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Showing posts with label phone. Show all posts
Showing posts with label phone. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

MiFon 9-in-1 Android Phone Security Suite

MiFon logo.
Image provided and used with permission.

MiFon 9-in-1 Security Suite is the answer to every Android phone owner’s security prayers. The app bundles security, privacy and tracking features in the one app. A limited version of the MiFon app is available for free from Google Play with a chance to try the fully featured Pro version as a free trial before deciding whether to buy it.

MiFon offers malware protection, auto backup, anti-theft, find me features and more. These features will work even without internet connectivity, making MiFon an attractive proposition for all Android users worldwide. Indeed, Indian phone company Intex has bundled the app with its newest phone as standard.

The nine areas of security, privacy and tracking covered by the app are:

Antivirus and anti-malware protection

This offers protection for those users who access their banking via their phone, have a mobile phone payment app such as Android Pay or PayPal enabled or who simply have the misfortune to encounter a trojan or virus.


Everyone should back up their phone regularly, to the cloud or to an alternative location. But for those who never get around to it, MiFon can automatically create backups of texts, contacts, photos and even some social media to a personal storage cloud.


This will clear the cache and free the memory.

Set and Forget

These three options above only need to be set up once and can then be forgotten. What could be easier?

Find me

Users who have lost or mislaid their phone can send an SMS text, even when it’s set to silent, to activate a loud siren sound. Once located - or not - users have the ability to choose to lock or wipe the phone if needed. This feature also allows users to enable phone status monitoring (battery life and so on) and receive email reports with details if the phone is not with them.

Panic button

This feature, only available on the Pro option, is the mobile phone equivalent of ringing the emergency services. It allows users to email emergency notification, location and photos to a nominated group of contacts.


A really important feature, this, given the number of phones which are left, forgotten or just plain swiped by someone on the make. It’s only available through the Pro version, but could pay for itself on its own. It will send the thief’s photo, track the phone and offer the registered owner full control over it, no matter where it is.

Geo-location for a specific group

This feature is under development but once available, users can share their location with a chosen contact group. This is designed for parents who need to know that their child has arrived safely in class, for instance, or perhaps for concerned friends looking out for a singleton on a blind date or a night out.

Remote activation and control

Users of the MiFon Pro option can set a passphrase and security locks so that they can retain control over their phone if it’s lost or stolen.

MiFon Pro is available to try for 15 days free following the instructions on the Google Play site. After that time users can revert to the free options or purchase a permanent full upgrade. Users with questions can contact the team through FacebookTwitter or helpdesk email.

A Smarter Smartphone thanks to MiFon.
Image provided and used with permission.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Bus Simulator Racing from Universal Games, free on Android

Bus Simulator Racing from Universal Games.
Image provided and used with permission.

From Universal Games comes the latest Android app: Bus Simulator Racing. And the home of the ‘tricky tapper game’ does not disappoint.

Bus Simulator Racing from Universal Games.
Basic instructions with female manga-style driver.
Image provided and used with permission.
Bus Simulator Racing was produced because the developer, like many people, loves the traditional and iconic London red double decker buses. I bet the drivers of the New London Routemaster buses never have to drive like this though! This is definitely a game, not a real life driving simulator. Players can see the whole bus viewed from above and behind the vehicle, rather than playing from the driver's viewpoint sitting at the wheel. As with all great games, the idea is simple – keep the bus on the road and chase the stars that are scattered in front of the vehicle. In practice, it is a test of dexterity and skill, and certainly not easy to play sitting upstairs on the local double deckers while jolting over the uneven town centre streets and twisty country lanes found in this area.

Bus Simulator Racing from Universal Games.
Level played in night mode.
Image provided and used with permission.
On the right hand side of the game screen are three handset buttons, on the left, the driving wheel. This is definitely a two handed game. The three buttons (right to left) are race, brake and handbrake. With sound turned on, there is a realistic engine noise as the bus sits on the road, engine revving, ready to depart. My tip for novice players is to turn the wheel in the direction of travel before hitting the race button. This will ensure that the bus is pointing in the right direction when it starts moving. And it moves fast! Players have to twirl the wheel with a finger or thumb while jabbing on the brake button with the other hand. This brings the rear brake lights on and results in the sound of tyres and air breaks squealing. I have had more than one Italian Job moment with the bus hanging off the edge of the road when I hit the brake too late, that’s for sure. As it is supposed to be a bus transporting school children from the depot to their school, this is not an ideal scenario. Just to add to the challenge the levels will show different weather conditions at random. This means players are having to drive in snow, rain or sunshine, as well as both day and night settings.

