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Hi.Q - Health IQ Review

iPhone & Apple Watch App - Designed for iPhone and Apple Watch, compatible with iPad
By Jennifer Allen on January 6th, 2015
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: EDUCATIONAL HEALTH
Learning is always good, and Hi.Q reminds you of just what's important for your body and your lifestyle.
Read The Full Review »

This Week at 148Apps: October 27- 31, 2014

Posted by Chris Kirby on November 3rd, 2014

Another Week of Expert App Reviews


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

Retry

Unlike the endless procession of knock-offs, cash-ins, and clones, Retry actually finds Rovio substantially iterating on the Flappy formula, mixing in the star-ranked progression that drove their own mega-hit. Instead of tapping and flapping through an endless procession of pipe gaps, Retry has players guiding their tiny propeller-driven plane from airport to airport in an elusive search for that perfect landing. It’s no easy feat to fly in Retry, with the inexorable grip of gravity and the drag of momentum screwing up those carefully laid flight paths. Too steep of a climb will pull you over into a loop. Not enough feathering of a descent sends you propeller-first into the ground. But when that sweet spot is delicately finessed out of the greedy grip of physics’ and you manage to glide gracefully out of a near-fatal dive, taxiing to the very edge of the final runway? Sublime. And hey, if not, just tap the screen again; there’s always another retry waiting. --Rob Thomas


Logitech Protection + Power iPhone 5/5s Case

This is going to sound funny, but I have clinically diagnosed OCD. One of the weird quirks for me is that I obsess about having several cases or carrying bags for everything. So the idea of a new, very functional case really excites me. When asked about reviewing a case that provides drop protection and an extended battery, I think I replied to the email less than twenty seconds. Sadly, I was told the only colors were black, blue, grey, and white – I was hoping for purple or pink. I really like cases. The Protection + Power comes with a charging cable (USB to micro USB) and a headphone extender (the case lengthens the hole to the jack). Attaching it to my phone was really easy – honestly, it’s the easiest of any battery case I’ve owned. You slide the phone onto the lightning connector, which tilts slightly, then gently push the phone back into the case. Once inside, it seems really secure and safe from most gentle drops. Since it was early in the day, I plugged the charging cable into my desktop computer and watched the lights on the back begin to blink. I went through regular use that day, and took the charging cable to bed. When upstairs, I pulled my lightning cable out of the jack in the wall, and put the USB/microUSB cable in its place. I’ve done this with numerous other charging cases in the past with no issue. In the morning, my phone was at 55% power and the case’s battery was dead. It never charged. --Jade Walker


Dragon Quest II

Opening with the sacking of the city of Moonbrook by the villainous Hargon, Dragon Quest II follows the adventures of a group of young heroes descended from the legendary Erdrick, a recurring character in the series’ mythology. It is as full of cheesy and wonderful faux-Shakespearian dialog as its predecessor was, with the classic RPG mentality that one should speak to every NPC in order to learn about the world and one’s quest. The visuals are bright, colorful pixel art that has been updated for modern devices while retaining that old-school flair. The music, on the other, hand is quite symphonic and adds a sweeping grandeur that enhances the atmospheric qualities. It’s a great juxtaposition of old and new, and it really improves on the gameplay experience. --Andrew Fisher


Agents of Storm

The first thing you’ll notice about Agents of Storm is that it’s really rather pretty – especially compared to other games of its ilk. That’s the second thing. Games of this ilk – freemium base building games – are incredibly common. Unfortunately for Agents of Storm it’s mostly business as usual, despite a few vaguely original tweaks. Notably, you don’t design your own base. It’s all made for you instead, taking away some personalization and sense of ownership from the whole experience. That base gradually expands the more you level-up, with a couple of taps getting things all set up. --Jennifer Allen


Toca Boo

I am eager to let readers know about a new Toca Boca app – Toca Boo – right in time for Halloween. This app is a bit of a departure for Toca Boca, known for their apps that include cleverly themed mini-games and role-playing apps that allow children to pretend to play store, tea party, or drive a train, as well as apps that allow children to build cities or landscapes to drive cars around on. Here, Toca Boca introduces Bonnie, a girl who enjoys being scary, wandering around her house looking for family members to frighten. Children will have fun increasing the creepiness factor for her unassuming victims by turning lights off and on as well as incorporating static on the radio, an alarm clock that rings suddenly, and other objects that can startle others when turned on or off mysteriously – which is done with the tap of a finger, and to be assumed the work of this mischievous girl. Listen to the heart beats rise in the characters as the intensity is increased – a great time to tap one of these characters, triggering their frightened reactions. --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

