Tag Archives | entertainment apps

Friday app roundup: Ultra Edition

Welcome to the Ultra Edition of Friday’s app round up. What does “Ultra” mean in this context? I’m glad you asked, it means that to make up for missing writing a bunch of articles last week, this Friday we’re giving you almost four times as many apps in the roundup.

So we’ve got a lot to accomplish this lazy, Friday afternoon, so without any preamble, this week’s roundup includes: a prison simulator game a la Roller Coaster Tycoon; an alarm clock app for the deaf; TellTale Game’s take on the popular Guardians of the Galaxy movie; a communication app for the deaf that includes VRS; a mysterious, magical, musical sword RPG; a pointillist-effect photo editor; a dating app based on friends setting you up on blind dates; a photo editing app that turns your pics into pencil sketches; an eSport-type take on the puzzle game genre; an app to help you pick the perfect distinctive guitar amp sound; a stylish guitar songwriting app; an app of thousands of writing prompts; an addictive brick-breaking game about “ballz”; and a mindfulness app based on realistic, real-world prompts.

App: Prison ArchitectPrison Architect app

OS: Android

What is it? Old school management simulator PC games like Roller Coaster Tycoon and SIM City already were a little bit dark, but this is the mobile game that stops sugar coating it. You are in charge on your own maximum security prison that you need to build and manage rom scratch. You’re in control of everything including prisoner morale, so be careful. Make sure they don’t go all Bastille Day on your ass.

Best review quote: Prison Architect: Mobile is a management simulator that lets you do what the title says it would – to build from scratch and manage your own maximum security prison. This means that you get to lay out the cell blocks and whatever facilities your prison might have for inmates. You also get to manage your staff, their pay, and the morale of the prisoners in your facility. – AndroidCommunity

Get it now: for your Android.

App: Deaf Wakedeaf wake iOS app

OS: iOS

What is it? This is really useful app for anyone who is deaf or hearing impaired. It’s an alarm clock based on more than just an annoying noise. Like the default clock app, you can create multiple descriptive alarms at once. You can even choose from a few different clock faces and it is compatible with Apple Watch as well.

Best review quote: The Deaf Wake clock app offers LED, vibration, and visual-based alarms. You can choose from a camera flash, flashing screen, vibration, or sound, plus you can use more than one at a time. The app lets you create descriptive alarms, so you can easily use it for reminders too. You can pick from different clock faces and you can use your Apple Watch to set alarms. – AppAdvice

Get it now: for your iPhone/iPad.

App: Guardians of the GalaxyGuardians of the Galaxy universal app

OS: iOS, Android

What is it? TellTale has long since mastered the art of graphic-novel-esque playable adaptations of popular TV shows and movies and this time is no different. So while you’re eagerly awaiting Guardians of the Galaxy 2 and it’s sure-to-be amazing soundtrack, this game can help tide you over. You’re on an adventure with the whole Guardians of the Galaxy team to take on the big, purple, gem-collecting baddie himself, Thanatos. Expect each episode to cost about $5 each though or choose to buy a “season’s pass”.

Best review quote: Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series is now available via the Google Play store. More specifically, Episode 1 is now available, the episode is called “Tangled Up in Blue”. If you’ve played any of Telltale’s episodic point-and-click (point and tap?) adventures before, you’ll know what to expect – a well-written story with great voice acting and twists in the plot that you won’t expect. – AndroidCommunity

Get it now: for your iPhone/iPad or for your Android.

App: Convo – VRS app by signersConvo - VRS universal app by signers

OS: iOS, Android

What is it? This is simply put the best communication app for deaf people. It was built by and for the deaf community and is compatible with the types tech tools that deaf users might need like video relay services (a video telecommunication service that allows deaf, hard-of-hearing and speech-impaired (D-HOH-SI) individuals to communicate over video telephones and similar technologies with hearing people in real-time, via a sign language interpreter).

Best review quote: The Convo – VRS app by signers app was created by people who understand your communication needs. You can make VRS and point-to-point calls, use VCO, add contacts to your list, and connect with 3G, 4G, or Wi-Fi. The app also includes access to the Deaf Business and Community Directory for select cities. – AppAdvice

Get it now: for your iPhone/iPad or for your Android.

