Contributing Writer with the 148Apps Network since May 20, 2009
I'm a graduate of Youngstown State University with a B.A. in Philosophy. My iPhone and iPad were my favorite college tools. I'm always looking for the advantages of iOS apps for students and educators.
Are you unhappy about the outcome of a boxing fight? There’s been plenty of controversy about plenty of matches where people believe judges may have made the wrong decision. Well now anyone can be a judge and decide for youself whether or not the judge called the fight correctly. With iJudge+ Boxing App, users can track the punches landed on each boxer by tapping the area on the app.
The app displays the two boxers. Each boxer has a variety of buttons around their bodies that users can tap to track a punch that has landed on the boxer. Users can tap the iJudge logo at the middle of the screen to switch back and forth between the score sheet and the two boxers. An in-app purchase can add accuracy to your judging by adding things like knockdowns, hey-makers, ring control, and more. The app is free and the in-app purchase is available for $0.99.
Dumb Studios is a small app development team made up of two brother-in-laws from South Florida.
NASA launched their official iOS app back in 2009. A little over a week ago, NASA updated the app to NASA App 2.0. The update includes a major redesign from the 1.0 version of the app. Apart from the interface redesign, the update also included a news section, feature content section, and more.
A team at the NASA Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California completely rebuilt NASA’s app with a faster and more intuitive interface. In addition, the team has added new features like weather forecasts in the spacecraft sighting section, maps and information about NASA visitor centers, and the ability to “favorite” items for later access or printing.
Jerry Colen, the NASA App project manager, commented on the new update,
“This is our first major redesign of the NASA App for iPhone since our initial release in 2009. We are really excited about this release and think users are going to love the new interface and features.”
Of course, the NASA App is free to download. Check it out and start browsing images, viewing mission information, and exploring the new update.
Tic Tac has made an update to their minty augmented reality app, Tic Tac Viewr, to mark the launch of their new flavor, Fruit Adventure. The update adds a game to the AR app, Whack-A-Tac, with a fruity theme.
To play the game, players point their iOS devices at a Tic Tac pack (with the Tic Tac Viewr app open) and scan the label. The game instantly begins. Players tap fruits, avoid stinky stuff, and avoid “forbidden fruit.”
The Tic Tac Viewr includes up to 20 microgames and more “tongue-in-cheek” tips for their Shake It Up campaign. Users can scan Tic Tac boxes, various types of ads, and the Tic Tac Facebook page with the AR app to access the microgames and tips. For users that don’t feel like going out into the world to discover Tic Tacs ads, they have convieniently provided all of the ads on the Tic Tac Facebook page ready to print out and be scanned.
Penny Time, the side-scrolling action game by Penny Skateboards Austrailia, has just updated with its first free content update. The new update has added a new mode, accessories, and a new character.
While a new character and accessories need no explanation, the new mode added to the game is a competition mode. In Competition Play, players compete head-to-head with other players from around the world. Winners in the competition will receive one of 15 original 22″ skateboards from Penny. The competition ends in a little over a week. Check out the leaderboards here.
Penny Time is a skateboarding game from the Austrailian skateboard manufacturer, Penny. The game is a side-scroller where the player rides a Penny skateboard in search of points and multipliers while doing tricks. And to add the the fun, the skateboard has the ability to freeze time! More, free downloadable content is planned including even more characters, accessories and mode.
TechCrunch, probably the most widely recognized news source for technology and start-ups, has just released an iPad app. The app, TechCrunch – The Inside Story on Innovation (I think I would’ve just gone with TechCrunch), is an optimized reader app for all of the free content on the TechCrunch website.
The app has standard news reading features plus some cool extras like a trending and tweets list on the right side of the app. The “trending” list shows the most popular articles (with green or red arrows by them showing if they’re rising or falling). And the “tweets” list shows updates from Twitter feeds that I assume most of the people at TechCrunch follow (like All Things D, The Next Web, Netflix, Daring Fireball, and much more). The app also includes “comprehensive integration with CrunchBase.”
