Why My Next Phone HAD to be a Pixel 2 XL — a Casey Palmer x TELUS Joint

Zach Bussey put it well; to paraphrase: “if you’re going to be a serious influencer, you should be using serious tools.” As someone whose phone’s fused to his hands, it’d better be a good one!

I haven’t rocked a flagship model since my Lenovo Moto Z a little while back, and man do you notice a difference! The phones I’ve had since were okay, but there was always something not quite right when I used them. The camera wasn’t sharp enough. They lagged a little when I gamed. Enough of these imperfections and I knew—my next phone needed to be as close to perfect as possible… and that’s when I spied the Google Pixel 2 XL!

What the Heck’s a COOSHA?! — The Calendar App That’ll Change the Way You Schedule!

I know a thing or two about managing multiple schedules.

Here’s just a taste of what my content calendar looks like… ?

Even before we factor my family in, I’m always on the go. Between my calendar for the 9-5 filled with meetings galore; my Google Calendar with its events, its dinner and those odd social interactions; and the CoSchedule content calendar which is the only way I can keep my blog straight, managing this life is no joke and relies on great tools to get me where I need to be when I need to be there.

Of course, my family’s no better—Sarah gets antsy if she’s inside too long, and being home with both boys ’til the eldest starts kindergarten this fall, her calendar’s filled with all manner of play date, church group and doctor’s appointments that keep the days going by.

With schedules like these, it’s easy to see how things sometimes slip through the cracks.

But things needn’t stay that way, and that’s what the COOSHA team intends to prove with their free calendar app—that the well-informed and -organised family is the family keeping their hair ’til they’re old and grey!

Motorola Moto 360 Smartwatch (1st Gen) | TELUS | “Mr. Nice Watch”

“No more Mr. Nice Guy—hello, Mr. Nice Watch!”

— J. Cole, “Mr. Nice Watch” (featuring Jay Z), Cole World: The Sideline Story (2011)

What Dick Tracy dreamt up in the ’40s and Inspector Gadget toyed with in the ’80s is something I’m finally getting to play with myself in 2016! Replacing my regular wristwatch, the Moto 360 smartwatch1 is my latest device from TELUS that just might change everything.

Like much new tech, when we think of the smartwatch, the first word that usually comes to mind is “gimmicky”. In a world where the smartphone’s changed our relationship with tech so much we barely remember life without it, who wants yet another device? And one with less functionality, a smaller screen, and—frankly—isn’t all that smart without a phone to pair it to?

Busy people, that’s who! I never saw myself needing a smartwatch before rocking one on my wrist, but between raising my family, my 9-5, and managing a growing digital brand, I keep finding new ways to work the Moto 360 into my life—with everything going on, I need all the help I can get!

Casey Palmer x TELUS Mobility Present — 5 Things You NEED to Know About the Samsung Galaxy S6

Partnering with TELUS is easily one of the best things to happen to me so far in 2015.

And to think — it all happened by chance.

Since our not quite humble beginnings cheering Canada on in the IIHF World Junior Championship, that relationship’s only deepened as we explored the quid pro quo needed to make sure everyone would wind up satisfied.

Even so, I was — and still am — blown away that this brought the opportunity to become one of but a handful of bloggers helping TELUS launch the Samsung Galaxy S6 nationwide, because my people, I kid you not… this phone is a game-changer for me!

Candy Crush Saga | The Art of Candy Crushing — How I Finished 395 Levels in Candy Crush Saga

“I never placed a game on my phone ever, and then I played Candy Crush.”

— becsophia

There’s a whole list of things that make Candy Crush Saga as addictive as it is:

  • You get 5 lives to progress and lose a life every time you fail a level. While they do come back, it takes 30 minutes for each life to return, so there’s an incentive for you to do as well as possible.
  • The map showing all the levels is not only massive, but it shows the current positions of every Facebook friend you have that plays. So it gives you a strong incentive to prove that you can do better than everyone else you know.
  • But that’s not all — King didn’t only want you competing on the macro scale, trying to make it the furthest out of all your friends; they went right to the micro-level, showing where you rank for top scores on every level! Talk about a shot straight to the ego!
  • And to anyone out there who thinks that Candy Crush Saga is just a jazzed-up Bejeweled clone, I’ve got news for you — where Bejeweled is usually just a fixed grid with different modes of gameplay, King angled to blow PopCap Games out of the water, with 5 modes of gameplay in its levels combined with boards of different sizes and a bevvy of obstacles that only grow harder to navigate and infinitely more frustrating as you advance through the levels. Don’t knock it ’til you try it!

But I assume you’ve come here today because you’re already a Candy Crush convert, so you already know this. You don’t want an overview that you could get anywhere on the Internet — you want some concrete tips on how to beat your addiction by beating the game. So let me tell you about my journey.

Beating the Unbeatable

It might not LOOK so complicated, but it gets VERY frustrating, VERY quickly. Lots of keep an eye on!

I’d been warned about Level 391 well in advance by my longtime friend Justin, who told me that he might stop playing Candy Crush Saga because it was too impossible. Within 40 moves, they wanted you to get 77 yellow candies, 66 blue candies and 55 red candies, which were all relatively easy. The hard part? Getting 240,000 points in the process.