 

App: Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EPSword and Sworcery EP universal app

OS: iOS, Android

What is it? This is one of the best RPG games you can play on your iPhone. At its core it is an audiovisual marvel in which you (a wandering warrior monk) travel by moonlight and use a sword do battle and evoke sworcery to solve odd musical mysteries. You can even cooperate with your friends in the game using Twitter.

Best review quote: Superbrothers: Sword and Sworcery is an adventure RPG game with a spooky story and a unique, rather intoxicating soundtrack.

It’s hard to go into too much detail without spoiling the experience, but here’s what I can tell you: Its 140-character story snippets are easy to toss on Twitter for co-op play. You can ask for help and lead your friends into the mystery of the Megatome and the Trigon Trifecta.

The pixel art and stick figure sprites work well to add to the atmosphere the game creates, because everything is supposed to be unclear. – iMore

Get it now: for your iPhone/iPad or for your Android.

App: PointillistedPointillised iOS app

OS: iOS

What is it? Make your photos stand out from the crowd by channeling Georges Seurat and his distinctive pointillist art-style. The app is a simple, easy-to-use way to up your Instagram game and become the envy of your friends.

Best review quote: Be an electronic Georges Seurat! The Pointillisted app generates pointillist artwork using images from the Photo Library, including those shared in iCloud. – DigitalTrends

Get it now: for your iPhone/iPad.

App: Wingman+Wingman+ iOS app

OS: iOS

What is it? This dating app’s gimmick to set it apart from the other dating apps is that it is based around the concept of a close friend introducing you to potential partners. As such, the app will not work without the cooperation of one of your close friends. They set up a profile for you, playing up your strengths (presumably with your full approval) and then select partners in the app that they believe match your values and the qualities you are looking for in a potential mate. It may seem like a tough sell, afterall you have to convince a friend to manage your dating matches for you, but my advice would be buy your pal a beer of their choice (for their hardwork and attention to this matter) and then hand them your phone. At the very least, you’ll find out what your friends think of your love life and your taste in romantic partners. Also be advised this app is still in beta testing.

Best review quote: Where most apps start by asking users to set up a profile and swipe their way to romance, Wingman lets friends weigh in on your best qualities. Think of it as a digital matchmaker where other people get to talk you up, then send you potential mates they approve. – TheVerge

Get it now: for your iPhone/iPad.

App: Pencil Photo SketchPicture Pencil Sketch Android app

OS: Android

What is it? This is another neat photo enhancing app. In this case photos you run through the app quickly become transformed into a nice colour sketch effect. So mix it up on your social media with some tastefully pencilled sketches of you and your photos.

Best review quote: Pencil Sketch is A powerful photo editor is also built-in within this app, which includes many useful and fast manipulations of your pictures. Pencil Sketch Photo Creates more attractive and beautiful photo. This app will automatically detect the picture content and apply the filter accordingly.In the next step it will apply a nice color sketch effect to your photo. – AndroidandMe

Get it now: for your Android.

App: BazooBazoo universal app

OS: iOS, Android

What is it? This is an action-based puzzle game where you need to hone your skills and then take on absolutely everyone else who plays Bazoo to become the high scoring champion. It’s a bit like a puzzle-based eSport of some kind. It’s both easy to learn and difficult to master. So dive in and prove your worth by besting online challengers.

Best review quote: Bazoo has three modes – Ladder, League, and Battle. The gameplay is simple, but pretty difficult to master. You will need to take down online challengers as fast as possible, solving puzzles, stacking up towers, hitting one combo after another. But not unlike all the arcade games you played before, Bazoo will reward you for skill – because each player gets the same number of blocks, in the same order. It’s now up to the player how to use them wisely. – AndroidCommunity

Get it now: for your iPhone/iPad or for your Android.

