You know what everyone in Japan loves these days? Smartphone games. They keep you busy on the daily commute without requiring too much in-depth concentration, and Japanese smartphone game makers are seriously smart – they know how to keep players hooked. By combining the human need for constant “reward” feedback with our penchant for adorable cartoon kitties, they’ve come up with a winner of an app that everyone who likes fun can’t stop playing – Neko Atsume!
Now available for both Android and iOS and with a whole slew of new features, there’s never been a better time to get into this incredibly addictive yet simple cat-collecting time-waster…
Japanese dolls stand among the world’s best in craftsmanship and elegance. But how much do you know about the technique of actually making one? Luckily, there’s an app which simulates the experience of creating your own doll called Sodatete Nihon Ningyo (Raise a Japanese Doll)!
That might sound intimidating, but the developers have presented it with a simple interface much like Tamagotchi or Digimon so that anyone can join the traditional fun. Here’s a quick run down of how it works.
The once mighty fast food chain McDonald’s has fallen on hard times in Japan lately, suffering a heavy blow when it become entangled in an expired meat scandal about a year ago.
Although other establishments were also implicated in the problem, the public in Japan seems to be holding an especially big grudge against the golden arches. On 9 March, the company announced that Japanese sales were down 28.7 percent from the same month in the previous year.
In response, McDonald’s Japan is looking to improve its customer service and restore public faith in the company. How? By releasing a new app for smartphones that will allow customers to lodge complaints with more convenience and speed than ever before!
With the upcoming Disney animated short Frozen Fever set to debut in theatres on March 13, you might be in need of a recap of the original film, so check out this two-and-a-half-minute video of Frozen as told through emoji.
Yes, I know octopi have eight tentacles not six, but Tako of Takos Japanese has five. It’s the same cartoon logic that makes the Simpson family all have eight fingers. And yes, I know the name should probably read “Tako’s Japanese.” Really though, let’s not get bogged down in talk of appendages and apostrophes right now.
Today we’re here to look at a new Japanese study app released by Spain-based Giant Soul Interactive. A lot of Japanese study apps found online are either fun but limited in content or deep but boring and stodgy. Learn Japanese with Tako (recently changed from “Takos Japanese”) aims to strike a happy balance of a fun way to learn the language that’s also rich in content. Let’s find out if they succeed.
Have you ever wondered what happened to Anna after the Disney movie Frozen ended? Well, according to one iPhone app maker, Anna married her new beau Kristoff and immediately got pregnant. She’s nine months in and in need of a C-section. But who will perform the surgery?! You will, with this silly new app available on the Apple app store.
Spending your time bashing out wild beats on the drums might sound like heaven for rock music fans, but installing a drum kit in your house is a sure way to make the neighbours hate you, especially in Japan where most landlords prohibit the use of musical instruments.
Thankfully, these days there is of course a digital alternative, and some people have become so good at iPad drumming that in its own way it can be as impressive as the real thing.
Music is pretty much one of the best things in life–some people might even say it is the best thing in life. Playing an instrument is supposed to do all sort of great things for us, but most would agree that getting started with music can be pretty difficult. While DAWs like FL Studio exist to help us produce whatever we hear in our heads without strumming a single chord, digital production is quite a bit more difficult than most people realize. From programming drums to synthesizing new sounds, it can be just as time-consuming as learning to play guitar. “Why can’t I just whip out my smartphone, hum a little ditty, and let it do all the hard work of producing a track?” you might be thinking.
Well, soon you will be able to, thanks to a new app from Casio. You won’t even need to hum all the way through–it’ll generate a whole song from one section!
Even if you’re not an anime fan, you’ve no doubt heard that the hugely popular ninja series Naruto has finally reached its climax after more than 15 years. It’s never fun when a beloved show or serial comes to an end, and fans are often left searching for something new to fill the void in their lives that opens up when they do, but when you have a back-catalogue as rich and extensive as Naruto‘s, revisiting older instalments is sure to provide hours, if not weeks of pleasure.
Which, it seems, it precisely what Naruto‘s publisher is hoping both diehard fans and latecomers alike will do next, and is providing them with free issues of the manga and anime episodes direct to their smartphones via a brand new app for iOS and Android.
With their complex writing systems, getting around in Japan or China can be stressful for even the most seasoned of tourists. Sure, you could carry a travel dictionary in your pocket while you go sightseeing, but how are you supposed to look up all those funny looking sticks and squiggles when you don’t even know how to pronounce them? Often the locals try to be helpful by providing an English translation, but there are reasons why that doesn’t always work out. If only there was a way to just wave your magic smartphone over some unintelligible text and have it provide a reliable translation on the spot. Well, as we discovered over at Shanghai List, there’s an app for that.
