Six (6) Android Games You Should Play Now not Tomorrow

Got a new device? You need to get some new games. Here are some quick recommendations for great Android games. Some are familiar from other platforms. Some are free. Some are paid, and some have specific hardware requirements. All are listed here.
1.  Minecraft Pocket Edition
Why it is great: Minecraft is an entertaining block-building and survival game. You can play either in creative mode where you build and invent things in your own randomly generated world or you can play in survival mode where you use your wits and resources to survive against the creepers who come out at night.
Note – this does not connect with your main Minecraft account if you play the computer version of the game.
Play for yourself or keep it around to entertain kids. (Turn off in-app purchases if you do this.)
Minecraft is a paid app ($6.99) but you can find occasional sales, in-app purchases run from $0.50 to $1.99.   More »
2.  Lara Croft Go
Based on the popular Tomb Raider series and developed by Square Enix, Lara Craft Go is a relatively simple but very addictive puzzle game you can take with you. The puzzles are designed for short bursts of play, so pull it out in the doctor’s office waiting room or while riding the bus home.
Lara Croft Go sells for $4.99 but is occasionally on sale for $0.99. It allows in-app purchases. If you like this game, you can also check out Hitman Go, which is also from Square Enix.  More »
3.  Buttons and Scissors
This is a free puzzle game where you try to cut matching color buttons off of a square of denim. Mechanically this feels similar to Bejeweled, but not completely the same. The logic puzzles offer great challenges for players of all ages.
The other big advantage to this game is that it does not require any connectivity. You can play this game on devices that aren’t connected to Wi-Fi or in that signal dead spot.
Buttons and Scissors is a free download but allows in-app purchases.  More »
 Did you want to try out the new trend in adult coloring books, but you don’t want to carry around coloring pencil and a coloringb book? Try out this app instead. It’s appropriate for kids or adults, and while it’s not the same as coloring in an actual coloring book, it is still very satisfying.
Mandala Coloring Pages is free (with ads) but also allows in-app purchases.  More »
Yes. You can play an Android version of Portal. This is a real console game. As such, it requires a real console. This version will only work on the Nvidia Shield version of Android TV.  The Nvidia Shield starts at around $199 but allows you to stream movies and play Android games on your TV.
Portal starts at $1.99 but this is “introductory pricing.”  More »
If you have a phone with a fast processor and terrific screen display, you can take it for a ride with this virtual reality game. This is a first-person shooter where you aim at balloons. You’ll need Google Cardboard. This is an inexpensive accessory that you can either make or buy for around $15 and will turn your phone into a virtual reality device. Obviously not a game you can play while waiting in a doctor’s office (unless your doctor is awesome) but a fun novelty game to play by yourself or after having one of your friends try on the headset.
VR Cardboard Shooter 3D is a free download.  More »

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Google Picasa Is Dead. Long Live Google Photo; What you need to know About Picasa and the new Google Photos.


Picasa was Google’s primary photo app for many years. Picasa was both a desktop app for Mac and Windows and an online photo gallery. Picasa was originally acquired by Google in 2004 as a compliment to Blogger. It’s been clear for a while that Picasa has not seen significant new features and would eventually be replaced by Google Photos. That day is officially here, and Google is killing off both Picasa and Picasa Web albums.

Picasa comes from the age of Flickr, and it’s clear today that modern users want an app that connects to their social networks, is easy to use on mobile, allows you to edit your photos online. Hello, Google Photos. 

What Is Google Photos?

Google Photos branched off of Google+ as a photo sharing service.

Google Photos allows quick photo searching, classifying, and grouping. Google Photos also allows limited photo editing to apply filters and frames, crop images and add some minor photo tweaking.

Google Assistant

Google Photos also has a powerful photo assistant that suggests fun features and special effects. Among the special effects, Google Photos Assistant can create:

  • Panoramas can be stitched together from a series of photos
  • Animations can be created from a series of photos taken at about the same time
  • Multiple portraits can be arranged in a “photo-booth” style photo arrangement
  • Photo arrangements can be created to mark memories, such as “one year ago” or “two years ago.”
  • Holiday themed special effects, such as adding hearts for Valentine’s day or adding skeletons or other spooky features for Halloween.
  • Photos around an event or location can be stitched together into an interactive story collection.

Google Assistant is available for both the mobile and Web-only versions of Google Photos. You don’t have to do anything special to make it happen. It just shows up on its own when you have photos matching the profile.

Just go to the Google Photo Assistant section of the app, and you’ll see all the photos the Assistant is suggesting (if any)


The big weakness of Picasa (other than depending on a combination desktop and online app) is that it never really allowed for proper, modern sharing. Not a problem with Google Photos. You can share with Twitter, Google+ and Facebook. You can also create albums with links that you can use to share, just like you could with Picasa Web Albums. As other social networks gain popularity, Google Photos will likely keep up and add sharing functions.

What about Automatic Backups?

One of the most useful features of the Picasa desktop app is that it allowed you to automatically backup photos from your desktop. If you have a digital camera, and you like to preview your vacation photos on your laptop, this is extremely handy. Fear not, you still get the basic functionality using the Google Photos uploader. If you’re soured to Google at this point, you can do the same thing with Flickr, but I don’t give Flickr long survival odds at this point.

To be specific, Google Photos backs up a “high quality” photo but not a full resolution photo, unless you specify it. Full resolution photos will cost you extra storage money, but you can keep the originals on your hard drive or back them up in some other way.

If you’ve been relying on backups from your phone, no problem. Google Photos has been duplicating them in both spots. Your transition will be smooth.

What about Photo Editing?

Google Photos has you covered. Well, mostly. You can crop, make minor adjustments, and add filters. So add contrast, put on a strange color filter, no problem. You can’t do advanced effects like editing out blemishes. It may not stay this way forever, Google purchased and killed Picnik, a powerful, online photo editing app that allowed for a lot more functions than Google Photos. Google also owns Snapseed, a powerful mobile photo editing app.

Disclosure: This page may contain external affiliate links that may result in us receiving
 a commission if you choose to purchase said product. The opinions on this page are our own.
 We do not receive payment for positive reviews.

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