Showing posts with label App Store. Show all posts
Showing posts with label App Store. Show all posts

Dear Parents: Not All Games and Apps Are Kid-Friendly!

In the world of tech, video games & consumer apps play a significant role, but it's important for parents to be aware of the types of games & apps their children are using. While some may perceive all games & most apps to be harmless, it's not always safe to assume. When it comes to video games, the ESRB ratings are in place for a reason, but at the end of the day... the game industry can't raise your children.

Locate the rating:

For Google Play apps, click on the app and you will find the rating at the top... just beneath the title of the game. The age rating is to the right of the game review score, and download count. Apps, Movies, and TV have ratings, but I realized that eBooks are not rated (from what I've seen).

For App Store apps, the rating is right next to the Game and App titles. Apple TV+ has a rating in a similar area as the Google Play ratings (slightly below the title). When it comes to books, there is no age rating here either.

It's worth noting that some apps ask for location information and may even contain location-tracking features. Select apps use this information to ensure that your mobile order is to the right location, but others have no need for it and may result in undesired use of this information if it ends up in the wrong hands. While some use a tracking feature, others ask for this information and it could be showcased on a public profile to be seen by someone unsavory. A number of popular apps are social media-based, and allow you to chat with others, which basically means your children have the ability to chat with anyone in most cases.

This increases their chance of hearing and seeing certain things you do not approve of. While these apps have an age range, anyone can misrepresent themselves to gain access to most social media apps. That includes your children, and on the flip side... we don't know if the person claiming to be a teenager is actually a teenager at times. Talking with your children to establish safe precautions and healthy habits as part of an agreement to have a phone, is probably one of the best routes to take. From there you can present the reasons why you want them to be careful with such a useful tool. With great power, comes great responsibility... literally. 

Chat doesn't stop at social media apps. There are chat features in select games that lack true regulation that also include the ability to share links. This can be concerning, as there are individuals who exploit any opportunity available to them, potentially exposing children to inappropriate content, and seeking out their location by request or by obtaining their information.

Knowing the apps on your child's phone, specifically to research them... can go a long way. By doing so, parents can thoroughly review each app by its name to determine if any raise concerns and require uninstallation. This can be part of an agreement established with your child in order to have a phone. We don't need to go down this rabbit hole... but there are parents who wish they established such an agreement before avoidable issues were ushered in.

Additionally, parents should check for a "Hidden Space" on their child's Android phone. To access this area, they can slide their fingers both upwards and downwards simultaneously (using two fingers) on the home screen.

  • Within the app drawer, sliding to the right will reveal this hidden space.

Parents can verify what I'm explaining by navigating to the settings and scrolling down to locate "Hidden Space," which should be positioned just above the "About" option at the bottom.

If their Android phone has a different user interface, you can search for tutorials on YouTube to get assistance. Being proactive in understanding and monitoring the digital landscape that our children navigate is crucial for their safety and well-being. By staying informed and actively investigating the apps and features available on their phones, parents can better protect their children from potential risks associated with certain digital content.

If you were wondering if there was an easier route... don't worry, there actually is. Check out the links below for kid-friendly phone manufacturers... Gabb & Pinwheel. Both phones deliver the things your child may need, and nothing you don't want them to have. Apps they do have access to, have been vetted, and the controls are in your hands. So see if one of the options below works for you.

Sophima | Guest Contributor
                          + BLU 

Dear Developers: Avoid releasing good games you're willing to strip away from gamers

As some of you are aware of by now, Rovio Classics: Angry Birds was delisted on Google Play after less than a year of being on the market. It will be renamed as "Red's First Flight" on iOS too, according to Brendan Sinclair over at

Rovio said, they have reviewed the business case of Rovio Classics: Angry Birds, and due to the game's impact on our wider games portfolio, we have decided that Rovio Classics: Angry Birds will be unlisted from the Google Play Store on Thursday, February 23." (2023)

Brendan assumes that they can't just pull it from iOS, so the name change is to prevent people from finding it, but no ladies & gentlemen, it's called "Red's First Flight" (enjoy!).

Clearly, the game has impacted the other games in their portfolio, but what does that say? How many people truly want all these microtransactions? For the classic to hit them to that degree, that says something, but... what will this latest move do to them?

Developers have to remember that gamers aren't just units, numbers, and dollar signs. Gamers keep the lights on and the doors of the studios open, we are people and we remember things, including those times when a developer left a bad taste in our mouth.

You can't play with someone's pocket, and at times someone will boycott for the sake of striking back over a decision that pissed them off. A beloved game was given to them, and stripped away... that shouldn't happen, regardless of how you slice it. There was another way to increase the monetization of the game if you need to make continuous coins off of a title per customer... but what you can't do is flip the script.

Once you make customers paranoid in terms of supporting you... or just too pissed off at you to continue their support, who can you blame? This is one to grow on regardless of the company. Beware!