Bus Simulator Racing from Universal Games
Typical gameplay screen..
Image provided and used with permission.
This is a game best played with the sound on, as the in-game music is suitably upbeat, while the sound effects are rich and frequent. On one side of the road lies rocky terrain. When the bus crashes here, players will hear a depressing crunching noise. On the other side is water, and going over that side will freeze the level with the sound of an almighty splash and an image of a plume of water rising upwards as the bus hits it.

Bus Simulator Racing from Universal Games.
Racing the bus over the bridge.
Image provided and used with permission.
The help menu is presented by a uniformed manga-style female driver who explains the basic rules quickly and simply. Through the settings menu, the graphics display sharpness can be adjusted from low to high, although the medium default setting looks sharp enough on a mobile phone screen. The app is tablet optimized, and my guess is that if players have a suitable device to hook their tablets into a 50” widescreen TV or similar, they will be able to play the game on a big screen with cinema-level surround sound. There are also options to adjust the maximum steering lock and a choice of whether the accelerometer feature is on or off. For newcomers to the game, off is the default, and if players are not used to racing games, this is the recommended setting.

Bus Simulator Racing from Universal Games.
End of Level screen.
Image provided and used with permission.
The app is ad-supported, so at the end of each attempt there is at least one advertisement that players must dismiss or opt into if they want to continue the game. As with all of Universal Games’ recent offerings, this app is fully Google-integrated, allowing players to see the international best player rankings and enjoy multi-player games. Facebook login is an option too, so those players who are active there will be able to enjoy sharing their scores with their friends and perhaps challenging them to a round or two.

Bus Simulator Racing from Universal Games.
Image provided and used with permission.
Bus Simulator Racing is a game for the modern era. With tricky gameplay, high level graphics, slick coding and interactive multiplayer mode, it has been downloaded between 1,000 and 5,000 times since release in late June. The vast majority of reviews are positive, showing that Universal Games is gaining a reputation for producing quality, fun games with a twist.

Bus Simulator Racing from Universal Games.
Image provided and used with permission.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Surfin' Sam: Attack of the Aqualites, free Android or iOS game

Surfin' Sam: Attack of the Aqualites
Image provided and used with permission.

 Surfin’ Sam: Attack of the Aqualites is the new game from Slyon Studios LLC. It’s a platformer style game that harks back to the great days of Super Mario and Manic Miner. It’s free on Android and iOS devices but does have in-app purchases.

Sam and his faithful hound Flip Flops must save the earth from the scheming Aqualites, who want to turn our green and pleasant land into a watery world fit for them but not for us. The design is simple, with left and right arrows on the left hand side of the screen and three buttons for dash, jump and fire on the right. Sam will walk if you press the left or right buttons but as each level is timed, he needs to run occasionally too. Being a surfer dude, he travels faster when he can jump on his board and rush away over the waves, either to engage with the Aqualites or get to a place of safety to avoid the machinations of their evil leader, Prong. Flip Flops the dog acts as a guide, offering tips on the game when the letter A appears over his head. Sam has to jump to trigger this advice, however. Double jump means twice the height, and the more coins players can collect on each level the better.

There are over 30 levels, and each level has a target. Levels are laid out on a map, treasure island style, so it’s easy for players to see where they are in the game and fun to see how far they’ve come. Every now and again players are offered the chance to earn free coins (everything from one coin to 255 coins). These can be put towards the items in the Sam Shop; shields and lasers, among other things. These Aqualites aren’t immune to the usual weapons, and some can even be killed by jumping on them – a very satisfying ending. The Surfin’ Sam webpage has a promo video and details on the voiceover artists featured in this game – Lani Minella and Dave Rivas.

