5 iOS Games Of 2015 You Cannot Overlook

CrossyRoadiOS_1The market is flooded with gaming apps and millions of titles abound. There are tons of games competing with one another even within specific genres. So many, that it’s difficult to find a good game
unless one becomes a total sensation (read: the likes of Angry Birds or Clash Of Clans).
As we near the end of 2015, it’s a good time to look back at some of the more noteworthy gaming apps we’ve been at this year. Many of them have been easy to overlook with the unending roulette of apps. We look at five gaming apps that got a dedicated audience and deserve a mention:

1. Crossy Road

This was one of the hottest app games of the summer and was designed by Hipster Whale. They specialise in a sort of retro approach to new-age arcade games. The company also put out Pac-Man 256, an endless maze version of the ordinary Pac-Man. With these two titles, they’re starting to be one of the more renowned developers.
Crossy Road itself is
a Frogger-inspired take on the age-old question, “why did the chicken cross the road?” That means you’re hopping across busy highway lanes as a pixel-drawn chicken so it’s endless fun.

2. Agar.io

Miniclip has had a hit on its hands for a while with Agar.io that has been a popular browser-based Internet game for a while. But it’s also suited to play as an app because it works just fine with a touchscreen and makes use of Wi-Fi connectivity to connect with other users.
For those unfamiliar with the app or original browser game, you’re tasked with controlling a blob of space. You can think of yourself as a virus looking to consumer others’ blobs to increase your own reach. There’s a bit more to it than that, but you essentially want to keep growing and expanding at the expense of others while avoiding bigger players who could be a threat to you. It’s a combination between a challenging puzzle and an everyday time waster, and a must-have for any regular app gamer.

3. Avengers Alliance

Plenty of fans have complained over the years about Marvel’s lack of a strong presence in current generation consoles, and it’s a fair argument. But the entertainment giant has always been competitive online, and this game feels like an extension of that success.
Marvel Heroes 2015 has become one of the more impressive MMO options online, and Gala Casino’s selection of online casino games offers a satisfying variety of Marvel characters. Games like these exemplify the best of Marvel gaming—Heroes being a massive world RPG, and the casino games roping in most of the popular Avengers with their own titles.
Avengers Alliance, too, excels by compiling numerous Marvel heroes, and that alone makes it worth a look. The game functions as something of a character collector and RPG
and is actually a converted Facebook game made for iOS. There’s a plot—collecting a substance called ISO-8 before
Doom and Loki can get it all—but the real fun is in collecting your favourite heroes and taking them into battles.

4. Soda Dungeon

If you’re looking for console-quality graphics that are taking over a lot of major smartphone games these days, this probably isn’t for you. If you, on the other hand, prefer a more old-school arcade experience like what Crossy Road has to offer, you should find Soda Dungeon just as delightful as I have.
It’s a character-collecting brawler in which you can gain new players to enact and then take them on various quests. You attract new characters by upgrading and maintaining a bizarre,
soda bar.
Also, and it’s very tame in case the kids want to play. The whole thing is presented in a perfect pixelated world, just crude enough to look old without being a pain to use.

5. A Blind Legend

This one takes a little getting used to, and it certainly isn’t for everyone. But if you’re the type who likes to really focus on app games rather than fiddle with them once in a while, A Blind Legend might be worth a look. That’s because this is a game designed with no visuals,
employing the use of surround sound audio to describe your setting and force you into action. Basically, you’re a knight on a quest with your daughter guiding the way, avoiding traps and acting out an adventure entirely by sound and touch.
Apple n Apps described it as “trying to become visionary” (somewhat ironically) in that this game holds the potential to create its own category. It’s not a perfect experience, but it’s certainly different. It’s also good, immersive fun.
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OnePlus Event Held in Bangalore; Smartphone Assembling to Begin Soon

OnePlus Bengaluru EventOnePlus announced new plans at an event in Bengaluru today and said they would be assembling smartphones in India. The Chinese startup is partnering with Foxconn to start assembling from the latter’s manufacturing unit located in Andhra Pradesh.

