148 Apps on Facebook 148 Apps on Twitter

Tag: Hardware »

It Looks Like Misfit and Speedo are Working Together Now

Posted by Rob Rich on August 18th, 2015

Today both Misfit and Speedo have announced a partnership that has produced an all new activity tracker: the Speedo Shine. I suppose we all should've seen that name coming.

This Week at 148Apps: August 10-14, 2015

Posted by Chris Kirby on August 17th, 2015

Amped Up for August With 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.


Score! Hero

More like a kind of physics puzzle game than a regular soccer title, Score! Hero feels a little unfair at times with more than a dose of randomness thrown in. Odds are though, you’ll still be giving it a shot every now and then as it’s quite fun.You’re controlling the career of an up and coming soccer play. There are some light management style options with you able to customize your player before choosing teams to play for. Then you get thrown into the action. --Jennifer Allen


Direct Shot

Direct Shot is a simple yet effective app, enabling you to directly save photos and videos to your Dropbox account as you snap them. For those users who are always running out of space on their phone or iPad, it’s a real time saver.Setup is a breeze. You just log in to your Dropbox account, pick a folder to deposit your images, and away you go. you can switch between different folders, which is going to be particularly useful if you like to be organized and have plenty of subjects in mind. --Jennifer Allen


Apocalypse Meow: Save the Last Humans

"Don’t mess with cats" is the moral of Apocalypse Meow: Save the Last Humans - an arcade style shooter with a surprising amount of personality. It’s a more welcoming shooter than most, meaning even casual players can enjoy what’s here, but it’s still pretty taxing.You play your way through various levels, completing numerous missions in a bid to unlock new upgrades for your ship, as well as defeat the evil cats. Action is immensely simple. You use your finger to drag your ship around with firing done automatically. --Jennifer Allen


Animation Desk Cloud

Have you ever wanted to create cool animations but had no idea where to start? Animation Desk Cloud is a fairly good starting place, although do expect to have to practice to truly get the most from it. Requiring a quick sign up process to get the most from it, the app throws a text based overlay at you to explain what button performs what task. In reality, experimentation is the best way to understand things. Animation Desk Cloud is a little unwieldy at first, meaning poking around at what can be accomplished makes way more sense. Much like other art based apps, some of your success is going to be down to your ability to draw well. You can use various different brushes to create shapes and images, with your ability level and imagination the only real restriction. Coloring is easily changed around too. --Jennifer Allen


Zoombinis

It looks like a fairly cute puzzle game but Zoombinis is much more than that, actually offering up a series of logical and mathematical puzzles to tax your gray matter. It’s a remake of a 1990s puzzle game, Logical Journey of the Zoombinis, but old and new players should quite appreciate it - even if it does look a little old fashioned. You’re helping a series of small blue creatures as they attempt to reach the safety of Zoombiniville. This involves completing 12 tricky puzzles. The unique twist to Zoombinis is that you choose how your creatures look and what accessories they possess, and that actually affects what unfolds. --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


Samsung S Action Bluetooth Mouse

I have a confession. I actually like using the iPad Mini.Oops.My second generation was originally procured for work, and it became an ever huger part of my process due to (then) superior WordPress app on iOS. Paired with a great keyboard combo, and one gets an effective makeshift netbook.One shortcoming, for my needs, is the inability to use a bluetooth mouse. When it’s all said and done, I like using bigger tablets like an aforementioned notebook — or more like a full-fledged computer — when the occasion calls for it, and reaching to touch the screen for navigation irks me more than I’d like to admit.--Tre Lawrence


Army Helicopter - Relief Cargo

Army Helicopter – Relief Cargo is a game that makes heroes out of players.It’s a simple game, really, so the lack of any pointers probably shouldn’t hurt it in the eyes of prospective players too much. The first scene runs right into it; one uses a truck to load a heavy duty chopper with gear, and there is a bit of skill required to direct the truck in there, what with virtual steering wheel, brakes, gas and gearbox. In addition, one has a time limit to contend with, so errors can be costly.The end game, at first, is to get the trucks in position. As this is the first level, it is easy enough. Next, one gets a bank of controls and a new task: get the helicopter from the home pad to a way point some distance away. This part is trickier, and the lack of instructions does jar a teeny bit, especially as this portion is timed as well, but it isn’t too hard to feel one’s way through it. If one makes it through in time, the next level is opened up, which is to offload the chopper. Quickly.--Tre Lawrence


Angry Birds 2

Angry Birds dropped on the mobile gaming scene and all but created a new genre of game. An entire generation of folks got lost in the infinite charm of bringing avian justice to wayward pigs.What followed the original is an entire stable of spin-offs and branded versions: Star Wars, Rio, Go! and more.Now, we get a “true” sequel to original blockbuster in Angry Birds 2. The pigs are just as insolent, the birds as, uh, angry and the game begs to be played.--Tre Lawrence

All this, plus news, game guides and even more reviews than we can share here!

This Week at 148Apps: August 3-7, 2015

Posted by Chris Kirby on August 12th, 2015

Amped Up for August With 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.


Prune

Prune is a beautifully minimal puzzle game in which players prune trees. For those unfamiliar with tree pruning, this mainly just involves players trimming branches off of a tree so that it grows in a very specific way. Despite not being terribly long, Prune's gorgeous look and novel gameplay make it definitely worth checking out. Players encounter the same basic setup for each individual stage across any of Prune's five chapters: they must grow a tree in a certain way in order to get enough flowers to blossom and to move on to the next. This starts off easily enough to introduce the basic mechanics, but soon there will be instances where the constant slashing of branches becomes necessary to avoid obstacles like buzzsaws and more ominous red orbs that work as a sort of poison for trees. --Campbell Bird


Koi - Journey of Purity

My first glimpse of Koi - Journey of Purity came from the trailer, and I immediately picked up a Flower vibe from it. I wasn’t wrong, either.Each level in Koi has you swimming around fairly large, almost maze-like bodies of water while trying to help flowers bloom - and the way you do this is by finding like-colored fish and guiding them to the right buds. Of course things quickly get more complicated when you have to clear paths by playing Simon-like mini-games, or avoid very large and aggressive fish. It’s all very pretty and quite interesting, but it’s not perfect. --Rob Rich


