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Favorite Four: Atypical Fantasy RPGs

Posted by Rob Rich on May 1st, 2013

As interesting (and surprisingly tough) as it was to put together a list of RPGs that have nothing to do with fantasy stuff, that’s no reason to ignore more “typical” examples of the genre. So now we’re back to fantasy RPGs in all their kobold-bashing, dragon-taming, evil-conquering, zombie-slaughtering glory. I’ll admit that none of the games on this list is a real “traditional” role playing game, but they’re all still RPGs (of a sort) and all chock full of fantasy goodness.

Dragon Island Blue
If you’re ever in the mood to hunt down and capture dangerous monsters, delve through perilous dungeons, and create the ultimate team of badass creatures then Dragon Island is the place to be. Most if not all of the enemies (and by extension potential allies) are fairly typical fantasy archetypes, but they each manage to look so much cooler than the typical examples and feature a pretty diverse range of abilities. Constructing a well-balanced team with complementary skills is a must for higher level encounters.

Nimble Quest
An action RPG crossed with Snake. Who would've thought such a combination would work so well? Nimble Quest might feature plenty of typical fantasy baddies (i.e. bats, skeletons, evil wizards, etc), but its emphasis on a conga line procession of heroes with their own unique abilities really sets it apart. It's also one of the few action RPGs where I've found the super-frail magic wielders to be easier to use than the melee fighters.

Roguelikes are something of an acquired taste, but those who can learn to accept their brutal difficulty and typically steep learning curves will be able to enjoy virtually limitless hours of dungeon exploration and desperate fights for survival. So why Brogue and not any of the other fantastic examples of the genre that are also on the App Store? Well first off it manages to make use of its ASCII visuals to create some truly impressive-looking environments. Secondly it’s high fantasy to the core; filled with kobolds, goblins, wands, spell scrolls, and more.

Slayin might be the least traditional RPG on the list but it’s possibly the most fun by virtue of its addictive arcade style gameplay. All the expected baddies make an appearance here - slimes, bats, dragons, minotaurs, etc - and all are ready to fall before your sword in the name of the almighty High Score. Character levels are constantly climbing, and enemies are always getting more numerous and aggressive, equating to one crazy bite-sized action RPG.

Favorite Four: Non-Fantasy RPGs

Posted by Rob Rich on April 29th, 2013

RPGs are incredibly popular, and probably will be for quite some time to come. The weird thing is that for some reason people seem to have trouble adapting the genre’s concepts into a world that isn’t full of magic, goblins, dragons, and so on. These games certainly do exist but they’re few and far between, especially on iOS. Hence our shoutout to four of our favorite iOS RPGs that aren’t saturated with dwarfs and elves and such.

Mission Europa Collector’s
One part dungeon crawler, another part shooter, a sprinkling of horror, and a ton of stat driven RPG elements make up this offbeat adventure. Players must brave the abandoned tunnels of Jupiter’s moon as they attempt to piece together what happened to the crew that was initially stationed there, as well as try not to get torn to pieces by the hideous amalgamations of rotting flesh and electronics that continue to roam the halls. It’s a very action and loot-heavy RPG with nary an orc to be found.

Corporate Fury
When a new CEO takes over a company, they can sometimes really shake up the way things are done. Corporate Fury takes that concept to a whole new level when salary men (and women) are forced to fight each other one-on-one for every little thing. Want a promotion? Then beat the snot out of the person above you. Thinking of passing that report along to the intern? You’d better hope they’re a pushover. Amidst all the goofy violence and mayhem players can improve their character with new skills, equipment, and combat moves as they attempt to fight their way to the top of the corporate ladder, leaving a trail of broken bodies in their wake.

Penny Arcade's On The Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness 3
Zeboyd's latest convention-defying RPG might be full of all sorts of fantastical creatures, but they include things like mollusks with a love of mimes and giant crab-wizards. It's a vaguely steampunk world filled with semi-Cthulhian horrors and a remarkably goofy sense of humor, not a series of dark forests filled with giant spiders and ogres. There's still plenty of evil afoot only this time it's a bit less conventional, as are the protagonists and their rampant multi-classing.

