app

Navigate Tokyo with the help of augmented reality penguins!

Navigate Tokyo with the help of augmented reality penguins!

An aquarium in Tokyo has created a new app that’ll help you find your way, with the help of…penguins!

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You beautiful fatty! — Doraemon character teaches us to speak nicely with new smartphone app

You beautiful fatty! — Doraemon character teaches us to speak nicely with new smartphone app

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.

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Neat idea turns fast food tray and smartphone into functional football game

Neat idea turns fast food tray and smartphone into functional football game

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.

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If you want to explore the Hermit Kingdom of North Korea, there’s an app for that

If you want to explore the Hermit Kingdom of North Korea, there’s an app for that

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.

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Here’s why this iPhone game is creepier than any horror movie you’ll see in theaters

Here’s why this iPhone game is creepier than any horror movie you’ll see in theaters

The horror genre needs some help.

It seems like every year an endless array of movies and video games come out that primarily focus on bloodshed and mayhem.

If you’re tired of these recycled ideas and enjoy classic ghost stories, try playing Papa Sangre II.

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Want to play piano or guitar by ear? There’s an app for that too and we tried it out

Want to play piano or guitar by ear? There’s an app for that too and we tried it out

Playing by ear is truly an enviable skill. To be able to just hear something then play it yourself is almost like a super-power to many a musical layman. With enough time and practice I could probably develop such an ability too, but come on. I got too many ice cream and animal dating games to write about already.

So I rely on computers to do it for me. There are a variety of software applications on desktop computers that can take a song and at least attempt to break it down into its components, but they can be rather complicated and difficult to use. Now Casio has come out with an iOS app called Chordana Viewer that can reverse engineer songs right on your Apple device for piano or guitar.

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Otaku app lets you shop from your phone with help of cute mascot

Otaku app lets you shop from your phone with help of cute mascot

Soon Japanese otaku will have even less reason to leave their rooms. Mobile software company jig.jp have announced a shopping app dedicated exclusively to anime goods, and with its own moe mascot to make the experience even sweeter!

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Waterlogue app turns ordinary photos of Japan into beautiful works of art

Waterlogue app turns ordinary photos of Japan into beautiful works of art

Japanese Twitter and Instagram users have discovered Waterlogue, an app that allows you to “transform your photos into luminous watercolors,” and now there is an endless surge of ordinary images turned artsy photos on both sites. We’re not sure if the following examples can be considered art since they were created with a few clicks of an index finger, but they are beautiful nonetheless.

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Yahoo! Japan releases app that tricks girls into making a “kissy” face and takes their photo

Yahoo! Japan releases app that tricks girls into making a “kissy” face and takes their photo

With the plethora of applications available across all the major platforms, it seems there’s nothing a smartphone app can’t help you with. And now for those who to spend part of their days exploiting the insecurities of people for their own amusement, Yahoo! Japan has released Kisushiyo!, an app that secretly photographs women as they would look when going in for a smooch.

Granted it’s a novelty app that might not appeal to those without a sweet tooth for schadenfruede. However, the story of how this app became available to Android phones everywhere is an interesting look into the state of the internet.

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“This is embarrassing” – Japan named number one market for smartphone apps

“This is embarrassing” – Japan named number one market for smartphone apps

Generally it’s nice to have your country or town be number one in something. Even if it’s for something as despicable as bag snatching, you can at least gain a slightly twisted sense of pride for toughing it out in such a rough-and-tumble locale.

However, when a recent study reported by Bloomberg Japan declared that Japan had overtaken the U.S. in smartphone and tablet app purchases, people we less than enthused leaving comments such as “Japan’s screwed,” and, “This is sad news indeed.”

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Everything you need to know about the birds and the bees, packed into one quirky video game

Everything you need to know about the birds and the bees, packed into one quirky video game

For pretty much every parent, there will eventually come that awkward day when their child asks questions about where babies come from. Parents have to tread a fine line with the information that impart, at once wanting to preserve their curious progeny’s innocence but also not wanting to send them out into the wild with tales of storks and cabbage patches.

Thanks to Ryo Shirakawa, now there’s a fun way to teach kids about sexual reproduction without actually having to deal with it: Sperm Vs Egg (Seishi Vs Ranshi; localized to Seed and Egg in English) for smartphones.

