First of all, it’s only for the Asian languages of Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.
Edit 3.17.18: Thank you @watercolourandwashitape for letting me know that the Chinese supported is Mandarin, Not Cantonese/Traditional. So keep that in mind, Chinese learners!
Normally I use Duolingo, but their support for Japanese is unsatisfactory at best. So I looked for a New app to learn Japanese, as I am self taught. I don’t remember how, but I stumbled upon LingoDeer. I am SO glad I did. No other app even comes close!
Just a note though, I have only learned Japanese from it and have not tried the other languages.
By far the best feature is that it includes a mini grammar lesson before each group of lessons! This was something Duolingo lacked immensely. There are also options to review words and grammar you already know. Without further ado, let’s get into how you play (because believe me, it feels more like playing a game then just learning)
First you pick you lesson category, the first of which is nationality
Once you click on it you’ll want to click on lesson tips, which helps with grammar and overall understanding
After reading the learning tips, you’re ready for the lessons. There are numerous question types to help you learn. They start with having you pick a Japanese picture that corresponds to the vocab, then you move to placing words in sentences before finally constructing sentences all by yourself!
When constructing sentences, you can either order the characters they give you or type them in yourself. After you finish you’ll be able to review the lesson via pop quiz or redo the lesson in challenge mode. At the end of each category there is a story. (Note: as of 3.3.18 it’s still in beta form). First you listen to and read the story, answering questions along the way. Then you can record yourself speaking the story and post it to the community where you can listen to others’ recordings as well.
Themes and font options including night mode
Review mode to review all the words a/o grammar you’ve learned. Pro tip: you can specify which lessons you want to see words from
Character display options. You can choose from any combination of Japanese (kanji i.e. 私), hiragana (わたし), and romanji (Watashi). I personally use Japanese only for the lessons and Japanese/Hiragana for the stories.
Streak to keep you motivated to learn every day
Super cute deer
There’s only two things I can think of to improve the app
There’s no autosave. You MUST go down to the back up progress button. I didn’t realize this was necessary so when I rebooted my phone I lost my progress
No differentiation between polite and informal terms. So far they’ve only used the polite forms. Maybe they introduce it later, but I haven’t encountered it yet.
Edit 3.17.18: Another slight hindrance is the absence of verbs (with the exception of です) until a later unit, so if this is your only resource I recommend learning a good list of verbs online.
Overall this is an amazing app and I recommend it to everyone, even if you aren’t actively learning an Asian language!
If you want to follow me on LingoDeer my username is hannahsox-studies and my Avatar is the same as here. Happy learning!
Sorry for shuffling my upload schedule around so much lately! However with these new apps coming out, I want to jump on them and give my first impression ASAP!
I posted my review of the Korean Duolingo on Reddit, and the comments just exploded… it got a little messy, but one of the gems to come out of it was the recommendation of another language learning app called LingoDeer. Honestly I was a bit skeptical, but I decided to try it out… and I’m glad I did! This app also has its problems, but it’s generally fairly solid. Just like with DuoLingo, I took some extensive notes as I was playing through the levels (and some of my friends were doing it at the same time, so they reported abnormalities to me as well). Actually, I find this app a bit more similar with the Chinese-learning app HelloChinese than with Duolingo for a few reasons, which we’ll see later. Let’s get into it.
What is LingoDeer?
LingoDeer is a language-learning app for the three major east Asian languages, Korean, Mandarin Chinese, and Japanese. In this review, I will focus on the Korean course and give my views on the Chinese one in a later post. When I was told about this app, the person who linked me to it said that it was developed by teachers of those three languages rather than just volunteers like Duolingo uses, so that’s a bonus.
Very first impressions
The first thing I noticed that the LingoDeer app’s design and interface is very crisp and clean, which I appreciate a lot. I experienced some loading delays more than once, but my friends who tested the app out with me said that they didn’t get much of that at all, if any. I think maybe it has something to do with my Wifi, because my phone was showing a less-than-perfect connection strength when I was testing the app. Anyway, just be aware that you might run into some loading screens.
The Hangul learning portion of this app blew me away, to be honest. The usual romanization was there, whatever whatever (you know my feelings about romanization already), but what I loved was that the sounds are introduced in a logical order, starting with related vowels, and it shows you the stroke order for the Hangul. And those audio files…! The audio files in this app are SO quality, a lot better than the unfortunate robot voice that Duolingo used. The Hangul learning section is huge and extensive, and going through every single consonant and vowel would probably take someone forever, but luckily you can skip the Hangul level if you don’t need it, or you can take advantage of their Hangul charts. There are three charts, and you can tap on each consonant-vowel combo to have it read out to you. There is also a page explaining how Korean syllables are structured. So much information is given; it’s wonderful!
Getting in to learning
Once you refresh your Hangul skills (or not), you can start with the first level. This is the first major downfall of the app—there is no way to test up to higher levels, so you must start from the bottom. This seems like a major oversight considering comparable apps like Duolingo and HelloChinese have these features.
Anyway, once you tap into the first section, there are notes waiting for you if you swipe to pull up the tile to the left, only the edge of which is visible as it starts you right on an actual lesson tile. It would be nice if the notes were the first tile, as in HelloChinese, because it’s very easy to miss. Anyway, the notes are extensive and really well done except for some typos and weird English translations on occasion that probably could have been caught with one more read-through. Typos actually appear in other parts of the app too, and it does sort of detract from the nice feel of everything else. You can just forgo the notes if you want, and if you find yourself needing more information while you’re in the level, you can just tap on the part of a sentence you’re curious about and a notes window on that element will pop up. This is similar to HelloChinese, and this is what Duolingo’s app very conspicuously lacks.
Now, it’s time to actually start the lesson. You will be presented words with the Hangul and the romanization, which I was very sad to see, but you can turn the romanization off! Similar to HelloChinese; which lets you choose if you want to see only Pinyin, only Hanzi, or a mix of the two; LingoDeer lets you choose all romanization, all Hangul, or a mix.
The activities in the learning sections are very similar to Duolingo and HelloChinese. You can expect to match the word you hear with a picture, insert grammatical elements into the right places in sentences, unscramble sentences, and more. One of the activities that I do not like is this one where you see the romanization and match the appropriate Hangul with it. I purposely turned off the romanization, and people should move away from it as early as possible, so seeing those kinds of questions, though they are very few and far between, was a bit of a letdown. Also, I was disappointed to see that there are no speaking questions like in HelloChinese (in that app, you will listen to and see a sentence or see an image representing a word and then read/repeat it back into the phone). Also, while the audio files are, as I already said, amazing, this app is very quiet. Perhaps it’s because I’m used to HelloChinese (which I use a lot lately to work on my Mandarin) automatically reading things out, including the correct answer once you submit your answer to a problem for checking, I find it a bit annoying that if you want to hear read-outs of a lot of the sentences, you have to actually tap the sentence to hear it. Also, there is no indication that this is actually something that’s possible except for in cases where you’re on a listening screen, so some users might not be aware that they could be getting more audio input than what the app automatically provides. Maybe if they had a little play button or something next to those sentences it would be better.
Upon completion of a level, you can get up to five stars. When you first start studying, you set a goal for how many stars you want to get each day, and if you choose the lowest possible number (five) and do a single level perfectly, your study for the day is complete.
