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Kyle Flanigan

Senior Writer with the 148Apps Network since April 30, 2009

Student of Finance at Queen's University, author of Zealous Christian. Secret geek who likes karting and starbucks'ing!

Kyle is not currently writing for the 148Apps Network.
Personal site :: http://www.kylef.net

This Week at 148Apps: June 20-24

This week, June 20-24, 148Apps interviewed top application developer Dave Castelnuovo, lead programmer behind Pocket God. The interview is the first in a series focusing on the top sellers in the App Store, as part of the 500,000 App milestone. The application has become a multi-media phenomenon in the mobile app industry, spawning weekly episode updates, fan art, a Facebook game and even a line of comic books. “When I asked Dave where he got his inspiration from, he explained that he’s always had a love of good stories” writes Gianna LaPin, who interviewed the programmer. “An avid comic book reader and collector, he explained that he wanted his new line of Pocket God-inspired comic books – just released and already outselling Marvel and DC in the App Store — to be more than ‘just a bunch of stories all strung together’. He sees cohesive plot lines tying the series together, with unanswered questions creating a sense of mystery.” Read the full interview here.

On the applications front, 1-Bit Ninja picked up this week’s Editor’s Choice award for its consistent re-play value and excellent gameplay. The $1.99 game received four stars, even though it is only in its first version. “1-bit Ninja might borrow elements from former classics, but I think it is only to pay tribute to a golden age of gaming” writes Timothy Smith. “[The game] is a worthwhile purchase for old schoolers, new schoolers, and anyone else looking for a challenging retro platformer.” Read all about it right here, and click below to download.

$2.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2011-06-23 :: Category: Games

Chillingo has been a notable worker in the App Store lately, releasing four new titles on top of its extensive range of games. D.A.R.K. is a dual stick shooter with action-packed gameplay; Powerslide Penguin is quite the opposite; Peter Packer is a fast-paced parcel-packing game that tests speed and agility; and Ewe Doodle is a cute game where you direct sheep to safety. There really is a game for everyone.

148Apps Founder Jeff Scott commented on iOS console gaming this week, noting AirPlay’s Mirroring feature as Apple’s ticket into the console world, whereby an iPad 2 screen is mirrored onto your TV via an AppleTV at up to 1080p. “We can also see that if games are developed like Real Racing 2 HD, they can provide full screen output on your TV, not just the 1024×768 window that you will see otherwise. Real Racing 2 HD looks absolutely amazing when output full screen on a TV.” Phil Harrison, former Sony boss, also weighed in on the topic, estimating: “[fast] forward for ten years – if [Apple] carry on unrestrained in their growth, then there’s a pretty good chance that [they] will be the games industry.” More details here.

Finally, Episode 90 of The Portable Podcast is now available, featuring guests Zach Gage of Bit Pilot and Jeff Ruediger & Pete Parisi of FuzzyCube Software. Download now.

That’s it for this week – check back regularly for all the latest updates, news and reviews. Don’t forget to check out our lists of top apps, both paid and free, for all your iOS devices. And remember, you can find us on Twitter and Facebook too!

This Week at 148Apps: June 13-17

This week, June 13-17, 148Apps announced that is will be one of this year’s Muther of All Hackathons media sponsors. “148Apps is proud to be a media sponsor of the Muther of All Hackathons coming up next weekend in Mountain View, CA. The goal of this hackathon is quite ambitious, they hope to develop 100 mobile applications in just 24 hours!” writes 148Apps Founder Jeff Scott. And, as part of a special promotion to mark the occasion, we’ll be giving away ten free passes to the Hackathon. Click here for all the details.

In other news, with Father’s Day looming ever closer, Namco have slashed their prices across over twenty applications, including PAC-MAN and Isaac Newton’s Gravity. “If there is one thing that everyone loves about Father’s Day it is spending a little quality time with their parents, right?” quips Blake Grundman, contributor at 148Apps. “Okay, so maybe some of us may not be as eager to spend quality time bonding with our parental units, so why not give your Dad a game or two instead?” The full list, available here, represents a temporary price cut that will be reversed after the big day – so grab your copies now!

$6.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2008-07-11 :: Category: Games

$0.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2010-01-21 :: Category: Games

On the application front, the Editor’s Choice badge was awarded to Vice President Al Gore’s interactive book, Our Choice. “This app will not only inform, but also help readers become proactive in the fight to save Earth. Eco-warriors, tech junkies, and readers alike should celebrate Our Choice, it’s interactive reading as never before seen on iOS” writes Lisa Caplan, who awarded the application five stars for its flawless user interface and iPhone integration. Our Choice is available for $4.99, and can be downloaded by following the link below.

$4.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2011-04-28 :: Category: Books

With SEGA‘s announcement to move their console titles Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing to the iOS platform, Blake Grundman had a hands-on with upcoming application. “If what I played was any indication, players will want everything you can snag. Oh, and did I mention multiplayer? There will be both local and online multiplayer available at launch that will accommodate for matches between folks on both iPad and iPhone.” Coming soon.

Favorite Four took a turn to board games this week, as Kevin Stout examines the most enjoyable turn-based games available to download. RISK, Ticket to Ride, Carcassonne and Game Table all made it to the mix. See the full run-down here. Remember that iOS 5 will bring Game Center support to turn-based games, meaning the titles above, and others of the same concept, can be played through Apple’s official social gaming network.

Finally, Episode 89 of The Portable Podcast is now available to download, featuring special guests Colin Walsh of Celsius Game Studios, Gavin Bowman of Retro Dreamer and Peter Bibey of Strapped to a Meteor Studies. Host Carter Dotson discusses iOS 5 and the future of development on the platform.

That’s it for this week – be sure to check back soon for all your latest iOS news!

This Week at 148Apps: May 23-27

The App Store was all quiet on July 10, 2008, with just five hundred applications to its name. But that all changed with the iPhone’s growth in both consumer and business markets, as well as the creation of the iPod Touch and iPad. This week Apple approved the 500,000th application, in a sign of stellar strength that defied the global financial crisis. “It’s amazing to see the growth of the iOS App Store” writes 148Apps Founder Jeff Scott. “Very few devices will ever see 500,00 applications created for it. But to see this many created in less than three years is astonishing.”

In recognition of the App Store’s latest milestone, we’ve teamed up with App Store search service Chomp and game developer Chillingo, to bring you contests and giveaways aplenty in the upcoming months. We’ve also created a special info-graphic to mark the occasion. Click here for all the details.

148Apps will be coming to this year’s Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC), and if you’re a developer, we’d love to meet you. Got a new game or application in the works? Schedule a meeting with Jeff Scott here.

The Editor’s Choice badge this week was awarded to Tower Defense: Lost Earth, for its five star graphics and sound, as well as a flawless user interface. “[This game is] one that genre loves and armchair generals should not miss” quips Rob Rich, a contributing writer with the 148Apps network. “Even people who don’t generally care for tower defense games might want to give it a try … it’s certainly won this jaded nitpicker over.” Tower Defense is available to purchase for $2.99. Read the full review here.

