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31
Aug

Awesome tap action with Clicker Heroes (Game Review)


F

inding the opportunity to game can be difficult with a busy life and all of the other entertainment options currently available to us. Even more time consuming is sifting past all of the garbage foolery of games available that lack originality and are copy cat after copycat.

 

Although Clicker Heroes, an RPG tap adventure that allows you to hire heroes to attack monsters might just be the solution to your thirst for casual gaming.

Clicker Heroes Rated E for everyone is now available for download via The Google Playstore for Free with in-app purchases ranging from $1.99-$99.99 per item.

 

Setup

There is no setup. Literally I downloaded the game then immediately after completion I found myself on a platform-battling a monster.

Gameplay

In Clicker Heroes, you assume the role as “hero for hire”. As the hero, your job is to kill monsters such as Spit Flower, Sasquatch, Angry Potato and many more.  To start off, I have to say Clicker Heroes is extremely addictive. This endless clicker RPG game objective is to tap the screen as fast as you can to defeat the monster in front of you. After defeating the monster, you will gain coins. After you have collected enough coins you can use those coins to upgrade(level up) your characters strength, accuracy, or even hire more heroes.  Also throughout your adventure you will need to collect jewels. Jewels allow you to power up  and increase your click damage( the damage achieved by every finger tap) that you do to the monsters you battle.

To complete each level you have a boss fight. Battling the boss is a little more difficult and you have a limited amount of time to beat the boss before having to restart.

I previously stated that Clicker Heroes is addictive which is true. Although what makes the game interesting is the assortment of colorful, scary, goofy characters that you face that you effortlessly beat by quickly tapping the screen. The game has quality crisp graphics, and a cool theme song that plays throughout the game on every level I got to.

What makes Clicker Heroes good also is its downfall. I am an avid fan of casual gaming. I enjoy being able to pick up and play a game as I see fit and when I have other things to do I can easily quit and come back to it when I have time.

The first time I played Clicker Heroes I was first thrust inside of the game after download. There was no splash screen or introduction and I just had to figure it out. Once I began to play and understood all I had to do was just rapidly press the screen and the monster would explode and coins flew out of it. After about 20 minutes of playing and about 9 levels deep the thrill wore off.  Every level every time you just see a monster on a platform in front of you and within seconds you defeat it. Clicker Heroes is a well design app and is packed full of interesting characters. I just would have liked the option to navigate into the worlds where the creatures came from instead of just battling them on a platform.

What We Like

  • Colorful graphics/creative characters
  • Addictive game play
  • No setup able to play immediately

What We Didn’t Like

  • Redundant game play
  • Inability to maneuver through the game stuck on a platform
  • Simplistic and predictable game play

Who would enjoy Clicker Heroes?

Clicker Heroes quick game play and immediate positive fulfillment is great for the casual gamer who has minimal gaming time. Also with an E rating and predictable addictive game play Clicker Heroes is a fun nongruesome gaming experience for young users.

Clicker Heroes Summary.

Clicker Heroes has many ingredients for success, superheroes, creative villains, casual game play and high-resolution graphics.  The addictive initial gameplay  created immediate excitement. Although as time and redundancy struck me my interest quickly faded.

The post Awesome tap action with Clicker Heroes (Game Review) appeared first on AndroidGuys.

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31
Aug

Maps version 9.14 rolls out new navigation UI [APK Download]


Another day, another update; Google is pushing out Maps version 9.14 to users and brings with it a new UI to begin navigation, including a bigger map, more information, and better route selection.

There’s also a chart in the business listings details page to show how busy a business gets at different times of the day.

Left: Old. Right: New.

Left: Old. Right: New.

The most notable change is a blown up map when starting a navigation journey that takes the place of a smaller thumbnail. You can now scroll and zoom, just like any map in the application, which is useful to see alternative routes, nearby landmarks, and more.

In addition to the aforementioned changes, Maps version 9.14 brings the following changes:

  • Popular Times in business listings

You can find a detailed rundown of the APK over at AndroidPolice. You’ll see the new Maps version 9.14 app rolling out to the Google Play Store, but if you’d like to download it now, you can grab the APK here.

