App of the Week-1Mobile

Friends, Romans, countrymen, I was wrong.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m wrong almost everyday but on this one occasion, I was definitely wrong.  In what occasion was I wrong?  Recall a few months ago when I first started out my blog by reviewing one of my new toys, the Kindle Fire HD.  In this review, I mentioned one of the dislikes I had for the tablet was the fact that I could not download an app from a different app market than the Amazon App store.  I was under the impression that any app I tried downloading from the Google Play store or Apple App Store would be unsuccessful due to incompatibility in the software.  Boy was I wrong.

I’m a regular reader of Andrys Basten’s blog entitle A Kindle World Blog and when I came across her blog post that told the world how to access third-party apps on the Kindle Fire models, I just had to drop what I was doing and try out her advice on my Kindle Fire HD.  Unfortunately, I was using my tablet to read her post so in the midst of things I accidentally bumped my HD with the ground though it is still working fabulously (Amazon really knows how to build their stuff!).

The particular advise I followed from Andrys basten’s blog was the portion where I went into my settings, tap the more button, then tap the device button, and finally checked the box that said Allow Installation of Applications from unknown sources.  From then on, my Kindle no longer held a 3rd party download app restriction.  This meant that if I had the right program/app, I can download the wonderful apps already available on the Google Play Store and Apple App Store but sadly not available on the Amazon App Store.

1Mobile App store
1Mobile App store

I decided to use 1mobile to download third-party apps.  It is very easy to use.  First thing you do would be to go to the 1mobile website and download the app to download the app (Yo Dawg).  Once it shows up in your app selection screen, open it up and take a minute to explore the wonderful ease of the app.  The layout is very similar to the Google Play Store in that you search through categories, view the feature apps or top rated, and even search the app if you already know the name.  First app I downloaded on 1mobile was the Curiosity Game app I wrote about earlier (so addicting).  I then opened the app and guess what, it worked perfectly.  In fact, it worked better than the app installed on my Android device due to the fact that my HTC Thunderbolt has a habit of shutting down the app after a few seconds.

Have any other ways of downloading 3rd-party apps on to your mobile device?  Teach us your tricks by commenting below.

App of the Week-Psykopaint

This week’s app is surprisingly not found on the Amazon App store but instead is found on the Chrome Web Store.  Do not confuse this with the Google Play Store, the Chrome Store is accessed through the Google Chrome Browser.  Like all apps, the apps available on the Chrome Web Store enhance the user’s experience using the Google Chrome Browser.  For this week, I explored the app called Psykopaint.

An example of the brushes available

Psykopaint is a very fun app that lets users upload a picture of their very own or a picture available from the picture library and manipulate it into make a brand new creation.  You start out with the picture you chosen and a brush.  Remember, you are not painting a picture, you are altering the picture you chosen using a standard brush with various options/styles.  The brushes act as a filter tool that changes the pixels of the picture to mimic a painting style of famous artists.  Such artist styles are Guillaumin, Munch, Pissaro, Sisley, Cezanne, Degas, Seurat, Bazille, Renoir, Monet, and Van Gogh.

Once you select the brush, you paint over your picture using the filter tool and watch as your previous picture is warped/changed into a painting that looks as if a master painter made it themselves.

An example of the pic before alteration
Picture altered with a Van Gogh brush
Example of the Monet brush

Once you alter the picture, you are given the choice to save the file on your computer or host it on some other website.  One feature I do not enjoy about this app is the Psykopoints system.  In order to use other tools such as a spray can, you must first spend the app currency called Psykopoints.  You can earn these points by recommend friends or buying the tool using real money.  If you use the saving feature of the app, you can save in a small resolution for free or save a higher resolution pic in exchange for some Psykopoints.

Overall, the app is interesting to use and a great way to spend your leisure time.  All you need in order to start using it is to download the Google Chrome Browser, dowload the Psykopaint app, and make your own account on their website.  I strongly suggest downloading it for free to try it out.  If you don’t like it, hey, just uninstall the app.

What is your favorite app/program to use in manipulating pictures?  Is it Photoshop or is it an unknown program?

Curiosity- Where Social Media meets Gaming

Have you even been curious?  You must have at one point in your life.  Hell, did you not stumble upon this blog post because you were curious of what the contents contained?  Ever wondered if others were just as curious as you?

