Apps

Lyft and Taco Bell come together in best partnership ever

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It’s a match made in heaven and something most taco lovers have only dreamed of — until now. 

In a move that made the whole population of party-loving millennials celebrate in collective victory, ride-sharing app Lyft has just launched “Taco Mode.”

Taco mode comes to Lyft! You can now drive through Taco Bell during your ride! more tacos for everyone!

At anytime between 9PM and 2AM, a simple tap of a button in the Lyft app will allow for a Taco Bell pit stop during the ride. Talk about efficient midnight snacking!

Taco mode comes to Lyft! You can now drive through Taco Bell during your ride!

As of writing, the mode is only available on limited pilot mode in Orange County, California. But, don’t despair! Rollout of the feature across America is expected next year.

Here’s to hoping other ride-sharing services follow suit (and in other countries!) because we will never, ever tire of late night food stops.

SEE ALSO: Ride-sharing app uses Tinder to market its new promo

Apps

Sky: A new jaw-dropping mobile game coming out soon!

From the same developers of Journey!

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Thatgamecompany released a teaser trailer for their new mobile game titled, Sky. They are the studio behind the award-winning 2012 indie hit Journey. If you thought Journey was a lovely game, you’ll need to check out their upcoming teaser for what they’re releasing next:

It’s a tease, alright. But, here’s a catch: It’s not going to be released on consoles just yet. It’s going to be a mobile game. They wrote:

“It’s been a very busy summer in the studio as the team has continued to push forward on iterating design concepts, multiplayer dynamics and starting to add artistic and audio polish to the game. The day has finally come for us to start sharing our next project to the world… and we do so with more than a few butterflies in our stomachs and plenty of joy. Today, we announce our next game — Sky — a social adventure game that will be coming first to iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV.”

Journey was released exclusively on the PlayStation and rightfully earned BAFTA awards for its score, art, and audio design. There had long been hope for a follow-up release and the decision to release a mobile game may be a surprise to fans; but, Jenova Chen, game designer and co-founder of Thatgamecompany, appropriately explains saying:

“Well, the biggest feedback we got from Journey was that a lot of people play the game and loved it so much they shared it with their family. People would say how this was the first game they finished on a console and the most often thing I heard was ‘can you make this so I can play with my family together?'”

The gameplay, design, and score sticks to thatgamecompany’s prior releases, but the key difference is in the game’s social aspect. Sky was announced last year with the iPhone X launch and the game will be available soon! Sign up for early access here.

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Google launches lightweight Gmail Go

Available only on Go phones

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Google has added another member to its “Go” family of apps. Gmail Go joins YouTube Go, Chrome Go, Files Go, and Assistant Go in Google’s push towards lower-end, budget-friendly smartphones.

The lightweight app shares similarities with the standard Gmail app. Gmail Go is still compatible with multiple accounts, conversation view, and message categorization. Using Gmail Go feels the same as its regular counterpart.

However, like other Go apps, Gmail Go takes up less space on your phone and uses much less bandwidth. To do this, it foregoes several features from the original.

The most obvious change is the less frequent syncing; Gmail Go won’t download images automatically; and the intervals between automatic message syncing are also longer.

Similarly, the app only takes up 25MB on your phone, compared to Gmail’s 47MB on regular phones. Accounts on Gmail Go also have access to 15GB of free storage.

If you want to try Gmail Go on your flagship, you’re out of luck. The lightweight version is available only on phones compatible with Android Go — or those that come pre-installed with Gmail Go. Unqualified phones won’t find the app on the Google Play Store.

On the other hand, compatible phones can have both versions of Gmail installed on the same phone.

Android Go is Google’s initiative to attract more users from the budget phone category. Coupled with a slew of lightweight apps, the new OS efficiently uses the phones’ limited resources for optimal performance. Gmail Go and the other Go apps are available for download on Google Play through Go-compatible phones.

