5 Weirdest Developments In App Gaming

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If the emergence of the app gaming market has taught us anything, it’s that nothing is out-of-bounds for developers. Where console and PC games are concerned, the creative teams behind the titles are a little more limited. These games are expensive to make and they are released far less frequently, so for the most part developers tend to stick to proven styles, franchises and, elements of game play.

In the app market, there is virtually no need for this kind of restraint. While the games can still be very expensive and time-consuming to make, they are still far easier to produce than most console titles, which means a flop one month could be followed with a success four months later. And whether because of this or purely due to creative diversity among app developers, we tend to see a lot of bold concepts making waves in the app stores.

These five developments in particular illustrate just how strange app gaming really is.

1. Uh, Pixels? Okay… Pixels!

We live in an age of unprecedented graphical capability. Video games basically look like real life, and critics and players alike care almost as much about aesthetics as they do game play, but somehow or other, even in this environment, the app market has been taken over by games with intentionally old-fashioned – and sometimes downright crude – graphics. The very fact that there are lists of the best “pixel games” in the app store sounds absurd in 2015, and yet these are often some of the best games out there. Ridiculous Fishing, Canabalt, Only One, and even Minecraft! These are just a few examples of crazy popular app games with stunningly simple visuals there’s just something charming about the entire genre.

2. Word Games Are Fun Again

Most of us are pretty much done with in-person word games unless it’s a very specific situation. If your grandmother wants to play Scrabble over the holidays, you’ll probably go ahead and bust out the board. If you’re stuck on a runway waiting for takeoff, you may flip to the back of a magazine and try out some crosswords. But when was the last time you voluntarily played a word game just for kicks? I’m willing to bet it was on your smartphone.  From Words With Friends to Word Brain, and with plenty of games in between, there are a lot of titles in this category that have been shockingly popular on mobile platforms.

3. …And So Is Bingo

Casino games, too, are usually played primarily in a few specific circumstances. You might play when you’re, you know, actually at a casino. Or again you may play poker or bingo during a family game night over the holidays. It is no surprise that poker has made it big in the app gaming market, as it remains the maybe most beloved card game in existence, but the fact that other casino games – slots, roulette, and even bingo – have established footing on mobile platforms is a little more surprising. In part, it’s because the big developers and sites behind most apps in these categories have found fun ways of making them more creative and engaging than standard bingo cards and the like.  This site represents one of the busiest bingo platforms online or in app stores and features a range of themes with something for just about everyone. Through this kind thematic diversity, bingo and other simple casino games have found popularity again.

4. Management > Action

Pick a sports game, fighter, or RPG that you’ve either personally played or come across in app stores.  I’d be willing to bet it’s more about collecting characters and improving your team than actually playing the sport, or engaging in fights. The two most prominent recent examples are FIFA and Madden mobile versions, both of which are very heavy on team ownership and roster management features. Yes, you can still get on the field and play the games, but the real point of it all is to keep improving your teams so as to reach higher levels of competition and achieve more goals. It’s actually a clever way for mobile developers to take advantage of smaller screens and simpler controls, managing a roster is the same on mobile as it might be on a console, whereas the actual action of the games is a little more primitive.

5. Stories Matter

There’s a growing perception that gaming in modern times is all about interaction and multiplayer. To an extent, this is easy to understand.  The console market is catering more and more to fans of multiplayer gaming, and even in apps there are a lot more player vs. player contests available, even some of the games mentioned or alluded to above come with their own online networks of players and full multiplayer capability. Oddly enough, some developers have also gone the other way with their apps, seeking to create immersive, wholly individual experiences for users.  This list of worthwhile app games shows a little bit of what I’m referring to, with titles like Device 6, 80 Days, and The Room all being mentioned. The (unofficial) category of narrative app games includes many more than just these titles but, also including some of the best-designed games out there.

Each of these developments is somewhat surprising given the overall state of the video game industry. But within them you’ll find some of the most engaging categories and individual games available for mobile.

15 Amazing Facts about NFC Payments

NFC – or Near Field Communication payments are literally the wave of the future. While there is an NFC payment thrust in the mobile phone industry, there is slow, but steady acceptance of NFC payments in the retail arena too.