Farming Simulator 2016

It wasn’t until recently that I managed to dip a toe into the Farming Simulator waters - the Playstation 4 version of Farming Simulator 2015, specifically - but pretty much as soon as I did I could tell why it was such a beloved (and obviously niche) series. The bug bit me pretty hard, to the point where I was pretty excited to check out Farming Simulator 2016 for iOS. You begin the game with a couple of fields (one ready to harvest and another ready to sow), a harvester, a tractor, a few important tools to attach to that tractor, and a little bit of money. It’s up to you to turn all of that into a sprawling farm with over a dozen fields, multiple vehicles, and a somewhat ridiculous profit margin. It basically boils down to collecting crops, planting new crops, and selling crops to buy better stuff. --Rob Rich


Five Nights at Freddy's 4

Five Nights at Freddy’s 4 is an incredibly creepy, atmospheric, and downright terrifying game. Virtually every moment spent trying to survive each of its five nights (give or take a couple extras) is incredibly tense as you play cat-and-mouse with nightmarish renditions of the original cast - Bonnie, Chica, Foxy, and Freddy (plus one or two surprise guests). Problem is I’m actually talking about the PC version. The core of Five Nights at Freddy’s 4 is still the same on iOS. You’re still running back and forth between two bedroom doors, a closet, and a bed while trying to use your flashlight to drive away the horrific monsters that are stalking you. And you’ll still get grabbed if you don’t flashlight enough (or if you flashlight too soon). What’s disappointing is that the animations have been stripped down so much it’s practically like watching a slideshow. This doesn’t spoil the tension, but it does lessen it a fair bit. --Rob Rich


Angry Birds 2

It was inevitable that we’d see a true sequel to Angry Birds one day and, really, who could complain? There’s a reason why people love the franchise - it’s annoyingly compelling. There’s a lot of pressure on Angry Birds 2 to be just as great as the first time then and, well, it doesn’t quite do it. It’s still pretty great but some monetization decisions mean that you’re going to be quite frustrated at times. The key theme of Angry Birds 2 remains the same. You’re still flinging birds at structures containing pigs. I’ve forgotten by this point why the two sides hate each other so much but who really cares? This time round, each level is made up of multiple sections and structures, meaning it’s a meatier affair, as well as looks positively gorgeous. Also, you won’t be able to look up guides to figure things out, as each time you hit ‘retry’, the layout changes around. --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


K300 Premium 4K 3-Port HDMI Switch

Yep, it’s a wireless world.Nothing really beats the convenience of hooking up a mobile source to a bigger target and being able to stream and consume content. It’s just awesome.
I’m old school though, in that I still appreciate the fidelity of wired connections. No muss, no fuss. No need for wi-fi (as is necessary in some wireless connectivity set-ups). HDMI connections are especially noted; these are universal standards, and have the ability to provide input options for a veritable host of peripherals, from smartdevices to whole computers and everything in-between. And, if truth be told (and being the gadget collecting generation that we are), TV manufacturers, for instance, may need to start allocating most of the back panel space to more and more — and more — HDMI input space.--Tre Lawrence


Deadlock: Online

Folks play mobile games for a variety of reasons.Hang time with the friends. Bragging rights with family. Down time at school. Reviewing apps for a living (hello!).One thing is for sure, we all come upon those days when taking on a game like Deadlock: Online is needed by of stress relief, and maybe even profound enjoyment beyond that.It opens up easily enough, and feels like virtual battle of attrition; the player mans a combatant in an urban landscape, and the basic premise is to knock out your enemies and stay alive. To achieve this feel, the developer uses a top-down perspective. The control system is dual in nature, and, as noted, involved moving around and shooting enemy fighters.--Tre Lawrence


Bracketron Mi-T Grip Smartphone Mount

When it comes to mobile accessories, few names resonate like Bracketron; its Mi-T Grip Smartphone Mount is just the type of tool one would love to add to one’s accessory arsenal.The review unit that Bracketron sent highlights the product in retail form; getting it out of the packet unveils the two pieces that make up the mount: a ball joint fused with suction-sticky attachment surface, and then an adjustable clip that fits intuitively onto the ball joint with the help of a tightening screw. When the latter is snapped onto the former, one gets a homogeneous solution, made of hard plastic and coming in all black. It is almost diminutive and feels solidly built.--Tre Lawrence

All this, plus news, game guides and even more reviews than we can share here!

This Week at 148Apps: July 27-31, 2015

Posted by Chris Kirby on August 3rd, 2015

Winding Down July With 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.


NINE

NINE is an appealing and convenient twist on the typical To-Do list format. Focused on providing visual reminders rather than text based ones, you simply snap a photo of something then tag it and you have an instant reminder to do or buy something. It’s a nice idea.Much of NINE’s convenience comes from its flexibility. Rather than being tied into dull lists reminding you of what you need to do, you can use it to remember things you want to buy come pay day, or simply as a visual list of things/people you love. Recipe ideas can be formulated through taking snaps of foo that inspires you. It’s all pretty varied in terms of what can be accomplished. --Jennifer Allen


To-Fu Fury

Somehow making an incredibly boring kind of food fun, To-Fu Fury isn’t the most original of physics puzzle games, but it is solidly dependable. You control a sentient piece of Tofu as he has to leap around various platforms, dodging spikes, collecting gems, and even fending off aggressive enemies. Each level is relatively brief but it’s quite challenging. You can drag the Tofu around, fling it across the screen in an Angry Birds style manner, or you can crawl along the ground with a pinch of two fingers. Various challenges arise, such as the need to carefully get around spikes, learn to ricochet off metal plates, and also negotiate tricky moving platforms. --Jennifer Allen


Baffles Classic Puzzles

Baffles Classic Puzzles reminds me a little of the puzzle books that my parents would give to me on a long journey to keep me busy. They’d be simple-looking logic puzzles but often they’d take a while to figure out. This game is just full of those, and that’s a good thing. Offering 76 puzzles in all, with a further 24 coming soon, there’s no shortage of challenge here. Each puzzle is offered to you with a description of what needs to be accomplished, along with some historical context, explaining the origins of the puzzle. Baffles Classic Puzzles takes its inspiration from many different eras, including ancient Rome and China. --Jennifer Allen