SEE ALSO: Google rolls out Android Oreo (Go edition) for budget phones

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How to play Travel Frog

Not as easy as you’d think

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If you need some help understanding how to play Tabi Kaeru (旅かえる), the addictive new mobile game, I’ve got you covered.

Before I hop into how to play this game, I’ll lay it out there: I can’t read Japanese. It’s a shame, really. If anything, I can understand some Japanese — holler at my young self-avoiding needing to read subtitles while watching anime. Back to the task at hand. Here are neat tips and tricks I learned from playing the game:

How you start off

When you first launch the game, I’m guessing you’ll be greeted with the terms of service of the game. You’ll then be asked to enter a name for your frog. This bit for me was easy enough to understand. I clicked through the buttons and went along.

Your frog will be preparing for his first journey when you are initially introduced. The game will walk you through three varying types of items you’ll need to pack for your frog for him to wander off: food, charms, and equipment. The clovers you find in front of your frog’s house are currencies in the game for you to buy more items.

Later on, I learned that three-leaf clovers are used to purchase items from the shop. Four-leaf clovers are collected and kept as charms to equip your frog when he’s on a journey. I had to learn that the tough way: running out of charms to give my frog.

The game then prompts you with this:

“Your frog will head out on journeys by himself, but if you prepare him as you did here in the tutorial he may bring pictures and souvenirs home for you.”

Not as simple as Neko Atsume

From here, it’s a waiting game. The clover garden will replenish over time. And you’ll occasionally meet some of your frog’s friends who visit.

If you’re the kind of person who has a staggering amount of separation anxiety, don’t play this game. Your frog will come and go without warning. If you want to be the overbearing mother, you can alter that in the settings by bumping up the frog icon (labeled “SE”) you see below. This will let the game prompt you when your frog is back from his travels.

This game will inevitably fool you into its simplicity by the cute graphics and seemingly simple mechanics but the longer you play, the more complex it becomes. There are detailed translations of the game but there’s something about just discovering the context little by little that makes it a bit more charming for me.

When you progress in the game, you discover the undeniable satisfaction of receiving postcards. Your frog sometimes (there is no guarantee!) leaves postcards from wherever he’s wandered off to. Even if it is a game contextualized in time, it teaches you the valuable lesson of letting things go and letting things be. It’s a great game to pass the time and it is unquestionably comforting to find rare photos of your frog accompanied by a friend.

More friends, more fun

And, remember your frog’s friends? They’re the animals that visit and show up outside your door. Each of them have four food preference tiers, ranging from “Pleased” (least favorite) to “Can’t eat anymore” (most favorite). The fuller they are, the more three-leaf clovers they’ll collect for you.

Maimai is the snail.

He loves chestnuts, tea leaves but most things will fill him. He’s a bit tough to please at first but once your frog travels more, you get to meet other friends too.

Bunbun is the bee.

Bunbun is loves peppers, cabbages, chestnuts, milk, gohei mochi, garlic, rice, baked buns, tea leaves, and hardtack. If you notice, Maimai is probably the most tough to please but once you encounter Bunbun, you’re more likely to meet other friends too. These are the two friends I’ve encountered so far but, I’ll keep this article updates once I find something new.

What’s not to like?

I mean, at least for me, it’s a game that requires minimal effort. If you want to dig balls-deep into the nitty-gritty bits of game, you’ll inevitably have to wait regardless. If you run out of charms (which sadly happened to me a lot), you can pack your frog’s bag without it. The food is the bare minimum thing you can have set-up for your frog for his journey.

I learned later on that combining different items, charms, and food can alter how many postcards your frog will bring back, where he travels, and what items he brings back from his trip. The game lets you adjust, combine, and customize every time you prepare your frog for its journey outdoors. Just don’t forget the basics of always having food for your frog! Play it with me here (Android, iOS)

SEE ALSO: Travel Frog: The new addictive mobile game

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