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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 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.

Knowing the Seven (7) tips for better search results


Internet searches? Simple enough, right? Just type in the topic you’re interested in and instantly pages and pages of links appear. In this age of information, “enough” never seems to be the problem anymore. Rather, gathering information is a case of finding too much.

So then, how can you arrive at a shorter, more relevant list, on the first go? First it’s important to understand how search engines work.

How search engines work, and work for you

A search engine locates matching words in its index and returns results. But this “common denominator” approach only gives the broadest range of results unless you narrow it. Some search engines like Google help with the function of “autocomplete” by suggesting what you might be searching for even as you type it.

This even means spelling corrections in the final suggestions show up. For example, if some people type in “LadyMarmalade” as a single word, all those searches still influence “Lady Marmalade” being suggested — and as two words. Words that should have punctuation can also get corrected. Type “ben and je…” and it will be “Ben and Jerry’s” that gets suggested, even if many people forget the apostrophe.

What’s good about this function is that it presents searches you are most likely to be looking for. But electronic intuition is not in play, only previously recorded search results.

These include most popular searches, suggestions by region (e.g. “Georgia” will turn up different results depending if you are located in America or Eastern Europe), personalised searches previously done by you, and the so-called “freshness layer” that shows results that suddenly spike in popularity – for example, an event in a region (London marathon) or celebrity news (celebrity marriage).

Of these, personalised search history always has the greatest weight in defining autocorrection and search results.

But even with these functions, a search engine is often too smart for its own good – delivering millions of technically correct, but practically useless, results. For precise searches, it helps to know some tricks to use in the search window to save time.

Tips for defining better searches

  1. Use multiple words. Define what you’re after with more words, e.g. “chicken rosemary onion recipe,” as these words are too general when used separately.
  2. Qualify words. Putting a plus sign (“+”) in front of a word will ensure you only see pages that include that word. Putting a minus sign (“-“) in front of a word will eliminate pages with that word.
  3. Specify a site. This proves useful if you want results from a specific website. For example, enter “tablet PC” if you are interested in learning more about tablet PCs if you know that is a central source of information. That way, cluttered results from outside that URL will be left out.
  4. Search within your results. Suppose you are less certain about what you’re after, and need to progress from the general to the specific (for example, news on a world event with constant developments like the Olympics). Type in the keywords that broadly define your topic. You will then get a long list of results of which some are relevant. Refine it with a further search by adding more keywords to your original search phrase.
  5. Use unusual words. For topics, use words that are linked but rarely appear together in other contexts, e.g. “spin” and “doctor,” if you’re researching politics.
  6. Use quotes. Using quotes directs Google to search for an exact phrase that you enter, for example “breakfast in bed.”
  7. Use Advanced Google operators. By adding key symbols to your search terms in Google, you can gain far more control over the results that are returned to you.

    For example, adding an asterisk in the middle of a search term will allow any “wildcard” word to be included there. Searching for “HP * notebook” would bring back results for multiple HP models or terms, such as “HP performance notebook,” “HP commercial notebook,” “HP Envy notebook,” and so on. This is especially helpful if you don’t recall the full phrase you are searching for.

    You can also search for values separated by two periods with no spaces to bring back search results within a set number range. For instance searching for “HP notebooks $400..$1000” would give you all HP notebooks within that price range.

    Further search operators of this kind are defined on the Google support page.

Better searches mean clearer information

In the age of information, chances are what you’re looking for is out there, you just have to know how to find it. Always remember that a site like Google works by returning searches by popularity.

But, of course, searches are done by individuals, so yours might need finessing to deliver exactly what you’re after. Use these clever tips to make your online searches more precise – and get the information you need faster.

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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