Fortnite Battle Royale is a free-to-play game from Epic Games that was released back in 2017. This was a response to the unprecedented success of the battle royale titles, specifically PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. Fortnite was released on mobile platforms in 2018.
Graphics and Sound - 7/10
Fortnite has high-quality graphics. The colors of the players and objects integrate smoothly with the game’s background. No notable glitching was observed on the mobile devices used, while clarity may differ due to the different hardware capabilities. However, you may experience some noteworthy difficulties when trying to spot an opponent compared to platforms with bigger screens. It may be to the extent that only a black speck can be seen even with a scope.
On-screen prompts cater for any issue to do with sound as they indicate both the intensity and direction of the noise.
Gameplay - 9/10
Fortnite Battle Royale involves playing against 99 other opponents on a vast island with your aim to be the last man standing. The game also has a feature that allows you to team up with another player or make a squad of four, helping each other stay alive while getting rid of your opponents.
The game starts with players in a bus that glides across the island, and they must jump out and land on a preferred starting point promptly. At the start, the only item provided is a pickaxe that can be used to attack opponents and collect resources. As the circle shrinks, it gets harder and harder to survive. In the classic battle royale fashion, the last man (or team) standing wins.
Controls - 7/10
The touch screen controls work adequately well. Movement control is assigned to the left side of the screen and firing weapons to the right, while the gear icons can be found smack in the middle of the screen. Although it sounds inconvenient, they are well placed and don’t interfere with the gameplay.
There is a distinct issue in the response of the controls and some difficulty in aiming when shooting both in close proximity and long distance. The building is also adversely affected, making it notably slower. In the final stages of the game, it can mean the difference between life and death.
Lasting Appeal - 9/10
The fact that it’s a multiplayer battle royale game gives it a long-lasting appeal. The involvement of 99 other players makes for unique and exciting play sessions. Having building materials that alter player interaction offers more dynamism and will lead to players coming back for more.
For players with first-person shooter and adventure games experience, the transition will be seamless once you are comfortable with the controls. The feature that allows you to spectate other players once you are taken out adds to how fast you learn the ropes.
Fortnite Battle Royale has a lot of things going for it. Not only is it thrilling and competitive, but it’s also unique in its distinctive structure building. It has some notably impressive graphics for a mobile game, and its ability to cross-sync your account and save progress from other platforms is something to admire.
Graphics and Sound 7
Lasting Appeal 9
- The Best Apps to Use Your Phone as a Walkie-Talkie
It’s all been about finally ditching the idea of walkie-talkie. The phones became smaller, then bigger but stronger. The newly emerged etiquette requires texting before calling on the phone since both can be done within the same messenger app. But suddenly it turned out that the idea of the walkie-talkie, with one participant talking at a time, is still required, and probably even less than before.
The first reason for that is obvious. The devices we have are equally good for texting and speaking our messages, but the human part of us finds it easier and quicker to speak than to type. So one-way voice messages are the feature supported in most messengers, and clouds are capable to store centuries of the spoken word.
The second is about ethos again. Most of us have busy days, and duplex communication needs to be scheduled suitable for the two participants. Exchanging voice messages, just the opposite, lets each of the two find the best time to listen and to answer, regardless of what the other is doing at the moment.
It’s so demanded now that even Apple has Internet-based Walkie-Talkie mode built into watchOS 5. As for phones, neither iOS nor Android comes equipped with apps for that from the start. But there are always third-party apps for that. The only inconvenience is that all the participants need to have the app installed. The rest is pure convenience we love this class of devices for. So, here are the best walkie-talkie apps for Android and iOS.
(Android, iOS, Windows Phone)
So far, it’s the default online walkie-talkie for both private and group communication. Its easy interface and rich features show right as you enter the app. This app is free and available for most platforms (even for Windows Phone, doomed and abandoned).
It’s been around for years; so whatever you want to talk about, you’ll find a channel on this in your language. And if suddenly there isn’t one, you can create your own.
The app is quite flexible in settings. For example, you can adjust the volume for any participant of the chat. That can be useful, because each participant has a unique manner of speaking.
As soon as participants of the chat open the app, they receive the messages from the chats they are in. That guarantees that no message will be lost, even if you open it much later. The service is also capable of sending texts, pictures, and alerts.
