Great smartphone games to get ready for "the big game"

Posted by Harshad

Great smartphone games to get ready for "the big game"

Great smartphone games to get ready for "the big game"

Posted: 29 Jan 2014 05:58 PM PST

The big game is next weekend and most Americans will tell you it's a lot more than just a football game. Many people make an event out of the game with parties, barbeques, and betting pools, even if their favorite team isn't in the running. My team lost last weekend, but you can bet I'll be watching just for the fanfare. Even the commercials shown during the game are an event in themselves with advertisers spending huge amounts of money for 30 second and one minute spots.

While you wait for next Sunday's festivities to kick off, I've put together a collection of mobile games to get you excited for the main event. All but one of the games here have versions for both Android and iOS, with Ted Ginn Kick return being the odd man out.

In Madden NFL 25 so you can see the whole field.

(Credit: Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET)

Madden NFL 25 (iOS|Android) is the latest from storied video game football franchise, but it's not what you would expect if you had only played on consoles.

You get a set amount of plays you can use in Madden NFL 25, but you'll need to unlock additional formations by playing games and earning coins. As a freemium game, you also have the option to buy what they call card packs (for specif... [Read more]


Tales of Phantasia gets a US release on iOS

Posted: 29 Jan 2014 04:33 PM PST

Originally released for the SNES in Japan, in 1995, Tales of Phantasia steadily gained a cult following both in its home country and abroad for its creative gameplay system and storyline. So much so that fan-translations of the game became widely famous due to the lack of an official English release. It wasn't until 2006 that Namco Bandai finally released an English voice and text port for the Game Boy Advanced. Eight years after that, we finally see a mobile release on iOS; but the direction they chose to take it in is sorely disappointing.

(Credit: NamcoBandai Games)

From a design standpoint, the game is an impressive update. Featuring a virtual joystick plus tap control for movement and a swipe-based battle system, Namco did a great job bringing the old classic up to par. The graphic, sounds, and interface all handle nicely with an iPhone or iPad. But whatever brownie points the development team has garnered with fans, they were easily tossed out the window with the money-making strategy Namco chose to adopt.

Swipe mechanic in battle.

(Credit: Screenshot by Tuong Nguyen/CNET)

Tales of Phantasia is free to play with an emphasis on in-app pur... [Read more]


Get ready for multicolor fonts -- maybe in motion, too

Posted: 29 Jan 2014 10:57 AM PST

M is for Marcus: this detail from an illuminated manuscript in the British Library shows what's possible with chromatic fonts.

(Credit: British Library)

For a few decades now, fonts have been monochromatic -- just the thing for putting black ink on white paper. But publishing has gone digital, and the era of the multicolored font is beginning.

The Motion Pictures Experts Group (MPEG) standards group last week began a project to standardize chromatic fonts -- those with multiple colors. Vladimir Levantovsky, a Monotype Imaging employee who serves as chairman of the group, said he expects to merge technology from Mozilla, Adobe, Google, and Microsoft into a standard.

The impetus for the work was the need to support emoji, the colorful emoticons, icons, and pictures that gradually are expanding in use. But the work will expand to traditional typography, too, Levantovsky said.

"I am sure this technology will bring us a whole new era of polychromatic fonts," he said. "Emoji is just one of the use cases and it is certainly a significant one because it was the catalyst for color font creation, but I am sure there is much more to come."

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Bing Rewards make their way to iOS and Android

Posted: 29 Jan 2014 10:23 AM PST

Bing Rewards on iOS.

(Credit: Bing)

Microsoft on Wednesday announced you can now use its free service which rewards you for searching with Bing, called Bing Rewards, on iOS and Android. Unfortunately, those with Windows Phones will have to wait, as the company its still working on bringing this feature to its own mobile operating system.

It's worth noting this not an app you can download in the App Store or Google Play, but instead a specially designed mobile site that tracks your search behavior so that you can earn rewards.

Related stories:

With Bing Rewards you earn points which you can redeem for gift cards from Amazon, Starbucks, Fandango, and Groupon, to name a few. You can also get free Skype credits, free months of Xbox Live, or turn... [Read more]


Mozilla to rekindle Firefox OS interest at MWC

Posted: 29 Jan 2014 07:49 AM PST

(Credit: Screenshot by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET)

Mozilla lit up Mobile World Congress in Barcelona last year with its flashy debut of Firefox OS, the light, browser-based mobile operating system intended to sweep across emerging markets as a low-cost Android alternative.

Related stories:

While several handsets did see the light of day, including the Alcatel OneTouch Fire and a trio of Geeksphones, the OS certainly felt underbaked to us.

Now, Mozilla will return to the mobile megashow with a pre... [Read more]


Shoo, IE7: To escape aging browser, jobs site buys its clients new PCs

Posted: 29 Jan 2014 06:09 AM PST

(Credit: NursingJobs.us)

For some folks, that elderly computer saddled with out-of-date software just turned into a ticket to a shiny new machine.

That's because NursingJobs, a site that connects nurses with employers that want to hire them, said it'll buy computers for some of its customers who are still using Microsoft's old IE7 browser.

"We are offering to buy a new computer with a modern browser for any of our customers who are stuck with IE7," said NursingJobs' Robert Gentel in a blog post the other day. "We determined that it would cost us more to support a browser from 2006 in 2014 and beyond than it would to help our clients upgrade their legacy hardware."

A free new computer sounds like a good deal, but some people in corporate environments don't have a choice. Indeed, the need for compatibility with older in-house applications is often a key reason that old browsers linger even for people who'd personally move to modern software.

Supporting older browsers is often a struggle for Web developers who want to take advantage of new programming interfaces and faster JavaScript performance. Chrome and Firefox now automatically update themselves, but the browser market was a slower-moving place in 2006. Microsoft hasn't pushed aggressively toward auto-updating Internet Explorer, arguing... [Read more]



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