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Supertype Focuses on the Weight and Sound of Letters

November 21, 2020 by RSS Feed

Supertype ($0.99) by Philipp Stollenmayer is a new word puzzle game that changes how you think about words. If you enjoyed games like Spelltower, Alphabear, and TypeShift, then Supertype is another fine addition to your word game collection.

As a writer, I have a thing for word games. They're relaxing for me and rather stimulating. Plus, I love words much more than numbers — it's kind of my thing, after all. While word games aren't filling up the App Store as they did a few years ago, I'm still always looking out for new ones, especially if they aren't just another Scrabble clone. I heard about Supertype a few months ago, and it was something so different that I couldn't wait for its release. Now it's finally here, and I must say, this is a completely fresh approach to word games in general, and it shouldn't be missed.

$2.99

SpellTower

Zach Gage

Free

Alphabear: Word Puzzle Game

Spry Fox LLC

Free

Typeshift

Zach Gage

Visually, Supertype has a unique and textured aesthetic style that makes it stand out from the crowd. The game is rendered completely in 2D, but features a textured background like canvases and wallpapers. The lines, shapes, and letters in each stage appear as if they're inked on the paper, which I love. There's nothing quite as satisfying as watching ink get absorbed into quality paper, and Supertype brings back those memories for me. Each stage is distinctive, and the sans serif typeface that the game uses is beautiful. Sans serif fonts with straight edges is my preferred kind of typography, so seeing it everywhere in Supertype made me happy. There's no base soundtrack to the game, but the sound effects as letters move around and hit other objects generates a one-of-a-kind soundtrack that'll be different for everyone. Supertype proves that sometimes, less is more.

Like many other puzzle games, Supertype is level-based. The game launches and places a puzzle in front of you, and gives you another once you solve it — rinse and repeat. The goal of Supertype is straightforward: have the letters touch all of the small squares together. You can tap on the "Home" button in the bottom left corner to reset a puzzle or go back to the level select screen.

While this sounds easy enough, it gets pretty tricky. You have to think about how certain letters fall, how much they weigh, and even how they sound. On every level, there are different shapes and objects laid out, and the squares you want are scattered about.

Controls in Supertype are intuitive and friendly enough for everyone. Tap on the screen to bring up the keyboard, and then type in some letters — it doesn't even have to be a real word, and you don't need to take up all of the indicated spaces. Just tap on the checkmark button on the keyboard and watch gravity do its thing. Other times, there are already letters put on the screen, and you must draw a line with your finger (not over the letters) to guide them to the squares. Sometimes there are fans that push letters up, and other objects that can affect where your letters go, so think about your letter choice and make use of them.

When you go back to the level selection screen, you can view completed stages with the letters you used, and you can also attempt the next few stages ahead of you, as a few get unlocked at a time. The game has over 100 puzzles, so there's some good bang for your buck here.

A letter based puzzler that isn't your traditional word game.

The Good

Supertype is a refreshing new word puzzle game that will appeal to many. The visuals are a nice mix of old timey and modern, especially those little buttons of various printed paper that splash onto the screen once you solve a puzzle. And while there's no static soundtrack, the sounds that each letter generates creates a nice dynamic track that's unique and fresh. The controls are easy to learn, and the gameplay itself is different, challenging, and fun. This is a word game that is unlike anything you've played before, and it's a refreshing addition for word game aficionados.

The Bad

Supertype is packed with a lot of good stuff, but I did notice that it's a bit glitchy with the button to go to the level select screen. I noticed that sometimes it would appear in the bottom left corner, but sometimes it wouldn't be there, and only show up on the keyboard itself. It's a minor detail, but left me a bit puzzled at first.

The verdict

As a lover of word games, Supertype is one that did not disappoint. The gameplay is interesting and makes me think about letters from a different perspective now, and it's just downright fun to watch and hear them get juggled around. The graphics are gorgeous, and everything runs pretty smoothly, aside from the glitch with the menu button. I'd recommend giving Supertype a try if you're in search of a word and puzzle game.

Supertype is on the App Store as a universal download for your iPhone and iPad.

