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TeamSnap Gets an Update

Posted by on Aug 29, 2016

TeamSnap gets an update

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Games

Tricky Test 2: Think Outside Review

Posted by on Aug 29, 2016

Brain teasers on tap.

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Productivity

Slack Gets an Update

Posted by on Jul 18, 2016

Slack update goes live.

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Tip the scales in your favor with Online Casino X

Posted by on Aug 17, 2016

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TeamSnap Gets an Update

TeamSnap Gets an Update

Aug 29, 2016

For folks who are involved with (or manage ) youth sports teams, TeamSnap-Sport Team Management can be an invaluable tool. Now, it’s getting an update.

WHAT’S NEW

– TeamSnap Live would occasionally crash when setting the final score of a game.
– Saving an availability note now actually saves.
– Displaying messages would sometimes result in visual wonkiness.
– Viewing past events in TeamSnap Live no longer offers a hypnotic “endless spinner.”
– Adding a game to your Android calendar now shows the game’s title.
– The app no longer arbitrarily picks arrival times for games and events.
– Availability now sorts in the same order as on the web.

TeamSnap remains free on the Play Store.

BRAVEN BRV-1M Bluetooth Speaker Hardware Review

BRAVEN BRV-1M Bluetooth Speaker Hardware Review

Aug 29, 2016

Braven and “wireless sound” are all but synonymous, and as such, were happy to check out the new BRV-1M Rugged Wireless Speaker.

The review package that Braven sent us highlights a product that exudes a readiness to go; in the box, one gets the speaker itself, charging cable, male-to-male audio auxiliary cable, an optional strap, bike plate, hex tool and documentation.

The main unit itself looks remarkably compact, particularly in its red finish, and the exterior extends further proof that this thing isn’t opposed to hanging out in the elements, come what may. It has a defined rugged look, with the design seemingly a bit more concerned with function and durability than with looks. There are plenty of black accents, seals and hard surfaces, such that it doesn’t feel that one’s investment would be ruined by an errant drop. The top surface houses volume, advance and power buttons, while the covered back has charging port, output port, audio in slot, plus buttons for battery and reset.

Braven makes these in grey and black (in addition to the red we tested). Officially, the speaker comes in at 6.4 x 1.5 x 2.8 inches and weighs
Weight: 1.2 lbs

brv2

We found that pairing and usage to be collectively intuitive; anyone who has paired a bluetooth device to an audio source should have no problem working with this. Charging is accomplished via the included micro-USB cable (plus extra adapter); when juiced and paired, we had a chance to try it out with music. It streams clear, and does get loud. It did sound hollow with instrument-y music at high volumes, but overall does the job with reasonable fidelity. It works well with wall barriers within the stated range. We got 11+ hours of wireless usage, just under the advertised 12.

As a wired device, it showed an even tighter adherence to quality, piping in the music slightly cleaner.

The unit has yet another function; it works well as an emergency charger for mobile devices. I was able to power a device, even while using the bluetooth functionality. I was also able to operate phone calls thanks to the hidden microphone, though I readily admit I preferred such action on the phone.

We did some minor drop-testing — on carpet, because I’m a wuss, and it didn’t break a sweat.

In a nutshell, it’s another pertinent piece from Braven. It does more than a few things well, is made for the outdoors and isn’t scared of water.

Can one ask for more?

PayPal Widens Device Fingerprint Support via Update

PayPal Widens Device Fingerprint Support via Update

Aug 29, 2016

PayPal’s current update is making the mobile payment application more functional.

It’s increasing the number of fingerprint devices it works with, and more. Per the Play Store:

WHAT’S NEW

-Fingerprint login supported for more phones, including the Samsung Galaxy S7, Nexus 5X, and Nexus 6P (Android Marshmallow and above)
-Sleeker send and request money experience with animated transitions
-Performance improvements

PayPal remains free on Google Play

Tricky Test 2: Think Outside Review

Tricky Test 2: Think Outside Review

Aug 29, 2016

Got some time? Want a challenge? Ah… have a go at Tricky Test 2: Think Outside.

The graphical presentation is fairly simple; it shows up in landscape, with simple texts and diagrams on a dark background. The music is somewhat soothing, and can be toggled.

