Apps

AdorableHome: What’s got everyone hooked?

Send help

Published

on

I have to preface this article with the fact that I struggled a bit to write it because I was mainly obsessing over the tiny details of my home in AdorableHome. I can’t stop and I need help. Being assigned this article was a bit of a mistake considering I have a tendency of fixating over details with games like these. I want everything nice to fill the void that is the impossibility of all this being ever real in my lifetime.

What is AdorableHome?

It’s everything I need to escape my miserable life. Jokes aside, AdorableHome is a cute 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.

The game starts off with you picking out your character and your partner. It’s lovely to see that the developers didn’t pre-select your partner to be exclusively the opposite sex. You begin with just having moved into a new flat with your partner with your charming cat.

What is love?

“Baby, don’t hurt me. Don’t hurt me, no more.” Back to the game. It’s interesting. It doesn’t really stop at having cats dominate your home. AdorableHome lives up to its name quite literally. The currency of the game is “Love” which you can obtain by tending to your cat: feeding, petting, and grooming. And, it doesn’t stop there.

The game has you prep a bento box for your partner and you earn “Love” from that too. Similarly, cute elements give collectable love: the weather, lucky TV shows, and visitors.

Cats aren’t the only catch

I think the thing that got me hook, line, and sinker into this game is the fact that you get to furnish and design the home you moved into. There’s just so much decorating and styling on top of taking care of the cats and it just incentivizes making sure the cats are taken care of.

I mean, I spent almost half an hour making sure the garden looked great. But, there’s more reason to switch out and jazz up every room you have access to: visitors.

Silly memories and cute visitors

Once you expand to the garden, you quickly encounter other adorable animals. Which brings me to another thing that makes you check the game every now and again: the silly animals that show up and the memories.

When you sometimes launch the game, it asks you to take a photo which then is transferred to a photo album that shows every sweet or silly interaction. On top of that, there’s just a quirky bunch of animals that visit your home. They appear and disappear at random but, it’s fun to spot unlikely creatures hanging around your home.

There is a polar bear on my desk chair. A POLAR BEAR. Okay, game, okay.

Not as easy?

AdorableHome is a twinge deceptive with its simplicity. The game doesn’t just highlight the collection of cats in your household. It strangely brings to light the responsibilities that having a pet entail. The game goes into lengths to have you feed, pet, cut their nails, and bathe them.

Granted the game does lend an unrealistic number of times to which you tend to their needs, it does try. A detail that I love and hate about bathing the cats in the game is maintaining the temperature at warm, not scorching nor cool.

Cheats and ways to get the good good

Syke! Don’t cheat boys, girls, unicorns, and dragons. Unless you want to take away all the fun of the game then, go ahead. Anyways, playing this game sort of came at a serendipitous time. I’ve been thinking of adopting a pet for a while. I love animals, reptiles included.

I did, at some point, even saved up to get a bearded dragon but, you get the point. It’s been a point of contention to get a pet. I haven’t been sure if I had stable finances to care for a kitten or a pup. But recently, I’ve managed to save up after getting off my antidepressants.

Long story short, I’m looking to adopt a cat soon. Where I live, security has been chucking cats and kittens into sacks for disposal so, I figured it was high time I took a cat safely home.

From this process, I’d come to realize the value in adopting over shopping. I grew up surrounded by a good bunch of both adopted and bought pets. Taking care of both was equally fulfilling but I think that shifts when you realized the attention and affection you give to an adopted pet.

Adopt don’t shop, responsibly

Most pets set for adoption have gone through some form of mistreatment. And, that’s not to say, all of them have. I know some pets up for adoption are well cared for and that’s what the caretaker or owner ultimately wants: a loving home. So, establishing boundaries and hurdling through some trauma, I think it’s safe to say adopting can be a bit more challenging yet, even more fulfilling.

If you’d like to give this game a go, AdorableHome is available only on GooglePlay for Android (for now).

Apps

Amazon bans TikTok for employees, reverses decision in a few hours

Everyone’s worried about using TikTok now

Published

on

Amazon sent an internal memo to its employees, asking them to remove the TikTok from any mobile device that can access their company email. The memo was picked up by the mainstream media almost immediately and it served as an indication of how American companies are losing trust in the Chinese-backed app.

