Friday, 22 June 2018

Everything You Need To Know About Nintendo At E3 2018!

For this weeks Appy Friday, we’re giving you a rundown on everything that Nintendo introduced at E3 last week. E3 is the Electronic Entertainment Expo which is a trade event for the gaming industry presented by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA). There were a lot of highly anticipated games presented. There were also some interesting ideas for the Switch and how it will be used in these new games, making for some great announcements to get excited about when released this year.



The E3 conference was last week and there was a lot announced, Microsoft showed around 50 new titles which incorporated 15 exclusives. Sony went for a different approach, as they only announced a few new titles. However, they went into a more depth with each of them. They featured real gameplay footage and much more information on the games.

However, in this blog, we’re going to concentrate on what Nintendo had to say.

The main thing that people were interested in, is that Nintendo announced was Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. The new game will feature every single fighter from all Smash games they have ever produced, making this an impressive one. It was described by Nintendo as ‘the biggest crossover in gaming history’ so it’s definitely one to try when it’s released! Also set to make a return in this game, is 8 player battles. The Super Smash Bros game will work with the GameCube controller, and they have introduced a new challenger which has been requested for a long time, Metroidbeast.

There was also news of a few highly anticipated games like Fortnite and Hollow Knight along with a few indie sequels being announced. But mainly the conference revolved around the Super Smash Bros game for Nintendo. However, the trailer for the Super Mario Party game was rather interesting as it showed 4 people laying 2 Nintendo switches on a table and then rearranging them to use both screens, which is an interesting idea.

There were also mentions of both Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee both being released on November 16th, accompanied by a PokeBall plus accessory. Also mentioned was a version on Killer Queen coming to the Switch later on this year and being called Killer Queen Black. Also coming to Switch this year is Overcooked 2, DragonBall FighterZ, SNK Heroines Tag Team Frenzy and Octopath Traveler which is out in July.

So, that’s this weeks Appy Friday. There were so many announcements from E3 this year, it’s got a lot of people very excited for the upcoming releases, especially Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Let us know which games your most excited about and if you’ll be getting any when they’re released.

Friday, 15 June 2018

Top 5 Bits Of Tech You Can Buy Right Now!

For this week’s Appy Friday we are letting you know about 5 bits of top tech that you can buy right now. It ranges from phones and TVs to VR headsets so there’s something on this list for everyone to try, with a wide range of prices.


Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus Smartphone

Price: £929
This is one of the best (if not the best) smartphones on the market at the moment as it comes with everything you could want. Great performance, and an especially good camera so you can always capture a great photo. This phone has a lovely 6.2-inch screen, with decent battery life so is a great phone to try this year.

Samsung Q9FN QLED TV

Price: From £2,499.00
This TV has the full works, it’s huge (from 55 to a whopping 75-inch screen!) with great well-rounded sound, and has incredible HDR picture quality. However, this TV does come with a hefty price tag, although the TV is incredibly high quality and you definitely get what you pay for with this device. This Samsung TV uses a FALD (Full Array Local Dimming) panel in conjunction with QLED Quantum Dots to create a brighter and more colourful picture.

Moov Now Fitness Tracker

Price: £47
This small fitness tracker is a great alternative to a FitBit, as it has a great 6-month battery life so there’ll be no batteries cutting out and dying. With this device, you can track your steps, sleep, fitness, and running technique. Along with many other features, you can use it to help you keep on top of your health and fitness this year.

HTC Vive VR Headset

Price: £499
If you’re into VR, then this could be the perfect headset for you. The HTC Vive claims to be the best VR headset on the market. The resolution is of the highest quality with a 1080p screen per eye. Although the headset comes with a rather high price tag (and you also need a high spec computer too), if you're in the market for a VR headset then this is the best one on the market to try this year.

Sennheiser Momentum Wireless Headphones

Price: £272.50
This pair of headphones is a pretty good all-rounder as it has wireless capabilities, great battery life and a nice sleek look. As everyone looks for something slightly different in headphones (whether that be ones to go to the gym in or just headphones for watching things on the go), these are the best all-rounders with them being both wireless and having great high sound quality.