In Churning Seas

In Churning Seas is a physics-based puzzler in which players attempt to assemble randomly-shaped crags into an island that successfully persists above a constantly rising sea level. The difficulty in making high quality physics-based puzzle games is in balancing the inherent challenge of the mechanics and tools with the physics. In Churning Seas makes an interesting, though perhaps not entirely successful, attempt at striking this balance while providing a really excellent atmosphere and general aesthetic.Controlling In Churning Seas is easy enough. At the start of any game players have a randmoized base island to start from, a rising sea below, and random shapes appearing above for them to tap to drop into their desired place. The goal is to piece together enough shapes and have them hold together long enough to reach new heights. Along the way players may hit a specific height goal, which provides the benefit of locking the other pieces in place to create a more stable structure to continue building off of. In the event that players need some stability when a height goal is out of reach, they can double-tap a limited amount of blocks to lock them in place as well. --Campbell Bird


Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers 20th Anniversary Edition

There’s a reasonable argument against the need for HD remakes as it is. Do we really need to return to so many old games, all for the sake of some shinier graphics? Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers 20th Anniversary Edition really reinforces that concept by somehow disrupting some of the key visual and audio flourishes of the original. Throw in the fact that the game is often quite obtuse, and the past doesn’t seem so great any more. The foundations are pretty solid, at least. Ritualistic killings are occurring in New Orleans, and it’s down to struggling author, Gabriel Knight, to figure things out. True Detective fans are going to like this. At least they will until they realise that Gabriel is a fairly obnoxious womaniser. Arrogance is fair enough at times, but this character takes it too far. --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


inStream SeptimusB 7 Port USB Charging Station

As we like to say, more mobile devices, more problems… power problems to be specific. Even as batteries get better, there is always a need to keep our power units powered.Yeah, one can plug in a charging peripheral to every outlet at work or at home, but then, one needs to walk all over the place to retrieve them. It’s just better to have all of them in one place, especially for those of us with a healthy helping of OCD.And then, here comes the wordy inStream SeptimusB 7 Port USB Charging Station.Alrighty.--Tre Lawrence


Zero Punctuation: Hatfall

If one must know, Zero Punctuation: Hatfall is a story of loss and redemption. Sometimes, folks get really attached to headgear, and this game tells the tale of a dude driven mad by loss.Oh dear.At first glance, one might be a bit dazzled by the sharp yellow background; we don’t get a lot of colors, but that is okay, as the game works with the color contrasts within. Visually, it works.--Tre Lawrence


NU2S Smartphone

There are many reasons folks dabble into Android.Love of the OS, appreciation for the extended Google ecosystem… even a hyper anti-Apple sentiment get cited as reasons. Critically, one can enjoy the diversity of product as well as as apps availability across carriers.One element that increasingly becomes part of the device ownership narrative is price; the ability to get a device at just about any price point is, well, priceless. And, to be fair, we are not talking about just anything at any price; we expect quality, even when we pay what might be considered a good price for an Android smartphone. Now, obviously, the ability to have OEMs battle to bring the best devices to market at the lowest cost is a function of the Android landscape, but we’re not complaining.--Tre Lawrence

All this, plus news, game guides and even more reviews than we can share here!

This Week at 148Apps: July 20-24, 2015

Posted by Chris Kirby on July 28th, 2015

July is Heating Up With 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.


Cally's Caves 3

Cally's Caves 3 is a free-to-play platformer inspired by games like Metriod and Castlevaniawhere players take control of Cally as she tries to rescue her parents from the Nefarious Herbert. From a content perspective there's a lot to like about this entry in the Cally's Caves series, even without making any in-app purchases. Although it feels like a bit of a hamstrung version of Castlevania, it's still pretty enjoyable and challenging.Cally's Caves 3 starts with a very straightfoward intro in which Herbert takes Cally's family (again), and from there it's up to players to jump, shoot, and melee their way through stages to get ever closer to rescuing them. Like the previous titles, Cally's Caves 3 is controlled using on-screen buttons that work just fine, though they can occasionally obscure the action or be hard to hit.--Campbell Bird


Dexter: Hidden Darkness

If you’ve played games such as Criminal Case or CSI: Hidden Crimes, you’ve played Dexter: Hidden Darkness. It’s effectively a reskin of these titles. As any Hidden Object gaming enthusiast will be able to tell you though, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.What works so well for these games are their trickle feeding of content. No one really wants to spend hours seeking out objects. These games are made for short sessions and accomplishing something in that brief period of time. Dexter: Hidden Darkness scratches that casual gaming itch as well as the others within the field. --Jennifer Allen


Crayola DJ

Music creation is a lot of fun and an ideal way for your children to express themselves, but all too often it can be a little tricky to do well. Crayola DJ circumvents any such difficulties, being the kind of DJing app that you can learn within a couple of minutes. It’s great fun, too. You’re presented with two turntables and a variety of different options. You can add tracks covering various different genres, such as dance, pop, hip hop, and fusion, before manipulating their tempo and prominence within the track. --Jennifer Allen


Age of Empires: Castle Siege

I’ve got a friend who regularly asks me if there are any games quite like the majesty of the Age of Empires series. Every time, I can refer him to something that’s a little like it but not quite up to par. Every time, we both feel a little disappointed, remembering just how wonderful those games were once upon a time. Age of Empires: Castle Siege might have the name and the license, but it’s no replacement for those great titles. Instead, Age of Empires: Castle Siege is a Clash of Clans style take on the popular RTS. Feel free to sigh at any time. It’s not a bad freemium strategy game but it will disappoint those wanting the full Age of Empires experience. --Jennifer Allen


nvNotes

Given its price tag, no one could blame you for expecting nvNotes to be a bit more garish or a bit more ‘in your face’ when it comes to showing off why it’s worth $9.99. In reality though, its strength lay in its understated wonder. It’s a note taking app that offers you exactly what you could want in a clear and concise manner. For those who regularly take notes on their iOS device, it’ll soon be an essential tool.A quick tutorial guides you through the paces, but it’s all pretty intuitive. Hit the pencil icon to create a new note then get typing. You can choose to just type in plain text or you can start applying things such as bold or underline, all through the markdown options available. nvNotes also offers an URL scheme, saving you effort and adding a form of hyperlinking to the mix. It’s not needed for some users, but it’s handy that it’s there.--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


