Alvin Thomas checks out some of the hottest devices on the market for tech-savvy teens
Snapchat may not be the hottest and trending social media app anymore (since Instagram shamelessly incorporated live stories into their app) but that does not mean it’s out of the running. These Spectacles, which anyone can purchase, lets the user “snap” videos for up to 10 seconds. The on-board camera uses a 115-degree-angle lens – which supposedly resembles the human eye’s natural field of view – to give the viewers an almost natural viewing experience on Snapchat. These spectacles can be hooked on to Snapchat via Bluetooth or WiFi and transfers videos directly. It’s every Snapchatter’s dream. Yours for RO71.3 from Jadopado.com.
Not every teenager wants to vlog and be on Instagram or Facebook all the time (if you do, you need help). Some like reading too, and the Amazon Kindle is the best way to carry thousands of books on-the-go. It does take the fun away from holding a real book but it still has its own set of perks. The Kindle (which you can have in white or black) now comes with 4GB of in-built storage, and lets you listen to audio books via a Bluetooth speaker. Amazon’s book store is ever-growing too, meaning, you can now have all your favourite titles at the touch of a button. Apart from that, you also get four weeks (!) of battery life. Yours for RO30 from amazon.com.
At first glance the Asus Strix GL502 seems to be the ugly duckling of an otherwise visually stunning range of laptops. But don’t let looks fool you because this laptop is one of the best budget gaming laptops out there today. Underneath the uninspiring design lays a quad-core Intel Core i7-6700HQ processor clocked at 2.6GHz; 16GB of RAM and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070, with 8GB of RAM; and a 1TB hard drive coupled with a 256GB SSD drive. All of this means you will be able to crank up all your graphic-intensive games, and still with consistent frame-rates. Yours for a mere RO500 from amazon.com.
Let’s face it: YouTube is currently filled with teenagers filming stories about their daily lives. It’s called vlogging (video blogging), and we personally think that some of them are good at it. But, if you are new to the scene and looking to become a successful vlogger yourself, then you better get ready to produce some high-quality videos. And that’s where the DJI Osmo Mobile comes into play. The device essentially allows you to shoot silky-smooth video footage using your phone, thanks to using a gimbal stabiliser. It also has controls that will let you pan and start recording videos or shooting pictures. Other perks include smart tracking, which allows you to track a subject (using the DJI Go app), and the opportunity to capture some stunning motion time-lapse footage. This is the cheapest way to get started without a professional rig. Yours for RO115 from amazon.com.
App of the Week
Teens love music. Actually, everyone loves listening to music. Sadly, however, the best music streaming apps such as Spotify and Pandora aren’t available in Oman yet (legally, at least). So if you’re looking for an app that streams music, you’re stuck (yes, stuck) with Apple Music. It doesn’t have the best music library, but you can still find all the latest in music here. There is a subscription fee if you want to access the music libraries, but you can download the app for free from iTunes and Google Play.
Game Review: The Sims 4
Have you ever aspired to live the life of a rich businessman or an A-list celebrity? Their daily routines – houses, the money and the attention they receive – can be very enticing, right? Don’t worry, kids. You can now do that, and more, in Sims 4.
While what I just wrote will make sense to the millions of youngsters (teens, pre-teens and the whole lot) who love and adore the game, it can be perceived as a tad worrying by anyone who doesn’t fall into that age category, or despises games such as these.
But let’s not get bogged down by specifics and get to reviewing one of the best-selling games of all time. Sims 4 may have been released three years ago, but it recently received a new “Vampires” pack – which adds vampires, gothic elements, new aspirations and new skills to the already pre-existing mix. It adds a bit more glee to the already interesting game, if you ask me.
The standalone game is fun. And if you’ve played Sims (Sims, Sims 2, Sims 3) before, however, you will feel right at home. The game carries over most of the features from previous iterations that made this game unique.
You can still choose your avatar – alter his or her looks as per your own wish – and proceed into the simulated world. And what do you exactly do in this world? Well, you exist alongside hundreds of other Sims.
The world is quite large, and there are a lot of things to see (and things you wish you didn’t see, thanks to Sims trying to copy real-world habits). However, as with most Sims games, you’ll find yourself roaming around the towns frequently making friends and learning new skills that can help you make some money.
If I have one complaint, it would have to be that the world can get monotonous after a few days of gaming. Still, the revamped interactions, graphics and the streamlined user interface makes for a very fun experience. Some big changes from the previous versions include the inclusion of layered actions, which lets your Sim function like a normal human being – chatting over a spot of dinner with your friends or enjoying music while having a conversation.
Hardcore fans of the series will be pleased with the game, and the game’s new updates. However, if you’re new to the series, you will find yourself needing quite a bit of practice before you can hop into the game. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself clueless – sort of like me – in the real world.