This is a brain teaser game, and it presents riddles one after the other. Solving the one leads to the next, and said solution means understanding a riddle, and somehow getting the correct answer. Thing is… these ain’t straightforward questions.tt3

The puzzles range for torturous brain teasers to the delightfully silly. At the risk of being a game spoiler, I found the creativity inspiring: some riddles demand that one isn’t too literal, while others are the exact opposite. Math questions make an appearance, but nothing overly algebraic, and then puzzles that are shielded as math questions. There are situational questions too, so one shouldn’t get too bored too quickly.

The game has a clue system that helps with tougher questions, and if that isn’t sufficient, the solution can be requested. Both have a cost in game coins though.

When a puzzle is solved correctly, the player gets greeted with a visual hand clap with matching sound. A bad guess generally yield one life lost; when all five are drained, the games energy requirement kicks in, and the aforementioned coins come into play. Thankfully, the developer does provide ways to get more coins and/or continues, like ad-watching, timed regeneration and more, including real cash.

When one gets the end, the game even gives one an IQ sore. Cheeky.

It’s infinitely simple to understand and get into, but that ease almost forces a complaint… that the game is really, really short as is at 60 questions. It isn’t hard to fly through the questions, especially when one gets going. The developer does promise to continually address this via updates, so one can look forward to that.

All in all? Worth a look and a try.

Reddit is Fun Gets an Update

Reddit is Fun Gets an Update

Aug 29, 2016

Reddit is fun is getting an update:

WHAT’S NEW

4.1.32 (Aug 27):
• (4.1.32) Disable auto-transcoding GIFs, due to errors
• Subreddit-specific report reasons
• Reduce card margins
• “Post karma”
• Fix mod status after switching accounts
• Fix UI bugs, update libraries

The app remains free; there is a premium version available as well.

Google Hangouts Adds Features via Update

Google Hangouts Adds Features via Update

Aug 29, 2016

Google Hangouts doesn’t look to be at the end of its life, what with the new features that are rolling out now.

Officially, via the Play Store, version 11.0 changes are as follows:

WHAT’S NEW

11.0
• Take and send videos in your Hangouts conversations
• Invite anyone to join your group conversation by sharing a link
• Easily find your groups when creating a new conversation
• Remove people from a group conversation

Hangouts remains free on Google Play.

Deus Ex GO Review

Deus Ex GO Review

Aug 29, 2016

Phones and tablets, more often than not, can’t do what PCs and consoles do. It’s just a fact. Different control schemes and a lack of powerful hardware means it’s just not possible to plonk a beloved series onto a phone.

This is why Deus Ex GO is so impressive and continues the success that the GO series has had to date. Previous GO titles include Hitman and Lara Croft, where the games captured the spirit of their franchises whilst converting them into simple, turn-based puzzle games. Which is just what’s happened in Deus Ex GO too.

You play as Adam Jensen, protagonist of the recent Deus Ex console and PC games. The story is pretty throwaway, with you infiltrating a corporation’s building, espionage and so on. There’s links to the new Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, but the links aren’t that meaningful unless you’re a hardcore Deus Ex fan.

The game itself, as mentioned, plays almost like a board game, with you moving your one piece (Adam Jensen) whilst the computer controls everything else. The goal is quite simple, with you starting at one side of the ‘board’ and all you need to do is make it to the exit, which is a designated space on the board, often opposite to the side you start on.unnamed-2

This isn’t a simple game of snake and ladders however, as you need to watch out for all manner of enemies, traps and defences. All of these obstacles behave in fairly simple ways and are introduced at a good pace, keeping things interesting. The first set of enemies you’ll run into (hopefully not literally) are soldiers that, when they spot you, grow an exo-skeleton making them indestructible and they charge at you. The solution is to simply approach them from behind or from the side and, like a game of chess, you’ll remove them from the board. Of course, they can also remove you from the board and force you to start over. Other enemies include turrets that kill on site, robots that kill if you approach from the front and so on.

What’s so great about this game is the way all of the enemies interact with each other. One example is the turret and the indestructible exo-skeleton man. On one level, the solution involved me triggering the guard, moving to the side and then having the guard block the turret’s line of sight. This game keeps things fresh and interesting as there’s a near constant stream of new enemies and traps appearing and the fun is in finding out how they’ll affect each other.

On top of this there’s powerups to find, that can turn you invisible, for example and terminals to hack, meaning turrets are your friend and will shoot down any antagonistic guards or robots. The game is constantly asking you to rethink about what you already know and it’s so rewarding when you finally figure out a particularly difficult level.

