Create Pieces of Art with Paintastic

Are you a fan of digital sketching and painting? If yes, Paintastic is an excellent app that will let you do exactly that and even more let your creative thoughts come into life. It allows you to create pieces of art that you can use as designs for various purposes that can be either printed or shared online. 

Once the user opens the app, they see a default screen with lot of options at the bottom of the screen that the user can utilize to create their drawing or painting. There are also the undo and redo button at the top right of the screen so that it is easier to just perform these actions if a bulk erase or redo of a previous work is required. There are options to

    • Change color of the pencil or paintbrush
    • Change background color of the palette
    • Add jitter (where you can change size, opacity and add different effects to the jitter like blur, emboss, deboss, neon, glow, outline). You can also choose whether to have smooth edges or not for your jitter, adjust the size, etc.
    • Add basic outline shapes, basic fill shapes like heart, flower, star, etc., floral shapes, smileys, frames & borders, celestial, arrows, card suits, puzzle pieces, objects shapes and random stencils that are free to use. However, there are other shapes like stick figures, transport, buildings & structures, ribbons & badges, speech bubbles, flowchart symbols and fruits, that can also be added to your drawing. You will need to pay to unlock all shapes. These shapes can be inserted directly or as post-transform where you can rotate and transform the added shapes. You also have control over the sizes for these images and can add effects like grayscale, saturation and color filters.

  • Add festival related shapes (There are festival related themes added in the app that include shapes like Christmas tree, candy stick, snowflakes, which will help the user to create holiday greetings during season times).
  • Add text (The text option allows you to add text to your drawings; for example, captions and also to add different effects/filters to the text). You can also add styles to your text like bold, italic and underlined and shapes for the text like linear, arc, box and custom curve. There are a few fonts to choose from too. These text can be inserted directly or can be post transformed. The user has control over the size of the text as well.
  • The eraser lets you erase unwanted information and the size of it can be changed according to needs.
  • The paint bucket tool lets the user fill in the background with a particular color.
  • The selection tool lets the user to move, crop, rotate, resize, etc. like in any other photo editing app
  • Other than these, there are the scratch mode and color picker tools. 

 

Features: 

The user can

  • Insert picture to the created art, and the app lets the user do photo editing and to make collages. The user can also add pictures to their drawings
  • Save foreground of the art that they have created
  • Share drawing on social media like Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Email and others.
  • Add artist name to tell the world who created the art 

Cons:

  • A tutorial to use some of the features of Paintastic would be greatly beneficial, if not at least a tip on the screen for first time users as some of the options at the bottom of the screen did not seem to be self explanatory

 

Cookie Crush Crazy – A New Cookie Blast Game

If you are a fan of the famous game Candy Crush, then I bet you’ll love this game where you crush ingredients in order to help a chef build cookie in each level. This is a cookie blast game powered by Unity and is available free on the play store.

Cookie Crush Crazy is a game where you crush ingredients by matching a minimum of three ingredients of the same type and color. It is a game where you strategically plan and crush the required amount of ingredients in the given number of moves. In case you fail to accomplish this, you can replay the level, provided that you have enough life. The player can also buy extra moves (in case they run out of moves), using coins they may have.

The task that the player accomplishes in the game is helping a cook to obtain the required ingredients for his cookie recipes. Each level has a cookie with different requirements in the amount and type of ingredients required for each recipe and you as a player crushes these ingredients in order for the chef to acquire them to make the recipe.

Once downloaded, the Cookie Crush Crazy app installs itself in your device. On opening the app, tapping on “Play Game” will let you start playing the game. You start with level 1 and complete each level to move on to the next.

You can collect 3 stars in each level, you earn stars as you progress through the level continuing ahead and collecting all the three stars while completing a level.

Cookie Crush Crazy

The player starts with 5 lives while starting level 1. Each time you fail to finish the level in the given number of moves, you lose a life.

When it comes to settings, you can turn music or sound on / off by tapping those icons at the bottom left of the screen.

