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10 free-to-play mobile games for Android and iOS

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A good mobile game could save you from getting bored out of your wits. Mobile games land their charm in the portability your consoles and PCs don’t have and the availability of games your handhelds don’t own. Granted that some of these games end up incentivising in-app purchasing or dump a crap-ton of ads, they are still fun to play. 

With that, here are my top ten picks:

Magic Tiles 3

If you were playing Tap Tap Revenge when it was released around the early 2000s, Magic Tiles 3 isn’t a far cry. Magic Tiles 3 is a popular piano game that has you tap on black tiles before they reach the bottom of the screen. The game will seem simple at first but, once you get into the groove, it’ll get addictively difficult. Magic Tiles 3 has various quests that let you unlock more songs to try out and play. It even has a battle mode to compete against your friends and other players.

Vainglory

It’s one of everyone’s favorite mobile multiplayer online battle arena games. Having quickly built a community after its initial release late 2014, Vainglory manages to integrate the MOBA playing style and compact it into a snug mobile game. You can play the game on casual, quick-play, or ranked.

It makes use of touch controls, so I don’t recommend playing the game on a tiny phone, especially when you have stubby fingers. A tablet would be best for this one but, if you think your handset is big enough or has a good stylus, this is a must-install.

Hearthstone

Hearthstone is an online collectible card dueling game where you unlock cards, build decks, and duel other players. Hearthstone extends the already existing lore of the Warcraft series by using the same elements, characters, and relics.

This is one of my favorites on this list. I’ve been playing since around a year ago, and if there’s anything you should know about any card game, it’s to believe in the heart of the cards. If you want to test your deck out, you can go against bots. As for testing your skill with building decks on the fly, you might want to try out the Arena. Though Blizzard Entertainment sometimes trips out on silly tavern brawls and new card releases, the game is a whole lot of fun. Sign into your Blizzard account to play it on PC, tablet, or your phone without losing progress!

Super Mario Run

A game that simplifies the nostalgic platformer. Super Mario Run lends itself like the generic mobile platformer with taps and holds for jumping and leaping, just with a charming plumber with a red hat. You can time your taps to pull off mid-air spins, jumps, and wall jumps. You can gather coins and reach the goal just like the original Super Mario. Even if it can get frustrating because Mario is locked on running forward (you read that right: there’s no turning back in this one), it’s still a fun casual game.

Mmm Fingers

Need something to play while waiting? Don’t have mobile data? Mmm Fingers is a simple game that threatens your fingers from getting chomped on by hungry monsters. It’s a game from the creators of Small Fry and Flappy Golf. Mechanics are easy: touch and hold your finger against the screen as long as you can. Stay away from anything with teeth, and whatever you do, don’t lift your fingers. You can show off your score and compete against your friends. It’s that easy!

Eternium

Eternium is an action role-playing game resembling the awesome classics: Diablo and Torchlight. With touch and swipe cast controls, this game sticks out. Even if the game seems to be exclusively playable online, you can actually play it offline when the content download completes. The best part? In-app purchasing for this game is generally frowned upon, so playing more gets you farther than paying for it. Be careful: I’ve seen our producer get sucked into playing it non-stop. It’s a familiar game with lots of perks — definitely something you should install.

Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel

If you grew up playing the trading card game, Yu-Gi-Oh!, you’re going to lose your stuff with this mobile game. Konami stepped into mobile games with voices straight out of the anime, intuitive controls, and 3D animations on signature monsters.

Before I stop speaking coherently because of how much I love this game, let me tell you why this is something I am absolutely floored to play. During the Yu-Gi-Oh Trading Card days, it was tough to find original cards. There were too many fakes lying around; not to mention, maintaining the quality and simply not losing them were difficult. Now, a mobile game that allows you to play just like in the anime series including fancy animations? This game is god-sent.

Hungry Shark World

Hungry Shark World is perfect for when you feel like rampaging around and seeing your shark grow. In this game, you play as a shark and basically feast on everything and anything in the ocean with the probable exception of naval mines. You can upgrade your shark and customize items to give you an upper-hand on your next feasting. This is one of those games I find myself laughing maniacally to — I can’t help it. Sticking a rocket on your shark’s tail to give it a reliable boost out the water to munch on birds is a sight I’ll cherish from now on.

