All Posts By Jennifer Allen
Having a four legged companion in your life is pretty wonderful for many of us. The unconditional love they offer is heartwarming and it’s great for one’s mental health, as well as exercise levels, to have an awesome pooch to take out for walks every day. We take a look at four apps that go some way to making dog ownership even simpler or more positive.
Positively Dog Training
Dog training is pretty great for all involved. You have a dog that behaves well and doesn’t get into trouble, and the dog knows exactly what’s expected of it. Everyone is generally happier. Positively Dog Training is an interactive ebook app that offers plenty of tips and instructions on how to train your dog to behave well, as well as learn some great tricks. A series of video tutorials and step by step instructions keep things straight forward so you can focus on getting everything right for your dog.
Released: 2012-12-13 :: Category: Books
Pet First Aid
Unfortunately, much like us humans, pets do get ill and injured sometimes. Pet First Aid is a guide to how to deal with various problems from cuts and burns to poisoning, drawing and even giving CPR to your dog. Plenty of videos, articles and instructions ensure that clear advice is easy to find here. it might just make the difference when dealing with a seriously ill or injured loved one.
Released: 2009-05-17 :: Category: Healthcare & Fitness
It’s wise to keep safe plenty of important information relating to your dog, which is exactly what My Dog enables. The app makes it possible to store a photo of them, medical information, vaccination history and their ID details all in one place. At a glance, it’s easy to see when vaccinations are due (with iCal integration) plus anything specialist such as a dietary schedule or training log. It’s all easily emailed to other useful sources, too, such as a vet or boarding facility.
Released: 2010-11-05 :: Category: Lifestyle
Dog Park Finder Plus
Completing our selection is the rather fun Dog Park Finder Plus. The app offers information on more than 6,000 dog friendly parks and beaches across the US, along with over 12,000 dog friendly restaurant details. Directions are offered along with information such as opening hours and park size. It’s simple to use and there are photos and reviews throughout, so dog owners are guaranteed to find somewhere ideal for them and their pooch.
With the firm’s first release, PUK, hitting the App Store this week, we thought it was the perfect time to get to know more about the folks at up and coming UK based developers, Laser Dog Games. Here’s what we’ve learned.
Who is Laser Dog Games?
Based in Manchester, UK, Laser Dog is a three man team made up of Simon Renshaw, Mike Milner and Rob Allison. Simon and Mike, previously, worked in creating user experiences and digital branding through web apps, which made games the “natural progression.” Rob works on the code side of development, while Mike deals with the visual design as a conceptual artist. Simon deals with animation, production and game mechanics.
How did the Laser Dog name come about?
Simon explained to us, “We throw around ridiculous fictional brand concepts and ideas regularly, Laser Dog was one such example, originally the name of our ’80′s inspired electronica band’…[which] was never going to work as I can’t play music for toffee. We were playing with ideas on a train back from a client meeting in London and I think it was me that remembered the name Laser Dog. We both debated whether we could seriously use it, laughed a bit, then agreed that it was perfect. Mike mocked up the brand the following day and Laser Dog became final.”
What is Laser Dog Games most famous for?
Currently, only PUK, a fast paced, minimalist action puzzler. It’s a pretty entertaining Endless puzzler with 1000 unique levels testing players’ ability to react quickly and think fast. It’s certainly entertained me in recent days. We should have a full review shortly.
What’s next on the horizon?
Still in the ideas phase, Simon told us that one possibility is a game focused “on the player having to destroy themselves” with the hope for a “deeper experience than PUK“. There’s also the possibility of expansion with the team’s eyes closely on Ouya (a new type of games console) as well as working on mobile formats.
What else is there to know about Laser Dog Games?
Simon Renshaw was all too happy to answer a few burning questions I had about the developer and their latest title.
148apps: What was the inspiration behind PUK?
Simon: We wanted our first game to mess with our players’ feelings of anxiety and stress so we started developing a simple concept about a fish repeatedly jumping out of a bowl, running out of air and having to be popped back in. [It] was nice but very limited…before we knew it, we were adding Super Meat Boy Saws and it became an all devouring mess! Scrapping this, but keeping with the fish theme led us to an idea about waves washing up on the beach and leaving pockets of water and fish in their wake. The basic game mechanic: to put the fish back in the pools before the pools dried up and the wave washed in again effectively clearing the screen…this was quite a nice idea, but fundamentally it didn’t require the theme.
