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I love when new games come out that completely defy their genres. It’s not that I don’t enjoy traditional games, but titles that break from the norm are bold, brave, and refreshing.
FRAMED is one of those games that is unique enough to feel like a whole new genre, but work within the context of familiarity so as not to scare you away. We’ve got a full game review of FRAMED for you today.Design
The game is set in a few different locations, including the insides and outsides of buildings. The main character, as well as all interactive characters, are all shadowed in black, reminiscent of the opening theme to some 1960s spy television show (think Mad Men, but with an espionage theme).
It is as if you are storyboarding a movie, or even creating a comic book. Someone else has drawn the panels, but it is your job to turn it into a story.
The entire screen is made up of a number of frames. The first and last frame are always stationary, but many of the ones in between can be moved around by dragging and dropping them or rotating them.
Then, players watch the sequence play out to see if their spy has been caught by police, or made it through without being seen.Gameplay
The goal of the game is to reorganize a series of panels so that your protagonist does not get caught by the police. In order to accomplish this feat, players must move frames around so that the sequence allows the main character to sneak past, avoid, or knock out his would-be captors.
As the game progresses, the puzzles get more complex. It becomes harder to distinguish which panels take you down the correct path. Sometimes, panels are pinned on one side. These frames can’t be reorganized, but they can be rotated. Turning a panel 180 degrees might just make all the difference to your success.
Throughout most of the game, you will be in control of a black hat and duster-wearing secret agent. However, there are a handful of scenes when a smartly dressed woman is carrying the torch, or briefcase in this scenario.
Throughout most of the game, whenever you’ve used a panel in a scene, it will turn gray, indicating that it can no longer be moved. However, one of the later features is that panels can sometimes be used again once the running character is out of it. This makes the puzzles even more complex than ever. Not only must you figure out what order the panels must be displayed, but now you must figure out which panels should be place back into the action and when.The Good
This is an incredibly unique title with interesting gameplay. It looks good with black-and-white illustrations covering muted pastel tones. It is simply a puzzle game, but asks players to think outside the box by moving those boxes around in order to complete the challenge.The Bad
The game is definitely too short. It only takes about an hour or so to play the whole thing.
You can’t go back to play a previous level. There isn’t even any way to get to the main menu. You open the game to the last-played page and continue from there.Value Conclusion
The truth is, FRAMED is a very good game that has been well thought out and nicely executed. If it were on PC or a console, the price tag wouldn’t even be an issue. However, right now, mobile gamers expect low-cost high-end titles. Personally, I think it is worth the price, even for only about an hour’s worth of game play, but keep in mind that you won’t be replaying it over and over again for the next two years. If you are the type of person who thinks any game over $0.99 is too high, you won’t be happy. However, if you believe in investing in a game development company that provides top-quality titles at a premium price, you won’t be disappointed. This game is available on the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch for $4.99. Download it in the App Store today.Related Apps
It is a bit like Hitman GO. Ghost Trick has a similar vibe. However, neither have the same panel organizing mechanic.
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In July of 2012, Christian wrote a very positive article about Checkmark, calling it
In July of 2012, Christian wrote a very positive article about Checkmark, calling it the app that Reminders should have been . Thanks to location and time-based reminders, the app made it much easier for users to be notified at the right time and place about an upcoming event or task.
Checkmark 2 just launched in the App Store. Not only has the app received a complete iOS 7 redesign, but it also now includes iCloud sync and recurring reminders. Plus, a whole slew of new features make Checkmark 2 the app that Checkmark should have been…Design
The newly redesigned app now has three main sections, each with new features. Switch between When, Where, and Lists to create reminders under different circumstances. The When section now features scheduled reminders, recurring reminders, and items you’ve completed. The Where section features places, all tasks, and items you’ve completed. The List section shows you each project list by title and items you’ve completed.
The app’s theme is white with a sea foam green color scheme. It has a simplistic, clean look with soft, rounded text. The available options are fairly easy to access and additional gesture-based shortcuts make accessing all of the features even easier. Most reminder inputs can be added with just a few taps.App Use
Start by adding some tasks or reminders. Where you add the item depends on your needs. If you want to schedule a task or set a recurring reminder, tap the When section from the menu screen, which is accessible by tapping the menu icon in the upper left corner of the screen.
