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21
Oct

[App Review] ‘Star Wars: Uprising’


Star-Wars-Uprising-hero

There’s a lot of excitement surrounding Star Wars with the latest The Force Awakens installment hitting theaters in just a couple of months. Disney has been rightfully building on that excitement, but it’s latest effort comes as a partnership with mobile developer Kabam.

The two companies have worked together to bring Android and iOS users an online role-playing games called Star Wars: Uprising. There were high expectations for this title, but unfortunately the game doesn’t even come close to being a great online role-playing game for mobile devices. It’s exactly the opposite.

Gameplay

Star-Wars-uprising-character-model

One of the first things you’re tasked to do is creating a character from a total of four different species.

There are a few customization options during the character creation process, but nothing that really matters as you won’t be seeing the details of your character much. The gameplay is at a top-down camera angle, so unless you zoom in, the customization of your character doesn’t seem to matter much.

Click here to view the embedded video.

Kabam’s choice to take on this top-down style was interesting as gameplay is similar to Blizzard Entertainment’s hit video game series, Diablo. The way Kabam has designed Star Wars: Uprising is actually really pleasing. You tap all over the screen to move your character, similar to the clicking all over the screen to move your character in Diablo. I found this method of controlling your character to actually be much more seamless and smooth as opposed to controlling your character via the traditional method that is an on-screen controller.

All of your character’s abilities are, as you might expect, controlled from tapping, too. You can tap your character twice to launch one ability, tap and drag for another, and so on. It’s very fluid, though it took me some getting used too.

Star-Wars-uprising-battle-2

Combat was also a fluid and involved experience. You can tap enemies to begin firing at them, you can, of course, use your abilities as well, but you may also double tap on areas of the screen to dodge enemy fire, which becomes a pivotal element at later spots in the game. In these later areas you can no longer just stand and fire at the enemy and win, you have to learn to maneuver your character in a way that keeps him or her alive during engagements and especially boss battles.

Star-Wars-uprising-battle

While there are some very involving aspects of the game, Star Wars: Uprising wasn’t meant to be played for hours at a time, as the lack of variety gets boring quickly. For the most part, mission maps are all laid out the same, and your enemies are all the same, just graphically designed in different ways. In fact, some of the maps are designed the same way with new monsters in place. That said, there isn’t much variety or ability to explore areas going on.

Anywhere you go in the game, exploration is limited to what the developer gives you. You’ll see different scenery as you jump from planet to planet, but most everything is go from point A to point B, and there’s nothing outside of those two points. Even with those rather large pitfalls, the game is still beautiful, though.

Graphics

Disney and Kabam has put a lot of effort into designing the graphics for Star Wars: Uprising. Everything in this game is extremely detailed, at least as far as mobile games go. There isn’t a stone or path that doesn’t have some sort of careful and purposeful detail to it.

For mobile, character models look great, but I did notice that some models felt blurry on older smartphones. That seems to be entirely dependent on what type of display you have, though.

Beyond that, no complaints here. I didn’t notice any clipping or graphical errors; it’s all very polished.

Story

Star-Wars-uprising-star-system

The story is no doubt the most important aspect of Star Wars: Uprising, as it picks up at the end of the Return of the Jedi. In a nutshell, the Imperial’s block the star system you reside in, preventing news of the Rebel’s victory from reaching other planets. You play as the low-man on the totem pole to put a stop to this blockade by working your way through the aforementioned frustrating and repetitious missions. And unfortunately, it’s all very bland and the dialogue you isn’t even that great.

It would’ve been nice if Star Wars: Uprising left off at a great lead into The Force Awakens when it hits theaters this December, but alas, that’s not what this is. Despite having fun with it for the first hour or two, you quickly realize that Star Wars: Uprising is a half-baked title taking advantage of all the hype and marketing around The Force Awakens. It’s a money grab full of in-app purchases.

Star-Wars-uprising-stormtrooper-set

Again, it’s entertaining for a little while as you figure out what’s going on, but there’s nothing that will grab your attention for the long run. The most excitement you’ll find yourself getting out of this game is collecting all of the armour sets available in the star system, which frankly, quickly becomes a frustrating endeavor, but probably the most interesting part of the game.

Closing

Star Wars: Uprising is a huge disappointment in my book, and it’s certainly not going to hold you over until The Force Awakens hits theatres. Disney had a chance to do something great with this game, but in reality, it’s just another disappointing marketing ploy.

It’s almost a 1GB download, and you can try it for free, but I guarantee you’ll be in the same boat I was: losing interest after just an hour or two.

