From October 28 to November 8, Samsung is running a promotion to boost the membership of their Samsung Pay service. Owners of the aforementioned devices who sign up for Samsung Pay during this brief window will get a wireless charger mailed to them, no strings attached. You should note that the deal may run out sooner than November 8, as Samsung is limiting the offer to only the first 200,000 participants.
Samsung Pay is the company’s digital payment medium that is accepted practically anywhere you would use a credit card. The service is easy to use, and Samsung boasts that Pay uses several layers of security to keep your information private. They also claim not to store or share payment data.
This isn’t the first time Samsung has offered free stuff for signing up with Pay. The service only came out in September, and already we’re on Round Two of the promotional giveaways. Samsung must want new users on Samsung Pay pretty badly.
There are a handful of usual caveats to the deal. You have to be eighteen or older and live in the US (territories don’t count). You also can’t double-up on hardware if you already got a charger from Samsung during their last promotional deal.
If this sounds like something you want to jump on, head over to the promotional page and enter your email address to register. The site warns that your charger may take eight to ten weeks to arrive. Are you going to spring for this deal? Why or why not? What are your thoughts on Samsung Pay? Let us know in the comments.
Immigration is a hot topic across the globe, but it’s especially important for many of us in the USA. Living in San Diego, CA, I find myself in close contact to the Tijuana, BC border (often literally). Over here, immigration is not only your daily cup of tea, but you can literally see it, feel it and sometimes even taste it.
When I first heard of Cloud Chasers: Journey of Hope and what it was all about, I simply knew I had to try it out and take care of this review. And so I paid my $4 and started traveling to through the desert. I have been playing it for a while and am ready to give you my thoughts on the game, but I will give you one spoiler before we begin – I was never actually able to beat the game. As I said in the title: immigration is not simple, and neither is this game.
The story is quite simple, but oh so complicated at the same time. Amelia and Francisco take on a quest for a better life after Gertrude (mother and wife) dies. Their mission is to find those cities above the clouds, where the privileged reside. You will find yourself incessantly walking through the dessert with limited supplies and death watching your every step.
So that’s the simple side of the story; now we have to focus on the more complicated part. Well, at least it’s hard to narrate, because the story will change and develop itself in different ways to all of us. As you progress through the game, you will find items and meet people that reveal personal details about your own trek. You may run into some special circumstances, be attacked, get sick or even find friends (or enemies) along the way.
It all depends on your decisions. And sadly, I am afraid I can’t really tell you how the story ends. As I have already mentioned, the game is so hard that I was never actually able to finish it. This was a bit frustrating at times, but I think it represents the struggles that many migrants have to go through. It also makes the game that much more challenging. Who likes an easy game, after all?
I know what you are thinking: “wait, how could you not have finished the game?”. You know how life doesn’t give you second chances? Neither does Cloud Chasers. Once you die, you have to start from the beginning. There’s no saving here, which makes the game much more interesting (and very unforgiving).
The concept is rather simple. You are going through a desert and must survive at all costs. There’s a plethora of factors to consider during your quest, but generally you have to worry more about two things: your health and water levels. As long as you keep those two in check you should be fine. That is exactly the problem, though. There’s no stores or water fountains in the desert, which make water and food very hard to come by.
The key element is water, which you run out of if you walk, or if you just stand there. How do you get it? Well, You may have noticed Francisco is always dragging around a Steampunk-styled contraption. That is actually a glider, which has a bag of sorts that will allow Amelia to collect water from clouds while soaring through the skies.
The addition of the glider arcade mini-game is very odd when compared to the rest of the game, but I do feel it balances the mood pretty well. Riding around in a glider keeps things light and fun, while the more grim mood the rest of the game provides makes the experience a bit more serious.
By the way, this is what you will be doing most of the time. Water runs out quickly, so you better get to those clouds and collect water every single chance you get. Literally, every single one. You will regret it if you just let a cloud go by thinking you have enough water.
There’s other challenges in the way. You will be able to examine locations, which will appear in different shapes throughout the map. Some are caves, some are vehicles, others are small houses and some can be camp sites. Each of these will have its own story and outcome. You could run into some friendly people who will offer you water. It’s also possible to find goods you will need to improve your health or fix the glider. Or maybe you are not as lucky and a group of people attack you to take your things. And pray you won’t get injured or sick.
There are other things trying to stop you. Some towers will shoot you while you are trying to get water. And then there are water collecting machines, both large and small. You are pretty much competing against these for the precious elixir of life. Watch out for these, as they can sometimes harm you if you get to close and/or crash into them.
You’ll reach cities in between levels, where players will get the chance to heal up, trade goods and more. Take advantage of them, but remember your resources are limited. Don’t get too happy buying things and making all kinds of upgrades. One time I spent all my water trying to heal up and then died a few steps into the next level. Not good at all.
Graphics and effects
Graphics are much like the game itself – simple, yet very deep. The application has a huge focus on design and aesthetics. It is simply beautiful. Its pastel colors and vibrant hues will engulf your thoughts right into the story. And since the game is relatively slow-paced, you get a lot of time to enjoy the scenery.
