Posts Tagged apple

12 Days of Gifts – Apple to Provide Users With a Free Gift Every Day From December 26 to January 6

Posted by on December 10th, 2013
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

12 Days of Gifts is a new app from Apple that allows users to download a gift every day from December 26 to January 6. This includes songs, apps, books, movies, and more. Each day’s gift will only be available for 24 hours until the app moves on to the next day’s gift.

12gifts

This Week at 148Apps: December 2-6 2013

Expert App Reviewers

 

So little time and so very many apps. What’s a poor iOS devotee to do? Fortunately, 148Apps is here to give you the rundown on the latest and greatest releases. And we even have a tremendous back catalog of reviews; just check out the Reviews Archive for every single review we’ve ever written.

Skulls of the Shogun

 
IMG_0232

Death is a very common thread in gaming, though admittedly in most cases it is being used as a motivating factor that the player wants to avoid. In the freshly ported iOS version of Skulls of the Shogun, the focus is actually on what happens after the main character has left the land of the living. General Akamoto and his ragtag group of hoodlums are trying to fight their way to the proverbial pearly gates, one decapitation at a time. Naturally they face quite the uphill struggle, with plenty of amusing shenanigans along the way. –Blake Grundman

Assassin’s Creed Pirates

 
ACP_Screenshot_Launch5

Assassin’s Creed Pirates is a game that’s appropriately multi-faceted: it encompasses multiple types of gameplay in its quest for pirate action in the Caribbean seas around the time of Assassin’s Creed IV. It’s a game with plenty to do and offers fun looting and boat-sinking times, it’s just structurally sub-optimal. There are two main parts to the game: sailing and combat. Sailing takes place in two different environments: a top-down map view that allows for just drawing lines to get around, and an “immersive” view where players can actually steer the ship, raise or lower the sails to control their speed, find random items to pick up, and challenging neutral ships that they cross. This is more fun, just more time-consuming. Certain missions require a certain view: race missions require immersive view while assassination missions which require stealth to sail past ship patrols use the top-down view. –Carter Dotson

Maps Pro With Google Maps

 
mapspro4-450x600

Offering fairly powerful mapping features tied into Google Maps, Maps Pro with Google Maps is the kind of app that regular travellers are going to want to keep on their iPads for future reference. So much simpler and more intuitive to use than the website, it’s a very handy tool. Even better, it hardly needs learning. That’s how easy it is to figure out. Immediately placing a pin on the user’s current location, everything about Maps Pro with Google Maps is easily laid out. The opening page offers up directions, sharing, street view, settings, and a search bar. –Jennifer Allen

PDF Expert 5

 
pdf expert 7

PDF Expert 5 isn’t an update to the already popular app, but is instead a newly redesigned package that provides iPad users with more features. It handles everything about a PDF – like reading, annotating, and editing. The app was just released this week and its fresh and sleek design make it a perfect fit for iOS 7. Whether users are familiar with previous versions or are just trying it out for the first time, it’s clear that the new features help to make navigation easier. For starters, there is a new PDF viewer that allows users to open large files, search through text, extract text from PDFs, and even open password-protected documents. There’s plenty of room to view PDFs thanks to full screen annotations and the smart zoom option that help users make notes and draw with ease. –Angela LaFollette

Roxie’s Puzzle Adventure

 
puzzle 3

Roxie’s Puzzle Adventure is a terrific universal puzzle adventure app for all ages, adapting the richly detailed illustrations of Roxie Munro’s previous puzzle app, Roxie’s a-MAZE-ing Vacation Adventure, into a jigsaw puzzle that players of all abilities will enjoy. This app consists of a colorful, stylized, and magnificently drawn landscape that is then broken up into 16 different smaller puzzles. I appreciate how up to five players use this app and their game will be saved independently, and how players can choose to break these individual puzzles into a number of puzzle pieces ranging from six chunky pieces to 260 small pieces on the iPad and 130 pieces on the iPhone, giving young children as well as seasoned adults a chance to enjoy this app equally. –Amy Solomon

Other 148Apps Network Sites

 
If you are looking for the best reviews of Android apps, just head right over to AndroidRundown. Here are just some of the reviews served up this week:

AndroidRundown

Banana Kong

 
kong

In Banana Kong, the players can learn an important lesson: eventually, your possessions and greed turn on you. And the more things you get, the harder they will fall on your head, and no matter how long you run, they will eventually bury you. Unless you have a hog you can ride on. This is where the analogy kind of falls apart for me. –Tony Kuzmin

Dream of Pixels

 
dream

There’s no point beating about the bush when talking about Dream of Pixels. It’s Tetris but with a twist. There’s no other way to explain it. Dream of Pixels is a puzzle game where you have to place familiar look shapes onto the screen. Unlike the game it clearly derives from, these shapes don’t drop down from the top of the screen, so there’s no need to shift your shapes from left to right before they hit the bottom. Instead, Dream of Pixels slowly (at first) scrolls the entire screen upwards. Your job is to ensure that no empty spaces make their way to the bottom of the screen. This means you need to use your shapes to ensure that each line is full of blocks. –Matt Parker

Thor: The Dark World

 
thor

Thor: The Dark World is an arcade pseudo beat-em up arcade game that also serves as an official Android companion game to the movie of the same name. The game is nice to look at. Thor’s hair has the golden yellow halo effect, and the virtual environment is a fine interpretation of of cinematic imagination. Bright colors, interesting beasts and nicely animated characters rolling to the booming voice of Thorish proclamations. There is a judicious use of color, and while some of the animations are a bit formulaic they are altogether hard not to enjoy. –Tre Lawrence

And finally, this week Pocket Gamer reviewed Blek, Assassin’s Creed Pirates, Space Hulk, and The Wolf Among Us, picked the best iOS and Android games of November, tore it up with Touchgrind Skate 2‘s video upload feature, went hands-on with The Room 2, and put together holiday gift guides for 3DS and Vita. For all that and loads more, Head to Pocket Gamer for their weekly wrap-up.

Those out there who are familiar with Apple’s movements around this time of year will know that we’re just a few days out from Apple’s annual one-day only Black Friday shopping event. Set to kick-off this Friday, November 29, the day will mark one of the only times in the year that Apple offers significant discounts on its many hardware products – both online and through its physical retail stores.

Screen Shot 2013-11-26 at 15.44.31While specifics on what hardware we might expect to be discounted come this Friday are still a little sketchy, we can take a quick look at the company’s Black Friday events held in previous years for clues as to what type of discounts shoppers should expect to see emerge towards the end of this week.

Last year for example, we saw the firm drop its iPad with Retina Display by a cool $41. Meanwhile, the iPod touch 4th Generation was slashed by $21, the iPad 2 saw an average drop of $31, and the MacBook Pro with Retina Display was available for $101 less than its usual retail price.

Screen Shot 2013-11-26 at 16.22.43

[image credit: MacRumors]

As significant as some of the above discounts may sound though, Apple is almost always beaten in its online holiday discounts by third-party vendors. One of those third-party vendors is Target, who will be offering shoppers a free $75 gift card with any purchase of Apple’s iPad mini ($279), and the chance to bag themselves a free $100 gift card with the purchase of any iPad, (including the iPad 2 – which starts at $399), when doors finally open this Thursday. The retailer will also be offering $30 gift cards for those who purchase the iPhone 5S (staring at $180) with a 2 year contract.

target_black_friday_ipadsRetailer Walmart will be running a similar promotion, seeing all shoppers receive a free $75 gift card with the purchase of either an iPhone 5C ($45, with a 2 year contract) or iPhone 5S ($189, with a 2 year contract). Meanwhile, if you opt to buy Apple’s original iPad mini (without “Retina” display), you could even grab yourself a free $100 gift card.

The last of the biggest retailers – Best Buy – will be offering Apple’s iPhone 5C for the lowest upfront cost we’ve been able to find at just $48 (a $51.99 savings). The firm will also be slashing the cost of Apple’s just-launched 16 GB iPad Air to $450, providing a super-neat saving of $50.

Other smaller retailers, such as RadioShack, will open their doors at 8AM. The purchase of Apple’s iPhone 5S, (starting at $200 with a 2 year contract), will see you receive a free $50 gift card, while opting for the iPhone 5C – (starting at $50 with a 2 year contract) – will also see you receive a free $50 gift card. Pick up an Apple TV for $100 on your way and you’ll get a free $20 gift card. Plus, those looking for some extra in-store credit to spend on even more Black Friday deals will probably appreciate the chance to bag a $10 RadioShack gift card with the purchase of any $50 iTunes Card. Those looking for some added protection to add to their iOS devices might also be pleased to hear that RadioShack will be offering 30% off all Zagg Screen Protectors, and a further 10% off all Otterbox cases.

Screen Shot 2013-11-26 at 16.18.17Sam’s Club will be opening its doors for black Friday super-early, this year. 7 AM to be exact. If you get down there quick though, you might just be able to bag yourself a few $100 iTunes Cards for $79.88 each.

