All posts by Kevin Stout
HGTV (Home & Garden Television) has just released a new app called HGTV SHELF. The app will provide users with information from the HGTV and DIY Networks in the form of interactive magazine issues.
The app contains a mix of both free and paid content for users to access on popular topics from the websites. Sites associated with the app include HGTV.com, HGTVRemodels.com, DIYNetwork.com, and FrontDoor.com. The app currently contains three issues, two free and one paid. The free issues include Closet Cases (dealing with home organization) and HGTV Color Guide (dealing with picking the perfect colors). The paid issue is Fast Fixes Outdoors (packed with DIYs for outdoor projects).
The issues are built specifically with a tablet in mind and look great with Retina display graphics on the third-gen iPad. HGTV SHELF itself is free and, therefore, it's free to obtain the free issues within the app. The only available paid issue is currently set at $0.99.
The tower defense and castle defense genres are quite popular on iOS. Touch devices work perfectly for that type of game and, as a result, it's hard for a new defense game to distinguish itself from the others. Battles and Castles has just been released and seems to have some interesting features that sets it apart.
The game seems to combine elements of traditional tower/castle defense games with building elements (that have become recently popular with games like Minecraft) and RPG elements. Users actually build their castles before defending them and then recruit units, find treasure, and explore mines. It seems to have elements that fans of nearly any genre can enjoy: strategy, simulation, action, and role-playing. The game has over 20 units and 20 buildings, three levels of technology, two campaign modes, multiplayer vs AI, local multiplayer on the device itself, and Game Center support.
Battles and Castles is a universal app and is available for $2.99.
New Balance has just released a sort of workout-based social game. Make Your Move allows friends to compete with each other to complete physical challenges while earning points and medals.
Make Your Move tracks users' performance for their challenges with the phones sensors like the GPS and accelerometer. Friends challenge other Facebook friends and can make new friends to challenge as well. Players will choose their physical challenges and complete them for points. The harder the task, the more points the player will earn. The app also encourages friends working together to complete challenges - team challenges are worth more points than solo ones. The players will be expected to complete the challenges in a certain time frame. And players will be able to play multiple challenges with multiple friends at a time.
The game is free. So head on over to the App Store, pick it up, and start challenging your Facebook friends to some heated physical challenges.
Late last year the PostSecret app was removed from the App Store. PostSecret allowed users to submit their posts to the PostSecret art project (where users send in anonymous postcards with their secrets). The volunteer moderators were unable to keep up with the abusive and threatening submissions, so the app was removed. A new app has just been released with a similar objective, but with security measures in place to prevent the inherent problems with that kind of app. Whisper is being advertised as the "anti-Facebook," where users can hop on and tell the truth without the "look at me" feel of Facebook.
The app allows users to express themselves with photo filters and fonts, uses a real-time stream (similar to Facebook), and even allows users to share things over other social networks (including Facebook as well as Twitter and Tumblr).
Since the app has been released, the average user of Whisper visits the app ten times a day and spends a total on an hour or more on it. The popularity of the app is rising and it's free to download. Whisper also has a website to check out as well.
It's quite frustrating to be the owner of older generations of iOS devices. iPhone 3G and 3GS (and sometimes even 4!) owners or original iPad or iPad 2 owners are often kept from using certain apps (mainly games) that require more powerful devices. But now, for some users that were upset that they couldn't play the 3D audio adventure, BlindSide, that's no longer a problem. BlindSide now supports older devices for their game.
The game used to only be playable on the iPhone 4S, iPad 2, and the third-gen iPad (this left quite a few iPhone users out). The game has now added the iPhone 4 and iPod Touch (fourth generation) to its list of supported devices. Though, epicycle still highly suggests using one of the original three supported devices for the game as the two new devices are supported using a lower quality mode. So for optimal performance, use a new device.
BlindSide is a 3D audio adventure from epicycle. Players never actually see the world that they explore. The game requires uses to put headphones on and navigate around in the darkness based on what they hear. BlindSide detects where players are in the world based on their movements using the device's gyroscope.
BlindSide is available for $2.99. Check out the new trailer for the game below.
Axon Z, a free test version of Axon Runners, has just been released with a few levels and limited options for new players wanting to give Axon Runners a test ride before they choice to buy the full game.
Axon Z will feature four levels and two boards for players to choice from in the cityscape hoverboarding game. Players navigate their hoverboards through the cityscapes of Persepolis. The full game includes 10 different hoverboards and fifteen levels. Each hoverboard has different attributes that help players collect more orbs and get past the obstacles in the various levels.
The game is available for the iPad 2 and up and the iPhone 4 and up. Axon Z and Axon Runners were developed the Coca-Cola Content Factory and Streamline Studios. Check Axon Z out for free before you take the $1.99 plunge into Axon Runners. But don't wait too long, that $1.99 price is half of the original price ($3.99) until the 28th.
Where To?, Editor's Choice winning local search app (reviewed years ago by our Editor In Chief, Jeff Scott), has just released its next major version of the app Where To? 5.0. In this fifth major release, new features are added in the favoriting and navigation area.
Specifically, the app has four new major features. Two of those features have to do with favorites. Users can now favorite places to come back and access them later. In addition, those favorites as well as the apps settings can be synced over iCloud. And now, when searching for restaurants, hundreds of thousands of the US restaurants in Where To? include menus for users to search through before they decide to make that tough decision of where to eat. And the app now supports three more navigation apps when users decide to visit a location (iGo Prime, VZ Navigator, and Gokivo). The details pages for places also have a new design.
Where To? is a location-based search app that brings up points of interest in the area around the user. The app is also known for its augmented reality (AR) technology which can be added to the app for an additional fee. Where To? is $2.99 and made for the iPhone. An additional $0.99 will earn users the 3D and Augmented Reality features.
Stitcher Radio, the on-demand talk radio service, has just been updated with several new features. Back in April of last year, 148Apps' Blake Grundman called Stitcher Radio "music to our ears" and stated that "Stitcher may be the cure for the common podcast." Now the popular radio service will include some great new features including a personal recommendation service.
Users will create a Stitcher Smart Station to receive personalized recommendations out of the 10,000+ shows available on Stitcher. According to statistics taken from the app, average listeners discover five new shows within their first month of using the service. Stitcher Smart Station is an easy to use way to get recommendations for those new shows. The recommendations take into account the listeners' history, favorite shows, and thumbs ups.
Other features included in the new update are lock screen album art (like the Music app, listeners will see the shows cover art on the lockscreen), a sleep timer, and the ability to share shows over Twitter easier.
Stitcher Radio is a free app. With these new updates, Stitcher may be the ultimate replacement to traditional car radio.
A new maze game has been released by bladibladibla.com (an interesting and humorous name) called Draw Maze. In addition to working through mazes, players can also use this app to create their own mazes.
Players will challenge themselves in this difficult maze game to work their way through a series of complex mazes. After finishing these mazes that come with the app, players can then go on to create their own mazes and challenge their friends to overcome their self-drawn madness. Not only can players send mazes to their friends to play against one another, they can also compete for the high score on the mazes that come with the app and become the "World Record" holder. The developer is even adding the trickiest designed mazes sent in as featured new levels.
While the game is universal and can be played on any iOS device, the developer's preferred platform is the iPad. Considering the significant increase in screen real estate on the iPad compared to the iPhone, this is no surprise. Draw Maze is a free app. So grab it and start trying to stump your friends.