Posts tagged: android

Euclidea – Geometric Construction Game

Euclidea

Euclidea

Euclidea is a very interesting game. Something new, a different game, educational, fun, difficult, challenging. A great game. If you like geometry, if you loved how to build geometric constructions on paper, but always made them blur, you will love this game.

Slitherlink

Slitherlink

Slitherlink

Usually I do not play much on my Android phone. But when waiting for someone or something, to have a good puzzle is worth it.

Slitherlink, as you can look up in the Internet, is not an idea of this app author. It is a known puzzle, and if you look up in Google Play, you will notice a few implementations.

I can’t say that this one is the best, as I did not test any other. But it installed correctly, runs smoothly, and seems to have some good diversity of modes and difficulty levels. Therefore, I am quite happy with it, happy enough to consider buying the ad-free version, with extra levels. Truth be said, the free version includes a good mount of levels, and ads are not intrusive. So, kudos for that.

About the game, it is up to you to read about it and test it. It can be seen as some sort of minesweeper, with some reasoning mechanisms also used in sudoku.

Idle Town

Idle Town

Idle Town

I post about Idle Town for two main reasons. First, because it is a project from students on the Polytechnic Institute where I teach. Second, because it is a type of.. well… game, that I wasn’t expected. And, worse, I wasn’t expected I would run it so many times myself.

The game does not need any thinking, strategy or whatsoever. The player just needs to tap in the screen. Mostly anywhere. In the big coin, to get extra money (for free), or tapping in an empty field, or in an existing building, to create a new building, or to upgrade it.

So, no, you do not need to manage your money. You can ask for more just clicking in the coin, or waiting for the time to go by. And, curiously enough, this is a lot entertaining…

Any.Do – The best task tracking system ATM

Any.DO-Logo-+-NameFor a long time I have been trying different ways to track my stack of tasks. I tried different approaches, from using paper (it is fun!), Calendar Mac App, Wunderlist, and recently Any.Do.

Paper is probably the best, as you can write freely, draw, scratch, rip, and other physical activities that are quite fun. But, unless you get a small notebook, it gets hard to be with you all the time. You could also scratch on a smart phone device, like Samsung S Note app. But when I am working in my laptop, I do not like to have to take the phone to add or remove entries. So, next natural step is to use a tool that syncs tasks between devices.

Wunderlist is cool. Cool enough for me to use it for some time. It has the fun fact that it keeps finished tasks scratched, just like you might do in paper. Nevertheless, the app is (or was, when I tried it) quite limited. You could have different todo lists, but it was hard to see them all at once. You could add some manual tags to tasks (I did that for some time), but it got boring. And it wasn’t easy to sort tasks. You needed to, somehow, change its date.

I tried for some time Evernote for that. It allows to add tick boxes to your notes. But again, not easy to see all tasks in one screen, unless you add them all in the same sheet. And if you do, it gets complicated to manage the order, and the categories, with lots of cut, copy and paste.

So, recently I am using Any.DO. It is also available for Mac, Web, and Android, so easy to sync around. And it has three main ways to see your tickets: per category, per time, or per importance. And in each of these three views, you can sort easily your tasks just by moving them around. I am very satisfied (for now, at least) with it. But I still wonder how much more fun and efficient it might get with the paid version. But a monthly (or yearly) subscription is not exactly what I want right now. Nevertheless, if I could buy the app (and not a service) I might be buying it soon.

Samsung note 10.1″

That’s right! I just bought an used Samsung Note 10.1″ tablet and I am loving it. Forget the idea that using your finger is the best approach to usability. Yours hands were not designed to write with your finger. In school you learnt how to use a pen and you used it for long periods of time in school and probably you- still use it from time to time in your work. Then, why not to use it to write in your tablet? Yeah! I know that your calligraphy is not the best, and you are ashamed of it. But, in the other hand, why not taking the chance to make it better. Probably if you tablet software can interpret it then other people might too.

Enough of trying to convince you. I still think that a tablet with a proper pen to let you write like you learnt in school is great. Of course it still fails when I try my artistic letters, but frankly it is very good. I congratulate Samsung by keeping their note line in the market, this is so great I can’t stop writing.

Help! Somebody take this tablet far from me, or I will not be able to stop and sleep. I’ll continue writing all night text and more text, most of it useless…

Watching 720p matroska on ASUS Transformer

Yesterday I decided to try and watch a series episode on my Eee ASUS Transformer (TF101). First, notice that I rooted it, and it is running CyanogenMod, with Android version 4.1.2.

The episode was stored on a SD card. It is not a fast SD card (class 4), but should suffice. The file was encoded with Matroska (MKV) in 720p. So far, so good.

Asked a friend about what player he would recommend. he said there were two, but just reminded of one name: MX Player.

Nevertheless, I didn’t like to notice that MX Player free version has advertisement, and therefore decided to try VLC. I use it on my Mac, and I like it (and its icon), so, why not test?

VLC installed cleanly, but when playing, it wasn’t able to render a single frame. From 5 to 5 seconds it changed the frame, but full of noise and encoding blocks. Gah, #fail.

Then, if VLC doesn’t work, let’s hear my friend suggestion, and try MX Player. Installed the free version, and then, needed to install the codecs package. Didn’t like much this approach… it could download the codecs itself, why to hide them in an app. Nevertheless, it installed with more or less effort. When playing, it was able to render the image perfectly, with acceptable number of frame per seconds (don’t ask how many, I don’t know, but enough to watch smoothly the video). The problem was that I could just watch the video, as there was no sound at all. No, it wasn’t a volume problem. Neither an option. As far as I could get after googling a little, there are more people complaining that MX Player doesn’t play sound when watching a Matroska file. Weird. #fail.

In one of those googling, somebody said he converted the Matroska file to MP4 with Handbrake. That is too much trouble for someone like me. But somebody else said that BSPlayer had a free version for Android that worked. Righto! Downloaded it, it installed cleanly and played the video at first. #win.

FlipBoard

After buying the Samsung Galaxy S3, I installed FlipBoard. The idea is pretty cool, but I am having some trouble using it.

First, it crashes from time to time. I couldn’t find out when/why does it crash, but it seems that it is related to the way it checks for new news, and some extra touches in the screen.

Then, I can’t understand how it updates. Some RSS feeds have news for more than twelve hours, and the application doesn’t show that news. Talking about RSS, it is not intuitive how to add them. At the moment most users consult personal blogs, and not just about a hundred of known websites that the developers find interesting.

And why does the Cover News are only selected from the standard news sources, and not from the RSS feeds supplied by the user?