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Redbubble is Now Offering Preorders on iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Cases

Posted by Rob Rich on September 10th, 2014

For the unfamiliar, Redbubble is a good place to find great artwork - and then have it slapped on a phone case, T-shirt, pillow, etc. And now it's a good place to find cases for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

You can preorder your case now, but they won't start shipping until 9/19 to coincide with the iPhone 6 launch. Still, there's a rather gigantic assortment to choose from, with prices varying depending on the individual artist's markup.

And heck, if you can't quite find what you're looking for you can always make your own account and upload your own illustrations and images. That's what I did.

[Editor's Note: I've been uploading my own designs to Redbubble for well over a year now. My portfolio is not the reason I decided to share this news, but I do feel it necessary to let everyone know that I have work posted to the site. - Rob]

Seidio Unveils iPhone 6 Case Range

Posted by Ellis Spice on September 9th, 2014

Seidio has unveiled their new range of 'Surface' and 'Dilex Pro' cases for the new iPhone 6 today.

The Surface case will cost $29.95 and aims to add minimal bulk whilst protecting the phone. The case will not gather lint or slide around easily, and also features precision cut-outs for ports, controls, cameras, and speakers.

The Dilex Pro, meanwhile, is slightly pricier at $34.95 and features Hexguard technology, which Seidio claims will provide extra cushioning if your iPhone 6 is dropped. A built-in metal kickstand is also included, with the case also featuring a soft-touch coating to make it easier to take the device in and out of a pocket or purse.

This Week at 148Apps: August 4-8, 2014

Posted by Chris Kirby on August 11th, 2014

App-tastic!


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.


Blood Bowl

When translating a nearly 30 year old tabletop game like Blood Bowl into a digital format, the folks in charge have to make some decisions. Craft a fairly robust in-game tutorial to ease new players gently into this somewhat complicated quagmire? Or just say “screw it,” assume the target market is going to be almost entirely existing fans of the product, and leave the newbies to sink or swim? Take a guess which direction Focus Home Interactive and Cyanide Studios went with this one. For the uninitiated, Blood Bowl is what would happen if somebody tossed American Football and Rugby into a blender and poured the resulting slurry through a filter made out of the Warhammer fantasy universe. This violent team sport, played by such Warhammer staple races as Orks and Skaven, doesn’t exactly cleave to either of those two inspirations, however. This almost-familiarity players might feel is the entry point where things start getting complicated. --Rob Thomas


Jacob Jones and the Bigfoot Mystery: Episode 2

The sequel to Episode 1, Jacob Jones and the Bigfoot Mystery: Episode 2 is just as pleasant but far too short lived – clocking in at only around an hour. Sure that might be a fun hour of solving puzzles, but it never quite gets going. Jacob and Biggie head off to the Crackskull Mountain to solve the secret of Biggie’s childhood, amongst other things. The writing is suitably witty and entertaining, with a smattering of puzzles to break things up, but that’s the problem: it really is only a smattering. 14 puzzles are all that are available here, and while they’re fun and well designed, they’re not particularly original. --Jennifer Allen


Time Tangle-Adventure Time

Using the colorful and immensely popular license of Adventure Time comes Time Tangle – Adventure Time, a title that’s keen to avoid being just another Endless Runner, but fails to truly take advantage of its small sense of purpose. Each session involves spinning a wheel to see what kind of activity must be completed. These generally involve either chasing something, collecting something, or beating something up. The controls are the same but the change in objective does help make you think there’s more to Time Tangle – Adventure Time than there actually is. --Jennifer Allen


iBattz Mojo Refuel Aqua Case

I demand a lot from my electronics. Since I became disabled and lost my ability to write, I’ve depended on my touch screen devices for everything – especially my college work. Being in an environmental biology program means I’m in the field a lot in many weather conditions. Naturally when it rains I need a waterproof case, but my phone always runs out of juice before the day is out. Most battery cases didn’t offer the waterproofing that I need; until I found iBattz’s new case. The iBattz Mojo Refuel Aqua S Case (what a mouthful!) is pretty spiffy. The case can be used to extend battery life, then when you need waterproofing it takes less than a minute to switch it over and lock it up tight. I’ve been using the case for almost two weeks now and have noticed the good and bad of it. --Jade Walker


