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This week’s edition of our Apps of the Week roundup features a fun augmented reality app, a deck of cards that will help you mix up your fitness routine, and a two-way radio client. And as usual, we’ve got two great new games for you to check out.Holo
This app isn’t new but with all of the augmented reality talk lately, I felt it was pertinent. Holo lets you add holograms of real people and animals into your world and take photos & videos to share with friends. Choose from a variety of holograms including movie characters, celebrities, athletes, musicians and comedians, as well as fun original characters and animals. New content added weekly. Now there are a few negative reviews complaining about performance, and this seems like something that could really benefit from Apple’s new ARKit. But it’s still worth checking out. Holo is available for free.Sweat Deck
Sweat Deck is a deck of cards-style workout that will help you mix up your fitness routine with an endless combination of simple and effective workouts! The concept is simple: assign an exercise to each suit and perform them as cards are drawn from the deck—do you have what it takes to make it through an entire deck of cards? Features include a built-in list of common exercises to choose from, joker cards for adding an extra challenge, deck and rep multipliers for higher intensity workouts, and more. Sweat Deck is available for free (with one IAP).Radio Callbox
Have an instant 2-way, push-to-talk audio connection with friends, family, or colleagues, without the burden of creating an account, logging in, or joining another social network. Now I know that there are other apps that do this, but the no-account needed really stood out to me. And some of you might be thinking if you have the cell service to download and use this app, why not just call the person? But I do think there are times and situations that are more conducive to 2-way radio-style conversations. Maybe a family uses this while camping, or at a theme park. Radio Callbox is available for free.Touchdowners
Touchdowners is a simple, yet crazy physics-based sports game where you need to grab the ball and touch it down in your opponents end zone. You control a team of three highly trained Touchdowners who must pass, wrestle and jump their way to the end zone then slam the ball to the ground. Features include an arcade mode with global rankings, and a head-to-head 2 player mode. Touchdowners is available for free (with a single IAP).Age of Rivals
Age of Rivals was inspired by strategy boardgames and designed to be ideal for 1 or 2 players to play in 10 minutes with plenty of depth and replayability. It’s the “anti-deckbuilding” CCG, where having only minimal control over your deck encourages endless variety in each game and puts the focus on in-the-moment tactical decision-making. Unfortunately, there is no way to play this game offline at the moment (developers say they are working on that), but there are also no in-app purchases. All game content unlocks at a constant pace just by playing the game. Age of Rivals is available for $0.99.More apps to check out
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Now that the festivities of the holidays are winding down, it is easier to sit back and reflect on everything we’ve been through this year. Apple released a number of new and innovative products in 2023, and we have been lucky enough to get our hands on them.
If you unwrapped an iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPad Pro, Apple Watch, or Apple TV this year, you are probably looking for some content to fill those folders. We’ve got a list of apps and games that will give you something to do while you let the family settle.
Synth musicians will be happy to learn that Kirnu Cream is now available on the iPad. With it, you can create complex chords with simple actions. It features chord memory and a pattern sequencer, as well as tools for creating tracks with 12 patterns per track. The tools section provides additional sound editing with data tracks that can be looped with different modes. It is one of the most popular MIDI arpeggiators on the market. It also has all of the traditional synth controls, like filters, envelope controls, distortion, delay, phaser, and more. This app is available on the iPad for $9.99.Reiner Knizia’s The Confrontation
At the height of the Lord of the Rings popularity, famed board game designer Reiner Knizia created a Stratego-style board game set in the world of Middle Earth. Players must help Frodo get to Mordor with the help of his eight traveling companions. This digital version removes the licensing aspect of the game, but it is still a fantasy world filled with orcs and goblins. Players either try to move their team across the board, or stop their opponent from crossing the board. The problem is, you can’t see what your opponent is up to. So, if they hid their strongest teammate in plain sight, you might accidentally end up crushed before you even start. This game is available on the iPad for $9.99.