Well, though this app looks like a typical messenger of 2010s, inspired by WhatsApp and its likes, it’s still a walkie-talkie, and its features are about as rich as those of Zello. It’s an alternative one, better for private chats or closer groups of friends and colleagues. In the free version, it supports private chats and groups. Public channels are not supported. On the other hand, it offers encryption for all the messages you send and receive.
Its premium tools set includes useful features like instant voice-to-text transcription, quoting earlier messages from chats (including other ones), hands-free manner of usage, and so on. The subscription is $3/mo or $30/yr; quite affordable for business needs.
If you just need the basic functionality of walkie-talkie, that’s the app. No extras like images or texting; app stores are full of conventional messengers for that. It also doesn’t support choosing individual contacts from your list.
But old-school radio enthusiasts will appreciate this due to familiar feelings. Instead of direct voice messages, you select your area (country, region, and so on) and send your messages to everyone within it. All the other Two-Way users will be able to hear you and reply. For private chats there are other ways: instead of speaking to a certain user, you can find an unused channel with Key Pad and transfer there. There are enough channels to have a private talk; strangers may interfere if they suddenly select the same number, but chances are they won’t.
Walkie-talkie — Communication
This app is exactly what it says on the tin. The app, just like the previous one, uses the channel system. When you set up communication with your friends or colleagues, you need to download the app and select the channel to use. On this channel, you can exchange voice messages in walkie-talkie mode. They are sent as soon as recorded.
This simple app doesn’t leave much for you to adjust, except for minor things like the background color. Though, probably, if you don’t need the power of overcrowded Zello, you may opt for this consciously. It’s available for iOS only, so it’s a good addition to the Apple Watch walkie-talkie feature.
It’s a rather unusual app, because it’s meant for sending video messages in walkie-talkie mode. Of course, it’s a step away from the original idea. But if that’s just what you need, Marco Polo is a perfect option. Positioned as a solution for those who cannot afford syncing their time for communicating, it’s all about video.
Of course, it has Snapchat-like bells and whistles, meant to make videos more emotional. So you can add texts, stickers, and filters. It goes a bit beyond our original topic, still, the app is worth some attention if you prefer one-way communication.
This one is quite unusual too, and it’s not about its video capability only, but about getting close to the real walkie-talkie mode as well. We mean that dependence on the Internet connection immanent for all the apps above. Instead of relying on Wi-Fi or cellular connection only, Walkietooth makes use of any other way of sending data. It can send voice messages via local Wi-Fi networks, via Bluetooth, or via direct device-to-device connection.
With this app you can use your old smartphone as a baby monitor, installing it on both devices and positioning them in different rooms. Its video capabilities will be especially useful here.
This versatility is also useful in the countryside, with no stable Internet connection. For example, it’s great for a motorcycle or bicycle party, with all the members quite close to each other. Of course, it’s a niche solution for certain situations, but if that’s the case with you, it’s worth considering. Alas, it’s an Android prerogative, and there aren’t any analogs as functional on iOS.
Last but Not Least
Except for the last app, all of those above don’t make your smartphones function as real walkie-talkies. It’s a hardware limitation: while real WT’s have their own standalone transmitters and receivers powerful enough to function independently, smartphones are bound to cellular or Wi-Fi networks. Keep that in mind, while planning your usage of these apps.
- Joscelyn Kate
- 2019-10-21 09:05
- Advice on the New Snapchat: Master It in a Snap
It’s happened: the new Snapchat design is here, and it’s final – at least, until the next update. Despite all the hate towards it expressed by users, Snapchat will keep it. And we are to live with it, at least until the next big update (we will hate from the beginning and recollect the current one warmly).
Well, Snapchat has never been intuitive, and its users should never grow old – at least, mentally. Welcome to the anti-aging club, if you plan to use it after all the changes still. And we will help you keep up with all the changes made. Here comes the instruction on the revamped Snapchat.
Well, if you are interested in the new Snapchat, you must have dealt with the old version, and, probably, you have created an account already, haven’t you? Still, even if not, the first steps are always simple: download the app for your platform, create a profile with your phone and email (they won’t be exposed), make yourself a username and generate a password. And this is the simplest part of it.
Later it will show you some video instructions. You can return to them. But we recommend you run Snapchat, read the following text, and follow the instruction in the app to see it IRL.
Home Screen Layout
As you launch the app, you will not see the home screen with contact lists and stuff we’re used to. Instead, you’ll be greeted with your own face through the front camera. No mistake: this is the central home screen. There are two more, though:
- Friends Screen. To see it, swipe right.