$0.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2011-05-26 :: Category: Games

Favorite Four took a turn to video this week, with writer Kevin Stout examining the top four free applications that provide video content on-demand. Crackle, SnagFilms, ABC Player and TED all made the mix, with BBC iPlayer getting a special mention for our UK users. Episode 86 of The Portable Podcast is also available to download, featuring guests Alex Fateyev from A-Steroids and Brett O’Brien from Viddy. Host Carter Dotson discusses their applications, Vampire Rush and Viddy.

$0.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2011-04-28 :: Category: Games

FREE!
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2011-04-11 :: Category: Photography

In a final piece of news this week, Apple issued a response to the recent controversy created by Lodsys’ patent claims of in-app purchases. Presently, Apple pay a license fee for the use of in-app purchases, an idea originally thought of, and patented by, Lodsys. The company has spoken to a number of App Store developers, claiming that, without proper licensing, they are in violation of patent laws. Apple’s response? “There is no basis for Lodsys’ infringement allegations against Apple’s App Makers.” Read all about it right here.

That’s all for this week – and remember, keep an eye out for frequent contents and giveaways in celebration of the App Store’s unmatched milestone.

This Week at 148Apps: May 16-20

This week, May 16-20, significant updates were released by major titles, including Angry Birds, Need for Speed and Infinity Blade. Rovio’s Angry Birds Rio is receiving a new expansion pack called “Beach Volley” – which adds thirty new stages to the game that is already sixty level strong. Its sister game, Angry Birds Seasons, is due to be updated mid June. EA’s Need for Speed Hot Pursuit update is now available, and adds a new feature called ‘Autolog’ – where you’ll “be able to track your career progress, personal best times and how they compare against your friends” and more. Finally, Infinity Blade now has an ‘Arena’ that allows multiplayer game challenges with friends through Game Center.

FREE!
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2011-03-22 :: Category: Games

$4.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2010-11-16 :: Category: Games

$5.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2010-12-09 :: Category: Games

148Apps Editor Rob LeFebvre continued his monthly series on iOS editorials by publishing “Why, Freemium, Why?!” in response to the App Store’s love/hate relationship with the controversial pricing model, whereby consumers get the core part of a game or application for free, and then have to pay for extra levels or features. “As an avid gamer across all platforms, I’ve seen my share of games. And, to be honest, Freemium as a business model doesn’t inspire me to play a game” writes Rob LeFebvre. “Many of these games seem to be about the mechanics alone … we need something new, if the freemium model isn’t to crush itself under its own weight and continued copy-cat-ism that reigns in space.” Read the full editorial here.

The Editor’s Choice badge was awarded to Japanese this week, an English-Japanese and Japanese-English language converter with an extensive dictionary database, as well as tools like flashcards and handwriting recognition. Bonnie Eisenman reports. “I’m going to be studying Japanese in Japan this summer, and I knew that I’d need a dictionary … Japanese is a comprehensive dictionary app with all the features that I could ever ask for, save perhaps for voice recognition.” The language application features approximately 160 000 words, as well as 12 000 kanji entries, the modern Japanese method of writing. “It’s impressively comprehensive, including everything from a giant database of words and example sentences to flashcards and handwriting recognition for kanji. The only thing it lacks is audio.” Japanese is available to download for $9.99.

$7.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2008-09-16 :: Category: Reference

Bungie, the creator of the Halo and Marathon franchises, is believed to be coming to the App Store sometime in the near future. Through an official brand name filing description, the company wrote: “Computer game software for use on mobile and cellular phones” – and we all know that means the iPhone. Read all about it here.

That’s all for this week! Remember that you can follow us via Twitter, Facebook, FriendFeed and through a myriad of RSS feeds that will keep you in the loop about all the latest, most exciting applications and games. Click here and choose the options which suit you best.

This week, May 9-13, the world of iOS kept relatively quiet in comparison to recent times, with no controversial news announcements from Apple, and no known merger and acquisition activity. 148Apps focused on a number of new applications, as well as a special hardware review.

“When I bought the Wireless Keyboard for both my iPad and MacBook Pro, I immediately ran into a problem” writes Kevin Stout, reviewer of the Incase Origami Workstation. “I sorely needed a case for the keyboard … due to a suggestion … I bought the Origami Workstation.” The case allows the Apple Wireless Keyboard to clip in securely, and locks using velcro. It costs $29.95. “The viewing angle that the stand creates is perfect” writes Kevin, noting the overly steep angle of the iPad 1 case. “For anyone who is tempted to buy the iPad Keyboard Dock but still wants to be able to use the keyboard in landscape mode, this is the solution.” Kevin awarded the Incase case 4 stars.

In other news, the Amazon Cloud Player, a service that allows users to back up and play their music online, can now be accessed via Safari, thanks to an update from Amazon. Carter Dotson writes: “why the Cloud Player has not had support for iOS yet is a good question. The most likely reason is because the Cloud Player is inextricably linked with Amazon’s competing MP3 store.” The service is multitasking ready, and can be controlled via play/pause buttons for all iOS devices that support multitasking.

Bloom Studio launched a new application this week, called Planetary. The free application “is a unique take on providing a visual music discovery experience” writes Kevin Stout. “It reimagines the music library already on the iPad as suns, planets, and moons. Suns represent artists, planets are albums, and moons are songs. The app sorts songs into different ‘galaxies’ alphabetically by artist.” Personally, the applications that have wowed me the most on the iPad are those relating to space and astronomy: Solar Walk and pUniverse HD to name two. Now, Bloom Studio incorporates space with music.

FREE!
iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
Released: 2011-05-02 :: Category: Entertainment

Favorite Four took a turn to the news this week, listing the must-have applications for news and blog readers. Reeder, Pulse, Zite and Instapaper made the final list. Episode 84 of The Portable Podcast is also available to download, with host Carter Dotson speaking to Tin Man Games on their Gamebook Adventures series, as well as the acquisition of Firemint by EA. Alex Schwartz of Owlchemy Labs is also on the show, talking to Carter about the creation of Snuggle Truck.

FREE!
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2011-04-28 :: Category: Games

$5.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2010-06-07 :: Category: Games

That’s it for this week – thanks for reading! Be sure to check out our famous App Lists, as well as our sister size .biz for all mobile business related news.

Be Inspired by TED

TED (Technology, Entertainment & Design) is a twice-yearly free conference that focuses on spreading ideas. “We’re building … a clearinghouse that offers free knowledge and inspiration from the world’s most inspired leaders,” writes TED, “and also a community of curious souls to engage with ideas and each other.”

Now, TED is available on the iPad App Store. The applications supports videos of TEDTalks (18 minute speeches from those with ideas) in high or low resolution, online or offline; as well as a ‘tag’ search facility to make it easy to find specific ideas. Speakers include Al Gore to Jane Goodall to Sir Ken Robinson. And everything’s free – from the download to the watching.

The iPad presents a thrilling new platform for delivering a TED experience,” said June Cohen, Executive Producer of TED Media. “We rethought the user experience to take advantage of the portability, the touchscreen and the focused media time people have when they travel or settle in for an evening. We think TED fans will particularly love the “Inspire me” button, which creates a custom playlist to fill the exact amount of time they have free.” Available now, with or without subtitles.

FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2010-10-14 :: Category: Education

$1.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2011-01-09 :: Category: Entertainment

The social networking world is growing in ways other than number of users. First came words – blog pieces and text conversations acted as the early means of communication. Then came the pictorial revolution – Flickr for photo sharing, multimedia messaging and Instagram for iPhone. Now, video is the latest method of communicating with each other, through services like Skype, Apple’s FaceTime and now Viddy.

Viddy is “a simple way for anyone to capture, produce, and share beautiful videos with the world. Record a moment of your life, give it that cinematic look with our production packs, and share it with those who matter most.” The free application works on all devices that can record video through the Camera application natively.

“In just a matter of weeks, we’ve seen an incredible surge of downloads and amazing videos shared from around the world. From marriage proposals in Italy, to guitar playing pandas in Japan, from first pumping in Tokyo, to Viddy PSA’s in LA (Don’t Viddy + Drive), from Britney Spears and Lil Wayne, to everything in between – cannonballs, classic cars, awesome catches, swimsuit models, tilt shift, back flips, hula dancing, sunsets, confessionals, dancing feet, downward dogs, figure skating, stop motion, pool parties, did I mention panda bears? Oh, and you guys love your pets” writes JJ Aguhob, President and Co-Founder of Viddy.

The clips on Viddy are short and sweet, and are laced with beautiful effects that are strikingly similar to that of Instagram. Videos can be shared via Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, as well as within the application itself.

Viddy is a completely free service and has so far attracted over 10 000 downloads.

FREE!
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2011-04-11 :: Category: Photography

Electronic Arts, one of the most recognized names in the gaming industry, continued its recent expansion with the acquisition of Firemint, the company behind the creation of Flight Control and Real Racing, two of the App Store’s most popular games. The acquisition follows EA’s move to take over Chillingo, another App Store games company, a few months previous. Financial details have not yet been disclosed.

148Apps Founder Jeff Scott writes, “Firemint is great for EA; EA is horrible for Firemint,” noting the number of recent flops that EA has produced in comparison to Firemint’s quality-over-speed approach. “In the best case, nothing will change, Firemint will be left to do their thing and EA will publish the games.”

On the application front, Hunted Media’s Music Hunter application was awarded the Editor’s Choice for its five-star user interface and re-use value. “Music Hunter will be my go to app for finding new music in the future,” writes Kevin Stout. “It’s a visually pleasing, interactive music discovery app. And for that particular niche, it excels.” Music Hunter costs $0.99 and is available to download below.

FREE!
iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
Released: 2011-04-23 :: Category: Music

In other news, The Onion has taken over the world by making everyone cry at the same time, except for its staff members, who were locked in a sealed country vault. No wait, that’s not quite right, but the faux news corporation is certainly one step closer with the release of The Onion Tablet, its free iPad application. “Everything from their stellar writing to their back library of witty videos will be at your full disposal, without ever having to enter a web browser,” writes Blake Grundman.

FREE!
iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
Released: 2011-04-01 :: Category: News

Namco Bandai has gone bandai this week, cutting the price of eighteen titles, including PAC-MAN and Pool Pro Online 3. The games are available at reduced prices until Monday, May 9. And if none of those games tickle your fancy, a new audio game from the makers of Papa Sangre (if you’ve never tried it – you’re missing out) called The Nightjar is making its way onto the US App Store shortly. UK users can download the game from the App Store now.

On the update front, Spotify has released a new version of its application, supporting wireless music syncing. “It seems the 21st century is finally starting to live up to its expectations” writes Kyle Flanigan. “A new version of the application will provide users with the ability to sync MP3s and playlists wirelessly, in addition to the ‘offline playlists’ mode that finds local tracks in the Spotify and iPad app. That includes Spotify Free users.” TomTom also announced an update to their navigation application – the voice of America’s one and only Homer Simpson can now direct you to all your destinations. I wonder if you miss a turn does he say D’oh!?

Episode 83 of The Portable Podcast is available to download, featuring guest Fabien Delpiano of Pastagames, one of the developers behind Burn It All. And in case you didn’t get enough of Music Hunter, this week’s Favourite Four features the top music discovery applications out there.

Check back next week for a summary of the latest happenings.

Earlier this week, I completed the Belfast Marathon Fun Run for charity – a five kilometre stretch of road with riverside scenery along the way. My time of 24 minutes is average at best, and something that needs improving for next year. That’s where Ultimate 5K and Ultimate 10K come in.

In association with Olympian Jeff Halloway, lolo have released a new 10K version of ‘Ultimate 5K’, a running application tailored to each runner’s needs. The application features programs dedicated to those looking to complete their first 10K run (or improve on existing times), as well as a music-matching service that plays fast when you run fast, slower when you run slower (think of it like Genius taken up a notch). Change pace at any time, and the music changes on-the-fly. Of course, GPS tracking is in there too, as well as customized speed and walk/run interval times based on personal ability. The worst mistake is to run too far too soon.


$3.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2011-05-04 :: Category: Healthcare & Fitness

$3.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2011-03-21 :: Category: Healthcare & Fitness

Wireless music syncing? Wireless playlist syncing? It seems the 21st century is finally starting to live up to its expectations, thanks to an update from Spotify. A new version of the application will provide users with the ability to sync MP3s and playlists wirelessly, in addition to the “offline playlists” mode that finds local tracks in the Spotify and iPod app. That includes Spotify Free users.

A new download service has been unveiled too, making it a simple process to buy every song in a playlist. “Spotify’s new MP3 download service makes it possible to own your playlists in one easy step … we’ve been able to offer you some of the most competitive prices available – from as little as 50p per song.” The download prices are tiered, depending on how many tracks you buy: 10 will cost £7.99 (80p per song); 15 will cost £9.99 (67p p/s); 40 will cost £25 (63p p/s); and 100 will cost £50 (50p p/s).

“From today, Spotify really is the only music player you’ll ever need” writes Daniel Ek, CEO & Founder of Spotify. “Our users don’t want to have to switch between their music players, but they do want to take their playlists with them wherever they go … now we’ve made that possible.” The new features will be packed into a new version “rolling out to users … over the coming days.”

iPod Classic, Nano and Shuffle users haven’t been left behind, with new functionality to manage music from the Spotify desktop application. Simply connect an iPod via USB and watch it appear under ‘Devices’ in Spotify. iPhone and iPod Touch owners – check your updates now, there’s at least one waiting for you.

This Week at 148Apps: April 25-29

It’s here! 309 days after Apple announced the iPhone 4, and only the black version was available to purchase, its white counterpart can now be ordered. “The launch is set to hit a number of territories” writes Jennifer Allen, “staring with the US and UK [now available, and] with much of Europe, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and Japan to follow shortly.” The phone is carried on the AT&T and Verizon Wireless networks in the US.

Apple was in the news for other reasons this week – suffering international backlash for a security oversight that lists a user’s location history even if the Location Services feature is turned off. The file is unencrypted and can be opened by any computer that the iPhone has been synced to. The data is presented in timestamped GPS co-ordinates. Kyle Flanigan notes that South Korea, France, Italy and Germany have all opened official investigations, and a congressional investigation may be looming.

