Tested: Hater, the dating app with a difference

If you’ve tried dating apps, you’ll know that most try to match people based on shared interests. Hater does things a bit differently…

Created by former Goldman Sachs banker Brendan Alper, Hater offers up topics, usually in the form of a gif, which you decide if you hate or not. They’ll then match you up based on your selected “hates” and the rest could be history.

Hater currently has a whole host of randoms topics including Boston Terriers, bubble baths, the sound of filing nails and even YouTube stars. Like Bumble and Tinder users swipe through the topics choosing either right or left depending if they like it or hate it and can skip altogether if no preference.

The app will then find your most compatible matches, giving you the option to see, in detail, what they like and hate. You can even choose if the app searches locally or across the world…

The rest is up to you, if you fancy giving it a go download Hater from the Google Play Store, happy swiping!

If you’re in a relationship and want to know if Hater would have matched you and your SO, ask yourself… how would you feel about their answers to the below:

Love or hate?

– Sudoku
– Eating straight from the fridge
– Will Ferrell
– The beach
– When someone you hate makes a joke
– Big cities
– Harley Quinn
– Community
– Pet sitting
– Thunderstorms

Have you used your smartphone to find love? Post your stories in the comments below…

 

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Tested: Can Investment Apps Make You Rich?

If you’ve been paying attention to the Sony Mobile Blog, you will have noticed our recent budgeting post and potentially started managing your finances directly from your Xperia. Great choice. But now does it feel like that cash is burning a hole in your pocket? Sure, you could splash those hard earned savings on a flat white – or – you could launch your empire. You’ve seen Wolf of Wall Street, it’s easy, buy low, sell high, retire at 26.

Okay, it’s not that straightforward, but we’ve tested some of the most downloaded apps that could see that one coffee, turn into two and that’s not a bad place to start.

Before you know it, you’ve got a nice little nest egg to throw into Beanie Babies, Tulip Bulbs or Bitcoin.

Please remember with any investment, your capital is at risk, so please do invest with caution.

 

iBillionaire

This is a pretty simple concept, you want to invest, but you, like us, have no clue about the markets. But you know who does? Billionaire investors with a track record for getting things right. iBillionaire lets you peak over the shoulder of the likes of Warren Buffet, David Einhorn and Carl Icahn. How does it do this? Every quarter, iBillionaire automatically updates your portfolio to replicate billionaires’ filings. If it works for them, it should work for you right?

You’ve got a number of investment options here – you can take the Billionaire route as above, or you could invest in their Bitcoin Fund, their Real Estate Fund or maybe you’ve read up on Bridgewater’s All Weather strategy and think that’s the way to go? Whatever you choose, it starts at $ 1 a month (including four rebalances every year) and there are no additional costs or commissions charged. They claim for as little as $ 5 a week, you could invest like a billionaire.

 

Acorns (USA) and Money Box (UK)

Acorns and Money Box though created by different developers, have a similar aim – making everyday investing a habit. The cleverest part (in our opinion) is how you can save. The first barrier most people run into is that they don’t have any money to invest in the first place. Where these apps succeed is taking the sting out of investing, by making it gradual. Buying a sandwich for $ 3.75? Your purchase gets rounded up to an even $ 4.00, you notice nothing at the time, but over a couple of months, this rounding up turns into real money.

Depending on whether you’re using Acorns or Money Box, your money will be put into Funds and ISAs, which you can customise to your preferred level of risk. For example, with Money Box, depending on the level of risk you are willing to accept, there are three investment options: Cautious, Balanced and Adventurous

Acorns charges $ 1 a month (accounts investing up to $ 5,000), while Moneybox costs £1 a month and 0.45% of the value of your investments per year (at the time of writing, Moneybox is offering to waive the £1 fee for the first three months).

 

Nutmeg

To be honest, this one isn’t an app you’ll be opening every forty minutes, it’s a slow burner. Nutmeg means business. You put money in it every month and invest it – the app is just a nice way to keep track.

You can get a Lifetime ISA with contributions starting at £100 a month, a Nutmeg ISA or general investment account within initial £500 when you make monthly contributions of £100, or consolidate your pension with a £5,000 investment.

You’ve handed over your money, but what are Nutmeg bringing to the table? Their schemes have been built by investment experts – they’ve created a number of diversified portfolios that limit risk but have options for those of you who want to play it a little more dangerously.

They’ve also got award winning service and it’s really straightforward to use – so if you do happen to get a bit stuck, they’ll get someone on the case for you.

 

So now you’re an “investor”, you may not be a wolf, but you’re certainly not a sheep. Good luck.

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The 2018 Google Play Indie Games Contest

Since we picked up our XZ1 at IFA last year, we haven’t been able to stop playing games on it. The super-speedy Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 835 keeps games running smoothly while Sony display and audio tech keep games looking and sounding great.

Now with a trip to MWC in Barcelona coming up, this feels like the perfect time to load some new games onto our devices for the flight.

Way back in October, when we heard Google announce their second annual Google Play Indie Games Contest in Europe, we were excited. The shortlist of twenty finalists has been chosen ahead of the main event on 13th February; these amazing games vary in cost and genre but are all worth checking out.

So, before some know it all tells you they’ve discovered the new “Flappy Bird”, we’ve written a round up (in no particular order) of six of our favourites to give you the inside scoop.

