Posts tagged with "apps"

Apps: What’s new in Twitch for Android 3.0

Twitch, the game streaming site recently bought by Youtube, finally released their long awaited overhaul of their Android experience, and it’s pretty impressive.  I spent a chunk of last night testing it out and comparing it to my previous fave Twitch client Gameplay Alert.

I flipped back and forth between Twitch and Gameplay Alert while watching the same stream on both.  The Twitch app’s video quality is superior/smoother and is the closest thing to watching via desktop/laptop.  Twitch’s new UI gives it some of the things I liked about Gameplay Alert, and the only thing I can think of wanting still is GA’s ability to ‘track’ specific games.  GA also has better options for showing a stream’s chat, but I imagine that will come to the native app eventually.  Everything else is there for the new Twitch app: seeing streams you’re following, find popular games or users, changing the video quality of streams, much better experience on tablets, and others.  Overall, it’s a much better app now and will only get better.

If you weren’t a fan of the native app, like I and many others weren’t, than give it another try.

SwiftKey Keyboard is now free

Probably one of, if not the best alternative keyboards for Android has just gone free.  Swiftkey dropped the $3.99 price tag in favor of a new freemium price model, which includes paid themes instead.  This works out in a lot of different ways for them: more users equals more potential customers that will buy themes, and more themes equals… well… more themes.  We’ve been stuck with the same handful of themes for so long that more is already a great bonus.

So if you’ve missed the wave on this app, now’s the time to see what you’ve been missing.  They also recently added built-in Emoji support.

Download/Install: Google Play

SwiftKey is coming to iOS 8 devices soon.

Apps: Shots for iOS (iPhone, iPad and iPod touch)

Selfies aren’t new, but they weren’t called selfies back in the day.  Pretty much just like “twerking” or any other old thing that suddenly surges from popularity because of a new trendy name to describe it.  With that in mind, it was only a matter of time before we started seeing more apps specifically for selfies.

Shots is an iOs-only app (for now) and has been gaining hella momentum, with several celebs helping boost its exposure recently.  The selfie photo sharing app x social network just started up in November 2013, so it’s essentially a baby in the game.  This could potentially be the Instagram of 2014, and that might be a good thing: it might mean less people will use IG for selfies and will use this instead.  We’ll just have to see if Shots continues with where it’s headed.

Peep it over on iTunes to download & install.  Only iOS 6+ devices are supported.

Gifs are dying.  Meet the future: Gfys

Gifs have had a great run on the internet for decades now, but like the VCR and analog TV, better things come along with time thanks to advancements in technology.  With the power of modern web browsers and HTML5, we now have… the GFY.  And yes, they are quickly becoming a very big deal.

Think of a gfy as a combination of Vine and Instagram videos:  you’ve got the looping video of the former but the 15 second time duration of the latter.  The result is a longer, better looking animation that can be resized, paused, played in reverse or slow-motion.  But the most spectacular +1 over gifs is the file size differential: a 20 MB gif can become a 2 MB GFY for example, meaning no more long waiting times for gifs to load.  But in case you still need the gif version, one is automatically created along with your gfy once uploaded to GFYcat.

After going public in July 2013, the GFYcat service has recently begun to skyrocket and is poised to become a common sight on sites everywhere very soon.  It’ll be fun to see how it evolves in the near future, and if/when Tumblr adds better support for them.  For now, you can embed them as iFrames in Video posts.

So if you’re a gif maker, hop on the new wave.  Check out GFYcat.com to start uploading (accounts are not required).  Note: being able to delete uploaded Gfys, among other features, are coming soon.

A Guide to Mobile Poker

The Internet changed poker forever. No longer did players need to visit a casino or chase live games to be dealt a hand. Forums and online training tutorials led to an explosion of advanced players. Statistical databases were easily conceived allowing for further research of the game. Multi-tabling, or playing several games of poker simultaneously, introduced a new breed of poker player.