The World Ends with You: Solo Remix
When putting together a list of non-fantasy RPGs I knew I just had to include The World Ends with You. It’s a fantastic RPG in its own right that still manages to set itself apart from most other titles in the genre thanks to its style, music, characters, and plot. And it all takes place in modern day Shibuya as Neku and his accomplices attempt to survive the Reaper’s game and save themselves from a horrible fate.

Favorite Four: Pixel Worlds

Posted by Rob Rich on April 26th, 2013

Like it or not (I personally like it), retro-inspired pixel graphics are here to stay. A lot of people love the nostalgia that comes with such visuals, but it’s also interesting to see how pixel artists interpret different ideas. They can squeeze a surprising amount of detail out of a few well-placed squares. This list chronicles four of the pixilated worlds we find the most impressive. Not just the characters, mind, but the overall artistic style of their universe.

I’ll admit that it’s a bit rough around the edges. Some of the mechanics aren’t fully realized and the movement controls, while much better after an update, are still a bit tough to use. However this is a list about fantastic, pixilated worlds, and Arranger has definitely got that. Part homage to Atari classics, part acid trip through a 1970s arcade cabinet, it’s nothing it not incredibly imaginative and unique.

Pixel Kingdom
I know I’ve already mentioned how much I love the visuals in Pixel Kingdom but I’m going to reiterate because I really love them. Capturing so much personality and charm in characters that sport such small dimensions is no easy task, yet here it’s pulled off almost effortlessly. At least it seems that way. Simply watching the heros walk across the field brings a smile to my face. The added draw of discovering what other bizarre and wonderful creatures lurk just off-screen on higher difficulties is another big draw.

What impresses me so much about Canabalt is how minimal its visuals are. Aside from the main character, I mean. His animations are pretty spectacular. There’s no color and practically no fine details to the backgrounds, yet it manages to tell a rather harrowing story. It’s a world on the brink of destruction, under attack from seemingly invincible extra-terrestrial aggressors, all depicted through the use of various shades of gray and some silhouettes.

Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP
Of all the worlds I've visited that can be expressed through "bits," Sword & Sworcery's is definitely my favorite. It's a world full of whimsical forests and foreboding caves. The magic floating in the pixelated air is almost tangible. And to say it's gorgeous would be a rather terrible understatement. The warrior monk's quest might be sorrowful (and a tad short), but it's stayed with me ever since its completion.

Favorite Four: First-Person Games that Aren't Shooters

Posted by Rob Rich on April 24th, 2013

I think most people can agree that we probably don’t need quite as many first-person shooters on the market as we actually have. There are some great games to be had, sure, but with so much over-saturation it starts to become difficult to get excited about it. That’s why we’ve got a list of four of our favorite first-person games that aren’t shooters. They use the same perspective, and in some cases the same “floating hands” motif, but there are no firearms to be found. See? Just because a game is in first-person doesn’t mean it has to involve shooting stuff in the face.

Dark Meadow
Okay, so technically you do shoot some stuff in the face here, but not in the traditional sense. That’s kind of a weird thing to say now that I think about it. Anyway the crossbow isn’t actually a gun, and it functions are more of a way to chip away at an enemy’s health before they close the gap. Dark Meadow is primarily a first-person adventure/action game with an emphasis on exploration and melee. A combination that ends up being pretty awesome.

The Quest
Now The Quest is definitely not a shooter. It’s an old-school inspired, first-person, turn-based RPG that isn’t afraid to force those who write about it to use lots of hyphens. It’s also an incredibly robust adventure that allows players to create a number of various custom characters and tackle the world and its various quests as they see fit. And that’s all before taking the ridiculous amount of expansions into account.

Ravensword: Shadowlands
If you were to ask any console gamers about first-person games that aren’t shooters, one of the first titles that would pop into their head would have to be either Oblivion or Skyrim. This is the iOS gamer’s equivalent. Ravensword is a huge RPG full of little nooks and crannies to explore and unique creatures to slay. It can, of course, be played in third-person as well but in this instance first-person is far superior.

