Smartphones

Math-solving phone app is the quickest way to self-study, skip homework, and/or fail your tests

I think we can all agree that math is a pretty handy thing to understand, right? A basic concept of things like fractions and algebraic equivalents is what keeps us from getting taken advantage of by con men who make such tempting offers as trading two of their shiny monies (or even three!) for our one paper money when the latter is actually of greater value.

Still, basic math is all about following the proper procedures to arrive at the one true solution, which is why you don’t get partial credit for having the wrong answer on your math assignment just because you took a novel approach and wrote the numbers with nice penmanship. As such, you can program a machine to spit out the answer in a fraction of a second, and with a new smartphone app, all you have to do is snap a picture of the math problem, and let the app take over from there.

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Transform into a Disney character with these adorable, photography-boosting smartphone cases

Last week, we looked at some adorable liquid-filled Disney iPhone cases from smartphone accessory manufacturer Hamee that let you play with the cast of Toy Story, Monsters, Inc., and Frozen. If you happen to suffer from acute aquaphobia, or just love Disney so much that you can’t look at the studio’s characters without wishing you yourself were one, though, Hamee has still got you covered, with these clever iPhone cases that will transform you into Mickey or his closest pals every time you hold up your phone to snap a picture.

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Samsung is reportedly developing a crazy phone with two screens that you might be able to fold in half

Samsung is reportedly developing a new phone that will have two screens, according to blog Sam Mobile, which has a solid track record for reporting leaked information about upcoming Samsung products.

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Pikachu will hook you up with some free tunes with this cool-looking Pokémon music smartphone app

There’s a unique art to making video game background music. It has to be engaging enough to produce an emotional response, but not so much that it becomes a distraction from the gameplay. Each piece has to quickly establish its tone, but can’t be so simplistic that it becomes repetitive on the many occasions where the music loops around for a second play during the hero’s journey across the map or epic boss fight.

For years, the Pokémon franchise has been hitting the nail on the head with its soundtracks, and if that musical accompaniment adds a special something to your quest to catch ‘em all, why can’t it do the same to a late night of studying or your commute to work? So not only will a new app let you play Pokémon music on your smartphone, it’ll even give you a regular batch of free listens.

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“Too sexy!” New Final Fantasy’s hunky male lead has his revealing costume toned down

Those of you with an interest in the Final Fantasy series, mobile gaming, and/or the male form might remember when we took an early look at Mevius Final Fantasy a few months ago. The most ambitious original mobile title yet from publisher Square Enix, the Mevius development crew is made up of Final Fantasy veterans, and the visuals that have been released are far beyond what you’d ordinarily expect from a smartphone title.

But while Square Enix apparently isn’t skimping on the production budget, it was willing to give the game’s male hero a skimpy outfit, as the first promotional images showed the main character dressed in a costume that showed off plenty of his tanned and toned back and buttocks. If that was right up your alley, though, we hope you already got a good eyeful, because Square Enix has since rethought the design and changed it to one that exposes less skin.

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New smartphone game lets lonely gamers blow up, unleash other misfortunes on lovey dovey couples

The expansion of the modern mobile game market has been a boon for romance games. The genre usually doesn’t require particularly powerful hardware specs, and the larger profit margins that come with purely digital distribution mean that even niche titles in what’s already a niche segment of video gaming can make money for their developers, all of which lets creators keep on creating and players keep on playing the virtual field of dating partners.

But there are two sides to every coin, and if the success of mobile romance games is the shiny penny’s unblemished face, what about its bitter, jaded backside? That’s now taken care of too, with a new game that gives players the power to make lovey dovey lovers explode, plus meet with a host of other unexpected tragedies.

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Charge your phone with Mickey: Cute new Disney USB cables now on sale

You can recite nearly every Disney movie by heart. Disneyland is your second home. You’ve got Mickey and all of his friends adorning nearly every item you own. No doubt about it, you’re a Disney fan. Now there’s something more to add to your collection and let you show your love of the mouse: these cute new Mickey ear USB cables!

