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Jeff Scott

Founder and former Editor-in-Chief with the 148Apps Network since July 16, 2008

Hi there, I'm the founder and publisher of this site, the best gosh-darn iPhone site this side of Mars. My team and I do our very best to bring you the best reviews and iPhone news every day. If you think there's something we've missed, let me know. Cheers!

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2013 Gaming Insiders Summit Wrap-Up

gi-summit-logo_presented

Yesterday was the first annual Gaming Insiders Summit, held on Treasure Island smack dab in the middle of the San Francisco Bay. Half way between San Francisco and Oakland is an interesting place for a conference that brings some of the heaviest hitters in gaming together.

The Gaming Insiders is a informal group of video game industry veterans that grew out of conversations started at post-event group dinners. It has grown from there to be an insiders only mailing list and now, a yearly conference.

Continue reading 2013 Gaming Insiders Summit Wrap-Up »

I recently discovered something interesting. Checking out Aio Wireless, I discovered I could add data-only service to an old iPhone for as low as $15 per month all-in and no contract.

Screenshot 2013-10-16 14.46.22

Aio Wireless is the new LTE pre-paid service from AT&T. It’s not listed anywhere that it’s run by and uses the AT&T network, but this is mentioned in press releases about the service. They offer both recurring and single month services.

Aio Wireless offers a set limit 250MB tablet rate for just $15/month. With additional GB available to add for $10/month. Not a bad deal. To use the Aio service a SIM card will need to be ordered from the site for $9.99 (make sure to order the correct size for the phone or tablet to use). In my test it got to me in just a day.

Once the account is set up and the SIM is registered for the $15/month tablet plan, the SIM will then work in any iOS device that is unlocked and compatible with the AT&T network. Even an iPhone. Voice and SMS won’t work, and don’t expect it to since this is just a data service. But iMessage will work as well as any other feature that uses the data connection.

The downside, and it’s not a big one, is that the service provided for pre-paid cell phone services like this is never first-tier. Meaning it isn’t prioritized on the host network like contract services. Aio Wireless specifies that the LTE service is capped at 8MB. Still a great speed, but well below the 30-40Mbps I have seen on AT&T LTE. So data rates will be slower, but still very usable. Especially considering the price.

I’m guessing this little loophole will be closed eventually, but until then it’s a great way to give access to an old iPhone or iPad for an extra device for a relative, to use as a hotspot, or to have a device on another network.

Screenshot 2013-10-18 08.53.56

One of the first iOS Bundles in memory has been announced. Organized by Thumb Arcade and Selfpubd, the bundle purportedly offers iOS gamers apps for well less than the $0.99 price tier.

The FAQ for the bundle mentions that once the bundle is closed buyers will receive an email with instructions and “You will be able to download your games directly to your device, or use your computer to download them to iTunes and sync them later to your device”. Further, updates will be handled via the normal iTunes / App Store update process: “Once you have downloaded your games, to either iTunes via your computer or directly to your smartphone, then iTunes takes over the ongoing update process. The games are still managed just like any other app on your device, and you will be notified through your “App Store” icon when game developers have released an update. Any and all free game updates going forward are available to you.”

The question is how this can exist within Apple’s rather strict guidelines for working on the App Store and with the Apple Developer Program. Initially I assumed they would use gift codes, even though reselling those is against Apple rules. Andy Rosic, CEO of Selfpubd replied to us that they are not using gift codes for this feature, but would not go further into their “special sauce” in how they are doing it.

The big question is will Apple allow this? It appears as though Thumb Arcade / Selfpubd has found a way to sell apps directly to consumers yet find a way for updates to be provided by the App Store. That’s all without, presumably, Apple getting their 30% cut of the sales. Something that Apple is surely not going to be too happy about.

So our advice, buyer beware. If you partake in the bundle, know that there are many unanswered questions on exactly how this will work and if Apple will even allow it to happen as it, on the surface, appears to be against Apple guidelines. I worry most that the developers in the bundle may feel the repercussions from this.

via: http://bundle.thumbarcade.com/

Dodocase Folio for iPad mini Review

The Dodocase Folio for iPad mini is a impeccably-made protective and functional case for the iPad mini.