- Discover Screen. To see it, swipe right.
Yes, it’s the same mechanics that is now used in Facebook or Instagram. These apps aren’t so pic-oriented to put the camera first. But still, their developers get inspired by Snapchat… a bit.
To view yourself, tap your profile in the circle in the upper-left corner. The profile menu lets you access settings, scan your contacts to find other Snapchat users, or add new friends. Here you can also look trophies and snap points, but, to tell the truth, so far they give you nothing, so let’s nor focus on them.
Taking Pictures and Videos with Basic Enhancements
To make a snap, tap anywhere on the screen (with the front camera on) to focus, and then tap the button in the bottom to snap. But taking it is just a part of the process: the processing is the main part.
It’s swipe-based again. After you snap a pic, swipe left or right to apply various filters and borders or view them in full-screen preview. Now your pictures are meant to take the entire screen, so the control system is even more gesture-based.
When you have taken a photo, you’ll see white buttons on its right side. They are responsible for all the effects we love about Snapchat. And now they get even closer than ever. Let’s review them all, from the top down.
- Text (the T letter). It’s all about texts you add. Tap it, and then enter your text. You’ll be able to select the color and the font for it. But in order to drag it over the pic, you need to close the Text menu. You can also resize and rotate it with simple gestures.
- Brush. It’s a drawing tool with various brushes, selectable colors, and thickness. Just like you have in Paint or online drawing tools.
- Stickers. The one we love the most about Snapchat, with its incredible richness in various glamorous fonts, bright colors, and so on.
Heats and glasses, smiling faces and thumbs up, stars and balloons are here too, for you to color up your selfies or photos with friends. It also has the entire list of emoji.
The most popular ones are at the top, including current data – time, temperature (for beaches or mountains, equally impressive), MPH (it’s great for videos, in fact), or location. If you expected to find these among the filters, we understand: that was one of the reasons to protest. But treating them as stickers seems more rational.
There are also Bitmoji stickers available. To generate them, you’ll need a special app, available both for Android and iOS. Then you get your own set of 3D animated emoji, based on your own face. If you decide to change your style, it takes a minute to refresh the set with a new look.
- URL. Well, just type the URL you want to link to your picture, and it will display.
- Crop. It’s quite regular: crop the picture to remove unnecessary elements on the edges. It also lets you rotate the picture. You’ve probably seen the same tool in various picture editors.
- Self-destruction timer. If you want to send this snap privately, it will define how long it will be viewable. After the time viewed expires, the photo gets deleted. The time can be set for up to 10 seconds, or left without the bomb.
As you see, the tools are quite convincing, and (what’s more important) they have what makes Snapchat a thing. The resulting photo can be saved to your gallery, or the vault named Memories (it holds the photos and videos you publish or those you mark). It doesn’t offer anything Gallery doesn’t offer too, though.
There are two ways of sharing photo you have made and edited in Snapchat. You can post it to your public story, where it will remain visible for 24 hours, or send directly to certain users. You can also send it to multiple users, selecting them the regular way you do in your OS.
Well, there may be photos shared with you by others, right? To view the incoming snaps, go to your “Friends” page. Now it contains both messages and stories, and that’s another innovation that users didn’t approve. In the earlier version, the stories of your friends could be found in “Discover” section. Mixing your friends with celebrities, it made you the unique feeling of being in. No wonder many users hold on to this experience of closeness to politicians, musicians, actors, bloggers they are subscribed to. It’s like being kicked out of the afterparty.
Well, it still just tap over your friend’s avatar to start the chat. Find the friend on your list, tap the name – and start the chat. The same way it’s done in any messenger, including, pardonne-moi, Skype.
By the way: there is also voice and video call feature that is accessed via phone and camera icons within the open chat. But Snapchat is not for using in such a plain way. So these features are just a nice-to-have-but-not-crucial option.
The most social thing about Snapchat is constantly in touch with various celebrities or just recommended (and advertised) people. Discover is the section meant for viewing public profiles. Along with stars, there are local events, recommended and advertised activities, and so on. It looks like the search tab on Instagram. Though a bit messy after the update, it’s still fun to read to spend a spare minute.
That’s why the app needs your location. It shows you the nearest events you might be interested in. But even if you aren’t, you can just watch your friends visit them.
