With less than a week to go until Valentine’s Day, it’s the ideal time to think long and hard about what to buy a loved one. A more thoughtful idea, however, would be to make something personal for that special person in your life. It’s sweet, considerate and often a lot cheaper and more original than buying something from a store. The App Store offers plenty of inspirational apps for those looking to try out some craft based alternative presents, and here are my four favorite apps to use.
Scrapbooking has been all the rage for quite a while now. It can get fiddly, expensive and messy, however, so why not use a virtual alternative? With Skrappy, users can create a personal scrapbook for their loved ones, encompassing images, audio and video clips before sharing the creation. It’s simple yet fun to create such books with plenty of inspiration there, too. Why not create a book all about your first date together? Or a memorable holiday? Or even as part of a romantic proposal?
iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
Released: 2011-05-24 :: Category: Lifestyle
Not quite sure where to begin but convinced you want to make something craft based for your partner? Craftgawker should be able to provide some great ideas. It’s an app that’s a photo gallery of inspiration. Users can search through the many thousands of ideas, before learning more via the tutorial connected to such photos. A voting system ensures that the ideas are all of a high quality and bound to get the creative juices flowing.
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2011-05-13 :: Category: Lifestyle
Wilton Cake Ideas & More
Everyone loves cake, right? All the more so when it’s a cake made entirely for you. It’s a nice and sweet (in every sense of the word) touch and can prove distinctly romantic. Wilton Cake Ideas & More helps users bake some delicious and amazing looking creations with hundreds of different designs, catering for every occasion and interest. It doesn’t just include cakes either, with cookies and cupcakes also included. For a loved one with a sweet tooth, this could be the ideal thing to make Valentine’s Day extra special.
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2011-07-28 :: Category:
For those not as creative as they’d like to be but with a few ideas still under their sleeve, Apple’s own app Cards should make things a little easier. The app allows users to create their own cards and customize them exactly how they want, all through their iOS device, before getting a physical copy sent out to their beloved. It’s simple, straight forward and still offers the personal touch for those that don’t want to get their hands dirty with glue or glitter.
I profess I tend to spend a decent amount of time playing virtual solitaire these days, mostly thanks to some ridiculously early commutes. So it’s a game I’m quite familiar with, although I haven’t come anywhere close to mastering it. Why is this significant? Because Popcap is bringing their popular Facebook adaptation, Solitaire Blitz to iOS and I’m expecting to have a grand old time with it.
The rules of Solitaire Blitz are both familiar and totally new. Players still have to empty their cards into piles by following a particular sequence, but suits and linear progression don’t matter anymore. A King can be tossed on a Queen, to be followed by another Queen, then a Jack. Or it could go 2, 3, 4, 3, 2, Ace. But while this might sound like the challenge has been sucked out of the classic solo card game, the fact of the matter is it still makes for an intense game. Mostly thanks to the never pausing 60-second time limit and slots (up to four) for placing cards that have to be unlocked.
It makes for some rather frantic card shuffling as you attempt to spot anything and everything that can get tossed on a pile, attempt to plan ahead to avoid getting stuck, and search out any cards featuring a key icon that will unlock those essential extra card slots. All of this while the clock keeps ticking down. No specifics have been given regarding price yet but we can all look forward to one of the most intense games of solitaire ever this November.
One of iOS 6’s big new features is Passbook: a one-stop shop for accessing cards and tickets that is not only available from a single app, but is also location and time-aware to make coupons and loyalty cards appear near certain locations and tickets at the time of the event. Now, it doesn’t work with just anything, unfortunately. There’s a limited selection of apps that are available at the moment with support for Passbook. There’s been some confusion on how to activate it with apps, and this guide is here to help.
First, find an app that is compatible with Passbook. Launching Passbook for the first time will come up with a short description of what Passbook can do and launches an App Store section with apps to check out. Tap that, and a variety of Apple-curated apps with Passbook support are listed. Even for apps like the Starbucks app that have a card functionality already, the card needs to be added to Passbook through the app. To show how this Passbook functionality works, let’s download the Walgreens app and add the Balance Rewards card to Passbook.