Minecraft - Pocket Edition
Betcha didn’t see this one coming. Minecraft is a lot of things to different people: gaming’s most amazing sandbox, a great way to be creative with friends, The Second Coming, a boring and over-hyped piece of junk, or even just “meh.” But what isn’t debatable is the fact that it’s one of the least shooter-y first-person games currently available on iOS devices. Not only is there little to no emphasis on shooting (plus there’s only a bow), but it’s a game that’s actually about building rather than destroying. At least for those who wouldn’t jump into another player’s game just to troll.

Favorite Four: Apps To Get You Running (For Real This Time)

Posted by Rob Rich on April 22nd, 2013

Tons of people, myself included, talk about wanting to get healthy. Often that means taking up running. Of course the reality of the situation is that we almost never make good on those promises. That’s where this particular list comes in. For your consideration we have four apps that should, in theory, get you out and jogging. For real this time.

Music can be a big motivator for a lot of people. It can get the blood pumping and really gets us in the mood for doing stuff. RockMyRun is a collection of specially mixed tunes for runners from a variety of DJs from all over the world. Sure there’s always the option of listening to your own music, but why not try some tunes that have been specifically created to keep you running?

RunKeeper is great for tracking progress for running, hiking, biking, etc. It features a number of detailed stats to monitor, lets users take photos to chronicle their activities, and will notify them when personal milestones have been reached. It’s full of useful features but what’s really bound to get me using it is the feature that lets me compare and compete with my friends.

Walkathon + Fitness Games
This particular app features a lot of games that can be unlocked via in-app purchase, ranging from fantasy kingdom construction to racing with friends. However, as motivating as gamifying running and walking can be, what’s really impressive is the way it automatically links with sponsors to make donations based on your activity. I mean, it is Walkathon after all.

Zombies, Run!
Personally, I think Zombies, Run! is the app that will finally get me running. It doesn’t just turn jogging into a game, it turns it into an awesome and robust game. Constructing strongholds, completing quests, finding supplies, and running like mad from hordes of shambling corpses. It sounds awesome all by itself, but it’s powered by physical activity!

Favorite Four: Bathroom Finders

Posted by Rob Rich on April 19th, 2013

We’ve all found ourselves in the unfortunate situation of being out of our element and desperately needing a toilet. It’s an awful scenario to be in; not knowing where to find one or how long you can hold out. For that very reason we’ve compiled a list of four restroom location apps that might not be super-versatile, but they can sure come in handy when they’re needed.

Public Toilets
This isn’t just a bathroom-finder, it’s an extensive database of close to 50,000 toilet locations across several different countries. Users don’t just find bathrooms with it, either. They can also submit their own entries, complete with photos and ratings, for everyone’s benefit. Just don’t go too crazy with the toilet pictures.

Where to Wee
It’s not as user-driven when it comes to submissions, but Where to Wee is still a handy at-a-glance restroom app. Not only does it display the necessary location info on a map, it also highlights the highest-rated toilets with a vibrant green icon. In addition to finding restrooms and displaying properly on the iPhone 5’s screen (yay!), it can also help roadtrippers and other out of towners find some nice out of the way spots to eat.

Can’t Wait
Canucks (and tourists) rejoice! Can’t Wait is a Canada-centric toilet app that chronicles various porcelain thrones, displays their locations in relation to the user’s iOS device, lists amenities, and allows for submissions that can be shared with friends or all users. It’s the perfect app to have after a huge breakfast full of syrup and ham slices that they refer to as “bacon” for some odd reason.

Pottys offers up all the expected perks of a toilet app - locators, ratings, reviews, bookmarks, photos, and so on - with one interesting addition. Users can also earn “potty points” and achievements for performing various actions (using a restroom, submitting photos, etc). So with enough use it’s possible to become a Knight, Emperor, and so on. It effectively gameifies potty time.

Favorite Four: Comic Reading Apps

Posted by Jennifer Allen on April 17th, 2013

iOS devices are great for using as e-readers, iPads in particular. Besides being great for reading books and novels, they're also ideal for comic book reading. Whether you've been reading comics for decades, or just discovering the magic within for the first time, here's a look at four of our favorite apps for enjoying some of the best comics and graphic novels out there.