However, the company soon backtracked and an Amazon spokesperson said the request had been sent out in error and that there was no change to the company’s policies at the moment.

Company spokeswoman Jaci Anderson declined to answer questions about what caused the confounding turnaround or error. The original memo cited “security risks” as the reason for avoiding TikTok.

In response, TikTok failed to understand Amazon’s concerns. It did not receive any communication from Amazon before the email went out.

However, the social media app has received a lot of backlash from authorities due to its poor data privacy history. TikTok is banned in India and recently, the US suggested it’s considering a similar ban on the app.

Furthermore, US lawmakers have been concerned about the app for months now. The US army and navy instructed soldiers to delete the app from military devices in December. The biggest concern regarding TikTok is that its parent company, based in China, is required to share information collected on users with the Chinese government.

“We still do not understand their concerns, we welcome a dialogue so we can address any issues they may have and enable their team to continue participating in our community,” TikTok said.

Continue Reading

Apps

4K streaming could be cheaper soon

Thanks to the H.266 format

Published

on

Watching 4K videos on YouTube or Netflix is taxing on mobile data, consuming about a gigabyte or more. But a new compression method could change 4K streaming soon.

Developed by Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute, the H.266 / Versatile Video Coding format aims to bring a more efficient way of compressing and streaming videos digitally. This new standard is meant to replace two existing standards — the H.264/AVC and H.265 HEVC.

Compared to the two, H.266 can transmit 4K videos at a much lower file size. The institute says H.266 can transmit a 10-minute UHD video at only 5GB of data.

This is almost 50 percent more efficient than the most advanced video format in the market, H.265 HEVC. Right now, HEVC requires 10GB of data to transmit the same 10-minute UHD video. As such, consumers can expect cheaper 4K streams with the H.266 format.

For example, a 25-minute 4K video that clocks in at 4GB can be streamed at a much lower 2GB with the new format. This will drastically reduce data and bandwidth consumption for consumers and companies.

The new video format also tries to solve the patent royalty system that has long plagued H.264 and H.265. Right now, companies have to deal with the messy system of paying licenses and royalties just to include these formats to their apps and websites. H.266 does away with these licenses, promising a better deal than the old formats.

Support and availability

As of right now, support for H.266 is being worked on both the software and hardware level. According to the institute that developed the format, Media Coding Industry Format is working on chip designs that support the new format on a hardware level.

Meanwhile, the institute is working on an encoder and decoder software which will be released this autumn.

It is worth noting, however, that H.266/VVC is not the only format that promises to improve 4K streaming on devices. Most tech companies today are adopting AV1 alongside VP9. These two formats are developed by separate organizations.

Right now, these formats — along with the H.266 — promise a better way of streaming 4K that will ultimately benefit everyone.

Continue Reading

Apps

Google removes 25 apps for secretly stealing your data

The apps were downloaded more than 2 million times

Published

on

Google has removed 25 apps from its Play Store for slyly collecting your data in the background. The apps were collectively downloaded more than 2.3 million times before the company clamped down.

According to French cybersecurity firm Evina, the malicious apps were developed by the same threat group. They seemed to offer different functionalities but were fundamentally designed to phish data.

The apps disguised themselves as step counters, image editors, video editors, wallpaper apps, flashlight applications, file managers, and mobile games. While offering some functionality on the front, the end-goal was always to collect user data.

Basically, what these sinister apps do is steal Facebook user’s credentials if they regularly open the account on their phone. The phishing app would overlay a web browser window on top of the official Facebook app and load a fake Facebook login page. You’d assume you’re logging in to your account, but in reality, you just handed over your username and password.

Image by Evina

Evina discovered the flaw in these apps and contacted Google for further action at the end of May. Once the company’s findings were verified, the apps were kicked from the Play Store. Google not only removed the apps from the Play Store but also disabled them on users’ smartphones and informs them via the Play Protect feature.

In recent times, users are increasingly aware of phishing and data collection since social platforms like TikTok have also been caught red-handed. Apple has emphasized its focus on privacy and announced a host of new features to protect the user via iOS 14. Even Xiaomi has added a range of new methods to protect the user in MIUI 12.

Continue Reading

Trending