Add an item by tapping the plus (+) symbol in the upper right corner of the screen. A task window will appear and you can name the item, add a note, input the date and time, and set the recurrence.
Recurrences can be set daily, weekly, bi-weekly, monthly or you can customize the recurrence to specific days of the week, or weekdays only. For example, you could set a recurring reminder for every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
If the item is recurring, it will automatically be added to your Recurring section. If not, it will be added to the Scheduled section.
After the date and time passes of a recurring reminder, it will automatically be updated under the next date and time. If it is a one-time event and you did not check it off first, it will be listed at the top of the Scheduled section under “Overdue.” This makes it very easy for users to see if they’ve forgotten about something.
If you want to set a reminder that notifies you when you leave or arrive at a specific location, go to the Where section. Here, you can create location-specific reminders with specific dates. For example, if you jog past your favorite coffee bean roasting company, you can add the location to your list and later set a reminder to grab a pound of beans the next time you jog past it.
To add a location-based reminder, first tap the plus icon in the upper right corner and then name the location, like “Safeway” or “Starbucks.” You can add a location from your current position, find it on the map, or import it from your contacts. If you add it from the map, you will be redirected to an in-app map that will start you off at your current location. You can then type in an address or name of a business to find it on the map.
Once you see your desired location on the map, touch and hold the screen for a second to drop a pin. You can increase or decrease the radius by scrolling the meter ruler at the bottom of the screen. For example, if you want to make sure you remember to pick up milk on the way home from work, set the radius to be wider so you will be notified a few blocks ahead of time. If you set a reminder to take out the trash when you get home, reduce the radius to 100 meters so you don’t get the notification until you are close to the cans.
You can then add an icon that represents the location. There are 36 icons, including coffee cups, mountain ranges, animal paws, and more.
You can also create group location-based reminders. For example, if you combine all grocery stores in your area, you can set a reminder to pick up milk and the app will notify you when you are close to any store on your list.
To combine locations into a group, tap one icon until it wiggles, then, touch and drag one icon on top of another. You can then name the group and change the icon. Any new reminders will be triggered when you are near one of the locations listed in the group.
To start a task list, tap “Lists” from the menu tab. Then, tap the plus symbol to create a list. Name it. Then, tap it to access the task list. Under the task list, tap the plus icon to add an item. You can also create headers for your lists, making this section a comprehensive project list. For example, you could create a project list for fixing the porch that includes a header for demolishing, rebuilding, and finishing. The demolishing header could include tasks for pulling up old wood and removing nails. The rebuilding header could include tasks for buying and cutting new wood. The finishing header could include tasks for sanding and staining the wood.
The app is now iCloud supported so your reminders will be synced and backed up in case something goes wrong. You can reschedule a reminder for a later time by tapping it. Sort of like a snooze button, you can reschedule the reminder for 10 minutes, one hour, or one day.The Good
The best feature of this app is location-based reminders, but it certainly isn’t the only thing that makes it good. The time-based recurring reminders option makes it easy for you to have flexibility with your schedule. The List feature makes it possible for you to create projects with notifications attached.The Bad
It does not sync with any other productivity apps. If you already have a lot of lists stored in Reminders, you’ll have to start from scratch.Value
Currently, Checkmark 2 is on sale for half off at $2.99. Unlike its predecessor, this is a pricey app. It does come with a lot more features, but it is difficult to say that $5.99 is a reasonable price to pay for a reminders app. At the current cost, it is a good buy.Conclusion
Just like its predecessor, this is the app that Reminders wishes it could be. It has plenty of convenient options, great integration with location-based notifications, and looks good with iOS 7. At $2.99, it is a good buy for those looking for a new reminders app. When it reverts to full price, I can’t say I would recommend the higher cost. If you want to get your hands on it before the price goes up, download it in the App Store today.Related Apps
Any.DO is a useful reminders app. 24me combines reminders with a calendar app.
The developer of Checkmark 2 very kindly gave us an extra promo code, which we are sending along to you at no charge. Good luck.
