Acer Chromebook R11: a Google Play Experience

Acer Chromebook R11: a Google Play Experience

Jan 31, 2017

Chrome is my preferred browser, and had been for quite some time. As one who cut his teeth exploring the interwebs via Netscape Navigator, I enjoy the success of the little guy. Chrome isn’t the little guy anymore, and its adoption is part of the reason that Chromebooks are decent options today.

And yes, Chromebooks aren’t exactly new. I remember the minor cottage industry that formed around tracking services during Google’s CR-48 giveaway way back when. Since then, the platform has matured, and is even seeing significant deployments in education and enterprise.

So, having been in and out of Chromebooks, we were somewhat intrigued when it came to taking a formal look at the latest iteration of Acer’s R11 Chromebook. This isn’t just any Chromebook, see; we are talking about a Chrome OS device with serious tablet sensibilities.

Specs-wise, it is decent hardware: 11.6″ screen with 1366 x 768 IPS touch-enabled display, a quad-core 1.65GHz processor. it also packs 4GB RAm and has 32 GB of onboard storage. It’s white frame fits in a full HDMI port, two (2) USB ports, an audio port, an SD card slot and a webcam.

The biggest asset for folks looking for raw productivity is its recent access to the Play Store. With the vaunted app environment, users have access to a slew of applications that otherwise might need workarounds to get to on Chrome OS… apps like Microsoft Word and Skype, plus all the games one can shake a stick at.

The hinge assembly is built in such away that it can be “opened” all the way till the screen is resting flush against the back of the keyboard, making it quite akin to a tablet. This hybrid design allows the device to be used in a few more ways than, say a regular netbook can.

Now that touchscreen becomes even more valuable, no?

Battery life is impressive. I was able to squeeze out 6 hours of browsing writing on it.

Chromebooks have elbowed their way onto the scene and mostly established a collective reputation of slimmed down reusability. The R11 embodies that, and the increased software ecosystem that Google Play brings is just another feather in the cap.

It isn’t all roses.

Since I started using the R11, one big name, Microsoft, all but killed Chromebook compatibility with the MS Word apps on Google Play (word is they’ll be back at some point for Chrome OS devices 10 inches and smaller). Beyond that, not every app feels natural, though most I tried worked fine; I was able to play several games via touchscreen or game pad.

For device accessory hogs like me, the landscape can be sparse depending on the device chosen. Folks used to servicing/upgrading their own equipment might not be able to do the same on specific Chromebook models. Of course, if one isn’t vested in the cloud (or, at least willing to try to), then Chrome OS might not be a viable option

Thankfully, there are quite a few budding enthusiast communities, like on Reddit, so help shouldn’t be too far away.

Frankly, this evaluation periods has turned into a difficult one; we don’t always fall in love with the products we review. This one though, because of its portability, battery life and fast startup, as morphed into my main work machine.

Discounted Games! Check Out Premium Games Available for Cheap

Discounted Games! Check Out Premium Games Available for Cheap

Dec 21, 2016

Seems like a couple of games are available to be procured for relatively cheap.

These are some great ones… top-tier games ranging from 50 cents to $2:

True Skate is available for $0.50.

Geometry Dash is available for $0.75

Riptide GP: Renegade is available for $0.99

Goat Simulator: GoatZ is available for $0.99

LEGO Marvel Super Heroes is available for $0.99

Kingdom Rush: Origins is available for $0.99

Kingdom Rush: Frontiers is available for $0.99

Bloons TD 5 is available for $0.99

Call of Duty: Black Ops Zombies is available for $1.99.

No telling when these will go back to their regular prices, so get it while the gettin’ is good.

[via Slickdeals]

Glitch Fixers: Powerpuff Girls Launches on Android

Glitch Fixers: Powerpuff Girls Launches on Android

Dec 5, 2016

So once again, the day is saved! Thanks to the Powerpuff Girls!

You don’t have to have kids — or even daughters — to enjoy Powerpuff Girls, and we get to see another iteration of the hero crew on Android in Cartoon Network’s newest game, Glitch Fixers: Powerpuff Girls.

The game is based on the popular episode “Viral Spiral” (from 2016 Powerpuff Girls series); it is a turn-based game, allowing the player to go in as Blossom or Buttercup. It is a coders dream, allowing our champions to defeat the enemy and escape the internet.

The game boasts four worlds with multiple levels, special weapons and both classic and new enemies.

The game reflects Cartoon Network’s continued mission to highlight coding to a younger generation.

The game is live now on Google Play and the Amazon Appstore, and it is completely free (with no micro-transactions).

ppg

Underworld Digital Movie on Sale on Google Play

Underworld Digital Movie on Sale on Google Play

Oct 8, 2016

Lycan or vampire?

Here’s a treat for fans of the Underworld movie franchise and/or Kate Beckinsale me: the first movie in the series, Underworld, is on sale on the Play Store — for only $0.99.

Underworld begins the story of Selene, a vampire who, for a variety of reasons, works to eliminate out Lycans. As the movie progresses, our heroine has to make a choice.

At this price, it’s a great opportunity to own an integral part of the franchise, one which became its springboard. Not a fan yet? Here’s a chance to become one.