Come comment on this article: [App Review] ‘Star Wars: Uprising’

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21
Oct

Apple’s iCloud Website Gains New Find My Friends App


Apple today added a web-based Find My Friends app to its iCloud.com site (via 9to5Mac), allowing users to locate their friends on a Mac or PC through the web. Find My Friends has long been available on iPhones and iPads through an iOS app, but this is the first time the feature has been made available on all platforms through a universal web app.

findmyfriendsicloud
Find My Friends will display the location of each friend on a map, and it will also let users know which friends are located nearby. Today’s addition of Find My Friends to iCloud.com comes following its promotion to a default app within iOS 9, which means it comes pre-installed on all iOS devices and cannot be deleted.

Find My Friends joins Find My iPhone and several other iCloud apps, including Mail, Calendar, Photos, Contacts, Notes, Reminders, iCloud Drive, and the iWork suite of apps,


21
Oct

The first-generation Chromecast now works with Spotify


Chromecast

Google announced a few weeks ago that Spotify support would soon be coming to the first and second-generation Chromecast media streamers. Spotify was updated about a week ago with support for casting to Google’s new Chromecast and Chromecast Audio devices, while the first-gen device needed a firmware update to be compatible with the music service.

If you’re an owner of the 2013 Chromecast and would like to stream your music from Spotify, you now can. The new firmware update should have already rolled out to your Chromecast. If it hasn’t, a simple reboot will do the trick.

Now that Spotify works with Chromecast, the app will automatically be able to detect what other devices are currently playing on your Chromecast network, and synchronize at the same spot in the playlist. So if your friend’s device is connected to your Chromecast and you’d like to start controlling their playlist from your phone, you can. All you need to do is open the Spotify app, select your home network, and your device will be able to instantly control the playlist that’s currently playing.

Download Spotify from Google Play

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21
Oct

YouTube Music app launching alongside YouTube Red


 

YouTube Red 1

Earlier today Google unveiled YouTube Red, an ad-free video subscription service with a bunch of extra perks thrown into the mix. That’s not the only new addition to the YouTube family howeve, as Google is also getting ready to launch YouTube Music on October 28th, alongside Red.

YouTube music is a specialized experience for YouTube fans that are specifically looking for music-related content, similar to what we’ve seen with some of the other recent additions to the YouTube family, such as YouTube Kids and YouTube Gaming. These apps help bring content to the forefront that matters to their respective target audiences, while blocking out content that isn’t relevant.

YouTube Music is designed to make discovering, watching and listening to music easier than ever. Any song or artist you choose on YouTube Music will start you on a personal journey through one of the richest music catalogs; just sign in, tap a track you love, and see where your music takes you. And as a special bonus – YouTube Red works with Google Play Music, so subscribe to one and automatically get access to the other.

The YouTube Music app will be totally free to use, though it will have certain special features that can be unlocked with a paid subscription to YouTube Red such as ad-free listening/viewing, background play, offline access, and more.

As an extra incentive to give YouTube Music a try, anyone who downloads the app will get a free 14-day trial to YouTube Red, no credit card information needed. At launch, the app will only be for US users, though more countries will gain capability starting next year.

21
Oct

Best Nexus 5X cases


The original Nexus 5 is still looked upon by many as the best Nexus phone of all time, balancing specs with price to provide a memorable experience. This time around, Google has given the world two Nexus devices, the Huawei-made Nexus 6p and the LG-made Nexus 5x. It remains unseen whether or not the Nexus 5’s long-overdo successor will end up having the same long-term impact as the original, but there’s a lot to love about the Nexus 5x.

For those looking to keep their new purchase protected from scratches, dings, and other potential hazards, it is highly recommend you pick up a case. Of course, there’s a ton of cases out there, and so we’ve done our best to help highlight some of the best cases out there.

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Adopted Protective case

adopted-nexus-5x

If you’re looking for a basic, no frills case than Adopted’s protected case could certainly fit the bill. This case is available in three colors: carbon, clear frost, or blue. There may not be any fancy features here, but you do get a solid case that helps protect your Nexus 5x from drops, scrapes, and scratches. Pricing isn’t on the lowest spectrum, but $20 isn’t a bad asking price by any means.

Get it at Google Store


Speck CandyShell Grip case

speck-nexus-5x

Speck’s Candyshell grip case is a well-known case option that provides excellent grip, meets military drop test standards for shock absorption, and has a raised bezel around the front that helps protect the screen. All buttons and cut-outs are precise to the fit of the Nexus 5x, making this not only a great protective case but an attractive one as well. The Speck Candyshell is available in either black/Slate or White/Black and while $35 isn’t cheap per say, this is still a fairly affordable case.

