GET THE APP:  CURRENTLY HOT:   Galaxy S5 Review HTC One M8 Review OnePlus One

Riptide GP2 and Beach Buggy Blitz updated with KitKat’s new immersive mode

Riptide GP2 KtiKat update

One of the coolest new features introduced in Android 4.4 KitKat was the all new “immersive mode” for games apps. For those unfamiliar, normally playing a game on a device using virtual buttons (instead of physical capacitive buttons) meant you’d lose some screen real estate to have the nav bar always present (where the home, back, and multitasking buttons are). With immersive mode, developers now have the option to hide the status and nav bars in their apps, allowing for a — you guessed it — fully immersive, fullscreen experience.

Beach Buggy Blitz KitKat update

Developer Vector Unit has officially updated 2 of their biggest titles in the Play Store with the new KitKat feature, games you’ve no doubt played before: Riptide GP2 and Beach Buggy Blitz. Now, when firing up either game on your Nexus 5 or Moto X (eventually the LG G2), the nav and status bars will disappear, only to return when performing a swipe from the top or right bezel.

It’s a little touch but one that makes for a better HD experience, and we applaud Vector Unit for putting in the work. Now get out there and try these newly updated titles for yourself.

Download on Google Play: Riptide GP2 | Beach Buggy Blitz




  • Randy Sherry

    Very cool. NOW if they can update this on PBA CHALLENGE. Nexus 7

  • https://play.google.com/store/apps/developer?id=Piotr+Zientarski Piotr Zientarski

    I updated my game (Bat Walk) before anyone has a Nexus 5 or KitKat on any device (in a day when SDK was released)
    It is just 5min of work, so there is no excuse why many of games still doesn’t have it.

    • No_Nickname90

      Someone posted a bit later about how Immersive Mode is quite buggy. Maybe that’s why. IDK…

      I would have expected that person to comment here. Hmm…

  • toomuchgame441

    Dammit LG, give us kik kat already

    • Herb_Eaversmells

      Soon soon…

  • http://www.typhonrt.org/ Michael Leahy

    Vector Unit is cool… About this “coolest Kitkat feature”… My beef is with Google as I was excited for this new functionality as a dev too and enabled it in my current app, but then promptly realized it was broken as Google launched yet again another broken feature rushed out the door before it was ready or tested apparently; surprise surprise at this point? Kitkat has turned into a mess IMHO. Load up GP2 and you’ll see what I saying… Try hitting the volume up / down buttons and the navigation bar becomes non-immersive and often stays on the screen. In fact with GP2 it obscures game action buttons such that one actually then has to hit “home” or “recent apps” to completely navigate away from the game and then navigate back to the app. The Vector Unit folks seemingly try and catch a few of the volume button presses and hide the navigation bar manually again, but if you use the volume buttons during a scene in between races the navigation bar stays on the screen and continues to obscure game buttons when you get back in a race. At that point one must navigate away from the app and return for the navigation bar to disappear.. Mind you this is not a problem with GP2 or Vector Units code, but is due to a poor implementation by Google. We all (developers and consumers) need to make noise and get Google to fix this because it is a neat feature for the OS if done right!

    Volume reset of immersive mode:
    https://code.google.com/p/android/issues/detail?id=62537

    Another annoying minor quirk / bug is that if one hits power off button and the app finishes when navigating back to the app often the “swipe down” message is shown.
    https://code.google.com/p/android/issues/detail?id=63065

    A more serious bug with immersive mode is that it breaks multi-user touch input..
    https://code.google.com/p/android/issues/detail?id=62366

    I didn’t file any of those bugs.. Trust me the developer community is not happy with the half-assed effort by Google with this feature. It was released before being fully tested. Just so folks don’t get the wrong idea (once again); the Vector Unit folks are great! :) As end users though don’t get pissed at the devs when immersive mode doesn’t seem to work right. It’s squarely Google’s fault for releasing a clearly broken feature.

    • No_Nickname90

      You don’t think Google released this stuff early just to please people? I mean, Google *could* have held on to Kit Kat, but who would have liked that?

      And what makes you think it’s “half-assed”? I’m not sarcastically asking that either. I mean, have you seen this type of feature used before? Is Vector Unit the ONLY game that this happens to? Well, from what you’re saying it sounds like it’s not.

      I don’t think it was “rushed”. I think it was put out to be tested by us users. You can only test so much during the testing phase.

      The only other way to catch bugs are through betas and users. I’m sure Google will fix this. Don’t make it sound like Google is just going to ignore this. They may stay quiet, but they fix their issues.

      This is a new feature in Android. Of COURSE there will be bugs. Of COURSE the newest features will have issues. I’d assume the next iteration of Kit Kat will fix this. Notice how the updates for Kit Kat that have been coming out have been fixing more major issues.

      What I’m suggesting is that either developers don’t implement Immersive Mode into their apps and wait for Google to fix it. You say Vector Unit is awesome, but don’t you think they would have noticed the game acting quite weird during their testing? I mean, who would put that in their code if such a major issue is happening?

      Hmm…

      • http://www.typhonrt.org/ Michael Leahy

        First for developers here is info on how to fix the problem:
        https://plus.google.com/+MichaelLeahy/posts/CqSCP653UrW

        Presumedly Vector Unit is using code similar to this, but not sure why their workaround doesn’t always hide the nav bar when volume up / down buttons are pressed; usually it does…

        —–

        Now to the punter…. :)

        >You don’t think Google released this stuff early just to please people? I mean, Google *could* have held on to Kit Kat, but who would have liked that?

        Uh, anyone that likes quality and the OS to do what it is intended to do without fail. If you’re pleased with failure and perpetual beta quality then you are often winning with Android..