Micromon

It was bound to happen one day, wasn’t it? Yes, Micromon is currently the nearest you’re going to get to Pokemon on your iOS device. Fortunately it’s pretty fun, too. There’s one downfall though, and it’s a pretty obvious one – those pesky in-app purchases that often get in the way of such experiences. First up, Micromon is gorgeous to look at. It doesn’t offer quite as many monsters to capture as a Pokemon game, weighing in at just over 130, but each of them is delightfully animated and appealing. The story within Micromon isn’t particularly gripping, staying quite formulaic, but that’s no great hardship. --Jennifer Allen


Slingbox M1 Hardware

I don’t know about you all, but I use my iPhone and iPad to watch Netflix videos all the time. It’s just so handy to be able to pull up a streaming video right before bed or to watch something else while the TV is in use. Well the Slingbox M1 is kind of like that; kind of. It’s also quite a bit different, but no less interesting. The Slingbox M1 essentially lets you broadcast the signal from your cable box to your iOS device and your computer – with the appropriate apps, of course. This means that you can use your iPad as a second screen, watch something on TV without moving to whichever room has the TV in it, or even catch up on local news and sports while you’re out of town. So long as you have an internet connection you can stream the signal from your cable box straight to your other devices. --Rob Rich


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

Master of Craft

Master of Craft looks to be an engaging game that merges key gaming genres in a tidy package. At its core, it’s all about simulating an economy of crafting. Off the bat, the busy animation of the game easily draws one in, with bright colors and vivid landscapes. If the developer’s goal is to please people that are iffy about the game at the start, it is mostly successful. The rustic vibe combines well with the whimsical representations, and the overall visual feel is that it is playful and serious at the same time. --Tre Lawrence


Suits and Swords

Suits and Swords is much like Blackjack version of the venerable and well received Sword and Poker. While a good ideas does a simpler game like Blackjack have the legs to support an RPG? Suits and Swords has a rather amusing story. The majority of things and characters in the story are named after card related things. The main character is called Black Jack, he’s a solider or Battle Jack and the villain is an evil disembodied head named Joker. He’s pretty serious.. --Allan Curtis


Super Heavy Sword

Super Heavy Sword is a classically styled platformer, which aren’t all that common on the Playstore. Monster Robot Studios have freely admitted that the game is a homage to the astonishingly successful Mario games. Indeed the game feels like a mix of Mario 64 and the original Super Mario Bros. With the big N’s reluctance to bring the overalled plumber to Android, can Super Heavy Sword full the gap? Super Heavy Sword opens with a scene of Pike, the Hero and Lucinda the princess. A bunch of enemies roll in and amazingly don’t kidnap Lucinda but rather begin destroying to land,. Now it’s down to a lone warrior and his girlfriend to stab them all and restore peace. --Allan Curtis

And finally, this week Pocket Gamer weighed in on BioShock for iOS, provided a complete database of Micromon's Micromon, found nine celebrities besides Kim Kardashian with their own mobile games, and found eight games that you wouldn't be able to play if it weren't for some dedicated fans. And it's all right here.

ShockDrop PopTop Rugged Case Review

By Andrew Fisher on July 15th, 2014
With a tough design and an excellent stand, the Shockdrop Poptop Rugged Case is a solid choice for those who value protection over form-factor.
Read The Full Review »

Seidio Innocell Plus Combo Hardware Review

By Rob Rich on June 18th, 2014
The Innocell Plus is a very nice and easy to read battery back-up case for the iPhone 5/5s.
Read The Full Review »

snappgrip for iPhone 5 & 5S Hardware Review

iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
By Rob Rich on June 18th, 2014
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar ::
The snappgrip is an interesting idea for an iPhone camera peripheral, but a couple of odd quirks hold it back.
Read The Full Review »

It Came From GDC - the Sensus iPhone Case Protects and Provides Additional Touch Inputs

Posted by Rob Rich on April 1st, 2014

Touch controls can be a tricky thing to master, especially for designers. Too many inputs can clutter the screen, fingers can get in the way, and sometimes virtual controllers just don’t cut it. That’s why I found Caonpy’s Sensus iPhone case to be so intriguing.

