Evie launched version 2.0 of its launcher earlier this week – I’ve been using it for a couple days now, and thought you all might be interested in giving it a try, yourselves. What follows are my thoughts, and my thoughts alone:
The first thing that comes to mind when using Evie is iOS – and by that, I mean it’s clean, snappy and uses a similar aesthetic to Apple’s OS.
There are a couple basic features in Evie that set it apart from the stock Android launcher: universal search (with automatically populating Google search results and content cards, detailed later), icon pack support, notification count badges, swipe to search, and customizable column/row configurations. A pretty standard set of options, to be sure, but the universal search function deserves a bit of focus.
When you tap the search bar (or swipe down on the screen), Evie seamlessly enters search mode, complete with a tasteful blurring effect on your wallpaper. Typing into this field instantly generates results from Google, as well as pulling media, restaurant and contacts from your phone and internet. This content generates ‘cards’ similar to Google Now, that contains relevant information about the item searched. For example, searching Rogue One brings up the following card…
…With Tomatometer, Fandango, IMDB and reviews cooked right in. Searching Ariana Grande (puke) brings up Listen Now (with the ability to favorite your preferred method of listening), Watch Now, Social Media, and Learn More. Searching for a restaurant offers Directions, Get a Ride (using Uber or Lyft), and Reviews. It should also be noted that searching a term also looks in the Google Play Store, saving you the hassle of having to go into the app to search. It’s not perfect, but it is really cool.
Evie is both lightweight and buttery smooth (like that hasn’t been said before, right?), with a clean, simple interface and menu system. While its customization is nowhere near the likes of Nova or Apex, it does offer more than the standard Google offering. When it comes down to it, Evie straddles a the line between customization and usability, and strikes a nice balance of both.
With aesthetic and features of both Android and iOS, and customization features to set it apart from both, Evie 2.0 is definitely worth a look. Check it out.
Evie Launcher – Google Play Store
Homeopathic remedies are increasing in popularity as people are becoming more health conscious. My wife jumped on the bandwagon recently, which of course means I’m not far behind, and while I was not excited about it at first, it has improved my quality of life quite a bit and I’m totally on board now. One of the problems we have, however, is that since this is all new to us, there’s a whole new set of foods, herbs, and a whole new lifestyle to get adjusted to. Fortunately, Incredicure has come out with a great new app that helps out with finding remedies if you’re feeling under the weather. Let’s take a look at its features.
Download: Google Play
A clean and straightforward design make this app a breeze to use
Homeopathic Remedy Finder by Incredicure boasts itself as a quick and easy way to find natural remedies for a number of ailments, and it upholds that claim very well. There is no login procedure or sign up form to fill out. As you tap to open the app, you are brought to the main screen with a list of symptoms for you select. There are only 6 broad categories to choose from so you won’t be overwhelmed by hundreds of choices, and the categories do seem to cover most common problems. In my time using this app, I’ve suffered from cold symptoms and have had a lingering cough that’s been plaguing me. Fortunately, cold and cough are two of the six categories.
After you select your symptoms, the app asks you for some more information to further narrow down what your problems are. It’s this two-step approach that I found to be very inviting as I wasn’t overwhelmed by 18 different options for symptoms right off the bat. The clarifying options include pain in the throat, types of coughs, fever intensity, body aches, runny or stuffy nose, and digestive upset. Each of these options has three or four different common symptoms to choose from, such as a dry cough, wheezing, or a loose, rattling cough. The thoroughness of the breakdown provides a great sense of comfort as you are able to pinpoint exactly what problem you are having so that you can get the best treatment.
Your remedy is listed in a clear way with simple dosage and instructions on use. Some of the remedies do come with warnings which are listed in the instructions, so you will need to read carefully before taking anything, but the descriptions are not long or wordy and are written very clearly. I found the solution to my problems in just a matter of minutes with instructions I was able to understand and was on my way to feeling better in no time at all.
Incredicure also has built an FAQ right into the app that answers a lot of questions that someone might have when starting homeopathic remedies for the first time. It covers basics such as what is homeopathy, are treatments safe, and even things like if homeopathy is so effective, why isn’t it popular. It’s a great reference if you are new to the world of homeopathic treatments or if you need clarification on anything. At the bottom of the app is also a contact button and a link to Incredicure website with even more information about homeopathy, so you have answers at your fingertips.