Nebulous

So, what is up with Nebulous?It’s all about cell-eating; the player gets to control a circular blob in an amorphous area that has blobs of different sizes that float around. Now it seems each blob, including the player’s, have an insatiable need to consume stuff, in this case smaller blobs. So, using the virtual controller at the bottom right, one can guide one’s blob through the black landscape.As noted, the basic concept is to absorb smaller blobs; this is done by contact. At first, it might take a bit to cotton to the virtual control, because one’s small blob is pretty jumpy, and not so easy to control. In any case, as one picks up smaller organisms, one’s own blob starts to get bigger and bigger, and, for me, easier to move around adeptly.--Tre Lawrence


Mission Impossible RogueNation

Now, now… before you get mad and start ranting at the proliferation of endless sequels to action movies — Terminator, Rocky, Die Hard, and yes, Mission Impossible — remember one thing: in today’s age, we tend to get at least one possibly great byproduct in companion games.They tend to be simple, and may or may not follow the franchise canon very closely. In any case, such games can be fun to get into, even for casual fans of said movies.Hopefully, such is the case with Mission Impossible RogueNation… a Glu joint.--Tre Lawrence


Arkon Universal Tablet Headrest Mount

Summertime is travel time for my family. We love going places, and almost always enjoy ourselves.Still, it’s the going that can be troublesome. Boredom is young person’s kryptonite, and backseat bickering is mine. Thus, for all concerned, having mobile technology is such a blessing, and the Arkon Universal Tablet Headrest Mount helps harness that blessing.The review package arrived in clear cellophane, just as it does in retail form; it contained 6 pieces, and involved a lit bit of onsite prep t get together. I wasn’t a fan of the diagrams, but to be fair, I was able to cobble it together in an intuitive manner. When set to go, it uses the 2-post system available on the headrest of most cars to attach itself, and then physically extends towards the middle, such that the tablet is held in a central position mostly between the two front seats. It works great for two heads, but can be effective with three in our hands-on testing.--Tre Lawrence

All this, plus news, game guides and even more reviews than we can share here!

This Week at 148Apps: July 13-17, 2015

Posted by Chris Kirby on July 20th, 2015

July is Heating Up With 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.


Heroki

It’s the visuals of Heroki that will first catch your attention - it’s really quite gorgeous. Its palette is as attractive as many of Sega’s past console hits, immediately capturing the imagination. Fortunately, Heroki isn’t all looks either, being a fairly entertaining action adventure game. While the control methods are never quite perfect, no matter what you settle on, it’s still endearing stuff. Your aim is to save the world from the dastardly Dr N. Forchin. It’s the kind of story that’s been around as long as gaming, so I wouldn’t dwell on it too much. While owing much to platformers in terms of design, Heroki is more about flying than anything. --Jennifer Allen


Infection: Humanity's Last Gasp

Infection: Humanity’s Last Gasp is a digital port of a solitaire board game from Victory Point Games and designer John Gibson that puts you in charge of what is essentially the CDC and tasks you with stopping the end of the world. No pressure, right? I’ve been a pretty big fan of the physical game ever since I first got my hands on it last year. It’s a very brutal and surprisingly intense puzzle that will punish mistakes like spreading your proteins too thin or wasting all of your funding on lab equipment you never use in short order. It’s not so difficult if you have enough time to study the virus and prepare a vaccine, but you won’t have time. You never have enough time. Because the virus can and will spread, eventually wiping out all human life if you can’t stop it fast enough. --Rob Rich


Alphabear

Where so many word games are fun but a little soulless, Alphabear crams in plenty of personality thanks to its focus on teddy bears. It’s an unusual mixture of things, but it works really well for Alphabear. Throw in some varied rulesets and you’ve got a word game that’s going to keep you hooked for quite some time.It seems simple enough. You spell words from a selection of letter tiles on a grid. Each tile starts out with a number that gradually ticks down for each turn that you don’t use it. Once that number hits zero, the tile turns to stone and you can’t use it any more. It also blocks your bears because, oh yeah, bears grow bigger on this grid. For every time you use letters next to a bear, that animal grows a little bigger and so forth. The bigger the bear, the more points you earn. The more points, the more likely you are to gain a new bear with additional powers.--Jennifer Allen


This War of Mine

Due to hardware limitations that eventually gave way to time limitations, I was never able to dip more than a toe into This War of Mine’s murky waters. Just enough to know it’s not the sort of thing you play if you want to feel happy. That’s changed now that I can play it on the iPad.
I was right: it’s not happy. But it is impressive. Unlike most other war-themed games out there (on any platform), This War of Mine covers the horrors of mass conflict from the perspective of the civilians who spend their days cowering in abandoned houses - or get caught in the crossfire. It’s about as pleasant as “Grave of the Fireflies.” But that’s what makes it so compelling. --Rob Rich


FilterBaker

FilterBaker is a photo filtering app with a difference. Rather than offering a series of instant results, it gives you plenty of options to manipulate things exactly how you want them, before allowing you to save your own filter options. It’s pretty useful.Each step of the way is clearly laid out. You can apply a form of photo filter initially before adjusting brightness, contrast, and saturation. You can then move onto more complex tweaks, such as the shadows and highlights, RGB color distribution, and sharpening. By the end, you can have completely transformed your picture. More importantly, it won’t look like you’ve put it through the same process as everyone else as FilterBaker is more individual.--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


MyScript Stylus

We’ve been working on write ups pertaining to smartpens, and looking at what they bring to the mobile productivity table. For the most part, we’ve found them to be great tools, but only as good as the add-ons that allow them to be harnessed by the platforms they are being used on.One of the names that continually cropped up during reviews and research was MyScript. MyScript is a name that should resonate with smartpen users; it powers a lot of the image recognition software that some smartpen device makers bundle with their products. The premise is fairly simple: one “writes” with a stylus (or finger) on compatible surfaces with compatible peripherals, and MyScript helps translate the script to formal text.--Tre Lawrence


TYLY RIBBN

As our use of mobile devices increases, so does the need to keep them powered. Portable chargers do the the trick, but one key concept is the ability to charge in vehicles.TYLT has established a name in the power accessory segment, and with good reason. The units it puts out tend to straddle the fence between form and function quite admirably; it’s nice to have a piece that looks good, and, well, works. We recently had an opportunity to review its RIBBN 4.8A Car Charger.We didn’t hesitate.--Tre Lawrence

All this, plus news, game guides and even more reviews than we can share here!