Review and stats
If you want to go back and review vocab or grammar flashcards, there is a section where you can do that. The review questions are the same as the regular level questions. You can choose to do a single lesson, or you can combine lessons for a comprehensive review. Also, there is spaced repetition listening practice, which is pretty cool. You can choose how you want the words and sentences presented, with Hangul, the English translation, romanization (ㅠㅠ), or just the audio and no writing. After listening, you can reveal the correct answer and rate your recall/performance “weak,” “good,” or “perfect.” You can also choose if you want a word or sentence-focused review. Seems like a good feature.
As for stats, you can check how long your learning streak (they wrote “steak,” as I said there are typos here and there) has been ongoing, and it even tells you how long you have studied for. There are some little achievement badges similar to Duolingo for things like learning time and streaks also. You can also set a time for reminders to study if you would like. However, I notice that the app is not synced to your phone’s clock but some other clock, perhaps that of the server it’s hosted on. So, for example, if I use the app in the morning here in Korea, it will still count any stars I get to the previous day since the app’s date hasn’t rolled over yet. There is not an option to change the app’s clock to sync to your time zone as far as I can tell.
LingoDeer’s Korean course is, in my opinion, a wonderful new app for those who are looking to start learning Korean! The pros and cons:
GREAT audio files
Hangul presented in a logical manner
Lots of good notes and information on grammar
Spaced repetition practice and flashcards
cute deer mascot <3
Slow loading at times
No function to test out of lower levels
Typos and unusual translations in notes and other places
App clock not synced to phone clock
No speaking practice
If updates are made to this app to fix any of the things I mentioned above, I’ll update this post (or maybe write a new one) to let you know. Happy studying~!
this app is very visually and audibly stimulating, and if you use headphones it’s heavenly!!
the goal of this game is to breed your fish into rare forms and level up/expand your pond to ascend your koi into dragons
you play as a koi fish and as you breed you can make different colors!
the gentle music and popping sounds of eating different bacteria and small creatures in the water can be perfect for stimming, and there’s an added benefit with the fish swimming because it’s very calming!
this app is available for iOS for free that I know of!
tl;dr zen koi is a very calming and stimulating app that’s good for audible and visual stims!
Now don’t say its my phone, I have a very good phone with great camera quality. A Galaxy S8+ which I personally think has fine camera quality.
Now, to my rant…
I am mostly a traditional artist. And I want to upload my sketches to the internet with high quality and make it look like I scanned them.
This is what I can do with the filters and cropping abilities my phone has provided me. A friend suggested I get CamScanner to get a better image with better quality. Alright, let’s try it out.
So I scan it like this?? There’s no tutorial really it just… Pops you right into the app and expects you to know what to do even though its still pretty basic.
To be honest I didn’t let it focus so for what its worth this result is fine.
But as you see the imagine completely disappears once the “Magic Color” filter is put on.
So let’s try like how I usually take photos of my art… More focused, good lighting.. It seems like it would work.
Yikes…. That magic color isn’t really helping.
Let’s try it without my bedroom light on.
A little dark, but some natural light from outside helps brighten it up.
But I’m disappointed that this is the best result I’ve gotten so far. Maybe I should try natural lighting???
Seems like a nice picture.
But alas its not that great.
So over all I dont have a good review of CamScanner. Its not my favorite app and I tried to male it work but nothing really seemed to work for me. If you can point out something I’m doing wrong please tell me or give suggestions. If not, I won’t be using their app again.
not only does it have a collectible cat feature like nekoatsume, but you can actually interact with the cats you collect and send them out to steal things and collect little knick knacks in your room
you can get things from onigiri to pizza to footballs to lava lamps!
the cats are really cute and they come with names like Jared and Rocky but you can rename them, and they all have little tidbits about them once you get them
while your cat is out “collecting” you have to wait for them to come back, from 300-3000 seconds. but, in the meantime you can play a little bubble popping game that can earn you coins to trade for gems and therefore new cats, or bells to call your cat back early!
I also find that this bubble game is very cute and very stimmy and I like to make beats in my head or try to keep up with the counter when my fingers are extra speedy!
tl;dr kleptocats is a very cute collecting game with many cats and it can even be a nice visual and tactile stim!
Hello, everyone! I’m breaking my short break because I was recently clued in to another language learning app, so of course I had to check it out! This app is called “Drops”, and it is a vocab builder for a pretty wide variety of languages. Is it worth it? I tested out the Korean course; this is what I think about this app.
What is Tandem? Tandem is an app which helps you find people speaking your target language so you can (video) chat with them and practice it.
Price? Free (premium features require payment)
How long did I use it? Three weeks.
Experience? have to say things didn’t go exactly like I had anticipated. I was looking for someone from Japan to practice Japanese, preferably a student, too, and around my age. Even though I specified all this in my profile, within 40 minutes seven guys messaged me, none of which spoke Japanese, some just commenting my profile picture. This continued for the next two days, until I modified my settings. (Don’t get me wrong, none of those interactions were inappropriate, but the point of tandem simply is to speak each others target language so you can help each other and that just wasn’t the case). At first I changed my description to Japanese text only and narrowed down the age for my tandem partner, but I still kept receiving messages like that so I ended up changing my settings to ‘people from my sex only’, which made me a little sad bc it meant probably missing out on interesting conversations, but the situation was simply getting annoying.
I messaged some people and we chatted for a bit, but the conversation usually died down pretty fast; after changing my settings I hardly received any messages anymore. I didn’t find a tandem partner there and I can’t say that my language skills have improved. Maybe it was just bad luck, maybe it was due to the selected languages, but it didn’t really work for me. I will give the app one more chance before uninstalling it.
The design is very nice and the app also has some great features (correcting messages from your partner, translating requests, etc.)
very simple to use
different filters to find your ideal tandem partner (sex, age, native speaker or not, etc.)
has the potential of improving your language skills a lot
you will probably receive messages from people you don’t really want to talk to
forces its premium features on you (”17 people viewed your profile today! Upgrade to premium to see who they are!”)
neutral: you have to use an actual picture of yourself
I posted this review of the Korean Duolingo not too long ago. I said that it has been released, which is true since it is available for all, and other websites are reporting it as such. However, it is actually in a public beta mode, so it’s still in testing and technically not totally complete. Nowhere on the app did it make clear to me that it was still a test version, so I was working on the assumption that this was the final product, so I worked with that information. Also, I believe a lot of people will jump on the beta and try to use it for learning without realizing that it’s a beta, as I did. Because of that, I stand by my review, though I will take some time to look at the app (and site version) once they are actually complete.
It’s an app that encourages you to stay focused. You set a timer and the tree will start to grow. Once the time period is up, the tree has fully grown - unless, of course, you get distracted and check your Twitter or Facebook or Tumblr, in which case the tree withers.
The Forest - You can view the forest of trees per day you have created over the course of the week (and view your productivity over previous weeks, as well) and see how much time you have spent on different tasks. This gives you the quantitative ability to measure your productivity - and thus meeting the second characteristic of a SMART goal. Moreover, I love how the withered tree appears in the forest; it acts as a reminder of your unproductiveness and what you should avoid.
The Shop - Since you get coins each time you successfully complete a task without getting distracted, you can buy different kinds of trees to plant. There are 7 trees, apart from the original one, that you can unlock for 500 coins each. The good news, coins are earned through your hard work and focus and not by a credit/debit card.
Whitelist - Are there any apps you will need to use while you work or study? Don’t worry. You can whitelist these apps in the Settings, so even if you use them, your tree will not wither and die.
Categorise - After completing each task, you get to categorise it as Work, Study, Social, Rest, Entertainment, Sport or Other.