The design seems to suggest that users use the app in landscape mode (portrait mode just cuts off the right side until someone slides it back over). Like the TechCrunch website, readers can browse the news on the home page or sort specifically by section (mobile, start-ups, etc).
The app is free, of course. Most TechCrunch readers will want to give it a go.
Last month, I reported on a 15 year-old developer releasing his first game (Patrick Balestra and Catch the Airplanes). This month, we found a developer a full two years younger releasing his first game! Jack McGraw, 13 year-old developer, has just released his first app, Mad Pigs.
You’re Ol’Farmer. Ol’Farmer has been having a hard time harvesting his crops because of trouble with the local “mad pigs.” The farmer navigates through 60 total levels dealing with various problems including different types of pigs, electric fences, and ham-shooting turrets the pigs have set up. Having problems with a level? Just use one of the bacons (three obtainable per world) to unlock the next level.
We reached out to young Mr. McGraw to ask him about the development of his app. We found out that since Jack didn’t have enough time to learn to code because of his schoolwork, he used GameSalad, a development tool to create apps on iOS and Android without knowing how to code. But he’s hoping someday to learn Objective C or Lua. Jordon Brownlee, a friend of his, provided all of the hand-drawn artwork in Mad Pigs. Playing games on his own iPhone and seeing some of the no-so-great apps get accepted into the App Store (I’m with you there!) inspired him to go off and create his own game. Thanks for chatting with us, Jack!
Creators of Hitman, Roto-Moto, has launched a closed beta of their game, Heroes & Generals. The game is a massively multiplayer first-person shooter involving online fighting between the Axis and Allied forces in Europe.
The game involves both strategic elements and first-person shooter (FPS) elements. Each side sends reinforcements, tanks, and other support to battles going on in various cities. The FPS fights don’t necessarily have to be even, hence the need for support being sent to each side.
The game is actually a PC game but it will be offering a free companion app to the game called Heroes & Generals: Mobile Command. The app lets users access and view the campaign their playing in the PC version of the game. This includes viewing things like battlefields and supply lines on the map. It also allows players to chat with other players on their team when they aren’t even on the PC game – allowing constant communication to continue for a constant online war. A future update to the app will allow users to move and manage assault teams in the game and most other strategy elements (the non-FPS part).
To apply for a key to the closed beta, visit the Heroes & Generals website here.
Virgin Limted Edition and Gourmet Pixel have just released an iPad app for guests staying at Richard Branson’s private game reserve. The game reserve borders on Kruger National Park in South Africa’s Mpumalanga province and, while the vast majority of us and our readers will probably never use this app or visit this location, we think that this use of the iPad as a concierge service is quite cool.
The app isn’t available for download. The way it works is that, on arrival to their rooms, guests will find an iPad with the Virgin Limited Edition Ulusaba app already loaded on it. The guests can use the app to view the services available to them at the reserve, find information about the location, read individual messages from the lodge staff, send postcards, view itineraries, weather, interactive maps, games, and info on animals they may see. The app may also see future updates including things like ordering room service and booking activities.
This likely isn’t the first app for Gourmet Pixel and VLE as they described it as the initial offering for the concept of a concierge service. We may soon be hearing about more iPad-based concierge systems for Virgin Limited Edition.
Kickstarter is a great place to find new, upcoming games for iOS but sometimes it’s hard to sort through all the projects to find one really worth pledging those hard earned dollars. We think Emerge by independent developer, Lucas Best, could be one of those worth funding.
Emerge involves a ball jumping from platform to platform. There are other games that do this but what’s unique about Emerge is that the game takes place in a 3-D environment. The players will jump from platform to platform until they reach the next “tier” of existence. There will be a score system based on jumping on correct and incorrect platforms. In addition to a level mode, a free-play mode will be included where players jump on platforms until they miss the correct platform.
The developer, Lucas Best, is a recent graduate of Duke University (Spring 2011) with a degree in Computer Science and Visual Arts. His project needs $50,000 pledged by Saturday, June 9th. The money will go towards software (3D modeling software), paying artists for artwork, and advertising for the game. Rewards for pledging include the usual like in-game content, t-shirts, and recognition (App Store description).