Read The Full Review »

We’ve been anxiously awaiting the release of the new Sony QX line of lens-style cameras: those super high quality lens systems that attach to the back of an iPhone and communicate with the phone via a Sony app. We had a few minutes to go hands-on with the QX-100 high-end lens yesterday, and here’s what we saw. More on the QX cameras.

While not in the perfect setting, we did a few side-by-side tests with the QX-100 ($499) lens against the stock camera in the iPhone 5S. Here are the sample shots and a few notes for each. These images are not modified other than whatever the individual cameras do by default and for size/cropping for use here.

out

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This first shot is a bit of a torture shot for any camera. Bright colors, bright sun, dark shadows, natural and artificial light all in one. In this one both cameras do a good job, but the nod goes to the Sony QX-100 for better representation of the colors in both the light and dark areas. Also a better job of keeping the highlights from blowing out and the darks from disappearing.

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In this shot, both cameras do a great job. While the Sony has a richer color saturation – perhaps too saturated – both are quite good. One plus for the Sony: notice that the background is blurred nicely vs the flatter image from the iPhone.

In all, the real let down was the software. And the good thing about that is that it can be updated. Hopefully it will be. Image size is also an issue. The iPhone 5s takes images natively at 8MP while the Sony QX-100 was only sending 1.5MP images to the camera. It is capable, with an micro-SD card installed, to take up to 20MP images, but I was unable to test that.

The price is another thing to think of. The QX-100 is $500. While saving a couple hundred over the same featured RX-100 camera, it might be worth the extra just to be able to use the camera by itself. Without further testing I can’t really be sure if the camera is worth the $500 over the camera built into the iPhone. We hope to have a full review for you later this year as the lenses become more readily available.

Today, Fitbit announced the Force, an evolution in their excellent line of activity monitors. The Force builds on their previous wristband monitor, the Flex. The Force adds an accelerometer and OLED display. This allows the Force to track the number of stairs climbed as well as provide better feedback right from the device on progress. When not in active use the Force can also function as a watch showing the time. A future update will also allow the Force to show incoming call alerts direct from an iPhone.

The Force will be out soon and is available now for pre-order.

100113_Force_Iphone_Dash_300dpi

via: Fitbit

Pogo Connect Stylus Tips Review

These new tips for the Ten One Design Pogo Connect stylus are more than just a gimmick. The tips provide new ways to interact with the stylus and the iPad. Recommended, with reservations.

Read The Full Review »

iFrogz Coda Forte Wireless Bluetooth Headphones Review

A nice, affordable pair of Bluetooth stereo over-the-ear headphones. With great battery life and sound, the looks are the only thing that could be improved. Highly Recommended.

Read The Full Review »

Intuos Creative Stylus by Wacom Review

The first touch sensitive stylus for iOS from Wacom shows all of the quality and attention to detail one would expect from a company with their many years of experience.

Read The Full Review »

Dodo Leather Wallet for iPhone 5/5s Review

The Leather Wallet case for iPhone 5/5S from Dodo is a very sturdy portfolio-style case with an extra insert on the front for credit card storage. In spite of the name, it is only partially made of leather. The back is made with a thick cardboard and plastic frame. The result is a super heavy duty iPhone wallet. Highly Recommended.

Read The Full Review »

Disney today announced Star Wars: Tiny Death Star for release very soon. It’s a version of Tiny Tower based in the Star Wars universe. It’s about time Disney started putting out Star Wars games! Though I don’t think this is the first one I would have thought of. What do you think, is this a good first release for Disney and Star Wars?

The Empire needs your help! In collaboration with LucasArts and Tiny Tower creators NimbleBit, Disney Mobile introduces Star Wars™: Tiny Death Star™, a new game for mobile devices. Live life on the dark side and join Emperor Palpatine and Darth Vader on a mission to attract Galactic bitizens, run intergalactic businesses, and build an all-new Death Star. Construct unique Star Wars themed locations to attract iconic characters and species to your space station in this 8-bit style game. Star Wars: Tiny Death Star will soon be available worldwide.

