alcatel 1X unveiled with Android Oreo (Go edition), plus two kid-friendly tablets

Alcatel brought some budget-conscious offerings to the MWC and we were pleasantly surprised to find out they run Android 8.1 Oreo. There’s one phone, the alcatel 1X, and two tablets, both under the alcatel 1T name. As a bonus, there are two LTE hotspots. alcatel 1X phone The alcatel 1X has a modest starting price of €100, but it runs the latest Android 8.1 Oreo. It should be noted that this is Android Go Edition, due to the low-ish hardware specs. The phone has an 18:9 screen, 5.3″ in diagonal, and a fingerprint reader on the back (the latter available only in some regions). The…

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SwitchArcade Roundup: ‘Pac-Man Championship Edition 2 Plus’, ‘Super Mario Odyssey’, ‘Radiation Island’, and More

Welcome to the latest SwitchArcade Roundup, where we are covering a massive release day for Nintendo’s system! 11 new games hit the store today on February 22nd, and there’s more expected on the 23rd. There’s some classic arcade titles, nuclear zombie survival, and two different games where animals shoot lasers. Plus, we’ve got a couple bits of Super Mario Odyssey news that are of interest. Let’s dive right in, shall we?

New Releases

Pac-Man Championship Edition 2 Plus

If you’ve never played a Championship Edition Pac-Man game, you absolutely need to play this. These games feature mazes that shift and change as you keep collecting pellets, along with the ability to eat massive chains of ghosts in one run. Namco keeps throwing new chaotic elements on top of the formula. Here, there’s 3D mazes that appear?!

Membrane

This looks like an intriguing action-puzzler. The game’s unique element is that it’s not so much based around finding the one perfect solution to the level, but using the tools at your disposal to come up with creative solutions, with wild experimentation with the things you can build to accomplish your goals. This one does support co-op play, and is making its debut on the Switch!

Ace of Seafood

The description says “You can now openly admit to the desire we all share to become seafood.” Finally! This four player action game has you controlling various underwater creatures that shoot lasers, all in a ridiculously over-the-top underwater world . I don’t know who came up with this idea, but this game looks gloriously ridiculous.

Typoman

This seems like the perfect kind of game to get a Switch release to give it some new life. This is a puzzle platformer where arranging letters and words form a key role not just in solving puzzles, but also in navigating the world. This title went perhaps underappreciated when it released on other platforms, but with the Switch’s portable novelty and utility, plus the demand for new content, Typoman might just get a fresh life out of this Switch release. I’m definitely considering it!

Radiation Island

The open-world nuclear survival game hits Switch! I’m interested to see how the Switch audience takes to this one. I think the game itself isn’t lacking for quality, but will the mobile stigma affect it? If you’re looking for a meaty adventure where you face off against the undead, and scrounge for materials and weapons to help survive the deadly island, this is for you. The game features a massive map and some thrills as you try to sneak around or escape the game’s many zombies.

Dragon Sinker

Kemco’s starting to bring its prodigious lineup of published RPGs to the Nintendo Switch. This EXE-Create-developed title is very much a retro-inspired turn-based RPG, and of course you should read Shaun Musgrave’s review for more details. Interestingly, this one still has some in-app purchases despite the $ 12.99 price. Hmm.

Heroic Episode

HAMSTER is pretty smart, because the publisher is constantly putting out retro ports before Nintendo finally drops the Virtual Console on the Switch. Here, you can check out a 1986 IREM Shoot ’em up known as Youjyuden in Japan. This title is kind of obscure, but it does some interesting things with having on-the-ground sections with eight-way firing, and auto-scrolling shoot ’em up sections.

Magical Drop III

I feel like Magical Drop is one of those puzzle games that either is less popular than it should be, or game designers love it more than the public does. Pulling down bubbles and then launching them back up is fun, but I feel like there’s something about the concept that prevents it from having the stickiness of Tetris. I remember seeing a prototype of a Magical Drop-style puzzle game from a large publisher once, and one of the things I cautioned about was that there were previous examples on mobile that fell flat, like Linkoidz. It’s a solid game concept, it just doesn’t ‘work’. That game never came to fruition. At the very least, if you like the game idea, and that whole Japanese arcade puzzler aesthetic, this Neo-Geo port from HAMSTER is perfect for you.