The lowest prices for iOS devices available for Black Friday 2013 are listed below.


Continue reading Don’t Miss Apple’s One-Day Shopping Event – This Friday, November 29 »

9 to 5 Mac reports that Apple has released the iOS 7.1 beta, allowing developers to begin downloading it today. It’s also mentioned that it includes a number of bug fixes and performance enhancements, along with Notification Center features that include Weather and Stocks. We should be seeing the 7.1 update publicly in the near future.

ios7.1

source: 9 to 5 Mac

Mac Stories reports that Apple has made it so app developers can now generate 100 promotional codes for each release. This is twice the amount than before, giving developers more opportunity to share their apps with family, friends, and members of the press. The news still hasn’t been confirmed by Apple’s Developer News website, but various developers are reporting the change.

tokens

Image Credit: @usetokens

source: Mac Stories

Shiny Happy App Reviews

 

The App Store can be a daunting place. What to try? What to buy? How do you know? Thank goodness the review team at 148Apps is here to save the day. We sort through the chaos and find the apps you’re looking for. The ones we love become Editor’s Choice, standing out above the many good apps and games with something just a little bit more to offer. Take a look at what we’ve been up to this week, and find even more in our Reviews Archive.

Sid Meier’s Ace Patrol: Pacific Skies

 
meier

The great strategy of Sid Meier’s Ace Patrol returns with Sid Meier’s Ace Patrol: Pacific Skies. It’s set during World War II; where players have the choice to play as the US Navy, US Army, Imperial Japanese Navy, and Imperial Japanese Army. It certainly has a familiar presentation for those who played the original, but it’s also more polished and enhanced. The mission set-up is different as players are given one mission instead of a choice between three. I also find the visuals to be more polished and likable, but that’s probably because I love the old warbirds. –Andrew Stevens

Rayman Fiesta Run

 
RaymanFiestaRun-2-600x450

Rayman Fiesta Run is the sequel to Rayman Jungle Run, Ubisoft’s mobile version of their Rayman revival series, taking the form of a level-based auto-runner. Rayman Fiesta Run really only serves as an iteration on the previous one, but more of the familiar excellent gameplay and an improved level structure make this a better game. Players control the jumps and punches of Rayman, who can’t stop running for reasons both justified and unjustified depending on the level, trying to collect Lums and just get to the end of each level in however many pieces is optimal for Rayman because he has invisible limbs. Levels, which take on many forms from horizontal platforming to back-and-forth ascents – with the occasional wall-running and jumping, too – are challenging due to the timing needed to succeed and survive the various hazards. –Carter Dotson

Tiny Death Star

 
TinyDeathStar-3-338x600

Tiny Death Star is one of those ideas that’s absolutely brilliant: take Tiny Tower and put it in the Star Wars universe, having players build a Death Star instead of a non-descript tower. Oh, and the bitizens are all Star Wars characters. If that sounds appealing, then go download Tiny Death Star. It really isn’t too much different from the original Tiny Tower, the game where players earn money by stocking floors of a tower that sell different items, building new stores and residential floors for new people to move in to. Managing where bitizens work is important because they’re more efficient at certain floor types. This whole process continues until one’s tower is as high as players want it to be. It’s just all decked out with Star Wars characters and themes this time. –Carter Dotson

Hipster CEO

 
hipsterceo3-338x600

Let’s get this reviewing cliche out of the way: Hipster CEO is an acquired taste. It sounds like an excuse to basically say “Some will like it, some will hate it,” but it’s remarkably true in the case of this game. Unlike so many other titles on the App Store, Hipster CEO doesn’t mollycoddle its players. There’s a gameplay guide rather than a comprehensive tutorial, but even that isn’t as useful as simply giving the game a shot and gradually figuring things out. It’ll be rewarding, but it will take patience for those who want to succeed. Occasional moments of being crash-prone can irritate, too. –Jennifer Allen

Sorcery! 2

 
sorcery24-338x600

Bigger, better, stronger. That sums up Sorcery! 2, the sequel to the rather great Sorcery!. Feeling substantially weightier than its predecessor, much like the book it’s based on, Sorcery! 2 is a veritable bargain even despite its premium price tag. It’s been promised that there are over 300,000 words to it with more than 10,000 choices. I have no reason to doubt such a claim as there are plenty of hours of content here. Continuing from its predecessor, it’s not essential to have a save file at the ready but I’d recommend it, purely to carry on the storyline. Players explore Khare: the Cityport of Traps, and it’s a huge city indeed, as they attempt to move forward in their quest, potentially overthrow the city port’s council, and more. I’m grateful that Sorcery! 2 has such an extensive backtracking feature as there really is a lot that can be done here. –Jennifer Allen

ProCam 2

 
procam21-338x600

ProCam 2 is the kind of photography app that should, theoretically, mean that no other photography app is really needed. While some might find themselves keen to stick to an app they’re more used to, or with a slightly different look, ProCam 2 covers all the bases meaning that there really isn’t a need to do so. I’m assuming the developers wrote up a list of requirements for a good quality photography app, then kept working until every single one had been included. I’m struggling to think of anything that could have been missed. –Jennifer Allen

Other 148Apps Network Sites

 
If you are looking for the best reviews of Android apps, just head right over to AndroidRundown. Here are just some of the reviews served up this week:

AndroidRundown

Dot.Stop.Run

 
dotstop

Dot.Stop.Run is a pretty eye-catching runner, but how does it play? Players control Dot, an enigmatic female as she runs along a landscape littered with hazards, such as pits, falling blocks and moving platforms. Using well timed jumps, the player must guide Dot through each level. Dot.Stop.Run has the bare vestiges of a story. Dot has escaped from the unseen system and now runs through an endless binary domain that changes constantly to recapture her. Only by making her way safely through the binary domain can the true power of Dot be unleashed. This story doesn’t really make an appearance in game, but at least it sets the tone for the trippy gameplay to follow. –Allan Curtis

Lost Chapters HD

 
lost

There has to be some science behind the way certain games force you to stop playing and instead ‘come back later’. I’ll happily admit I’m no expert in the economics of designing free-to-play games, but I always thought turning people away was a dangerous idea. They just might not come back. It’s with this in mind that we talk about Lost Chapters HD. It’s a game all about exploration of an island, completing tasks to unlock new buildings and discovering treasure along the way. –Matt Parker

Wake the Cat

 
cat

Cats. Lovable bundles of fur or feline freeloaders? How you feel about cats will determine how you want to look at this game. LIKE CATS: Wake the Cat is a puzzle game where you gently roll a ball of yarn towards a sleeping kitty so that you may wake them from their peaceful slumber and play with them. HATE CATS: Wake the Cat is a puzzle game where you launch a ball of yarn (maybe with a rock in the middle of it) so that you stir the cat from its unearned slumber. Maybe to then throw the cat out of the house. I don’t know. –Matt Parker

And finally, this week Pocket Gamer picked the best iOS and Android games of October, reviewed Rayman Fiesta Run, provided some top tips for Tiny Death Star, and followed the saga of an indie developer who got rejected from the App Store… twice. Check out the Pocket Gamer weekly wrap-up right now!

There’s a rumor out there about the cost involved in building the new iPad Air, which is estimated at 13% less than previous iPad models. Mac Rumors reports that IHS estimates the component cost of the iPad Air is between $274 and $361 depending on the model. The base model totals at $42 less than the entry-level third generation iPad, even with the technology improvements that the iPad Air sports.

iPadAir

source: Mac Rumors

Apple CEO Tim Cook had some words to say in a column on The Wall Street Journal. CNN reports that Tim Cook is pressing for the successful passage of a federal law that protects workers from discrimination based on their sexual orientation. “It’s a good business practice,” Cook said, as it’s always best for employees to be able to be themselves – their best selves – in order to give their greatest effort in the workplace. “For too long, too many people have had to hide that part of their identity in the workplace,” said Cook.

The Employment Non-Discrimination Act, known as ENDA, needs 60 votes in the Senate today to avoid being subject to a filibuster.

Credit: CNN

Credit: CNN

via: CNN source: Wall Street Journal

iFixit got their hands on the iPad Air and did their thing with it; taking it apart to see just how difficult it would be for the user to repair. The iPads have always been difficult to take apart, and the iPad Air is no exception. Check out their video review to hear just how problematic it is to take this thing apart.

source: iFixit

Another Week of Expert App Reviews

 

At 148Apps, we help you sort through the great ocean of apps to find the ones we think you’ll like and the ones you’ll need. Our top picks become Editor’s Choice, our stamp of approval for apps with that little extra something special. Want to see what we’ve been up to this week? Take a look below for a sampling of our latest reviews. And if you want more, be sure to hit our Reviews Archive.

