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I’ve got a real soft spot for Lego. The interlocking plastic bricks and personality-laden mini-figurines (known more commonly as minifigs) reveal a wonderful world of play and construction that’s limited only by your imagination and your supply of parts.

It’s for this reason that I’m always on the lookout for new Lego video games. Travellers Tales’s narrative-driven movie license tie-ins are always a delight to play, but they only show one side of Lego’s appeal. The recently-released Lego City Rapid Rescue provides a more traditional, more grounded kind of roleplay that’s as fun as it is simple.
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My SMS inbox resembles a SPAM folder more so than a collection of personal correspondence. A couple of years ago, it was jam packed with conversations with friends and colleagues. Now my network provider makes up the bulk of the messages — all automated ones. I’ve been using apps like Viber and Whatsapp for free calls and messaging between my friends. They’re faster, way more media-friendly and don’t cost anything — excluding minuscule data charges.

However, in Asia and some European countries like Spain, a new app called LINE is generating as much buzz as Vine has in the US, gathering itself over 200 million users. It offers everything that Viber and Whatsapp do, only better. It also features a much more robust revenue model and is challenging social networking sites like Facebook as users scramble for privacy.

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Google Maps has never been totally pointless on a tablet, but it was always a little sad that the app wasn’t optimized for tablets before. After all — and there’s no need to debate this or go into great detail — Google has had the strongest mapping data available for quite some time now. I’ve tried other mapping systems and just don’t get the same ease of use with them.

But the app itself needed to change. Until this week, Google Maps on a tablet was more or less the same experience you’d have with your Android phone. With the recent update, Google has finally made Maps look great on tablets and added some much-needed new functionality — as well as giving some old features the boot. Read on for a detailed analysis of this emperor’s new clothes.

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Ending is one of those rare and wonderful games that manages to be both simple and complex, building its depth out of elegant rulesets and engaging you from the very first instant. It’s easy to learn — requiring no tutorial — but hard to master, and often throws surprises your way.

It’s one of the best Android games around, balancing distinct, attractive visuals with challenging level design and pick-up-and-play mechanics.
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I’m always looking for quick fun games that, hopefully, don’t cost me too much money. I have friends with kids — and a new niece. Since I’m not a parent yet, I have no qualms with passing somebody else’s kids an electronic device in the hopes that they’ll amuse themselves.

With that in mind, Busy Beaver caught my eye when I saw it on the Play Store. It was free and looked like a more colourful version of Tetris. Plus, it featured a beaver! There probably wasn’t a single better way to let Canadian children pass the time. I just didn’t realize I’d like it too.

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Cloud storage has become so ubiquitous that the idea of storing files online is no longer anything out of the ordinary. In fact we are almost spoiled for choice with the number of services competing for our attention and our files — Dropbox, SkyDrive and Google Drive to name but three. And if you’re anything like me, you’ve probably signed up for every gigabit of free cloud storage you can lay your hands on.

All this free space sounds great, but management can become a nightmarish task as every service has its own Android application and you might well find yourself with multiple client apps installed on your device. With CloudCube, this could be a thing of the past as here, in a single app, is a tool that can be used to manage files on no less than eight online repositories. The reliance on dedicated clients had limited me to using just a couple of cloud storage services at a time, so I was keen to see how this free app could help me get past that hurdle.

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So, you are sitting there, flicking through the latest images in your Facebook, Instagram, or Flickr timeline. Some of the photos fit into “human interest” – these photos usually include someone else’s meal – and others are mediocre views of a sunset from the inside of a car. On the face of it, you’d think that these pictures have little in common. Look and think again, though, and you will realize that there is a theme which runs through vast swathes of the photos you see. That’s right, you’ve got it; filters. Photos, it would seem, are nowadays regarded as being dull unless they’ve been doused with a squeeze of zingy Lomography, or made musty with some aged, scratched, sepia.

This popularity, you would think, should drive innovation, and an improvement in the quality and diversity of the filter apps on offer. In reality, however, most apps are just happy to be regarded as competent Instagram clones. Not so with the new Android app Camera 2. Not only has the developer, JFDP Labs, packed 28 effects into its $2.99 offering, but it has also been brave enough to try something different – live, pre-capture filtering. Depending on your outlook, this either sounds like a brilliant, killer feature, or a fast-track route to mobile-computing meltdown. Let’s find out which it is…

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It has been a while since we looked at apps that can be used to automate tasks on your Android phone or tablet so I thought it was time to rectify the situation. In a never-ending quest to make my life as easy as possible, I’ve tried everything from Tasker to AutomateIt.

I love to automate things. Love it. I use filters in Gmail to organize my inbox and IFTTT is a service I just can’t recommend highly enough. I use it to manage emails, news feeds, cloud storage backups and much more – all without having to lift a finger. Profile Flow brings the same idea to Android.

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Recently, Gmail announced a new way of displaying email that presumably cleans up your inbox and makes you more organized — you can read more about it in Mark Wilson’s review. After using it on both the desktop and my phone, I’ve got to say they’ve done a good job. However, one thing they have not implemented yet is a priority inbox for close family and friends. While the Primary inbox does a nice job of filtering out automatic emails from social networks, shopping sites, and more, there is no way to differentiate work from personal email.

That’s where Dextr comes in. The app bills itself as a new mail experience that brings you closer to the people you love. Dextr’s goal is clear: to make it easier for you to communicate with the people you care about the most.

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Have you noticed that we tend to forget our passwords when we need them the most? For instance, let’s say you need to check your account balance before writing a check, but can’t remember your credentials to do that. Or how about the time when you wanted to book a plane ticket and realized your credit card and passport weren’t at hand?

Thanks to SafeWallet, you can say goodbye to these embarrassing moments, as all your credentials and passwords are saved on your phone and even synchronized across devices and platforms. This way, your sensitive data will always be up to date and handy.

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