Tag Archives | universal apps

Friday app roundup: plants, zombies and moonwhales

Finally Friday is here. It’s time to start putting off everything until Monday and start goofing off in celebration of the approaching weekend. To help you boost your unproductivity we’re here to bring you our top four apps of the week that can help you achieve that goal/

This app’s roundup includes: a fun game that transforms classic Plants vs Zombies game into a collectible card game; an app that brings you Google’s favourite Pixels wallpapers for use on any Android; an app that wants you to play the role of depressed debtor trying to dig themselves out of poverty, and a game that needs your help to defeat something called a skyfish.

App: Plants vs Zombie Heroesplants vs zombies heroes universal app

OS: Android, iOS

What is it? Plants vs Zombies classic play involves lane-based game play, but this mobile app version of the popular game, instead replaces that with a collectible card, game play structure. Your goal is to collect a team of plant and zombie heroes, to form teams and go on courageous adventures. You can even battle amongst your friends to figure out who is the ultimate undead horticultural hero.

Best review quote: Players start out as Plants, although you’ll get to play as Zombies, too. After you’ve played all of the Plants you can afford, press the action button to start your turn. The attacking team’s units will fire, followed by the defender’s. Each unit has power and health ratings that determine how much damage it can dish out and survive. – Android Central

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

App: WallpapersGoogle Wallpapers Android app

OS: Android

What is it? Google has released a simple app to bring a variety of wallpapers to any Android smartphone. Basically, this is the wallpaper picker feature removed from the Pixel Launcher and available for use on any Android. It’s basically giving you access to Google’s picks for wallpaper and if you have a Pixel smartphone, you can have one wallpaper for your lockscreen and another for your homescreen.

Best review quote: This is the same app, though since updated, as the one that came with LlabTooFeR’s leak of the Pixel Launcher over a month ago. It isn’t exactly world-altering stuff, but does feature a nice selection of images while also integrating with your phone’s wallpapers as well as those providing by third party apps. Wallpapers can also choose a new image each day within each category offered. – Android Police

Get it now: for your Android

App: Crap! I’m Broke: Out of PocketCrap I'm Broke Out of Pocket universal  app

OS: iOS, Android

What is it? This is a stylized, cubist-animation style simulation game about dealing with being broke in a virtual world. To keep your pathetic character afloat you have to get a terrible job like a burger chef or a dish washer. Once you’ve completed your shift, you’ll get kicked out after which you can continue to look for work or head home to eat or pay your bills. However, it’s prudent to buy food first, if you don’t you may end up spending your entire food budget on paying your bills. At the end of the month after paying your bills you’re given the option to purchase additional furnishings for your home. True to its realistic form, this game is very hard, not as hard as actually being broke and homeless, but it’s still a pretty bleak game.

Best review quote: As a simulator game, there’s only one mode in CIBOOP, and you’ll find out that you start off as a guy who just got a new home in the city, and for the first three months, your mom will help you with the rent. But after that, you’re on your own. You have a refrigerator that has some different food items that you can purchase to prevent starvation, and a laptop where you pay your bills and get messages alerting to you either unforeseen expenses or maybe some cash back (but mostly the former). In order to get some cash, you’ll have to get out of your place and go find work from nearby businesses. At first, you start out just washing dishes at the diner next door, but as you pay your bills and earn your keep, you’ll be able to unlock more jobs from other nearby businesses, like burger flipping, sorting cans in the factory, bartending, and even being a bouncer for the club.

One thing you’ll always have to be sure to do is keep an eye on the hunger and month gauges in the top left. The circular month gauge lets you know how much time you have left until the end of the month, when bills are due. The hunger gauge is your hunger — if you work too hard and forget to eat, you’ll starve to death. And if you don’t starve to death, you’ll be buried under piles of debt. Either way, the outcome isn’t pretty. However, the developers did add an “ending” to the game, so if you can manage to survive life’s struggles, there is something to look forward to. – App Advice

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

App: Legend of the SkyfishLegend of the Skyfish universal app

OS: Android, iOS

What is it? Legend of the Skyfish is a fun game in which you play Little Red Hook who is attempting to defeat the monstrous Skyfish with the help of the Moonfish. You need to defeat enemies in battle and solve intricate action puzzles. It’s a fun game that includes 45 hand-crafted levels. It’s an enjoyable way to spend your time on a rainy afternoon this weekend.

Best review quote: Legend of the Skyfish is a beautiful action adventure puzzle game with a unique weapon and tool – a fishing pole! Follow the intrepid Little Red Hook on her journey with the Moonwhale to defeat the monstrous Skyfish. – Android and Me

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

Sources: Android CentralAndroid PoliceApp AdviceAndroid and Me

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Friday app roundup: barbeques and underwater word games

The weekend is pretty much here and you should be ready to bake in the intense heat of another hottest month on record. So if you’re hiding out inside this weekend to stay where you have air conditioning or if you’re just looking for something to take up some extra time on the weekend, we’ve got you covered.

This week’s app roundup includes: a new app based on the hit hacking tv show, Mr. Robot; Google’s newest foray into video calling that works across multiple platforms; a grilling app to give you new ideas about what to throw on the grill; and a fun app for kids to improve their vocabulary with a decidedly aquatic theme.