Hollow

Prefer your horror in space, rather than on ground? Well, Forever Entertainment is premiering its sci-fi game Hollow on the Switch. You’ll be doing some first-person shooter action, with some possible time loop elements. It looks really creepy, and perfect if you just watched The Cloverfield Paradox and want some more sci-fi weirdness, hopefully without giant monsters getting involved somehow. I’m sure giant monsters will get involved somehow.

Spacecats with Lasers

Looking to rack up some high scores in a dual-stick shooter where you survive an endless number of waves? Spacecats with Lasers is your game. It has cats that fire lasers in space, along with countless waves of action to take on. Frankly, I don’t know what else you would want from a game?

Superola and the Lost Burgers

If you like auto-runners that are chock-full of retro gaming and meme references, this is the title for you! You play as a skateboarding llama trying to save the world’s hamburger supply. Seriously, one look at the game’s trailer reveals a ton of memes and references to an excessive degree. Some of the early reviews are mixed between it being good or outright terrible, and this looks kind of like a game that would have gone ignored on mobile, but hey…new Switch game!

Game News

Super Mario Odyssey has new post-game content in a new update. Luigi’s Balloon World is an asynchronous multiplayer mode where you can hide a balloon in the world, while trying to discover the balloons that other players have hidden. Hide balloons well, and find a ton of other balloons, and you can climb the online leaderboards. Plus, some new outfits and photo mode filters are in the game!

A Normal Lost Phone is coming to the Switch, and interestingly, it’s going to support both touchscreen, and HD rumble? I’d figure that if you were going to use the Switch like a tablet, you’d use it without the Joy-Cons attached. But it does make sense as a way to simulate phone vibrations. I’m pretty sure playing this on a smartphone is ideal, but if you would rather just start picking up games on the Switch instead of mobile, this is the way to go! You can preorder it now!

Sales

Super Mario Encyclopedia

The Super Mario Encyclopedia is coming out in October, and Amazon’s got it on discount: $ 23.99 from $ 39.99 list price. If you’re interested in the book, preorder it now, as you’ll get the lowest price on Amazon that the item was during the preorder phase, and sometimes that can get really low. I saved a ton of money on the Sonic Mania collector’s edition that way, for example.

Slime-San

($ 8.03 from $ 11.99, until March 8th) Played the meat out of Super Meat Boy and need a new trial platforming experience? Slime-San is quite fun, and has a unique style to it. The game has a demo, and just got a big content update with the Blackbird’s Kraken campaign. This has dozens of new levels and challenges, bananas to collect, a customizable house, and some new features like leaderboards, button mapping, and the ability to change the color palette of the game. Plus, there’s an FPS minigame now, what?!

Keep an eye out every weekday for more SwitchArcade Roundups! We want to hear your feedback on Nintendo Switch coverage on TouchArcade. Comment below or tweet us with your thoughts!

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First Android Oreo (Go edition) phones will debut next week

Android Oreo Go edition logo

After initially debuting alongside the update to Android 8.1 back in December, Android Oreo (Go edition) is finally about to appear on its first devices.

Google says that the first Android Oreo (Go edition) phones will be introduced next week at MWC 2018. The devices will go on sale “soon after”.

No OEM partners have been announced for these Android Oreo (Go edition) devices, so it’s unclear what kind of phones we’ll see next week. Android Oreo (Go edition) is a version of Android Oreo that’s optimized for smartphones with 1GB of RAM or less, though, so expect them to have fairly entry-level specs.

The goal of Android Oreo (Go edition) is to offer a smartphone that’s affordable but with an experience that doesn’t suffer because of it. These devices will have less storage and processing power, but that will enable manufacturers to sell the devices at affordable prices, sometimes at less than $ 50.

Android Oreo (Go edition) is optimized for these types of phones, complete with Google apps that are designed to use less memory and storage. The goal is that with all of these optimizations, consumers can buy an affordable Android Oreo (Go edition) device and still have a good experience using it.