From Comixology, Comics offers a huge wealth of comic books. With a 30,000+ library of books, it's the comic equivalent of iTunes which is pretty awesome indeed. There's something for everyone's taste here, with Marvel and DC residing happily alongside Disney, The Walking Dead, Star Trek and even My Little Pony. It's simple to browse around and a web-based interface ensures purchases can be read anywhere.

Marvel Unlimited
For those keen to buy individual comic books, Marvel Comics has things covered. For others who signed up to a Marvel Unlimited subscription and had to be restricted to only browsing on a PC or Mac, this recent app is a huge help. It's not the finest of apps to navigate (although it works much better on the iPad), but the sheer wealth of comic books that can be read while on the move and for a fairly low annual fee, it's well worth a look. It's kept me entertained on many a journey, as helped by the read offline feature.

Comics Unlimited
Offering a little bit of everything, amongst a subscription service and a way to check out freebies, Comics Unlimited is a jack of all trades. Archie, CSI, Transformers, Dragon Age and Grimm Fairy Tales all happily reside together on this service and flexible subscription options make it all the more appealing. It's simple to browse too, with intuitive controls and an attractive layout.

VIZ Manga
We've focused a lot on Western comic books, but there are plenty of great apps for Manga fans too. VIZ Manga is one of the best, providing a similar experience to Comics but with a focus on Manga. Naruto, Bleack, Death Note, Dragon Ball and many more are available here, with monthly free previews ensuring it's easy to find something new to entice one in.

Favorite Four: Writing Apps

Posted by Jennifer Allen on April 15th, 2013

Feeling creative and want to write an epic on your iPhone or iPad? We've got you covered with our favorite four writing apps. I've rounded up some of the best of the bunch, each helping users write all kinds of different texts, from the next bestseller to a formal letter. There's even a great app for film scripting.

iA Writer
My personal favorite (I'm using the Mac version to write this article), ia Writer is ideal for the minimalist writer. Focused entirely on offering a simple and clear screen to enter text, it's easy to get wrapped up into the words rather than distracted by status bars. That's not to say it's a basic app, though, with iCloud support and Dropbox integration ensuring users can get back to writing, no matter where they are.

A great all-rounder, Pages is a fine word processing tool. It's a little expensive but it offers plenty of functionality with a choice of 16 different and relevant templates, for projects such as simple letters to posters or reports. iCloud support is here, along with the ability to edit different document types including all the popular formats. There's even basic functionality for creating pie charts and other diagrams. It's suitably varied and full of features.

Daedalus Touch
Returning to the minimalist trend, Daedalus Touch is ideal for those who want even more freedom for their words. No folders or file lists are needed here. Instead, users are presented with a virtual paper stack of sheets to navigate through with some very intuitive controls. For those looking to do more free writing and simply throw themselves into the words, Daedalus Touch is quite the delight. Plus, there's syncing functionality with Mac app, Ulysses III.

It's quite a specific tool but Contour will prove to be ideal for those who always reckoned they had a great movie idea but didn't know where to start. It's a story development system that makes it easy to start small and grow big, with a fill-in-the-blanks style approach. It doesn't matter if you've never had script writing experience, Contour will fix all that. Created by an Emmy Award-nominated writer, it's got the pedigree to be worth taking note of, too.

Favorite Four: OCR Apps

Posted by Jennifer Allen on April 12th, 2013

Remember when scanners were big, bulky things that plugged into obtuse parallel ports and almost never worked as well as they should have? Long gone are those days, both in terms of the ports they use and being so restricted to bulky equipment. Now, there's a whole selection of iOS apps out there, keen to make things easier by turning an iPhone or iPad into a portable scanner. We take a look at our four favorite OCR apps.

Image To Text
It might not be the most feature rich of apps here but, crucially, Image To Text is a free app and thereby, an ideal starting place for anyone keen to scan in content. All the user has to do is take a photo of a document that they want to extract text from, then leave the app to do all the work, thereby converting everything to a text file with editable text. It's not perfect, and it's restricted to text only, but it's a handy and reasonably quick tool to try out.

The most expensive entry here, Prizmo offers plenty of different features. The app can be used to scan and recognize many types of documents, including business cards, bills and whiteboards, making it easy to share via various services. With the business card interface, it's possible to create contacts through the information gleaned, while receipts and bills can be exported to a spreadsheet. Crucially, it's often very accurate, especially under a bright light. A text-to-speech facility completes the package.