Looking for a new app to pass the time? Why not give Hag of the one million-year-old a try! Tap the screen and work your magic to get the hideous old hag back to her apparently stunning good looks (unconfirmed) of yesteryear.
In many ways, Japan’s love hotels are a brilliant concept, offering a room with discreet staff, simple amenities, and large beds for couples looking for a place to physically and nakedly express their feelings for one another. There is one sticky point to utilizing them, however.
People generally find themselves in need of a love hotel when overcome by a spontaneous wave of passion, so they don’t usually book ahead. And while a hand-in-hand dash to the love hotel district can be a bit of heady fun, finding a place to do the deed is sort of a time-sensitive objective. Spending too much time walking around searching for a hotel with a vacancy can put a damper on the mood and/or contribute to your sobering up and realizing that maybe it isn’t a good idea to sleep with your boss’ nubile 23-year-old daughter, no matter how willing she says she is.
Such problems may soon come to be a thing of the past, though, with a new smartphone app that can help you find and book a love hotel in as little as 10 seconds, plus, right now, even help you out with the bill.
Remember when “poking” your friends on Facebook was a trendy thing to do? I feel old now just by recalling how my schoolmates and I could spend the entire evening “poking” each other online, refreshing the browser page every few seconds in attempt to return a “poke” at the fastest timing possible. Well, the younger generation who only got on Facebook in the recent year or two probably wouldn’t have an idea what I’m talking about since the trend has died down.
But you know how trends are revived every once in a while? “Poking” is now back with a new force, this time on the globally popular free messaging mobile app, LINE. Sorry to dash your hopes if you were looking forward to giving your LINE friends a cyber poke because LINE users are “poking” their favorite (or least favorite) anime characters and celebrities instead!
Translation apps are very popular for people visiting foreign lands. With only internet access and a tap of the finger you can convey “I swallowed a june bug” in any number of languages like Spanish (Me tragué un error junio) and Hatian Creole (Mwen vale yon ensèk mwa Jen). I’m pretty sure those are both wrong, but still better than I could do by myself with no knowledge of either language.
Now Yamaha has brought the translation app beyond the boundaries of humanity and into the realm of the machine with their engine revving translation app, RevTranslator. As the name suggests, this app will listen to an engine and deliver its message in Japanese.
With blistering temperatures over the past week and record cases of heat stroke, just getting around Tokyo for business or pleasure can leave you dripping with sweat and a little—okay, A LOT—stinky. It’s enough to make you want to bathe several times a day.
But what if you are dying to clean up but don’t want to go all the way back to your home or hotel? That’s when a cheap Japanese bathhouse, or sentou, can come in very handy. For a few hundred yen, you have a place to take a bath, grab a snooze on a bit of tatami, and put your game face on again. These little places used to be hard to locate, but as with most things these days, now there’s an app for that.
There are days you wake up and just want to table-flip the entire world. You want to scream at the top of a mountain about how people are such dumbasses! You’re just so irritated with everything that the next person you come in contact with will feel your wrath. Your conscience kicks in (usually before anything terrible happens) and whispers that Golden Rule in your ear: “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” However, sometimes the lack of face to face contact during text message conversations allows us to forget that there is a real person on the other side. Just because you can’t see the reaction of the other person, it doesn’t mean you can say whatever you want.
For Japanese speakers, the solution is here. And it comes in the form of Shizuka-chan, our favorite character from Doraemon, and a smartphone app.
With the World Cup fast approaching, football fever (that’s soccer mania, for our American readers) is taking over fans everywhere, but perhaps nowhere more so than in already football-manic host country Brazil.
One fast food chain there has hit on a football-related promotion far more fun than the usual athlete endorsement: allowing customers to turn their food trays into a 3-D video game and shoot penalty kicks at a smartphone-sized goalie.
For everyone dreaming of the chance to visit North Korea, you’re in luck. There is now an app for that.
The North Korea Travel app, released on Wednesday, promises to be the most comprehensive guide ever created for tourists to the Hermit Kingdom.
The app, which will be available through both the App Store and Google play, will feature information on over 350 locations throughout the country. Each location will feature “Tour Guide Tips” provided by Simon Cockerell, who works in the North Korea travel industry and has visited the country over 120 times.