This Week at 148Apps:June 22-26, 2015

Posted by Chris Kirby on June 29th, 2015

June's Summer Journey Continues With 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.


LightRunner Armband

The LightRunner armband is about what you’d expect from a typical armband meant for running - at least I think, but I’m hardly an expert on running equipment - but it does offer a couple of useful features that could give it an edge. Mostly because of how it uses a protective layer to guard your iPhone or iPod from scratches while still letting you use the touch screen, and because it can light up to make nighttime jogs a bit safer. It’s a pretty well-constructed band that keeps your device secure while also allowing access to the headphone jack if you need it. I feel it’s a bit on the bulky side, but seeing as it’s meant to fit 11 different kinds of smartphones (from the iPhone 5 to the Moto X) I’m not sure there’s much they could’ve trimmed off. It might take some getting used to, but it works. --Rob Rich


Fallout Shelter

In preparation for Fallout 4's release this fall, Bethesda announced thatr they had also been working on a mobile title named Fallout Shelter. It's largely a management tapper like Tiny Tower, though it feels distinctly more like a Fallout wasteland scenario and less like a knockoff free-to-play experience. Fallout Shelter may not be for everyone, and it may seem like it misses a few opportunities, but it's a very interesting experience.Fallout Shelter lets players see what it would be like to be the overseer of a vault in the Fallout universe. Essentially this just means they're in charge of building a vault that provides safety and happiness for the dwellers within it. Much like Tiny Tower, players can expect to build additional rooms, match dwellers with jobs that make them happy, and collect resources.--Campbell Bird


Papaly Bookmark Manager

On the surface, Papaly Bookmark Manager sounds like something that isn’t really needed in a world of Instapaper and Pocket. In reality, it’s a very different kind of thing.It’s a way of organizing your links, but it also means that you can easily share them, according to subject, with other users. In that respect, it’s almost like a community. You can opt to simply import your links from social media and keep them safe, but you can also view many other selections. There’s a category devoted to gaming sites, for instance, as well as news sources.--Jennifer Allen


Her Story

At first glance, Her Story doesn't seem like much. It emulates the look and feel of seaching a police database from 1994 on an old Windows desktop - down to the horror of that teal background and ugly interface. There are only six things to click on and no real action to speak of. And yet, there is something strikingly compelling about it all. Sam Barlow, creator of Silent Hill: Shattered Memories and Aisle, has brought his storytelling expertise to this interactive narrative. The entire game revolves around searching through clips of several videos of the police speaking with someone named Hannah Smith. --Jessica Fisher


Piloteer

I had my first experience with Whitaker Trebella’s Piloteer several months ago during GDC, and my opinion hasn’t changed much (read: at all) since then. It’s still super-awkward to control, it’s still incredibly difficult, and it’s still ridiculously fun.You control a nameless (but you get to name her so I guess she’s technically not nameless) inventor who’s just made the world’s first jetpack. Since she presumably doesn’t have the same knack for PR as she does for tinkering, she’s going to have to pull off some impressive stunts in order to convince the rest of the world that she’s on to something. This is, of course, much easier said than done. --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


EA Sports UFC

If anyone should try to tackle a sports sim, it should be EA Sports. And tackle fighting it did with EA SPORTS UFC.Somehow, the tutorial is quite enjoyable on it’s own. It’s of the hands-on variety, so one is able to learn while doing with visual cues that help folks to understand the control system — which incorporates gestures and swipes to control the basics. With said tutorial we see attacks and special attacks, defensive maneuvers, take-downs and even submissions. The controls require dexterity and a keen eye, as there are times a very precise tap is needed. The teaching tool also doesn’t clear until one is able to execute the moves proficiently.--Tre Lawrence


Spider Square

We did wonder just what Spider Square is all about. What better way to find out than to, well, play it?Graphically, it looks like a basic affair; the game uses bright splotches of pastels, and is presented in 2D form. The animations are crisp, and as we see when we get into the action, the colors do frame the gameplay quite well.When we say “simple” with regards to the gameplay, we mean just that. The idea is so easy to grasp, the game barely needs a formal tutorial. It’s an arcade game that is delightfully cloaked as a platformer. The action “moves” from left to right, and the main concept is to get a square, uh, spider(?) to keep moving rightwards (forward) for as long as possible. The main tool is a rope, and the cube moves by swinging from said rope attached to the roof of the playing area. The kicker is that the cube can’t touch the floor or ceiling.--Tre Lawrence


Alphabetty Saga

Yes, Alphabetty Saga is a word game, but clearly wants folks to know it is more than simply that; it packs in elements across the board, from Scrabble, word search, matching, and even a lit bit of Tetris-y gravity play… and then some. It does a lot, which helps it come out the gate strong.At first glance, it’s easy to see developer King’s handprint on the visuals. The game employs bright colors and graphics that lean towards the whimsical without necessarily stumbling into the cartoonish. As a word game, it relies heavily on tiles, but the developer isn’t so jaded as to forget splashing character into the background. It’s a vivid presentation, and it mostly works in the plying area, which usually consists of random word tiles.--Tre Lawrence

All this, plus news, game guides and even more reviews than we can share here!