You’ve got questions? We’ve got answers.
The Only Downside
The only thing I can really fault this app for is that it could include a few more symptoms, and perhaps a locator for a nearby homeopathy store or web links to a supplier. As I stated, I tried this out for my cough and cold symptoms, and I found exactly what I was looking for, but when my wife was complaining of a headache and I tried to input that, I found there was no headache option.
Also, since my wife is big into homeopathy these days, we have a few things around our house already, but when I was trying to find some of the remedies listed for certain ailments, I was at a loss because certain things are harder to come by in regular stores around us. A way to see stores nearby that carry homeopathy products would be helpful. Finding the remedies isn’t yet within the scope of the app, so I can’t really fault it for that, but I did find myself wondering what to do with my newly found information, so a point in the right direction, even if it was to their own online store or a partner site, would be a big step forward
Homeopathy can be a fantastic clean living treatment options for a number of ailments, and Homeopathy Remedy Finder by Incredicure provides a slick and easy way to quickly discover remedies for a number of common symptoms. In a matter of three or four taps, you’ll immediately have remedies available to you so you can be on your way to feeling better. While it doesn’t have everything that may ail you and you may have to hunt for a store that actually sells what’s recommended to you, this is a very good starting point for those who are interested in a more natural approach to treatments.
I am constantly looking for my next mobile gaming fix because I have a job that has a lot of “hurry up and wait” moments. I need games that I can play a few rounds of while waiting for a client, or that I can put away and ignore at a moments notice when the day picks up the pace. Yodo1 Games has an excellent track record of pushing out these kinds of games, with claims to fame such as Crossy Road and Mega Jump 2. Rodeo Stampede: Sky Zoo Safari is the latest gaming offering to come from Yodo1. It’s got a long name, but that name houses a boat load of fun! Let’s take a look.
Developer: Yodo1 Games
Download: Google Play, iOS
Jumping into the game is quick and easy. You start off riding on a slow animal. The game then prompts you on how to control your cowboy. The one-handed controls are to simply hold a thumb on the screen to ride on the animals, release your thumb to leap forward through the air. While you’re airborne, there’s an outline on the ground a little bit in front of you. When you touch the screen again, you will lasso any animal in that circle and begin to ride again. Once you learn these basics, the game cuts you lose and lets you start wrangling animals all on your own.
And we’re off to rope us some animals!
This game is a continual runner game with loads of animals for you to ride on. Each animal has a different speed and endurance. If you run out of endurance, your animal will get angry, which will result in different things depending on what you are riding. They could run extremely fast, buck around wildly making it harder to control, or buck you off entirely, sending you flying forward similar to a jump whether you’re ready or not. If you are riding a fast animal, like an Ostrich, you’ll hit some blazing fast speeds, but you’ll run out of endurance much faster. A buffalo is pretty slow, but you’ll be able to take your time to dodge obstacles and line up jumps better since he is much more tolerant of you on his back. There are even some animals that will eat you or otherwise immediately end your run once their endurance runs out, so be careful. Also, the longer your run goes for, the smaller your lasso area gets, so long runs require precision and split second decisions to make it from animal to animal.
As you ride along, the game will point out new animals that you haven’t ridden before. Once you lasso one of these, a circle with a heart will pop up. When the indicator is full, that animal is added to your zoo, will appear in the wild more frequently, and will be available for you to start your run with. There are multiple breeds of each animal, ranging from just slight color variations to some really bizarrely cool creatures, like a tie-dye elephant or an ostrich wearing armor. If you are a collector, there is no shortness of animals to collect.
Caught another one!
One of the coolest things is the way that the game handles its upgrade system. All the different breeds and variations of animals that you ride on all get added to your zoo and their habitats can be upgraded, which in turn gives that animal type additional abilities or stats. Every couple of hours you can also open the zoo to the public and get ticket sales for the number of habits and upgrades you have. It’s not as involved as some games with their zoo care, but it is a very nice visual touch to an age old upgrade menu.
There are a few in-app purchases, but most are your standard fare. Coin doubler, unlimited revives, and coin packs are available to boost your game. You also have to wait an arbitrary amount of time for missions to unlock after beating the previous one, so there is a purchase for that as well.
The only downside is that it does take a while to really unlock some of the cooler animals and missions. There are boss missions available that offer some unique items, but they only unlock after you complete a bunch of other missions. Having to wait for the next missions to unlock can take a long, long time. Unfortunately, this will probably turn off most players before they get to the more interesting animals and environments.