Tweetbot 3

 
Tweetbot3-6-338x600

Tweetbot is the best Twitter app that’s out there, hands down. It’s feature-packed and easy to use. Tweetbot 3 continues this app’s legacy as the best, and is a must for anyone who uses Twitter. Now, Tweetbot 3 is a new app, not just an update to the now-previous version of Tweetbot. While the two apps are pretty much feature-identical, there’s been some usability tweaks and a revamped look and feel for iOS 7. It no longer sticks out like a sore thumb – it fits, and it’s a welcome redesign. It is a bit jarring jumping from the new look to a version using the old one, but the Mac version will be updated for Mavericks soon, and Tweetbot for iPad is in the works down the road. –Carter Dotson

Pocket Titans

 
PocketTitans-1-600x450

Pocket Titans mixes a puzzle game with the kind of row and column switching seen in Candy Crush Saga and 10000000. Yet this casual puzzle gameplay is all wrapped up in the veneer of a squad-based RPG. The way it works? Players have their squad of heroes from the various RPG archetypes: warriors, rogues, archers, et cetera. They and the enemies are on a small grid, with the ability to move an entire row or column in one’s turn. Players get to make two moves to put their characters in their ideal position to attack enemies or use their character’s ability. For example, warriors attack enemies nearby (and their attacks can hit all enemies in a nearby radius), archers can hit enemies either diagonally or straight away from them in their line of sight (no obstructions in the way), healers can, well, heal. As well, each class has secondary abilities that activate when they can’t use their primary one. Everything happens automatically, so to learn how to play just requires learning how the various classes work, which is simple enough. –Carter Dotson

Zombie Cupcake Attack

 
cupcake

Zombie games aren’t going away anytime soon, but a new zombie game that has landed in the App Store puts a spin on the craze. Starring Ace of Cakes star Duff Goldman, Zombie Cupcake Attack features undead treats that need to be annihilated in order to save the world from the apocalypse. The graphics are quite impressive for an endless runner. At the start of the game, it’s evident that the developers put a lot of details in all five endless levels. While it has more of a kid-friendly appeal, adults will find themselves having a lot of fun as well. –Angela LaFollette

Hello World – Book 1: The Lonely Islands

 
island

Imagine a magical and whimsical fantasy world full of interesting people, epic battles, mediocre coffee, and a talking cat. This is where the story of Hello World takes us; on a journey through a 3D universe populated by a whole variety of mythical creatures and bizarre people. Hippies, vampires, zombies, trolls, chupacabras; there is no shortage of strange beings. In this first-person adventure, Cap and Leet must quest through a universe unlike any other in order to save the magical and semi-sentient land of “Fred.” Set in the style of an RPG, players must explore forests, caves, and sail the sea, all while meeting the most unique of characters and poking squirrels with sticks. –Lucy Ingram

My PlayHome Stores

 
ice-cream-600x450

My PlayHome Stores is the much-awaited sequel to the popular app My PlayHome; a digital dollhouse app that allows children to interact with a play family within their house, including a vast amount of interactive options. My PlayHome Stores now allows this family a day of shopping as children can explore a variety of stores including clothing and ice cream shops, a smoothie shop, and a restaurant. These apps are lovely, simple, and sweet, bringing the creative play of a traditional dollhouse and other creative play to the iPad and iPhone, and as such bring an intuitiveness children will enjoy a great deal. Fans of My PlayHouse as well as those new to this series will enjoy the many interactions as one places a character into these scenes. Do note that although the family from My PlayHome (a mom, dad and three kids) can be seen at the top right of the screen, one also has easy access to a large cast of characters that include men, women, and children of various races and backgrounds – a very nice touch. –Amy Solomon

Other 148Apps Network Sites

 
If you are looking for the best reviews of Android apps, just head right over to AndroidRundown. Here are just some of the reviews served up this week:

AndroidRundown

Look Out Below

 
lookout

More and more mobile games are utilizing physics in unique ways. Ever since the rise of Angry Birds, developers are looking for new ways to bring the force that dictates all things in the real world into the games that appear on phones and tablets. Physics are implemented in a variety of different games, offering unique game play options and interesting ways of using the laws of science within the game. Look Out Below is one of those games that offers an uncommon usage of physics while offering a simple, but testing game play. –Mike Deneen

IceBurgers

 
burgers

IceBurgers is an environmental tale. Two ships collide in the Antarctic, spewing burgers and letters, and a penguin has to clean it up. Alrighty. Interestingly enough, what makes this game unique is what probably is its best feature: the lack of frills. It rocks a simple motif and features even simpler gameplay, and, as such, can be a formidable time waster. The gameplay is an atypical mix of crossword puzzle and Scrabble. A square grid of 25 tiled letters makes up the playing area, and words are supposed to be created via swiping a finger across letters in fairly liberal fashion. When a word is formed, it lightens up and explodes, and the tiled letters are replaced randomly by falling tiles from above. –Tre Lawrence

BBM for Android

 
bbm

Yes, BlackBerry (formerly RIM) has had better days. The iconic technology company made devices that signified corporate success and helped shape the smartphone market. It’s current troubles are well known, and the company and its devices have arguably lost some of their previous luster. One piece of the BlackBerry ecosystem that has always been respected is BlackBerry Messenger, its eponymous messaging system. It’s always-on nature, perceived reliability and PIN-based connection service is almost universally respected, even by non-BlackBerry device users. So, when BlackBerry announced that it would be opening up the hitherto proprietary messenger to iOS and Android users, ears perked up. –Tre Lawrence

And finally, this week Pocket Gamer reviewed Dead Trigger 2, highlighted the stand-out hits from its Big Indie Pitch event, found 8 tablet-only games to play on the new iPad Air, reviewed Ace Attorney on 3DS, and went hands-on with Vita charmfest Tearaway. Head to Pocket Gamer now for their weekly wrap-up.

Rob Rich and I enjoyed the seemingly short Apple event yesterday when they unveiled the new iPad Air and iPad Mini. I currently run with the first model iPad Mini while he does his thing with an iPad 3. We both came away from the event impressed with the Air, but with the new power of the Mini I had to ask the question: which one to get? We figured a lot of you would have the same question, so we had a nice little discussion that might be of benefit to you as well.

iPadAirandiPadMini

Andrew Stevens: What makes the iPad Air more desirable than the iPad you currently use? Of course the overall power of it is most impressive, and needed.

Rob Rich: Well I’m currently using an iPad 3, so the technological leap is a bit more significant for me. In my case, I really like the decreased bulk and weight as well as the overall better performance. I’ve had issues with apps and games chugging a bit on the 3 and imagine they’d run a lot faster on the iPad Air.

Andrew: That’s my same issue with the current iPad Mini. I have multiple games lagging behind just enough to where I need to upgrade right away. The iPad Air looks very impressive and I was originally thinking I would be getting the newest iPad rather than the Mini. However, with its similar performance to the iPad Air I’m really intrigued once again by the Mini.

Rob: This is true. I mean ultimately the iPad Air and new Mini aren’t all that different.

Andrew: Yeah, it actually comes down to size this time around where previously I felt like I made the wrong decision by going with the first generation Mini instead of the latest iPad. I love the size, but its lack in performance has been noticeable as of late. This time around might be the best time to get the Mini and really enjoy all the benefits of a regular iPad but in a miniature size.

Rob: The problem I have with the Mini, which I’ve always had, is that it’s in this weird middle ground between an iPhone and regular iPad. It’s too small to allow users to truly benefit from a full-sized screen and it’s too big to be as conveniently portable as the iPhone. I mean, if I can use my iPhone 5 for portable stuff, then set my iPad up for some almost-but-not-quite computing stuff, what do I really need the Mini for?

iPadAir

Andrew: I think the Mini’s size is brilliant for me, especially as a gamer. I look at the Mini as a slightly larger console controller. I have bigger hands so it’s easy for my thumbs to navigate the screen as I hold it like a controller. This was the biggest factor for me buying a Mini instead of the regular iPad. The iPhone screen is too small, and the regular iPad is too big to handle the way I want.

Rob: I suppose that’s a good way of looking at it, although I still prefer the portability of the iPhone even if I have to bring the screen closer to my face. But I do sort of see the value in the Mini as a gaming device.

Andrew: I see what you’re saying, but sometimes with games there are objects that are just too small to handle even with putting the phone right up in your face. Plus, I don’t want to hold a phone close to my face; I like a little bit of distance. The Mini is a good in-between that isn’t too big, but also isn’t too small. It’s is great as a mobile gaming device, and the new iPad Mini really improves upon that. I can also (barely) fit the mini in my jeans! It’s totally portable!

Rob: Riiiiiight. Anyway, I think it’s interesting how Apple has been updating a lot of its apps, seemingly in preparation for the updated hardware. I mean all that stuff about iWork and collaborative projects over multiple devices seems like the sort of thing that the Air and new Mini would showcase really well.

Andrew: This November really leaves Apple users with an interesting decision to make. All year I would have told people to go with the regular iPad rather than the Mini just because it’s a more powerful device. Like you’ve seen, I love the size of the Mini but its performance has lacked. Now that the new Mini is basically a miniature iPad Air, it really comes down to size this time around. It also comes at a minier price: $100 cheaper than the Air. Hmm!

