RetroEpic Software’s A Day in the Woods, which was first released on iOS back in April, has finally made its way to the Google Play Store. This hexagonal sliding puzzle game follows the story of Little Red Riding Hood and Wisp, her winged sprite friend.
The aim of the game is to slide around hexagonal blocks to navigate Red Riding Hood from one side of the forest-themed game board to the other. You’ll need to avoid obstacles and villains such as the Big Bad Wolf, bears, spiders and other various traps while collecting berries and flowers throughout your journey.
Even though this game follows around a classic fairy tale character, it’s actually quite difficult. There are a total of 60 levels in the game and each one gets more and more challenging. While it’s not a requirement, the game also challenges you to beat each level in a certain amount of moves, which can be really frustrating at times.
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A Day in the Woods is now available in the Google Play Store for $4.99. It doesn’t feature any in-app purchases whatsoever, so you’re definitely getting your money’s worth with this title. Head to the Play Store link below to download it if you’re interested.
Accomplish is a new To-Do List and Calendar app all in one. Most To-Do List apps help you remember, but they don’t actually lead to any time planning. Accomplish sets out to change that and make it as fast as possible.
Accomplish helps you remember certain task you need to get done as well as makes them easy to sort. You can plan out as many task as you’d like and sort them into the day planner just as easily.
There are no fancy flash or gimmicks, it gets straight to the point.
I highly suggest you check out the video as it is a lot easier to see just how much faster this app is compared to much of the competition.
Come comment on this article: Accomplish is a To-Do List app that makes day planning much easier
Google looks to be expanding its Google Play Services to more countries. Today, Google announced that Play Movies, in addition to the Newsstand app, is coming to new countries around the world.
- Countries getting Google Play Movies: Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore
- Countries getting Google Play Newsstand: Poland, Philippines, Taiwan, Ukraine
People in more than one hundred companies now have access to Play Movies while Newsstand’s reach covers twenty-two.
Source: Google Play (Google+)
Come comment on this article: Google Play Movies and Newsstand are expanding to more countries
Have you already installed Windows 10 on your trusty slate? Well, Microsoft released its mobile productivity apps for the new shiny new version of the OS, too. Touch-friendly versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint are available for download from the Windows Store. The new version of OneNote is available as well, but it’s pre-installed on Windows 10. On top of those gesture-friendly interfaces, the apps play nice with OneDrive for easy cloud-based storage and save changes automatically so you don’t have to worry about losing any work. Of course, if you want the productivity suite on all of your desktop and mobile devices (especially when Office 2016 arrives in September), you’ll need to splurge for an Office 365 subscription.
Over the past few days, Uber’s been busy introducing new PR stunts and dealing with a controversy about its app being deceitful. Today the company’s making a move that, if it works according to plan, will benefit its long-term business strategy: it is piloting a car-leasing program for people who want to be Uber drivers. Up until now, the ridesharing firm had worked with Banco Santander in the US to offer a similar option to people, but this is the first time it’s going to be done in-house. Uber hasn’t disclosed any details on the program’s financial logistics (read: how much is the monthly payment?), only going as far as revealing there’ll be both new and used cars up for lease. As Re/code reports, California, Georgia and Maryland will have access to it initially — but knowing Uber, it won’t be long before the program heads to more states and, perhaps, more countries.
[Image credit: Associated Press]
Samsung held its Tizen Developer event this morning and supplied details about the upcoming Gear A smartwatch. The company has confirmed that the new smartwatch will feature a round display with a rotating bezel. This will provide the smartwatch with a unique way of scrolling, and zooming in and out. This is a similar tool to the digital crown on the Apple Watch.
More specifications include 360×360 display resolution, Exynos 3472 dual-core processor with 768MB of RAM, 4GB of internal storage, and a 250mAh battery. It will also likely include various sensors such as Bluetooth 4.1, WiFi (802.11 b/g/n), gyroscope, GPS, barometer and possibly a heart rate monitor. In order to use the smartwatch, you must pair it with a recent Samsung phone initially because it runs the company’s Tizen software. Then you’re good to go.
Come comment on this article: Samsung confirms its Tizen-powered Gear A smartwatch will come with a rotating bezel
In 18 days, Internet Explorer will turn 20 years old. But rather than celebrating with a new version, as it did for birthday number 15, Microsoft will be shoving IE away into an obscure folder with other legacy applications — you know, like Paint. Though the browser will live on, mostly for the sake of enterprise users, it will only receive security patches going forward (read: no new features or design changes). Just as important, it will no longer be the default browser in Windows. That honor now goes to Edge, a cleaner, leaner browser that makes its debut on Win 10. Microsoft hopes that with the name change, fresh design, smarter features and improved performance, Edge will be enough to convince people to set aside whatever negative impressions they may have had of Internet Explorer.