        Who are they pleasing? Releasing clearly broken versions of the OS and I’m not just talking about this issue as it’s more cosmetic than a hard fragmentation bug, but 4.4.2 should have at minimum been the original 4.4 release. If you look at the change logs for 4.4.1 and 4.4.2 they are all bug fixes fixing essentially obviously broken things. I’m certainly not putting the onus on Google engineers as all the blame goes to Google / Android management for not making quality a top level if not the most crucial concern when launching OS versions.

        Do you know where real fragmentation comes from? It comes from this exact policy of knowingly releasing broken versions of the OS. There is no greater source fragmentation! Things snowball when OEMs start to work on releasing new OS versions. You’ll see some devices are getting 4.4 (potentially buggy / full of more failure) and some are getting updated to 4.4.2 out of the gate… There is _no visibility_ to app developers and likely little visibility if at all for OEMs regarding these bug fixing incremental point releases. There likely will be a 4.4.3 release as well and oops all the phones that if lucky at all to get 4.4.2 will wait months _if at all_ 4.4.3+.

        >And what makes you think it’s “half-assed”?

        Because it’s so obvious that there is a problem! You’d have to be blind to miss it in apps that don’t implement similar workarounds to what I posted at the top of this post…

        >Is Vector Unit the ONLY game that this happens to?

        Every single app that tries to use this functionality needs a workaround to fix the problem… That ones exists this time is no less annoying. It means conditional code just for Kitkat has to be added to apps. This makes maintaining normal apps more complicated when conditional code is embedded all over an app for these kinds of workarounds.

        >Don’t make it sound like Google is just going to ignore this. They may stay quiet, but they fix their issues.

        You probably wouldn’t say that if you knew anything about the Android issue tracker and how legitimate bugs go ignored for long periods of time if ever looked at all.

        >I don’t think it was “rushed”. I think it was put out to be tested by us users.

        Well, you are clearly Google bubble it seems. Making an OS is different than app development. You test app features which may be broken for some users, because an app developer can update it and provide fixes. If you do this at the OS level which is essentially the situation Google has applied the entire time with Android you end up with horrible fragmentation; real fragmentation… Not OS differentiation and a variety of different OSes spread across the larger ecosystem, but a variety of always buggy in some way or another OSes distribution across the ecosystem. QUALITY IS IMPORTANT AT THE OS / APP SDK LEVEL.

        >This is a new feature in Android. Of COURSE there will be bugs. Of COURSE the newest features will have issues. I’d assume the next iteration of Kit Kat will fix this.

        This is a brain dead simple feature that should have gotten caught in testing. If the above was true and all new features were flawed then Android would not even exist because it would be so full of fail.

        If Google / Android management made quality a top priority there would be far less occurrences… Kitkat is one of the worst OS releases to date with already two patch releases. 4.4.1 and 4.4.2 did not bring new functionality. There will likely be a 4.4.3…. You may or may not have been around back in the OG Droid days, but this is reminiscent of the 2.0.1 release following a month after a botched 2.0 release. Back then though the only device that needed to be updated was the OG Droid… Right now there are many OEMs releasing 4.4 without the patch updates. BAD…

        >What I’m suggesting is that either developers don’t implement Immersive Mode into their apps and wait for Google to fix it.

        App developers need to implement workarounds and it is somewhat passable. It’s a useful feature and one some of us devs have wanted for a while.

        >You say Vector Unit is awesome, but don’t you think they would have noticed the game acting quite weird during their testing?

        They are awesome! Hi guys! :)

        They did notice the problem and they put in a workaround that for the most part works… I’m not sure why the navigation bar sticks sometime in their workaround; it mostly hides when one uses the volume up / down button. If they didn’t put in a workaround it would lose it’s stickiness or hiding ability.

        >I mean, who would put that in their code if such a major issue is happening?

        _This time_ and for this instance it’s a cosmetic bug that has a workaround; it’s more of an annoyance and what makes it more annoying as app developers is that it’s so obvious that there is problem. It’s a soft fragmentation bug. The hard kind are the nefarious buggers and 4.4 had some hence 4.4.1/2 and likely 4.4.3.

        • No_Nickname90

          Hmm… You took the time to explain each of my thoughts. Quite an interesting read.

          I sure hope you didn’t type this on a phone. LoL!!

          Very well then.

          • http://www.typhonrt.org/ Michael Leahy

            Oh goodness no; definitely keyboard.. Would it surprise you I never have used Twitter.. ;P It’s a constant battle as an app developer and ultimately user of Android. Google historically has operated in the web app domain and in that environment you can make a change to an app and when the user hits refresh they get the new version with the fixes.

            Android, unfortunately is an OS with long update cycles that are complicated by OEM / carrier release matters where not every device receives the latest version with the fixes necessary thus forcing app developers to apply workarounds if possible at all. It’s not like web app development at all, but Google seemingly has not changed the culture or engineering process to match a more serious delivery environment…

            Android would be a much better OS if Google management made quality priority #1. The old “excuse” put forth back in the day around ~2009 by JBQ, who mind you left a very important role on the Android team after getting fed up at internal politics at Google that caused delays which affected release quality, was that Google had to move fast to capture the market… It’s 2013 and Google owns the market now, but the quality is just as abysmal if getting worse. Kitkat has been the most botched release in some time requiring multiple bug fixing patches and more to come quite likely.

            I’d like to think I come from more of a tough love perspective as indeed I’m passionate about Android and want to see it last a long time! Quality in OS releases at this point is so important even if that means launching the next Nexus with an existing OS version and punting out the next best version when it is actually ready (1-3 months later).

  • TheOnionKnight

    Vector Unit is one of the best devs. Always implementing new features as soon as they come out!

  • http://www.12v.dk/ CarstenLorenzen

    Nice! All my games need this, the “back” button is way too close to my steering controls ;)