The Sims FreePlay January 22 Update

The Sims FreePlay

The Sims FreePlay has finally given us an update and not everyone is happy about it. Well, I should say they aren’t happy because EA still has not addressed some of the issues that some of us are having with the game.

There are really only two issues that I am having, like not being able to log in to Facebook in the game which would allow me to access the party boat to claim daily prizes based on how many Facebook friends I have who also play the game. It also allows me to visit those friend’s neighborhoods and interact with their Sims characters. They have tasks that you have to perform to earn a special currency called SP’s to spend on specific items in the store. If I cannot earn that currency then I will not be able to buy those items.

The other issue that I am having is that I cannot play the game on my new Nook HD+ that I got for Christmas. I have been playing this game on my Android phone since last year and I’m perfectly okay with playing it on there because that is mainly the only reason I even use my phone anymore. Ever since I got my Nook, I’ve uninstalled most of the apps that I used to use on a daily basis because they were causing The Sims FreePlay to constantly crash. Since I can use those apps on my new Nook, I don’t need them on my phone anymore.

Some people are reporting problems that they are having that I don’t seem to be having. They are also really irate that EA has not addressed their complaints.  Here are just 2 comments. I blurred out their names for their own protection.  The first one is negative, the 2nd one, well, if you can understand what that person is saying then you decide lol.  That person is having issues that I am not having.

sims freeplay comments

You know, I am just as miffed as the next person, but let us all have a little perspective here. This is a free game. You don’t pay for it, you get to play it for as long as you want for free. There are premium items you can buy with real life money, but you don’t have to buy them if you don’t want to. Be lucky they are giving us all of these updates because their other game The Sims 3 which is also available for your Android device will cost you $6.99 and from what I have read in the comments there, that game doesn’t have nearly as many cool features and items as the FreePlay game has.

Also, you should be so lucky to have your Android phone or tablet because there are many people in this world who don’t have such luxuries. There are children who are being abused by their parents, some even murdered. There are entire families who are starving and sleeping in the streets because they aren’t as lucky as you. There are people in this world who are being molested, raped and murdered.

There are teenagers who are kicked out of the house and end up living on the streets for years simply because they came out of the closet to their parents. There are gay kids being targeted, beat up, some even raped and then murdered in Russia because Vladimir Putin gave them the okay by making being gay illegal. There are gay people living in Uganda who are being murdered or raped, or both. And finally, there are people being stoned to death in the Arab countries for the same reason, because they are gay. So chill out, it’s just a silly little game. Count your lucky stars that you even have the money to play the game on your expensive little toy.

I am just as miffed at EA because the Facebook issue started when they put out the Halloween update and I have waited all this time and was let down yesterday when I couldn’t log in with the new update. I understand how frustrating it is. I was also let down when I couldn’t play it on my Nook, but even if I could play it on my Nook, if I can’t log in to Facebook to upload my progress, then how will I be able to continue from where I left off on my phone when I try to play it on my Nook?

Someone told me to just buy a Kindle. Um… I have a Nook. I can’t just go out and say “hey take my Nook and give me a Kindle.” It doesn’t work that way. My Nook is a Nook HD+ with 32 GB which only cost $150. The Kindle Fire equivalent is $444 (see below). So yeah, I will not be buying a new Kindle just so I can play The Sims FreePlay. Even if I did, I still have the Facebook issue. If I can’t back up my game, then what point is getting a Kindle Fire to play it on?

kindle fire hdx

One person even said to just go out and buy the cheap Kindle Fire. Again, even at the low price of $139, I still have the Facebook issue to deal with. Besides, why do these people think I have money lying around that I can just go out and buy all these new things? I just cancelled HBO and Showtime because I needed that extra $30 a month. How am I supposed to go out and buy a second tablet that I will only use to play The Sims with? I put $20 into savings and had to take it back out just to buy groceries. Come on, think it through people.

At any rate, I will continue to wait and hope that EA will fix these issues and I will continue not complaining because there is more to life than just a silly little game. I will continue playing it on my phone and be happy that I even have that luxury. How happy you ask? This happy…

sims freeplay shirt

Nook HD+ from Barnes & Noble

Nook HD+ from Barnes & Noble

I love my Nook HD+.  I have been having so much fun with it since I got it for Christmas, actually the week before Christmas.  Yeah we don’t conform to the traditions of opening your presents on Christmas day, or even on birthdays.  We open presents the day we get them.  Screw tradition lol.