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Smartphone version of Dragon Quest free to the first million people

Smartphone version of Dragon Quest free to the first million people

The first version of Square Enix’s Lady Lora-saving slime-battling RPG, Dragon Quest, is now available on your smartphone…for free! But hurry up and download it fast, it’s only available to the first one million downloaders.

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Windows 8’s app store is infested with rip-off Nintendo titles

Windows 8’s app store is infested with rip-off Nintendo titles

It’s been almost a year since the Windows 8 operating system was released to the general public. Its aim was to combine the convenience of downloadable apps with the familiarity of a PC desktop in a touch-focused environment, giving us what could have been the best of both worlds. Instead, the Win8 app store struggles against its primary competitors, iTunes and the Android app store. It’s doesn’t help that developers focus the majority of their programming prowess on developing apps for the older and more trusted operating systems, iOS and Android.

However, there is one branch of the computer app market where Win8 has a distinct advantage, and that’s its library of highly recognizable rip-offs. Just look at this list of free game apps which make nefarious use of Nintendo’s most popular video game characters!

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“Hey, fattie!” Hot guys insulting you = quick way to weight loss

“Hey, fattie!” Hot guys insulting you = quick way to weight loss

If a guy yells “Hey, fattie!” at you, the natural reaction from many girls would be a good slap in the face. But apparently when it comes from the perfect lips of a hot guy, it’s just motivation…

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Tempura-fy your face with noodle chain’s photo app

Tempura-fy your face with noodle chain’s photo app

It seems like everybody and their brother is releasing some kind of promotional app these days. Most of them never really take off, but a noodle chain called Marugame has an app called Marugame’s Photo Shop where they say you can “decorate your photos with tempura”, though why you would want to do so is a little unclear. However, true to Japanese form, it’s turning into quite a hit on Twitter because it is so very bizarre.

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Facebook users in Japan losing interest and heading for the exits

Facebook users in Japan losing interest and heading for the exits

With over a billion registered users worldwide, Facebook is the king of online social networking services. In Japan, however, there are signs that its dominance is starting to crumble.

Facebook launched a Japanese version of its website in 2008. Initially, the platform experienced sluggish user growth as it struggled to compete with already established Japanese SNS sites produced by the likes of mixi, Mobage, and GREE. However, after well-known companies in Japan began to use Facebook as a marketing tool, it caught on with the general public and by the end of 2012 had 17.12 million users.

A mere five months later, however, that number has dropped to 13.78 million, a 19.5 percent drop in less than half a year.

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Award winning app “The Legend of Momotaro” now free for a limited time!

Award winning app “The Legend of Momotaro” now free for a limited time!

“The Legend of Momotaro” is an interactive storybook that introduces readers to the traditional Japanese story about a hero born from a giant peach. The app, created by Ghost Hand Games, manages to teach readers about Japanese culture, language, and legends all in one beautifully illustrated digital picture book that’s now available for free for a limited time only!

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Seven apps and web services trending in Japan this month

Seven apps and web services trending in Japan this month

Ever wondered what people in Japan are looking at on the internet? No, not porn…well, yeah they’re looking at porn, but we’re not here to talk about that. Let’s take a look at seven apps and services currently trending in Japan. Yes, one of them is meant to be used while you’re on the toilet. Oh, don’t be surprised, it is Japan after all.

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New iPad App “The Legend of Momotaro” Brings Japanese Folk Tale to Life

New iPad App “The Legend of Momotaro” Brings Japanese Folk Tale to Life

Telling the age-old story of a hero born from a giant peach, Ghost Hand Games’ new app The Legend of Momotaro landed on our iPad last weekend. Promising an inspiring interactive experience while telling the classic Japanese tale, we fired it up right away. A couple of hours of reading, listening and screen-tapping later, we were left with no doubt in our minds: technology really can do great things for an old reading experience.

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With the New Dual iPad App “Rich Book” You Can Up Your Chances of Being Mugged to 94%

With the New Dual iPad App “Rich Book” You Can Up Your Chances of Being Mugged to 94%

E-book readers are fast becoming the most popular way to get your reading done.  They take up less space and can sometimes be lighter and cleaner than their paper counterparts.

Still, if you’re an old fart like me, you still can’t get used to holding a table and stroking your finger to make a virtual “page” flip over.  It just doesn’t feel right.

But with “RichBook”, the new app from feedtailor Inc., you can sync a single e-book between two iPads, thus creating a real e-book book! Despite its name, the app is available for free to download.

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