8.9

OVERALL

Gameplay 10

Game Controls 9

Graphics 9

Replayability 8.5

Sound/Music 8

$1.99

supertype

Philipp Stollenmayer

Source link: http://appadvice.com/reviews

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Be More Productive With Google Tasks

November 21, 2020 by RSS Feed

Google Tasks: Get Things Done (Free) by Google is the official app for managing your tasks and to-dos associated with your Google account. The app came out earlier in the week, which should be appealing to users of the service, which was previously only available through the web.

Ever since I got my first iPhone back in 2008 and then joined the lovely AppAdvice team, I've grown into a kind of productivity nut. I never really kept track of a digital calendar until I got an iPhone, at which point I started to just use Google Calendar for everything. I also went through many different task managers, writing apps, and other miscellaneous things to up my productivity levels. Even though I've come to settle down on a workflow that works for me (Things 3 is what I currently use), I can't help but check out other to-do apps as they come along. So when I saw Google Tasks hit the App Store this week, I had to give it a go, especially considering the fact that most of my stuff is on Google anyways.

Free

Google Photos

Google, Inc.

Free

Google Calendar

Google, Inc.

$9.99

Things 3

Cultured Code GmbH & Co. KG

Free

OmniFocus 2

The Omni Group

Visually, Google Tasks is simple and clean. If you've used other Google apps and services before, then Tasks will look familiar to you right away. It's definitely not the prettiest thing to look at, but no one uses Google services because they're pretty, it's more about functionality. Tasks features plenty of whitespace and bold headers so you know exactly where you are in your lists. The app is fast and responsive, with smooth transition animations as you navigate through the app and edit items. And since this uses Google's cloud, syncing data is fast and seamless across multiple devices, such as between your iPhone and the web (this version needs some work).

When you launch Tasks, you'll need to sign in to your Google account, obviously. Most of us should already have a Google account by now, but you can also make one if you don't use Google's productivity suite yet.

Once you sign in, your default screen is "My Tasks." This is like the inbox for your items, and where they go to by default if you don't add to a specific list. Speaking of, Tasks only has support for lists, so if you wanted to create projects, such as "Work" with multiple jobs, then you're out of luck. You can switch lists at any time by tapping on the hamburger button in the bottom left corner and then selecting the list you want to view. You can also create a new list from here as well.

Creating a new list is fairly barebones — just give it a name, and then hit "Done." It gets saved and you have an empty list, ready to get to work. When you want to add a new task, just tap on the large button in the center, and it brings up the prompt. Type in your task, and then tap on the "+" button for additional details like notes and a due date.

Unfortunately, Google Tasks does not support due times, which is something I prefer, with deadlines to meet. Maybe it's something that Google could consider in the future, but it may or may not be a deal breaker for some.

If you decide you need a task to be in a different list, it's easy to move. Just view the item in question, and then tap on the list in the upper left corner, then pick where you want to move it to. Or you can trash it with the button in the top right.

Google Tasks does come with support for subtasks straight out of the box, though, so at least there's that. You can add subtasks to any existing task in a list, and there's no limit on the number of subtasks you can have. You can check off each subtask off as you complete them, but checking off the main task also marks any subtasks as done in one go.

A nice thing about Google Tasks is that it has the ability to create tasks for you from emails. When you use Gmail to directly add a task, you can check out your tasks in the sidebar of Gmail. Tasks even let you trace it back to the source, in case you forget where it came from.

Previously only available on the web, Google Tasks is now a standalone app.

The Good

Google Tasks is a great choice to consider for tasks if you are already using Google's other G Suite apps, such as Gmail and Calendar. The mobile app looks a lot nicer than the web version, and it's fast and simple. It's not a complicated app, so those who are usually scared off by complex task managers like OmniFocus should definitely take a look at Google Tasks.

The Bad

I can see Google Tasks being good enough for those who don't want anything too complicated. However, I'm not a fan of the lack of due times with dates, and I wish I could organize lists together in a collection or project. Perhaps it's something that can be considered in the future.