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Is smartphone pinky the new text claw? Overuse of mobile devices found to cause finger deformity

For many of us, mobile devices are an inescapable part of daily life. But for all the convenience they bring, we have to remember that there is such thing as too much of a good thing. The spread of smartphones and other mobile devices has brought with it a slew of ailments caused by overuse.

You may have heard of – or even currently suffer from – “text claw,” which is the pain you get in your wrists and hands from constant use. In addition to this and other increasing ailments is what is being called “smartphone pinky“, which is classified as pain and even temporary deformity of the pinky finger from, you guessed it, excessive smartphone use. If you’re reading this on your phone now, you may want to adjust the way you’re holding your mobile device.

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New game lets you save the world with your vacuum and toaster…who are also beautiful anime girls!

Released a little less than two months ago, smartphone game Touken Ranbu, with a cast of characters made up of famous swords from history transformed into handsome young men, has proven itself to be a solid hit. It’s just the latest success story, though, in the established video game genre of “many attractive people who’re actually anthropomorphized [something].”

Still, samurai swords seem like a pretty good well to draw from in creating heroic video game characters. But can you replicate that kind of enthusiastic response with  household appliances and consumer electronics though? We’re about to find out, with the upcoming title Kaden Shojo, which has you saving the world with a the help of a toaster, washing machine, and refrigerator, all of whom, of course, take the form of cute anime girls.

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Clever trick gives you an anime face to go with your cosplay, and all you need is a smartphone

The tricky thing about cosplay is that the costume only makes up half of an anime or video game character’s appearance. Sure, you may have every frill, button, and buckle exactly recreating the original artwork, but there’s still the problem of trying to match the character’s physical features.

Earlier this month, we looked at a set of strap-on breasts to give yourself the sort of bounteous bust that’s so common in Japanese animation. Now, one Twitter user has come up with an easy way to replicate the character’s eyes, mouth, and even facial expression, and all you need is a smartphone or tablet.

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Arithmetic-based smartphone alarm clock app will wake up your brain or destroy your eardrums

There’s a fundamental weakness to alarm clocks, and that’s how easy it is to shut them off or hit the snooze button. Especially if you’re the kind of person who keeps your smartphone within arm’s reach of the bed, odds are you can kill that sleep-impeding buzzer and be happily snoozing again within seconds, meaning you’ll get plenty of rest but probably never be on-time for work or school.

Expressed in its most basic form, the problem lies in being able to shut off the alarm in less time than it takes for your brain to fully wake up. Thanks to a useful smartphone app, though, one Japanese Twitter user says he’s completely solved his oversleeping problem, and if he doesn’t necessarily hop out of bed with a smile every morning, he does at least wake up screaming and ready to kick his mental facilities into high gear.

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Still no hoverboards, but 2015 has now given us this cool Back to the Future Delorean iPhone case

Now that 2015 is upon us, futurists and move fans alike are up in arms about all the cool things Back to the Future II promised we’d have by now, but still don’t. Where are our self-lacing shoes, they ask? When can we except to be devoured by holographic advertisements, huh? And what in God’s name is the holdup with the hoverboards?

What all these complaints fail to recognize, though, is all of the other amazing stuff that’s become part of our daily lives. For example, not only do we have the Internet and all the wondrous knowledge it provides, but we can access it from our mobile phones! That’s something even Back to the Future II couldn’t imagine, which is why it’s taken until the real 2015 for someone to make these sweet iPhone cases modeled after the film’s iconic Delorean time machine.

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Is Samsung sounding the retreat on the Japanese smartphone market?

South Korean Electronics giant Samsung may soon pulling out of the smartphone market–in Japan, at least. Recent information from industry sources paints a dreary picture for the company’s prospects in the country, with Business Korea saying: “By continuing to do business in Japan, Samsung should expect more of a loss than a gain.”

So what’s to blame for its floundering smartphone sales?

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Sega seemingly saying sayonara to consoles as it downsizes, shifts focus to mobile and PC games

There was a time when the word “Nintendo” was synonymous with console video games. Literally, in that you’d hear parents say things like “Stop playing Nintendo and do your homework,” to their kids.

