All Posts By Mike Deneen

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Mike Deneen

with the 148Apps Network since August 29, 2013

Technophile since the time I could talk. I was working on computers while other kids were playing outside. To me, mobile technology and gaming is just the next step on the evolutionary scale of computers and technology.

Mike is not currently writing for the 148Apps Network.
Circuits Review

Circuits Review

iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
Trying to remember much of anything in a day is hard enough, but try piecing together parts of a song to make a whole, just from memory?

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My Disney Experience Review

My Disney Experience Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Planning a trip to the most magical place on Earth? Then make sure to look at this helpful app that will be a lifesaver before (and while) one is at the park.

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Qwirkle Review

Qwirkle Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Board games are usually a great genre on mobile devices and Mindware's Qwirkle falls in line with the quality iOS users have come to expect.

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Dual Survivor Review

Dual Survivor Review

iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Most people find it challenging to synonymously do a bilateral task using both hands. Now try it in game form, with a beautifully crafted title that will also cause one's brain to explode.

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Word Puttz Review

Word Puttz Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Words games played with friends may not be nearly as popular as they once were, but that didn't stop the makers of You Don't Know Jack from spinning the popular genre, giving it a new outlook on life.

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Air Cavalry Review

Air Cavalry Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Air Cavalry is a pretty good flight sim with awesome presentation, but it's questionable to release a game before it's even ready.

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Chunky Comic Reader Review

Chunky Comic Reader Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Looking for a Comic Book Reader that has it all? Chunky Comic Reader will keep things organized and make comics look amazing, all while giving users a ton of options.

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Road of Kings Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Sporting great gameplay but sub-par graphics, Road of Kings is a great board game RPG that will allow one to immerse themselves in the age of barbarians.

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Water Drops Review

Water Drops Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Water Drops is a game that has all of the makings of another mobile smash hit, but it's unpolished looks are holding it back.

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Trisector Review

Trisector Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
The 1980s arcade style comes back to life in a visually awesome but chaotic bullet hell title.

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Elementalist Review

Elementalist Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Casting magic from our finger tips has never been so close. But then again, it isn't always what it's cracked up to be either.

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LYNE Review

LYNE Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Working the brain while relaxing the soul, LYNE is a nice app that's great to relax with and get lost within.

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Morph’em Review

Morph’em Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
The hype of Words with Friends may have died down some. So if anyone is looking for something that isn't a total knock off of a classic board game and gives them that competitive spark, Morph'em is their game!

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2013-wrapp-up-header

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

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

Me with my grandmother at my wedding in 2010.

Me with my grandmother at my wedding in 2010.

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

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

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

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

apple-ipad-29There was also a little trouble getting my elderly grandmother adept at using the on-screen keyboard. Luckily the keyboard on an iPad is relatively big with easy to read buttons, especially in comparison to any Android device. It also responds perfectly to touch, with little to no issues responding appropriately. Once she learned to adapt to using a touch screen to not only replace the mouse but the physical keyboard as well, things seemed to go much easier.

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

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

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

AntiSquad Review

AntiSquad Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Commiting the mortal sin of charging for the base game and then containing loads of premium content is one thing, but not even being a unique or entertaining experience is a whole other problem.

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Star Trek: Trexels Review

Star Trek: Trexels Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Star Trek games haven't had the best track record, and even in the futuristic mobile universe, they can't seem to catch a break.

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Civil War II: 1862 Review

Civil War II: 1862 Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Hunted Cow puts out yet another turn based combat strategy game. While it plays almost exactly like other games they've done, this one uses the backdrop of one of the most important moments of United States history.

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Starborn Anarkist

Starborn Anarkist

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Arcade games were designed back in the day to be insanely hard in an effort to eat up quarters. While the modern arcade is more of a novelty at this point, the spirit of difficulty still remains in a title such as this.

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continue?9876543210 Review

continue?9876543210 Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
A very peculiar game that answers the age-old questions: What happens to video game characters when they die? And what if they don't want to die?

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Blinkist Review

Blinkist Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Blinkist will be right up the alley of anyone who has ever enjoyed SparkNotes as a kid.

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Story Me Review

Story Me Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
There are a lot of comic creator apps out there, but this one is perfect for beginners.

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Death Tower Review

Death Tower Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
A little bit Zelda, a little bit Final Fantasy, with an added twist of zazz.

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Crystal Storm Review

Crystal Storm Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
We've seen this game before, but now it's got an Arabian Nights motif that doesn't make a ton of sense.

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Snipe Review

Snipe Review

iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Notes, lists, and much more, but did we really need a mixture of Pinterest with a To-Do utility?

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HELLO HERO Review

HELLO HERO Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
One could use this game as an example of an absurd pay to play game, but one could also use this game as an example of a great time.

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Infinite PDF Review

Infinite PDF Review

iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
Business and pleasure collide in Infinite PDF - an app that lets users manipulate PDFs in ways they never thought of.

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Booze Tools Review

Booze Tools Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Owning a bar can be a tricky business. This simple app helps with those tricky calculations for bar personnel keeping track of their stock.

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Dead Trigger 2 Review

Dead Trigger 2 Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Surviving the sophomore slump, Dead Trigger 2 aims at being the mobile equivalent of games we've seen on consoles.

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Mr. Ludo Review

Mr. Ludo Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
A game that's been around for thousands of years may need a face lift. Here it is, done to the plight of the middle class office worker.

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Cameo Review

Cameo Review

iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
While Vine and Instragram are the hot video apps, there are other apps that give users way more options. Cameo is one of them.

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