Category: Misc.

Important Update: Graduation and Things

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Hi all. I am writing this from the library, where I will be spending much of the next week and a half. It is time for finals. It also happens to be my last set of exams because I am graduating soon. *jumps with joy* Because of that I will unfortunately not be writing about any new apps until afterwards. Then I will be back with plenty of updates. Thanks for reading. I can’t wait to review many more free apps. Stay tuned!

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Guest Post: Tanner Reviews Pocket Starships

Editors Note: This post comes from Tanner Bivens of tannerreviews.com. He reviews movies and games on his site. He also hosts The Nerdiest Talk Show on Earth every week.

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Good day everyone. I’m not sure if you have noticed from the title or not, but I am not in fact Free App Maven writer Shaila Meeker. In fact, our dear Shaila has taken a trip to Florida with her fiance Brandon and will be gone this week, effectively leaving me in Ohio hell as she enjoys Disney World. I will try to contain my levels of jealousy to mere quiet resentment. But while she is enjoying the nice weather and fun rides, she asked me if I could guest write on her site while she is away, to which I was more than happy to do. For those of you who have not visited my site tannerreviews.com, I am a film critic and a video game enthusiast. If you do not know of my site you should go and visit it. It is an awesome site! I should know, it is mine after all.

But when Shaila asked me to write a review for her site, I was at first a little out of sorts. I do not use apps very frequently… Or at least not nearly enough as she does. So after given the assignment, I rushed to my phone to go through several apps to see what would be a good one to review and after several possibles, I decided to choose a free game for the iPhone 4s called Pocket Starships. It certainly was an interesting game to say the least. A kind of cream of the crop out of a plethora of boring games and money gauging apps. So I downloaded it and decided to give it a go. After playing it for a bit, I have to say for an iPhone game… Not that bad. I was expecting much much worse when I downloaded it, but instead I found myself pleasantly surprised.

There isn’t a lot in the way of plot when it comes to Pocket Starship.  Well okay, there is a little bit of one, but it is one that can quickly be brushed aside as you button mash the text crawl away. Essentially, when you first boot up the game you are given the choice to join one of two factions, the Shard or the Varins. One second in and already you are given a choice that will change your experience forever!… Well not really, I gave both games a go by downloading, uninstalling, and trying again (I’m sure there was an easier way don’t judge me) and both are for the most part the same. After a quick tutorial you are thrust into this new world where you must complete quests for your given alliance all the while battling your arch nemesis faction in various locations marked by a hexagonal map, some owned by one faction, some by the other, and a little area where players can congregate and blow each other to pieces.

Pros

Avoids Buy to Win Tactics that These Games Have Become Known Formzl.fcevlskr.175x175-75

When I was first asked to write a game app review, I was groaning. Most app games are notorious for micro-transactions and ‘buy to win’ content. I was expecting to download a ‘free’ game and then immediately be told to shell out a dollar or fifty cents in order to gain cool new weapons and a second level that would be physically impossible to complete unless you shell out said dollar or fifty cents… But no I was very surprised to see that when it comes to the overall game, the micro-transactions are practically invisible. You can play this game comfortably knowing that you will not hit a giant pay wall in between hunting down evil pirates and refining your ore to create new and better gadgets and considering this website is dedicated to free apps, this a huge plus to the game.

Surprisingly Expansive

For a free to play game app… This game is expansive. The playing area is set up in a grid like system, some owned by the Shard, some owned by the Varins, and then a small area where players can take on each other. Each one of course has a futuristic type of name as to be expected and you can travel from location to location and fight baddies with your group of friends who you are supposed to coerce into playing (we will get to that soon). I was not expecting a tiny app game on a phone to be as expansive as some PS3 games that I have had the misfortune of playing in the past. An excellent and surprising addition.

Meh?

It’s an MMO

For anyone who follows my site, you will know how I feel about MMOs. Just watch my debate with my friend Jate Nott to understand my dislike of them. This is an MMOG and as such the main way the game gets more people to play is making most missions near impossible to complete on your own. The game even encourages you to create mission forces of multiple people to go on these missions so you don’t get completely annihilated. Now of course you can join complete strangers to compete in missions. But for the most part what the game is saying is, ‘Get your friends to play this game, MORE PEOPLE! MORE PEOPLE!’ I can understand the reason they did this which is why it doesn’t really fit into the ‘Con’ category. But it is something that should be noted if you wish to pick up this game, get a friend to join in or just go with Angry Birds.

