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Google picks its best apps of 2015, Facebook adds Live Video, the first Final Fantasy VII Remake trailer, Spotify presents your Year in Music, and the greatest whisky ad of all time.
Google Lists Best Apps & Games of 2015
As the end of the year approaches, it’s a good time to take a look back at what has proved popular over the last 12 months. Which is exactly what Google has done with its Best of 2015 lists. These are all on Android, obviously, but we’re sure Apple will curate its own list of iPhone apps and games before the year draws to a close.
Google’s Best Apps of 2015 include Microsoft Word, Skype, Telegram, Twitch, and YouTube Gaming. While Google’s Best Games of 2015 include ZigZag, Jelly Jump, Clash of Clans, Fallout Shelter, and Lara Croft GO. The lists appear to have been compiled based on a combination of downloads and ratings.
These are solid lists of essential apps and entertaining games, many of which we have recommended ourselves. Google has also seen fit to list the top selling albums, top selling movies, and top selling books, but as these all need to be paid for, we recommend you read reviews online before you buy (if you feel you can trust them).
Facebook Adds Live Video Status Updates
Facebook is such a copycat! – rolls out live streaming video service #periscope
— Waleed Ahmed (@Waleed_Ahmed) December 7, 2015
Facebook is adding Live Video streaming for all users. The feature has already started rolling out, but is initially being limited to a small selection of iPhone users in the U.S. Eventually, all users will have the option of sharing live video on Facebook, but the social network isn’t saying when.
Live Video forms part of a redesigned status update menu. Once selected, you can stream live video to your family, friends, and followers, “whether you’re visiting a new place, cooking your favorite recipe, or just want to share some thoughts.” Videos will automatically be saved to your timeline.
Facebook has actually been testing live streaming video for a few months, but Facebook Live has previously only been available to celebrities. Now, everybody is being given the opportunity to broadcast live, whether or not they actually have anything interesting to show or tell.
Periscope and Meerkat, the two most popular mobile live streaming video apps already out there, must be quaking in their boots at Facebook muscling in on their territory.
The Final Fantasy VII Remake Trailer
At E3 2015, in June of this year, Square Enix announced it was remaking Final Fantasy VII, its most beloved RPG (Role-Playing Game). And now, six months later, we have the first trailer for Final Fantasy VII Remake, as shown at the PlayStation Experience 2015.
We get to see the characters we know and love, including Cloud Strife and Barret Wallace, brought to life, the world fully realized with modern-day graphics, and the overhauled combat system which has replaced the turn-based system as seen in the original game.
It’s all very exciting for those of us of a certain age who still regard Final Fantasy VII as the high-point for Japanese RPGs. Unfortunately, Final Fantasy VII Remake isn’t due to be released until 2017, which means we have at least another 18 months to wait for it to drop.
However, if you need a nerdy nostalgia hit between now and then, you can always play the high-definition port of Final Fantasy VII. It has been available on PC for a couple of years now, but has finally been released on the PlayStation 4 as well.
Spotify Charts Your Year in Music
— Matthew Anderson (@MattAndersonNYT) December 7, 2015
If you use Spotify on a regular basis then you can now check out your Year in Music. This offers a personalized look at your favorite songs, artists, and genres, as well as some statistics based on your use of Spotify in 2015, such as the total number of songs you listened to through the year.
Once you have absorbed your personal Year in Music report you can share a snapshot with your friends on social media sites. That is if you decide you’re proud enough of your music taste to share it with the world. How could you know that listening to cheesy music from the 1980s every week would skew your annual report.
Nick Offerman Sells Whisky
And finally, we have what must surely be the best whisky commercial ever made. It’s not a traditional ad by any stretch of the imagination. Instead, it’s 45 minutes of Nick Offerman sitting in an armchair next to a roaring log fire sipping whisky. Slowly.
This ad is for Lagavulin, one of the finest whiskies in the world. It’s strong, smoky, earthy, and very manly indeed. As is Nick Offerman. Which makes them the perfect pairing. And if you’re drinking whisky this slowly in this setting, you’re unlikely to get drunk anytime soon.
Your Views on Today’s Tech News
Do you agree with Google’s best apps of 2015? Will you be using Facebook’s Live Video? What do you think of Final Fantasy VII Remake? How well does Spotify know you? For how long did you watch Nick Offerman sitting by a fire?
Let us know your thoughts on the Tech News of the day by posting to the comments section below. Because a healthy discussion is always welcome.
Image Credits: Daniel Sancho via Flickr