App: BIAS Amp for iPhoneBIAS Amp for iPhone app

OS: iOS

What is it? Are you an avid guitar player? Well, this app is professional amp designer, modeler and processor that gives you a stunning replications of 36 of the most sought -after vintage and modern amps in rock ‘n’ roll history. It’s another tool in your belt for you to play around with so you can help your band find its sound. At the very least it can help you decide what kind of amp to buy for your electric guitar.

Best review quote: […] with Bias you can make your own custom amp head.

These apps are [sic] perfect for practicing. You can throw on a pair of headphones and play all night, and these amps sound good! You have amp models like Mesa Boogie to Marshall, Orange, and much more. One of the best features of these apps are the ToneCloud presets. You can download famous guitar players sounds and use them for your own playing! – ChasingSound

Get it now: for your iPhone/iPad.

App: Chord! – Guitar Songbook, Chords and ScalesChords! universal app

OS: iOS, Android

What is it? This other guitar-centric app is about writing your own songs by simply dragging and dropping chords. You can transpose it in any key, generate the fingerings with any tuning and generate printer-ready PDFs of your tunes. You can also use it to import your existing songs in text format, link audio tracks from your music library and play them at the same time as adjusting their pitch/speed. Really, it’s a must-have for any aspiring rock stars out there!

Best review quote: If you remember any of the Guitar Grimoire series of books, Chord is very similar to having a chord, scale, and tuning dictionary right in your pocket. You can build complex chords or scales you’ve never played before, use it as a quick reference tool, and so much more. This app is an invaluable resource for every type of player. I also heard as beautiful as this app is, it may be getting an overhaul, so stay tuned! – ChasingSound

Get it now: for your iPhone/iPad or for your Android.

App: PromptsPrompts iOS app

OS: iOS

What is it? Flex your inspiration with these unique writing prompts. You can use these rando ideas as mini writing exercises to keep your creative juices flowing or as a jumping off point for a sprawling five-book epic. Either way, it’s a fun, resource to have to liven up your journal entries.

Best review quote: More than 300,000 unique writing starting lines and creative writing prompts to inspire you and give you ideas for creative writing. Whether it’s poetry writing, journal writing, storytelling, or anything else. – DigitalTrends

Get it now: for your iPhone/iPad.

 

App: Ballz

OS: iOS, AndroidBallz universal app

What is it? This is a highly addictive mobile game brought to you by the minds behind 2048, Stack, Escape and Light On. The game play is pretty simple, you’re swiping your finger to throw balls to break the bricks. You need to make as many bricks as possible before they move to the bottom. You can also collect items to gain additional balls. The level of bricks increases after each round that you throw balls. Remember that the hitting the right angle is the key to winning.

Best review quote: “Ballz” is similar to “Breakout,” where you use a ball to break through layers of tiles or “bricks,” but with a few twists: Each block has a number, and you must hit the block that number of times in order for it to break. – BusinessInsider

Get it now: for your iPhone/iPad or for your Android.

App: Sway

OS: iOSSway iOS app

What is it? Sway is a self-described “interactive meditation” app. It includes six unique levels designed to help you practice more mindfulness in your everyday life. Activities vary from the simple, moving your phone in your hand while sitting down or lying in bed, to gently swaying your body in place to slowly walking around the office. It gives you a series of activities to help you capture your ever-elusive bliss.

Best review quote: “Direct your attention to the movement,” the app Sway told me as I unconsciously sped up the rhythm of my languid to-and-fro. “You were going too slow,” it prompted me a few minutes later when I accidentally dozed off. After five minutes of this repetitive motion, a gentle chime sounded, and a notification popped up telling me I had met my meditation goal for the day. – WIRED

Get it now: for your iPhone/iPad.

Sources: AndroidCommunityAppAdviceAndroidCommunityiMoreDigitalTrendsTheVergeAndroidandMeAndroidCommunityChasingSound DigitalTrendsBusinessInsiderWIRED

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Friday app roundup: cribbage, radio and remixes

It’s another rainy, cold weekend in Vancouver, with any luck that won’t turn into snow again. In light of the weather, we’re here to bring you some apps that can help you keep you and yours entertained this weekend.