Share - You can also share your progress with your friends and encourage them to try out the app, too.
So, I’ve been stressed out by Frank vocalizing his financial woes to me…which inspired me to get my own finances together. Guess what? I’m a hot mess too. I think that Frank and I (more so me) has a long way to go with getting our finances together.
I’ve been working with a few websites gone APP to help keep up with balances and so far it is really helping. I found a fraudulent charge of $1 from a gas station and disputed it! :] MINT.COM is a GREAT app to know how much you have in investments, keep budgets, show your cash value, how much debt you have, and overall, just how much you are worth at any given moment.
There is also a great budget app so that you can keep a closer eye on month-to-month spending called SPENDING+. This is a great app to just help with understanding how much you need to budget per month/per 6 months/per year for foods, toiletries, medicine, etc.
So, you can find these APPS in your itunes store. They’re called MINT.COM and SPENDING+.
I highly recommend them :]
A few days ago, Kotaku announced that after seven months, the puzzle game Do Not Believe His Lies had yet to be beaten by anyone in its eight months on the App Store. It went into the different things you’d have to know in order to even consider getting through a fraction of these levels. Not only do I like learning new things, I like winning challenging things, so I downloaded Do Not Believe His Lies and gave it the old college try.
Not so much.
I opened the floodgates of extremely difficult puzzles, and I’m not sure if I regret it or not.
I hate admitting I don’t know things, but with every new puzzle in Do Not Believe His Lies, I had to admit that in the worst possible way. The first one isn’t that bad. I had the brightness of my phone high enough where I saw the answer right away so that puzzle was a breeze.
Straightforward enough. But this is barely the tip of the iceberg.
I will freely admit to using guides to get through most of the puzzles in Do Not Believe His Lies, since there were some where I was completely stumped. For example, in the second Morse code translation I came across, I went about it in the same way I did the second puzzle, diligently typing in all those dots and slashes to get the right answer. Below is what I actually got:
EIE5 ESEEHIE5IEH5SE IEHIIHE5SSEH
Seriously, what is that? I stared at it for several minutes before I typed it again to try and figure it out and got the same thing. It was by far one of the more frustrating experiences of my gaming life.
However, if knowing random things is your forte, this is the game for you. There was one puzzle (level 25 to clarify) that I figured out all on my own just because I have a decent sense of musical pitch, and while I was riding the high of having solved that one, I was hit with an endless loop of “You’ve Got Mail” over and over again and I had to turn off the sound just to be able to think about what that even meant to begin with. After awhile, I kind of lost my patience with the game as a whole.
This isn’t even getting into the pay to play aspect. Yes, this game has in app purchases. Whenever you get something wrong, you get hit with an ad. You can pay to take the ads off, but why would you even bother, since you can just exit the app and go right back to the game. As you play the game and get things wrong, you’ll be hit with a lot of these. On top of that, you can pay for hints to the puzzles, but I imagine that the hints wouldn’t actually help all that much, since they’d just want you to keep paying. And why would you use the hints, since the online community working through this game is at least twice as helpful?
Here is one of the ads in question
As a concept, this game is brilliant. It’s super avant-garde in just about every way and there’s an oddly scary story that unfolds with every answer. On top of that, the puzzle solving community really united over it, and that’s just a beautiful thing. In practice, however, Do Not Believe His Lies is actually really alienating to play, because the puzzles don’t make any sense half the time, and honestly, it probably shouldn’t take ten thousand years to make it through one puzzle.
If you’re looking for an insurmountable challenge, download Do Not Believe His Lies at the App Store. Try not to throw your phone across the room.
In case you haven’t seen this app yet, I just wanted to put up a shout out for it.
It is a black and white photography app. And that’s it. But is an amazing black and white app.
The new update has manual focus, filter adjustments, and regular and a high contrast mode, and that’s it.
But then again, that’s all you really need.
I have pretty much gone to using this as my default camera app on my phone. It is very responsive, and at most you might need to tweak a contrast on photoshop if your a little picky.
The only thing I don’t like is that the default setting for the image capture is vertical, and I usually shoot in what I consider regular mode ( or landscape mode ) so I have to rotate most of the photos I take.
Not a huge deal, but it might be nice to have that as an option on the next iteration.
Overall, it’s like having a phone full of Ilford film ( actually, that might be a really nice crossover if Ilford and Lenka worked together to add some true Ilford approved filters to the app, but maybe I’m just being greedy?)
Anyway, check it out, let me know what you think.
I just cleaned up my apps on my Android and by this I checked some apps I’ve downloaded to learn and practice Korean.
So, here’s a small review of them. They are for free and some of them can be upgraded. I’ve added links to the google app store and the software company’s name in brackets.
필기 공주와 함께하는 한글공부 STEP1 (폰-무료) (Softheaven):this one is completely in Korean which confused me first but finally it’s easy to use. It’s an app for beginners to practice writing Hangul combined with a little bit of listening / vocabulary practice. I only have the free version. Thus, there aren’t that many words but enough to get an opinion about this app.
Learn Korean Numbers, Fast! (Ajeic): this app is in English with Hangul. It’s good to learn both Korean number systems which is fundamental for Korean learners. There are different kind of learning modes you can chose from.
Lernen Koreanisch (boreumdal): this app is in English with Hangul. It has a great structure where you have lessons for each day and various learning methods you can chose from. Focus is learning some new vocabulary, write, read and listening practice. The lessons are small but you can do as many as you want per day. It’s for advanced beginners who can read and know some vocabulary.
Something in between:
Study Korean (재외동포재단): this app is in Hangul and English and belongs to the Study Korean website. You can practice grammar and vocabulary. I guess it’s a great app but I haven’t figured out yet how to get more lessons :( Any ideas?!
Namu - Learn Korean (Lite) (Codelish): this app is in English with Hangul. You can practice your vocabulary and some listening by that. The design is nice but the words (beginner level) are limited within the free version. I’m still testing the app but it hasn’t convinced me yet to buy a full version.
Koreanisch Vokabeltrainer (L-Lingo | VocLab): the app’s name is in German but the app itself is in English. It’s to practice / learn vocabulary with a file card system. There are different ways to practice and starts at beginner level. I’m still testing the app but it hasn’t convinced me yet .
Good but …:
Learn Korean Free (Bravolol): this app is in English with Hangul. It’s a phrase book where you can search for sentences, listen to them and read them in Hangul. This is for more advanced learners who already know some grammar and vocabulary because this is not explained here. That app doesn’t work for me because I need all such explanations.
KORLINK (James Ashe): this app is in English and belongs to the “Talk to me in Korean” website and is designed for beginners and advanced learners. I really like the concept of TTMIK but the app has no advantages compared to the website. It would be great if at least the lessons are marked which I have already done or if there are other add-ons.
Hello Korean (Contexise): this app is in Hangul and aims to practice your quick reading comprehension of words - especially K-Pop related stuff. The practice was to quick for me and besides choosing from 2 options I couldn’t see any other learning methods. It’s maybe for advanced learners.
I would be happy about some further recommendations!!!
Looking for an app where you can systematic learn Korean like learning with a book.
+ In Which I Continue My Quest to Find the Best iOS Note App
Since the app store opened, one of the things that i’ve been continually swapping in and out is my preferred note taking app. I’ve used a good half dozen, but they’ve failed in some way or the other. The stock Notes app is woefully under-featured, and syncing in a meaningful way is tough. Then I moved to SimpleNote, which was great, except I want to sync to Dropbox without paying a yearly fee. So in comes Plaintext, which syncs nicely but is also very light on features. Rounding them out was Elements, which I found too buggy to rely on. Often setting the title or renaming a note would cause an error. So, finally, I’ve moved it all to Notesy.