So, there is this week’s Appy Friday. Personally, the one gadget that I would like to try this year is the Momentum Wireless Headphones or the HTC Vive as the Vive is such an innovative high-quality product which is the best in its field. Let us know if you’ll be trying any of these devices this year!

Friday, 8 June 2018

All You Need To Know From WWDC 2018!

For this weeks Appy Friday, we’re giving you all you need to know from this years WWDC (Apple's World Wide Developers Conference) 2018 in California. At the event, Apple announced a range of things starting with the updated iOS 12, Apple Watch updates and a few more handy new features.



The main announcement from WWDC 2018 from Apple was the next generation of iPhone operating system, iOS 12. The iOS update comes with a range of new features including group FaceTime, improvements to Siri and new Animoji. Another thing that Apple will be rolling out in 2018 is the ARKit 2.0, which is the next generation of augmented reality on iPhone. The ARKit 2.0 showed 3D object detection, improved face tracking and shared experiences.

Last year Apple introduced Bitmoji’s and at this year’s Apple event they brought Animoji. The new version introduces a way to create custom avatars to look like you. Also, the announcement of group FaceTime calls is massively welcomed as you can now FaceTime with up to 32 people with the iOS 12 update.

Apple also showed the new features that will appear in the Apple Watch with the updated operating system. One being that there are new workout types added, like hiking and yoga as well as with Siri shortcuts. As well as this, you can now talk to your watch like a walkie-talkie.

Another interesting feature that Apple introduced, are options to track your usage on specific apps and you can now set time limits to spend on apps so that you don’t get too distracted by your phone. There are also improved parental control features taking phone usage much more seriously.

In the Mac world Apple announced the new operating system, Mojave is the latest update which has a ‘dark mode’ which dims the screen, great for when your working at night. They have also introduced a new way of viewing documents in Finder.

The final thing that Apple announced was that you can now create custom Siri commands. You can do this by piecing together a few activities and questions within Siri which gives users the chance to respond to voice commands.

So, that's is this weeks Appy Friday. I think the most useful new feature will be the all-new group FaceTime which is going to be very useful when you’re trying to organise something with a group of people. As usually, it's near impossible to arrange something that everyone can attend. Let us know what feature you are most looking forward too?

Friday, 1 June 2018

Top 5 Camera Apps!

For this week’s Appy Friday we’re giving you our top 5 camera apps. These range from helping improve your camera’s zoom, to giving you more control over the lighting and sizing of the images. This helps you make them look that little bit more professional, even though they are taken on your phone.


Platform: iOS
Cost: FREE
The Camera + app is a great all-rounder camera app. It has editable exposure and focus so that you can control how light or dark your images come out. Another thing this app has is alternative shooting modes. For example, there is a stabilizer to steady your phone to achieve the best quality photos. There is also a digital zoom, front flash, horizon level and the innovative Lightbox feature which lets you quickly skim through all your images to get rid of bad shots quickly.

Platform: iOS
Cost: £5.99
The ProCam 5 app is a great tool to help your phone photography. Although it’s £5.99 the app covers all areas of photography with its 8 shooting modes, including night mode and slow shutter. It also features 4 shutter release options so you can get some really interesting shots. The ProCam app has the most varied features to help you achieve the best images.

Platform: Android
Cost: FREE
The open camera app is one of the best on Android as it allows you to auto-stabilize your camera at the perfect level. There is also support for focus modes, scene modes, colour effects, white balance, ISO, exposure compensation and face detection. The app also features different remote controls for setting timers and an auto-repeat mode. As well as this, the app has a clever feature where you can take photos remotely by making a noise, whether that be by voice command or whistle.

Platform: iOS and Android
Cost: FREE
The VSCO Cam app is a much more social media based app. It turns the camera app into something similar to Instagram, in that you can post the images you take and edit within that app. You can then share all your creations with followers that you can build up in the app. You can also get inspiration from other creators by following their work.