Look and feel
There’s not much to Edge’s design, and that’s a good thing. As in Chrome, there’s just one bar toward the top of the screen that doubles as the address box and search field. Nearby are self-explanatory icons for forward, back and refresh. Up in the upper-right corner, you’ll see four icons, which allow you to mark up a page (more on that later) or share a page (more on that later as well). The icon farthest to the left is where you’ll find your favorites, browsing history, downloads and your so-called Reading List, which I’ll tell you about shortly. Meanwhile, the icon all the way on the right brings up various settings, including the ability to swap out the default white theme for a black background. (I prefer the stock light one, but that’s just me.) Lastly, there are buttons just to the right of the address bar for adding favorites and entering Reading View. As with everything else here, these icons are exactly where you’d expect them to be, and even if you’re a first-time user, it should be obvious at a glance what these buttons are for.
There’s not much to Edge’s design, and that’s a good thing.
By default, the favorites bar is hidden, which goes a long way in making Edge look cleaner than any version of IE that came before it. (You can still show the favorites bar if you really want it.) Out of the box, the page you’ll see every time you launch the browser is Microsoft’s own MSN portal (can’t fault the company for promoting it), but you can easily change this in the settings so that you see a specific web page or even just a blank page. That would make Edge look even cleaner upon boot-up than it already does.
It’s worth mentioning too that in addition to having a minimal design, Edge was designed to scale well, so that regardless of the device you’re using or how you choose to resize the window, the contents of the page should scale smoothly as you move from a big window to, say, a narrow one. I generally found this to be true, especially with sites like Engadget (ahem) that were designed to be responsive. Still, there are limits: When I snapped Edge in so that it took up half the screen, some websites, like nytimes.com, were cut off, requiring me to scroll from side to side. That said, I think we can all agree that Edge is more responsive (and mobile-friendly, and touch-friendly) than the desktop version of Internet Explorer ever was.
Fun with settings
I’ve already mentioned a couple things you can do from the settings menu — change the theme, for instance — but it’s worth going over the other options at your disposal. As you might expect, there’s a way to import your favorites from another browser — a particularly handy feature for those of you who chose to do an in-place upgrade from Windows 8. What might surprise you is that even if IE was your default browser in Win 8, Edge won’t automatically import your IE favorites when it becomes the new default browser. So, you’ll have to manually import them. Ditto if your previous default browser was Chrome or Firefox or some such. Not a big deal; just FYI.
While you’ve got that right-hand menu open, you can open an InPrivate browsing session in a separate window, whereby all of your cookies and browsing history will be deleted once you close the tab. As with other browsers, Edge looks slightly different in this mode, as a way of making it easy to tell when you’re browsing in private and when you’re not. In particular, InPrivate sessions are marked by a blue box in the upper-left corner of the window, which you wouldn’t otherwise see in a normal session.
From the options menu you can also adjust the zoom level, print, Pin something to the Start menu, access developer tools, send feedback and open something with the legacy Internet Explorer browser. From the “Settings” tab, specifically, you can do things like clear your browsing data; change the default search engine; change the color scheme in Reading View; adjust the font size; show the home button; block pop-ups (they’re blocked by default); enable Do Not Track; turn off Flash, search suggestions, page prediction and SmartScreen Filter; and choose to always use caret browsing. As for privacy, you can set up Edge so that it doesn’t offer to save passwords and so that it doesn’t save form entries. Got it? Good. Have fun, tinkerers.
Microsoft’s personal assistant Cortana is an ever-present figure in Windows 10, anchoring everything from the Start menu to, yes, the Edge browser. In Edge, you won’t be able to speak voice commands to Cortana, but you’ll benefit from the same underlying technology that makes her so smart (and that allows her to personalize the experience based on your apparent interests). In particular, you can ask Cortana certain things and she’ll display answers from within the search bar, without you having to open a page. For example, you can type in unit or currency conversions, get a simple weather forecast or look up stock quotes.
All told, it’s similar to what you can do with Spotlight Search in OS X on Macs, except that Microsoft’s had less time to flesh it out, which means right now, at least, it can’t handle quite as many queries as Spotlight can. That means, while Cortana can understand all of the above kinds of searches, she won’t give you sports scores or maps. In any case, I wouldn’t be surprised if Microsoft later endowed Cortana with additional skills; the company has been known to make ongoing improvements to Bing (the search engine underlying it all), and I can see why details like this might not have been a priority for day one, when it was just trying to get a final and stable version of Windows 10 out the door.
Reading List and Reading View
The idea of a “reading view” is nothing new: Safari has it and even Internet Explorer features something like it. So I’d be going overboard if I acted like Microsoft was reinventing the wheel here, but still, it’s worth a closer look anyhow. The benefits of Reading View are the same as ever: that you can read your stuff at full-screen, with no distractions like advertisements and pop-ups from other apps. It’s a convenient feature, especially if you’re reading on a touchscreen device and would like to be able to move through pages in a more finger-friendly way. Most sites will support this, although a publisher does have the right to disable Reading View, ostensibly because they would rather readers see ads (ya know, assuming they haven’t already been filtered out by an ad-blocker).