The verdict

While I use Google for a lot of things (Calendar, Gmail, Contacts, and Photos), I don't think I'll be sticking with Tasks. While I like the simplicity of the design, it's just too barebones for me. However, if you don't need a complicated task manager and just need something that handles basic lists with subtasks or integrates with Gmail, then Tasks is a good fit. But if you need more powerful features, then I recommend looking elsewhere.

Google Tasks is available on the iPhone App Store for free.

7.8

OVERALL

iPhone Integration 8

User Interface 8

Is engaging 8

Lasting appeal 7.5

Does it well 7.5

FREE

Google Tasks: Get Things Done

Google LLC

Source link: http://appadvice.com/reviews

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Throw Axes and Slay Your Foes in AXE.IO

November 21, 2020 by RSS Feed

AXE.IO (Free) by Crescent Moon Games is a brutal battleground arena game. If you enjoy games like Fortnite and PUBG Mobile, but want something a bit less serious and more comical, then AXE.IO is a good choice.

When I need to take my mind off of things for a bit, I turn to video games. Whether it's puzzles or some arcade action, it usually helps ease my mind. But lately, I've been needing something a bit more action-packed, something that lets me take my anger out in a non-harmful way. So when I saw AXE.IO on the App Store, I knew it was going to be a good fit.

Free

Fortnite

Epic Games, Inc.

Free

PUBG MOBILE

Tencent Mobile International Limited

Visually, AXE.IO has a distinctive, low-poly art style that seems popular these days, especially since Horizon Chase. It reminds me a tiny bit of Fortnite, since it's rather cartoony, but the characters are modeled after fantasy and medieval designs, rather than modern young adults. The arenas are not vast and huge as PUBG and Fortnite, but there's still plenty of space to move around as you try to survive. The colors are bright and colorful, with some muted earthy tones thrown in to the mix. Animations are smooth and fluid on my iPhone 8 Plus, though I get some lag and frame rate issues when a lot is going on. The soundtrack is rather exhilarating and action-packed too.

There's four game modes in AXE.IO: Arena, Deathmatch, Battleground, and Dragon Hunter. Arena is the default mode, and lets you partake in small 6-player arenas, where you fight for as long as you can. Deathmatch puts you up against players in real-time, and you can keep reviving and trying again until time's up. Battleground puts 50 players on a map and you fight to be the lone survivor. Dragon Hunter is more of a co-op mode, where you team up with others (instead of fighting them) to defeat huge dragons.

No matter which mode you choose, AXE.IO is just brutal multiplayer fun with throwing axes and other melee weapons. The controls are easy to pick up as well. To move around in the arena, just use the virtual joystick in the bottom left corner. Opposite of that, in the right corner, you have buttons for throwing your axe, rolling to evade, and even a sword attack if you have a sword equipped.

AXE.IO, as the name implies, involves throwing axes to kill your enemies. To do this, you'll want to make sure that green arrow in front of your character is aimed towards your target, and then you just tap on that axe button to throw, hopefully hitting them. Those axes land in their skulls for some nice, brutal kills, which is exactly what the game was going for. But since you just threw your axe, you'll become vulnerable until you pick up another axe laying around, ready to strike your next target.

As you get kills in the arenas, you'll earn experience points, represented by the gold coin drops from fallen foes. The higher your level is, the more advantages you'll have in battle. That's because there are tons of items just laying around, such as multiple axes, swords, and shields, but they require a higher level to use. Having such items protect you from more hits, and let you dish out more hits without having to find another axe laying around.

You have the opportunity to earn crystals as you play, which can be spent on new character unlocks. Each character has their own unique trait. There are also skills that get unlocked, and if you use them with the right character, their abilities get boosted. It's important to match the right skill with the proper character for maximum efficiency.

If you die, you can spend some gems to revive with all of your existing items and level, or watch an ad for the same purpose. Otherwise, if you revive, you start back at level one and all items are lost. Be careful though — you only get one continue, so use it wisely.

AXE.IO is an intense and brutal multiplayer battlegrounds arena game that is perfect for bite-size mobile gaming sessions.