While initially, SnapChat was about self-destructing messages, now its primary feature is AR-based filters. All those dog ears, cat noses, flowers, glasses, masks and backgrounds are compatible with front and rear cameras.
Just open the camera tab, look at yourself on the screen, then swipe horizontally on the screen (trying not to touch buttons) to view various filters in real-time. The filters change every day, and Snapchat has lots of them to avoid being repetitive. The most popular ones, though, come to stay.
Among the most demanded AR filters, one should name the Dog Ears, and, of course, Face Swap. Better than any rivals offer, this filter can swap the two faces in the camera, and they don’t even have to be both human.
And here comes (arguably) the most impressive tool in the current version of Snapchat. Scissors is the tool for making stickers out of someone’s pictures. You just need to crop an item out of the pic and transform it into a sticker. It turns out unexpectedly easy, and the quality is surprisingly decent. Then you just need to open the stickers menu and select the scissors tab, and access your stickers.
If you support Snapchat, its own support team does as well. You can find it as a contact in your friendlist, added by default, and can never remove. With it, you can ask questions or report issues with just a single message. And that’s the case when you can make use of the voice chat.
If you are getting confused about the new interface, and didn’t find the answer here, you can just contact the official support and ask your questions. And, of course, get your answers right when you need them.
- Alyssa Greenberg
- 2019-10-09 06:35
- TOP-6 best tools to lock down a kid's device
Thanks to the Internet, we got free access to any information of our interest. However, this is not always good, especially when it comes to children. Their curiosity for everything new and untapped ability for critical thinking can do great damage to their psyche. Therefore, it is obvious that you, as a caring parent, want to block them from harmful content. There are several ways of how to do it. The first approach is the easiest: a lot of modern devices have already had the in-built tool for managing the access of children to the phone. Another way is to use external applications to get more features and blocking options. We will consider both approaches in this blog post. Stay tuned!
Android Screen Pin
Android Screen Pin is the feature that is included in the modern Android devices. It allows you to lock only certain apps while others remain unlocked. It is very useful when you give a tablet or mobile phone to the toddler to play the games. With Android Screen Pin, you can set a password to Google Play, messages, and phone calls. As a result, a kid can’t accidentally make a call, write a strange message to your colleague, or make the in-app purchases for games. Another useful feature is to lock the apps or the whole device when the children need to do housework or other family tasks.
Where to find:
- Go to the Settings menu;
- Find the tab Security or Security & location -> Security, and tap on it;
- Press Screen lock. If you have already set up a password to lock the screen, the device asks you to enter it;
- Then, follow the instructions, and do not forget to save the changes.
Although Android Screen Pin is a free in-built tool on Android devices, it is not so much flexible compared to other tools described below. For example, it doesn’t filter the content and must be set up on the child’s device. Also, there is no remote control.
Platform: Android, iOS
FamilyTime provides you with additional features and extended options compared to the Android Screen Pin tool. As there is a third-party app, you need to install FamilyTime on the device before using it. It is completely free, and you can download the application on both iOS and Android platforms on Apple Store or Google Play, respectively.
The app allows you to control the child’s device remotely and securely. Besides this, there are other important features:
- Limit screen time: you can set up a certain amount of time when your children can use the device. When the limit is over, the phone or tablet blocks automatically, so the kids can access it anymore;
- Scheduling of the screen time: parents can decide the time their children can access the device and block during, for example, the family time;
- Internet filters: users can block the websites of a certain category;
- SafeSearch: turning on this feature, you can provide safe browsing for your children;
- Application blocker: parents can block different kinds of apps on the device, including social media and games;
- The tracker of children’s location: it allows you to see the places your children visit. FamilyTime notifies you every time the kid leaves the safe area;
- Usage monitoring: you can always see what applications your child uses. It also shows you the time of usage;
- Emergency Alerts: the kid can press the SOS alert, and you will be notified about this immediately;
- Reports: get the full statistics of what the child uses or what kind of information they browse on the Internet;
- PickMeUp: the option to share a current location;
- SafeDrive: if you have a teenager with car and driving license, you can set up the speed limits, and the app automatically notifies you if these limits are exceeded.
Note that with FamilyTime you can add as many children’s devices as you want.