To put that in context, getting to level 391 is a pretty amazing feat by Candy Crush standards. Of my 1600+ Facebook friends, there’re only 4 of us who’ve made it that far or only about 0.25% of the sample. I attacked 391 with the same powerful methods I’d used to get to that point — combinations of sprinkled candies (or “colour bombs”) with striped and wrapped candies for more points; combining striped and wrapped candies with each other when I needed to do so that I could last longer — but no matter what I tried, I consistently landed in the 120-150K point range.

As ashamed as I am to admit it, it looked like the end of my candy crushing!

Like I said though, I eventually figured it out. There is a way to make it even further, but it’s not the method you were expecting! First, though, let’s build up with some basic tips.

Some Basic Tips

Let me put this bluntly — if you’re stuck on level 23, you’re either not trying hard enough or not playing well enough. In the early stages of Candy Crush Saga, there are some quick things you need to know so that you too can crush all the candies:

  • Combining special candies is your new best friend. There’re 5 different types of special candies in Candy Crush, but the more common combinations are:
    • Striped Candy + Wrapped Candy = larger candy that clears the 3 rows and columns surrounding the spot where you activated it
    • Striped Candy + Sprinkled Candy = turning every candy of the striped candy’s colour into a striped candy, having them all activate simultaneously for some major damage
    • Wrapped Candy + Sprinkled Candy = destroy every candy of the wrapped candy’s colour, plus all those of another random colour right after
    • Sprinkled Candy + Sprinkled Candy = destroy every candy on the screen (as long as it’s not behind a barrier)

    I also recommend combining striped, wrapped and sprinkled candies with the other special candies (i.e. the jelly fish and coconut wheels) to see what happens when you combine them (or you know, visit here: http://candy-crush-saga.wikia.com/wiki/Candies)

  • Sometimes we set ourselves up for failure from the start. If you enter a level and the conditions don’t look well-suited to victory, if you haven’t made any moves yet, you can exit the level without losing a life. Gotta be economical with those lives — you only get so many!

But this is basic stuff — simply knowing how to mix special candies and reset levels will only take you so far. You’re gonna need a little more — so let’s take a look at…

Secret Ninja Art: Advanced Candy Crush Saga Techniques

There are three tips I suggest to have the best chance for success in Candy Crush Saga.

Tip #1: Don’t Be Ashamed to Let Your Facebook Friends Know You’ve Caved

Candy Crush Saga is becoming more of a household name every time the sun rises — a recent analysis estimated that it’s played 600 times a day, and doesn’t seem to show any signs of slowing down!

But I’ve come across a ridiculous number of people who try to hide that they’re playing Candy Crush!

People. It’s a social game. You’re SUPPOSED to tell people that you’re playing it.

Plus, King makes your life a whole lot easier when you connect Candy Crush Saga with Facebook:

later in the game, where you need to meet certain conditions to keep advancing, you only need to get 3 Facebook friends to send you a ticket to move forward (relatively easy since so many people are playing right now). If you choose to play without Facebook connected, not only do you need to either play Mystery Quests or pay to keep going, you can only play one Mystery Quest per 24 hours, meaning it either takes you 3 days to get new levels or $1 to advance in a game that’s supposed to be freeBITE THE FACEBOOK BULLET ALREADY!

Also, while extra moves from friends in Candy Crush never quite work as they should, extra lives do. You can stay disconnected from Facebook like a sucker if you want, but I can tell you that there’s no way I’d have made it through levels 370+ as quickly as I did without a stockpile of 50+ lives to help me through.

Why make things harder for yourself?

The Facebook connection makes life far easier, particularly because you can take advantage of Tip #2….

Tip #2: Never Play on One Device Alone

One of the great things about Candy Crush Saga is that it’s available everywhere. You can play it on an iOS or Android device, or straight through the app on the Facebook site. But as I played on my iPad and Galaxy SIII, I noticed something funny — while my progress synced between every device, my lives and charms didn’t. So when I’d play through 5 lives on my phone, all I needed to do was pick up my iPad and carry on from where I left off — part of the reason I could burn through 10+ levels a day without having to fork over any cash for it. But it was because of this tip that I came across the craziest tip of all — Tip #3 would change the way I played Candy Crush Saga forever.

Tip #3: Crushing Candies on Your Phone Does Not Crushing Candies on Your Computer Make

In the end, it all comes back to Level 391. I’d tried on my phone, I’d tried on my iPad, but that goal of 240,000 points wasn’t getting anywhere in reach.

But on the computer, I got 300,000… in 3 moves.

Wait, what?

That’s right, you heard me — the mobile and browser version of the game don’t score the same way!!!

If you Google about Candy Crush scoring, there’s no definitive guide to it — everyone knows that it’s complex and no one’s explicitly detailed how scoring works, but one thing I know is that it’s inconsistent.

So in short, if you want to play to progress, play mobile. If you want to play for points, you better get on that Facebook tip!

Game Over

Admittedly, one of the best parts of being barred from playing Candy Crush while on the go is getting to stockpile all the lives I used up while I was stuck in the 370s. But it is pretty sad to open the game to send lives, help others make it to new levels… and do nothing else. A friend pointed out that I could go back and get the top scores on every level before me, but now that I know about the scoring discrepancy, I’m more likely to do it on the computer at home than on my phone, so nuts to that.

With that said, the computer version has 440 levels compared to the mobile’s 395, so I’m still ploughing through in preparation for whatever’s to come!

Anyway — I hope this helps you crush more candies, and I’m going to do some of that myself!

Good hunting!

HYFR and YOLO,

–case p.