Initially when you start the app and tap “Play game”, you choose level 1 to start the game. At each level, collecting various ingredients is required in order for you to complete the required level.

You can login with Facebook and earn an extra 200 coins. This lets you see the progress of your friends and also helps to share  and request coins, lives, etc. when required.

The fun part of the game is, you need to help the cook collect ingredients to prepare the cookie recipe. You match 3 or more of the same ingredients and crush them thereby collecting ingredients and in each level you will be given a target and certain number of moves to collect all the required ingredients. What you need to do is, use these moves, collect ingredients and help the chef make the cookie.

Completing a level gives you stars based on the number of moves in which you completed the game and if you complete a level before the number of moves run out, you get bonus for all remaining moves. If you run out of moves, you can purchase moves using coins or skip the level using more coins.

There are loads of exciting levels to be accomplished and the difficulty increases with each level, so does the excitement.

Cookie Crush Crazy is quite an interesting mind game, but there are these annoying ads after completion of each level. Also there are in app purchases which may be less advantageous for users who may not wish to make a purchase.

Spritzr – Get Matchmaking Suggestions from Friends

Are you looking for a match but worried about signing up into random websites where you are among a bunch of total strangers? Do not worry. You have the first ever match making app Spritzr that has the facility where you can hang out with your own friends with match making suggestions coming in for you from your friends themselves. That’s a relief isn’t it?

Spritzr is a free app available on the play store and it can be just downloaded and installed. On opening the app, it requests to sign in with Facebook. The app claims that it doesn’t post on Facebook but needs to sign in with Facebook as it is used to check for security and accuracy.

When signing in with Facebook, Spritzr requests access to public profile, friends list, date of birth and photos without which a user cannot use this app.

Once signed in, the app requests the user to choose their path from 2 given options.

  • In a relationship – Choosing this option lets you suggest matches for friends who are single. It takes you off the market and labels you as a matchmaker
  • Single – Choosing this option or path is perfect if you are looking for quality matches

If you aren’t sure of either of the above, you can always choose the most appropriate one and switch to another one later.

On choosing this option, you are taken to a page where you have 2 tabs. One is “Friends” tab where you play matchmaker for the Spritzr community. Here you are given 10 matches for a day to suggest for your friends. You can invite friends to join the community as well.

Spritzr

Other is the “Community” tab where you can suggest matches for people other than your friends but are looking for one match.

When viewing each profile, there is an information “i” icon that will let you view information like height, personal information like, how many kids, etc., qualification, a short profile with interests and some photos. Below this profile, there is a list of suggestions to recommend for matchmaking and you as a matchmaker can suggest appropriate matchers from these candidates for them.

Spritzr takes you to a page where you enter your information like, gender, who you are looking for (e.g. man or woman) and where you are looking for (location, needs entering postcode) and based on the post code entered, Spritzr will fetch location.

You are then taken to a page where you input information like a short introduction / description of yourself, gender, interested in man or woman, height, smoker or not, religious faith (optional), politics (optional), kids (optional), education (your highest qualification), school (name of school that you attended), work, interests (should choose 3+) and finish profile.

Once you have completed the above, you will be taken to a page where you have 2 tabs. The “Friends” tab where you play matchmaker for the Spritzr community and the “Community” tab where you can suggest matches for people who are looking for one.

The menu for Spritzr is on the top left side of the app window. Below are the features of the app.

  • Shows the number of Karma points and number of friends
  • Suggestions – Tapping this shows suggestions based on the profile that you have created
  • Messages – This tab has any messages that you may have received from friends or others
  • Settings – Tapping this, the user can set up notifications for new messages, successful matches and when new friends join

While Spritzr may seem attractive and safe cos you hang out among a bunch of friends and match suggestions come from them, there are some negatives like it cannot be used without signing into a Facebook account.

Grand Home Management with Gideon Smart Home

While home may be where the heart is, with our busy lives we often find ourselves away from home than in it. This makes management of our home through the magic of remote access essential to our modern way of living. Making that access and control convenient and seamless is what Gideon Smart Home integration app available on Google Play.

