Posts Tagged Best of 2012

The Portable Podcast: Episode 169

You’re the best around, no one’s ever gonna keep you down!

On This Episode:

  • It’s a yearly tradition! Various members of the iOS media come together and discuss the best releases of 2012, covering some of their honorable mentions before they discuss each of their top 3 games of 2012.
  • Episode Cast:

  • Host: Carter Dotson
  • Guest: Brett Nolan, AppAddict.net and the Apple’n’Apps and AppAddict Weekly Podcast
  • Guest: Blake Grundman, 148Apps and EvilCast Recap
  • Guest: Rob Rich, 148Apps and Press Pause Radio
  • Music:

    How to Listen:

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    Games Of The Year:

    Rob Rich:

    FREE!
    + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
    Released: 2012-11-29 :: Category: Games

    Blake Grundman:

    $2.99
    + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
    Released: 2012-11-01 :: Category: Games

    Brett Nolan:

    FREE!
    + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
    Released: 2012-07-26 :: Category: Games

    Carter Dotson:

    FREE!
    + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
    Released: 2012-10-25 :: Category: Games

    This Week at 148Apps: December 24-28

    This week at 148Apps.com, everything was about end of the year wrap-ups and countdowns. Carter Dotson compiled an extremely helpful multi-part 148Apps Top Apps of 2012, and he also gave us his Favorite Things of 2012: “In particular, Super Crate Box and Super Hexagon both left me in states of constant desire, wanting to get that high score while tackling the immense difficulty both games presented. Yet there was one consistent thread in both: failure was usually my fault, the factor of poor execution rather than random chance. It makes success feel all that more empowering. The byproduct of it is constant failure, and frequent profanity usage.”

    Oprah has nothing on Carter. Read his full list of Favorite Things on 148Apps.

    $1.99
    + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
    Released: 2012-01-05 :: Category: Games

    $2.99
    + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
    Released: 2012-08-31 :: Category: Games

    What’s a New Year’s celebration without pizza? Is it any wonder, then, that Amy Solomon at GiggleApps.com reviewed Bamba Pizza: “This is the fourth year my son will receive play food as a large part of his holiday and birthday gifts from my husband and me. Although he has different hobbies as well that are demonstrated in the other toys he plays with, not a day goes by that it isn’t a birthday for a doll or stuffed animal where pizza is always served, along with cake, cookies and many other selections.

    Although I would never expect Bamba Pizza or other apps like it to take the place of playing with toys in the real world, my son also enjoys playing with these types of apps when away from the house or when lying in bed before or after a full night’s sleep, when play food items are not welcome.”

    Read all of Amy’s review at GiggleApps.

    $2.99
    iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
    Released: 2012-06-10 :: Category: Education

    The holidays also present endless opportunities for taking photos. AndroidRundown.com reviewer Tre Lawrence showcases a venerable iOS photo app, now making the transition to Android: “There was a time, not all that long ago, when cameras on phones were not too hot. The hardware was rudimentary, and the accompanying software bordered on the silly. Pictures were not that great.
    Since then, it has gotten better… much better. So much so, that for many people, their smartphone cameras are the cameras for everyday use.

    Snapseed (from Nik Software) is an app that looks to perfect the picture-taking experience. It is a photo-editing title that incorporates a lot of the features people have come to expect with apps of this type. Being chock-full of fan favorite filters definitely makes it an interesting offering.”

    Read Tre’s full review at AndroidRundown.

    FREE!
    + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
    Released: 2011-06-07 :: Category: Photography

    By this time next week, we will be in 2013, so all of us at 148Apps would like to take this moment to thank you for your constant readership throughout 2012. Without you, loyal reader, we simply wouldn’t exist! Thank you, and Happy New Year from 148Apps!

    148Apps’ Best Apps of 2012: 10-1

    This is it. Our favorite apps of 2012, the ones that took our devices to new levels of usefulness. Have your own picks? Tell us below in the comments!

    10. Fantastical: What makes the iOS version of this Mac calendar app so great? Jennifer Allen says that it’s because of its natural language features. “Adding an event is a matter of tapping the plus button, like with many other calendar apps. Usually, this is where things get slow and cumbersome with users having to slide through times and dates to find the right one. Fantastical makes it so much easier. Users just type what’s going on. Meeting Joe for lunch tomorrow at 1pm? Type that in and the app understands perfectly. … Excluding typos, it’s tough to fool Fantastical, it’s that accurate.”