The Good

AXE.IO is a fun and entertaining pocket battleground game that's sure to keep you busy for some time. The graphics are nice, the music is fun, and the gameplay is challenging, considering that it's against other real players from all over the world. The controls work out nicely, and it's hard to stop once you get used to the system, even if you end up dying a lot.

The Bad

Like other battleground games, you're going to die a lot in AXE.IO. If you get frustrated because of a lot of deaths, then perhaps AXE.IO is not the type of game for you. However, it's all really in good fun, so you shouldn't be too serious about it. Plus even if you don't usually play these types of games, AXE.IO is a lot easier than games like Fortnite and PUBG, so it gives everyone a more fair chance of playing and rising in the ranks quickly.

The verdict

I've never played any .IO games before, but AXE.IO is a pretty fun one, I must admit. I enjoy low-poly graphics, so the visuals appeal to me, and the cartoonish style works considering the nature of the game. The music is fun and delightful, along with the sound effects. Controls are intuitive and not too complicated, considering the battlegrounds theme, so it's friendly enough for everyone. I just wish that there wasn't so much lag when the action gets pretty intense, as that has screwed me up a few times in the middle of combat. Not that big of a deal though, since it's so fast-paced, but some optimizations would be nice.

AXE.IO is available on the App Store as a universal download for your iPhone and iPad for free. There are in-app purchases for characters and gems.

8.4

OVERALL

Game Controls 9

Replayability 8.7

Graphics 8

Sound/Music 8

Gameplay 8.5

FREE

AXE.IO

Crescent Moon Games

Source link: http://appadvice.com/reviews

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Light Up The Darkness and Let Life Flourish in Ilu

November 21, 2020 by RSS Feed

Ilu (Free) by Brainium Studios LLC is a puzzle game that balances light and darkness. I know, it's a little cliché, but it's tastefully done in ilu. If you enjoyed other recent titles like Fliplomacy or even Umiro, then you'll like what ilu offers.

When I'm under a lot of stress, I need to take some time out to relax and take my mind off of things. Usually, my go-to game type is a puzzle because it helps me calm down and also keeps my brain busy, which is always welcome. And while I feel like I've played every kind of puzzle game there is on the App Store, I can't help but always be on the lookout for new ones. And so ilu was definitely one that caught my attention this week, and I must say that it does not disappoint.

$0.99

Fliplomacy

Shobhit Samaria

$2.99

Umiro

GHI Media, LLC

Visually, ilu is beautiful. The game contains a minimalistic aesthetic style that's completely rendered in 2D. It uses simple shapes to represent the board and the pieces, as well as a soft color palette that is full of soothing gradients. Each of the infinite stages contains a board that lights up yellow, to represent the light in the darkness. And as you solve each puzzle, lush green life blooms and flourishes, proving to be the icing on the cake on this already gorgeous game. All animations are smooth and fluid on my iPhone 8 Plus, and the game has an ambient and atmospheric soundtrack that's tranquil and zen-like. The sound effects are whimsical and create a dynamic track on it's own as light fills the board.

The great thing about ilu is the fact that the game is free and contains an infinite number of levels that are generated as you progress. Since the game itself is a free download, there are some ads that show up every now and then, but you can get rid of them with an in-app purchase. However, I was not bothered by the ads since they don't interrupt the gameplay, but I appreciate having the option to get rid of them completely.

The goal in ilu is simple: light up the dark board and make sure that no tile gets unlit. However, some tiles have dots on them — these dots signify that an adjacent square must be the source of the light, and all of the dots on a tile must be lit up accordingly. So if a square has one dot, it only needs one adjacent tile to be the light source. If it has three or four, then three or four adjacent spaces must be the source of the light.

While this sounds like a simple task, things get complicated as the board gets bigger and features more intricate layouts. Each time you place a light down, the entire row or column is lit up accordingly. Be careful not to overlap the lights though, as the dots can be cancelled out too. With ilu, it's all about the logic and sequence of the lights.

Controls in ilu are simple and intuitive. To place a light in a square, just tap on it. The light flows into the rest of the row or column, and if an adjacent tile has dots, they'll light up. The goal is to get all of the dots lit up, as well as the rest of the grid, in order to solve the puzzle and restore life. You can undo a light by tapping on the square, and there are buttons in the bottom left corner for resetting the puzzle or undoing your last move.