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Image Credits: Gigaom.com

Here are some things you may not know about NFC payments – but it’s still early days and it’s never too late to learn!

  1. NFC technology allows two NFC-enabled devices to exchange data at the distance of a mere few inches.
  2. NFC technology is completely wireless.
  3. NFC Technology can be contactless – NFC payments can be made through just the mobile phone as well as by tapping an NFC-enabled terminal.
  4. NFC technology definitely trumps the Bluetooth, as it consumes less power, and no pairing code is required either.
  5. Since NFC technology is less power-consuming, it means your phone has a longer battery life. This is important, especially if you are to adapt to the NFC payment lifestyle!
  6. NFC payments render the need to lug around a wallet full of cash, change and cards completely unnecessary.
  7. To become part of the NFC technology family, and conduct NFC payments with a tap, sometimes all you will need is a mobile phone with a SIM, as the SIM acts as your identity tool with the NFC network.
  8. More and more smartphone systems have incorporated NFC technology, so you may already be ahead of the game!
  9. While many people prefer traditional means of payments, with NFC payments, you are safeguarded from theft, or financial fraud.
  10. NFC payments are even more secure, because once you tap the Point of Sale terminal for a payment, you will be asked to confirm your NFC payment via a password, fingerprint scan, or other security measure.
  11. You can pay for a variety of services with NFC technology – in retail stores and online, and for micro transactions such as parking fee or bus fare too!
  12. NFC technology is fun – it allows your phone to ‘read’ NFC tags which may offer discount vouchers, helpful information, or the ability to pay instantly for something.
  13. Like most credit card systems, your NFC technology savvy mobile phone will allow you to make payments all over the world!
  14. NFC payments are travel-friendly: because all NFC payments are safe and secure with the advantage of PIN approval.
  15. NFC technology uses your phone to connect your bank account or mobile account to other people and businesses for payments – but at no point does any of your personal information go to the payee!

No wonder then NFC technology is poised to take over the world of retail and ecommerce.

Author’s Bio: Syed Irfan Ajmal is a serial entrepreneur with his latest project being Inbound.Zone. His Twitter handle: @SyedIrfanAjmal

Apple iPhone 5c 8GB – What makes it unique?

apple-iphone-5c-8gb-1Apple phones are immensely popular all over the world, and fall into a significant brand category. The company is all set to launch a new phone called Apple iPhone 5c 8GB, and is a budgeted phone. iPhone 5c is a reasonable smartphone and is Apple’s first venture into this segment. The first iPhone product was launched way back in 2007 June, and till today iPhones deliver an everlasting youthful image, and each time iPhone commercials are released the phones look brand new.

Design:

The uniqueness of iPhone design is it emits waves of vibrancy, and iPhone 5 follows Apples’ legacy of a slender and trendy piece. The material used is top quality plastic. An important point to note is the framework of iPhone 5c is vastly different from the first few iPhones that were launched. iPhone 5c is not the first plastic made phone, and is draped in quality metallic chassis. The phone is tailored with high-end plastic material, and the rigidity effect is highlighted by the presence of premium steel that enables firm dexterity movement. iPhones always come in amazing and pulsating colors, and iPhone 5c will be sold in white, pink, yellow, blue and green shades and the aftermath effect is an awe-inspiring one because of the fine shine.

iPhone 5c weights 132g, and is sturdier and bigger than iPhone 5, and measures 124.4×59.2×8.97mm. There are already positive reviews about iPhone 5c months before launch, sources have stated that the phone offers a light and feel good effect.

Display:

iPhone 5c operates on 640×1136 4inch display capacity, and is not as significant as the 5inch display power of Android phones. Apple will improve on its competitive display measurement with the launch of a bigger display in 2014; detailed information on this topic is yet to be disclosed. Although the display output is smaller compared to Android phones, iPhone 5c offers one of the most rewarding usage experiences in recent times. The color generation capacity is splendid, even under peak sunlight, and the visualizing angles are outstanding. iPhone 5c is offered with iOS 7 software, and the software design technology packed into the phone is world class called skeuomorphic graphics, and the image projection is out of this world and can be compared to live replications of real objects. The new skeuomorphic look makes the handling process smooth with interesting apps like Calendar, App Store, Safari and Mail. The touch screen technology used in the phone is called Control Center, and users can browse through various apps through an up or down swipe. Apart from Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, apps the other toggles used are Flashlight, Orientation lock and Do Not Disturb. Users can adjust the volume and brightness and music output. There is an alarm, camera and calculator apps.