Platform: Android, iOS, PC, Mac, Chrome
WebWatcher is a monitoring app for iOS, Android, Mac, PC, and Chrome. The app was developed by Awareness Technologies. Initially, it was used in a counter-terrorism activity for Windows PC, but today its benefits are leveraging by parents from different parts of the world. WebWatcher helps you to become a responsible parent in the digital world. It tracks and records all the children’s activity, starting with text messages and call history and ending with location notifications and photos. Even if your children use different devices, you still can connect all of them from your secure account and manage their activity remotely.
The full list of what you can monitor in your child’s device:
- SMS and MMS including deleted texts;
- Screenshots (their number is limited to 1 000. In order to see more, you need to purchase the app);
- History of web browsing;
- Call logs;
- The location;
- Social networks and messengers: TikTok, Instagram, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Kik, Viber, Snapchat, Tinder;
- Application usage.
Note that it can vary depending on the platform. But the basic options are the same on all devices.
Platform: Android, iOS, PC, Mac, Kindle
Qusodio provides you with a simple tool for managing the children's activity on a particular device. It allows you to see how much time your kids use the mobile phone or a tablet, block certain applications, and filter the content.
How it works:
- First of all, you need to install Qusodio on your device;
- Then sign up, and tap the “Child’s device” menu item;
- Follow the provided instructions;
- Once you finish, the number of websites will be blocked automatically;
- Now, you can view the child’s activity and daily reports.
The app is completely free to install. But it offers additional in-app purchases and premium subscriptions. The difference is that free plan allows you to monitor only one kid’s device from different parent's devices while the paid plan allows you to monitor as many kid’s devices as you want from the unlimited number of parent’s devices. The app is available in several languages, including English, Spanish, and German.
Platform: Android, iOS, PC, Apple OS X, Fire OS
Net Nanny is one of the most famous feature-packed parental control apps. The initial version was launched almost more than 20 years ago — in 1995. It was just a web browser that filtered IRC and web content, hid profanity, and blocked strange images. The latest version was released in May 2019. Now, it allows you to do much more. But the headline feature remains the same: Net Nanny is a powerful web filter with which you can block the weapons, pornography, and other harmful content for children. Among other options:
- Monitoring the child’s activity with amazing accuracy;
- Set up the limits that you can change just in a few taps;
- Divide the whole Internet content into the categories and block the defined categories;
- Build white and black lists for websites;
- Receive daily reports;
- Get the notifications about flagged words and other undesired content;
- Block the applications on your device;
- Track the current location;
- Set up different rules for different devices.
Net Nanny received a lot of different rewards and positive feedback from the critics. The application took the first place in TopTenReviews.com in "Internet Filter Software" and fourth in "Parental Control Software" in 2017. If you are looking for the best web content filtering apps, we highly recommend you download and install Net Nanny. Besides, it is completely free.
AppLock by DoMobile Lab is one of the most downloadable lock apps on Google Play. It has more than 100 million installs. Isn't that a reason to become one of its users too? The application works in more than 50 countries and supports 45 languages. AppLock can block the contents of different types. It could be:
- The social networks or messengers like Facebook, Snapchat or Instagram;
- Mailboxes: Gmail;
- Messages: SMS;
- Call log;
- Gallery files: images, videos;
- Other applications installed on your device.
AppLock ensures full security and prevents unauthorized children’s access to blocked apps. You can set up the password, the pattern, or lock with a fingertip. If somebody tries to crack the phone and pick up a password, the application automatically takes a photo of them. AppLock provides you with the great and extended customization options compared to other applications listed below. Users can select the favorite image and set it in the background, create the blocklists, and so on. To make AppLock invisible for children, you can hide the app’s icon in the settings.
Besides the applications locking, the title has the option that allows you to switch on an incognito regime in the browser, as a result, the history of your queries will not be recorded. As you can see, there is an excellent app not only for child protection but also for adults.
There are a lot of different locking applications for different platforms and at various prices. But before using them, do not forget about one important thing. As a parent, you always need to remember that you set up the lock on the children’s device on your risk. What you think you mean well may not be understood by the child and become one of the biggest grievances against you. This is especially true for adolescents.
Also, there are a lot of forums and groups where teenagers discuss possible and effective ways to get around parental control. Locking applications is an incredible tool to protect children from harmful content, however, it should only be used in conjunction with accompanying conversations with the child. Try to convey to them as accurately as possible why you are doing this and what goals you are pursuing. Share your experience in the comments below. What apps did you use? What was the reaction of a child?
- Joscelyn Kate
- 2019-09-26 13:25