LightRunner Armband Hardware Review

By Rob Rich on June 22nd, 2015
The Griffin LightRunner armband is a handy and safe way to store your iPhone or iPod while running at night.
Read The Full Review »

This Week at 148Apps: June 8-12

Posted by Chris Kirby on June 15th, 2015

Jump Into June With 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.


RPG Clicker

There’s been a prevalence of one-tap RPGs, and RPG Clicker is one of the more recent entries. It’s a lot like all the others, albeit with a slightly more involved equipment system, but you’ll still find yourself drawn in against your better judgement.You tap on the screen in order to inflict damage upon your enemies. Keep at it and eventually they die, you gain a bit of experience, and the process repeats all over again. Every now and then, you come across a treasure chest which offers up a handy piece of equipment to boost your abilities. You also earn gold for every kill. This gold can be used to upgrade your abilities, your weapon, spells, and also unlock new areas. --Jennifer Allen


Insight Guides Phrasebook

You’re going to need to pay up to glean the real benefits of Insight Guides Phrasebooks, but that doesn’t make the free app a complete waste of time by any means.Designed to get you set up with the basics for a simple vacation, Insight Guides Phrasebooks isn’t going to help you become fluent in any language but it will help you with how to ask for directions. -Jennifer Allen


Blades of Brim

While I have to admit that games like Blades of Brim seem to be almost as prolific as match-3 puzzlers and Threes! clones, it actually feels like progress rather than more of the same. It might just be the game that gets me back into endless runners (that aren’t Canabalt).Blades of Brim is a third-person (i.e. over-the-shoulder) endless runner that plays much like you’d expect on the surface. Swiping left or right makes the runner move to that lane, while swiping up will jump. What’s different is how all of these moves also incorporate attacks that can be chained together. Plus you can pull of some rather fancy moves, regardless. --Rob Rich


Sago Mini Boats

Continuing the sandbox/playbox style theme that’s worked so well for the Sago Mini games in the past, Sago Mini Boats is sure to be fun for your little ones. It’s a little overly sensitive at times with its controls, but you can pretty much forgive it thanks to some overwhelming cuteness. You control Harvey the dog, as he sets sail for fun and adventure. You can choose the destination, as well as the kind of boat you control. The latter is particularly colorful with plenty of options for variety. You can opt to manipulate a banana boat or a more conventional tugboat. Even a shark or pirate ship can be controlled too. In each case, movement is much the same. You can either hold your finger to the side of the screen or drag the boat around, throwing it into the air if you want. --Jennifer Allen


Radical Rappelling

The first mobile game that ever truly grabbed me was Halfbrick's Jetpack Joyride. Although the endless runner has been done to death, there are just enough things about that game that would draw me back in for "one more run." Radical Rappelling is their latest spin on the genre, and I'm finding myself similarly grabbed by it. With a high level of polish, tons of unlockables, and a unique approach, Radical Rappelling is definitely my new go-to quick game on my phone. When players first boot up Radical Rappelling, they will likely notice two big features that aren't usually present in runners. First, it's played in portrait mode characters are rappelling down a cliff side. Second, the characters don't move automatically but instead jump on their own while players must tap the screen to start sliding down. These differences are pretty fundamental mix-ups to the standard runner and make Radical Rappelling feel fresh from the get go. --Campbell Bird


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


Neo Smartpen N2

An opportunity to check out the Neo Smartpen N2? Yes, please…It looks sleek, but still retains a professional feel. In a meeting of executive ballpoint pens, the N2 wouldn’t look too out of place. It has a dark finish, is angled but still faintly cylindrical and almost pyramidal; with the cover off, it tapers to the writing end. There is a power button and a color LED towards the “bottom” of the pen, and at the very end portion, there is a micro-USB charging port.--Tre Lawrence


Outside World

Fans of simple puzzles should enjoy Outside World.For those keen on backstory, the one here is simple: the play controls our protagonist, Kyrsten, who is on a quest to find her way home. At the onset, she hooks up with a spirit entity called Jaynie who is willing to help her on this journey.There… the journey begins.--Tre Lawrence


PowerIt Multipurpose Charging Kit

As always, I am a huge fan of measured convergence. I’ve said it before and will say it again: give me a combo device, as long as it does multiple things well.This is especially true of portable battery packs. One stays in the go-bag whenever I am out; but what if that unit can charge multiple batteries, add something useful like a flashlight, and… oh… say… jump a dead car battery?Ah. Maybe the PowerIt Jump Start Kit?--Tre Lawrence

All this, plus news, previews, game guides and even more reviews than we can share here!

The Misfit Shine is Getting a New Limited Edition Accessory - the EKOCYCLE

Posted by Rob Rich on May 19th, 2015
iPhone & Apple Watch App - Designed for iPhone and Apple Watch, compatible with iPad
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: :: Read Review »

The Misfit Shine Activity Tracker is a cute little fitness tracker that can be worn in a number of ways thanks the the assortment of accessories you can attach it to. And now a new limited edition option is available, called the EKOCYCLE Field Band.

This Week at 148Apps: April 27-May 1, 2015

Posted by Chris Kirby on May 5th, 2015

May Merriment at 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.


Spy_Watch

Don’t you hate it when you’re off doing your own thing, minding your own business, then you get a message out of the blue from someone claiming to have known your father and that he used to run a spy agency? And don’t you hate it when you suddenly have to take over this randomly inherited spy agency? Stupid random obligations.That’s the general idea behind Spy_Watch. An agency your father used to run has been torn apart from the inside, and the only person left is a lone analyst with aspirations of becoming a field agent. You’ll have to train them in the arts of stealth, combat, and charm, while also sending them on missions to earn more money for more training. All in the name of completing missions that help you figure out who destroyed the agency and why.--Rob Rich


Disconnect

Have you ever wondered how much information is transmitted when you go to a new website? Wanted to know exactly what’s being tracked and where the unsecured connections are? If you can answer yes to any of that, then Disconnect might just be your kind of thing. It goes even further if you’re willing to pay a subscription fee, too. The free version of Disconnect offers you a way in which to search for various things or go on specific websites, without being tracked. Starting out, you can simply type in a search and find a website that way, or you can opt to go directly to the site. In both cases, everything is done anonymously with your searches hidden away. Once you go onto a site, you can tap on a seeing eye icon and more details are offered. --Jennifer Allen