    $1.99
    iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
    Released: 2012-11-29 :: Category: Productivity

    9. 1Password: Remembering passwords, especially secure ones, is difficult. Thankfully, version 4 of this password app is extremely easy to use and also comes with extra features for easily filling out private information. As David Rabinowitz says: “The sheer number of different types of information 1Password can remember is extremely impressive and comprehensive. It can store all of the usual things, like identities, credit cards, login information and such. But, it can also remember driver’s licenses, social security numbers, software licenses, wireless routers, and even notes if there is something to store that doesn’t fit in one of the many included categories. The app also has some really impressive advanced features, like syncing to iCloud or Dropbox.”

    $9.99
    $17.99
    + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
    Released: 2012-12-13 :: Category: Productivity

    8. Pocket: Read It Later underwent a stylish renovation with a new name, and the result was this dramatically-improved experience that’s now one of the best cross-platform reading list apps available. The app is perfect for keeping up with longform articles, and its integration with apps like Tweetbot means that it’s easy to save an article to Pocket from iPhone, and read it later on the iPad. It’s for more than just reading articles, videos work extremely well with it as well. Now, to just solve the problem of having too many saved things to get through.

    FREE!
    + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
    Released: 2009-04-09 :: Category: News

    7. Launch Center Pro: App Cubby expanded out their popular Launch Center application for easy access to actions on iOS with this new Pro version that brings new features and a much-improved interface. Angela LaFollette says “Launch Center Pro is ideal for users who like to save time and works perfectly sitting in the iPhone’s dock. Once you use it, you’ll never be able to stop. It’s packed with a lot of features, and its intuitive and sharp interface both make it attractive to all iOS users.”

    $2.99
    $4.99
    iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
    Released: 2012-06-21 :: Category: Productivity

    6. Adobe Photoshop Touch: While a stripped-down Photoshop experience has been available on iOS for a while, this expanded experience is the photography enthusiast’s best friend. David Rabinowitz says that “ Although it doesn’t offer as much as its full-featured older brother on the desktop, it’s the best photo editing experience available for iOS. Beginners who have never used Photoshop before won’t feel overwhelmed by the app. The desktop version is known for being extremely powerful and full featured, with an at times cluttered and confusing interface, but the tablet version really only includes the essentials.”

    $9.99
    iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
    Released: 2012-02-27 :: Category: Photography

    5. The Magazine: Marco Arment’s bi-weekly magazine, with several original articles from talented writers, is probably the best justification for keeping Newsstand around at this point. It has a fantastic minimalistic design as well, which is to be expected from the creator of Instapaper. The topics are varied and provocative, great for a short-but-satisfying read, and it’s only available on iOS.

    FREE!
    + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
    Released: 2012-10-11 :: Category: Lifestyle

    4. Sparrow: Apple rarely approves third-party mail clients, so the fact that this one made its way to the App Store is a blessing for users. Sparrow makes it easy to navigate one’s inbox, quickly seeing unread emails, easily going from one mail to the next, and getting to see just who’s emailing with Facebook integration. It was so good that Gmail acquired the dev team, and the Gmail app is already seeing the dividends of the acquisition. While new feature development has stopped, Sparrow isn’t going away, thankfully: it recently got an update for the iPhone 5 and remains perhaps the best independent mail client on the App Store.

    $2.99
    iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
    Released: 2012-03-15 :: Category: Utilities

    3. Google Maps: You never know what you have until it’s gone, and such is the story of Google Maps. Ever since Apple’s mapping solution replaced the default Maps app in iOS, which was powered by Google, suddenly people missed Google’s solution. Well, splitting the app away into a third-party release proved to be a great move: while it is yet to see iPad support, the transit directions are a huge help, turn-by-turn navigation has been added to the app, and it’s just generally a better experience than it was before.

    FREE!
    + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
    Released: 2012-12-13 :: Category: Navigation

    2. Tweetbot for iPad: Tapbots brought their Twitter client from iPhone to iPad this year, and while the iPad experience is great enough on its own, the synchronization is the app’s real strength. Being able to easily sync unread position between iPhone, iPad, and even the later Mac version is just an amazing experience that works exactly as it says on paper. It’s the best Twitter experience available, period. Enjoy it while it lasts, thanks to Twitter limiting the number of users that an app can have using Twitter.

    $2.99
    iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
    Released: 2012-02-08 :: Category: Social Networking

    1. Paper by FiftyThree: This drawing app is incredibly beautiful, allowing for pieces that look incredibly realistic to be brought to life in the app’s virtual pages. But it may be the fact that it’s actually so easy to use, even for non-artists, that it is extremely compelling. Jennifer Allen saysPaper by FiftyThree does for sketching and artistry as iA Writer does for the writer. It’s simple and unsullied by menu bars and buttons. Instead it’s all about expressing creativity.”

