Apple Music on Android may be in Beta still, but it’s terrible

The Apple Music experience on Android has not been enjoyable since its release. Granted, it’s been in a perpetual beta status since its launch on Android, but I still expect better. I’ve had a wide variety of issues with the app which make it difficult to use, and I’m often temped to return to Spotify until I get an iPhone.

One of the most annoying g problems I have with the app is that my downloaded music seems to somehow get corrupted. The music will show that it is downloaded to my phone, but the songs will not play when I don’t have an Internet connection. They simply appear to load indefinitely. What’s strange is that sometimes music that worked fine offline will suddenly stop working offline for no apparent reason. I’ll have to remove the download and re-download them to get them to work offline again. Nothing is more annoying than downloading something to listen to on the bus ride to work and have it not play once I’m away from WiFi.

Another issue I have that’s just as annoying is that the app crashes often. So often that my phone recommended I remove the app. Crashes happen while clicking on a song, browsing playlist or even when I try to skip a track. When the app doesn’t crash it will start and stop playing songs at random. At the gym I’ll hit play, slip my phone into my pocket and in about five seconds the song will just stop playing. I’ll try to restart the song but the play button disappears, and surprise, the app soon crashes again.

Despite all these problems, I don’t necessarily blame Apple. My entire Android experience has been terrible, and I often find myself contemplating paying off my Galaxy S6 early to get back to the much better platform of the iPhone.

It’s worth noting that Apple Music works perfectly fine on my MacBook and iPad, and overall I enjoy those experiences more than the Spotify experience. That’s the only thing that has kept me from switching back.

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Fallout Shelter: Why am I playing this?

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Fallout Shelter has been frustrating me lately. I can’t quite figure out why I’m playing it and yet at the same time I can’t seem to walk away from it. Fallout Shelter is Bethesda’s free to play game in which you manage a Vault in the Fallout universe, launched alongside the Fallout 4 reveal during this year’s E3. It is currently only available on iOS devices, however it is set to release on Android platforms on August 13th.

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Fallout Shelter is simple to play. In it you construct various rooms and assign vault dwellers to work in those rooms to produce resources. Each vault dweller has a unique set of stats and each room requires a certain stat in order to run efficiently. You need to produce electricity, food and water in order to keep your vault running smoothly and your dwellers healthy. You can also send your dwellers into the wasteland in order to earn experience while searching for caps (currency), weapons and outfits.

The game doesn’t pressure you to pay in any money, however you can purchase sets of card packs starting at $0.99 for one pack. These card packs will provide you with either more caps, resources, weapons, outfits or even special vault dwellers. Each pack will include at least one rare item (such as a vault dweller or outfit) and they make doing well in the game much easier.

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Opening the packs is one of the most exciting parts of the game, so last week I bought my first card pack (a set of 5 for $3.99). I got some pretty cool weapons and a few special vault dwellers with high stats. It was pretty exciting and I felt like my vault was well on its way to prosperity. Not more than thirty minutes later a radroach outbreak occurred, and as I tried to fight the roaches off every single one of my vault dwellers was killed. At this point my vault was doomed. I didn’t have the caps to resurrect any of my dwellers, and I couldn’t see anyway to advance the game.

I should’ve quit the game then, but having just spent four dollars on the game I felt the need to try again. I started a new vault and was a little disheartened to find that my card pack purchase didn’t follow to the new game. I sped through the initial setup and found myself purchasing another $3.99 card pack to get a jumpstart on my vault. This time I determined not to rush any of my production (rushing carries the risk of causing accidents such as fires or radroach invasions). I also decided not to expand too quickly which left my resources spread too thin in the first game. Since then things have been going well, however I’m constantly asking myself why I’m playing this game, and why I’ve spent $10 on card packs in just one week.

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Playing the game itself provides little reward, and it seems like the only fun comes in opening card packs. You can earn card packs for free by completing objectives, however you can only hold three objectives at any one time and most of them reward you with a measly 25 or 50 caps. There doesn’t seem to be much of a point to expand my vault further, yet having spend ten dollars on the game I can’t bring myself to delete it from my iPad.

Are you still playing Fallout Shelter? How has your experience with the game gone? Should I just quit before I spend any more money on it?

My new Galaxy Tab 3

Last week I picked up a Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7.0″. I’ve always been an Apple guy. I have a MacBook Pro, iPhone 5 and for awhile I had an iPad 4. I sold the iPad 4 before the Air came out and planned to upgrade but ended up getting an Xbox One instead. So I went awhile without a tablet and basically picked up the Galaxy Tab 3 on a whim since it was on sale and within my budget.

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So far it hasn’t been too bad and experience, but it hasn’t been amazing either. The Tab 3 isn’t too much cheaper than the first gen iPad Mini, but based on its performance it feels like it shouldn’t be priced over $99. It’s not the worst in the world, but at times it’s pretty bad. There have been times when I hit the home button and have to wait 3 seconds for the home screen to display. I found that for the best performance you have to manually close out of apps, otherwise they continue to run in the background bogging down the system. On Apple devices I’m used to hitting the home button and switching between apps while letting iOS manage everything in the background.

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One thing I do like about the Android operating system is widgets. It’s nice to have updating information on the home screen and various pages. Being able to check baseball scores, news headlines and weather by simply looking at the screen is a very nice feature. (Speaking of baseball scores, why is there no ESPN Score Center app on the Play store? There’s only a Brazilian version. Strange).

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I also really love the Samsung Book Cover case which I got for $35 at Best Buy on clearance (it’s usually $50). It’s a nice quality case that looks great on the device and feels great when using the tablet or carrying it. I definitely recommend this case!

The only other thing I really have to say is the cameras are not that great on the device. It has a 3MP rear camera and 1.3MP front camera and neither take great pictures, though the front camera is functional enough for Skype. I’m not that concerned about the rear camera because I don’t often use a tablet camera to take pictures since I always have my phone with me (the iPhone 5’s rear camera is 8MP for reference).

I bought the 8gb model and a 32gb micro SD card. I didn’t realize you couldn’t install any apps on the SD card, so my 8gb device storage is already almost full. It is nice to be able to use the SD card for movies, books and other media files at least. With the iPad I’d often have to delete games and apps when I was traveling to make room for movies (I had the 32gb version but had a lot of large games).

I love gadgets so it’s been nice exploring and learning about my first Android device. I still prefer iOS and Apple hardware, but the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 isn’t bad. I look forward to learning more about it and experimenting some more as time passes.