Apps

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

Facebook to pay $650 million in facial recognition lawsuit

The company that never learns

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A federal judge has approved a settlement in which Facebook will pay US$ 650 million to a class-action lawsuit over its tagging feature. The lawsuit alleged that facial recognition technology, used to tag photos, infringed on users’ privacy.

Facebook users who submitted claims will get at least US$ 345 from the company, the AP reported. The lawsuit had claimed that the adoption of facial recognition technology was being done without seeking permission from users. The social network also failed to inform the users how long their data was being stored.

While many of us view the tagging option as a feature, the platform collects sensitive facial recognition data, whose handling procedures remain opaque. Facebook ended photo-tagging suggestions in 2019 and instead opted for a model to allow users to control what data the platform has over their face.

“Overall, the settlement is a major win for consumers in the hotly contested area of digital privacy,” wrote Judge Donato. “The standing issue makes this settlement all the more valuable because Facebook and other big tech companies continue to fight the proposition that a statutory privacy violation is a genuine harm.”

The class-action case was first filed in Illinois in 2015, suggesting a violation of the Biometric Information Privacy Act. Facebook initially agreed to pay US$ 550 million last year, but another $100 million was added to the judge’s insistence.

 

Attorney Jay Edelson, who originally filed the suit in Illinois in April 2015, told the Chicago Tribune that the settlement was a “big deal.” He also tweeted that the settlement, “was the largest cash privacy class action settlement in history.”

Facebook has an abysmal track record of managing users’ data. In 2019, The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) imposed a US$ 5 billion penalty on Facebook for misrepresenting users’ ability to control their facial recognition data, as well as other sensitive account metadata.

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Facebook unveils BARS, a TikTok-like app for rappers

Builiding a community dedicated for rappers

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Facebook has launched a new platform called BARS and it’s specially made for rappers. What’s its unique selling point? Unlike TikTok, BARS does not focus on transitions and lip-syncing to make content.

The app will allow budding rappers to focus on the lyrics rather than investing their time on expensive equipment and studios. You can choose from a wide array of premade beats, which can be leveraged by the rapper with their own lyrics and effects.

It also has a Challenge mode, wherein users can perform freestyle rap while incorporating auto-suggested lyrics. Aspiring rappers can just focus on the lyrics and record themselves to these beats. In addition, the app helps rappers finetune their craft as well with the help of auto-suggested rhymes while the user is writing.

BARS will let you select your rap experience level upon sign-up: Beginner, Intermediate, or Advanced. The Beginner selection will provide a handy auto-rhyme dictionary to help kickstart your experience. Advanced rappers get the Freestyle mode with several words to create an instantaneous rap.

Once users finish recording their videos in the app, they can share them across various social media outlets. The app has a TikTok-like feed where the discoverability is maximum. The app also promises “studio quality vocal effects,” including actual AutoTune.

After creating the videos, you can save them to your camera roll and share them on other social media platforms. For now, only a small number of iOS users can download the app in the US. Interested users can also sign up for the waitlist in the app.

BARS Community Manager DJ Iyer revealed in a blogpost that the Coronavirus pandemic has been one of the major reasons behind the creation of the app. “I know access to high-priced recording studios and production equipment can be limited for aspiring rappers. On top of that, the global pandemic shut down live performances where we often create and share our work,” he Iyer added.

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Apps

Disney+ now streaming in Singapore

Have you subscribed yet?

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The wait is over. Disney+ is now finally available in Singapore.

If you’ve been longing to stream Disney classics, new shows like The Mandalorian in the Star Wars universe, or just want a feel good flick from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, you can now do so via the streaming app.

The subscription costs SG$ 11.98 per month or SG$ 119.98 for a year. With it you’ll have access to a library of 500 movies and over 15,000 episodes of some of your favorite shows from Disney Channel.

You’ll also gain access to content by other major entertainment companies like Pixar, National Geographic, and Star.

To sign-up, users need to go to the Disney+ website and you’ll be asked to input your email address so they can keep you updated on how to subscribe. A subscription plan lets the user stream on four different devices at the same time. There are also different profiles for each subscription just like Netflix. However, instead of just five, Disney+ gives you up to seven profiles.

GeekCulture put together a list of supported devices so check them out to see if you have any of them.

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