My Nook HD+ has a 9” screen, so it’s bigger than the Nook HD in the sense that it has 2 more inches, but I’m telling you that because there are certain apps that work with 7 inches, but don’t work with 9 inches.  Like The Sims FreePlay and Viggle for example.  The Sims FreePlay is downloadable, you just can’t play it because you get this warning when you try.

The Sims FreePlay

I am not sure if The Sims FreePlay will even work with a Nook HD 7” tablet.  I know it works with the Kindle Fire because I’ve seen people taking pictures and video of it on that device.  I’m pretty sure it was the 7”, so if it runs on the Kindle Fire 7”, then it probably runs on the Nook HD 7”.  If so or not, please let me know.

Viggle on the other hand doesn’t even show up in the Google Play Store, so they don’t even give you the option.  I know it works on 7” tablets because I installed it on my partner’s tablet to see if I could do trivia when trivia wasn’t giving me any points with my phone.  It installed and looked great too, but the trivia was not working on his tablet any better than it was on my phone.  Although, just because it installed on his tablet doesn’t mean I know if it will install on a Nook HD 7” tablet.

Facebook isn’t great on the Nook HD+ when you use the app.  Using the browser is so much better because you get the full website that you get on the computer, but the only problem I have is when I use another tab to visit another website, or even if I use an app, like if I go check my email, when I come back to the Facebook tab, it goes straight to the mobile version.  If I wanted to use Facebook mobile, I would just use the Facebook app.

The Twitter app that comes with the Nook HD+ from the Nook store isn’t updated, so it’s better to let Google Play update it.  It’s easy to use and if you have multiple twitter accounts, you can switch back and forth very easily.  It’s actually better on the Nook HD+ than it is on my phone.  When I am using @xanapus on my phone, then try to switch over to another twitter name, for some odd reason it switches me back to @xanapus.  It doesn’t do that on my Nook HD+.

I didn’t like the Google+ app on my phone and I rarely ever use it on my computer, but it is great on the Nook HD+.  That’s one of the social media websites that I wanted to start using more often.  It has a much better look than Facebook does in my opinion.  Google+ doesn’t force you to look at ads or suggested posts.

One annoying thing that I noticed is that when I am in my library, I scroll down to My Files and see there are 564 files.  How the heck am I supposed to weed through all of those files to get to the ebooks I have downloaded?  Well, I discovered that if you click the words My Files, it brings up a new window which shows folders.  They are in the Download folder.  I have 6 ebooks that I downloaded from the EverQuest Next website that are fiction based books based on EverQuest the game, but they are all in PDF format.  Ebooks that I’ve downloaded in ePub format will show up with my Nook books, but the PDF files don’t.  I did download an app called File Manager HD which allowed me to create a new folder in my download folder so I could keep the EQN ebooks in there to keep that folder more organized.

PicsArt Photo Studio is a good app that I use on my phone to add stickers and frames and text to my pictures, but it’s such a small screen that sometimes it’s difficult to see what I’m doing.  My Nook HD+ doesn’t have a camera, but I can use Google Drive to retrieve my files.  What I really like most is that I can write on the screen with this.  I can do that on my phone, but it’s too small.

Happy New Year 2014

Okay, so my handwriting isn’t the best, it’s even worse on paper lol.

ChromecastSome useful apps that come with the Nook HD+ include Netflix and Hulu+ and if you have a Google Chromecast, you can watch them on your TV.  You don’t even need to have the Google Chromecast app installed to use it.  I know this because I bought it for my partner and I couldn’t get it to connect to his tablet.  I connected it with my CR-48 aka Chromebook, then was able to connect it to his tablet.  I don’t have the app installed on my Nook HD+ or my phone, but the icon is visible on YouTube, Netflix and Hulu+.  I guess any Android or Apple device that is connected to my network will have that ability.

Of course, other good uses for the Nook HD+ is actually reading a book lol.  You aren’t limited to Nook books either, you can read your Kindle books plus your Google Play books.  In fact, if there is a service that sells ebooks, you can read the books you bought from them, including pdf files and ebooks.  Some writers only publish their ebook with Amazon KDP Select because they get more advertising, and if they chose KDP Select, they can only publish with Amazon for 3 months.  That’s why it’s good to use the Kindle on my Nook, because some ebooks aren’t available on the Nook.