It's easy to forget that Evernote does everything. Ok, maybe not everything, but it does a whole bunch of useful things, including offering a free way to scan in useful pieces of information. It's possible to create notes with content that has been scanned in, both of the picture and text variety, all for future reference at a later date. Searching functionality is as powerful as one would expect from the Swiss Army Knife of productivity apps.

Scanner Pro
Providing a high level of accuracy, Scanner Pro works well in its efforts to turn someone's life paperless. Users can scan receipts, notes, book pages and mostly everything else they can think of with this app, with everything converted into a PDF file. With email and print features, the app is particularly useful for those who need to sign contracts before sending them off via email. Online storage capabilities are also there, meaning it's possible to securely store many different types of document through this app.

Favorite Four: At-a-Glance Weather Apps

Posted by Rob Rich on April 10th, 2013

Anyone who ventures outside with any regularity needs to know what the weather is doing, no matter how they get around. Thing is, people are often in a rush and need to either figure out how to plan for the day or wing it and hope for the best. For anyone who often finds themselves flying out the door and subsequently caught in the rain without an umbrella or sporting a thick coat in 60 degree temperatures, this list of at-a-glance weather apps is for you.

Weather Neue
What makes Weather Neue so great is that it pretty much embodies “at-a-glance.” As soon as the app starts up users are greeted with a screen displaying the current temperature and weather conditions, wind speed, and a peek at what the next three days will bring. All with a big, bold, easy to read presentation.

Climate Clock
It might seem odd to have this and Weather Neue in the same list since they’re so similar, but what sets Climate Clock apart is the way it displays information for most of the day on a single screen. Users can see how hot or cold it will be later on that evening, and even if they should think about bringing an umbrella, without touching a single menu option.

Daily Weather
It’s not as elegantly simple as some of the other apps on this list, but Daily Weather is still great for avoiding awkward weather situations. The current temperature, highs and lows, cloud cover, wind, humidity, and a general sense of what it feels like outside (i.e. “warm”) is all front and center. In a handy and familiar newspaper-style format, no less.

Beautiful Weather
It’s perhaps the most complex out of these four apps, but Beautiful Weather is still a cinch to use and great for figuring out how to dress. A title of the device and a single upward swipe will call up a window with virtually every bit of weather-related info the user would most likely want to know (temperature, conditions, high, low, humidity, moon phases, sunrise and sunset times, etc), along with random historical facts.

Favorite Four: Sleeping Aid Apps

Posted by Jennifer Allen on April 8th, 2013

Problems sleeping is a major issue for many, myself included. Not getting a good night's sleep means one's productivity the next day plummets, plus you turn grouchy, irritable and no fun to be around. There's no iOS app yet that will send you to sleep within seconds. There are, however, a few great options for helping wake you up in a more appropriate manner than through an incredibly loud alarm clock. Here's my (sleep-deprived) look at four highlights of the bunch.

Recently reviewed, Suno offers the delights of a sunrise in order to gradually wake one up, and get the day going just right. It's not quite as simple to navigate as one would like but, once set up, it provides a great, gradual sunrise, all lined up according to when you want to get up. It works best in a particularly dark room, of course.

Sleep by MotionX
Analyzing everything possible in a bid to wake its users at just the right moment in their sleep cycle, Sleep by MotionX is a useful life aid. It's just a matter of placing the iOS device on the bed with the app doing the rest. A graph facility makes it simple to see how one's sleep is progressing over time. Even better, the app comes with daytime activities too, such as a pedometer feature and heart rate monitor.

Deep Sleep
Offering a form of relaxation therapy, Deep Sleep is a different change of pace to the other apps featured here. Through the voice of therapist, Andrew Johnson, users are guided gently to sleep through a series of meditational audio programs. Thanks to the soothing voice, it gradually calms the user, slowing their breathing down, thereby enabling them to relax and fall asleep. It might sound a little gimmicky but it can work impressively well.