Fun fact: I've conducted business that involved Rovio in the past (as a business development manager) for the sake of bringing Angry Birds game to the Nintendo 3DS (this was over a decade ago). So the thoughts came flooding back up (shout out to Peter V. who was running the show back then).

Anyway, check out the full article from Brendan Sinclair... here.

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Apple plucks outdated apps?!

A new policy at Apple will now require app developers to update within a certain time or risk being deleted from the App Store. I find that this is a good thing and a bad thing. A good app that has no issues doesn't need an update often, but a bad app with no updates deserves deletion.

Overall, this may be a short-lived policy or Apple may turn off developers and risk having a smaller selection. If developers are able to maintain all their apps or most of them, this could help customers with apps that maintain their polish. Unfortunately, this is not true for everyone. Indie developers sometimes have to fight through trial and tribulation to reach the release date, and now they have to risk their hard work being deleted. This is a bad thing.

Protopop owner, Robert Kabwe, feels that it's an unfair barrier for indie developers. He said that there are no specifications on what updates need to be made in order to avoid deletion. The risk is now raised on the App Store, and this is why we feel this new policy may be short-lived. It's only fair for Apple to share what updates are necessary in order for apps to be compliant prior to deletion. 

The apps have to function as intended, follow current review guidelines, and not be outdated. The first one is practical, but... if the guidelines change a month after an app is released, that would suck royally. I can't say that it would happen like that, and I would assume Apple would let it be known beforehand, but who knows. Also, when it comes to apps being outdated... I think two years is fair, but it's still going to pluck potentially awesome apps.

I don't want to take over this article, but for the Developers: If your app is bringing in the revenue that would allow you to put something aside for updates, consider it a worthwhile investment to keep the money flowing. If you don't wish to do that, just make peace with your apps being removed from the App Store if you can't maintain them. This isn't to be cold, it's more so something to prepare for... if you don't wish to do that. If you read the details, it's not all bad because you can bring your apps back as long as the updates are approved. Get clarity from Apple... ASAP. - Blu


FTS: Celebrate the Season with Limited-Time Summer Units in War of the Vision Final Fantasy Brave Exvius




LOS ANGELES (July 21, 2021) –  SQUARE ENIX® today announced that the fan-favorite tactical
summer season, now through August 24th, where players can enjoy seasonal units, themed campaigns,
and rewards. Some of the events and rewards include:

  • New Limited-Time Summer Units: Powerful Ultra Rare (UR) units Lilyth (Summer) and Kitone
    (Summer) make their Global version debut through limited-time summons. Lilyth has a powerful
    immobilization attack in her arsenal and can perform the Limit Burst “Beach Attack!”, which
    lowers resistance to Missile Attacks while dealing damage. Kitone, meanwhile, has a wide range
    of debuffs at her disposal and can perform the Limit Burst “Swim Ring Attack,” dealing damage
    to enemies within range, with a chance to inflict Sleep on her targets. Given both units’ utility
    and abilities, both would be welcome additions to any players’ roster.

  • Limited-Time Summons: Various summon banners are available during the campaign, including the Summer 2021 Part I Featured New Unit Summon, which guarantees ten units, with one of them being of MR rarity or better, and features higher drop rates for both Kitone (Summer) and Lilyth (Summer). For full details on all available summon banners, please refer
    to the in-game notices.

  • Summer Login Bonuses: Players can receive up to 2,500 Visiore and more, including up to 40 Unit Shards, simply by logging in daily during the campaign. Players can use these Unit Shards to enhance and awaken their Lilyth (Summer) and Kitone (Summer).
  • “WOTV FFBE Summer Splash!” Social Campaign: Fans can vote for their favorite units
    on the official WOTV FFBE social pages, and all players will receive various in-game rewards
    based on the total number of votes. For full details, please refer to the official TwitterInstagram,
    and Facebook pages.
More details on the current summer campaign rewards and events, in addition to the second round of
summer updates can be found on the game’s official social media pages, as well as in-game notices.
WAR OF THE VISIONS FINAL FANTASY BRAVE EXVIUS is available now as a free download with
in-app purchases through the App Store®, Google Play™ and Amazon App Store. Text is supported
in English, French, German, Spanish, Korean and Traditional Chinese, while voiceovers are supported
in English and Japanese. For more information, please visit:

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Apex Legends goes Mobile... but + Top 10 Rankings!


As you may have heard by now, Respawns free-to-play battle royale game (you know the one that gave EA a breath of fresh air), is coming to mobile. Now, before you get too happy thinking that you can join the crew with a little cross-play action, just know that option is off the table (at least for now).

Respawn said that the free-to-play title is designed specifically for mobile devices and won't feature cross-play. At the same time... I shrug because... who doesn't have a mobile device? We aren't just talking phones, we're talking tablets too.

