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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Unveiling a New, Modern Inflight Entertainment Experience for Alaska Airlines, Powered by Windows


Alaska Airlines is upgrading its flight experience with the goal of making your journey a part of the adventure – and we are happy to announce that Windows will be along for the ride as one of Alaska’s important technology partners.

As part of its newly branded flight experience, called Alaska Beyond, Alaska Airlines is modernizing its fleet of airplanes and reinventing what it means to fly – by introducing new Northwest infused food and beverage options, power outlets at every seat on 70% of its 737 passenger aircrafts by mid-April, direct-to-your-device entertainment, and a new Windows inflight entertainment solution. Deployment of the Windows inflight entertainment solution has already begun with 7,000 Windows Toshiba Encore 2 tablets hitting the skies to date, and more on the way to accommodate Alaska’s route growth and customer demand.
“Innovating a flight experience starts with really understanding our customers,” said Curtis Kopf, Alaska’s vice president of innovation. “With that end user in mind, we made the decision to move to Windows because of the flexibility of the platform and the ability to deliver a wide array of content options.”
“We are excited about this partnership with Microsoft. Today, our inflight entertainment tablets are running Windows 8.1, which provides a great foundation for the experiences we are looking to deliver,” added Kopf. “The launch with our Windows 8.1 devices has gone well and we’re excited to see how Windows 10 can enhance the solution.”
The Technology Experience, Powered by Windows, Skycast Solutions and Ratio
The company’s new inflight entertainment tablets feature 8” Toshiba Encore 2 tablets running Windows Embedded 8.1 Industry. The devices deployed across Alaska Airlines’ fleet are operated by Skycast Solutions, Microsoft’s partner on the program. Skycast has deep experience in the aviation space and their CEO, Bill Boyer, actually invented the first stored content portable IFE device.
“Moving to Windows tablets enables us to provide a cutting edge experience for Alaska’s travelers,” noted Greg Latimer, President Skycast Solutions. “In particular, the robust security capabilities allow us to work with Hollywood studios to load ‘Early Window’ [still in theater] movies that wouldn’t be available without similar safeguards.”
Guests will be able to enjoy the tablet and corresponding app experience once the aircraft has reached cruising altitude. The tablets offer a multitude of services for customers to take advantage of, ranging from movies, TV shows, music, e-publications, and games. The device supports usage for the duration of the flight, at which point, the device is recharged for the next departure.
Alaska Airlines is also teaming up with digital engineering and design partner, Ratio, to integrate technologies, develop entertainment apps, and design the embedded experience. To improve the experience for their guests even further, Ratio aggregates user information to deliver real time analytics through Azure Data Factory, helping Alaska better understand content use case scenarios.
“The Ratio telemetry, powered by the Azure Data Factory, allows Alaska Airlines to understand the entertainment scenarios that its guests prefer and track content popularity,” added Russ Whitman, Chief Strategy Officer at Ratio. “Enabling Alaska to curate content that best serves the traveler is a perfect demonstration of what’s possible when you bring together amazing partners committed to creating an exceptional user experience.”
The airline industry is incredibly fast-paced, with very little margin for error on the customer experiences front. We are proud to be a part of Alaska Airlines’ commitment to deliver world class service and experiences to its customers as a part of Alaska Beyond. For additional information on the Alaska Airlines story, check out our case study.
Windows is helping to power great customer experiences across a variety of industries. And within organizations,Windows 8.1 Enterprise helps takes care of the essentials – letting you manage personal devices in your organization, utilize your investments in your enterprise infrastructure, and enhance the security of your environment. And if you haven’t already, we encourage you to check-out the Windows 10 Technical Preview – we are thrilled about what it will be able to offer for business customers.

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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