Before we decide that I’m entirely neurotic, I have relatively modest requirements for a note-taking app:
Stable - for 5 words or 5,000
Clean - nice icon, good looking
Markdown - preferably something easily copy/pasted out of the app
Dropbox support (bonus if I can choose the folder, not just /appname)
The Notesy icon is one of my favorites on my home screen. It’s not blue, and it has a classy sort of simplicity to it. Once you launch the app, you’re presented with what is really an unimaginative notes list interface, which isn’t to say that it’s bad. I don’t necessarily want a lot of frills for something this basic. I do find it a little obnoxious on the iPad in landscape mode. It begs for the dual-pane style of Mail, for example. It looks a little awkward otherwise.
The note list interface, as well as the actual writing interface, are customizable to a certain degree. There are different fonts to choose from and finding a good one isn’t too tough, but I can’t find a background that I like. The default “paper texture” is probably the one that I like the best, but don’t quite like it.
Where I would really like a bit more gloss would be in the markdown preview. I would really like to be able to change the font in the preview.
The app works beautifully. So far, its been entirely bug free and stable for me. No crashes, no errors. I’ve written a few of the articles for this site entirely in Notesy, and it’s been a pretty solid experience. Sync is super fast, search works well, and everything is snappy.
A couple of features that I really like:
an option to automatically copy pre-rendered HTML to the clipboard whenever you view markdown.
An option to set email to automatically render and format as HTML
the “append” button. I don’t know what it’s actually called, but there is a down arrow which drops you to the bottom of the note. Very useful if you keep a grocery list, or a journal or something like that.
I heavily use markdown these days, and especially for just these functions. With a bluetooth keyboard, it’s very nearly easier to post from Notesy on my iPad than on the actual desktop. If I do need any sort of formatting in an email, it’s much quicker to type it out in Notesy than it is to tap a thousand times to get the formatting in Mail.app. It would be great if Notesy supported the somewhat unofficial footnote syntax for Markdown, but it’s understandable that it doesn’t.
I also really like the ability to have subfolders for notes, and have those folders at the top. Very helpful for organizing notes, and while I’ve been on OS X for the last 4 years, I’ve still never gotten used to have the folders interspersed throughout regular files. Also being able to choose the sort (I use reverse modified - recent notes to the top) makes the app much more usable than those with less customizable interfaces.
So it’s Notesy for now. I would really, really like to see an nvALT fork for iOS, but I’m not holding my breath. At the moment though, Notesy seems to be the cream of the iOS note-taking crop.
So if you’ve paid any attention to my blog you would know, I’m pretty established in my fitness. I swim, I lifeguard, I Zumba etc. But the one thing I do NOT do, is run.
Well this app changed that. I already had the original Zombies, Run! And I use it primarily for HIIT. (Walk, light jog and sprint when the zombies eventually show up). But I never did it often because my ankles were too sore. I started at week 2 because week 1 was too easy for me.
This is an 8 week program and you’re supposed to do it 3x a week. Each week the workout is the same BUT they tell you a different “story.”
What it does is tells you a mini story, tells you when to walk and when to jog (or do knee lifts) and integrates your own music into it. Every week is different and gets progressively harder and works on different things.
For example week 3 had a 5 min walk, 5 min run, walk/jog/knee lift drills (like 10 times) and finally a 8 minute run.
Week 4 (what I’m on) was the same except instead of walk/jog/knee lifts, it was slow walk/fast walk/knee lifts. Then we did 4 cycles of 30 secs jogging and 1 minute walking and finally a 15 minute run.
This app has motivated me, made me laugh and made me feel invested in the characters. The app is 2 dollars and available for apple and android devices. It’s supposed to act as a prequel to the actual Zombies,Run! App (4 dollars). The characters always tend to pop in with a “2 minutes longer, you’re almost there!” just when I’m about to quit.
It also features a 5k mode once you can do them and a 10k mode if you eventually work up to that.
In short, this app has helped my ankles and my heart rate is starting to come down as I go through the program because I’m building stamina.
If you wanna run, but get bored, seriously this app is for you!
The 3 Apps I will be reviewing today are Hamster Collection, Spoon Pets, and Hamster Life. They are the only apps I know of that involve hamsters being in cups - IF ANYONE KNOWS OF ANY OTHER APPS INVOLVING HAMSTERS BEING IN CUPS PLEASE LET ME KNOW!!
First let’s talk about Hamster Collection.
It seems to be the most well known of the 3. It involves collecting hamsters and buying or earning toys for them, setting up the toys in various arrangements around the cage, putting out treats and watching the hamsters interact with the toys.
One huge “pro” of this game is that the very first toy you get - the one that they give you for free during the intro tutorial - is a mug cup!! Also a pro: if you focus on “buying” as many hamsters as possible early on (as opposed to wasting golden seeds on fancy food when you can just give them free food) you will start to earn reward currency faster and faster. The hamsters you have, the more rewards you get. If you focus on hamster acquisition and watch all the available ads for the first few days you can fully expand your cage within a week without spending any real money. But there are cons as well: The animations are very basic, and there is no way to get rid of the ads. The ads do not interrupt gameplay and make you wait to continue playing while you watch them - they are small banners at bottom and top of the screen that only appear during certain actions - but they are still annoying and there is no option to pay to get rid of them.
Also, con-wise, there really isn’t a whole lot to DO in Hamster Collection. There are no puzzles to solve or in-game mini-games or anything like that. It is called “Hamster Collection” and that is what you do: it would be more accurate to say that you COLLECT than to say you PLAY. It is not something that I would find fun to keep up with for a long time, but for a few weeks it is entertaining.
Overall rating for Hamster Collection: OK.
Next up is Spoon Pets.
I do not believe this app was ever designed to be a real game, so much as it was designed to be an advertisement for the physical Spoon Pets - the collectible toys you can get at amazon.co.jp and other places.
It is far more annoying than fun.
There is barely anything at all to DO, and it is hard to even BUY anything interesting (without paying real money) since you earn spoons (which are the currency of the game) verrry slowly.
From a hamster-in-cups standpoint, it is annoying that the majority of the animals are NOT actually hamsters, but since they all have the exact same body shape and tail the only way to tell hamsters apart from non-hamsters in by minuscule differences in ear shape (or sometimes nose shape or “hair”). In the case of the squirrel and the bear, there is no way at all to tell that they are not hamsters except their coloration, which is always different for every pet, so you have to just KNOW. Here is a picture of 3 hamsters in cups, with 1 hamster on the ground, plus 2 cats, a dog, a horse, a chicken, a squirrel, and (mostly hidden behind the wheel) a pig.
Overall rating for Spoon Pets: JUST NO.
Ok, last but far from least we have Hamster Life.
I love this game. I played it every day for over a year, which was how long it took me to beat all the levels of games. There are all sorts of aspects to this game - your cage, the main stage games, the hard stage games, the weekly games, a playground with dress-up, gatcha treats collecting, even social interaction with other players (if you get far enough). And there are lots of goals and lots of ways to earn new hamsters. Some hamsters can only be obtained by beating games on the main stage. Some can only be obtained by breeding. Also different SIZES of the hamsters can be obtained by breeding. Some hamsters can only be earned by petting the hamsters you already own. Some hamsters can only be obtained by collecting gatcha treats. And more! And there are a bazillion cage setups. You can change the wallpaper, the bedding, the cage bars, the toys, the food (which you only have to buy ONCE and you get an unlimited supply of that type), the food DISH, the water bottle, the wheel, the house. Eventually you get to visit other players’ cages, see all sorts of adorable setups, and get rewards for petting THEIR hamsters too.
