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Family mobile phones with entry-level, mid-range and high-end models

Family mobile phones

Something for everyone and every budget

Quinn and Jo are the parents of two kids, a ten-year-old and a fourteen-year-old. They’re looking for new family mobile phones.

Quinn is the tech savvier parent of the two. Jo is mostly comfortable with Mac products and likes tech that is easy to use and intuitive. Quinn likes to game, try out new apps and prefers a degree of customization. They both use their phones for taking pictures, work and personal email as well as keeping in touch with family.

Quinn and Jo want their ten-year-old kid to have a phone for occasional and emergency calling only. That means no texting, Internet or games.

They want to get their tween their first smartphone. Something for calling and texting family and friends, playing some games, surfing the web and using social media. Quinn and Jo want to be able to curb data use, set limits and ensure their tween isn’t using a ton of mobile data. They want their tween to learn responsible ownership and usage.

Let’s see some examples of family mobile phones they could get on a budget, some midrange models, and if they wanted to splurge, some amazing flagship phones as well.

The best gaming controller for your phone

Words with Friends, Pokemon GO, Candy Crush, even Flappy Bird: Whatever tickles your fancy, there’s a mobile game for it. It’s hard to overstate just how popular mobile games are these days. In 2016, for example, mobile games generated more revenue than either console or PC games for the first time, an impressive $36.9 billion.

Unfortunately, trying to play games on a tiny smartphone touchscreen isn’t always the greatest experience. The good news is that you can fix that — there’s plenty of ways for you to get your hands on a mobile-enabled gaming controller that you can have with you while you’re on the go, at work or just lying in bed. Here’s how to find the perfect controller that will make your gaming experience so much better.

The One You Already Own

If you’re already a console gamer, you’ll be happy to know that you can easily use your PlayStation or Xbox controller together with your Android smartphone or tablet. Here’s a rundown of your options:

PS3: You can connect your PlayStation 3 DualShock 3 controller to your device via Bluetooth using an app called Sixaxis Controller. Note that you’ll need root access on your device, as well as a mini USB cable to connect the controller with your computer.

PS4: PlayStation 4 controllers can also connect via Bluetooth, but the process is much simpler; all you have to do is use your device to scan for the controller.

Xbox 360: Connecting an Xbox 360 controller only requires the use of a plug-and-play USB On-The-Go (OTG) cable.

Xbox One: As with the PS4 controller, connecting an Xbox One controller just requires you to scan for it using Bluetooth. One caveat: Although games with button mapping will work just fine, your results may vary when using the controller on other games.

Android vs iOS: Pick your platform

Android vs iOS
Android vs iOS. It’s a topic that elicits some strong opinions. Unreasonably strong, some might argue.

First, let’s just get this out of the way: There isn’t much you can do on Android that you can’t do on iPhone and there isn’t much you can do on iPhone that you can’t do on Android. Provided you’ve got a reasonably current smartphone model, neither iOS nor Android will leave you wanting.

But you didn’t come here for vagaries. You came here to understand whether Android or iOS is the right choice for you.

How to make a game app of your own

So, you’ve got an awesome idea for a game but you don’t know how to code. No sweat. We’re going to walk you through two fantastic programs that let you make a game app with simple, 2D graphics.

Popular mobile games are built around strong, basic ideas, have unique artwork and are relatively easy to play.

make a game app

There’s a lot of coding opportunities for full 3D gameplay out there but we’re going to cover two options for beginners.

Both programs we’ll recommend allow you to make a game app of your own and publish your game for people to download and play.

GameSalad and Stencyl help you master important game-making skills like logic, organization, design, story-building, problem solving and more.


Share your high score story with Ting for a chance to win

your high scoreThis June, we want to hear all about your proudest gaming moment. Have you unlocked every park on Roller Coaster Tycoon Classic? Are you way too deep into Candy Crush? Do all the rarest cats visit your yard in Neko Atsume? Maybe you’re a purist or a classic game connoisseur. We want to know.

Share an image of your gaming achievement and upload it to the form below. Then, tell us a bit about this moment. What made it great? How long were you working on it? Were all your friends impressed by your gaming dedication?

Whether you’re caught up in the chaos of Clash Royale or totally obsessed with 2048, we want to hear Your High Score story.

Best apps for making music for iPhone or Android

Unlock your inner rock star and start composing your own tunes. All you need is a smartphone and one of our favorite apps for making music. You can take your music with you on the go and work on your beats whenever inspiration strikes.

These apps let you build entire songs, sample instruments and drum kits, import files and use professional filters. We’ve included three apps for making music on iPhone as well as Android.


GarageBand for iOS

apps for making musicGarageBand is classic recording software for Mac enthusiasts. The GarageBand app does a good job of imitating the desktop version while stripping away details that on-the-go musicians rarely use. Some of the most important features packed into the app include:

  • Nine acoustic and electronic drum sounds
  • Live Loops for creating EDM templates
  • Virtual keyboards, synths, guitars and other instruments
  • Amp settings and effects

    With a little patience, you can orchestrate detailed songs in GarageBand. You can also have the app record live playing to capture loose ideas that you want to revisit when you have more time.