Tag Archives | entertainment apps

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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Friday app roundup: Ghostbusters and geocaching

Last week, this week, the rest of the summer may be about Pokémon Go, but no, not us here at Open Connection. We’re going to give you a brief respite from all that cuddly, Pikachu induced madness (in case you’re the type of person who’d rather be on Team Rocket). Instead, this warm summer weekend, we’re going to recommend some app alternatives to try and there’s a little bit of something for everyone.

This Friday’s app roundup includes: the perfect radio app for slackers that includes customization; a fun game that helps your proton pack, pack a wallop; a book recommendation app powered by Indigo; and an old school classic AR alternative to Pokémon Go.

App: Slacker RadioSlacker Radio universal app

OS: iOS, Android

What is it? Yes, there are tons of music apps out there, we’ve recommended many of them in the past. Especially, since this is an area that is just getting more and more crowded in terms of apps like that Apple one. But like any other app type, there is no one size fits all. This is an app that aims to offer something a bit different. It has a very strong selection of sports and comedy broadcasts compared to some of the other options. It has two paid tiers and $5.49 Canadian will get you on demand offline listening to playlists, with $13.99 being the ask for specific albums and songs. It does allow you to create and broadcast your own custom stations as well. It has a song selection of 13 million, which is not bad, it’s not 20 million – but it gets you there.

As Slacker puts it: “If you’re still wondering why you should download this app, here’s the answer: Slacker gets you. The very fact that you’ve found us indicates that you’re looking for something different. You could have just opted for a bigger brand, but you took the time to dig deeper….and that’s why we’re perfect for each other.”

Best review quote:Comedy and sports is the one thing Slacker does exceptionally well. None of the others hold a candle to it. Honestly, it’s what Slacker does best. – iMore

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

App: Ghostbusters: Slime CityGhostbusters Slime City universal app

OS: iOS, Android

What is it? It’s a free-to-play app and you know who you’re gonna call..Ghostbusters...I mean no you can’t call anyone, you need to step up to the plate yourself. Now hold, up a minute I expect some of you out there might be a bit worried that you have to play this slimy bit of nonsense as a female. You do not, you have the option to, but you’re still free to be a dude. In any case, you get to play the Ghostbuster of your choosing as you blast your proton pack shooting gallery style at the miserable spectres that loom before you. So go ahead and find something strange in New York city.

Best review quote: When you’re not blasting, the game lets you upgrade the city itself, tweak your proton pack, and take on other quick-hit missions while tapping through dialogue exchanges. Slime City doesn’t seem like the kind of ultra-absorbing game you’ll be playing ‘til another Ghostbusters film wills its way into production, but for a few hours of freebie fun for fans, it’s worth a download. – Greenbot

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

App: RecoReco iOS app

OS: iOS

What is it? This is a book recommendation app from a service you probably already use, Indigo. Like most book recommendation apps out there, you get the ability to recommend books to friends, get recommendations from influencers, put up your wishlist and keep everything relatively simple. Obviously, the Indigo partnership means you’ll be able to buy them easier too. So you book lovers with crazy, bad impulse control you may want to exercise caution. Still, given the Indigo plug-in there’s more of a chance that bookworms are going to stick around and use it. Reco is designed more for you to share with friends and contacts rather than strangers, it’s about being more personal with your recommendations and adding tags to them. It’s kinda of like if Instagram got very personal with your bookshelf.

Best review quote:  “Everyone agrees the best book recommendations come from friends, but we all spend too much time reading reviews from strangers and trusting algorithms to tell us what to read next, often with mixed results. Reco solves this problem by bringing personal book recommendations from people you trust right to your mobile device,” said Krishna Nikhil, Indigo’s executive vice president of print and strategy in a statement. – MobileSyrup

Get it now: for your iPhone/iPad.

App: Geocachinggeocaching universal app

OS: iOS, Android

What is it? This is the granddaddy of your Pokémon Go , the original kind of find things with your phone. You have to get up off your butt and out exploring the city around you. But you’re not looking in your phone to find bizzare turtle squirts, you are instead searching for actual physical objects. It’s a sort of digital version of a scavenger hunt, you’re looking for physical geocache tool box with built-in capabilities for finding local events as well as finding new caches abroad. There is a premium version of the app that makes it easier to search through geocaches and find the more advanced ones, but you can still join in the fun with the free version. All-in-all, it’s a fine way to spend an afternoon with friends or family or just other enthusiasts.

Best review quote: There are more than two million geocaches hidden around the world, and they’re all filled with different types of ‘treasure’ and a logbook. The idea is you share your finds and experiences with other players, so there’s a strong social element to the game. – Gizmodo

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

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