App: Mr. Robot: 1.5 exfiltrati0nMr. Robot universal app

OS: iOS, Android

What is it? This is a tie in to a popular tv show, in this case Mr. Robot, which is exactly what its maker TellTale Inc. is known for. However, unlike some other games, this isn’t about a graphic based interaction, instead this about using a fake messaging app to complete a mostly text-based choose-your-own-adventure type interaction with characters from the show. It doesn’t have in-app ads or purchases either which is nice. The conceit of the game is that you found a phone on the ground and it belongs to the black hat hacker character, Darlene from the show and now you need to send messages to the various members of E-Corp to lie, cheat and steal the info you need. You are given prompts for how to respond to incoming messages, so it’s not an entirely unguided text-based game, which is probably for the best. It’s a game that’s designed to be played over about a week, so it’s the kind of game that’s going to burn brightly over a relatively short period of time. It does cost money as well, but that’s because you’re not dealing with in-game ads. Also heed the parental warnings for this game it’s rated 17 and up for a reason.

Best review quote: You’ll “play” the game by texting different employees of E-Corp, the global tech company being targeted by the hacking group, as well as interacting with characters in the show, like Elliot, Darlene and Cisco. – Tech Crunch

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

App: DuoDuo universal app

OS: Android, iOS

What is it? This is Google’s latest messaging app that’s designed to simplify video chats, specifically one-on-one video chats on a cross platform basis. It’s not designed for business use, it’s designed for one-on-one video calls with people you already know, which is why it needs access to your contacts app and it’s based around your phone number instead of an email address and account set up. It’s free to use and it’s pretty stripped down, if you want a bunch of lenses and filters and such this isn’t the app for you. It’s encrypted by default. There’s no user names or passwords required and very few settings to parse through. It’s just about a simple way to send a video call to anyone who’s phone number you already know. You can send text messages to invite other people to the platform and you can mute the mic. It’s most talked about feature is Knock Knock, which will show you a preview of who or what’s calling before you pick up. You can turn it off, but then you won’t get previews when someone calls you.

Best review quote: Duo prides itself on two important features: adaptability to your connection speed (the quality of the stream drops if you’re on a slow connection) and seamless transition between WiFi and data networks. To achieve the latter, you’ll see that Duo activates both WiFi and data immediately every time the app is opened, to make sure that the latter is already connected and ready should the WiFi signal drop. And both features work as expected. – Android Police

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

App: Grill-It!Grill it universal app

OS: Android, iOS

What is it? Barbeque apps are not all created equal. It offers a kind of mix between, I’m new how does this barbeque thing work and now I know how to barbeque, I don’t want to see the same recipes every week. Because let’s face it if you’re going to download a recipe app specifically for grilling it should be something that you would conceivably use more than once. It adds new recipes weekly with the accompanying step by step instructions and pictures. I mean if you only intend to grill hotdogs and hamburgers, you do not need a barbeque grill app. So yeah, this about offering you a variety of different things to grill and exploring new foods.

Best review quote: When jumping into the world of barbecue, the first question is many times the most difficult: what do I want to cook? But this app makes it easy with a huge database of fun recipes using a number of different ingredients and meats. This is a must for anyone looking to start barbecuing or experienced users who need some recipe inspiration. – AppAdvice

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

App: Bubble Worlds – Letter Splash

OS: Android, iOSBubble Words universal app

What is it? Casual kid friendly games are important and ones that offer a simple theme and allow you to improve your vocabulary are also good. And what good is an educational vocabulary-type game if it doesn’t offer a fun theme to keep you interested? It allows you to challenge your friends in the process. It’s simple and it’s free and that’s really as much as anyone can ask for when it comes to casual puzzle games.  Yes, there are some in-app purchases so you’ll want to watch out for those, but other than that it’s a decent word game you can spend some time with.

Best review quote: With the ambient aquatic setting Bubble Words looks to help mix things up a bit more than you standard po-faced word game – with a range of in-game islands providing their own unique challenges and obstacles. – 148Apps

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


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Tricks you didn’t know Google Keep could do

When it comes to word processing programs, notetaking apps and programs are the ugly, forgotten step children. But when it comes to word processing on your smartphone, a good notetaking app is probably all you need. If you are trying to type up essays and business reports on your smartphone, that’s crazy. Any longer word processing project is best left to either a tablet with a Bluetooth keyboard, a hybrid tablet or an actual computer.Google's Keep app

Now when it comes to notetaking apps, if it’s not for school specifically, Google’s Keep app is probably your best bet. What you probably didn’t know is that Keep has a few hidden tricks up its sleeve.

First off, did you know that Keep can extract text from images? Yeah, not only can you add images to your Keep docs, you can also extract text from said images, which can be amazingly useful. So if for instance you accept a business card from someone, you can snap an image of it and use Keep to extract the text on the card.