The Sensus attaches to your iPhone 5 or 5s (with future support for more devices planned) and protects it from bumps and scrapes like most other cases can and do. What’s different about it is the inclusion of touch sensors along the back and side that can work as extra control inputs - that use variable pressure, no less. This means that it measures the strength of your taps to create something akin to virtual analog button sensitivity. It also means that, potentially, you’ll be able to use the back and side (or top if you’re playing with a landscape orientation) of the case to control what’s happening on-screen.

A lot of what happens with the Sensus is dependent on whether developers embrace the technology and what they decide to do with it, but there’s so much potential there. No more obscuring the screen with a finger when playing a game. Entirely new control methods that measure how hard you press down on the sensors. Honest-to-goodness virtual shoulder buttons in a place that feels natural!

Canopy is planning to release the Sensus in mid-2014, and the case will retail for $79.99.

Azoi Announces Wello, an iOS Case that Helps Track Health and Vitals

Posted by Tre Lawrence on March 7th, 2014

Azoi, a Bay-Area based technology entity, has just announced Wello, an iOS case that doubles as a health tracker.

The hardware is able to glean information from users by sensors that begin to collect data when the held as one would hold a smartphone while taking a picture. It tests for and measures a wide degree of information: blood pressure, heart rate, blood oxygen, temperature, lung functions, and ECG function. It combines with the free Wello app to record and analyze findings.

“Over the last two years, we have focused our efforts on coming up with a technologically advanced yet easy-to-use tool to help you monitor health and facilitate better lifestyle choices,” said Hamish Patel, founder and CEO at Azoi. “We are proud to introduce Wello - a not so small engineering feat in microelectronics, nanosensors, imaging, data analytics and design, that we hope will make a big difference in helping the world become a healthier place. We have effectively put health monitoring equipment, typically in large form factors, into a highly convenient and accessible mobile phone case."

Wello is available for pre-order for $199.

Merchant Case + Square Reader for iPhone 5/5s Review

By Rob Rich on January 20th, 2014
The Merchant Case + Square Reader is a clever way to keep a Square Reader close while simultaneously protecting one’s phone.
Read The Full Review »

CES 2014 - Square and Griffin Technology Reveal Their New Merchant Case for the iPhone 5 and iPhone 5s

Posted by Rob Rich on January 6th, 2014

Square has been around for a fair bit now; making digital transactions on-the-go and generally allowing small business owners a convenient way to charge customers using nothing but their iPhone and a tiny add-on. The new Merchant Case they've created in conjunction with Griffin Technology looks to improve upon that convenience.

Aside from simply securing your phone in a sturdy non-slip case, it will also make toting the reader and using cards even easier. There's a spot in the corner of the case allows the Square Reader to slip right in without having to take the case off, and a groove along the bottom that allows credit cards to slide through easily and consistently. And once you're done processing transactions for the day you can simply tuck the Square Reader into a compartment on the back of the case and forget about it until it's time to use it once more.

The Merchant Case + Square Reader set won't be shipping for another couple of weeks, but you can preorder it now for $19.99 on Griffin's website.

Olloclip Quick-Flip Case Review

By Jeff Scott on November 11th, 2013
The Quick-Flip case from Olloclip is a case that allows use of the Olloclip lens without removing the whole case.
Read The Full Review »

Mipwr Launches Kickstarter Campaign for its Hand-Operated Charger, Battery Pack, and Protective Case

Posted by Andrew Stevens on September 27th, 2013

Mipwr has launched its Kickstarter campaign for its hand-operated charger, backup battery, and protective case for the iPhone 5 and 5S. It's a great idea for anyone who needs to find alternate power for their iPhone. There are 22 days left in the Kickstarter campaign with a goal of $78,000, so make sure to check it out if this is something of interest to you!

