Attack of Miitomo

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Strangest Social Network

struggling_miitomoYesterday is the day that Nintendo finally rolled out it’s My.Nintendo.Com rebranding of their account system.  For years Nintendo has made some pretty confusing choices when it came to social connectivity in their applications.  The obtuse friend code system in the 3DS was often times more trouble than it was really worth to connect up with your friends under most situations.  The short lived Nintendo ID seemed to work better, but since I only recently purchased a Wii U I have not had a ton of experience with it other than accessing the eShop.  “My Nintendo” is their new attempt at gluing together all of these old systems along with the social media that we actually use on a regular basis… namely Twitter, Google Plus, and Facebook… with what appears to be integration with Instagram and Line but these are not super intuitive.  With this network they also rolled out a new app called Miitomo that attempts to be something along the lines of those street pass apps that let you play with your friends Mii avatars.

The only problem is…  that the app refuses to work on my phone.  They have chosen to block rooted phones from being able to use the network… which honestly accounts for a not insignificant portion of the android market share.  The only problem here is…  my phone isn’t rooted.  At one point I absolutely unlocked root so I could run tethering apps, however since then I restored back to the factory settings.  When you use any of the “root checker” programs my phone gets as clean bill of health, and Samsung KNOX is still showing a valid warranty so zero strikes there either.  So for all purposes my phone is not rooted and the app should not be able to tell that it has EVER been rooted.  However I am still encountering the same damned black screen and crash that rooted users seem to experience, so I am guessing somehow the Nintendo app still thinks I have a rooted device.  The only problem here is… if my phone were actually rooted I could fix this problem easily by using cloaking software to keep the Miitomo app from seeing the root access.  So honestly if I ever want to run this on my phone it is looking like I am going to have to redo the root and install Rootcloak… which sort of defeats the purpose doesn’t it Nintendo?

dancing_miitomoAll of this said I did manage to get it to install on my Amazon Kindle Fire tablet, which in itself is a bit of a goofy situation given that this is not on the Amazon app store yet.  If you also have the $50 Kindle, and would like to be using the Google Play store instead…  check out this video that I used to install the play store and the related applications on my tablet because it doesn’t require root to actually make it happen.  The only game I have yet to get to work on the Kindle is Final Fantasy Record Keeper and I am guessing if I did some digging I could probably make that work too.  On the Miitomo front…  I am not entirely certain I get it.  I mean it is a very cute presentation and it allows me to dress my Mii up however I want.  The only problem is I am not really seeing the point, other than earning nebulous rewards on the “My Nintendo” website like 15% off coupons.  Once you get past the window dressing, what the app ultimately ends up being is a super cumbersome chat program that lets you comment on your friends status updates.  If I could take items earned in this app and have it trickle down into the 3DS and Wii U then that would be really awesome, or if I could unlock extras for the games I am already playing…  then that would be really cool.  For the time being however it falls into the “nifty” bin but I am not sure how much myself or anyone else will really be using this once the new and cool factor wears off.

[Edit] – as of this morning I noticed there was a 1.1.2 update waiting on my phone.  I tried that and sure enough it seems to have fixed the crash.  I do have to admit this is a much better app for a phone than a tablet, so maybe I was overly harsh in my initial review.  I am not sure if this actually fixes things for rooted users, but it fixed my problems.

 

Super Good Advice

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I’ve been playing a silly amount of Iron Banner over the last few days, because I am finding that I really do enjoy PVP in Destiny.  This is just such an odd revelation for me given that I have purposefully shied away from fighting other players in any other game.  At least on some level it makes me wonder if I should dust off some of the other titles and give PVP a real chance to see if it sticks with me.  I remember enjoying playing Arena in World of Warcraft during Burning Crusade, but in large part we were doing our matches to get epics… to help our characters in raiding.  That is the most interesting thing for me is that I thought I was going into Iron Banner just for the loot, and while I have managed to get two of the chestpieces… that really doesn’t seem to be my core drive.  I actually like playing the maps, and while there are some that I absolutely hate… several of them are beginning to feel extremely comfortable.  The other thing that I find shocking is that I actually seem to be improving quite a bit.  There have been a few matches where I topped the score for the entire match, which is something I find completely bizarro.  I still consider myself a very shitty Destiny player.

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I think my ultimate goal for this weekend is to be able to get up high enough in the ranking to start to see the weapon drops.  I believe these start at rank 4 with the hand cannon, and rank 5 for the machine gun.  Both of them are weapons that I would probably actually use, but I am more excited about the Hand Cannon right now for some reason.  I miss using my Hand Cannon, and it feels like maybe this one would be a good legendary to run around with.  I need to honestly just dust off my Hawkmoon and give it a go again… but the big problem that I always run into is the fact that I never seem to have enough ammunition.  It is my huge hope that in the weapon re-balancing coming in the April patch that we see some love for the reserve ammunition size of the various Hand Cannon archetypes.  For now my weapon of choice in the Crucible is the Antipodal Hindsight that I now have up to 303.  There is just something about this weapon that I love, especially now that I have a roll on it with Rodeo.  Seriously… Rodeo on any weapon will take it from crappy to completely viable for me at least.  It is my hope that through today’s daily bounties I will hit rank 3 and get my first Iron Banner package.

