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4 months ago

Sky Force Reloaded picks up right where it left off

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Get ready to waste some time — in one of the best ways possible. (At least when Android's concerned.)

One of my favorite top-down shooters of the past couple years — Sky Force — is back. And it's picked up right where Sky Force 2014 left off, with updated graphics and audio, new stages, new bosses — and hours and hours of gameplay.

You're in a sort of space-age laser plane, shooting your way through other planes and lasers and helicopters and bosses. You start out with a fairly well-armed flier, only to have it destroyed by the daughter of the general that was defeated two years ago. From there, you're starting from scratch. Basic plane, no real weapons of which to speak. As your work your way through the stages, you'll gain stars, with which you can buy new weapons and other upgrades. Each stage has challenges you'll need to meet.

Those hidden cards are still around, offering even more upgrades. But this time some of those upgrades are temporary, and others permanent. There also are plane cards to be had — complete a a set and you'll get a whole new plane to fly. (I'm only on my second one so far.) Plus there are trophies to be earned, leaderboards to climb, and multiple difficulty modes to keep you coming back.

Sky Force Reloaded is free. But it does have some in-app purchases. For 99 cents you'll get 5,000 stars to spend. That can help you a little bit as you get going. I went ahead and ponied up for the $1.99 star doubler, just to make things go that much quicker. Another $1.99 will get rid of the interstitial ads (which at least are well done and not all that annoying), and another $1.99 beyond that will speed up plane production (you get 10 to burn through), so you don't have to wait so long between games. Those IAPs absolutely are optional, though. And while they'll help you progress a little faster, they don't change the gameplay at all.

And perhaps the best thing is that they didn't break what worked the first time. Unlike, say, Hungry Shark World, there's no change in the speed of the game itself. The graphics are familiar.

This is one of those games that for me is a great time-waster. There's no real investment other than a few minutes here or there. Or hours. It's that good.

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4 months ago

Twitter and Samsung team up to offer 360-degree videos from the NBA Finals

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Twitter is launching support for 360-degree videos, beginning with coverage of the NBA Finals that will be filmed with Samsung's Gear 360 camera.

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4 months ago

Facebook reportedly mulling end-to-end encryption for Messenger

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According to a new report, Facebook may be gearing up to launch an option to encrypt interactions through its Messenger app.

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4 months ago

Google Keep adds link previews and autocomplete for grocery lists

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If you're a fan of using Google Keep to stay organized, you have some nifty features to look forward to in the note taking app's latest update.

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4 months ago

Google Now on Tap update lets you manually select text, search images

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Google is rolling out some changes to Google Now on Tap that should make the feature much more useful.

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4 months ago

Facebook Messenger adds more diverse selection of emoji

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The Facebook Messenger app now has over 1,000 new emoji that the company says are supposed to offer "a more balanced mix that's more representative of our world."

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4 months ago

Periscope combats trolls with new comment moderation tool

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Live streaming app Periscope is looking to take on internet trolls by placing moderation in the hands of the community.

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4 months ago

The hottest app in Canada right now is from a bank

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A banking app I won't hate using? Sign me up.

It's not often a banking app cracks the Play Store's top 10 charts. But a relatively new app from TD Canada Trust called MySpend has found a way to cross that invisible line between utility and everyday necessity. And that's no accident.

We caught up with them to find out why.

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4 months ago

Android Wear watch face roundup: Historic Women, Animated Robots and more

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Android Wear gives you variety you can depend on.

With so many watch faces available on The Google Play Store it can be nigh on impossible to keep track of them all. That's why we're here, to help you find the most awesome watch faces currently available. This time we have five faces that you may not have seen before.

Whether you want something simple, or something that can easily get you all the information you need to get you through the day, you're covered.

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4 months ago

AC editors' apps of the week: MLB Ballpark, My Disney Experience, Lumi News and more

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It's Appday Sunday and that means we're back with more of our favorites to share. Every week we bring a handful of great apps to the table and share them with everyone. Sometimes they are new apps, sometimes old standards, but every time they are apps we love to use.

Give these a look and then take a minute to tell us all about the apps you are using and love so we can give them a try. We all find some of our favorites right in the comments on these posts!

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4 months ago

Google Photos' 200 million users have freed up 13.7 petabytes of storage to date

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Google Photos is now officially one year old, and Google has celebrated the occasion by providing some hard numbers on just how big the service has become in the past year.

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4 months ago

Online-only Samsung Mini Pay is reportedly planned for a South Korea launch in June

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A new report claims that Samsung Mini Pay, an online-only version of Samsung's payment system, will launch in June in South Korea.

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4 months ago

Chick-fil-A's emoji keyboard helps you express your love of waffle fries

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The Chick-fil-A fast food franchise has launched its own mobile keyboard, allowing people to use over 20 emojis, stickers and GIFs on a variety of messaging apps.

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4 months ago

Skype gains a refreshed interface and new features on Android tablets

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Microsoft has released Skype 7.0 for Android, with the new version of the VoIP client adding a revamped user interface for tablet owners, along with new features.

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4 months ago

Microsoft's Next Lock Screen has a new logo, improved UI and more

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Microsoft's Next Lock Screen for Android has been updated to version 3.2, with a new logo, some improvements to its UI and more.

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