“Today is a big day for us. Producing smartphones in India is one of the most important decisions that we have made so far at OnePlus. India being one of our biggest markets worldwide, we are committed to a long term sustainable growth path,” OnePlus CEO and Founder Pete Lau said at the event.

The company has already sold 250,000 units of OnePlus One and 15,000 units for OnePlus Two in India. The latter had its first-ever open sale on Amazon.in today. It will continue tomorrow as well.

OnePlus General Manager-India Vikash Agarwal said, “Ever since OnePlus debuted in India, we have been deluged with requests for invites to buy our products, with more than 5 million registrations worldwide for our latest release – the OnePlus 2 – alone! With the best of our intentions of fastening up the availability process, we have been constrained by a few supply chain related challenges in meeting consumer demands. The local production will help to address this issue and better cater to the fast growing demands for OnePlus products in India.”

The MakeInIndia move would give full time employment to more than 1000 people at the Foxconn’s facility spread across 30,000 s.ft., where the manufacturing of OnePlus devices would start before the end of 2015.

Locally produced OnePlus smartphones will hit the market as early as the end of this year. Foxconn has the ability to manufacture about 500,000 units at its facility per month, which is further scalable according to the demand.


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Coolpad Set to Invest $ 300 Mn in India, Launch New Smartphone

China-based tech firm Coolpad plans to invest $ 300 million in India by 2017 towards its mobile phone business. The company is going to sell its current inventory of stocks by the first quarter of 2016 and then it will start vending its “Made in India” gadgets.

Coolpad is well aware of the price-sensitivity issue in the Indian mobile market. So it has planned to make customers happy by keeping a competitive pricing strategy. A part of the money that Coolpad is going to invest would be used to lower the cost of their smartphones. The company has set its goal of shipping 0.5 million devices each quarter. It is also planning to boost its workforce by 10 times within one year.

The company has already announced a 4G-ready Coolpad Note 3 to be available at Rs. 8999. This smartphone would come with a fingerprint sensor at the back panel to unlock the phone within 0.5 seconds. It will also be able detect dry and wet fingers. The company said that the sensor can endure 10 million presses, which roughly add up to 9 years of use.

Coolpad Note 3 has a 5.5-inch IPS 720 screen powered by 1.3 GHz octa-core MediaTek MT6753 processor and a Mali T720 GPU that runs on Android 5.1 Lollipop. The smartphone comes with 3 GB RAM and 16 GB internal storage which can be expanded upto 64 GB via microSD card.

The phone sports a 13 MP rear cameral with LED flash and an aperture of f/2.0. It also comes with a 5 MP front camera. Coolpad boasts of a huge 3000mAh battery that has been designed to reduce power consumption. As far as connectivity is concerned the phone has Bluetooth 4.0, A-GPS and Wi-Fi 802 b/g/n.

If you are looking for a Coolpad Note 3, registrations are available on Amazon India for sale beginning October 20.



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Speculations Run Amok On OnePlus Event in Bengaluru Today

OnePlus Bengaluru EventChinese start-up company OnePlus is going to host a special event in Bengaluru today where we are likely to see Pete Lau, the CEO and founder of the company. The company has sent signals that this would be a corporate announcement, which leads us to believe it could be about a diversion from the company or maybe their plans to move some manufacturing to India.

While 9to5Google reported that the company is going to announce #MakeInIndia, Android Central quoted the invite by OnePlus’ General Manager in India, Vikas Agarwal and Pete Lau that they will “reiterate the relevance of Indian market in the OnePlus growth story and announce The Next Big Step.”

On the other hand, a tweet from the company’s India Twitter handle said, ‘Time to look at things a little differently’ supported by an “X” in a photo. Should we expect a OnePlus X launching soon? Let us remind you, this one would be a cheaper smartphone. Speculations about the OnePlus X grew stronger when Pete Lau posted a message “Dissatisfied run a X,” on his officla Weibo account.