Trigger Happy

Lunagames launched a Halloween-themed shooter for Android, but is it worth you time? Well, that depends: do you like murdering zombies? Trigger Happy from Lunagames is a straightforward action packed shooter. In it, you need to shoot every zombie or other Halloween themed monstrosity that’s coming right for you. You can do that with just your handgun, including unlimited ammo – the way I prefer to play my Halloween/horror games. But that won’t do the job in Trigger Happy. --Wesley Akkerman


Withings Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor

I had the misfortune of having some serious health issues a short while ago, and, without getting overly conversational about it, it changed me. It made me take health more seriously, and one fringe benefit is that it allowed me to take a longer, more appreciative look at the burgeoning area of connected health devices. “Burgeoning” is somewhat of an understatement; the category is exploding. As part of my personal fitness odyssey, I’ve had the privilege of trying out interesting connected gear. The Withings Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor is one of them. Personal blood pressure monitors are not new; I have had a generic one for quite some time. While convenient, the one drawback is the collation tool is not self-contained. I used my smartphone to collect the data via my all-round app HanDBase, and while the solution worked, I’d like a more homogeneous fix. --Tre Lawrence


Smart Dynamo Activity Tracker

As part of our ongoing health series, we explore connected health accessories with an Android connection. For an introduction to Android Rundown’s mobile health series, check out our editorial. Health bands and smartwatches are all the rage now; there are several out in the wild, and, thankfully, several corresponding price points. Being healthy is becoming easier to incorporate in one’s lifestyle — in theory, at least. For a lot of folks, having a connected health tracker just makes sense… especially when it can be paired to a ubiquitous always-on device such as a smartphone. Oregon Scientific is a tech company with good pedigree, and has made a name for itself in the area of personal and home electronics; it’s not too much of a stretch to see why it would throw its hat into the fitness tracker ring. the Ssmart Dynamo Activity Tracker is the fruit of this endeavor. --Tre Lawrence

And finally, head on over to AppSpy, because we've been eating loads of English Breakfasts, watching kids poop their pants in fear, playing the best new multiplayer indie racer, and getting spookier than that Michael Jackson video where he's a zombie (Thriller? Is it Thriller? I want to say it's called Thriller). And it's all right here.

Six to Start Confirms that Zombies, Run! will be Coming to the Apple Watch

Posted by Jessica Fisher on September 11th, 2014
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: TERRIFYING EXERCISE FUN :: Read Review »

The Apple Watch. Love it or hate it, the smart watch/fitness band has already caught the attention of the popular running app Zombies, Run! by Six to Start.

The app encourages runners to keep up the pace by playing a series of radio messages and voice recordings designed to make you feel like you are being chased by a horde of man-eating zombies. The game includes missions a ZombieLink Social feature which lets you share your progress with your friends.

Seems like a perfect fit for the Apple Watch, yes?

Razr Announces Tencent Gaming Company, Bringing Their Games to the Nabu

Posted by Jessica Fisher on August 13th, 2014

Razr has announced at GDC Europe that Tencent, a major name in the gaming industry, would be joining the Nabu development team in an effort to integrate their mobile games. 

The Razr Nabu smartband combines a smart watch with a fitness band's capabilities. Tencent is bringing Timi Run Everyday to the Nabu - a side-scrolling platformer that converts number of steps walked, calories burnt, and hours slept logged by the device into in-game rewards. Players can utilize the WeChat social communications platform to share scores and rank up against their friends on the leader-boards.

Dan Brody, Vice President Tencent Games Business said, “Timi Run Everyday and Nabu will encourage more of our fans to keep fit in their daily lives, and be rewarded for it in their favorite game. The Tencent and Razer collaboration will certainly bring more exciting experiences as we explore more interesting and meaningful methods to integrate mobile games with Nabu.”

During their launch in the last quarter of this year, fans will be able to purchase a co-branded limited edition Nabu and earn exclusive in-game rewards.

OutSider Review

iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
By Campbell Bird on July 14th, 2014
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: ALMOST FANTASTIC
OutSider combines weather data with fitness tracking to help users determine the best time to go out running.
Read The Full Review »

Roll a Critical Sucess for Getting in Shape With FitRPG: Gamifying Fitbit

Posted by Jessica Fisher on July 11th, 2014
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

So you've bought a Fitbit. Now what? How about turning it into an RPG?