We stripped the idea down to the bare minimum, designed a set of simple and pure game rules with a single clear objective: shoot PUKs at Portals before the time runs out, PUK was formed. We wanted the game to have enough ‘simulation’ freedom to feel like throwing a tennis ball around a court or bouncing balls around a snooker table so physics were essential. After some external play testing, the only thing players weren’t seeing were that the Portals (once puddles) were shrinking. This was replaced with fixed size portals and a timer…It didn’t really change the overall mechanic of the game, it just forced us to rethink the level design a little. I think (after a huge amount of play testing) if you can honestly say you still like your game after playing it for this long, you have to be proud of it, and we are!
148apps: As a relatively new iOS developer, is there any advice you wish someone had given you beforehand?
Simon: Yes, I wish someone had said ‘get going, you bloody idiots! It’s great fun but it’s gonna take you a lot longer than you think!’. Test your game idea in your mind for as long as you can, move up to a note pad, squeeze this, bang out a prototype (PUK was originally created with Game Maker in 3 hours, albeit terribly and with just a mouse touchpad to test) then do something pretty with it to inspire you to make it great. Be prepared to bin big chunks of work if you haven’t thought it through, no matter how good. Allow plenty of time for testing and get involved with local Indie Dev meet ups. They proved invaluable for us as you can get genuine feedback (learn to read faces, not words!), advice and wisdom from people who genuinely want to help.
148apps: What’s your favourite thing about iOS development?
Simon: One of the greatest things about iOS development is that it’s opened up a massive outlet for indie devs like us to showcase their work. It’s great when you open up the App Store and see so many indie companies competing with the ‘big dogs’ and, in most cases, maintaining more integrity with less in app purchases and generally more. As visual designers, we’ve always been inspired by Apple and their commitment to quality. Designing primarily for their devices and for iOS is a real privilege and it’s exciting.
Where can I find out more about Laser Dog Games?
As is customary, there’s a few different places to learn more (besides here, of course!). There’s Laser Dog Games’s site, Facebook page and Twitter account.
We’ll have a full review of PUK soon.
An iPhone or iPad can be used for many different and fun purposes, it can also be used to help those in need of medical assistance. I don’t just mean in terms of being able to call 911, either. Here’s our look at four great apps that help assist users in some way, either through providing medical information or reminders just when they need it most.
RxmindMe Prescrption/Medicine Reminder and Pill Tracker
It’s not the newest of apps but RxmindMe is still a great one. The app is a prescription reminder service that should help keep track of all the medication that some people need to take. Nine different types of reminders mean it doesn’t matter if the medication needs to be taken every hour or even just on a particular day of the month, this app has its users covered. Further details mean it’s possible to track quantities, export information, take photos of the medication and search extensively for any FDA approved drug. Impressive going for an app that’s free to use.
Released: 2010-09-27 :: Category: Medical
Want to know everything about a type of medication, from dosage and side effects to how it interacts with other drugs? iPharmacy should have you covered. The app does a little bit of everything with simple reminders, an encyclopaedia of drugs and relevant information about them, as well as the means in which to find the cheapest pharmacy to buy them. iPharmacy proves a handy guide to all the latest recalls and alerts too, keeping its users safe.
Released: 2010-06-16 :: Category: Medical
For the diabetic, it’s vital to keep track of various important information such as glucose levels, carbohydrate consumption and insulin dosage. Glucose Buddy does all that and offers syncing options to keep such things safe. Graphs and logbooks make tracking everything a breeze, and safe and easy to demonstrate to a doctor when attending a regular check up. There’s integration with CalorieTrack, too, making it easier to log food and exercise details.
Released: 2008-10-28 :: Category: Medical
While it’s ideal to go visit a doctor with concerns, it’s not always possible or convenient. iTriage offers advice for many symptoms, diseases and conditions, helping its users figure out whether they need to go visit someone or whether there isn’t a concern. Alongside such information, there are details on where to find the nearest ER or relevant clinic, as well as emergency hotlines and even an average wait time for certain facilities.
