Posts Tagged Charging

This Week at 148Apps: December 8-12, 2014

Happy Holidays from 148Apps!

 

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.

Boulder Jack

 

Boulder Jack is a free-to-play endless runner that mixes up the standard formula by having players view the action from in front of their character rather than behind. For fans of the Crash Bandicoot series, this isn’t a particularly new trick, and the developers of Boulder Jack seem to be keenly aware of this as the game also stars a character that is remarkably similar to Crash. Playing Boulder Jack is very, very similar to other endless runners. Players must swipe left, right, up, and down to move between lanes, leap over obstacles, or slide under others, all in the hopes of outrunning a large boulder. Along the way there are invincibility power-ups, speed boosts, and coins to collect – all of which create some risk vs. reward mechanics, but everything presented gameplay-wise is pretty standard. –Campbell Bird

Space Age

 

Space Age: A Cosmic Adventure is an ambitious adventure game that hearkens back to sci-fi tropes of of the 1960s and 70s – complete with alien saucers, fishbowl helmets, and a deep sense of exploration. While the game achieves this aesthetic beautifully, Space Age suffers when it abandons its roots as a game about exploration and decides to try to be something else. Playing Space Age can be kind of difficult to describe. It’s simultaneously an adventure game, a real-time strategy game, a stealth action game, a puzzler, and something of a visual novel. Going into any one of the available ten missions, players might encounter just one or all of these gameplay elements. One thing is for sure, though: every part of Space Age is oozing with character and style that is super-charming, funny, and endearing. –Campbell Bird

Astro Boy Flight

 

There’s a word that keeps bouncing around my head as I play Astro Boy Flight. Rather appropriately, that word is ‘repetitive’. It sums up this endless 2D shooter, based around the famous Japanese manga character, oh so very well. A few seconds of Astro Boy Flight and you’ll see everything the game offers, with little there to mix things up later on. You glide through the skies, all via a portrait perspective, using one finger to move Astro Boy around. Shooting is done automatically, so your sole method of interaction is via this one finger. Waves of enemies come at you, so you have to line up quickly to shoot them down. This isn’t R-Type though, so it’s not exactly challenging stuff. Instead, you’re more likely to fail because you got bored for a moment and stopped paying attention. –Jennifer Allen

Shadowrun: Dragonfall

 

When you start the game, you’re given the chance to design a character. There are quite a few classes to choose from, as well as several races. Without a knowledge of the system in advance, I had a very hard time designing my character and just picked an elf and went with the basic warrior type. Then I was presented with detailed statistics to tweak, again with no idea of what was good or needed in this game’s world. The walkthrough/tutorial said that if I wanted more help I could consult the full rules on their website (linked within the app). When I went to check it out it was pages and pages long and very hard to digest, so I went with a few random choices instead. Shadowrun: Dragonfall is set in a futuristic world where society has changed dramatically. It’s futuristic cyberpunk meets high fantasy, and information is the commodity everyone trades in. You’re part of a group of criminals that’s been hired to raid someone’s mansion and steal data from them. Of course once we moved into the mansion, we tripped an alarm and security came in to stop us. –Jade Walker

Adobe Premiere Clip

 
premiereclip4-338x600

Over the years, Adobe has done a fantastic job of giving us a plethora of powerful yet user-friendly tools for video and graphic editing. They’re doing a pretty good job of converting that magic to iOS. Adobe Premiere Clip is the latest example, allowing you to easily create videos from earlier clips or brand new ones. Taking you step by step through the process, Adobe Premiere Clip can take as long or as brief a time as you want it to. You can choose to just edit one clip or you can bundle a few of them together, creating a montage of your media. Working mostly through dragging and dropping, as well as a few swipes to trim parts out, it doesn’t take long to line things up correctly. In each clip’s case, you can adjust the color, exposure, or shadow effects before moving onto arranging some transitions between each clip. Slow motion effects can also be included. –Jennifer Allen

Sago Mini Road Trip

 
7-600x450

I am always happy to introduce a new Sago Sago app to readers. As many know, Sago Sago is now a part of the Toca Boca family, which develops charming and colorful apps for toddlers and beyond. Their most recent app, Sago Mini Road Trip, allows children the chance to go on a road trip with their favorite orange cat, Jinga. Young ones will appreciate being able to choose from three destinations among a larger selection of choices such as jungle or desert adventures, as well as travels to the beach, mountains, forest, or city. They also will have a chance to pack their own bags with a variety of clothing, toys, and other objects into their bottomless suitcase, adding as much or as little in the way of personal effects as there is always room in their bag – details that will make both parents as well as children smile. –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

