Apps

Travel Frog: The new addictive mobile game

Taking me back to my Neko Atsume days

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If you were into Neko Atsume while it was out, this is the game for you: Tabi Kaeru (旅かえる) meaning “Travel Frog” in English.

If you haven’t heard of Neko Atsume, shame on you — just kidding. It was a mobile game that was developed by Hit-Point Co., Ltd. that was released on October 20, 2014. It grew in popularity by its simple game mechanic of collecting adorable cats. It was difficult to resist trying this game out when the graphics were impossibly cute. This pretty much sets you up for what Tabi Kaeru (旅かえる), a new game developed by the same company, achieves.

Well, here it is: The perfect cute game where, even if you have minimal understanding and not as much involvement, you will feel satisfied. As much as this game is completely in Japanese, it doesn’t quite matter. You can play along with context clues and wander about figuring out what seems to work and what doesn’t.

The game has enough visuals to walk you through most of what you’re meant to do despite not really speaking or understanding Japanese. In fact, Neko Atsume and Tabi Kaeru (旅かえる) make waiting a valuable aspect of the game.

In Tabi Kaeru (旅かえる), you meet an adorable small frog that wanders about, leaves you postcards, and occasionally stays home. You’ll first get bombarded with Japanese instructions once you’ve installed but don’t fret. Most of the things you need to play in this game have context clues and the game is filled with them.

This game is addictive without needing your full and dedicated attention. You collect clovers to buy food, charms, and items to set your frog on his journey. You’ll meet different friends on the way as you’ll occasionally check if your frog has returned home from his travels. I’ll let you know how I progress in the game soon, but there’s just something satisfying about seeing your frog travel around mysterious and cinematic places. Play it with me here (Android, iOS).

SEE ALSO: Razer Phone Review: Best smartphone for gaming?

Apps

TechDen helps create better and healthier screen habits

Time to pull ourselves away from those addictive screens

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I think it’s pretty safe to say that a lot of us spend a majority of our time staring at a screen. This is all fine and dandy, technology is awesome, but we also have to admit that our devices have changed how we interact IRL. The founders of TechDen has thought of a way to pull us away from our screens and back into the real world.

TechDen merges software and hardware to create a system that can help build healthier screen habits. The Den lets you charge and store up to two devices, and manage multiple ones. The accompanying app lets you create “sessions” of specific time periods with their own duration based on people’s schedules, as well as schedules to remotely lock and unlock the doors of The Den.

You receive notifications when devices are removed as well as time usage, and in the family setting, this system creates opportunities for collaboration — you can talk to your kids about the session schedules, and even utilize these sessions as incentives.

TechDen is marketed towards families to encourage more real-world interaction with an “out of sight, out of mind” point of view. Really though, this tech would be very helpful for anyone who wants to build a healthy relationship with their devices for themselves.

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Apps

Spotlight: What’s new with Free on Spotify?

All these new features!

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Time to rejoice, music lovers! Last April, Spotify quietly announced the new and improved Free on Spotify, and today, we got up close and personal with all the new things the app can now do.

The streaming company’s Free on Spotify redesign will make for a better listening experience for all free users. How, you may ask? Well, it all boils down to five new key features.

Pick your favorites

Spotify’s taste onboarding allows you to pick five (or more) of your favorite artists and this will set the stage for your Spotify experience — a home screen and music discovery experience tailored to your choices will await.

Pick and play… list

15 playlists will automatically be curated based on your music preferences for your listening pleasure. These playlists are different for each individual person, and they update depending on your interactions. Talk about personalized listening!

When you decide to make your own playlists, you’ll also get suggestions based on your artist choice and even playlist title.

What you want, when you want

Previously only available to Premium users, Free users now have unlimited skips — yes, you heard right! The caveat: The feature is only available for those 15 curated playlists, which isn’t half bad as those are catered to your personal taste.

All ❤️s

Actions on specific songs will help you create a better experience on the Spotify app. Hitting ❤️ on a song means it will go to Your Favorites, a playlist that’s found on your home screen.

You can also “unlike” songs which removes said offending song from future playlists. Don’t worry though, this is reversible — simply searching for the song and tapping ❤️ will undo the action.

Optimize your data

For the data-conscious, there’s now a data saving mode! This isn’t turned on by default but all you need to do is head to settings and activate it.

Happy listening!

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SafeDate gives you ease of mind going into a date

This app lets your friends keep tabs on you

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In 2005, Emma Sayle started Killing Kittens, best known for its extravagant sex parties. It aims to enable women to explore their sexuality in an open and safe space. Since it started, KK has had an incredibly strict code of conduct for their parties to ensure that women feel “empowered, safe, and confident.” Members are vetted before being admitted and there is a rule wherein only the women can approach men.

Last July, she launched the SafeDate app which puts a modern twist to what girls have been doing for years. This app lets you input information for your dates, including a profile for the person you’re going out with. You then designate a “safe friend” to whom you will have to check in with at a time which you set. If you don’t check in by the time you set, your friend will be notified and given the details of your date, and it would be up to them to decide what to do next.

Sayle told Wired that we can’t stop bad things from happening, nor can we tell people what to do. But if someone seeing the SafeDate logo makes them think twice, and women feel safer knowing that someone they trust is keeping an eye out for them, it’s a step in the right direction. We definitely couldn’t agree more!

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