Monday, June 30, 2014

3 Essential Android Apps For Ramadan

3 Essential Android Apps For Ramadan

   Today marks the second, or third, day of Ramadan, depending on where you live. What is Ramadan, you ask? It is a month in the lunar calendar that Muslims fast in. Fasting is not eating or drinking from dawn to sunset. That's a lot of effort. It is also a very fun and engaging experience as it reminds all Muslims to remember their God, encourages good deeds such as charity, praying, reading the Quran, and so on.

  One of the things that set Ramadan apart from solo fasting is that everyone gets to feel what the poor people go through. Some non-Muslims even tried fasting and it is a good spiritual experience too. It's more about morals and a good reminder to us all about how we should share our food with those who cannot.

  Fasting also has many benefits, and not weight loss. It helps to slow down atherosclerosis and even heal heart problems relating to that. The weight loss trick only works with some (very lucky) people.

  That is why I finally decided on the best three android applications for all the Muslims out there who really are spending their time reading the Quran, praying and remembering that fasting is not only refraining from food and drink, but also spiritual commitment. The list is in no special order and their jobs/purposes do not overlap.

1- Quran

"The best interface is lack of it." ~me, just now. Seriously though, this one uses the stock android UI which means it is fast and wouldn't need so much cache loaded at any one time, which is perfect for its very function. It also allows you to download the MP3 files of either the entire Quran, or per Surah, of the reciter of your choice. They have a vast library.

 But it doesn't stop at that. Every Ayah is highlighted when it is playing as an audio. Even with the app running in background, the active notification will always update itself corresponding to the correct Ayah being played.

This one has fully functional multiple language modes. It is packed with features and isn't bad at it too. And has outstanding UI for the performance and functionality it has.

Basically this app guesstimates your location when you refuse to open GPS, but it's not bad. Then it locates all the prayer times from the closest mosque, or from your city, and viola! You can get notifications of prayer times complete with custom sound and preloaded serene Athan tracks.

It also has compass with Qibla arrow according to your city, which you can refresh anytime. There is also a widget, and who doesn't want that? Disadvantages are that it has a little too much complex process to find the notification type that you need.

it doesn't have the red frame

  This one was recommended by a friend, because it actually differs from country to country. This is a low sized application for converting Georgian dates to Hijri calendar (the lunar months I mentioned earlier) and vice versa via a single click. It follows calculations not observations, which is why it's handy. I, however, do not like it's old fashioned look and the fact that it has not been updated, but it does its function well and has low memory requirement.

  So there you have it. Three essentials for any Muslim, especially ones who actually want to change this Ramadan. Remember, don't be Ramadan Muslims!

  Now on some information on the resource pack, I will not be adding any more blocks and will currently focus on making a low memory version compatible with other resource packs to stack, also I will plan to add the new blocks to older texture pack. If there's any blocks I must change, it's quartz ore. I'll leave the crops and nether crops after I fix the compatibility issues. Sorry about that, because it will be an even longer delay. Play More Zelda!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Google I/O, what does this mean for 2014?

Google's plans for the future

Google's I/O conference in 2014 rather had a hidden message that was hinted on several times. Google revealed many pleasing OS updates, so let's get to them first.

First, Google started with new changes and additional new software on cars, TV, and wearable devices. Only wearable devices sync directly with the smartphone OS.

 from TechRadar

Android L, or 4.5, is the new operating system from Google, said to be the first to support 64 bit, has much enhanced performance and another great addition is the unified UI that optimizes speed. Google also stressed again on speed of apps, and assured that the new UI has shorter lines of code to use but easier and gives a good result. (That's good because I'm secretly and lazily making an android app and wouldn't bother with the UI)

 really looking like a good watch OS even if not square.

Another OS announced is the Android Wear, the OS for your watch. This OS will, like Google Glass, rely heavily on voice recognition, and prioritizes speed of loading text over complicated swiping techniques. Android Wear so far makes every wearable device before it seem like a slight disappointment, as notifications are not to be seen twice on Wear. Overall, it's simple and looks good, also the defaults don’t look too plain so hopefully developers will use them since they do require much processing from the smartphone side. This would also allow low powered and lower priced smart watches to gain an advantage. As I wrote before, wearable devices market shouldn’t get too shiny, fancy, or expensive.

Google really thought this OS through. There is room for customisation but the defaults are not bad.

From these two paragraphs, there is a lot to be implied on Google's future plans. An operating system optimizing performance and speed left gap for heating, heavy battery usage, and overpowered background processes. Google countered that by having a battery safe mode similar to the one the Samsung innovated to limit the number of apps with high system requirements. But what's the point of having a good processor and not using it?

Clearly, Google no longer wants you to make such an investment in a smartphone. Google plans that you use a tablet instead, so you would never take it outside and worry about the battery. This is a step up for smartphone gaming, but not for smartphones. Google does have a plan that tablets advance faster than phones and get more priority in marketing.

Bitstrip about when gaming catches on to wearable devices

Your phone, on the other hand, will not be ignored. It will turn into a peripheral Bluetooth device to connect to Wear and/or Glass. Google may not be expecting much from Glass, but it is certain of watches and fitness bands to go into style. Then at the end of the day, you go home and sync all your notifications with your tablet again for no reason, and then you charge your phone for another day to use with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth in the street, but you won’t be using your phone for actual applications, just notifications and sync, and call of course. Your tablet will be the real android device to host the heavy applications and games, and with the introduction of phablets thanks to Samsung, why not even call through it? Although that won't be a necessity.