The only downside I see is your stats being left behind, and the potential inability to play without a controller. They should because... c'mon, you can game with a controller on mobile devices so... why not?

Jeffrey Rousseau brought up a good point about the mobile release being a risk... just like the Nintendo Switch version and its Metacritic average, but... I just don't see that happening on mobile unless it sucks. 

At the same time, there is a slew of free-to-play games on mobile... so we shall see how things go for APEX Legends Mobile. If you want in on the beta... here ya go:

You will need:
Android versions above 5.1.1
Snapdragon processors above 625
3GB Ram Minimum
4GB Storage Minimum

Dear Developer,

I know you want this game to pop on mobile, and actually, I have to apply this to many developers. If you want your games to work on mobile and get an edge alongside your pre-existing PC + Console version... you should strongly consider connecting those stats together. 

I'm not a programmer, so... I don't know how that's going to work but it hasn't stopped other games with crossplay enabled.

Think about it... sometimes your various versions rival each other. If I'm home... I'm playing on PC, I'll play on mobile when I'm away... but why can't the stats be connected if crossplay isn't on the table? One doesn't X out the other, marry the stats for everyone to see.

By the way, shout out to the top 10 players in both Rank Scores & K/D... so don't lose your mind. These rankings are based on the current leaderboards from 04.19.2021. In other words, watch out for these players as you set your sights to the top!

Rank Score

1. NRG_Sweet_Rank_1

2. xBaronful


4. IPromoz

5. awesome tryhard

6. Moohnee

7. forceewut


9. axac_

10. OhP_SamCEEEE


1. abusing_r2


3. willLLUMINATI24

4. TERMK47

5. Tollis

6. blushy_OwO

7. shwinyy

8. HorizonParkster

9. NESposito

10. XEronisis

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Final Fantasy Brave Exvius: War Of The Visions Surpasses Four Million Downloads


New Animated Trailer Featuring Vocals by Japanese Artist Raychell Released to Celebrate

LOS ANGELES (May 12, 2020) – SQUARE ENIX® has announced that the global version of the popular mobile tactical RPG WAR OF THE VISIONS™ FINAL FANTASY® BRAVE EXVIUS® has been downloaded over four million times since its release on the App Store®Google Play™, and Amazon App Store earlier this year.

To celebrate the impressive milestone, a brand-new animated trailer for the game has been released, featuring the vocals of popular Japanese singer Raychell. The trailer features her new song, ALL FOR LOVE, alongside exhilarating, new animated footage showing the cast of beloved characters players can discover in WAR OF THE VISIONS FINAL FANTASY BRAVE EXVIUS. The animated trailer, alongside an alternative version of the trailer featuring Japanese vocals, will also be added to the game in early June.

In celebration of the trailer launch, the ‘WOTV FFBE Animated Trailer "ALL FOR LOVE" Campaign’ is also taking place for a limited time. Fans can watch and interact with the new animated trailer on the WAR OF THE VISIONS FINAL FANTASY BRAVE EXVIUS Facebook page to earn up to 2,000 Visiore for all players, a valuable in-game currency.

WAR OF THE VISIONS FINAL FANTASY BRAVE EXVIUS is a standalone gaming experience that draws inspiration from classic SQUARE ENIX tactical RPGsSet in the FINAL FANTASY BRAVE EXVIUS universe, the action unfolds on Ardra, a continent on the brink of war as individual nations struggle for dominance. Players will follow the stories of twin princes Mont and Sterne from the kingdom of Leonis, which possesses the power of visions, and Machérie, the beautiful Steel Maiden of Hourne. As they progress, players will need to navigate a variety of battlefields, strategize their attacks against enemy forces and summon powerful Espers to help turn the tide of war.

WAR OF THE VISIONS FINAL FANTASY BRAVE EXVIUS is now available as a free download with in-app purchases on App Store®, Google Play™, and Amazon App Store. Text is supported in English, French, German, Spanish, Korean and Traditional Chinese, while voiceovers are supported in English and Japanese. For more information, please visit:

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Mario Kart Tour... Mini Review!

Mario Kart is such a fun game! I love the vibrant colors and the animation of the characters. It can be super fun to race against your friends and earn as many cups as possible. The best thing about this game is that it’s a small download and it’s FREE-to-Play!

There are currently 33 characters in the game, they open a new cup after you finish all the races in the previous cup.

The game's replay value is also high, and the music is really fun and cute. I also think it's great that the game has a simple one-finger control for racing so that it's not too hard to race. This really makes it fun for everyone!

Mario Kart is available now on Google Play and the App Store. See you on the track! 

Fun factor: 5 out of 5
Replay value: 4 out of 5
Playability: 5 out of 5
DLC price: 5 out of 5

I give it 4.75 out of 5 Cool Points!


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