The game has almost 3,000 reviews on Google Play, and is a runaway success with a rating of 4.7 stars. Over 2,600 of those reviews give it 5 stars, while less than 200 consider it is worth only one star. The latest update was only a couple of days ago, and features more lives and a better user interface. Surfin’ Sam has been downloaded over 10,000 times and seeing as it is smoothly coded and works well even on my not-so-new Samsung S4, I can see why. Surfin
Sam: Attack of the Aqualites evokes the carefree summer lifestyle of Slyon Studios’ home state, Florida, and is just one of a whole stable of family-friendly games from this prolific developer.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

MyDroid PC Manager provides an Android-PC interface

MyDroid PC Manager logo.
Used with permission

MyDroid PC Manager, from the same developers who produced the Auto SMS / USSD / Call app, is another super-simple app for those who need an easy way to interface their technology. Like Auto SMS / USSD / Call, MyDroid PC Manager is free to Android users. It connects a phone (or even several devices) and a computer for wireless transfer of files, sms and text messages, contacts and photos. Users can also manage their phone from their PC, send links to read on the PC and much more. All users need to do is download the app to their device, then install the MyDroid PC Server files on their computer. 

Occasional users can make use of the app to transfer photos from their phone to a laptop or desktop. MyDroid PC Manager offers the functionality to view, rename and delete photos, then send only the best photos to a PC for backup. For people like me who always manage to mislay a phone-to-USB connector at that crucial moment when their phone’s memory is full, this app is a simple solution. It can also be used to send links to the PC to read rather than having to wade through the equivalent of a Guardian newspaper ‘longread’ article or some amazing photo clickbait on a phone or tablet (and thereby use up data allowance and battery life).

In addition, MyDroid PC Manager is useful for people who like to backup their phones elsewhere. Creating a decent contacts list is a breeze with this app, plus it has the functionality to find duplicates so they can be easily deleted before sending the whole list over to a PC for backup to an external hard drive. It is also possible to program messages and sms to be sent from the phone to an entire mailing list.

Many offices may not allow this option, but MyDroid PC Manager can be set to have phone notifications show as pop ups in the corner of a PC screen. I can see this functionality being used in shift workers’ families, where a daysleeper is trying to catch some essential shuteye while others in the house go about their normal daytime lives as quietly as possible. For small business owners, MyDroid PC Manager is a connectivity tool to link Android devices into one network. It will connect to several devices together, allowing seamless transfer of files between them and a PC. Users can also type up emails and other mailings to share via the connected devices.

MyDroid PC Manager is fully accountable, keeping records of the number of texts and the duration of calls. By accessing the app on a PC users can also control apps on their phone and see what permissions they each have.

MyDroid PC Manager is perfect for people who hate wires poking out of their computers (looking at you, dad!) and for Android phone users who often need to transfer files to their PCs for backing up and safekeeping.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Tap Master: Simple, Colourful and Fun Free Tapping Game for Android

Tap Master intro screen.
Image provided by developer and used with permission.

Tap Master is that rare tapping game, one I can play. It has to be said that I’m worse than useless at all these side-scroller or up-scroller games where players have to guide their character through a maze of obstacles. Maybe it’s because I didn’t have a smartphone at the time Flappy Bird came out, or maybe it’s just because I’m hopeless at tapping games, who knows?

Tap Master game screen.
Image provided by developer.
Used with permission.

But Tap Master is different. A 5 x 5 square of coloured dots, and all players have to do is tap all the dots of the same colour as indicated. No moving screens, although the dots change colour when they are tapped, assuming they’re the colour the player is supposed to be tapping. The further on in the game, the more dots are the same colour, it seems to me. That does at least make tapping them easier, as there is more margin for error on the part of fat-fingered players. Each round is against the clock though, so there’s no time to hang around.

Scoring screen from Tap Master.
Imge supplied by developer.
Used with permission.

For those in the know about gaming, it will not be surprising to learn that the developer of this little gem is based in Kazakhstan. The mighty Tetris was developed by Alexey Pajitnov from the then USSR over 30 years ago, and its influence still resonates in the former Soviet areas today. Tapping games are also ideal for mobile phones, as the tap or swipe reflex is intrinsic in the use of these touchscreen devices.

Certainly Tap Master adheres to the standard rule that a game should be easy to learn and difficult to put down. The highest score at time of writing is 264, although it is not clear whether this is on the current version of the game or not. The latest release from late December 2015 has a start timer of 10 seconds per game, so this will naturally limit the score per game that players can achieve, at least for starters. If the high score is taken from the cumulative number of game or taps, this would be a much easier figure to reach than the number of points possible in a single game.

