Apps

Cat Bird: A cute and fun mobile platformer

It’s cute and all until…

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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.

About a cat that can fly

If you Google “catbird,” you’re up for a surprise: The game isn’t about the actual bird (yes, there’s an actual bird of the same name). We can pretty much appreciate the English language and how a space can alter compound words.

Anyway, Cat Bird is a mobile platformer where you have to get through enemies, falling spikes, and various obstacles. You play as Cat Bird, a white kitten with wings, who is lost and is finding its way home. Your task is to navigate your way back. Simple? You’d think so.

Charming design

When you first install the game, you’ll notice the adorable pixel design, charming music, and polished user interface. I’ll admit: The game has a lovely soundtrack that matches its cute design. When it comes to user interface, Cat Bird walks you through the basics. The controls are on the bottom of your screen. On the bottom right of the game is your jump control and on the bottom left, the forward and back controls.

It’s cute and all until…

… you realize you’re terrible at timing! It doesn’t help when you’re playing an adorable character that dies every time you don’t get it right. You’ll have to watch your death count go up a few digits and live with yourself seeing an adorable mythical animal die. Case in point: I’ve unconsciously learned to apologize out loud when Cat Bird dies.

More crowns, more bragging rights

Platformers are more than just getting from point A to point B. If you’re a messed-up completionist like I am, you’ll want to collect every item or earn every achievement that exists in the game. For Cat Bird, you’ve got crowns purposefully placed in the toughest places. The crowns are even sometimes hidden. Finishing the game may be fun, but being able to collect all crowns gives you bragging rights.

Makes me miss buttons

Surprise, surprise. I come up with a strange and ominous excuse as to why I cannot stop dying: buttons. Of course, Leez, buttons! I can’t help but miss the feeling of clicking buttons when playing this game. I play platformers with a controller and playing it on my phone feels like the first time I moved from phones with buttons to a touchscreen smartphone.

Am I making excuses for writing this section? Hell yes. Petty? Pretty much. Can we just toss my irrational defensiveness to the upsetting reality that I can’t keep watching this poor thing die over and over?

At least you get checkpoints

You re-spawn from the very beginning of every stage. You don’t get to save your progress anywhere. When I say it hurts to watch Cat Bird die again and again, it’s mostly because once I get pretty far into the obstacles, I slip up, die, and have to do it all over again. Luckily, some stages have checkpoints that show up as cute little flags so when you die after reaching them, you re-spawn there, instead.

Should you be playing Cat Bird?

Looking for a nice mobile game that’s free-to-play and offline is a bit of a challenge — let alone finding one that’s of great quality. Although most games settle to be either offline or free-to-play, Cat Bird is both. If you miss more familiar platformers like Mario, Sonic, and Crash Bandicoot, definitely give this game a try.

This might be the game to take you back to the more familiar or nostalgic platformers. It may get challenging but that adds to the appeal of playing it. Trust me, I’ve almost completed the game despite sitting through so many deaths.

Cat Bird is available on iOS and Android for free.

SEE ALSO: Florence: Half-baked beautiful game about first loves?

Apps

YouTube Music and YouTube Premium now available in PH

Offers a personalized music experience

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YouTube officially introduces its new music streaming app in the Philippines — YouTube Music.

In a nutshell, it is a reimagined, made-for-music app and web player that has official songs, albums, thousands of playlists, and artist radio plus YouTube’s catalog of remixes, live performances, covers, and music videos.

While all this is available for free in the ad-supported version of YouTube Music, a paid service called YouTube Music Premium is also available. This allows you to play songs and videos in the background while you toggle between apps, write a text message, or lock your phone during a run.

YouTube Music Premium also offers offline downloads and an ad-free experience starting at PhP 129 per month.

According to the company, YouTube Music not only has official songs, albums, and live performances, but it also has those hard-to-find music that one can only find on YouTube.