We don’t know how long the sale is going to run, so it makes sense to get in while one can.

Google Plat Indie Games Festival Award Winners Announced

Google Plat Indie Games Festival Award Winners Announced

Sep 28, 2016

Google Play hosted the first Indies Games Festival, and there were a few awards to give out.

First, the winners:

1) bit bit blocks (Presented by Greg Batha):

Bit Bit Blocks is a cute and action-packed competitive puzzle game. Play with your friends on a single screen, or challenge yourself in single player mode. Head-to-head puzzle play anytime, anywhere.

2) Numbo Jumbo (Presented by Kaveh Daryabeygi, Wombo Combo):

Numbo Jumbo is a casual mobile puzzle number game for iOS and Android. Players group numbers that add together: for example, [3, 5, 8] works because 3+5=8.

3) Orbit – Playing with Gravity (Presented by Chetan Surpur & Eric Rahman, Highkey Games):

ORBIT puts a gravity simulator at the heart of a puzzle game. Launch planets with a flick of your finger, and try to get them into orbit around black holes. ORBIT also features a sandbox where you can create your own universes, control time, and paint with gravity.

And the finalist nominees:

1) Antihero [coming later in 2016] (Presented by Tim Conkling).

2) Armajet [coming later in 2016] (Presented by Nicola Geretti & Alexander Krivicich, Super Bit Machine).

3) Norman’s Night In: The Cave [coming later in 2016] (Presented by Nick Iorfino & Alex Reed, Bactrian Games).

4) Parallyzed (Presented by David Fox, Double Coconut).

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[via Android Developers Blog]

Google Play Adds Family Sharing Feature

Google Play Adds Family Sharing Feature

Jul 27, 2016

Google Play has expanded greatly beyond being simply an application repository; it is a full-fledged entertainment and content hub that rivals the best from competing platforms.

Now, it is becoming even better with a timely update that allows folks to share specific content with other family members.

Dubbed the “Family Library,” the new feature allows folks to select what purchased content can be shared with up to six relatives. As the presser sates, one can now “share what one loves with the people one loves.”

Some pertinent points (quoted from the announcement blog post):

Share across your family’s devices
Today’s families have a lot of devices, and it should be easy to share content no matter where we are or what we’re doing. Everyone in my family loves the Star Wars movies and we all want to be able to watch them, on our phones, tablets, laptops, or TV. All purchases added to Family Library are available across Android devices, and movies, TV shows, and books can be enjoyed on iOS devices and the web.

Easily manage sharing and family purchases
As with most family matters, flexibility and choice is important. With Family Library, you can choose which items you want to share and which to keep to yourself—for example, I’ll probably keep my collection of comic books in my personal library. Flexibility is also built into your purchasing options. When you sign up, you’ll select a credit card to share as your family payment method, but your family members will always have the option of buying stuff with their personal credit cards or gift cards. And for your younger family members, you’ll have the option to approve each of their purchases.

Share a Music subscription with your family
Finally, if your family loves music, you can also subscribe to the Google Play Music family plan. On this plan, up to six family members can stream millions of songs on demand for $14.99 a month. We launched the family plan late last year, and today we’re expanding it to Ireland, Italy, Mexico, and New Zealand. And you can now sign up on the web, in addition to your Android device.

The new service begins it’s roll-out to select countries (Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, UK and the US) today.

GoogleFamily-Library

[via Official Android Blog]

Google Play Music Adds Podcasts

Google Play Music Adds Podcasts

Apr 18, 2016

Google Play Music is becoming even more of a full-service option with the addition of podcasts. Now, both content creators and consumers can find relevant material on Google Play.

Per the Official Android Blog:

Starting today on the web and rolling out on Android in the U.S. and Canada, we’ll connect you with podcasts based on what you’re doing, how you’re feeling and what you’re interested in. Similar to our contextual playlists for music, we want to make it easy to find the right podcast—whether you’re a podcast aficionado or listening for the first time.

Try “Learning Something New” to talk about at a dinner party and listen to our favorite episodes from Stuff You Should Know or How To Do Everything. Enjoy a Sunday afternoon by “Getting Lost in a Story” with episodes from Radiolab or Reply All, or relax after a long day by “Laughing Out Loud” to Marc Maron’s WTF or Chris Hardwick’s The Nerdist. If you find something you love, subscribe to download the last several episodes automatically on your device or choose to be notified every time a new episode comes out.

And to all you creators who want to make your podcast available in Google Play Music, check out the podcast portal for more details.

Thanks to our invaluable partners without whom the world would be a boring place. And to all you podcast lovers, keep listening!

This week’s episode is brought to you by Google Play. With Google Play, you can get millions of apps, games, songs, movies & TV shows, books and news sources—all your favorites, all in one place.

Per the post, the podcasts feature is rolling out on Android in Canada and the US.

podcasts

[via Official Android Blog]

Empire Season 2 Episode 1 ‘The Devils Are Here’ is free on Google Play

Empire Season 2 Episode 1 ‘The Devils Are Here’ is free on Google Play

Mar 28, 2016

It doesn’t matter if you’re a Lucious or Cookie. The fact remains, we all have a little bit of “Empire” in all of us, and if you are a fan of the hit FOX drama, it’s good to know that the first episode of season 2 — The Devils Are Here — is free on Google Play.

