Apps

10 offline free-to-play mobile games

Lockdown games to play!

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It’s the perfect time to disconnect. Maybe it isn’t because you want to; maybe it’s having an unreliable connection, hiding from work-from-home tasks, or you’re just about done with the internet for a while. Whatever it is, we all need a little dissociation from the hell the world has recently let loose.

Here are 10 free-to-play mobile games to hopefully help you get through this rough patch.

Cover Fire

Get it on Android and iOS

In Cover Fire, you lead a squad through sieged cities, deserts, and fields. You get prompted missions and encounter (surprise, surprise) enemies. Fundamental mechanics are to cover and fire which earns this game a slow clap for making it the name of the game. See what I did there. The game manages to maintain simple mechanics and controls while keeping some of the fun from playing an online FPS (first-person shooter). For people who like playing Call of Duty Mobile but don’t have a stable connection, fear not! This is a really good game that scratches the itch. 

Adorable Home

Get it on Android and iOS

Adorable Home is a cute passive simulation mobile game developed by HyperBeard. The game seems to be a tip of the hat to Neko Atsume by Hit-Point Co., Ltd. with cats being the surrounding theme. Adorable Home lives up to its name quite literally with cute creatures visiting your lovely home at random hours of the day; bento boxes for your partner prepped and ready, and of course, your lovely cats! You can decorate your home, prep bento boxes, and play with your cats. Enjoy the calm and passive play.

Dadish

Get it on Android and iOS

Dadish is a dad and a radish. His kids have gone missing from his vegetable patch and he’s off to rescue them. You’ll be exploring a quirky world while facing off fast-food foes on your way. This mobile platformer is heavy on the nostalgia with it’s charming pixel design and snarky humor. But out of everything, you’ll be humming away with arguably one of the best soundtracks I’ve heard from a mobile game. Don’t let that fool you though. Stages can get tough to go through which makes this a potentially good mobile game to add for speed runs.

Tsuki Adventure

Get it on Android and iOS

Ever dreamed of settling down to the countryside? Well, you’re in luck. Tsuki Adventure is a relaxing, story-based game filled with charming and adorable animals.  You can check in on Tsuki throughout the day, collect and harvest items, and visit locations around the country. This game has stunning design and you’ll need to see it to believe it. The game is charming in how laid back it is while maintaining a good amount of interaction. The one thing that makes this game strikingly good is its storytelling. Every moment in this game is beautiful: from the stunning view, to the stories behind each new friend.

Hungry Hearts Diner

Get it on Android and iOS 

This game will steal your heart away. If you’re looking for another Diner Dash game on mobile, you’ll like this one — but not for the reasons you’ll expect. Hungry Hearts Diner: A Tale of Star-Crossed Souls is such a wonderfully gentle game of a grandmother who keeps cooking for the people who come to her restaurant. You can talk to your customers and have a deeper connection with each customer as they drop by. The soundtrack against the stunning graphics makes this game lovely. You should really give it a go.

Kingdom Rush

Get it on Android and iOS

Kingdom Rush is a tower defense game developed by Ironhide Game Studio and published by Armor Games. I know this is me being obscenely late to the party, this was first released as a free flash browser game in 2011. The game has since been adapted for both mobile and Steam and has various iterations available. I’ll be straight with you, I’m not a fan of tower defesce games. But there’s something extremely compelling about Kingdom Rush, whether it’s cute art, the Candy Crush style story mode or just the mass of enemies that want to murder you. Either way, I almost didn’t finish this article from playing this game too much.

My Home — Design Dreams

Get it on Android and iOS

My Home — Design Dreams is a design simulation game with a twist of a match-three puzzle game. From a flat to a mansion, you can design and decorate everything the way you want. Since staying indoors and needing to reduce all human contact, I was weirdly in the mood for some interior designing. Since that’s impossible to currently achieve. I gave this one a go. It’s a really good game that incentivizes the its match-three puzzle mechanics. If you’re into designing your own home, you’ll have fun playing this one.

Cat Bird

Get it on Android and iOS

If you want a game that’s adorably challenging, I might have the game for you: Cat Bird. It’s a title developed by Rayumi Adventure, an independent studio headed by Ryan Carag. If you like pixel art, you might want to check other titles from the same studio because they’ve developed similarly designed games. This game is fun, adorable, and strangely unsettling when you find out in my review what I sat through.

Fallout Shelter

Get it on Android and iOS

It’s been out for years and, it’s here for a reason. We can’t just drop the classics on this list. Fallout Shelter is a free-to-play game that let’s you control and build your very own underground vault. It let’s you oversee a thriving community, building it one room at a time. You can explore the wasteland beyond your vault, and protect your inhabitants from incoming dangers from both outside and in. This is the kind of game that you’ll keep coming back to, probably because you’ve just remembered your starving inhabitants. Good for fans of the Fallout series, or if you’re yearning to build your own colony of vault dwellers.

