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Life is Strange on Android makes time traveling grief more accessible

Another chance to go back to the past

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When I first heard Life is Strange was coming to Android, I knew I was in for another round of poor decision making and “hella” cool moments.

I completed all five chapters of the game’s PC port when they came out in 2015. Back then, Life is Strange was a breath of fresh air when open-world, combat-driven titles were all the rage. Being a story-heavy game, it wasn’t exactly light on a gamer’s heart, but was definitely chill enough be an in-between gaming experience.

The game revolves around Max who magically gains the power of time travel to fix mistakes and get her way. Sounds like a sure-fire trip to hell, but this main character’s intentions are mostly pure. With it, she sets out to save the town and her friends from certain doom which she saw in a dream. Yes, I know, totally cliché, but you come for the character interactions and unexpected plot twists.

It’s tough to say more without spoiling anything. Seriously, knowing one major plot point in advance can ruin the experience. Even though the game allows you to make decisions that alter the story’s advancements, you still follow a linear path that unravels like any other save-the-world plot. My advice? Don’t read up on anything about this game unless it’s spoiler-free (like this article).

Another piece of advice: Play Life is Strange on a console or PC before jumping into the iOS or Android version. As accessible as the mobile ports are, they can’t match the visuals and controls introduced by the first release. Even a decent laptop from 2014 can run the game smoothly on low to medium graphics settings.

Life is Strange on Android doesn’t get the touch controls right, making your control of Max feel clumsy and jerky. While the game offers control settings and camera sensitivity, nothing feels quite natural enough to keep you immersed while traversing hallways and strange dreams.

At the same time, even with a high-end smartphone, graphics aren’t that good. The are no settings for adjusting the visuals, and when it rains or stuff starts flying around, the frame rate takes an even greater hit — and consequently, causes the controls to become jerkier.

And that’s sort of my main gripe with Life is Strange on mobile; without the fluidity found in its original release, the immersion isn’t quite there. That’s a problem, because the story requires you to remember every detail, pain yourself over each decision made, and understand all character motives. It’s natural to play a gimped version of full games on mobile, but games like Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition were able to optimize gameplay for smartphones while (mostly) retaining the atmosphere.

So, who is the Android or iOS port for? Those who want another crack at the game, and need to catch all the foreshadowing early on, because there are lots. I highly recommend playing Life is Strange the way it was meant to be played first, which is with a TV and controller or keyboard-mouse combo.

The title is often available for cheap during Steam sales, and could cost as little as the mobile game’s asking price. But if sitting on a couch or office chair to finish the game is not an option, there’s nothing wrong with downloading the game from the App Store or Google Play instead.

What’s great is that the first of five chapters is free, so you can get a hands-on feel to see if the mobile version is for you or you’re better off experiencing the console or PC release first.

Whichever choice you make, you’re in for a tight story driven by a memorable cast. You won’t feel the need to redo that decision once all’s said and done.

Apps

Canva adds new features for presentations on the go

Responsive presentations anytime, anywhere

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Having a well-designed document goes a long way in engaging your audience. That’s where Canva comes in, simplifying the creation of well-thought documents, posters, and more. Now, Canva is adding more features which would delight presenters on the go.

Canva is adding three new features for mobile presentations on the go. The first feature is responsive presentation — users can now create presentations on their laptops and view it on their mobile devices. Presentations adapt to different screens, so the days of fussing over the right screen size is over. Plus, user can edit and view presentations made with Canva anywhere, anytime.

The second feature is presentations playlist, which would suit well for team presentations. With this feature, teams can create accessible spaces for collaboration through shared folders. This feature also builds a single coherent event with transitional slides introducing each speaker.

Finally, the third feature is live Q&A, which Canva will add soon to its mobile apps. Audiences may soon participate in from any device and have the option to send in questions anonymously. This should enable a more dynamic and engaging presentation with audiences.

With over a thousand designer-made templates, 50 million premium images and videos, Canva makes it easier to create beautiful documents, posters, and graphic materials. It is available on the web, on Android, and iOS devices. Users can sign up today for a free tier, with a premium tier also available to unlock more features.

SEE ALSO: 10 free apps to improve your Instagram stories

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Spotify releases the 2019 wrapped, here’s how you can see it

Find out your guilty music pleasures

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Every December, Spotify releases the much-awaited “Spotify Wrapped,” where users find out their top songs of the year. Since this year and this decade is ending, Spotify added a different twist in this year’s wrap-up.

The 2019 Wrapped will include songs, albums, artists, and podcasts you listened to throughout the year, and the artists you listened to the most throughout the decade. When I saw my wrap-up, I found it funny how I listen to the same songs every year. Spotify knows what songs we obsess over.

Furthermore, Spotify highlights the places where your top artists hail from through a world map. Additionally, podcasts are added to the “Wrapped” experience.

Spotify Wrapped 2019 showcasing your top artist of the year.

Spotify users, particularly those who were subscribed to a premium subscription, get a personalized recap, too. Some insights include a user’s top artist every year and the number of minutes they streamed music throughout the decade. Premium users also get info on the artist they vibed most with this year.

Luckily, your personalized info can be shared through Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, or Facebook. To access your “Spotify Wrapped,” make sure to update your Spotify app and open it or head to Spotify.com/wrapped. Enjoy looking back!

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Lazada launches ‘digital giving’ platform LazadaForGood

Spread the love, not just for the holidays

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Lazada’s 12.12 Grand Year End Sale is just around the corner but the company is also giving you another option to spend your hard-earned cash. It’s one that will give you warm fuzzy feelings inside.

Launched alongside the announcement of their massive year-end sale, Lazada partnered with 11 local and international advocacy partners: Habitat for Humanity, Young Focus, Caritas Manila, MovEd, UNHCR, HEro Foundation Inc., UNICEF, WWF, Tahanan ng Pagmamahal, HOPE, and CCEF.

The digital giving platform won’t just be available for Christmas, it will be a permanent fixture on the Lazada app. This means you can give love 24/7 and 365 days a year.

To donate, simply open the Lazada app, hit Load, Bills, & eCoupon, then click on Donation. The list of the advocacy partners will be there.

Lazada’s 12.12 Grand Year End Sale

Of course, we can’t forget the grand year end sale is indeed happening. Up to 90 percent off on more than 12 million deals will be available. Expect great offers and discounts from Xiaomi, Olay, FitFlop, Pampers, Hydro Flask, Wyeth, LEGO, Apple, Jansport, Coocaa, Tefal, and Reebok.

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