Rob: Yeah, personally I think the $100 savings might be more of a deciding factor for the average consumer than the dimensions. Of course that also means that Apple is effectively cutting into their own sales by pricing the Mini at $399 while keeping the iPad 2 at the same price. I mean who’s really going to want to spend $400 on something that outdated when they could easily buy something better, lighter, and smaller for the exact same price? Then again, that may have been their intent all along. By keeping the iPad 2 at $399 and making it their “default” tablet, it makes the new Mini look MUCH more attractive.

iPadmini

Andrew: Maybe the new Mini will be the highest selling iPad yet!

Rob: I don’t know about that. I mean it certainly seems more appealing when considering the price point and all, but people are going to want the iPad Air something fierce. It’s the newest Apple thing, you know?

Andrew: That’s true. I’m just enjoying my pro Mini, praise the ewoks discussion. The iPad Air certainly has much appeal, design, and name. I bet there are people out there that get the Air just so they can say “I have the iPad Air” That’s usually how it goes with something new.

Rob: Exactly.

Andrew: So what are you getting? The iPad Air or the new Mini?

Rob: Considering I don’t have $400~$500 laying around, neither. However if I were to choose between the two it would probably be the Air because the larger screen would be ideal for what I typically use my iPad for (i.e. document editing, etc).

Andrew: As a gamer, I love the smaller screen and how I am able to handle the Mini. It’s tempting for that reason and the fact I love my previous Mini so much, even though it lacks in power. However, I want the best iPad that’s out there so I can enjoy every little bit of what every app has to offer. Plus, it’ll probably be a good device to have while skipping the next generation of iPads. The new Mini is a huge improvement over the previous, and it’s comparable to the Air, but it’s time for me to make a move to the larger iPad. I want some Air time!

Rob: Oh lord.

_________

And that’s what we see between the iPad Air and iPad Mini; hopefully it was sort of educational for you. Both are clearly fine options as they each sport the same processor, graphics, camera – everything. The difference is in the size. What do you think? Are you going with the iPad Air and its regular size screen for $100 more or the slightly smaller screen for a better handle with the iPad Mini?

Discuss!

videosWe were all expecting some big things from Apple’s conference today – Mavericks, details on the new iPad and possibly iPad Mini, and so on – but I don’t think anyone was prepared for the big bombshell. I am, of course, talking about Apple’s videos.

The keynote was accentuated throughout by a series of beautifully constructed and masterfully presented videos showcasing the technology giant’s latest and greatest achievements. And what about that iPad Air video? Did you see that iPad Air video? Holy jeeze! At one point it had a truck jumping over sand dunes in it!

We won’t know how the world will receive the new iPad Air and iPad Mini until November, but I think it’s safe to say that those of us who were able to catch the live stream of the presentation will be forever changed. Apple is a fantastic hardware and software developer, but their video creation skills are nothing short of mind-blowing.

If you wept openly the moment the word “Video” popped up on the big screen, or if you had to pause the presentation for a moment to collect yourself, please chime in below!

iMovie gets update on iPhone and iPad, giving users more control of editing their videos. That’s always a good thing, yes? This means users can now create split screen and picture-in-picture effects with just a few simple taps. The same goes for advanced audio edits. It also received a new redesign that makes browsing and sharing videos from a user’s library even easier.

Get to it, directors!

iMovie

via: Our Review

iPhoto Update Adds Photobooks, Enables Faster Browsing and Editing

Posted by on October 22nd, 2013
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

iPhoto for iOS has been updated to 64-bit, making it faster for browsing and editing your work. It also comes with a new iOS 7-inspired design, along with new tools and effects that let you toy around even further with your images. The iPad version also gets Photobook in the update, which lets users upload their photos to Apple so that they can be printed and shipped back to you as a photo book. Nifty!

iPhoto

via: Our Review

The next version of the iPad Mini was announced today, which will be available sometime this November.

The new iPad Mini features a retina display and comes with the same number of pixels as the iPad Air, giving users beautiful visuals on-screen. It’s also powered by the A7 64 bit chip, and has a CPU that’s 4x faster, along with 8x faster graphics, 2x faster wifi, and a 5 mega pixel iSight camera. All of this will be enjoyed with 10 hours of battery life.

The new iPad Mini comes in silver, white, space grey, and black, and will be available for $399 for the 16GB version, $529 for the LTE-enabled version.

Gimme my new mini, now!

iPadminiRD_Svr_PSR_PF_PB_PRINT

ipadairA new iPad announcement isn’t exactly a shock, but Apple’s new iPad Air is still quite impressive. As the name implies, the new tablet is both thinner and lighter than other full-sized iPads. The Air is 7.5 MM thick, only weighs one pound (as opposed to the iPad 4’s 1.4 pounds), and features a 9.7″ Retina display. It’s pretty much the lightest full-sized tablet ever, so there’s that. And this is with all the added features; such as a 5 MP iSight Camera, 1080p HD video, dual microphones, and improved backside illumination. It will also maintain the expected 10-hour battery life.

In addition, the iPad Air uses the new 64-bit A7 chip found in the iPhone 5s, along with an M7 motion coprocessor, making the CPU twice as fast as the iPad 4. This means big files will open noticeably faster, and games will perform even better. The WiFi has also received some TLC with the incorporation of MIMO technology that uses multiple antennas, which equates to faster overall speeds. Couple that with the expanded LTE coverage Apple also announced and we’ve got ourselves a party!

The iPad Air will be available in Silver/White and Space Gray/Black starting November 1 and set you back $499 for the 16GB model, $599 for 32GB, and $699 for the super-storage 64GB model. Although if $500~$700 still seems a bit steep for you, you’ll still have the ability to get your hands on the iPad 2 for the standard price of $399 and up. Plus there’s the iPad Mini, but we’ve got that covered in another post.

Seems pretty slick to me, but what do you all think? Will you be trading in your iPad 4 come November or would you rather stick with what you’ve got a little longer? If you don’t already own an iPad, do you consider the iPad Air a good place to start? Chime in below and tell us what you think!

Apple has just announced an update to their iWork suite of apps; including Pages, Numbers, and Keynote. Now all of these apps allow users to share files across all their Apple devices over iCloud. Whether it’s on your Mac, iPhone, or iPad, you can instantly toss your projects into the cloud and immediately start working on another platform. In addition, collaboration with other users is also a possibility, as was demoed with Pages earlier today. So now two users across different platforms (even PC) can work on the same document at the same time.

But of course that’s not all. The entire suite of apps is also going free later today [Editor's Note: the iWork suite is actually going to be offered for free with the purchase of new Apple hardware. We apologize for the confusion], so what are you waiting for?

pages01pages02

Despite issues with the company’s live recording equipment back in September, reportedly preventing the firm from being able to provide a true live-stream of its iPhone-focused media event to its iOS customers, Apple has today announced that its October 22 event will be streamed live around the world.

2013-10-22_02-58-48-stream_2The stream will be available for those who own an iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad, as well as through a web browser on your Mac and for those who own an Apple TV. This will notably be the the first live-stream that the company has provided for its special media events held throughout this year.

Set to showcase all of the announcements we can expect to see when executives from the company take to the stage later today, for those devices which support web browsing the stream will be accessible around 10AM Pacific, 1PM Eastern, through a specially-designed page which went live on the company’s website just a few hours ago.

To access this exclusive live-stream from your chosen iOS device, all you need to do is ensure that your Wi-Fi setting is ‘On’ (Settings > Wi-Fi > ON), open Safari, and head over to this page. The stream will take advantage of Apple’s QuickTime video technology, so it’s worth noting that in order to view the stream from your Mac, you’ll first need to have Safari 4 (or later) installed, and ensure that your system is running on OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard (or later).

Alternatively, if you’re planning on tuning-in to the event from your iPhone, or iPad – which we imagine most of you might be – you’ll need to be running iOS 4.2 (or later). Streaming the event to your big-screen via the Apple TV will require either a second or third-generation Apple TV, and the TV-connected device must also be running software 5.0.2 (or later).

The iPad-focused media event is expected to focus on what’s next for the company’s 9.7-inch tablet, alongside the firm’s smaller and more compact 7.9-inch option – the iPad mini. In recent weeks, the web has been positively alight with reports surrounding both the form-factor and functionality that the next iteration of these products could bring to consumers.

yerba_buena_101813_1-800x600

(credit: MacRumors)

Here’s my take on what we could see happen at the event:

New iPads



It’s pretty much a given from the amount of reports we’ve seen relating to Apple’s next-generation iPads over the last several weeks, and Apple’s recent switch to a fall timeframe for announcements relating to its iPad product line, that we’re almost certainly in for some new tablets.

First, let’s talk about the full-size 9.7-inch iPad. Originally introduced in January 2010, Apple’s iPad has – over the last several years – systematically found its way into nearly every sector of our society. Revamped with a completely new design in March 2011, and gaining a quad-core graphics processor and Apple’s signature super-high resolution Retina display along the way, the latest iteration of Apple’s iPad is a powerhouse and features Apple’s internally developed system-on-a-chip A6X processor as well as the company’s new Lightning Connector.