    FREE!
    iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
    Released: 2012-03-29 :: Category: Productivity

     

    148Apps’ Best Games of 2012: 10-1

    These are it. The cream of the crop of 2012. The best games that ought to be played. We’re sure you have opinions on this – tell us in the comments below!

    10. The World Ends With You: Solo Remix: This DS role-playing game was brought to the next big touchscreen gaming system. Spoiler alert: its unique art style, soundtrack, and gameplay, re-fitted for one screen, fit well enough to let the experience still shine. It is expensive but worth it, writes Jennifer Allen: “I’ve played many JRPGs in the past and there’s nothing quite like it. The iOS conversion is pretty good, even despite the screen restrictions, and it’s all forgiven when you’re wrapped up in the storyline so much. It’s an expensive purchase but one that will offer you dozens of hours of memorable gameplay. When you think of it like that, it really doesn’t sound so bad.”

    $17.99
    iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
    Released: 2012-08-27 :: Category: Games

    $19.99
    iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
    Released: 2012-08-27 :: Category: Games

    9. Outwitters: One Man Left’s long-awaited turn-based strategy game proved to well worth the long-awaiting. Move units in such a way to avoid detection or be out of the range of the enemy. Imagine their horror as they realize that their opponent has set themselves up to win no matter what they do, and hitting submit is their doom. Such is the joy of Outwitters. Just hope that opponents don’t consider the phrase “The only winning move is not to play” a valid strategy.

    FREE!
    + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
    Released: 2012-07-05 :: Category: Games

    8. Super Hexagon: Where Terry Cavanagh’s frantic survival game is in its relentless simplicity. It’s all just spinning left and right no matter what, but then it becomes about learning the patterns of the different difficulty levels, and figuring out the approach. But yet, the hardest part is the execution, and not messing up. Spinning left and right has never been so difficult, and yet so ultimately rewarding.

    $2.99
    + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
    Released: 2012-08-31 :: Category: Games

    7. Letterpress: Who saw Loren Brichter, most known for legendary Twitter app Tweetie, reinventing the multiplayer word game? This stylish asynchronous multiplayer affair was compelling because the goal was so different: each player was on relatively equal footing with the same 5×5 grid, but new strategies, and competing for territory formed from words played out. Just don’t cheat.

    FREE!
    + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
    Released: 2012-10-24 :: Category: Games

    6. Rayman Jungle Run: Why was this Rayman auto-runner so good? Perhaps it was the absolutely stunning 2D animation. Perhaps it was the charming music that set the mood of the game perfectly. Perhaps it was the ingenious level design. Perhaps it was the perfectly-honed progression curve, introducing new abilities steadily throughout the game. But maybe it’s the fact that all of it came together so well in one game. Oh, and the game has used few in-app purchases, a shocking development considering they were all over the place in 2012.

    $2.99
    + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
    Released: 2012-09-18 :: Category: Games

    5. 10000000: There’s no reason why, just looking at this game on the surface, why is should be on a top games list. It’s got a pixel art style, but it’s hardly polished or detailed. It has the ugliest icon on the App Store. That anyone noticed it at all is really a miracle. But those who did notice it also noticed that they had no free time left. The way that different matches can affect the board means that each move has an impact, and often an unintended one. It’s just way too easy to keep coming back and giving this one another shot to try and get to the eponymous ten million points total.

    $2.99
    + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
    Released: 2012-07-25 :: Category: Games

    4. Angry Birds Star Wars: The franchise got a major boost in 2012. While there’s only so many ways to tackle launching birds at pigs, the fact that Angry Birds Space mixed in so many new ways to tackle this eternal conflict was refreshing. But even better was that Rovio took an opportunity with what could have easily been a licensed cash-in and made it something that not only was nostalgic and just reverent enough to the source material along with its inherent irreverent characters and theme, but made it truly a Star Wars-inspired Angry Birds game. It sounded ridiculous, and at some level, still is ridiculous, but it rises above that.

    $0.99
    iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
    Released: 2012-11-08 :: Category: Games

    $2.99
    iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
    Released: 2012-11-08 :: Category: Games

    3. Hero Academy: While exchanging words has been a staple of turn-based multiplayer games on iOS, Hero Academy was probably the first game that really mastered a combat-based gameplay on iOS. There was plenty of raw strategization, but there’s also the poker aspect of not knowing what units your opponent has up their sleeve, exactly. Watching your team dance around after winning is extremely satisfying, after that other team’s archer had taken so many with them. Dance little soldiers, dance indeed.