Tap Master is an ideal coordination game for all ages, and I can imagine it being used in preschool to teach young children about reflexes and colour recognition, or in a recovery and rehabilitation program for people with dexterity issues or brain injury. In-app purchases are available, so long as players reach that stage. Most of the reviews so far are 5* positive, perhaps not unusual for a game that is so easy to play. This game should not be confused with the similarly named Tap Master Modrian or Tap Tap Master. If it doesn’t have dots, it’s not the game I’m writing about here.

The developers reckon Tap Master is a good brain training game, as well as improving hand-eye coordination. No matter a player’s level, once signed in with Google, there is a leaderboard and social media sharing buttons. Due to the speed of levels, it’s great for playing on the move, when waiting for a bus, or in a few spare minutes before a meeting. It’s certainly a good game to play when smartphone users are bored, needing a quick break from something more important, or looking for a game they can leave or finish quickly.
Tap Master logo. Image supplied by developer and used with permission.

Tap Master: the addictive game players didn’t know they needed until they tried it.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Android Game Review - Halloween Flappy Bat

Halloween Flappy Bat.
Much snappier than Halloween Bet on the Bat, don't you think?

Image supplied and used with permission of developer Mapedy

So, another tapping game has come to my attention. This is therefore another attempt by yours truly to prove that I’m not an old dinosaur and can actually play these modern games on a modern smartphone.

This one is now called Halloween Flappy Bat, having originally been named 'Halloween Bet on the Bat 2015'. It comes from Mapedy, a Romanian developer better known for map apps. You know you have a surefire hit when the game can tie into every celebration going and is easy to replicate with different skins and themes. That’s exactly what has happened here, the basic Flappy Bird idea from a different developer, with a Halloween twist.

So if Halloween is your favorite time of year, or you like playing games themed to the season, download and play it now. It’s free, brand new and has been downloaded less than 100 times so far. The idea is simple, just as with the original Flappy Bird. The bat has come out of his cave, but he needs help to get out of the forest. By tapping, you have to help him navigate past ghosts, spiders, mummies, Dracula, the devil and zombies, among other things. Easy to say, not so easy to do. Side scrollers are fiendishly difficult unless you have the touch, and I can emphatically say I do not.

Halloween Flappy Bat is compatible with all Android-powered phones or tablets as well as Android TV and smartwatches. The simple gameplay makes it a rather addictive app, and this trait does at least allow me to say that I have been able to score a few points on the latest tapping game. The music and background sounds are suitably spooky, and the graphics as jewel-bright as you would expect from a brand new game on a smartphone. All the usual buttons are here: when logged into your Google account, you can compare your score against all the other players on the leaderboard, play your way through the achievements list, share a link via social media, and leave a review on the app’s Google Play page.

Halloween Flappy Bat is a fun, addictive game for teens and up, but due to the intricate tapping movements required, may not be suitable for younger children. A large amount of detail has gone into the design of the game, that much is obvious. The graphics are cartoon style cute rather than scary too, which just adds to the appeal, at least from my point of view.

If you’re looking for a timely version of the tapping game craze, or feel that you need a new challenge from your usual tapping favorites, then Halloween Flappy Bat is the game for you. The top score at time of writing is somewhere in the mid-30s. There must be a tapping aficionado out there who can beat that, surely?

Monday, October 5, 2015

Private chat lines, Turkish style, from Ozel Sohbet Hatti

Ozel Sohbet Hatti logo.
Supplied and used with permission.

Despite the rise in online dating and singles/match sites, chat lines are still popular in many countries. Turkey has a booming chat line industry, and a simple search engine enquiry will find several pages listing companies offering these telephone based services, instead of, or as well as a web based chat forum option.

One of them is Ozel Sohbet Hatti (Private Chat Lines) which offers a chat service for 295 krs a minute, or around $1 a minute. Mind you, to use the site, you have to be able to speak Turkish, as it’s not always offered as a translated option in searches, possibly due to the subject matter.

On the home page, visitors are shown photographs of 12 different girls, and on average around 10 are available at any given time. Dial the chat line number, select the extension for the girl you would like to speak to, and you will be connected immediately. Of course, the service is open to over 18s only. I would imagine the chat can get pretty hot at times, just as it always has done on these kinds of chat lines.

One or two of the girls are showing their selfie abilities, having taken their pictures in front of a mirror for maximum effect. Gonca is standing in her bathroom, while Esra is showing off her bedroom behind her. There are a fair number of exaggerated pouts, as you might expect, and Gonca at least looks as if she is channeling Kim Kardashian, in a figure hugging dress with her head back, long hair dangling and backside prominently thrust out. Both Ada and Ecrin’s photos show them as car passengers, and while Ada’s thousand yard stare is not directed at the camera, Ecrin’s large dark glasses hide a direct gaze as she flips the peace sign. Interested visitors can click the photos for a biography and more information on each girl. The site proudly boasts that it employs 100% Turkish girls on the phone lines.