Imagine being able to control your thermostat setting from work so you don’t run the heater or a/c when no one is home. How about being able to tap into your security system’s camera after 4pm so you can make sure the kids got home safe?

You can buy so many gadgets to control technology in your home, but who wants to use different apps to control each piece? Gideon downloads to any of your Android devices and brings accessibility to all of your home technologies to you, in one simple and easy to use app.

There are over 50 different types of devices that Gideon currently connects and controls, including:

  • Rheem water heaters
  • Nest Thermostat, Protect, Smoke Alarms, and Cam
  • Quirky and GE air conditioners
  • Lutron lights and blinds
  • Sonos Play 1, 3, and 5
  • Netatmo Welcome, Thermostat, Module, and Weather Station
  • And so many more…

Gideon

Once you download the app, which is available for free, you simply look for the products you want to connect to and establish the link. It’s that simple.

What is really cool is the easy-on-the-eye black background. I found it extremely pleasing to use, both during day and night.

After creating all the connections you need, you can further simplify your control over the technologies by creating scheduled programs that collate and execute set commands. For instance, if you want the temp at 70 degrees, the kitchen window shades opened, and the island light ON all at 6:00am, you can create a “Wake Up” protocol and define these parameters for those functions. You can also state what days you want to run and for what duration.

It allows you to take full advantage of the automated technologies you have invested in.

If you have multiple properties, you can use Gideon to program in connectivity to each property. Each property will have its own lists of devices it connects to, its own preset programs, etc.

Gideon also allows for connectivity amongst some of the devices. Let’s say the furnace is not working and the kids will be getting home in about one hour. Gideon allows you to have failsafes in place to make sure the house is warm before the kids arrive. You can program in code to say if the furnace is not working, turn on the gas fireplace. Gideon will alert you to the problem when it happens and will also let you know that your backup has been engaged.

Be Thrilled with Bravium

Bravium is an action filled role play game where you fight against enemies and other powerful characters to finish off one level and progress towards the next one. There are lot of exciting levels to show off your skills and power and it is more than a hundred levels as mentioned on the play store.

This is quite a huge app due to its high definition graphics and visual effects and please be mindful of the fact that it drains the battery quite quickly and can cause some heating issues to the device. The app is available free on the play store, just download and install and you are good to go. However, be thrilled…there are a lot of exciting in-app purchases for you!

When you first start the game, the app asks for permission to allow Bravium to access photos, media and files on your device and this must be mainly due to the fact that you should enable recording if you need to create and share your replays. The app also asks to allow access to location which I am not sure of why, as this isn’t a location based game, but what I really guess is, that it may compare your achievements with other players around that region, still unsure!

If you press deny for any of the above options, you will not be able to proceed to playing the game, so this is something that may be of concern for worried users.

Once you get into the Bravium screen, you will be given a short intro of all the items on the screen and on how to proceed further into the game. There are short tips here and there to guide the player on how to play and also on what to do with certain characters that appear on the screen. Some power ups are displayed on the screen when you start the game however they seem to disappear as a one off power for that level. So players need to be careful enough to choose those power ups at the right time when required.

While playing the game, destroying towers gets the hero (the player) a star and cabbages. The player can also collect diamonds and cabbages while killing the enemies and diamonds pop up on the screen that the player will have to collect.

In each level the player can earn up to a maximum of 3 stars; one for survival and one for each tower killed. The player can also earn coins for kills and the number of coins depends on the power of the enemy killed.

Using the collected stars, the player will be able to purchase strength, stamina, intelligence and wisdom from the store which is basically upgrading the talents. Cabbages are also collected when killing towers and enemies, and these help with upgrading your weapons.

The player can use diamonds to boost up the power before starting a level and If you are unable to survive a particular level with certain hero power or combination of weapons, you can try other heroes or different combination of skills and weapons.

A good feature of the app that most players will be pleased with, is the built in replay option that lets one record their gameplay and share their experience with other players around the world with everyplay. One needs to enable recording to create a replay. This is a good option in the sense that it helps other struggling players to learn killing techniques and skills and on what strategies to use to complete a level.