Synth musicians are having a good week. modstep is a robust MIDI sequencer for the iPad that allows you to control all of your digital instruments in one place. It is compatible with In-App Audio, Audiobus, and even your desktop audio mixing apps. It comes with a built-in drum sampler with filter, reverb, and delay and is modulateable. It has five main sections, the session view, a step sequencer, a keyboard layout with looping, a template editor, and an instrument control page. You can create and record rich full-instrument tracks and become the next big rock star of the decade. This app is available for $19.99.
The development company that brought us one of the most authentic looking flight simulation games is back with a new title. This one is set in the sunny skies over California, San Francisco to be specific. The company claims the mapping landscape is so realistic that you could actually find your house if you live in the Bay Area, which one customer has apparently managed to do. The game features a number of different plane options with each cockpit meticulously detailed for a hyper realistic look. It has a 24-hour day and night cycle, weather effects, and volumetric clouds. You can fly over such landmarks as the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, AT&T Park, and more. This game is available for $4.99.Got a new Apple device? Check out these apps More apps to check out this weekend These apps have been updated
To reiterate, there is no way to boost your signal with a mobile app. The list below is meant to help you identify potential hiccups in your network that may be slowing your speeds. Alternatively, there may be apps on your phone hogging data resources, and some apps on this list help with that as well. Clearing up these types of issues can usually increase speed.GlassWire
See also: The best privacy apps for Android to keep your anonymity intactIP Tools Network Cell Info
Price: Free / $1.49
Network Cell Info helps you find the nearest cell towers. The bad signal comes from a variety of factors. One of which may just be the distance from a tower. An app like this shows you where the towers are to see how far you are away. It should work on both GSM and CDMA carriers, and it supports dual-SIM as well. Some other features include signal measurements and a crowd-sourced signal finder. The pro version is $1.49, and you need to unlock some of the features.
See also: Our guide to the best phone plans for every type of userOpenSignal
See also: The best internet providers in the USWi-Fi Analyzer
There are a bunch of Wi-Fi Analyzers on mobile. We like this one because it’s relatively easy to use, gets frequent updates, and works really well. The app not only shows you the Wi-Fi signal from your home but those from nearby homes as well. You can get a really good sense of the network congestion in your space with this app. From there, you can adjust your router settings to broadcast on less cluttered channels, and that may help your signal issues. This one supports 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz connections and a bunch of other stuff.Bonus: Your router’s app
Get a signal booster from your mobile carrier
Verizon knows how to hide their towers.
Sometimes there is no fix, and you need some extra hardware. Most mobile carriers have an option for a signal booster. A signal booster is a piece of hardware you install in your house. The boosters work in two different ones. One type receives a signal from the OEM and boosts it to function properly in your house. The other type connects to your house’s Internet and connects to carrier servers from there. All three major US carriers have them, and some of them do some unique stuff.
Signal boosters are generally not too expensive, and a tech will install one if you don’t have the know-how to do it yourself. The boxes should fix any weak signal issues inside of your home, but they obviously don’t work when you’re out and about. Below we have official signal boosters from the big three US OEMs, and they work a lot better than those fake signal booster apps in the Play Store.
T-Mobile’s signal booster
AT&T’s MicroCell signal booster
Verizon’s signal boosters
Use your Wi-Fi when available
Robert Triggs / Android Authority
A common tactic is to simply avoid your mobile data unless you have to. Many devices these days let you make phone calls over Wi-Fi, and a lot of people can simply make calls over Facebook Messenger or a similar data-only service. By using Wi-Fi calling and avoiding your mobile network, it doesn’t matter if your signal isn’t great indoors because you’re not using it anyway.
BU Golfers Defend Their Patriot League Title This Weekend
This year’s captain Zhangcheng Guo (ENG’21) was an All-Patriot League Second Team honoree in 2023. Photo by Kevin Edelson
Varsity SportsBU Golfers Defend Their Patriot League Title This Weekend
The BU women’s golf team has been the reigning Patriot League champion since April 2023. Two years later, the Terriers will have a chance to keep the title for another year at this weekend’s 2023 Patriot League Championship at Saucon Valley Country Club in Bethlehem, Pa.