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via: Disney

earHero Headphones Review

When safe earphone use is a concern, and it probably should be in more instances than we normally make it, earHero is a great option as it allows users to monitor surrounding sounds as well as output from an iPhone. The downside is that they are not really great for music due to their tinny sound.

Read The Full Review »

ZaggKeys Cover Keyboard Case for iPad mini Review

The best iPad mini keyboard case I've ever tried. There are still problems, but this case gets so many things right they are easy to ignore.

Read The Full Review »

Dodo Hardcover for iPhone 5/5S Review

The Hardcover from Dodo is a well built, sturdy portfolio type case for the iPhone 5 or 5S. It feels good in the hand and does a good job of protecting the iPhone when in a pocket or bag. Highly Recommended.

Read The Full Review »

FIFA 14 Now Available

Posted by on September 23rd, 2013
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

The free to play FIFA 14 is now out! Grab it and hit the pitch. But note that if you want to unlock all modes, you’ll need to pony up a $4.99 unlock fee. Let us know what you think in the comments.

With the release of iOS 7, we reached out to Denys Zhadanov from Readdle to discuss how the massive changes in iOS 7 front end and back end impact an app-focused company like Readdle.

148Apps: How do you feel about the change in look and overall design of iOS 7? Was it taken far enough? Too far?
Screen Shot 2013-09-19 at 10.24.33 PMDenys Zhadanov (DZ): It’s interesting how the feeling towards iOS 7 evolved with time. Say, when it was announced I was more than excited about it. Especially I enjoyed the layering concept of content, controls and background. iOS 7 is definitely fresh, juicy, and bright. However, this excitement then changed radically because of some design exaggerations. Sometimes I felt that Apple has decided to do something new for the sake of it, rather than making something better. Apple is brilliant at managing our expectations and emotions towards their products. They did put an effort in emphasizing what’s important in iOS 7, that’s why after 2 months of active usage I have to say that I really enjoy it. The GM version is way different from the first beta. It’s finished, complete, and consistent. It’ll be interesting to see the adoption rates, but I think it’ll be the highest in Apple’s history.

148Apps: Have you come across any issues with iOS 7 as a developer?
DZ: Readdle apps are well-known for design and user experience. Flat design gives a very limited set of elements to differentiate your product from others. That said, it’s much harder to create iOS 7 app that stands out. Since no-one ever created apps for iOS 7 before, there are no benchmarks. So the main issue for us was to understand how iOS 7 app should look like, how to provide the best experience and how to differentiate Readdle apps from thousands of copycats.

148Apps: How do you expect iOS 7 to affect your apps, if at all? Do you feel rushed to change all of your apps to match the style of iOS 7?

DZ: Since we have 7 major apps, we had to rush in order to submit the updates in time. It is vital to update apps according to the new guidelines and iOS 7 design principles. iOS 6 apps look alienated on the new operating system. iOS 7 affected our app to a great extent. Not only did we have to create a new design, but also follow the logic behind iOS 7 – fast, simple, minimalistic principles. In fact, sometimes we had to create 3 different version of the app and then chose which one to iterate. That felt like creating a new app for the unknown market. Did we feel rushed? Last 3 weeks we’ve been working 14 hours per day with no weekends.

148Apps: What new features of iOS7 are you most excited about taking advantage of in your apps? Is there anything you are able to do with iOS 7 that you were never able to do before?
DZ: Background download is the most exciting feature! It will allow our apps to automatically sync documents on the iPad or iPhone with any cloud service (Dropbox, Google Drive, etc). So you’ll always have your files on hands.

Many thanks to Mr. Zhadanov for his time.

About Denys Zhadanov, Marketing Director, Readdle

Holds a Masters Degree in Business and Management from Aston University. BGS lifetime member.
Spent the last 5 years of his life transforming Readdle from a “garage start-up” into a leading iOS company that creates productivity and business apps. 

As of now, Readdle is a team of 45 based in Ukraine. 7 major product were downloaded more than 13 million times. 

Entrepreneurial type, who works much, sleeps less, and enjoys what he is doing. Avid snowboarder. Believes in spicy food, people, and disruptive technologies.