Rodeo Stampede is a super fun game. There are loads of unlockables and some really cool animals to collect. In-app purchases are unobtrusive and totally optional, but the game progression is much slower without them, and some players may quit before getting to the meat of the game. Overall, it’s a game everyone should take for a spin for the moments when you need to waste a little time.
Lots of Android games want to wow you with crazy, hair-raising action, speed, and wild graphics. Their mission is to pull you in with the promise of a frenetic pace, testing your reflexes and concentration in the face of unrelenting distractions.
stayZen is an Android game that tries to go in another direction. This is a game that is trying to be a bit of a meditation app. Or it could be a meditation app masking itself as a bit of gaming fun. It comes from Canadian developer PeaceOut Games. It is suitable for all ages; though young kids may have trouble keeping the game going, while even tweens may not appreciate the purposeful speed of this title.
If you’re curious by just what I mean, keep reading to see what this game/app is all about.
Install and setup is very straightforward. Simply download from the Play Store and fire it up. Once in the title screen, you have a couple of choices. “Levels” shows you the level map with all the different worlds & levels you’re in for. “Options” lets you choose some gameplay preferences such as music on/off, player avatar, and both gravity & enzo strength (more on these in a minute).
Otherwise you just press “Start” and you’re in.
As I stated before, stayZen gameplay feels like a mix of game and zen-practice app. The idea of the game is to move your avatar (which starts as a Japanese-style painted circle but can be changed as you progress through the game) along a predetermined path on your screen to a unopened lotus blossom. Upon reaching your goal, your blossom blooms into a flower. Your main antagonist here is simple gravity; your avatar will always be pulled downward, and it’s your job to fight gravity while not veering off your line.
You move your stayZen avatar by ‘painting’ it along the path by repeatedly making small swipes in the direction you want your avatar to go. While going in a straight left-to-right line, you need to swipe up and to the right to counter gravity and to move your avatar closer to your goal. This swiping is your ‘enzo’. So as stated before, you can (slightly) adjust both the gravity and enzo strength in the game to change things up.
The idea behind this game is not to blast through the levels as fast as you can or to acquire as many power-ups/coins/avatars as possible; rather, it’s to find a “zone” in which you are painting your avatar safely along its path. Slowly is just fine here; you won’t find any points or timers here.
After finishing a level, you are simply treated with a philosophical quote from various public figures….everybody from Gandhi himself to Mia Hamm (seriously!).
As you can imagine, the paths start as rather easy in the early levels, but quickly increase in difficulty. In addition, the game will add obstacles that you have to steer around (such as scorpions) and other path variations that turn it into more of a platformer.
Graphics & Music
Graphics in this game are very high-quality, with the backgrounds getting a nice vellum or scroll paper treatment. Most items shown in the game are simple black silhouettes, adding to the sunset-esque quality of the game lighting.
Music is also very well done, in the form of a soothing flute playing continuously throughout your experience. The only jarring moment comes when your avatar becomes separated from your path; a jarring gong indicates that your round is over along with your avatar free-falling off the bottom of your device’s screen.
stayZen is a rather soothing variation on a platform game, to the point where you could use this title as a game or as a relaxation app. I have to say, I rather enjoyed playing through the levels. The combination of the relaxing visuals, music, and “painting” gameplay mechanic did tend to settle me while playing.
If pressed, I would say the main critique I would have is that the level variation could start to happen a bit earlier than it currently does. It takes several levels to start to see some truly different levels (at least for my preference). But then again, that is probably exactly as the developer intended the game to be to allow for a deeper and longer engagement in the zen-like quality of the presentation before testing you with more varied and difficult levels.
As a bonus, the developer has just recently updated the game,with smoother gameplay and controls, which shows a good commitment to the title for the foreseeable future. In the end, I do highly recommend this game, and feel that you can’t go wrong with giving it a try. Download here and see if you feel the same.
The app that uses algorithms to tweak your photos into artistic masterpieces, Prisma, spent the six months since it debuted in June applying its filters to videos and Facebook Live in early November. Though the social titan soon shut down the latter, the app continues to release features. The latest: A location-based GeoFeed and ditching the square image format, adding a free aspect ratio to your converted photos.