This Friday’s app roundup includes: an app that lets you recreate playing Cribbage with your grandpa; an app to help you teach your young kids basic math; an app that lets you listen to Canadian radio anywhere, anytime; and a dumb fun app that helps you create YouTube word salad.

OS: iOS, AndroidCribbage with Grandpas universal app

What is it? This is different kind of addition to the card playing app genre. It’s designed specifically not just to teach you Cribbage, in case you’ve never learned or have forgotten the rules, but to do so in friendly manner. It allows you to customize your own “grandpa” character to have as an opponent. You can even choose the demeanor of your “grandpa,” which will change the way the opponent jokes or light-heartedly reminds you of the rules. It’s a gimmick, that manages to embrace the social side of cards without making you send out spammy notifications to your friends or adding a useless chat channel. If you want to play with friends, you’ll have to do that in the real world. Keep in mind that it does cost $3.99.

Best review quote: Not only are you able fine tune the look of your grandpa — perhaps you’ll model yours after your own family’s patriarch — but you’re also able to tweak their skill level and personality. Cribbage is a very social game, so you’ll be on the receiving end of some light-hearted ribbing as you play. If you’re new to cribbage, this is a great introduction that lets you practise strategies and play as many games as you’d like. – Android Central

Get it now: for your iPhone/iPad or for your Android.

App: Addition and Subtraction Math Flashcard Match Games for Kids in 1st and 2nd GradeAddition and Subtraction Math Flashcard Match Games for Kids in 1st and 2nd Grade universal app

OS: iOS, Android

What is it? Okay, it’s an absurdly long name for a math flash cards app, but it’s a fine educational resource for parents or teachers to have at hand. The idea is that the app is designed by teachers with the US Common Core standards in mind, to help kids gain confidence in simple addition and subtraction. It includes positive encouragement and a reward level after each round. Parents can even adjust the difficulty as their child masters core concepts.

Best review quote: Addition and Subtraction Flashcard Match Games creates a fun environment for your child to practice addition and subtraction in with its eye-popping visuals and positive encouragement. Your child can work on matching problems to their answers or matching problems to other problems. – AppAdvice

Get it now: for your iPhone/iPad or for your Android.

App: Radioplayer CanadaRadioplayer Canada universal app

OS: iOS, Android

What is it? This is the new radio app you may have heard about on your commute this week. Basically, more than 400 Canadian radio stations, including ones from large companies like Chorus, CBC, Jim Pattinson Group, as well as smaller independent stations and college radio have come together to offer a streaming radio app. It allows you to tune in to live stations or catch up on shows you’ve missed in your hometown or on the other side of the country. It’s nice to see local radio picking an option that’s not based on using a specific app for each station. It includes a variety of French-language options (beyond Radio-Canada) as well as multiple other language options to include as many Canadians as possible.

Best review quote: Obviously, at first, there won’t be any archived episodes, but over the coming days and months, a repository of this content will build up within the app.

It’s comparable to on-demand programming: your favourite Edmonton talk show may air in the middle of the day when you’re at work, but you can listen to it when it’s convenient for you. – Global News

Get it now: for your iPhone/iPad or for your Android.

App: Bard – Video AssemblerBard Video Assembler Android app

OS: Android

What is it? This is a dumb way to relax and that’s all part of its charm. It allows you to create videos out of random phrases using YouTube. You can select a video and then chop it up word by word and assemble your new remixed creation. The app allows you to add new videos to be remixed and you can share your Frankenstitched creations with your bros on social media.

Best review quote: Bard is a fun app that allows you to make celebrities and YouTubers say anything you want. The app takes videos from YouTube and breaks them down by words. You then simply rearrange the words to make a phrase and the video will be chopped together. – Phandroid

Get it now: for your Android.

Sources: Android CentralAppAdviceGlobal NewsPhandroid

 

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Friday app roundup: ‘toons and tidyin’

Finally, the weekend is upon us Vancouverites and finally, there’s a glimmer of hope that we might not actually freeze to death. I’ve heard rumours of sunshine and highs of 4°C and I’m choosing to take those on faith. But even, if it is warmer this weekend, you something to do and that’s where our app roundup comes.