This Week at 148Apps: January 28-February 1

Posted by Chris Kirby on February 2nd, 2013

Lots of fresh new content this week at 148Apps.com, including a three part series tracking the history and development of Firemint's Real Racing series. Rob Rich writes, "The soon to be released Real Racing 3 is on a lot of iOS gamers’ minds these days, especially many of us here at 148Apps. Because of this we thought it would be a good idea to recap the series. In fact, we might have gone a bit beyond that and created a trilogy. First we’ll be taking a look at the series’ history and the history of Firemint, the Melbourne based studio that created the series. After that we’ll be taking a look at the design factors and what when into creating the first two Real Racing titles as well as a little of the third. And in the third part of this series, we’ll take a look at the new Time Shifted Multiplayer found in Real Racing 3."

Read Part One, Part Two and Part Three at 148Apps.


GiggleApps.com traded in the racing wheel for a stethoscope, as Amy Solomon reviewed Doctor Cat: "Doctor Cat is a cute children’s app allowing users to use different medicines to treat animals.

This app is bright and colorful, with a simple and sweet narrative about a cat finding a lost doctor’s bag and using its contents to treat creatures in need."

Find out more about this delightful new app for children by visiting GiggleApps today.

And we close out our weekly tour of sites by checking in on the latest KickStarter spotlight on AndroidRundown.com. Joseph Bertolini writes, "It is amazing how many times I leave my phone in the car or forget to bring my keys out with me. Consolidating these two would be a dream and there are a few solutions available but their effectiveness is very questionable. One of the more complete and involved KickStarter projects that we have spotlit here, Intellacase is a smartphone case that incorportes within it a key fab for any modern car with keyless entry. While this does nothing for most car owners who still reside in the land of metallic gateways, a growing number of affordable cars are adopting the keyless ignition as a viable offering. Certainly for anyone who has a car that utilizes keyless technology this is an incredibly attractive opportunity. Image going out on the town, with the increasing prevalence of NFC payments, and being able to bring just a phone which has access to both wallet and car access."

Read more about Intellacase at AndroidRundown.

Another week down, but oh so much more to report in the coming days and weeks! Keep track of the latest happenings by following us on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest. You'll be glad you did. See you next week kiddies!

Logitech Solar Keyboard Folio Review

By Rob LeFebvre on August 10th, 2012
The Logitech Solar Keyboard Folio gets top marks in an already crowded product market for iPad keyboards.
Read The Full Review »

Get More Precision and Protection with the Bladepad Controller

Posted by Jordan Minor on August 8th, 2012


iPhone gaming and mobile phone gaming in general are poised to take over the entire handheld gaming market but there is still one big thing holding them back. Touch controls can be great but they are no replacement for responsive, dedicated, physical buttons. Plenty of hardware manufacturers have tried to fix this problem with varying degrees of a success and now a new challenger, Bladepad, is trying to enter the fight.

Bladepad is a slim, protective case that adds a directional pad, two analog sticks, four shoulder buttons, and four face buttons to an iPhone all with full back-lighting. Like a PSPgo or Xperia Play, players can slide the buttons back underneath phone when they are not needed or just easily remove the case entirely. The case and phone can be simultaneously charged over USB and “the battery life is competitive with both the Nintendo 3DS and Sony PS Vita.” Bladepad, LLC says that the product will work with any iOS device using Bluetooth 4.0 including the iPhone 4S, the new iPad, and presumably whatever new iPhone comes out this fall.

However, the project is still in need of funding. Those interested should check out the Bladepad Kickstarter page where one can pre-order at reduced prices along with shirts and other prizes. Bladepad is currently slated for release this holiday season for $99.