Though the company confirmed that OnePlus 2 will be the one and only flagship phone for 2015, recent leaks have suggested that there could be an OnePlus X coming soon. It would come with a 5-inch screen along with fingerprint sensor in the rear panel and powered by a Snapdragon 801 processor.

It should also to be noted that the OnePlus 2 would go on sale between 12 pm and 1 pm only on Amazon India today. So, hurry and grab the latest smartphone on the block.


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Facebook Innovating With Good Morning, Updated News Feed

Did you wake up to a good morning message from Facebook today? Facebook Inc is in an innovation mode to enhance user experience. Recently, they updated the News Feed feature that would allow content to load quickly even when the internet connectivity is weak. Today, they gave users a surprise with a personalised good morning message that said, “Good morning Nishtha, we hope you enjoy Facebook today”. 

Facebook morning news updateRecent moves from Facebook suggest they are targeting developing markets. Trying to provide solutions for places with slow internet connectivity is a result of that.

Internet connectivity is slow in emerging markets like Brazil, Mexico and India where most people use 2G connection. This makes it difficult to load videos or pictures that require more data. Facebook is hoping to bring in more users from these countries with this update.

The Facebook app chooses pictures, articles or videos to load depending on the signal strength of users. In case of a weak connectivity, News Feed selects content that is faster and easier to load.

Facebook’s director of engineering Tom Alison said that their employees working in India reported problems of slow connectivity that makes it frustrating to use the app. Thus, the social networking site sent a team to India to look into this matter exclusively and to deliver a faster experience for News Feed in regions with weak connections.

Alison said, “News Feed is a product you tend to want to check regularly throughout the day, and that’s not possible when it’s slow to load.”

The updated News Feed will be able to pull up content in low connection area, even in a subway, by pulling up stories that were loaded during their last Facebook visit but not clicked.


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Microsoft’s First Laptop Is Here: All About The Surface Book

Microsoft has taken another big leap. After launching two flagship smartphones Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL, the company is ready to take the gadget market by storm with its Surface Pro 4. To woo gadget lovers, the company even unveiled its much-awaited laptop, the Surface Book and both are now available at pre-order.

Microsoft Surface Surface Book features

Touted to run at a twice speed of MacBook Pro, Surface Book sports a 13.5-inchPixelSense display with 3000×2000 pixels resolution and 267ppi pixel density. Like Surface Pro 4, this too is protected with Corning Gorilla Glass 4. The first laptop of the company also offers a choice of processors and users can either get an Intel Core i7 processor or Intel Core i5 processor. The company has also offered a choice of RAM, between 8GB and 16GB.

Surface Pro 4 features

Apart from the Surface Pen, that is bundled with both Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book, Microsoft Surface Pro boasts of a wide display measuring 12.3-inches along with 2736×1824 pixel, PixelTouch. As expected by users, the screen is well-protected by 0.4mm Corning Gorilla Glass 4. To ensure a hassle free performance, Microsoft has offered a choice of three different 6th generation Core processors of Intel, Core i5, Core i7 and Core M3. Storage is also not a problem with this device as its storing capacity starts from 128GB and can be extended up to 1TB. It also supports a high-speed RAM of 16GB. Yet, the basic model starts from 4GB. Claimed as sturdier, thinner, lighter and faster model, Surface Pro 4 also has impressive camera features with 8MP at the rear and 5MP at front.… Read the rest

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Hopes High on Upvoted; New Reddit Website

upvoted reddit websiteReddit, the front page of the Internet, has announced a new website with new content. It is called Upvoted and works as a kind of digital magazine. There will be original digital bits derived from the community but coming from the mother ship, i.e. Reddit, directly.

There are certain stories in this new site that seems to be sponsored but it is nothing new for Reddit as it already is allowing native advertisements in the site. Maybe the new website has been created to offload some of the ads to make both users and advertisers happy.

Upvoted with have contents in the form of videos, Ask Me Anything section, podcast and everything else that Reddit is offering.

