Apps

Dotpict is a fun app to start making pixel art

Or make pixel chicken scratch

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Dotpict is a pixel art painting app by Masaki Mitsuyama that makes the tedious job of working pixel by pixel a little bit easier. The app features a pen tip you can navigate to fill every pixel with your color of choice, an easily accessible and customizable palette below your pixel canvas, and a push button to select the pixel you want to work with.

Here come excuses

I’ve been ill for about two weeks with the flu and I was trying to find some way to feel less like a vegetable in bed having absolutely nothing to contribute. So, I went on Google Play looking for a game or an app to fill the time. I quickly found dotpict on my recommended apps. I installed it and quickly lost interest.

Attempts at pixel drawing

Alright, dotpict looks like a ton of fun and it can be. When I first began, it was daunting. I was decent at doodles and all, but creating pixel drawings was a little, if not significantly, different. It demands a ton of your attention and it doesn’t really help when you have the attention span of a goldfish.

Either way, the other works posted on the app are a mix of silly attempts and gorgeous creations which can tear through you with the reality that you may never be able to make works the likes of these amazing artists. For example, my first work:

My first attempt: not too bad?

As you can see, mistakes were made. I’m not too proud of this piece if I’m being honest. I was a little too ambitious on making pixel characters I grew up playing — to which I’d obviously not done a great job. From this point on, I ignored the app for a couple of days. I couldn’t quite grasp how to create pixel art.

I tried again and managed to draw this!

My second attempt

This was about a week into my flu. I’d gotten absolutely nothing done and I was tantalizingly close to bashing my head to scare the flu off its depressed host. I know, it is quite morbid, but being sick isn’t fun when you have tasks you want and need to get done. I was just at wit’s end and thought I’d give dotpict another try before I gave it a hard pass. To which, I’m happy I did because I did quite alright.

Features that help beginners

The app isn’t quite forgiving when it comes to making it easier for you if you want to design detailed pieces. It does help you with all the items you need to get started though. For starters, if you’re bored and want to fill the time, you can doodle on dotpict. Secondly, the bucket tool is a lifesaver — nobody wants to fill 20 pixels one by one. Thirdly, the palette lets you switch colors easily so you don’t have to have to spend a ton of time working with one color at a time.

From chicken scratch to this! This is my favorite and most tedious work yet: a pixel art of a scene in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

A ton of squinting?

Dotpict is a fun app — if you’re the type to obsess over details. It takes a bit of squinting sometimes when you’re eyeing the tiniest details and can’t seem to see the bigger picture. If that’s not you, it’s the perfect app to challenge you to be patient and precise. It lets you take your time and if you need a break, it autosaves your work so you can come back worry-free. If you want to give dotpict a try, it’s free for both Android and iOS.

SEE ALSO: #ArtistsofSEA: Celebrate the diversity of Southeast Asian art

Apps

Google is under investigation for abusing Android

Dominating the market comes with a price

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Google has often been accused of monopolizing the smartphone market with the use of Android. While Android as an operating system is open source and anyone is free to make or use the system however they wish, Google’s push of its apps is a bigger problem.

Android is maintained by the search engine giant and the code is available for everyone’s use. But, Google pushes its range of apps in stock Android like Gmail, Maps, Play Music, YouTube, and more. Many accuse the company of forcing itself upon users and blocking the competition from a fair chance.

India’s Competition Commission of India (CCI) has been reviewing Google’s case for the last six months. The enforcement agency is currently at a preliminary stage and no official release has been made. Google, as well as CCI, have declined to comment.

The European Commission found Google guilty of dominating the market since 2011 and it’s abusing its standard practice of installing Google apps. The investigation led to a US$ 5 billion fine from the antitrust agency.

Google and CCI have met in recent months and the complaint was filled by a “group of individuals.” The agency has a track record of taking years to finish or conclude a case and we never know when a verdict might actually come.

Although, the CCI did impose a US$ 19 million fine on Google for “search bias” and abuse of its dominant position.

Android has a massive 85 percent market share and almost every Android phone ships with Google’s suite of apps. These apps, in return, help the search engine push ads to the user and generate revenue for the company.

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Apps

EA is looking into making a mobile version of Apex Legends

To battle with Fortnite

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Image credit: EA

EA‘s battle royale game is a certified hit. Apex Legends, which was developed by Titanfall makers Respawn, has no fewer than 25 million registered players in just one week. The game is playable for free on multiple platforms (PC, PS4, and Xbox One), but why not make it available on mobile as well?

Early reports don’t indicate mobile plans for the game, although during the Electronic Arts Q3 2019 earnings call, EA Games CEO said that they are looking into bringing Apex Legends to mobile devices.

Fortnite‘s userbase ballooned when it became available on Android and iOS, so it’s a no brainer than EA also wants mobile gamers to join the fun.

“We are looking at how to take the game to mobile and cross-play over time, and I also expect that this game will have tremendous value in Asia, and we’re in conversations about that,” EA Games CEO Andrew Wilson said during the conference call.

There’s no definite timeline for the release of Apex Legends on mobile, but it’s certainly on the drawing board. For now, EA plans to introduce direct purchase options for players to buy items and new legends or heroes. They will also offer the so-called Apex Packs or simply loot boxes for more random items.

Apex Legends is not a pay-to-win game, so these items are purely cosmetic and can be used to customize your hero’s looks in the game.

SEE ALSO: Apex Legends hits 25 million players after one week

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Apps

Introducing Bumble’s Spotlight: Pay to get to the top of the page

For just two Bumble coins!

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You can’t buy your way to true love but you can now buy a top spot on Bumble’s swipe page.

You heard that right. Bumble just announced their new feature and they’re calling it Spotlight. For two Bumble coins, which is around US$ 2, you can get your own profile to the top of the swipe page — the most conducive spot for swiping. Your profile stays there for 30 minutes and people won’t even know you paid for the extra airtime.

Similar to Tinder Boost, this new feature allows for a bigger shot at better swiping results. It basically bumps you up in the queue. Remember, though, that you can only pay for being more visible on the app, but the swiping is still left to the other party.

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