Chalas has been the Patriot League Coach of the Year for that same two-year time span, earning 2023 end-of-season honors alongside Hanako Kawasaki (Questrom’22), then a freshman and the first player in conference history to be named both Rookie of the Year and Player of the Year.
Kawasaki joins graduate student and team captain Zhangcheng Guo (ENG’21) as the team’s lone upperclassmen. With three sophomore and one freshman player, Chalas says, Kawasaki and Guo have played a major role in bringing the team together this season.
“Our captain and Kawasaki really welcomed the new girls and brought them into the fold quickly,” he says. “There really wasn’t much of a learning curve or time to get acclimated to BU culture and BU golf.”
It hasn’t taken long for the newcomers to make an impact on the golf course. Alice Fan (CAS’23) owns four top-five finishes in five events, while Kristen Min Ju Kim (COM’23) and Flair Kuan (Questrom’24) each have three top-10s. Monica Yu (COM’23) has two top-10s, and Kuan and Kawasaki have each finished first overall once this season.
Guo says that despite the pandemic, being captain this year has proven relatively easy thanks to her fellow players. “The team is so self-driven, I don’t really have to worry about what my teammates are doing,” she says. “As the oldest, I’ve been actually pretty relaxed because of my dependable teammates.”
At the team level, the Terriers own four wins this season, with one third-place finish in a 12-team event, where BU shot just 11 strokes off the lead. The program has never had such a strong start to a season, and Guo says this year’s results mark an encouraging trend.
“The team is doing better and better, and being more competitive every year,” she says.
The squad has also been successful away from the greens. Their 3.70 team GPA in the fall semester was the best across BU Athletics. Chalas says some of his student-athletes took their fall classes from their homes in Asia, often requiring them to attend virtual classes in the middle of the night.
“Every one of the six players has a strong will to succeed, academically and in competitive golf,” the coach says. “They expect a lot out of themselves. I think that’s a major common denominator.”
The team finally reunited this spring, getting back on the course for the first time in March. Chalas says none of his players have missed a single practice this semester, and he credits their work ethic for the team’s success during an anything-but-normal season.
“It’s really a fantastic group to be working with,” he says. “I’m really lucky as a coach.”
The Terrier golfers will shoot to become back-to-back Patriot League champions this weekend when they take on Bucknell, Holy Cross, Lehigh, Navy, and Richmond in a 54-hole tournament at Saucon Valley Country Club in Bethlehem, Pa. Spectators are not permitted at the event, but fans can follow the action through chúng tôi and @BUGameDay on Twitter.
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Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority
Bad things happen to good people. It’s been that way for the entirety of human history and that won’t change long into the future. Thoughts and prayers are nice, but they don’t help in the event of an emergency. Your smartphone, on the other hand, can help. In most cases, nothing beats the power of a phone call or text. It’s the fastest way to get a hold of authorities or loved ones in the event of an emergency. However, there are some apps and other methods to help as well. Here are the best emergency apps and other emergency things your phone can do. Your first step in any emergency situation is to call your country’s emergency line and request assistance immediately.
We’d also like to recommend PulledOver (Google Play link) for folks who may need to get a hole of someone important after being pulled over by the police.Emergency by American Red Cross
See also: The best medical apps for AndroidMedical ID
See also: The best health apps for AndroidICE by Sylvain Lagache
See also: The best survival apps for AndroidOffline Survival Manual Zello Walkie Talkie
See also: The best walkie talkie apps and PTT apps for AndroidAndroid and iOS built-in emergency apps Whatever your family decides to do
We could drone on and on about various tactics and ideas. However, the best bet is to sit down with your loved ones and concoct your own plan. The best plans for families are ones that integrate well with whatever services and devices they already use. Why make everybody download a new messenger app when the one you have works fine? It’s easier to implement new things if it doesn’t change the way your family behaves on its own anyway. Having a family unit that is well educated in emergency services may save their lives or, someday, maybe even yours.General tips and tricks
There are some useful tips and tricks that are useful in almost any emergency situation. This is also an excellent list of ideas for stuff you can teach and plan with your family:
Enable battery saving mode for elongated emergencies. You don’t know how long the power will be out after a hurricane or how long it’ll be before you reach another power outlet. Don’t blow your battery load on silly things like syncing your email. Power save modes turn that stuff off to keep your battery from draining too quickly.