The Lenovo Flex 20 makes a lot of compromises to achieve its light weight and low price. Most people would be better off saving a little more cash to buy a machine they won’t outgrow so quickly.
PC manufacturers seem convinced that everyone wants a Windows tablet, be it 8 inches or big enough to double as a TV tray. The larger models are effectively all-in-one PCs that can lie flat to allow several people to interact with the touchscreen at once.
The spring-loaded hinge on the Lenovo Flex 20’s back panel allows you to position it at nearly any angle, including completely flat.
The Flex 20’s specs read more like those of a bargain-basement cheapie than of a machine you’d expect to play games on. Powering the Flex 20 are a dual-core fourth-generation Intel Core i3-4010U processor, integrated Intel HD 4400 Graphics, just 4GB of DDR3/1600 memory, and a 500GB mechanical hard drive that spins its platters at 5400 rpm. The saddest spec of all is the screen resolution of 1600 by 900 pixels—a 19.5-inch IPS display needs 1080p.
Perhaps Lenovo’s engineers don’t want you to reduce the Flex 20’s portability by hanging too many devices from it. But to provide just two USB ports? Really?
The performance is what you’d expect of a machine with such specs. The Flex 20 managed to post a WorldBench 8.1 score of just 78. That’s 22 percent slower than the benchmark results of our reference all-in-one desktop, an Acer Aspire U A5600U-UB13 powered by a third-gen Intel Core i5-3230M. The 27-inch Horizon, meanwhile, delivered a WorldBench 8.1 score of 111. And Dell’s XPS 18 Touch—another all-in-one tablet/hybrid—scored an impressive 171 (with the assistance of its 32GB SSD cache drive).
The Lenovo Flex 20’s battery life is very good, but the machine turned in an otherwise disappointing benchmark performance.
What does that mean for family game night? A lot of waiting. Lenovo created a custom interface called Aura, designing it in a ring so that users can control the tablet from any side of the screen. Launching a game in Aura left me on a blank screen long enough for me to start wondering whether the game was actually launching or if the whole thing had crashed (which it did, on occasion).
Battery life is adequate for a quick evening of gaming. The Flex 20 lasted 3 hours, 25 minutes playing high-def video in our run-down tests, which means the kids could grab it for movie night—and considering that it’s just 7.7 pounds, they could probably get it to their room without your help. Gaming will eat that up a little faster: In our tests, 2 hours of play left the battery with a 25 percent reserve.
The machine has no memory card reader, no HDMI input or video-out, and no optical drive.
Lenovo offers some interesting wireless accessories to enhance the Flex 20’s gaming capabilities: joysticks (which attach to the touchscreen with suction cups), air-hockey strikers (small paddles that glide over the touchscreen), and the E-Dice (a die that tells the computer which side is up after a roll). Unlike with the Horizon, you must purchase the Flex 20 accessories separately: A package with one pair of joysticks and one pair of strikers costs $50, and the E-Dice costs $60. A wireless mouse and keyboard are included with the PC.
Resolution of 1600 by 900 on a 19.5-inch IPS display is another letdown.
After the Flex 20 failed to win me over during family game night, I set it up in my office to serve as an all-in-one desktop. It wasn’t so great in that role either. Of all the computers I’ve tested, none has had a problem connecting to my Wi-Fi router two floors below. The Flex 20 couldn’t hold a connection.It’s priced about right
The idea of a touchscreen all-in-one that you can lay flat on a table is relatively new, so manufacturers are still looking for the right balance of performance, price, portability, and features. Lenovo went all out with the Horizon and then scaled back with the Flex 20. I think the company scaled back too far. Even with the lower-resolution screen, the Core i3 processor isn’t enough to support fluid tabletop gaming, which is where such machines should excel.
Joe Hindy / Android Authority
Instagram’s Story feature is one of the most popular on the site. It’s mostly for daily updates and stuff you wouldn’t generally post on your profile. However, many use the platform as a performance art platform and Stories get really fun on occasion. Some people do comedy bits, others make super artsy posts, and it evolved into much more than intended. That means there are actually a bunch of tools for Stories for folks who want to do more with it. Here are the best Instagram Story apps for Android.