The ONLY real problem (which is only really a problem at all from a strictly hamsters-in-cups standpoint) is that, well… while you CAN buy a cup house which the hamsters DO go inside of, they disappear from the screen when they enter any house so you can never SEE them while they are inside the cup-house, and therefore I could not ever get any pictures to post on this blog from the game. There are hamsters inside of a cup in this game, but…. well, here is a token image of a cage setup I had which includes the cup house:
Overall rating for Hamster Life: AWESOME
(for more cool Hamster Life cage setups, not involving cups, see below the cut)
I hate air fresheners, and most commercial perfumes for that matter- if I wanted my house/self to smell like chemicals, I’d spray myself with ammonia. But I kind of got curious about the scented wax melts craze that seems to have hit. I looked around, tried a few- one was labeled eucalyptus mint, and smelled okay solid, but when I melted it, it smelled like men’s deodorant. Gag.
But one treasure I stumbled upon: Wood Essence wax melts from Woodwick. They’re a teeny bit cheaper than the others ($1.50 versus $2.00), and they smell so nice KD not overpowering or fake at all. The one I brought home was Blackberry Spice, and it makes my room smell like a lovely pie is baking. And Woodwick’s candles in general are wonderful- I would give my left arm for something from their Brownstone Ribbonwick line- the container of the candle alone is gorgeous
For you Technopagans: (heh, Buffy reference) I’ve been looking at the free apps in the google play store (please, I don’t even pay for games, why would I pay for apps), and I’ve found the usual scammy shit that people try to pass off- but I also found “Wiccan and Witchcraft Spells APP”. Its icon is a purple pentacle- simple, hard to miss.
When you open the app, it gives you a list of icons to choose from, your subsections. Wicca radio international (which I haven’t poked at yet, due to being busy), a current moon phase tracker (which is great), How to write spells, symbols and correspondences, spells for animals and pets, beauty, binding, blessings, car and travel, charm bags, god/goddess chants, cleansings- FWHAAA I could go on and on! But the basic rundown is this:
The current moon phase tracker is the best little thing since apple pie- if you’re like me and don’t know what phase the moon is unless you’re looking right at it. Whip out your phone while you’re shopping and bam, you know.
The one time I played with the radio, it sounded like christian music was playing, so honestly I just went “._.;” and turned it off.
I would say it’s great for the beginner. Think of it as a pocket reference- each section gives you a little nudge in the right direction.
There is some shit in it, as there will be with all things in life. Near the bottom, there are a few icons labled “life can be magick” and “magickpower.com” that are trying to basically promise the world…For only seventeen installments of $19.99! Bunny traps.
Some parts look copypasted from some bullshit internet source- like Beauty spells for physical changes (eyecolor, ect), and some invisibility spell in enochian that I honestly am too lazy to do anything but doubt. But in the same breath, there are legit useful ones like a spell for beautiful hair, which includes a recipe with things that are good for your hair like oils and egg. Common sense, people.
The Binding spells, section, however, is so similar to some in my own book of shadows that I could cry from joy. And the charm bags have some useful color/herb correspondences, as well as recipes for specific bags.
Despite that, it’s overall a nice little app, especially for the price (freeeeeeee) And I’d definitely recommend it for the witch on the go.
These are my absolute favorite apps and I probably couldn’t function without most of them. I have an Android, so I know all of these are available for Android. I don’t know if they work on iPhone. Sorry.
SwiftKey Keyboard App
This is the very first thing I download onto a new phone or tablet. I’ve been using it for years. It’s a third-party keyboard app that is better than standard keyboard I’ve used. It is vastly superior to the Samsung keyboard, even the Galaxy keyboards. One of my favorite features is the kick-ass autocorrect and text prediction that learns and improves the more you use it. I can be blackout drunk and still text with almost no typos. My other favorite feature is Flow, similar to Swype, which allows you to drag your finger across the keyboard in one motion, and it predicts what you meant. It makes one-handed texting so easy.
Clean Master Lite
This is the second thing I download onto a new phone or tablet. It’s an absolute necessity. It cleans out junk files, freeing up space (which is really necessary when you have 8GB storage and nearly half of it is bullshit you can’t delete). It also shuts down unnecessary operations to boost ram, warns you when your phone is overheating, and hibernates apps that tend to stay running in the background to save battery.
Everybody has their favorite photo editing app. This is mine. I don’t know anything about proper photo editing, and this app makes it really simple. There’s an auto-edit slider to fix brightness and saturation issues. There’s a wide variety of filters. There are cosmetic options like automatic face slimming, eye widening, and softening (makes your pores basically invisible). There are cute stickers. It’s good stuff.
DBSA Wellness Tracker
This is a little more personal and might not be useful for everyone, but it’s incredibly helpful for me. I have bipolar disorder, and I have to work very hard to keep it under control. Part of that work includes tracking my mood and health. This app is the best way I have found to do that. Every day (I recommend doing it at the end of the day), you report on a wide variety of aspects of your health. Your “well-being,” wherein you report your general mood state, ranging from severe mania to severe depression (it helpfully defines these terms for you) and things like how you felt when you woke up, how much energy you had, and whether you have felt generally okay today. Your symptoms, where you rank how often you experienced symptoms like sadness, irritability, racing thoughts, suicidal ideation, etc on a scale of 0 (not at all) to 4 (all day). Your lifestyle, which asks you how much sleep you got, if you’ve taken your meds, if you exercised and how much, if you’ve had any alcohol, tobacco, or drugs, if you’re on your period, and if any significant life events occurred today. It has a section to input which medications you take and record if you experience side effects. You can also track your physical health, including your weight, blood pressure, cholesterol, etc. It tracks your responses over time and provides reports in helpful graph form, which allows you to identify trends and triggers and hopefully notice episodes before they get out of hand. If you’re bipolar, this is a must-have. If you have depression or another mood disorder, I still recommend this.
You’ve probably heard of this budgeting/money-tracking app. You set up a budget and attach it to your bank account, and it tracks what you are spending money on relative to the budget you’ve set up. If, like me, you’re terrible with money, it’s a great help. And also a depressing reminder that you’re poor and bad with money.
So those are my favorite apps. Do you have any recommendations?
I love TripIt. It’s a buy-it-roses-and-take-it-out-to-dinner kind of love. It’s the easiest way I’ve found to keep your travel arrangements organized and accessible. Just forward the confirmation emails you get from online travel agencies like Expedia, car rentals, hotels, airlines, and even Ticketmaster and it automagically builds a trip itinerary. No more digging through your inbox to find a flight or reservation number. Gmail users don’t even have to forward their emails. TripIt can scan their inbox for confirmation emails and import them automatically. Once you get past the creepy factor, it’s pretty cool. You won’t be able to parse emails from small travel agencies and hotels, but it’s easy enough to manually enter them. You can also have Tripit synch with your calendar.
From the itinerary you can check in to your flight, call the airline or business or get directions. Itineraries are stored locally in case of sketchy connections, expensive international data plans, or in-flight perusing.