Sleep Cycle
It's been quite the phenomenon since its launch nearly 4 years ago, but Sleep Cycle has remained relevant ever since. Solely an intelligent alarm clock, it does similar things to Sleep by MotionX but at a lower price. Tracking different phases of sleep, from light to deep sleep, the app works out the optimal time to wake you. It'll even work out which days provide the best form of sleep. It's both interesting and potentially very useful.

Favorite 4: Best Grappling Hook Games

Posted by Carter Dotson on April 4th, 2013

I love grappling hooks in games. There's nothing more pleasant than swinging around to get from place to place, because running is for chumps. Who wouldn't want to swing around to get places? If Tarzan ran around everywhere, would he be as cool? No, he would not be. As such, I have collected 4 of the best games on iOS that feature this mechanic prominently in different ways.

Super QuickHook: Rocketcat Games has made three absolutely brilliant grappling hook games in its time on iOS, and they're all brilliant, but this one gets the nod for featuring a great selection of endless swinging modes, where learning the optimal paths and coin locations is handy. This is along with its fixed levels, where trying to get fast times and collecting all the secret items becomes a challenge. But Hook Champ and Hook Worlds are both well worth a download.

Super Knights: Initially released under the far cooler Knights of the Round Cable title, this game features 360 degree swinging in an open arena. Collecting all the gems in their increasingly-complex patterns becomes the goal, and it becomes a challenge to try and do this while navigating all the hazards. The game also features plenty of upgrades and things to unlock while playing the game, enabling long-time players to get higher and higher scores. I have lost countless hours to this one.

Gravity Hook: Here's one that's less about swinging horizontally with some vertical action, and more about grappling upward. The goal is to latch on to floating orbs, using them to launch upward without falling off the screen. Some of the orbs function as mines that activate when latched on to, or even if just contacted, and some orbs fall when latched on to! The game has a definite learning curve, one that takes a while to get down, but when it's mastered, it's absurdly satisfying.

Rope 'n Fly 3: From Dusk Till Dawn: Who doesn't want ot swing around a city like Spider-Man, latching from rooftop to rooftop, flying through the air without a care? Well, perhaps there's a care whenever one's face hits the ground, but it's a pretty sweet ride up until that point. That's this game in a nutshell, a long-time iOS franchise that has multiple ways to grapple throughout the city. It's not a looker but it's a ton of fun.

Favorite 4: MLB Opening Day 2013

Posted by Carter Dotson on April 1st, 2013

Ahh, Major League Baseball’s Opening Day is here again. The day of the year where hope springs eternal, where ace takes on ace, and the long haul of 162 games starts with one exciting burst. Well, unless you’re a Marlins fan, it’s just all hopeless until Jeffrey Loria mercifully sells the team. Oh, and even if the Astros won on Opening Night, they’re still gonna be a pit of despair this season. And lest we forget, the Cubs are still cursed. Regardless, there’s plenty of reason to be excited on this holiest of days. And there’s plenty of apps to enjoy the baseball season with. Here’s our favorite four apps for Opening Day 2013.

MLB At Bat: MLB’s official app is still the best way to enjoy the MLB season. There’s the Gameday experience with live pitch tracking. The app has a new interface on team pages for easily seeing team highlights, news, schedule, and even getting tickets. Oh and of course, At Bat subscribers get full access to the app and to live game audio, and MLB.tv subscribers get to watch most live games, with the blackout exceptions being in-market games, and national TV blackouts for Fox’s Saturday games and ESPN’s Sunday game.

At The Ballpark: Why just check on the status of games when you can actually go to them? This app from MLB is designed to make going to games easier. You can see which ballparks are near you, and when the next game there is. You can buy tickets, and check in to the ballpark. See the team’s schedule for upcoming games, including upcoming promotions. There’s ballpark directories, transportation guidelines, and even a guide to the music of various players and from the stadium.

Flick Home Run: If the home team’s down by 10 but you don’t want to leave because it’s the 4th inning yet are so bored that you start to think maybe this sport is slow and boring after all, perhaps a good baseball video game is worth playing. Nothing gets the baseball fan going like this game's flicking of virtual home runs out of the park, off of some cars, rooftops, and further than any baseball has any right to go. Beware if playing this at the park, as an actual ball hitting your face will hurt badly.