You can also see your achievements on the leaderboard by tapping the medal icon in the bottom left of the screen and compare it with other players from around the world.

The only drawback of the game is the wait to collect coins, cabbages and stars to upgrade weapons or make purchases without which you will need to be spending money for upgrades which will be a disappointment to many.

Floating out – Simple Yet Powerful Challenging Game

Floating out is a game made with Unity and offered by Glint labs. This game is challenging in its own way where you use certain strategies to calculate the best possible way through a level to the exit. Each level is different where you could be given the option of either number of touches or a certain amount of time within which to reach the exit.

The game is available free on the play store and can be downloaded and installed easily. When you open the game, you have the option to log into Google play games or not. There are a total of 5 Chapters with 15 levels in each chapter totaling to 75 challenging levels for the player to enjoy!

On proceeding to play, the player will be presented with the screen for Chapter 1 that shows the levels for that chapter numbered 1 to 15. Depending on the number of attempts the player takes to finish each level, they are given 1, 2 or 3 stars and these are recorded under each level as the player completes each level. You can score a maximum of 45 stars in total for each chapter, i.e. 15 levels x 3 stars maximum for each level. When you initially start, you will have ‘0/45’ displayed on the screen.

The player will start from Level 1 and on entering the level will be provided with a challenge in which the player will have to guide a ball through to the exit. There will be many obstacles of different forms all along the way and the player will need to strategically guide the ball through the best possible path, avoiding the obstacles and reach the exit.

Some obstacles can instantly kill the ball and you will need to start the level again. Guiding the ball through to the portal is by touching the screen. The ball moves in the direction of touch. If you touch near the ball, it moves slower and if you touch farther away from the ball it moves faster. Both these come in handy in situations where you need to control the speed of the ball in order to avoid or escape obstacles or may be reach the exit on time.

All the 15 levels in Chapter 1 have levels where the player has to guide the ball through touch only and it is not timed. Each level has a particular number of touch provided depending on the difficulty of the level and the player needs to guide the ball to the exit by using the available touches to reach the exit. For example, level 3 has 10 touches, level 4 had 3 touches, and so on. The obstacles in each level are quite different. Some levels are pretty easy while some are highly challenging.

Chapter 2 levels are a combination of both touch only and touch + timed levels. Timed levels have a time limit within which you have to guide the ball to the exit without being killed by obstacles in between. If you need to start a level again for some reason, in the middle of playing a level, you just need to tap the ring shaped icon on the top right of the screen. Touching the menu icon on the top left (four small squares) takes you to the main page where you can see your score for each level for that chapter; for example, 1, 2 or 3 stars. You can also see the total number of stars you have scored for that particular chapter. The achievement icon on the top left of this page will take you to the achievements page where you can have a look at all your achievements / awards earned so far. There are a total of 14 achievements that the player can accomplish.

Features of the game:

  • Floating out is a very simple yet powerfully challenging game that can be of interest to both children and adults. The app does not have tutorials or guidance of any kind and it is not a drawback at all as the game is pretty self explanatory.
  • The game has a combination of both easy and difficult levels and some levels can be very difficult if not played strategically.
  • Finishing each chapter will unlock the achievements for that chapter and also any other achievements that the player earned while playing that chapter. An example of one award is the persistent award, that is awarded if you die 20 consecutive times in one level. This can sometimes happen in very difficult levels, but the persistence to continue to finish that level without giving up earns the player that award. Yes, some levels are quite difficult and that is what makes it interesting too!
  • The game is challenging in a way that it makes you want to complete each level so that you can go ahead and take on more challenges that come your way. There is a curiosity behind what awaits the next level.
  • This is a kind of mind and strategic game where you use your logical skills to complete each level to reach the exit in minimal number of moves or time possible.
  • There are a total of 14 awards to be accomplished. One each for completing chapters 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5, one for the end, i.e. for completing all chapters, beginner award, advanced level award, expert level award, perfectionist award, ninja award, innocent award, persistent award and lightning award.
  • The best part of the game is that you do not have to start all over again if you lose life, instead you can just continue from the same level that you are, which is a huge relief.