At the top of each puzzle is a bar that shows you how well you're doing in solving it. You can even see the difficulty level at the start, in case you're curious. However, don't worry about stars or anything, because the game doesn't use that system. Instead, the number of moves you do to solve it is calculated into the progress bar, as well as your overall, cumulative score. You can earn "perfect" on a puzzle, and it's shown in your stats, but it's not completely necessary.

Once you've completed all of the puzzles on a planet, you'll earn crystals. These crystals are to upgrade your suit and ship. Both of these are more like cosmetic upgrades, as they don't affect solving the puzzles — that's all logic. They affect how the world looks after you terraform them, as a result of restoring light and balance.

Ilu is a gorgeous logic puzzle game about balancing light and dark and restoring life.

The Good

Ilu is definitely a good game to check out for fans of logic puzzles. The graphics look sharp and crisp on Retina screens, the dynamic music and sound effects are fun, and the controls are simple enough for anyone to understand. However, the puzzles are a great mix of straightforward and intricate, and it just becomes more entertaining as you go. And while it's a free game with ads, they do not get in the way of the game itself, and there's an infinite number of stages that can be generated, giving you a lot of bang for your buck.

The Bad

Honestly, even though I'm not usually big on freemium games, ilu doesn't have the annoyances of the typical free game, which is a nice breath of fresh air. There's no energy system so you can play as long as you want, and the ads never get in the way. Perhaps if I must point out a fault, it's the fact that the upgrades can be a little pricey, and they don't change the gameplay at all.

The verdict

As a fan of relaxing puzzle games, ilu is definitely one I'm going to be keeping around on my devices. The game's visuals are breathtaking, especially as life blooms on each planet, and the dynamic music is fun and delightful. I love logical puzzles, and these are the kind that make you go, "Aha! That all makes sense now" quite often. The ads don't get in the way of enjoying the game, but I think I'll be sending some money to the devs in the future to show support for this elegant little gem.

You can find ilu on the App Store as a universal download for your iPhone and iPad for free. There are in-app purchases for ad removal and cosmetic upgrades.

9.0

OVERALL

Replayability 9

Game Controls 9

Graphics 9

Sound/Music 9

Gameplay 9

FREE

ilu

Brainium Studios LLC

Source link: http://appadvice.com/reviews

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Flitter is a New Twitter App With Potential

November 21, 2020 by RSS Feed

Flitter ($2.99) by Shihab Mehboob is a new app for getting your Twitter fix. If you're tired of just having Tweetbot or Twitterrific as third-party options for Twitter on iOS, then you're in luck with Flitter.

As we all probably know by now, Twitter originally came out in March 2006. That's over 12 years ago now. Personally, I signed up for Twitter in 2007, and it's been my go-to social network for years. I've made a few good friends from Twitter, and some I've even met in person (crazy, I know). For years, I've been using Tweetbot as my main Twitter client on both iOS and Mac, with Twitterrific being a close second choice each time an update comes out. In a time where it seems like new third-party Twitter apps are scarce due to the changes in the API, it's a surprise that Flitter was released at all. Still, as I'm always curious about new apps, I had to check it out for myself.

$4.99

Tweetbot 4 for Twitter

Tapbots

Free

Twitterrific 5 for Twitter

The Iconfactory

Free

Twitter

Twitter, Inc.

Visually, Flitter is a simple and clean app that carries a minimalist design that should appeal to plenty. It carries an aesthetic that reminds me of most native Apple apps, and everything is laid out in a neat and organized manner. Despite the simplicity on the surface, Flitter also gives users plenty of options for customizing the app's appearance to their own liking, including some themes, accent hues, and even different app icons. Flitter is also fairly fast and easy to navigate.

To use Flitter, you'll need a Twitter account. Just log in with your credentials and then everything gets loaded up. Flitter has quick access to four main sections in the bottom toolbar: Home (Timeline), Mentions, Direct Messages, and Your Profile. Also at the bottom is a "+" button that lets you compose a new tweet.