Trips can be shared with others and you can keep tabs on the comings and goings of friends and colleagues you connect with on TripIt. My only problem came from multiple travelers with diverging plans sharing an itinerary. I didn’t want to see the other person’s plans on my trip so I deleted their meticulously thorough itinerary thinking it would only delete it from my version of the itinerary. Not quite. Oops.
There is a pro version, that helps you track your reward programs, get notifications for flight changes and checks to see if you are eligible for a refund on airfare among other features. I’ll be trying it when I next buy a few airline tickets. All in all, a must have even for casual travelers.
I posted about this on my personal Facebook earlier today, but now I feel like it needs to actually be shared on here now that I have a space to put it.
Very few people know just how bad my bedroom was. It was never a space where I felt in control - I kept putting off organizing and cleaning and it never got done. So it kept getting worse and worse and more out of control until I found this app.
The Procraster app gets a 10/10 in my book. I’ve been using it to finish getting the house ready for a very important friend to get here and the focus on cleaning sessions rather than “gotta finish the task” is amazing. It goes on the same principle of Unfuck your Habitat, but even that one hasn’t worked very well for me. I’ve been doing four 25/5 sessions a day for the past few days and my room is almost completely organized minus just a bit of clutter and it hasn’t felt so overwhelming. But what makes Procraster work for me is the fact that you go in and tell it why you’re not able to even start the project. Rather than telling you to just jump in and do it, it gives you a motivational speech to get it done! It’s very helpful and even tells you “it’s ok to be overwhelmed.”
I highly recommend it for people that get overwhelmed easily by projects, it lets you divide everything into tasks and sessions, and it gives you a reward system as well. Not only do you get a break from working every 25 minutes, you get a chart that shows you the progress you’ve made and the amount of productive minutes you’ve had, which is actually a lot nicer than I thought it would be because it gives you a proper visual.
so basically. Procraster, $1.99 on the iTunes app store. 10/10, it’s a wonderful app and I’m going to keep using it.
So I downloaded that app called Episode that has all the ads all over tumblr mobile
It is admittedly rather interesting and there are many many many story lines for those interested in many things
THE HETERONORMATIVITY HURTS
You can only play as a female character (from what I’ve seen. I haven’t found a story that lets me play as a male character at all)
EVERY CHAPTER YOU WANT TO ADVANCE TO FROM THE FIRST CHAPTER AND ON REQUIRES YOU TO PAY AN IN GAME CURRENCY CALLED TICKETS. YOU GET TWO TICKETS EVERY TWO HOURS. THE CHAPTERS TAKE ON AVERAGE FIVE TO SEVEN MINUTES TOPS TEN DEPENDING ON YOUR READING SPEED (although you don’t read much more than a sentence per action) AND TO GET ANY MORE TICKETS YOU HAVE TO PAY ACTUAL MONEY.
The animation actually isn’t that great
In certain stories, you don’t get any choices about what your character says/looks like/thinks
AGAIN JUST. THE HETERONORMATIVITY. I WANT TO FLIRT WITH THE FEMALE CHARACTERS. I WANT TO. BUT NO. IF I WANNA FLIRT WITH ANYONE IT HAS TO BE A GUY WTF THESE GUYS ARENT EVEN ATTRACTIVE AND MOST OF THEM ARE FUCKBOYS
SO LITTLE POC CHARACTERS. SO FEW.
In short. If you don’t mind playing as a straight white female character who flirts with every guy in the game and has very limited options for what to do and you don’t mind waiting two hours to play two five to ten minute chapters, or else paying for overpriced tickets for more of this white female heteronormativity, then this is totally the game for you.
Just the fact that Her (a dating app for wlw) allows trans guys on the app is both lesbophobia and transphobia and like, it’s just generally shitty and misogynistic for men to join a dating app for women. Not to mention in the orientation section of the profile page it lets you pu down straight woman
The app fuckin sucks anyway unless you pay a fuckin monthly subscription it’s honestly not worth downloading
Field (Formerly called 3nder. Which was a far more clever name in my opinion) isn’t specifically a poly dating app. It’s for singles or couples to explore their sexuality. The fact that it allows people to create paired accounts is pretty cool for non-monogomous people though.
Unfortunately this is very sparse in terms of the number of people actually using it. According to the play store it has over 100k downloads but I don’t ever seem to be able to find anyone on it ever. The other glaring issue is the fact that you MUST use facebook photos. So if you are like me and want to create an account with a partner who you either do not have on facebook or if you are not ‘out’ as polyamorous on facebook then it can be annoying to add pictures. You can also add “interests” and “desires” which are basically the same thing and I don’t really understand what they do here. It’s not a very practical way or of showing what you like and what gets you going.
So yah Feild is only okay. I think it has a lot of potential. Maybe one day I’ll get a match that isn’t a bot or a camgirl trying to sell me something. But for now I’ll definitely have other apps in addition to this one.
Open is a dating app for people in open relationships or with open minds. Pretty clever name.
Open is a pain in the ass. I’m not sure because I haven’t had any real people match with me yet but I think you have to pay to talk with folks. It has a credit system but I don’t know if it actually does anything. It’s quite the convoluted mess quite frankly. Also for whatever reason some sections are in French and others in English which would be fine if it was one or the other. But I can’t speak Fringlish so it’s just odd. It has the same issues with only being able to add facebook pictures as Field. But this app is just a nightmare. It also aparently has over 100k downloads but I rarely have anyone pop up for me at all.
I don’t really like open and I don’t see much potential in it right now. But I won’t delete it because I’m an optimist.
Polyamorous dating/ Polyfinda:
These 2 apps are the same thing. I don’t know why they are both in the playstore. Either way. They are polyamorous dating apps (hence the name).
These apps are really tough to navigate but that’s because they have more too them than the last two apps. They are more like POF or OKC where as the other two are closer to tinder. Anyway, they’re not perfect but they’re not bad. They give you a lot of profile features to play with. Which gives you a bit more info about each profile. Such as drinking and smoking habits or if you have/wants pets or kids. So they’re a lot less empty. Polyfinda apparently has over 100k downloads while Polyamorous dating on shows 5k which is weird. I think there are more people here than the other ones though.
So I think this one is my favorite because it’s more geared at poly folks not just people in open relationships or swingers. It’s more for building relationships rather than hook ups. If they clean it’s layout up a bit I’d probably use it far more often.
So to summarize we need more poly dating apps withbetter functionality and we need more folks using them. I’ll be keeping all 3 of these apps… but I will also still be using tinder.
Let me know what you guys think! Obviously I just looked at the poly only dating apps. I didn’t review apps like tinder where poly people can be found but it’s not exactly aimed at us.
I didn’t expect to want to review this app, much less this soon after I started using it, but here we are.
I’ve never been much for drinking water. At one point around 2/3 of the way through my second deployment to Iraq, I was resting against the side of a HMMWV and drinking most of a liter of water, and one of my Marines happened to walk by. He exclaimed, “Holy crap, staff sergeant, you’re drinking water!” I asked him why that caused him to react that way. He told me that my Marines had wondered among themselves how I was still alive, since they never saw me drinking water.
I’ve always enjoyed that anecdote; but it’s true, I very seldom drink water.
Another anecdote: back when I originally got promoted to staff sergeant, I was in a bad habit of not PTing, and getting two donuts each morning from the Dunkin’ Donuts store that had just opened on base, conveniently placed on the route I walked to work. I attended the resident PME (primary miltary education) course for staff sergeants, and I knew I was going to be PTing a lot as part of the course, so I knew accepted the fact that I’d need to hydrate, and for the first few PT sessions, I’d done what was, for me, a great deal of hydrating. I was sucking wind, feeling worse than I figured I should have been, and I wasn’t making any improvements, so I decided to go back to normal. Within the first couple of PT sessions after that decision, I started seeing notable improvement, and I felt better after PT. I figured then that my body was just used to it.