One of the features that I do like is the Nook app “Your Highlights and Notes.”  If you do a lot of highlighting and like to add notes, this is a good thing.  It had all the highlights from the Nook for PC when I got it, but it didn’t show any text.  When I add new highlights, it shows the page number and the first couple of sentences that I highlighted, and if I left a note, it shows my note.  That makes it so much easier to find every highlight and every note on every ebook you own whether it’s downloaded or in the cloud.  Highlighting and leaving notes on my Nook WiFi was so difficult and as soon as I started reading another ebook, all of the highlights and notes disappeared, which was very frustrating.

There is also a Nook app called “Your Lookups” that shows you every word you ever had to find the definition for.  That does come in handy if you ever want to find that specific word again.  The list of words you looked up are on the left, and the word, the book you found it in, the page and the date and time you looked it up are on the right along with the definition of the word.  WOW!  Now you have a record of the date and time you learned a new word.

Anyway, these are some of my thoughts on the Nook HD+.  I like it a lot and I will get a ton of use out of it.  I still have my Nook WiFi and I don’t think I will use it as often for reading ebooks, but if the occasion ever arises when I go outside to read, I will be able to use it.

Nook HD+ for Christmas

desktop landscape

I was totally not expecting this, but my partner bought me a Nook HD+ 32GB for Christmas. I was saving money to buy an Amazon Kindle Fire because I thought it was better than a Nook tablet. I had no idea that the Nook tablet had the Google play store now. So I changed my mind, but was still saving the money and was expecting that I would finally have the money saved by my birthday in June. I told my partner what I was planning, and I think he took that as a hint. It wasn’t, but hey, I’m not complaining lol.

I have a Nook WiFi, which is still very nice to have for when I want to read a book in the sunlight. That doesn’t happen very often, but it does happen. You can’t see a tablet screen in sunlight which is what makes a e-ink screen superior than a tablet in that sense.

I was saving up for the 7″ screen with only 8GB, but when we were at the Barnes & Noble store he saw the two screens next to each other and decided for me that the 9″ screen was better, and that 32GB would also be way better than only 8GB which I highly agree with. The price however was a huge difference. The 7″ tablet was only $129 and the 9″ was $179. I agree that the one he bought me is better though, and I probably would have regretted not getting the bigger one.

library portrait There was a problem with my new Nook though. The first day was okay, but the second day wasn’t. The screen started freaking out on me. It would move side to side on its own and it would drop app icons onto the desktop from the carousel at the top. It also went into my library and started downloading books and magazines from the cloud. I saw it in the Nook store and freaked out that it would start making executive decisions on what it thought I should start reading.

I called the store and tried to explain to them what was happening, but the tech didn’t get it right away. She eventually understood and walked me through resetting it to factory and told me if I had any more problems to bring it in for another one. It did, and so we went in the very next day. It was a good thing too because they were on sale, so they gave my partner the difference, which was $32. Not bad eh? Instead of being $179, it was only $149.

So yeah, the Nook HD+ 32GB was a very good thing. I’ve been putting my computer in sleep mode while I use the Nook as a computer. No sense in using electricity if I’m going to use a tablet instead of a computer. I am disappointed that I can’t play the Sims FreePlay on it though. I’ve been playing that on my cell phone for a year now and it gets frustrating when it crashes constantly. I would love to free up some space on my phone and play it on a bigger screen.

landscape book

I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to read books on the screen because I much prefer either paper or e-ink, but it’s actually not that bad to read from. I’ve been reading in landscape mode and it reads just like a book, it even looks like a book when you turn the page. The reason I’m reading in landscape mode is because of the case I have. It’s much easier for me to read with the Nook sitting on my desk than it is to hold it on my hand.

I am very happy with my gift. I’m even happier that I didn’t have to save the money for it because I can’t save money very easily because it always goes into the groceries. I’m even happier that the replacement didn’t freak out like the first one lol.

We didn’t buy the case in the store because I thought they would be expensive, so I bought it on Amazon for $11 with free shipping.  Not a bad price.  I found out that the cases they have in the store are only $15, but I am very happy with the case that I have because it rotates so it can stand in portrait or landscape mode.

We don’t conform to the rules of opening your Christmas presents ON Christmas day.  Screw that noise lol.  We will open our presents when we gosh darn well please thank you very much.  The present I bought for him wasn’t quite as expensive though, it was the Google Chromecast for $35.  He can use it to watch Netflix or YouTube directly from his tablet.  My second gift for him was Netflix itself, which we both can enjoy from our tablets and the Blu-ray player.