The post Maps version 9.14 rolls out new navigation UI [APK Download] appeared first on AndroidGuys.

31
Aug

The ‘but’ of just about every smartphone


The same feeling goes through us every time we all get a new smartphone. If we buy it online, we unbox it, some of us even record the experience for the world to see. If we go to buy it from a wireless carrier, they unbox it for you.

Then, as we look upon our new smartphone for the first time and open the application drawer for the first time, we see it. It can’t be hidden from us. For some of us, it is actually painful to observe. The icons are so bold and ugly, that we have to look away.

All the OEMs and all the wireless networks are guilty of subjecting all of us to this mind-numbing, time-consuming and eventually smartphone-destroying substance! BLOATWARE!

What genius came up with an idea to put in a SECOND maps application, not one that’s better than Google Maps.. but one with a monthly fee to actually use?

What idiot came up with installing a cache cleaner, or a caller ID service, or for that matter a freaking anti-virus application that we won’t use.

On top of everything else is the actual fact that all of the wonderful people who decided to add this software decided to make sure that you can NOT remove this crap unless you are a genius.

Droid4BloatwareHighlighted

That’s right, unless you are very smart or resourceful enough to find a site like XDA, and remove all the RAM eating, battery sucking applications that you are clearly smart enough to download yourself in the first place, you’re stuck with it. Out of luck. Eventually, you either learn to live with it, or find a way around it.

To the smartphone manufacturer, it’s not too late. We could fall in love again. Smarten up and realize that we, the power users, don’t hate you.

We are very passionate about our devices. We want to have the right to say loud and proud that we use your product, and everyone else’s phone sucks.

We want to be able to continue to use the one or many smartphones that we carry, and not have to bitch and moan whenever we have to wait for the device we have to catch up with the bloatware that you decided to stick us with.

To the wireless networks, and it may be too late for this, but we simply ask you to let our new smartphone come to us as you received it from the manufacturer.

Leave your maps, your slow and crappy caller ID application, and whatever else you want to put on a new smartphone model where it started. The company server.

Let the customer decide what they want. We want to be able to use your service. We want to choose which applications you offer that we want without you shoving it down our throats.

The opinions of this article are my own and do not necessarily reflect that of this website. But, if this does represent your opinion, or not, let us know.

The post The ‘but’ of just about every smartphone appeared first on AndroidGuys.

31
Aug

Algorithm turns any picture into the work of a famous artist


A group of German researchers have created an algorithm that basically amounts to the most amazing Instagram filter ever conceived: a convolutional neural network that can convert any photograph into a work of fine art. The process takes an hour (sorry, it’s not actually coming to a smartphone near you), and the math behind it is horrendously complicated, but the results speak for themselves.

The algorithm leverages how complex neural networks process object recognition to help it rebuild photographs in the style of specific artists. On a very basic level, the network treats the art style of a source image as a “texture,” and filters the target image through several layers of computational units to create a representation of it that agrees with the features of the original art. It’s a pretty neat trick, but not the actual point of the group’s research — the art project is simply an example that shows that convolutional neural networks are now capable of separating the content and style of an image.

That said, researchers admit that content and style have to be careful balanced if the output image is to make any sense — too much focus on style, and the output image won’t look anything like the original photograph. The group plans to publish an additional paper on the algorithm in Nature later this year — but you can read the original report at the source link below.

Filed under:

Comments

Via:
Washington Post

Source:
Corell University

Tags: art, imagerecognition, NeuralNetwork, picasso, vangogh

31
Aug

Check out some gameplay from Destiny’s ‘The Taken King’ expansion


The Taken King is a massive expansion due to hit Destiny on September 15th, bringing new strike missions, three new subclasses (including skill trees), exclusive gear and more goodies. The expansion’s new raid, King’s Fall, will not be available at launch, but director Luke Smith tells IGN that Bungie has “a plan for when it’s going to be available.” Smith promises to give fans a heads up before it goes live.