On top of this, the game looks really great. It’s not a graphical powerhouse but it has absolute style. Adopting a polygonal look, characters burst apart into a stream of triangles when they’re defeated and each level has a unique layout, with different furniture littered about each board.

Deus Ex GO manages to keep its Deus Ex roots whilst distilling them down into a simple to play puzzle game. With tons of enemies resulting in tons of variety for each level, I can’t recommend this enough.


Soundtrack Attack: Steven Universe Review

Soundtrack Attack: Steven Universe Review

Aug 29, 2016

I’ll admit to something right off the bat – I’ve never watched an episode of Steven Universe. I’ve seen plenty of gifs and whatnot, my Twitter feed is full of people who love it, but I’ve just never given it a shot. Bear this in mind when reading this review and when I tell you that Soundtrack Attack is a rhythm game that has a soundtrack which means nothing to me.

You’ve all played a rhythm game before, right? The notes appear on the screen in time with the music and you’ve got to press the right button at the right time. It provides the illusion that you’re actually ‘playing’ the music when in reality you’re just strumming a plastic guitar or, in this case, simply tapping, dragging and holding your fingers down on the screen of your phone. All in all, it’s a pretty average rhythm game, though there were instances where I felt that the game was a little too forgiving. When faced with a screen full of notes I’d eventually lose track of what was going on yet somehow get through even the trickiest of sections with my combo intact, thanks to the fact I’d tapped randomly on my screen. I guess this makes it more suitable to what I imagine is its younger intended audience.su1

Another more personal issue I have with the game is that I just didn’t enjoy or recognize any of the music. Imagine playing Rock Band or Guitar Hero and having never heard any of the songs before. Imagine that you’d not only never heard them but that you thought they were bad. So this might be a harsh criticism and one based on the fact I’m not a fan of the series, but it’s a criticism all the same. There also seems to be a fair amount of reuse, as the same song will appear on several levels with only slight alterations to it.

On more positive notes, fans of the series should find enough to enjoy with Soundtrack Attack: Steven Universe. You get to create your own character (called a Gem?) and you can customize her as you progress. More customization options become available as you complete songs, with better performances earning you more coins to spend on these character altering elements.

There aren’t any power-ups to buy or use during levels. Once you’ve played through a level and heard its song, that’s all there is to it. There’s plenty of levels, mind, though not much to keep you coming back unless you’re after high scores or a perfect run.

In the end Soundtrack Attack: Steven Universe is a well made game even if it is a little basic and a touch too forgiving. This probably suits the younger audience out there, though I know a lot of Steven Universe fans who are well into their 20s. They might want to skip this.


Shop Your Way App Gets an Update

Shop Your Way App Gets an Update

Aug 29, 2016

Sears Shop Your Way application is getting an update.

What’s new in version v2.34:
• We’ve added a Surprise Point button within the account section of your user profile, making it easier to find great products and offers to redeem your points towards.
• Our upgraded Search functionality allows you to quickly the items you are looking for.
Update today for the best possible SYW experience!

The app remains free on Google Play.

US-based Instagram Users Get Region-Specific Update

US-based Instagram Users Get Region-Specific Update

Aug 26, 2016

Everyone’s favorite filtering and image-sharing app Instagram is getting a locale-based update.​

Announcing a new video channel on Explore that lets you experience events as they happen around the world. This channel collects the best videos from concerts, sporting events and more so you can feel like you’re in the front row. This update to Explore is currently available only in the United States

Instagram remains free on Google Play.

GroupMe Refines Features via Update

GroupMe Refines Features via Update

Aug 26, 2016

GroupMe users should be pleased with its current update, which adds features and refinemenmts.

Per Google Play:

WHAT’S NEW

* Find Friends now shows the address book email and number as well as the name
* Added support for Direct Share
* Improvements to sign up
* Improvements to GIF notifications
* General bug fixes and improvements

The app remains free on Google Play.

Google Drive Gains New Features via Update

Google Drive Gains New Features via Update

Aug 26, 2016

As Google’s all-encompassing take on cloud storage and document management, Drive does receive a lot of attention; now, via update, it is adding a host of new features, including the ability to toggle comment notifications and upgrade opportunities.

It also marks the last official update for folks that still use Android ICS.

The app’s Google Play page has the full change log:

WHAT’S NEW

* Easily upgrade your storage plan in-app
* Add homescreen shortcuts to your favorite files
* Receive comment notifications
* Performance improvements and bug fixes
This is the last supported release of Drive for Android on all Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0) devices. Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) users will receive no further updates to Drive on Android.