    FREE!
    + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
    Released: 2012-01-11 :: Category: Games

    2. Punch Quest: Rocketcat Games and Madgarden made a game that clearly was meant to take refuge in its audacity: the idea of an endless puncher where skeletons, bats and orcs get punched in between rounds of riding laser-firing dinosaurs and gnome transformations could easily just be ludicrous. Making it fun and addictive is another challenge: the fact that the game is so perfectly controlled with just two fingers helps. That it contains a deep customization and skill-based system helps propel return sessions, along with the ability to see friends’ customizations on the leaderboard. But the fact that the game just remains so simple and fun to play at its very core makes it one of the best games of the year.

    FREE!
    + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
    Released: 2012-10-25 :: Category: Games

    1. Walking Dead: The Game: When compiling this list, there were many titles named as some of the best of the year by our staffers. Yet, one game kept popping up, and it was Telltale’s take on the popular zombie franchise. It’s easy to see why: the game presents players with ways to interact with their world, and define their character and fate in ways that other games do not. It’s powerful and memorable, as Jennifer Allen explains: “I love games that offer an emotional experience which is exactly what The Walking Dead has offered. The fact that every decision has a repercussion, whether big or small, makes it all the more fascinating. It might not be a game designed for replaying, but that sole experience from start to finish is quite gripping if upsetting at times.”

    FREE!
    + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
    Released: 2012-07-26 :: Category: Games

    148Apps’ Best Apps of 2012: 20-11

    We’re at the middle part of our rundown of 2012′s best apps. Agree or disagree with our choices? Let us know in the comments below!

    20. DocuSign Ink: Getting signatures on important documents becomes a lot easier with this extremely handy app, allowing users to sign with their fingers or a stylus to be added to PDF documents or ones captured with the iOS camera. Angela LaFollette says its security and convenience are unparalleled: “What makes DocuSign Ink stand out from other apps similar to it is that documents are secured and protected from being copied, documents can be stored on cloud services like Box, Dropbox and Google Drive and the app converts PDF fields so users can fill them out with ease.”

    FREE!
    + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
    Released: 2011-11-01 :: Category: Productivity

    19. Hueless: While we now have the ability to take photos with realistic color depth, there’s still something about black-and-white photography and the special composition that it requires that makes it stand out even today. Hueless makes this easy by providing real-time capture in black-and-white, as opposed to post-processing. There’s the ability to adjust color filters, exposure, and contrast while shooting, so that perfect shot is attainable the first time. While it may take old-timey photos, it still provides modern features like sharing to social networks, including Instagram. There’s no filter more hip than to have no color whatsoever.

    $1.99
    iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
    Released: 2012-05-22 :: Category: Photography

    18. Next Issue: This app and service combines the all-you-can-consume subscription model of Netflix with magazines, providing the latest issues of many publications available at a flat rate. Monica Stevens loved it: “I don’t have to pick through every stand of the supermarket endcap while my groceries get loaded onto the moving black belt. Next Issue’s mags don’t pile up on my nightstand, either. Next Issue’s offerings are also far more wide-ranging and enjoyable than Apple’s Newstand. Finding viable options for light flight eye-fare is tiresome when the choices are so few.”

    FREE!
    + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
    Released: 2012-07-10 :: Category: News

    17. Byword: The Mac text editor jumped to iOS in 2012, bringing with it a fantastic experience for quickly writing in plain text and Markdown. The latter is especially possible with its great keyboard toolbar for quick access to common formatting. The iCloud and Dropbox support means that writing can be taken anywhere, no matter its starting point. I personally type up everything I write in this app’s various permutations, even on the iPhone 5 sometimes.

    $4.99
    + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
    Released: 2012-03-10 :: Category: Productivity

    16. Clear: This to-do list app eschews complexity, preferring a simple and stylish experience. Superior to writing things down on paper, for those who just wanted a very easy way to list what they needed to do and mark it off when they were done, Clear is the solution. Later updates provided additional themes and iCloud sync to the Mac version to free up those lists. As well, the app had a decided influence on other productivity apps that tried to mimic its minimalist design.

    $4.99
    + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
    Released: 2012-02-15 :: Category: Productivity

    15. Bankr Personal Finance: This finance app makes the list thanks to it being not just handy for tracking expenses and monitoring budgets, but for its steady improvements through updates. For example, an update in October, which won our Editor’s Choice award, added Siri and Reminders integration to the app. Angela LaFollette says “There’s not much that this app can’t do. Honestly, I couldn’t find anything to not like about Bankr Personal Finance. … All in all, it’s powerful, well-designed, refreshing and it just made my life a lot easier. Keep tabs on your money by keeping this app around on the home screen.”