Screen Shot 2013-10-20 at 18.36.34As for what we can expect see in the next iteration of the iPad? Well, the jury’s out on that one. Considering we haven’t seen a hardware design refresh since the second generation, I’m expecting that Apple will show a change in appearance for the device on Tuesday, possibly in an effort to match the same style as the iPhone 5S. The device will likely be available in the same 16, 32, 64, and 128GB storage capacity options, and there’s a good chance we will also see the device include the new 64-bit compatible A7 processor chip – now also found in the iPhone 5S.

Screen-Shot-2013-10-03-at-16.45.48

(credit: Unbox Therapy)

If Apple is serious about eventually letting its developers out there take advantage of its brand-new Touch ID system, then I would bet strongly that we will also see the next iPad(s) feature this technology. Heck, we’ve already seen a number of purported photos which suggest the cut-out for the “home button” on these (rumored) devices was designed to fit Apple’s Touch ID module – perfectly. Transplanting the inner workings of this system to a new iteration of the full-size iPad shouldn’t prove that difficult for Apple, considering the production lines churning out devices carrying Touch ID are already there and waiting.

Screen Shot 2013-10-20 at 18.39.15And then, of course, we have to address the recent chatter about the iPad mini. Introduced as the company’s more affordable iPad, the iPad mini first saw its public introduction in November of last year. The device is capable of pretty much everything Apple’s current-generation full-sized iPad is capable of achieving, with the added benefit being that the device is more portable. In addition, compared to the iPad’s starting price of $499, the iPad mini arrived starting at just $329.

In terms of what we could expect to see if Apple where to choose to reveal a new iPad mini at the event, the device could see a complete revamp to its hardware design. Personally, I’m expecting that we will see the device gain both Apple’s new Gold and Slate Grey color options – although it’s worth noting that a recent report by KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo suggests this won’t be the case. Apple’s second-generation iPad mini could also arrive featuring a Retina display. This is an aspect of the rumored device which has been speculated about quite heavily over the last year, with the main focus of discussion being on whether Apple can actually afford to keep the iPad mini at its tantalizing price point and offer expensive upgrades such as the jump to a 326-pixels per inch display.

This argument also extends to other recently introduced upgrades such as Touch ID, which again would make sense for Apple to include in the next-generation iPad mini, but whether or not the company would be able to keep the same price point if it did so is unclear. Granted, there’s always the chance that Apple could position the next iPad mini as its “high-end” offering, and leave the existing generation of the tablet to serve as its entry offering as it does currently.

As for other internal upgrades, the question has to be asked as to whether Apple can afford to keep the iPad mini’s dual-core A5 processor for another year, taking into account the new graphical requirements of its iOS 7 operating system. Personally, I’m going to wager that Apple will have no choice but to upgrade the processor on the iPad mini this year – perhaps (at least) to the A6, or A6X.

Things We’re Not Expecting



With all that said, there are some things we’re not expecting to see at Apple’s media event. For instance, Apple’s long speculated about ‘wearable’ product is likely only to see its public introduction (at the earliest) sometime next year. Likewise, Apple’s ‘television’ product is highly doubtful to see its introduction at this event, simply due to reports in recent weeks suggesting the product’s development is a long way off from being final.

Apple’s media event on Tuesday will take place at the Yerba Buena Center of the Arts, in San Francisco, and is set to begin at 10am (Pacific), 1pm (Atlantic). We’ll be sure to bring you full coverage regarding any products that may be announced at the event. Stay tuned!

Expert App Reviewers

 

So little time and so very many apps. What’s a poor iPhone lover to do? Fortunately, 148Apps is here to give you the rundown on the latest and greatest releases. And we even have a tremendous back catalog of reviews; just check out the Reviews Archive for every single review we’ve ever written.

Device 6

 
DEVICE_6_02_iphone5-338x600

I love what Simogo is doing in 2013. While the studio has always been a purveyor of a different kind of experience on iOS, this year their releases have been centered around story-telling and puzzle solving. It started with Year Walk and now continues with Device 6. They’re creating unique and intelligent experiences that deserve to be seen and heard. Now, much like Year Walk, this is something that is best when not spoiled so I’m only going to touch on cursory details of the plot and scenario: this is a sort of interactive piece of fiction that players read through that frequently wraps around the screen, requiring players to rotate their device to keep up with where everything is going. The story is about a woman named Anna, who wakes up in mysterious circumstances. To advance the story, certain puzzles, whose hints are embedded in the narrative and visuals, must be solved. The challenge comes from solving the puzzles and putting together the hints – have some pen and paper or some kind of writing app on a computer or other device open to take down notes to solve everything and to advance the story. –Carter Dotson

Soul Gambler

 
IMG_0218

Faust is the protagonist of a classic German legend. A successful scholar who, dissatisfied with his life, makes a pact with the devil and exchanges his soul for unlimited knowledge and worthy pleasures. The legend of Faust has been retold throughout history via many forms of media, and has been the basis for many literary, artistic, cinematic, and musical works. Soul Gambler is the remake of the original free unfinished interactive visual novel inspired by Goethe’s famous German tragic play, “Faust,” that has had a complete revamp; and with the success of its Kickstarter, has been made into a fantastic-looking interactive graphic novel that combines the art style of comic books with playable mechanics most commonly found in video games. –Lucy Ingram

Fist of Awesome

 
fistofawesome11

An unlikely hero. Bears. Lots and lots of plaid. A talking, time-traveling fist. These are only a handful of examples as to what players can expect when they jump in to FIST OF AWESOME. It’s certainly a weird, wacky, and wild beat-em-up with old school brawler roots and a few modern concessions. There are a few not-so-awesome issues nestled in with all those homicidal talking bears, however. Tim Burr is just a hard-working lumberjack with simple aspirations and a close group of friends. His is a happy life, and he envies no one. That is until the timeline is inexplicably altered and bears become the dominant species of Earth. Tim’s hand begins speaking to him, identifying itself as the FIST OF AWESOME and taking him on a journey through several eras in history – all overrun with bears – as the unlikely duo set out to fix history. –Rob Rich

OmniFocus 2 for iPhone

 
OmniFocus-7-338x600

OmniFocus 2.0 for iPhone is a to-do list and task management app that’s built for the person who’s deadly serious about tracking what they need to get done and when. After all, the app for iPhone is $19.99, which is well above what most apps are priced, but OmniFocus has a wealth of features and syncing options to help justify it. Still, it’s a cost that just may be worth it, because this is comprehensive yet still somewhat simple. It’s like fishing with grenades. –Carter Dotson

PumaTrac

 
pumatrac-3

PUMATRAC may sound like just another fitness app at first, but it provides a unique user experience that others like it currently don’t offer. PUMATRAC is designed to keep runners motivated by giving them insights on conditions that affect running performance so that workouts are actually more fun and rewarding. This means that the app can tell whether users run faster to pop music or longer on Fridays just by analyzing many different conditions thanks to Tictrac technology. –Angela LaFollette

Other 148Apps Network Sites

 
If you are looking for the best reviews of Android apps, just head right over to AndroidRundown. Here are just some of the reviews served up this week:

AndroidRundown

Cavemania

 
acve

Free-to-play match-three puzzles are as inescapable as bathroom issues after an all-you-can-eat night at Taco Bell, and are just as expected. Although I know I should hate them for their complete lack of originality, or artistic merit, my primitive synapses still get their share of enjoyment, just from matching things in the right order, without any particular reason and reward. Perhaps, my mom was right, and I should have gone in accounting. In any case, Cavemania tries to introduce some new mechanics, but it’s unclear whether they help overall game, or just get in the way. –Tony Kuzmin

Lumber Jacked

 
lumber

It’s too primitive that lumberjacks are always seen as the most manly of all people. So what if they have muscles of iron, and spend days at a time, uniting with nature and flinging mighty axes all day? Internet critics also have cramped up muscles, unite with nature every five to seven hours, and fling mighty keys up and down. Still, I’m yet to see a single game that gives the credit where it’s due, and features the mighty and the powerful, as the ultimate example of manliness. But, while the ungrateful, primitive culture moves down the familiar road, we get Lumber Jacked, another game, where lumberjack is the mighty hero yet again. It’s not like I remember any other games with lumberjacks, but there have to be lots of them, or this whole paragraph makes no sense. –Tony Kuzmin

Drift Mania: Street Outlaws

 
street

Drift Mania: Street Outlaws is the latest in the series of Drift Mania games by Ratrod Studios, with the scene shifted to street racing. But is it worth playing? There isn’t much content available without a lot of gameplay in Drift Mania: Street Outlaws. From the start of the game one car and one track is unlocked. Unlocking additional tracks is far from a simple task. For each track you can race on there are a number of achievements, such as drifting a certain distance or finishing in a time limit. Once enough of these are achieved, the next track is unlocked. Cars can be bought at any time, but are very expensive. –Allan Curtis

And finally, this week Pocket Gamer reviewed DEVICE 6 and compiled a complete walkthrough to the game, went hands-on with Dungeon Keeper and Tiny Death Star, and made some bold predictions for next week’s Apple press conference. Head to Pocket Gamer for their weekly wrap-up.

