148 Apps on Facebook 148 Apps on Twitter

All posts by Mike Deneen

Circuits Review

iPad App - Designed for iPad
By Mike Deneen on March 4th, 2014
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: MUSICAL MEMORY
Trying to remember much of anything in a day is hard enough, but try piecing together parts of a song to make a whole, just from memory?
Read The Full Review »

My Disney Experience Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Mike Deneen on March 3rd, 2014
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: MUST-HAVE FOR ANY DISNEY TRIP
Planning a trip to the most magical place on Earth? Then make sure to look at this helpful app that will be a lifesaver before (and while) one is at the park.
Read The Full Review »

Qwirkle Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Mike Deneen on February 24th, 2014
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: JUST LIKE THE REAL THING
Board games are usually a great genre on mobile devices and Mindware's Qwirkle falls in line with the quality iOS users have come to expect.
Read The Full Review »

Dual Survivor Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Mike Deneen on February 21st, 2014
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: HAND-TO-HAND STRATEGY
Most people find it challenging to synonymously do a bilateral task using both hands. Now try it in game form, with a beautifully crafted title that will also cause one's brain to explode.
Read The Full Review »

Word Puttz Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Mike Deneen on February 17th, 2014
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: WORDS WITH PUZZLES
Words games played with friends may not be nearly as popular as they once were, but that didn't stop the makers of You Don't Know Jack from spinning the popular genre, giving it a new outlook on life.
Read The Full Review »

Air Cavalry Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Mike Deneen on February 14th, 2014
Our rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar ::
Air Cavalry is a pretty good flight sim with awesome presentation, but it's questionable to release a game before it's even ready.
Read The Full Review »

Chunky Comic Reader Review

iPad App - Designed for iPad
By Mike Deneen on January 31st, 2014
Our rating: starstarstarstarstar :: THE BEST AT WHAT IT DOES
Looking for a Comic Book Reader that has it all? Chunky Comic Reader will keep things organized and make comics look amazing, all while giving users a ton of options.
Read The Full Review »

Road of Kings Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Mike Deneen on January 29th, 2014
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: RUGGED BOARD GAME RPG
Sporting great gameplay but sub-par graphics, Road of Kings is a great board game RPG that will allow one to immerse themselves in the age of barbarians.
Read The Full Review »

Water Drops Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Mike Deneen on January 27th, 2014
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: POTENTIAL IOS HIT
Water Drops is a game that has all of the makings of another mobile smash hit, but it's unpolished looks are holding it back.
Read The Full Review »

Trisector Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Mike Deneen on January 22nd, 2014
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: DEFINING BULLET HELL
The 1980s arcade style comes back to life in a visually awesome but chaotic bullet hell title.
Read The Full Review »

Elementalist Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Mike Deneen on January 14th, 2014
Our rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar :: FINGER PAINTING MAGIC CASTER
Casting magic from our finger tips has never been so close. But then again, it isn't always what it's cracked up to be either.
Read The Full Review »

LYNE Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Mike Deneen on January 13th, 2014
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: POETIC PUZZLER
Working the brain while relaxing the soul, LYNE is a nice app that's great to relax with and get lost within.
Read The Full Review »

Morph'em Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Mike Deneen on January 10th, 2014
Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: BOGGLE FOR THE NEW AGE
The hype of Words with Friends may have died down some. So if anyone is looking for something that isn't a total knock off of a classic board game and gives them that competitive spark, Morph'em is their game!
Read The Full Review »

148Apps 2013 wrAPP-Up - How My Grandmother Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Going Mobile

Posted by Mike Deneen on December 31st, 2013

I'm the kind of person who my entire family comes to with any tech or game related question. For my soon-to-be career in the IT world, I've probably already heard every silly computer related question I can think of; such as my parent's worrying I deleted all of their email in their Yahoo! email account when I reformatted their computer to my uncle calling me to tell me how this site he saw on an infomercial cleaned up his PC. Every facepalm, of course to those in the know, was from lack of knowledge of computers and technology.

So when it came to my grandmother - who is old, fragile, and not in the greatest of health - needing an upgrade from her ancient Mac Book this year, I candidly suggested she go to an iPad instead of a new computer. "Why?" my family asked, "How can a tablet replace a computer?" To which I gave them a brief summary of all the reasons I could come up with to justify the purchase of a $500 tablet versus a $1200 MacBook. The iPad's size, weight, cost, and usability were all crucial to my argument for the iPad versus another laptop.

Me with my grandmother at my wedding in 2010.

Eventually I won out in this discussion, thus beginning a sort of experiment to see if my dad's mother could adopt to a mobile touch screen device. To many in our age group, the idea that someone may have trouble with an iPad sounds almost absurd. But keep in mind this was part of a family that I had to verbally instruct over the phone as to how to launch Skype on their MacBook.

The first baby steps of this experiment were to introduce her to popular apps, such as the iPad email interface, Safari, and Facebook. Facebook took great strides in 2013 to make their mobile app to have nearly all the functionality of the browser based version. I was even able to help her figure out how to hide the posts from a distant relative who'd post quite frequently about Justin Bieber and how much she'd spent on clothes. My grandma is cool like that.

Next up was showing her various forms of entertainment on the device. Now again, this amazing lady still owns two SD TV's, so an iPad with it's Retina display is by far the best visually striking screen in her house. I showed her various video apps; such as YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, and even lesser known ones such as VUDU. Because I also deal with iOS games on a consistent basis, I introduced some simple but really fun games I thought she might be interested in trying. Two of them, which appeared to catch on with her, were games I considered to be some of the best but most overlooked games of 2013: 4 Thrones and FlowDoku.

There have been a couple of challenges in this adventure however, as anyone going from the familiar to the unknown can be a little daunted. My grandmother had issues figuring out her email, having been used to browser based clients. However, I was able to introduce her to the wide array of Google apps available on iOS, merging the Google and Apple worlds into one. She found the Google Mail client pretty useful for her needs, as well as Google Drive, so I could send her stuff such as wedding photos from the event that occurred some 3 years ago. Additionally, I was able to set her up with Skype on iOS so she could watch my sister's wedding, as well as the TED Talks app so she could see the various topics discussed.

There was also a little trouble getting my elderly grandmother adept at using the on-screen keyboard. Luckily the keyboard on an iPad is relatively big with easy to read buttons, especially in comparison to any Android device. It also responds perfectly to touch, with little to no issues responding appropriately. Once she learned to adapt to using a touch screen to not only replace the mouse but the physical keyboard as well, things seemed to go much easier.

The farm I spent a lot of time on as a kid at my grand parents.

My grandmother means the world to me, and it's absolutely devastating knowing she is nearing her final days on this Earth. But the notion that I could help simplify her life a little bit makes me feel a tad better. From helping her get a device that her frail body will be able to manage to setting her up with and showing her how to use some apps that were similar to what she was using on a MacBook, I feel as though my grandma has a great computing device, an awesome means of communicating with the outside world, and something that will help improve her life overall; regardless of how long or short that may be. Technology has many uses beyond business, entertainment, or whatever else. Sometimes it's just as simple as using it to aid the ones you love.

AntiSquad Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Mike Deneen on December 23rd, 2013
Our rating: starstarhalfstarblankstarblankstar :: MISLEADING NAME
Commiting the mortal sin of charging for the base game and then containing loads of premium content is one thing, but not even being a unique or entertaining experience is a whole other problem.
Read The Full Review »