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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

SIM card vulnerability puts your sensitive information at risk

It’s called the SIMjacker

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SIM cards are very important. However, a new SIM card vulnerability found out by AdaptiveMobile Security might be putting our information at risk. The Simjacker exploit, which was recently found out and still being investigated on, allows malicious hackers to steal sensitive information from your phone through a SIM card.

Mechanism of attack

Infographic explaining the attack using Simjacker vulnerability | Photo by Simjacker.com

How does the Simjacker vulnerability work?


First, a hacker sends a malicious code to your phone through SMS. Then, the malicious code is read directly by your SIM card. The code then causes the [email protected] browser to send sensitive information to an accomplice device through SMS.

According to the report pulished by AdaptiveMobile Security regarding the vulnerability, the [email protected] browser is found on most SIM cards even though its development was abandoned many years ago. [email protected] browser was never updated, so it carries the risk of sending sensitive information to hackers when exploited successfully.

Sensitive information retrieved and transmitted by the [email protected] browser include location and the IMEI of an exploited device. The IMEI is a shorthand for International Mobile Equipment Identity, which is a 15 digit number unique to your smartphone that has some information about your device including its brand and model. As such, hackers can determine your exact location if you have a compromised SIM card, regardless of what device you have.

And the worst part of the attack is that you have no way of knowing that it has already been done since it all happens within the SIM card.

Origin and scope of the attack

The purpose for carrying an attack varies. However, the report traces the origin to an unspecified private company that works with governments to monitor individuals. So, there is a real possibility that it has been used to spy on us. And rightly so, since specific individuals were targeted in a certain country.

The report also warned that over one billion smartphones across all continents could be at risk to the vulnerability — and you could be one of them.

Response to the attack

In response to the discovered vulnerability, industry association SIMalliance has already put up recommendations for network providers to secure their networks. At this point in time, you can’t do anything to secure yourself from the vulnerability, unless you decided to go SIM-free.

But as a general rule of thumb, you shouldn’t just give your smartphone number like a free lunch. It also pays to update your smartphone once in a while, since some updates are designed to secure your phone from these kind of vulnerabilities and attacks.

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Apple TV+ launches with ridiculously low pricing

It’ll be free for a year for some users

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Apple has announced that it will begin streaming some of its original content for Apple TV+ starting November 1 for US$ 4.99. The subscription price is extremely affordable and meant to undercut rivals like Netflix, Prime Video, and Disney.

It will additionally be available through tv.apple.com on the web, select 2018, 2019 and newer Samsung smart TVs, and on Amazon Fire TV, LG, Roku, Sony and VIZIO platforms in the future.


Apple TV+ is expected to launch in over 100 countries, with up to six members to share one subscription at no extra cost. To lure more users, purchasing a new iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV in the coming weeks will get you a one year of subscription for free.

The service is launching with a panoply of star-filled titles, including Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon in The Morning Show and Hailee Steinfeld’s drama series Dickinson.

Apple named nine total titles that would be available at launch on Apple TV+. “All of these incredible shows for the price of a single movie rental,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said Tuesday on stage.

Though, critics say Apple’s offering isn’t actually comparable to the competition because they also have tonnes of licensed TV shows and movies. Focusing on original production is just a part of it and brands like Netflix have invested heavily in getting exclusive rights to many blockbuster creations.

Apple TV+ is in-line with the company’s attempt to monetize its virtual offerings. Instead of completely relying on hardware for revenue, Apple is slowly amping up its subscriptions models. Right now, other products include Apple Music, Apple News+, iCloud, and Apple Arcade.

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Facebook Dating is now live with Instagram integration

Hopefully, this doesn’t get awkward

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A few months back Facebook announced it’ll be releasing a matchmaking feature on its app. People who opt into Dating can create a profile that’s separate from their main Facebook profile with one tap and meet potential romantic partners among their friends of friends.

Then there’s a whole thing called “Secret Crush” where you can add up to nine Facebook friends or Instagram followers to a list, and if they secretly crush you back, you’ll both get notified.


Users of Instagram will also be able to integrate their posts directly into their “Facebook Dating” profile and give people the ability to add Instagram followers to “Secret Crush” lists. Eventually, the site will offer the ability for users to add Facebook and Instagram Stories to a dating profile.

Facebook’s blog post said the dating feature was designed to be “safe, inclusive and opt-in.” Users are able to report and block other users, and users are not allowed to send photos, links, payments or videos in messages. The feature is also restricted to users who are 18 and older.

And obviously, an algorithm will determine who you “may” like based on your previous activity. Critics have also pointed out that Facebook has a thin white line because users shouldn’t be too affected because of the service. Getting ignored by strangers is different, and getting ignored by one of your “friends” is different.

Modern tech-based brands are ruling the world and among the top is Tinder. The dating app is widely used and recognized. It was also the first one to come up with the infamous left or right swipe design. Other options include Ok Cupid, Bumble, and more.

For now, the matchmaking feature is limited to the US and we expect a gradual roll-out in other regions soon.

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