Heath Black, product lead at Reddit, said, “We have an editorial team that only works on the Upvoted content. They have editorial oversight into what we write. They will scour every nook and cranny on Reddit on a daily basis to find the coolest stuff, conduct interviews with the creators, and even in some situations orchestrate video AMAs or podcasts,” when asked about how Upvoted works.

The most important different between both the sites is that in Upvoted you cannot comment on any post. However, if you are yearning to do so, you can click on the link provided with the post to follow the original thread and post your comment. Reddit also did not launch any mobile app for Upvoted . May be it will come up with something soon for the mobile users.

Upvoted will publish around 10-20 original content everyday to start with. However, it is planning to churn out around 40 stories a day.

It is now to be seen how Upvoted fare in the vast digital universe.… Read the rest

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Know What Your Neighbour Earns With WageSpot Salary App

WageSpot salary appA new application for smartphones called WageSpot has been released on Tuesday in USA and has already scored a hit thanks to what it reveals—the amount of money people make as salary!

The application allows users to report their annual incomes and check out what others in the same niche are taking back home. All this with anonymity! WageSpot also allows people to look up the earnings as per job type, experience, gender, location and miscellaneous criteria.

The app reminds us of the way Zillow maps lists property values across neighborhoods. WageSpot also shows maps that reveal what people earn and where they are based. Raphael Morozov, co-founder of WageSpot says, “It seems that we are really afraid to talk about compensation no matter how much we make and how much we should be earning.”  He believes that if the scoop on salary is out in the world, gathering the same could actually cause a stir around.

Summing Up

While websites such as Glassdoor have already made a mark in this niche, gathering data on who earns how much and where remains a fave preoccupation. “Salary data has remained hidden behind reporting complexity and cultural stigma…” founders of WageSpot have said.Read the rest

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I recently wrote a column about the potential extinction of print newspapers and the recent news offering of Apple, Facebook and Google seems to be making my case stronger. Soon, news consumption will happen more on mobiles than any other platform and all big tech giants seem to be making the most of it.

AppleApple News is already here and the iPhone maker has tied up with major news providers across the world to provide news for smartphone users. Big media channels including Vogue, New York Times and Vanity Fair are also on the Apple News platform.

“Apple News is a brilliant way to read news. You can access news of your interest and can read it whenever you want. I like reading news on my phone in the morning time and no more subscribe to print newspapers,” says Ameesha Seth.

Google is also set to offer a new news app. It has tied with Twitter to develop an app to deliver news content. According to various reports, users will be able to load news on their phone in microseconds with the new Google app.

Facebook also wishes to find its feet in the news space. It has launched Instant Articles and promises to deliver news faster than any other digital outlet. It has also tied up with various media organizations.

With Apple, Google and Facebook already trying to make the most of digital news phenomenon, soon the news will be consumed on digital channels, as it is a faster and easier way to read news.

 “I am addicted to Flipboard. That is my go to news destination,” says Manan Sharma.

News is all about timeliness and with the expansion of digital media, it has found a new home.

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Google Looks To Rival Thomson Reuters & Bloomberg

Tech giant Google is all set to make a new investment in the field of communication by investing in Symphony Communication Services LLC, a messaging startup. Symphony offers a centralized platform to different individuals, corporate users and financial firms towards digital communications. Therefore, its collaboration with Google is expected to bring some significant developments in the world of communication.

Google takes interest to invest in Symphony Communication ServiceSpeculations are doing the rounds

According to the Wall Street Journal, Google has made a new round of investment for Symphony, which is now valued at $650 million. However, a source close to the deal told Reuters that talks between the two companies are in progress and they are yet to make a final decision on the terms.

While there is no confirmation from any of the companies involved so far, reports of the deal have already fueled up speculation. The service, which is backed by several banks along with the Goldman Sachs Group, is now touted to become a rival of Thomson Reuters Corp. and Bloomberg LP, as these are trusted sources for offering information and messaging services to investors, traders and bankers.

At present, Symphony’s services are available for small businesses as well as individuals for free while businesses which have more than 50 users need to shell out $15 per month for every user. … Read the rest

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