Fully Charged: Google accelerates its VR push with Cardboard, Minecraft hits Windows Phone, and you have to see the new Mad Max trailer

Rub the sleep from your eyes and load up with the latest tech news tidbits
Google Cardboard

Google Cardboard

Google gets serious about VR

When Google launched the Cardboard VR phone shell headset, it seemed downright silly. Other players in the space are developing elaborate, expensive contraptions to entice users into virtual reality, and the behemoth that is Google just wants people to cut out some corrugated paper and strap phones to their faces?

But Android users loved the idea and admired the charming scrapiness; the idea caught on not only with fans, but also within Google. What started as a seeming gimmick has now become a serious point of focus for the company, which says it’s hiring for VR-related projects.

Maybe that’s because some 500,000 Cardboard units have now been built in just a few short months. Whatever the case, Google is now working to make it a better experience for both developers and users alike. On the former point, the company just released an SDK (software development kit) for Android and Unity to get game and app makers into the VR world with minimal hassle.

And for users, Google Play now has a collection page for Cardboard-centric experiences, including the just-released 3D concert footage of Jack White - similar to the Paul McCartney app released not long ago. Add in games and other unique experiences and it’s clear that there’s value in makeshift, phone-based VR. So get to cutting and taping, already.

[Source: Google Developers Blog]

READ MORE: How to make Google Cardboard from scratch

Minecraft finally hits Windows Phone

Minecraft: Pocket Edition

Minecraft: Pocket Edition

Well, this is hardly surprising. For quite some time, Mojang resisted bringing Minecraft: Pocket Edition to Windows Phone, citing the small user base. But once Microsoft swooped in and bought both the studio and franchise in September, lo and behold, here’s the Windows Phone version.

You’ll need Windows Phone 8.1 to run the game, and it looks like it’s the most current version as seen on other platforms. Both Creative and Survival modes are included, along with a bevy of enhancements that came with last month’s big 0.10.0 version release on Android and iOS. It’s available now for £4.99.

[Source: Windows Phone]

READ MORE: Microsoft acquires Minecraft and creator Mojang for US$2.5 billion

New Mad Max trailer

If you thought the first Mad Max: Fury Road trailer was promising, wait until you see this spellbinding follow-up. After the so-so debuts of recent trailers for Jurassic World and Terminator Genisys, it’s great to be totally blindsided by the quality of a clip. It feels like it’s from another era.

Part of the appeal has to be how wild and real the stunts and collisions look. No doubt, there’s a lot of digital magic being poured into these frames (especially to set the tone), but it appears that many of the big, eye-catching moments are being executed in camera instead of fabricated after the fact. Whatever the case, the results look downright spectacular so far. We can’t wait.

[Source: YouTube]

READ MORE: The first Mad Max: Fury Road trailer is stunning