I could not see much of any negatives while playing Floating out, but there is an in-app purchase that players will need to pay for in order to continue to Chapter 3; that is after completing level 30. Although this is not a high price to pay, this may leave a few kids upset if they are refused a purchase by their parents. iPhone version is available here.

Crowd’s Feed – A New Social Media Platform

Crowd’s Feed is a kind of social networking app I would say, in its own unique way, that, it integrates the benefits of multiple apps into one platform. To be precise, it lets users who have common interests connect with each other through a common social media platform, that is Crowd’s Feed.  

For example, if you are a great fan of a particular app and would like to connect with people who are users of this app, just open that app and check if you can see a floating icon of the Crowd’s Feed app. If you can see it, then Voila, you have a community on Crowd’s Feed that uses this app and you can start interacting with them. 

When you open the app you will be taken to the welcome screen where you have just one option of “Login with Facebook.” Once logged in, you will be presented with the information that the app will have access to your public profile and email address on Facebook and that the app will not post to Facebook without your permission. This setting could be changed from within Facebook privacy setting I guess if you wish to have your Crowd’s feed posts sent to Facebook too. 

crowds-feed

Once you are in the app, you can see the menu icon with 3 horizontal lines on the top left corner of the screen. Tapping it opens “My posts” and “Icon settings.” 

“My posts” will list the contents that you and others have posted on Crowd’s feed and “Icon settings” will let you choose a position for the Crowd’s feed floating icon on app screen.  

If you see the Crowd’s feed icon when you open an app on your mobile device, it means that there is a community of users using this app.  You can tap on the icon to create content relevant to that app and all those who use that app. Posting the content will help other users on crowd feed with similar interests to see your content and to interact with you.  

To post content, tap on the edit tool on top right of the screen (a small pencil icon), and you can upload photo or video using camera app or from media that already exist in the phone’s gallery. Just give the post a title and some text and hit publish. This feed should now go to Crowd’s Feed and be visible to users who use that particular app. If any other user/s had posted content from the same app, you should be able to see that on the feed. 

  • Crowd’s Feed app lets the users interact with other users who have similar interests, through chat and hence facilitate them for a meet up.
  • The interface is very simple with nothing in terms of graphics and other stuff there but just a screen with a very simple menu.
  • This is a great way to engage with users who have interests similar to you or who use the same apps as you.
  • You can get to know new people, look through interesting content that other users have posted as these posts are solely dedicated to that particular app. 

Most of the apps that I wanted to connect with on my mobile had no content in them although they had a community. Also, not all apps have a Crowd’s Feed community and so this can leave a few users discouraged.

Reach Your Fitness Goals with Tabata HIIT. Interval Training

Tabata is a high intensity interval training that incorporates both fitness and weight loss. It is a very short workout that lasts for 4 minutes with a series of 8 rounds of 30 seconds each (20 seconds workout with 10 seconds of rest between each set). This training program saves time for people who are on a very busy schedule and want to reach their fitness goals at the same time. All you need to do is stick to a plan and the Tabata HIIT. Interval Training app will help you accomplish that.

Most people look for apps that have a very simple and neat interface that is easy to use. Tabata HIIT. Interval Training app is the go to app for these users as it has its own inbuilt training schedules that a user can follow or the user can create their own training schedule by adding exercises of their choice. It has a very personalized approach where it lets the user input their height, weight and choose or design training schedules that will calculate the calories that they will be able to burn using that specific schedule.

There is not much of anything to do in terms of installing or setting up this app. Once installed, it can be run and the basics set up straight away. Users who wish to follow the already set up training schedules like abs workout, butt and thigh, lower body, upper body, fat burning, ideal body can choose to do so and these are illustrated with pictures for new users to understand what they are and which part of their body they are working out for. There is also an area for creative users who would like to set up their own exercises and schedules. The user just inputs a title for their work out and adds favourite exercises to build up a workout schedule that fits them.

tabata hiit

Tabata HIIT. Interval Training is a nice little app with a friendly user interface. It gives the user flexibility between choosing inbuilt training plans and creating own training plans. The app has standard training plans that cover almost everyone’s needs which can still be customized based on user needs where a user can add or remove exercises. The beauty of these standard plans are that the user can understand what workouts need to be done to improve certain areas. Users can also do a combination of different plans available in the standard plans depending on what their goals are.