Apple has since responded by issuing a press release, stating that data is stored to “[maintain] a database of hotspots and cell towers around [users’] current location.” Theoretically, this makes it faster for the device to pinpoint its location when a GPS signal is requested. Apple is also working on a new and improved Maps application.

On the application scene, Burn It All received the 148Apps Editor’s Choice award for its gaming appeal and replay value. “Burn It All is one of my favorite games this year-” writes Carter Dotson, “even after completing all 100 of the levels … I still found myself going back to try and improve my scores.” The game was awarded 4.5 stars and costs $0.99.

$2.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2011-04-28 :: Category: Games

In an unusual twist, Microsoft made its way onto the Apple App Store this week with the release of Photosynth, a free panoramic-stitching photo application. Although the concept is nothing new, the application sports social networking features allowing you to share your stitches. “The irony of this situation” muses Carter Dotson, “is that Photosynth is actually not available on Microsoft’s own Windows Phone 7 yet.”

FREE!
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2011-04-18 :: Category: Photography

Episode 82 of The Portable Podcast is now available to download, featuring guests Ryan Winterholler and Josh Valensi from EA Mobile, as well as Ty Bader and Schidlowsky from NoodleCake Games.

Don’t forget to check out our incredible array of app lists, arranged for your information. Go see our Top 148 Paid iPhone Apps list, Price Drops list, and New Apps lists now.

Have a good week!

Location Services is a necessary component of iOS, used to determine your location for applications like Maps and Compass. Without it, these applications would be unable to function to their best ability (for example – the blue ball telling you where you are in Maps). Third-party applications can also make use of Location Services, provided you offer your consent by tapping “OK” when a request message pops up. It can be turned “off” by tapping Settings > General > Location Services. But does it really turn off?

The Wall Street Journal is reporting today that “Apple Inc.’s iPhone is collecting and storing location information even when location services are turned off” by way of nearby cellphone towers and Wi-Fi hotspots. Although the data “[doesn't] appear to be transmitted back to Apple,” it opens new questions with regards to privacy and technology on Apple’s flagship mobile device.

The test device was an iPhone 4 running iOS 4, the latest software released by Apple in June. “Over the span of several hours as the phone was moved [with location services off], it continued to collect location data from new places.” The data comes in the form of GPS co-ordinates and time stamps, but WSJ note “the coordinates were not from the exact locations that the phone traveled, and some of them were several miles away.” Apple has not yet responded for a comment.

MacRumors reports that one of its readers mailed Apple CEO Steve Jobs for clarification on the issue, to which Jobs replied: “We don’t track anyone. The info circulating around is false.” Technically speaking, Apple does not collect location services data, but it now appears as if the iPhone does. The data is not encrypted.

The issue has sparked controversy on both a national and international level, with Senator Al Franken writing an open letter to Steve Jobs including nine questions related to the matter. Representative Edward Markey has called for a congressional investigation. Bloomberg reports that South Korea’s communications regulator has opened an investigation into whether Apple is breaking Korean law by storing the data. And France, Italy and Germany are following too.

So what does all this mean? For those who use Location Services constantly, like Google Latitude users or those travelling by way of Maps, it means little. But for those who don’t use Location Services frequently, or have turned the feature off altogether, it puts into question how private the location data really is. On a computer that an iPhone has been synced on, the unencrypted file can be opened.

All eyes are on Apple now.

[WSJ, MacRumors & Bloomberg]

This Week at 148Apps: April 18-22

This week, April 17-24, Japanese company GREE announced a $104 million acquisition of OpenFeint, the social gaming network that operates similarly to Apple Game Center. For consumers, this meanss “faster SDK updates, awesome new products, and network improvements” (official press release). 148Apps Founder Jeff Scott comments “this acquisition seems to be a win for both parties and will allow OpenFeint to continue to do the great work that they do while letting GREE better benefit from that.”

In other news, Final Fantasy users can rejoice with gladness, for the third instalment of the popular game is now available to download natively on the iPad. “The iPad version of the game features improved 3D visuals and the touch screen controls have been adjusted specifically for the iPad” writes Phillip Levin. “Today, many consider Final Fantasy III to be one of the greatest RPGs of all time.” Follow the link below to get stuck in.

$16.99
iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
Released: 2011-04-21 :: Category: Games

You Don’t Know Jack picked up the latest Editor’s Choice badge at 148Apps. The comical application that tests how smart you really are, by asking you inquisitive questions designed to question what you’ve perhaps always thought to be true. “Simply put, You Don’t Know Jack is the kind of experience that not only stretches the mind with challenge, but inversely massages it with humor to ease the blow of defeat” writes Blake Grundman. “Buy it for that know-it-all in your life, because sometimes it is just too much fun to see a person put in their place. Rest assured that it will be fun for all parties involved.”

$2.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2011-04-14 :: Category: Games

You may remember in last week’s column that I mentioned Tweetbot, the new and exciting application designed to challenge the official Twitter app. Since then, Jeff Scott has taken it for an in-depth test drive and is suitably impressed. “Tweetbot does everything you’d expect a Twitter client to do … [and] has a few great unique features aimed mainly at saving you some time [like new gestures].” Although it isn’t perfect, with some animation lag and lack of response at times, Jeff has “been using Tweetbot exclusively on [his] iPhone for almost a week now. Now this review is done, [he] will stick with it.”

$4.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2011-04-14 :: Category: Social Networking

Episode 81 of The Portable Podcast is available to download, featuring guests Dave Castelnuovo from Bolt Creative. Host Carter Dotson and Dave discuss the mobile industry and the questionable freemium price model that some developers have scrapped in favour of traditional pricing models.

That’s all for this week! 148Apps wishes you a happy spring holiday of your choosing, and we encourage you to check back frequently for the latest reviews and news when it comes to iOS and your iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch. See you soon!

This Week at 148Apps: April 11-17

This week, April 11-18, Adobe announced three new applications that are designed to bring Photoshop CS5 one step closer to your iPad: Eazel, Nav and Lava. Nav is a particularly interesting app for existing Photoshop users, allowing you to connect your iPad wirelessly and act as a sort of ‘hot keyboard’ dedicated to Photoshop tools. Carter Dotson reports. “You get an editable screen with up to 16 icons, that you can select on the iPad to then use on your computer’s version of Photoshop. You can also view and select your open documents from Adobe Nav.” No word yet on prices or release dates – but you can be notified here.

Chillingo also took to the announcement stage this week, revealing five new and upcoming titles for the App Store. Spider Jack and Spoing look like a cute way to pass the time, while D.A.R.K and Vampire Rush have a more sinister theme. Dream Track Nation, in Jennifer Allen’s own words, “offers slightly mental looking 2D racing action.” Like Adobe, no word yet on prices or release dates. We’ll keep you when we’re in the know.

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the first manned flight into space, by astronaut Yuri Gagarin, 148Apps Editor Rob LeFebvre awarded the Editor’s Choice bade to SkyView. The augmented reality application “blends real camera views with incredible 3D graphics” to give you a fuller picture of what space has to offer. It’s amazing to see how far we’ve really come.