Drive remains free (with new-ish) in-app upgrade opportunities on Google Play.

Pokémon GO Gets Appraisal Feature via Update

Pokémon GO Gets Appraisal Feature via Update

Aug 26, 2016

International phenomenon Pokémon GO is getting an update — one which, among other things, introduces a new creature battling prowess appraisal feature.

More specifically (per Google Play):

WHAT’S NEW

– Implemented Pokémon Appraisal: Trainers will now be able to learn about a Pokémon’s attack and defense capabilities from their Team Leader (Candela, Blanche, or Spark) to determine which of their Pokémon have the most potential for battle.
– Fixed a bug that kept defeated Pokémon at 1HP; these Pokémon will now return as fainted Pokémon. We’re working on rebalancing the training battle, stay tuned.
– Minor bot fixes

The popular game remains free on the Play Store.

Upcoming Literary RPG ‘Fallen London’ Gets Firm Date

Upcoming Literary RPG ‘Fallen London’ Gets Firm Date

Aug 26, 2016

Fallen London is an interesting desktop game port that has done well on iOS, and we hear that it will be on Android as soon as this month.

Excerpts from the press release are below:

Fallen London is a dark and hilarious Victorian-Gothic text adventure, where every choice has a consequence: from the style of your hat to the price of your soul.

FEATURES:

● Literary RPG with over 1.5 million delicious words
● Choose from a miscellany of avatars and gender options
● Befriend, beguile or antagonise hundreds of characters from diplomats and devils to Clay Men, Rubbery Men and the elusive Masters
● Increase a vast array of character qualities, shaping your character as you go
● Hundreds of items, outfits and pets available in the Bazaar
● Play the mobile version alongside the browser experience with the same character
● Forge your own path through a dark Victorian city and beyond!

So, for those still paying attention… due date: August 31st. The game will be free (with in-app purchase opportunities).

fallen london

[via Failbetter Games Blog]

Dots and Co Review

Dots and Co Review

Aug 26, 2016

I often think long and hard about the words I write. It might not seem like it sometimes, but it’s true. I fret over each adjective, hoping that I find the one that really evokes the meaning I’m going for. With Dots and Co I’ve struggled to find the perfect word. I wanted to say ‘nice’, but nice seemed a little bland, a little basic and a touch too simple.

However, Dots and Co is a simple, somewhat bland and basic puzzle game. It’s really nice.

It’s a really stylish looking game full of clean designs and pastel colours. Cute characters and animals place themselves at the top of the screen, acting as your avatar. There’s a good amount of polish to proceedings, with your avatar following your touch across the screen and with blips, blops and pops following every action. There’s also some really… nice ambient music that accompanies everything, filled with chilled out acoustic guitar.dots2

The game is made up of coloured dots placed on a grid. You need to draw a line between as many dots of the same colour as you can. Drawing a line causes the dots to disappear and more dots fall from the top of the screen to take their place. The challenge is that you need to clear a certain number of certain coloured dots to complete each level.

Adding some difficulty and variety to proceedings is special abilities you’ll pick up as the game progresses, ice blocks that stop you starting a line on certain squares of the grid and the fact that the grid itself will change shape and size from level to level.

The problem is that each level doesn’t really ask too much of you. There’s very little strategy to any of the proceedings means it’s hard to really call it a puzzle game. You just do the thing it’s asking you to do and all without much thought. I guess this makes it ideal for a casual audience but it’s probably safe to say that Dots and Co is a little too casual, especially for the first 50 or so levels.

This being said, it’s hard to be too negative. It’s just too nice, too relaxed and too gentle for you to get sick of it. I found myself not so much bored, more in a state of zen.

Which might be exactly what you’re after. A game to kill some time whilst you’re sat on the bus, something to keep you busy whilst waiting for a microwave to ding, something that requires very little thought and it really quite pleasant to look at.

Dots and Co is a nice game.


Mint Gets an Update

Mint Gets an Update

Aug 26, 2016

Intuit’s financial management application Mint: Personal Finance & Money just received an update.

WHAT’S NEW

– Removed requiring the camera and vibrate permissions
– Fixed issues relating to Account refreshing
– Added pull down to refresh the Overview screen
– Removed closed accounts from the Accounts screen

The app itself remains free on Google Play.