This week’s app roundup includes: a neat way for kids to design their own 3D cartoons; an app to help messy people appease their tidier roommates; an app to simplify split-screen use on your Android; and an tough, epic, samurai-filled platform game.

App: Toontastic 3Dtoontastic 3d universal app

OS: iOS, Android

What is it? This cute-sy app is designed to help children learn about 3D animation by letting them animate their own short 3D cartoons. Kids choose a setting and can then choose to either use one of the pre-drawn characters or animate their own. They can record their own dialogue and choose an appropriate soundtrack as well. Next they can choose a type of story they want to make, there’s even one called Science Report, so they can animate their science homework. Basically, it’s a family-friendly, all-in-one mini-animation studio that can be used for either entertainment or educational purposes.

Best review quote: With the app, kids can wield their imagination to create stories, complete with self drawn characters, self-voiced dialogue, or choose from plenty of customizable pre-existing characters. – Droid-Life

Get it now: for your iPhone/iPad or for your Android.

App: TodyTody iOS app

OS: iOS

What is it? Let’s face it, some of us find cleanliness difficult, we have a tendency not to see things like dirty dishes until we run out of forks. It can be super-annoying for the neat freaks in our lives. This app is here to help keep the peace, by breaking household chores down into a to-do list of scheduled reminders divided by room. It comes with a wide variety of pre-set tasks to choose from or you can add some of your own like “clean dog dish” and “recycling day.” It costs $5.49 or $3.99 per month, if you want share your list with your family members or housemates. But it’s so simple to use and the design isn’t cluttered with ads.

Best review quote: Setup is simple and the app suggests common sense cleaning intervals (which you can also customize to your own taste). The app generates a daily to-do list and has a kind of red, yellow and green color warning system. The interface is clean and simple, like a well tended house. – RootSimple

Get it now: for your iPhone/iPad.

App: ScreensScreens Android app

OS: Android

What is it? It’s another one of those does one thing well-type apps, it’s designed to create a quick shortcut for two apps you want use in split-screen. So let’s say you know you spend a lot of time in Slack for work, but you also like to pay attention to the latest Tweets at the same time. This app is perfect for that kind multitasking. It saves you from setting up split screen yourself everytime you want to use those same two apps. For the best results make sure both apps are closed before you open the shortcut. In any case it’s free to try.

Best review quote: Simply select the two apps you want, give the pair a name, and create the shortcut. When you launch the shortcut you will automatically be in split screen mode. – Phandroid

Get it now: for your Android.

App: Samurai SagaSamurai Saga Android app

OS: Android

What is it? This is a bit of a throwback to old platformer games and also to a time when game levels tended to be more difficult to master. Oh sure, picking up the game play is easy enough, but it does get quite challenging later on. As your samurai masters each level you can unlock and upgrade new combat skills to unleash on your enemies. So if you’re missing your old Nintendo or Sega Gensis and you love to hack at enemies with samurai swords, then this is the perfect mobile game for you.

Best review quote: Samurai Saga combines old-school platformer charm with fluid physics to create an intensely satisfying enemy-stomping experience. Play a sword-slashing shuriken-slinging samurai on an epic quest. Unlock and master legendary skills to counter your many foes. – Android and Me

Get it now: for your Android.

Sources: RootSimpleDroid-LifePhandroidAndroid and Me

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Friday app roundup: extreme solitaire battles, flashcards and discotheques

This cloudy Friday afternoon, you’ve no doubt stopped paying attention to work and school a couple hours ago when lunch ended. We completely understand, that’s why we’re here to offer you even more tantalizing distractions from what you’re supposed to be doing.

This Friday’s app roundup includes: an app that lets you collect and battle your favourite cartoon characters; an app that turns solitaire into an epic RPG; an app that uses smart flash cards to help you study less; and an app that brings disco funk back to your smartphone.