Peter Molyneux and his team at 22Cans have created a series of 22 experiments that involve mass amounts of people all across to come together and complete these 22 experiments in an effort to gather data on human behavior around the world.  Although 21 of the 22 experiments are still unknown to all but the 22Cans team, the first experiment was released to the world last week and it is called Curiosity.

Imagine a massive cube stored somewhere in cyberspace.  This giant cube is made up of smaller individual cubes.  This isn’t your normal cube though.  Over 60 billion small individual cubes make up the shape of the giant cube.  From the center of the cube, 60+layers of small cubes make up the thickness of the cube.  Now imagine that you are given the duty of destroying the giant cube but you can only accomplish this by breaking each of the 60 billion individual cubes one at a time.  At the end of your long endeavor, you are rewarded with something.  You don’t know what that something is, all you know is that you will receive a reward.  This is Curiosity.

Curiosity is a massive online multiplayer game that can be downloaded from the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store to your smartphone.  The purpose of the game is to break the 60+ billion cubes that make up the structure of the one giant cube by tapping the small cubes on your screen.  60+ billion is a lot of cubes to break for one person; in fact, if a single individual tried to break 1,000 cubes every day until they finished, it would take that person around 164,300 years (assuming they live that long) to completely break all the cubes.This is where the multiplayer aspect of the game comes in.  It is not just one person tasked with breaking all 60+ billion cubes.  There is only one giant cube in the world, this means that everyone who downloads the app is accessing the same cube all across the world.  Imagine hundreds of  thousands of people across the world working together in order to break billions of individual blocks.  But for what purpose?  Is it not useless and tedious to spend hours breaking blocks on your smartphone every day?  The answer to why over 600,000 people have already spent hours/days breaking millions of small blocks on their smartphones is curiosity.

22Cans used a brilliant viral marketing/social media strategy to bring awareness of their game/experiment to the world.  22Cans told the world that once all 60+ billion cubes have been broken, something amazing, something world altering will reveal itself but only to one person. That’s right, only the person who breaks the last cube of Curiosity will be able to view the secret promised by 22Cans.  What that secret is, only the team of 22Cans know and they are keeping tight lips on the matter.  By promoting this unknown secret using social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr, , 22Cans has created so much social media buzz that tech bloggers (myself included) everywhere are spreading the word.  22Cans knows what they are doing.  In order to build hype about their experiment, they used the fundamental feature that every human being possesses against us, our insatiable curiosity.

This pic belongs to gizmodo and you can follow the link to the original image by clicking on the pic

Not everyone is playing for the sake of the prize.  Some users have logged into the Curiosity app not to destroy, but to create.  Users can use a section of a blank layer to draw pictures or create messages by breaking cubes in a concise manner.  For example, some users have made smiley faces, dinosaurs, and even memorable movie quotes.  I wouldn’t be surprise if in the next couple of days I see companies start promoting their brand on the cube.

Despite what your personal opinions are about tapping on squares, Curiosity is a strangely addicting game hyped up by the promise of an amazing award given to the person who breaks the last block.  In less than a week, the popularity the game has generated has exploded.  If this is the first out of a whole series of experiments, then I cannot wait to see the rest.

What are your thoughts on the Curiosity game?  Do you find it brilliant or stupid?  Let us know by commenting below.

App of the week-Forgotten Mysteries

This week’s app is, you guessed it, another game!  I’ll try not to make this a habit but games are so much more interesting to review.  The app I reviewed is called Forgotten Mysteries and is available on the Amazon App Store.

The map of the house/mansion

I did not know what to expect when I first played this game.  My first thoughts were that the game was some sort of mystery themed game where I would have to search for clues to solve crimes.  Some of these notions are partly true.  You start out as a character who walks into this house/mansion filled with locked rooms, worried employees, and a butler with a monocle.  The butler gives you your first job of finding a certain item in the living room.

The inside of the Butler’s Room

The majority of the game is finding a list of items in different rooms.  Remember the old I-Spy books you read/watched when you were a kid?  The concept is the same where you click the item they tell you to find.  The concept is very simple and the difficulty level is so easy but the game is so addictive.  I spent at least three to four hours just playing the game over and over again on my Kindle Fire HD.  I haven’t passed it yet but given another day or two I could get close.