    $1.99
    iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
    Released: 2012-06-28 :: Category: Finance

    14. Creatorverse: The creators of Second Life jumped on to iOS with a physics sandbox app that impressed our Lisa Caplan: “Creatorverse‘s unique sandbox style may mean it’s more fun for kids (or kids at heart), it’s the creative possibility that makes it so engaging. Whether uses wish to make a simple pinball-style game or a short animation, it’s a neat concept that lets users explore their artistic side.”

    FREE!
    + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
    Released: 2012-11-01 :: Category: Games

    13. Readability: While it has existed as a web service for some time, the app is a fantastically engrossing experience for quickly and easily reading some of the internet’s best writing. Lisa Caplan praised it in her review: “It’s a pure, simple, and beautiful reading experience, particularly for longer articles and in-depth reports. Yes, Readability’s app was worth the wait. It’s also completely free, so download it.”

    FREE!
    + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
    Released: 2012-03-01 :: Category: News

    12. Things 2.0: A free update to the existing Things app, the new Things Cloud feature freed to-do lists from an individual device and made them available anywhere a user used the app. Ruairi O’Gallochoir says “…my love for Things was only reaffirmed with the 2.0 update. Users are sure to appreciate the Cloud Sync features, its amazing interface and its powerful task management tools. Although some may be deterred by its fairly expensive price tag, once you see past it and realise you are paying for an extremely well designed app you might be able to justify the decision with yourself.”

    $19.99
    iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
    Released: 2010-04-01 :: Category: Productivity

    11. Jasmine: iOS 6 stripping out Google services entirely made for a great entry point for third-party developers to jump in with apps that improve on the official experience. Jasmine would be notable if only thanks to its sleek interface, but for two killer features: one, it can play videos that are otherwise made unavailable on mobile. Two, it can play the audio from videos after the app is minimized. The app’s core features are available for free in a universal app. It’s the best way to check out YouTube on iOS.

    FREE!
    + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
    Released: 2012-09-20 :: Category: News

    148Apps’ Best Games of 2012: 20-11

    We enter the middle portion of our rundown of 2012′s best games, covering numbers 20-11 of our favorite games. Have an opinion of your own? Let us know in the comments!

    20. Girls Like Robots: Based on quality, Adult Swim Games probably had the best 2012 of any mobile publisher, with a succession of high-quality games with absurd premises. The silliness made it a great fit on a surface level for the publisher. The high quality of the game, which transcends its silly people-organization concept by just continuously iterating and evolving on it throughout the game, made it something special.

    $2.99
    + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
    Released: 2012-10-11 :: Category: Games

    19. Polara: This endless runner mixes in the color-switching of classic shmup Ikaruga with endless runner gameplay. But it shines because it is never content to keep throwing the same tricks at players, as Eli Cymet explains: “Polara boasts tight and varied gameplay, and consummately constructed stages. Rather than rest on the laurels of novelty and squander the core mechanic, developer Hope This Works Games offers a new way to think about color matching in almost every level.”

    $0.99
    + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
    Released: 2012-10-11 :: Category: Games

    18. Polymer: Play the “One Polymer” mode in this unique sliding puzzle game from indie-musician-turned-developer Whitaker Trebella to see its genius: it encourages long-term strategizing and planning to make a high-scoring match, not just quick reactions like in other puzzle games. Sure, there’s modes that require quick thinking as well that are plenty of fun, but the premise of One Polymer is what kept me coming back.

    $2.99
    + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
    Released: 2012-04-26 :: Category: Games

    17. Pocket Planes: Nimblebit hates our free time. Last year’s Tiny Tower was addictive. So was Pocket Planes, thanks in no small part to the fact that there was more surface strategy to employ, and the ability for players to have a say in their fate as they expand their airline’s reach into a globe-traversing empire. Plus, what other game has people in frog suits flying planes? It’s the only game on this list, for sure…

    FREE!
    + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
    Released: 2012-06-14 :: Category: Games

    16. Need For Speed Most Wanted: If one game was to define how far iOS gaming came this year, EA and Criterion’s racer, adapted to iOS by Firemonkeys, might be it. From being packed full of features, and looking absolutely amazing to boot, it’s showing that the difference between consoles and mobile, at least on a technical level, is a rapidly-shrinking gulf. Yet despite the good looks, it is definitely a keeper for its gameplay according to Blake Grundman: “Even with the most critical of eyes, Need for Speed: Most Wanted is still easily one of the best racers on the platform to date. You would have to be crazy not to take this hot rod out for a nice long joy ride.”