The site administrators are contactable by email if users have any questions or run into problems while using the chat lines. However, these services are generally fairly simple to use. Regulars just have to be careful not to run up massive bills, or just as with mobile phone users who are shocked by call charges, they might be in for a nasty surprise at the end of the month.

In these technologically-led days, it’s interesting to see that the more traditional way of hooking up through private chat lines is still available in some places, even if these days the paper flyer has been replaced with a website instead.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Sun Pixie's Tarot offers empathic card reading via Skype

SunPixie, Tarot reader and empath.
Image supplied and used with permission.

Having their tarot read is not for everyone. It's a way of gaining insight or answers, although the results can be unsettling if the sitter isn't prepared for them. However, with Sun Pixie's tarot reading techniques clients are firmly in the modern era.

Patrons can have their cards read in person (she's based in Thailand), over the phone, and now, by Skype. Yes, Skype. See what I mean about being firmly in the modern era? Prices for personal appointments and the cost per minute for phone or Skype consultations are clearly quoted on Sunny's website along with availability and a chance to receive a notification when she’s back online.

Sun Pixie offers a choice of Pagan, Native American or Visconti decks. Tarot must be read from a deck matching the client's cultural background, hence the choice. Traditionally, the cards are read with the reader face to face with their client, but effective readings can also be given by phone. In addition, Sunny offers the chance for her phone clients to see the cards over Skype. Of course, seers and empaths can work remotely, but putting a face to a client helps her to add depth to her reading.

Clients have a choice of the number of cards they would like to have read. They can opt for a small spread of 1-5 cards or a more in-depth examination of up to 28 cards. However big or small the spread, Sun Pixie suggests that her client reflects on the cards as they are known to provide answers to those seeking them. This is because the artwork reflects the many different types of human personalities and therefore says different things to each person. A tarot reading is seen as a way to move out of a blindspot - a place where clients see no or few opportunities - and explore what might be possible if they took one step away from that space. Readers are empaths; this means that they can give clients insights into situations that they might not have seen themselves. Sun Pixie is an MA graduate of Appalachian State University, and believes that the mix of academic and spiritual discipline learned there lends an extra edge to her readings.

It is entirely up to the client whether they choose to connect via Skype to see their cards. Prices vary depending on the time of day, but Verified Call protection will still ensure a private and confidential conversation even if Skype is used. A new moon brings a temporary halt to readings, with private consultations only available at that time. All of these details can be found on the website, or by looking at the button below.

Sun Pixie doesn't promise to change the world with a tarot reading, but she can set clients on the path to changing their world, if they wish to.


Friday, August 28, 2015

Klink - Share Content, Get Paid

Klink app logo. Image supplied and used with permission.
This could be interesting. I’m not a video fan and I’m too old to ‘get’ Instagram. Anyway, Instagram is a Facebook company and I don’t ‘get’ that either.

But for those who love those little Vine video clips and share Instagrams the way I share Tweets, the new Klink social media app is a mix of the two. And you get paid for sharing your content too. Well, it was going to happen eventually, after the rise and fall of revshare sites for words, as the fashion moved on to videos and images, so the revshare model would follow.

Interested potential users should be aware that this app requires a 5th generation Apple device running iOS7. My iPod Touch is a 4th generation so stops at version 6.1.6. Shame, because being paid to find out about the fuss surrounding Instagram-style apps would have been fun.

This app is brand new, only available on Apple (no Android version yet as they only launched a month ago). The developers tell me the app supports full screen, high quality photos and video, which makes it easy to capture, share and monetize your still or moving images. Yes, monetize. This app works just like the revshare sites for writers, or YouTube for podcasters, and pays you for sharing your content. This is achieved by including small banner ads with your content and sharing the revenues between all those users whose work has displayed those adverts. The screenshot on the support page link indicates a rate of $1 for 1,000 views which is around the industry average for written or visual content on this new breed of mobile social media. Anyone familiar with the Like system on Facebook will feel right at home here, where a like more or less indicates having viewed the content. A featured post can be purchased for 99 cents, or you can save the money earned from your views and withdraw it at a later date.