“SkyView is just incredibly fascinating to use. The imagery that comes up to depict everything is clear to see and somehow brings the sky alive more. As an educational tool, the benefits are obvious” writes Jennifer Allen. “It’ll make you want to go to a hill in the middle of nowhere at night just so you can truly appreciate just how small our planet is compared to the rest of the Universe.”

$1.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2010-12-10 :: Category: Education

In other news, a new application by Tapbots – called Tweetbot – has finally made its way onto the App Store. After months of development, the application is the newest rival to the official Twitter application, offering seamless interaction and unique ways in handling lists. “So far my favorite feature is the way you get to the conversation view. Simply swipe to the right to pull up the conversation – it works quickly and easily” writes 148Apps Founder Jeff Scott. Tweetbot costs $1.99.

$4.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2011-04-14 :: Category: Social Networking

Episode 80 of The Portable Podcast is now available to download, featuring guest Craig Adams from Superbrothers. Favorite Four took a turn to taxes, listing the top four applications for income tax filing.

That’s all for this week – be sure to check back next week for a summary of the latest happenings!

The biggest news this week comes in the form of a statistic: 10 million. That’s the number of downloads Angry Birds Rio received only 10 days after its inception in App Stores across the world. “Likely the majority of these are free installs from the new Amazon Android App Store” writes 148Apps Founder Jeff Scott, “but that’s still an impressive feat.”

The day before Rovio Mobile made the announcement, 148Apps own Derek Walter awarded the application 4 stars, noting “If you are eager to take on new challenges with your favorite birds, then dropping $0.99 on Angry Birds Rio is a no-brainer.” Read the full review here.

FREE!
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2011-03-22 :: Category: Games

FREE!
iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
Released: 2011-03-22 :: Category: Games

In other news, we’d like to raise awareness on SEGA’s efforts to help raise funds for the tsunami and 9.0 magnitude earthquake, the largest recorded in history, that hit Japan earlier last month. Jennifer Allen reports: “SEGA announced just how much was raised [for its disaster relief efforts]: an impressive total of over $250,000, all of which will be donated directly to the Red Cross in order to help the Japanese people.” If you weren’t able to donate, you still have time and a wide variety of options, including purchasing eBay merchandise or giving directly to the Red Cross. Here’s all the details.

Favourite Four took a turn to “our inner calm, and our outer flexibility” with our four favorite yoga applications currently available to download on the App Store. Chantelle Joy Duxbury personally tested out the applications, concluding that Authentic Yoga, All-in YOGA, YOGAmazing and Pure Yoga deserve a spot on your iOS devices.

You might have noticed that 148Apps changed its appearance on a certain day near the end of this week. “In what must have been the least convincing April Fool’s joke ever” writes Jeff Scott, “we switched our site to 148Farts for a few hours early today. If you missed it, screenshots are below.” We announced that the site was changing direction to 148Farts, a site exclusive to fart applications and news. For our own personal amusement, as “an archive to our whimsy,” we recorded the highlights which you can see here.

As always, a new episode of The Portable Podcast is available to download. Host Carter Dotson and Co-Host Dan Morgan of The APPera discuss Superbrothers: Sword and Sworcery EP. 148Apps awarded the application 4.5 stars overall, 5 stars for its graphics and sound. “The experience is just so overwhelmingly great, that it is absolutely worth playing, worth seeing and experiencing for yourself” writes Carter Dotson in his review.

$4.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2011-03-24 :: Category: Games

That’s it for this week! Be sure to check out the Gear Store, where you can buy the latest (and most useful) accessories for your iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad, right from your favourite app review site.

This Week at 148Apps: March 20-27

This week, March 20-27, US iPhone carrier AT&T announced a $39 billion acquisition of the US operations of rival carrier T-Mobile. Presently, AT&T offer three data plans for the iPhone: 200MB for $15/month; 2GB for $25/month; 4GB (includes tethering) for $45/month. It’s not yet known whether new plans will be introduced, or how reception and future bottlenecking will be affected. A conference call scheduled for Monday should clear things up. However, Jeff Scott notes that “while both AT&T and T-Mobile are GSM carriers, their respective 3G networks work on different frequencies meaning that the current iPhones used on T-Mobile would only work in the lower speed Edge network.” We’ll report back Monday if anything interesting comes our way.

On the applications front, 148Apps awarded the Editor’s Choice badge to two applications this week: Disc Drivin’ HD and Green Day Revenge. Reviewer Carter Dotson was suitably impressed with the iPad counterpart of Disc Driving’ for iPhone and iPod Touch, which he reviewed earlier this year. It was also awarded the Editor’s Choice badge. The new iPad version “is just as addictive as when it first came out. Even months later, I still find myself regularly playing and checking for moves, so the game’s lasting appeal cannot be questioned.” Read the full review here.

$2.99
iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
Released: 2011-03-18 :: Category: Games

Green Day Revenge by Tapulous, Inc., makers of taptaptap, took the badge for its impressive graphics and sound, as well as its excellent gameplay. “When it comes right down to it, Green Day Revenge hits all of the sweet spots necessary to be a successful rhythm/music game, without having to break the mold of user expectations” writes Blake Grundman. Read all about it here.

$4.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2011-03-21 :: Category: Games

In other news, earlier this week Phillip Levin wrote an article on Earthquake Lite, a free application that monitors where the earth is tremoring. “You’re able to sort through lists of events filtered by location, magnitude and time. There’s also full Google Maps integration in the app, giving you a detailed map to get a better idea of the event’s location and surroundings.” The application is a stark reminder of the magnitude 9.0 earthquake that hit Japan on March 11, the fourth largest recorded in the world.

FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2010-06-04 :: Category: Weather

Favorite Four took a turn to the social side this week, with a rundown of the best applications to use if you work with multiple social networks, like Facebook and Twitter and LinkedIn. TweetDeck, Sociable, Pingle and Pixelpipe all made the list. Episode 77 of The Portable Podcast is also available, featuring guest Vincent Messina of Android Rundown.

Finally, if you’re an Angry Birds fan then you’ll be glad to hear that our review of Angry Birds Rio HD is now live. Available for $2.99, 148Apps awarded it 4 stars.

FREE!
iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
Released: 2011-03-22 :: Category: Games

That’s all for this week – check back next for a summary of the latest happenings. Our forum is open for registration, where you can discuss all these games, applications and more, with other 148Apps users. Thanks for reading!

WordsWorth HD Review

WordsWorth HD Review

iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
WordsWorth, a popular game mildly similar to Scrabble, is blown up to HD for iPad.

Read The Full Review »

Developers NOTION Music, Inc. released Progression Free earlier this week, a guitar tab editing application built to “write, edit and playback guitar tablature using real audio samples.” The free application includes an interactive fretboard, whereby users can tap on the board to input data. “Progression gives even the inexperienced guitarist an abundance of guitar functions, including but not limited to: vibrato, slides, string bending, hammer-ons, pull-offs, trills, whammy-bar methods and more,” reads the official release.