Bitcoin Billionaire

 

At first glance Bitcoin Billionaire hardly seems like a game and in some ways it isn’t. It is in fact a devilishly addictive habit that uses a finely tuned system to show you ads while ensuring you won’t care and will in fact welcome the sight of ads! Bitcoin Billionaire as you might expect is a game about mining the virtual currency known as Bitcoins. After customizing your avatar with clothes and a spiffy pirate bandana it’s simply a matter of tapping the screen as quickly as possible to generate riches; the faster you tap the more Bitcoins you earn. Once a few Bitcoins have been earned, these can be spent on investments like lottery tickets or collectable comic books. These generate a constant stream of income whenever the player is actively mining or not and also while the app is closed. –Allan Curtis

NBA All Net

 
nba

To say that the card battler is a well worn genre on Android would be the understatement of the year. A basketball card battler is much rarer however. Is NBA All Net swish? NBA All Net’s gameplay is mind numbing and no different to other card battlers on the platform except it’s in the form of basketball. Players simply tap on the “challenge” they would like to play (Which features a description that has nothing to do with the game) and then sit back and watch the game as it unfolds. Players play no role in the game once it has started and it is based on card stats only. Games are dreadfully boring to watch and feature more repetitive animation than an entire season of Scooby Doo so they are best skipped. –Allan Curtis

RAVPower USB Charging Station

 
rav3-600x450

I know we’ve been harping on being organized… with good reason, too. With all the devices and accessories, it gets busy. Toss in a kid or two (with their own electronics and such) and a company-issued device, and one begins to approach wired purgatory. So, it makes sense that accessories that help us to more effectively manage these devices will be if a high premium. Thankfully, proprietary cables are not the norm on Android, because solutions like the RAVPower USB Charging Station use cable standardization as a means to being order to chaos. In essence, this series of products looks to a central port for multiple USB cables, theoretically eliminating the need for several plugs and outlets. –Tre Lawrence

And finally, this week, Pocket Gamer investigated Apple’s ban on nudity in Papers, Please; gave away five amazing iOS games in its Advent Calendar; picked the best MFi controllers for iOS; and reviewed Tales from the Borderlands. All that and loads more, here.

I’ve purchased all three iPads. Each time I felt that there was enough added to the new version to justify buying the next. But then again, I’m not the average iPad owner. Being completely objective, the new iPad may not be the greatest purchase for the iPad 2 owner. But that’s the last time I’m calling it the “new” iPad. That sets us up for all sorts of confusion in the future. So I’m going to get some practice in this post calling it the third generation iPad.

Review Highlights
First, let’s take a look at some highlights of what been said about the new…the third generation iPad.

Almost everyone had something to say about the retina display. John Gruber (DaringFireball.net) called reading on the retina display “pure joy.”

“Going back to the iPad 2 after reading a few hours on the iPad 3 is jarring…what you thought looked pretty good before (like text rendered on older iPads) now looks blurry.”

Since Joshua Topolsky from the Verge thinks the third generation iPad isn’t a necessary upgrade for everyone, he makes this suggestion,

“And if you’re an original iPad or iPad 2 owner… unless you want to upgrade, just avoid looking at this screen.”

MG Siegler from TechCrunch feels exactly as I do about the screen,

“Web pages look almost as if they’re being displayed in a high-quality glossy magazine. Photos look like photos — the printed out kind. Text is razor sharp and crisp, just like print.”

The Retina display is obviously the selling point for the third generation iPad. But significant upgrades over the iPad 2 include LTE, the A5X chip (with quad core graphics), improved cameras, and upgraded memory (1 GB RAM). The upgraded memory was confirmed after the Apple announcement. Apple didn’t seem to want to mention memory, even on the tech specs page for the iPad. Apparently, Post-PC means rarely ever mentioning the finer points of the hardware. Personally, I think double the RAM is quite important.

Most seemed to agree on what to do about upgrading customers and new buyers. Owners of the original iPad should probably upgrade. New customers should definitely buy a third generation iPad. And it’s a horribly tough decision for iPad 2 owners (that one used to be me).

Topolsky wrapped up with,

“For owners of the iPad 2, this isn’t necessarily a slam dunk. While the updated features are a boon to the new iPad, it doesn’t offer an experience that is significantly different from the previous version.”