Alongside the gameplay additions, The Taken King introduces famed game actor Nolan North as the new voice of the Ghost companion character. North will replace Peter Dinklage — best known as Lord Tyrion in Game of Thrones — as the voice of the Ghost in the DLC and Destiny as a whole. Dinklage’s work in the full game spawned jokes and memes mocking its non-committal tone, though plenty of fans have grown to love “Dinklebot” (RIP).

But forget about all of that drama: What really matters is how The Taken King will look, feel and play for Guardians old and new. The launch trailer (yes, about two weeks before actual release) includes a look at gameplay and some story-based goodness.

Filed under:
,

Comments

Source:
Destiny on YouTube

Tags: Activision, Bungie, Destiny, DLC, expansion, hdpostcross, TheTakenKing

31
Aug

University of Oklahoma Becomes First School to Accept Apple Pay Across Campus


applepayoklahomaAs of this week, the University of Oklahoma will begin accepting Apple Pay across its entire campus, becoming the first university to widely embrace Apple Pay. Students attending the University of Oklahoma can use Apple Pay at any of the campus’s 400 point-of-service locations, including bookstores, restaurants, and more.

Starting this week, Sooners are now able to pay for items at any one of OU’s 400 point-of-service locations — everywhere from Couch Restaurants to the One University Store and the OU Bookstore. That’s right: Buying textbooks, technology and food on campus has never been easier — or more techy.

In a quirky post announcing Apple Pay, the university created a list of reasons why “having Apple Pay campus wide is so awesome,” ranging from being able to pay without a wallet to the security of the transactions.

The University of Oklahoma appears to be the first college to begin accepting Apple Pay campus wide, but in the near future, more than 700 universities and colleges will adopt the payments service. Apple CEO Tim Cook made the announcement during the company’s third-quarter earnings call, specifically naming the University of Oklahoma, the University of Kentucky, and Auburn University, Cook’s own alma mater.

Since its October 2014 debut, Apple Pay has steadily grown in popularity. Apple Pay works with hundreds of debit and credit cards in the United States and it is accepted at more than 1 million locations across the country.

(Thanks, Joshua!)


31
Aug

Unreal Engine 4.9 Released With Improved Graphics, Remote Push Notifications and CloudKit Support


Epic Games has released Unreal Engine 4.9 with several new features that developers can implement in iPhone and iPad games on the App Store, including efficient dynamic shadows, movable lights and decals, improved in-app purchase functionality, remote push notifications and CloudKit support.

iPad Unreal Engine 4.9
Unreal Engine 4.9 supports dynamic modulated character shadows from directional lights on iOS and Android, while up to four dynamic point lights are supported on each object being illuminated. Unreal Engine 4.9 also ships with a Flurry mobile analytics plugin for iOS out of the box for advertising.

Unreal Engine 4.9 also includes VR motion controller support and performance improvements, experimental DirectX 12 support for Windows 10, a new plugin wizard, improved HTML5 and other deep graphical improvements. The full changelog details other new features for developers.


31
Aug

Apple TV Gains Updated NFL Channel With Game Pass Integration


The Apple TV’s existing NFL Now channel was today revamped, changing the name to “NFL” and adding support for Game Pass subscriptions. Through the updated channel, NFL fans who have a Game Pass subscription can watch on-demand NFL games and live out-of-market preseason games on the Apple TV for the first time.

In late July, the NFL did away with its existing NFL Game Rewind program, which previously gave customers in the United States access to on-demand NFL games after they aired on broadcast television. Game Rewind was replaced with Game Pass, with access being added to the Apple TV and the NFL Mobile app on the iPhone and the iPad.

nfl_game_pass_main
The prior NFL Now channel that was on the Apple TV was limited to historic videos, breaking news, and game highlights rather than complete games as the NFL’s contracts with television providers have previously prevented it from showing full game content on the television through the Apple TV.

Game Pass includes live access to most out-of-market preseason games, aside from those that are nationally broadcast, plus on-demand regular season, playoff, and Super Bowl games that are available after they air on broadcast television.