    $6.99
    + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
    Released: 2012-10-30 :: Category: Games

    15. Organ Trail: Director’s Cut: Often times, pixel art is used just as an art style, and not to convey an actual retro feel. Not so here. By combining the look and feel of an 80′s PC Oregon Trail game, and combining its mechanics with a modern-day zombie apocalypse, the elements brilliantly wind up informing each other and forming a sublime take on a classic. Rob Rich feels the same way: “Virtually every aspect of Organ Trail: Director’s Cut oozes style and cleverness. Also pus. It’s a game that’s likely to please zombie fans as well as anyone who remembers the one without the green-skinned shamblers fondly. And it’s with no hesitation or trepidation that I suggest that everyone reading this should buy it. If they haven’t already, of course.”

    $2.99
    + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
    Released: 2012-08-09 :: Category: Games

    14. Ski Safari: There are endless runners, and then there’s Ski Safari. I’ll let Rob Rich explain why it made our list: “Penguins, snowmobiles, eagles, and yeti can all be used to put some real distance between the accident prone man and the avalanche. Not only are they useful, they’re also pretty funny. Watching the yeti run wildly or slide along on its stomach never gets old. The same can be said for seeing a penguin ride along on the fuzzy mythological beast.” If a man and a penguin riding a yeti while outrunning an avalanche ever gets old, I will weep bitterly. An easy choice for this list.

    $0.99
    + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
    Released: 2012-04-26 :: Category: Games

    13. Super Crate Box: It would be easy to forget that this was actually a 2012 title, since it came out in the first week of January. I don’t forget sitting for hours on end, either on touchscreen or at my iCade, trying to last just a little bit longer, cursing out that disc gun, the giant walking green skulls, or the stupid fire pit at the bottom. Yet, after those countless hours, no game revealed itself to give the players the control over their fate, to be about pure skill far more than randomness, quite like this one did.

    $1.99
    + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
    Released: 2012-01-05 :: Category: Games

    12. Fieldrunners 2: Remember 2008? That’s when the first Fieldrunners came out. 2012 is like an eternity since then, but Fieldrunners is still a ton of fun. As Rob LeFebvre writes: “Fieldrunners 2 HD is a brilliant combination of action and strategy with a depth of gameplay that’s hard to ignore. I find myself thinking of solutions to particularly difficult maps while I’m driving, or showering, or making dinner for the kids.” Just don’t burn the food while protecting your base.

    $2.99
    iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
    Released: 2012-07-19 :: Category: Games

    $4.99
    iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
    Released: 2012-09-13 :: Category: Games

    11. Mikey Shorts: The laser precision of the controls is a significant part of what made this so good: trying to shave fractions of seconds off one’s time in order to beat a friend on the leaderboards could be nigh-impossible with virtual controls, nay it should be. But instead, it’s about as perfect as it could be. Not bad for a first-time effort, and challenging friends to try and one up their times added a ton of value to this one. Plus, there’s silly hats.

    $0.99
    + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
    Released: 2012-08-23 :: Category: Games

    148Apps’ Best Apps of 2012: 30-21

    Another year on the App Store, and another year full of apps that made our life simpler and expanded what our iOS devices could do were released. We’re running down on our 30 favorites of the year. Have one that we missed? Let us know in the comments!

    30. KitCam: This camera app makes the list simply by doing everything right. It’s got iPhone 5 support. It’s got all the features that should be expected of a camera app. It’s got filters. It’s got photo-altering lenses. It has the ability to upload not just to Twitter and Facebook, but to Dropbox and even FTP as well. David Rabinowitz sums it up: “KitCam is a really comprehensive photo capture and editing app. Any photo junky should consider adding it to his/her collection of photo apps. This is one of the best photo apps out there. Many of the features are not new or innovative, but KitCam packs so much into it that it’s hard not to be impressed.”

    $0.99
    iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
    Released: 2012-11-29 :: Category: Photography

    29. Track 8: This music player, inspired by the Windows 8 design formerly known as “Metro”, improves on the iOS music player app with its sleek interface. Kevin Stout has good things to say about it: “With the new iPad’s Retina display, this app looks absolutely gorgeous. The text is crystal clear, the album covers look great, and the app fetches artist images from Last.FM for the background of the app when that artist is playing. It’s an incredible visual experience that rivals even the new Spotify interface for the iPad.”