Create an account with Walgreens and sign up for their rewards card, or log in to the account if you have one already. If you signed up in-store, you can add it to a new account. Now, go to the Rewards section of the app, and the card will appear. Below, there is an Add to Passbook button. Tap this, and it will prompt to tie it to a specific store location, which will make an alert pop up when near that location. Then, a final prompt to add it to Passbook with the location information attached will pop up. Tap Add, and boom, the card is now in Passbook.
Launch the Passbook app, and all added cards and tickets will appear, including the one we just added. Tap the (i) icon to modify the individual card’s settings. This automatic card recall works on the iPod touch as well, though location detection may be spottier due to only being able to detect location by nearby wifi hotspots. Once added, cards in Passbook are accessible offline.
While Passbook is still somewhat limited as developers continue to integrate into their apps, and apps that already had user cards need to be updated to support Passbook, this is still handy, especially with its handy awareness features. Know of any useful apps using Passbook that Apple didn’t feature? Let us know in the comments.
Just about everyone in the world dreams about having super powers. Flight, strength, x-ray vision, that kind of stuff. While DeNA (think Mobage) and Marvel Entertainment’s upcoming Marvel: War of Heroes may not bestow impossible abilities to its players, it does put them in charge of a slew of iconic heroes.
Assuming the role of a S.H.I.E.L.D agent players will collect cards featuring various Marvel heroes and craft their own super team. Powers and abilities can be fused and upgraded as well, making an already powerful legend even more so. If you’re thinking it sounds similar to the more than a little popular Rage of Bahamut, that’s because it is. And because it’s being crafted by the same developers. Although the story – which is a thing that actually exists in this freemium card game. I know, right? – is all original and comes directly from Marvel itself. As does the art, actually, which is ridiculously awesome.
Marvel: War of Heroes is due to hit the App Store this fall. Anyone with even the slightest interest will be able to check it out for free, but those of us who are already curious can head over to the official website to pre-register. Why? Because it earns a free rare card, among other things. And if there’s one thing I’ve learned from playing similar Mobage titles it’s that rare cards, no matter how useful they might be to my strategy, can pay off big. Also it might actually be really cool.
Poker has kind of taken the country by storm over the past several years. It’s made its way into all manner of media, obviously including video games. So what makes this particular digital rendition of card-based gambling worth checking out? Quite a lot, it turns out.
All of the expected options are available in World Series of Poker, such as Texas Hold ‘Em and even Omaha Poker, but there’s a slew of more social-oriented features that are actually pretty awesome. Every player has an account that automatically tracks virtually every aspect of their games; thus helping them to better understand their own play style through statistics as well as allowing them to show off their skills with a number of different trophies such as special tournament rings.
It’s easy to tell what a player needs to work on (i.e. too much folding, not enough folding, etc.) at a glance, but what’s also cool is that really good players can gain access to a special league of games that are only available to others that have earned the same honor. In other words, seriously good poker players won’t have to worry about finding themselves in a game full of casual players. It’s also easy to find, invite, and join games that are already in progress. Each game is represented with a table, and players have only to tap an open seat to invite a buddy or two. And it’s just as easy to join a game.
I wasn’t able to procure any pricing information, but World Series of Poker will be available on the App Store “soon.”
It feels like it wasn’t all that long ago when Samurai Bloodshow (the rest of the title is too confusing so I’m leaving it off) managed to take me completely by surprise. The combination of strategy, card collecting, and over-the-top arterial spray brought a huge smile to my face. And now Sega is poised to do the same thing to me all over again. Albeit without the surprise since I know what’s coming this time around.
Alexandria Bloodshow is the official sequel to that other fantastic genre mash-up. This time players can take control of two separate armies – the Egyptians and the Greeks – as they attempt to collect, cut-up, and conquer. With the requisite art styles (Greek pottery, Egyptian hieroglyphics) to match of course. All the engrossing card gathering and deck building is still on offer, now with a whole new set of units to strategize with. Over 120 in all, actually. And with the two selectable armies, five difficulties, and seventeen stages it makes for a total of 170 campaign levels to conquer. And that’s not even taking the two player versus mode (via WiFi or Bluetooth) into account.