These days, I’m more overweight than I have ever been before, and I’m finding it very difficult to motivate myself to get out of these doldrums. I’ve seen recently, and read about, the effect that hydrating properly can have on your body, and then I came across this app in the Google Play store.
I like the fact that it notifies you when you should drink. You enter your weight, and it suggests a goal of how many ounces (you can choose which units to use) you should drink on a daily basis. It also gives a list of possible drink sizes. The one I’m using is 16.9 ounces, and each time I get the notification, I drink a bottle, then refill it so it gets closer to room temperature by the time of the next notification. When you drink, it gives an icon of what you drank, and updates your total for the day.
I think that not remembering to drink water was one of the primary reasons for me not drinking. It just never really crossed my mind on a regular basis, and this app remedies that.
Now I’m considering starting a couple of 30-day challenges, once I’ve got this hydration habit underway for a couple of weeks. They worked for me before, and I know it’s a copout to push my start date into the future, but I do see other signs that I’m coming out of this blah period, so I have hope I can continue in this positive direction.
Anyway, I really like this app so far, and I think it will work very well moving forward. There may be other apps that track water intake this way, and give notifications, but I haven’t found any yet, so I’m going with this.
Apple and our customers place a high value on simple, refined, creative, well thought through interfaces. They take more work but are worth it. Apple sets a high bar. If your user interface is complex or less than very good, it may be rejected
5/5 star para sa app na to. Ililigtas sa mga awkward situations na gusto mong takasan. Effective. Pwede ka magset ng information at pic ng caller mo, ringtone, recorded voice at pwefe ka rin mag schedule ng tawag. The best. Must have app para sa mga gaya kong socially awkward. Madami lang ads. Hehe
I’m currently addicted to Cat Painter. It’s like Pictionary but with really cute cats that give you their drawings and you have to guess what they are. You can collect points or coins on the drawings you submit for decorating your studio, win awards, get more Appurrntices (the puns are adorable) and while you can spend money on buying everything, it’s optional.
It’s obviously made for children, but to me, that’s part of the charm. It lacks the competitive elements that can be stressful for some people, but it challenges you to get creative with the b&w pixel brush as you draw the themes. You can pick easy ones like animals or objects to more abstract concepts like a journey or emotions. Your work can be submitted to contests which you win based on how easy it was to solve or you can free-draw and display your work in your gallery or sell it for 10 points, which add up rather quickly! New items are unlocked as you progress.
I give it 4 out of 5 stars, mainly because of the Ads you have to watch once or twice, but that’s the only way it can remain free. For a dollar you can remove them. Also the contests take a day to be judged, so if you’re impatient, the contest part might not be for you. All in all it’s a cute game to kill time with and I love how it doesn’t force you to spend money to get past parts of it like too many games on the market these days.
If anyone plays My Candy Love or any BEEMOVE game, some of you might have heard of the new app game, Power Princess: Prince in Distress.
I like it because it plays on the cliche shit. Plus I mean, it’s a princess going after her prince on her own, like I don’t need no dick to help me. At first going through all of the available levels at the moment, I felt there were a lot that’s-not-fucking-possible-moments first go around but now that I’m just waiting around for new levels, might as well go back and just do whatever. Turns out its all very possible to, 1. Collect all the diamonds, 2. Don’t get hurt (at all) and 3. Complete the level.
Just give it a go. A bit buggy if you don’t have a solid WIFI connection and for each section the app kept closing down on me but it was nothing bad. (Just press the app again and you can play just fine) All things that can obviously be fixed with updates.
Wacom is famous world wide for their drawing tablets. With the Bamboo brand they offered a smaller version of their professional level technology to the consumer market targeting the younger upcoming artists.
The iPad now has the Bamboo Paper app. Which is FREE until the end of June. No one knows what pricing it may be after that.
The app itself is great for sketch artists or note takers that can’t stray from pen and paper. As a drawing app, it lacks versatility and is not recommendable. But for those who like to mind map or tend to use creative thinking this might be a great app for it.
Bamboo will likely announce a full featured Drawing app shortly.
This app replaces the yellow notepad that you used to bring around to all your meetings. Get a stylus for the full effect.
So I purchased the app finally. I feel really mixed feelings about though.
It allows you to put a list of things that you want to do and it has challenges that you can try out.
The good: - It has a timer built right into the app so it helps you stay on task for 20 minutes and then tells you to take a break. -allows you to input your own list of tasks -easy formatting -challenges are simple but important things that I would never think to do -it yells at me as motivation, which I need more than I’d like to admit
The Bad: Total User error. I just got over a severe bout of depression and thought I could handle myself better with this app. Well, again total user error, but it turns out 3 20/10′s and I pushed myself harder than i probably should have because during that last break, i face planted on my desk and fell hard asleep. Granted, it was the first time I’ve gotten decent sleep in three months. But um, maybe I should have looked to see if there difficultly levels.
Picture this: You’re given a decision to make, and the opportunity benefits and costs about the same. You really wish you could give yourself a quality tarot reading, but sadly you left your phone at home. You try to message someone on Tumblr, but you can’t be sure of the response time. What do you do?
SIMPLE! You open the “Golden Thread Tarot” app!
This application was free of charge in the app store (which to be honest, made me slightly question the quality of the application). However, they’d interacted with my metaphysical instagram account, so I thought I’d give it a shot.
I was blown away, pure and simple. The application has many features that are quite beneficial and I use it on a daily basis. Let’s go ahead and go over the various features and my thoughts.
ICON: The icon is simple and elegant in it’s display, and is honestly very pretty to just look at. It’s a golden eye on a dark background and it’s very subtle.
My Mirror: This is the initial page that you come to when you open the app each time. Within this page, you have access to various things (your daily card, your trend of emotions with the readings, question history, how prevalent suits are, your trend with emotions broken down, and a break down of topics as well as a lesson and a link to purchase the deck). As you can see, this is quite exhaustive for a tarot app and it surpassed my expectations by leaps and bounds.
Today’s Card: Each day at midnight, the “Today’s Card” section of the application resets, giving you a new card. This feature is super beneficial for either something to reflect on at night, or something to be aware of and starting your morning. When you use this feature, it shows an image of the card (the artwork is lovely), some quick key words for that particular card, some insight, then quick key words for the suit and the number assigned to the card. This is seriously an amazing feature that allows you to learn the cards or possibly learn a different side of tarot. After you close from the summary of the card you can “save to log” which has you rate the reading on how negative vs positive you feel towards the card, and then you have some key words and emotions you can select.
Mood: this shows the trend you’ve gone through based upon how positive or negative you rate each reading you place into your log. It’s beneficial to see just how you trend and change as you go along throughout various readings.
Questions Asked: This feature breaks down the various questions you’ve asked, and lets you reflect on what you asked the cards and the app. This feature is nifty to allow you to be able to review progress you’ve made in certain categories.
Suits: This is another feature I love. As a reader, I often make note of the suites that show themselves as most prominent in a reading, and this allows me to do the same for me, and to see which suits may be influencing my life most heavily as time progresses.
I’m going to keep the other features for you to search out and enjoy. I honestly love this app, and I give it 5/5 stars! If you can download it, do it! It’s going to be a very enjoyable tool to have at your disposal!