Last Day on Earth: Survival

Last Day on Earth is a massively multiplayer online zombie shooter survival and strategy game, where all survivors are driven by a single task: staying alive. You spawn with just your underwear and have to survive as long as you can in a zombie apocalypse. The game is simple and competitive. With lots of items you can pick up and use as weapons, it can get pretty silly really fast. If you’re up to beat up the undead, you should give this a go.

Titanfall: Assault

Titanfall is a mobile real-time strategy game where you deploy Titans, Pilots, Sim Ninjas, Boomers, and a ton more to siege the Frontier. If you think this strategy game is a walk in the park, think again. Titanfall: Assault takes the game to a whole different level because you’ll be playing against someone else in real time. You can collect and upgrade cards along the way, and have fun uniting with your guild and conquering the Front with your friends!

SEE ALSO: Best Video Games of 2017 (Q2 Edition)

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Apps

Twitter expands character limit to 4,000 characters

But not for everyone

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Despite the traditional limitations, the platform’s users have always found a way to express themselves beyond Twitter’s character limits. Whether broken through extensive threads or third-party sites, strict limitations don’t exist anymore. Now, Twitter is essentially getting rid of the character limit by introducing its biggest expansion to date.

Announced today, Twitter will allow users to post tweets with up to 4,000 characters. That’s a gigantic leap from the original 140-character limit and the expanded 280-character limit in 2017. But, of course, some good things come with a price.

Not everyone will have access to the new feature. Currently, only Twitter Blue subscribers in the United States can create tweets of up to 4,000 characters. Besides original tweets, subscribers can also quote tweet with the same expanded limit.

Thankfully, the new feature will not inundate everyone’s feeds with an ocean of text. Any tweets going beyond 280 characters will be cut off with a “show more” prompt.

Through the past few months, the platform has changed a few fundamental elements before Musk took over. Most importantly, Twitter Blue, the platform’s paid subscription service is now much more expansive. Among other things, subscribers now get the coveted blue checkmark attached to their profiles. Now, they also get a massive boost in capabilities when it comes to tweeting.

SEE ALSO: Twitter is teasing an ad-free subscription tier

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Alibaba is working on its own ChatGPT alternative

Joins Microsoft and Google

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The United States isn’t the only country interested in language learning software. After the widespread success of ChatGPT, a few other companies — including Microsoft and Google — are developing their own versions of the popular software. Today, a new contender is joining the fray. Alibaba has officially announced the development of its own chatbot.

Reported by CNBC, the Chinese giant is currently testing its alternative to ChatGPT. Unfortunately, the announcement did not come with any more details or a timeframe for its release. However, the company does assure enthusiasts that it has been working on generative AI since 2017.

Within only a few months, ChatGPT created a maelstrom of hype for language learning models. The software can generate lengthy but comprehensible essays about any topic. Though there is some debate as to how ethical it is, remarkably intelligent software is slowly finding its niche in today’s world.

To compete with ChatGPT, Microsoft and Google have announced their own software this week. Microsoft is infusing the technology into Bing and Edge. Meanwhile, Google has its own software called Bard.

Also, besides Alibaba, Chinese search engine Baidu is also testing a chatbot called “Ernie bot.” With several companies working on generative AI, the technology is undoubtedly here to stay.

SEE ALSO: Google is working on a ChatGPT competitor called Bard

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Google will blur NSFW photos soon

Turned on by default

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When I search for “food porn” in Google, I’m looking for enticing photos of food to whet my appetite for dinner. Sometimes, Google has other plans and shows me more than what I bargained for. Finally, the search engine is implementing a way to save us from those awkward moments. Google will soon blur explicit images from search results.

For Safer Internet Day, Google has announced the feature to help protect users from accidentally seeing graphic images — including both gore and pornography — from a search. The feature, which will start rolling out in the coming months, will turn on by default. Instead of showing the images directly, users will face the blurred version and a prompt to view the image despite the warning.

If you don’t mind an accidental shower of NSFW imagery, you can turn the feature off at any time. Alternatively, as always, users can also choose to filter out all explicit search results, blurred or otherwise.

Though the feature is easily adjustable, Google will not offer the same flexibility to supervised accounts. Any accounts supervised by a parent or a school will not be able to change how they view explicit content. Parents can add supervision to the accounts of their children.

SEE ALSO: Google is working on a ChatGPT competitor called Bard

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