Apps

Stray Cat Doors is a cute and calming puzzle mobile game

Sometimes, all it needs to be is cute!

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I’d been up all night, as per usual, and I’d stumbled upon a mobile game on my recommended list: Stray Cat Doors. At first glance, it’s undeniably adorable. The colors are appealing and warm; meanwhile, the graphics are just downright cute. When you’ve installed the game, the music is calming and I admittedly may never get tired of it.

But what is it?

Stray Cat Doors is a puzzle adventure game where you tap items and solve puzzles to unlock doors that reveal your character’s memories with her treasured cat. Seems simple enough? You’d be surprised. This game takes a little bit of thinking — I mean, it’s a puzzle game for a reason. When you open the game, it walks you through the basic mechanic: collect shards to form a complete cat by solving puzzles of varying kinds.

Since you have access to most things visible in a single stage, you essentially end up tapping everything on the screen to see if there are any clues that may connect to other elements in the environment.

If you like escape-the-room games…

You’ll discover quickly that if you don’t have the patience of clearing out the room to see which clues are related to each other, you will be bothered with this game. If you don’t know what escape-the-room games are, by the way, they’re a sub-genre of point-and-click adventure games where you make use of your environment to, well, escape the room.

It’s the type of game that requires players to think and take their time. With Stray Cat Doors, you’ll be surprised to know that there are quick cheats for the clueless.

A puzzle game on easy

Yes, boys and girls, this game has a wonderful cheat that saves you when you’re stuck: advertisements. You read that right: The game trades puzzle solving with advertisements. When you play and can’t figure out how to solve puzzles, you can click on the gear icon on the upper-right side of the game and take hints.

You’ll have to sit through watching an ad but at least you’re given clues on what to look for. If that doesn’t make it easier for players, there are no limits on how many hints you can take as long as you sit through an advertisement every time.

And there are more cheats…

Can’t figure out how to handle the puzzles even after you’ve read the hints? In Stray Cat Doors, you can get the answers to the hints by… you guessed it: watching another ad. This can be a bummer for some people who enjoy a challenge when playing a game but honestly, the game gets away with it because of how adorable and soothing it is.

Why you should give this mobile game a try

It’s a good game to pass the time. When I played it, the puzzles weren’t too tough to figure out. Many of them reminded me of an easier version of Professor Layton. It’s a nice way to keep you thinking or if not, furiously tapping every corner of your phone. Some might find the pitfalls of the title to be the lack of a precisely explained storyline, but there’s something nice from Stray Cat Doors’ ambiguity: It makes the game noncommittal — the good kind!

It’s a casual puzzle game that doesn’t ask for much. If you struggle, you have easy ways to get around puzzles. The game doesn’t dig deep into a storyline and leaves players space to speculate with what they go through while playing (which is admirable in its own way).

Stray Cat Doors has stunningly adorable graphics with aptly calming music. It’s hard not to fall in love with those two elements themselves. I mean, sometimes, all you need it to be is cute. If you do decide to give it a go, it’s available on iOS and Android for free.

SEE ALSO: The Adventure Pals: Your dad is now a hotdog, go save him!

SEE ALSO: Crane Game Toreba: A mobile game that mails your prize from Japan

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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Apps

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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