Game Pass is available in the United States, Bermuda, Antigua, the Bahamas, any U.S. territories, possessions and commonwealths (including American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands), and Mexico. An NFL Game Pass subscription is priced at $99.99 and access to content will last until July 31, 2016.

nfl_game_pass
NFL fans outside of the United States also have access to an international “Game Pass” service that offers up live games and on-demand content, which confusingly shares the same name as the new service available in the United States.

(Thanks, Dale!)


31
Aug

GT Advanced Laying Off 40% of Workforce Amid Bankruptcy Restructuring


GT Advanced is laying off 40% of its workforce as it negotiates the terms of a $95 million bankruptcy restructuring plan, according to The Wall Street Journal. The cuts will enable the former Apple supplier to save $20 million per year as it looks to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the United States.

gt_advanced_logo
The report claims GT Advanced had about 1,000 employees when it filed for bankruptcy last October after its sapphire crystal deal with Apple fell through. The company already laid off some 700 workers at a Mesa, Arizona manufacturing facility that Apple plans to repurpose as a $2 billion global data center.

GT Advanced is reportedly committed to shifting its focus back to manufacturing industrial and solar equipment.

A group of GT Advanced bondholders put up $95 million to fund the company’s bankruptcy restructuring. The company is using the cash to fund a revised plan that calls for the ex-Apple supplier to return to its roots of making industrial and solar equipment.

While sapphire crystal rumors were widespread last year, Apple ultimately used ion-strengthened glass on the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.


31
Aug

Will uniqueness, nostalgia, and pricing drive the industry going forward?


Galaxy-S6-Edge+-vs-Galaxy-S6-Edge-AA-(11-of-12)

In the early days of Android, six months of tech progress would yield a massive jump in technical prowess that would make consumers instantly covet the next big thing merely for its spec juice. Over the last couple years however, these jumps have turned into smaller leaps, and eventually into what seems more like short, calculated steps.

Case and point, in earlier 2015 we were given the LG G Flex 2, a Snapdragon 810 powered device with a 1080p display. In late-2015, we are still seeing Snapdragon 810 phones and the recently unveiled OnePlus 2 happens to be 1080p, even though most flagships have admittedly moved over to the QHD game. Heck, even Samsung’s first half and second half 2015 flagships are largely the same devices as far as specs are concerned, with extras like a bigger screen and S-Pen support being the only things that really differentiate the Note 5 from the Galaxy S6 family.

What’s holding back these leaps and bounds? Simply put, tech just isn’t moving at the speed it once was.

We’ve reached the point where display innovation is becoming somewhat irrelevant, as a 4K display arguably would add very little when compared to QHD, and many feel that 1080p is still more than good enough, especially for screens at or below 5.5-inches. Battery life continues to stay about the same, with OEMs simply making charging easier with faster methods for both wired and wireless charging. Speed boosts continue to be made by optimizing software and hardware, but the gains are rather modest and arguably the Snapdragon 801s and 805s of yesteryear aren’t that different than what we’re seeing this year, and in some ways are more reliable (see: overheating drama).

Until a big tech breakthrough happens, I don’t see any of this changing too much.

Where to go from here?

Moto X Style Hands On-122

So where are OEMS left to go from here? Last year, there were two sure-fire ways to lead the pack: pricing or premium. The OnePlus One was a leader in the pricing category, with products like the M8 and Z series still at the forefront of the premium game, though Samsung began to expand into this arena with the Galaxy Alpha and the Galaxy Note 4.

In 2015, “Premium” is no longer enough I’d argue. The HTC One M9 and Xperia Z3+ are both premium phones, but that doesn’t stop them from being utterly boring. Even the Galaxy S6 with its premium design and major overhaul in aesthetics has, to some degree, been overshadowed by the Edge. The devices that are really getting attention this year? Products that stand out by invoking uniqueness, nostalgia, or both.

Uniqueness

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+-18

While Samsung’s fortunes might still be shrinking, there is no denying that the Galaxy S6 Edge has received a ton of attention from the media and the general public. The reason, of course, is that it isn’t the same old form factor. The edges of the Galaxy S6 don’t do anything all that special, other than a few minor extra functions. What they really do is lend to grip and help the phone look “pretty”.