My Little Pony-Cutie Mark Chronicles

Young children are fairly certain to enjoy the colorful and vibrant nature of My Little Pony - Cutie Mark Chronicles. A mixture of storytelling and simple mini-games, the latter might prove to be slightly tricky in places, but it’s all fairly heartwarming stuff.It tells the story of how six ponies, including Rainbow Dash, Fluttershy, and Applejack, came to discover their own unique talents and benefited from a Cutie Mark highlighting what they can do. To you and me, that’s a cute icon on their back such as apples or balloons. Each tale is fairly good at dispensing morals while also reminding kids that everyone has their own talent somewhere. You listen and read through the words with a quick drag taking you to the next page.--Jennifer Allen


Jurassic World: The Game

You’d be forgiven for mistaking Jurassic World: The Game for Jurassic Park Builder at first glance. Both games involve building or re-building a dinosaur theme park, and both are laden with extinct animals. Aside from general similarities though, this isn’t just a re-skinning meant to capitalize on an upcoming film release. I mean of course it’s supposed to capitalize on the film, but… I’ll just stop myself here. Much has been streamlined this time around. You still have to hatch dinosaurs and clear away the overgrown portions of Isla Nublar, but you won’t also have to spend time and resources removing rocks and other debris after you’ve already cleared an area. You also don’t have to worry about juggling two separate types of food for your critters - this time there’s just one food source that covers both herbivores and carnivores (this is a lot more awesome than it sounds). --Rob Rich


Forgotten Memories

Forgotten Memories is a good survival horror game on the wrong format. It’s creepier and more atmospheric than Lost Within, as well as a lot tougher, but it suffers due to its uncomfortable combat and an old-fashioned save system that struggles on mobile. There’s the almost formulaic setting of a woman waking up in a strange place and attempting to piece together what’s going on. While it could feel cliched, you’re too busy being unnerved by mannequins and encountering strange people to think too much about it. Often, Forgotten Memories feels more like an adventure game than regular survival horror, with plenty of exploration and doors to unlock. There are puzzles too, keeping you involved in all its goings on. Lighting is frequently restricted with a flashlight/torch that offers limited battery life and requires you to wait to recharge at certain points. It adds to the atmosphere well, proving quite unsettling at times. In particular, who wants to sneak around amongst a bunch of mannequins? You’ll be consistently nervous and rightly so. --Jennifer Allen


Cube Koala

Cube Koala is one of those puzzle games that's almost too easy to understand, but somehow takes its simple concepts and creates nightmarishly difficult levels around them. Games that have similar design philosophies include Super Meat Boyand Escape from the Pyramid. Make no mistake though,Cube Koalais not just an also-ran in this category of super-difficult games. It's remarkable because of how pure and intense its brand of difficulty and level design is.So, how simple is it to play Cube Koala? Players control the cube-shaped Koala through the use of only two buttons. One of these buttons rotates the game environment 45 degrees clockwise, while the other button does the reverse. As a koala trapped in a tesseract full of traps that include spikes, fireballs, and other deadly traps, players must use the force of gravity to flip the koala and reach the exit door. --Campbell Bird


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


Kingston USB 3.0 High-Speed Media Reader

It’s a tough life. I’ve whined about the first world problem of having to keep up with too many devices. Review units, old retro devices, rooting toys… they add up. When it comes to review units, I’m loathe to use my personal cloud networks with them, so I tend to do data transfer locally via flash storage. It’s easy to, say, take a picture via an SD card and move the SD card to a new device. Yes, there are more efficient ways to do this, but stubborn people think differently.--Tre Lawrence


Newer Technology Power2U AC 20A Outlet

I have a problem.Come to my house, and you can see the manifestation. It isn’t always my fault. Blame the device makers for sending devices to review. Or my need to tinker with retro devices (trying to get my T5 to tether to an M8 is a worthy endeavor); Probably has at least a little bit to do with the fact that full-powered devices give me a high. In any case, when it’s all said and done, one issue inevitably arises.So many devices, so little time. --Tre Lawrence


Crayola Trace & Draw

In a world gone electronically amok, it is refreshing to see accessories aimed at kids… the type of gear that harnesses the power of mobile electronics in relatively atypical ways. Back in the day, we could have jamborees with some charcoal and paper.It feels like the Crayola Trace & Draw is a system that hearkens back to those days, while being firmly planted in the present.--Tre Lawrence

All this, plus our hands-on experience with The Knights of Pen & Paper 2nd Edition.

Here's Another Roundup of Notable Apple Watch Apps and Games

Posted by Rob Rich on April 27th, 2015

Now that the Apple Watch is publically available (kind of), even more apps and games have been popping up for it. Some of them are updates to existing software, others are brand new. The main thing is that they're all for the Apple Watch, and if you're looking to expand the wearable's library then we've got a list for you. Our previous list is also available for perusal right here.




Apps


8 : Sticker Messenger

By SHAPE GmbH

App Store Description:

"8 is made for a fast and intuitive Watch-centric chat.Invite your friends to chat by email or user name.Drag and drop your free stickers with 8.And if stickers are not enough, add some text.Endless communication, infinite as 8's shape.

We made 8 with love, stay tuned for new stickers and features!"

This Week at 148Apps: March 30-April 3, 2015

Posted by Chris Kirby on April 6th, 2015

The Apps of April

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.