Alexandria Bloodshow is available on the App Store now, and it’s only $0.99. Okay, it’s actually free to download but it’s $0.99 to unlock the full game. Not a bad deal.
Doubtless most people these days carry around one or two club cards. Virtually every single retail and grocery store in existence uses them and they’re a great way to save some money with (typically) no initial cost. The only problem is having to dig out a given card at the register. I myself sometimes get annoyed with flipping through all the little tags on my keyring to find the right one. 1Card exists specifically for this sort of thing.
The app lets users to store and organize a number of different membership cards in one non-physical place. Even better, it can accommodate virtually any card because it allows for barcode scanning/copying with the iPhone’s camera. Assuming the company in question doesn’t already have a listing on the app in the first place. But the handiness doesn’t stop there. 1Card also displays promotions and coupons associated with a selected card with the push of a button, and another push or two can bring up a store’s phone number or even location on a GPS map (via the tracknose website).
1Card is already sitting in the App Store, just waiting to be used by disgruntled card-carriers. And much like the memberships cards most of us have no doubt accumulated, it doesn’t cost a thing.
Now, I’ve never been a huge card game enthusiast. That is to say, the kind of card games that use playing cards. Because of this, I have absolutely no idea how to play Hearts. I am a fan of turn-based multiplayer iOS games, however. Seeing as there are a good deal of iOS users who have similar tastes in their multiplayer, and a good deal of people who actually do know how to play Hearts, this seems like a kind of natural progression.
Hearts Tournament from Trivial Technology was designed to juggle multiple games simultaneously. Up to 30 in fact. Best of all, players can mess around with their own single player games while waiting for their friends or random opponents to take their own turns. Along with all the card-slinging goodness are leaderboards to dominate and challenges to complete in order to earn special items, achievements, and more.
Hearts Tournament is available on the App Store now for $0.99. Hearts fans should feel free to dive right in and start juggling dozens of games immediately.
A good number of people are familiar with Fullmetal Alchemist, whether they’ve actually watched it or not. As far as anime goes, it’s kind of a big-name series. And unlike other popular series (*cough* Dragon Ball Z *cough*) it’s actually good. The story of the Elric brothers has seen a number of adaptations and spin-offs, so it was only a matter of time before one of those spin-offs got its own game.
FMA Battle is a relatively new collectible card game based on the “less old” Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood series. Calling it a spin-off, however, isn’t entirely accurate. The original show followed the manga (a.k.a the source material) up until about the halfway mark, then went off and did its own thing. Brotherhood sticks to the script, so to speak. So technically, the original anime series was actually a spin-off. Confusing, no?
Getting away from semantics and back to the game at-hand, FMA Battle is a free-to-play CCG set in the FMA universe. Players will construct their deck and customize a team of three alchemists while continually dueling with others online. Cards/characters will gain experience as they’re used, earning new abilities as they get incrementally stronger. Of course, this is a freemium game, so deck expansion is limited unless players are willing to pony up some actual cash to buy new cards.
Free online multiplayer. Collectible cards. Fullmetal Alchemist. I think it’s safe to assume this will find its niche pretty fast. If it sounds interesting, then why not check it out? It’s currently on the App Store, and as I’ve previously stated (repeatedly) it’s free.
We’ve seen greetings card services from apps such as Oh Greetings and ThankYouPen, but clearly Apple decided to get in on the act with their latest iOS5 included app: Cards.
Cards lets users create and mail some pretty special looking cards personalized with their own text and photos, all from their iOS device. As is synonymous with the Apple way of doing things, it takes a mere couple of taps and swipes to take a snapshot and send a card to anywhere in the world.
21 designs are available encompassing everything from birthdays to simply ‘wish you were here’ messages. All cards are then saved automatically so they can always be sent to more than one person. There’s even the option of adding GPS data to the card so that the recipient can see the current location of the sender.
Payment is conducted via Apple IDs with cards and postage costing $2.99 within the U.S and $4.99 for anywhere else in the world, excluding relevant sales tax. U.S. sent cards even get a delivery notification and an Apple-designed postage mark.