But M.G. Siegler seemed a bit more inclined for iPad 2 users to upgrade,

“If you have an iPad 2, it’s a tougher call since it still seems nearly as fast as the new iPad. But if you choose not to upgrade (or to spend $399 for the 16 GB iPad 2 now), again, treat the new iPad as if it were Medusa when you’re in an Apple Store. Do. Not. Look. At. It.”

I would go even farther than Siegler. Don’t even look at comparisons of screenshots from the iPad 2 to the third generation iPad. That’s what hooked me in. I don’t regret making the purchase at all. The screen is absolutely beautiful. But for someone trying to resist, protect your eyes.

Praises and Problems
I’m going to wrap up with some praises and issues that have recently popped up in the news surrounding the third generation iPad.

Let’s start with some praise. Gary Heiting, an optometrist and editor of All About Vision, says that the Retina display on the iPad helps ease the eye strain from staring at a screen for long periods of time.

“A key factor in something that’s called computer vision syndrome, or just eye strain from computer use, is screen resolution…It’s not just an enjoyment issue or an aesthetic issue, but it’s definitely a visual comfort issue, over time”

I’ve definitely noticed an easier reading experience. I never had major eye strain problems. But the difference in strain was noticeable enough for me to feel confident in that statement.

Some other problems that have popped up are heat issues and charging issues. Some have made a bigger deal out of the heat issues than others. But the bottom line is that the new iPad can and does heat up to a warmer temperature than its predecessor. It isn’t going to catch on fire, it isn’t going to melt, but it is going to feel a bit warmer during gaming (bottom-left corner in my experience). I wouldn’t call the heat uncomfortable. Just noticeable.

As for the charging issues, with some thinking it becomes common sense. Since the charger for the third generation iPad is a 10W charger (the same as both previous iPads) but the third generation iPad requires more power for the Retina display and processor, it cannot charge while active in certain situations. While gaming or using power intensive apps, trying to charge the iPad may take longer or even continue to drain. Generally, I’ve found that I can get through a day of heavy use on a full charge of the iPad. So to get around this, I just make sure the iPad is fully charged overnight before heavy use.

My final words are to iPad 2 owners (since everyone else has an easy decision: buy it). If gaming is important, buy it. If taking pictures or video is important, buy it. HD fanatics, buy it. If the reading experience is a priority, buy it. Otherwise, stick with the iPad 2.

Wired vs. Wireless Charging

RFH0301Wireless charging stations have been creating a lot of waves over the past few months and were certainly a big focus at CES, but will they ever really take off? Certainly the market is becoming pretty competitive; I can think of 3 companies selling them off the top of my head (Powermat, WildCharge, and CaseMate). While the concept is theoretically very useful and has a cool, futuristic feel to it, they’re all currently hindered by one major factor, they all require a special case. One of the major sell points for these platforms is the idea of reducing the cables needed to charge multiple devices, but is adding a special case any better? First off, each case is an added expense and more than likely all of the devices you own won’t have a case designed for them, i.e. iPod nano, digital camera, extra battery pack, etc. Instead one company, blueLounge, has taken a slightly more practical approach to the cable management situation.

The Refresh ($89.95) charging station was designed to be a catch-all for personal mobile electronics. Constructed with both functionality and style in mind the Refresh comes in 3 different stylish colors (white, pink, and black) with a very modern feel. The rubberized lid prevents devices from sliding around and is large enough to accommodate 3 or more items depending on their size. Concealed below the lid are 6 built in connectors, 2 iPod/iPhone connectors, both a Mini & Micro USB cable, and 2 empty USB sockets to be used as needed. Additional connectors for specific devices can also be bought for $5.95 directly from their site. Each of the cables can reach up around the lower lip of the lid to start charging any of the up to 6 devices. The Refresh is a great addition to any home with numerous mobile devices and cables.

Continue reading Wired vs. Wireless Charging »

    Advertisement    





Featured Apps

    Advertisement    


Categories

Developers

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


Latest Posts

Pocket Gamer is Giving Away a Different Premium iOS Game for Free, Every Day, Between 12/8 and 12/19

Nothing says “Holiday Season” like an Advent Calendar, right? Well the folks at Pocket Gamer, in collaboration with a lot of very generous and generally awesome developers, have set up a special one just for you, the iOS gaming enthusiast. Starting next Monday, 12/8, they’ll be giving away one top-rated premium game for $0, for […]

Hipstify Review [★★★½☆]

Add filters, quotes, and fancy frames to your images, thanks to Hipstify.


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