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First cheap Android Oreo (Go edition) phones will be unveiled at MWC alongside more Android One handsets

Google has revealed that the first smartphones running Android Oreo (Go edition) will become official at MWC next week. The company hasn’t named any of the upcoming products, but mentions that some of them will sell for less than $ 50, which is rather amazing if it pans out (and there are no caveats). Android Oreo (Go edition) is the version of the OS that’s specially optimized for low-end hardware. It’s a streamlined iteration of Android, which ships with optimized default apps and an optimized variant of the Play Store that highlights lightweight apps. Google tells us to expect 15% faster…

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The best of Android and Google with Android Oreo (Go edition) and Android One

Monday kicks off Mobile World Congress in Barcelona—the mobile industry’s largest trade show. Our partners will be announcing amazing new Android devices, you’ll be able to see the growing industry momentum around RCS, and we’ll be showcasing the latest from Google including Google Assistant and Lens. Before the show gets underway, I want to take a moment to reflect on where Android is today and where it’s going.

Android

This fall marks 10 years since the release of the first Android device. Back in 2008, building software for mobile devices was pretty hard. Development was highly fragmented and resource intensive, and there was very limited compatibility across phones. Android began with a bold idea: to solve this problem with a new, open platform that would give mobile developers access to uniform tools and give customers a customized experience with the best mobile technology available.

Today, Android powers more than 2 billion active devices from 1,300 brands across 24,000 unique products. The platform has thrived because of our commitment to openness and the vibrant ecosystem of manufacturers, developers, mobile operators and component suppliers. And together with our partners, many of which you’ll see next week at MWC, we want to continue to push the boundaries of hardware and software to bring you new amazing experiences and capabilities.

Android has achieved unprecedented scale in just 10 years, but there are new markets emerging where consistency in experience is becoming even more important. With that in mind, we want to share an update on Android Oreo (Go edition) and Android One, two programs that help people know exactly what they can expect when they pick up an Android device.

Android Oreo (Go edition): Delivering on our core values of access and experience

We’re inspired by the success of Android across a wide range of devices, including entry-level phones which in many cases are the first and only way people get access to the internet. These devices need to be affordable, and the experience needs to be great. We don’t just want to provide people with access—we also want to provide a useful, high-quality experience.

Last year we introduced Android Oreo (Go edition), an optimized version of Android Oreo tailored for smartphones with 1GB of RAM or less. With a smaller amount of storage and processing power, these phones are less expensive for manufacturers to produce and can be sold at affordable prices, in some cases less than $ 50. With Android Oreo (Go edition), these phones are able to provide a high-quality experience, with the latest version of Android, Google Play Protect, and dedicated areas in Google Play highlighting apps optimized for Go edition. Android Oreo (Go edition) phones also include a set of apps from Google that are designed to use less memory and storage space, but still offer excellent experiences. For example, Google Go is built specifically to help new smartphone users find the information they want, YouTube Go is optimized for limited connectivity, and the Google Assistant for Android (Go edition) lets people quickly send messages, make calls, set alarms, and more with their voice and a single touch of the screen.

Starting next week, you’ll see the first set of Android Oreo (Go edition) phones, and soon after they’ll be available for you to purchase.

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Android One: Smart, secure, and simply amazing

While the openness of Android means manufacturers have the flexibility to offer unique experiences, we know people want some reassurance about what they can expect when they buy a device. That’s why we introduced Android One, a program aimed at providing people with three key things: faster access to the latest Android OS updates and Google innovations, regular security updates, and an easy-to-use software design that’s intuitive and streamlined.

Android One combines Google’s latest software and services with beautifully designed hardware from top partners. With an Android One phones, you can expect:

  • Faster access to Android OS updates for two years, including the latest AI innovations from Google;
  • Amongst the most secure devices in the ecosystem with regular security updates for three years and Google Play Protect built in;
  • A simple, streamlined interface that includes the best of Google services including YouTube, the Google Assistant, Google Maps, Google Photos and more; 
  • Performance-tested hardware so you can pick the right device for your needs and know that it will deliver a best-in-class experience for years to come.

We’re excited about the progress we’ve made with Android One in recent months, and at MWC you’ll see news from our partners about some great new Android One devices.

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Android wouldn’t be what it is today without our partners. With Android Oreo (Go edition) providing a high-quality Google and Android experience at lower prices and Android One delivering the latest from Android and Google, we’re excited to see what amazing things the next 10 years of Android will bring.


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