As it turns out, pretty was not only enough to warrant a sizable premium over the functionally-identical Galaxy S6, the Edge actually ended up selling better. Samsung continues to milk the edge concept with the recent introduction of the Galaxy S6 Edge+, though it remains to see if curved edges will be enough to lure people to the Edge+ over its more functional brother, the Note 5.

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Of course Samsung isn’t the only company that is looking to leverage uniqueness. Yes, we’re talking about the Blackberry Venice.

Uniqueness, meet nostalgia

BlackBerry Venice Leak G

Okay, it’s important to get this out of the way: The Android-powered Blackberry Venice is technically only a rumored device. That said, it has been leaked so many times, including new in-the-wild images, that it is hard to ignore.

While we can’t say how well the Blackberry Venice will do when it comes to sales, I have plenty of friends in and out of this industry that have expressed to me a great amount of interest in the Venice. The amount of traffic that I’ve seen from Venice-related articles is further testament to the fact that people are at least intrigued by the concept of a Blackberry Android. Furthermore, the number of positive comments on our site indicates at least a number of these folks aren’t just intrigued, they are actively excited and interested in potentially buying.


BlackBerry Venice AASee also: What is the BlackBerry Venice all about? Should anyone care?7624592

What makes the Blackberry special, though? With a Snapdragon 808 processor and other typical specs rumored, it’s certainly not what’s under the hood. Instead, it is the uniqueness factors at play: a dual edge design and a slide-out keyboard. The latter of these features also happens to invoke nostalgia.

Our very own Josh Vergara has expressed many times that he misses the days of physical keyboards, even if there really aren’t many advantages as touchscreen tech has advanced. Further working towards the nostalgia angle is the fact that Blackberry was the original king of the smartphone game and there are a number of Android users that came from Blackberry.

People naturally seem to crave the past, and the Blackberry appears to offer the perfect blend of past and present. If they can play their cards right, the Venice could end up being at least a modest hit for the company. Will it find the same level of success as the Edge? Probably not, considering Samsung’s current brand power probably means more to consumers than Blackberry’s past cred, but you don’t need to be massive hit to help drive the industry towards new directions.

What consumers want, and what they don’t

samsung galaxy note 5 vs lg g4 quick look aa (8 of 10)

One area that really isn’t gaining any steam these days is the “Everything in one package” approach. While Samsung championed this philosophy to great success for a number of years, it seems only the power users of today really care about microSD, removable batteries, and other function-forward decisions. Instead, average consumers want a blend of high-end specs with beautiful aesthetics, while still keeping the user-experience as simplified and clutter free as possible.

The one OEM that has kept the “everything in one package” approach for 2015 is LG, and the LG G4 has seen rather limited success. Sure it has its fans but it certainly hasn’t been a runaway success for the company either. While the LG G4 also has a few uniqueness points going for it, like its leather back and LG’s signature buttons, it doesn’t quite stand out like the Edge or Venice.

Of course, Samsung isn’t the only OEM making a splash in 2015. OnePlus has received a fair amount of attention with the OnePlus 2, which melds great specs with excellent pricing. Motorola also looks to have found the right formula for 2015 as the Moto X Style (aka Pure Edition) has received a lot of positive attention for bringing great specs, unique customization aspects, and a killer price tag that starts at just $400.

Bottom-line, most mainstream users want one of two things: an affordable but capable product, or something that stands out from the crowd. Combine this with the fact that there just aren’t many tech leaps to be had and it becomes clear that form and pricing will continue to be what really drives forward the industry. It will be interesting to see how players like HTC, Sony, and LG react to these changing demands. Will they incorporate more eye-catching, head turning designs? Or will they follow Motorola’s example and drive flagship pricing further downward? I obviously don’t know the answer, but I’m certainly excited to see it all unfold.

Where do you think that the smartphone industry is heading? Enjoying the ride or do you wish for an age where specs and features drive change more than looks and pricing?

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