App: Animation Throwdown: TQFCAnimation Thowdown: The Quest For Cards universal app

OS: iOS, Android

What is it? Hey frat kiddies and adult-oriented cartoon aficianados, this is the app for you. Have you ever wondered who would triumph in an epic fight between Peter Griffin, Hank Hill, Zoidberg and Tina Belcher? Then this is absolutely the app for you. Battles between beloved cartoon icons are transformed into collectible card tournaments where you can challenge anyone in the world. You can combine beloved toon icons to upgrade your cards into unstoppable victors. It’s a deeply silly card battle game that combines characters (including delightfully obscure characters) from Bob’s Burgers, Family Guy, American Dad, King of the Hill and Futurama.

Best review quote: For the first time ever, five of your favorite animated shows are together in one amazing collectible card game. – Android and Me

Get it now: for your iPhone or iPad or for your Android.

App: SolitairicaSolitairica iOS app

OS: iOS

What is it? Welcome to the only solitaire-based combat arena. You are the chosen champion of Myroidd where all of the hearts have been stolen by the evil Empire Struck and his massive armies. You are guided by the wise and great Kismet who will teach you to combine the power of solitaire with the four great energies: attack, defense, agility and willpower; to vanquish your foes. Solitaire has never been this hilarious or heroic!

Best review quote: There are different areas that are represented by the color on the back of the face-down card on the map screen, and you’ll encounter many different types of foes. Each one has their own speciality that you’ll have to strategize and plan ahead for. Each run you go on in Solitairica will be different, and when you die, you’ll have to start over on your journey. But the real fun with roguelikes is watching your progression get better over time and with practice. So how exactly do you battle in Solitairica? As I mentioned, you and the enemy take turns. On your turns, you will check the current card drawn and then tap on the card stacks that show cards that are one higher or one lower than the drawn card, just as you would in solitaire. Once all cards are eliminated from the board, then you win. If you can no longer make any matches for the card sequence, then you’ll have to draw another one, and then the enemy draws a card from their own stack. But if you look closely at each card, they are each colored differently: orange for attack, blue for defense, green for agility, and purple for willpower. As you successfully stack cards, you’ll collect energy for that attribute, which is shown in the bottom right. When you have enough energy of a certain kind, your equipped spells along the bottom will be available for use, and a tap activates it. These spells help you get rid of unwanted cards, set up shields to prevent taking damage to your health (once it reaches zero you lose), check the next card, and even heal yourself. – App Advice

Get it now: for your iPhone or iPad.

App: BrainscapeBrainscape iOS app

OS: iOS

What is it? This is the way the cool kids make their flashcards. Whether you’re in elementary school or just starting college this app has an array of partners in the field of education endorsing its method that’s scientifically proven to reduce the amount of time you’ll need to devote to studying. It personalizes the timing of each flashcard repitition using a technique based in cognitive science. Whether you’re prepping for provincial exams, learning a new language or perparing for a science midterm, this app has you covered. So now that school’s started again, be sure to download this app, to slash your study time so you can get back to having fun.

Best review quote: Brainscape enables users to create their own flashcards on the website or mobile app, or choose from thousands of existing flashcards written by publishers, teachers, and students.

Research out of Columbia University suggests that people who study using Brainscape tools, rather than books and old-school flashcards, retain information twice as well. – Business Insider

Get it now: for your iPhone or iPad.

App: Disco DaveDisco Dave iOS app

OS: iOS, Android

What is it? Do you have some time to waste, love for old school graphics and a passion for cheesy, sleazy disco music? Is school or distracting you from your true calling, staring intently at your phone and amassing meaningless points in the mobile game of your choice? Then Disco Dave is the app for you. While it is a shame that copyright has prevented the app manufacturers from naming this Disco Stew after The Simpsons character, the game is still an entertaining addictivie, time-waster. So go on get your groove on and up-jump the boogie!

Best review quote: Swipe, jump and show off your dancing skills in fab combos towards the highest score. And what’s a dance show without a cheering audience and groovy neon lights? Score high points with combos and unlock new characters with far out style and animations! Will you survive? – Android and Me

Get it now: for your iPhone or iPad or for your Android.

Sources: Android and MeApp AdviceBusiness Insider

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