The best Instagram Story apps for Android
Price: Free / Varies
Adobe has some of the most popular apps for creative folks and this is no different. Those on mobile have Adobe Premiere Rush, Adobe Lightroom, a social media-centric version of Photoshop, and a few other tools to make some neat stuff for Instagram Stories. Those with desktops can use the more powerful tools (Photoshop, Lightroom, Premiere Pro, After Effects) to do some neat stuff as well. The mobile apps are generally cheaper and many of them are free to use in many cases. The desktop variants can go for as much as $53.99 per month if you get the full subscription. In any case, whether it’s photo or video, Adobe probably has an app for it and Adobe apps are among the most powerful in this space. It’s kind of an obvious recommendation.
See also: The best photo editor apps for AndroidInShot
Price: Free / Varies
InShot is a developer on Google Play and has a few popular Instagram Story apps. The three main apps that you might try is the Story Saver app along with the photo editor and the video editor (separate apps). The first one is rather self explanatory. It lets you download other people’s Stories as well as IGTV content. The other two are also fairly self explanatory. The photo and video editors let you edit your photos and videos to ready them for Instagram. All three apps have the occasional bug, but they are otherwise quite functional.KineMaster
Price: Free / $3.99 per month / $22.99 per year
KineMaster is a mobile video editor and one of the best. The app has a lot of desirable features, including multi-layer video editing, images, stickers, special effects, support for text, support for music, and more. The app even exports in 4K at 30FPS if your device can handle the export process. In general, Instagram Stories don’t really require too much video editing so something like this to throw together a little sketch or shave off some useless video at the beginning or end is perfectly functional.
See also: The best video editor apps for AndroidLightX Photo Editor
Price: Free / $2.99 per month / $14.99 per year / $34.99 once
LightX Photo Editor is an excellent alternative to Adobe Lightroom for mobile photo editing. It has a lot of the basic tools such as contrast, exposure, brightness, hue, saturation etc. It also comes with teeth whitening, background blurring, and a range of filters for a neat look. Finally, the app can do some really fun stuff like remove the background from your image or merge two photos together. This is a great app for people who enjoy using photos on their Instagram Stories.Mojo
Price: Free / $9.99 per month / $39.99 per year
Mojo is one of several somewhat decent Instagram Story apps. It has a variety of animation templates. You simply plug in your own stuff and the app makes a short video montage of the things you put in it. The app contains over 50 templates along with more than 50 text styles. You can edit templates as well for more customization. The price is rather extravagant so we don’t really recommend it unless you really like the app. Also, we hope it finishes porting all of the iOS features sooner rather than later.
See also: The best social media apps and other interesting optionsSnapseed Story Editor
See also: The best apps like Instagram for AndroidStory Maker StoryArt
Price: Free / $2.99 per month / $9.99 per year / $19.99 once / Varies
Joe Hindy / Android Authority
StoryArt is another big story editor with some decent functionality. This one boasts over 2,000 templates, although many of them are pretty simple. The app also features some basic photo and video editing along with the usual array of photos, stickers, and text support. You can even design some little logos to make your Instagram Stories look good on your profile. The subscription is cheaper than most competitors or you can pay for it a single time. There are also in-app purchase packages in case you only want certain things.
See also: The best art apps for Android to appreciate art moreStoryLab
Instagram is launching new features in an effort to encourage users to stay home during the coronavirus pandemic.
The first feature, launched over the weekend, is an aptly-named “Stay Home” shared story to promote social distancing.
The second feature, announced today, allows friends to browse Instagram together over video chat.
Here’s more information about each of these new initiatives launched by Instagram.‘Stay Home’ Shared Story
Users can add a new “Stay Home” sticker to stories to show others how they’re spending their time while social distancing.
Those who use the sticker will have their stories added to a shared story, which lets other users view all stories with the “Stay Home” sticker in one place.
— Instagram (@instagram) March 21, 2023
The “Stay Home” sticker is currently available for everyone to use on either iOS or Android.
Here are some ideas for how to best use the new sticker:
Professionals: Show your followers some work-from-home tips to maximize productivity and adapt to a new working environment.
Parents: Show how you’re adapting to having your kids home from school and offer tips to other parents.
Fitness enthusiasts: With gyms closed around the nation, this is an opportunity to share at-home fitness tips with others.