Released: 2009-02-18 :: Category: Healthcare & Fitness
Figure out what you want to do in life with this comprehensive career analysis tool.
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Ever use an app and think “Wow, if I knew how to code, I’d be able to do something better than this?” I know I have! Which is why, of late, I’ve been slowly trying to pick up more knowledge about how to do exactly that. It’s a slow process and, no, I’ll never be a millionaire because of it, but it’s an interesting hobby. There’s a wide selection of iOS apps already out there, keen to make the process simpler for enthusiasts. Here are our favorite four.
Developer Cheat Sheet for iOS
Previously covered on the site earlier in the year, Developer Cheat Sheet for iOS is an immensely handy resource by one’s side. Offering a mixture of tutorials and quick reference tools, the app covers a variety of useful skills and abilities in a simple to read format. It even offers source code for users to evaluate and learn from.
Released: 2012-08-22 :: Category: Utilities
For aspiring coders who already have some experience in the C Language, Objective-C Programming is a handy app, building upon that knowledge to get users up to scratch with Objective C, the language used by Xcode to develop apps. Approaching the subject from a different angle than most, the app offers a series of training videos to educate its viewers with over 12 hours of material and 30 lessons. Significantly, it keeps light hearted at all times so do expect some adult humor within.
Released: 2011-11-01 :: Category: Education
Still one of the best kept secrets on iTunes, iTunes U is ideal for learning about pretty much anything imaginable. It’s an app that offers many thousands of free courses, often from some of the best known Universities across the world, for anyone who’s interested. Over 600,000 free lectures are available, with plenty of videos, slides and other information, too. Crucially, for the purposes of this feature, there are plenty of different lectures on learning Objective C as well as many other programming languages. It’s a fantastic resource to consult.
Released: 2012-01-19 :: Category: Education
Koder Code Editor
There isn’t an Xcode client for iOS, unfortunately, but Koder should prove handy for those testing their skills while on the move. It’s a code editor that works with a variety of web development languages, as well as C# and C++, both languages that are useful foundations for iOS development skills. No matter what kind of code you want to produce, while on the move, the simple and clear to use Koder has you covered.
Get those green fingers at the ready with this comprehensive e-book type app offering plenty of information on how to form the perfect garden, no matter how small or large your green space is.
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Card games are one of the oldest methods of gaming out there, so it’s no great surprise that they’ve converted well to modern technology such as our beloved iOS devices. The App Store is overflowing with different card games, ranging from typical solitaire games to trading card titles. We’ve taken a look at our four favorite card games out there, at the moment.
Fairway Solitaire is a modern interpretation of the classic card game of Solitaire. Free and backed up with some very tempting in-app purchases, it offers a huge number of different solitaire games, all based around the game of Golf Solitaire. There’s even a glimpse of a story through a mischievous gopher out to cause havoc on the gold course. Even better, there’s regular new content thanks to a new courses each day. It should keep both puzzle and card game fans happy for many, many hours.
Released: 2012-02-15 :: Category: Games
Rage of Bahamut
It’s far from the prettiest of card games out there, but Rage of Bahamut has proven to be quite the phenomenon. It’s even hooked the site’s Rob Rich since he reviewed it last year. A trading card game full of mystical creatures and magical items, there’s a surprising amount of strategical depth to it. Just don’t expect it to use iOS’s graphical prowess to its full potential.
Released: 2012-05-14 :: Category: Games
Assassin’s Creed Recollection
Moving onto a card game that does use some of the graphical potential of iOS devices, Assassin’s Creed Recollection is ideally suited for fans of the Assassin’s Creed world. A war between the Templars and Assassins is brewing in this real-time card game, with plenty of information about the titles available to unlock. There’s a story mode, too, offering hours of intriguing missions and political battles.
Released: 2011-12-01 :: Category: Games
Full Deck Pro Solitaire
Returning to traditional card gaming, Full Deck Pro Solitaire is a solitaire game that dispenses with all the bells and whistles that Fairway Solitaire comes with, sticking to pure cards. A variety of different games are available within, such as Klondike 3 Card Pyramid, Spider, Golf and Freecell. There’s an extra pack to buy, too, including my all time favorite variety: Grandfather’s Clock. Those after the classic one player card game experience should revel in this.