Cons

downloadThe Game is Effectively Button Mashing or Busy Work

I don’t know what I was expecting from a game that I can play on my iPhone. But the majority of this game seems to be nothing but busy work. It is a go to location, aim your laser at the ship and wait until your or it blows up. Either that or mining and refining your ore to create new weapons and objects which both require little other than pushing the touch pad in a given direction until the thing disappears. When you are not doing either of those, you are in the space station button mashing a little bit more. It is a lot of busy work on top of busy work that can wear on a player quick.

Conclusion

Overall, this is one of the better app games that I have seen. The graphics are surprisingly good, the world is expansive, and you get to be the captain of your own damn starship! Granted my dislike for MMOGs is personal so I do not hold that against the game and the busy work game play is a small price to pay for a game that is a refreshing change of pace from play to win games and Angry Bird clones. If you are looking for a fun title to kill some time, download this one. You will not be disappointed.

Final Score 3.5/5

Thank you for reading fans of Free App Maven and if you would like to read more from me, please visit my website tannerreviews.com.

Play Pocket Starships

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Quick Look: Paper is a Fantastic Upgrade to Facebook’s Bloated Newsfeed

As primarily an Android user, I have to admit my jealously for Facebook ‘s latest creation. Paper is a beautiful newsreader with intuitive controls. You can choose to view stories from your Facebook feed as well as choose other topics you may be interested in. It’s easy to see that the Facebook app and site have grown bloated over time, but paper puts content on the forefront. You only see what you want to see.

When you first open the app, a tutorial appears that shows you how to navigate the app. During this, you can choose which topics you would like to see. If you want to add more, you can easily access these options from the settings panel.

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The options include the newsfeed, sports, pop life, tech, photography, ideas, cute, headlines, funny and several others. Below is an example of the stories you might see in the photography section.

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Apart from the intuitive new way to navigate your Facebook feed, which behaves much like Flipboard, you can find several of the features you would expect in a Facebook app: the ability to write new posts, like, comment and share posts, and look at groups you are a part of. You can use this app to completely replace the standard Facebook app, because Paper gives you the option to receive all notifications in it instead.

Bottom Line: Paper is an app worth checking out if you are tired of Facebook’s slow app and bloated features. It offers a refined alternative that focuses on content, not features.

Download Paper

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Free for Today

Here are today’s free apps. Prices are subject to change at the discretion of the developers.

iOS

Amount

“Amount is the most intuitive, lightweight and easy to use unit converter you’ve ever seen.
Amount let you convert units in a way you’ve never seen before: with just two tap of your finger you have all the results you’re looking for in a single display, side by side.”

Week Agenda Ultimate

Keeping your schedule straight as you go through your day, and look to the weeks ahead, is a proverbial snap with the Week Agenda Ultimate app. Elegantly designed, this agenda app gives you a nice overview of the current week with pages to turn to upcoming, or preceding weeks. It has a classic day-planner feel.

C++ (Compass++) Digital

“This Compass app offers unique HD compass themes for your iPhone and iPad. Your iPad comes with a built-in digital compass component, but there is no app pre-loaded on your device to use this feature, we are here to solve this for you.Now you will never get lost, and in style!
This compass app gives full retina support for all iPhone and iPad. You can swipe left and right on the screen to change between 7 great looking themes.”

Runtastic Sit Ups Trainer Pro

Flatten your stomach and get those ab muscles to start showing with runtastic SitUps PRO app!
With the runtastic SitUps PRO app you can now achieve this goal. The app is your personal sit-up trainer that uses an easy to follow scientific sports training plan that helps you build strength and see constant improvement.
Unique recognition of your sit-ups: Sit-ups are counted automatically using the accelerometer on your iPhone or iPad.

Guitar Chords

Quickly and easily learn to play chords with Guitar Chords for iOS. With playback, left handed support and a packed library, Guitar Chords is a great chord reference tool for both beginners and more advanced musicians. The easy to use interface makes for easy chord finding. Simply select a key and a chord type, and the chord position will display. Simple as that! Cycle through multiple chord positions along the guitar neck and hear how they sound. Guitar Chords also lets you save chords to a clipboard so you can have multiple chords easily available when learning a new song!

Relaxia: Sounds of Nature for Relaxation, Meditation, Sleep Aid

Aiming to provide the most relaxing app for ambient sounds in the Appstore, we selected a very soothing collection of sounds and tried to make the experience as enjoyable and intuitive as possible, Relaxia is simply the result of this quest.

Android

iPoe Collection

“In the XIX century Edgar Allan Poe was ahead of his time and captured the terror and darkness of the human soul, in each of his stories, as no one had ever done. Rediscover his work with iPoe, the Interactive and Illustrated Collection of Edgar Allan Poe with which you will find the difference between an electronic book and a total interactive experience exploring all capabilities of Android devices. Get shrouded in shadows and dive into the dark work of the master of horror through some of his best stories.”

 

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