The best part is the calorie meter that calculates the amount of calories that one will burn during a workout session. Apart from the above, the gym timer helps keep the user on track so as to not miss the time of 20 seconds workout and 10 seconds rest. The transition between workout and rest sessions is accompanied by different music that the user can take advantage of, thereby not having to look at the stopwatch or the mobile screen.

Reminders keep the users on track so as to not miss out on a workout session and the “Schedule” section helps the user personalize their working schedule for different days of the week depending on their available free time. Users are kept motivated by keeping track of their detailed workout statistics that will let the user look at their progress and set achievable goals. There are a lot of exercises incorporated like, bicycle, bridges, burpees, backward lunges, crunches, forward lunges, high knees, jumping jack, left leg kickbacks, lying leg raises, mountain climber, narrow push-ups, regular push-ups, right leg kickbacks, side lunges, squat jumps, squats and wide push-ups. The demo is very useful on each exercise as it is very educative to users who are new to workout schedules.

This app can also be linked to the app “Sportsman PRO” which is an added advantage. The data can be backed up on Google drive, so the users need not worry about losing data relating to their workout progress in case of any mishaps.

There aren’t any visible features that could be considered as a negative, but more interactive features could be incorporated; for example, a short introductory animation or illustration that summarizes to the user, the Tabata HIIT training and how this app will help them achieve it with ease.

PersonalityMatch – Make and Maintain Connections that Work For You

So often we find ourselves wondering if we are in the right line of work. What is it that really makes us happy? For each individual, it’s a different thing. The hard part is figuring out what makes you tick, so you make the right career decisions.

PersonalityMatch is an app that can help with that. While it sounds like a dating app, it can be used for so many more areas of your life that just that.

This app opens your eyes to who you are and how you operate. Once you get that, almost anything is possible, because you know what makes you happy and what makes you angry. Now you have tools to try and place yourself in situations that promote success.

PersonalityMatch app is free to download, and has a few in-app purchases that give you deeper insight into your personality traits and how to use them:

  • Improve relationships using advice based on your findings
  • Get career advice from experts – how to deal with situations at work and whether or not you are in a career line that is right for you

PersonalityMatch app

After downloading the app, it will ask for some basic information. You will register with the app, which is necessary. You can register using your Facebook account, an email address, or WhatsApp. Once you complete registration, PersonalityMatch will ask you a series of questions. Most are a simple choice between two items. Some have several options to choose from. The key here is to choose quickly to get real results.

Once you complete the questionnaire, the app will churn away and spit out a report that identifies your personality type. Now, this is not just any old report. The app uses the knowhow of Briggs-Meyers and Carl Jung to pose questions that reveal your true nature. Your answers to these questions reveal your personality type.

Now, take your personality findings and delve deeper to see what careers work best for you. Oftentimes, we think we are good at something, but it takes all of our effort to achieve that success. In those cases, we are probably in the wrong job. Take your personality into consideration and you will find that you may have been missing out on work that you look forward to doing.

Invite a friend to have their personality assessed so you can compare each other’s. This is where the app becomes really useful, because you can use it to find out why you get along so well with someone, while you don’t with others. The app also goes so far as to help you in areas showing disconnect.

I found PersonalityMatch to be an amazing experience. I learned more about myself and understood better why I behave the way I do. I could not recommend any improvements to this app except to maybe making the comparison page a bit easier to read. I currently found it a bit crowded, with too much color.

Barring that, this app is the bomb! I can’t wait to invite all of my friends and a few coworkers to see how they match up to me. I look forward to forging better relationships using the power of PersonalityMatch.