Vietnam...'65

Vietnam…’65 isn’t like a lot of other strategy games out there. It’s more like a board game if anything, with its turn-based movement being much more than just a way of slowing down combat. Channeling its PC roots, it’s a pretty lengthy game to play on the iPad, which could be a deciding factor on whether it suits your needs or not. There’s no campaign mode to speak of which is a significant misfire. Instead, you dive into a randomly designed level each time, working towards unlocks and new ranks, rather than seeing a story unfold. Levels start to look quite similar after a time, with each stage easily taking over an hour to complete. Vietnam…’65 isn’t for those wanting a quick fix. --Jennifer Allen


Tiny Dangerous Dungeons

Gamers who grew up in the late 80s and early 90s will confidently state that their first taste of portable gaming came from the Nintendo Game Boy. It was a great system at the time and some of its games have remained highly entertaining. If you’re as nostalgic for the time as I am, the style of Tiny Dangerous Dungeons is really going to tickle you. It looks just like a title from that era, and it plays pretty well, too. It’s a Metroidvania inspired adventure at heart. You play an adventurer as he explores a dungeon, discovering new abilities, and backtracking quite a bit, all in a bid to reach the exit. Relatively early on, you’ll come across a map that highlights everywhere you can go. It seems a little restrictive and small but like any classic Metroid-eque title, there’s a lot of backtracking. --Jennifer Allen


UAG Folio Case

At first glance, it looks a tough, complex cookie. Upon closer inspection, it's clear that at least one of those adjectives holds true. In hand, the empty UAG Folio Case looks like it means serious business. It opens up as a folio usually does - much like a book cover - but it also has an extra trick up its sleeve in that the front cover doubles-up and wraps around in such way that that the back cover can be flipped up and out. It creates a pseudo-three-layered setup, which is perfect for the secondary purpose: creaing a back support so that the tablet can be used upright in landscape. The composite material that most of the case is covered in looks a bit like kevlar, with tough stitching melding pieces together. The inner lining of the front cover comes in soft black felt - perfect for the screen it will be in contact with - and the front cover also incorporates a strap. Altogether, it exudes a sense of being heavy duty but is still quite light. --Tre Lawrence


DuckTales Remastered

I’m not going to lie, I flipped out a little when I first saw that teaser for DuckTales Remastered back in 2013. The NES version of DuckTales has been close to the top of my nostalgia list for many, many years - right up there with Mega Man 2 and Elevator Action to name a couple - so seeing it get a high definition remaster was pretty amazing.But that was about two years ago. By now the shock of the new has worn off, and we’re left with trying to figure out whether or not DuckTales Remastered is a worthwhile iOS port. It kind of is, but it’s got a little bit of a control issue. --Rob Rich


Layout

If you’ve never used a collage making app before, then Layout will probably seem pretty useful to you. Unfortunately, anyone with a passing interest in collage creation probably already has a superior photo editing tool on hand. While Layout is easy to use, it’s also pretty basic.The simplicity involved in using Layout is pretty great. A matter of choosing up to 9 photos before picking out one of many layouts that might look good for your chosen images, there’s not really much more you need to do. In terms of speediness, Layout is unmatched. You can choose to move photos around by simply holding and dragging, or pinching to zoom in and out. There are also options to mirror an image, replace one, or flip them around.--Jennifer Allen


SMART Adventures Mission Math 1

It’s a depressing fact that girls are all too often put off studying science and mathematical based subjects because, well, there’s a whole wealth of debate as to why. Regardless of why you might feel that’s the case, SMART Adventures Mission Math 1 is an excellent game to entice your young children, daughters in particular, into enjoying such subjects again. Working much like a conventional adventure game, you have to figure out why your home, a space station, has been sabotaged as well as fix its various problems. This is done through completing a series of mathematical based problems, as well as exploring the space station to find out more. It’s simply done but with such a story based focus, it’s immediately more interesting than merely going from puzzle to puzzle. --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


Nova Blox External Battery

The Juno Power Nova Blox External Battery is a mobile option that looks to give extended life to our mobile devices.It’s a relatively small piece, mostly silver with deliberate black accents. It has a button on the side, with a micro-USB charging port and what looks to be a prominent LED light on one end, and on the opposite end, there is a USB outlet port. Officially, it comes in at 2.87 x 2.01 x 0.83 inches, and weighs 4.65 ounces. Overall, it is barely bigger than a box of tic tacs, which makes it quite portable and even fairly pocketable. The retail package also provides a micro-USB cable (which can be used to charge the unit and also as an output cable) as well as documentation. We got the silver, and there are other trim options.--Tre Lawrence


INSTEON Home Remote Control

We’ve said it so much that it has to be true: The Connected Home isn’t the future. It is definitely the present, and the smartphone is the new control panel. INSTEON is front and center in this area, and we were eager to check out its customizable solutions.The Starter Kit INSTEON sent us to review contains some of the elements that connect one’s home; the retail packaging contains the INSTEON Hub and two on/off modules. The former serves as the brain of the system, while the latter serve as elements that help effect control.--Tre Lawrence


Nyrius Songo HiFi Wireless Music Receiver

Understanding what the Nyrius purports to do is the key to understanding the proposed functionality; it works as a wireless receiver that collects signals from a Bluetooth source — like an Android device — and allows the audio to be played on a sound system that accepts wired signal from the puck itself. In essence, it bridges a Bluetooth source to an output unit (like a stereo or sound system without a Bluetooth chip) so that, say, music can be played. This is especially useful when one wants to continue using traditional devices, or even for folks like me, who prefer wired connections but like or need to go wireless for one reason or another.--Tre Lawrence

UAG Folio Case Review

By Tre Lawrence on April 2nd, 2015
A potent combination of form and function.
Read The Full Review »

How the Apple Watch Could Change the Face (har-har) of iOS

Posted by Rob Rich on March 31st, 2015

The Apple Watch is still a ways out, but my previous musings on the wearable’s various features got me thinking: what might it be like a year after launch? Two years? Five years? What if it becomes a symbiotic part of the iOS framework to the point that it practically comes packaged with the iPhone?

Of course it’s going to be a while until we know for sure whether Apple’s latest piece of hardware will be considered a hit or a miss, but for argument’s sake let’s fast-forward a few years and pretend the Apple Watch was a resounding success. This is how I think it could permanently change the way we mobile.

For starters, I expect that we’ll see a big divide between the types of software available for the Apple Watch versus just the iPhone. The Apple Watch, due to its small screen and the fact that it’s pretty much designed to be interacted with in short busts, will probably have far more apps and far fewer games - I’m thinking weather, message alerts, maps and GPS functions, and all sorts of stuff nobody’s thought of yet. I’m sure there will still be games for it, but apps will serve a much more significant purpose.