All Things D reports that invitations have been sent out by Apple for their next big event that’s expected to unveil the latest model of the iPad and iPad Mini. The event is scheduled for October 22nd at the Yerba Beuna Center for the Arts, and the invite reads “We still have a lot to cover.”

I’m ready!

Credit: All Things D

Credit: All Things D

source: All Things D

Still looking for an iPhone 5S? Well, you’ll probably keep looking for a while as 9 to 5 Mac reports that even with the return of the in-store pickup option, most Apple stores are reporting that the devices are unavailable. At least you can keep yourself busy by continuously trying the in-store pickup option until the day comes that it is available at your local store.

I wonder how many people are still perfectly happy with their iPhone 5.

Credit: 9 to 5 Mac

Credit: 9 to 5 Mac

source: 9 to 5 Mac

ios7designiOS 7 is a great update to Apple’s venerable OS. Not only does the visual overhaul bring a fresh take to the experience, but there’s lots of great little tweaks that just make the experience better. Heck, the ability to add Newsstand to its own folder is worth the download and installation on its own. But iOS 7 is not perfect: here are some things that could be added to the OS to make it better.

Better game save management

If Apple wants to make sure that iOS is a great gaming platform, they need to ensure that gamers can ensure that their progress in games can be preserved and transferred across devices. iCloud is so fraught with reliability problems that developers still dread using it. Finding a way to separate out a game’s save data from it being deleted would be a killer feature for iOS 8, especially since games with large file sizes and the longest experiences are the first to go when space needs to be freed up.

The return of quick tweet and Facebook posting buttons

TapToTweetConspicuously missing from iOS 7 is the ability to tweet and post to Facebook from Notification Center. They weren’t a primary way to share things, but to share while in another app or to just quickly fire off a tweet, the feature was great. Unfortunately it’s been cut down in the first release of iOS 7, when improvements like image posting would have been great.

Interactive notifications

AndroidInteractiveNotificationSay what you will about Android, but the ability to immediately reply to a text message or a tweet, or archive an unwanted email without switching apps is great. iOS could really use such a feature – it’s the kind of multitasking that’s non-intrusive and incredibly useful.

The ability to set third-party apps as default

If I want to open links in a third-party browser, use the built-in email sending feature to send from my email app of choice, or even just use a third-party photo management app, why can’t I? Apple’s own apps are generally very good, but third-parties who focus on certain features can often do better. Apple should allow users to set third-party apps to achieve certain actions, instead of still having to use awkward workarounds.

Custom notification sound options for all apps

Some apps still think that it’s okay to use the default notification sound. Some apps use custom sounds, and choose poorly. Yes, that car engine revving sounds cool but it also freaks me out. iOS manages notifications centrally, so why not have the ability to set custom sounds like I can with ringtones?

These are just a few of the features that could make the iOS experience better. Considering how iOS 7 was all about doing just that, I think there’s still a bit of a ways to go before it’s fully there.


Continue reading iOS 7: How Could Apple Improve It? »

iOS 7 is arriving tomorrow and Apple has extended some love to owners of older iOS devices, reports Engadget. Apple has added a new compatibility feature that allows users to download the last version of an app that is still compatible with their phone. So, for users running around with an old iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch, they’ll be able to use this compatibility feature to find the latest compatible version and use it on their device.

Credit: Engadget

Credit: Engadget

(more…)

source: Engadget

This Week at 148Apps: September 9-13, 2013

We Know Our Apps

 

Sorting through the gigantic swarm of apps out there can be daunting. 148Apps is here to help. Want to see what we’ve been up to this week? Take a look below for a sampling of our latest reviews. And if you want more, be sure to hit our Reviews Archive.

Ninja Cats vs. Samurai Dogs

 
Photo 12-09-2013 11 57 57

The age-old battle between samurai and ninjas has been told throughout time across several forms of media, but Eutechnyx has taken it to a whole new level with Ninja Cats vs. Samurai Dogs. Ninja Cats vs. Samurai Dogs is a tower defense game in which the field of battle is divided up into five lanes. There are a variety of towers available to build that each have various functions and resources, but there are only five spaces in which to place them so it has to have some sort of strategy. Otherwise it’s just a case of trial and error. Units are created and deployed from these towers, which are generated as cards that all have different abilities. Once the decision to deploy a unit has been made it is then possible to choose where to place the character, with the aim of getting them across to the other side to destroy enemy towers. If a character, be it a ninja cat or a samurai dog, passes an enemy on their path (or adjacent to, depending on abilities) there will be a face-off to the death and the victor will advance forward. –Lucy Ingram

Heroes of Loot

 
heroesofloot12

Distilling a genre down to its basic elements isn’t necessarily a difficult task, but doing it well absolutely is. Just cutting gameplay and other mechanical elements out at random won’t do; it really requires surgical precision. And yet, Orangepixel pulls it off so well with Heroes of Loot they make it look effortless. Heroes of Loot, at its most basic, is what happens when a game like Gauntlet is combined with Roguelike elements. The four adventurers (Elf, Warrior, Wizard, and Valkyrie) are in it for the money and not much else. Once players select their character, it’s on to adventure! Or in this case something akin to an arcade dungeon crawl. Randomized dungeons, quests, and special items make an appearance along with permadeath, but it’s all been streamlined to the point that dying is merely a (very) temporary setback. –Rob Rich

Junk Jack X

 
JunkJackX-9

The 2D mining and crafting genre is becoming a crowded one on iOS, with The Blockheads leading the way (in this writer’s humble opinion), Terraria making the jump to iOS, and now Junk Jack X – a follow-up to the 2011 2D crafting game that launched on iOS. And for those looking for a fun 2D crafting game can’t go wrong with Junk Jack X. Now, as someone intrigued by the genre but not an expert on them per se, I find the way that a game like Junk Jack X decides to just leave players in the middle of nowhere to start off with, left to fend for themselves, absolutely fascinating. In a world of handholding it’s kind of refreshing to be left to fend for myself. Of course then nightfall comes and I’m being assaulted by zombies, slime monsters, and spiders constantly, and I’d kind of appreciate some hand-holding! The ability to zoom way out to see where one has been and what the upcoming landscape may hold is great, especially handy for after a death, trying to make it back to the place one worked from. –Carter Dotson

Disney Princess Royal Salon

 
princess

Disney Princess Royal Salon is a very nice universal application that allows young children to dress up Disney princesses as well as style their hair with a tap or drag of a finger. Having only a son, we never got into the princess theme the way some children do, but I did spend a few years looking for a moderately-priced styling head that was not attached to Barbie as my boy showed interest in trying to style my hair and apply pretend makeup to my face, so I think he would have fun with this kind of pretend play toy. It is these kinds of styling head toys that came to mind as I tested the Disney Princess Royal Salon app as after choosing among Cinderella, Belle, Rapunzel, and Ariel one gets to decide which of four invitations to select, and one has a chance to style a princess’s hair with the tap of a finger. –Amy Solomon

Other 148Apps Network Sites

 
If you are looking for the best reviews of Android apps, just head right over to AndroidRundown. Here are just some of the reviews served up this week:

AndroidRundown

SimpleRockets

 
rockets

Space. The final frontier. The strange, black mass around the Earth that’s calling out to us, daring to come at it with all the technologies we could think of. As the space exploration in real world is stalling behind the schedule, videogame spacemen are orbiting on the countless devices, including mobile phones. The most popular among the “realistic” space exploration simulators is, undeniably, Kerbal Space Program. It’s a whole another topic, worthy of a hundred of articles, but it’s quite obvious where SimpleRockets took the inspiration from. Although it’s a lot more simple, it’s fitting perfectly into the mobile screen. –Tony Kuzmin

Wordcraft

 
wordcraft

Wordcraft is a combo word game from Littlebigplay. The game is an interesting mix of word games like Scrabble and crossword puzzles. The playing area is a rectangular grid made up of squared letter tiles set up in 8×13 fashion. The letters are random, and contain all the letter of the alphabet with varying probabilities. As in Scrabble, each letter has a number value that seems to be based on the use of the letter in the English language. Thus, E, T and A have the lowest values, and K, X, Q, J and Z have high values. –Tre Lawrence

Daddy Was A Thief

 
thief

Isn’t it strange that a game is only perceived as mature when the developers consciously try to make it so? By all accounts, Daddy Was A Thief is a hardcore circus of violence and destruction, but since it has nice music and cute graphics, it feels like a completely peaceful game. And I’m definitely digging its style. I’ve already reviewed it a while ago on iOS, and since Daddy Was A Thief got an update, I figured it would be a great time to also review this great game on Android, as well. –Tony Kuzmin

Also this week, Pocket Gamer went preview crazy, with first impressions of Infinity Blade III, Trials: Frontier, Gunner Z, Assassin’s Creed: Pirates, Pocket Trains, Valiant Hearts, Fist of Awesome, and Rayman Fiesta Run. Get more reviews, news, and videos in Pocket Gamer’s weekly wrap up.