Take a look at the video below and the Kickstarter page here.
Tivoli Audio has just released an iPhone app, Tivoli Radio, for listening to high quality radio stations chosen by the listeners of their popular audio equipment.
Tivoli Audio’s first app, Tivoli Radio, includes an interface based on their most popular selling radio, the Model One table radio. Users can listen to a select number of stations from around the world that were the most popular stations among their customers. The app includes 10 genres with 10 stations in each of those genres. A “Tivoli’s Favorites” category is also included.
Tivoli Audio is a multimedia speaker and hifi equipment manufacturer with a wide variety of products including table radios, iPod players, Hi-Fi Systems, portables, and accessories. Tivoli Audio aims to provide high quality audio equipment to consumers at affordable prices.
Tivoli Radio is a free app so it can’t hurt to download it and take a look at the Tivoli Audio-curated list of free internet radio stations.
Nintendo recently reported its first annual loss, showing that perhaps 3DS isn’t enough of a success. Nintendo hasn’t even released its legacy games on mobile platforms where others like Sega have (Sonic the Hedgehog). While current CEO of Nintendo, Satoru Iwata, is in charge, it’s unlikely that Nintendo will acknowledge its mistake. When asked about releasing Nintendo games for smartphones, Iwata replied, “This is absolutely not under consideration. If we did this, Nintendo would cease to be Nintendo….”
But what about rereleasing classics on iOS? That doesn’t seem to conflict with Iwata’s unflinching desire to keep Nintendo from making easy money. Let’s take a look at some numbers to estimate those releases.
The following data about Nintendo platforms and games are from VGChartz.
The Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) sold 500.01 million units globally.
Super Mario Bros. sold 40.24 million units.
The original Game Boy sold 501.11 million units.
Pokemon (including the Red, Green, Blue, and Yellow versions) sold 46.01 million units.
Now let’s look at some iOS comparisons.
Apple has recently updated the lifetime sales number for iOS devices at 365 million units, 67 million of which are iPads.
Recent success Draw Something was downloaded over 50 million times in the first 50 days of being released.
Downloads of some popular iOS games, like Angry Birds, Draw Something, and more, have overtaken lifetime sales of the most popular NES and Gameboy games despite less of the originating devices existing. iOS users are willing to pay for the games that they want.
8% of NES users owned Super Mario Bros. (40.24 million copies of the game out of 500.01 million users). If only 4% of iOS users purchases a Super Mario Bros. port to iOS, half of the NES sales units for the game, Nintendo could potentially make $14M in profits. That assumes the game is sold at $0.99. But who honestly wouldn’t pay up to $5 to play Super Mario Bros. (or Zelda titles) on the iPhone or iPad?
What about Game Boy games? Just a few months ago,Pokemon Yellow appeared on the App Store for a weekend. The app was not Pokemon Yellow. The game didn’t work. And despite over 1000 one-star reviews, people continued to download it. The game reached #3 in the Top Paid Apps on the App Store in an incredibly short time. The original Pokemon titles sold even more than Super Mario Bros.. It also may be more profitable considering it would be a great candidate for an in-app purchase scheme (in-game currency, collectable digital items and Pokemon, etc).
There are plenty of Zelda and Mario-like games on the App Store, but a game that truly mimics the experience and gameplay of Pokemon has yet to be accomplished. But one may be coming out soon. Stephen McVicker and Calisprojects are developing an ambitious, Pokemon-like game called ZENFORMS that’s slated to be released in June.
Even if Nintendo releases Pokemon after ZENFORMS is released, it isn’t going to cut into Nintendo’s sales. But it’s unusual that Nintendo is refusing fans old games that would cost Nintendo nearly nothing to release. There’s a demand out there for Nintendo-style classics and Nintendo is losing out.
We can all do with a better memory. Only a daily basis, we all need to remember various dates and events, sequences of numbers, and more. Memorize IDi is an app that helps users train themselves to expand their memory’s capacity by training with the app.