Apple has introduced six apps into iPhone 5c called Keynote, Numbers, pages, Garage Band, iMovie and iPhoto. Besides these apps Apple has launched a new site which is business and recreation specific to manage presentations, spreadsheets, create documents, record and edit movies and manage photos.

Camera:

The camera installed in iPhone 5 c is similar to that of iPhone 5, which stands on top of the game in camera quality. The camera resolution surpasses the illumination power of Lumia 925 and HTC One.  The inbuilt iOS7 software technology used in iPhone 5 has the new UI camera feature where users can access various capturing models such as Panorama, Square, Photo and Video. On top of screen there are back and front cameras, HDR or flash recording. The versatility ability of iPhone 5c is magnificent and in accordance with the cut-throat competition that exists in smartphone industry. Photography buffs and consumers can expect to have lots of fun with the phone. The photography apps used are old and new videos strategized to a particular location, automatic image organization, monuments, collections and years.

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Battery life:

The hardware fitment in iPhone 5c is similar to that of iPhone 5, and hence similar performance output. iPhone 5c is an up gradation from iPhone 4S, and has all the convenient features a modern techie buff can ask for in terms of quick access to apps and webpages. The software system used is called dual-core processor, and the performance output of iPhone 5c is on par with octa and quad rivals.

An interesting feature to note in iPhone 5c is the AirDrop feature which is a direct connection to Wi-Fi, through the Control Center. The significance of AirDrop feature is users can share contacts, videos and photos via Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. The battery power output of iPhone 5c is 1507mAh which is slightly more powerful than durability effect of iPhone 5 where the battery output is 1440mAh. Users can use the phone for hours on end and the lasting effect is so enormous that there will still be about 20% battery space.

iPhone 5c is another addition to Apples’ list of world class products, first and foremost customers will be attracted by the mere vivacious and youthful appearance, which is not unusual, and evident in all iPhone pieces launches. So what makes iPhone 5c different, it lies in the fitment of a more powerful and innovative steel material that increases the sturdy effect and the phone lies firm on palm even under slippery conditions.

Conclusion:

Owning a phone as chic and cool as iPhone 5c is too exciting for words, and owners would hence want to capture as many images as possible to feel the effect of a super elegant phone. There is a back and front camera, as well as HDR or flash recording on top of screen, and photography apps are too many where users can store heaps of life-remembering images in various folders segmented in various eras in time and place such as a particular location, automatic image organization, monuments, collections and years. An innovative feature to look forward to is the AirDrop feature which is a direct source to internet.

Those who are keen to buy the iPhone 5c, the launch date is 31st of March 2014, and it is a great buy for business and recreational purposes.

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Penguin Ahoy ! FREE App

I thought I would share this new fun Penguin game with you.

This is a FREE app (the kind I like the best) available through the Apple App store.

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The game is very simple a little Penguin has sneaked on-board a  Royal Caribbean ship, the aim is to get as far as you can without getting caught.

The user is encouraged to avoid sprinklers, dodge basketballs, and slide under inflatables to keep the penguin running for as long as possible without being caught by the crew.

Easy to play with simple touch and swipe controls, users can also invite and compete with their friends to see who can collect the most coins, cupcakes, special powers and gain extra lives. How far can you run? Are you the best?

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Here is a promotional trailer for the game.

 

This App is from Royal Caribbean International, in partnership with Hi Mum! Said Dad a mobile marketing agency based in London.

 

 

New NARR8’s ‘STORYBUILDER’ Editing tool.

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If you haven’t yet heard of NARR8, allow us to introduce you. 

NARR8 is a free mobile app available on for iOS (iPad and iPad Mini), Android 4.0+, and as of Mon. June 24, Amazon Kindle Fire. A digital publisher of motion comics, interactive novels, and educational nonfiction series in a slew of genres, NARR8 boasts stories for all tastes: horror, mystery, action, science fiction, and more, bringing all original content to life with fluid animation, HD effects, interactive and gamification (games within the digital content) elements and full music soundtracks.