And finally, in this week’s AppSpy News Wrap-Up, James talks you through the Infinity Blade III trailer, and shows you the first gameplay video from Trials Frontier, Assassin’s Creed: Pirates, and Rayman Fiesta Run. He also talks in a pirate voice for longer than is strictly necessary. Visit AppSpy.com for more video reviews, news, and previews.

The Apple event today seemed a bit light on content. Could be part of the reason they had the event at the Apple Town Hall on the Cupertino campus to a very small and intimate crowd. We got pretty much just what we expected, two new iPhones, and bits of other things. Here’s a quick recap of what we know:

iOS 7 – a quick recap of iOS 7, not showing anything we didn’t see at WWDC. It looks good, but doesn’t go far enough.

iOS 7 is out for the iPad 2 and later, iPhone 4 and later, and iPod touch 5th gen and later on next Wednesday, September 18th.

Screen Shot 2013-09-10 at 11.39.47 AM

iPhone 5C – the new colorful and cheaper iPhone 5 — that’s not really that much cheaper. Just $100 cheaper than the current and new iPhone 5 models. It’s basically the same as the current iPhone 5 but with a plastic back and a slightly better FaceTime camera on the front. It’s $99 for the 16GB model on contract. Not a great savings.

The iPhone 5C will be available in red, yellow, white, green, and blue.

Screen Shot 2013-09-10 at 11.40.29 AM

iPhone 5S – the new flagship iPhone adds a few interesting things, faster processor that also happens to be 64bit, 2-5x faster than the current model (both were quoted), motion co-processor, and fingerprint scanner.

The camera is faster, better, with a better flash. Does slo-mo video and burst photos. Cool, but not revolutionary.

A fingerprint scanner is hidden in the home button and it is great for security, if it works. Fingerprint scanners are notoriously unreliable. The scanner allows the phone to be unlocked and approval of iTunes purchases. That’s about all we know right now. Hopefully it will allow locking of other things and lead to a multiuser system in the future.

The motion co-processor is a big deal as it allows apps to accurately track motion at all times. Think of it as turning an iPhone into a Nike Fuel band or Fitbit with a huge brain. Should mean a bunch of much better fitness tracking apps.

The iPhone 5S will be available in white, black, and gold.

The iPhone 5C only is available for pre-order on this Friday, September 13th and available in-store on the following Friday, the 20th.

iWork – is now free with a new iOS device purchase. Not sure what that means for current devices. We’ll know more once the dust settles. That means Pages, Keynote, Numbers, iMovie, and iPhoto, but oddly not Garageband.

What’s Missing – and that was about it. Nothing unexpected, nothing new, no mention of game controllers or Apple TV updates or iPads or a multiuser system to support family use of an iPad. Overall I was rather disappointed in the announcement. Not expecting too much more, but hoping there were some nuggets hiding in iOS 7 that hadn’t surfaced yet. And the iPhone 5 to 5S update is a minor one that won’t be needed for all but the most hard core iPhone fan.

This means we should expect to see more from Apple before the holiday rush. But what will it be?

Screen Shot 2013-09-09 at 11.13.00 AM

Wondering where you can watch the announcements from the Apple announcements today? We’ve got details below.

It doesn’t look like Apple is going to live stream the event today, so live blogs will be the only way to follow along with the announcements. As usual we’ll tweet the highlights to our Twitter stream, you can follow along there.

And while not there in person, our friends over at Pocket Gamer are pseudo-live blogging the announcements.

Engadget usually has really good coverage but they don’t seem to be covering the event this time are covering the event, just slow about it. The Verge is usually another good option.

Don’t get your hopes up for anything too exciting. The event is being held at the Cupertino home base of Apple in a theater that is rather small for an important event. The small scale signifies that nothing too huge will be announced. My guess is the two new iPhones we have read about (iPhone 5S and 5C), updated iPod touch, revised Macs, and maybe an small update to Apple TV. And of course we’ll hear about the release date for iOS 7.

Check back here later and we’ll have more thoughts on the announcements made today. And we’ll post the video as soon as it’s up.

 

Announcement Recap

 

We’ll have more in the coming days, but here’s our recap of the event today where the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C were officially announced along with the release date of iOS 7.

 

Early Thoughts on the Apple Announcements

 

Tuesday is a Very Important Day for Tim Cook, and For Apple – Jeff looks at how Apple may be trailing behind it’s users sophistication level when it comes to mobile devices.

iOS Is Falling Behind For Family Users – Jen takes a hard look at how iOS has failed to respond to the needs of multiuser families.

How to Prepare Yourself for iOS 7 – Carter looks at some things that will help get an iOS device ready for iOS 7.

Tuesday should see the announcement of the next iPhone. Purportedly the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C (Details on what is known thus far at iMore) with modest improvements over the current iPhone 5.

There’s no doubt that the next iPhone will be the best iPhone Apple has ever created. And I am nearly certain that it will be the best smartphone available on any platform. But an increasing number of users are relying on their smartphone to do more and looking for more than what the iPhone offers.

Screen Shot 2013-09-09 at 11.13.00 AMOnce Apple disrupts a market by releasing a new product, it generally makes incremental changes to that device to make it better and better, but never really making large jumps in technology or features. We can see this in the iPhone, iPad, even iMac product lines. The initial products were revolutionary in every right, the updated products were just evolutionary. That’s good for most users, but I’d argue that in the case of smartphones Apple is being left behind. In this instance, the smartphone user base is maturing faster than Apple is innovating. And that’s costing them users and mindshare.

iPhones in particular and smartphones in general have rapidly become the number one computer used by a large number of people. Those people want more and more features, faster devices that do more in every way, and integrate with their lives to a greater extent. And let’s be honest, everyone likes to have the fastest, best, most lust-worthy device out there.

Well if what we know about the to-be-announced iPhone 5S – the flagship of the iPhone line – is true, Apple is certainly falling behind other options in innovation. As great as the iPhone 5 was (and is), it was met with tepid response as many saw it as just a refresh of the iPhone 4S. The iPhone 5S is less of a change and will surely see many of the same comments. Many users are maturing faster than the iPhone line and looking more and more at other platforms. Many have already jumped and as contracts end, many more are likely to. There are many reasons for this; here are just a few of the bigger ones.

Cloud Services – To be honest, iCloud is a bit of a mess. It’s under-featured, years behind, and stuck in this odd once-per-year update cycle. It’s way overpriced, underpowered, and under featured. Many users of iPhone also have Mac desktop/laptops. There’s no reason, three years on, that all of my data isn’t available everywhere, all the time, on every device. Dropbox can do it, Sky Drive can do it, Google can do it, why can’t Apple?

There’s also no reason that all photos, all videos, all music, all data, all everything isn’t seamlessly available on all of my devices, anytime, anywhere. The current system of Photostream, iTunes in the Cloud, iCloud, iTunes Match, etc. It’s just too fractured, too many rules, too many exceptions to the Apple credo of it just working.

iOS 7 – Whether you like the new look of iOS 7 or not, it is a good first step toward a new iOS. Perhaps too small of a step for as late as it it. There are many great features under the hood for developers, but most still want more. I rely on my iPhone, it’s never more than 2 feet from my hand. Why doesn’t it integrate better with my life and the way I use it?

In the past it has seemed that Apple pushes many of these life integration features off to app developers and that’s fine. But if that’s the way forward, app developers need better access to core OS features like the start screen and multitasking. Some form of widget/home screen update is vastly overdue as well to allow access to data quickly without the need to launch an app. And why can’t users replace the pitiful built-in apps like Calendar, Reminders, Calculator, etc. with third party apps? Seems silly to continue to restrict that.

Multi-user access – iPads are used in families by multiple people. Why hasn’t Apple created a multi-user system to allow better, restricted, and safer access when used this way? Android does, Kindle does, even Windows Phone does. Apple has the number one family computing platform, this is two years overdue.

Android has taken off respect to new interactions and interfaces, with mixed results it must be said. But the ability to communicate with your device in new ways and new ways for your device to communicate with you is something that the iPhone is way behind on.

Hardware Choice – right now you can buy an iPhone 5, iPhone 4S, iPad, or iPad mini. iOS users, like users of any platform, want choice. Why not offer something in the 6″ range? How about something with a larger battery? I’d take something thicker for 2x battery life.

So does all this mean that the iPhone 5S will be a failure? No, not at all. It will be the best smartphone available, for most users. It just won’t be held in the high esteem that some of the previous models have been. That will hopefully be a wake up call for Tim Cook and Apple.


Continue reading Tuesday is a Very Important Day for Tim Cook, and For Apple »

Apps Are Us

 

How do you know what apps are worth your time and money? Just look to the review team at 148Apps. We sort through the chaos and find the apps you’re looking for. The ones we love become Editor’s Choice, standing out above the many good apps and games with something just a little bit more to offer. Take a look at what we’ve been up to this week, and find even more in our Reviews Archive.

