Saturday, June 14, 2014

Thing 23: Evaluate 23 Mobile Things

23 mobile things was amazing. I loved it. I loved discovering apps, I loved helping my coworkers learn how to use the staff iPad, I loved sharing the things I love about apps with others. And I learned a lot, which I wasn't expecting when I started. It's been a long haul but well worth it!

I'm including a screenshot that my 4 year old took of a guy he designed in Toca Mini. The app love continues into the next generation!

Thing 22: Discovering Apps

I love discovering apps, and I like go about it old school (no fancy apps to find apps), I like to just search the App Store.

This is what the App Store looks I like when you open it on an iPad. You can scroll around and see if there's anything that you like, otherwise you can search for something specific up in the top right hand corner. The last app I looked for was the koi pond one so it says pond up there.

But my favorite way to browse for apps is to go deeper, and that means going into the categories. Just tap the button on the top of the screen that says more and you can see all the app categories.

I chose Health and Fitness and then Yoga.

Another great way to find new apps is to scroll all the way to the bottom and explore some of the collections, such as New to the App Store.

They also have some great app collections on a variety of subjects. Here are a few examples.

I will say that the education collections are amazing. There's a ton of topics to choose from and the apps that they include are always great. With a husband who is a fairly new teacher my eye was immediately drawn to Teacher's Starter Kit.

Happy app discovering!

Thing 21: Free for all

One of my favorite apps of all time is called PicTapGo ($1.99), it's for photo editing. These photos are from last summer when I reviewed this app on my blog but the app looks exactly the same. 

First, choose a photo from your camera roll.

This is the original. It's a nice photo but I could definitely bump it up a bit.

One of the best things about PicTapGo is the live preview of every single filter. Not only do you see live previews but you can layer them and adjust the strength of each.

This first tab is My Style, it's a group of filters that I've used recently, so it's likely I'll want to use them again.

This tab is Recipes, these are groups of filters that I liked how they looked together so I saved them all and gave them a name. This makes it easy to just tap one recipe that I know I like, rather than going through and tapping 3 or 4 or 5 different filters to get my desired final result.

And these are the filters themselves. There are a lot.

After I choose a filter I see what it looks like on the photo and if I want I can adjust the slider to use more or less of a certain filter. I think this filter is Lights On.

I think this is Lights Out. Here are a few different versions so you can see how the slider can really make a difference.


After you end up with your desired result you can save the photo, save the recipe or upload the photo to a variety of social media sites.

I edit almost all of my photos using PicTapGo, and it is well worth the $1.99.

Thing 20: Games

Today I'm going to talk about 3 games I love, none of which were on the given game list. This is a massive post because I love these games and on the last one especially, I couldn't hold back.

Smash Hit is as simple as smashing through glass and crystals with metal balls. But it's so much more. For one, it's gorgeous. 

I keep playing it over and over again because it's beautifully designed.

It's also a challenge. You have to time throwing the balls just right otherwise physics gets the best of you.

Did I mention that the music is beautiful too?

Voro is one that I don't even remember how I found it. It's very simple. Tap any 4 sections of the same color that are touching and they will disappear. Your goal is to make all the colors disappear.

Little by little you get rid of one color at a time.

And after touching the last color you get to go onto the next level.

Plague Inc is one of the best games ever made. And if you're slightly off kilter like me, you'll love it too.

You are an infection, be that a bacteria, a parasite, a bio-weapon, etc. Your job is to wipe out humanity. Their job is to try and stop you. As you can see I've beaten every level except nano-virus and bio-weapon.

Each level also has a 4 levels of difficulty: casual, normal, brutal and mega brutal. One note, if you beat a level on casual it does not unlock the next level, you have to beat it on normal or higher.

Naming your plague is pretty fun, and I am not above giving my plagues silly names.

I really like that you get to modify the genetic code of your plague depending on what you're playing as. And the more levels/difficulties you beat, the more genes you discover.

After choosing our specific genes it's time to get started.

I like to choose China to begin because there's such a large population living there I think it gives a boost to transmitting it across the globe.

3 different bubbles will come up that you need to pop. Yellow DNA bubbles give you DNA points, bubbles when a new country is infected (these also give you DNA points) and cure bubbles (to slow down the cure).

News items and information about your plague will pop up from time to time and some will change your ability to infect others or the speed of the cure, any number of things. Along the bottom of the screen there are a few areas to keep your eye on. On the left hand side it will tell you how many people you have infected. In the middle it will show you a visual representation of your plague. (blue is healthy, red is infected, black is dead). On the right it will tell you how many people your plague has killed. If you tap on Disease it will take you to a few screens where you can tinker with your disease, if you tap on World it will give you a few screens with data about your plague, the cure and how many people you have infected.

This is the main disease page. Along the bottom it shows you how many DNA points you have, the infectivity, severity and lethality of your disease as well as a few other screens you can explore.

I always go to transmission first because I want my disease to spread as fast as possible.

Water and air are the two I start with because it will usually get a good jump on infecting people.

Symptoms are where you can change the symptoms of your disease. The worse the symptom the higher the severity and depending on the symptom the higher the lethality.

Abilities is where you choose things to help keep your disease from being cured. Drug resistance and hardening the bacterial shell are usually where I'll start (when I'm a bacteria).

Then you wait. And sometimes it takes a while to get the infection ball rolling.

But you can always look at exactly how many people are still healthy, sick or dead. And you can see when a cure will be ready.

Here are a few examples of news items that come up that can affect your disease. If I had a symptom that increased the possibility of infecting others with kissing International Kissing Day could really boost my infectivity.

Now that my disease is more infectious I want to see how many people I'm infecting daily, which is in that box on the bottom left of this screen.

As I infect more people my map slowly begins to turn red.

The little red lines are boats or planes that are taking my disease to other countries.

So now I've been spotted, well, my disease has, and they've started researching a cure.

I like seeing how many healthy countries are left in the world. It's really fun when the destroyed countries list starts populating because that means everyone in that country is dead from the disease.

Here is some of that sweet data I mentioned.

Now things are getting serious. It looks like almost half of the world is infected with my plague.

Again, I'm a twisted individual, but I like the part where people start dying.

As the humans start to work harder on a cure, I try to make it harder for them by increasing the complexity of my disease or making it more unstable, resulting in more research needed.

This is the type of map I like to see!

But unfortunately I couldn't infect and kill everyone before they discovered a cure.

Sadly, I lost, humanity gets to live another day.

Plague Inc is a great game because at first it just seems like a silly game where you get to kill people but then you realize it's really a big puzzle. You want to infect as many people as possible without being noticed so I'll usually spend a lot of DNA points on different way to transmit the disease and wait a long time before adding in any actual symptoms. The other problem you can have is that you infect everyone but your disease isn't lethal enough to kill everyone before the cure is complete. It's a game that you have to invest some time into but every time the cure wins I wonder what I could do differently and start up a new game right away.

I highly recommend it!