So I ran another test, this time using drawing softwares to see how well they work using a couple of the first tools available that were listed just to get an idea of what basic art in the software is like, I didn’t change the sizes of any tools unless that option was available as a default size. I used my oc Bittor yet again as a test subject since he’s relatively easy to draw but not too easy. I used the same methods of coloring and shading for each except the last program for a reason well get to in a bit. It is also worth mentioning I used the free versions of the software. The programs we have in order are: Autodesk Sketchbook, Sketch, IbsPaintX, and PaperDraw. Personally I think Autodesk yielded the best art and had minimal issues other than sometimes randomly deleting strokes. The next two programs are relatively similar and yield a lot of the same issues, though ibspaintx is certainly more professional. It is also worth mentioning that instead of paying you must watch ads to use certain tools in ibspaintx. I must say both make cuter looking art than Autodesk, but sketch looks a lot worse because of its minimal tools, and it makes certain actions difficult to take. Both programs don’t allow for the layers to be merged, which causes issues on top of both programs not allowing for you to fill in shapes correctly if there’s another, visible layer underneath them. But other than that they work pretty well. I do have to say that I strongly dislike PaperDraw, it has no fill tool, no good normal tools, you have to pay to get an additional 4 tools and layers, and if you import an image you can’t remove it, nor erase it. It’s the worst by far and I strongly don’t recommend it unless you’re going to use it like one of those kids drawing apps or maybe for extremely rough sketches but that’s about it.
I received a very welcome notification this morning from my App Store sales tracker letting me know that the very awesome FX Photo Studio was on sale for 99 cents. I’ve been eyeing this app for a while, waiting for the price to come down a bit so I could play with it.
After forking over my dollar and waiting for the download, I eagerly load the app and am greeted by this simple intro screen:
The great thing about FX Photo Studio is that it is a powerhouse of an application, with multiple functionality, providing a little bit of everything for the iPhoneography enthusiast. Having an introduction screen with a few simple actions ensured that I wasn’t completely intimidated by all of its features at once. A cool feature is the little lens in the middle of the flower actually reflecting images from either your front or back camera. Can you see my cheesy smile?
Wanting to give FX Photo Studio an initial test run, I decided to load up a less than amazing photo I took earlier today:
Nothing too special, right? Let’s see what we can produce with FX Photo Studio.
For the Instagramers and square photographers out there, you’re going to love this. Upon importing a photo, FX Photo Studio immediately asks to crop your photo into a perfect square with a simple as hell interface, removing one less headache when prepping your next Instagram shot.
As I mentioned before, FX Photo Studio packs a hell of a punch in its feature set, but somehow elegantly provides a user interface that doesn’t scare you away. Everything is neatly organised into toolsets:
Tools - for image adjustments, image cropping and rotation.
Color Splash - an awesome in-built feature that turns your photo into a black and white image and enables you to selectively restore colour to a desired portion of the photo).
Add Text - enables you to add some cool labels and captions to your photo.
Add Effect - lets you get to work on your photo with 194 effects/filters to choose from!
Adjusting my image for better clarity was a pinch. Quickly tap in a light filter, some tilt shift and minor adjustments and we get this:
It’s looking a lot better right?
FX Photo Studio has serious amount of filters and effects, way too many to explore in one review so I’ve uploaded a few versions of the same photo with some of FX Photo Studio’s filters applied:
(1) Some serious sketchwork
(2) A really nice filter that outlines edges
(3) More sketchy stuff, this time with the plane untouched, while the rest of the photo gets the filter treatment (another cool feature of FX Photo Studio)
I could go on for days about the intricacies of the app and some of the interesting features, but it’s better if you just get in there yourself and have a play with it. Here are a few extra things that caught my eye:
A button that randomises the filter applied to your photo (for those moments where you just want to see what you get).
The ability to “cutout” certain areas of the photo where the filter will not be applied to (see the photo above - I selected the area of the plane and had the filter applied to everything around it).
There are a heck of a lot of filters and effects, luckily there is a favourites feature which lets you organise the ones you enjoy using the most for easier access.
When applying filters and saving in high resolution, that progress bar can be a killer. FX Photo Studio has included some random, but interesting, facts to read while we wait for the iPhone’s processor to do its work.
You can export the photo you are working on not only to the usual places (Camera Roll, Email, Facebook etc.), but also straight into Instagram, Tumblr, your wireless printer and to their very own International Photo Contests which, if you’re lucky, will see your photos featured in real galleries around the world!
Had I known about the intense power and feature set of this app, I wouldn’t have waited for a price drop. It works well with high resolution photos, has more features than I know what to do with and provides everything in a beautiful, elegant interface. Well worth the purchase!
If you’re on time, you can catch FX Photo Studio on sale for 99 cents by clicking here!
Silent Ops is the new secret agent action game for iPhone released by Gameloft. After playing one of their last hot releases Backstab, I was thoroughly looking forward to delving into this new adventure.
In Silent Opsyou are a part of a secret organization protecting the world from “invisible threats of the 21st Century”. In this case, against another team of secret villains who are creating a virus that could spread and destroy the world in a matter of hours! Of course it’s up to you to stop them. The opening scene looks great. In fact, all of the movie sequences are very well done and beautiful to watch. Gameloft has definitely perfected their use of cinematic imagery to progress their storylines, and Special Ops is no exception.
Now, the storyline is not so cut and dry. For one, you begin as a special agent in another man’s memory. You see the secret labs of the evil doers testing the virus and kill many, many of their armed agents. Mostly this is practice and tutorial stuff, but the levels are all labs that all look the same and the evil agents aren’t very smart. After completing this level you are now 8 years in the future, still after those that are creating the dangerous virus. It kind of jumps around from there, different characters and multiple locations, making it a little messy and hard to keep track of. The good thing is your character is mostly interested in killing bad guys, and the storyline doesn’t really affect you from doing this.
Since killing the bad guys is the main focus, one would hope the bad guys would be a challenge. Unfortunately they aren’t. One strange thing is if you approach them, they seem to forget they have a gun and just start fist fighting you. They are easily defeated, which is good for you, but still kind of awkward. They are also all over the place, seeming to run patterns in the levels and if you wait in one spot long enough, eventually they will rotate and you will get them. At one point I stood right beside two of them and they didn’t even draw a weapon, as if I wasn’t there. It seemed a little glitchy which makes it not quite as fun.
Aside from the combat glitches, your character has great secret agent killing machine options. There are multiple ways to kill your enemies, including various gun choices, sniper and stealth modes and hand to hand combat. It’s easy to maneuver the character and different levels introduce new obstacles and ways to get around them, including hanging over railings and climbing up elevator shafts. The shooting is simple, familiar and fairly accurate. The killing scenes are bloody and satisfying to watch when you get it right. You play three different agents in the game and they all have their own special abilities. There are also two different multiplayer modes: Death mode and Capture the flag which can be played with up to 12 players within two teams.
Ultimately, Silent Ops is a good shooting game with a secret agent theme that is very entertaining. Those that are fans of their previous action games, are sure to enjoy this one. It’s currently $6.99 in the app store.
Brihanna has been a tech fanatic and computer nerd nearly all her life. When she isn’t chasing around kids or glued to her iPhone, she is updating app junkies like herself on where to find the latest go-to apps. Brihanna is the creator of the App Junkie column at The Smartphone App Review. You can also follow her on Twitter @brihannajoi