 

Kindle Arrives

Kindle7Inch

A New Toy

Kindle7Inch

Sunday I wrote a bit about my troubles with Amazon and shipping recently, and I guess maybe that complaining worked.  Not only did I get additional prime subscription time added to my account to appease me, but yesterday mid day my new Amazon Fire 7 inch tablet showed up.  As a result I spent a good deal of last night fiddling with it, and I figured I would write a little bit about it as a result.  The tablet I am talking about is the one that has been widely advertised as being sold in six packs…. and singles go for only $49.99 so that the marketing can say “under $50 dollars”.  Over the recent holiday consumer madness… they were selling the tablet for $34.99 which finally got me to jump on buying one just to see what it is like.  I already have owned several android tablets, and even got a used ipad 2 since my wife loved hers so much.  After all of that I had pretty much decided I simply was not a “tablet” person.  If I have time to use a tablet… I am probably at home and could just play on my PC, PS4, Vita, PS3…  you are getting the idea.  What I lacked though was a really good device to read on… because the iPad and Android tablets were just too bulk to use in bed comfortably without nodding off every so often and whacking myself in the face.

The first shocker is the size, because really when you think about it… 7 inches sounds like a large size.  The tablet as a whole feels more like a large phone… so something along the lines of a Samsung Note and less like a tablet.  The build quality is solid, and the device feels nice in your hand… but the plastic back makes it feel a little on the cheap side.  Then again this is a tablet that I just paid $34 for…  and in the past that would have gotten me some shanzhai reject and not a perfectly viable device.  There are some caveats to know going into it.  Firstly there is no Google Play store on the device by default, and in theory it is set up in a way to keep directing you at the Amazon ecosystem for music, movies and everything else related.  This is good in one aspect, especially if you are a Prime user… since well it has one of the better interfaces for actually watching the free streaming with Prime.  The whole lack of Google Play would have potentially been a deal breaker since, as someone already embedded in the Android world… I already own pretty much all of the apps I need to function there and have zero interest in repurchasing them from Amazon.  Thankfully I did a bit of research before jumping into this device and apparently it is a relatively trivial experience to load the Play store, it simply involves loading four different android apps on your device in a specific order.  Luckily however the above video shows you the appropriate order and provides what seems to be a clean link to the downloads.  I personally just downloaded them from my device to save having to try and swap them over through a computer.

It Plays Hearthstone

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The other thing that I would really like to do with a tablet is to be able to quickly get into Hearthstone and play it from bed.  Previously most of my Android devices simply performed like crap in Hearthstone, with the best possible version being on my Samsung Galaxy S5… and even then it was super sluggish.  This device however, took a bit of time initially to boot into Hearthstone and sign into Battle.net the first time, but from that point on I have been able to get in and doing stuff pretty quickly.  The interface ends up being a little small, so things like the settings gear can be a bit awkward to click on at first, but the base interface of the game performed smoothly.  I played a few games last night, and experienced real issues, and even as multiple effects were firing on screen I didn’t see any noticeable lag.  So for my purposes the device passes with flying colors when it comes to gaming.  At some point I will throw other games on it and test those out as well, but since I was mostly concerned about running what is normally a fairly intensive mobile game like Hearthstone…  that is what I went with first.  Please excuse the kinda crappy photo but I wanted to take a photo of me running hearthstone ON the device…  which meant taking a photo with my phone since I have not figured out how to do a screenshot on Kindle Fire OS yet and the normal methods from my phone did not work at all.

As far as the other purpose of the device, it also passes with flying colors.  Any device can read a book, so that wasn’t really what I was concerned about… so instead I booted into my Marvel Unlimited account and attempted to read some comics.  I wanted to see if a full comic page was readable with the small screen size and my less than perfect eyes.  I have to say I was pretty happy with the end results, and the slightly strange format as you might expect fits a page size perfectly.  Laying in bed last night I read around a dozen or so comics and my eyes never felt like they were being strained.  The only time things got awkward is when I needed to read a double panel spread, at which point I had to mostly zoom in and move around the screen to read the panels.  These were still awkward as shit on my full sized iPad, so I am not really too shocked about this.  These are one of those things that only really works well in a physical book.  The next step will be to load the puppy up with books, since right now our Amazon account is loaded up with quite literally thousands of books that I have zero interest in… since my wife and her mother are the primary users of that account.  In the past I always preferred reading through Aldiko so I will have to install that and test it out as well.  All told though… I am really happy with my $34 purchase… which after using some built up Discover cash back bonus…  ended up covering the entire cost.

Best Laid Plans

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Last night I had every plan of running a bunch of LFR in the hopes of getting a main hand weapon.  However in the middle of piddling around in Tanaan jungle I got a Baleful Armament to drop for me.  Unfortunately… it turned into the lowest possible version I could get.  That said it is better than nothing and matches the 650 shield that I have as well.  I am at the very least “viable” as a tank, though I need to do some stuff to set up my bars.  It is my hope that at some point I will get a decent sword and shield to drop in normal that I will roll offspec on.  In the meantime I need to get used to tanking as a Paladin, and this at least gives me the ability to run the daily heroic relatively easily for Valor.  As to how much pug tanking I will be doing… that is an entirely different question.  The main problem with last night however… is that I did not really sleep well Sunday night.  So by the time I spent awhile fiddling with the Kindle, my wife suggested that it was bedtime… and for once I agreed.  Admittedly I went to bed and continued to play with the Kindle, but sitting on the couch was invoking the most furious of yawns.  At the very least tonight I want to run the Black Gate on both characters, in the hopes that Tuesday night LFR is still the best possible time to run it.  In theory I should probably do the entire LFR on Belghast in the hopes of getting an upgraded weapon before the Wednesday night normal raid with Jed and crew.