This is a tool that a number of more popular applications, such as Guitar Pro and TabToolkit, lack the ability to do. Although the interface behind Progression Free isn’t perfect, it certainly makes it easier to tab on-the-go. Files are saved in a unique .notion extension, with the ability to email a PDF version for non-iPad users, or those seeking to print the tablature. No word yet on what future updates will hold – I’m hoping the ability to export as .gp and .ptb and .txt will be in there – but it’s certainly a step in the right direction, and sure beats using Notes.

FREE!
iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
Released: 2011-03-08 :: Category: Music

Memory of Colors Review

Memory of Colors Review

iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
Memory of Colors provides 1300 stunning pictures of tribes around the world.

Read The Full Review »

Wunderlist

There are over eight thousand applications in the Productivity section of the App Store, totalling almost 2.5% of all applications available to download. Why then – and how – has 6 Wunderkinder’s Wunderlist come from nowhere to almost eight million task creations, being labelled as iPhone App of the Week by Apple in both the US and German App Stores? Through a beautiful design and integrated interface, all with no price tag attached, its one million users have everything to be happy about.

The sleek get-things-done application aims to simplify life’s tasks with one interface and minimal fuss. “Wunderlist makes it dead simple to organize your daily life. Just add some lists and start filling them with the things that need to be done” reads the official release, noting the capability to add tasks by e-mail. The application is free to download on both the iPhone / iPod Touch and iPad, with no strings (or adverts) attached.

There doesn’t appear to be any compromise between price and security either. The free application sports SSL encryption, meaning every login and sync happens securely with no interception from third parties. All data is stored on secure servers run by Media Temple, a 103-employee strong company that operates twenty four hours a day to ensure that secured data remains secure.

Earlier this week, I got in touch with Robert Kock, Co-Founder of the company behind the application. Here’s what we talked about:

What was the inspiration behind Wunderlist?
Robert: Before we started working on Wunderkit, we discussed how we could gain awareness for our brand and our work even before the initial launch. How could we get thousands of people being interested in us? We wanted to make it big, so we decided to built a software and give it away for free. Thinking about an application that literally everyone would need, we came up with a concept of a task manager called Wunderlist. To improve the user experience to a maximum, we combined several aspects of popular software. So now we have an easy-to-use task manager for nearly every device that provides cloud sync and sharing functionality for free.

Why and how is the service free?
Robert: Wunderlist is free because it is a give away. We want users to get used to our philosophy of simplicity and good usability and we wanted them to get to know the 6Wunderkinder brand. We managed to built a substantial fan base literally within several weeks.

What are your future plans?
Robert: Because the development and the maintenance of the Wunderlist service requires more and more of our resources, we thought about monetize Wunderlist later on. But we won’t consider any actions before we asked our community which way they’d like us to go. Besides all that, we are working on Wunderkit and hope that all of our users will love it as much as we do.

Available to download now.

FREE!
iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
Released: 2011-02-22 :: Category: Productivity

FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2010-12-09 :: Category: Productivity

Image courtesy of 6Wunderkinder.

This Week at 148Apps: March 13-20

This week, March 13-20, 148Apps awarded the Editor’s Choice badge (along with 4.5 stars a piece) to two music apps: IK Multimedia’s Amplitube Fender and Apple’s Garageband. Editor Rob LeFebvre, who reviewed the Amplitube Fender application along with its hardware counterpart – the iRig – commented: “it’s so easy to configure and use that I’m planning on using it on stage in the near future.” Rob’s been playing guitar for over twenty years.

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Garageband was the other application to rock the boat, setting the bar for portable music creation. “Ever since the iPad’s introduction people have wondered why GarageBand (or any of the other iLife software for that matter) wasn’t available,” writes Timothy Smith in his in-depth review, noting the third-party counterparts that have attempted to fill the gap – but not like the way Garageband has finally done. “Apple did a great job making their portable version of GarageBand accessible for beginners, but feature rich enough for real musicians. It isn’t going to replace a real studio set-up, but it’s definitely more than a novelty. Their price point is really competitive too.”

FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2011-03-10 :: Category: Music

In other news, a subtle update found in iOS 4.3 reveals a change in the way Apple handles in-app purchases. Bonnie Eisenman reports: “One complaint that has been consistently leveled against in-app purchases is that it’s easy to accidentally make a purchase in real-world money by accident … In response to such complaints, Apple has changed its handling of in-app purchases in iOS version 4.3. Now, a password will also be required to make an in-app purchase, though for fifteen minutes after entering your password that time you’ll be able to make multiple purchases.” For the most part, this should stop any unexpected in-app purchases by your friends or relatives.

On the hardware front, iFixit stripped the iPad 2, revealing a number of interesting points along the way that may lead you to rethink how careful you are with your new device. “Once the team were able to remove the glass, it was noted that both the LCD and glass thickness were smaller in comparison to iPad 1″ writes Kyle Flanigan. “Whilst this does provide a number of advantages, notably the reduced thickness and weight of the device, it may reduce its overall durability.” On the plus side, the team were able to confirm that the iPad 2 does indeed contain 512MB RAM – double that of its little brother, iPad 1.

Finally, Chanelle Joy Duxbury commented earlier this week on a report that allows for iMovie, which received a universal update, to be installed on the original iPad. I tested the method personally – and it works flawlessly. Now even the first generation iPad adopters can enjoy its big brother’s applications!

And, in case you missed it: Episode 76 of The Portable Podcast, in which Carter does his magic mojo with a developer or gamer or both!

That’s all for this week – check back the same time next for a round-up of all the latest happenings. Don’t be afraid to check out our Price Drop List or our Top 148Apps List, as well – they are CHOCK full of vital info!

When Apple launched the iPhone in June 2007, there was one application that seemingly everyone wanted to get rid of: Stocks. To those who used it, it was invaluable. To those who didn’t, it was worthless. Perhaps this is why, when Apple launched the iPad in April 2010, Stocks wasn’t to be found anywhere – even as an optional download. Financiers and stock enthusiasts still rely on third party solutions to make up for the lost Stocks application, from the Financial Times to Bloomberg to CNBC Real Time. And now there’s a new Finance application on the block, namely MarketDash by Yahoo! Inc.

Aesthetics aside, MarketDash is Stocks (not least because Stocks acquired its data from Yahoo! Finance) with a few subtle differences, such as external related news and additional ratios like earnings per share (EPS). Charts now enjoy a 5Y and max timeframe, as well as the usual 1D / 5D / 1M / 3M / 6M / 1Y / 2Y. Most notably, MarketDash provides real-time tracking of stocks during the trading day for selected markets – there’s no 15 or 20 minute delay to be found. Mathematical algorithms automatically calculate adjusted market cap, price and % change every minute.

The home screen includes a personalized “watch list” along with an option to import your personalized finance portfolios from Yahoo! Finance. Quotes can be retrieved from a long list of exchanges, the full extent of which can be found here

When you blow up the charts to full screen, a beautiful and financially relevant feature is to be found: comparisons. The correlating graph of another stock or exchange can be added to the graph you are currently looking at, illustrating the full extent of the success of the stock or exchange in relation to another section of the market. What’s more, you can add more than one comparison. This is something I’ve yet to see in any other finance application.