FatChicken Studios has released FitRPG; a game that turns the data collected by your Fitbit into your character’s strength, hit points, endurance, dexterity, and experience. Your character will receive quests and battle monsters to receive gold and experience. With that loot you can buy weapons, potions, armor, and other accessories, then battle your friends. The fittest player gets to steal their opponents gold and experience! Don't have a Fitbit? Not to worry, FatChicken Studios says they plan on having FitRPG integrate with Jawbone and other fitness trackers pretty soon.

FitRPG sounds like it might be a fun way to stay motivated about working out when you'd rather be gaming. You can pick it up on the App Store for free.

Lifetrak Zone C410 Fitness Tracker

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Jeff Scott on July 10th, 2014
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar ::
While the standalone performance of the Zone C410 is pretty awesome, the integration with iOS seems a bit of an afterthought. But the year long battery make some of the limitations easier to understand.
Read The Full Review »

Misfit Shine Activity Tracker Hardware Review

iPhone & Apple Watch App - Designed for iPhone and Apple Watch, compatible with iPad
By Jeff Scott on June 24th, 2014
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar ::
The Misfit Shine is a great fitness tracker that only suffers from minor design issues.
Read The Full Review »

Runtastic - Now With Google Street View and More

Posted by Jessica Fisher on June 10th, 2014
iPhone & Apple Watch App - Designed for iPhone and Apple Watch, compatible with iPad
Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: COOL RUNNINGS :: Read Review »

Runtastic PRO, the running app that seems to do it all, has released a new update to keep their fans motivated. Runners can now try to beat their best times with the new "Challenge a Run" feature and keep things exciting with 2 new story runs: Alcatraz 2 and Weight Loss.

Runtastic PRO is available on the App Store for $4.99.

Nutrisystem's NuMi App and Service Hopes to Make Dieting Easier and More Convenient

Posted by Carter Dotson on April 28th, 2014
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad

Nutrisystem has announced their new digital weight loss system, NuMi. Designed to allow people to effectively undergo what they call "Responsive Dieting," this system will adapt to users' individual needs and preferences. The features include a patent pending behavior modification system, mentoring, integration with a variety of fitness devices and more.

Numi is available now on iTunes, with cross-platform support to the desktop so that fitness can be tracked anywhere.

Runtastic Puts Out New Version of Abs Exercise App, Six Packs Abs

Posted by Tre Lawrence on March 21st, 2014
+ Universal & Apple Watch App - Designed for iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch

Runtastic has launched a new version of Six Pack Abs for iOS.

The app uses realistic-looking avatars to guide users along with videos; the app offers pre-built workouts and workouts that can be crafted by users themselves. It includes new features such as body fat visualizations, heart rate integration, tips, and language support for Chinese and Portuguese.

Six Pack Abs is available for free, with optional in-app purchases on the App Store.

CrossFit Inc Releases CrossFit Games App That Allows iOS Users to Track Workouts and Submit Scores

Posted by Tre Lawrence on March 3rd, 2014
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad

CrossFit recently released its Reebok CrossFit Games app to iOS users. With the app, CrossFit participants are able check out Open workouts, track personal standings, submit scores, and even watch live events.

The app also allows for notifications, which are helpful with timely submissions and finding out about new content. Another key element is the ability to share data, which is great for support.

All in all, the official app looks to be the perfect CrossFit companion for 2014. and it's currently available for free on the App Store.

This Week at 148Apps: December 30-January 3, 2014

Posted by Chris Kirby on January 4th, 2014

Happy New Year from 148Apps!


It's a new year and, as always, an exciting one for all of us here at 148Apps. Take a look at what we've reviewed this week, as well as our end-of-year lists, and find even more in our Reviews Archive.