Another thing that makes it stand out is the ability to look for certain songs just by typing in parts of the lyrics. It’s useful for those times that you don’t know the title and know only a short part of its chorus.

The app also allows you to switch between music videos and songs with just a tap. YouTube Premium and YouTube Music Premium subscribers can enjoy a seamless transition between a song and its music video seamlessly.

It’s also noteworthy that subscribers of Google Play Music will get YouTube Music Premium membership as part of their subscription each month with no changes to the existing subscription.

Additionally, users may also opt for YouTube Premium which already includes membership to YouTube Music Premium for PhP 159 per month.

If you want to save more on subscriptions, you may sign up for a YouTube Family Plan where you can share a paid subscription with up to five other family members living in the same household for PhP 199 per month.

For additional info and complete rates, you may visit their website.

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Facebook Pay will let you send money instantly

Will also be available on Instagram and WhatsApp

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Facebook unveiled its next-generation cryptocurrency Libra early this year. However, the service has received a lukewarm response due to Facebook’s spotty privacy record. Governments and regulators are worried the social network hasn’t done enough to instill confidence after the Cambridge Analytical scandal.

While the giant is trying to find a smooth path for Libra, it’s also ensuring that now-trending opportunities aren’t missed out. With the launch of Facebook Pay, the social network will seamlessly let you transfer money to your friends and acquaintances.

The system supports all major credit as well as debit cards but is being launched in the U.S. only at the moment. We expect availability in other regions following compliance with local laws.

Facebook already lets users send money through the Messenger app. But with Facebook Pay, users will be able to send money via other Facebook apps. To start, it’s rolling out on the core Facebook and Messenger apps, but will be added to Instagram and WhatsApp in the future.

The company has more than a billion active users worldwide. Thanks to a centralized service, it can leverage users from all the various apps it owns. Venmo is currently leading the micro-transactions segment and only time will tell whether Facebook has been able to retain users.

The users can add a PIN or use device biometrics, such as touch or Face ID recognition, for an extra layer of security when sending money or making a payment.

In India, Facebook-owned WhatsApp has been trying to launch WhatsApp Pay, a similar peer-to-peer service. Unfortunately, India’s data localization laws and additional compliances have delayed the release by more than a year.

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Apps

Huawei Mobile Cloud will have free storage for some users

5GB free for users in APAC

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In an attempt to get more people to use Huawei Mobile Services (HMS), Huawei is offering a treat for users in Asia Pacific.

Some time in the middle of November, HMS users located in the Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand will be the first in the region to enjoy free 5GB storage of Huawei Mobile Cloud. You’ll just need to login using a Huawei ID.

In addition, Huawei and Honor users can enjoy one month of 50GB Mobile Cloud storage at a massive discounted price from today until December 31, 2019.

Countries Original Price per month Discounted
Philippines PhP 49.00 PhP 1.00
Singapore SG$ 1.28 SG$ 0.10
Thailand THB 35.00 THB 1.00
Malaysia MYR 3.90 MYR 0.10

Exclusive deals for Huawei Mate 30 and Mate 30 Pro users

Those who already own or who plan to own Huawei’s latest smartphones — the Huawei Mate 30 and Mate 30 pro are entitled to three months of free 50GB Huawei Mobile Cloud storage along with two years warranty and free screen replacement from Huawei HiCare.

They’re also incentivizing users who will download the Huawei Member Center app from the AppGallery. Users from the mentioned countries can redeem free Huawei Points and Lazada shopping vouchers available on the app. This will be available by the end of November 2019.

Countries Huawei Points Lazada Vouchers Trip.com Vouchers
Philippines PhP 1200 PhP 500 N/A
Singapore SG$ 30 SG$ 12 Up to SG$ 20 off
Thailand THB 850 THB 300 Up to THB 250 off
Malaysia MYR 100 MYR 40 Up to MYR 30 off

SEE ALSO: Huawei is building an ecosystem of connected devices

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