The first step in pulling off this text extracting feat is to add the image to your Keep doc in the first place. Use the camera button at the bottom of the screen to either take a new pic or add in an existing image or screenshot (it’s in the overflow menu). That’s right it can extract text from screenshots as well. Once you’ve added the image, extracting the text is as simple as heading back to your overflow menu and selecting Grab image text. This may take a few minutes, but the text will automatically be added to your doc underneath the image.

Our next trick, should be obvious if you think about it given that Keep is a Google app, but did you know that you can create your shopping list using vocal commands if you want to. Just say “Ok Google” and then say the item you want to add, followed by “Add to my shopping list.” From there, you can just keep listing items. Once you’ve finished just say “finished” or “that’s it” and voila, you have a shopping list all ready to go without lifting a finger.

Another Keep feature is an obvious one that often gets ignored, the reminder feature. Yup, you can set up your lists or docs with an alarm-type reminder to keep you on task. At the bottom of each Keep note is a button marked Reminder which allows you the option of setting up a time or location-based reminder for that particular note. To set a location-based reminder you can use either the address or the name of the location.

Finally, an important step for getting more out of Keep is integrating it with the rest of the Google Work Apps, especially Docs. To send a Keep note to Docs, open the note in question and head to your overflow menu. From there select the option marked Copy to Google Doc. This will copy all text and images into a Google Doc. You will then have both a Doc and a Keep note version of that info. This option really comes in handy when a specific note gets too long and unwieldy, when it would be better off as a fullfledged document rather than a quick note.

Sources: Greenbot

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Special Thursday app roundup: dinner dates and s’working it

Happy Easter to those of you that will be celebrating it this weekend. If you can, I hope you are enjoying your extra days off, if you have to work, I hope your customers are reasonable people. So given that today is an honourary Friday, we’re bringing you the app roundup a day early. This week’s app roundup includes: an app that will whip you into shape for summer; an app that will keep you entertained on your flight to wherever; an app that solves the problem with dating apps (yes, another one); and a powerhouse music video app (that I should have mentioned before.)

App: SworkitSworkit universal app

OS: iOS, Android

What is it? Nothing is a longer struggle than staying in shape, it’s a constant battle. What’s worse is that your app stores are absolutely awash in potentially helpful fitness apps. This app is hands down, one of the most versatile ones around. You choose the length of your workout, 5 to 60 minutes, the type of workout (strength, cardio, yoga or stretching) and then the app will give you a video of a trainer detailing your workout. It’s simple to use and it can be customized to suit your needs. It has everything you want in a fitness app.

Best review quote: Sworkit has the added benefit of having some research to back it up. In a survey of 30 popular fitness apps, researchers at the University of Florida ranked it the best when looking at its aerobic, resistance, and flexibility components. – Business Insider

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

App: Flyover CountryFlyover Country iOS app

OS: iOS, Android

What is it? This app is amazing and it’s brought to you by the National Science Foundation. It works for more than just flights, but hikes, road trips and any other travel needs. It uses GPS to show you interactive geological maps of where you’re traveling as well as nearby fossil sites, Wikipedia articles about the area and offline base maps. If you are flying or driving it also tells you where you are, your speed and altitude. Best of all, you don’t need in-flight WiFi to use it!

Best review quote: The aim of Flyover Country is to educate people, not just scientists, about the world around them, so it’s a fascinating tool to have on your phone and to be able to dip in and out of. – The Next Web

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

App: DineDine iOS app


What is it? It seems like every couple months, some startup says they have a solution for all our terrible dating app experiences. This is another one from Tokyo this time, but it sounds like an excellent idea. This app is designed to help you skip the endless chatting and instead get you right to the first date. This is exactly what needs to happen, you don’t want to feel disappointed because you wasted a couple weeks chatting with someone before figuring out that you’re not a match after all. It also autosorts your profile pictures based on which ones are proving to be most popular.

Best review quote: After filling out a profile, you pick three restaurants or bars (there’s Yelp integration) where you’d want to go on a date. Dine then shows you two to five people a day, and which places they chose, and you can request to go on a date there.

Once you send someone a date request, and they accept, a chat box opens so you can get some sense of whether you have any chemistry. But the act of having the restaurant or bar right there at the start makes it feel much less nebulous than chatting on Tinder. – Business Insider

Get it now: for your iPhone/iPad.

App: VevoVevo universal app

OS: iOS, Android

What is it? You know who Vevo is even if you don’t have the app. They sponsor, I’d estimate roughly 30% of the music videos on YouTube. When you see their logo, you’ll realize you’ve seen them many times before. Why get their app, instead of sticking with YouTube? Well, it now uses Twitter, Spotify, machine learning and YouTube itself to deal you recommendations just for you. When recommended videos are done wrong (looking at you Spotify) it can really sour your opinion of that app. Also, when you can’t afford concert tickets (you do get access to live performances of your favourite artists) or you just prefer a multimedia music experience, this is definitely the app you need.

Best review quote: Vevo first asks you to select your favorite music genres. That allows it to then present artists from within that genre (or genres), instead of just presenting some of music’s more popular names. Plus, as you move through your artist selections, Vevo will take into account each choice you make then adjust the next set of recommendations in real-time, the company also says. – Tech Crunch

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

Sources: Business InsiderThe Next WebBusiness InsiderTech Crunch

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