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Android Community Weekly Digest: Dec. 7, 2014

With Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday far behind us, it's time to take stock of the spoils of war. This week, we got bombarded with a lot of sales and promos, particularly on the entertainment side of things. A lot of new games have also entered Google Play Store and that is what we're turning our attention to in this latest edition of Android Community's Weekly Digest, covering the period from December 1 to December 7, 2014. Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right Android is certainly not lacking in JRPGs, both old school and totally new. Kemco is one of the more popular names when it comes to flooding Google Play Store with new titles, and their latest Revenant Saga puts a slight twist by introducing 3D battles in an otherwise purely 2D game. When it comes to old school though, Square Enix is right up there and it has just bestowed Android with yet another Dragon Quest game, Dragon Quest III. Unfortunately, it comes with the notorious Square Enix price tag. Games of high visual caliber aren't exactly that many on our mobile platform, so when games like Godfire: Rise of Prometheus arrives, we take notice. It's like God of War, but on a smartphone. And without physical controls. On the other hand, button mashing and heavy swiping shouldn't be a problem for Shadowrun: Dragonfall, as its turn-based battles and deep story plot makes this cyberpunk-meets-fantasy RPG a refreshing change. If you haven't been able to decide on what game you'll want to spend your time on, check out Google's own pick for the top games this year. Be sure to also check out our Gaming tag portal for our own selection of new, updated, and sometimes weird games in the market. [youtube 8X92EKqM0ZY] Nexus and Android Lollipop Google and OEMs continue to roll out Android 5.0 Lollipop to devices around the world, but things hit a bit of a snag this week. Though it doesn't really change the status quo, Google updated its support pages to explicitly mention that they are not to blame for delays in releases. While the Nexus promise of two weeks for Android releases still stand, Google passes the buck to carriers for any delays in rolling those out. Of course, that only applies to Nexus and Google Play Edition devices purchased from carriers, while those sold through Google Play Store remain favored. This week also saw the surprising appearance of Android 5.0.1, a maintenance release seemingly targeted at Nexus tablets, including the Nexus 9, the 2013 Nexus 7 (WiFi), and the Nexus 10. On the other hand, Android 5.0 has started its descent on the Samsung Galaxy S5, starting in Poland, and finally arrives on the GPE variants of the HTC One (M7) and M8. Cyanogen, OnePlus, and India A drama that was unfolding a week ago finally came to ahead this week. After several leaks and rumors, both Cyanogen, Inc. and OnePlus confirmed and announced their respective thrusts to take the Indian market. For Cyanogen, however, this was revealed to be an exclusive deal with local OEM Micromax. Shocked and dismayed, OnePlus announced that they would continue to support the OnePlus One in India, even without Cyanogen's help. Cyanogen later clarified that its exclusive partnership with Micromax doesn't mean that it has abandoned the OnePlus One in India and that owners would continue to receive OTA updates. That said OnePlus' plans to develop a non-Cyanogen Android OS of their own seems to remain still on track. Apps [youtube DZs4BMc1CBw] This week was not without its interesting apps. Mixing humor with mobile devices, McDonalds Canada released a Fry Defender app that would protect your golden brown sticks from would be thieves. AirDroid releases version 3 of its app that lets you control your smartphone from a desktop or laptop, and with it new standalone Windows and Mac clients that will free AidDroid from the shackles of a browser. Cannibal Open Touch joins the custom Android recovery party by offering a fully touch-optimized and themable tool based on the popular ClockworkMod Recovery. A new app from Digital Turbine called Ignite was discovered to bypass Android's security safeguards and install apps without your knowledge or permission, all for the sake of carrier or OEM bloatware. And last but by no means least, Google releases its selection of the best Android apps for 2014.

Games Roundup: Godfire, Shadowrun Dragonfall, Dragon Quest III, and more

It's Friday again, which means weekend, which means games! At least for the gamers and would be gamers in the crowd. And just our luck, quite a number of new titles, some of them quite high profile, have descended upon us just today to delight, frustrate, and hopefully entertain us. Welcome to Android Community's Games Roundup for December 5, 2014.

Cannibal Open Touch joins custom recoveries roster

When we speak of custom recoveries, the two that probably come to mind are ClockworkMod (CWM) and TWRP, though there are quite a few based on these two as well. Of course, that doesn't mean there's no place for other players and there is definitely still some wiggle room for improvements. Despite its name, Cannibal Open Touch won't eat your device. Instead, it will open it up to a world of possibilities that only a custom Android recovery can.

Cyanogen clarifies OnePlus situation in India

Those who have been following the latest mobile developments in India might have noticed a small drama unfolding. Chinese startup OnePlus has just targeted the sub-continent but, at the same time, Cyanogen, Inc, who develops the OnePlus One's software, struck up an exclusive deal with Indian OEM Micromax. After some speculation, as well as a blog post from OnePlus, the Android ROM maker is now clearing the air and explaining how things will proceed.

GAMEVIL’s Elune Saga mixes cards and RPGs in your phone

Arriving a day early, GAMEVIL pushed the international release of its new game titled Elune Saga. What makes this "hybrid strategy RPG" somewhat unique from the rest of the bunch is in how it meshes together two popular mobile gaming genres. While you do follow a fixed plot and build up your motley crew of adventurers, battles aren't boring since elements of collectible card games inject a bit of strategic thinking into the mix.

Android 5.0.1 OTA for 2013 Nexus 7 (WiFi), Nexus 10 are here

Google pushed, rather silently if not for a few keen observers, a minor update to Android Lollipop yesterday. While details on the nature of this update is still unknown, factory images for Android 5.0.1 are already available for Nexus tablets and for those who feel a bit more adventurous. But for those who are caught in between waiting for the OTA update, there is an option available to them now that the update files are available to the public.

New Bluetooth 4.2 standard pushes for security and speed

Even with the advent of NFC technology, Bluetooth remains the go to wireless solution for quick and shorter range connectivity. And now that the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) has ratified version 4.2 of the standard, it is poised to become prevalent even more, especially in the so called Internet of Things era. While Bluetooth 4.0 was most famous for bringing Low Energy to the table, 4.2 will perhaps be known for addressing privacy and security issues and answering the need for speed.

Lollipop continues: Galaxy Note 4 preview, Galaxy S5 firmware

Samsung fans are surely excited and well teased beyond their limits thanks to SamMobile's unending exclusives on how Android 5.0 will look and behave on the Korean OEM's 2013 and 2014 flagships. After the Galaxy S5, the Galaxy Note 3, and the Galaxy S 4 (also in its GPE incarnation), we now turn our eyes to the latest and, some say, the greatest, the Galaxy Note 4. Fans of Google's new Material Design language will probably feel right at home, though much work is to be done, if it's to be done at all.

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