Topps Bunt: There’s a lot of MLB card games out there, which is a natural fit because of the proud tradition of baseball cards. So why not play the baseball card game from a well-known baseball card company? Their official card game has been updated for 2013 with the ability to now buy card packs for additional players, along with trading with players all over the world to build the best team possible. Results are based on real-life player performance, so it’s more of a fantasy baseball game than a game built around cards representing players. The game does try to balance out the different player types, from closers to catchers.

Favorite Four: Dog Ownership Apps

Posted by Jennifer Allen on March 28th, 2013

Having a four legged companion in your life is pretty wonderful for many of us. The unconditional love they offer is heartwarming and it's great for one's mental health, as well as exercise levels, to have an awesome pooch to take out for walks every day. We take a look at four apps that go some way to making dog ownership even simpler or more positive.

Positively Dog Training
Dog training is pretty great for all involved. You have a dog that behaves well and doesn't get into trouble, and the dog knows exactly what's expected of it. Everyone is generally happier. Positively Dog Training is an interactive ebook app that offers plenty of tips and instructions on how to train your dog to behave well, as well as learn some great tricks. A series of video tutorials and step by step instructions keep things straight forward so you can focus on getting everything right for your dog.

Pet First Aid
Unfortunately, much like us humans, pets do get ill and injured sometimes. Pet First Aid is a guide to how to deal with various problems from cuts and burns to poisoning, drawing and even giving CPR to your dog. Plenty of videos, articles and instructions ensure that clear advice is easy to find here. it might just make the difference when dealing with a seriously ill or injured loved one.

My Dog
It's wise to keep safe plenty of important information relating to your dog, which is exactly what My Dog enables. The app makes it possible to store a photo of them, medical information, vaccination history and their ID details all in one place. At a glance, it's easy to see when vaccinations are due (with iCal integration) plus anything specialist such as a dietary schedule or training log. It's all easily emailed to other useful sources, too, such as a vet or boarding facility.

Dog Park Finder Plus
Completing our selection is the rather fun Dog Park Finder Plus. The app offers information on more than 6,000 dog friendly parks and beaches across the US, along with over 12,000 dog friendly restaurant details. Directions are offered along with information such as opening hours and park size. It's simple to use and there are photos and reviews throughout, so dog owners are guaranteed to find somewhere ideal for them and their pooch.

Favorite Four: Medical Aid Apps

Posted by Jennifer Allen on March 25th, 2013

An iPhone or iPad can be used for many different and fun purposes, it can also be used to help those in need of medical assistance. I don't just mean in terms of being able to call 911, either. Here's our look at four great apps that help assist users in some way, either through providing medical information or reminders just when they need it most.

RxmindMe Prescrption/Medicine Reminder and Pill Tracker
It's not the newest of apps but RxmindMe is still a great one. The app is a prescription reminder service that should help keep track of all the medication that some people need to take. Nine different types of reminders mean it doesn't matter if the medication needs to be taken every hour or even just on a particular day of the month, this app has its users covered. Further details mean it's possible to track quantities, export information, take photos of the medication and search extensively for any FDA approved drug. Impressive going for an app that's free to use.

Want to know everything about a type of medication, from dosage and side effects to how it interacts with other drugs? iPharmacy should have you covered. The app does a little bit of everything with simple reminders, an encyclopaedia of drugs and relevant information about them, as well as the means in which to find the cheapest pharmacy to buy them. iPharmacy proves a handy guide to all the latest recalls and alerts too, keeping its users safe.

Glucose Buddy
For the diabetic, it's vital to keep track of various important information such as glucose levels, carbohydrate consumption and insulin dosage. Glucose Buddy does all that and offers syncing options to keep such things safe. Graphs and logbooks make tracking everything a breeze, and safe and easy to demonstrate to a doctor when attending a regular check up. There's integration with CalorieTrack, too, making it easier to log food and exercise details.

While it's ideal to go visit a doctor with concerns, it's not always possible or convenient. iTriage offers advice for many symptoms, diseases and conditions, helping its users figure out whether they need to go visit someone or whether there isn't a concern. Alongside such information, there are details on where to find the nearest ER or relevant clinic, as well as emergency hotlines and even an average wait time for certain facilities.