Magic Tiles 3

Get it on Android and iOS 

It wouldn’t be fair to drop the classics on this list. 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 when you’re online. If you can, download as many songs as you can when you can.

I tried to add as many offline free-to-play mobile games under different genres as I could. Hopefully, you get to find the game to fill your time with something fun on this list. Not everyone has access to stable and reliable connection. Even then, not everyone wants to stay taped to the internet day in and out. So, if you have a good offline free-to-play mobile game to add, let us know!

Apps

Facebook wants to acquire Dubsmash to fight TikTok

Snapchat also wanted to get in on it

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Do you remember Dubsmash? Before TikTok’s meteoric rise, Dubsmash dominated the short-form video format. The platform’s lip-syncing format prototyped TikTok’s current mashup trends. It even facilitated the rise of some celebrities like Maine Mendoza. However, TikTok eventually snatched Dubsmash’s seat atop app rankings. However, despite Dubsmash’s decline, the platform has not disappeared just yet. In particular, Facebook wants to acquire Dubsmash to fight TikTok.

According to The Information’s sources, Facebook and Snap recently expressed interest in buying Dubsmash. Apparently, discussions have already progressed far enough to reach a potential price reaching hundreds of millions of dollars.

Going against The Information’s report, Reuters has reported that Snap had already exited the acquisition talks and dropped all interest. Facebook, however, did not comment.

With TikTok facing tremendous pressure from the American government, the stage is set for a potential upheaval of the short-form video format. On one hand, Microsoft and Twitter are already considering buying out TikTok’s American operations, facilitating TikTok’s continued dominance albeit under new management. In another possibility, Facebook’s Instagram recently launched Instagram Reels, a homegrown alternative to TikTok. Now, Facebook’s interest in Dubsmash expresses a new possibility of reviving a former player to upend TikTok.

Of note, Facebook’s interest coincides with Mark Zuckerberg’s current battle against the government over alleged and proven antitrust practices, including acquiring rival companies to stifle competition.

Regardless, TikTok’s woes has busted the app industry wide open. Who will take over TikTok’s dominance on the boards? Will TikTok even survive?

SEE ALSO: TikTok has collected user information illegally

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Apps

Google turns Android into world’s largest earthquake detection system

Using technology to make a difference

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2020 is the epitome of chaos with a pandemic, fear of cyber warfare, and government incapability. Amid all the negativity, Google has some refreshing news. Android, the world’s most widely used mobile operating system, will now leverage its reach to help detect an earthquake.

Pretty much every Android phone today sports an accelerometer, a sensor that can help detect seismographic movement. When this sensor is clubbed along with the user’s GPS data, researchers can use the phone as a live seismometer.

The University of California-Berkeley, along with funding from the state of California has launched a new app called MyShake. The app can use the phone’s onboard sensors to feed data in a massive network of devices that are constantly monitoring seismographic movement across the globe.

Using this same technology, Google is taking a step forward. Instead of relying on an app, it’s incorporating Android Earthquake Alerts System on every phone running on Google Play Services. The system is being touted as “the world’s largest earthquake detection network.”

The company studied historical accelerometer readings during earthquakes and found they could give some users up to a minute of notice. Since the feature is being rolled out via Play Services, the alerting system will be available on all active phones within a few weeks. The user won’t have to depend on the software update roll-out.

“We are on a path to delivering earthquake alerts wherever there are smartphones,” said Richard Allen, director of the University of California-Berkeley’s seismological lab and visiting faculty at Google over the last year.

Proactive alerts shall be limited to California for now. Google added that “over the coming year, you can expect to see the earthquake alerts coming to more states and countries using Android’s phone-based earthquake detection.”

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Apps

Google launches virtual visiting profile called People Cards

Time to google yourself!

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Have you ever googled yourself? If not, this new feature on Google search will surely prompt you to give it a shot. The search engine wants to make it easier to find new people and has unveiled a new feature in India called People Cards.

People Cards act like your virtual visiting card. If someone’s looking for you on Google, they’ll usually come across a few social media profile links or any other online content you’re associated with. Thanks to the new card, you can directly control how much information you want to keep up front.

The feature is limited to the mobile app for now. To set up your own card, all you need is an active mobile number and a Google account. It’s also limited to India for the time being and only supports English.

To create your own card, just:

  • Open the Google app on your phone.
  • Search for “add me to Search.”
  • You’ll immediately see a prompt to set up your card and after mobile number authentication, you’re all set.

You can enter brief details about yourself, add a bio, link social media profiles, and even make it easier to connect with you by publishing your email, website, or mobile number.

While the feature makes discovering people easy, it also opens a floodgate of privacy concerns. Spammers can easily collect information from the partially open system. We advise our readers to proceed with caution and ensure they’re not divulging any personal details.

Individuals who have already created their cards can opt-out of the experience anytime. In the case of people who share the same name, Google Search will show multiple modules.

The search giant says it has a number of mechanisms to fight spam and abuse. Only one card can be created by an account and you can flag a card in case of false information or an imposter.

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