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

Google asks smartphone makers to pay for Play Store

In response to EU’s ruling

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Google Play

Months ago, Google landed in a scalding pool of Europe’s hot water. The European Competition Commission accused the company of anti-competition practices. Among other things, Google forced smartphone makers to bundle Chrome and Google Search as a requirement. According to the commission, the stipulation gives the company an unfair advantage over its rivals.

Eventually, the Commission hammered down a guilty verdict. From this, Google paid a record-breaking fine to the European Union. Besides this, the company had to stop the indicted practice.

Now, Google is finally implementing a resolution for the guilty verdict. Starting this month, the company will change its offered bundles for smartphone makers in the EU.

As opposed to enforcing the bundle, Google will offer Android’s apps for a price. Instead of a strong-arm strategy, Google’s new strategy aims for the best of both worlds. Smartphone companies can opt out of the program. Historically, some companies have already opted out of Android’s app ecosystem. For example, Chinese smartphones often implement their own variants because of China’s prohibitions.

Additionally, Google will loosen its regulations against forked versions of its Android operating system. Some smartphone makers alter Android’s inner workings for their own uses. Most notoriously, Xiaomi uses its own MIUI software. Previously, the bundling scheme swayed the deal towards Google’s favor, despite any proprietary changes. With looser regulations, companies can fork all they want.

Now, companies can sell smartphones running forked Androids. That is, if they also sell a separate smartphone with Google’s untouched software.

Amid all these changes, Android remains as free software for smartphones. Android can maintain its status as the world’s most ubiquitous operating system. However, if this issue elicits any questions, it’s this: How will Google’s new schema affect the casual consumer? Right now, we’ll have to wait and see.

SEE ALSO: You might need to pay Google for Android soon

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6 iPhone apps for your well-being

Mental health is important!

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World Mental Health Day may have come and gone but that shouldn’t mean that your well-being should be pushed aside. In fact, a healthy disposition should always be practiced. How does one do that in today’s fast-paced world?

We’ve got apps for you!

Omvana 

Omvana is a meditation app that measures stress levels and even your state of mind; it’s your personal mindfulness coach! The app also automatically connects to HealthKit.

Download here. 

Calm

With guided meditations, breathing exercises, sleep stories, and relaxing music, this app will help make sure you’re always in a relaxed mood.

Download here. 

Insight Timer

Don’t know how to meditate? This app allows for guided meditations from the industry’s best practitioners!

Download here. 

Headspace: Guided Meditation

Another guided meditation app which allows you to manage stress and even apply meditative practice to your every day. There’s also a sleep experience feature which promises better rest and calmness.

Download here.

Aura: Calm Anxiety & Sleep

Aura’s three-minute meditations will bring more positivity to your life. The app also does life coaching, relaxing music, and even personalized meditations.

Download here. 

AutoSleep Tracker for Watch

Better sleep means a better disposition! This app tracks sleep automatically with Advanced Heuristics AutoSleep so you’ll always have the info at hand.

Download here. 

What are you waiting for? Get to downloading and happy meditating!

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Apps

Facebook Lite comes to iPhones at less than 5MB

It consumes less power, too!

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After being enjoyed by Android users for years, the slimmed down version of Facebook’s main app finally arrived on iOS. Although, it’s only available to a select few — for now.

The Facebook Lite app was originally designed for developing countries where mobile data can be unreliable and Android phones are pretty basic. But, it also gained popularity among users with better phones because it uses way less data than the main Facebook app.

On iOS, the lite version is available for download through the Apple App Store for less than 5MB. Apart from being an easy download, it also uses less battery power and occupies minimal storage space.

This is going to be ideal for iPhones and even iPod Touch devices that are already showing signs of slowing down. The app is compatible with devices running iOS 9.0 and later.

For now, the app is only available in Turkey. As the testing phase expands to other regions, Facebook Lite will eventually be open for everyone.

Via: Business Insider

SEE ALSO: Facebook Messenger redesign starts rolling out to select users

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