 What’s most exciting about NARR8, however, is that as of early June, NARR8 is allowing you, the reader, to write the stories. Enter StoryBuilder, NARR8’s new user generated content editor tool allows for anyone – indie artist, aspiring writer, hardcore fan, to create his or her very own fan fiction with the help of a single tool. A web-based program with supplied graphics, animations, word processor, sound effects, and more, StoryBuilder is easy-to-use, designed to allow users to focus on the assembly of their very own masterpiece. Soon, StoryBuilder will allow artists to upload their own graphics, as well!

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Once complete, user stories will face a review period of up to 72 hours (things such as unnecessary profanity, lewd or crude content will not be admitted). After the review period, users creations will be uploaded directly to the NARR8 platform, alongside NARR8 original series, shared with the app’s 800,000+ users.

 “It has always been important to NARR8 to be able to assist talented artists and creators, most importantly our readers. By implementing ‘StoryBuilder,’ we are allowing our creative fans who wish to share their stories with our 800,000+ users all over the world. We’re excited to continue evolving the NARR8 product and look forward to what this great addition will bring,” said Founder Alexandr Vashchenko.

 StoryBuilder will also include a payout for the user, eventually. NARR8 shared with Geeks Have Landed that although user generated content will be available for free, their eventual plan is to license popular fan fictions to their platform, giving creators a cut of the proceeds once monetization of the series begins (monetization will begin if and when the user title reaches over 1,000 downloads).

 StoryBuilder is available to all registered NARR8 users, who will need their account login information to access the website.

 As mentioned, NARR8 is free to download, and can be downloaded on the Apple Appstore, Google Play, and the Amazon Appstore.

 Check out the StoryBuilder tutorial videos.”

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If you love Puzzles you will love the free app “Can You Escape”

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If you love Puzzles you will love the free app “Can You Escape”

It’s available for Iphone, Ipad and Android users which will keep everyone happy.  This is currently a free app with constantly updating rooms.

The purpose of the game is to break out of the room you are in.  This is done by solving the puzzles and finding the hidden objects which are used in the room to help you leave and advance to the next floor.

For instance in the first room you have to solve a picture puzzle which opens a cupboard to give you a handle for the draw, in the draw is a screwdriver to open the vent, behind the vent is a safe, solve the combination open the safe and there is a key to unlock the door to access the next level.

You get the idea, look around the room and click on objects to enlarge them and look for clues.

There are 10 levels at the moment with another 5 promised soon

can you escape room

Positives

  • Free to install and play
  • Fun and challenging game that will sharpen your powers of observation.
  • Increasing difficulty with each level.

Negatives

  • Not enough levels only 10 at the moment which is very quick to finish although more promised soon
  • Like most apps they are funded by adverts which I suppose if you can live with them lets you play the game for free (a payment of will remove the adverts) but it does give you the chance to try before you commit.
  • Adding more levels will also incur a cost but if you like the game this shouldn’t be too bad.

Overall an excellent and addictive app but they need more levels as it is completed quickly and once you have lost your players it’s hard to get them back. Candy Crush have the right idea keep the interest by having many levels although probably too many.

As its free give it a go if you like solving puzzles you will love “Can You Escape”

Why the iPhone 5 is great for gaming

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Why the iPhone 5 is great for gaming

The mobile phone is something that many people cannot live without these days because they do nearly everything on them from looking up information to talking to their friends and family. With full internet access you can research nearly anything on a mobile phone without having to change to PC, as well as this you can also watch films and listen to music never having to touch another device. What is most impressive is their ability to play games; the App Store on most modern phones is filled to the brim with thousands of games that you can download and play at any time. Online casino games have become incredibly popular with mobile phone gamers due to just how easy they are to play and how entertaining they can be.

One company that is a leader in mobile phones is Apple. Many people like their phones because of how intuitive they are to use, and Apple have continued to create many of the ways in which we use our phones these days such as the touchscreen, swiping or multi-finger inputs – before this touchscreen phones had always been clunky and hard to use. Since then many game developers have found that making games with touchscreen controls is a better way to import player commands.