Like Stocks for iPhone, MarketDash for iPad is free to download. There are no in-app purchases, no unlockable features: it’s a truly free application and available now.

FREE!
iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
Released: 2011-02-22 :: Category: Finance

iFixit Teardown of the iPad 2

The iPad 2 is thinner (by 0.16”), lighter (by 130g) and smaller (by 0.03m H and 0.04m W) in comparison to its first generation counterpart. Along with that comes an all new, custom-designed Apple A5 dual-core processor churning out 1GHz of power, the inclusion of two cameras and a three-axis gyroscope. Screen and battery life remain identical. So when iFixit took on the challenge of tearing down the iPad 2, what else was there to be found? Let’s find out.

“Prior to starting the teardown, we guessed that the glass front panel was no longer held in place by tabs. We were correct. The new tapered edge on the iPad 2 prevents any kind of tabs from being used; instead, Apple engineers used generous helpings of adhesive to keep the front glass in place” writes Miroslav Djuric, Director of Technical Communication at iFixit. “Consequently,” he warns, “the front panel is very difficult to remove – it’s nearly impossible to open the iPad 2 without shattering the glass.” In terms of screen replacement, the iPad 1’s tab-equipped assembly made it a whole lot easier for a self-repair job. It looks like the same job on an iPad 2 is now a near impossibility.

Once the team were able to remove the glass, it was noted that both the LCD and glass thickness were smaller in comparison to iPad 1. Whilst this does provide a number of advantages, notably the reduced thickness and weight of the device, it may reduce its overall durability. “We’ll see in due time if the percentage of folks with broken iPad 2 front glass is dramatically different than that of the original iPad” writes Miroslav.

What wasn’t mentioned in the keynote address – or in the current technical specifications page of iPad 2 – is that the device contains 512MB of RAM, double the amount of iPad 1. This should do wonders when it comes to more powerful applications like iMovie and Garageband, the latter of which frequently leaves you waiting as it “optimizes performance” on iPad 1.

Overall, iPad 2 is as different underneath as it is on the surface: subtle differences, significant changes. Here’s a teardown video, along with select screenshots, for your enjoyment:

130g lightness refers to iPad 1 3G (80g if referring to iPad 1 Wi-Fi). Dimensions and weight courtesy of Wikipedia.

This Week at 148Apps: March 6-13

This week, iPad 2 hit the shelves in stores across the United States, with eager buyers of Apple’s device beginning a new journey in tablet technology. iPad 2, which features the same price tag as its original counterpart (which is now $100 cheaper across the board), also comes with iOS 4.3 installed – new software available to download for a number of Apple devices. Phillip Levin outlined the changes found in iOS 4.3 earlier this week, noting the ability to use Home Sharing on mobile devices and turning your iPhone 4 into a personal Wi-Fi emitting hotspot. “iOS 4.3 is supported by iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 GSM Model, iPod Touch (3rd gen, 4th gen), iPad and iPad 2. To download the iOS update, sync your iOS device, then click the Check for Updates button in iTunes.”

Along with iOS 4.3, Apple transformed iMovie into a universal application, fully compatible with iPad, and earlier this week released GarageBand for iPad. The music creation application costs $4.99 and is available to download via the official App Store link below. We’ll have a comprehensive review up shortly, but I’ve already checked it out and am mightily impressed with what it has to offer. This is a big step in mobile music creation.

FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2011-03-10 :: Category: Music

In other news, the March inductees to the App Hall of Fame were announced by Jeff Scott on March 9, including Rockstar Games’ Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars and Vito Technology’s Star Walk. Each month, twelve applications are inducted by a panel of over forty technology journalists.

Cynapse’s Localscope was in the spotlight this week also, receiving the 148Apps Editor’s Choice badge for its excellent iPhone integration. “I’m impressed with Localscope. It’s one of those applications that you don’t know when you’ll need it, but you’ll remember exactly why you bought it when you do need it” writes Kyle Flanigan. “And for that reason, I highly recommend this one.” Localscope is available to download for $1.99, built for iPhone and iPod Touch, and compatible with iPad.

$2.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2010-12-21 :: Category: Navigation

Angry Birds received a St. Patrick’s Day update this week, continuing its trend of updating with every major holiday – something that its developers have done since its launch. A video of the “go green” update is available to watch here.

Favorite 4 took a pictorial turn this week, with Chris Nitz examining the four best third-party camera applications available for the iPhone. “Love it or hate it, the iPhone is a big player when it comes to on the go photography. Many people no longer buy point and shoot cameras as they already have their iPhone with them everywhere they go. Apple has dedicated a section of the App Store to Camera and Photography apps.” The 4 include Hipstamatic, TilftShift Generator, Pro HDR and 360 Panorama. Finally, episode 75 of The Portable Podcast is available to download, featuring guests Brad O’Hearne of Big Hill Software and Chris Hall of 148Apps.

That’s all for this week – be sure to check back throughout the week for an in-depth review of GarageBand and our thoughts on iPad 2!

Localscope Review

iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Localscope crosses social networking with global positioning, creating an application that provides useful information about nearby surroundings or specific places.

Read The Full Review »
Good Food Magazine Review

Good Food Magazine Review

iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
BBC's Good Food application is the electronic version of the popular printed magazine, featuring a number of recipes and features for your reading pleasure.

Read The Full Review »

Light was shined on the darkness surrounding iPad 2 this week, with Apple formally launching the new device on March 2, shipping nine days later on the 11th of the month. In addition to a new, thinner and lighter design, engineers have packed in two cameras (720p HD for the back), a CPU upgrade in the form of an all-new A5 dual core processor and a gyroscope as found as in the iPhone 4. All the while, battery life and price remain the same as in the previous generation. Interestingly, and to the disappointment of many, the screen is the same 1024×768, 132ppi 9.7″ model found in iPad 1 – no match for the iPhone 4, which packs in 326ppi all within its 3.5″ display.

On the software front, iOS 4.3 will be available to download on March 11 also, featuring two new applications built for a selection of iOS devices: Facetime and Photobooth. These two applications, already available for Mac, will come pre-installed with iOS 4.3, meaning there’s no downloading necessary. with regards to iMovie for iPhone, Apple are upgrading the application to a universal build – meaning iPhone 3GS/4 owners will be able to reap the benefits of the on-the-go movie creator on their iPad. Garageband is coming to iPad also, sporting the same $4.99 price tag as iMovie.

$4.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2010-06-24 :: Category: Photography

This week, 148Apps awarded the Editor’s Choice badge to Guitar World Lick of the Day, created by Agile Partners, for its consistent re-use / replay value, as well as a beautiful user interface. “This app is pure guitar gold,” writes Jason Fanguy. “Regardless of your playing-level, Guitar World Lick of the Day evens your playing field, providing access to quality tools and resources that would normally cost hundreds of dollars, at a minimum, in instructor fees.” The application itself is free to download, with a number of different in-app purchases to choose from, ranging from 11 months of licks ($4.99) to 33 months of licks ($12.99). As the name suggests, a new lick is available to download each and every day.

FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2010-11-15 :: Category: Music

In other news, two weeks ago Carter Dotson commented on physical gaming solutions for the iPad. This week, Carter took one of the solutions – namely JOYSTICK-ITfor a test drive. “Games with fixed firing joysticks work wonderfully with the JOYSTICK-IT. Games like Gun Bros., Etolis Arena, and Infinity Field feel remarkably natural with the the joystick, and you will notice an accuracy improvement while playing the game” he writes, but goes on to warn: “There’s just too many ifs, ands, and buts to properly recommend the JOYSTICK-IT, because of its design limiting the number of games it works with.”

Favorite 4 takes a turn to productivity this week, with Chris Hall focusing on four note taking applications. Simplenote, Evernote, NotePad Pro and PhatPad all made the list this week, each with different strengths and syncing options. And on a final note, Episode 74 of The Portable Podcast is now available to download, with guests Defek Laufman from Halfbot and the developers of Haypi Kingdom.

That’s all for this week – and remember, 148Apps has specially built feeds to bring you all of the latest news, top applications and price drops right to your RSS feed, Twitter and Facebook accounts. So really, why go elsewhere?

This Week at 148Apps: February 20-27

This week, February 20-27, Angry Birds, which just enjoyed its 250th non-consecutive day at the top of the charts, was dethroned by a new app in town going by the name of Tiny Wings. The $0.99 game was awarded 4.5 stars and the Editor’s Choice badge by 148Apps earlier this week. “This game … an absolute must-have” writes Carter Dotson, who applauds everything from the aesthetics to the music within the one-man developed game.

$0.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2011-02-18 :: Category: Games

Tiny Wings wasn’t the only application to take the 148Apps Editor’s Choice badge this week. PlayFirst’s Egg vs. Chicken, also awarded 4.5 stars, was awarded the badge based on its excellent replay value and personal amusement. “It’s cute, it’s easy to play and it entices you into playing for much much longer than you’d envisage,” writes Jennifer Allen.

FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2011-02-24 :: Category: Games

Starfront: Collision was the final recipient of the badge this week. Unlike Tiny Wings and Egg vs. Chicken, this Gameloft-developed masterpiece is a real-time strategy game that puts your battlefield skills to the test with action, organization and forward-thinking. “Everything works well, the controls are tight, the story is surprisingly captivating, and the battles actually seem like battles, not chores” writes Chris Hall. “The bottom line is that if you like the RTS genre, you’ll probably like Starfront.”

FREE!
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2011-02-17 :: Category: Games

In other news, with the Major League Baseball season just around the corner, MLB At Bat 2011 is now available to purchase and download on the App Store for $14.99. The application allows for live streaming of games to your iOS devices you own a subscription to MLB.tv, and provides breaking news, schedules and interactive rosters and player stats for every team. As an early incentive to buy, batter-by-batter action is included in every Spring Training game.

Developers from across the board and putting their profits together to help fund a cause to support the Christchurch quake victims. The New Zealand region was struck by a 6.3 magnitude earthquake earlier this week, leaving at least 65 dead. Profits earned from a number of applications will go straight to the appeal. The altruism continues elsewhere, with developer Halfbrick, creator of Fruit Ninja, partnering with the Fruit Tree Planting Foundation to sponsor an orchard (author’s note: how apt!) “Halfbrick has committed to sponsoring a fully functioning orchard in a low-income Native American community as part of FTPF’s Reservation Preservation program” reads the official press release. “The harvests will not only provide fresh, healthy sustenance but also income for the long-term benefit of the tribe.”

Finally, Favorite 4 has taken a step into the kitchen this week, and episode 73 of The Portable Podcast is now available to download. This week, host Carter Dotson and co-host Blake Grundman talk to guest Alex Kuptsov of Fireflame Games, creator of Dungeon Raid.

That’s it for this week! Remember, you can keep up-to-date with all the latest posts and reviews as they happen through our RSS and Twitter feeds.

BBC iPlayer Review

Developer: BBC
Price: FREE
Version: 1.0
iTunes UK Link: BBC iPlayer

Design Rating: ★★★★☆
Features Rating: ★★★☆☆
Integration Rating: ★★★☆☆

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

Last year, I reported on the launch of the highly-anticipated (and delayed) BBC News application:

“In less than 24 hours after its release, the BBC News application has shot up to #1 in the News category. It was a story about bureaucracy at its worst whenever the BBC Trust, BBC’s governing body, told their development team to shelve the iPhone application launch in the UK due to ‘uncertainty about the potential significance of whether [the BBC's plans] constitutes a change of service.’”

Over six months have passed since the BBC went live on the App Store, and now it finally has its much needed companion, the BBC iPlayer.

The application is a dramatic improvement over its web-based predecessor, both visually and in terms of features. Three categories – Featured, Most Popular and For You – work to bring you all of the latest TV catch with minimal fuss. iPlayer focuses on Radio too, with the Radio section receiving as much attention as its TV counterpart, including the same categories. Shows can be favourited, permitting quick access to your most important media. To make a show a favourite, either hold its miniature feature from one of the three categories and drag it up to the favourites bar, or tap “Add to Favourites” and it’ll do the rest. The favourites bar is accessible via the menu bar at the bottom of the screen, or by the star at the top.

Video quality is respectable, and the application offers High Quality where available. Unfortunately, it’s all Wi-Fi only, even for Radio, meaning 3G iPad ownerswill need to resort to creative means or join a Wi-Fi hotspot before media can be viewed. Obviously, stream quality will be network dependent, but in personal tests I found the video to be smooth and consistent. Content cannot be downloaded locally, so its online viewing only.

If you’re a parent who’s concerned about adult humour making its way into children’s ears, the BBC have included a Parental Guidance PIN that requires unlocking before adult-rated content can be viewed. A secret question is included in case you forget your PIN. However, be advised, once you enter a PIN there’s no way of reversing the process, meaning you’ll have to enter it in every time you want to watch or listen to a show marked with adult humour.

iPlayer includes a search and categories section also, the latter of which groups all shows into fourteen categories, ranging from Children’s to Films to Religion & Ethics. Conveniently, the search isn’t just by name only. Typing in Jeremy revealed a number of different shows that include Jeremy in its short text synopsis. Finally, the application also features channel listings for BBC One, Two, Three, Four, CBBC, CBeebies, News and Parliament. The entire week’s listings are present, along with a short text synopsis where available.

Overall, as a free tool, iPlayer will always remained installed on my iPad, but there certainly is room for improvement. Its lack of streaming over 3G is by far the biggest disappointment, something that its competitor The Guardian allowed last month in a major overhaul. In addition, you’ll have to manually check when new shows are added (related favourites will automatically be added to your favourites bar); a push notification alert wouldn’t go amiss for specific programs. Nonetheless, iPlayer is free, and that’s something not to be taken for granted. Better some features than none in this case.

Guitar Pro Review

Guitar Pro Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
The official creator of Guitar Pro for PC and Mac launches an iOS counterpart, allowing you to play with tablature on-the-go, as well as learn new pieces in a shorter time with some useful features such as continuous playback and on-the-fly speed adjustment.

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