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

New Huawei phones are suspended from having Facebook out of the box

Another blow to Huawei, but this is minimal

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Huawei Y9 2019 | GadgetMatch

Here’s more news about the US trade ban against Huawei. The latest American company to take action is Facebook. The popular social networking company is no longer allowing pre-installation of its apps on Huawei phones.

The latest blow to the Chinese tech giant doesn’t necessarily mean users won’t be able to access Facebook. According to a report by Reuters, customers who already bought Huawei phones will still be able to use Facebook apps and receive updates. Although, new Huawei phones will no longer have Facebook pre-installed. Other Facebook-owned apps are also affected including WhatsApp and Instagram.


If you purchased a Huawei phone lately, you might have noticed that your phone came with a few apps pre-installed — aside from the native apps, of course. Usually, smartphone vendors have deals with developers like Facebook to make their app widely available. Aside from Facebook, Huawei phones also come pre-installed with Twitter and Booking.com in many markets.

While Facebook’s move to stay away won’t badly hurt Huawei, it could affect the partnership sales outlook. Again, the Facebook ban only affects Huawei phones that have yet to come out of the factory. Also, Facebook can still be downloaded from the Google Play Store assuming Huawei will not lose access to it soon.

SEE ALSO: Huawei inks a 5G developmental deal with Russia

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Google: Cutting off Huawei is an even bigger threat

Could lead to less secure apps

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For three weeks, Huawei’s biggest concerns were the loss of Android and ARM architecture support. The recent Trump ban created pandemonium for the Chinese company. Since the ban’s announcement, Huawei has struggled with solutions and appeals. Unfortunately, the company’s troubles are not stopping.

In a Financial Times report, Google argues that Trump’s ban will ironically open Huawei to more cybersecurity issues. Likewise, an Android ban will cascade down to the operating system’s supported apps. Users will likely resort to less secure installation methods for their lost apps.


Google further explains that using an Android hybrid (since the platform is open-source by nature) could result in more holes in the system’s security. Huawei’s alternative — either their own custom OS or a forked Android variant — will not offer the same amount of protection.

In related news, Facebook has banned their app’s pre-installs on their future smartphones. Currently, Huawei’s phones come installed with Facebook’s slew of apps — Facebook, Instagram, and Whatsapp. Arguably, all three apps are essential pieces of a smartphone’s ecosystem. As such, smartphone makers often strike pre-installation deals with app developers, allowing devices to come with these essential apps.

Of course, Huawei users can still install them manually through the Google Play Store. However, this method is also in jeopardy. By August 19, Google is forced to sever support for Huawei, pending a permanent resolution. The ban can feasibly take the Play Store with it. If that happens, Huawei users can no longer install Facebook through the usual means. Users will start resorting to Huawei’s own store or APK installs.

Huawei’s continued dealing with bans rings an ominous death knell for the Chinese company. Without a conclusive resolution, the world’s number-two smartphone manufacturer is facing an uncertain, dangerous future for its phones, inside and out.

SEE ALSO: Huawei inks a 5G developmental deal with Russia

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Final Fantasy’s music officially comes to Spotify

From every game in the series!

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Square Enix has done something we’ve all been wishing for: Uploading a collection of official Final Fantasy soundtracks to Spotify and other music streaming platforms.

News began spreading around the web as Spotify users noticed that there are heaps more FF songs available. It’s also been reported that Apple Music and Amazon Music have them, as well.


The uploaded tracks span all main FF entries plus direct sequels and spin-offs. If you’ve ever been in the mood for a gaming nostalgia trip at home or on the road, this may be the best time.

While there has been FF-related music on Spotify in the past, this is the first time it’s been made official. And yes, it includes songs from Final Fantasy VIII.

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