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If you're a fan of soccer, there's probably no reason to tell you the World Cup is fast approaching. Equally, if you're a regular on this site it's likely your smartphone will be your go-to place for all the latest news and views.


This summer will of course be the most interactive ever, whether you be wanting World Cup tips, live feeds to games or even fantasy football. Which means there are plenty of apps to download!


With just a few months until kick off, here are our favourite apps to help you countdown to June 14...


The Official Panini Sticker Album


Yes, ripping and sticking is no longer required with the new Panini app. You can enjoy the tradition of collecting World Cup stickers direct from your mobile.


It's free to download and you are given two free packets per day. Of course, if you want to fill it quicker you can buy packets too.


But what about the swaps? Well you can head to the Swap Area and make your trades.


The Official FIFA World Cup App

 

You'll probably want to hear all the latest news directly from the horse's mouth. The official World Cup app has you covered.


With all the latest news, views and video you'll be kept fully up to date on everything you need to know about Russia 2018.


William Hill App

 

Naturally, a big part of the World Cup is having a flutter. Fancy another Iceland giant killing? Perhaps you'd prefer to play safe and go for Messi to top score.


Either way, William Hill has got you covered and from now until the tournament will be providing you all the latest odds and offers to enjoy. It's one of the best places to have a punt and will have a huge range of World Cup markets.


An On Demand TV App


No matter where you are in the world, soccer's biggest tournament will be live on TV.


If you're out and about, an on demand app will have your back and you'll be able to watch live games no matter where you are.


The likes of BBC iPlayer or ESPN will steam games daily, meaning you'll never miss out on any of the action.


Football Manager 2018

 

Think you can do better? Why not download Football Manager 2018 and put yourself to the test.


It's not free and comes at a fair price but it's comfortably the most expansive and in depth simulation game on the market. Can you lead England to their first since ‘66? Maybe the dark horses Belgium are destined for the title under your reign.


There's only one way to find out...

 



Evan Blass from @evleaks has just released a few renders online via Twitter and they show the three colors of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 in full flurry. The colors are Black Onyx, Silver Titanium and Blue Coral, as supposedly named by Samsung. However, they have raised some eyebrows as the almost confirmed iris scanner we had seen before in the leaked photo of the Note 7's front panel, is missing here. The three circular lenses necessary for the iris scanner to work (as per a recent patent filed by Samsung) are nowhere to be seen in these alleged press renders of the next Note.



It should be noted that Evan Blass himself had declared that the Note 7 will have the much anticipated iris scanner, yet his own leak counters that theory now. Nonetheless, we can see a slightly curved back over here in this render, as well as an even lesser camera protrusion that seen on the S7. The S-Pen and its placement looks identical to that of the Note 5 and the dual Edge display can be clearly observed. Whether this is indeed the final render that will be seen on August 2 is something that we will find out in about a month's time from now.


Author: Saikat Kar (tech-enthusiast)




If you wondering how iPhone 7, Galaxy S7 and LG  G5 can compared, when none of these phones are released yet. But the currently available information about the Galaxy S7 and the LG G5 can help us conclude that for at least one more year, performance wise the iPhone will be superior than the Android phones.


Every year a new version of the iPhone comes out, and  two things are always true:

  • improved camera
  • best CPU and GPU performance in the market.


While using it actually, new iPhone performs better although the competitors feature better hardware specifications.


The Galaxy S7 will be backed by Samsung's Exynos 8890 octa-core processor and Qulacomm's Snapdragon 820 SoC. The LG G5 will only get the latter variant .As per the benchmark tests, the comparison between these two CPUs shows that, the Exynos is better in single-core Geekbench tests (2282 vs. 1873), and the Qualcomm ship is speedier in multi-core testing (4979 vs. 5946).


These scores are less than the iPhone 6's score got in single-core tests (2490), and more in multi-core tests (4340). If Apple can achieve the same with the dual-core processor featured in the iPhone 6s, A10 chip will surely a thing to look forward to. Also taking into account the  recently performed Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 performance test, Apple's A9 processor (present in iPhone 6s Plus)  is superior than the other two processors.

 


"DSC01045" (CC BY-SA 2.0) by tablexxnx


There's a school of thought that states that microtransactions - small gameplay enhancements bought with real money, otherwise known as in-app purchases - are always bad, a belief that stems from widespread misuse of the feature by both bedroom developers and major companies like Ubisoft and EA.


However, whether you like them or not, apps often rely on a dedicated base of paying ‘whales' (or power users) to keep the lights on. Fallout Shelter, for example, a mobile game that tasks you with leading a group of helpless survivors in the wake of a nuclear war, was earning $364,000 a day earlier this year, despite not charging players a dime to download it.


In-app purchases are a lucrative economic model and they're not going away. With that in mind, here are some examples of microtransactions done right, in games we don't mind spending our money on.


Fallout Shelter


Fallout Shelter's microtransactions are unique in that they aren't purely cosmetic and can make life underground more entertaining. There are frequent promotions and holiday sales too, as well as the occasional money-saving bundle.



The game packs resources, pets (conveying myriad bonuses), new survivors, and crafting tools into blind boxes. There's also the option of buying Nuka-Cola Quantum, which lets players skip the multi-hour journey times to quest locations, and a Mr. Handy robot, who automates resource collection on a single floor. The great thing about Fallout Shelter's in-app purchases is that they're an enhancement to gameplay and not a necessity, as the items can sometimes be found in game for free.


mFortune Slots


Something a little bit different, mFortune, an iGaming company, allows the users of its apps to make slots deposit by phone bill, meaning that players without immediate access to money can simply add it to the tab they hold with their phone company. It's a novel idea that benefits from immediate deposits and the added security of keeping your credit card details offline.


The website, which also offers bingo and classic casino games like blackjack and poker, gives new players a sign-up bonus as an incentive to play.


Pokémon Go


Pokémon Go needs no introduction. Niantic's mobile monster hunter earned $200m in its first month in a textbook demonstration of how to monetize an app. The game's currency, Pokécoins, can be bought with real money and traded for Poké Balls, lucky eggs, which grant extra experience points, and incense, an item that lures Pokémon to your location.


It's nothing you can't find in the regular game but an extra lucky egg (for example) means you won't have to catch quite so many Weedle and Rattata to ascend the game's levels.


Hearthstone


"Hearthstone Beta" (CC BY 2.0) by mrwynd


A ‘card battle' game from Blizzard, the makers of World of Warcraft and Diablo, Hearthstone's in-app purchases are straightforward - you can use real money to buy packs of five cards to improve your deck. The popularity of the app's microtransactions is perhaps best demonstrated by one US writer's $639 spending spree on Hearthstone's market.


Much like Pokémon Go's in app-purchases, Hearthstone's card packs can be harvested for free in game, albeit at a rate of about one a day. Also like Pokémon, it's the urge to complete a whole set of something (in this case, cards) that makes the in-app purchases so appealing.


Dungeon Keeper


Just kidding. As a final point, it's worth noting that well thought-out mobile economics is something of a rarity on the Play Store and the App Store. Microtransactions are often blatant cash grabs from clueless suits, the reason children continue to rack up massive bills buying coins, crystals, gems, and many other make-believe currencies.


A perfect example is Dungeon Keeper, a recent remake of Peter Molyneux's 1997 PC game. With in-app purchases costing up to $100, a sum that makes the term ‘microtransactions' seem more than a little ironic, EA's update was panned for slowing progress to zero if the player didn't feed the money machine its favorite dollars.

 


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