NeatConnect_Hi-ResThe NeatConnect is a huge evolutionary jump for Neat. It adds many awesome features and scanning options to their current scanner line and even cuts the cords. Perfect for iPad and iPhone use as it doesn’t require the use of any desktop software. The NeatConnect can send documents directly to cloud services which can then be used from iOS apps. It’s quick, easy to use, and honestly pretty cool.

The NeatConnect can be set up from the iPhone shaped screen on the front of the device. User credentials can be input directly into the device for the services used. In addition, document can be scanned and immediately emailed from the device by putting in a email address as the destination.

I’m really impressed with the NeatConnect, even at it’s $499 price. Neat has done a great job of delivering the options people want (and need) these days. The cloud options cover just about everything anyone could want. And no subscription fees make this a truly honest product. A great buy and will be available this October.

Take a look at the overview video below for a great intro to the NeatConnect scanner.

iOS 7: Pocket Casts 4.0 Released to Help Tame Your Podcasts

Posted by on September 18th, 2013
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Pocket Casts 4.0 adds a host of features and utilizes iOS 7. Podcasts can now be downloaded in the background (it’s like we’re living in the future!) and the app is also Universal. Progress listening to a podcast is now synced so that listeners can pick up right where left off from one device to another.

Screen Shot 2013-09-18 at 11.41.43 AM

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iOS 7: Slacker Radio Redesigns to Compete with iTunes Radio; Adds My Vibe

Posted by on September 18th, 2013
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Slacker has redesigned their iOS app to better fit with iOS 7. Included is a whole new design focused on making navigation of their millions of songs faster and more intuitive. A new feature called My Vibe allows users to find songs that fit any mood or event quickly and easily from a list of playlists hand-curated by Slacker Radio music programmers.

Screen Shot 2013-09-18 at 11.50.08 AM

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iOS 7: Flipboard for iOS 7 Support Parallax Magazine Covers; Background Sync

Posted by on September 18th, 2013
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Flipboard has been updated for iOS 7 to bring in a host of new features. Included are support for iOS 7 background loading of content and parallax image support (the way iOS 7 allows images to move with the tilt of the phone) for magazine covers.

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iOS 7: Reinvented Camera+ Hits Version 4.0

Posted by on September 18th, 2013
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad

Camera+ has been the go-to camera replacement app since its release. This new version brings it up to date with iOS 7 and also includes features like manual exposure compensation, square cropping, and AirDrop support.

Screen Shot 2013-09-18 at 11.27.03 AM

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Disney Infinity: Toy Box Comes to iPad

Posted by on September 18th, 2013
iPad Only App - Designed for iPad

Disney Infinity is the most ambitious video gaming project undertaken by Disney in it’s history. This multi-platform open world gaming environment that crosses all Disney and Pixar properties has now come to the iPad. While we can’t play the story mode of the console versions (yet), the Toy Box mode lets users play with worlds created in the game and use characters and items gathered while playing the story mode.

iOS 7: Appigo Releases New Todo 7 Task Manager

Posted by on September 18th, 2013
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Appigo has a long history in the App Store. This whole new version of Todo brings the design in line with iOS 7 and adds a whole new crop of features.

1. REAL PRODUCTIVITY. Unlike lightweight, freebie or cutesy list tools, Todo 7 is useful when you have a deadline, NEED to focus, prioritize and get things done quickly–from home or school projects to dozens of detailed work tasks.

Includes: Projects, Sub-tasks, Start Dates, Due Dates, Recurring Tasks (with detailed recurring options), Multiple Task Alerts, Overdue Tasks, Drag and Drop, Search, Print Lists, Folders, and much more.

2. PROVEN GTD METHODOLOGY. Todo uses the popular Getting Things Done approach with Focus To-do Lists, Starred Tasks, Multi-level Priorities, Quick Entry, Context, and Projects with Layered and Prioritized Sub-Tasks—all recommended GTD approaches.

3. BUILT-IN SYNCING. Sync automatically in the background with Microsoft Outlook, Dropbox, iCloud, Toodledo, Todo Cloud 7 and to-do apps installed on your other devices. Keep everything in sync and never be locked into a specific service—your data remains yours.

4. COOLNESS

-Geotagging. Reminds you of tasks when close to task location. This way you will remember the milk when you get near a grocery store.