The scheming is never off… never even on low:

Season Two picks up three months after the shocking arrest and incarceration of Empire Entertainment head LUCIOUS LYON. Still in federal lockup, Lucious is trying to run Empire from inside, while a headline-grabbing state prosecutor hangs her political ambitions on bringing him down – no matter what it takes. Meanwhile, Cookie stages a star-studded #FreeLucious concert in his support, while scheming with Andre, Hakeem, Anika and the business savvy Mimi Whiteman to finalize the hostile takeover of Empire.

It’s real life chess match, no? You’re move.

The free episode can be purchased at the link above, and other episodes can be purchased as well. The show itself airs on Wednesdays.

[via Slickdeals]

Closure (Jack Randall Series Book #1) is Free on Google Play and Kindle Store

Closure (Jack Randall Series Book #1) is Free on Google Play and Kindle Store

Feb 10, 2016

Jack Randall fans — current and future — will like that the first book in the detective series, Closure, is currently free on Google Play Books and Kindle Store.

When a prominent lawyer is shot while waiting at a suburban stop sign it sets off a nation-wide manhunt for an elusive killer. Special Agent Jack Randall of the FBI finds himself appointed to track down and stop the shooter. Not by his superiors, but by the killer himself.

As more bodies fall the shooter takes his message to the press, earning the support of the public with his choice of targets and confounding the FBI at every turn. From the desert of Nevada to the urban jungle of New York City, Jack and his team follow the trail of bodies and haunting messages left behind by the killer. With the pressure to find him mounting on Jack, the assassin’s crimes grow bolder, and his message more sinister and closer to home.

It becomes clear to Jack that in order to find the shooter, he may have to look inside his own past, and become the man he was years ago.

The book is usually priced at $5.00 on Google Play.

Epic Adventures: Cursed Onboard Goes on Sale

Epic Adventures: Cursed Onboard Goes on Sale

Dec 9, 2015

G5 is no stranger to hidden object capers or consumer-pleasing sales, so it won’t be a surprise that is has yet another treat for us: Epic Adventures: Cursed Onboard is on sale for $0.99 on Google Play and the Amazon Appstore.

Unravel the mystery of Jangada, a long lost ship stranded in the Amazon Jungle.

A great ship called Jangada set sail in the 1970s but was never seen again. The fate of the crew remains shrouded in mystery and whoever tries to reveal it vanishes forever. Embark on a dangerous trip to the Amazon Jungle, search eerie locations, find hidden objects and solve intriguing puzzles. Undo an old curse and bring peace to a tormented soul in this breath-taking hidden object game, Epic Adventures: Cursed Onboard!

TRY IT FREE, THEN UNLOCK THE FULL ADVENTURE FROM WITHIN THE GAME!

● 25 Eery locations
● 10 Unique mini-games
● 8 Magnificent chapters
● Experience an astonishing and tragic story

The sale is live now, and ends on December 13th.

New Supergirl Series Pilot Available for Free on Google Play

New Supergirl Series Pilot Available for Free on Google Play

Oct 27, 2015

Like Supergirl? Have a Google Play account? This one’s for you…

The new CBS TV series Supergirl debuted to great ratings, and the pilot episode is available for free on Google Play. As such, folks with Google Play accounts can “own” and access this specific episode.

The first episode of the latest season will be available for playback on October 27, 2015.
SUPERGIRL is an action-adventure about Superman’s cousin who, after years of keeping her powers a secret, decides to embrace them and become the hero she was always meant to be. Though Kara must find a way to balance her newfound powers with her very human relationships, her heart soars as she takes to the skies to fight crime.

To get it, simply access Google Play Movies and TV from a computer or device, and search for Supergirl Season 1 Episode 1.\

Enjoy!!!

sg2

[via Slickdeals]

Youda Survivor 2 Goes on Sale on Google Play and Amazon Appstore.

Youda Survivor 2 Goes on Sale on Google Play and Amazon Appstore.

Oct 13, 2015

Youda Survivor 2 is on sake for $0.99 on Google Play and the Amazon Appstore.

In Youda Survivor 2 you’ll need to return to the island of adventure and save your befriended tribe once again. The tribe’s shaman needs your help to stop the danger lurking over the entire planet. Put your survival skills and perseverance to the test like never before. Meet exotic creatures, learn new potion recipes and fight off mighty pirates. Most importantly, help the tribe retrieve a sacred talisman that’s missing and reunite the two gems they use for magic rituals. Unleash your adventurous spirit and become a hero in this spectacular time management challenge!

With numerous upgrades, surprises, amazing graphics and amusing characters Youda Survivor 2 will satisfy even the most demanding strategy fans.

Key Features:

– Over 100 incredible levels in nine absorbing chapters
– 10 extra powers to master and capitalize on
– Two modes of play: story mode and siege mode
– Two playable characters, each with distinct capabilities
– Upgrades, bonuses and awards

The sale is on currently, and runs through October 18th, 2015