Surely, the game is nowhere close to looking realistic or high tech, but it does a great job at creating a captivating image to enjoy and sometimes appreciate with a bit of sadness. But it’s not a cartoon style that is bright and dandy, the colors and effects have a dirty effect that really mirrors the game’s aura. It is entertaining and challenging, yet it has a dark side that you don’t see in many other titles.
In terms of app performance, I never noticed a single hiccup or bug. And in terms of app design, you really can’t do much better. This application is beautiful, even if all the commands can be a bit confusing at times, as some of the buttons seem like ancient hieroglyphs.
Would I recommend Cloud Chasers? It’s $4, so I know it’s not an easy decision, and the answer depends on your preferences. Those looking for an action-packed, fast-paced game will probably not be too fond of it. I grew up playing RPG titles, back in the days when we video games had no voice; we had to read all the script!
If you are like me, you will enjoy the deep story, full of emotion and a personal touch that will really get you to meet these characters in a more personal level. Failing will sadden you just a bit, especially after going through so much with Francisco and Amelia. And if you ever make it to the promised land of opportunity, your accomplishment will be that much more heart-felt.
Cloud Chasers is an immersive experience in which every single one of your decisions makes a difference. This is no linear game that anyone can be successful at. It’s raw, it’s hard, and it will have you playing for hours on end.
To summarize: I would recommend the hell out of it. But only if emotional, difficult, psychological content is your thing. If you are the type who really wants to just lighten up and play some casual games, you are probably best away from the dangerous desert.
Ben works on Halloween inspired projects on this week’s episode of The Ben Heck Show while Felix fights off the Ghost of Unfinished Projects Past. First, Ben tells the story of Mothman while he builds spooky blinking eyes using edge lit acrylic, mechanical shutters and a motor. Next, Ben builds a haunted light switch prop for a scary movie set. Watch the episode to see Ben use his new builds to defeat the ghosts and then visit the element14 community to view all episodes of The Ben Heck Show and interact with fellow viewers and engineers!
If you’re the sort of person who really likes getting $50 of seafood for $25, your day just got a little more depressing. Amazon just announced that it would stop selling those sorts of daily deals from both its AmazonLocal site and its corresponding app on December 18th. Don’t worry if you’ve loaded already up your calendar with days-long real estate courses and cheap car washes — any vouchers you already have, or buy before the deadline, will remain valid.
Apple has started a new limited time in-store promotion that offers customers $50 off an Apple Watch Sport or Apple Watch with the purchase of any new iPhone, including the latest iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, the company confirmed to MacRumors. Apple Watch Edition and Apple Watch Hermès models are ineligible for the discount.
The promotion is available at participating Apple Store locations in California and Massachusetts, including Burlingame, Chestnut Street, Corte Madera, Hillsdale, San Francisco and Stonestown in the Bay Area, and Boylston Street, Burlington, CambridgeSide and Chestnut Hill in the Boston metro area.
Apple confirmed that the promotion runs from October 30 through November 15, 2015, and is not available online. The deal does not require purchasing AppleCare+ or other accessories and add-ons. The offer is only valid when the qualifying iPhone and Apple Watch are purchased together on one transaction.
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It’s 2015 and I’m still waiting for Rosie the Robot, or some sort of equivalent home bot, to clean my home. We’re probably years away from a Jetsons-like future, but it’s easy to forget that iRobot’s Roomba has already been around for over 13 years now, steadily getting better at doing your dirty work. Now with the new Roomba 980, iRobot is making its vacuum-cleaning bot smarter than ever before — so much so that it’s calling the 980 the most important Roomba since it first debuted in 2002. It has a camera and advanced localization technology that allows it to see obstacles and map your floors, and for the first time, it’s also wirelessly connected and works together with a mobile app. Most importantly, it finally rid my carpets of cat hair. The 980 is the best Roomba yet, plain and simple. Unfortunately, its high cost of $900 puts it out of reach for most people. Slideshow-336892
Beaver Electronics Co. has debuted a unique fast-charging external battery for the iPhone, which it’s dubbed “Quarter,” because it takes less than a quarter of the time to charge compared to a normal external battery. The secret lies in the charging method — Quarter has a built-in MagSafe port that allows it to be connected to MacBook’s MagSafe Power Adapter.
Apple does not allow third-party companies to use its MagSafe technology, so Quarter has been created without Apple’s permission and with components Apple likely would not approve of, but its super fast charging capabilities are undeniably enticing.
Design wise, Quarter is similar in size to an iPhone 6 Plus. It’s just as wide and a bit shorter, but quite thick and heavy. It’s 12.5mm thick and it weighs 180 grams. It’s made from aluminum and has an an extra lip at the top with a hole that could be attached to a bag or backpack, but given its size, I’m not sure anyone would want to use it that way so that extra bit of material is extraneous and an unusual design choice.
There are four indicator lights on the Quarter that are lit by a built-in LED. These lights let you know how much power is left, activated by shaking or tapping the Quarter. A shake or a tap is also how the Quarter is turned on to begin charging a device it’s plugged in to.