Rival video game company Sega put an end to that, though. Its Master System was the first post-NES console to have any sort of impact, limited as it was. More impressively, its Mega Drive/Genesis was the first 16-bit video game system, and for a period was actually the leading console in the North American market.

Sega’s tumultuous history with the console video game industry looks to be heading into its final chapter, though. Not only has the company been out of the hardware business for over a decade, Sega has announced that console software will no longer be the core element of its operations.

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An early version of Samsung’s next Galaxy phone might have just leaked

We’ve been hearing for months that Samsung may be designing the Galaxy S6 “from scratch,” but now we might have a better idea of what that actually means. Blog Phone Arena published a photo that reportedly shows an early prototype of the Galaxy S6.

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Handy bath pillow doubles as a smartphone holder, might also be giving you a hug

After a long, hard day at work or school, there’s nothing like a nice, hot bath. But then again, a lot of people also like to unwind by kicking back and sending a few emails, watching a video or two, or perusing the Internet’s most profound sources of knowledge on their smartphone.

Rather than choose between the two options, some people opt to take their phone into the tub with them. But if you’re so tired you’re craving two indulgences at once, having to grip your phone in your hand while you soak can really put a damper on maximizing your rejuvenating/loafing time.

So instead of doing that job yourself, why not get one of these inflatable bath pillows that double as a smartphone holder to do it for you?

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Historical Japanese swords turn into hot and battle-hardened Blade Boys in new video game

These days, one of the quickest and most popular methods for stocking a video game with a cast of attractive anime-style characters is to pick a class of item and anthropomorphize the heck out of it. There’s currently no hotter mobile game than Kantai Collection, in which players command a fleet of pretty girls who’re all modeled after World War II-era Japanese warships. If naval history isn’t your thing, you can also find titles featuring comely cars and moe mushrooms.

There’s a new entry in the subgenre though, and judging from its all-pretty boy roster of characters, it’s been designed with female otaku gamers in mind. As such, it’s no surprise that the men of Touken Ranbu are all based on something long and hard…plus sharp, as they’re all anthropomorphized swords.

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Chinese iPhone smuggler fails to deliver illicit goods, does deliver laughs with his crazy outfit

With his stylishly coifed hair, affected pose, and outlandish outfit, you could at first mistake the man in the above photo for a model. And given how ridiculous his getup is, you might find it only natural that his face is concealed, because honestly, even if you were getting paid for it, it’d still be kind of embarrassing to be seen dressed like this.

Except, that’s no fashion shoot, but a photograph taken by Chinese customs authorities who caught the would-be smuggler trying to sneak a huge quantity of smartphones into mainland China in one of the clumsiest ways possible.

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New smartphone game allows you to date the man, monkey, or dessert of your dreams

A common element in Japanese dating simulator video games is that they all feature an extensive cast of potential romantic partners. Still, there are only so many characters the designers can cram into a single game, and some gamers find that the available roster of would-be boyfriends just doesn’t measure up to their preexisting celebrity or anime crush.

Seeking to solve this problem is mobile game developer GimmickPlus, with a new smartphone title that lets you drop pictures of your favorite actor or girls’ manga character straight into the game. But as we’ve seen before, when you give users a template to create romantic tension with you also give them the means to craft bizarre humor, and Fantasy Condominium-You Can Fall in Love with Your Ideal Boyfriend is no exception.

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Japanese sixth-grader calls out smartphone-loving parents over anti-video game lectures

I understand that an important part of parenting is setting boundaries for children. Until they reach a certain age, kids just don’t have the kind of foresight necessary to fully understand the consequences of all their actions, and letting preteens eat as many cookies as they want or stay up as late as they like probably isn’t the best idea.

That said, another important part of parenting is setting a good example. Fail to do that, and your kids are likely to just tune out everything you’re saying. Actually, that might be the best case scenario, since if you’re flagrantly guilty of not practicing what you preach, your kids might call you out for it, like one Japanese elementary school girl who pointed out her parents’ logical inconsistency in lecturing about keeping her video game playing to a minimum, even as they were glued to their own electronic devices.

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