Platform: Android
Cost: FREE
This camera app for Android devices has full manual DSLR controls. You can set ISO, focus distance, exposure and shutter speed. The app also gives you the ability to combine shooting modes like a timer, HDR, stable and timelapse.

So that’s this week’s Appy Friday. My personal favourite is the VSCO Cam app and the Camera + app as these are great all-rounders. They just take great images and have editing capabilities built into them, so you can take the image, edit it, and post it all through the same app. Let us know if you use any of these apps!

Friday, 25 May 2018

Nintendo Labo!

For this week’s Appy Friday we are giving you a rundown on the Nintendo Labo. It’s a range of DIY toys to make the accessories for the best selling Nintendo Switch. Whether you’re a lover of music and want to make the cardboard piano or want to build your own robot, the Nintendo Labo range allows you to create anything.



The Nintendo Switch was a huge success for Nintendo when it was released in March 2017 and sold over 10 million units within the first 10 months of it being available which made it the fastest-selling console of US history.

Now Nintendo has produced the Labo which was announced in early 2018. Labo is a line of DIY toys that can be connected to the Switch or Joy-Con controller which opens up a new range of games on the Switch. The Labo acts like the extra accessories you could buy for the Nintendo Wii. Accessories like a steering wheel for Mario Kart, but with Labo, you make your own accessories out of the cardboard pieces.

When you buy one of the accessories from Labo it comes in a small kit. In the kit there are multiple pieces of pre-cut cardboard, specifically cut to create your own little constructions that Nintendo call Toy-Cons. Also in the kit, is the digital manual to guide you through building the toys on the Switch itself. The hope of the Nintendo Labo is to get people interested in the engineering of devices, design and gaming.

There are many toys available to create; a fishing rod to play the fishing game, you can make a piano, you can even build a robot suit that has a visor and backpack to turn you into a real-life robot! And you can even put together a small car to drive around your house. There are two main Labo kits, the first being the ‘Variety Kit’ which comes with several toys to make and costs £59.99, the second being the robot kit which allows you to build the robot suit and it costs £69.99 which was released April 27th, 2018.

On the Joy-Con controllers, there is an embedded camera and the console has a touchscreen. This means that if you have the piano Toy-Con, it can actually watch the piano keys to see which you are pressing and see how well you are doing. The Nintendo Labo has endless opportunities to make new and innovative creations. This makes the games more exciting and interactive, getting people involved in creating the toys themselves.

So, that’s this weeks Appy Friday. I think the idea of creating your own accessories is so innovative. It makes the idea of the Switch so much more ingenious, as no matter what your age, you can enjoy building the Toy-Cons. It’s very different from anything any of the console manufacturers have done before. Let us know if you would try the Labo or already have some of the kits!

Friday, 18 May 2018

Top 5 Travel Apps Of 2018!

For this weeks Appy Friday, we’re giving you the top 5 apps you need if you’re going away this year or travel regularly. This list contains a range of different apps that can help you find cheap flights or last minute hotels so there’s something on here to help you no matter where you’re going.


Skyscanner

Platform: iOS and Android
Cost: FREE
This app is great for searching for cheap flights if you fly regularly. It allows you to compare what the cheapest days and months are to fly with their colour coded calendar charts. A great thing about this app is that there are no extra fees as they don’t charge any booking fees, so there are no hidden costs. If you do travel regularly then you can build frequent flyer miles by booking through the app.

Airbnb

Platform: iOS and Android
Cost: FREE
Airbnb is great for finding places to stay, organising day trips and experiences. The app has over 4 million holiday home rentals across 191+ countries. You can sort through these with filters of price, neighbourhood, amenities and more so you can find the perfect place for you to stay. Within the app, you can book the rentals for just a few nights or months depending on your needs, so if you’re going travelling for a long period of time this app is great. Through the app, you can also try out new local experiences by native experts.

