What the OUYA is going on!

ouya

What is OUYA?

Ouya is a compact Android powered games console. You can use it to download a range of games.

It like taking your smart phone and making it into a miniature games console.

Now Ouya will let you try these games for free before you buy them which I think is a great and novel idea, we are all getting used to free apps and once you get to like them you then buy the extra levels well this is a play on this system and should work well.

Ouya downloads its games directly storing them on its own built in 8GB storage which is expandable by USB stick, which I like as my children are always losing discs or scratching them so they are no longer working (very expensive to replace).

You do get a controller with the console but you can also use a mobile phone to control the characters on the screen and play the game. (great for that friend that pops in and wants a go)

As Ouya states it plays all your apps on your TV, it can even stream shows, movies and music directly through your TV sound system. They have already paired with Twitch.tv, Crunchyroll, iheartradio, TuneIn, XBMC, Plex and Flixster and are continually adding more to the list.

It also comes with free developer tools to create and build your own OUYA games, so if you ever had that great game but just didn’t know how to create it here is your chance.

Specs on the OUYA

1GB RAM

8Gb Internal Storage –expandable by USB

1080p Via HDMI

USB 2.0

Conclusion

For the price of £99 you get a great gaming system which is actually so much more than that and this is for a consul you can not only play games on but also develop for. I’m definitely in. (although I will have to get passed my kids first !!)

Closure of Google Reader Make the switch before 1 July 2013

freedly

With the closure of Google Reader don’t forget its vital to swap over to a new reader today. (Sunday 30 June 2013)

I would suggest Feedly which is a free service together with Mr Reader £2.49 from the Apple App store together they are the perfect team.

mr-reader

I recommended this wonderful article to help you make sure you move all your feeds across to Feedly from Google Reader before this closure on 1 July 2013.

This free step by step guide was written by Ed Dale and I think it explains everything perfectly.

Step by step guide to transfer your Google Reader to Feedly.

This will be downloaded as a pdf which is so much better to store and read.

I have already moved across so make sure you do today (Sunday 30 June 2013) before it’s too late.

 

 

New NARR8’s ‘STORYBUILDER’ Editing tool.

NARR8 STORYBUILDER3

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!

 NARR8 STORYBUILDER2

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.”

NARR8 STORYBUILDER1

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

can you escape

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”

Win: A Movie Wall Mural Art Worth Up To £500

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Calling all movie art lovers!

We’ve teamed up with Photowall.co.uk to give one lucky reader the chance to win their choice of wall mural up to the value of £500 from their collection. So whether you’re a fan of Bruce Lee, Marilyn Monroe or John Malkovich, chances are, there’ll be something there to make your walls look an awful lot cooler.

If it was my choice, I’d be going for this beauty…

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Photowall has an amazing mural collection of retro looking film and movie star themed motifs, such as James Bond (Sean Connery), Audrey Hepburn, Robert De Niro, and James Dean among many others.

To enter the competition, first Follow us on Twitter and then tweet us the name of your favourite movie star followed by #photowall – We’ve made it easy with the buttons below:



10 Ways To Use NFC Tags

NFC tag on Chromebook

For the past couple of weeks, I have been using NFC tags (sent to me by MobileFun) as part of my daily life. Since buying my Samsung Galaxy Note II, I’ve been trying to take advantage of all the little perks that come with having a top of the range phone, and NFC is certainly one of them. To begin with, I felt like I was really forcing myself to use them and I wasn’t using them to their full potential, however over the past few days I have noticed that they have considerably shortened the amount of time I waste tweaking things on my phone, leaving me free to do more in my day instead of navigating menus.

NFC What?

I’ll try to refrain from copy and pasting Wikipedia definitions, but I will say that NFC stands for ‘Near Field Communications’. What does that mean? Well, probably a lot of things, but in this case it means you can wave your mobile device in front of one of these little tag stickers, and make it do whatever you command.

8 Ways To Use NFC Tags

  1. Music: Personally, I very rarely leave the house without headphones in my ears. Whether it’s a 2 minute walk to the end of the road or a long trip full of public transport, you can be pretty sure I’ll be listening to music. Having an NFC tag by the door means that I can quickly swipe my phone as I leave, and it starts playing music. You can even select it to play a certain song, playlist or album with any specific music app too.
  2. Profiles: There are many different settings and uses to sound profiles on mobile phones, most of which I don’t take advantage of. However, while I have it on full notification and ringtone volume while outside of the house, vibrate is more than enough when I’m in the house. NFC tags can quickly toggle between sound profiles, meaning you don’t have to trudge through the menus like you usually would.
  3. Wi-Fi: Looking back through the battery use of my phone, most it is spent using Wi-Fi. What makes this so annoying is that I am very rarely home, but having forgot to turn the setting off, it sits there trying to find connections, draining the party. Having an NFC tag in some convenient places, mostly by the front door, means that I can make sure I have turned Wi-Fi off before I leave the house. (Just remember to turn it back on as you come home, otherwise you’ll eat your data accidentally!)
  4. Alarm Clock: This is probably one of the biggest uses I got out of the NFC tags I was using all week. Basically, by having one by your bedside, you can swipe it as you go to sleep, and it will activate a previously set alarm clock. Certainly saves quite a bit of time.
  5. Checking In: You can set the phone to announce your location on Google+, Twitter of Facebook by using a single swipe. Of course, there isn’t a lot of use for the individual user. However, more and more businesses are starting to use this, so that people can tell their friends where they’re eating or shopping.
  6. Marketing: This has been slightly covered in the point above, but there are so many ways companies can market their products through the use of NFC tags. You might have seen that there are now the occasional NFC symbols on bus stop adverts or on posters at the cinema. Just like an bar code that doesn’t require a dedicated application or camera, these can be used to open up web pages, play videos or even enter you into competitions.
  7. Sending files: You can transfer media from one phone to another, provided both devices have NFC and it is enabled. It’s a lot faster than the olden days of bluetooth sharing, and frankly, it looks so much cooler.
  8. Social Networking:  If you’re an avid sharer on social networks, NFC tags can definitely save you a lot of time. You can have it set to immediately bring up a new tweet/status window the second you swipe your phone over it, so if there is one location where you always share content, then this could work great for you. Not for me, but there are definitely some.
  9. Launching Any App: With an NFC tag, you can launch literally any application you have on your phone, be it a utility, social network app or game. I don’t have a specific location where I use an app all the time, however it could be useful at work if you want to quickly swipe to open a calendar or note taking app.
  10. All of the Above: By now it’s hopefully clear that you can use NFC tags to carry out just about any function on your phone. What’s even better, is that most phones and NFC tags can handle multiple operations at once, meaning you can set it to toggle Wi-Fi, play a game, send a tweet and set an alarm all at the same time.

I have certainly enjoyed the last couple of weeks of using NFC tags, and what makes me really excited is the potential that these little tags possess. At the moment, they can really only be used to shorten the amount of time we spend doing tasks we could already accomplish, but it’s clear that in the future these will really catch on, and hopefully will give us opportunities to use our phones in ways that we couldn’t before.

Angry Birds Star Wars

angry birds Star Wars
Angry Birds is arguably one of the most loved mobile gaming releases ever, and after a few spin-offs and sequels, it franchise is expanding with no sign of slowing down. On November 8th, another Angry Birds title will launch on Windows, Mac, iOS and Android on the appropriate cyber markets, this time officially teaming up with Star Wars to create of the titles to be set in a galaxy far, far away.

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