Apple recently released their latest iPhone – the iPhone 5. This is the best iPhone to date due to the technology inside of it, as well as the updates to the operating system. With a 1.2 GHz dual core it has the power of a small laptop, with all this power behind it, everything on the OS is set to run smoother than ever. The stunning visual display and high sound quality make the iPhone 5 a great platform for gaming, this coupled with the app store back tracking and making online casino sites such as Jackpot City legal means there are now more games than ever available at the touch of a button.

Feeling Foxy – AppLift lands $13 million investment

When you’re looking to download an app, most of you will turn to the app charts on The App Store, Google Play or the Windows Store to find what you want. But it may surprise you to learn that there’s a big lucrative war being fought amongst developers to get enough downloads to establish themselves in the chart; a war that some companies are making real money out of.

That includes German based start up AppLift who announced this week a tidy $13 million investment from Prime Ventures. Founded in 2012 by Tim Koschella and Kaya Taner of the Hit Fox Group, AppLift have carved out a niche as mobile marketing and monetisation gurus; helping more than 80 game publishers and 500 media companies reach the top of the charts and make money on the way.

Now I know some of you will be scratching your heads: how can they make so much money from getting apps to the top of the chart? Well, it all spans from the fact app based gaming is at the forefront of the money making revolution. Rovio, developers of Angry Birds, cleared $195 million in profit last year while another Finnish company Supercell announced recently that they’ve been making $2.4 million every day; a staggering sum of money I’m sure you’ll agree.

But they’ve only been able to do this is by getting hold of enough users to top the chart and reaching the right users who’ll buy the in app extras to make the developers their money.  With most people discovering their apps via the charts and an app needing 80,000 downloads in the U.S. alone reach the top ten of the free charts, advertising an app to as big and as relevant an audience as possible is really important for financial success.

This is where companies like AppLift come in. Essentially, they run a big advertising network found on mobile apps and the mobile internet for gaming apps to tap into. By adding a custom built bit of code into an app, the developer can support themselves in a number of ways.

They can either run ads in their app which promotes relevant services to users to earn money. Or they can advertise their app within other apps and, by paying a small cost of roughly a dollar  for every install, they can take advantage of a risk free payment system that guarantees players before payment. This model is quite widespread across the industry and there are a number of companies who run networks like this, such as established industry players Tapjoy and Flurry.

What AppLift have managed to master, and what makes them such a great an investment prospect, is their track record of attracting the right kind of users to their clients apps by prioritising games. By focusing on targeting the right titles to the right fans, instead of random content generally seen in most affiliate advertising, the platform has had great success in matching high numbers of paying users to developers.

That list of clients includes King, makers addictive match three hit Candy Crush Saga. Shane Hornejj, Director of Performance marketing at the company, echoed that assessment of AppLift. “It’s great to see that AppLift has secured $13m in this round of funding. They have been a great partner in driving large volumes of installs across Android and iOS while maintaining high quality users.“

So, with the funds being used to hire 50 engineering staff and opening offices in Seoul and San Francisco, AppLift look like they could be well placed to use their investment to keep boosting developers up the app charts.

 

Finally, a social network for your pets

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With all the puppy pics and cat memes blasted over the Internet, it was a no brainer that the pet-only social network YummyPets would thrive. With over 150,000 users in France, it’s finally hit the UK so we can all be digital friends with our furry little helpers.

That’s right – you can create a profile for your pet and meet tons of other pet owners online. On a mission to take over the world with a wide community of animal lovers, YummyPets is already monetising with its own consumer magazine and pet services. There’s a clear market for pet owners and YummyPets founders Matthieu Glayrouse and Mathieu Chollon have already pooled in £1.3m in their 20-staff operation.

It’s a great upgrade from awkward pet-friendly apps like Catbook. Although I think we really need some better names here.

Instagram Updated With Photo Tagging

instagram update photos of you

instagram update photos of you

Photo tagging has finally arrived on Instagram, although the company are calling the feature ‘photos of you’. The idea is the same on most other social networks, you take a photo which includes some friends and then you tag them in it, which is much simpler than including them in a comment below the photo.

 

Since the update, a new tab has been included in the profile page which you can tap to see which images you have been included in. It’s awesome that these features have finally been released, but it’s really quite shocking that they weren’t already included.

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