This prediction is backed up by Google's I/O itself, and also by some of their videos on Google developers. Samsung really paved the way for them on Wear, and their unique UI shares some history with windows phones but without looking plain, dull, or ugly. Material Design and Google Now look really good, and I hope they allow older phones to get the OS minus the hardware. Google is aware of performance = gaming math and even introduced a DIY virtual reality kit for your smartphone, making it appear like they do not plan to let go of smartphones yet.

Overall this is good news and also rather peculiar. I am curious to what the future may hold. However, they aren’t fascinatingly positive. In the end, developers will just make their own UI to be considered innovative and waste a lot of processing power on background processes, and no matter how all the regulations that google does on their Bluetooth connection, battery consumption, etc., all the apps will ignore all that and attempt to suck the life and mobile data of your phone. A better processor gives more room for that too.

This is not the first time I make predictions, and they've also not been wrong before, and this one isn't apparent but backed up by what Google said itself. Do you believe that Google will focus on tablets in the near future? Let us know in the comments. And Play More Zelda!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Nintendo's E3: Captain Toad announced

If you are not familiar with who captain Toad is, then allow me to explain. In Super Mario Galaxy 1 & 2, he used to be a person with his crew (all different colours and personalities) that appear in certain levels to give you hints. In the first Galaxy game they could move into the observatory. However, in 2 they became a lot more interesting, with the Captain of their iconic ship being a big coward. It's coming December 2014. Yay! I can't wait to control an even more bigger coward than Luigi.

A complete new Zelda in 2015 is announced, which is cool. Hyrule Warriors is more exciting for me, because I like Techmo's games in general as well. The new Zelda has a new graphics and possibly a wider area. Just look at how everyday Link has a plastic surgery!!

Apparently they got bored from Mario, and they are making a Mario Maker on Wii U for 2015 as well. It has a cool switch between retro and new, and the grid looks really versatile, allowing a lot of room for creativity.

All in all, I am not excited about the Wii U. At first, I wanted it, but only when there is an extensive library of games that I want. This might change my mind, but I also want Final Fantasy and Elder Scrolls to change my mind as well. I hope this E3 changes my mind.

Don't forget to watch the whole stream of all E3, here.

Apparently, a new character is in Super Smash Bros. I won't ruin it because it's cool. By the way, are they planning to make an anime?

best 2 characters for potentially best anime

Apparently they are inviting people for a tournament in real life. 

Monday, June 9, 2014

Watch E3 now

It's E3! I can't wait to watch everything and talk about it. I was watching the stream of EA from their own twitch, but you go ahead and watch all the E3 twitch streams from one video channel.

Watch live video from Twitch on

I was watching EA and they were talking about battlefield. They had a #BFhardline (not sure) hashtag going on. They said you can download the beta? They had a rooftop and people playing under the sun. They announced Dawngate after that, a PC MMORPG such as aria games style and bastion artsyle. Just like the ones that anime uses. 

Everything looks nice so far. I find it weird that they will enter the online games market, because it's really different than shooters, sports games, and everything else they've done so far. These games don;t focus on quality but tend to have trumendos amounts of mesh to take up you PC usage anyway, which makes them bland. If it had 1st person view then I'd understand the seemingly useless attempts in quality, but I am very excited to see what will they do.

Real Life

 BF on PS4

I don't have much time to talk about the whole E3, but I might soon. Keep Playing Zelda

Monday, June 2, 2014

Short Announcement

Short Announcement

First, I cannot post something lately, so you might want to enjoy some other post, click randomly on any word in this sentence and you will check an article that has less views so you probably have not read, or even a popular post. Note: this post is rushed and not really planned.

Second, I'd like to share some changes that I made to my twitch. I tried to upload a picture for my channel when it is offline, and a banner for my profile to invite more people to the blog. I am not always that good at making fake photoshop pictures or even a little photo editing, but I am also not that bad. I used a picture of a cannibalistic zombie giving his back to the sunset, and staring into the dark future that I use as a desktop background. Relax, it's Minecraft, and it's my own texture pack so it is a salesman holding dog food.

  Now the dimensions were frustrating, and not all of it was visible in both the banner and the channel, so I changed it for the channel so the main parts show, but I'll post the original on that I put for the banner here:

  I became a PC gamer, and I'm planning to buy Skyrim again for the PC all so that I can broadcast about it. Find me next month on Twitch! I also linked it to my Twitter, both under the name BluecometZola. I might try to use youtube, but really I want to save all my internet speed for Twitch. If I do, I will write it down.

  I'd like to hear your opinion on the banner. I was in a rush, and didn't know where to mention Zelda, since I am not planning to broadcast it.

  I tried to make a picture of myself in third person, and I set up quartz blocks and redstone torches while I looked upwards like a glorious leader. but I did not know how to take such screenshot (i.e. without looking into the camera), so I discarded the idea. Maybe next time.

  Yes I am planning to play Borderlands 2. I have the game, and I am trying to fit some time for a sound test. I might even make an outro/intro for myself. Now, I am also not that good in editing audio clips, but I am also not that bad. I played Borderlands 2 on Xbox, and I will start on PC. Any more and I'll reveal a secret that I want to keep for the broadcast!

  That's all for now. Check in next month for Twitch. I will post on this blog when I do. Thank you all for the views! I am now (I always was?) officially an internet beggar and proud of it.

Play More Zelda!