Shopping for an eBook Reader

Someone I follow on tweeted this link today. Engadget’s back to school guide: E-readers. Naturally I had to look because I too want to buy an e-book reader. I have wanted one ever since they first came out but never could afford one because they were in the $400 – $600 range (around 2006).

In November 2009 I started blogging for pay (via PayPerPost and Blogsvertise) with the intention of saving money for buying an e-book reader, Kindle or Nook. Preferably a Nook because of the color screen at the bottom but it didn’t really make any difference. They were both around $265 or so back then.

I had a lot of trouble saving the money for one because my monthly income is so low that when I run out of grocery money I ended up taking the blogging money from PayPal to buy food. Since I have a PayPal debit card it makes it so much easier to spend the money.

9 months has gone by since I made the commitment to save the money and I still don’t have an e-book reader. However, the thing that I wanted the most out of an e-book reader was a lower price to justify my purchase.

eBook readers such as the Amazon Kindle, Barnes and Noble Nook and Sony Reader have all gone dramatically down in price, down to a price that I can finally afford.

Unfortunately, they still don’t fit my needs. What I want is an e-book reader that will accept a lot of formats like .lit, .prc, .pdf, .mobi and .epub. What I want is for an e-book reader that would allow me to read those formats and still be able to use their dictionary. I don’t know if they all let you to use the dictionary with just a .pdf file which is what makes my decision so difficult.

Kindle Wireless Reading Device, Wi-Fi, 6″ Display, Graphite – Latest Generation:

Pros: The new Amazon Kindle is stylish. I love the graphite color. I like the keypad on the bottom, it’s small enough that I’m ok with it considering I would probably be typing on it occasionally when searching for keywords, making notes and searching for books in the Kindle store. They have games on it, which I don’t really care about, I just want it to read but it is good to know. The price dropped down to $139 and has free 2-day free shipping which is awesome. The battery works for a full month without charging with the wi-fi turned off which is great.

Cons: It does allow me to view my .pdf books but that’s it and I can’t use the dictionary for definitions which is a big negative for me. I mean sure I can’t do that with a paper book but this is electronic and I want that ability. Also, it does not have an SD card for adding more books.

NOOK Wi-Fi, eReader, eBook Reader – Barnes & Noble:

Pros: The B&N Nook is also very stylish with its cool color touchscreen at the bottom which also has a keyboard. The screen goes black while you are reading to keep you from being distracted. It does allow me to add a .pdf, .epub and .pdb file and has a MicroSD slot. The cool thing about the Nook is that you can lend books to your friends and if I had any that had a Nook then we could lend each other books. If you are in the B&N store you can browse through a book for free for 1 hour per day. The price dropped down to $149 and although it’s $10 more than Amazon it is still a good price.

Cons: The Nooks battery is only 10 days unlike the Kindle which is 30 days. The color touchscreen on the bottom is too slow for impatient people like me. Although as I said it allows .pdf, .epub and .pdb files it doesn’t allow the others. All my ebooks are in all the other formats I mentioned above.

Sony Digital Reader Pocket Edition – Dark Blue:

The price of this is different at the Sony site as opposed to the Amazon site. Amazon charges $136.99 with free shipping but according to the Sony site it’s $149.99. I would buy it from Amazon.

Pros: Although it is a little bit stylish in the dark blue color, it isn’t as stylish as the Kindle or Nook. The Sony Pocket Edition does allow multiple formats such as .pdf, .epub, MS Word, BBeB Book (?) and other text file formats. It doesn’t say the others. The ebook store Sony uses is the Reader store which I assume is from Sony, check out books from public libraries and access over one million free public domain titles from Google Books, sharing sites and other online stores and publishers websites.

I don’t know if that means I can access the Rainbow eBooks website or not, I hope it does because that is what I want.

Cons: One of the things I don’t like about this is that it doesn’t have a keyboard for typing and I don’t know how you type anything when looking up a book to buy.

I don’t know if this should go in pro or con, it’s charge only lasts 2 weeks but I mean seriously, I can charge it every 2 weeks.

This is a tough and huge decision, one that I can think about until the first week of September when I will finally have the money saved up to buy one. I’m leaning more toward the Sony reader though but I would like it if people would leave a comment telling me what they think of each of these readers to give me more to think about. Keeping in mind that I buy a lot of books from Rainbow eBooks and ebooks.com.