Hotel Tonight

Platform: iOS and Android
Cost: FREE
This app is great for last minute bookings or long term bookings. You can book hotels for tonight, tomorrow, next week or months in advance. The Hotel Tonight app is great for those spontaneous trips and visits that you can sometimes struggle to get hotels booked in time. This app helps to avoid those difficulties. There is also a range of different filters to help you find the best possible hotel for you.

Packpoint

Platform: iOS and Android
Cost: FREE
This app tries to stop you forgetting something when you go away, as it builds a customised packing list depending on what you’ll be doing, and where you are travelling to. As you are packing you can then tick off the things on the list, ensuring you have all the things you’ll need for your trip.

XE Currency

Platform: iOS and Android
Cost: FREE
If you travel regularly this app is great for you. It shows the latest exchange rates, and stores them from when you last had Wi-Fi, so you can view them even when you don’t have any internet. The app can monitor up to 10 currencies all at once, along with the live rates being refreshed each minute for every world currency.

So, there’s this week's Appy Friday. My favourite of these is a tie between the Packpoint app and Airbnb as the Packpoint app helps me make sure I don’t forget anything and the Airbnb app is just so handy for finding alternative places to stay. Let us know if you use any of these apps!

Friday, 11 May 2018

Wearable Camera Glasses?

For this week's Appy Friday, we are giving you a rundown on the new release from Snapchat, the V2 Snapchat Spectacles. The V1 glasses weren’t the best, and it’s clear to see the glasses have taken a massive step up and could quite possibly be the most wearable and practical camera glasses yet.


The new Snapchat Spectacles V2 is a big step up from the first Snapchat glasses as they now take photos as well as videos. They don’t have the yellow ring in the corner notifying people to the camera and that you’re recording. The V2 glasses are also much more convenient, useful and stylish than the previous model. They are now waterproof so having underwater capabilities allows for much cooler shots to be taken.

The look of these glasses has also improved massively with classier colour options, lighter lenses, slimmer frames and charging cases. The V2 glasses have a much sleeker look and aren’t as chunky as previously. The colour options are onyx black, ruby red and sapphire blue, you then have a choice between natural or mirrored lens. Another great thing about this new and improved model is that there are prescription options which make them more practical for everyone.

The glasses come in a much nicer and more practical case, the bright yellow case is now 1/3 smaller making it easier to fit into pockets or handbags, which again make them much more wearable than before. The battery on the spectacles has also been improved and is said to have enough charge and memory to store up to 150 videos or 3,000 photos. It has 4GB flash storage and there are an extra four charges in the case as well. One more thing that has been massively improved with this upgrade, is the syncing of images and videos to your phone. It has been improved hugely as it’s so much faster than previously. Another thing that has been fixed is that there is now another microphone which helps to keep wind noise to a minimum, and also accounts for people talking so that the user isn’t much louder than the people around them in videos.

Snapchat spectacles are very easy to use as you long-press for a photo and tap to record a 10-second video. Extra taps then prolong the clip to 30 seconds long. The quality of the videos is 1216 x 1216 pixels and the images are 1642 x 1642 pixels. Both of these features light up a small ring in the corner to warn people that you are recording however compared to V1 it’s much more discrete.

The lenses have been much more thought through on this version, as they have been made more transparent in order to make it easier to use and record in lower light, so you are limited to only using them when it’s super sunny outside. However, they are still UVA and UVB rated so they can be used just like regular sunglasses.

There is one main downfall to these and that is that you can’t download the images and videos straight to camera roll. You have to transfer your content to your Snapchat first then download them to your camera roll. Also, they aren’t cheap glasses they cost £149.99, however, these could be great if you travel a lot as there’s no need to lug around a large camera all the time.

So, there’s this week’s Appy Friday. I think the glasses have taken a giant leap from the first version, as the look, effectiveness and usefulness have improved massively. Although they still have a little way to go I think they’re a really fun gadget to play with and take some great images with. Let us know what you think to these V2 glasses, and whether or not you’ll be trying them!