Memorize IDi is a mnemonic calculator that helps turn number sequences into simple images to help expand and extend the capacity of one’s memory. IDi Creative claims that the app will turn “any user into a number memorization prodigy.”
The app is based on a method created by French mathematician, Pierre Herigone, in 1644. His methods are still used in memory training techniques and by “memory prodigies” that compete in world championships. The developers claim that the method hasn’t become as widespread in the last few centuries because of its difficulty to carry out. iOS devices provide a perfect platform for this method and therefore, Memorize IDi will help spread these techniques with the training in its app.
The app is avaible in both iPhone ($2.99) and iPad ($3.99) versions.
FDG Entertainment, developer of popular sniping stickman game, Clear Vision (17+), has just released the first screenshots for the update of its shooting game.
The 1.1 update to Clear Vision (17+) will continue the story with Tyler, the average guy gone assassin. FDG entertainment promises lots of blood and cutscenes in the new update (which will be free to owners of the full version of the app).
The screenshots depict some stickmen outside of somewhere called Club Lay-M, a sniper shot of someone being held at gunpoint, and an artsy shot of the shadow of a stickman holding a silenced pistol. While the screenshots don’t reveal much of what’s going to happen in the update, they’re still fun teasers to the extended story of Tyler coming soon (early June).
Clear Vision (17+) was based on a Flash game by DPFLASHES Studios. The follows Tyler through a violent, cartoony story with plenty of assassinations, blood, and cutscenes. The game is universal and is selling for only $0.99.
The iPad is increasingly becoming a must-have tool for professional and amateur musicians alike. The sheer amount of accessories and tools that can be connected to the iPad for music is amazing. The Carbon 49 by Samson is another one of those musical iPad accessories.
The Carbon 49 is a USB MIDI controller designed with the iPad in mind. The MIDI controller has an iPad slot to hold the iPad and it works with almost any iPad synth or music app that supports MIDI. The Carbon 49 can even be powered by the iPad itself for those musicians that need increased mobility and less wiring to worry about. The controller has 49 velocity-sensitive keys, Transpose and Octave buttons, Pitch Bend and Modulation wheels, 14 adjustable performance-related parameters, and a 3-digit, 7-segment LCD screen that displays the controllers behavior.
Since it’s a ‘USB’ MIDI controller, iPad users will also need the iPad Camera Connection Kit to give the iPad a USB slot to hook the Carbon 49 into. The Carbon 49 is selling at various online retailers (like J&R) at $89.99.
What happens when a location-based service like Foursquare and a radio streaming services like Pandora are mashed together? We end up with something like WahWah.FM. WahWah.FM, a German-based start-up, is a music service that lets users create their own radio stations by picking music on their own iPhones and simultaneously listening and streaming those songs to anyone else who’d like to listen.
Unlike Pandora and other services that may use algorithms and recommendations to pick songs for stations, every user is their own DJ and can choose which songs they will listen to and broadcast to their listeners. Users can tune into to other users all over to world to check out what they’re listening to. Stations can be posted to Facebook to let friends know that music is being broadcasted. And there are even ways to interact with the listens to the stations each user has created.
WahWah.FM is a free service and is now available on the App Store. Check it out and start streaming.
Macadamia Apps has just released StillShot, a photo app that takes specific frames from videos.
Like the video trailer describes, we’ve all had those moments where we go to take a picture with our iOS device’s camera and ended up accidently taking a video instead. That moment might escape us forever and we’re stuck with a video instead of a picture. StillShot allows users to go back into that video and flip through the frames until the perfect picture within the video is found.
Obviously, this app could be used on purpose instead of remedying that accidental video over photo situation. I’m especially exited to try this app out with sports photography. Since the players are moving so fast, it’s often tough to get a great picture with the iPhone camera because of the limited shutter speed. StillShot should provide some great options for those action shots.
Macadamia Apps are also the creators of GroupShot, a photoediting app for group pictures, which received a 4.5/5 stars here at 148Apps from writer Michael Halloran. Michael described GroupShot as “smart and intuitive” and, overall, was “impressed” with the app. We’re expecting no less from StillShot.