-Contacts Integration. Link your task to a contact and call, text, or email “John” with one tap.

-Context. Organizes your task by activity or location (i.e. home, work, errands…) so you won’t be distracted with your “home” tasks while you are at work.

-Email Task Sharing. Share your tasks via email with your contacts. Keep everyone updated.

Screen Shot 2013-09-18 at 11.09.52 AM

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iOS 7: Addappt Update Enhances UI

Posted by on September 18th, 2013
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad

Addappt is described as “a living address book,” and that’s pretty accurate. It’s a great way to keep all of your contacts up to date and always in sync. This update brings the UI in line with the iOS 7 style and adds a few new features mentioned below.

+ Compatible and more beautiful with iOS 7
+ New app icon for iOS 7
+ Edge to Edge beautiful contact pages
+ Better introductory screens for new users
+ Better UI for creating, editing and deleting groups

Screen Shot 2013-09-18 at 11.01.51 AM

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iOS 7: NYTimes Update

Posted by on September 18th, 2013
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad

One of the biggest and yet least talked about features of iOS 7 is the changes to the UIKit that allows developers to create interactions and animations for their apps. The New York Times has taken full advantage of that in this update to the iPhone and iPad versions of it’s app. A full list of the updates are listed below:

• Cleaner, more modern visuals, smoother transitions, easier navigation throughout the app and faster swiping between articles
• NEW: Swiping between sections allows for effortless browsing of the breadth of New York Times content. Re-order your section swiping at any time by tapping Edit from the Sections list.
• NEW: Share articles via AirDrop
• NEW: Refreshed article design, redesigned Photos and Videos sections and improved slide show viewing with faster swiping and larger viewing area
• NEW: Support for iOS 7′s universal text size setting — you can set your device’s text size once in the Settings app, and the NYTimes app’s text size will change accordingly
• Search bar is now conveniently placed at the top of the sections list
• Prominent display of large photography and images at the top of sections
• Sharing by email now includes subject line
• Save and share articles at any time by tapping the action button at the top right of articles

Screen Shot 2013-09-18 at 10.57.58 AM

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iOS 7: Evernote Updates Includes Background Sync

Posted by on September 18th, 2013
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Evernote released an update today to enhance the app and move to the iOS 7 user interface style. The update includes a new home screen as well as the ability to share items via AirDrop. The biggest feature is the use of background sync to keep your notes up to date and ready for you whenever you need them.

• New home screen – everything on one screen: personal and business notes, notebooks, tags, plus shortcuts and announcements
• In notes section the app displays your two most recent notes for quick reference
• Quicknote features – start a new note, snap a photo, create a reminder, and make a task list
• As soon as the note editor opens, the cursor moves into the note body with the keyboard in view
• Image and PDF markup – premium feature, EN premium users can mark up any attached PDFs
• Notebooks and Tags
• Share notes with AirDrop
• Keep everything in sync – EN is able to keep your acct updated when the app isn’t active

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OmniFocus 2.0 for iPhone, redesigned for iOS 7 has been released and it’s damn sexy. As a user who depends on OmniFocus it’s great to see it updated to match the new iOS release so quickly.

OmniFocus for iPad update for iOS 7 is in progress but don’t expect to see it anytime too soon. Development focus has now switched back to the update to OmniFocus 2.0 for Mac desktop. The iPad version development will continue after that.

Screen Shot 2013-09-18 at 9.12.52 AM

The OmniGroup is now all in on iOS 7 and all future iOS updates will only be for iOS 7. I expect we’ll see many developers heading that way soon.

In addition to OmniFocus 2.0, The OmniGroup has also released OmniPlan 2.0 for iPad. This iOS 7 update brings many updates and new features.

Screen Shot 2013-09-18 at 9.28.53 AM

Also released was OmniOutliner 2.0 for iPads running iOS 7. Also a beautiful update.

Screen Shot 2013-09-18 at 9.12.32 AM

It should be noted that these are not upgrades to the current versions but whole new apps. Since the App Store does not provide a method for upgrade pricing, these are full price apps. We’ll be digging into all three of these releases over the coming days and look forward to bringing you full reviews soon.

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