If you check the hashtag #klinkapp on Twitter or Instagram, you will see examples of the app in use and find out more about how it works. The latest version is only a couple of days old and features a live feed of all new content and better video quality, including video ads. Even though I can’t download it, it looks from the screenshots as if it should be fairly easy to use, and certainly the comments seem to bear that out. There’s a toggle switch to swipe between video and photo and buttons to like, comment and upload content. Swiping corrects blurred view and the piggy bank icon allows you to share the app and invite friends to join too. Naturally, the main idea is that you share your content across other social media sites. Facebook may not take too kindly to monetized content from other sites being shared on feeds, but Instagram and Twitter seem to be pretty cool about it, at least judging from the site’s popularity on those platforms.

Of course, Klink app is new, and despite serious testing there have still been reports of bugs. The developers hope they have ironed many of them out with the latest update but comments, moans, gripes and suggestions are all welcome via the support email. Early adopters are eligible for a Super Elite Klink Creator badge, and should email the developers for more information on applying.

Now, if the developers could just release an Android version, I would be able to give it a really good test and report back in a month or so with my findings. Anyone fancy seeing photographs of the neighborhood cats?

Saturday, August 8, 2015

SwifTrans Qualcomm-approved Quick Charge 2.0 Dual Port Car Charger

SwifTrans(TM) Quick Charge 2,0 dual port USB car charger.
Image supplied by SwifTrans(TM) and used with permission,

There are often articles bemoaning the fact that battery life on our devices hasn’t kept up with the complexity of the devices themselves. The need to have a fully charged battery is now ubiquitous, such that a man recently jumped on stage before the start of a Broadway play in an effort to charge his phone. Turns out the socket he was trying to use was fake, just part of the set, but the incident amply illustrates our reliance on charging points.

For those who drive everywhere, help is now at hand. Of course, car adapters and chargers are not new, but how about one which has two USB ports and charges compatible devices from the cigarette lighter up to 75% faster than similar chargers? Using Qualcomm certified Quick Charge 2.0 technology, more or less any small electronic device (Android and iOS) which runs on a micro USB or Apple standard charger can be plugged in. Suppliers SwifTrans(TM)
provide a list of compatible models on their charger’s Amazon listing, which includes popular phones and tablets from Samsung, HTC, Motorola, Sony, Asus and more. The device also works with Apple fast charging standards, and even with phones and tablets not listed so long as they are able to be auto detected by the charger. The device delivers a charge of up to 5 volts and is certified by several safety bodies against malfunction. There is also a full 18 month warranty.

Currently SwifTrans(TM) are offering a 50% discount, quoting code 4DZC6KAV. The Quick Charge 2.0 car charger already ships with a free 3.1 ft/1m USB to micro-USB cable but now you can have it with 50% off. The reviews are generally positive, with owners of LG, Samsung, HTC and Apple devices all singing its praises. It fits well into the car port, says one reviewer, which means that a device can go from 20% charged to 75% charged in around 20 minutes. (Now that’s fast!) Another mentions that it is great when running Google Maps on the phone during a journey, as the battery power is maintained.

I own a dual USB port wall charger, which is the most awesome piece of kit when my phone and iPod both need charging at the same time. With this charger from SwifTrans(TM), I can charge devices on the go. If they’re QC 2.0 compatible, they’ll be done in no time, and even if they’re not I can still use them while they’re charging. Seeing as last time I went on a trip I had a tablet, a smartphone, a Kindle and an iPod, the law of averages states that at least one of those devices is going to need charging at any one time. My husband travels with a similar number of items so I think one of these SwifTrans(TM) Quick Charge 2.0 chargers will be finding its way into our car at some point.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Penguin Run, Cartoon - Addictive Antarctic Fun for all Ages

Flappy Penguin Run, Cartoon game from Universal Games.
Logo used with permission.

This is a public health warning.

Penguin Run Cartoon is a highly addictive, cool animal game that should be handled with care. If not, it will result in serious loss of productive time and total lack of any social life.

The thing is that Universal Games have produced a classically addicting game here. An Android game available from the Play Store, this free game is a tapping challenge in the manner of Flappy Bird. The idea is simple - little penguin is hungry. To feed your little chibi friend you have to move him so he can catch fish coming down the pipe towards him. But there are also ice spikes that your penguin has to avoid to survive. Hit one and it's game over.