Amazon’s making it even easier for you to spend your money outside of its own site. Re/code reports that the online retailer is expanding Pay with Amazon, which lets customers use their saved payment info for third-party purchases, to mobile applications. Essentially, this means developers can start taking advantage of the feature on any app they make, giving people a familiar option to use during checkout time. Amazon has been offering the service for a couple of years now, though it was limited to desktop sites, rather than including smartphone or tablet apps. It’s too early to tell how many devs will start adopting the buttons, but Pay with Amazon does offer a quick, secure and, most importantly, familiar way for users to shell out more cash — and that may be hard to pass on.
Non-Nexus Android devices come with a default photo gallery application, but sometimes they aren’t all we want it to be. Many basic photo gallery apps are missing extra features or just look downright terrible. Android is a popular platform and, as a result, there’s a variety of different photo gallery apps available for all.
Some developers have even gone as far as recreating Apple’s iOS photo gallery app under a different name. Whether you want a professional photo gallery app straight from Google or a small-scale photo gallery from an independent developer, Google Play has something for you.
Google Photos has quickly risen to the top as far as photo galleries go. Not only is it a visually pleasing app to view photos in, but it’s also smart in that you can view them by year, the location a photo was taken at, and so on. There’s also the nice added benefit of free cloud storage for all of your photos. Granted, they’re compressed in a smaller, low quality format, but who wouldn’t want all of their photos backed up into the cloud for viewing on any device?
Piktures Gallery claims to be the first gesture-based photo gallery for managing all of your photos and videos. This does everything a photo gallery app would do (it even has a GIF player) and takes quality up a notch. It has a fast and beautiful interface, lets you resize photos before sharing, and everything is very intuitive. It truly is gesture-based, as almost everything can be accessed through swiping and sliding. The user has little interaction with menus, except when selecting different views, categories, and so on.
MyRoll is a well designed replacement for your Android device’s stock photo gallery. Not only that, but it claims to be the first gallery to be Android Wear-compatible. It’s similar to Google Photos in that it’s an intelligent gallery, allowing you to organize all of your photos in a collage view based around events, data, and even location. There’s also a “Smart Mode,” which lets you highlight the best photos from your gallery and put them at the forefront. Similar to Google Photos, MyRoll will also notify of you of moments from the past, so you can look back and reflect on that trip to Paris or your child’s first birthday party.
Flickr from Yahoo is another fun photo gallery app, as it just this year got a big overhaul. Not only can you upload and view all of your photos in the Flickr app, but you can also edit them with Flickr’s online photo editing features. There’s no need to worry about a lack of storage space, as Flickr gives you up to 1000GB of cloud storage for all of your photos and videos. And don’t worry about the interface, that’s one of the many things that was changed in the overhaul, and frankly, it’s very intuitive and user friendly now!
QuickPic is another gallery used by millions of Android users. It features a colorful theme and modern design (not Material Design, unfortunately) to help you easily find and access photos. Unique to QuickPic is its slideshow feature, which lets you view all of your high quality photos in a slideshow format. You can even exclude certain albums from the slideshow if you want to only go through a few moments with friends or family. It also has a neat file transfer feature, which allows you to share photos with other devices over the Wi-Fi.
The A+ Gallery takes the iPhone-style photo gallery and brings it to Android with a Material Design style. There isn’t anything particularly special or unique about this gallery, just that it takes the iPhone-style design and incorporates it to Android with a twist. You can view your moments based on year, collections, and moments. All of your photos can be synced or backed up to other cloud storage services like Dropbox and Google Drive as well as the ability to transfer them over to Facebook.
Last up is a unique gallery called FOTO, which allows you to organize thousands of photos in under a minute. With the simple tap of a button, FOTO can organize all of your photos in varying folders. For example, selfies will go in a selfie folder, and family will go in a “family” folder. The organization isn’t perfect, so some photos might not end up where they belong, but it works for the most part.
FOTO Gallery also has all the basic search and view functions, but in addition to that, it also has Chromecast integration. If you’re not familiar with that, it will essentially let you cast your photos and videos to a TV with a Chromecast device in it. It’s very handy for getting a big-picture view of all of your moments!
There’s an insurmountable amount of photo gallery apps in the Play Store. That said, there’s way too many for us to include on this list, and we’ve no doubt missed some gems out there.
That said, we’re opening up the comments box to you, the reader! We’d love to hear what your favorite photo gallery/photo editing tools are. Be sure to let us know in the comments section below.
Come comment on this article: Best photo gallery apps 
The next time you clean out your house, you might end up selling your old stuff on Facebook instead of Craigslist. According to a report from Techcrunch, Facebook recently did a small test of a “Local Market” feature in its iOS app. Instead of the “messenger” button in the app’s bottom navigation bar, a “market” button appeared that took users to a categorized location for buying and selling items. The categories are familiar to anyone who’s spent time on Craigslist: you can browse items across cars, furniture, antiques, electronics, clothing, books, and many more. Judging by some posts seen on Twitter, it looks like Facebook has been testing the feature for a a few weeks now.