1991 on arcade laserdisc machines, enabling the beautiful 2D art from master animator Don Bluth to shine through. Dragon’s Lair 2: Time Warp is five dollars on the Play Store (the same price as the original) and is compatible with Android 1.5 and up.
The story in DL2 has shifted slightly – the protagonist’s “Happily Ever After” doesn’t last long, as Daphne is kidnapped by a time-hopping wizard. Dirk trades his trusty steed for a rusty time machine and gives chase, fighting off Bluth’s typically zany monsters and dying many, many, many times. The animation is as good as it’s ever been, and with high definition resolution, it might look even better than when you played it two decades ago.
The sequel uses the same extremely simple Simon Says-style gameplay as the original, which isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, so pass this one up if you’re looking for action. But if you want what’s essentially a playable cartoon with some great nostalgia value, give it a shot. The game has Xperia Play support, though those without physical controls should be able to play through just fine. Looking doe something similar? Try Space Ace, from the same classic production team.
We’ve already cruised through Liberty City and significantly lowered property values in Vice City, now it’s time for a west coast vacation in San Andreas. The third Grand Theft Auto game of the PlayStation 2 era just landed on the Play Store in its blocky, polygonal, sandbox glory, and you can pick it up for a cool $6.99. No in-app purchases, no time-outs, just good old-fashioned Rockstar madness.
San Andreas takes the GTA action to California with a huge, fictional city amalgamating Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Las Vegas, and some rural backcountry that hadn’t been seen in the series up to that point. Like Vice City before it, San Andreas moves the clock back, this time going to a slightly larger-than-life version of the early 90s. You play as CJ, a young African American making his way through the various facets of the criminal underworld. You steal cars. You kill people. You do other things that kids probably shouldn’t be allowed to do in video games.
This was the last GTA game on the PS2 and Xbox, and for a lot of players, it was significantly better than Grand Theft Auto 4, which tended to lose focus with too much to do in the fictional city. Improvements over Vice City include slightly better graphics, more vehicles, customizable cars and player avatars, an entirely new genre-spanning soundtrack, and expanded mini-games. The Android version features adjustable graphic settings and compatibility with MOGA and other Bluetooth controllers.
From points unknown, comes the one and only Colossatron. Like all giant serpentine robots, Colossatron is mainly concerned with destroying lesser civilizations, and you can take control of the action in the newest game from Halfbrick Studios.
This title is a sort of casual robot builder, if there is such a thing. Colossatron goes about its business, rolling around the screen, shooting at everything in range. Most of your interaction with the game comes in the form of adding new modules to the robot. If you connect three of the same color, they collapse into a single more powerful subunit. Match two of the primary colors, like blue and red, and you get a third color with a different power (purple in this case).
The game has clean graphics and a fun cartoony style with full support for immersive mode on Android 4.4. The developers also framed the game as a series of amusing, goofy news reports. Also, your enemy is called General Mustache – what more could you want? Still not sold? We’re pretty sure Colossatron’s core is made of a decapitated Power Ranger Dinozord.
Uncanny, right? Colossaltron is a buck, but there are some in-app purchases built-in.