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Spotify is among the top three applications for streaming and sharing music, having grown significantly in recent years. That makes being associated with it appealing for other applications.  Instagram and Facebook already have options for users to broadcast the song(s) they’re currently jamming to.  Now Snapchat is joining the party.

Spotify is happy with the new relationship saying, “With Spotify, you can listen to your favorite music and podcasts anytime, anywhere. With Snapchat, you can share what you’re up to instantaneously. Soon you’ll be able to combine the two seamlessly and share what you’re listening to in a Snap story.” Here’s how it will work: Users will share their songs to Snapchat via Spotify. To begin with, there will not be a reverse share feature like Instagram has. Users will load a Spotify song into their Snap story and viewers will see the song thumbnail that links to the song on Spotify’s platform. There have been several third party hacks that let you share Spotify songs on Snapchat, but this one will be the real thing.

Mobile tech company, DeNA, just released a Nintend-based, free-to-play Pokemon game called Pokemon Masters for iOS and Android phones. The game involves players forming teams of trainers and fighters. The combat involves three teams of trainers and fighters in combat with each other on the artificial island of Pasio. This exciting new contribution to the Pokemon gaming series started with a popular first week debut. According to Sensor Tower estimates, Pokemon Masters had a great first week having earned about $26 million.  It may be free-to-play, but if you want to really compete you will need to increase your chances with expert coaching.  That costs money. The strong opening week – second in the series to Pokemon Go – means that players are willing to spend to enhance their chances. Sixty-two percent of the revenue came from Japan, Nintendo’s home market, which was followed by United States, Hong Kong, Taiwan and France to fill out the top five markets.  Seventy-two percent of the revenue came from iOS phones. Nintendo will also release Pokemon Sword and Shield on November 15th, as well as a special edition of the Nintendo Switch Lite.

Remember how awesome it was to play Snake on your phone?  Cell phone games have come a long, long way since those early days and so have those early games. You had the likes of Tetris, Solitaire, Black Jack, Texas Hold‘em and other card games that evolved into Words with Friends, Angry Birds and Fruit Ninja type games. Now games are at a whole new level, they’re practically console quality in your hand.

Here are five of our favorite interactive, smartphone gaming apps:

1. Fortnite

The uber popular, free console game is also available on your phone and you can “drop in” with players across all platforms – PS4, Xbox, PC, etc. The game is constantly providing new content, weapons, maps and worlds, which makes it easy to come back to on iOS and Android devices. Did we mention the best part, its free!

2. Pokemon Go

After dropping back in 2016, Pokemon Go quickly became the hottest game on the market and it remains one of the most popular, fun smartphone games to this day. Available on iOS and Android, Pokemon Go, like Fortnite, is a free to download and play. There are in-app purchases available, which is the way they make money. Wherever you go, there are Pokemon to be caught and gyms to be won and defended.  So catch them all, if you can, and hold down the gyms like you’re defending your own home!

3. Peter Panic

is a musical adventure game where you get to combine the fun nature of mini-games (think Super Mario World) with the musical aspect of Broadway. Your character is Peter, and by completing games successfully, you help him save the town theater where he loves to perform. The game is available on Android and iOS, however, if you want to save your progress, it will cost you a onetime fee of $2.99. Great for children of all ages!

4/5. Telling Lies & Her Story

We combined the two in a tie for fourth and fifth because they are practically the same game, just different versions. Created by Sam Barlow, who did Fortnite and Pokemon Go, these games are solve-the-mystery thrillers that feature real interactive clips from real actors to help you get to the bottom of the cases. Her Story is a murder mystery while Telling Lies is a multi-character story in which all characters are connected in unknown ways. Both games only available on iOS devices and cost $6.99 and $3.99 respectively. Check out video clips of each game.

 

As we hit the dog days of summer, let’s take a look at some of the top new Android Apps for August as you try to stay cool.

1. Crono

Google Chrome users, this one is right up your alley. The Crono app makes organizing your notifications easy by replicating your phone notifications on your browser. You can choose which notifications you want and they will be stored in the Google Chrome plug-in for Crono.

2. Gallery Go

A Google-based app that is a photo and video gallery. It also allows you to store GIFs and memes while it organizes your media in a visually friendly way and into folders.

3. Glitch Lab

If you like editing photos, this app is for you.  It allows you to bring more life to your favorite images by editing with hundreds of different features.

4. Kwench 

Staying hydrated in the summer is a key to good health and there may be no better way to remember to stay hydrated than by using the this app. Kwench calculates your body’s water intake based on key features such as weight, height, gender and more. When you need to drink more, it tells you.  Pretty cool right?

5. Face Pause

The feature is in the name. When you are watching a video on your phone and you turn away, Face Pause pauses your video until you look back. It operates in the background of apps like YouTube, Netflix or Amazon Video by using the front facing camera to determine whether or not you are looking.

Nintendo is close to delivering on last year’s promise to put Mario Kart on mobile devices.  The game is already being played on PCs, but it’s time for Nintendo to follow its audience to the phone where they increasingly live and breathe. Just how they adapt this well known game to the mobile medium will be interesting…what elements will they keep and what will they drop as they live within the phone’s restrictions.  The fun will be playing the new versions of Rainbow Road or Koopa Troopa Beach on your phone.

The beta version is said to be close to release, but in a break from the past, it will be available on Android devices first, which puts iOS users at the back of the line.  While nothing quite beats the classic N64 version of Mario Kart, having the ability to compete with this timeless title on your phone will be a fresh experience. Check back in for more updates on Mario Kart as the beta release unfolds.

Scientists are now using phone movements to predict personality traits. Many interesting correlations have been found between certain personality traits and phone usage style. Patterns of physical activity and social activities also predict a person’s personality type. Researchers have used tiny sensors on people’s phones to track their behavioral patterns. The speed and length we tend to walk often shows patterns about our personality types. Some of the patterns noticed from the study include the following. People with consistent movements on weekday evenings were generally more introverted. Agreeable people had more random activity patterns and were busier on weekends and weekday evenings. Friendly and compassionate females made more outgoing phone calls than any other group. Conscientious and organized people didn’t typically contact the same person frequently in a short amount of time. Sensitive and neurotic females checked their phones a lot during the night; in contrast, sensitive and neurotic males did the opposite. Inventive and curious people made and received less phone calls than others. Study leader Nan Gao said that the results of the study have exciting potential applications. Gao thinks the results of this study could be used to improve social media and online dating. He also thinks that we can use self-knowledge of our own personalities to improve our lives. It will be interesting to see how technology-based research might be able to improve our social lives in the future.