2013 wrAPP-Up: Simogo's Twin Masterpieces

Most developers get one masterpiece. One magnum opus that they get to unleash on to the world. Simogo released two in 2013 alone. Both Year Walk and Device 6 were absolutely amazing experiences, not just games, and so different from almost everything else this year. --Carter Dotson


2013 wrAPP-Up: Developers, Hardware, and Carter

Sure 148Apps is known far and wide for its diverse array of app reviews, but we also love to spotlight some lesser-known developers, review the occasional piece of useful hardware, and challenge developers to duke it out in their own games. --Chris Kirby


2013 wrAPP-Up: Most Distinct Apps and Games of the Year

Every year, with thousands more apps and games being released on the App Store, it becomes increasingly difficult to single-out just which are the crème de la crème of this ever-growing iOS market – and more specifically, which of them truly set a higher standard in terms of innovation, uniqueness, and individuality. Be it a game designed for the iPhone or iPad, anything developed and released on the iOS market in this day and age has to have that special something to grab our interest and retain it for months to come. In no particular order, here are a selection of the most notable games and apps of 2013 that raised the bar in one way or another. --Lucy Ingram


2013 wrAPP-Up: Why Candy Crush Saga was the Biggest Game of the Year

Candy Crush Saga would be perhaps an ill-fitting choice for the game of 2013: it was hardly the “best” game of the year by traditional “Game of the Year” metrics, and it didn’t even release in 2013. But Candy Crush Saga was still the game that defined mobile gaming in 2013...The thing that was most fascinating about Candy Crush Saga, though? Did anyone really have an unequivocal, gushing love for it? Whenever the game would be brought up, there was always some degree of resentment toward it for being so addictive, in the sense that people just could not stop playing, paying, and bugging their Facebook friends with requests. The thing that was most fascinating about Candy Crush Saga, though? Did anyone really have an unequivocal, gushing love for it? Whenever the game would be brought up, there was always some degree of resentment toward it for being so addictive, in the sense that people just could not stop playing, paying, and bugging their Facebook friends with requests. --Carter Dotson


2013 wrAPP-up: Happy New Year's Resolution: Fitness Apps for All

It’s the same story every year: not long after the ball drops in Times Square and the champagne runs out, people all over the world face the dreaded New Year’s Resolution. After all the eggnog, fudge, and candy canes, it’s no surprise that losing weight and getting fit tops the list. And these days there are a plethora of digital goodies out there making anyone’s quest for fitness that much easier. Many of these apps even throw the motivation and inspiration in for free. In other words, you’re running out of excuses. You can thank me later. --Stacy Barnes


2013 wrAPP-Up: The App Store's Experimental Games of the Year

Cynics would have you believe that the App Store is full of Match-3 puzzle games, Endless Runners, and attempts at stealing money through a multitude of in-app purchases. OK, so the App Store isn’t perfect and those games are certainly out there (and a plentiful amount of them are still fun!), but that’s far from all that’s available. In the spirit of it being the end of the year and the ideal time to look back at what the App Store does so well, I took a look at some of the best experimental delights out there. These are titles that are a little bit different from the norm, either in terms of having a very open ended storyline or through offering a way to interact that’s unconventional. As many of us wind down for the Christmas and New Years break, it’s the perfect time to relax and try something a little different. --Jennifer Allen


Other 148Apps Network Sites

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

AndroidRundown

Top 10 Kickstarter Spotlights of 2013

It’s the end of the year and everyone knows what that means: Top Ten Lists. There are lists for every possible subject, and I figured that it was only appropriate if I looked back and chose ten of my favorite KickStarter projects. All of these projects were successfully funded, and were just a handful of the great KickStarter projects that I had the pleasure of choosing from during 2013. So, as they say, theres no better place to start than the beginning. --Joseph Bertolini


Fleet of One

This is a phrase I didn’t expect to say today, but Fleet Of One is a top-down shoot-em-up that’s quite different from the other space shmups. It also looks quite a bit more logical. If the player is supposed to save the galaxy, as is usually the case, then the least you can do is give him a nice ship. Rather than piloting a flying version of a hybrid compact, the player controls a giant flying saucer with more guns than an army parade. But only two of them can be active at the same time. Oops. --Tony Kuzmin

And finally, this week Pocket Gamer looked back at 2013 with the best games of the year, interviews with Simogo and Fireproof, and looked ahead to 2014 with a massive list of 50 upcoming iOS games. They also reviewed Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed, handed out top tips for new iPhone and iPad owners, played the best iOS games of the week, and even chose the best app icons of 2013. See the full week in review here.

148Apps 2013 wrAPP-Up - Happy New Year's Resolution: Fitness Apps for All!