    $0.99
    + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
    Released: 2012-05-04 :: Category: Music

    28. Simplife: Daily Journal: Note taking on iPhone should be simple, right? Nothing to get in the way between the note-taker and the note. This app, formerly known as Note.s Daily Journal, declutters the experience, by providing a simple interface along with handy additional features. Angela LaFollette says “Not only can users write down their thoughts, but the app also lets them attach locations and photos to each entry which can be viewed later by scrolling left or right. Just tap on the small paperclip at the bottom of the screen and you’ll be able to add either a map or picture in just a few seconds. This is a nice feature when pictures can do more justice than words.”

    $0.99
    iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
    Released: 2012-08-28 :: Category: Lifestyle

    27. Cloud DJ: The internet is full of great music that’s just waiting to be discovered from independent musicians, and this app is designed to let aspiring DJs mix and scratch tracks available for free from SoundCloud. The premise is nifty enough, but Angela LaFollette says the execution is even better: “With an intuitive interface that’s packed with tons of features, it’s safe to say that Cloud DJ is one innovative app well-worth the $1.99 price tag.”

    $0.99
    iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
    Released: 2012-07-07 :: Category: Music

    26. The Transit App: While there was a dark time for iPhone owners who also used public transit between when iOS 6 was released with the transit-free Apple Maps and the Google Maps release, third-party apps like this helped lead the way. The Transit App gets merit for not only providing excellent routing, from any address to a location that can be supplied based on the Foursquare API, but also for making it very easy when subscribed to see nearby buses and trains along with their arrival times, and then seeing on the map their exact stopping points. It’s the best public transit routing solution on mobile to date.

    FREE!
    iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
    Released: 2012-06-22 :: Category: Navigation

    25. Seamless for iPad: This app turns the iPad into the world’s best takeout menu. Sure, that folded up mailer may show all the food options for one restaurant, but this app shows the options for hundreds of them, and makes it possible to easily order and pay without calling anyone. This app is downright dangerous, considering how much easier it is than say, actually cooking. And it saves payment information and locations to make future ordering easy. The future is here and it is delicious.

    FREE!
    iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
    Released: 2012-02-28 :: Category:

    24. Borderlands Granular: Not to be confused with the series of games, this “grain synth” allows uers to make music by editing small fragments of music. Angela LaFollette says “I’ve played around with other grain synths, and this one takes the cake in many areas. It does have a few downsides, but the positives easily outweigh the shortcomings. … For now, Borderlands Granular is easily recommendable for everyone from enthusiasts to musicians thanks to its intuitive, musical and beautiful interface.”

    $7.99
    iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
    Released: 2012-10-16 :: Category: Music

    23. 30/30: This timer app serves as a great way to get stuff done. When there’s an external motivator compelling you to get on with what you’re doing, or to serve as a reminder to get up for a bit and do something else, this versatile and sleek app becomes extremely useful. It works easily, making the creation of multiple labeled and color-coded timers a cinch. It’s a completely free app as well.

    FREE!
    + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
    Released: 2012-06-07 :: Category: Productivity

    22. At Bat 2012: MLB’s apps continue to be excellent experiences for baseball fans. Checking scores is extremely handy, and the iPad’s expanded and improved Gameday functionality including live Pitch F/x tracking was excellent. Plus, for baseball fans outside their favorite team’s market, the app was a lifesaver, and the Postseason.tv functionality was a great way to get a new look on a game with multiple camera angles to view.

    FREE!
    + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
    Released: 2012-02-29 :: Category: Sports

    21. CaptureNotes 2: The iPad has dramatically changed education and the way that students take notes, and this is one of the best ways for students, or anyone in need of a note-taking app, to take advantage of it. Angela LaFollette details that “The new features are what really make CaptureNotes 2 shine. The flag elements let users mark important points in the notebook. It’s a clever way to access notes quickly and easily without having to flip through hundreds of pages. … There’s also a new PIN based securing locking system, improved PDF importing, binder sharing and better file organization.”

    $5.99
    iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
    Released: 2011-10-27 :: Category: Productivity

    148Apps’ Best Games of 2012: 30-21

    All this week, we’ll be sharing our 30 best games of the year, compiled with input from the 148Apps writing staff and editors. Agree or disagree with our choices? Read on and let us know in the comments.

    30. Curiosity – what’s inside the cube: A year-end list wouldn’t feel complete without mentioning Peter Molyneux’s strangely mysterious title. What is this game? Is it even a game? Is there actually something at the end of the cube? Whatever it is, the unique massively-multiplayer gameplay that has spurred player creativity and interaction while they try to crack open the game’s secrets is certainly original. And odds are that you were intrigued enough to download it and see what was going on.

