Get to grips with Google thanks to this amazing new bookazine
Google is an ever-changing company that is constantly launching new products, buying new companies and generally re-inventing itself.
This year has been no different, with the announcement of its brand new parent company Alphabet as well as its plans for a fleet of Internet-carrying balloons, self-driving Google cars and unlimited photo storage.
The Google I/O conference earlier in the year was a huge event that revealed changes to Android, Google+ and Chrome. With the company changing at such a pace, it can be tricky to keep up, which is why the Google Tips & Tricks bookazine is such a great idea.
Manage your way to the top in this addictive football game
Not to be confused with the PES Manager badge collecting game (recently renamed PES Collection), this is a far more mouth-watering prospect for footie fans: a proper management game complete with real-time 3D match action using the engine from the console PES games. Of course, PES (Pro Evolution Soccer) has an illustrious history on consoles and was once favoured by purists over the flashier FIFA. Part of its appeal is down to the detailed, accurate stats for real-life players.
Apart from one star ‘gift’, however, you won’t see any big names at the start of PES Club Manager. Instead, you begin your career with a team of journeymen in the lower leagues. In order to work your way up, you need to not only gradually upgrade your side through training and transfers, but also your ground and its numerous facilities. Some of the latter supply kits (medical, motivation and stamina) and training points to use on players, while others increase the money earned from matches. Of the two main currencies, cash (GP) is readily available, but PES coins are harder to obtain – mainly from achievements and daily logins – so there’s a temptation to resort to IAP bundles.
Still, the freemium aspect of the game isn’t too overbearing and it’s possible to play for free. Even having to wait for energy to recharge to play matches (limited to five in a row) isn’t too much of a hassle because you can still play with the other management aspects in the meantime. This includes scouting for players or buying them on the market – an exciting eBay-style timed bidding war against other real managers.
What arrrr our thoughts on Plunder Pirates?
Launched on iOS last year, Midoki’s seafaring strategy MMO has finally landed on Android shores.
It plays identically and you can even continue your existing iOS game on Android by entering a special code – a nice touch for those who are juggling devices. Plunder Pirates offers a well-balanced combination of resource building, maritime exploration and good old-fashioned plundering of rival bases.
The early focus is on building up your island base, unlocking new structures and upgrading your defences and attacking capabilities. Key to all of this action is the production of gold and grog, from mines and distilleries respectively. The third currency in the Plunder Pirates universe is gems; these are more difficult to source, found occasionally while seafaring or earned via certain achievements.
Enjoy the look and feel of this Material Design music player app
Mobile music players can be tricky apps to negotiate. It is all too easy to get lost in a sea of album covers, playlists and artists. If you find this, then Phonograph Music Player might be the one for you.
At time of writing it is still in its beta with more features being promised, but right now it is a simple, attractive, easily-navigable music player. It works alongside Last.fm, giving users photos and biographies of the artists that they’re listening to.
The always-there play/pause button also enhances the user experience, making Phonograph a truly enjoyable app to use. If you are a technical music fan, you can also change the equalisation of individual songs to increase or decrease the bass at output of certain frequencies, allowing you to create your very own versions of your favourite songs.
As Honor graduates to offering devices on contract with Three, can it better the excellent Honor 6 with its latest device?
When we reviewed the Honor 6, we called it ‘very impressive’ and gave it a four out of five rating. Can the Honor 6 Plus go one better? On paper it looks promising. As well as boosting the full HD screen from 5-inches to 5.5-inches, the Honor 6 Plus has an extra camera on the back, a better front camera, a faster processor, more storage and a bigger battery.
When holding the Honor 6 Plus with the original device, the family resemblance is clear. The glass front and back with the curved plastic base is retained and, as with the original, it’s a good-looking device. It does feel big in the hand, but with 5.5-inch devices becoming more and more popular, it is less of a concern than it might have been six months ago. At 7.5mm thick, the device doesn’t feel too bulky. The dimensions are particularly impressive given the huge battery that is included. The buttons on the device are sensibly placed and click reassuringly. Both the volume and power buttons are on the right-hand side, just above the main SIM slot and the secondary SIM slot (which can be used as a microSD slot). The 3.5m headphone port is on the top of the device alongside the IR blaster.
One of the more polarising aspects of the Honor devices is the EmotionUI skin. The Honor 6 Plus ships with Android 4.4 KitKat, with a Lollipop upgrade due in the next few months. We are seeing a lot of Lollipop devices struggle for performance and battery life, two things that the6 Plus certainly doesn’t have an issue with. In use the device is extremely fast and as smooth as anything else on sale. Unquestionably, EmotionUI does make a lot of changes to base Android. It brings new colours, new icons, a drawer-free home screen / launcher; all things that might not be to everyone’s taste. While some tweaks aren’t what we’d consider a worthwhile change, there are a lot of changes that do enhance the base Android experience.