The problem is that Reading View is really, surprisingly unsightly. Beautiful, fullbleed photos from Engadget and other sites sit awkwardly in the center of the screen, with weirdly spaced headlines, and all the fancy formatting stripped. No, it doesn’t stop you from reading — it gets the job done — but I’d hardly call it one of Edge’s marquee features. It looks primitive in a way that the browser itself does not. These are, I suppose, the problems Apple was hoping to avoid with its own “News” app in iOS 9, but as we’ve seen, some publications’ stories are crudely rendered there too. Maybe it’s something all the major players should be working on.
Even if you choose to ignore Reading View, as I eventually did, Microsoft has built in a better way to bookmark stories you intend to read. It’s called “Reading List,” and it lives right next to where your regular favorites folder is. The idea is that when you save a story to your favorites, it’s likely to get lost amid tons of other unrelated links. But if you save it to Reading List, you’re more likely to actually read it. Basically, it’s the same pitch as apps like Pocket or Instapaper, except it’s built into the browser, no add-ons or extensions needed. Personally, I like the idea; I find the placement (next to the favorites folder) to be intuitive and I especially appreciate how each story I’ve saved has a thumbnail to help jog my brain as to what the story was actually about.
Marking up web pages
While some of Edge’s design elements might seem like bites off other popular browsers, the markup feature feels unique to Microsoft — a company that’s become synonymous with the word “productivity.” Really, it is what it sounds like: You can write on web pages using your finger, a pen (hear that, Surface owners?) or your keyboard. From there, you can save the page to OneNote or share with a friend. When you do return to the page, you’ll see not a screenshot, but a full working page that’s frozen in time from when you wrote on it. What’s neat is that you can scroll down even below the fold, where you can see parts of the page that might not have been included in your markup.
In a private demo with reporters last week, Microsoft reps were quick to show how Markup can be used when two or more people are collaborating on something — say, making a joint shopping decision. This does indeed seem like an ideal use case. If it were just me shopping on my own, I might not bother with notes written on the screen; I might instead use Pinterest or my Favorites list or Evernote or what have you. But if I needed to run something by somebody for some reason, using Markup would be easier than taking a screenshot and emailing it with comments, and I could leave comments in a more specific way than I could with a Pinterest card.
|SunSpider v.1.0.2 (ms)*||Google Octane**||Mozilla Kraken (ms)*||JetStream 1.1**|
|Safari 8 (Yosemite)||174.27||
|Safari 9 (El Capitan, public beta 2)||125.0||
*SunSpider and Kraken: Lower numbers are better.
** Octane and JetStream: Higher numbers are better.
Regardless of what you think of IE (and even that’s much better than it used to be), Edge is a good browser. Even if you’re not the sort of power user who would have much use for Markup, the clean design and fast performance alone make it worth a try. Folks who switch between Mac and Windows machines might still prefer the versatility of Chrome, where a single login calls up all your bookmarks and settings. But for people who plan on using Windows exclusively, it’s worth making it your out-of-the-box default for a week before you go ahead and download Chrome or Firefox. You might be pleasantly surprised.
Starting today, there are new methods for Android developers looking to test their apps with users. Google says it will be an easier, more convenient way for developers to beta test their apps upon release.
The following are new features available to developers:
- Open beta – Use an open beta when you want any user who has the link to be able to join your beta with just one click. One of the advantages of an open beta is that it allows you to scale to a large number of testers. However, you can also limit the maximum number of users who can join.
- Closed beta using email addresses – If you want to restrict which users can access your beta, you have a new option: you can now set up a closed beta using lists of individual email addresses which you can add individually or upload as a .csv file. These users will be able to join your beta via a one-click opt-in link.
- Closed beta with Google+ community or Google Group – This is the option that you’ve been using today, and you can continue to use betas with Google+ communities or Google Groups. You will also be able to move to an open beta while maintaining your existing testers.
Google went on to mention that nearly 80% of its developers are currently using the new methods of beta testing in Google Play.
Source: Android Developers Blog
Come comment on this article: New beta track options now available for Android developers
Developer Finji launched a new puzzle game in the Google Play Store called A Day in the Woods. The game features a gorgeous art style and has a series of 60 small puzzle games, allowing you to play one or two while you’re on the go. It’s the perfect game if you only have five or ten minutes to decompress.
The game throws you into the shows of Little Red Riding Hood’s sprightly friend who helps Little Red Riding Hood on her path by moving and sliding puzzles around. While the puzzle aspects are a core part of this game, the wood-cut art style really makes the game.
The game will run you $4.99, and if you’re interested, be sure to scan the QR code or hit the download link below.
Come comment on this article: Gorgeous wood-cut puzzle game A Day in the Woods launches in the Google Play Store
Facebook initially rolled out a new account safety feature, dubbed Security Checkup, this May as part of a limited test release. Today, that feature is available for all users. Security Checkup is designed to make finding and enabling Facebook’s multitude of optional security settings much easier. Users will be able to automatically logout of rarely used devices, set alerts for suspicious login activity and reset their password. Even finding the checkup function itself will be a snap as it’s going to be positioned at the top of your feed for the next few weeks.
[Image Credit: shutterstock]