Now, about that compose button. It's one of Flitter's best features, because you can move it to anywhere that's comfortable for you. To do this, just long press that button and then drag it anywhere you want. IT can float above the toolbar, or go in any of the four corners of your screen so that it's within easy reach of your thumb.

Composing a new tweet is your typical fare, where you have a text box to write a message up to 240 characters. One thing I do like about Flitter is the fact that there is a button on the toolbar that gives you fast access to the emoticons with unique characters. You know, things like the shrug "¯_(ツ)/¯" and the table flip "(╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻)". I love using these emotes quite often, but it's always a pain to type out. So Flitter having these is a nice addition.

Since many get their news from Twitter, viewing trending topics is a must. With Flitter, trending topics is easily viewed by tapping on the icon in the upper left corner. It defaults to worldwide trends, but you can fine-tune it to a specific region that interests you. Flitter's search button is in the upper right corner, and you can do quick searches in your timeline, comb through global tweets, or find specific users.

Going back to your timeline, tweets are organized in chronological order, with newest at the top. If you tap on a tweet, you can view it in more detail, including full threaded conversations. I especially like Flitter's way of handling this because when a tweet is part of a thread, the tweet you viewed gets pushed down to reveal the beginning of the thread at the top, and you read it from top-to-bottom.

Other details Flitter handles well in the tweet detail screen are the number of likes and retweets that a tweet has. It even adds a nice little bit of commentary, such as "triple digits!" or "it's about to enter double digits!" for the number of likes and retweets. It's fun and cute, though it could also be considered distracting for some.

To reply, just tap on the speech bubble icon. To like something, just tap on the heart. Retweet is done with the "recycle" icon, and you can do a normal retweet or quote. There are also other options for sharing, or viewing the original user's profile, adding a bookmark to the user, and more.

Flitter's profile view is also pretty nice. You get a nice big area for the header image, avatar, and bio details. Above the username will be the number of tweets they've made. It's not a big deal, but the emphasis is kind of fun if you care about numbers. Underneath the following and follower counts is a scrollable ribbon of recent media posted by the user, and underneath all of that are recent tweets.

You also access the app's settings from your profile view as well. Just tap on the gear icon. From here, you can change the app icon, tweak general settings (time display, how to show links, etc.), appearance and display (themes, font size, image size, etc.), sounds and haptics, Touch ID and Passcode, and Accounts. Flitter is pretty generous with giving users the ability to customize their Twitter experience, which is nice.

Flitter is a new Twitter app that has a lot of potential, but not quite there yet.

The Good

Flitter is a pretty nice app in terms of visuals and functionality. I love the ability to change the aesthetics to fit my needs, and the way it shows threaded conversations is much better than that in Tweetbot (I have to scroll up to read previous replies).

The Bad

Unfortunately, I have more issues with Flitter that prevent me from using it full time. For one, I noticed that the app has a lot of lag and freezing when you return to it after the device is locked and Flitter was still running. This is especially true if you have it set to automatically change between a dark and light theme. I'm also not a big fan of not being able to use swipe gestures on tweets in the timeline to do quick actions like like or reply. I'm used to this in Tweetbot, and I feel it's much faster than going into a tweet detail screen to do.

And since I use Tweetbot on both my Mac and iOS, I use iCloud for tweet syncing. Flitter doesn't have any kind of timeline syncing (i.e. Tweet Marker), and it always seems to scroll up to the newest tweet when I come back. This is annoying and results in wasted time as I try to find where I last left off.

I've also encountered a lot of crashes during my testing of the app, which prevents me from using it out of frustration.

The verdict

I've long considered myself a Twitter power user, and while Flitter looks nice, I can't commit to using it right now. At least not in its current state. It's still too buggy, inconsistent, and not as reliable as Tweetbot or Twitterrific. There are other nice features, such as the emoticons and the way the threads are displayed, but there's more cons than pros.

7.3

OVERALL

User Interface 8

Lasting appeal 7

iPhone Integration 7

Is engaging 7.5

Does it well 7

FREE

Bluebird - Be Social

Shihab Mehboob

Source link: http://appadvice.com/reviews

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