    FREE!
    + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
    Released: 2012-11-06 :: Category: Entertainment

    29. God of Blades: No game this year was perhaps as thematically comprehensive as White Whale Games’ homage to 70′s pulp fantasy and sci-fi novels and the artwork that graced their covers. The visual style, the way-over-the-top dialogue and character names, and the combat, trading blows to knock opponents back, all contributed to a game that made a firm statement as what it wanted to be. And boy did it ever stand out.

    $2.99
    + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
    Released: 2012-09-27 :: Category: Games

    28. Bad Piggies: Rovio finally let players play as those porcine opponents from their Angry Birds games, and decided to focus on their building ingenuity. Best of all, the game’s various goals and different parts that were made available really encouraged player creativity, along with timing-based elements, in a well-rounded package. As Dale Culp explains: “Sometimes, this is as simple as putting together a cart and rolling it down a hill. However, other stars require a lot more thought… and some rockets, wings, engines, shaken-up soda bottles and, well, it gets pretty crazy. As players try to collect items, beat timers and fulfill other requirements, vehicles just get more and more elaborate.”

    $0.99
    iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
    Released: 2012-09-27 :: Category: Games

    27. Bastion: Why does this isometric action game make the cut? Well, while it may still be a ton of fun after its initial XBLA release, it stands out thanks in large part to the amazing dynamic narrator. As Chris Kirby explained in our review: “This omniscient voice tells the story of The Kid and the world of Bastion, but he also narrates the various actions the character makes in the game. Stand around too long and the narrator will add that to the story. Go on a destructive frenzy with the Cael Hammer, and that becomes a part of the narrative as well. The narrator never feels intrusive, and actually makes the atmosphere of the game unique.”

    $4.99
    + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
    Released: 2012-08-30 :: Category: Games

    26. Slingshot Racing: This racing game used the physics of grappling hooks to make it stand out: the one-touch controls are extremely easy to pick up on, but mastering the physics takes time. Getting to race on the tracks forward and backward brings new challenges. Plus, it boasts both single-device multiplayer for up to 4 people on iPad, and an asynchronous multiplayer mode added in post-release. It all really hooked players in! It’s a lot better than that pun, we swear.

    $0.99
    + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
    Released: 2012-05-24 :: Category: Games

    25. Duckers and 24. Super Mole Escape: Weeks within each other, two games about burrowing through the ground came out and both were really good. Where Super Mole Escape boasts frantic burrowing gameplay, with plenty of powerups and hazards to quickly react to, Duckers was a more cerebral take on the same concept. Their casts were equally great: felonious moles in one, Mother Duckers in the other. Leaving one game off the list in favor of the other seems downright criminal when both were top-notch examples of how to approach a similar concept, yet in different ways.

    FREE!
    + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
    Released: 2012-05-31 :: Category: Games

    FREE!
    + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
    Released: 2012-08-09 :: Category: Games

    23. Juggernaut Revenge of Sovering: Considering Infinity Blade‘s success in the past two years, it’s no surprise that other studios would try to ape its format. This game does have a one-on-one combat base, but outside of that, it goes in its own satisfying directions. It’s a great iteration on a tried-and-true concept, as Kevin Stout explains: “The difference between Juggernaut and Infinity Blade is that there’s significantly more to do in between fights in this game as well as tons of different mini-games for players to play.”

    FREE!
    + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
    Released: 2012-05-10 :: Category: Games

    22. Nihilumbra: Its storyline and dialogue could be overwrought and melodramatic, but its platforming gameplay mixed in puzzle elements that made fantastic use of the touch screen, and often forces players to think and react. It definitely shone through the darkness, and proved to be surprisingly compelling, becoming easy to just go and complete in one sitting. The ending winds up being a great payoff for the melodrama as well.

    $2.99
    + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
    Released: 2012-06-28 :: Category: Games

    Penny Arcade’s On The Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness 3: Zeboyd teamed up with influential gaming web comic Penny Arcade to make the third entry in their series a 16-bit RPG homage. The gameplay is delightfully reminiscent of retro titles, and the dialogue is superbly original. This and the port of Cthulhu Saves The World are both must-plays. Rob Rich says that “It’s really been growing on me the more I play. The story is fantastically weird and humorous, the combat is actually fun, and it screws around with typical RPG mechanics something fierce.”

    $2.99
    + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
    Released: 2012-10-24 :: Category: Games

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