Get it at Google Store


Adopted Folio case

folio-nexus-5x

The Nexus 5X Folio case by Adopted is designed to protect both the front and back of your phone, with a front flap that covers your screen when it’s not in use but easily fold behind when you need access. The case has woven fabric material on top of its plastic coating and comes in either light or dark gray. At around $40, this is one of the more expensive options on this list, but also arguably one of the most attractive choices as well.

Get it at Google Store


i-Blason Dual Layer

iblason-n5x
The i-Blason dual layer case for the Nexus 5x might be a bit bulkier than some of the others on this list, but that’s because it double-enforced to protect against shock, impacts, scratches, dents, and more. On the outside you’ll find a polycarbonate shell, with a secondary silicone sleeve on the inside. This case also has the added benefit of a kickstand, and is actually one of the most affordable options available at $13.

Buy on Amazon


Spigen Thin Fit

spigen-n5x

The Spigen Thin Fit is a pretty simple looking case, though it is still a reasonably attractive one at that. Spigen is one of the best known case brands out there, and the Thin Fit upholds this well-earned rep by providing excellent protection against scratches, dents, and minor drops. This case is really light and doesn’t add much bulk. You can get the Thin Fit in your choice of black, white, or mint at a price of around $12.

Buy on Amazon


Ringke Fusion

ringke-n5x

While many of the cases on this list hide the Nexus 5x’s aesthetics, or even enhances them by offering arguably better looks, the Fusion is for those who want to show off the 5x’s rear with a high-quality clear case. The transparent case adds very little weight and bulk, and for those who want a little bit of flash, there’s a smoke black version that adds a bit of tint to the sides – or there’s a model that’s completely clear. The Fusion is priced affordably at $12.

Buy on Amazon


Spigen Ultra Hybrid Air Cushion

n5x-case

Honestly, the Spigen Air Cushion is a lot like the Fusion, and so it largely comes down to which brand you prefer. Just like the fusion, this clear design is for those who want to show off the natural looks of the 5x, while providing extra protection from scratches, scuffs, and drops. Spigen’s clear case is slightly more expensive at $15.

Buy on Amazon


Verus High Pro Shield

verus-n5x

While the primary function of a case is to protect your phone from drops, dings, and scratches, many of us care just as much about style. The Verus High Pro is the perfect fit for these types of Nexus 5x owners, offering an attractive design that is comprised of a TPU layer and reinforced by a polycarbonate frame, all with a look that has a metal sheen to it. The High Pro comes in your choice of crimson red, electric blue, satin silver, shine gold, steel silver and at a reasonable price of around $17.

Buy on Amazon


Ringke Slim

ringke-n5x-2

The Ringke slim is a fairly basic looking case that comes in your choice of black, crystal (clear), mint, royal gold. The design here might be basic, but it’s still fairly attractive and of course the main draw is the slim frame that adds almost no noticeable weight and bulk. The case is designed to protect all four corners and the side edges of the Nexus 5x. The Ringke Slim is priced at just $11 and has the added bonus of a free screen protector.

Buy on Amazon


Cimo Premium Slim Fit TPU cover

nexus-5x-case-2
For those that want to spend as little as possible, the Cimo case is easily the cheapest here starting at around $7 and going up to $10 depending on if you get the case in matte black, matte blue, matte purple, matte smoke, wave black, wave clear, wave purple, x black, and x clear. Made of shock absorbing TPU, the case offers excellent protect from drops, dings, and bruises. The Cimo case also offers anti-slip technology to help provide a solid grip.

Buy on Amazon


What do you think of this best cases list? Any other great Nexus 5x cases you’d personally recommend? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

21
Oct

Xcerpt for Twitter lets you share beautiful article snippets with ease


Xcerpt for Twitter 11

If you’re a frequent Twitter user on Android and would like to make the articles you share a little bit more eye-catching, you should download Xcerpt for Twitter. Similar to the iOS-exclusive app OneShot, Xcerpt for Twitter lets you easily share an image of a web page to attach to your tweets, making it much easier to include more content in the 140-character limit.

Here’s how it works: if you see an excerpt of a webpage you’d like to share on Twitter, either take a screenshot or highlight the text and copy it to your clipboard. Head over to Xcerpt, and you can choose to either paste the text or select a screenshot. From there, you can change from a number of different background colors and even highlight the most important part of the passage, which can be quite handy in some situations.

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/* see gallery_shortcode() in wp-includes/media.php */

One of the coolest parts of the app is that it will automatically detect the source from which you took the excerpt and add it in automatically. Once you’re done customizing your excerpt, you can add a comment and share it right to Twitter. Oftentimes it can be difficult to share your true thoughts on Twitter when article headlines take up some of your characters, which is where Xcerpt for Twitter comes in. It’s a simple application that works extremely well, and will absolutely make sharing articles to Twitter much more effective.