Content shared to the Feed is only shown to nearby users, but the more “likes” it gets, the farther out from the user it’ll be shown. This larger range carries over to the next post a user shares. In addition to the freeform ratio, photo resolution has doubled — important for making particularly crisp artistic shots.
You might have one more option to choose from if you don’t feel like lining up for some fast food. Shake Shack has joined the growing list of food chains with mobile apps that give you a way to order and pay ahead of time. The restaurant has been testing the service in Manhattan for the past few months, but it’s now available in multiple locations across the US. Sadly, it’s not a full nationwide rollout — the company left out some locations, including Austin, Dallas and Atlanta. Plus, only the iOS app is available for now, though according to Eater, Shake Shack is also developing an Android application.
If the chain now accepts mobile orders where you are, you’ll be able to choose the branch where you want to pick up your grub, as well as the time you’ll be dropping in. Most of the items in the resto’s menu are available through the app, save for some exceptions like its frozen custard concretes. However, you can only buy four items per category, so if you need a fifth burger, one of your friends has to order the last one.
These days, the term “dating app” is pretty much synonymous with Tinder. eHarmony wants to remind everyone that it’s still around, though, and it’s willing to make big changes to get with the times. Starting in January, the dating service is getting rid of its lengthy questionnaire that asks you 150 or so multiple choice questions to get your matches. You can still take the personality survey, but it’s no longer a compulsory part of signing up. Now, you only need a few minutes to set up a new profile and answer some basic questions about yourself.
The company’s new CEO Grant Langston admitted to TechCrunch that the service needs a refresh to be able to cater to a new era of singles looking for dates. “Science tells us that our product works, and we don’t want to change that,” he said. “But the way we deliver it feels a bit dusty to me.”
In addition to the new onboarding process, you’ll now be able to see the top three attributes that make you and a match compatible in a new feature called “The Two of You Together.” Plus, the platform now has the ability to send texts to other users in real time. These features will also be available on eHarmony’s iOS and Android app, though you’ll have to wait till February next year to find the one — or your next ex — on mobile.
Since that didn’t work, Evernote has decided to back down. In its announcement post today, the company said:
Evernote CEO Chris O’Neill admitted to Fast Company that his team screwed up. “The headlines that are being written just aren’t true,” he said. “Human beings don’t read notes without people’s permission. Full stop.”
Trust is at the heart of our service. That means we need to be transparent and admit our missteps. https://t.co/Fa61KPERNR
— Evernote (@evernote) December 16, 2016
Via: Fast Company
1Password has released a massive update for iOS that makes it easy to sign up for a new account and to sync across devices regardless of their operating systems. For Apple Watch owners, though, it offers something bigger: a native app that’s much faster than the old one. You can import passwords from any vault into the smartwatch to be able to easily access apps and services on the wearable. Even better, you can import them en masse by pulling down on your item list to activate the “Select Items” screen.
Other great additions are the ability to pay for subscriptions in-app, to create Documents within the service, to sync those Documents across accounts and to fill text, email and password fields even if you didn’t create them within 1Password’s browser extension. You can see the full list of updates and changes on the website of the password manager’s developer. It’s pretty long, though — we hope you know how to speed read.
While ride-hailing companies have made it easier than ever to identify your driver and the car they’re driving, there’s often room for mix-ups, especially when it’s dark. In an attempt to bring some clarity to proceedings, Uber has today introduced Beacon, a new light that attaches to a driver’s windscreen and displays a color that you specify in the app. It’s only in the trial stage right now, but riders in Miami, Denver and Nashville in the US and Newcastle in the UK will start seeing them from this week.
As soon as a driver starts making their way to your location, the option to choose will pop up. Select a color from the wheel and the Uber icon will change accordingly. Uber says it’ll help riders “quickly identify a booked vehicle at night, helping to make pickups easier during busy times and areas.” It’s a lot like Lyft’s Amp dashboard, which debuted last month, and builds on an earlier Uber color coding test called SPOT.
Beacon isn’t the only improvement Uber is making today. Alongside the car registration plate and make and model of a driver’s car, the Uber app will display the color of the vehicle and supply photos so you can see what your car looks like before it arrives.
Uber says that while Beacon’s rollout is currently limited, it is working with drivers to ensure there are as many lights available ahead of one of its busiest nights of the year: New Year’s Eve. It intends to expand the trial to more cities in 2017 but hasn’t confirmed which ones are next on its list.