The biggest things I did not like about the game was the pop-up ads.  The game was available to download for free so I understand why the producer would have ads promoting the purchase of in-game gold coins with real money; however, it seems to me the frequency of these ads is too much. Every time I level up, the ads pop-up, they remind me to buy some gold coins to help me with the storyline, and then I waste time clicking away the ads to get back to my game.  The other thing I did not enjoy was the program’s placement of items.  Sometimes you will be asked to find the same list of items in a certain room.  When that occurs, the items you found previously will be in the same spot you found them before.  Because the items are not placed randomly throughout the rooms, the gameplay becomes easy for those with excellent memories.

The Kitchen

Although I found a few faults with the game, my overall impressions of the game are positive.  The art of each room is absolutely beautiful and makes me envious that the developers possess these skills.  The atmosphere the developers try to press on to their market is a spooky/mystery atmosphere and they succeed.  The dark art followed by the exquisite sounds of the mysterious gameplay left me in a state of want for Forgotten Mysteries.  In all honesty, I will probably end up playing this game toward the end in order to gather the whole story surrounding the in game lore suggested by the mysterious butler.  For a free game, I absolutely recommend this to anyone who loves to read the I-Spy books or for anyone who is a lover of the mystery genre.

Do you have a favorite mystery/horror game you enjoy playing?  Let us know by commenting below.

What are your top five apps?

Ever heard the saying that you can predict a person’s personality by looking at their music in their digital music player?  I often would have music in my playlists that people would never have guessed I listened to.  Yet, my music said many things about my personality that words could never describe.  Nowadays, with smartphone and tablets on the rise, I believe that apps have greater power in describing people’s personality.

For science, I asked three different people what their top five favorite apps.  I asked because I wanted to know if other people used different apps than myself and also to download some new apps to play around with.

David

No, this is not me.  I interviewed my buddy David about his top five apps.  He owns the original Motorola Droid on Verizon, which makes him more than ready to upgrade to a new phone.  He responded with the following.

SkypeSkype is a VOIP app where one can call or text other Skype users using an internet connection to transform their voices or texts into digital packets.  David uses Skype to communicate with lots of friends at one time.

SteamI talked about the Steam application before.  Steam released an app for mobile devices for their users to chat with online friends, buy games on their phone, look at achievements, and a bunch of other features.

TumblrTumblr has recently gain in fame and use as a blogging website for mass users.  It has a large number of users because its ease of use and picture storage features make the blog very very attractive.

Lightsaber app-For the person who always wanted to wield a lightsaber in the palm of their hand, this is for you.

Go SMSFrom what David says, it is an app that users can send others text messages.  If you don’t have a text message plan, this app might be for you.

Amanda

Amanda is my roommate who owns the Samsung Galaxy Note on AT&T.  She is an English major who wants to be a writer someday.  Her favorite apps are below.

Evernote-Amanda uses Evernote to store all her favorite Fanfictions and access them whenever she is bored.

Google Play Music-This app allows Amanda to play her music she synced from her computer to her  phone.

Shortyz-This is a cool app that allows people to fill in crossword puzzles and spend hours with fun brain testers.

Polaris Office-This app is a document reader/editor that came preinstalled with the Galaxy Note.  As such, Amanda uses it often for reading documents.

Google Chrome-As a Google lover, Amanda downloads this app to view internet on her phone.

Mr./Mrs. RacerX

Racer X is a person that is alive.  I cannot describe them more due to their request for their identity to stay private.  RacerX owns the newest Iphone 5 for AT&T.  Their favorite apps are found below.

Epic Win -Imagine a game where you earn achievements and level up every time you finish chores or homework.  Epic Win allows you to gain gamer achievements every time you finish chores you don’t want to do.  It is an interesting app that will need to be revisited later on.

Meme Generator -Meme generator is an awesome app that allows you to create a meme from their large database of meme pictures.  All you have to do is put in your own writing.

Air Sharing -This app is like a cloud storage management application that allows you to control all your different clouds storages under one app.  Convenient if you have too many clouds.

Netflix– You are able to access your favorite tv shows and movies online onto your mobile device.  You do need a subscription with Netflix to access the content.

Crackle– Crackle is like Netflix, except free.  The only drawback is that you need to sit through commercials.

I found a lot of apps that I want to try out now.  Some sound really awesome but are not available for all app markets.  What are your top five favorite apps?  Let us know by commenting below.