Xcerpt for Twitter doesn’t feature any advertisements. You can download it now from the Play Store for free.

Download Xcerpt for Twitter from Google Play

21
Oct

Celebrate ‘Back to the Future’ Day with the CAPACITOR Watch face for Android Wear



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I have always wondered if Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd ever imagined that Back to the Future would become what it has become. Regardless their thoughts while making the movies, the fact is they will always be the best time traveling movies in history. We would all love to have a Delorean that takes us through time at 88MPH, while it might be only science fiction, that doesn’t mean we all can’t have a Flux Capacitor at our disposal. Don’t worry, this sucker isn’t nuclear. The icon master, The Phlash, has a number of watch faces for your Android Wear watch in the Play Store. They are above and beyond your traditional watch faces and bring some pretty cool looks to your wrist. He released another one the other day in preparation for his time travel to 2012 with CAPACITOR.

CAPACITOR Android Wear Watch Face

You know it is sick. You have control over what color your Flux is from the settings of the face on the watch and from Android Wear. Now, if I can get my hands on those Nike’s and a hover board, my life will be nearly complete.


Back to the Future

Gear yourself up for some time travel today and pick up CAPACITOR from the Play Store below.

http://playboard.me/widgets/pb-app-box/1/pb_load_app_box.js

The post Celebrate ‘Back to the Future’ Day with the CAPACITOR Watch face for Android Wear appeared first on AndroidSPIN.

21
Oct

‘Mythbusters’ plans to ‘go out with a bang’ in 2016


Mythbusters will go off the air at the end of its 14th season in 2016, Entertainment Weekly reports. Mythbusters is Discovery’s quirky, science-centric show starring special-effects and physics superstars Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman. Each episode tackles a few weird science myths and laws, such as curving a bullet, whether a bullet dropped hits the ground at the same time as a bullet fired, the phrase “you can’t polish a turd,” if a stick of dynamite can clean the inside of a cement truck, and all manner of other (usually explosive) legends. They even filmed a few episodes in 360-degree VR. Hyneman and Savage were able to plan a special goodbye episode, which Savage describes as follows: “Our finale will go out with a bang, as everyone would expect.”

[Image credit: DCL]

Source: Entertainment Weekly

21
Oct

Scientists stretch metal to make it stronger


Workers carrying steel beam in manufacturing plant

You’d think that stretching metal would make it weaker, but just the opposite is true… on a very small scale. Researchers have developed a technique that pulls nanoscopic metal crystals to eliminate defects. By gently and repeatedly stretching the crystal, scientists move “dislocations” (rows of atom-level defects) to free surfaces, where they’re ultimately forced out. The result is a metal that is considerably less likely to crack or otherwise fail over time.

You may not see this technique used to improve larger (that is, visible) metal, like what you see in buildings or vehicles. The same trick that improves nanoscale metal tends to make things worse at the macro level. However, it could be very helpful for processors and any other device where even the tiniest breaks could cause big problems. Don’t be surprised if you’re one day using electronics that last for years longer than you’re used to.

Source: Carnegie Mellon University, PNAS

21
Oct

Domino’s built a pizza delivery car with its own oven


The Domino's Pizza DXP delivery car

You have to sympathize with pizza delivery drivers. They’re rarely driving more than an everyday car (often their own), which won’t do much to help them get a pizza to your door on time. Clearly, Domino’s Pizza feels their pain. The food giant has unveiled the DXP (Delivery ExPert), a heavily modified Chevy Spark that’s focused on pie transport. The star attraction is an outward-facing oven in the back — drivers can grab your piping-hot pizza without skipping a beat. There’s also storage space for a whopping 80 pizzas (office party, anyone?), an out-for-delivery light and a puddle light to prevent any rude surprises when stepping outside.

This sounds like a one-off concept car, but it’s very much intended for the real world. Roush is helping Domino’s build 100 DXPs that will reach 25 US cities within the next 90 days, including Boston, Dallas, New Orleans, San Diego and Seattle. And it may well make financial sense for Domino’s, even if it seems expensive at first glance. The oven and storage should help drivers deliver more pizzas per trip, and make sure that you’re happy when your food arrives. It’s advertising on wheels, too. While you probably won’t ever see the local pizza joint operating cars like this, it won’t be surprising if the big chains leap on this idea in hopes of getting a competitive edge.

Via: Autoblog, Bloomberg

Source: Domino’s DXP

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