Tap to jump and your penguin will wind up on the other side of the pipe. Fish and spikes occur on both sides of the pipe and at varying distances from each other. As in many racing games, the speed also randomly varies, so you can't relax or become complacent, because your penguin will be either hungry or spiked.

Tap to start and you're away. Points are awarded for each spike successfully avoided and each fish caught. The current high score is 77 but with practice you will regularly score 20 points a game on average. You can track your penguin's progress up the leaderboard through the middle button marked with the podium graphic. This will show you not only how you are doing in your circle but also globally.
Your penguin starts out black and white but once he's
Change your penguin's color
when you have 30 points
eaten 30 fish you can use the points to change his color. I'm currently rocking a purple penguin after playing the game several times yesterday (in the cause of research, you understand).

There is a soundtrack to the game, which includes an endlessly looping backing track and sounds when your penguin jumps or eats a fish. If you prefer to play with the sound off then you will have to turn off the 'music, video, games and other media' setting on the phone itself as there are no in-game controls.

If you're still in two minds about Angry Birds 2, with its much talked about in-game purchase option, you should try this free game app. Penguin Run, Cartoon is a fun game which is marketed to appeal to kids, especially girls, but it's really suitable for all ages due to its simplicity. That's the thing about pokemon style games, they are easy to learn and have a good quality of graphics.

Penguin Run, Cartoon is a wonderfully simple game which will appeal to all ages. I can even see it being used in rehabilitation programs to improve hand-eye co-ordination and exercise damaged fingers back towards mobility. On an Android tablet it would be ideal for elderly mentally active folk to play as part of a brain training regime, or for youngsters to play to while away car journeys. The game is suitable for all ages, as even when the music and sounds are on, even when the penguin lands on or collides with a spike, there is only a sound like a raspberry, no gore. The colors and graphics are very clean and it’s easy to work out how to play. There are no instructions, which is always an indication of an easy-to-learn game. Penguin Run Cartoon adheres perfectly to the old saying about successful games: they must be easy to learn and hard to put down.

Penguin climbs the pole in Flappy Penguin Run Cartoon for Android

Thursday, June 18, 2015

EcoAppsFree. Good for you, good for the planet

EcoAppsFree logo. Supplied by company and used with permission.

EcoAppsFree is an app promoter with a difference. Not only does the firm want iPhone and iPad users to enjoy free iOS apps, it also wants to help save the world at the same time.

Any app promoted through EcoAppsFree must fulfill at least one of the company's three criteria:

  • It should be an app which is good for humans, animals or the planet.
  • It should save natural resources (by being an electronic version of something that was originally physical).
  • It should save consumers having to lay out on a physical item.
For instance, previously featured apps have come from wildlife organizations, animal charities and similar companies. Other apps have given tips on how to make a home more eco-friendly. There's a version of Top Trumps with green goals, an app suggesting walking tours of Paris and several cycling-based apps too, included because they promote exercise and don’t harm the planet. Furthermore, founder Flavio shares his eco-tips on a recent LinkedIn post.

EcoAppsFree has been promoting apps since 2010 and so far, has promoted over 250 apps. Each app stays on the front page for at least 24 hours, and at present there is an average of one new app per week, so that’s seven full days of exposure for your app. One delighted development team said that the promotion had led to an amazing rise in downloads of their app. Pro Alarm, previously downloaded around 20-30 times a day, rocketed into the top 20 most popular apps in several countries around the globe, and was downloaded over 7,000 times in the 24 hours it was available for free.

The concept is simple. The developer signs up for one of the promotion packages and receives a level of promotion accordingly. The basic promotion costs just shy of $100 and reaches an estimated audience of 7,000 people through the mailing list. If developers choose a higher grade of promotion, they will receive social media coverage as well as other enhanced features. Plus costs $279.95 and includes a social media campaign while Pro costs $479.95 and offers promotion via a blog post, choice of day for the promotion to be scheduled and a whole host of metrics, analytics and feedback data. If the app is normally paid, it must be offered for free on the day of the promotion, although in-app purchases can stay active. After the initial 24 hours, the app can go back to paid mode.

EcoAppsFree is an excellent way for app developers to reach new users, potentially entirely new markets. It is also an innovative way for iOS app fans to hear about lesser known apps which are useful, educational and fun by turns. In addition, by downloading these apps everyone is helping to save the planet.