Zombies Ate My Friends

 
IMG_0593[1]

Zombies and video games go great together. We tend to forget this, especially as zombies in general become increasingly played out, but it’s a fact regardless. While Zombies Ate My Friends is no The Walking Dead, or Zombies Ate My Neighbors for that matter, it still showcases why this combination is so strong in the first place. As a zombie apocalypse tears through the town of Festerville, players loot and scavenge just to survive. However, since this is an RPG, that is only the beginning of the lengthy, 8-episode story. Throughout their quests, players will reconstruct helicopters, recruit new survivors into their camp, and desperately search for cures for their infected teammates. Sharp writing keeps even the grind-heaviest missions from getting stale. Complimenting that is the excellent art style best described as “Scott Pilgrim” but without the video game aesthetic. Raiders, boss zombies, and other characters have big, expressive, chibi cartoon heads and fluid animations that energize the presentation. Meanwhile dark, moody colors and macabre background details like “Murphy’s Law Office” constantly reinforce the funny yet bleak tone. –Jordan Minor

Cloud Spin

 
cloudspin1

Cloud Spin is a quite gorgeous game to look at. Never skipping a beat visually, it uses the Unreal Engine well to provide a fast-paced and enjoyable racing game like few others already out there. Do be aware of slightly flaky controls, though. Keeping it relatively simple, Cloud Spin offers a delightfully uncluttered interface. Straightforward instructions early on provide everything one needs to know. Flying around the screen is just a matter of swiping a finger in the relevant direction. Holding a second finger to the screen gives the player a speed boost, and that’s pretty much all that needs to be taught. Then it’s just a matter of gliding around each arena, collecting stars, dodging obstacles, and hoping to gain a precious medal at the end. –Jennifer Allen

Donna, Manage Your Day

 
donna

Donna, Manage Your Day is an app that’s designed to get its users to their scheduled appointments and events on-time in an intelligent way, but it’s definitely not flawless. Donna links in to contacts and calendars; automatically adding events scheduled for the next 3 days and letting users specify where they are and how to get to them. By default only one calendar is added, but the settings offer ways to toggle other calendars on the device. Users can specify in the settings their home and work locations, as well as handy shortcuts for common starting and stopping points. Destinations can be searched for by address and venue name. When getting directions, users can specify which transportation method they’re going to use – perfect for those in big cities who might switch between walking, public transit, a bike, and/or car as necessary. It also shows the weather! Then, when it’s nearing time to leave, a notification pops up to head out. –Carter Dotson

Bramble Berry Tales: The Story of Kalkalih

 
Bramble Berry Tales-House

Bramble Berry Tales – The Story of Kalkalih is an important interactive storybook app as it incorporates the oral histories of Canadian indigenous people of many, many generations past. An app of undeniably high quality, I enjoy the palette of warm earth tones and stylized animation that include interactive hot spots that one can trigger with a swipe or a tap, as well as how the words to this story are highlighted when read by optional narration; always a nice touch. This tale is a story within a story. First, siblings Lily and Thomas get dropped off to spend time at their Kookum and Mooshum’s house, which is Squamish for grandmother and grandfather. Lily can be a handful, however, as she is too excited to stay in her bed at night, sneaking into the kitchen to help herself to next morning’s homemade jam, and even turning on the radio and waking up the others who are sleeping. –Amy Solomon

Asphalt 8: Airborne

 
048

Gameloft’s Asphalt series returns to take arcade racing pleasantries to a new height. Asphalt 8: Airborne features everything players are familiar with, especially the vehicle handling during each race. There are numerous cars to purchase and upgrade, and multiple objectives to accomplish besides the typical potential three star earnings by placing in the top 3. However, what it really brings to the table – besides an overhaul of the user interface and graphics, which look nice – is a new way to launch vehicles in the air while performing stunts. Airborne. That’s the key word in the title and the main focus in the game, and it elevates the entertainment that it provides by letting players watch their vehicles go flying across the screen. Plus it’s pretty awesome when the boost is activated and players come crashing down on top of other vehicles for a takedown. I’ve always had great fun with arcade racers and enjoyed the previous Asphalt entries, but something as simple as adding ramps and a few stunts to the action has really taken this series in a new direction. Up! –Andrew Stevens

Mynd Calendar

 
mynd

The App Store is flooded with productivity apps and calendars, but each of them is a little bit different from the rest. Mynd Calendar is trying to break away from the mold by presenting users with a smart calendar that doesn’t just record things but helps users do them. It’s easy to get started. With the user’s permission, Mynd asks to integrate with any calendars, add contacts, use location services, and send push notifications. With just a few quick taps and some edits in the Settings menu, users are ready to use Mynd to help them get through their daily tasks. –Angela LaFollette

Timeline WWI

 
timelineww19

Much like Timeline Civil War, Timeline WW1 is a fantastic resource of information for those interested in certain periods of history. Capturing the essence of the battles involved, as well as how the Great War affected the people wrapped up in it, Timeline WW1 is both a fascinating and bleak reminder of what our ancestors struggled through. The interface is much like Timeline Civil War; proving immensely simple to browse through for young and old alike. Using a multitude of different types of media users can read through the interactive timeline to gain snippets of information on each event, while also choosing to delve further in and discover pertinent facts through video, audio, and photography. With 500 images and over 100 film clips and newsreels to explore, there are hours upon hours of content here. –Jennifer Allen

Other 148Apps Network Sites

 
If you are looking for the best reviews of Android apps, just head right over to AndroidRundown. Here are just some of the reviews served up this week:

AndroidRundown

Fleet Combat

 
fleet

Tower defense in a new, sea-bound world is the name of the game in Fleet Combat. This adventure is set on the high seas, and I admit that I did not mind the intro backstory: no zombies in this apocalypse; just good old Mother Nature in the form of engulfing sea levels. The resulting disaster leads to a restructuring of power, and our game story revolves around resistance against invading enemy forces. The game developer was prudent enough to put in an interactive tutorial, which helps explain the game “pieces” and general strategy. The defending pieces will be familiar to US Navy aficionados, taking the form of different types of warships (the whole setup when looking at the ships is somewhat reminiscent of Battleship, but I digress). –Tre Lawrence

Fantashooting

 
fanta

Some titles don’t really need explaining. Some games just simply throw you into the action and give you the experience you’re after right out of the gate. Fantashooting is one of those games and, following its example, I’m going to get right on with the review. Fantashooting is a ‘dual-joystick’ shooter where instead of joysticks you use the touchscreen. Most of you will know how this works, but for those that don’t be aware that there are two on-screen ‘joysticks’ that you move around by touching the screen. One joystick moves the character and the other shoots a weapon or throws a magic spell. Shooting at what and magic spells at who? Well, quite simply, you’re killing monsters. A lot of them. Fantashooting is simply a wave survival game where you aim to kill as many monsters as you can before being killed yourself. The more you kill, the more money and points you get. Some of you may have guessed this already – the money and points can be spent on upgrading your character. –Matt Parker

KungFu Quest: The Jade Tower

 
kungfu

I am an old timer. I used to go to the 7-eleven and pump all of my paper route money into the arcade games. Usually there was to of them so there was some choice. KungFu Quest : The Jade Tower reminds me of an old game I used to play there, so I was excited to do this review. The tutorial dojo is a good place to get and idea of how KungFu Quest : The Jade Tower is played. The side scrolling method of game play helps eliminate the need for an on-screen D-pad. I was glad about that because I am not a fan of those. Instead, on the bottom left side of the screen, there are left and a right arrows that work well. On the bottom right side of the screen are the attack buttons. The action button will punch and kick, the other is to jump. –Trevor Dobrygoski

Logic Remote – Apple Launches Logic Pro X Companion App

Posted by on July 17th, 2013
iPad Only App - Designed for iPad

The Next Web reports that Apple launched Logic Pro X, a replacement for the Logic 9 audio production software.

To accompany Logic Pro X, Apple released the Logic Remote companion app that enables musicians to control the new software from their iPad, even while away from the computer. The app is designed to make full use of the multi-touch on iPad, offering new ways to record and mix music.

logicremote

source: The Next Web
    Advertisement    





Featured Apps

    Advertisement    


Categories

Developers

Would you like your application reviewed on 148Apps? See the About page for information.
    Advertisement    



Steel Media Network

148Apps - iPhone app reviews and news. The best gosh darn iPhone app site this side of Mars.
http://148apps.com :: @148Apps

Android Rundown - Android news and reviews. Where you get the rundown on Android apps and hardware.
http://AndroidRundown.com :: @AndroidRundown

Best App Ever - Yearly Mobile App Achievement Awards.
http://bestappever.com :: @BestAppEver

Pocket Gamer - Mobile game reviews, news, and features.
http://PocketGamer.co.uk :: @PocketGamer

Pocket Gamer.biz - Mobile games industry news, opinion, and analysis.
http://PocketGamer.biz :: @pgbiz

AppSpy - iOS game news and video reviews.
http://appspy.com :: @appspy