Additionally, we can’t recommend external battery packs enough. They’re relatively inexpensive and can provide some much needed power. Most of them fit in a backpack or even a pocket in some cases. It’s not difficult having one around at all times.
In case of violent situations, put your phone on silent or use Android’s native Do Not Disturb mode. You don’t want a phone call, text message, or other notifications alerting attackers to your presence.
Use other tools on your phone. Every phone these days has a camera flash that is usable as a flashlight. GPS can help authorities or loved ones pinpoint your position or help you navigate to safe spots within your city.
Find apps that help with basic stuff. An offline survival guide for wilderness emergencies, a knot-tying guide on YouTube, etc. There many first aid apps on Google Play with basic procedure for choking and other such issues. These are fringe cases, but why not cover as many bases as possible while we’re here?
Use your camera to take images and send them to authorities (or emergency contacts) so they know what’s happening and where. However, we only recommend you do this if you can do it safely.
Use common sense. Emergencies can be frightening. People get amped up on adrenaline and do all kinds of dumb stuff. Don’t be like them.
When NFT mania took over the crypto-verse, the Internet was flooded with NFT references, success stories, and of course, a lot of hype. Over the last year, the crypto-community has seen the phenomenal rise of non-fungible tokens. In fact, the NFT market space grew by nearly 300% in 2023 while NFT sales volume rose to $2.5 billion in the first half of 2023. Needless to say, this was a huge hike from figures of $13.7 million in the first half of 2023.
Following the emergence of Cryptopunks and Apes, NFTs emerged as a major trend and 8 September saw one of the largest NFT events in history as more than 18K+ addresses competed to mint 7000 NFTs from a collection called The Sevens.
This contributed to the highest recorded mean gas price, touching more than 5k Gwei in merely 10 minutes. Apart from heightened retail interest, an influx of institutional investors also powered the rise of NFTs.NFTs pumping altcoins?
High retail and institutional interest have been key to the rise of the crypto-verse, but NFTs have had their own impact on the market. Here, an interesting trend to note was that while most of the networks wanted to jump on the NFT bandwagon, only some could reap the true benefits of the same.
Notably, low capped altcoins gained momentum while the NFT fever peaked but it was short-lived. On the other hand, larger cap altcoins like MATIC and Litecoin saw price-driven growth. In fact, it seemed like NFTs were playing a major role in pumping certain alts.
For instance, recently, the Litecoin Foundation announced the launch of OmniLite, a decentralized token creation platform that makes it possible to produce decentralized tokens and smart contracts along with crypto-assets such as tokens and NFTs. In reaction to this, LTC’s price held well in the market even as the market drowned.
Additionally, Origin partnered with Polygon to offer mainstream Layer 2 NFTs and the news of the same aided MATIC’s recovery after the pump. In fact, MATIC saw a 3% hike in just 24 hours.
Notably, however, this NFT magic wand didn’t work for all altcoins. In the case of Axie Infinity, for instance, at press time, a huge number of old coins were moved. Now, while this could have been an attempt to shoot the price up, it went in vain. Axie is an NFT-based platform, but the alt’s price seemed to struggle even during the NFT boom.Peaked institutional interest
At the time of writing, Alibaba’s Tmall sold out mooncake NFTs, while Chinese Internet giant Tencent also made a foray into the world of NFTs, launching an NFT trading platform named Huanhe.
Despite this pouring institutional interest, the broader NFT market has seen a pullback lately. In fact, daily volumes came down to around $56 million on 12 September – An almost 50% fall in volumes from 9 September.
Finally, it is important to note that NFTs are still illiquid. Their value depends on the hype and as long as that hype stays, NFTs will have solid value.
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