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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 We do not receive payment for positive reviews.

Tips to handle difficult end users


It’s a classic love-hate relationship: the IT help desk and the end user. Without IT, end users wouldn’t have the technology in place to do their jobs; but without end users, IT wouldn’t have a job. It’s a twisted symbiosis; one that’s made more distinctive by a sharp cultural divide and near-polar agendas.

There are plenty of reasons why IT professionals get flak from the people they are enlisted to support. They tend to have a reputation for being, well, a little hard to work with. IT guys get a bad rap for a number of reasons, but mostly because by the time users reach out to tech support, they’re already frustrated. And to make matters worse, support is often end-users’ only hope, leaving them feeling dependent upon someone else to do their job.

On the flip side, the IT help desk is tasked with the often thankless job of blindly diagnosing user issues based on symptoms like “my computer broke” or “it won’t print.” Sometimes the solutions are simple (“plug it in” or “complete the setup process”), but often they’re more complex and require technical prowess, not to mention patience and expert listening skills.

Meet the personas
Cultural divides aside, here are three end-user personas that help desk pros know all too well—and how to handle them.

1. The Technology Challenged—This is an end user who is truly clueless when it comes to computing. They might not know the difference between a modem and a monitor, let alone an operating system and a graphical user interface. Dealing with this type results in some of the most frustrating—albeit funny—tales from the help desk.

What makes the Technology Challenged user so frustrating is the degree of hand-holding they require. Even the simplest solution demands not just your time, but your ability to state and restate the steps to fixing the problem. In addition, these end users are skeptical, if not downright terrified, of change. Scheduled software update rearranged their desktop icons? Count on an uptick in calls—and utter confusion.

What you can expect: Expect the Technology Challenged user to describe their (frequent) problems as vaguely and simply as possible. Something’s wrong. That’s all they’ve got.

How to handle: Be patient. Though your mind may initially lead you down more complicated troubleshooting paths, stick to the basics first. The real basics, like is the printer turned on? Is the volume set to mute? Have you accidentally hit CAPS LOCK? Never assume the Technology Challenged is capable of troubleshooting even the simplest of tech tasks.

2. The Know-it-All—This end user may seem like the opposite of the Technology Challenged, but he or she is in fact much more similar than you may think. The Know-it-All may dabble in HTML and be able to carry on a surface-level conversation about Perl, but the Know-it-All’s knowledge stops there. They think they’ve got it down—and worse yet—they don’t think they could possibly do any wrong. So when something goes wrong, they’re the last ones to admit fault.

What you can expect: Lots of self-diagnosis and superfluous details surrounding said diagnosis. Know-it-Alls often tinker away on their machines, downloading software that’s not supported. They’re arrogant and ready to tell you how to do your job. You know, the one where you were hired to support them? They’ll want to do things their way, so don’t expect to win these types over by suggesting they may have changed their password the night before—and just forgotten that when they arrived this morning.

How to handle: One technique is to test their alleged expertise by getting technical with them. Start out using some basic “insider” language, then move on to more in-depth technical queries. Just to see if they can play ball. Whatever you do, don’t lose your patience. Instead opt to overcome their skepticism with knowledge.

3. The Entitled One—This end user can be tricky, as he or she may be your boss’ boss’ boss. They’re often c-level and busy. Very busy. Like, busier than you, no matter how many requests are backed up in the queue.

What to expect: Here’s what not to expect—standard protocol. The Entitled One will humorlessly state why their problem should come before all the others in the queue.  Why? Because their work is “more important.” If the problem isn’t resolved, money will be lost. The entire organisation will suffer. And it will be all your fault.

Whereas most users are expected to follow standard operating procedures (like emailing the help desk alias), the Entitled One may believe their time is more valuable. This means not only should their requests take precedence, but that they can take whatever measures they see fit to get in touch with you.

If there’s an on-site help desk, don’t be surprised if they just stop by. If you field the Entitled One’s call, don’t be surprised if they seem putout when you say you won’t be able to get to them until the end of the day. Or, heaven forbid, the next morning.

How to handle: Politely and respectfully. As much as it irks you, it’s probably in your best interest to drop lesser tasks and finish theirs first. Hierarchies exist in offices and, like it or not, they require a change in standard operations. But do use your best judgment. Sometimes it makes sense to cater to the needs of higher-ups, but other times it’s best to address the most pressing issues first.

The silver lining: end users you love
With all the talk of nightmare users, now is an appropriate time to mention those who make the help desk not just bearable, but better. They’re the ones who, regardless of technical knowledge, listen with patience, apply their new knowledge and most importantly, learn. They are the ones who ask “What am I doing wrong?” and “How do I avoid this in the future?” While ignorance is expected (hey, you don’t necessarily know how to do their job, right?), it’s made palatable by appreciation and, better yet, the desire to learn.

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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