Android TV

Do I need Android TV? I don’t know. Do you? I don’t know that either. We do , at least, need to know what it is and does and how much it costs and why it’s there. We know about smart TVs , Apple TV and Chromecast more or less. The video presenter calls my TV a dumb TV. I don’t. It’s what I want. My Blu Ray accesses the internet if I want it to, but I have a computer hooked up to my flatscreen and access the internet comprehensively that way. Easy because I am using a keyboard. That is what I keep saying. Devices now can do what you want. Not what the world tells you you want. Each to their own and we can select the devices and connectivity we want for  our life and lifestyle. Back to my point. Android TV. What is it? It runs off a box like Apple TV. You can play Android games if you want to and you can access things like Netflix and downloadable content. recombu gives a really good overview of what Android TV does so that you can decide if it’s worth investigating more or not. If you add that information to the information from the video, you are in a much better position to decide whether Android TV is a good choice for you or not.

Offtime app

The Offtime app might be worth exploring if you are trying to find the elusive work-life balance and find your phone distracts you. It is free but there are in app purchases which you might want to explore before you download the app. Basically, you can turn your phone off for a certain amount of time but can allow certain people to contact you in that time. It’s an app from Germany  and has been around for about 3 years now. Tech Crunch has a comprehensive review of it here. You can download it here. It has had sound reviews across the net and is probably worth at least considering . The official Offtime site explains it all very clearly. The iPhone version appears to be paid and not as versatile as the Android version.

Hay Day

Hay Day

The animals are all dressed for the hot summer weather…in the northern hemisphere. Here it is cold, wet and very winter. The game brings a bit of sunshine into each day but when it’s an international game then the weather perhaps needs to reflect that. Or not. Everyone loves those summer outfits on the farm animals. The artists obviously have fun as well as skill. My farm is doing well. I have over 2 million coins now, am about to go up another level and have expanded quite a bit. My town is expanded and decorated to the max. My fishing area has two more spots to expand and the main farm has three more spots to expand. With the new crops and facilities then I am thinking we need some land releases or it will all get squashed up and not look very nice. I’d still love to be able to personalize the fishing area a bit too with a cabin or two and some suitable fishing things. I find I can make plenty of lures but not enough of the lobster pots, duck traps and long term fishing nets. I manage but cannot grow that. Expanding the slots is very expensive so I make do. I’d prefer not to because I love that fishing area. I keep learning from the game that if you have diamonds (predominantly bought with your own cash) then you can do anything. It’s a pretty cynical lesson to teach people even though it may be true. The game does, however, supply free diamonds through  the red boxes, mining, and participating in events. There are times when it is very generous.The players rise above the diamonds are everything mindset and go out of their way to help each other and so the feeling of goodwill which spans across nations and languages is something quite remarkable to achieve in a game. One of the new changes is trading within a network so that you can obtain the goods you need to fill trucks, riverboats, the town and presumably derbies. I do not belong to a network and have no plans to. I gave up FarmVille because the networking was unpleasant. FarmTown wasn’t much better but could be very good at times. With Hay Day you join a network and then can participate in competitions and now trade. There is always a sourness with networks in my experience. The one who is so superior. The ones who complain that others are not complying. The ones who want you to be like them and then the ones who are quite treacherous in their game play . I have avoided the networks for that reason. It has spoiled other games for me. I like Hay Day. I just want it to be a game where I can spend my time happily and get some challenges along the way.

Mobile Phone WhiteBoard app

WhiteBoard app4DSoftTech has a free WhiteBoard app which is so easy to use on a mobile phone. I would not even have considered a WhiteBoard app as an option on my phone but this one has good functionality and is easy to use.KidsBoard I actually like the KidsBoard. I think it is wrongly named! I use this aspect of WhiteBoard a lot because there are so many good features if you want to put something together. The WhiteBoard site explains very clearly what it can do and gives some good visual information as well. It is exclusively an Android app at this stage. There are other apps on their site you might like to investigate.

Calming apps

Apps can play a genuine part in keeping people well, energised and stress free. I have noticed when I have got students to access paint apps for a particular reason there are always about two who sit mesmerised trailing their fingers over their iPad or swirling the colours. I let them do it for 5 minutes, have always been impressed with the level of creativity and then tried to engage them in what we are actually doing. Now that I have listened to the video by the UX designer who developed Pause, I can see why these students have just lost themselves in the finger movements of a paint programme. It is calming, it relaxes them and it clears their mind.  Now I think about it, they were students who seemed to be anxious. Pause is a paid app but it is an app created by a top level designer who applied his design skills and knowledge and his cultural background to create something which would help him and others. Makeuseof has 10 other apps which you can use to decompress, destress, unclutter your mind. Using technology can be intense and you need ways and means of giving yourself and your brain a break and a refresh. I go on Instagram and look at all the lovely pictures. Others play a quick game but using an app designed to relax you and help you regenerate is a good way to go. The aquarium one is a paid app too but you can get free fish apps like Pocket Pond or Pocket Aquarium . There are lots of free apps  for iOS and Android to help you clear your head and feel less intense about everything which is going on. Notice which ones make a difference for you.

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