Old Man’s Journey

Through the eyes of the “Old Man” you explore life’s complexities and live through his heartache, regret, and hope. In this visually distinctive game, you solve puzzles to create the Old Man’s path forward. This is the sort of game that will have people straining over your shoulder to take a look, it’s bold and colourful with a hand drawn graphic style which makes the scenic transitions so worth the effort. Old Man’s Journey has won a few awards already…

“Old Man’s Journey is one of the most beautiful and unique games we’ve ever seen.” Touch Arcade

No More Buttons

Turns out, there were more buttons – just not where you’d expect… No More Buttons is a platform game with hand-drawn graphics where buttons make up part of the environment – they’re part of the furniture. You can move them around, rotate and even stand on them. Don’t understand what we mean? Check the trailer here.

“A quirky platformer with one BIG twist.” Android Central

The Big Journey

There are quite a few puzzle games on Google’s shortlist, but where’s something for the tilt-controlled game fans? Don’t worry, your patience has been rewarded. The Big Journey follows Mr Whiskers, a happy go lucky, well fed cat who sets out across an obstacle filled landscape to find his missing friend Mr Cho. It’s got it all, including an original soundtrack featuring Ukranian folk musicians, the Choconauts.

“It makes you feel all warm and fuzzy when you play it, and there’s something really wonderful about that.” Pocket Gamer

The House of Da Vinci

Liked ‘The Room’? Like 3D mechanical puzzles? Like the feeling of self satisfaction which only comes from solving a riddle? Then you’re in luck. The House of Da Vinci is a beautiful, engaging, 3D puzzle adventure game with an authentic Rennaisance feel. Where’s Da Vinci you ask? It’s your job to find out.

“Atmospheric, highly polished puzzler.” Droid Gamers

The Office Quest

The Office Quest is a very modern point and click adventure game, a prison break adventure for cubicle dwellers. Via puzzles and riddles you must break the shackles of your employment and escape into the wider world. Beautifully drawn, it brings whole new meaning to ‘Boss Battles’.

“The Office Quest is certainly one of the more impressive and polished adventure games on the app store” Android Apps

I Love Hue

For word play and tranquility lovers alike. I Love Hue is as low octane as you can get. The premise revolves around reordering mosaics of coloured tiles into perfectly ordered spectrums. Commuting has never been so relaxing.

“The most soothing smartphone game I’ve ever played.” Business Insider

So there you have it. 6 games to get your teeth into. Want to meet the developers? Well, good news games fans, if you can get yourself to the Saatchi Gallery in London for 13th February, you can still snag a ticket here.

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Robotic Arms, VR football and movie magic: Sony is heading to SXSW 2018

We’re heading back to Austin for SXSW 2018. Last year Xperia Touch was the star of the show, this time we’re packing an Xperia XZ1, 3D Creator and a robotic arm in our suitcases.

From Saturday 10th until Tuesday 13th March, Sony will host the ‘WOW Studio” inviting visitors to try out some of our most exciting prototypes and previously unseen tech, along with our popular 3D Creator feature.

Our 3D Creator showcase will bring the joy of 3D creation to each visitor as a robotic arm wielding an Xperia XZ1 will scan and create 3D renders of guests heads, who will each receive a video to view on their smartphones and share their experience.

State of the art VR technology will be on display as visitors have the chance to face off in a penalty shoot out against a world-class goalie. Festival-goers will even be able to star in their own movie as Sony’s Free-Viewpoint Visual Technology works to create 3D avatars for users to star as the lead in their very own short film.

Click here to find out more about Sony’s WOW Studio and our other exhibits.

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The top budgeting apps to keep saving on track

So you’ve made it through month one of your New Year’s resolution to budget and save more money and now you’re wondering how you’ll make it to December…

Luckily, your smartphone is here to help. There are several top budgeting apps on Google Play to help take control of your spending and we thought we’d get you started with some of our favourites.

Mint

One of the highest rated budgeting apps on the market, Mint is a free money manager and budget tracking app that works to bring all of your bank accounts, bills, credits cards and savings together so you have a clear view of how your money is spent.

Their handy budgeting feature looks at where you spend your money and gives you the option to create your own budget plan or use one crafted by them. Mint can also remind you when a bill needs to be paid and can even schedule them for you, so no more overcharging for late payments. You’ll also have access to their free credit score check service and tips on how to improve it.

Wally+

Wally+ is a personal finance app that helps you track income against expenses to understand where you money goes. It stores exact details of where and when you spent your money and unlike Mint, it gives you the option to add more detail into spending such as who you were with, the sentiment around the places you visit and even images of receipts.

Its location-based service automatically identifies and categorises places you’ve been and stores frequently visited locations for easy access next time you’re there. Notifications will also remind you of upcoming payments and when you have reached a savings goal.

A great app for someone looking to track details of their payments and to cut down on excessive spending.

YNAB

The only paid-for app to appear on our round up, You Need A Budget costs $ 6.99 a month (with the first 34 days free) and boldly claims that budgeters can save up to $ 600 by the second month and over $ 6,000 in the first year. Impressive stuff.

Users divide their income into separate pots (rent, household bills or entertainment) and works by accounting for every penny and letting customers to move money around depending on over or underspend.

It allows you to easily connect all bank accounts together and shares regular reports to keep you up to date on how your saving is going. Not one to shy away from fun, the platform also encourages users to save money each month for larger expenses such as holidays or birthday gifts.

Do you use your smartphone to save cash? Post your favourite apps in the comments or tweet us @SonyMobileNews

 

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