Freelancers: Do you work from home on a regular basis? Great! Share what you’ve learned so others can benefit from your experience.
Of course, you can use the sticker however you want. Those are just a few ideas off the top of my head.
Speaking of stickers, Instagram is adding other helpful stickers that include reminders to wash hands and maintain a safe distance from other people.Co-Watching With Friends
Co-watching is a new feature that allows users to view Instagram posts together.
Multiple friends can connect via video chat and and browse content as a group.
On paper this sounds a bit unconventional, as people do not typically get together and browse each other’s Instagram feeds.
However, the times we’re living in are anything but normal, so we may end up seeing more innovative ideas like this to keep people connected.
Users can start a video chat by tapping on the video chat icon in the DM inbox or in an existing DM thread.
From there, friends can view saved, liked, and suggested photos/videos by tapping the photo icon in the bottom left corner in an ongoing video chat.Additional COVID-19 Initiatives From Instagram
The “Stay Home” sticker and Co-Watching are two of the latest initiatives from Instagram, but they’re certainly not the only ones.
Instagram has been taking steps to help people stay safe and connected since the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus outbreak a public health emergency in January.
Other initiatives include:
More educational resources in Instagram search results.
Adding stickers to promote accurate information.
Rolling out the donation sticker in more countries and helping people find relevant nonprofits to support.
Source: Instagram Blog
If the design suits you, the Inspiron 11-3147 fills both its tablet and laptop roles well at an attractive price.
Dell’s Inspiron 11 3000 series is a hybrid whose obvious competition is the extremely similar Lenovo Yoga 2 11. Both are touchscreen tablet/laptop hybrids whose two halves pivot 360 degrees to achieve multiple configurations. But while they closely resemble each other in many ways, the Inspiron 11 series 3000 outperforms and outlasts the Yoga 2 11, and it does so for a bit less money.
The real decision you need to make is whether the design is right for you.
Dell also sells an otherwise identical model with a slightly slower Celeron N2830 processor for $399. You’ll find two other models on Dell’s website, but the only differences are the bundling of an external Bluetooth speaker on one, and a longer service contract/warranty on the other.
The Inspiron 11 can be set up four ways: Clamshell, presentation, tablet, and (as shown here) tent mode
No matter the price point, the real decision you need to make is whether the design is right for you. The 2-in-1 form factor fills both the laptop and tablet roles, and this one is big enough to house a larger battery that can drive faster components. The downside is that you’re saddled with the weight of the keyboard when you use it as a tablet.
Dell considers the Inspiron 11’s 3.1 pounds to be lightweight, but that’s a lot of bulk to wield when using it as a tablet.
Using a hard drive, versus an SSD, is part of the way Dell keeps the price of the Inspiron 11 3000 series low, but it also results in slower performance. I immediately checked how easy it would be to swap in an SSD, as well as replace the internal 43-watt-hour battery. The unit’s bottom panel comes off to reveal both, as well as the other slots, after the removal of nine screws.
You might think the three across the middle are captive. They’re not, so remove them before you pull the panel off or risk watching them fly across the room. There are also pressure-fit tabs, so a bit of energetic spudging (that’s a technical term for prying with a plastic tool or fingernail along the seams) is required to pop the panel off.
Dell’s Inspiron 11 is ever-so-slightly faster than HP’s Pavilion x360 and Lenovo’s Yoga 2 11 (thanks to an ever-so-slightly faster Pentium processor).
Dell delivers much better battery life HP and Lenovo, but Toshiba whips all three.
Gaming-wise, the Inspiron 11-3147 might do okay with simple HTML types, but it won’t handle modern standalone titles. It managed only 11 frames per second in BioShock Infinite at 1024×768 using low image detail. But you don’t buy a convertible to game, and you probably don’t want the kids wasting time with such pursuits when they should be studying.
Even though the Dell Inspiron 11 3000 series is a better deal overall, the Lenovo Yoga 2 11’s somewhat sleeker design will likely win its share of buys. I always recommend kicking the tires in person before deciding which you want to own. If you want something faster or with greater screen resolution, shop the Pro variant of the Yoga 2, with its Core processors.
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