Poker is changing again. Roughly a decade after the online-gaming boom has come the mobile-gaming boom. While Internet poker gave us the freedom to compete at home, mobile poker is expanding our playing boundaries even further. Mobile poker is now available for iPhone, Android, Blackberry and Windows devices and each offers its own unique advantages. Players may use a poker app to compete or play directly from a Web browser on 3G, 4G or Wi-Fi networks.

The iPhone is ripe with enhanced graphics, sound effects and overall game play, providing a high-quality poker-playing experience. However, the iPhone is not compatible with Flash, a heavy hitter of online poker rooms. Because they had a considerable head start, Android poker apps currently outnumber that of their Apple counterparts. However, the small buttons of Android touch screens can make for a not-quite-so-user-friendly experience when playing online poker.

There are currently no real-money poker apps available for Blackberries or Windows phones; only play-money poker. The only way to use a Blackberry or Windows phone for real-money poker is with Flash-based technology on a poker website.

Tablets, with their stronger battery lives and larger screen sizes, allow for longer gaming sessions and a more efficient multi-tabling experience. iPad and Android tablets can be used to play poker via an app or browser, or they can even be used as a remote viewer with access to your computer. The Kindle does not offer any poker apps but the device can still be used to access online poker rooms.

Partypoker’s frequently asked questions section provides more detailed information about the capabilities of mobile poker. Additionally, online poker laws vary by state and country so be sure to consult your local rules and regulations first.

With mobile technology, online poker will never be the same.

Apps: SeriesGuide

Though boasting a few million users already, there’s always bound to be a few folks not in-the-know.  If you’re like many TV watchers, you might find it hard to keep up with all your favorite shows currently running or interesting shows you want to track.

The Android-only app helps you track eps of all your shows, set favorites, set reminders for when your shows are about to air, and get info ahead of time about the airdate for a season premiere or if the show has ended its run.  Episodes are also in a checklist, so you know which eps/seasons you’ve seen and which you still need to catch up on.

Definitely a must-have app for TV watchers.

Download/Install:  Google Play

Note: Some features are unlocked with the app’s X Pass.

GTAV iFruit App Now Available For Android

If there was anything Rockstar took major Ls for during Grand Theft Auto V's launch, it was the iFruit app. 

The companion app allows you to train Chop and increase his usefulness (such as helping you find collectibles), plus it also allows players to register their own custom license plates.  The app has been up on iTunes for iOS devices since the day before the game launched, but Rockstar decided to finally (and kinda silently) release it for Android after over a month of waiting.

There are still more Ls here though:  Rockstar is usually bad when it comes to mobile compatibility with Android, so only a handful of phones will even be able to use the app.

Download/Install: Google Play

Good luck to the Windows Phone 8 users who are still waiting.

Video: Instagram Introduces Video

Remember when Formspring was a thing and suffered a huge blow when Tumblr added the Ask feature for blogs?  Well, this is kind of like that.  Vine’s soaring popularity is about to take a big hit now that instagram has introduced its own video option, allowing clips that are more than double the time duration from Vine currently.

Note:  While the updated Instagram is available now on both iTunes and Google Play, video so far is only supported on Android devices running Jellybean 4.1+.

Apps: Vine For Android

Over the past month or so, Vine has exploded to the point we’ve been seeing links to Vine videos in every other post on social media.  It’s been a steady buildup for the app which debuted just in January.  And now, it has arrived for Android.  You too can now make semi-creative 6-second videos, folks.

Install:  Google Play

Edit:  It appears the Twitter api crashed and the site has been having problems.  Blame Vine?

The New Flickr

Big things went down with Flickr this week, which some believe is going to re-spark the site’s popularity.  

The site got an aesthetic overhaul and everything is bigger: profiles now have the option for cover photos, your images look nice together in a big mosaic view, and even your avatar is much bigger.  To cap off this new all-HD era of Flickr, the site gives everybody 1 TB of storage for their photos.  Yes, 1 Terabyte per account.

But that isn’t all.  The Flickr app finally got revamped too, and matches the mosaic style of the new site.  It’s more functional and eye-catching, and so far many seem to really like it.

Check out the app now on iTunes or Google Play.