Posted by Stacy Barnes on December 31st, 2013

Twas the week before New Year’s and all through the land, no humans were eager for the diet they planned (Deep sigh). It’s the same story every year: not long after the ball drops in Times Square and the champagne runs out, people all over the world face the dreaded New Year’s Resolution. After all the eggnog, fudge, and candy canes, it’s no surprise that losing weight and getting fit tops the list. And these days there are a plethora of digital goodies out there making anyone’s quest for fitness that much easier. Many of these apps even throw the motivation and inspiration in for free. In other words, you’re running out of excuses. You can thank me later.

So, Happy New Year! Here are some resolutions to those resolution blues.

Workout (7 Minute Body Fitness Exercise)


No time or money to join a gym? This app's for you. Choose “Matt” (McConaughey-like), “Arnold” (Schwarzeneggerish), or “Kate” as your trainer and off you go! It’s just a 7 minute workout - 30 seconds for each exercise, with 10 seconds to transition. Warm up with jumping jacks, followed by the wall sit, some push-ups, abdominal crunches, and so on. The 8-bit trainer graphic demonstrates each move to some pretty funky music (fortunately, with one simple tap the music goes away). Bonus - the app will even log workouts to your calendar. And if 7 minutes just isn’t enough, hit repeat and do it again!

Spark Motion Pro: Why This iPad Video Editor Could Help Your Favorite Team Win

Posted by Carter Dotson on December 18th, 2013
iPad App - Designed for iPad

Ever watch your favorite sports team's season go down the drain due to injuries? What if I told you a video-editing app for iPad could someday be the reason why your team wins a championship? That's just what Spark Motion Pro could do, if Dave Gottfeld has his way.

See, what Spark Motion Pro does functionally is to allow its users to shoot videos, then easily annotate them and add commentary. In this case the annotations can include things like stopwatches, a ruler to measure lengths of objects, set to the scale of a control object, an angle measurement tool, and even transparent overlays of another video. Users can easily import videos, rearrange clips, and add their commentary to them, then uploading them to a cloud-based service for others to view. It's all functionality that - by itself - is perhaps technically solid, but not necessarily revolutionary in and of itself.

But see, sometimes the power of an app is not so much in what it does, but what it allows the user to do. And what it allows trainers and physicians to do is to be able to easily capture video of someone they're working with, say, an athlete recovering from a knee injury, as Gottfeld demoed to me when I spoke to him. When one client he worked with who suffered an ACL injury, he was able to show using the app's grid and transparent overlay how a one-leg balance test showed that the person's non-injured leg was having balance issues during their recovery with the other leg. Using Spark Motion, Gottfeld could easily quantify to his client using the video overlay of the exact problem.

Baseball and golf are two extremely mechanical sports, and Spark Motion is perfect for them. The angle overlay can help a golfer analyze where the angle of their swing is, informing them of what they need to focus on to improve. Gottfeld in particular showed how he was able to detect how a certain hip movement was causing knee stress in a baseball batter's swing. Pitchers are an obvious application for this app: delivery flaws could be detected and improvement over time could be shown as well.

Spark Motion Pro takes full advantage of the convenience of modern technology: as an iPad app, this means that its users can easily shoot and analyze video from wherever. The app's subscription service comes with cloud storage (which is HIPAA compliant for patient confidentiality) that can allow trainers and practitioners to work remotely with clients who can shoot and upload their own video, which theSpark Motion user can then provide their analysis of and send back. Users can even link up a PayPal account and charge for their services in the app on a per-video basis. This can happen anywhere wi-fi is available.

The more powerful hardware of the latest iOS devices only makes Spark Motion better: the iPad Air can render video with annotations much faster than previous generations, at what Gottfeld reports as a 1:1 ratio of video time to rendering time. Videos can be imported from sources besides the iPad, so video could be shot with a high-end camera on a stable setup, for example. Or for those who want to shoot high framerate video with the iPhone 5s, that is compatible with Spark Motion Pro as well. Perhaps those additional frames could reveal information in the body's movements that could help prevent a catastrophic injury, or provide dramatic performance improvements.

The app has tons of potential, but it's already in use in some cases: Gottfeld reports working with the New England Patriots using Spark Motion, and former NFL kicker Matt Stover helps train kickers using the app. And at the recent MLB Winter Meetings, among the headlines of big deals and big fights, Gottfeld got to meet with all the teams in a speed-pitching scenario, and several teams were reportedly interested in the app. They might just be the ones that keep their players healthy on the field, or get the injured ones back sooner, and win more games.

The Spark Motion Pro app is a free download from the App Store, but it requires a subscription account to use, with signups available at Spark Motion's website.